Barack Obama is arguably the most offender-friendly, victim-loathing president the country has ever seen. His judicial and political philosophies are reflexively anti-incarceration. His political career suggests a particularly disturbing pattern of disrespect for victims of sex crime.
In the Illinois state senate, Obama was the only senator who refused to support a bill allowing victims of sexual assault to have certain court records sealed. The bill was intended to protect victims from having their sex lives and other extremely personal information (medical and gynecological records) splayed out in the public record for all to see after a trial had ended. The legislation was written to protect the dignity of women who had been victimized by rapists, and then re-victimized in the courtroom at the hands of sleazy defense attorneys.
The vote for the bill was 58 – 0. Obama alone abstained from voting, though he was present.
So, while Obama was far from the only liberal in the Illinois state senate, he was the only liberal in the Illinois state senate who believed that a victim of rape has no right to conceal from the public, for example, the fact that she contracted a venereal disease or was impregnated by her attacker.
And, as he had done so many times before, Obama didn’t even display the courage of his convictions by openly voting against the bill. He voted, merely, “present,” so his opposition to the law would be easier to conceal in subsequent elections.
It would have been far less contemptuous to simply vote “no.” Then, at least, victims would know precisely what the young senator and constitutional law professor thought of their dignity. Abstaining from voting sent a stone-cold message — that Obama considered any consideration of the privacy rights of raped women to be quite a few rungs lower than his future political ambition.
It is important to understand that this vote against victims’ rights was no isolated case in the president’s history, as we are reminded today, when news broke that Obama was nominating U.S. District Court Judge Robert Chatigny for the Court of Appeals.
Chatigny is far from the only liberal judge sitting on the bench, but he is the only liberal sitting judge who became so enamored of a sexual serial killer that he denounced the state for deigning to prosecute, let alone convict, the killer.
Michael Ross started raping at an early age, and he had raped and murdered at least eight young women by the time he was caught. Although there was no question of his guilt, from the moment Ross entered the legal system, he attracted vocal, activist supporters. This is, sadly, not unusual: raping and slaughtering eight innocent women is, in some circles, quite a draw. Records from Ross’ trial and appeal barely focus on the young women: they are the usual intricate inquiry into Ross’ feelings, Ross’ rights, Ross’ mood on death row, Ross’ childhood, Ross’ dating disappointments, ad infinitum.
Oh, and the hurt feelings of one hired defense psychologist, who believed he was being dissed by a trial judge.
The system disappears the victims, then the courtroom disappears the victims, then the appeals process disappears the victims, so by the time activists like Robert Chatigny set out to rehabilitate vicious torturers like Michael Ross, there’s no need to haul out metaphysical barrels of lye to dissolve what’s left of his crimes. That had already been done, with an efficiency that would make an Argentinian death squad spill tears of shame all over the helicopter tarmac.
Judge Chatigny looked at Michael Ross and saw, not a killer, but someone who was suffering from “sexual sadism” and thus should not be held responsible for his actions. The judge presented a sort of a twinkie defense on Ross’ behalf, the twinkie being Ross’ compulsive inability to stop torturing women. Ross had been posturing the same defense from death row for two decades: in the killer’s mind, and the judge’s mind, he was the victim of a cruel mother, world, impulse disorder, judiciary, counsel, jury, and insufficiently plumped procedural protections. But especially, he was a victim of this faux sadism syndrome, the existence of which, in Chatigny’s mind, supercedes the fatal outcome of Ross’ crimes and delegitimates the state’s prosecution of him.
Fox News reports:
[Chatigny] repeatedly stuck up for Ross, saying he suffered from “this affliction, this terrible disease” and suggesting Ross “may be the least culpable, the least, of the people on death row.” “Looking at the record in a light most favorable to Mr. Ross, he never should have been convicted,” Chatigny said [emphasis added]. “Or if convicted, he never should have been sentenced to death because his sexual sadism, which was found by every single person who looked at him, is clearly a mitigating factor.”
He never should have been convicted? Really, really enjoying torturing and killing women is a mitigating factor? This is the mindset Obama chooses to elevate?
The legal strategy crafted by Michael Ross and his supporters was to present Ross as a helpless victim deserving of empathy, instead of a vicious killer meriting punishment. This is not merely a favored strategy of anti-incarceration activism: it is perhaps the most cherished “ethical practice” of the Left.
It is also only effective if the victims’ lives and suffering are simultaneously erased — buried, and forgotten. Killers can only be elevated if the memory of their victims is systematically denied. That is what Judge Robert Chatigny did to Ross’ victims in 2005 and what Obama is doing to them now.
I don’t believe for a moment that Obama nominated Chatigny to the higher bench despite the judge’s horrific transgressions in the Michael Ross case: I believe he nominated Chatigny because of those transgressions. That would be entirely in keeping with the legal and political worldview Obama has endorsed throughout his career. And, yes, this is extremely disturbing.
Chatigny’s other claim to fame is opposing sex offender registries. If this administration gets its way, will sex offender registries become a thing of the past?
Here are the names of Ross’ known victims (their photos are here). Little girls, some of them. All dead, now. Too bad Eric Holder doesn’t call them victims of hate crime. If he did, the president would not have nominated the man who set out to liberate, and valorize, their killer:
Dzung Ngoc Tu, 25, a Cornell University student, killed May 12, 1981. Paula Perrera, 16, of Wallkill, N.Y., killed in March, 1982. Tammy Williams, 17, of Brooklyn, killed Jan. 5, 1982. Debra Smith Taylor, 23, of Griswold, killed June 15, 1982. Robin Stavinksy, 19, of Norwich, killed November, 1983. April Brunias, 14, of Griswold, killed April 22, 1984. Leslie Shelley, 14, of Griswold, killed April 22, 1984. Wendy Baribeault, 17, of Griswold, killed June 13, 1984.
Barack Obama should reach out to every one of these families and apologize.
Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy suspended hearings on Chatigny’s appointment when prosecutors from Connecticut sent him a letter outlining the Ross scandal. Call and encourage Leahy to take the prosecutor’s concerns seriously.
Senator Jeff Sessions is vocally opposing the nomination. Thank the Senator for taking a stand.