What Would You Have Done by Dr. Arthur Caliandro
Posted on June 8, 2008 by Arthur Caliandro

I have been bothered of late by something I saw on a recent CBS 60 Minutes broadcast. Two lawyers from the Midwest were defending a position they had taken. The more they were pressed on their position the more they tried to say they had done the right thing.

A man has been in jail for thirty years for a murder he did not commit. These two lawyers knew from the beginning he was not guilty and didn’t do anything about it. Their client had committed the murder and because of the confidentiality agreement between lawyer and client they said nothing. They admitted that not a day had passed in all of these years that they had not thought about the innocent man languishing in jail.

I wonder what you would have done in a similar circumstance. And I wonder about what I might have done. I would like to think that I would have followed a higher truth that I learned from the Episcopal clergyman and writer Joseph Fletcher. In one of his books he said, “Sometimes you have to throw principles aside and do the right thing.”

Oh, that we could have the insight and courage to do likewise.


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