To the Judge of Susan Crane

A letter written to Judge James Ware

By Louis Korn

To the Judge of Susan Crane, who, with a wooden hammer and a pint of her blood, symbolically beat nuclear missiles into plowshares.

I am sixty six years into a life indistinguishable among the human herd, whose sheer numbers along the course of least resistance have determined history. I ask you to take judicial notice in this century of genocidal wars. We have advanced the moral development of humankind not one iota.

Susan Crane is not one of us. She stands with the martyrs our herd tramples. But I must ask you: what if the moral force of non-violence were to sway the herd; what might future history be like?

Of course, physical force or its threat has always been more compelling to our herd than moral force (as history bears witness). So my question is unrealistic. Nevertheless, imagining such a world is necessary for there to be any possibility of bringing what has never existed into reality .

Biologists are warning that human violence to our life -supporting ecosystems is causing their collapse, that our course must change soon to avert extinction. But the threat of human extinction is less immediate than the economic violence of losing ecologically destructive jobs. So the change that must come soon is not likely.

Judges wield Government's force and violence within parameters defined by law makers. And our law makers putatively represent the will of the voting majority, but demonstrably the will of a tiny minority, their corporate benefactors, including Lockhead, manufacturer of nuclear missiles. The difference between putative and demonstrable is measured by the din of cognitive dissonance, still well below the decibels of revolution.

Following the law, you must punish Susan Crane's lawbreaking nonviolence, raising imperceptibly the decibel level. Since you must already know that no punishment will change her opposition to history's terminal momentum, the force of such punishment is really directed at our herd. Nevertheless, we must at least imagine you could do otherwise.


Louis Korn

Late breaking news: 10 months sentence

Judge Ware was indeed influenced by the quantity of letters he received about Susan and Steve. On March 13, at the sentencing, well over 100 supporters were at the courtroom. When the two defendents were ushered in, applause and cheers arose from the crowd. Susan and Steve expected a sentence of 1 to 2 years, but in spite of the DAs protests, the Judge made every possible reduction in their sentences, ignoring the courtroom disruptions, the supposed $400,000 damage to the Trident missile and Susan's long list of previous political arrests. The sentence for Susan and Steve was 10 months. With 7 months time already served the two peaceful warriors should be out by early summer! To take up their hammers again.

Copyright Mendocino College Eagle 1995 Permission granted to use articles if source is cited

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