While it will hardly be visible, if at all, to fans in the stands, a small decal that will be worn on the back of the UL Ragin’ Cajuns football team’s helmets this year makes a huge statement about our university. Barely an inch in diameter, it pays homage to Mickey Shunick, the 21-year-old UL anthropology student who literally fought for her life, albeit unsuccessfully, against sick-o killer Brandon Scott Lavergne last May. Mickey’s last moments on earth were no doubt terrifying, but she faced them with a bravery few of us will ever know. Based on a photograph circulated during the search effort, the decal depicts a silhouette of Mickey, arms raised in victory, on her beloved bicycle. Said head coach Mark Hudspeth in a Facebook post unveiling the decal: “Obviously, what we do on the field doesn’t even come close to the kind of courage and fight that she showed. We just want to remember one of our own in a way that would make her proud.” Cue hair standing up on the back of the neck.
It’s hard to get an accurate read on Keith Stutes, the full-time assistant district attorney who confirmed to IND Monthly that he is retiring Friday after a distinguished 28-year career. But whatever his reasons — we reported Tuesday that the black eye on the DA’s office resulting from the ongoing federal investigation into its handling of OWI cases is one factor driving his decision (Stutes even launched his own investigation) — his absence will be felt. As one of his colleagues who assisted in the Mickey Shunick case says, Stutes is the type of consummate professional young ADAs should look to in developing their careers. Intellectually honest, diligent, organized, hard-working — those are the words of prosecutors and criminal defense attorneys alike in describing the man many of us know so little about. Despite handling and winning some of the most high-profile cases in the district, Keith Stutes is a very private person, but he would make one helluva candidate for District Attorney in 2014. Whether giving up some of the privacy he’s enjoyed for much of his career is worth the reward of reversing the incompetent oversight (and possibly worse) of his current boss is a question only Stutes can answer. And he’s not talking. One thing’s for sure, however: With someone like Stutes as DA, the feds would be spending their time on other matters, as there would be no shenanigans in the 15th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.
We’re still scratching our heads over that cartoon posted late last week to the website of The Hayride, a conservative, Louisiana-politics site. The cartoon is posted under the headline, “Do We Really Want To Keep Talking About Akin?” That’s of course a reference to U.S. Rep. Todd Akin, R-Gynecology, the idiotic Missouri congressman running for Senate who, in defending his position — it’s a plank in the GOP platform, by the way — that abortion should be illegal even when the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest, asserted that women’s bodies tend to self-abort when they’re the victim of “legitimate rape.” The ’toon, a portion of which is reproduced here, depicts President Obama intoning the words “legitimate rape” as a bespoiled female “U.S. Economy” withers in shame after being raped by “Uncle Sam.” We kind of-sort of think we get what the Hayride is trying to say, but the cartoon is so ham-handed and ghastly — reader reaction on the site is one of uniformly vehement disgust — that we’re just forced to shake our heads in dismay.
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