Wednesday, May 06, 2009

16 Comments:

Blogger Joe said...

Empathy has a place in determining the sentence, but not the guilt (which should be a finding of fact.)

3:42 PM, May 06, 2009  
Blogger HMT said...

Joe: The doesn't address sentencing or guilt. It addresses the role of judges, and to a much smaller extent lawyers in general, in defining the law. More specifically, the role of the appellate courts.

IMO the appellate courts should take a very narrow view when addressing laws. Dismissing or enhancing a law based on "empathy" would definitely be wrong. However, I don't agree with Sowells premise that judges should only interpret the law as legislators write it. I believe they also need to apply the constitution to the laws. If this were done more rigorously I believe we'd have much fewer laws on the books than we do today. Particularly at the federal level.

4:15 PM, May 06, 2009  
Blogger DADvocate said...

I don't care for much empathy in sentencing, at least for the way it is applied today. This is why women consistently get lesser sentences for the same crimes as men.

I agree with HMT's argument of applying the Constitution.

7:48 PM, May 06, 2009  
Blogger TMink said...

"Justice Holmes understood the difference between the rule of law and the rule of lawyers and judges."

Sowell is a brilliant man. It is so pleasurable to read his well crafted writing. I would love to buyt that man a cigar and a beer and just listen to him for a couple of hours.

Trey

8:08 AM, May 07, 2009  
Blogger Oligonicella said...

In a court of law, empathy equals bias, which destroys impartiality.

12:57 PM, May 07, 2009  
Blogger HMT said...

Oligonicella: Empathy on the part of the judge equals bias. Lawyers are supposed to be biased (towards their client). Juries are are there to represent the bias of the people. That's what jury nullification is all about.

2:06 PM, May 07, 2009  
Blogger DonSurber said...

It is part of a 4-part series of columns for thsi week. Sowell Swings

2:13 PM, May 07, 2009  
Blogger uncle ken said...

What Trey said.

Thos Sowell and Walter Williams. Two of my personal heroes.

I wrote to Williams a few years back pleading with him to run for President. He declined, saying his wife wouldn't let him. What we could use most now; intelligent men with a sense of humor.

2:28 PM, May 07, 2009  
Blogger Oligonicella said...

HMT -- Correct. The context of Sowell's piece was a judge's decision. That's what I meant.

5:51 PM, May 07, 2009  
Blogger TMink said...

What uncle ken said, well, the part about Walter Williams. Is he black as well? G. Gordon Liddy turned me on to Mr. Sowell.

Trey

6:06 PM, May 07, 2009  
Blogger J. Bowen said...

How odd that Thomas Sowell, someone who leans libertarian, would write approvingly of Holmes.

6:14 PM, May 07, 2009  
Blogger br549 said...

Trey, a quick way to learn About Walter Williams is to hit Drudge Report. Scroll down the center where all the names of columnists, etc. are. You will find Walter Williams' name. Follow the link and read up on him, read his columns.

He's a great man.

5:05 AM, May 08, 2009  
Blogger TMink said...

Thanks buddy! I will do just that.

Trey

8:22 AM, May 08, 2009  
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11:45 AM, May 24, 2009  
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