Wednesday, May 15, 2013

I am annoyed with many things lately

1. I was scheduled to cover a coworker's routine hearings in one court while they were in another court. These were insignificant hearings as far as the overall case goes. Then a sentencing for a sex assault case got added. My coworker tried to get it moved but the court denied the request, meaning I would have to cover an extremely important sentencing for a case I had no interaction with for a client I had never met. This would have been an absolute travesty for this client, who has every right to have the attorney who has been on the case the whole time do this important hearing. Public defenders are NOT fungible. We build a relationship with our clients, we get to know them & they come to know us. We are not just warm bodies sitting next to the defendants. We are not there simply to give the appearance of fairness. I can't possibly do as well the original attorney on something like this. Thankfully, my coworker is no longer in two courts so I don't have to cover this anymore, but the point is I shouldn't have had to in the first place bc we aren't all interchangeable.

2. So this is a weird observation... If a 17 year old is sleeping with a 55 year old in MN, that's legal (barring some exceptions). But if the 55 year old has a naked picture of the 17 year old, that is a crime. How is it worse to have a naked picture of the 17 old than it is to actually have sex with them???? Something seems off.

3. I absolutely hate, hate, hate, hate the laws that criminalize teenagers having sex with other teenagers. We are talking about kids who are sleeping with other kids consensually and one kid now gets labeled a predatory offender. How ridiculous! The laws that automatically & arbitrarily criminalize consensual sex between teenagers of different ages is just stupid. Who decided on the 24 month cut off for the oldest someone could be for it not to be illegal? What was that based on? What is the real and actual difference between someone being 24 months older than the other person or being 24 months and 1 day? And what about situations where the two kids were legally sleeping together, but one kid turns 18 and then suddenly it's illegal for them to do what they were legally doing before? The laws that criminalize these kids are ridiculous & do nothing to protect the public.

4. While we are on the subject, how about we address the stupidity of the predatory offender statute? It requires defendants who are charged with certain crimes to register, even if they aren't convicted for those registrable crimes. So here is the scenario: def is accused of kidnapping (registrable offense), criminal sexual conduct (registrable offense), and disorderly conduct (not a registrable offense). Def has a trial. Jury finds him not guilty on the kidnapping and not guilty on the criminal sexual conduct, guilty on the disorderly conduct. Guess what? DEF STILL HAS TO REGISTER AS A PREDATORY OFFENDER EVEN THOUGH HE WAS FOUND NOT GUILTY OF THOSE OFFENSES!! Does that sound even remotely fair? Or logical? Why is that guy registering, if the registry is meant to keep tabs on dangerous people? Oh and here is the best disorderly conduct defendant is now a registered offender.Meanwhile, the law also allows for def #2 to go in, plead guilty to first degree criminal sexual conduct (the most serious level) and, should the court stay adjudication for some reason, that defendant won't have to register even though he ADMITS ON THE RECORD to committing the crime. Granted, that's not a likely scenario, but it isn't an impossible one. The law only applies to convictions (or juvenile adjudications, which in recent years has just come to mean "juvenile convictions") so if the court doesn't enter a conviction, then no registration required. Does this make sense to anyone?? Disorderly conduct defendant is not guilty but still has to register, crim sex defendant admits guilt but doesn't. It's just plain stupid.

5. Punch your wife in the face and give her a black eye? Misdemeanor. Maximum sentence is 90 days in jail and/or $1000 fine.
Give a 20 year old a beer? Gross misdemeanor. Maximum sentence is 365 days in jail and/or a $3000 fine.
Really??? Do the legislators not realize how stupid that is? I have yet to meet a prosecutor who actually pursues a gross misdemeanor sentence on that because it's ridiculous to make that a more serious level of offense than punching someone in the face.

Everyone whines lately about government spending, blah blah. How about clear out some of these stupid, illogical, nonsense laws and free up some resources for the judicial system.
Ugh. I am so irritated recently with these things.


  1. Anonymous10:22 PM

    Fungible! And I did a way better job than you ever could have. Kidding!!!

    1. partyboob!! and I know you did...that was my point. :)

  2. So, that's a pretty spiffy rant. Seems like you're dead on with every one of your frustrations.

  3. Thanks! Spiffy rants are kind of my specialty! :)