A judging scandal at the Olympic ice-skating rink may have seemed to many little more than an entertaining diversion in a season of terrorism and recession. But there was an important moral issue behind the story of alleged collusion. When Marie Reine Le Gougne indicated to her fellow judges that she had been pressured to favor the Russian skaters over the Canadians, she illustrated to what extent the sport as a whole rests upon the honesty of individuals. Any enterprise that involves judgment, in which decisions cannot be determined by the objective results of a clock or a measurement, will stand or fall with the integrity of its officials.
A. M. Stroud III, a former prosecutor in Louisiana, expresses regret for the role he played in sending Glenn Ford to death row in 1984. “I was 33 years old. I was arrogant, judgmental, narcissistic and very full of myself. I was not as interested in justice as I was in winning.” Stroud says he presented dubious evidence from a forensic pathologist, precluded black jurors from the trial (Ford, since exonerated, is black), and ignored the fact that the appointed defense attorney had never before tried a criminal or capital case. “I . . . hope that providence will have more mercy for me than I showed Glenn Ford,” Stroud said in a letter to the editor of the Times of Shreveport. “But, I’m also sobered by the realization that I certainly am not deserving of it” (ABA Journal, March 25).