Laying Down the Law

So Penn State alum Franco Harris is now blasting the Freeh report for reaching “reasonable conclusions” regarding the school’s inaction regarding convicted pedophile Jerry Sandusky.

Why would Harris criticize investigators for being “reasonable,” when most of the world would consider that a good thing? Because Harris believes the Freeh investigators should have been beyond reasonable, as in they should have proved their case beyond a reasonable doubt.

The fact that there are Nittany Lions fans echoing this indicates that there are a lot of people in need of an explanation:

You can’t apply legal concepts or terminology to real life, because the limits the law places on government do not apply to private actors.

Imagine, for instance, going to your boss and yelling, “You can’t fire me! You didn’t prove I carried on with the intern!”

Or think about the number of times someone has tried to argue that they have “freedom of speech” and, therefore, can say whatever they want, whenever they want, without any consequence? But that’s not going to save an athlete’s endorsement deal if he feels free to bash the advertiser’s product, right?

You can’t ask the company you work for to provide a writ of habeas corpus if they ask you to work overtime. A friend can help settle a bar bet, but an amicus brief is not going to help. And you don’t have to refer to Judge Reinhold as “your honor.”

So it’s time to stop abusing the language in this way. Call it a matter of conviction.


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