Posts Tagged ‘Jessica’s Law’

Rep. Fagan is already taking heat. I understand why. People read what he said and assume that he is taking the stance that he is going to relish victimizing further young rape victims on the stand. He certainly sounds gung-ho about it, but it warrants further investigation.

I think I understand what this trial lawyer was trying to say (he’s a representative) but perhaps he could have used gentler wording. Maybe not… maybe he needed to be strident to get the point across to people the fact that the Law of Unintended Consequences holds sway here, too. No matter which it is, this is hard reading. Unless I’m totally misinterpreting, he says that by going to mandatory sentences, he’s going to have to be brutal to the brutalized in order to protect his client’s rights to fair trial and ensure that no innocent person goes to jail. He’s cut to the bottom line and illustrated what is going to be the end result of this process.

“I’m gonna rip them apart,” Fagan said of young victims. “I’m going to make sure that the rest of their life is ruined, that when they’re 8 years old, they throw up; when they’re 12 years old, they won’t sleep; when they’re 19 years old, they’ll have nightmares and they’ll never have a relationship with anybody.” – Rep. James Fagan, who is a defense attorney

I’d like to think that “no innocent person goes to jails” was the goal all along.

Anyway, the father (Jessisca’s father) was interviewed:

Mark Lunsford, whose 9-year-old daughter was abducted and buried alive in a trash bag by a sex offender in 2005, told the Boston Herald on Tuesday that Fagan should take the rights of victimized children seriously.

I think Fagan was taking the rights of victimized children seriously. If you look at the context of the big picture, you have to keep in mind that the defendant is innocent until proven guilty – this means that the lawyer has every right and indeed a duty to fight as hard as he can against the charges. If proof does exist, well, it should come out. If there is any doubt, then our courts are set up to default to innocence. That’s the way it works. And, I must add, it is very very hard to remember that at times.

So here’s Fagan saying “This will be the unintended result of this kind of ruling, and it will be horrible, because the stakes are now suddenly so much higher.”

I have no complaint with what the father is feeling – frustrated. But he’s not seeing the big picture.

“Why doesn’t he figure out a way to defend that child and put these kind of people away instead of trying to figure ways for defense attorneys to get around Jessica’s Law?” Lunsford told the paper. “These are very serious crimes that nobody wants to take serious. What about the rights of these children?”

Again, he is making the assumption that just because you are in the defendant’s chair you are automatically the perpetrator, which isn’t how it works, nor is it true all of the time. Sure, find some way to close loopholes that allow obviously guilty perps from walking away free, but the fact remains, that the accused MUST be given fair representation, which is not necessarily “get(ting) around Jessica’s Law”.

I will chalk it up to his emotion, but I will say this:

EVERYONE takes the rights of these children seriously – sit down, take a breath, and think about what you are saying – high emotions are not a free-pass to plastering everybody with a “doesn’t care” label.

Legal scholars tend to agree that courtrooms are ground-zero for hard truths – which won’t necessarily even be listened to when emotions run high:

But from a legal perspective, law professor Phyllis Goldfarb said Fagan was probably expressing a basic courtroom truth – that it is a defense attorney’s job to test the prosecution’s case, especially when mandatory penalties are on the line.

“It is fundamentally true … if the proof is coming almost exclusively through a child witness you may have to find a way to test it. That’s the attorney-client obligation there,” Goldfarb told FOXNews.com.


But THIS is ok, right?

What gets me is his last sentence which allows the “husband” to do whatever he wants.

“You can have a marriage contract even with a 1-year-old girl, not to mention a girl of 9, 7 or 8,” he said. “But is the girl ready for sex or not?” What is the appropriate age for sex for the first time? This varies according to environment and tradition,” al-Mu’bi said.


At the risk of being burned alive at the stake for heresy, may I just say that I’m thanking God that our savior wasn’t a teletubby? We’d be seeing teletubbies in everything from tapioca to rhubarb crunch to grease spots in driveways to even (oh how silly this gets) to grilled cheese sandwiches.

I get really irritated and weirded out when people start needing to get all mystical “signs and portents” and the like, saying they saw Jesus in everything. And when it is considered news. No one seems to be able to say why they would be chosen to be blessed with such a thing as Jesus showing up in the placental wall of their newborn child. To be fair, no one has explained why they shouldn’t be, either, but I rather doubt it is anything more than wishful mysticism.

Man, if you want proof of a higher power… just look out your door. You don’t need to go seeing Jesus in tea leaves, talcum powder on a baby’s butt, or in rocks in your front yard. The world around you is sufficient.

I know… I’m a party-pooper.

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