While I am disappointed at the apparent outcome of Johnathan Perkins' honor proceedings, I was even more disappointed to read the January 18 lead editorial, "A degree of injustice." We are able to infer from Law School Dean Paul Mahoney's recent statements that Perkins was subject to an honor trial. We can also assume that Perkins was ultimately found not guilty and was granted a degree. The proceedings of that trial, however, including jury deliberations, were completely confidential, and any speculation about the reasons for the verdict are just that: pure speculation. The managing board's assumptions and claims - presented as fact - are based on personal opinions and are irresponsible, misleading and counterproductive.
I think most students at the University would agree the honor system and its procedures are flawed, and that active, informed discussion is the best way to effect meaningful change. Presenting conjecture about a confidential proceeding to which the authors had no access or record as "almost certainly what happened in the Perkins case," however, does not positively contribute to dialogue about honor at the University.
My disappointment in this case's outcome is tempered by the fact that I do not have knowledge of the evidence presented at trial; only the committee members involved, the jurors and Perkins himself know the full story. Unless he is willing to come forward and discuss the details of his case, the rest of us will never know the reason for his verdict, and we should be confident that the proper decision was rendered in light of the evidence presented.
Alex Carroll\nCLAS '10