I am a freelancer in the publishing industry, so words are very important to me. I'm a leftist living in a world gone mad, so politics are very important to me. I'm an environmentalist living in a degrading world, so pick up your damn trash, get rid of your gas guzzlers, and don't touch ANWR, you self-absorbed capitalists!

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03 March 2006

I Really, Really, REALLY Don't Understand Judges

Two judges, two states, two idiots?

First, there is the case of Travis Frey, a 33-year-old Iowan who wrote up a "Contract of Wifely Duties." When his wife wouldn't sign it, he tied her up and sexually assaulted her at least three times. There is a question as to whether the Contract will be allowed as evidence because the judge in question deems it hearsay. Excuse me? My Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 11th Edition, defines hearsay evidence as "evidence based not on a witness' personal knowledge but on another's statement not made under oath." Well, 1) I would imagine the wife is a real witness, no? And 2) we have a copy of the contract (see the Smoking Gun's publication of the 4-page graphic document (note: it is graphic). And on top of that, 3) the police confiscated his computer, which had "illegal" pictures on it. From the tone of the contract, this guy was pretty cock-sure, so I bet there is a copy of the contract on the computer as well. Three different places to find it, and none of them seem like hearsay to this civilian.

Then we have the Illinois sexual assault case where, on Tuesday, a judge threatened a young woman with contempt of court if she didn't watch the videotape of her assault. People, she had answered questions from the prosecution and defense for about an hour -- she was being a compliant witness. Now, she was unconscious during the rapes. So please tell me how reviewing the tape could be seen as helping her "jog" her memory? Second, tell me who, in consensual sex, says,"First I'm going to drink myself into a stupor, then you and your buddies can f*** me. Oh, and when you're done, I want you to spit on me and write derogatory terms on my thighs and abdomen."

As an update, On Wednesday the judge backed off, saying, "I am not going to force her to watch the video during cross-examination. I don't believe Adrian Missbrenner's case is being injured." No shit, Sherlock.

Where is the common sense? Why should these decisions even for a moment have been considered as the right thing to do?