Archive for 'Social Issues'

Trump wrong to criticize judge and jury

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Two years ago, Kathryn Steinle was killed by Jose Garcia Zarate, an illegal immigrant who had been deported five times and had a history of drug convictions. On Nov. 30, Zarate was acquitted in Steinle’s murder trial. President Donald Trump called it “a disgraceful verdict.”

It’s a shocking and a horrible result for Steinle’s family, because there’s no doubt Zarate was the shooter. Was Trump right to criticize the verdict and, by implication, the jury?

Trump also took issue with the trial ...

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Life lessons from a Hatmaker

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If you’re struggling with the LGBTQ issue, here’s something to ponder, and it’s especially helpful if you’re trying to reconcile the LGBTQ issue with your religious beliefs—the words of Jen Hatmaker, a Texas pastor and mother of five. Here’s what she had to say in the Aug. 28, 2017, edition of Time magazine when asked if the LGBTQ issue will divide the church: “If we are following Christ literally, then nobody’s humanity is up for grabs. Nobody. That is a ...

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Judges probably influenced by campaign contributions

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Do campaign contributions affect how judges decide cases?  Studies indicate the answer is yes. A recent effort by Cleveland attorney Subodh Chandra to disqualify a Summit County judge illustrates how money might drive the public’s thinking on a judge’s impartiality.

First, some background about money and state supreme court elections.

In 2009, the U.S. Supreme Court held in Caperton v. A.T. Massey Coal Co. that Chief Justice Brent Benjamin of the West Virginia Supreme Court erred in not recusing himself from a ...

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Why has the state fought compensating Dale Johnston?

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[This piece was published in the Columbus Dispatch on July 16, 2017, and is an update of a blog post published in August 2016]

If you believe the court system always renders justice, you’re mistaken. Just ask Dale Johnston. After spending nearly seven years on Death Row for two murders he didn’t commit, Johnston has yet to succeed in a 24-year ordeal to obtain compensation for his wrongful conviction. And the real killer is now behind bars.

Johnston was convicted in 1984 ...

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We forget we’re all the same

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bolognaI couldn’t get away from it. The same message came to me three times last weekend. Each message was simple—the importance and value of every human life. But strange, how difficult it is to recognize the value of each human life when we have to deal with people who differ from what we believe the norm should be. I’ll explain more in a minute, but first let’s look at the series of ...

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We need more liberals

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With the divisive discord that permeates the news and our conversations, I think about the dearth of liberals in our world. There are plenty of liberals, you might say. No, there are plenty of progressives. There’s a difference.

The term “liberal” has been perverted to refer to political progressives, when it actually means being broad-minded and tolerant of people with different views. You can be conservative and be liberal. Consider Columnist David Brooks.

Few people are able to maintain a strong ...

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Wrongfully incarcerated and no compensation

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If you had been incarcerated for two murders you didn’t commit and had spent nearly seven years on Death Row, you would think being compensated for the state’s error wouldn’t be that difficult, especially when the real killer later confessed. So, you would think, but Dale Johnston has been dealt one punch in the gut after another by the state of Ohio. The most recent came with an unfavorable ruling from the Franklin County Court of Appeals in June.

Johnston was ...

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The irony in Trump’s Muslim policy

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After the Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando, Donald Trump bellowed, “The bottom line is that the only reason the killer was in America in the first place, was because we allowed his family to come here.” I suppose Trump is right, but is his proposal to ban all Muslims the right solution?

Maybe, but then let’s look at the Orlando massacre from another angle. If Joseph Ibrahim’s father, a Muslim, had not emigrated to the U.S. from Egypt, there may ...

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The transgender debate and messaging

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The current transgender bathroom issue illustrates the importance of messaging. While the debate should focus on human rights and dignity, those who oppose transgender people using the bathroom that matches their sexual identity (versus the gender that appears on their birth certificates) have changed the debate into a moral crusade. Society’s relationship with God is now at issue.

Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest of North Carolina stated a few weeks back on talk radio, “We have a lack of moral compass ...

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Two women, each an army of one

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Partners for Care-doctorSome people assume that enormous problems are for somebody else to solve. Others are undaunted and confront the challenge. Meet two women in the latter category, each of whom is an army of one.

The first is Connie Cheren of Alpharetta, Ga. When the last of her five children graduated from college, Connie found herself in the enviable position ...

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