Friday, April 23, 2004

APOCRYPHA WATCH: Susanna, the Apocryphal addition to the Book of Daniel, has been mentioned in the media a couple of times recently. This Washington Times essay, which argues against a Constitutional amendment for victims' rights, uses the story of Susanna as an illustration of the importance of witness sequestration:
The VRA would also vitiate the truth-finding objective of trials by injecting victim concerns that could undermine the impartiality and reliability of verdicts. The amendment would require judges in jury selection, evidentiary rulings, or jury instructions to "consider the victim's safety, interest in avoiding unreasonable delay, and just and timely restitution from the offender." It would permit victims who intend to testify to avoid sequestration, a customary requirement to foil the tailoring of witness stories. Sequestration has been celebrated by an icon in the law of evidence, however, as "one of the greatest engines that the skill of man has ever invented for the detection of liars in a court of justice."

Thus, the biblical Apocrypha relates how Daniel exonerated Susanna of adultery by sequestering two accusing elders and eliciting conflicting answers as to where the alleged crime occurred.

And this article in the Seattle University Spectator describes a painting in the Frye Art Museum:
It dawned on me that I hadn�t visited the free Frye Art Museum since last fall and a new exhibition had opened on April 10, so I jumped on my longboard and headed to 704 Terry Avenue.

The Frye is an Art Museum located within a half-mile of Seattle University.

Charles Frye was a wealthy businessman from Seattle who left money and an extensive collection of art in his will for the creation of an art museum for the Seattle public. His attorney, Walser Greathouse, opened the Frye Art Museum in 1952.


A few portraits in particular were particularly impressive . . .

�Susanna and the Elders,� by Franz Xaver, shows an Old Testament Scene from the Apocrypha where David unmasked the false charges held against Susanna by the elders. Susanna appears distressed, containing both innocence and an emerging understanding of reality.

These feelings are further emphasized by the contrast of her pale skin with the dark background colors.

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