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Connecticut does Law Day right

By Karen Florin

Publication: theday.com

Published 02/06/2012 12:00 AM
Updated 02/06/2012 01:13 PM

Connecticut has one of the highest gas taxes in the country and is a lousy place to retire, according to recent news stories.

On the bright side, our May 2011 celebration of Law Day, complete with a reenactment of closing arguments from the Boston Massacre trial and a thoughtful speech by New London Judge Emmet L. Cosgrove, was honored Friday at the American Bar Association’s mid-year meeting in New Orleans.

The Connecticut Judicial Branch and Connecticut Bar Association worked together to celebrate the theme, “The Legacy of John Adams, from Boston to Guantanamo (Defending the rights of the accused)” in all 13 of the state’s judicial districts.

In the Boston Massacre reenactment in Middlesex Superior Court, prominent defense attorney Wesley W. Horton portrayed Adams, a future president who in 1770 defended the British soldiers involved in a deadly street fight with Boston citizens. State’s Attorney Kevin T. Kane played the role of Samuel Quincy, the Massachusetts prosecutor. Students from Mercy High School played the role of jurors.

Locally, Judge Emmet L. Cosgrove delivered a speech to the New London County Bar Association in which he recognized Adams’ noble acceptance of the unpopular role of defense attorney in the Boston Massacre case. Seven of the eight soldiers were acquitted.

“Despite the public opprobrium, Adams vigorously discharged his duties,” Cosgrove told the gathering. “He understood that the right of the defendants to have a defense would make his community stronger.”

The reason the community would become stronger, Cosgrove said, is because “it is of more importance to a community that innocence should be protected, than it is that guilt should be punished.”

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