Friday, January 26, 2018

Full Court Press

The sentencing of Larry Nassar, the serial sexual abuser at USA Gymnastics, is all over the news.  (He was an undergrad at University of Michigan while I was there, by the way. He later worked at Michigan State University.)

His Judge, Rosemarie Aquilina (who attended Michigan State University undergrad), sentenced him to 175 years.  But she did more than that.  She made a long speech, which has made her a media star.

[Let me note here I wrote something that was too long, too confusing and kind of boring.  It was about how courts express the will of the people, while at the same time the judges are supposed to be the disinterested arbiters of the law (even if it never fully works out that way).  But forget that.  Instead of my comments, let's just see some excerpts from the judge's speech:]

...I was raised on old country values. And my grandmother always told me and my parents always told me, my grandfather too, that America is the greatest country. I believe that. That's why I served in the military. That's why I have always done community service. I am not really well-liked because I speak out. I don't have many friends because I speak out. If you ask me a question, you better be ready for the answer. I speak out because I want change. Because I don't believe in hiding the truth. I am not saying I am always right. But I try....

...I want everyone to understand, I have also done my homework, I always do....

You played on everyone's vulnerability. I'm not vulnerable to you or to criminals. I swore to hold the Constitution and law and I am well-trained. I know exactly what to do. This time, I am going to cure it....

And I want you to know, as much as it was my honor and privilege to hear the survivors, it is my honor and privilege to sentence you. Because, sir, you do not deserve to walk outside of a prison ever again....

You have gone off the page here as to what I am doing. My page only goes to 100 years. Sir, I am giving you 175 years which is 2100 months. I have just signed your death warrant....

Let me just state to the media.  Again, I am just doing my job.  I know you all would like to talk to me.  My secretary informed me that I have a growing stack of requests from print media, from television, from magazines, from around the world, literally.

This story is not about me. It never was about me.  I hope I've opened some doors, because you see I am a little stupid because I thought everybody did what I did and if they didn't, maybe they ought to, but I do this and I am happy to do it.  If you don't believe me, the keeper of my words is right by my side and lawyers who are hearing this and shaking their heads that yes, I have waited too long.  Sometimes people are upset, I don't care, I get paid the same.

The most controversial thing she said, though, was spoken near the end of the first day of the hearing:

Our Constitution does not allow for cruel and unusual punishment.  If it did, I have to say, I might allow what he did to all of these beautiful souls, these young women in their childhood, I would allow some or many people to do to him what he did to others.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Denver Guy said...

Are judges elected in Michigan? This might explain her showboating.

4:07 PM, January 26, 2018  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So when will Nassar walk?

3:23 AM, January 27, 2018  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gee LAGuy, I missed the part where you gave your opinion on these proceedings.

6:55 AM, January 27, 2018  
Blogger New England Guy said...

An heir to Webster Thayer

4:48 PM, January 28, 2018  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thayer's outburst were done outside of court, but if you mean they both had defendants who were guilty as hell, you're right.

6:50 PM, January 28, 2018  
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