"If the judges interpret the laws themselves, and suffer none else to interpret, they may easily make, of the laws, [a shredded] shipman's hose!" - King James I of England, around 1616.

“No class of the community ought to be allowed freer scope in the expression or publication of opinions as to the capacity, impartiality or integrity of judges than members of the bar. They have the best opportunities of observing and forming a correct judgment. They are in constant attendance on the courts. Hundreds of those who are called on to vote never enter a court-house, or if they do, it is only at intervals as jurors, witnesses or parties. To say that an attorney can only act or speak on this subject under liability to be called to account and to be deprived of his profession and livelihood by the very judge or judges whom he may consider it his duty to attack and expose, is a position too monstrous to be entertained for a moment under our present system,” Justice Sharwood in Ex Parte Steinman and Hensel, 95 Pa 220, 238-39 (1880).

“This case illustrates to me the serious consequences to the Bar itself of not affording the full protections of the First Amendment to its applicants for admission. For this record shows that [the rejected attorney candidate] has many of the qualities that are needed in the American Bar. It shows not only that [the rejected attorney candidate] has followed a high moral, ethical and patriotic course in all of the activities of his life, but also that he combines these more common virtues with the uncommon virtue of courage to stand by his principles at any cost.

It is such men as these who have most greatly honored the profession of the law. The legal profession will lose much of its nobility and its glory if it is not constantly replenished with lawyers like these. To force the Bar to become a group of thoroughly orthodox, time-serving, government-fearing individuals is to humiliate and degrade it.” In Re Anastaplo, 18 Ill. 2d 182, 163 N.E.2d 429 (1959), cert. granted, 362 U.S. 968 (1960), affirmed over strong dissent, 366 U.S. 82 (1961), Justice Black, Chief Justice Douglas and Justice Brennan, dissenting.

" I do not believe that the practice of law is a "privilege" which empowers Government to deny lawyers their constitutional rights. The mere fact that a lawyer has important responsibilities in society does not require or even permit the State to deprive him of those protections of freedom set out in the Bill of Rights for the precise purpose of insuring the independence of the individual against the Government and those acting for the Government”. Lathrop v Donohue, 367 US 820 (1961), Justice Black, dissenting.

"The legal profession must take great care not to emulate the many occupational groups that have managed to convert licensure from a sharp weapon of public defense into blunt instrument of self-enrichment". Walter Gellhorn, "The Abuse of Occupational Licensing", University of Chicago Law Review, Volume 44 Issue 1, September of 1976.

“Because the law requires that judges no matter how corrupt, who do not act in the clear absence of jurisdiction while performing a judicial act, are immune from suit, former Judge Ciavarella will escape liability for the vast majority of his conduct in this action. This is, to be sure, against the popular will, but it is the very oath which he is alleged to have so indecently, cavalierly, baselessly and willfully violated for personal gain that requires this Court to find him immune from suit”, District Judge A. Richard Caputo in H.T., et al, v. Ciavarella, Jr, et al, Case No. 3:09-cv-00286-ARC in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, Document 336, page 18, November 20, 2009. This is about judges who were sentencing kids to juvenile detention for kickbacks.

Friday, December 30, 2016

The law that prohibits criminal charges against child prostitutes in California is not the same as legalization of child prostitution

I see a lot of outrage in the media and social media about "legalization of child prostitution" in California starting January 1, 2017, calling California legislators - and Governor - names and lamenting the fall in morality that would allow such an abominable thing. 

Finally, I have found a voice of reason in this article, correctly reflecting what kind of law is going into effect on January 1, 2017 and what it actually meansThe article's main point is this:

Victims, not criminals.

The new California law does not make sex with children legal

It only prohibits charging the children with the crime of prostitution or solicitation of prostitution, even if they come forward to seek protection of the government from those who are exploiting them. 

The law, obviously, makes a lot of sense.

First, if a minor cannot give consent for sex, as a matter of law, the minor's consent for sex in exchange for money is invalid, too, and there is nothing to charge THE CHILD for.

Moreover, the law is correctly designated to protect children, so that, if they come forward to disclose their engagement in prostitution, and disclose the name of those adults who are exploiting them, which is already a decision that may put their life in jeopardy, they should not additionally fear that they are confessing to a crime for which they may be charged separately.

Once again, makes a lot of sense.

How will it be carried out practically, is a question though.

The age of majority in California is 18.

Many girls look 18 (physically developed) while they may be 14 or even 13.

And, I doubt that any prostitutes, and especially child prostitutes, exploited by adults, would come out on the streets wearing their true IDs.

So, now police will have to be very attentive to whether a young prostitute may be a minor, ID or no ID - and to check on authenticity on young prostitutes' IDs.

It also means that a child prostitute who is one day away from turning 18 is not chargeable with a crime, while a prostitute who has just turned 18, is already an adult and is chargeable with a crime of prostitution.

It does not make a lot of sense in protecting children, but not protecting WOMEN from being similarly exploited - so, in my view, it makes sense to decriminalize prostitution for adults, too, on the same grounds, safety protection, as it was done for children.

Specifically, as to application of the decriminalization of child prostitution in order to protect children, young women will still be first arrested by the police if they LOOK over 18 - of course, they will have to be let go if they are actually under 18, but there will be some time before that is ascertained, so arrests of minors for prostitution will still happen.

The only thing that will remain the same - unfortunately - is problems with picking up, charging and making charges stick against the "clients" of child prostitutes, and against their pimps.

For charges, a statement and, if the case goes to trial, the testimony by the child prostitute will be required.  And that will potentially put the child's life in danger.  Which is the same situation that exists now.

But, at the very least, the new law will now protect a desperate child who wants to get out of this situation from having to criminalize herself in order to get protection from the government and to have the criminal who has forced her into sex or who bought her sex (without her consent, as a matter of law) held accountable.

No comments:

Post a Comment