Thursday, July 5, 2012


You may recall my very recent Post on the very signficant trial going on out in Santa Clara Country, CA.

Today the jury in that trial  nullified the Charges against him and he is thus let off.

The judge in the case, Judge Cena, deserves tremendous credit for his steadfast integrity in avoiding the victimist, show-trial antics displayed in the Philadelphia trial (the outcome of which, those defense attorneys have declared, will be appealed, and on some solid Ex Post Facto grounds).

But the jury in Santa Clara somehow got nullification into its mind and that opened up a last-ditch (but perhaps not unforeseen) gambit to somehow steer things that way. Possibly, somebody coached in nullification (it’s not a widely known option for juries) was among the jurors.

Curiously, the jurors have requested anonymity (although now that the trial is over, I can’t see the need for it … unless they figure that they haven’t really done the right thing).

Apparently, the jurors presumed that Lynch’s testimony about the alleged assaults in 1975 were credible (although his claims to have duplicitously initiated the assault sequence without premeditation and the intent of violence, and his claims of some even more whacky variant of repressed-something-but-not-memory, hardly appeared credible).

The role of the prosecution in this case is most likely a strong contributing factor that pushed the jury over this dangerous precipice of a verdict. From the outset it was clear that the prosecutors – already schooled in victim-friendly jurisprudence and clearly supportive of it – made their distaste for the victim of the assault – the priest Lindner – evident. The case may well have been fatally compromised from the moment when the female prosecutor, in her opening statement, asserted that Lindner would lie on the stand and deny he committed the 1975 abuse against Lindner. Why should the jury have hewed to first-principles when the very prosecutors obviously found it distasteful to do so?

The case is being billed as a victory for the victimists and for SNAP specifically. I would say that it is legitimately a victory, but only in the most narrow of perspectives.

In a larger sense, this trial is going to exercise a baleful significance: the decision of this jury (which, again, now suddenly wishes to remain permanently anonymous) creates both a) a legal precedent and b) the grounds for any weak-minded, strong-willed self-convinced victim that s/he can exercise vigilante justice ‘because the jury will understand’ or something to that effect.

Nor are the pious but sly bleats of SNAP-types sufficient: we deplore vigilante violence but consider this case a victory. This case is not simply a defeat for the first-principles of modern Western Constitutional justice; it is an indictment of victim-friendly law and the professional formation most law schools have embraced for over 20 years now. And this precedent, a demon summoned forth by the victimists on the witless assumption it could be controlled, will not remain limited to sexual-abuse matters.

And it has breached open a terrible Gate that once was considered closed, and summoned back a violent past in the darker Ages of the West that had been considered left behind with all the other primitive practices that once passed for ‘justice’ among the tribes long, long ago.

Perhaps the jurors realized this. And wish now to wash their hands of it.

But now that it has seen the light, this Thing will not so easily be washed away. Or put back behind the Gate. Vigilante justice, if pretexted  as being in the service of some fancied or even real victimization, again walks the land.

Such progress.

So much – even more than ever before – remains to be done.

ADDENDUM (July 6, 2012)

Some further thoughts about this Lynch trial.

I think that the former jurors owe the public some sort of explanation. Since they chose to take so dangerous (though legal) a route, so rife with potential and even probable consequences for the entire system of justice in this country, then they owe the public some explanation as to just how they came to open so lethal a cage, why they opened the Gate that kept Kong on the other side.

And did anybody imagine that this frakkery would remain limited to sex-cases? If in 1975 somebody you claim to have been drunk killed your brother and injured you – not just metaphorically as the sex-victims love to claim (‘my soul was killed’; ‘my spirit was murdered’; I was – like – a victim of a  holocaust’; I am dead as a human being … and so on) – then are you justified 37 years later in perpetrating a deliberate assault against that person? What about people who have been victimized by bankers and stock-brokers who aren’t being prosecuted?

Yes, Lynch apparently did little enough damage and claimed large enough purposes (he did it for past and potential victims; he just wanted to ‘publicize’ things) that a jury might feel that in this one case – just this one – they could afford to be nice and cut some slack.

But surely at least a few of them must have been intelligent enough (at least one of them seems to be an engineer, used to systems-thinking) to realize that you can’t introduce such a lethal dynamic into a system and then expect that you can control the consequences and that those consequences will only be your good-intentioned and best-case consequences and not anything less or worse. (That was the type of thinking that got this country into the Iraq war.)

And such post-trial reflections by the jurors would also give us some idea of how the verdict was finally decided and on what basis. Was the case decided for Lynch or against Lindner? Meaning: was it that Lynch so impressed them or that Lindner so repelled them? Were they primarily concerned for this case? Or were they concerned to ‘send the right message’ more generally?

Were they predominantly and/or immediately all in agreement? If not, what elements initially created the questions that they then had to thrash out?

And how did ‘jury nullification’ come up for them? And how did they handle that possibility? And how did they reach the point where they embraced it?

It seems to me that the jury-deliberations would be as useful to the public as the trial testimony and claims themselves. Perhaps even more.

The jurors owe Us. And that – I would say – will become even more evident as the consequences of what they have now gone and done become more obvious and clear.

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