Politics and Religion

The real reasons behind crime
dncphil 16 Reviews 532 reads
posted

You are right. he could have. After over 25 years in criminal law, I discovered the two reasons people commit crimes.  They are bad and/or dumb.

You are right, which makes him dumb

I never could stand Edwards, but the possibility of 30 years in prison is stupid, cruel, and a waste of life and resources.

People should be locked up when they are a continuing danger and/OR their crime was the type that involved victims who were physically or otherwise hurt.  Rape, murder, child molest, etc.

Edwards can either be locked up for 30 years or punished severely but in a way that allows him to remain productive and not a drain on society.

St. Croix830 reads

The guy is a social and political pariah. He adds absolutely no value to anything or anyone. Well maybe his can write a screenplay while in prison for the 3 or 4 years he will probably get. Hollywood would eat this shit up. Nevertheless, cheating on his cancer stricken wife, defrauding an old lady, campaign fraud, paying off his mistress,  This is why I see the value in seppuku. Let him have one more $500 haircut, dress him in his best Armani suit, then put him in a room with a knife or gun, and tell him to do the right thing.

-- Modified on 4/27/2012 11:43:04 AM

It depends on what he is finally convicted of.  If he gets convicted on the maximum number of counts, a 30 year sentence is very realistic.

Federal judges have very little discretion in sentencing.  Each crime carries a set amount of time.  If certain factors exist, it can go down X points or up X points.  The judge is supposed to make findings of those factors and if he is wrong, it can be increased on appeal.  (Recently the "Millenium Bomber" of LAX had his sentence increased because the appellate court thought the trial court erred in evaluating some factors.)

Similarly, the jury never knows how much time each crime carries, so they return a verdict not knowing how serious the crime is.  In the Heidi Fleiss case the jury convicted of one count and acquitted on the other.  Subsequent interviews determined that the jury wanted to give her the least amount of time, but since it didn't know which was the more serious offense, it convicted on the wrong one.  (not an appealable issue.)

...it's a weird case. I don't think the law that Edwards broke has ever been tried before in a court.

But so long as we're going to prosecute politicians, even if it's for bullshit like this, we might as well throw the book at them.

no. 6447 reads

Isn't Edwards very wealthy? Wealth in the tens of millions? Couldn't he have just paid for his girlfriend out of pocket and avoid all the hassle of involving his campaign, and, these consequences?

You are right. he could have. After over 25 years in criminal law, I discovered the two reasons people commit crimes.  They are bad and/or dumb.

You are right, which makes him dumb

FistFullOfFifties664 reads

The main difference is he got caught.

They all meet your criteria. Is what Edwards did fundamentally different from the harm caused by these scoundrels, except in scope? He took campaign contributions and used them for personal purposes.
You must be a white collar crime softie.

      But there is a solution - have the charges dropped, try him in California, and after he is convicted he'll still be released from doing 30 years -which btw could only happen if we have six convictions and the sentences are deemed "consecutive" and not "concurrent" - because you also have described the California prisoner release critieria. And ironically "stupid, cruel, and a waste of life and resources" is the way many describe the California prison system.

Posted By: marikod
        They all meet your criteria. Is what Edwards did fundamentally different from the harm caused by these scoundrels, except in scope? He took campaign contributions and used them for personal purposes.
You must be a white collar crime softie.

      But there is a solution - have the charges dropped, try him in California, and after he is convicted he'll still be released from doing 30 years -which btw could only happen if we have six convictions and the sentences are deemed "consecutive" and not "concurrent" - because you also have described the California prisoner release critieria. And ironically "stupid, cruel, and a waste of life and resources" is the way many describe the California prison system.

Obviously, I was talking in general principles.

Two reasons why Madoff deserved Big Time.

1) Maddoff actually did hurt people. He wiped out people's life savings. While he is not a threat, he truly damaged people in real and serious ways.  It wasn't physical harm, which is something I think is important, but not required if the other type of harm is bad enough. Old people worked their lives to have an independent life. Now they live in their kids' guest room.

2) He does have to be punished in a serious manner.  Some prison time is required.  (Note: I didn't say Edwards should get no time, just not that much.)  I don't know the exact amout of time he should get. I don't know if is should "guarantee" life - eg. a 50 years sentence.  But he has to do something serious.

Isn't the campaign finance system hurt if candidates can use contributions for personal purposes? Hasn't the donor been defrauded?

    Roger Clemens is currently being tried for perjury. Who did he "hurt" when he lied to Congress? It is the integrity of the oath that our perjury laws protect. And we make jail time a remedy even though no one is hurt as you would define it.

      Conversely, I know you'd give 30 years to poor Roman Polanski for unlawful sex with a minor. But who did he hurt? Not the girl who consented and even today as an adult says he should not be prosecuted. But the law says it is illegal IN ALL CASES  to have unlawful sex with a minor - it presumes injury in all cases even though underage girls are having sex every day and this girl was sexually active with her adult boyfriend who was never charged. Being a famous director has something to dio with it but I've never understood what.

   Sorry Phil but I just don't see any consistency in your vies on this subject.

St. Croix466 reads

I mean it's been only 3 months since your last public defense of him. I'm not going to get between you and phil on the appropriate sentencing for Edwards.

If I haven't said this before, I'll say it again. I don't care about the victims view toward Polanski 35 years later. I don't care that the victim somehow believes in "time heals all wounds", or let it go, or it wasn't really that bad. I don't care if this victim as a 13 year old had sex with other partners. I don't care if the other partners were 13 year old boys, or adult men. I don't care if every single 13 year old girl on planet earth is sexually active.

She is 13 years old marikod. A 42 year old man with a twisted view of what sex should be, decided to drug and sodomize a 13 year old girl. A middle school age girl. I don't know if you ever had children, specifically a girl, but believe me, if you did you would feel different.

Do me a favor. Don't bring up his name again.

to the interests protected by our sex with minors laws.

      This is the precise point I am making to Phil- you simply can't look to whether you have a bleeding victim to determine if jail time is warranted. There are many instances where it is even though no victim has been physically injured ; the John Edwards case is a prime example.

St. Croix457 reads

with respect to the Polanski case.

With respect to Edwards, if you are looking for a specific person that was "harmed", then look no further than Bunny Mellon. Wasn't she specifically defrauded?

Regarding Roger Clemens, and the other aspects of the Edwards case, i.e. campaign finance, the harm is to society as a whole. It's similar to not paying your taxes.

Maybe that's why I like the movie "Taken" with Liam Neeson. With certain crimes, like the one Polanski committed, I have no problem with exacting revenge. Not murder mind you, but inflicting severe pain, absolutely. I'm actually surprised more parents don't take that route.  

-- Modified on 4/27/2012 6:29:46 PM

he should not have been extradited 30 years later at a cost of $1 million to the state, and at time when I knew he would have been eligible for release under the court mandated prisoner release program.
 

       Subsequent events – the Supreme Court ruling upholding the prisoner release and the criteria they used to choose who to release – proves I was right on the mark here.

         I do abhor the “selective prosecution” of RP back in 1975 when the girl admitted to a non-celebrity adult sexual partner. But even that does not mean RP gets off free – only that the other guy should have been prosecuted as well.

        The “not paying your taxes” example is probably a better example than the ones I gave – the harm is to the country as a whole even though no individual is harmed. So Phil’s view on jail time:

“People should be locked up when they are a continuing danger and/OR their crime was the type that involved victims who were physically or otherwise hurt.  Rape, murder, child molest, etc.”

simply is not a well thought out-position as you have recognized.

Taken, is based on a "real" fake story...

Still a good movie.

The donor has been "defrauded," but it isn't something that left the donor impoverished like in Maddof.  The donor was wronged, but not hurt in the same way as a retiree who lost his life savings.  The donor was defrauded out of discretionary income while the retiree is defrauded out of his life savings. But that seems that it is a distinction too hard for you to get.

I don't want to spend too much time re-hashing your favorite child molestor, so I will just say that someone who drugs and fucks another person up the ass did something that I think merits time.

A 17-year old having consensual sex with her boyfriend is one thing.  Drugging and fucking a 13 year old up the ass is another. True he pled to unlawful sex, but that does cover both offenses.  He already got a very lucky break by being allowed to cop the plea.  Then he wants extra benefits for absconding.  It is your rational of two wrongs make a right. Rape a kid, get a deal, skip out equals get out of jail free.

Being a famous director is why he got the lenient treatment to start with.

(The amount of time may be debatable.  I have never specifically advocated a 30 year sentence for any one count. Our debate was whether he should walk.)

Finally, to show you consistancy that is beyond your ken - the more serious the crime, the more serious the time.  Maddoff destroyed people's lives.

Posted By: marikod
      Isn't the campaign finance system hurt if candidates can use contributions for personal purposes? Hasn't the donor been defrauded?

    Roger Clemens is currently being tried for perjury. Who did he "hurt" when he lied to Congress? It is the integrity of the oath that our perjury laws protect. And we make jail time a remedy even though no one is hurt as you would define it.

      Conversely, I know you'd give 30 years to poor Roman Polanski for unlawful sex with a minor. But who did he hurt? Not the girl who consented and even today as an adult says he should not be prosecuted. But the law says it is illegal IN ALL CASES  to have unlawful sex with a minor - it presumes injury in all cases even though underage girls are having sex every day and this girl was sexually active with her adult boyfriend who was never charged. Being a famous director has something to dio with it but I've never understood what.

   Sorry Phil but I just don't see any consistency in your vies on this subject.

So I'll just suggest that your view on on jail time:

“People should be locked up when they are a continuing danger and/OR their crime was the type that involved victims who were physically or otherwise hurt.  Rape, murder, child molest, etc.”

simply is not a well thought out position as the examples I have given you make clear.

     As to RP, our debate was never whether he "should walk" originally but whether he should have been extradited 30 years later at cost of $1 million when I knew he would be one of the first prisoners released under the court mandated prisoner release program.

I said jail time for people who commit crimes like child molest, which he did. Your whole argument was he should walk because of the time. You said they should not spend the money to pursue it, WHICH MEANS HE WALKS.  

If he would be released under the new program, let him come back and be released.  (That is not to say I approve of the program, but you didn't even want him subject to that.  

I have never twisted my self into knots. I have been consistent. The examples I gave were intended as illustrative guidelines, not final definitions, and I stand by them.

But for those who think you should get a pass - even after decades - after doping and fucking a 13-year old in the ass, I will never agree. Sorry.

Posted By: marikod
So I'll just suggest that your view on on jail time:

“People should be locked up when they are a continuing danger and/OR their crime was the type that involved victims who were physically or otherwise hurt.  Rape, murder, child molest, etc.”

simply is not a well thought out position as the examples I have given you make clear.

     As to RP, our debate was never whether he "should walk" originally but whether he should have been extradited 30 years later at cost of $1 million when I knew he would be one of the first prisoners released under the court mandated prisoner release program.

You forget that he pled guilty only to unlawful sex with a minor

      No, that does not “cover” forcible sodomy or “cover” sex by drugging, as you seem to believe. Neither is an element of this crime. There were five other charges that included these allegations as well as a rape charge – but they were all dropped by the prosecutor and dismissed with prejudice when he pled guilty to unlawful sex with a minor.

      I’m sure as a criminal defense attorney you understand what it means when a prosecutor decides to drop the top charges for a lower level plea bargain like this one – it usually means that the guy with all the evidence does not think he could prove the top charges beyond a reasonable doubt.

        So if he had been extradited and did not withdraw his guilty plea, or was not allowed to, he could not have been tried for your sodomy and drugging anyway, even assuming they have better evidence 30 years later.

Still want to spend that $1 million that you don't have anyway?

Now go and untwist yourself.

To say that when a prosecutor agrees to a lesser means he can't prove the case is either a lie or ignorant of reality.  There are often many reasons why the D.A. will agree to a lesser ranging from not wanting to make the victim go through trial, the cost of fighting a million dollar defense, or a dozen other things. It does not necessarily mean there are problems with proof, and it is a lie or igrnorance to say it does.

Second, unlawful sex with a minor can include fucking a drugged 13 year old in the ass.  It is covered, no matter what you think.  SHE IS A MINOR. IT WAS SEX. It is sex. All the elements of unlawful sex witha  minor are covered with that. There may be more facts, like drugs or 13 years old, but the offense of sex with a minor includes greater offense.

Of course it includes lewd act with minor. Are you saying that because he plead to the greater she is older? Are you saying that because the DA agreed to the lesser it means she wasn't drugged?

I had a case where they got a verdict  of  30 counts of fucking young boys against the defendant. It was reversed on appeal and they agreed to a plea of furnishing a minor for sex.  From 60 years to 8. It was not reversed because of problems with proof, but because the guy's right to self rep was denied.

They had everything they need to prove the case again, but they didn't want to call they boys a second time.

No matter how you cut it, the facts were he fucked a 13-tyear old in the ass when she was drugged.  He got lucky, but that doesn't mean the facts change.

And you think artists who fuck 13 year olds in the ass should walk if enought time passes.

Posted By: marikod
 You forget that he pled guilty only to unlawful sex with a minor

      No, that does not “cover” forcible sodomy or “cover” sex by drugging, as you seem to believe. Neither is an element of this crime. There were five other charges that included these allegations as well as a rape charge – but they were all dropped by the prosecutor and dismissed with prejudice when he pled guilty to unlawful sex with a minor.

      I’m sure as a criminal defense attorney you understand what it means when a prosecutor decides to drop the top charges for a lower level plea bargain like this one – it usually means that the guy with all the evidence does not think he could prove the top charges beyond a reasonable doubt.

        So if he had been extradited and did not withdraw his guilty plea, or was not allowed to, he could not have been tried for your sodomy and drugging anyway, even assuming they have better evidence 30 years later.

Still want to spend that $1 million that you don't have anyway?

Now go and untwist yourself.

wrong to say accepting a plea bargain doesn’t “necessarily mean” he can’t prove the top charges.

      Certainly no one would dispute that rather obvious point. But unless you are going to take the position that “usually” – a word that means among other definitions “commonly” – is also wrong, your argument is certainly misplaced.

       If only your eyesight matched your indignation.

        As to the other point on which you are still hopelessly twisted, think of it this way. As a top criminal defense lawyer, Roman Polanski has selected you to defend him in a jury trial where the ONLY charge is unlawful sex with a minor. DNCPHil, through clever legal work has had the other top charges dismissed prior to trial on various legal grounds.

        But the sneaky prosecutor knows that the jury will really sock it to Roman if they hear he drugged and sodomized the girl. So he plans to have the girl say that in her testimony. So what do you do?
“Objection Your Honor.” Irrelevant because drugging and sodomy are not elements of the crime and unduly prejudicial bc the evidence would lead the jury to convict Roman for crimes for which he is not charged.

"Sustained."  Good work, Phil.

      And btw I do think that artists who unlawfully fuck 13 year old girls in the ass should walk on all criminal charges that can’t be proved for this conduct, either because of a plea bargain or some other legal reason such as double jeopardy or the statute of limitations.

       It’s called due process, my friend, not "child molestation is okay." So please no rant about that.

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