Today I would like to discuss the community impact of the
Lovelace case and issue a caution.
Under the "6° of Kevin Bacon" theory, no one has
more ties to this case than I do. No need to list them here.
Naturally, as a veteran trial lawyer, I
have opinions about what I know of the evidence, the performance and decisions
of the attorneys for both sides in the last trial and even the verity of some
of the comments of the discharged jurors. None of that matters. I keep those opinions to myself. The only opinions
that are going to matter are the collective conclusions of the jury that is
impaneled when the next iteration of this case goes forward.
All of which gets me to the basic point. In all manner of
public places and social media, local people, good people, solid, respectable
people chose to take all kinds of positions as to the guilt or innocence of the
defendant or even as whether the case should have been charged. There were even
opinions about the ability or credibility of certain out-of-town experts and
the performance of some of our local policeman. There were plenty of rumors
about the motivation for the case going forward.
Folks, none of that is worth a pitcher of warm spit.
we all agree on this much?: The process, brutal though it may be, is going to
have to run itself out. It doesn't matter what we think of the merits of the
case or the wisdom and using resources on these particular facts or what we
think of the decedent's personality or what we think of the defendant's
personality. It does not even matter how sympathetic and heartrending the
impact is on the defendant's four children or the decedent's mother. The only
thing that matters in the final analysis is the evidence that is admitted in
the court case and the conclusions this next Jury will reach about that
So, how about this? Let's not fight with each other about
this case. I have two friends who are also friends of one another. They are on
opposite sides of the "guilt or innocence" question and their positions have strained their friendship. I know of other examples of the
exact same thing. This is as unnecessary as it is sad. Our opinions don't
matter. There is not going to be a public plebiscite on this, ever. There is going to
be, at some point, an orderly the trial and a duly rendered jury verdict. Our
opinions are without effect on that process. This is true whether they comments are on web boards, letters to the editor or bar arguments.
Since our opinions are completely superfluous to the
process, why should we let them disrupt our community, our friendships and our
goodwill, one to another? For those who give support and comfort to Mrs.
Lovelace, keep doing that. That does not require arguing with or debating
anyone else. For those who believe that Cory's survivors deserve the
vindication a conviction might deliver, comfort those survivors in your own
way. That does not make you an enemy of Mrs. Lovelace or her supporters.
In short, I saw the first trial of this case tear at the
fabric of our community. There was bitterness in the wake of that trial and
there was disharmony in our town. There is no need for that. The process is the
process. Illinois Law and the Constitution dictate that. You do not get a vote on this and
neither do I and that is as it should be.
I respectfully suggest we celebrate
the inalienable right of an accused to be judged by a jury of his peers and
avoid debate or argumentation on the merits, one with another. That debate
gains us nothing and puts at risk a quality of life that we've all built
together in our fine community.
Under all circumstances, be good to one another.