hate begets hate


A comment to yesterday’s post bothered me a little. BobH said that I should have taken the “soft approach” first with Teri Wadsworth, and asked her first for the reasons why she thinks the way she does. You know, things like evidence and stuff.

I like BobH a lot; what he thinks carries a lot of weight with me. And yes, I will admit that sometimes (not very often though) I have a pretty short fuse. But I am not the kind of guy that responds to a punch in the nose by asking my assailant, “Will you please tell me why you did that?” I’ll strike back first and ask questions later. Maybe it’s a flaw, but we’re all imperfect and I’m willing to live with myself as I am, warts and all.

Sometimes leading with a punch to the nose and following up with an offer of reconciliation is the best strategy, especially in the rough-and-tumble world of prisons. I can think of at least one instance where this approach led to a mutually-respectful relationship with a high-level prison administrator. It continues to this day.

It seems to me that the important thing—the bottom line—is that the kids we represent know that they have a fierce defender in their corner, come what may. Even if the act that got them in trouble with the system is indefensible, they are being rigorously defended, no matter what. Even if all their former friends and family have abandoned them, we will be the last man standing. Without question. Without judgement. Without hate for anyone on either side of the bars.

Thinking about haters, do any longtime readers remember a guy named Steve Piantedosi, a corrections officer from Hartford CT, who publishes a particularly offensive blog called “People You’ll See In Hell”? He first appeared on my radar screen several years ago during the early days of the Jordan Brown controversy. He claimed that Jordan was an “evil little fucker” and I (and, subsequently, the courts) took the opposite view. He and the readers of this blog got into quite a comment war that went on for hours and 62 comments until I cut it off.

Out of curiosity I went out to his blog last night and saw a radically toned-down site. It seems that someone (not me) hacked his site about a year ago and trashed everything that was out there. As one who writes a blogsite, I can imagine how devastating this must have been for Mr. Piantedosi, and I empathize with him. Regardless of what you think of his site, this shouldn’t have been done.

But it was predictable. You reap what you sow, and Mr. Piantedosi trades in hate—the same kind of hate that brought down his site. I guess if you wait long enough, if you’re patient enough, Karma works in this world after all.


Groove of the Day

Listen to John Lennon performing “Instant Karma”


3 Responses to “hate begets hate”

  1. October 23, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    Danny – i just saw a film called AMISH GRACE it is based on the true story about the shooting of 5 Amish school children by a man that was mad at God. It is a wonderful story of big time Foregiveness by the Amish. They put into practice what they believed. The best example (other than Jesus on the cross ) i have ever seen. The world should see this film and learn what it takes to follow the path of Peace.

  2. 2 BobH
    October 23, 2014 at 9:15 pm

    Dan, you know that my comment was not a criticism, just a suggestion to expose either irrationality or, just possibly, a misunderstanding of facts. 🙂 Do you know the story of the talking horse?
    The history of “see in hell” altercation of a couple of years ago was interesting.

  3. 3 Gloria
    October 24, 2014 at 12:29 am

    “Simply punishing the broken—walking away from them or hiding them from sight—only ensures that they remain broken and we do, too. There is no wholeness outside of our reciprocal humanity.”


    A powerful true story about the potential for mercy to redeem us, and a clarion call to fix our broken system of justice—from one of the most brilliant and influential lawyers of our time

    Bryan Stevenson was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need: the poor, the wrongly condemned, and women and children trapped in the farthest reaches of our criminal justice system. One of his first cases was that of Walter McMillian, a young man who was sentenced to die for a notorious murder he insisted he didn’t commit. The case drew Bryan into a tangle of conspiracy, political machination, and legal brinksmanship—and transformed his understanding of mercy and justice forever.


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