Toronto Sun April 5, 2019
This is an open letter to all of you. I want to start it by telling you why I became a lawyer.
It was a movie, called The Oxbow Incident. It was a Western, released some 75 years ago, and it starred Henry Fonda. It was about how a mob hanged a man. The wrong man.
At the end, the lynch mob all gather in a bar, and Fonda reads a letter the dead man wrote to his wife. Here is some of it:
“Law is a lot more than words you put in a book, or judges or lawyers or sheriffs you hire to carry it out. It’s everything people ever have found out about justice and what’s right and wrong,” Fonda says, reading the dead man’s letter. “It’s the very conscience of humanity. There can’t be any such thing as civilization unless people have a conscience, because if people touch God anywhere, where is it except through their conscience? And what is anybody’s conscience, except a little piece of the conscience of all men that ever lived?”