Friday, February 17, 2006

Another Tale by the Same Idiot

Apparently unable to control his desire to intimidate judges, Mark Hyman interrupts his week-long ACLU harangue to attack another judge and encourage viewers to do the same.

You may remember that a couple of weeks ago,
Hyman went after an “activist” judge who handed down a lenient sentence to a convicted child molester. During a follow-up mail segment, Hyman approvingly quoted a letter that suggested killing the judge. Never mind that the judge was giving the only sentence the law allowed that would force the convicted man to get psychiatric treatment before being released. Because judges do bad things like uphold the law and protect civil rights of vulnerable members of society, they deserve to be vilified as “activist,” (unless, of course, their activism happens to be in the service of restricting abortion, loosening gun laws, etc.).

This time, Hyman puts the crosshairs on Judge Joseph Manck, a county circuit court judge in Hyman’s own backyard of Anne Arundel County in Maryland.

The judge’s crime? Not handing out a harsh enough sentence to
a teacher who was having a sexual affair with a 15-year-old student. The defendant was sentenced to two months of jail time and four additional months of house arrest.

What Hyman doesn’t tell you is that the judge was following the sentencing guidelines that applied to a crime of this type. Although noting that these guidelines were too low, Judge Manck apparently didn’t feel he should go beyond established practice in the sentence.

So the judge was not acting on a whim, but on established precedent. But perhaps that precedent is wrong and the judge should do more than simply note the inadequacy of the guidelines and buck the system by handing out a tougher sentence.

That’s a reasonable position, and one I would agree with, given the very few facts I have about the case. But I don’t know much about the specific case. Nor does Hyman. Nor do the legions of viewers Hyman encourages to flood Judge Manck’s office with phone calls.

Two people who do know the situation and people involved are the girl’s parents, both of whom said they were satisfied by the sentence.

Likely, one of the issues is that the girl was under the age of consent when the affair started, but only by a matter of months. The defendant was probably also helped by the fact that this was a first offense, and he is only 34 years old—far old enough to know better, but not the archetypal “dirty old man.”

Maybe those facts shouldn’t influence the sentence, and maybe sentencing guidelines, like any rules, are meant to be broken. But as disgusting and despicable as the crime was, it’s hard to argue that a travesty of justice was committed when the parents of the victim say they’re happy with the sentence.

But perhaps Hyman, a crusading knight out to protect the virtue of young ladies everywhere, can’t let himself be swayed by that fact. He must speak out against wrist-slapping sentences for sexual crimes! As Hyman himself says of Judge Manck, “tolerance of a sex offender is beneath contempt.”

If that’s the case, however, it would certainly add to his credibility if he didn’t tolerate and work for an
established pornographer and whoremonger, and who himself received virtually no punishment, despite being arrested for a sexual offense.

And that’s The Counterpoint.

Hyman Index: 3.07


At 4:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Your references to the way in which Sinclair's public pronouncements (Hyman's hyperventilating) and its actual behavior (e.g., the CEO's slimey way of serving his sentence for prostitution) indicates a common theme for too many Repugnicans...

Take on the mantle of virtue, while dispensing very little.

So, President Rove strategically sucked up to the Religious Right for "Christian Cover", while nothing of his and Bush's actions speaks to Christain behavior.

- electing to go to war, without being attacked (how New Testament!)

- torture prisoners

- tax breaks for the wealthy, while bankrupting the country

- prevaricating whenever possible.

These guys are the worst.

What would Jesus do? He would rail against these outrages. He would side with the oppressed. He would be... "unpatriotic"!

And if he weren't careful, he'd end up, shackled, blindfolded, ear-muffed, and drugged in a Lear jet to an undisclosed location for waterboarding.

How can any decent American support this Regime?


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