Monthly Archive for March, 2006

P.J’s Legacy


Jamaica’s outgoing prime minister, P J Patterson, in his final appeal to the political leaders before leaving Gordon House, called for bipartisan consensus on at least two of three issues of full sovereignty facing Jamaica. The three issues are:

. the entrenchment in the Jamaican Constitution of the Charter of Fundamental Rights;

. completion of the process of “decolonisation”, by creating a Republican system of government, with a president as the head of state, with authority derived directly from the people of Jamaica; and

. completing the process of the Caribbean Court of Justice becoming the Jamaica’s final appellate court.

“These are changes which signify the maturing of a people and symbolise the unity and identity of the Jamaican nation,” Patterson said. “I challenge the new leaders, on both sides of the House, to commit to having at least two of these changes taking place before the next general elections are constitutionally due.” The next general election is constitutionally due by October 2007. That gives us a year and a half.


i&i would like to propose a series of “Reasonings” in the style of Fred Friendly Socratic seminars, in order to advance this program. i would like to see these Reasonings held in Kingston for PBCJ, in Cambridge for CCTV, and in other cities of the world in which the Jamaican diaspora finds home for and with community media there. Initial topics on which to reason those posed by P.J. Patterson:

* (1) completion of the process of “decolonisation”, by creating a Republican system of government, with a president as the head of state, with authority derived directly from the people of Jamaica; how would a change in the form of government from parliamentary to republican affect existing lines of corruption? do you really want to know?
* (2) entrenchment in the Jamaican Constitution of the Charter of Fundamental Rights; can you face your homophobia? do you really want to know?
* (3) completing the process of the Caribbean Court of Justice becoming the Jamaica’s final appellate court. who will adjudicate issues which arise under the treaty with the maroons? what difference does it make?

Here is an example of a Fred Friendly Socratic Professor Nesson did long ago, Eye On The Media, done with CBS, 1982. Watch the first ten minutes or so to get the idea. This kind of interactive moderated discussion opens a more general discussion face to face, through community meeting and media, and online.

Key to producing seminars like these is having the right people at the table. Technical production is facilitated by recording the event at a television studio. Sponsorship opportunities abound.

i would be pleased to contribute effort to get such reasoning started.

hello OSCOM

[00:25] chregu: ordnas: what was your plan for oscom anyway? 🙂
[00:25] ordnas: chregu: right, let’s start from the beginning 🙂

[00:26] ordnas: well, what’s the reason for OSCOM? it’s that we don’t
want to play the stupid we-are-competitors-and-we-dont-talk-but-fight-
each-other game
[00:26] zopepaul: right
[00:26] bergie: yep
[00:26] ordnas: we at least want to talk with each other, because we
respect our expertise and we can learn from each other
[00:26] zopepaul: right
[00:26] ordnas: this is the very minimum I see
[00:26] gregor_: i am not even in the cms industry anymore, but i
think this is a more generic oss issue that needs solutions, and
hence my interest
[00:26] chregu: amen brother 🙂
[00:27] bergie: OSCOM process has been an eye opener… at least I
came to OSCOM1 seeing the others simply as competitors
[00:27] chregu: ordnas: sure, but is that enough to keep this
organisation runing?
[00:27] ordnas: it depends on what you expect 😉

Henri Bergius
Consultant Partner, Nemein
 henri.bergius at nemein.com

Midgard CMS www.midgard-project.org

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Michael Wechner
Wyona – Open Source Content Management – Apache Lenya http://www.wyona.com  http://lenya.apache.org
 michael.wechner at wyona.com  michi at apache.org

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***
hello OSCOM, you need a project to do together that is bigger than yourselves. i am just on im with a friend in kingston. perhaps you will see a connection.

Kevin Wallen says: hello charley
charley says: hello my friend
Kevin Wallen says: i feel like a proud papa
charley says: tell me about your child
Kevin Wallen says: arturo made a commercial for the concert and it is magnificent
Kevin Wallen says: for cvm
Kevin Wallen says: he is an amazing editor
charley says: can you give me a link to it
charley says: and here is a link for you
charley says: http://www.wyonapictures.com/en/fud/inde…
charley says: this is a video made by a friend of mine in zurich
Kevin Wallen says: ok

adamski pahonia zslot iga ivy agnieszka


“What do you think of visiting Wroclaw again? This fall or earlier, in May, when the weather
is good enough to have a nice trip to Prague, Budapest or this charming
city – Gdansk – at the Polish coast. Do you have TIME?”

This is the question Darek Adamski asks at the end of his message to me. Fern and i met him when we travelled to Poland last October, meeting a network of internet friends from nearby countries. Adamski is the young organizational strength in CBKE, a center much like Berkman when we began. Here is his insistent message.

Subject: Fwd: Time … and Space
From:  dadamski at prawo.uni.wroc.pl
To:  nesson at law.harvard.edu

Dear Charles,

Apparently my previous mail didn’t reach you. So I’m sending it again
(with just one photo this time to facilitate the transfer).

I’m glad that you enjoyed your stay in Jamaica.

All the best to you and Fern,

Darek

————————– Wiadomo¶æ oryginalna ————————–
Temat: Time … and Space
Od:  dadamski at prawo.uni.wroc.pl />
Data: ¦r Marca 22 2006, 8:45 pm
Do:  
nesson at law.harvard.edu />
————————————————————————–

Dear Charles,

Iga Aleksandra Adamska is more than 3 months now. She’s beautiful and
smart, just as her mummy is. We’re both pretty crazy about her and she’s
getting more and more crazy about us in return – such a fly-wheel of love.
Let me share our precious with you – I enclose three of her pictures.

Time… Outside the days are getting longer – the spring is at the
threshold – but I can see the days rather shrinking. It’s incredible how
the notion of ‘time’ changes its meaning when a baby arrives, especially
that Agnieszka is finishing her Ph.D. dissertation, so our nest is almost
entirely dependent on me. But I’ve always loved new challenges. This one
is just more important than others, as it’s about the ones that I love the
most.

Would be much easier if cbke were not developing (just for a while). But
it apparently is (partly because of the October conference), which also
changes my perception of time and the question how to manage it. In fact
I’m not that sure – maybe it is the time, not my perception, that has
changed…

To get some more strength I was looking for you somewhere on the net
speaking, recorded while lecturing. I loved your lectures in Wroclaw –
they were so inspiring! But I could not find any. So I got back to your
blog. I scrolled it down and guess what were the first words I saw: ‘Space
is limited’. Funny! That was the first thought. Then I thought of Belarus
– presidential elections that were rigged there last Sunday – 10 million
people trapped in a limited space next to the eastern wall of my country,
at the feet of the eastern big brother. My country looked exactly the same
20 years ago. Time… And space…

Apparently the space is limited everywhere, just the limits are different.
Due to that I didn’t manage to see and hear any recording from the
‘Bioethics in a Changing World – an interactive videoconference’, to which
the words ‘Space is limited’ in your blog referred to. It seems there’s
still a lot to be done about the space limits. This will be changed by the
people like you (and hopefully me). Gradually. With the net. But the net
won’t overcome the time limits, will it? To the contrary – 20 years ago in
Poland (and now in many other places) time did not really matter. Space
mattered – you could see its limits physically. Now it’s the other way
around. Because of the net, the information and communication it offers to
us, I personally need to struggle with time desperately. So what does the
EON nowadays mean? Thousand different meanings. Each day different. Until
we meet your sister, Ivy.

Time… and questions. I’m finishing this letter with plenty of them and
originally just wanted to send you Iga’s pictures, best regards to you and
Fern from me and Agnieszka and ask just one question – what do you think
of visiting Wroclaw again? This fall or earlier, in May, when the weather
is good enough to have a nice trip to Prague, Budapest or this charming
city – Gdansk – at the Polish coast. Do you have TIME?

All the best, Darek

———-

hello darek
my apologies for not immediately responding to you. i was thinking, your question is a good one, do i have time. like you i have felt time shrink in the sense of squeezing in on what you feel passion to accomplish yet recall the months after my first child was born as the happiest of my life. to know the feeling of being father to a child has been my key to love. my love and blessings to Iga and Agnieszka.

the people of belarus seem to reach world opinion now by courageous physical protest. have they a cyberstrategy? have they a heroine? have they stories to tell? how much time does it take to connect through the net?

what do you think of visiting Wroclaw again? i think yes, in the fall,in coordination perhaps with a visit to Zsolt at the University of Pecs, and with fern, who has a more demanding teaching schedule than i.

i think also of asking the two of you to come here (cambridge or kingston) for a conference on the nature of national independance in the age of internet, still very much in planning.

eon

yesteryear tomorrow

Here’s the Fred Friendly Socratic i liked best. Eye On The Media, done with CBS, 1982. Too long, but fun up through the first few turns.

what form will this take

consciousness is story telling to ourselves. we make meaning of what we see and hear, each and all story tellers. we tell stories of good and evil according to our nature, evil the hurt we have felt, love our ability to overcome it. shall we type, shall we speak, shall we act, shall we code our context.

This thing is taking a turn, am i ready?

Kevin posts: The past few days have left me a little puzzled aboout what is going on in the country I love and plan to spend the rest of my days in. On friday I received a phone call fom a young lady telling me that she needed my help. It turned out that she borrowed 3 cd’s from a friend and accidently ruined them. Her friend wants her cd’s back. She is unemployed and unable to come up with the money to pay for the cd’s. The owner of the cd’s has all kinds of people calling her telling her that she better replace the cds or they are going to kill her. She got scared and went into a store and stole the 3 cds. As she was walking out the door she was stopped searched and the cds recovered, the police called and she was locked up. She called me to find out whether or not she could join the SET program when she goes to prison. Based on the crime i did not think they would send here to prison, however i told her that if that ended up being the case i would be happy to welcome here into the group. Later on that evening she call back to say that she got community service and a fine of $8,000.00. She still wants to know how she can get involved in the program and keep herself out of trouble in the future.

In a related story, after I finished with the Unchained program today I got a phone call from a young lady asking me it i run a support group to keep people from doing things that might land them in prison. I told her that i did not, however i would be more than happy to help her get the help that she needed. It turned out that she has a huge problem with controling her temper, so much so that she wanted to kill her boss and even planned how she was going to do it. She said she heard us on the Unchained program and that got her thinking. She decided against it, howeve she is still fearful because she knows she still has that anger inside. She does not want to hurt anyone but what is scary for her is that she knows that she is capable of doing it. She wants to know how SET can help her

What this means to me is that we have to add another dimension to SET. We need a support line whare folks thinking of comitting criminal acts can call and talk to a live person 24/7
your thoughts

iLaw Mexico+++ resist extremism

i’m seated in the back of the hall next to the translator’s booth listening to larry lessig lecture as a prophet of free culture, zittrain looking preparing to probe with questions.

iLaw

We are talking about the reality we see in the world around us. Cyberspace. Social networks are now seeding and propagating in this space. Rapid growth of new forms of organization are fulfilling early visions of the Net. The influence of the blogosphere on politics and news media, of independently produced web-based art, video, and music on mainstream entertainment, of open access peer production and review on research and education, the phenomenon of FlashMobs, all are evidence of distributed human desire to connect and build toward common good.

Our objective in iLaw and the Berkman Center is to create a rhetorical cyber environment in which people come to see and feel themselves to be global citizens of the Net, even as, in real space, they honor their nation, tribe, family, self, and god.

larry just puts my picture up on the screen. i listen. he describes my plight as a law teacher trying to teach the prospective lawyers in front of me not to cheat in litigation, aware that i am speaking to a class of students who have already become accustomed to breaking laws with marijuana and fake id’s. we are snubbing the creativity of our children by making criminals of them. Big finish for free culture, my fist raised in ardent support. z leaps on the stage and asks where mischief will come from if all creativity is allowed. Now fisher, not speaking loud enough for me, asks a question contrasting consumptive and transformative fair use of copyrighted material: Abandon the consumptive if you could get the transformative?
***
just had some fun asking larry does he see a connection between free culture and global warming. he sees both up against the same force, both representing that which is good for folk on the outside of imperial corporate power. “resist extremism” reads the text on screen in front of which larry stands.

what is the relation between free culture and drm, asks Ariel Vercelli of argentina.
León Felipe Sánchez asks how about drm for enforcement of creative commons licenses. larry says not on his watch.

Here’s six minutes of audio recording, thankyou’s and reactions when our sessions ended from Jorge Ringenback, Alvaro and Andy Rattinger, León, (our hosts) and Zittrain, Lessig and Fisher.

GO PEACEFUL PROTEST!!

Chris Lydon writes to Charles Fried who responds with copy to me about Federal Judge Bybee (who signed the “torture memo”) and the Federalist Society of Harvard Law School purporting to cancel a public meeting at which Bybee was to speak, but actually holding the meeting in secret to avoid protest, only to be greeted by protesters wearing Abu Graib outfits at the meeting’s conclusion. Was the protest peaceful and respectful? Was press present at the protest? Are there photographs? Charles, a “pity” that the Federal judge and the Federalist Society of Harvard Law School were forced into holding a secret meeting by a threat of peaceful protest? On whom does your disapproval fall?
###

Date: Fri, 10 Mar 2006 22:29:46 -0500

To: Christopher Lydon ( chris at christopherlydon.org)
From: Charles Fried
Subject: Re: Shouldn’t we be in the streets about this?
Cc:  nesson at law.harvard.edu

Chris,
Yes, I agree. It is a pity that the threat of disruption should have deprived those who wanted to hear Bybee and question him in an orderly fashion of that opportunity. Thank you for bringing this to my attention.
Charles

At 05:13 PM 3/10/2006, Chris Lydon had forwarded to Charles Fried:
Torture Memo Judge Greeted by Protests at Harvard
Bybee Speaks at Secret Event After Speech Falsely Cancelled

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information, please contact:
Yukyan Lam ( 617 429 4357)
Darryl Li ( 781 789 5967)
Maryam Monalisa Gharavi (617 642 0755)

Cambridge, MA (9 March 2006) — Federal appellate judge Jay Bybee, who
signed the infamous 2002 ‘torture memo,’ was confronted by protesters at
Harvard Law School today after speaking at a closed event.

In August 2002, Bybee, then a high-ranking Justice Department official,
signed the now-infamous ‘torture memo’ establishing a legal framework for
interrogation policies in the ‘Global War on Terror.’ The Bybee memo
distorted international and U.S. law to give a green light for the kinds
of torture and mistreatment documented in Abu Ghrayb, Guantanamo Bay,
Afghanistan, and elsewhere.

Bybee left his speech to find a line of protesters chanting ‘Shame!’ and
wearing black hoods — a reference to the infamous images of the hooded
prisoners abused by U.S. servicemen at Abu Ghrayb prison in Iraq. The
protest was organized by Harvard Law Student Advocates for Human Rights
and the Alliance for Justice in the Middle East at Harvard.

‘The Bybee torture memo paved the way for the systematic abuse of
prisoners in US military detention,’ said Darryl Li, a member of the
Alliance for Justice in the Middle East. ‘Bybee should be under
investigation for his crimes rather than lecturing at Harvard Law School.’

President Bush rewarded Bybee with a lifetime appointment to the US 9th
Circuit Court of Appeals in 2003. The Bybee torture memo — which
sanctions detainee abuse as long as it does not cause ‘serious physical
injury, such as organ failure, impairment of bodily function, or even
death’ — aroused such public outrage that the Bush administration was
later forced to repudiate it.

Yale Law School dean Harold Koh described the Bybee torture memo as ‘the
most clearly erroneous legal opinion I have ever read’ and ‘a stain upon
our law and our national reputation.’

Legal experts have identified five major flaws in the Bybee torture memo:
it defines torture so narrowly as to be meaningless; it allows cruel,
inhuman, and degrading treatment, which international law also prohibits;
it allows a torturer to evade criminal responsibility by invoking the
‘just following orders’ defense, reversing decades of judicial precedent;
it explores means of getting around torture laws rather than enforcing
them; and it misreads the Constitution to authorize the president to
violate the law in the name of his ‘Commander-in-Chief’ powers.

Bybee spoke at a closed, unannounced event. The Harvard Federalist
Society, a conservative law students’ organization that sponsored the
event, originally advertised the talk to the Harvard community last week.
On Wednesday, the organization issued a public cancellation, citing a
‘scheduling conflict.’ The event, in fact, had been moved to an
undisclosed location known only to select Federalist Society members.

A broad coalition of students and faculty at the Harvard Law School calls
for Bybee’s impeachment. ‘It is a dark day indeed for our justice system
when those who unapologetically advocate for torture and other deviations
from our national values are allowed to determine the boundaries of our
legal system,’ said Yukyan Lam, a board member of Harvard Law Student
Advocates for Human Rights.

###
An interesting brief blog at LiveJournal.

###

Date: Sat, 11 Mar 2006
From: Darryl Li ( darrylli at fas.harvard.edu)
To: Charles Nesson ( nesson at law.harvard.edu)
Subject: Re: Fwd: Re: Shouldn’t we be in the streets about this?

Dear Professor Nesson

Thank you for your email. The protest was not only peaceful and
respectful, it did NOT disrupt the talk at all. The protesters made no
attempt to enter the room nor to make noises from outside that would
disrupt the talk. The exclusive scope of the protest was to picket Bybee
as he exited. We held up signs, wore hoods, chanted “shame,” and followed
Bybee as he left the building. All of this was precisely to avoid any
possible accusation of disrupting a closed event to which we were not
invited.

There were no journalists present but James Cavallaro and at least one
other faculty/staff member whose name I did not catch (Stephan, Yukyan,
can you help?) observed the whole thing. Some of the protesters were
pushed by Federalist Society members and I understand Cavallaro was as
well but I’m not familiar with the exact details.
[snip]

andrew topping

andrew, i don’t know what you were. to me you were amazing, a voice on the other end of the phone who could speak with erudition on damn near any subject having to do with war and history and thought and language, erudition without traction on the ground, gears not open for interlocking with another in a listening working relationship, and so you die alone with one friend, harry, who believed in your idea and liked you and bought you medicines and spoke with you daily, who emailed me when he had not been able to reach you since february 23 and called me this morning to pass on the report of your death from the marblehead police, and me, whom you could call on occasion at maybe two week intervals who would talk with you when you called or call you back but hardly ever initiate, and ingrid, who lived with you and fought with you and fled. beyond we three i know in connection with you only of occasional lawyers in professional relations and few of those. you were fascinating to listen to, though you sometimes tallked too long and always insisted on signs of attention and assent by intermittently questioning “yes?”, pausing for acknowledgment. you conceived yourself as a soldier and security strategist. you worked from an understanding of deep nastiness in the world. you fended off questions about yourself with security speak, leaving you defended in a tight bubble, amazing like a jewel, and now snuffed out. i regret i never recorded your voice. i was tempted many times. i regret i do not have a preserved example of your erudition and the fire of your speech. good bye andrew. you seemed so able to forestall death by your mental and physical heroics that the event of your death came as a surprise. i am sad to lose you. i had come to count on you as someone to whom i was a friend. i have too few such connections. now i grieve that you are gone.

GO DROLET

people deal with medical problems, people deal with legal problems, doctors and lawyers, but what if a lawyer looks at the having of legal problems as the problem to solve. suppose we study how to have fewer problems, how would we do it and actually get along. one way is to damp everything down with a rigid authority structure, down from the emperor to the lowliest peopn (i started typing people and ended typing peon), but what if the people cannot be dealt with by divide and conquer without destroying ourselves, what if we are all connected, then the question becomes, are we capable of governing ourselves. there may continue to be closed spaces in the cyber world, walled off by gates some less permeable than others, but this is not our challenge. our challenge is creation of the open space in which all of us and any of us connect together. in this space we must learn to moderate. Jimbo Wales for the second Berkman prize, Richard Stallman was the first, a model expression of moderation expressed in person and in code.

public media, wiki mania, global voices join in a process of generativity to demonstrate that we are capable of governing ourselves including even the most evil among us. our task is not to kill evil but to embrace it.

One of my students, tells a pertinent story:

   In the Necker Cube, different images can be seen by observing the same space in a different way. Within itself, the Necker Cube contains all the “information” necessary to create these different perspectives. There are times, however, when a crime is so horrific, that it offers no alternative perspective within itself. In such cases, it appears that the only acceptable outcome is achieved by abandoning ourselves to the full measure of our vengeance. This need not be so, if the Necker Cube gets some assistance from a childhood riddle.

   Connect all nine dots below using only four lines.

   
* * *
* * *
* * *

   It seems impossible to do it in less than five. As a child, I agonized over this and never did figure it out on my own. That was because I confined myself to the space within the nine dots. The secret lies in reaching into the space beyond the field.

   

   There are cases where no amount of looking at the crime itself will cause you to see it as anything other than what it is – a depraved act of human cruelty. If you can extend your vision beyond the four walls of the crime, however, into the context that drove the criminal behaviour, it may not alter the way the crime looks, but it can alter the acceptability of the outcome.

   On a warm July night, Elizabeth [pseudonym] went to bed late, leaving her kitchen window open for fresh air. She awoke to find a man standing over her, holding a knife. He held the knife to her throat and demanded that she remove her clothing. He forced her to perform oral sex. Then he raped and sodomized her. Elizabeth tried to befriend him to talk him out of what he was doing. This only made him angrier. He continued to rape and sodomize her for the next two or three hours, often using various objects he found around her home.

   He bound her wrists and ankles. He “mummified” her head in duct tape, leaving only her nose exposed, and cut off her waist-length hair. He forced her to inhale noxious substances, burning her lungs. At one point, he ripped the duct tape off her face, taking her eyebrows and some skin with it. He jerked her shoulders so hard that he gave her whiplash. He said he would kill her if she called the police. He demanded money and jewelry and ransacked her home.

   He covered her head with a blanket. Using his knife, he sawed through the blanket and broke the skin on her neck. Elizabeth was sure that he would kill her. She begged him to let her live for her daughter’s sake. The man stopped and soon the house grew silent. When she was confident that he had gone, Elizabeth freed herself. She dressed quickly, ran out of the house and flagged down a passing motorist who drove her to the hospital.

   Using fingerprints lifted from Elizabeth’s home, the police arrested Marcellus Jacob, a 20 year old Aboriginal man, the next evening. In his hotel room, the police found items stolen from Elizabeth’s home.

   At Jacob’s bail hearing, the largest courtroom in the courthouse was packed, as it would be for every appearance Jacob made. Women, Elizabeth’s friends and family, victim support workers and, of course, the press crowded the courtroom. An e-mail about the attack was already circulating, warning women to be careful. The atmosphere of fear that gripped the city hung over the courtroom.

   Four months later, Jacob pleaded guilty to break, enter and commit sexual assault with a weapon, an offence that carried a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. The prosecutor assigned to the case was Kevin Drolet. A former defence lawyer, Drolet had a reputation for fearlessly seeking justice, regardless of the backlash that ensued. There were other prosecutors who were known for their heavy hands in rape prosecutions. By assigning Drolet, the prosecutors’ office signaled that this case called for something more than the hysteria and harsh rhetoric that was circulating through the community.

   The case troubled Drolet. The crime was more horrific than most he had seen in his 15 years of criminal practice. Drolet felt the community’s cry for vengeance. He thought about his girlfriend who lived alone two blocks away from the crime scene.

   Still, something did not make sense. Jacob’s criminal record was typical of a disadvantaged Aboriginal youth – primarily property and process offences. Nothing in it forecasted this shocking crime. Drolet began to investigate. When he pulled Jacob’s previous criminal files and assembled all the reports they contained, a disturbing image emerged, but he knew there was more to the story. He subpoenaed Jacob’s records from Children’s Protective Services. With this information, he determined the prosecution’s position on sentence.

   But the community had thoughts of its own. In his victim impact statement, Elizabeth’s ex-husband lamented that the death penalty was not available. Upon hearing that the prosecution would be asking for only seven years, he took his outrage to the papers:

   Seven years is not enough. I would suggest it’s probably half but I personally believe that it should have been 14 years and maybe we should look at it within 7 years and if he feels genuine remorse at 7 years, then put him [on parole].

   At Jacob’s sentencing hearing, protesters marched outside the courthouse. They adopted as their theme the Pink Floyd song, “On the Turning Away” – not knowing how deeply that song reached into this case. Inside the courthouse, Drolet, having laid out the circumstances of this terrible crime, presented the tragic story of Marcellus Jacob’s life.

   Jacob was born to an 18-year-old alcoholic and drug addict. He was raised in his grandparents’ home where he suffered sexual and physical abuse and neglect. When he was two, he was rescued from a boarded-up bedroom. At age three, he was found bound in a blanket, lying in the middle of the road, by a bus driver who almost ran over him. Jacob was frequently taken into care by Children’s Services, sometimes involuntarily but often because his grandmother was “broke and overwhelmed”.

   When Jacob was six, a family was eager to adopt him. His grandmother refused, claiming that Jacob’s mother was returning to care for him. This never happened and Jacob continued to bounce between his grandparents and foster care.

   By the time he was seven, Jacob was acting out: stealing, smearing feces on walls, damaging property, committing inappropriate sexual acts, and being cruel and violent to other children and animals. His grandmother died. A psychological assessment done two months before his eighth birthday found that Jacob was an emotionally disturbed child who saw the world as a cold, dangerous place.

   The next year, Jacob’s mother died. He was told of her death on his ninth birthday. Jacob’s two younger siblings were taken outside the jurisdiction. Jacob’s foster parents tried unsuccessfully to adopt him. Soon after that, Jacob was made a permanent ward of the state.

   Once in permanent care, Jacob developed a pattern of depression during July and August, the time of year when his mother died. Though it was suspected that he had Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, he was never tested. Placement after placement was terminated because of Jacob’s inappropriate sexual behaviour and physical aggression. During this time, Jacob began to amass his criminal record. Despite numerous treatment recommendations, nothing was done to address Jacob’s problems.

   At age 16, Jacob was placed back with his grandfather. A year later, Jacob was living on his own in a boarding house, neither working nor attending school. A psychological assessment of Jacob made six specific recommendations, including youth sex offender treatment. None of these recommendations were implemented. The next year, Jacob turned 18 and the parent that he had known for most of his life, the state, terminated its involvement.

   When Jacob committed the offence, he was living on social assistance and stealing to support his drug and alcohol addiction.

   At the end of the hearing, the judge imposed the seven-year sentence that Drolet sought. Elizabeth’s ex-husband again spoke to the press, giving his views on the sentence:

   I think it’s fair. It isn’t as much as I originally though he should be given, but you can’t just lock him up and throw away the key. You have to give him the opportunity to straighten his life out.

   Throughout the sentencing hearing, the horror of Jacob’s crime was neither forgotten nor minimized. The evidence of Marcellus Jacob’s tragic life did not make his crime anything other than what it was – a terrifying act of brutality. That such evidence persuaded the court to accept the prosecution’s recommendation is not unusual. That it slaked the public’s thirst for vengeance and persuaded it to and accept the outcome is remarkable.