Apparently, while it may be hard to be a pimp, as the popular song goes, it isn’t particularly hard to be a defendant in a child molestation case:
DragonCon founder’s health might keep him from standing trial
Edward Kramer was charged in 2000 with molestation children
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Kramer, first arrested on Aug. 25, 2000, has been indicted on multiple felony charges of child molestation and aggravated child molestation.
He was under house arrest at home in Duluth until last year. Now he can travel but cannot have unsupervised contact with children under 16 and must report his whereabouts every week.
Heck, it isn’t even particularly hard to be a convicted offender — in this case, of a man whose victim was in his early twenties but is developmentally handicapped:
Hillsborough judge allows sex offender to go free during appeals process
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
TAMPA — Linda Petruzzi thought her nightmare was over when Senior Judge J. Rogers Padgett sentenced the man who molested her mentally disabled son to 15 years in prison.
But a day later, Richard Martin Chotiner walked out of jail.
The judge allowed the convicted sex offender to remain free on $50,000 bail while an appeals court considers his case, a process that typically takes months or years.
Chotiner, who was ordered to wear an electronic monitoring device for a time before his conviction, doesn’t have to wear anything to track his movements now.
The defense bar is derailing our justice system by forcing ever-broadening protections for defendants and convicts. By driving up the cost of getting cases to trial and then dealing with post-conviction appeals, they are stealing justice from the rest of us.
Many in the media are colluding in this crime. Inexplicably esteemed St. Petersburg Times columnist Daniel Ruth (whose crimes against the English language merit an entirely different set of felony charges) got away with a giant legal misrepresentation about the judge who let Chotiner walk after conviction, and the Times, which prides itself on possessing an entire institute of journalists ethics, didn’t even bother to correct him. Ruth wrote an editorial claiming, wrongly, that the judge was required by law to let Chotiner go free on bail after his conviction. Not true: the judge exercised his own “discretion” in releasing the Chotiner, and then he exercised his own discretion again in allowing him to remove his ankle monitor. But who cares? We’re talking about a convicted sex criminal here: empathy over facts, please.
Meanwhile, in Atlanta, Edward Kramer’s lawyers are playing a reprehensible game with the our tax dollars, trying to up the ante until the state can no longer justify the costs of trying Kramer on three counts of molestation:
An April 29 trial date was postponed Wednesday after Edward Kramer told Gwinnett County Superior Court Judge Karen Beyers he was uncertain he could stay awake and alert enough to assist in his own defense. A spinal injury makes it difficult to sit, stand or breathe, and he is chronic pain, he said. . . .
He’s accused of sexually abusing three teenage boys. The mother of two alleged victims, a former friend of Kramer’s, has said Kramer dazzled the boys with action figures, sci-fi memorabilia and celebrity connections. The boys told police that Kramer took advantage of them during sleepovers at his house. . . .
Kramer’s defense attorneys, Edwin Marger and former Libertarian presidential candidate Bob Barr, said that in order for the case to go forward, they will have to prove Kramer is physically competent to stand trial.
“He’s been going through this now for almost nine years and he wants to get it over with,” Marger said.
What is the “this” that Kramer is “going through” that has taken almost nine years? Nothing more than his own lawyers’ machinations to postpone the trial by subverting our justice system.
Pretty strange behavior for a Libertarian. I guess I missed those chapters in Atlas Shrugged where Ayn Rand instructs her acolytes on how to relentlessly milk claims of physical disability in order to postpone fact-finding.
Make that permanently postpone. According to Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter, Kramer’s attorneys may indeed succeed in their efforts to derail justice:
“For all this talk about ‘I want a trial,’ Ed Kramer really proved today that he didn’t want a trial because the court made the accommodation for him,” Porter said. “The only trial he wants is the one he controls.”
I hear from many people that Bob Barr is a nice person. Nevertheless, when the issue was handicapped people who weren’t also accused child molesters, he opposed the Americans With Disabilities Act. And here are some oddly jarring quotes from then-Representative Barr’s 1988 efforts to push through the impeachment of President Clinton:
The rule of law finds its highest and best embodiment in the absolute, unshakeable right each of us has to walk into a courtroom and demand the righting of a wrong. It doesn’t matter what color your skin is, what God you pray to, how large your bank account is, or what office you may hold. If you are an American citizen, no one can stand between you and your access to justice