Patrick Collins '91 Reconvicts Socrates, Judge Posner Hands Down Gentler Sentence

Socrates convicted — again, 2,400 years later
Mitch Dudek
Chicago Sun-Times
January 31, 2013

He brought down mob bosses, an Elvis-impersonating governor and al-Qaida terrorists — and now former U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald can add ancient Greek philosopher Socrates to the list.

And though a group of 900 Chicagoans reaffirmed the 2,400-year-old convictions of corrupting the youth and disrespecting the Gods, the masses did not agree with the original sentence of death by drinking poison Hemlock.

Perhaps fitting in a state that outlawed the death penalty, Socrates was instead fined and sentenced to home confinement...

Former assistant U.S. attorney Patrick Collins again teamed up with Fitzgerald to do battle with Socrates’ equally formidable defense team consisting of former U.S. Attorney Dan K. Webb and personal injury attorney Bob Clifford. All this despite the fact that Socrates actually defended himself...

Collins mixed Athenian and Chicago lore in his appeal to convict Socrates of creating and worshiping a new God:

“You cannot dis the Gods, the Gods are jealous. The Gods hold a grudge. For God’s sakes even here in America in 1945 a man brings a goat into Wrigley field — there has not been a World Series game in Wrigley since. The Gods have a memory!”

Presiding Judge Richard A. Posner — who sits on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals — equated the charge of corrupting the youth to the modern era charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor...

After arguments, Posner said he couldn’t give the death sentence to a “70-year-old loudmouth.”

Faculty: 
Richard A. Posner