Daniel Klaidman made a naïve comment about special prosecutor Kenneth Starr in Newsweek (April 12). I assure you this is not a column about Starr; I don't do politics on this page. It's about Klaidman's assumptions, evident in this comment: "Starr would like to return to the comforts of a prestigious law firm or the tranquillity of academia."
Let's investigate that scene of tranquillity. Though I was able to escape factionalism and fighting for the third of a century that I taught the University of Chicago Divinity School (it really was as encouraging to teaching and learning and as distanced from feuding and fussing as I recall it), clips from the Chronicle of Higher Education and other magazines prove that campuses are sometimes more like ivory turrets than ivory towers.
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).