Why not simply apologize when you do something harmful?
People who
because they were
People who
apologized until
they were
convicted of
Feb 16 2006
A federal judge admitted he made a mistake in giving full custody of Michael Jackson's
children to their father.
What's that River in Egypt
Called Again?
Randy Dotinga
Voice of San Diego
April 8, 2011

A legal firm is ending its
representation of disgraced and
imprisoned ex-Congressman Randy
"Duke" Cunningham (or Randall
Harold Cunningham, as a U-T
columnist insists on calling him),
CityBeat reports. An attorney says
there's been a "breakdown in

Cunningham recently sent a letter
to a judge and the media saying,
among other things, that his plea
was "90 to 95% untrue," adding: "I
manned up to my errors in
judgment, but I have also endured
affliction for things I did not do, like
other innocent souls, but somehow
we carry on, believing as we must
that truth will ultimately prevail with
those who know our hearts."

The letter did not come with a violin

CityBeat contacted a reporter who
won a Pulitzer for uncovering
Cunningham's bribery to ask what
he thinks. "After all this time in
prison, Cunningham still sees
himself as a hero and patriot
brought down by the deviousness
of inferior people," reporter Marcus
Stern said. "No surprise, I guess.
He'll carry that denial into the wild
blue yonder, no doubt."

Apr 07, 2011
Duke Cunningham's
lawyers say goodbye
Firm quits, saying further
representation would be
'untenable, extremely burdensome
and difficult.'
By Dave Maass
City Beat

We have learned a lot about
federal inmate Randy "Duke"
Cunningham (and his erectile
dysfunction) this week. We're still
hungry for more, but new
documents filed in federal court this
week show that his lawyers have
had their fill.

One of the former Congressman's
defense attorneys, Mark Holscher,
filed a motion on Monday to have
his firm, Kirkland & Ellis, officially
removed from the case because of
a "breakdown of communication."
Judge Larry Burns signed the order
the next day.

"Without discussing privileged
communications, Kirkland & Ellis
LLP represents to the Court that a
number of months ago it reached
an impasse with Defendant that
makes continued representation
untenable, extremely burdensome
and difficult," Holscher writes in his
declaration to the court. "Defendant
will not be prejudiced by the
withdrawal of Kirkland & Ellis LLP
as his counsel of record because
he has already been convicted and
the time for appeal has passed."

In recent months, Cunningham has
begun speaking out about what he
describes as poor advice from his
attorneys to plead guilty in the
2006 corruption case, which may
explain the development.

This week, Cunningham further
expounded on his difficulties with
his attorneys in a 10-page
document titled "The Untold Story
of Duke Cunningham," which we
published yesterday. Cunningham
says that when he signed the plea
agreement he was a "walking
skeleton," emaciated and medically
sedated, who had to be helped to
the conference table by Holscher
and co-counsel Lee Blalack. He

"A third time I told my lawyers, I will
not sign a plea agreement that say
I am guilt of things I did not do.
Then Lee said, 'Duke, they will go
after your wife and children." Upon
learning that I could hardly hold my
head up and asked my lawyers,
'You mean you want me to sign a
document under oath that is 90 to
95% untrue?'

"Lee responded, 'We are here to
give you the best advice as your
lawyers, and that advice is to sign.'
I said, 'If you can get the bastards
to not go after my wife - I will sign.
My lawyers then left the conference
room for a time. When they
returned, I signed the Plea

In November 2010, the San Diego
Union-Tribune scored an exclusive
jailhouse interview with
Cunningham that previewed many
of the claims Cunningham has now
put on paper. At the time, reporter
Greg Moran reported that Holsher
and  Blalack were no longer
representing Cunningham; in a
message today, Moran tells
CityBeat that he knew this to be
true for Blalack but he mistakenly
applied it to Holscher.
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Public Entity Attorneys

Incompetence or
Letters by Sandusky, wife blame everyone else
By Ann O'Neill
October 11, 2012

When all was said and done, Jerry and Dottie Sandusky did not ask the judge for mercy.
They did not try to extol Jerry's virtues, list good deeds or express regret. Instead, they
depicted the boys he sexually assaulted as ungrateful and called them liars.

They blamed the young men -- including their own adopted son, Matt, who now claims he,
too, was molested -- for their downfall.

In letters to the judge who would sentence the former coach, the Sanduskys portrayed
themselves as virtuous victims of a vast conspiracy. They blamed powerful,
image-conscious forces at Penn State University, lying cops, ambitious prosecutors and a
scandal-hungry news media.

Was Sandusky's sentence harsh enough?
Prosecutor: Sandusky was delusional
Allred: Sandusky statements 'desperate'
Sandusky lawyer: Didn't have enough time
Victims angrily confront Sandusky at sentencing

The couple's letters were mentioned in court on Tuesday but not read aloud. Judge John
Cleland and the Centre County courts made them public, and CNN obtained copies.
In them, Jerry Sandusky expressed little sympathy for the 10 boys he was convicted of
molesting. As he wrote about their families, he tried to shift the blame, pointing out that
the boys came from unstable homes.

"Nobody mentioned the impact of abandonment, neglect, abuse, insecurity and
conflicting messages that the biological parents might have had in this," he wrote. He said
nothing about the damaged lives and institutions his molestation case left in its wake.

Read the letters (.PDF)

Instead, both Sanduskys wrote that the justice system let them down.

Just as letters to one of the boys he was accused of molesting helped secure his
conviction, the letters to the judge all but guaranteed a maximum punishment, legal
observers say.

Cleland, who presided over the trial and sentenced Sandusky on Tuesday to 30 to 60
years in prison, noted that others wrote letters as well. But he indicated that he
considered only the Sanduskys' letters in handing down a sentence that, for a
68-year-old man, is likely to be a life prison term.

Victim to Sandusky: 'Because of you, I trust no one'

"Sentencing is a time to ask for mercy, not to attack others," said Laurie Levenson, a
former federal prosecutor who teaches legal ethics at Loyola Law School. "In my
experience, judges really hate letters that try to shift the blame to others or which belittle
the victims or the court."

B.J. Bernstein, an Atlanta attorney who comments on legal matters for CNN, agreed that
Sandusky didn't do himself any favors...
San Diego Education Report
San Diego
Education Report
Insincere apologies

The Rupert Murdoch tapes – what we have learned

The secret recording of Murdoch talking to Sun staff reveals more than his insincerity –
and much about the nature of power
Richard Seymour        

Rupert Murdoch's grovelling public apology over the phone-hacking scandal was, it pains
us to disclose, not genuine. Those soft-focus advertisements, in which Rupert himself
evinces his contrition, cannot be taken for good currency. Given the inevitable flurry of
obfuscation and denials that will surround the transcript, it is worth getting a few things

1. News Corporation's statement about this recording does not deny its authenticity. It
says that Murdoch simply shows "understandable empathy" with his staff, the implication
being that his words can be treated as simply a concession to the sensibilities of hacked-
off Sun journalists. There is perhaps an element of truth in this, as Murdoch can be heard
cannily identifying with his employees' grievances and deflecting the blame for their
sudden misfortunes (a situation for which the internet term "lol" seems to have been
invented) on to everyone else: the lawyers, the government, whingeing lefties, and so on.
This, in microcosm, is essentially what the Sun does to its readers. But he doesn't simply
display empathy. Murdoch belittles the charges against them – "next to nothing" – swears
he has withdrawn co-operation with the police, and promises to hit back when the time is
right. In the recording, he promises to see his staff right even if they are convicted, and to
hit back when possible.

2. The statement effuses about "unprecedented" levels of co-operation with the police.
But in its lawyered language, it states that it "continues" to co-operate "under the
supervision of the courts". That last phrase could mean many things, but one possible
interpretation might be, as Murdoch put it in the recording, "No, no, no – get a court order.
Deal with that."

3. The investigation of News Corp is not, as Murdoch claims, about "paying cops for news
tips": it is about systemic corruption. The deputy assistant commissioner of the
Metropolitan police at the time, Sue Akers, explained early last year: "The cases we are
investigating are not ones involving the odd drink, or meal, to police officers or other
public officials. Instead, these are cases in which arrests have been made involving the
delivery of regular, frequent and sometimes significant sums of money to small numbers
of public officials by journalists."

One of the decisive moments consolidating Murdoch's relationship to the Metropolitan
police was the use of police as armed strikebreakers in the 86-87 Wapping dispute.
Margaret Thatcher herself had assured Murdoch that the police would be at his disposal,
and their collusion in breaking the strike required an operation costing £14m.

As the Guardian journalist Nick Davies pointed out, this was never simply a matter of
criminality. It was always about power. The networks of collusion, bribery and complicity
that began to be established in the Thatcher era are beginning to be unravelled.
For some reason, remorse and reparation doesn't seem important these days.  Sure, the
reasons for committing suicide are usually complicated, but how can Dharun Ravi avoid
seeing his responsibility in this case?  Is he unable or unwilling to empathize with his

Rutgers’ Ravi: ‘I Wasn’t the One Who Caused Him to Jump’
Alice Gomstyn
ABC News
Mar 22, 2012

Former Rutgers student Dharun Ravi, convicted last week of a hate crime for spying on
his gay roommate’s date,  regrets  his  “dumb kid” actions, but told ABC News today that
he takes “comfort” in the belief that his webcam peeking is not the reason Tyler Clementi
jumped to his death.

Ravi, 20, of Plainsboro, N.J., spoke about the case just days after a New Jersey jury
convicted him of invasion of privacy, bias intimidation, witness tampering and hindering
arrest for using a webcam to peek at Clementi’s date in their college dorm room on Sept.
19, 2010 and encouraging others to spy during a second date, on Sept. 21, 2010.

Ravi was not charged in connection with Clementi’s death.

“Even though I wasn’t the one who caused him to jump off the bridge, I did do things
wrong and I was stupid about a lot of stuff,” Ravi said in an exclusive broadcast interview
with “20/20″ co-anchor Chris Cuomo.

Ravi, who was 18 at the time, was initially rattled by Clementi’s death, which the press
depicted as the result of cyber bullying.

He asked himself, “Is this because of me?” Ravi told Cuomo.

But Ravi said that what he learned about his freshman roommate during the course of
legal proceedings — including information that hasn’t been made public — convinced him
that the 18-year-old took his life for reasons that didn’t have anything to do with Ravi and
his webcam.

“The more and more I found out, it would be kind of obnoxious of me to think that I could
have this profound effect on him,” Ravi said.

At another point he added, “After all this time and reading his conversations and how and
what he was doing before, I really don’t think he cared at all. I feel like I was an
insignificant part to his life. That’s giving me comfort now.”

Ravi also pointed out that Clementi left behind a note, and that its contents have never
been made public.

“The fact that we weren’t allowed to read it, that they said it didn’t have anything to do
with this, that gave me comfort also because I figured  if it has nothing to do with me…it
must have been something else that was going on,” he said.

“He didn’t even care about this… He had bigger problems in his life,” he said.

Ravi, alerted by his dorm resident adviser that Clementi was aware of his spying and
wanted a room change, sent Clementi a text and an email apologizing. That text was sent
about the same time that Clementi jumped off the bridge.

“What is frustrating was I never knew if he got my text or the e-mail that I sent. It  was  
very frustrating to think I didn’t get a chance to say anything to him. To this day, I just say
you know what, I’ll just think he read it and he got it and I’m going to accept that as that’s
what happened. …At least he had to hear what I had to say.”

Ravi is scheduled to be sentenced May 21 and could face five to 10 years in prison. As
an Indian citizen who is in the U.S. on a green card, Ravi could also face deportation.

Despite the hate crime conviction, Ravi maintains his innocence. He said he never hated
Clementi and is not homophobic. That’s why, he said, he turned down prosecutors when
they offered a plea deal that included no jail time in exchange for admitting to charges of
intimidation against Clementi.

“I had to go up there in front of a judge under oath and say I intimidated Tyler because of
sexual orientation — (to say that) I did this because I had this hate for gay people,” he
said. “I don’t hate gay people.”

It is believed Clementi learned about his roommate’s spying over Ravi’s Twitter account,
on which Ravi posted messages about the incidents.

The first time, Ravi said, he and a friend watched Clementi and his date kissing for just
few seconds from another dorm room before quickly shutting it down. The second time,
Ravi said, he planned to let a friend watch the webcam feed, and  through a Twitter post
he also let other friends know about his plans. But he later decided against it and turned
the camera away from Clementi’s bed, he told Cuomo.

During Ravi’s trial, the prosecutor rejected Ravi’s claim to have turned off his computer
and turning the webcam away, arguing that it was Clementi who shut it off.

Ravi told Cuomo that his actions were never intended to hurt or shame Clementi and that
the Twitter posts were just a way to keep in touch with his own friends and let them know
what was going on in his life.

“Looking back, I was very self-absorbed with the whole thing. It was never, ‘What if Tyler
finds out, how’s he going to feel about it?’” he said. “…I was 18, I was stupid, I wouldn’t
think about my actions beyond a minute into a future. I was a dumb kid not thinking about

Despite media depictions of Clementi and his suicide, Ravi said he believes the
teen wasn’t fragile.

“Just because he’s gay doesn’t mean he’s automatically fragile and can’t deal with
anything,” he said.

While Ravi believes he should face some punishment, that punishment shouldn’
t include jail, he said.

“So much worse happens,” he said. “Kids actually get bullied and actually go
through stuff much worse than this.
I understand why people  feel the need to punish
me. Bad stuff happens and they  need to set an example, but it’s unfortunate this has to
be the case where this happens.”

Ravi said he feels he’s been taken advantage of.

“The people that are fighting for gay rights,  they have a just cause. I think this kind of
detracts from their cause,” he said. “This is something people can point to and say, ‘You
guys are going overboard.’ I think it’s bad for them.”
Indiana man gets apology letter from
former teammate for racism he
endured 56 years ago

By wagatwe  
Monday Aug 07, 2017 ·

72-year-old Eugene Britton Carter got a surprise in
his mailbox the other day: an apology from an old
high school basketball teammate. The letter writer,
Tom Owens, wanted to apologize for something
more than 50 years ago, Fox 59 reports. Back then,

Owens and the other white teammates left their four
Black teammates behind to compete in a Georgia
tournament that barred Black players from
participating. Apparently, it’s weighed on their
conscience ever since.

   "This is something I have thought about all my
life. And well actually it took a couple years after I
got out of high school and started maturing a little
bit and became an adult," Owens said.

   Owens talked about that trip to Georgia with
other teammates at a class reunion last year. They
agreed they wanted to reach out and offer an
apology. A friend was able to find Eugene.

Carter really appreciated the gesture—and they’ve
become friends again....Read more