The allegation that a man in Northeast Minneapolis was a murdering Nazi has received national attention. It has also polarized the public’s response.
The case is “perfect” for doing so. Michael Karkoc is 94 and obviously no longer a threat. Thus, many are saying, “Leave him alone”. But those demanding that he stand trial feel secure in their principled stance. According to the records and testimony, he was a Nazi soldier who may have had a hand in the murdering of many civilians. To them, his age is as arbitrary a factor no different than if he was rich, poor, female, young, short, tall. There’s no magic age where you no longer have to face justice, so whether he’s 94, 72, 22, or 122, he needs to do so for what he allegedly did.
Perhaps those who maintain this principled stance on justice look to those who say, “Leave him alone” as lacking principle, as going soft, as losing their sense of justice because they lack conviction. But the question I have for those who wish to have him stand trial is: what is your definition of justice?
Karkoc’s exaggerated age provides a peripheral look at popular notions of justice…
Read the rest of the commentary published in this morning’s Star Tribune.