One of the questions I have concerns forgiveness. Forgiveness is the act of excusing a mistake or offense. Simple don’t you think?
But, in many cases forgiveness leads to a failure to grow because the person needing the absolution, or accepted level of redemption fosters the impression there was nothing wrong with what he/she did to violate the people’s trust. This isn’t true. They don’t suffer the consequences of their wrongful acts.
A wise man once told me: “Yeah Sarge. I can forgive the assault because my higher power says I should. But my forgiveness doesn’t mean a wrong wasn’t committed and that doesn’t mean the wrong doer shouldn’t be punished for his act.”
We have a local sports hero who scored a touchdown in a football game, defeating the despised rival in a spectacularly historic fashion. He’s been lionized. His every action’s graded in comparison with this one “legendary” act. His American Football League career was stellar and he drew many fans to his coterie. In Louisiana and at LSU he is the living symbol of all that’s right with the world.
Hero became an Orthodontist and businessman. He evolved as a man and entrepreneur, but as he progressed in life he made mistakes in judgment. His investments failed. His holdings failed and he made another major mistake. He committed a major violation of Federal Law in the 1980s.
I was a young deputy sheriff and heard about the touchdown he ran and how he was such a success. He was bragged about so heavily I became queasy. Every time the subject was brought up in conversation my lunch felt like it’d follow. It was like he was the only one on the team that day. It held the impression he was the only man ever won the Heisman Trophy. For winning the award he assumed a god-like aura of infallibility.
But, pride cometh before the fall as they say.
The good doctor was arrested, convicted, sentenced and served two and a half years of a five year sentence for counterfeiting American currency. Before his conviction he spent a brief period of time incarcerated at the parish prison I booked my arrests into. But he was segregated from the prison’s general population. I felt it was because he was my Sheriff’s personal friend and idol. My thinking hasn’t changed on this matter and the fact our hero wasn’t forced to live alongside people he earned the right to associate with while “in carcel”; bothered me. It was favoritism shown a man accused of a heavy crime: the attempted ruin of the American monetary system by printing money having no value. I believe all people should suffer the same penalties as others for the commission of the same crimes.
The strength of any culture is defined in how it structures its legal system and enforces laws designed to protect society as a whole and individuals with respect to the Bill of Rights and Amendments to the Constitution. The punishment for crimes committed should be equal across the board for ALL people no matter their social class, their connections in society or their personal history as sports mavens.
That’s the way it’s supposed to be. But, it’s not. If you work with the people writing the laws and possess a job protected from accountability by the Federal government and the people, you can get away with anything. This is because the basis of your employment is founded on a dedication to economic theory as opposed to any kind of precious metal or petro-chemical equivalency to assure your money has value.
Therefore, at this time, I, Sarge, hereby suggest and plead for a Presidential Pardon of all crimes past and present for William Abb “Billy” Cannon. What he did was wrong. He paid his price and has suffered enough, especially when you consider he’s done nothing worse or anymore illegal than the Federal Government.
After all, if The Federal Reserve can print money, causing greater and greater peril of runaway inflation anytime it sees fit; why should Billy Cannon suffer for doing no more than Barack Obama and Ben Bernanke?
Thanks for listening