OSWEGO, NY – May 1 marks National Law Day; a day that celebrates American values of equality under the law no matter an individual’s race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, age or disability.
On May 3, individuals involved in law in Oswego County ranging from judges to lawyers to law secretaries gathered in the Oswego County Courthouse to recognize Law Day.
The afternoon was organized by Oswego County Bar Association President Kristin Shanley, and opened with remarks by Judge James McCarthy about the importance of equality under the law.
Next, members of Oswego Players took to the front of the courtroom to stage an adaptation of “Susan B,” a play by Gary Paul Lehmann.
The play dramatizes the life of Susan B. Anthony and her involvement in the women’s suffrage movement.
Susan B registers to vote and is arrested after she casts her ballot merely for being a woman.
The play represented how much the laws in our nation have changed over time and the importance of all people being treated equally under the law.
“We had done this previously in Syracuse,” said attorney Tim Fennell. “And we thought it’d be a very good reading in conjunction with the theme of Law Day.”
At Anthony’s trial the judge declared his guilty verdict without even giving the jury (comprised on all men, of course) a chance to deliberate.
Law Day set the stage a little differently though.
Female members of the law community were invited to sit as Anthony’s jury during the play’s proceedings and then dismissed to deliberate.
Impromptu jury foreperson Judge Kimberly Seager returned to announce the jury’s decision.
In today’s court, Anthony was declared “not guilty.”