There is a reason the death penalty is rarely enforced anymore, particularly in the federal judicial system. Too many innocent victims are being convicted, based on cover-ups and the withholding of exculpatory evidence by some federal and state prosecutors. A recent study published in the National Academy of Sciences concludes that some 4.1 percent of inmates on death row are innocent. More than four percent. If that were the rate of airplanes crashing, would you fly?
“We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
The passage I just read, of course, is from the most well known freedom document in the world – our Declaration of Independence.
Now, many of you, as I was reading it, were reciting it with me. That’s because somewhere, most probably as a child, you were taught its importance and were instructed to memorize it.
Dreams are fragile, living things; neglect them and they die, devote yourself to them and they exhaust and frustrate. Achieve them and they can bring great joy, but there is always, always a price.
When the dream involves the arts, when the passion inside burns to make music, to sing, dance, write, paint, sculpt—to create—the road is especially perilous, the dream nearly impossible to obtain and when one does, never, ever is it what they imagined. I speak as both a working artist and someone who has spoken to every major working musician or artist over the past 30 years; a life in the arts can be the most rewarding and also an emotional and professional roller coaster ride.