Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Justice Delayed is Justice Denied

The Supreme Court issued a judgment on the Exxon Valdez case. For those of you born after the Exxon Valdez accident a quick refresher. A humongous oil tanker, owned by guess who, was skippered by a relapsed alcoholic, Joe Hazelwood. With a full load, the tanker pushed off at night, with the skipper sleeping it off in his cabin, and the third officer conning the ship out a narrow channel. He got confused in the dark and hit a rock, ripping a big leak in the hull. Most of the cargo leaked out and made one god awful mess. It killed the fish, fouled the beaches, killed the birds and did a lot of other damage. This happened 19 years ago.
This evening the Supreme Court issued a judgment on this case. In the 19 years of legal delay one fifth of the original plaintiffs have died of old age. You don't ever get justice from the US courts, you die of old age first. Lawyers got 19 years of employment.

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