On the Texas DAs' website we find a plea from a prosecutor for help formulating opening and closing arguments in an upcoming animal cruelty case. He declares:
I'd appreciate any themes and opening/closing argument talking point ideas that I could expound on. One I like is the idea that how we treat animals is a reflection of our humanity.Who could disagree? A prosecutor from Dallas followed up with this suggestion:
This might be similar to your humanity theme, but I love that Ghandi quote: "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." How great are we if we don't hold those accountable who mistreat our animals?Indeed, that's a noble sentiment - one shared, I'm sure, by all but the most callous carnivores. But to read it on the prosecutors' user forum invites a blogger to remind them that Gandhi was taking his cue from Fyodor Dostoevsky, with whom they might not find themselves in such ardent agreement. Here's the original quote from the Russian novelist:
"The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons."So in light of the routine discovery of convicted innocents, reported abuses at TYC, poor healthcare and dehumanizing treatment of prisoners at TDCJ, and Texas' deadly local jails, prosecutors might well ask "how great are we if we don't hold those accountable who mistreat" our prisoners?
That's a topic I seldom hear discussed by Texas District and County Attorneys. It's not hard to guess why.