Kentucky (The Gaslamp Post) – Believe it or not, there was a time in this country when right was right, and wrong was wrong. Long before the special interests paid for politicians and the socialists wormed their way into our government; long before people sat on their rears and waited for a handout – people knew right from wrong.
In the latter part of the 19th century, a story broke of such epic proportions that it found it’s way to the New York Times.
A man, one Mr. Jacob Sharris was acquitted in the murder of a man who was allegedly sleeping with his wife. While that alone should fill one with the sense that there truly is order to the universe, it is the reason WHY the judge acquitted him that is truly amazing.
In a decision that was proclaimed to be approved by “99 out of every 100 men”, the judge said he acquitted Mr. Sharris for, get this, “the children.” The courtroom reportedly erupted with applause as Mr. Sharris was immediately surrounded by friends and family, as Judge Gray Falconer read his verdict.
According to the case, Mr. Sharris had learned that his wife and mother of his children had been messing around behind his back. This is back in the day when the man was expected to go out and provide, and didn’t have the luxury of making the tax-payer take care of his responsibilities.
A man had to do what a man had to do.
He then sought out, located, and thereby ended said affair between his wife and one Mr. Thomas H. Merritt. In the verdict of the case, Lexington Judge Gray Falconer looked at all of the available evidence in the case and then made the following statement:
“When the shadow of infidelity to marriage vows comes between the parent and the child it casts over both a gloom darker than the grave. How can a father name a lost mother to his child, and how can a daughter hear that mother’s name without a blush?
Death is merciful to the pitiless cruelty of him whose lust has stained the fair brow of innocent childhood by corrupting the heart of the mother, whose example must stain the daughter’s life and make the son ashamed to use the word “Mother.”
It is in these cases that resort is commonly had by the injured husband and father of disgraced and dishonored children to destruction quick and terrible of the destroyer of his peace and home, the active cause of his children’s blighted life.
Can human nature stand such a condition as this, or does the human mind in contemplation of such a condition, when brought home on one of us, lose it’s power to distinguish between right and wrong, or, knowing right from wrong, can this knowledge control the human will? The declared law of the State contains nothing upon this subject, and this court leans to the view that this absence arises from the fact that the lawmakers have realized that human laws may regulate human natures that cannot control nature’s whirlwinds, and that the action of the man who avenges the destruction of his blasted married life and his dishonored children by striking down the destroyer after all must be determined at the bar of human nature, and that human nature will excuse the man who so avenges.
The killing of man by man is always terrible, no matter for what reason; but there comes a time when killing of man by man is only justice. The case at bar is one of these.
In recognition of the unwritten law, which excuses those of crime who act as the defendant did in this case, THE DEFENDANT IS DISMISSED!”
According to the New York Times article dated 17 July, 1897, not a body in that courtroom aside from Mr. Sharris and his wife (who kept her face covered with a handkerchief the entire time out of shame) was not on their feet.
This is what American justice used to look like; when right was right, and wrong was wrong. Who would you side with? Was this judge wrong in acquitting Mr. Harris?