One Hand Clapping

Opinion: Ganim's Reinstatement Shouldn't Be Based On Remorse

, The Connecticut Law Tribune


Norm Pattis

We all know, or should know, that juries do from time-to-time get things wrong. I suspect the danger of jury error is greatest in areas where the law is broadest and most sweeping, such as conspiratorial liability. Recall that in a conspiracy case all that need be proven is that two or more people agreed to accomplish some unlawful act, and that, thereafter, one of the conspirators makes an overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy. Satisfy this simple proof, and all co-conspirators, whether they even know one another or not, are guilty. It's a repugnant law, really, the best friend of lazy prosecutors everywhere.

The law is not morals. When we pretend otherwise we transform dispassionate doctrine into the hot lead of prejudice. I am disappointed in King's unseemly posturing as the Oprah Winfrey of the bar. What instinct leads her to think that preying on fellow lawyers will inspire public confidence in an already untrusted profession?

Joseph Ganim is a felon. He's paid whatever debt his sentencing judge thought he owed to society. He doesn't owe anyone tears, remorse or regrets. Holding him hostage until he delivers his very own pound of flesh is demeaning. Either give him his law license back or declare once and for all that a felon disables a lawyer for life.

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