Just when I think The Great Stupid has reached peak stupid, there is a new high. I don’t see how society can get more stupid than this, but I now know that it will. You know in movies when someone says, “There’s no good way to say this, so I’m just going to say it”?
Here is as much of the announcement by Mitchel Hamline Law School, an institution I was mercifully unaware of until now, that I can re-post without gagging:
Mitchell Hamline School of Law will welcome Maureen Onyelobi into its juris doctor program this fall, making Mitchell Hamline the first ABA-approved law school in the country to educate currently incarcerated individuals.
It’s a moment nearly three years in the making as part of a collective effort by the Prison to Law Pipeline, a program of All Square and its newly formed subsidiary, the Legal Revolution. The effort aims to transform the law through initiatives that center racial equity, wellness, and the expertise of those most impacted by the law…
“Learning the law is a vital vehicle for freedom and lasting change in our community,” said Elizer Darris, chair of the board of the Legal Revolution. “Maureen’s acceptance is social proof that the time for change is now and the energy is here to change it.”
…“Mitchell Hamline has a long history of looking for ways to expand the idea of who gets to go to law school,” said Dean Niedwiecki. “It’s important for people who are incarcerated to better understand the criminal justice system, and this is one important way to do that. Our students will also benefit from having Maureen in class with them.”
…A series of factors made Onyelobi’s acceptance to law school possible. The American Bar Association recently granted a variance to allow her to attend classes entirely online, which she will do from Shakopee. The variance will allow Mitchell Hamline to admit up to two incarcerated students each academic year for five years. Onyelobi’s tuition will be paid through private fundraising and the same scholarship assistance available to all Mitchell Hamline students.
The Prison to Law Pipeline also has the full support of Commissioner Paul Schnell of the Minnesota Department of Corrections…
Guess what the official announcement conveniently leaves out! Oh, only the fact that Onyelobi was convicted as an accomplice to first-degree murder, received a mandatory sentence of life in prison with no chance of parole.Elsewhere, one can learns that Onyelobi had been selling heroin with her boyfriend, Maurice Wilson and another man, David Johnson, when Wilson was arrested on federal drug charges in March 2014. Wilson later placed a phone call from jail to Onyelobi and Johnson, and told them to “take care of” Anthony Fairbanks, who was Wilson’s co-defendant in the federal case. Later that day, Onyelobi lured Fairbanks outside his Minneapolis home, and Johnson shot and killed him. The aspiring lawyer argued that she didn’t know that Johnson was going to kill Fairbanks.
Maybe she thought he boyfriend meant that she was supposed to make him a nice, home-cooked meal when he said she should “take care” of him.
Mitchel Hamline Dean Niedwiecki said Onyelobi “exceeded our minimum standards of getting into law school, so it wasn’t a close call.”
Heroin dealer, murderer, liar—yeah, this woman is obviously cut out to be a lawyer.
I wrote twice in 2017 about the strange case of Shon Hopwood, a convicted bank-robber who is not only a lawyer but who teaches law at Georgetown Law Center. In this post, I wrote in part,
I don’t understand how and why the District found that a former bank robber was an acceptable candidate for a law license. Stephen Glass, a former star journalist who was publicly disgraced for being revealed as a liar who made up many of his stories, was rejected for admission to the California bar because it was felt that his dishonesty in another profession more than a decade ago disqualified him. (Glass got his law degree at…Georgetown Law Center.) Stephen Glass, however, committed no crime, and was never convicted or jailed. I have found very few lawyers sympathetic to Glass, yet several who get all misty-eyed about the redemption of Shon Hopwood. How does the profession reconcile this?
[P]eople who set out to break the law and do so by committing major crimes should not be enforcing the law, practicing law, or teaching law. They cannot be trusted, no matter how charming they are, or how far they have come since their release.
I’ll stand by that assessment. I can’t find any sources that explain whether or not the convicted murderess has a route to being admitted to practice like Hopwood, but this is a slippery slope. Hopwood is white and Onyelobi is black, and we know, because a black lifetime petty hood died under the knee of a bad cop in Minneapolis , this now justifies all sorts of special considerations and privileges for those with the appropriate skin pigment. I assume that admitting black murderers to law school is part of equity, diversity and inclusion; it makes only a bit less sense than many of the other recent examples of that movement. Mitchel Hamline is in Minnesota, after all. Coincidence? I think not. Yes, a logical response to George Floyd’s death is to start admitting convicted murderers to law school. Question: does that mean that Derek Chauvin can be admitted to law school too? I doubt it, somehow.
A few more scattered thoughts while I bick up pieces of my brain and skull…
- Of course the American Bar Association was involved in this. The largest lawyers association has become so frantically woke that it is barely coherent. Supporting this farce is organizational malpractice.
- Attending law school via Zoom is such a diminished educational experience that it shouldn’t qualify for a degree. Onyelobi is being cruelly misled if she thinks otherwise.
- Every law school applicant who is rejected while a convicted criminal is accepted is being told that they are less worthy of a legal education than a criminal.
- The dean is evidently a babbling, dishonest fool. “Our students will also benefit from having Maureen in class with them”? How? To begin with, they won’t be in class with her: she’ll be attending class from prison. Moreover, what is it that a heroin dealer and murderer will have to contribute to a contracts, torts or civil procedure class?
- I am assisting a law school grad who has been rejected by a state bar admissions committee on the basis of three minor incidents, including a motor vehicle violation, that it claims show his lack of fitness to practice law. I am afraid to tell him about Maureen Onyelobi for fear that it might kill him.
And The Great Stupid rolls on…