This painting troubles me. It has something to say about the motivations of the people in the Scruggs Matter, all of the people, and at every stage and aspect. From the desire to win, the desire to capture, the desire to escape punishment by helping the prosecutors inflict punishment on others, the desire for fame and professional approval, the desire to be a part of treachery. When one thinks of it, one is hard-pressed to find real proof of the assurance of a single laudable motive at work in the hearts of any one of the players in this sordid drama -- Dick Scruggs, Steve Balducci, Joey Langston, Edward Peters, Bobby DeLaughter, Judge Henry Lackey, Judge Biggers, the whole lot.
We like to think there are good guys and bad guys, but I wonder. I wonder if in the heart of things, in the heart of all of the people who played a part, there is not something pervasive and sad, something corrupt. We will only know if the heart of each is honest and dares to express the subtlety of human motivations. Were he to do so, it would be up to each of us to understand, to express grace and forgiveness if it is in our power to forgive.