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Least Surprising Headline of the Week

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"Sandusky Guilty in Sex Abuse Case"

A Pennsylvania jury convicted Jerry Sandusky of 45 of the 48 counts submitted to it. There wasn't a whole lot of choice.  The defendant's attorney put on a defense whose frivolousness was matched only by its sleaze:  Its main theme was to portray Sandusky's victims as venal liars out to fleece the former assistant coach by filing for civil damages.

Deceit is a staple of criminal defense, but this time they took it too far.

In a sense, this was a particularly outrageous case, but in some important ways, it was classic:  A guilty-as-sin defendant without conscience even at the last moment, putting on, through his always-chipper lawyer, a defense any sentient person would know was phony.  This is what is lionized in academic circles as "due process," which would be fine if process were everything.  Among normal people, it's known as "disgusting."

It is, however, a perfect foil for some of themes now in fashion among NACDL and ACLU types, so I couldn't help lampooning them on one of their favorite blog hangouts.

My admittedly snarky observations, set out yesterday, were designed to invite the academic/defense side to look in the mirror about their mindlessly repeated, why-are-you-guys-such-a-bunch-of-fascists attacks on the prosecution.  Thus I wrote:

In its discussion of how the law has supposedly over-reacted to crimes involving child sexual abuse, [a paper by law Professor Steven Grossman] wonderfully coincides with the Sandusky trial.  The paper raises interesting questions, and echoes arguments made again and again by the ideological defense bar. I was wondering how defense-oriented commenters would answer them.

1. Aren't the hysterically publicized Sandusky charges the sort of ignorant and overwrought societal reaction to sex crimes of which Prof. Grossman warns?

2. Doesn't this case represent the "stacking" of charges about which many commenters have complained?  Did the government really have to allege four dozen counts? Isn't this just pandering to crime victims' groups, as Prof. Grossman discusses?

3. Isn't there credible reason to believe that the whole case is fabricated by the alleged victims  --  probably with help from the cops  --  to extract a civil settlement from Sandusky? Shouldn't the prosecutor be brought up on ethics charges for facilitating such a plan?

4. If convicted, Sandusky will almost certainly go to jail for life. He's already 68 years old. Won't an effective life sentence just burden the taxpayers with his burgeoning medical expenses as he ages? Doesn't compassion, not to mention fiscal reality, argue for home confinement?  Can we afford any longer to put every poorly behaved old man in jail?

5. If defense counsel's plea for a full-scale acquittal is accepted, and Sandusky is freed, he will be at liberty to continue to do what admittedly a bit of evidence shows he has done for years, to wit, molest young boys.  

How many here are rooting for the jury to send a message to big government meddlers in our private lives by defiantly finding for Sandusky, notwithstanding the hullabaloo the prosecution has whipped up among the masses? I mean, look, his behavior might not be all that good, but it's time to take a stand against the kind of societal over-reaction we have come to see every day in these Nazi-style prosecutions and the way in which they feed the growth of "incarceration nation."

Time to make a statement to these thug prosecutors and their big-government cohorts! Why should the noble themes defense-oriented experts have been touting for months be thrown under the bus now simply because of one over-hyped case?

Free Jerry! 

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|| “nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” ||
|| “this clause in effect affirms the right of trial according to the process and proceedings of the common law.” || ~~ (Judge) 3 Story on the Const. 661

Is not "due process of law" but fair means to an end, the end being justice?
If so, what is justice?

Is not justice the end of the guilty being punished, and the innocent being exonerated?


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