Flood should be brought to task for Adegbile column

March 24, 2014

My husband, son and I read Don Flood's column in the March 11-13 issue of the Cape Gazette regarding Sen. Chris Coons' recent vote opposing confirmation of Debo Adegbile to head the civil rights division of the Justice Department. While Mr. Flood voiced his disappointment for the nomination's defeat, he said he couldn't help thinking about Bryan Stevenson, a local graduate who heads the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Ala.


Our family, to the contrary, thanked God for the outcome of the vote and then wrote a letter of gratitude to Sen. Coons for setting politics aside when he cast his vote against Adegbile's confirmation. Unlike Mr. Flood, our thoughts were with Maureen Faulkner, the widow of the police officer shot in the back and then shot in the face as he lay dying.


Mr. Flood purported that Adegbile was rejected “not for his own actions, but for the actions of others.” That is absolutely untrue. Mr. Agebile had not just filed an appeal on behalf of an unrepentant cop killer, he had been knee deep in the process of reversing a judge and jury's unanimous decisions. Mr. Agebile supervised Christina Swans and other lawyers at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund who represented Mumia Abu Jamal, the convicted cop killer. Agebile was responsible for the public comments of his subordinates which went beyond his overseeing Jamal's legal representation. He joined in an international campaign portraying Jamal as an innocent man and a victim of racism. Agebile and Swans gave Jamal celebrity status.


I believe that even the worst criminals deserve a fair defense. I believe it is certainly as important for the victims of crime to be remembered by the Justice Department.


I was appalled that Don Flood mentioned the Senate vote as “another victory for the right-wing media, which dominates American politics.” He went on with disdain to point to a Fox News anchor, Megyn Kelly, questioning the current NAACP president about the appointment.


Regarding Flood's concern for Bryan Stevenson who represents men on death row. I hope Mr. Stevenson provides the best legal representation for those on death row. That is our system of justice. If Agebile had not gone outside our legal system when overseeing representation of Jamal, Jamal would have been put to death as he deserved to be and Sen. Coons could have cast his vote for Agebile.


I am not a “conservative operative.” I vote for members of both parties depending on their platforms. But Mr. Flood has shown himself to be close-minded and especially left-leaning. Because we live in America, Mr. Flood is entitled to his views. However, Mr. Flood is not entitled to chide others for their views when they don't agree with his. Sen, Coons shouldn't have been brought to task for his vote. Mr. Flood should be brought to task for his column.


Shellie DiLauro


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