Judge Edward J. Lewis plans a second run for Hannibal town justice. As he completes his first term, he would like to make the following statement to Hannibal residents:
“First of all I would like to thank the residents of Hannibal for giving me the opportunity to serve as town justice. I succeeded Judge Luther Dennison and let me say no one could ever replace Judge Dennison. They have been big shoes to fill!
“I had many conversations with Judge Dennison and tried to apply his advice to my own court. For the past four years, my court has been dedicated to applying the law in a fair manner. When punishment is required, my court imposes it!
“At the same time, I always try to design punishment that encourages the guilty to become law abiding residents. The other side of that coin is ‘my court has no tolerance for repeat offenders.’
“I have heard several people say: ‘If you do the crime, you do the time.’ Not only is that overly simplistic, it borders on ignorance of how the judicial system is set up.
“When I went for certification following my election, one of our trainers said that in this country we treasure our personal freedoms. He went on to say that as a judge you have the authority to take that freedom away from people convicted of crimes.
“His advice was ‘Be very careful how you exercise that authority!’ I have never forgotten that. The objectives of my court is to uphold the law and help the guilty become law abiding citizens.”
Judge Lewis also stated that his court is dedicated to maintaining the integrity established by Dennison.