Monthly Archives: August 2010

Growing up Juju (part 8 in a series)

Dr. Bullock took a drag off of his cigarette, put in down on the ashtray and walked over to Juju. “You know, everything looks good kid, but you are not where you should be on the weight chart.” Juju was 11, she was asthmatic, and choking on second-hand smoke. I am not fat, I am big-boned, Juju thought…just sign off on the school physical sheet you quack!

Juju and her mother left the doctor’s office for a greener pasture…literally. Her mother had a one acre garden with a friend that was located about 4 blocks from Juju’s house. The garden was flourishing with tall stocks of corn, tomatoes, and cucumbers being the main components. Juju loved going to the garden with her mother to pick bushels of corn and cucumbers..the tomatoes, not so much.

Jewel, Juju’s mother, and her friend Hattie had created a miracle. One acre of organic produce in the middle of a surburban neighborhood that looked like it should be off a farm to market road in Iowa. It was illogical…it was hard work….it was magical.

Jewel and Juju would split the bounty with Hattie and then bid her goodbye. The summer of 1972 was filled with days of sitting at the kitchen table on Oak Street, shucking corn. Jewel loved fresh cucumbers in salads, but most were destined to become pickles. Juju would sit at the table shucking while Jewel regaled her with stories of her own youth, picking vegetables out of her grandmother’s garden in Ardmore, Oklahoma, during the Great Depression.

The ears of corn would then be placed in a large boiling pot of water and Juju would yell from the front porch to see if any neighbor kids were hungry. Dinner would consist of large ears of fresh corn, buttered and salted…with green plastic handles stuck in each end. Juju and her friends would sit around the kitchen table…gnawing on the cobs, giggling, and watching Jewel can her bounty of tomatoes and cucumbers.

Juju’s father, the chef, would get home about 6pm after a long day in his kitchen at work. His bounty would consist of whatever leftovers he was able to gather from his catering job that particular day. His boss didn’t care, the food was going to spoil if not eaten…so many a day he would bring home a mess of peel and eat shrimp or other delectables to compliment the fresh corn cobs. Newspaper would be spread on the table and Juju and her friends would enjoy the feast.

Juju’s refrigerator did not look like her friend’s ice boxes at their houses. No packaged lunch meat for Juju’s house…they would have a large ham to carve. No mac and cheese at her house, more likely a bucket full of beef bourguignon. Juju thought all the good eating probably made her family big-boned. Her mother had told her that eating right out of the garden would build healthy bones she needed to play sports.

After stuffing themselves, Juju and her friends would race outside to play until darkness fell. The eleventh summer of Juju’s life was spent playing softball, touch football in the street…and daily battles with Silly String.

TV was a very small part of Juju’s schedule, usually just Friday night. She watched The Brady Bunch, The Partridge Family, and Room 222, one right after the other on ABC. Love American Style came on at 9pm and that meant relinquishing the tube to the adults. Juju and her friends would retire to the family den to play Twister and listen to the AM radio. Twisted bodies and Cheetos were scattered about the place, as Elton John’s Rocket Man wafted out the open windows and into the night.

The crush in Juju’s life in the summer of 72 was a girl named Lori Partridge. It didn’t matter to Juju that Lori was a fictional character on TV, for the love in her heart was real. Juju had cut out four, Partridge Family, 45 “records” off the back of the Frosted Flakes box and listened to them incessantly. Ironically, the actress playing Lori couldn’t sing a lick, but it didn’t matter to Juju. Yes, it was clear that Lori had replaced Maria Von Trapp for good….Maria had enjoyed a good run….for an ex-nun.

Juju was enjoying Mrs. Threadgill’s class that year at Harrison Lane Elementary. She had been looking at Mrs. Threadgill differently though ever since Juju had seen her at the local drag race and speedway. Juju had visited the racetrack with her older sister Junene and her hippie friends over the summer. She had walked up to the ticket booth with her $1.25 to purchase a ticket and had been quite surpised to see none other but Mrs. Threadgill peering through the other side of the plexiglass ticket booth window….and with a cigarette dangling out the left side of her mouth!! Mrs. Threadgill seemed surprised to see Juju too and had wished her a fun day while quickly removing the cigarette from her sight.

Juju thought it was odd to see her teacher out in the “real world.” Somehow in the back of her mind she imagined all the teachers living at the elementary, eating all their meals in the cafeteria, and hanging out together. Juju thought Mrs. Threadgill probably didn’t have anything else to do in the summer, so she sat in the hot ticket booth just for something to do. And evidently they let her smoke at the racetrack, something that was not allowed at school…..that must be the reason, she thought.

That year in math Juju was learning how to use a “slide-rule” and finding it very difficult. Mrs. Forrester, the math teacher said that there was a new invention out that was going to take the place of the slide-rule…making difficult calculations really fast! It was a fancy little box about the size of man’s hand she said and called a “calculator.” The world’s first hand-held, scientific calculator was going to be released in 1972 and was going to cost $395.00! Juju paid close attention and did her best to understand the slide-rule…..she didn’t see a time in her lifetime when she would be able to afford a calculator.

Juju thought she was pretty scientific and had dreams of becoming doctor. Not like her doctor that came into the room smoking just to tell her she was fat…more like Dr. Kiley. Dr. Kiley was good-looking, rode a motorcycle and helped out his old friend, Marcus Welby on TV. That looked like a good thing to Juju. It would take someone like Dr. Kiley to get a date with Lori Partridge.

Growing Up Juju (part 7 in a series)

Juju stood in the golf pro shop of the Sotogrande Country Club and just stared at the beauty before her. A complete set of Titleist irons and woods for women, in a fancy real maroon vinyl bag. Juju was 12 years old and had begun taking golf lessons with the club professional. She had been working at the snack bar of the club in her father’s kitchen for two years. During that time she had watched as the privileged kids walked up to the window to order drinks after playing a round of golf. There was something different about those kids that distinguished them from Juju. They had a different look, beyond their Izod shirts and matching shorts. Something in the way they carried themselves told Juju that the division of the snack bar window was a wider gap than she had realized. Was it the golf? She was a great athlete, maybe she would take up golf, Juju reasoned.

Juju told her dad, the Chef of the club, her desire to learn how to play golf. He worked out a deal with the club pro to give Juju individual lessons at an hourly rate. Juju’s Dad said he would spring for the lessons, but he wasn’t paying for the clubs…she would have to earn the money.

Juju was well known around the country club as Jim’s daughter and had unrestricted access to the entire grounds. The biggest warning Juju’s father ever gave her was to not ever do anything to upset Miss Miller, the country club manager. She was the big boss over everyone and Juju got a little tickle in her stomach every time she saw Miss Miller. Juju thought it was funny that a woman was her father’s boss. She watched as other employees of the club snapped to attention when they saw her….and never failed to sharply respond to her requests with “Yes Ma’am!” Miss Miller always wore what Juju thought were very expensive dresses and high heels. She was about the same age as Juju’s mother but completely different….kind of fancy. Juju tended to turn on her heels and walk in the other direction when Miss Miller was coming her way. Avoidance, Juju thought, was the best way to stay out of trouble.

Juju found the Titleist clubs in the golf pro shop one day and asked Dale the clerk if he could put them on “fall-back” for her. He instructed Juju they didn’t have lay-away, but since she was Jim’s daughter he would make an exception. The clubs were put in the back stock room with Juju’s name on them. She would continue to take her bi-weekly lessons and work toward the purchase. The pro shop gave her 10 percent discount, but the total still came to $112.00. It was early April when the deal was made…Juju planned on playing the course by June 1st with her new clubs! Maybe she would even buy one of those shirts with the alligator on it!

Once school was over for the year, Juju was working at the snack bar every day. There was a limit on the hours she could work, but the money still started to accumulate and she was within 20 bucks of her goal at the end of May. Juju’s mother loaned her the rest of the money with a promise she had to pay if off by the end of June. Juju strutted to the pro shop and plopped down her money on the counter. Dale retrieved the clubs and Juju walked out with the them slung over her shoulder….feeling like a million bucks!

Juju didn’t have to pay green fees to play the golf course, she just had to promise to not play on days when the men players were heavy on the course….which was pretty much six days a week. Thursday was the designated “woman’s day” so Juju tended to just play that one day…and behind the gaggle of laughing club women. They drove their golf carts and sipped vodka tonics as they played…badly. Juju walked behind them thinking….”is this really a sport??” She didn’t care at that point, she was out there and doing it..playing golf like the rich club kids….albeit in cut off shorts and red Converse high tops…but dang it, she was walking the beautiful green fairways with a broad smile on her face.

The lessons were helping, but Juju was a beginner and had difficulty gauging distance and club selection for each hole. Each lesson and each Thursday afternoon she could see improvement, but it was slow going. By the middle of August Juju figured out the best thing she liked about golf was the one thing she still could not do. She wanted to walk into the dining hall in a fancy golf shirt and shorts, after a round of golf, to have a limeade and lunch with a bunch of the club kids. That had not happened yet and one Thursday afternoon Juju realized it wasn’t going to happen…ever. Everyone at the club knew she was “Jim’s daughter” and that would remain her label. She had to know her place and stay there. The fancy clubs belonged on the course, but Juju didn’t.

Juju was standing at the par 3, hole number 6 that had haunted her all summer….it was now the last Thursday. The tee box was up by the dining hall and the green was about 95 yards across a pond and fountain, it was the centerpiece of the luscious course. Members dining in the hall could look out large windows and see the players hitting across the pond. Juju was playing in the heat of the day after the snack bar lunch run, so thankfully she didn’t see spectators through the glass when she approached the tee box. She had put more golf balls in the pond than she dared to admit to anyone that summer, but Juju was determined. This was the day that it all changed for Juju…the ball was going to clear the water hazard!!

For the average woman golfer, a nine iron or even a wedge is sufficient to loft a ball about 95 yards over a water hazard. Juju stared at her Titleist clubs and pulled out her driver. A driver is a club that, if used correctly, could leave the ball 200-230 yards in the direction chosen….Juju didn’t know this. Juju approached the ball and put everything she had in her swing, striking the ball directly in the “sweet spot” of the club. The most fluid and perfect swing she had made since her lessons had commenced! The ball took off like a rocket, soaring well above the pond….over the green and lofting over an entire apartment building that stood on the other side of the hole!!!!

Oh my gawd, Juju thought!!! That was fantastic!!! She didn’t know she could hit a ball that far…and so beautiful, just like she had seen on TV!! Then she saw him…the angry guy whose’s car the ball had hit on the other side of the apartment. He was yelling…Juju couldn’t make out what he was yelling, but he was waving his fists and jumping up and down. Juju quickly turned around to the large glass windows behind her to see if anyone had witnessed the shot?? Miss Miller was standing there alone with her hands on her hips. Juju’s short snack bar life rushed quickly through her mind…it was over, all over. But wait…wait a minute….Miss Miller was laughing!! Juju couldn’t hear her through the glass, but the woman was convulsing in laughter! She pointed at the man and then back at Juju and continued to laugh…it looked like she might pee herself and the gold pleated skirt she was wearing. Juju had never seen Miss Miller smiling, let alone guffawing!!

The man had a $50.00 deductible for his windshield which was deducted from Juju’s paycheck. Juju had spent $162.00 on golf and there she sat at the window of the snack bar once again…in her place. Two club boys walked up in their white leather golf shoes and polo shirts, ordering root beers. One of the boys signed the ticket so the bill would be put against his parent’s monthly total. He looked at Juju and started to laugh…telling her that he had just found out about the “shot heard round the club!” “Don’t worry about it, ” he said, “that shot is so hard, we skip that hole sometimes.”

Wow, Juju thought…she finally found one thing in common with the club kids…they all sucked at golf. Juju would continue to suck at golf for about five more years until she gave it up for good. Thirty years later Juju would find the fancy, maroon and vinyl golf bag in her mother’s garden shed…with a couple of shovels and a rake taking the place of those Titleist clubs. The garden implements looked about as strange sitting in the bag as Juju did on those long ago Thursday afternoons. It is a good thing to find your place in life. Juju grew up and figured out being like the club kids was not the be-all , end-all thing her 12 year old self had thought it was. While those kids were sipping their root beers in the dining hall, Juju was learning life lessons.

Juju had learned the value of a dollar working in that kitchen…and she had learned about how very important proper club selection was in the game of golf. And it seems she would have been fifty-dollars richer and could have avoided ridicule…if she had just used a shovel.

Five Letter Word for Happiness: EQUAL

I was walking through the metal detectors of the courthouse today and observed one of the old deputies leaning back in his chair working on a crossword puzzle. As I was unloading all metal objects into the bin he loudly asked the other three deputies working the security checkpoint, “give me an eight letter word for rainbow?” A balding deputy with his gut hanging over his duty belt quickly responded, “Homosexual!” All of them responded in jovial laughter at their buddy’s ten letter joke.

Another day in paradise I thought as I started to put my belt and shoes back on at a nearby bench. I never just let things go, I think readers have figured that out by now. As I was about to leave the checkpoint I looked at the deputy with the puzzle and said, “your word is S-P-E-C-T-R-U-M.” The group of old codgers jointly looked up at me and seemed embarrassed. They realized a queer had been listening and was now schooling them….a queer from the other side of the political spectrum.

It is not a bad day for me though, don’t get the wrong opinion. Comments like the aforementioned are common place in my life…the norm, not the exception. Today is a good day. The federal judge in California that ruled that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional lifted the stay on gay marriages in that state, they can resume next week. The minority group, in which I am a member, the 18,000 legally married queers in California is going to grow at a rapid pace. It is indeed a good day.

Alveda King, the niece of one of my heroes, Martin Luther King, Jr., got my attention this week when she said allowing gay people the right to legally marry would cause “genocide.” “It’s been statistically proven that … [marriage] guarantees the continuity of the generations. We don’t want genocide, we don’t want to destroy the sacred institution of marriage,” said Ms. King. Alveda is in a good gene pool, I just think she is destined to spend her life in the shallow end with floaters on her arms.

Ben Quayle joined Alveda this week in grabbing press and attention for spewing stupidity and having a famous lineage. Dan’s little potatoe head did him proud declaring “President Obama is the worst president ever!” Dan is running for Congress and wants the citizens of Arizona to vote for him. Reflecting on the dry-hate that has come out of that state this year, they might very well do that! Arizona, this spud is for you!

My examples prove that both Democrats and Republicans can be stupid and inadequate in whatever position they are trying to espouse.
My prime example of this is the White House’s response to the ruling on the Perry v. Schwarzenegger case when the final ruling was released. The White House Press Secretary stated that the President supported the ruling that Proposition 8 was unconstitutional, but he still stood by his position first outlined in his run for office….he is opposed to gay marriage.

How does that compute? Obama is a scholar, an ex-Con Law professor!
He can’t have it both ways!!! I never thought in my life we would have a sitting President flat-out verbalize that he didn’t believe a faction of the population should have equal protection under the law. If you were to have told me it would be true and further the President in question would be black, I would have called you crazy!!

I now think that the Perry case will be upheld in the 9th Circuit in California and I further believe the US Supreme Court will grant review. I have a belief in my heart that justice will prevail and a decision will be rendered that will give queers EQUAL protection under the 14th Amendment…thus giving us the right to marry in any state in the union.

I want to believe in this great union of America. I want to believe I can be more than a second-class citizen. I want to believe I can have the same right as a convicted felon, Britney Spears, Kate Gosselin, and all those Mormons that contributed millions to their campaign of hate in California. I don’t want to practice polygamy or be like Elizabeth Taylor and marry 8 times. I just want one marriage for my lifetime, one legal marriage.

I don’t know where I will be the day the decision comes down from the Supremes on this issue, but I will let you in on one thing. If they decide against us, if they go the way of hate and discrimination. If they politicize the decision and forget their judiciary role in our system of government, as they did in Gore v. Bush, it will be more than I can take. I might have to re-think my status and turn in my second-class citizen papers for greener pastures.

I hope the nine members of the US Supreme Court do the right thing….or at least five of them. Five votes for five letters sounds pretty good to me.

Growing Up Juju (Part 6 in a Series)

The man’s shadow was enveloping hers, she could feel his breath on the back of her neck. He smelled like Old Spice cologne, had on dress pants, a white short sleeve shirt and tie. Juju had always been warned about the bogeyman lurking in the shadows ready to reach out and grab you. Juju’s mother had warned her and her older sister Junene to always be careful and never to talk to strangers. “Do you wanna see what’s on the other end of this big pipe?” Juju asked him.
Sure, he said…..I will go with you.

Junene yelled, “no Juju, we have to get to the store!” She reached out and grabbed Juju by the forearm and gave her a good, stern yank. Juju complied and the four girls started to walk away.
Are you sure you don’t want to play?
“No!” the older girls yelled in joined chorus as they picked up speed and began to run away. They raced in unison with their beating hearts back to Aunt Freda’s house….the older girls dragging Juju into the bathroom. Panting with excitement, Juju’s cousin Sandy locked the bathroom door and turned to her. “you will tell no one about what just happened, do you understand Juju?” Yes, yes….I will keep it a secret, but he just wanted to see where that drainage pipe went! “No Juju!, he wanted more than that…you can’t tell mother or she will kill us for leaving this house!!”

Juju and Junene were visiting their Aunt Freda’s house during a hellish August weekend in Austin. The temperature was over 100 and the girls had just wanted to walk down to the convenience store for an Orange Crush, Juju’s favorite. Juju’s cousins…Donna and Sandy, along with older sister Junene, often let her tag along on their adventures…as long as she understood her place. She was younger by five years and the gap was as wide as the Grand Canyon. They liked to lay around and listen to Led Zeppelin records. They thought they were cool because their jeans had peace sign patches sewn on them and they got to stay up to watch the Midnight Special.

They had started down an access road just a few blocks from the subdivision where Aunt Freda’s house sat. The adults were off shopping and the girls had been given a stern warning to hang around the yard…to not leave. It took about five minutes for the older girls to pool their money together and to set off for cold soft drinks up the road. They would be back in plenty of time and the adults would be none the wiser…what could happen, they thought?

Juju always walked a few steps behind the three older girls, not by her choice. Junene was a smart 13-year-old, savvy beyond her years, but often got Juju into predicaments that she would never have found herself in if she had been left to her own devices. Junene was 13 going on 30…Juju was securely in the single digits and in no hurry to grow up.
The “predicaments” always ended and the sisters would return home safely….but there was always a moment when Junene would pin Juju up against the refrigerator warning her to maintain her silence…it would be used against her! Juju had an early understanding of the 5th Amendment to the Constitution.

There was a field that ran parallel to the access road the girls were walking….it ran in between the road and a major four lane highway just to the east. From the access road you could see the opening of a large drainage pipe…it was about 5 feet in diameter. Sandy and Donna started running toward the pipe…yelling at Juju and Junene to follow. Sandy said it was the coolest thing ever…that the pipe went under the highway and that if you walked the entire length you could hear the cars rumble overhead. Sandy and Donna had been in the pipe numerous times they said, even sneaking a cigarette once and smoking it there.

The four girls entered the pipe and began to walk the fifty yards of concrete and green slime. Juju wasn’t scared, but the water and slime was getting on her new Converse…that caused her much anxiety. There was a deafening roar above the girls and ahead Juju could see a shaft of light…it was a drainage hole on the opposite side of the highway. The older girls were laughing and running ahead…Juju was walking slowly so as not to fall and further damage her red culottes, that matched her Converse…of course.

After reaching the end of their darkened journey they turned back. Juju was not going to show any fear to the older girls as she sensed the whole trip was probably for that reason. Junene and her cousins were generally nice to her, but they did have a mean streak and enjoyed irritating her on a daily basis. The girls exited the tunnel and were walking around the immediate area cleaning green gunk off of their shoes on the brown and burnt Texas Johnson grass. Juju looked up and saw the man exiting his car, a white sedan.

The man walked quickly toward the girls. Junene and the cousins did not move, at first thinking the man was a police officer…thinking they were all busted for walking into the pipe.
What are you girls doing?
“we are playing in the pipe”, Juju chimed up. Juju walked over to the opening of the pipe and stood just inside it’s lip. The man walked over and stood behind Juju..resting his hands on top of the pipe. The man was blocking Juju’s exit, she continued to banter with him, not recognizing the fact that she was now standing right beside the bogeyman.

Sure, I will go with you!
The bogeyman dropped his right hand and rested it on Juju’s right shoulder….just as Juju felt a sharp pain in her left forearm as Junene yanked her under the bogeyman’s extended left arm. The four girls ran past the white sedan and back in the direction of Aunt Freda’s house.

They exited the bathroom and Juju knew she had to keep this secret. She still didn’t know what would have happened in the tube with the bogeyman….but she thought she might have been “raked.” How very close she had been to walking into the pipe with the man behind her. What would have happened if Junene didn’t reach out to grab her arm?

Life is a blink of an eye….minute things occur to change the course of many lives in seconds…decisions are made daily that alter one’s life and fate. Juju thought she was a smart kid, but she hadn’t recognized the bogeyman even after years of warnings from her mother. She was perplexed that a nice, clean man in a shirt and tie could be a monster. She always thought the bogeyman would be dirty and lurking in the bushes at night….not a man who looked like Ward Cleaver getting out of a shiny new car.

Juju thought kids need to be taught that the bogeyman can look like lots of people, he can come at you in the daytime. Keeping it a secret was probably wrong too, but Junene was so strong and could beat her up! Maybe she would wait 40 years or so until her sister was an old lady…then she could take her. And thanks to the sharp pull of a left arm…Juju would be around to do it.

The Irony of Ernesto

Ernesto Miranda was a criminal. He was a convicted juvenile criminal, he was a criminal while in the military that got him a dishonorable discharge, and lastly, he was an adult, habitual criminal. Why do we care about Ernesto Miranda? Well, the landmark US Supreme Court case Arizona v. Miranda brought Ernesto infamy and brought American citizens a clear ruling regarding their rights upon arrest.

We have all read the Miranda warning at least once in our life or heard it on your favorite TV cop show. You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in court. You have the right to an attorney and further you have the right to have that attorney present during any questioning. If you cannot afford an attorney, you have the right to have one appointed by the Court. The case was decided by the Court on June 13, 1966. Miranda had been arrested in Arizona for kidnapping, robbery and a sex assault. The Court ruled that even though Ernesto confessed to the offenses the police were investigating, he had not been advised of his rights and therefore the confession was not admissible.

The police had enough evidence, independent of the thrown out confession, that Miranda was re-tried for his crimes after the first conviction was set aside by the high Court. The second time proved the charm as Ernesto was convicted and sentenced 20-30 years in the Arizona State Prison System. He was paroled after serving just 11 years of his sentence.

I thought of good old Ernesto this morning after reading that the present Supremes are doing some trimming to the Miranda warning that has held its ground since 1966. They put limits on the warnings and the rights that go with them three times during this last session. In one instance regarding the right to remain silent and have counsel present during questioning the Supremes said that is good for about 14 days. The Court said that two weeks was adequate time to go find out their rights and get lawyered up before being contacted by the big, bad POLeese again, if a suspect in a criminal investigation.

I have a love for this ruling above and beyond any court case I have ever studied as a cop and defense attorney. The core premise that a suspect in a crime be advised of his 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination is the granite foundation of our criminal justice system, in my opinion. Having the valued right to remain silent, whether guilty or innocent, is paramount for individual rights.

When I was a cop I used to carry around a “Miranda” card in my shirt pocket..it was laminated. I knew the warning by memory, but it always made a better impression and suspects truly paid better attention if I pulled it out and read from it. I used it for my advantage, some cops bitched about it…but I thought it was the best tool I had. Post Miranda evidence and confessions were solid and I documented the warning every way I could to protect my case. Tainted evidence is the proverbial “fruit of the poisonous tree” and is excluded under the law. All my criminal investigations were grounded with the Miranda and I thought of poor old Ernesto every time I read from the card.

It seems that Ernesto really liked the fact that he was a celebrity of sorts after he was released from State prison. He got himself a box full of Miranda cards and would go around telling people his story, loving the fact that his name was printed at the top of the warnings. Being the kind of guy he was, he charged people $1.50 per card, but he thought it was a bargain because he also took care to autograph each one. I have looked around trying to find one of these cards…if you find one, let me know. I am willing to spend at least $2.50…inflation you see.

Ernesto walked into the La Amapola Bar on the night of New Years Eve, 1976. He was in search of a card game and found one…he also found trouble. Trouble had been around him his entire 34 years on earth but he had always managed to finagle out of it. It was not to be this night, words were exchanged, an accusation of cheating was levied, and one knife entered Ernesto’s chest.

Mortally wounded, Ernesto layed on the floor of the dive bar. The suspect ran but was tackled by others in the bar and held until the police made the scene. Bleeding to death, Ernesto, could not communicate to the investigating officers. One of them bent down and retrieved his wallet from his back jean pocket. Inside the wallet, was an Arizona state I.D., along with several yellow, Miranda Warning cards.

The arresting officer walked over to the suspect and read the warning to him off of an autographed card. The suspect exercised his right to remain silent and never made a statement. He later posted bond and absconded to Mexico before his first court appearance…never to be seen again.

Ernesto Miranda died that night on arrival at the hospital. You can argue that his was a wasted life…a life of crime and of putting others in misery. I say quite the contrary….his life was one of value and I continue to enforce that value every day I practice…as do all people involved in our criminal justice system. Do we really believe in justice…in equality under the law…in protecting the rights of all individuals under the law? IF your answer is yes….then you have to give it up a little for Ernesto. I am sorry for the victims of his crimes, I hope they recovered and lived good and productive lives. I am sorry for Ernesto and the miserable life he chose to live on this earth…but the irony of it is that out of that misery came something good. Every life has value, every person has some good in them, even if you don’t want their autograph.