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Shermanesque Repudiation

If the court finally offers me exoneration, I will not accept. If officially cleared of this wrongful conviction, I will denounce its assumed legitimacy to declare it.



Ever heard a Shermanesque statement? Civil war hero General William Tecumseh Sherman famously declined public office by asserting, "I will not accept if nominated and will not serve if elected."


In his televised speech explaining his latest approach to the unpopular Vietnam war, President Lyndon Baines Johnson declared, "I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my party for another term as your president."


When declining to run for U.S. President in 1984, Congressman Mo Udall of Arizona, delivered his Sharmanesque pledge with some wit: "If nominated, I shall run to Mexico. If elected, I shall fight extradition."


Used mainly in political contexts, I'm utilizing it here in a judicial context. As a rhetorical device, it enables me to positively assert the moral principle of refusing to lower my standard. If invited to accept exoneration by a divisive and incompetent adversarial criminal judicial system, I must respectfully decline, and not be complicit in its dysfunction.


If exhausting all hope to engender these lawyers to demonstrate responsiveness to actual innocence, I pronounce my own Shermanesque statement to repudiate the legitimacy of this failed system to affirm my innocence after failing to correct its own lack of innocence.

 

"What good is being exonerated by a corrupted judicial system that repeatedly convicts more innocents than it ever corrects? What value can be found by a self-righteous institution that cannot even exonerate itself?


"If the court finally offers me exoneration, I will not accept. If officially cleared of this wrongful conviction, I will denounce its assumed legitimacy to declare it.


"I will further denounce any person and any entity that fails to recognize not only my innocence, but rejects me for being unconventionally need-responsive.


"I cannot be party to such pathologies. Nor can I be complicit with the guilty criminal judicial system that continues to destroy lives and rips apart families and undercuts whole communities. I no longer seek exoneration from those whose guilt blinds them from serving actual justice needs.


"I only sought exoneration and never required rehabilitation from wrongdoing. The judicial system sits in need of rehabilitation that they once had the audacity to declare that I needed.


"To this end, I pledge my honor, my property, and my life. Give me real liberty, or kill me now!"


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Steph is a self-described transspirit, which is a kind of sacred misfit. By transcending conventional limits—gender norms, religious identities, political polarities, and more—Steph experiences a unique connection in life. And suspects others do as well. This blog shares that spirituality, and affirms others of a similar state of being.

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