June 9, 2016

"Empathy is a blessing. But empathy’s not even-handed. It’s idiosyncratic."

"Judges empathize with defendants who share their life experiences – and only a narrow and privileged slice of America shares the life experiences of a judge.... Last week Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky sentenced Brock Allen Turner to six months in jail.... Here’s the problem: the judges are human, and they’re humans who have enjoyed enough good fortune to become judges. The quality of their mercy is strained through their life experiences, which don’t resemble the life experiences of most of the defendants before them. Judge Aaron Persky empathized with Brock Allen Turner and could easily imagine what it would be like to lose sports fame (as Persky enjoyed), to lose a Sanford education (as Persky enjoyed), to lose the sort of easy success and high regard that a young, reasonably affluent Stanford graduate (like Persky was) can expect as a matter of right. Judge Persky could easily imagine how dramatically different a state prison is from Stanford frat parties, and how calamitous was Turner’s fall...."

Writes Ken White.

This is such an egregious example of how empathy is unfair that it may create false hope of correcting the unfairness.

RELATED: "Good English is a small-time band from Oakwood, Ohio, three sisters with a garage rock vibe. In Brooklyn, this week, they became pariahs."

88 comments:

mockturtle said...

The quality of their mercy is strained through their life experiences

So Portia was wrong? :-( Seriously, this is true. But what is the solution?

hombre said...

Mandatory minimum sentences do a pretty good job of correcting the unfairness provided that prosecutors don't bargain them away.

Sydney said...

Re: The fate of the band from Oakwood. Social media certainly makes people stupid. Too much lynch-mob mentality on Facebook and Twitter.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

I miss the time when we could do business with people we didn't necessarily agree with on everything.

Michael K said...

This is an increasing problem as ethnic identity begins to trump (pardon me) American shared values.

A few black judges are harsh on black criminals as they know where they came from and are concerned about civilization. Others are too wrapped up in Black Lives Matter thinking to be fair.

The OJ trial was a great example of the coming troubles in this country. Garcetti (father of the present idiot Mayor of LA) was DA and had the case moved to downtown LA to avoid a white jury in Beverly Hills.

The civil trial was not in downtown LA and the civil lawyer, named Petrocelli, did a much better job in convicting him than the DAs did.

Interestingly, the NY Times story, does not mention Petrocelli's name.

Achilles said...

You mean judges are not impartial? You mean they are not these monoliths of purity and honesty? The horror!

Does this mean it is ok to question whether or not a member of La Raza is fit to be a federal judge? Someone whose professional organization was chartered to represent illegal immigrants on the border stay in the country illegally and procure government benefits? Someone whose organization literally means "The Race" and is by definition racist?

IONO!

Achilles said...

I bet the "Wise Latina" with her life experience is way more knowledgeable of how to interpret the constitution than people who just read the stupid thing. Empathy!

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Dayton is not near Oakwood, it borders it.

Oakwood is the upscale suburb, Dayton the gritty city.

As for confronting the Band, my God virtue is getting cheap.

FullMoon said...

Surprised to learn the foreign object used in Stanford rape was the rapist's finger. No penile penetration.

in December 2011 the FBI changed its 80-year-old definition of rape from the “carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will” to “Penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.

Sebastian said...

“When people choose to defend something, then I think they should be held accountable for it,” said Daniel Stedman, a founder of the Northside Media Group, which runs the Brooklyn festival." For Progs it was ever thus. Of course, the "accountability" only goes one way. No need to hold people accountable for defending exposure of secrets to the enemy, or an adversary's nuclear program, or lies in agencies of the federal government, or attacks on supporters of a political candidate, or just generally the most murderous ideology of the twentieth century.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

And of course in these situations you always see a quote like this:

“When people choose to defend something, then I think they should be held accountable for it,”

or, as Mussolini put it:

Everything in the state, nothing against the state, nothing outside the state.

Rusty said...

Define "fair".

In all fairness. I don't know anything about the case. Was this a situation where both partys were drunk or stoned? Was she passed out before the act or during? I don't know.
Was she traumatized? I know he has been.
What is "fair"

Wilbur said...

I've never seen a sentencing hearing where everyone left happy.

David Begley said...

Reports that Judge Perskey is receiving death threats. THOSE people should be prosecuted.

And this from local TV, "LaDoris Cordell, a retired judge and KPIX 5 legal analyst, believes Judge Persky already made up his mind before hearing the victim’s statement.

“A judge can be influenced by what it is the victim wants, but it just kind of rarely happens,” explained Cordell. “In most cases, judges have pretty much made up their minds before they even start to hear the case because they’ve reviewed the file they’ve seen the probation report and they pretty much know what they’re going to do.”

If the judge really had read both the victim's and Brock Turner's statement in advance he should have realized: (1) Turner was lying to him about HS drug and alcohol use; and (2) the victim had written one powerful victim statement and this case was going to blow up in the media.

Big mistake to outsource sentencing decisions to the probation office.

I appreciate how difficult sentencing is and learned much from Nebraska federal judge Richard Kopf via his blog. But Judge Perskey made a real mistake here.

Sydney said...

What about the practice of having victims read a statement before sentencing of how much the accused hurt them and damaged them? Isn't that a blatant attempt to work the empathy of the judge in their favor? (Or the jury?) This is usually outside the testimony during the trial as far as I can tell from the way our newspaper reports it. I always thought that seemed unfair.

Achilles said...

I am not seeing any empathy in these comments here! You would all make bad judges! The guy who had to sit and listen to the testimony for days and tried to come to a reasoned decision did a bad job in the eyes of a bunch of douchebag SJW's on twitter? I know nothing about the case and there have been some bad sentencing decisions before but in general I will side with the guy who sat there for hours on end.

On the other hand if I find out the judge had certain proclivities, like another lawyer named Bill Clinton for example, I would be skeptical of his ability to rule fairly in a case about rape.

harrogate said...

" the judges are human, and they’re humans who have enjoyed enough good fortune to become judges."

But .... but .... Work ethic! Bootstrap narrative ! There is no such thing as fortune in America!

traditionalguy said...

The problem here is that personable needy young men who have done some very criminal act can also seem worth saving. Their persona gets them one more chance from some fatherly Judges, again, and again.The women see right through the manipulative SOBs. Women know when someone uses that role well.

Ann Althouse said...

I think the main unfairness discussed in the article is that a judge's empathy is tied to the judge's life experience, so he may feel for the defendant who had achievements in education and sports but not so much for some other person from a different background, such as perhaps someone whose achievements were depressed by poor parenting and schooling or someone who just didn't have an intellectual gift but was doing reasonably decently at the level of ability he had.

Maybe the best answer is to have a sentence that fits the crime and give everyone exactly the same sentence for that crime, but I don't think we like that.

Fernandinande said...

FullMoon said...
Surprised to learn the foreign object used in Stanford rape was the rapist's finger. No penile penetration.


What? Then who did all this?

"I had multiple swabs inserted into my vagina and anus, needles for shots, pills, had a Nikon pointed right into my spread legs. I had long, pointed beaks inside me and had my vagina smeared with cold, blue paint to check for abrasions."

Ann Althouse said...

The main thing that distinguishes this case is that the guy was caught in the act, so there were 2 witnesses who saw enough to know that the woman was in fact unconscious and it couldn't be believed that she had agreed and because of a blackout had no memory.

It doesn't help us much with the rape allegations where the 2 individuals were not witnessed by others.

FullMoon said...

Fernandinande said...

FullMoon said...
Surprised to learn the foreign object used in Stanford rape was the rapist's finger. No penile penetration.

What? Then who did all this?

"I had multiple swabs inserted into my vagina and anus, needles for shots, pills, had a Nikon pointed right into my spread legs. I had long, pointed beaks inside me and had my vagina smeared with cold, blue paint to check for abrasions."

Hey ! I am not defending the guy. There is a bit of push back locally regarding her behavior. After reading her letter and "foreign object", I assumed he used a tree branch or something equally disgusting. Still curious as to whether he pounced on her after discovering her laying unconscious, or if they left the party together and she passed out in the midst of the act. Also, judge followed probation officers recommendation.

Sebastian said...

@Sydney: "What about the practice of having victims read a statement before sentencing of how much the accused hurt them and damaged them? . . . I always thought that seemed unfair." Of course, Progs typically oppose such statements, as in most cases they would tend to justify harsher sentences for the groups they like, and of course, with perfect Prog consistency, they are happy to make an exception for using them against groups they dislike.

William said...

The sentence seems lenient, but don't we encourage judges to show a certain amount of leniency to those from a good background who have previous to the crime in question shown good character. The SJWs seem to want to consider the defendant's character and background as aggravating factors......The judge may be wrong in this case, but he had intellectually defensible reasons for making such a decision. Perhaps there were factors of class or racial bias at play, but the very same can be said (although not out loud) about the rulings of Justice Curtiel........Athletes do seem to get away with a lot. The Baylor rapists were mostly black, but the real crime was committed by Ken Star. Cherchez le blanc, especially if he's a Republican. I don't recall any SJWs protesting the acquittal of Kobe Bryant.......Its even more disturbing that if you should speak out in this young man's favor, then you join the ranks of the unworthy.

Sydney said...

I had not read the victim's statement until now. Didn't realize that the most traumatic part of her experience was her medical exam. Hmmm.

Rusty said...

Ann Althouse said...
I think the main unfairness discussed in the article is that a judge's empathy is tied to the judge's life experience, so he may feel for the defendant who had achievements in education and sports but not so much for some other person from a different background, such as perhaps someone whose achievements were depressed by poor parenting and schooling or someone who just didn't have an intellectual gift but was doing reasonably decently at the level of ability he had.

Maybe the best answer is to have a sentence that fits the crime and give everyone exactly the same sentence for that crime, but I don't think we like that.

The kid has lost everything. Considering his backgtound he no future either.

mockturtle said...

I admit to having misgivings about some of these 'date rapes'. How many of us females, especially when young, put ourselves into compromising situations by getting inebriated? I'm not suggesting that it's the fault of the 'victim', merely that she may have been at least partly to blame. No flaming, please...;-)

David said...

"The kid has lost everything. Considering his backgtound he no future either." Possibly. It depends on what talents he has other than swimming. Right now not very many because his swimming has been so time and energy consuming. People forget and forgive over time. He has a chance.

My understanding is that the sentence was essentially the same as recommended by the probation department. Did they too empathize with Brock? I doubt it. They have experience and are presumably (?) hard headed. Yet they recommended what the judge did.

I was not as moved as some by the woman's statement. A lot of it was a objection to being deposed and asked questions. Well, tough. If you can't remember what happened, you are going to get questioned sharply.

The defendant isn't responsible for the rape but she was responsible for her extreme drunkenness.

Sydney said...

@Mockturtle- I, too, have misgivings about these situations that involve heavy drinking or drugs freely taken.

Michael K said...

"she may have been at least partly to blame."

I have a daughter who graduated from U of Arizona three years ago. She is very pretty and very social. She was working as a waitress during school to keep the loans as low as possible. She saw none of the "rape culture,." The one fight she saw was between two friends form work, both drunk. She yelled at the guy who was beating his girlfriend and, when he started to come after Annie, she locked herself in her car and called the cops. Furthermore, she went back to Arizona to testify against him.

Neither friend was a student.

She just did not see this. I think she also avoided getting herself in bad situations.

There are my kids.

Static Ping said...

Yes, I get the point that if the judge sees the defendant as a younger version of himself, that will cause bias. A person generally does not want other people to give up on said person and by extension does not want to give up on someone like himself/herself.

What can you do about it? Mandatory sentences are unbiased but seemingly hated by many of the same people complaining about this sentencing. Giving judges discretion results in nonsense like this. In an ideal world, punishment would produce the best results for society. If our defendant here is going to turn his life around and never do another bad thing ever again, go easy on him. If he's going to be a serial rapist, give him the max. Sadly, such systems require a level of omniscience that are generally not found among political animals, as much as said political animals seem to think they know best for everyone.

Eleanor said...

This really wasn't about sexual assault. It was about two people who drank themselves silly and had drunken sex. Her blood alcohol level was 3 times the legal limit, and his was 2 times. The new "culture" says men are responsible for what they do when they've had too much to drink, but women sometimes get a pass. She would have been accountable had she got behind the wheel of a car and killed someone, but not for going out behind the dumpster for a hookup. He didn't carry her out there. Witnesses said she left the party with him under her own steam. It's embarrassing to be female these days.

Char Char Binks said...

Is this the case in which two Scandinavians witnessed a white man having sex in which wasn't receiving anal, and so naturally assumed it was rape? That's their law.

Amadeus 48 said...

I'll say it again: this was not a stiff sentence, but it wasn't a wrist slap either. A wrist slap would be a suspended sentence, community service and expungement after a period of good behavior. This is six months in jail, three years of probabtion, and a lifetime of registration as a sex offender. I am glad that Ken White wants to virtue signal on Popehat, but he would be pulling a long face and saying that the sentence is appealable and will be appealled if he were defending the perpetrator.
My sympathy is completely with the victim, but she said in her own statement that she would have accepted an apology and an admission of wrongdoing. Instead, she got put through the meatgrinder by the defense, and she really resents it. We all understand. The only thing she did wrong was get incapacitated in the company of strangers. She ended up getting sexually assaulted by another drunk. That is outrageous, but the perp is going to jail. That is about the most she could hope for in our criminal justice system.
It is not clear to me that she is denouncing the sentence. As usual those with little at stake in the matter are providing all the indignity. Social media magnifies it.
Gee, I wonder what tomorrow's outrage will be? Maybe a mob can be whipped up over the sexual assault of Kathleen Willey and the rape of Juanita Broaddrick.

pdug said...

I like ken white, but I though blaming it on Stanford-privilege and athlete=privilege was a strange move to make in lieu of white or male privilege.

And how can we really know so much about the judges heart without being mind-readers.

That said: there is counter evidence

1. the baylor rape case where the WORSE (black) rapist *also* got a sentence of probabtion and 180 days in the county jain instead of prison

2. the probation officer who seems to have made a lot of the initial recommendations that he receive leniency.

2a. the probation officer is apparently a woman.



HoodlumDoodlum said...

I wish the Left would make up its mind [sic].
Are mandatory minimums a good idea, again, or are the evil and wrong and unfair like they were up until a week ago?

HoodlumDoodlum said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David Begley said...

HD

Not exactly. He showed extremely poor judgment in not appreciating the fact that his extremely light sentence would create a media firestorm. His sentence was lower than the probation office recommendation. He also knew sentence served would be cut in half due to jail overcrowding.

IOW, possible media reaction would not drive his decision but he knew this was a high profile case.

Achilles said...

What are the goals of our judicial system? What outcomes do we as a nation want?

Do we want a place where our children are safe passed out in public spaces without fear? Yes

Do we want a place where our children are not stupid enough to be passed out drunk in public places? Yes.

Maybe we should keep these wishes in mind when thinking about this subject?

FullMoon said...

Watching Special Report with Brett Bair on Fox. The panel apparently does not know there was no penile penetration.

Sad thing is, the longer this is talked about, the more likely the victim will be identified, and facts become known about the situation creating an embarrassment for her, if not a backlash.

The guy probably put his finger in her. She really does not know, as she remembered nothing. She said she did not want him incarcerated. Then, after the defense humiliated her, she changed her mind. Who can blame her? Not me.

Her letter was well written and very graphic. Did she write it herself?


Lucien said...

A lack of perspective probably makes someone ill-suited to being a judge whether they are empathetic or not. We would probably like judges to be able to empathize with both
victims and perpetrators without losing sight of the purpose of sentencing in the administration of justice.

Sebastian said...

@HD: "I wish the Left would make up its mind" They have. Frat boy vs. girl, white Hispanic vs. back kid, police officer vs. black thug, bank exec vs. no one in particular: nail his ass. Otherwise: go easy.

boycat said...

So to sum up, as a general proposition, woe upon white male judges who show mercy to white males going to Stanford on swimming scholarships.

David Begley said...

FullMoon

Where did you get that factual information? My understanding is to the contrary based upon the medical evidence and the eyewitness testimony of the grad students.

Phunctor said...

50 years ago as a minor I was given probation when I could very easily have gone to prison. It seems to have worked out OK for Society so far. So I have empathy out the wazoo here. They didn't throw me away. That is all.

FullMoon said...

David Begley said...

FullMoon

Where did you get that factual information? My understanding is to the contrary based upon the medical evidence and the eyewitness testimony of the grad students.


It is in her letter. I did not realize there was no penile penetration until I read it elsewhere. Then, re-reading her detailed letter, she says he fingered her. Did the rapist actually have his pants off? I expect the transcript will be made public eventually. Only hope it does not humiliate the girl more. She has suffered enough. Did she ask for the letter to be made public?

David Begley said...

FM

I think that still qualifies as rape via a foreign object. Admittedly the transcript is not available, but from the dad's letter ("twenty minutes of action") and the news account of the grad students' testimony ("humping"), I understand he was using his penis.

FullMoon said...

The victim says very graphically that he "fingered her". You read the letter. If he put his penis in her, she would have definitely said so. If it was a tree branch, she would have said so. She did not mince words in her descriptive narrative. Frankly, I think she felt more abused by the examination and the defense attorney. She remembered nothing about the rape at all.

And, I already posted the FBI definition of rape to include foreign object.

FullMoon said...

DB
A search for Stanford Rape Police report brings this:

"In the statement, Turner stated that he met the alleged victim outside the the Kappa Alpha fraternity house after going to the house to attend a party. He stated that he and the alleged victim kissed, held hands while walking away from the house, then kissed on the ground.

Turner stated that that he took off the victim’s underwear, fingered her vagina and touched her breasts. He said that he never took his pants off, that his penis was never exposed and that he did not penetrate the alleged victim’s vagina with his penis."

Police took victim to hospital after 1 a.m. She regained consciousness approx 3 hours later. That seems very drunk. Like I have said, I hope details about the victim do not start coming out that may humiliate her further.

khesanh0802 said...

Mary Joe Kopechne is unable to comment on whether privileged people should be given special treatment.

Lucien said...

Basic empathy says that when someone writes a letter in defense of their childhood friend after said friend has committed heinous acts it is unwise to heap too much obloquy on the defender. We all hope we have such loyal friends and that we might be so loyal ourselves.

Many years ago the Duke Women's Lacrosse team came out in support of the Men's team in its hour of need. I thought it was the only classy part of that whole affair.

IIRC Mike Lupica went on national TV ("The Sports Reporters") and criticized the Women's team. I don't think he's ever apologized to them.

Sabinal said...

To me, this case has become less about justice and more about bloodlust and jumping on trains.

1- why is New York getting involved in this? Have y'all heard about some people reading Ms Smith's letter out loud? This is not Shakespeare in the Park. We can read it for ourselves

2 - I heard that some Stanford students will be protesting at the graduation. WHY???


CNN is so obsessed with this case as if it is the only misjustice ever in US History. Why can't they do this with other rape cases where the attacker goes free?

This issue is disconcerting, but I'm sorry, the press obsession is BS. Instead of lynching Turner and the judge, we need to be talking about minimum sentencing and criteria for judge removal instead of kicking them out due to the Outrage of the Day. As much as Persky deserves criticism, this feels more impulsive than a real concern for justice

Sabinal said...

This is why I come to Ann's blog when there are cases like this. As much as we may disagree and sometimes get into fights, we can discuss such sensitive subject matter in all angles like adults.

EDH said...

Okay, please clarify: is permissible to question a judge's ruling based on perceived bias due to the judge's race. sex, organizational affiliations -- whether collegiate sports or professional/racial solidarity (La Raza)?

I'm confused.

Sally327 said...

If judges aren't capable of feeling empathy with defendants who don't share their life experience then the same would be true of a lot of defense attorneys. Certainly it's difficult to believe that White has true empathy for any of the poor minority disadvantaged abused defendants he cries about in this article, not if the standard is that you can't feel it if you haven't lived it yourself. He's just another white male highly privileged individual, probably more so than the judge in this case. I think he's projecting his own biases onto the judge.

Gahrie said...

This is such an egregious example of how empathy is unfair that it may create false hope of correcting the unfairness.

Am I the only one who remembers why Lady Justice is wearing a blindfold?

David Begley said...

From the LA Times re the Swedish grad students:

"They quickly could tell something was wrong, Arndt said. The woman was not moving, but Turner was “aggressively thrusting his hips into her,” the graduate students told authorities.

“She was unconscious, the entire time,” Arndt told CBS News. “I checked her and she didn’t move at all.”

David Begley said...

FM

Looks like you are correct. Below from Time mag.

"Turner, the former Stanford swimmer who was sentenced to six months of jail last week, did not penetrate his victim with his penis. Therefore, no “rape” happened in the eyes of the law. Turner was initially charged with rape of an intoxicated person and rape of an unconscious person. Those charges were dropped at a preliminary hearing, the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office said.

Deputy District Attorney Alaleh Kianerci said the rape charges were filed based on information in the police report, but prosecutors later dropped those charges after receiving the results of DNA testing on the rape kit, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Instead, Turner was convicted on three felony counts of sexual assault: assault with intent to commit rape of an intoxicated or unconscious person, penetrating an intoxicated person with a foreign object and penetrating an unconscious person with a foreign object."

Not a rapist. Sexual assaulter.

Jonathan Graehl said...

OT: I rather enjoyed this strident defense of Trump's complaints about the judging of the Trump U case.

Rusty said...

Gahrie said...
This is such an egregious example of how empathy is unfair that it may create false hope of correcting the unfairness.

Am I the only one who remembers why Lady Justice is wearing a blindfold?

No. You're not.

David said...

"Her letter was well written and very graphic. Did she write it herself? "

Does it matter whether she wrote it? If she did, she is a very talented writer. The Stanford Law prof who is leading the recall effort is a "friend of the family" of the victim. Could be the prof wrote it or found a writer. But the victim has a right to get her comments across in the most effective way possible. Why would writing help be impermissible as long as it reflects her actual feelings, events and thoughts?

Original Mike said...

"Empathy is a blessing."

It's a curse.

glenn said...

Actually it's Dad who needs 20 minutes or a half hour of "action". And lifelong pain every time he takes a step.

ndspinelli said...

This is why state judges need stringent sentencing guidelines like the Feds.

boycat said...

This is why state judges need stringent sentencing guidelines like the Feds

And lifetime appointments to the bench?

Michael K said...

"It's embarrassing to be female these days."

My daughter has told me of "The Walk of Shame" when the girls walk back their own dorm in the same clothes.

I think the Stanford rape case is going to validate Trump's complaints about the judge in his case.

It's amusing to see the SJWs get hoist on their petard,

MikeD said...

Most of what's called empathy is nothing more than "virtue signaling"! Admittedly, I've ignored this tempest in a teapot, & all of what I've learned has come from the preceding comments. So, while my Governor (the excretable Brown)& my President have been working tirelessly to commute/pardon felons arrested on gun/drug dealing charges (I know, lazy prosecutors let them plea down) I'm supposed to man (womyn?) the barricades for this? Seems the post accusation medical tests were a whole lot more invasive than the "finger fuckin'"? Whose life, save for the permanently aggrieved, has this decision impacted? The victim? Changes nothing, she can put her, admittedly, poor decision to drink to insensibility behind her or stew in a miasma of "coulda/woulda/shoulda! When did taking responsibility for ones actions become a "no-no"?
BTW, the length of my comments are directly proportional to the amount of imported (don't tell @realdonald) whisky I've consumed. The next day regret is equally proportional.

Gahrie said...

As much as Persky deserves criticism, this feels more impulsive than a real concern for justice

It's neither. It is about creating outrage in an effort to elect Hillary.

gadfly said...

So Leslie Rasmussen ventured out of Oakwood, OH into that hell hole NY borough (with the Brooklyn accent) to ply her unknown drummer skills, only to be attacked by the NY social media. New Yorkers have always been the rudest people that I have ever encountered (and I fortunately haven't yet encountered Donald Trump), even back in the 1960s when I worked in the city - so IMHO, no one should ever be surprised or upset.

Good English doesn't work anymore so they should change the band's name to "For God's Sake!" and ply their trade in Dayton area where the natives are friendly.

gadfly said...

Michael K said...

I think the Stanford rape case is going to validate Trump's complaints about the judge in his case.

I must have missed the part where Judge Gonzalo Curiel was involved in the Santa Clara rape case.

Terry said...

So, if a guy sticks his finger in the vag of a passed out girl he should go to jail forever?
This is fractal stupidity. For the girls out there, that means that it is stupidity made up of little parts of more stupidity.

PianoLessons said...

Our nation and our people now suffer under so many politically biased judges - it's awful. Madison WI Judges are textbook biased BTW. In Chicago , no one ever has a clue about judge votes- there is a great need for those who know law to step up and reform the political bias- AND no better test site than Madison, WI.

rhhardin said...

Richard Epstein podcast loses it over Trump.

Epstein does not recognize a sense of humor, nor its use against political correctness, nor the role of political correctness in politics.

A few blind spots. Roman law fell to jokes, probably.

rhhardin said...

If the charge were assault and battery, would the sentence be right?

Suppose rape were no longer a separate crime.

It's not clear that feminine modesty ought to be in the law any longer, if women don't want the code of chivalry to apply. After all, it puts responsibilities on women as well.

Amadeus 48 said...

One reason Illinois had so many innocent people on death row several years ago was that when Richard M. Daley was State's Attorney in Cook County, he let every victim's family make a statement in person in the sentencing phase of a capital case. That, plus some blood- thirsty prosecutors in Du Page County, resulted in Illinois having more innocent people on death row than guilty people at one point. The advent of DNA evidence cleared a lot of people who were waiting for the needle.
Victim statements are compelling and lead to a lot of injustice because they are so emotional.
I once was a victim of a violent crime. It was sufficient to see the perp spend some time behind bars. Illinois had a flex-time regime for young offenders. He chose to serve his sentence from 9:00 to 5:00 Monday through Friday. That wasn't exactly what I expected.

Rob McLean said...

“We didn’t cancel the show because of censorship,” he said, adding that while he disagreed with the content of Ms. Rasmussen’s letter, he understood the impulse to want to help a childhood friend. “I wanted to avoid an unsafe environment.”

The heckler's veto strikes again!

tim in vermont said...

Howie Carr had this shtick on his show were he would look at a picture of a woman accused of a crime and pronounce her "guilty" or "not guilty." I always thought a better term for letting beautiful women off easy on crimes was "not responsible by reason of beauty."

Gabriel said...

Not only are defendants to be presumed guilty, so are witnesses and amici curiae, and eventually I imagine so are their counsel.

Is this part of a full employment act for the Innocence Project? Because they might well run out of death row inmates pretty soon and destroying the presumption of innocence via social and traditional media pressure might well give them plenty to do in the future.

tim in vermont said...

sexual penetration of an intoxicated person

So they have a crime on the books that only a man can be guilty of? If they are both drunk, the man is a criminal, a sex offender! I am not saying the guy isn't scum, and I think jail is the place for him and people like him, but that law seems like it couldn't pass constitutional muster if given a fair hearing.

How hard would it be to say "Sexual penetration or envelopment of an intoxicated person"? No, that would give away the whole ridiculous game.

JCCamp said...

I don't know the details of this crime, but this just demonstrates why mandatory minimum laws were passed in the first place. It's not just sentencing perceived as lenient, but inconsistent sentencing.

And, of course, we're seeing the left's complete hypocrisy again. Wise Latina female & life experience?: good. Mexican judge might be biased?: racism. Stanford grad judging Stanford student is a valid criticism though. Empathy is always good excpt when it produces the wrong result in a sexual assault case. Then it's always bad.

Darcy said...

Well, tough. If you can't remember what happened, you are going to get questioned sharply.

The defendant isn't responsible for the rape but she was responsible for her extreme drunkenness.


This.

And I would add that although the testimony of the two witnesses seems damning, the truth is that there is no way of knowing what interaction between the defendant and the victim preceded the moment the witnesses arrived. She does not remember a thing. That is very significant. And no suggestion of having been drugged against her will.

It is appalling how just pointing that out is called victim-blaming!

Darcy said...

Also, I would so rock to that band if I could find them somewhere close by. They are now victims too.

Rick said...

This is such an egregious example of how empathy is unfair that it may create false hope of correcting the unfairness.

Is there any evidence showing this? The sentence shocks the conscience, but then so do serious assaults which often result in probation for first time offenders. I know of no other crime where the left is outraged over too short sentences. Quite the reverse, they argue for for lesser penalties for every other crime including murder. It's just another example their policies are completely dependent on affinity groups rather than universal principles. It's a terrible way to corrupt the law.

mtrobertslaw said...

Gadfly says he misses Michael K's point that the Stanford rape case validates Trump's complaint about J. Cuirel. What Michael is getting at, I think, is this:

Just as the inference that J. Persky was biased in favor the the Stanford student is said to be entirely reasonable, so it is that the inference that J. Curiel is biased against Trump is also entirely reasonable. The only difference is the evidence supporting the latter inference is stronger.

FullMoon said...

David said... [hush]​[hide comment]

"Her letter was well written and very graphic. Did she write it herself? "

Does it matter whether she wrote it? If she did, she is a very talented writer. The Stanford Law prof who is leading the recall effort is a "friend of the family" of the victim. Could be the prof wrote it or found a writer. But the victim has a right to get her comments across in the most effective way possible. Why would writing help be impermissible as long as it reflects her actual feelings, events and thoughts?


The victim told the probation officer she did not think the perpetrator deserved to do jail time. It has been suggested that her change in attitude was influenced by prosecuting attorneys and other outside influences. I will say again that I hope the victims personal life prior to the event does not become an issue, potentially causing her further humiliation. Have yet to find evidence that victim requested letter be made public.

Rusty said...



Blogger Rick said...
This is such an egregious example of how empathy is unfair that it may create false hope of correcting the unfairness.

I'm beginning to think that "fair" is subjective and exists to game the system.

David said...

Full Moon: " I will say again that I hope the victims personal life prior to the event does not become an issue, potentially causing her further humiliation."

Is that really what you hope for? Or the opposite? Do you know something about the woman's personal life, or are you just speculating?

FullMoon said...

David said... [hush]​[hide comment]

Full Moon: " I will say again that I hope the victims personal life prior to the event does not become an issue, potentially causing her further humiliation."

Is that really what you hope for? Or the opposite? Do you know something about the woman's personal life, or are you just speculating?


Are you pretending to be an asshole?