Monday, December 22, 2014

Joe Shannon on 'doing justice'

From outgoing Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney Joe Shannon Jr.'s farewell message on the department's website:
Having practiced law for over 51 years, I have come to realize that “doing justice” is not just reading the law and applying it robotically.  It entails having an understanding of human nature and shortcomings as well as empathy for other human beings.  Some are in difficulty through ignorance, poor judgment or circumstance.  Most of these will not commit future crimes.  Others lack a moral compass and some are just plain mean.  The difficult task of the prosecutor is to determine the difference.  We have all tried to do this—hopefully we are right more than we are wrong.

9 comments:

Lisa Stassi said...

Wow, I'm generally not fond of prosecutors, but that statement makes me almost hopeful! And a Texas prosecutor! Maybe he secretly practices Buddhism?

Anonymous said...

"empathy for other human beings."

You show a lot of empathy for the thugs but none for those they victimize.

Anonymous said...

Yes, he is a Texas prosecutor and there are many more in Tarrant County that share the same philosophy. Also, Tarrant County has one of the best victim assistance programs in the State also. Thank you Joe.

John K said...

Anonymous 10:35, not every citizen who gets jammed up by a hanging prosecutor is/are the thug(s) who embittered you by doing whatever he/they did to make you so angry and jaded. Sometimes good people who are innocent or wrongly accused get crushed by prosecutors polishing up their win/loss records.

Anonymous said...

@John K, you sir, sound like the one who sounds a little bitter. Then again, perhaps you're right. I'm sure there are prosecutors all across the state who have nothing better to do than get their jollies by trumping up charges on the innocent. Nothing like sending an innocent man to prison while the guilty goes free to make the community safer, huh?

theo levee said...

Tarrant county DA office lied under oath to federal magistrate and perverted justice. Failed to investigate and intentionally mislead federal court to protect wrongful prosecution. And does not have the guts to stand up and gave the evidence - bah humbug

Down on the Corner said...

Anonymous, your comment comes from that dualistic, either/or place which plagues so much of our public dialogue, as if there were only so much empathy to go around and we have to be careful which side gets it. I believe it is more accurate to look beyond the "sides" and look at the system. Once moving up to that perspective, it is obvious there are many "victims" of a very human system. Working to fix things at that level requires empathy for all--even the ones who want to drag the discussion down to a more primative level, because, presumably, that is as far as they have evolved to this point.

Thomas R. Griffith said...

Joe, the PNG: of Texas has created a complimentary mini-blog column exclusively for - The Former DAs & ADAs of Texas with a Q&A session.

Based on your outgoing message, sir, I would be honored to sponsor your column on the project's homepage. The Life & Times of Mr. Joe Shannon could & should be a documentary, book and hopefully a blog. Whatever you do, enjoy your golden years & most importantly, have a good day.

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

If you believe a word of what JS said,then: 1) you don't know JS; 2) you haven't done your homework on the man.