Pittsburgh Legal Back Talk

Legal topics of interest to lawyers and consumers with a Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania focus.

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Its Time to Step Aside and Let the System Work.

Posted By Cliff Tuttle | July 2, 2018

No. 1,520

Image: Pittsburgh Post Gazette

During the crisis over the police shooting of Antwon Rose, there was admirable restraint on all sides (including, with one exception, motorists) when protesters literally took to the streets.  Drivers were patient and understanding.

Peaceful assembly to state a grievance is always appropriate.  It is a right protected by the First Amendment.  But even the mighty First Amendment does not authorize blocking traffic.

Our legal system is not designed for instantaneous justice.  It takes time and preparation.  Moreover, there is a case backlog that requires newer cases to wait in line for a trial date.  This case was given the attention it deserved by the police and District Attorney, who did a thorough investigation before bringing charges.  Nothing less was required in a case where the facts are not fully known from the outset. Now it will be in the hands of a judge and possibly a jury. Although the wait may be frustrating to many, I guarantee that the time of reckoning will come.

Unfortunately, some of the protesters think that justice will be denied unless maximum public pressure is applied, non-stop.  That’s not the way the criminal justice system does or should work.  Justice consists in applying the law fairly and without yielding to pressure from anyone.

Give it some breathing room.  Stay on the sidewalk when you protest.  We’ll still notice you there.



CLIFF TUTTLE has been a Pennsylvania lawyer for over 45 years and (inter alia) is a real estate litigator and legal writer. The posts in this blog are intended to provide general information about legal topics of interest to lawyers and consumers with a Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania focus. However, this information does not constitute legal advice and there is no lawyer-client relationship created when you read this blog. You are encouraged to leave comments but be aware that posted comments can be read by others. If you wish to contact me in privacy, please use the Contact Form located immediately below this message. I will reply promptly and in strict confidence.

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