Justice sends mixed messages

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    Justice on the ALbert V Bryan Courthouse in Alexandria VA sends mixed messages. "Justice Delayed Justice Denied" vs. Tortoise and Hare.

    valeriehoughton@sbcglobal.net, kmcp59, and 12 other people added this photo to their favorites.

    1. Tim Evanson 20 months ago | reply

      It's not mixed signals at all.

      The statue and architrave constitute the artwork "Justice Delayed, Justice Denied." This is a 1994 artwork by American sculptor Raymond Kaskey. The statue depicts the traditional "Blind Justice," holding the scales of justice in each hand. The statue leans out over the entrance of the courthouse, her robes billowing in the wind.

      The architrave below the pedestal is inscribed with a Maryland tortoise projecting out from the center, with racing hares on either side. The image of a tortoise with a billowing sail on its back was the symbol of Cosimo de' Medici, the wealthy businessman who ruled the city of Florence from behind the scenes in the early 1400s and who founded a vast political and religious dynasty. His motton was "Make Haste Slowly." The billowing robes of Blind Justice, standing atop the tortoise, echoes this image of the sail.

      However, the animals also evoke the classic fable of "The Tortoise and the Hare." The moral of that story is "slow and steady wins the race."

      Judge Albert V. Bryan was a conservative federal judge who, in the 1950s and 1960s, ordered the racial integration of public schools in Virginia. No one expected Judge Bryan to rule in favor of racial integration. For more than two decades, Judge Bryan balanced the need for haste in order to protect constitutional rights with the need for due deliberation in the administration of justice.

      Together, the two mottos depict the tension in the law which Judge Bryan ably administered.

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