Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Telephone Justice

***Chief Justice Gerry Alexander behind his chair in the State Supreme Court Courtroom. This man is one of the kindest and sincerest men I have ever met. I hold him in the utmost respect. (Photo copyright 2007 by Judy Halone*)**

Last week I stood with other journalists in the room where our State Supreme Court makes all its decisions. It was a very moving experience.

Chief Justice Gerry Alexander, a very humble and gracious man, told us this story:

He once met a visitor from Khazkstan when the country was experiencing the fall of communism.

The visitor, looking at the nine chairs around the long wooden table, asked, through the help of a translator, "Where is the telephone?"

"There isn't one," he replied.

"Where is the telephone?" the visitor asked again.

"We don't have a telephone in here," Chief Justice reiterated.

"But where is your telephone?" The visitor demanded.

The Chief Justice asked him why he kept asking about a telephone.

"So the Governor can tell the judges how to vote."

When Chief Justice replied that doesn't happen here, the visitor looked amazed.

"And that," explained Chief Justice Alexander, "is what is known as Telephone Justice."

Aren't you glad we live in a free country?