Peter Shellem, R.I.P.


This is a story about tragedy on many levels.  In the end, it comes down to the inability of some humans to even come close to being competent.

I know that our criminal justice system is imperfect.  I have sat on two juries, one a 12-person criminal and the other a 6-person civil.

The criminal trial involved the death of a person.  It ended with a hung jury  11 – 1 to convict.  I was the 1.

I don’t presume to be all that smart, but when I saw a retired state police accident re-constructionist testify for the prosecution, the message I was hearing was, “I will tell what ever lie I have to, to get him convicted”  I knew I wasn’t hearing enough of the truth.

Today I come across this piece from the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. The immediate tragedy is the death of Mr. Shellem.  The larger story is what a hero he must be in the eyes of those who got exonerated.

Another is all of those public officials who cut corners and did not do their job, who were lazy, who didn’t care who got convicted, just as long as someone did.

Rest In Peace, Peter Shellem, an anonymous reporter, who made a difference in so many lives.

 

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