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Below the Gutter


I think I've related the old joke about why scientists doing behavioral experiments with animals are considering switching from rats to lawyers:  There are some things a rat won't do.

The joke came to mind when I saw this article.  Readers may judge for themselves whether a rat would do it.

Sure, defense counsel in a capital case has to push the envelope.  It might be proper to seek information about whether the officer charged with inserting the needle has hand tremors or bad eyesight.  But the inquiry here mocks  --  how shall I put this?  --  the evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society.  Well, maybe not so much.  It mocks any decency at all.

We have also seen recent efforts by the bar to ban comfort dogs used to help terrified child rape victims when they testify, and to pooh-pooh the sexual sadism that went on in the Petit murders by saying (almost certainly falsely) that Mr. Nicey didn't really sodomize the 11 year-old victim before he burned her to death, he "claimed only to have 'ejaculated upon' the girl,

This kind of stuff is what some call "acting in the highest traditions of the profession."



The unreality of the "he only ejaculated on her" defense apparently passed right over the head of defense counsel. For normal people, the difference in depravity between sodomizing an 11 year old girl and ejaculating on her before burning her to death is miniscule and wouldn't make the slightest bit of difference when it comes to an assessment of Komisarjevsky's character. I cannot imagine how the defense attorney could even think that such a statement would help his client. What I suspect is that the defense counsel is simply upset that the state is trying to get the death penalty here and that the defense counsel is simply determined to make this experience as awful as possible for all involved, including the victims' father. Obviously, Komisarjevsky is worse than his defense counsel, but it appears that some of Komisarjevsky's evil is rubbing off on him.

"I cannot imagine how the defense attorney could even think that such a statement would help his client."

The answer is that the lawyer is so belligerently self-righteous that he can no longer hear himself.

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