Chicago Daily Observer
For more than 20 years as a columnist, I’ve kept my mouth shut whenever a judge or a jury makes a decision that I don’t believe is right. Even when every opinionizer in the country was fuming over the jury’s acquittal of O.J. Simpson of murder charges, I didn’t write in disagreement, although I was mightily shocked.
The reason is that I wasn’t in the courtroom, hearing all the facts and law. I wasn’t in the jury room, listening to peers shift through the evidence. Second guessing the justice system is a dangerous sport, weakening our respect for the law and criminal proceedings.
This self-imposed silence on my part is now challenged by one Cook County Circuit Judge John J. Fleming, who sentenced a big cop to two years probation for beating up a tiny woman bartender, as shown on a security camera tape that circulated digitally around the world. The 250-pound cop, Anthony Abbate, also was ordered to perform 130 hours of community service at a homeless shelter, attend anger management classes, observe a strict 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew during the probation period and undergo drug and alcohol evaluations.
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