scouts-l Mail Archive for May of 2000: Re: Eagle Suspension
Mon May 29 2000 - 11:24:27 CDT
Is it proper to turn the "blind eye" ??? I won't even touch that one.
I will. Either because I am stupid or merely foolish. There is a well
defined concept in the law called prosecutorial discretion. The concept is
that there are many laws on the books. The proper administration of justice
(note the "proper administration of justice" not the proper adminstration of
laws) requires that a prosecutor be given the discretion to purse certain
crimes and not others. A crude way of stating this is "to turn a blind eye."
The reality is that it is far from a blind eye. The prosecutor knows
exactly what he is not pursuing and the reason why. This type of discretion
requires a certain type of wisdom as well as the mere authority to exercise
This is the same type of authority and discretion we once were willing to
give to our school administrators. In recent years we have withheld that
authority (not conciously but by our tendency to sue schools for mistakes in
judgement and in our tendency to make administrators responsible for every
thing that happens, not merely doing a good job) and the result has been that
administrators have retreated behind the wall of zero tolerance.
I favor the earlier approach: hire the best administrator you can, then
trust him/her to make the right decision, and finally refrain from second
guessing him every time. In other words I advocate a return to the day of my
parents, when, if I were punished at school I could expect to be punished at
home. If the initial punishment was wrong (unfair), the punishment at home
at least taught me to learn to avoid unfair punishments.
Yours in Scouting,
G. John Marmet