I spend a lot of time whining.  Yes, I am busy, I have two demanding little kids (rightfully so), blah blah blah.

I’m also kind of a news junkie.  We’ve discussed this before.  So I spent last night, until I passed out in a NyQuil haze, glued to CNN on my laptop and polluting my brain with “The Jersey Shore”.  I was on a 15-minute refresh cycle monitoring the news about the Troy Davis execution.  All of the major news sources were updating at least that often.  I started tuning in around 6:30, right when attorneys filed their last-ditch effort for a stay with the Supreme Court.

I went to bed, not knowing the outcome but being sure that the Court’s lengthy deliberations could only mean justice was coming — the execution would be stayed.

Time, of course, has proven me wrong.  I woke up this morning to the news that Troy Davis had been executed.

Without question, the situation is dreadfully sad for all involved.  I also happen to think it is wrong to execute someone — anyone — regardless of what he or she has done.  Regardless of your individual beliefs on the death penalty, though, I think everyone can agree that it’s wrong to execute someone when there are substantial doubts as to his or her doubt.

What I also learned today is that there are some amazing people right in my corner of the world.  Obviously Troy Davis had lawyers, a team of lawyers actually, and a team of all kinds of other people in his camp.  What I didn’t know is that I know one of his lawyers.  Quite well, actually.

You see, I worked with one of his lawyers for a long time.  We became quite good friends over the course of a several-year case.  We’ve worked on pro bono matters together before, including in the 11th Circuit — which includes Georgia.  We haven’t spoken in a few weeks and I didn’t know what s/he  (I want to withhold any possible identifying information) was working on.  I sent him/her an e-mail this morning and his/her out-of-office reply is on until tomorrow.

Let me tell you what I know about this person:

  • S/he works around the clock and is always, always on-call
  • S/he has a family — a spouse and two very, very small children
  • His/her spouse works full-time as well
  • S/he is one of the nicest, most calm and patient people you will ever meet, let alone lawyers

And today, I find out that s/he was down in Georgia this week, fighting to save someone’s life.  S/he is every bit as busy as the busiest person I know — and is doing this too.  And never even told me.  Not one ounce of “let me tell you what amazing things I’m doing”.  Just doing it.  Going on with life.  And trying to save someone else’s.

Lawyers may never be as popular as firefighters or police officers or doctors — but this person is doing everything s/he can to make a difference too.  Everyone can make a difference.  It doesn’t matter how you choose to do it — you just have to do it.



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