A blog that I didn’t think I would be writing for a while is this one, which reacts to the announcement that Tim Murray will be retiring from the Pretrial Justice Institute in 2014. If any of you know Tim, you already know that his tenure as the Executive Director at PJI is only one of several incredibly important roles he has played in American criminal justice; indeed, any one of the things he has done in his life would suffice for a full career for anyone else. But what he has done through PJI is nothing short of miraculous. He has taken an American justice system complacent with bad pretrial practices and somehow convinced it to change. Through compassion, intellect, and simple logic, he has shown that the administration of bail is something worth thinking about and worth improving. The whole country is behind him now, which is probably why he feels he can step back.
I’m happy to read that he will still serve in a capacity that will allow me and others to use his wisdom, ideas, and energy. There was a time in this country when the only person running around talking about bail and pretrial justice was Tim. Now thousands of people are running around and talking about all the things that they learned from Tim. I am definitely one of those people. No matter how you look at it, there just aren’t many folks who can say that they moved the criminal justice system a little closer to justice itself. Tim can, and for that I regard him as an American treasure.