May 1, 2008

The "DC Madam," Deborah Jeane Palfrey, has killed herself.

The Raw Story:
Two weeks after being convicted on federal charges for running a prostitution ring, "DC Madam" Deborah Jean Palfrey has committed suicide at a Florida home, according to several news reports....

Palfrey faced a maximum of 55 years in prison and was free pending her sentencing July 24....

One of the escort service employees was former University of Maryland, Baltimore County, professor Brandy Britton, who was arrested on prostitution charges in 2006. She committed suicide in January before she was scheduled to go to trial.

Last year, Palfrey said she, too, was humiliated by her prostitution charges, but said: "I guess I'm made of something that Brandy Britton wasn't made of."
Video from a year ago:

89 comments:

Saul said...

Very sad. Some people cannot handle the thought of prison. Although aside from sex trade issues, there are usually tax issues that land such people in federal prison.

vbspurs said...

If you can't do the time, don't do the crime...

BTW, she died in her mum's home in Tarpon Springs.

It's close to Tampa/St. Pete, and is a community of almost 100% Greek Americans. Our governor, a Greek-Cypriot-American, Charlie Crist, has loads of family there.

I've been there twice. Great place.

Cheers,
Victoria

Revenant said...

I'm sure the prosecuting attorneys are thankful to have rid society of such a dangerous woman. Less dedicated professionals would undoubtedly have focused on something trivial, like terrorism or kidnapping.

AJ Lynch said...

That is a shame. Facing a potential sentence of 55 years in prison - that seems way too harsh.

Reminds me of ridiculously long jail time we give to drug users and smalltime dealers. It only provides full employment for judges, criminal lawyers, prosecutors and TV crime show writers.

I say legalize most drugs and tax sales heavily- reduce our federal deficit! heh.

Cato Renasci said...

Doesn't it strike anyone as odd that two of the women in the case have committed suicide? It certainly is remarkably convenient for their clients....

freelunch said...

Maybe she killed herself, but I expect a serious investigation to result considering the circumstances.

MadisonMan said...

Sad.

If this were fiction, all her previously well-hidden client contacts would now be missing. And threatening phone calls to various clients in and around DC would start.

former law student said...

First, a salute to a fellow former law student.

The sexual exploitation of women makes me disfavor legalizing prostitution, but here the escort service was not coercive: the madam lived near San Francisco while the escorts worked in DC, forwarding checks to the madam (and buying money orders with customer cash).

According to papers at The Smoking Gun, Ms. Palfrey was very customer-focused, as well:

37. In a "Week ending December 19, 1993" newsletter Palfrey wrote:

Mgt. can't adequately emphasize its absolute intolerance for careless, "who gives a f*ck" attitudes, by either escorts or dispatchers. Such mindsets/behavior would never be tolerated in any quote, unquote "straight job" and they will not be tolerated as well, at PM [Pamela Martin Agency]. We advertise quality service to our clientele, and by god, they will receive such, via each and every representative of this agency. Minimum wage mentalities can go elsewhere for employment.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

I don't buy it!

I wanna see her client list. This was so obviously a murder. Madames are too narcissistic to end their own lives. For pete's sake they call themselves "Madames!"

Beth said...

"If you can't do the time, don't do the crime..."

Victoria, shouldn't that go for her clients as well? Vitty-cent is still free and presumably as big a perv as he's ever been. Wonder if he was in Florida recently...

JDAXC said...

I don't buy it.
Show me a history of depression or suicidal tendencies an maybe I'll bite.
After what happened to Spitzer, I'm sure there were a lot of guys running a tad scared.
She had it coming! JUST KIDDING!

Roger J. said...

OK--this is the stuff that inside the beltway novels are made of. Seems to me that a 55 year sentence is altogether excessive for what looks to me like a victimless crime (apologies to feminists for my lack of sensitivity here).

As Victoria notes, Tarpon Springs is a nearly all Greek community. It was founded by Greek sponge fisherman and was the home of the Florida sponge trade for a half century.

amba said...

Another blow to the myth of the happy hooker.

titusisnotpregnant said...

This is truly sad and tragic. Has anything happened to any of the men who frequented these establishments? Why are the women the ones that seem to get in trouble in these situations.

55 years in prison? Yes, she was obviously an incredible danger to society. What a joke-a cruel joke.

This really saddens me.

Also, talk about a fall from grace. She was living in fabulous San Francisco and was now living with her mother in a trailer park in Florida-tragic.

This is a made for movie of the week.

And what about the other poor woman that killed herself?

This is devastating.

John K. said...

Just two more deaths that can be laid at the door of the government. Fifty-five years in prison! Yes, those prosecutors are responsible for her death, and so is the judge, and so is the jury, and so are the legislators who made such a sentence possible, and so are the cops who arrested her. Just doin their jobs, they think and say. I hold them in contempt, and you should to.

Snap-to when you hear that national anthem playing, people. What sheep we are.

dbp said...

"I guess I'm made of something that Brandy Britton wasn't made of."

That is just begging fate to slap you down.

AJ Lynch said...

Instead of electing lawmakers, we need to elect some law un-makers.

Daryl said...

Why can't the Supreme Court just step in and declare most anti-prostitution laws to be unconstitutional? If we have a Constitutional right to have sex, why is the state allowed to prohibit us from buying and selling it?

We're allowed to buy and sell speech. We're allowed to buy and sell religion. We're allowed to buy and sell pornography. But no hooking?

The justifications given for the laws are always a crock. Supposedly prostitution is always damaging to the prostitutes--but if the brothels are organized correctly, they can be protected. We wouldn't tolerate overly broad laws being used to shut down other exercises of rights.

It's time for SCOTUS to recognize the growing societal approval of prostitution, and the success of movements in so many European countries (and Australia!) to legalize prostitution--success not only in getting it legalized, but success in the end results, which have been good for society.

The death of Deborah Jane Palfrey--whether suicide or murder--is tragic.

The inability of the Supreme Court to practice what it preaches is tragic. All those gay clerks inhabiting the place have had a huge effect. The solution is obvious: we need fewer gays and more red-blooded American men who use prostitutes to become Supreme Court clerks. When Supreme Court clerks stop representing America, the decisions of the Court stop making sense to Americans.

Revenant said...

Why can't the Supreme Court just step in and declare most anti-prostitution laws to be unconstitutional?

Because nobody on the Court actually believes the Constitution protects a right to privacy. That's just a cover they occasionally use for voting the way they please.

Here's an interesting question: say Texas passed a law making it a criminal act to provide a woman with money for an abortion. Would that pass Constitutional muster? If not -- and I suspect that it would not -- then how is providing a woman with money for sex any different?

Bissage said...

(1) I’m no expert in this area of the law but I don’t see how she would have been actually sentenced to anything more than a minimum of 10 years at Club Fed with a long tail of parole and probation to follow.

What’s in the presentence investigation report? What evidence would have been admitted at the sentencing hearing? Are there mandatory minimums at play? I really don’t know. But the relative harshness of 55 years would not have been lost on the sentencing judge.

(2) It is truly sad if she killed herself. It’s even sadder if she was murdered.

But still, who knows? After all, she knew the risks of her vocation and she made her choices and she got to live in fabulous San Francisco instead of a trailer park in Florida with her assuredly unfabulous mother.

Maybe she came out ahead on the deal.

After all, you can’t take it with you.

Even someone as hedonistic, vain and shallow as titus knows that.

John K. said...

Daryl said: "It's time for SCOTUS to recognize the growing societal approval of prostitution . . ."

I don't want society to approve prostitution. I think it's a shameful and disgusting business. But the cops in arresting this "DC Madam" and everybody complicit in the process of convicting her and subjecting her to a 55 year prison sentence have committed far greater crimes than she ever did. They had no more authority to do what they did than any criminal gang has to kidnap any person who has not aggressed against the rights of others.

Chet said...

She wasn't convicted of prostitution. She was convicted of racketeering. There's a big difference. It's not the crime, itself...it's that she transported a crime across state lines. I doubt that she was murdered to shut her up. All the secret names on her list....nowadays visiting a prostitute is a badge of honor. It's hard to believe someone wanted to hush her up.

john said...

John K.

You are right, as is Titus. I know nothing about these people or their problems, but the destruction of two lives (for a financial consideration for an otherwise legal agreement) is such a sad waste.

Victoria's snarky bit of triteness is also uncalled for.

Michael_H said...

Deborah Jean Palfrey received a 55 year sentence. And the johns got what? Probably a 00 year sentence, if they were even charged.

Grossly unjust.

The Drill SGT said...

Chet is correct. This has been a local trial for me.

She did a threatening act ith her list and revealed a couple of Bush officals. I know her attorney has the phone lists as does the prosceution and the judge.

This is no conspiracy. and it was a sex ring, not an escort service.

I have no sympathy after seeing her blackmail act

and she didnt get 55 years, she was vulnerable to up to 55, but would not have gotten anything like that.

she had an interesting stable. One was a female Navy officer that I think sould be courtmartialed for conduct unbecoming, hooking, and a few other things. But I have seen no charges yet. disgusting

The Drill SGT said...

Chet is correct. This has been a local trial for me.

She did a threatening act ith her list and revealed a couple of Bush officals. I know her attorney has the phone lists as does the prosceution and the judge.

This is no conspiracy. and it was a sex ring, not an escort service.

I have no sympathy after seeing her blackmail act

and she didnt get 55 years, she was vulnerable to up to 55, but would not have gotten anything like that.

she had an interesting stable. One was a female Navy officer that I think sould be courtmartialed for conduct unbecoming, hooking, and a few other things. But I have seen no charges yet. disgusting

Cedarford said...

Another celebrity whore ends up the worst for her career choices. BFD.
As important and as newsworthy as the OD death of Anna Nicole Smith.
Yawn....

Chet said...

I think suicide is just the sort of thing someone, used to getting her own way, would commit.

Controlling people, just like chest pieces. Trafficing in human lives.

Plus suicide is the ultimate in vanity and grandiose self-expression, for someone who was calculating enough to run afoul of conventional standards of behavior to begin with.

---Not such a big leap, for that kind of character.

Pogo said...

Not such a big leap

...Literally.

Chet said...

Hey, the book deal didn't pan out, so might as well leave a sweeping suicide note instead.

One last hurrah !

Chet said...

She was convicted of mail fraud, not prostitution.

Nevertheless, I'm sure the jury was aware that these sentences are always whittled down to nothing, so the 55 years was just to send a message.

I'm just can't imagine what other shocking revelations Ms. Palfrey could've been hiding. Had yet another politician been discovered.....it's not news anymore. Most politicians visit prostitutes. Nobody's surprised.

I don't even think Heidi Fleiss's little black book is worth anything anymore.

Hard to believe she'd be murdered over that.

Bissage said...

Pogo, you might want to make your link at 4:44 more prominent. I only noticed it because I went to the comment page to check out an avatar.

That said . . . Ha! Nothing like a little gallows humor!

UWS guy said...

There is no more honorable act than suicide. There is nothing more human; being aware of death and choosing it's arrival.

master of her fate despite (to spite) the State.

Pogo said...

Bissage,

I was a little ashamed of myself.

But only a little.

Bissage said...

I roared!

Thanks.

titusisnotpregnant said...

Daryl said:

"The inability of the Supreme Court to practice what it preaches is tragic. All those gay clerks inhabiting the place have had a huge effect. The solution is obvious: we need fewer gays and more red-blooded American men who use prostitutes to become Supreme Court clerks."

I had no idea there were so many gay law clerks on the Supreme Court. I need to check out the louvre next time I am in DC.

Seriously, Daryl, gays love prostitutes. Have you seen the pages of your local alternative newspaper? Our ads likely double your hooker breeder ads.

titusisnotpregnant said...

Also Daryl gays can like all the promiscuous sex and be prudes at the same time... unless they are a gay republican like Larry Craig.

titusisnotpregnant said...

I meant "can't" be promiscuous and prudes at the same time.

Sorry, fellow R's.

The Drill SGT said...

my local news says the sentencing guidelines recommended 4-6 years. racketeering, mail fraud, tax fruad.

she ran hookers in DC from 92 -06

we learned today she had a pimping conviction in California in 91 and spent a year in jail then

Eli Blake said...

former law student:

The sexual exploitation of women makes me disfavor legalizing prostitution

And they aren't exploited when it's not legal? Most prostitutes on the street in any big city work for pimps who regularly beat them, rape them, use drugs and drug addiction as a tool to make them do what they want, and provide them with just enough food to survive.

Plus, a lot of them end up dead anyway since they sometimes have to get in a car with strangers as a part of doing their job.

Not saying one way or the other as to whether it should be legalized (I can see both sides of the argument) but your assertion that somehow keeping it illegal prevents exploitation of women is laughable. Prostitutes are the most exploited of women in society, and one reason is because they can't depend on the police or the law to protect them, even from someone who wants to kill them.

Peano said...

One less whore in DC is like one less drop of water in the ocean. Our "leaders" won't miss her.

Guesst said...

My old bosses from Charter were convicted of wire fraud because that's what the fedgov could most easily nail them with.

They did little time, and went stepped right back into their lives with most of their money still in their pockets. I doubt they ever considered hanging themselves, even on their worst days at Marion.

I wonder which businesswomen are able to successfully negotiate with the fedgov in similar ways so that they retain most of their assets and their lives are not entirely changed forever.

Chip Ahoy said...

*sads*

AlphaLiberal said...

Rest in peace.

Revenant said...

Megan McArdle has a good rant about this that perfectly sums up my feelings on the subject.

Meade said...

Suicides don't rest peace, Alphie. That's one of the reasons not to do it.

Revenant said...

And they aren't exploited when it's not legal?

Indeed, you really have to wonder about the mentality that says "prostitution exploits women, so it is best to make certain that prostitutes have absolutely no recourse to complain about their treatment or working conditions".

somefeller said...

Poor woman. Rest in peace. I agree with Megan McArdle's view (linked above by Revenant) on this issue.

I doubt it was murder, however. I just stumbled across this story, however, which is extremely creepy and may involve some real murders.

former law student said...

your assertion that somehow keeping it illegal prevents exploitation of women

The risk of getting caught keeps down the numbers of both pros and johns. Once legal, what's to prevent a **ck in the Box from opening on every street corner? Making slavery illegal has reduced the number of slaves in America, even though you still read the odd case of Indonesian physicians keeping a slave or two at home.

somefeller said...

I don't mean to threadjack by posting that link above, but I just read that story, and it really sent a chill down my spine. What a world we live in.

former law student said...

it is best to make certain that prostitutes have absolutely no recourse to complain about their treatment or working conditions".

If you sincerely want to help the women, Sweden has found a solution: criminalize the buyer but not the seller. I realize this won't help those of you who can't find a partner any other way.

Methadras said...

John K. said...

Just two more deaths that can be laid at the door of the government. Fifty-five years in prison! Yes, those prosecutors are responsible for her death, and so is the judge, and so is the jury, and so are the legislators who made such a sentence possible, and so are the cops who arrested her. Just doin their jobs, they think and say. I hold them in contempt, and you should to.

Snap-to when you hear that national anthem playing, people. What sheep we are.


What the hell is with this faux indignation? You didn't even know this woman and the things she did. How many lives did contribute to potential ruination because of her business. If you want to argue about the maximum sentence someone like this could receive then that is another argument. But to blame the jury, the judge, the cops, and the prosecutor is just a stupid thing to do. And you want us to hold them in contempt? For what? Because this woman decided she couldn't live with facing prison even though she had no problem profiting from running a mobile brothel? Thou dost protest to much.

Meade said...

What would really be enlightened would be if Sweden criminalized, along with the buyer, the purveyor -- the parasitic pimp or madam.

Methadras said...

Daryl said...

Why can't the Supreme Court just step in and declare most anti-prostitution laws to be unconstitutional?


Because there is very little precedent, if any at all I think, for a federal decision declaring prostitution to be anywhere close to legal. It's mostly a 10th Amendment issue at that point and SC would just kick it to the respective legislatures.

If we have a Constitutional right to have sex

I don't think so. Can you show me where in the Constitution where that is listed or enumerated?

I suspect a lot of your post is tongue-in-cheek, but that's just the way I read it.

titusisnotpregnant said...

I did a hooker once and it was lame. I was feeling bad about myself and answered an internet ad.

I went to his house in Jamaica Plain. He had a nice body but his face wasn't that great.

It was a really hot night and I could hear all the kids playing outside his window as I kept pounding him and pounding him. He kept on saying the same thing over and over, "harder, harder, harder, harder"-I was like do you know any other sex talk other than the word "harder". I was hoping he would mix it up a bit but to not avail.

I fucked him up the ass and left. I put three condoms on that night. I kept the condoms on me until I got home, burned them and took a hot shower.

I felt bad afterward.

My hog was raw.

My ego bruised.

My self-loathing intact.

titusisnotpregnant said...

I think we used Apple Martini lube that night.

vbspurs said...

Victoria, shouldn't that go for her clients as well?

Goes for anyone who breaks the law knowingly. Goes for people who download mp3s, as someone did a few hours ago, may s/he remain nameless, cough.

I am an overly sentimental person about the dead. I loathe speaking ill of one who is barely cold.

But let me say that I spare no tears for anyone who purveys human flesh, no matter the reason.

In fact, I find prostitution and everyone tied to it nauseating -- and I'm not even a feminist.

Cheers,
Victoria

Roger J. said...

I almost never agree with Alpha Liberal--but the only appropriate response is Requiest in Pacem. thank you Alpha for at least recognizing Ms. Palfrey's humanity.

Revenant said...

If you sincerely want to help the women, Sweden has found a solution: criminalize the buyer but not the seller.

People who sincerely want to help women treat them like intelligent adults capable of deciding how to live their lives. You disagree with that approach. You probably consider yourself a feminist, too, which is quaintly amusing.

In any case, insuring that all of the men prostitutes deal with are paranoid and engaged in illegal activity is not an intelligent way to prevent the abuse of prostitutes, as any sensible person would realize. The correct approach is that undertaken by Canada, France, England, and many other western nations -- legalize the exchange of sex for money, but ban the related trades of pimping and brothel-running.

AJ Lynch said...

Rev:

I went to the McArdle link but could not get past the Ezra Klein comment.

Any idea why a young, apparently successful person like Ezra Klein writes such horrible crap? He has to be miserably unhappy huh?

Revenant said...

I wasn't bothered by Ezra's remark, but generally speaking, yeah, he's a pretty grumpy guy.

Mortimer Brezny said...

I met Ezra Klein in the street once. I said, "Hey, are you Ezra Klein?" And he said yes. And then I shook his hand and said I was a reader of his blog.

That wasn't as cool as running into Paul Giamatti, who isn't really fat, short, or loser-looking.

That Palfrey woman. I would have done her.

John K. said...

Methadras said: "What the hell is with this faux indignation? ... But to blame the jury, the judge, the cops, and the prosecutor is just a stupid thing to do. And you want us to hold them in contempt? For what? ... Thou dost protest to much."

I assure you there's nothing "faux" about my indignation or my contempt. I think it's really and truly immoral these days to become a cop or a judge or a prosecutor or to serve on a jury if you are indeed going to enforce the many immoral laws that are on the books and be complicit in the immoral caging of human beings for violating such unjust and illegitimate laws. Basically, I see through the hocus-pocus and mythologizing by which we the sheeple judge the actions of government by a different standard and invest them with a legitimacy and authority that is independent of their inherent justice, or lack thereof. Kidnapping and ruining a non-aggressor's life is what it is, whether the kidnapper and enslaver wears a badge or a robe, or whether he doesn't.

titusisnotpregnant said...

I would of done the Palfrey women also. I am sure many horny, hot, hung men would.

What a sad waste of pussy.

Daryl said...

Methadras: I suspect a lot of your post is tongue-in-cheek, but that's just the way I read it.

Yeah, somewhat. I don't have a lot of respect for the inconsistencies and silly justifications in the Court's rulings on sex issues.

That being said, I think if prostitution was legal, America would be a better place, and if SCOTUS is going to make s--- up as it goes along, it might as well impose good laws on us.

former law student said...

People who sincerely want to help women treat them like intelligent adults capable of deciding how to live their lives.

If your mom needs work, she can always move to Nevada -- that's the beauty of our federal form of government: "It is one of the happy incidents of the federal system," Justice Louis D. Brandeis wrote in 1932, "that a single courageous state may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country."

The correct approach is that undertaken by Canada, France, England, and many other western nations -- legalize the exchange of sex for money, but ban the related trades of pimping and brothel-running.

That way the whore is completely at your mercy, isn't she? -- With no one to protect her, no one to turn to when the john turns out to be not such a nice man, after all.

Maxine Weiss said...

Legalization = subsidization.

We don't criminalize the buyers in drug deals---we go after the sellers.

Why should it be any different in prostitution. Heidi Fleiss's father was a doctor. The Spitzer hooker grew up middle-class, also with a doctor father. Lewinsky grew up in Beverly Hills.

Hard to see these women as victims. Even the street corner hookers have cell phones and Myspace pages. They're certainly sophisticated and savvy enough to peddle their wares using the most advanced high-tech means. This is hardly what I'd call oppression of women.

And, you know Gloria Allred is circling, just waiting to file a lawsuit on behalf of the mother !

former law student said...

Maxine: hookers are hourly workers, not salaried, and not Wal-Mart.

vbspurs said...

Maxine's back! Wow!

Eli Blake said...

former law student:

Once legal, what's to prevent a **ck in the Box from opening on every street corner?

Simple. There is a medium between illegality and complete laissez faire. It's called reasonable regulation. Porno shops, bars and casinos are all examples of businesses which legally exist, but communities strictly regulate both the number and location of them.

As to the assertion that if it is legal then there will suddenly be a jump in demand, that hasn't happened where it is legal (most of rural Nevada). You don't see huge caravans of horny guys driving to Winnemucca just so they can get laid without getting busted.

As I've said, I can see both sides of the issue, but so far it seems like every argument you've made is refuted by situations that currently exist.

Daryl said...

Legalization = subsidization.

Althouse, I thought your blog was independent.

I didn't know you were being subsidized by state and federal governments.

This comes to me as a shock and is a major disappointment.

reader_iam said...

This comment thread is turning out to be [one of] the oldest in the world. Appropriate, I suppose, related as it is to [one of] the oldest professions, and [one of] the oldest double standards. It's probably no coincidence that some of the humor--and some of the off-the-cuff-quips, are just as predictably moldy and "righteously" obtuse.

reader_iam said...

"If you can't do the time, don't the crime ... ."

Yeah, right. Where's your call for complete release of all the names that have been and could be, as they are determined, released? I mean, I'm not even asking* "where's your call for complete prosecution of all the guys?"; I'm just asking* for a similar level of cold-bloodedness, if not even-handedness in analysis and quip (and sense of justice).

*asking: a query, not an expectation, in anticipation of "same old, same old."

Full circle.

Revenant said...

That way the whore is completely at your mercy, isn't she? -- With no one to protect her, no one to turn to when the john turns out to be not such a nice man, after all.

There's this wacky new invention called "the police". They're what women operating a legal business can turn to when their customers turn violent, rob them, or refuse to pay them. That's one of the many great advantages of legalizing industries you can't possibly eradicate -- it brings them under the protection, and regulation, of the legal system.

former law student said...

legalizing industries you can't possibly eradicate

Whenever I hear this argument, it always comes from the demand side and never from the supply side.

Any women out there yearning to rent their bodies to strange men?

Who is paying for sex these days? Toothless truck drivers as far as I can tell, and guys lacking any social skills whatever. AARP-eligible men whose wives are either too pissed off or too uninterested, I suppose. And blog commenters, if they indeed are a separate group.

Mortimer Brezny said...

guys lacking any social skills whatever.

You might have social skills, but lack the time, or maybe you can pay for better quality than you can fetch for free. And whores go away. They don't chat and then expect to go shopping. And, no, I have never used one.

vbspurs said...

*asking: a query, not an expectation, in anticipation of "same old, same old."

What! I'll have you know I was once a Madame myself. I had the the Duke of Wellington on speed-dial.

(Look, it's a complex topic, and I don't want to be pontificating on the corpse of a dead lady. I have strong views, but let's meet again about this)

Cheers,
Victoria

Hoosier Daddy said...

That way the whore is completely at your mercy, isn't she? -- With no one to protect her, no one to turn to when the john turns out to be not such a nice man, after all.

Er, as opposed to the shopkeeper whose 'customer' turns out to be a armed robber? Who does he/she turn to at that time? Unless the shopkeeper is armed, he/she is pretty in the same situation as your legal prostitute.

somefeller said...

If your mom needs work, she can always move to Nevada

Oh, clever response. I've never heard of a former law student who hasn't gotten out of middle school.

Who is paying for sex these days? Toothless truck drivers as far as I can tell, and guys lacking any social skills whatever. AARP-eligible men whose wives are either too pissed off or too uninterested, I suppose. And blog commenters, if they indeed are a separate group.

I don't know, Gov. Spitzer and Sen. Vitter look like strapping, socially-skilled men. But what is the relevance of the quality of the customers in this discussion, particularly when the issue of concern is the punishment of women who get busted (and perhaps driven to suicide) while the customers walk scot-free? The issue of whether prostitution should be legal doesn't hinge on whether the current or future customers bring the sexy wherever they go.

There's lots of good arguments, from legal, moral and theological standpoints against the legalization of prostitution. You haven't provided any, FLS.

Smilin' Jack said...

John K. said...
I think it's really and truly immoral these days to become a cop or a judge or a prosecutor or to serve on a jury if you are indeed going to enforce the many immoral laws that are on the books and be complicit in the immoral caging of human beings for violating such unjust and illegitimate laws.


What you don't understand is that those guys are "just doing their jobs." In other words, it's bad to do immoral things, but if the state pays you to do them, that makes it OK. And that's why cops, prosecutors, judges, etc. can sleep at night.

Anyway, it's not just them, but all of us who can feel proud that our tax dollars have enabled the majesty of the law to hound these women to death. The blood of their victims cried out for vengeance, and now justice has been served here in the land of the free and home of the brave.

Zeb Quinn said...

Deborah Jean Palfrey received a 55 year sentence. And the johns got what? Probably a 00 year sentence, if they were even charged.

The johns weren't running a multi-state racket and laundering millions of dollars.

I heard her interviewed last year and when asked by the interviewer why she thought the feds were pursuing her so hard she said she didn't know for sure, but she heard that Dick Cheney had been one of her clients and that he was behind it. Hey, maybe he had her capped too.

former law student said...

There's lots of good arguments, from legal, moral and theological standpoints against the legalization of prostitution.

I would like to hear some good arguments for the legalization of prostitution, before I go to the trouble of constructing good arguments in opposition. As a man who lives within easy walking distance of two bars and two restaurants cum bars, I'd like to see some reason why I would not end up living down the street from a whorehouse.

But considering your categories:

Legal arguments: Once you make prostitution legal, the legal arguments pretty much vanish.

Theological arguments: I'm pretty sure the separation of church and state would make any such irrelevant.

Moral arguments: The quality and validity of anti-abortionists' arguments didn't help them much, so I doubt they would help here.

And now we have commenters who think that a naked woman with a sweaty 250 pound man on top of her is no more vulnerable to harm than a shopkeeper ringing up a purchase. Hint: the shopkeeper could keep a pistol under the register. Though the hooker could have her nails filed into lethal weapons, I suppose.

Revenant said...

Whenever I hear this argument, it always comes from the demand side and never from the supply side.

From the demand side, men will always want sex. From the supply side, women will always have the ability to provide sex. That's why prostitution has never been eradicated from any society, and will never be eradicated from any society. Women have something that men place a high value on -- the ability to induce orgasms in men.

Any women out there yearning to rent their bodies to strange men?

Any women here yearning to have an abortion? No? Well, I guess that clears that up; abortion exploits women and should be illegal.

I'm not "yearning" to go to work in the morning. I do it because I earn good money. Even modestly attractive escorts earn $200-$400 per hour. The job is undoubtedly unpleasant, but earning a corporate attorney's salary for a job that requires neither training nor education pays for a lot of unpleasantness. That's why so many women voluntarily enter the profession (and yes, I know many more are coerced, but that's just another argument for legalization).

Who is paying for sex these days?

Studies typically find that between 25% and 50% of adult American men have patronized a prostitute at least once.

Toothless truck drivers as far as I can tell, and guys lacking any social skills whatever.

And doctors, lawyers, businessmen, etc. Men from all walks of life.

And blog commenters, if they indeed are a separate group.

You patronize prostitutes? Isn't it a little hypocritical to demand that they be thrown in prison?

Revenant said...

I would like to hear some good arguments for the legalization of prostitution

Women have a natural right to the final say over what they are allowed to do with their own bodies. All arguments against prostitution require the acceptance of the idea that the state has the right to control women's bodies. If you disagree with that proposition, the necessity of legalizing prostitution naturally follows.

former law student said...

I couldn't find any statistics to support the assertion that 25-50% of adult men have patronized prostitutes. A poll presented by ABC claimed 15% of adult men had paid for sex at least once, including 30% of single men over 30 -- who I suspect are in the "no social skills" group.

On the other hand I found tons of studies showing that prostitution is not happy fun time, easy money for a few minutes of work, but is a traumatic job for traumatized women and children.

http://www.prostitutionresearch.com/c-prostitution-research.html

Some of you clowns probably support the right to sell your living body to be eaten. Apparently that's legal in Germany, too.

Rammstein

„Suche gut gebauten 18-30jährigen zum Schlachten“
Der Metzgermeister

Heute treff' ich einen Herrn
Der hat mich zum Fressen gern
Weiche Teile und auch harte
stehen auf der Speisekarte

Denn du bist was du isst
und ihr wisst was es ist

Es ist mein Teil – nein
Mein Teil – nein
Da das ist mein Teil – nein
Mein Teil – nein

Die stumpfe Klinge gut und recht
Ich blute stark und mir ist schlecht
Muss ich auch mit der Ohnmacht kämpfen
ich esse weiter unter Krämpfen

Ist doch so gut gewürzt
und so schön flambiert
und so liebevoll auf Porzellan serviert
Dazu ein guter Wein
und zarter Kerzenschein
Ja da lass ich mir Zeit
Etwas Kultur muss sein

Revenant said...

who I suspect are in the "no social skills" group.

You really should try to provide a real argument, and not just focus on ad hominem attacks. Even if it was true that only men with "no social skills" patronize prostitutes -- which of course it isn't -- that wouldn't support your position that prostitutes need to be thrown in prison. It wouldn't even support throwing the johns in prison.

On the other hand I found tons of studies showing that prostitution is not happy fun time, easy money for a few minutes of work, but is a traumatic job for traumatized women and children.

Which is why you want those traumatized women jailed? This, apparently, makes sense to you?

It is hardly a surprise that an activity which is (a) illegal and (b) viewed with sneering disdain and hostility by much of the public tends to attract a lot of society's cast-offs. That's what always happens. Gay men suffered from an excess of mental problems for centuries for exactly that reason. The sane and rational solution isn't to continue the persecution, but to end it.

By the way, prostitutionresearch.com is an anti-prostitution advocacy group, not an impartial data source.

former law student said...

rev: please read up on the definition of "ad hominem"

Older unpartnered men are twice as likely to have patronized prostitutes as all men. Considering how easy it is to hook up, those who can't are obviously lacking social skills, especially because guys in their 30s can date women over a huge age range: 25 to 45. Being butt-ugly is no excuse, because there are plenty of butt-ugly women out there. Every pot has a lid, as the Dutch say.

Revenant said...

rev: please read up on the definition of "ad hominem"

Your entire argument against the legalization of prostitution has, thus far, consisted of insulting both the people who support its legalization and those who currently patronize prostitutes. That's a textbook example of the ad hominem fallacy.

Older unpartnered men are twice as likely to have patronized prostitutes as all men.

It is hardly surprising that men who lack a partner for "free" sex are more likely to pay for sex. That's exactly what you'd expect to happen.

Considering how easy it is to hook up, those who can't are obviously lacking social skills

Oh, sure. The average 40-year-old guy would have absolutely no problem getting a hot 25-year-old woman to join him for a night of attachment-free wild sex after a little conversation and flirting. Any guy who can't pull THAT off obviously "lacks social skills". Or, you know, lives on Earth instead of the Porno Planet.

I do find it strange, though, that you think a woman who trades empty sex for money is obviously emotionally damaged and suffering from abuse, but a woman who trades empty sex for your good looks and charm is emotionally healthy and well-adjusted. You either have a monumental ego or not much experience with women. Most women want emotional attachment. Prostitutes don't. That makes prostitutes a good alternative to taking advantage of emotionally needy women.

Being butt-ugly is no excuse, because there are plenty of butt-ugly women out there.

Because when butt-ugly men fantasize, they fantasize about butt-ugly women. They certainly don't fantasize about hot women; that would just be crazy. :)

Every pot has a lid, as the Dutch say.

Indeed. Of course, when Dutch guys want some quick sex, they go to a prostitute. :)

my name is anonymous said...

The DC Madam acted as she was taught to...

Our history is one of murder, prostituion, alochol, religion and greed.

She was good at it and her life seemed to have covered all of the above.

Whenever a strong nation conquers a so-called (weaker) nation it starts with greed, than religion, than prostitution, (desire for blonde women) and eventually death.

It is our foundation and to deny this reality is to once again, re-write history to cover up the severly damaged cornerstone of our culture.

Let's just say that she was doing what comes natural to most women in her league... playing in the boys club where the boys make the rules and the rules have been in play for over 2000 years!

Her position was assigned to her long b4 she was born.....

And every blonde hair, blue eyed woman will be used as a commodity long after she is forgotten!

It is their role in the scheme of alcohol, religion, prostitution, greed and death!

Anonymous