Clarence Darrow said Reading Kills

Chew on that.


You do understand, don't you, that a lawyer has a fiduciary obligation to get his client off and will saying anything to achieve that end? You can't trust what a lawyer says in court any more than you can trust a campaign promise.

And if what Darrow said is at all true, then aren't you, as a librarian, an accompice to every murder modus operandi copied out of a book or act of terrorism where the perp learned about explosives from construction engineering texts?

I'm not talking about *eliminating* dissent. I'm talking about knowledge as a responsibility as as well as a right and I'm also arguing that librarians need to be a little less quick about writing off the concerns of their users.

I may not agree with Darrow's arguements in the Scopes trial but I would hardly rank him as a John Edwards type ambulance chaser.

I don't understand the point you're trying to make here at all.

In the post I said I'm going to have to do some more reading so in effect I still have to spell it out for myself but in essence this is another argument for...

1. why we filter

2. why we censor

3. why people should be held accountable for what they read (ie sec215 of the Patriot Act)

Do we censor Neitzsche? No, but Darrow is distinguishing between the student and the teacher.

Ah the memories. When I was in college I dated my chemistry lab assistant. We were both members of the Church of the Brethren. It had a mission in Puerto Rico. He went there in the summer, and worked with Nathan Leopold, who when paroled in 1958 moved there. (Whether this was an arrangement with the church, I don't know.) Loeb was murdered in prison. Because of our correspondence, I often heard about him. Leopold married in 1961 and died in 1971 in his mid-60s. Leopold's autobiography detailing his prison life is very interesting. Leopold and Loeb were teachers in prison, and helped many prisoners. I'm trying to remember if they ran the library, but have forgotten.

Sorry, Greg, I know this has nothing to do with your post, but I did get a book reference into it.

P.S. I just googled, and found this in a 1999 report from the CoB, so yes, he was paroled to the church:
"An article on Nathan Leopold and his work with Brethren in
Castaner, Puerto Rico, has been compiled by People magazine. The
three-page feature is tentatively scheduled to appear in the June
7 issue, due on newstands by May 28. People correspondent Don Sider
interviewed Leopold's former co-workers in Florida and Puerto Rico,
visited San Juan and Castaner, and drew on resources from the
General Board's Brethren Historical Library and Archives and
Communications Team at the General Offices in Elgin, Ill.

When released in 1958 from Statesville Penitentiary, where he had
served 33 years for the murder of a young man in Chicago, Leopold
was paroled to the Brethren Service Commission. He became a lab
technician at Castaner Hospital, later headed a research project on
parasites for the Puerto Rico Department of Health, and was an
instructor at the University of Puerto Rico at the time of his
death in 1971."

Don't be sorry. Its interesting stuff. Could you offer a general overview of the Leopold case? Was it the media equivalent of the Scott Peterson case or did it fly below the radar? I wonder if ALA had any comment about this kind of defense at that time?

Greg, it was received coverage at the time that was very much the equivalent of the Peterson case. There was also a popular novel written based upon the case, "Compulsion" by Meyer Levin. Levin was a fellow student at the University of Chicago and knew Leopold and Loeb personally. The case attracted wide public attention due to the nature of the crime, the backgrounds of Leopold and Loeb, and Darrow serving as attorney.

Come on Greg. The trial was long before my time. But what I vaguely remember from reading his book, the trial absolutely consumed the public. Because both men were Jews, I imagine there was more than a little anti-semitism in it. The whole tragedy was such a terrible waste of young lives--both the victim and the killers, both of whom had wonderful futures, but for this thrill killing.

I'm sorry!!!! I saw the years you were posting and didn't even think about when the actual trial itself occurred!

Cool, thanks!

a lawyer has a fiduciary obligation to get his client off and will saying anything to achieve that end?

They can say a lot but they can't say anything to achieve that end. They can't violate the rules of professional conduct.

Then exactly what should we be censoring?

I don't think you need to hold people accountable for what they read, you need to hold them accountable for the actions they take. Unless you can show me proof that 100 people reading the exact same thing will behave in a consistent and predictable manner.