There are fundamental and universal truths that one faces every day, emanating from classic conflicts between justice and the law, conscience and the law, the subtlety of innocence versus the law, and innocence versus evil. In the end, they are mostly interpretive, and each of us ultimately must own our interpretations and the behaviors they spawn.
Why do most people cheer vigilante justice when it’s illegal? Lines and boundaries. Individual and societal. Subjective and objective. Or, how about when who we are conflicts with who we think we are, or who others think we are, or even who we think others think we are?
Sean O’Dell, a decorated 63-year-old cop, plants evidence in order to protect his friend of 50 years from a murder conviction. He knows that his friend is the real victim and chooses to risk his oath, reputation, and even freedom to prove it. Does the end justify the means, and what price must he pay for a justice that may be veiled in a lifelong untruth?
Cops, lawyers, judges, and society will have different answers, but where those answers conflict with conscience, regardless of law, can there be a winner? You make the call.
Bob Siqveland graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1967. He enjoys many art endeavors and has recorded his music. He commanded an artillery battery while serving in the Army before spending 23 years as a venture capitalist. He is currently involved in the gaming industry and lives in Northern Minnesota.