Mischa sends us this article by a fellow who suggests Al Gore will not run in 2008. Sure, all the signs are there to deny a run for the big office. But my gut says Gore in ’08, and my gut is…. well, it’s almost always wrong, but that’s never stopped me from making pronouncements before!
The Irish have shown yet again why they have consistently been at the vanguard of civilization, with the new Irish Supreme Court ruling that some elements of statutory rape laws are unconstitutional. Now, before some of you get all righteous over this, let’s examine this affair closely. The law states that if a man has sex with a woman who turns out to be under 16, even though he reasonably believed her to be older, then he is automatically guilty of rape. In almost all other aspects of criminal law, intent is a mitigating factor. For instance, whether or not you intended to kill someone might determine the difference between a murder or manslaughter charge. Yet, for some reason, intent has been brushed aside where sex with teenagers is concerned. It is, in this blogger’s opinion, patently unconstitutional according to many nations’ statutes, and I’m glad that Ireland has taken steps to address this injustice. As the article states:
“it was inconsistent with the right to a fair trial to deny her client the defence of mistake or mistake on reasonable grounds.”
And hey, the unfairness implicit in these laws detrimentally affects some women, too. Imagine being one of those pixie-ish 30-something women who is constantly mistaken for an adolescent waif. Decent, law-abiding men would rightfully be afraid to have sex with you, regardless of what ID you produced to prove your age!
…Which brings up an interesting corollary. If intent really is a factor, then what if a man has sex with a 30-something woman he believes to be 14? In his mind, he is deliberately breaking the law. Is he then guilty? Some would argue that no actual crime had been committed, so the answer is no. However, that logic does not stand up in vice squad busts. For example, if a cop poses as a prostitute and successfully solicits a John, she can and does charge him with purchasing the services of a prostitute…. even though no such transaction actually occurred.
Hey you lawyers out there, help me out!
I leave you with this interesting essay by Jimmy Carter called, “Punishing Innocent Palestinians Is A Crime.”
P.S. I’m headed to Trinidad tomorrow for 5 days, and will attempt to blog from there. But I may or not be successful. Be forewarned!