From the President, 0216 WYBJ, Vol. 39 No. 1. 10

Author:Devon O'Connell Wyoming State Bar President
Position:Vol. 39 1 Pg. 10

From the President

Vol. 39 No. 1 Pg. 10

Wyoming Bar Journal

February, 2016

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Devon O'Connell Wyoming State Bar President

Happy New Year to you, my cherished colleagues. A new year gives rise to new hope, new adventures, and fresh starts. I have a "fresh start" confession to make...I am a Netfiix addict. There, I said it. When I should be productively reading Proust or working on the New York Times Sunday Crossword, I binge watch what is trending on Netfiix (House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, etc.). Terrible but true.

My recent holiday Netfiix binging brought upon a new show that every lawyer, in fact every citizen, should watch: Making a Murderer. If you haven't seen it, binge with me immediately. In brief, the story is one of a Wisconsin man who was wrongfully convicted, served 18 years in jail for a rape he did not commit, then was exonerated by DNA evidence. Shortly after he was freed, he sued Manitowoc County, Wisconsin, civilly for damages. During the suit, he was arrested for the murder of a young woman.

So as not to spoil it for anyone who hasn't yet watched this riveting docuseries, I will stop there. However, the entire series (10 episodes) presents a tragic story. This man either was framed for a murder he did not commit, or was turned into a murderer by the 18 years he was wrongfully imprisoned. Either way requires a stark look at our criminal justice system through the eyes of one man accused of an unspeakable crime.

Regardless of your opinion of his innocence or guilt, the story is heartrending and one that shines a harsh light on our system of justice. It is trending and highly popular on Netfiix and is the impression of the justice system a great deal of our citizenry may hold.

It reminds me as a proud Wyoming lawyer that we must be gratified about our system here in Wyoming and always strive to uphold the integrity and trustworthiness of what we do. Fortunately in Wyoming, we have a strong system that ensures all attorneys in Wyoming maintain their proper level of legal education. We have a dedicated Character and Fitness...

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