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Justice Delayed + Tax Dollars Wasted = Justice System Starved

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
No one, that is, except a libertarian representing an accused child molester by endlessly gaming the justice system, I suppose.

3 Responses to Justice Delayed + Tax Dollars Wasted = Justice System Starved

  1. Stefan says:

    You need to check your facts: Mr Kramer was accused of crimes after he broke up with his accuser. There’s a good chance he is innocent of the charges. Secondly, and most importantly, his medical condition is a result of police abuse while in jail. The delays have been medically related and a direct result of criminal behavior on the part of law enforcement officers.

    The judge released him from house arrenst because Mr. Kramer poses no danger to anyone, there’s a good chance he is innocent, and he has legitimate medical issues: NOT becuase he has subversive lawyers – He has spinal damage.

    Check your facts!

    Yes the topic is sensational and your outrage makes you look like you care but kicking an innocent man while he’s down isn’t noble.

    http://www.edkramer.org/

    http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/278180/injustice_in_georgia_the_ed_kramer.html

    http://atlantajewish.com/content/2004/edkramer.html

    http://atlanta.creativeloafing.com/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid%3A7799

  2. Tina says:

    Stefan:

    How do you respond to the charge by the prosecutor that he has been offered accommodation?

    People play possum all the time with physical and mental handicaps and illnesses in order to avoid prosecution.

    Activists and attorneys will say absolutely anything in the interest of representing a defendant. They’re not necessarily true. That’s what courtrooms are for — more or less.

    I leave advocacy for accused sex offenders to pro-offender activists, and I certainly don’t look to people who advocate for sex offenders to take measure of my scruples.

    And, innocent? Are you actually saying he was only dating — and all three boys? How old were they at the time?

  3. Early Cuyler says:

    Stefan also kind of skirts around the fact that Kramer has *three* arrests for Aggravated Child Molestation on his rap sheet. The first was in 1996. The second (involving the sons of the woman he was dating) was in 2000. The third was in 2003, and involved the son of one of his biggest online supporters. There are 4 known victims. So, yeah, Kramer ain’t in a hurry to go to trial, as he can’t claim First Offender status. It’s a real, blatant shame that he’s been allowed to goldbrick and sandbag the courts the way he has. Glad someone is calling bullshit on it.

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