Pubdate: Tue, 18 Nov 2003
Source: Fort Pierce Tribune (FL)
Copyright: 2003 The E.W. Scripps Co.
Author: Tim Sinnott


During the 1800s the great French author Victor Hugo said, "The gallows is a
balance which has a man at one end and the whole earth at the other." I'm
reminded of this when reading in Fort Pierce of the arrest and prosecution
of one of our most beneficial citizens, Mike McSween of Advanced Care

I've not yet read in the Tribune who is to be named as prosecutor in Mike
McSween's trial. The identity of the prosecutor will be significant. For
purposes of discussion, until he or she is appointed, let's refer to that
prosecutor as the "Prosecutor-Person."

I hereby propose that, prior to and in preparation for Mike McSween's trial
in the St. Lucie County Courthouse, we as a society should first gather in
another courtroom. There, we will place the Prosecutor-Person on a
brightly-lit pedestal before us, so that we may publicly scrutinize him or
her, and consider how he or she stacks up against Mike McSween.

Let's look deep into the personal life of the Prosecutor-Person, using the
methods of the prosecutor trade. Let's examine the Prosecutor- Person's
school records, business papers, marital and family life, drinking habits,
military record, bank records and tax records.

Let's interview his former classmates, neighbors, relatives, law partners
and co-workers. Has the Prosecutor-Person made any enemies during his life?
Let's call them as witnesses to learn more about him.

And let's ask questions directly to the Prosecutor-Person. How many people
has the Prosecutor-Person helped in life? Who are they? How many people has
he hurt in his life through his selfishness?

I think it's unlikely we'll find any prosecutor, politician or citizen who
will score better than Mike McSween. Anybody care to step forward?

In the ancient tale of the Good Samaritan, the church-going, religious folks
kept passing by the injured man on the roadside who cried for help.
Ironically, it was only a lowly Samaritan who stopped and gave of his time
to help.

In Fort Pierce, it was Mike McSween who stopped to help the injured man (as
is Mike's nature) and gave of his time when nobody else cared.

But this time it was a sting, a trap. The injured man crying for medical
help was an impostor. And his accomplices, lying in wait, pounced on and
bound Mike McSween with sheriff department handcuffs. Mike McSween was
arrested and vilified. Not a wealthy man, he has been forced to spend almost
$30,000 in lawyer fees already.

If Mike McSween is a criminal, then every person in this county is a
criminal. If we're going to imprison him, then we'd better build a prison
big enough to hold every citizen in this county.

We, the citizens of St. Lucie County, are preparing to mindlessly devour one
of our most beneficial citizens. It is wrong.

It's time to admit our mistake. We owe Mike McSween his good name back,
reimbursement for his legal fees, and a profound apology.

Tim Sinnott, St. Lucie Village
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