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The Cynic Express(ed) 3.02: Very Little Justice

     A St. Louis Court has just this afternoon upheld the precedent that although the law in our nation maintains that everyone is equal before the blind, deaf, and especially dumb Maiden Justice, some animals are more equal than others. Now in our very heartland, much like on this nation's more enlightened Left Coast, football players can kill innocent women with near impunity.

     Last October, Leonard Little, intoxicated Star Bonecrusher of some sort or another for the St. Louis Rams, ran a red light in his great big new Mercury Decimator sport utility vehicle and, true to his title, rammed a smaller car that was quite lawfully making its way through our downtown St. Louis streets. Susan Gutweiler died from it.

     Gutweiler, a mother from Oakville, a suburb to the southwest of St. Louis improper, died because she was in the right place-crossing an intersection according to all applicable traffic laws-at the wrong time, when a local footballer on the sixth-rate tax abatement and corporate incentive money hole that passes for an NFL team in this town happened out at the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong blood alcohol content and at the wrong speed. And she died, as the Post-Dispatch put it, "later of her injuries." Suffered when two tons of blood alcohol content and metal compacted her proletariat car.

     At least the media have not been silent throughout the debacle. Although Gutweiler's family will have to go on without a mother and a wife, at least Leonard Little's story is being told. The St. Louis Rams, when their coach Dick, capital D-I-C-K, Vermeil has taken time to reflect on crime and punishment in the United States, issued a frank and thought provoking statement that the St. Louis Rams are not afraid to embrace all members of their team, even those who get lit and run down actual practicing members of Family Values.

     No, the St. Louis media have emphasized the claims from Little's attorneys, therapists, and other millennial swamis that Little needs to get back to work making the bountiful dollars that those of us here in the inner ring suburbs can imagine only remotely. It's part of the healing process for him to get back out onto the field crashing into other felons and earning the adulation of a public which bemoans the collapse of society and the dearth of character in strangers but doesn't confuse the man's personal life with the great job he does. No, Leonard Little just wants to move on, find closure, and put it all behind him that she got in front of him. Susan Gutweiler would probably have wanted to move on, too, if she weren't dead.

     I know, I know, I should probably calm down. After all, the St. Louis court today handed down the punishment for Leonard Little. Ninety days in jail-NINETY DAYS IN JAIL--and four years' probation. And the conditions of the probation are pretty strict, I'll admit. No booze, no bars, no intoxicating substances. After all, the Post-Dispatch does emphasize that he faces testing. It's already obvious that he doesn't have the decency, self-discipline, or common sense not to drive intoxicated without someone, maybe like a gruff-but-with-a-heart-of-gold coach, on his case (where's Billy Martin when you need him?). It's not as though Leonard Little, the Leonard Little who's the linebacker for the St. Louis Rams, wrote a Word Macro virus which crashed e-mail servers or anything; he just struck someone down dead.

     I don't want to calm down. After the decision, the only quote from the victim's family and the only outrage I have heard so far, is that someone should take justice into his or her own hands. That's it. Just a heated little quote certain to paint the family as unrealistic and possibly vengeance seeking. I couldn't blame them. After all, the mishmash of judicial and legal wisdom has decided that Susan Gutweiler's forty-seven years of life are worth ninety days in jail, less than two days per year.

     Maybe I am just cynical. Not nearly as cynical as the buzzing cloud around Leonard Little, the sycophants that tell him and us that it's not his fault and that somehow it serves the greater good for society that the Little boy can drive about freely and play football, but I'm getting there.

Previous Column: 3.01: Time for a New National Anthem
Next Column: 3.03: B-ing Un-Kool