November 17, 2005

"The Avery Bill."

That's the name given a bill, passed by the Wisconsin legislation, designed to guard against the criminal conviction of the innocent:
His name was dropped from the legislation after he was arrested last week and charged Tuesday with killing and mutilating a young woman.
Avery really did not commit the rape for which he spent years in prison before being freed as a result of the legal work performed by the Wisconsin Innocence Project. The goals of the legislation his case inspired are sound.

But maybe it's not such a good idea to name legislation after living human beings. They do not remain in stationary, symbolic form for you.

Actually, this reminds me of Cindy Sheehan, who served as a symbol for the anti-war movement for a while, but who also did and said things that she saw fit to do and say. She helped the movement for a while but then she turned out not to be so useful.

3 comments:

John R Henry said...

I agree with you about naming. We have a municipal stadium in Puerto Rico named after a gentleman who served several years in jail for drug trafficking.

Yeah, Orlando Cepeda was a pretty good ball player I guess. I really don't follow the sport.

What kind of message does it send kids that you can go to jail and still get your name in lights if you can just catch a baseball?

John Henry

reader_iam said...

"But maybe it's not such a good idea to name legislation after living human beings. They do not remain in stationary, symbolic form for you."

As to the latter sentence, don't you wish they would? Reminds me of my first boyfriend ... lol.

Really, Ann, one of your more profound statements about humanity--I'm surprised more people haven't commented on that.

XWL said...

I thought that was a rule of thumb, most legislations named for someone in the headlines tend to be bad law.

(Brady Bill, Megan's Law, Amber Alerts, etc.)

The only thing worse than when legislatures act proactively is when they act reactively.

(that doesn't leave a lot of room for actions by legislatures. . . .just the way I like it)