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GOLDEN MEMORIES

The other day,  the TV show “Madam Secretary”  introduced a new character  — the CHAIRWOMAN of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

How times have changed! Not too many years back, the Air Force TIMES featured attractive females in uniform.  The photo series was called “The Fair Force.”

THE CENTURION

A series of pertinent  — and impertinent — matters relating to the military

PTSD?  There is an excellent form to evaluate PTSD.   It’s VA Form DBQ 21-0960 P-3.  The form is readily accessible at www.va.gov/forms/form.

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Speaking of the VA, a resourceful client passes along a way to bypass the long wait to reach the VA Help line.  He recommends dialing  — 1 — 800 — 827 – 1000; then, ignore the voice commands and enter the numbers 1  0   4 in  two- second intervals.

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A recent Washington Post Opinion article [26 July]  suggests how many innocent persons have allegedly been convicted in the United States for murder.   Samuel R. Gross reports on a year-old study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.   Over  4% of defendants sentenced to death in the United States are later shown to be innocent.   Mostly, through DNA testing.  That is one in 25 wrongfully convicted — and sentenced to death.

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In a similar vein, Judge John L. Kane writes in the May 2015 issue of the NACDL CHAMPION magazine . He suggests that somewhere between 2% and 8% of convicted felons are innocent, but nevertheless plead guilty.  In part, they want  PTA protection.  Sadly, he comments, this means our system has become one of pleas – not one of trials.

Judge Kane cites the derivation of the classical Greek word “injustice.”   It literally translates out of balance.

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