PDA

View Full Version : Charges against DSK to be dismissed. When will Nafissatou Diallo be deported?


Florian
07-05-2011, 11:42 AM
Why has the admitted perjurer, tax fraud and notorious liar, Nafissatou Diallo, who entered the US by falsifying her visa application and thus is in the US illegally, not been arrested by ICE and scheduled for a deportation hearing?

And why does an indictment of Strauss-Kahn obtained through the use of perjured testimony (Vance himself admits she lied to the grand jury) still stand?

It appears that the office of the NY District Attorney has at last come to its (feeble) senses. The charges against the French Perv are to be dismissed.

operative
07-05-2011, 12:33 PM
Why has the admitted perjurer, tax fraud and notorious liar, Nafissatou Diallo, who entered the US by falsifying her visa application and thus is in the US illegally, not been arrested by ICE and scheduled for a deportation hearing?

And why does an indictment of Strauss-Kahn obtained through the use of perjured testimony (Vance himself admits she lied to the grand jury) still stand?

It appears that the office of the NY District Attorney has at last come to its (feeble) senses. The charges against the French Perv are to be dismissed.

I'm more concerned with the DA than Diallo. Diallo was plainly a low-level grifter; the DA should've been able to recognize that and pretty clearly doesn't possess the wisdom and temperament to do his job. We have a bit of a problem with overanxious DAs looking to score big 'wins' and going to unethical lengths to do so. I wouldn't be surprised if Diallo simply slips back into oblivion--she probably has enough shady contacts that she can relocate without much notice.

operative
07-05-2011, 12:45 PM
Here's an article about the perp walk, inspired by the DSK case:
http://reason.com/archives/2011/07/05/the-pernicious-perp-walk

Florian
07-05-2011, 12:59 PM
I'm more concerned with the DA than Diallo. Diallo was plainly a low-level grifter; the DA should've been able to recognize that and pretty clearly doesn't possess the wisdom and temperament to do his job. We have a bit of a problem with overanxious DAs looking to score big 'wins' and going to unethical lengths to do so. I wouldn't be surprised if Diallo simply slips back into oblivion--she probably has enough shady contacts that she can relocate without much notice.

I was tongue-in-cheek. I bear no ill-will to poor Nafissatou Diallo. I only hope that the law will pursue her with the same merciless incompetence with which it pursued Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

operative
07-05-2011, 01:14 PM
I was tongue-in-cheek. I bear no ill-will to poor Nafissatou Diallo. I only hope that the law will pursue her with the same merciless incompetence with which it pursued Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

Heh. If only. Unfortunately going after low-level grifters doesn't offer near as much political return as going after high-ranking officials of certain less-popular European countries.

Florian
07-05-2011, 01:40 PM
Heh. If only. Unfortunately going after low-level grifters doesn't offer near as much political return as going after high-ranking officials of certain less-popular European countries.

Tout est dit. That says it all.

Wonderment
07-05-2011, 02:13 PM
Perhaps Tritane Banon can be deported from France too.

Oh wait, she's a French citizen and a prominent member of the alleged rapist's political party.

Plan B: Maybe both women can simply be gagged, so they won't ever again accuse plutocrats of any criminal conduct.

Oh wait, the hotel worker already was gagged, by DSK's penis.

Florian
07-05-2011, 02:35 PM
Perhaps Tritane Banon can be deported from France too.

Oh wait, she's a French citizen and a prominent member of the alleged rapist's political party.

Plan B: Maybe both women can simply be gagged, so they won't ever again accuse plutocrats of any criminal conduct.

Oh wait, the hotel worker already was gagged, by DSK's penis.

It would delight me if BHTV would deport you, perhaps to a lunatic asylum, but, alas, that will never occur.

ledocs
07-06-2011, 09:55 AM
Were you relying on the article in "The New York Post" for this assertion?

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/06/nyregion/strauss-kahn-lawyers-and-prosecution-to-meet.html?_r=1&hp

Florian
07-06-2011, 11:50 AM
Were you relying on the article in "The New York Post" for this assertion?

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/06/nyregion/strauss-kahn-lawyers-and-prosecution-to-meet.html?_r=1&hp

Which assertion? That the case would be dismissed? Or that Nafissatou Diallo should be deported and that her perjured testimony invalidates the Grand Jury indictment?

The first assertion, which I picked up through Agence France Presse, I knew to be uncertain: that is why I said "it appears." The second assertion, according to an American lawyer friend of mine who lives here in Paris, could be argued.

As I said in my reply to operative, I was being somewhat tongue-in-cheek.

stephanie
07-06-2011, 11:58 AM
Never mind, I was mixing up my threads on this topic.

Florian
07-06-2011, 12:22 PM
Never mind, I was mixing up my threads on this topic.

But as an experienced lawyer what is your opinion? If a Grand Jury indictment is obtained through perjured testimony, is it still valid?

uncle ebeneezer
07-06-2011, 01:29 PM
Another post on the matter (http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2011/07/what-was-the-problem-with-the-dsk-indictment).

stephanie
07-06-2011, 01:47 PM
But as an experienced lawyer what is your opinion? If a Grand Jury indictment is obtained through perjured testimony, is it still valid?

Just to be totally clear, I'm not a criminal lawyer. But my memory is that the indictment is not invalid unless the perjury was suborned by the prosecution, which has not been alleged here and would be implausible if it were, or is material. The prosecution's duty is to disclose it to the defense, which is what happened.

I doubt the perjury in question, what the witness did immediately after the alleged rape, would be considered material, but in any case the defense would have to go to court and argue that it was.

stephanie
07-06-2011, 01:48 PM
Another post on the matter (http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2011/07/what-was-the-problem-with-the-dsk-indictment).

I generally agree with that. It's not clear to me that any of the new evidence is something that the prosecutor can be blamed for not knowing, and they turned it over as required.

I dislike the practice of seeking publicity by prosecutors, but that would be the same with or without the new evidence.

Florian
07-06-2011, 02:23 PM
I generally agree with that. It's not clear to me that any of the new evidence is something that the prosecutor can be blamed for not knowing, and they turned it over as required.

I dislike the practice of seeking publicity by prosecutors, but that would be the same with or without the new evidence.

Nocera is entitled to think that the DA acted correctly---I think he acted imprudently and with unnecessary haste (and there are plenty of American lawyers who agree)---but the following remark betrays that Nocera is just another ignorant, stupid francophobe. There is not single truth in the following paragraph:

To judge by his recent writings, Bernard-Henri Lévy prefers to live in a country where the elites are rarely held to account, where crimes against women are routinely excused with a wink and a nod and where people without money or status are treated like the nonentities that the French moneyed class believe they are..

Is this what passes for intelligent commentary in the US? Crimes against women are "routinely" excused in France? People without money or status are "treated like non-entites"? I am sorry.... but a man who can allow himself to write such inanities is not fit to publish in a major newspaper.

stephanie
07-06-2011, 03:26 PM
Is this what passes for intelligent commentary in the US? Crimes against women are "routinely" excused in France? People without money or status are "treated like non-entites"? I am sorry.... but a man who can allow himself to write such inanities is not fit to publish in a major newspaper.

I didn't spend a lot of time parsing it, so perhaps am wrong in my impressions, but that seemed like more of a slam against BHL and his presumed ideal country than a statement about reality in France.

I don't think it's totally fair about BHL, in any case. As I said before, I saw his outcry at the arrest to be more related to friendship and loyalty than some statement about class or dispassionate legal argument.

Ocean
07-06-2011, 06:43 PM
I didn't spend a lot of time parsing it, so perhaps am wrong in my impressions, but that seemed like more of a slam against BHL and his presumed ideal country than a statement about reality in France.

I don't think it's totally fair about BHL, in any case. As I said before, I saw his outcry at the arrest to be more related to friendship and loyalty than some statement about class or dispassionate legal argument.

Stephanie, I'm starting to believe that there will only be one possible way to elucidate this matter. We'll have to organize an expedition to France and see whether the accusations against French society are true. I volunteer to be one of the investigators. A couple of weeks in Paris should do.

Problem solved.

ledocs
07-06-2011, 06:44 PM
The assertion that the case would be dismissed. There is an article in "The New York Post," the main source of which is "highly placed" (my words, not the Post's) in the prosecution, saying that the case is virtually certain to be dropped, more probably than not prior to the July 18 hearing. I don't know if AFP is getting its information from the "Post," independently but also from the Post's source, or what.

Also, the allegation that Diallo is a prostitute is coming from the "Post," and Diallo’s lawyer says they are going to sue the “Post” for libel, as you know. The "Post" is not a very reputable source, I think, but even "The National Enquirer" gets stories like this right some of the time. My reason for thinking that the prostitution allegation will stick had primarily to do with the defense's repeated assertions that it would argue consent in a trial, and I just think it's virtually impossible that there was consensual sex here unless money was offered or expected. The defense could be lying, they could simply be concocting a defense to speak to jurors of my persuasion, but I don't think that it is. Also, the "Post" knows that Diallo has representation and that Diallo is presumably interested in making some money from this whole affair.

Back to Maureen Dowd and her alleged stupidity. Michael Bloomberg apparently gave a statement in which he approves of the prosecution keeping DSK from leaving the country but disapproves of the perp walk. But a simple point about your argument to the effect that the absence of a US-France extradition treaty was irrelevant did not occur to me until today. It's fine to allow DSK to leave the country and investigate the complainant in the background, if the assumption is that DSK is innocent. But if he assaulted her, and he knows that he assaulted her, and is leaving the scene in a hurry, as has also been alleged, then there is no reason for the prosecution to assume that he will be coming back to New York to resume his duties at the IMF. So I think what the prosecution ought to have done is to have arrested him but not oppose bail and not seek such an unusually high bail with house arrest, but only the proviso that the suspect could not leave the US. And they then take their time investigating the complainant, and they do not go to the grand jury until and unless they are confident about the complainant and her story. And they dispense with the perp walk. DSK is then out on bail in the US while the prosecution is deciding whether or not they want to seek indictment, and on what charges. I certainly agree that there should have been considerably more skepticism of the complainant by the prosecution. Then there is this woman Friel (sic?), apparently the DA’s top sex-crime prosecutor, who is leaving the DA’s office under sort of mysterious circumstances, and there is the question of the extent to which the swift indictment was politically motivated.

And there is the following article in the NYT which sort of argues for my recommended scenario.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/06/nyregion/the-strauss-kahn-case-sizing-up-a-legal-clashs-many-facets.html?pagewanted=2&ref=dominiquestrausskahn

From the article: “The prosecutors’ swift action on the case may also hint at their belief in their evidence. They obtained an indictment within a week of Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s arrest, even though they could have taken longer because he was granted bail. It is not unusual for prosecutors to delay indictments on sex crime charges for weeks, if not months, while they investigate cases, many of which lack definitive physical evidence and amount to credibility battles between the accuser and the accused.”

In a case of this sensitivity, however, the prosecutor could not take months to reach a decision. They needed to do top-notch investigative work about the complainant as quickly as possible.

uncle ebeneezer
07-06-2011, 06:58 PM
I think you will need a male representative as well to counter any charges of gender-bias aimed at the inspection team. I volunteer.

Ocean
07-06-2011, 07:44 PM
I think you will need a male representative as well to counter any charges of gender-bias aimed at the inspection team. I volunteer.

I hadn't thought about it, but now that you mention it, yeah, you're right. Done.

Now we need to start looking for funding.

uncle ebeneezer
07-06-2011, 07:49 PM
Perhaps Bob is interested in starting a cultural investigation branch for the BHTV Empire!

Florian
07-07-2011, 04:30 AM
I didn't spend a lot of time parsing it, so perhaps am wrong in my impressions, but that seemed like more of a slam against BHL and his presumed ideal country than a statement about reality in France.

I don't think it's totally fair about BHL, in any case. As I said before, I saw his outcry at the arrest to be more related to friendship and loyalty than some statement about class or dispassionate legal argument.


I agree with your second paragraph, but even on the best construction the passage I quoted from Nocera makes no sense. BHL's "ideal country" is one in which crimes against women are "routinely" ignored, and people without money are treated like non-entities???? How could anyone reach such a conclusion on the basis of what Lévy has written? Indeed how could anyone think that any writer or journalist, especially a writer like Lévy who is clearly on the left of the political spectrum, could say or believe such things?

It should be fairly easy to find statistics on rape in both countries and compare the number of prosecutions, successful and non-successful. One thing I do know: There has been a significant increase in prosecutions for rape in France in the past 20 years.

Florian
07-07-2011, 05:04 AM
Back to Maureen Dowd and her alleged stupidity. Michael Bloomberg But a simple point about your argument to the effect that the absence of a US-France extradition treaty was irrelevant did not occur to me until today. It's fine to allow DSK to leave the country and investigate the complainant in the background, if the assumption is that DSK is innocent. But if he assaulted her, and he knows that he assaulted her, and is leaving the scene in a hurry, as has also been alleged, then there is no reason for the prosecution to assume that he will be coming back to New York to resume his duties at the IMF.

Yes, all very true, if true. That is what the prosection said in the immediate aftermath of the arrest: that DSK was in a hurry to leave the country (although the plane reservation had been made weeks in advance), and that they had other "proof" of his guilty conscience--such as witnesses who thought he looked nervous etc.... There is only one thing that bothers me about this little scenario, besides the plane ticket and the leisurely lunch DSK supposedly had with his daughter, namely, why would a man in a hurry to leave the country undetected do such a stupid thing as call the hotel and ask them to return his cellphone? Is that the action of a fugitive? All I can say is that, I, Florian, fleeing the scene of one of my many crimes, would have acted more prudently.

So I think what the prosecution ought to have done is to have arrested him but not oppose bail and not seek such an unusually high bail with house arrest, but only the proviso that the suspect could not leave the US. And they then take their time investigating the complainant, and they do not go to the grand jury until and unless they are confident about the complainant and her story. And they dispense with the perp walk. DSK is then out on bail in the US while the prosecution is deciding whether or not they want to seek indictment, and on what charges. I certainly agree that there should have been considerably more skepticism of the complainant by the prosecution. Then there is this woman Friel (sic?), apparently the DA’s top sex-crime prosecutor, who is leaving the DA’s office under sort of mysterious circumstances, and there is the question of the extent to which the swift indictment was politically motivated. .

To the extent that I understand American law I agree with this. My American lawyer friend has said similar things. Your last statement seems to me true. One big difference between the American and the French judicial systems is that the procureur and juge d'instruction are not elected officials. They do not need to prove themselves in order to get re-elected.

From the article: “The prosecutors’ swift action on the case may also hint at their belief in their evidence. They obtained an indictment within a week of Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s arrest, even though they could have taken longer because he was granted bail. It is not unusual for prosecutors to delay indictments on sex crime charges for weeks, if not months, while they investigate cases, many of which lack definitive physical evidence and amount to credibility battles between the accuser and the accused.”

In a case of this sensitivity, however, the prosecutor could not take months to reach a decision. They needed to do top-notch investigative work about the complainant as quickly as possible.

It is really difficult for the general public to form an opinion about cases like this, especially when the prosecution leaks information about the forensic evidence to the press before it can be properly evaluated by a court of law. Forensic evidence is not "self-evident." Drops of sperm, torn clothes, etc. do not necessarily tell a tale of non-consensual sex.

Moreover, there is a new potentially incriminating piece of information now that we know that Nafissatou Diallo went back to hotel suite supposedly to clean it. It is called: tampering with the evidence.

Florian
07-07-2011, 06:44 AM
ACTUALITÉ International
«En Amérique, on adore se précipiter pour juger»

Par Laure Mandeville
07/07/2011 | Mise à jour : 08:31 Réactions (2) Alan Dershowitz est un célèbre avocat pénaliste de New York. Il est professeur de droit à l'université Harvard.

LE FIGARO. -Comment expliquez-vous ce qui ressemble, dans l'affaire DSK, sinon à un ratage de la justice, en tout cas à un excès de précipitation du procureur?

Alan DERSHOWITZ. -Le procureur Cyrus Vance a eu le courage de rectifier le tir, dès qu'il a eu connaissance des faits qui démontraient l'effondrement de la crédibilité de la plaignante. Je connais nombre de procureurs qui se seraient assis dessus! Je lui tire donc mon chapeau. Mais il est allé trop vite, il aurait dû attendre pour faire inculper l'accusé devant le grand jury. La réalité est que le système pénal américain est profondément dysfonctionnel, et notamment dans le domaine des crimes sexuels. La justice pénale est en effet très perméable à la pression de l'opinion publique, car nous avons des procureurs élus, ce qui est une abomination, et des juges élus, ce qui en est une autre! Leur but est évidemment de se faire réélire, et ils utilisent souvent les affaires pour se gagner une notoriété. De ce point de vue, vous êtes plus protégés en France, où vous avez un appareil professionnel moins dépendant.

Que faut-il faire pour améliorer les choses?

Quand j'ai commencé ma carrière, à la fin des années 1950, accuser un homme de viol était un scandale, c'était toujours la faute des femmes, ce qui était inacceptable. Mais, aujourd'hui, le balancier est parti complètement dans l'autre sens. Beaucoup de procureurs font désormais comme s'il y avait un gène de la vérité et un gène du mensonge en fonction de votre sexe. Si vous êtes une femme, vous ne pouvez mentir! C'est devenu un vrai problème, car c'est loin d'être toujours vrai, comme on le voit aujourd'hui. L'Amérique est restée une société très moraliste, dans laquelle les gens ne font pas nécessairement la différence entre relation sexuelle forcée et consentie. Il ne faut pas oublier que nous n'avons aboli le crime d'adultère que récemment et que le crime de fornication existait aussi encore dans les années 1970.

L'immixtion spectaculaire des médias dans ces affaires de justice fait-elle partie du problème?

En Amérique, on adore se précipiter pour juger. Avec le «perp walk», les caméras dans les salles d'audience, l'immixtion des médias est omniprésente. Dans le cas de DSK, on s'est précipité pour condamner cet homme *riche et puissant, et maintenant le balancier repart dans l'autre sens, on se hâte de condamner la plaignante. Regardez ce qui s'est passé hier dans ce procès de Floride qui fait la une de tous les journaux. On a assisté à l'acquittement par les jurés de Casey Anthony, accusée d'avoir tué sa petite fille de 2 ans et demi. Pourtant, la presse, depuis trois ans, l'avait déclarée coupable. C'est ce que j'appelle la justice de Nancy Grace (du nom de cette présentatrice de la chaîne HLN qui a durant trois ans jeté l'affaire Anthony en pâture aux Américains, rassemblant près d'un million de téléspectateurs fascinés, ,ndlr). Dans son show, personne n'est jamais innocent.

Pensez-vous que les charges vont être abandonnées?

Oui, c'est la chose à faire. Simplement, Vance attend un peu, il veut aller par étapes. Pour moi, il aurait dû libérer Strauss Kahn dès vendredi et dire: nous ne saurons jamais ce qui s'est passé dans cette chambre d'hôtel, mais nous ne pouvons continuer cette affaire vu le problème de crédibilité de la femme de chambre.

ledocs
07-07-2011, 06:56 AM
There is only one thing that bothers me about this little scenario, besides the plane ticket and the leisurely lunch DSK supposedly had with his daughter, namely, why would a man in a hurry to leave the country undetected do such a stupid thing as call the hotel and ask them to return his cellphone? Is that the action of a fugitive? All I can say is that, I, Florian, fleeing the scene of one of my many crimes, would have acted more prudently.

This is a good point, but there might be good answers, too.

First, you, florian, would probably not have been in this louche situation in the first place. Second, DSK had several cell phones, apparently, one of which is encrypted. I don't know which one he left at the hotel. But whether it was the encrypted one or not, there can be lots of information on a cell phone that one does not want falling into the wrong hands. The very fact that he lost track of a cell phone could betoken haste in leaving. And he may have been particularly fearful that a cell phone would fall into the hands of Diallo, so he's asking, in essence, "Could you see if the woman who cleaned my room found a cell phone?" And, in his haste and concern, he may have thought that the cell phone could be returned to him via messenger service at the airport or by air courier to France without the knowledge of police (he's still hoping that the police are not involved). Diallo is apparently a very good actress, or she was very upset after her encounter with DSK. But we basically now know that she is a very good actress. There is still the possibility that she was not acting in the immediate aftermath of her encounter with DSK. This is the basic problem facing the police and the prosecution. It took them a long time, too long, to realize that the woman is a consummate actress.

Something that ought to be troubling to people is that DSK is not likely to have been involved in this particular kind of louche situation for the first time here. It may be that this sort of thing, i.e. chambermaids who double as prostitutes, occurs a lot in very high-end hotel suites catering to the international businessman. But that's how it is that this kind of encounter can occur quickly, DSK was not startled in any way, was not taken aback, he was not out of his element. And I agree with the op-ed piece in the NYT of yesterday or so, written by an American anthropologist, which says that it is unseemly for the head of the IMF to be engaging in this sort of conduct with third-world refugees, I actually think that it is unacceptably unseemly, it demonstrates a kind of mepris and out-of-touchness that is horrifying, given his position, or it demonstrates a very serious lack of self-control, or it demonstrates both. And that is why Kahn, the editor of "Marianne," had to retract his "troussage" remark made on TV, a really awful thing to have said. This is also presumably why Luc Ferry took it upon himself to start talking about a French minister who is engaging in homosexual sex tourism with young boys in Asia.

Once DSK leaves the hotel room, his quickest way out of the country is presumably to make his commercial flight, it's too late to charter a private jet. As far as the leisurely lunch goes, as I say, he just needs to make his commercial flight, qua fugitive. That's his best chance. Other than that, he needs to appear calm, so far as possible, so seeking return of the cell phone and having the leisurely lunch are not necessarily inconsistent with wanting to leave the country ASAP.

I thought the most damning part of Diallo's story was that she forgot to mention, for a very long time, that after her sexual encounter with DSK she cleaned another room, not DSK's suite, then went back to clean his suite. This is damning because it implies presence of mind, not a state of emotional upheaval, although it might also imply a kind of robotic behavior, she is in a daze. Similarly, in the Kobe Bryant case, the woman who alleged rape and is working as a desk clerk at a fancy resort, gets dressed after her sexual encounter with Bryant in his room in the wee hours, looks fine, returns to the front desk at 2AM or 3AM in the morning, says nothing to her colleague about anything untoward having happened, her affect is perfectly normal. But I don't think she left anything important behind, like a cell phone, or her panties, which later showed that she had had sexual contact with more than one man before going to Bryant's room.

Florian
07-07-2011, 07:23 AM
And I agree with the op-ed piece in the NYT of yesterday or so, written by an American anthropologist, which says that it is unseemly for the head of the IMF to be engaging in this sort of conduct with third-world refugees, I actually think that it is unacceptably unseemly, it demonstrates a kind of mepris and out-of-touchness that is horrifying, given his position, or it demonstrates a very serious lack of self-control, or it demonstrates both.

Certainly unseemly, certainly out-of-touch in a horrifying way. The latter may be the "déformation professionnelle" of some politicians. I think for both these reasons DSK's political career is finished. If the case is dismissed and he returns to France, either he says nothing or he confesses. In either case, he is condemned by public opinion.

stephanie
07-07-2011, 10:46 AM
I hadn't thought about it, but now that you mention it, yeah, you're right. Done.

Now we need to start looking for funding.

I'm in. I definitely think Bob should sponsor us.

Florian
07-07-2011, 10:59 AM
I'm in. I definitely think Bob should sponsor us.

Good luck. But Bob should first sponsor or find sponsors for better diavlogs.

If you come to Paris, you might want to bring some rape protection gear..... some pepper spray or a taser gun. The libido of Frenchmen is notoriously aroused by unchaperoned American females. But if you come with Uncle Eb, I am sure he will fend off any attacks, if only the better to attack you and ocean in your hotel suite. ;)

stephanie
07-07-2011, 11:23 AM
Good luck. But Bob should first sponsor or find sponsors for better diavlogs.

I'm actually planning to post something on a roughly similar topic in the Commenter Court thread in a few minutes.

uncle ebeneezer
07-07-2011, 01:47 PM
Not to worry. My girlfriend would kill me if I went to France without bringing her along. :)

But France is VERY high on my list of places to visit someday.

Wonderment
07-07-2011, 01:52 PM
Something that ought to be troubling to people is that DSK is not likely to have been involved in this particular kind of louche situation for the first time here. It may be that this sort of thing, i.e. chambermaids who double as prostitutes, occurs a lot in very high-end hotel suites catering to the international businessman.

Please, do not get sucked into Florian's so-far baseless allegations. There is ZERO evidence (to date) that the alleged rape victim was a prostitute. The one tabloid story that appeared has ZERO named sources. No other newspaper has printed a reputable sourced account. On the other hand, there is enough evidence to charge Strauss-Kahn with attempted rape in two cases -- one here, one in France.

I doubt they can get a conviction here, but -- as in the case of Casey Anthony and OJ -- that doesn't mean nothing happened.

Also, I'm sure you are fully aware that rape is not any less a crime if it's committed against a prostitute as opposed to a member of the European elite. The law does not distinguish in social status.

Wonderment
07-07-2011, 01:55 PM
Do you think there's any way to get the French case in as a prior (assuming French justice were swifter than American and he got convicted there first)?

Florian
07-07-2011, 02:12 PM
Also, I'm sure you are fully aware that rape is not any less a crime if it's committed against a prostitute as opposed to a member of the European elite. The law does not distinguish in social status.

No kidding! Did you even read what ledocs or I wrote? I doubt it. The question remains whether rape can be proved in this case.

Once again you prove that you have impaired reading ability. Now where did you obtain your degree? Do you even have a degree in anything? Are you sure you understand English? Are you sure you understand anything?

stephanie
07-07-2011, 03:49 PM
Do you think there's any way to get the French case in as a prior (assuming French justice were swifter than American and he got convicted there first)?

There's a way, sure, and I don't think there has to be a conviction. Federal law is much looser in sexual assault cases with respect to allowing in past accusations, although it still has to meet basic relevance standards, specifically that it be more probative than prejudicial. There's somewhat of an assumption that it is as compared with how other prior offenses are treated. This, in fact, meant that the rule that currently exists was passed by Congress over the strong recommendation of the judiciary and legal profession, as represented in connection with the rules-making authority. This is unusual.

There are the seeds of a good discussion (diavlog) here about a number of issues, which should be talked about more generally. That would include the intersection of the media/public opinion and criminal law, including the election of DAs and judges (not federal judges) and the politicization of numerous criminal issues. This is one of the reasons the US has the death penalty, as talked about in the other thread, as well as pressure to continually increase sentences and the like. It also would include a discussion about the weird phenomenon of court TV, spawned by OJ, and how this compares with the coverage of court cases in other countries. And, most relevantly, it would include a discussion about various issues and changes in the law and pros and cons when it comes to the trial of sexual assault and molestation cases.

I'm not sure the discussion afterwards would not be as unpleasant and uninteresting to me as the usual one after an Islam-themed topic, but it might be worth a try. Not if it includes Ann Althouse, though.

Florian
07-07-2011, 04:26 PM
There's a way, sure, and I don't think there has to be a conviction. Federal law is much looser in sexual assault cases with respect to allowing in past accusations, although it still has to meet basic relevance standards, specifically that it be more probative than prejudicial. There's somewhat of an assumption that it is as compared with how other prior offenses are treated. This, in fact, meant that the rule that currently exists was passed by Congress over the strong recommendation of the judiciary and legal profession, as represented in connection with the rules-making authority. This is unusual..

There will be no conviction in the Tristane Banon case as long as DSK remains in the US. By the way, TB filed a suit for attempted rape (difficult to prove under French law) not rape, and DSK's lawyers have already filed a countersuit for defamation. So how exactly could the purely hypothetical outcome of a purely hypothetical lawsuit affect what happens in the US?

There are the seeds of a good discussion (diavlog) here about a number of issues, which should be talked about more generally. That would include the intersection of the media/public opinion and criminal law, including the election of DAs and judges (not federal judges) and the politicization of numerous criminal issues.

Dershowitz made the same points in the interview from Le Figaro I posted below.

Wonderment
07-07-2011, 04:36 PM
Thanks, Stephanie. Yes, there are a lot of interesting issues to discuss comparing the US judicial system to those of other countries.

I'm hopeful that the charges are not dismissed on SK, but the system should work -- as was discussed in a recent diavlog -- so that guilty people often walk. I think the juries did the right thing in both the OJ and this week's Casey Anthony cases. I'm pretty sure I'd ultimately support a SK acquital too.

Most rape victims in he said/she said cases are worse off. At least SK, like Kobe, Polanski and Michael Jackson, has deep pockets. She can perhaps sue the proverbial pants off him and settle for a few mill.

Florian
07-07-2011, 04:50 PM
Most rape victims in he said/she said cases are worse off. At least SK, like Kobe, Polanski and Michael Jackson, has deep pockets. She can perhaps sue the proverbial pants off him and settle for a few mill.

How so? As soon as DSK leaves the US, if the charges against him are dismissed, he is under no obligation to pay his "victim" anything. And how do you know that the woman in question is a victim anyway?

As usual, you think as sloppily as you write.

jimM47
07-07-2011, 07:05 PM
So how exactly could the purely hypothetical outcome of a purely hypothetical lawsuit affect what happens in the US?

I was going to say that evidence of the accusation might come in for character, since the federal rules are pretty permissive on prior sexual offenses, but in quick googling, I don't see any analogous New York provision (which is what would control).

jimM47
07-07-2011, 07:18 PM
How so? As soon as DSK leaves the US, if the charges against him are dismissed, he is under no obligation to pay his "victim" anything. And how do you know that the woman in question is a victim anyway?

She could file a civil suit for damages in New York (which is separate from a criminal suit, and has a lower standard of proof). Rusty on this, but: while it might be difficult to enforce a judgment, but there'd be personal jurisdiction over DSK to go forward if you could serve process. If he really cared about never paying, he probably could stay out of New York, but he's rich and presumably DSK values his ability to travel freely.

AemJeff
07-07-2011, 07:25 PM
How so? As soon as DSK leaves the US, if the charges against him are dismissed, he is under no obligation to pay his "victim" anything. And how do you know that the woman in question is a victim anyway?

As usual, you think as sloppily as you write.

Civil actions have a "preponderance of the evidence" standard that sets a much lower threshold than the standard in a criminal trial. A not guilty verdict won't be sufficient to shield DSK from an unfavorable finding in civil court.

Ocean
07-07-2011, 07:59 PM
Not to worry. My girlfriend would kill me if I went to France without bringing her along. :)

But France is VERY high on my list of places to visit someday.

So, do you think you will be able to protect three women in Paris against the libidinous Frenchmen?

Okay, we'll collect data for three days and the rest of the two weeks will be spent observing others' interactions and taking notes in all the important places and best restaurants. If you see any of us all smiles and winks walking away with a handsome Frenchman, you'll know we're gathering even more detailed data. Don't stop the action. We'll call you if we need you. ;)

look
07-07-2011, 08:05 PM
So, do you think you will be able to protect three women in Paris against the libidinous Frenchmen?

Okay, we'll collect data for three days and the rest of the two weeks will be spent observing others' interactions and taking notes in all the important places and best restaurants. If you see any of us all smiles and winks walking away with a handsome Frenchman, you'll know we're gathering even more detailed data. Don't stop the action. We'll call you if we need you. ;)
I call dibs on Florian's couch.

Wonderment
07-07-2011, 08:47 PM
OJ Simpson, Michael Jackson, Kobe Bryant and convicted child-rapist Roman Polanski all faced civil consequences in high profile cases that didn't result in convictions.

Simpson and Jackson were found not guilty by juries of their peers and Bryant never got to trial. Perp Polanski paid a hefty settlement, as did Bryant and Jackson. Simpson was found guilty in civil court but was already virtually bankrupt, so the plaintiffs didn't get much.

The victim here has other deep pockets to go after, especially those of her employer, the hotel. Perhaps there was also a private security firm responsible for hotel employee security.

stephanie
07-07-2011, 08:57 PM
I was going to say that evidence of the accusation might come in for character, since the federal rules are pretty permissive on prior sexual offenses, but in quick googling, I don't see any analogous New York provision (which is what would control).

Yeah, I was thinking SDNY, which is why the whole aside about Congress and the rules committee, but that's obviously not where it is. I don't know anything specific about NY state procedure on the issue. However, one would have to research it to be sure.

Francoamerican
07-08-2011, 06:25 AM
I call dibs on Florian's couch.

You will have to share it with florian's dog....I don't think you would like that.

But you and ocean and uncle ebeneezer are welcome to visit both of us in Paris. We will be happy show you around. Florian will fend off any and all rapists. I will fend off Florian.

Francoamerican
07-08-2011, 06:50 AM
The victim here has other deep pockets to go after, especially those of her employer, the hotel. Perhaps there was also a private security firm responsible for hotel employee security.

Florian instructs me to inform you that you have no justification yet for calling the maid a "victim," when the relation may have been consensual. Apparenty, you think that the trial has already occurred and that DSK has been found guilty. Not so, wonderment.

Try to use your native (?) language a little more accurately. Florian has already told me that you are incapable of reading for meaning, that you quote out of context, attribute false views to him, so it is perhaps not altogether surprising that you are also incapable of writing for meaning. But if you are going to constantly shoot off your mouth on this affair, you might want to consult a dictionary now and again.

It amazes me that there are so many people like you, both in the US and in France, who make peremptory pronouncements about guilt and innocence without knowing anything about the case except what they have heard or read in the news.

ledocs
07-08-2011, 10:12 AM
"Perp Polanski paid a hefty settlement, as did Bryant and Jackson."

It is not known what Bryant paid in settlement, I have never even seen a ballpark estimate. I would guess $500,000, based upon my intuition and knowledge of the case, what it would have been worth to Bryant not to have the case go to trial, how tough his laywers were, etc. The thing is, a civil trial would have been extremely unpleasant for both parties, as is obvious from the fact that the plaintiff refused to testify in a criminal trial. I think Bryant had more leverage in the settlement negotiations, but he was also quite wealthy and would want to have avoided a trial.

Something I have never entirely understood there. Long after the settlement, I saw a video of the plaintiff on youtube rapping about herself and her encounter with Bryant. In that rap, she asks something like, "If he didn't rape me, why was my ass bleeding?" But anal penetration was never even alleged in the criminal complaint, and, prior to that recorded rap, I had never heard anything about anal bleeding. Why is she rapping about this intimate stuff when the civil case has been settled? That woman is bonkers, and her mental instability would have been a primary focus in a civil trial.

AemJeff
07-08-2011, 10:18 AM
"Perp Polanski paid a hefty settlement, as did Bryant and Jackson."

It is not known what Bryant paid in settlement, I have never even seen a ballpark estimate. I would guess $500,000, based upon my intuition and knowledge of the case, what it would have been worth to Bryant not to have the case go to trial, how tough his laywers were, etc. The thing is, a civil trial would have been extremely unpleasant for both parties, as is obvious from the fact that the plaintiff refused to testify in a criminal trial. I think Bryant had more leverage in the settlement negotiations, but he was also quite wealthy and would want to have avoided a trial.

Something I have never entirely understood there. Long after the settlement, I saw a video of the plaintiff on youtube rapping about herself and her encounter with Bryant. In that rap, she asks something like, "If he didn't rape me, why was my ass bleeding?" But anal penetration was never even alleged in the criminal complaint, and, prior to that recorded rap, I had never heard anything about anal bleeding. Why is she rapping about this intimate stuff when the civil case has been settled? That woman is bonkers, and her mental instability would have been a primary focus in a civil trial.

"Ass" can also be argot for "corpus," though. You easily read that as equivalent to "If he didn't rape me, why was I bleeding?".

ledocs
07-08-2011, 11:11 AM
Good point. I never thought of that. But the accent in the rap fell on "ass," not on "bleeding," as I would have expected under your interpretation and which explains why I never considered this alternate reading. On the other hand, she's white, and a very poor rapper. A genuine conundrum.

Maybe I'll have to find the video again -- just kidding.

look
07-08-2011, 12:09 PM
You will have to share it with florian's dog....I don't think you would like that.

But you and ocean and uncle ebeneezer are welcome to visit both of us in Paris. We will be happy show you around. Florian will fend off any and all rapists. I will fend off Florian.:)

stephanie
07-12-2011, 04:55 PM
Thanks, Stephanie. Yes, there are a lot of interesting issues to discuss comparing the US judicial system to those of other countries.

There's probably a better place for this link, but it seemed to fit in here, since we've been discussing the link between politics and criminal punishments.

Here's (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/12/us/12bar.html?_r=1) an article from the NYT discussing how judges in Alabama, who are elected, are far more likely to use the power to reject sentences to go for the death penalty. In Delaware, where judges are appointed, the pattern is quite different.

Obviously there are other factors that should be looked at, such as the types of cases in which juries imposed death vs. prison, as that forms the pool that we start with. Some of these issues are referenced in the article.

Wonderment
07-12-2011, 07:47 PM
Here's an article from the NYT discussing how judges in Alabama, who are elected, are far more likely to use the power to reject sentences to go for the death penalty. In Delaware, where judges are appointed, the pattern is quite different.

Yes, I read that. Be careful what you wish for. The original principle had to be, "Let's take this out of the hands of the overly emotional undereducated redneck juries," but the judges turned out to be more inclined to hang 'em high than the jurors.

I found the case of the judge who wanted to even things up by sentencing a white guy to death to be especially ironic/insane.

I'm not sure how it works in other states, but here in California the governor fills vacancies and then almost all judges for re-election run unopposed, as if the legal establishment tacitly conspired to subvert the electoral system (thank God).

We did have our own particularly shameful debacle though when the Rose Bird Court in 1986 (first time round for Gov. Jerry Brown) was recalled by angry law-and-order right-wing voters. Three liberals were thrown off the court. This would be the equivalent of the Tea Party recalling Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor and Kagan, and then having President Romney or Bachmann replace them with Scalia clones. How's that for democracy?!

miceelf
07-12-2011, 07:50 PM
Yes, I read that. Be careful what you wish for. The original principle had to be, "Let's take this out of the hands of the overly emotional undereducated redneck juries," but the judges turned out to be more inclined to hang 'em high than the jurors.

Well, Stephanie was comparing judges to judges, so it's more like not much is changed by taking it out of the hands of overly emotional undereducated redneck juries and putting it in the hands of judges who know they have to be (re) elected by overly emotional undereducated redneck voters.

ledocs
07-13-2011, 05:28 AM
For those who know French reasonably well, here is a page from the French radio station “France Culture” which aggregates its own programs that have dealt with the DSK affair, but also refers to some useful written media external links.

http://www.franceculture.com/dossier-l-affaire-dsk.html (http://www.franceculture.com/dossier-l-affaire-dsk.html)

This recent radio program moderated by Alain Finkielkraut (florian and I both listen to this weekly program regularly) was a very good discussion of the fallout from the DSK affair in France as seen from the point of view of two women, a sociologist who is particularly interested in the legal questions and the editor of “Elle,” who is particularly interested in French mores (and the French legal regime, by implication) as regards sexual harassment.

http://www.franceculture.com/emission-repliques-les-femmes-face-a-l-affaire-dsk-2011-07-09.html
(http://www.franceculture.com/emission-repliques-les-femmes-face-a-l-affaire-dsk-2011-07-09.html)

stephanie
07-13-2011, 08:15 AM
Yes, I read that. Be careful what you wish for. The original principle had to be, "Let's take this out of the hands of the overly emotional undereducated redneck juries," but the judges turned out to be more inclined to hang 'em high than the jurors.

I think you are imposing attitudes on the discussion that need not be there re "rednecks." On the other hand, what miceelf said.

But I think it's clear from the article that they didn't think through the effect of changing the sentencing authority when judges are elected. And I think the potentially problematic effect of electing judges can be seen in a lot of other contexts.

Ultimately, I think this is more support for the point made in the TNR article I linked a while back, about the reasons the DP remains in the US vs. other countries.

I found the case of the judge who wanted to even things up by sentencing a white guy to death to be especially ironic/insane.

I guess I see it a little more difficult an issue than that, although I'm not approving. Then again, it could be a savvy way of framing the issue. If one takes the idea that it could just be political posturing out of the equation and assumes sincerity and if one assumes the judge is pro DP in theory, one of the real concerns remaining is inconsistency of application and, in particular, perceived racial effects in application. I can see a judge being uncomfortable if they are only sentencing black defendants to death and not whites. Of course, the way around inconsistency issues (which might well not fix any racial disparity) is not to let judges fix that based on personal inclinations or political concerns, but to have more strict standards about imposition in the first place. Pretty difficult to do in reality, but that's one of the problems with the DP in application. I'm against it in theory, but I think the problems with application are a good reason to be against it if one is not.

I'm not sure how it works in other states

Depends on the state.

How's that for democracy?!

The problem with these arguments -- like those about liberal courts! -- is that there's an assumption that more democracy or even popular democracy means better, but I'm pretty skeptical about that in a lot of areas.

ledocs
07-13-2011, 10:57 AM
Suppose we look at the crime and punishment question from a strictly pragmatic point of view. We want punishments that are cost-effective, that reduce or deter crime in a cost-effective way. So from that point of view, does it make a difference whether judges are elected or appointed? That is, are judges who are appointed by elected officials likely to be more pragmatic than judges who are elected directly by plebiscite? So one obvious answer is that it depends upon how pragmatic the electorate is, and it depends upon how pragmatic the elected officials who do the appointing are, and whether their pragmatism about crime and punishment is overridden by their pragmatism as regards being reelected. It seems probable that appointed judges would, on average and over time, be more pragmatic than directly elected judges in states like California and New York. In a state like Texas, I'm inclined to guess that it makes no difference. And in some states, appointed judges might be more ideological and less pragmatic than directly elected judges, but that would also be partly a matter of chance, not a structural problem.

I must say, though, that I don't think judges should be elected, because I cannot imagine how the electorate is supposed to know if a judge is competent and fair or not, and judges and prosecutors should not be playing politics in their decisions. So DA's should not be elected either. That's as a matter of principle. In practice, we get this highly ideological judicial appointment and ratification process at the federal level with each change in party of administration, and that, in and of itself, makes a mockery of judicial impartiality. This indictment applies to the Supreme Court and to all subsidiary federal courts.

Basically, I don't see a solution to the problem unless the people who vote become a lot more expert than they are in the literature of crime and punishment, unless they all start reading Mark Kleiman, for example, or watching his dv's. And I don't see how we get a less volatile and more equitable justice system unless society as a whole were to reach more of a consensus and become less polarized than it is on a lot of issues.

In the ideal world, smart and well-informed electorate -> smart and well-informed elected officials -> smart and fair appointed judges and DA's. We don't live in that world, so I don't know how much difference it makes.

Let's just blow everything up and start over, shall we, starting with the US Constitution?

Wonderment
07-13-2011, 01:39 PM
I must say, though, that I don't think judges should be elected, because I cannot imagine how the electorate is supposed to know if a judge is competent and fair or not, and judges and prosecutors should not be playing politics in their decisions. So DA's should not be elected either.

I agree with that.

That's as a matter of principle. In practice, we get this highly ideological judicial appointment and ratification process at the federal level with each change in party of administration, and that, in and of itself, makes a mockery of judicial impartiality. This indictment applies to the Supreme Court and to all subsidiary federal courts.

Yes, but, as politicized as it is, the SC appointments, ratified by the Senate, are better than having the judges elected by popular vote, in which case we'd have characters like the sheriff from Arizona's Maricopa County on the Supreme Court, along with Rudi Guliani, Judge Judy and Nancy Grace.

Wonderment
07-13-2011, 01:46 PM
I think you are imposing attitudes on the discussion that need not be there re "rednecks." On the other hand, what miceelf said.


It's not quite as bad as Miceelf said. Although races for attorney general are often hotly contested and highly politicized, judge and DA elections are rarely contested the 2nd, 3rd, nth time around. It's not like your average voter is qualified to assess judicial competence or reading that far down the ballot. So unless a judge does something really "egregious" (i.e., politically poisonous) s/he likely to stay on the bench until retirement. In other words, the judge is far less accountable to the electorate than an ordinary politician would be.

stephanie
07-13-2011, 01:47 PM
Suppose we look at the crime and punishment question from a strictly pragmatic point of view. We want punishments that are cost-effective, that reduce or deter crime in a cost-effective way. So from that point of view, does it make a difference whether judges are elected or appointed? That is, are judges who are appointed by elected officials likely to be more pragmatic than judges who are elected directly by plebiscite?

I suppose you could compare states that elect vs. those that appoint or states that elect with the federal judiciary, although there are other differences. I tend to agree with you that it probably would depend on the state somewhat. There are factors beyond elections, of course -- like how do you end up getting appointed (one reason why even appointed state court judges tend to be different than federal judges) and is there an impeachment process that ends up getting used in political ways. But all that aside, I think elections basically cuts against pragmaticism for the same reason that it does in criminal policy overall. The population emotionally tends to be concerned with more than cost-effective deterence.

I suppose one could argue that this means that the justice system should properly focus on these other things, and if people think justice is better served by punishment of a certain sort, even if it doesn't reduce crime or serve the budget, that's not a misplaced priority and it's wrong for experts to suggest otherwise.

My problems with an elected judiciary go beyond these issues and into general competence and corruption issues, as well as:

I must say, though, that I don't think judges should be elected, because I cannot imagine how the electorate is supposed to know if a judge is competent and fair or not, and judges and prosecutors should not be playing politics in their decisions. So DA's should not be elected either. That's as a matter of principle. In practice, we get this highly ideological judicial appointment and ratification process at the federal level with each change in party of administration, and that, in and of itself, makes a mockery of judicial impartiality. This indictment applies to the Supreme Court and to all subsidiary federal courts.

I will say that I don't think the situation for litigants in the federal courts in most cases reflects this so much as the appointment process would suggest.

popcorn_karate
07-14-2011, 02:15 PM
It's not quite as bad as Miceelf said. Although races for attorney general are often hotly contested and highly politicized, judge and DA elections are rarely contested the 2nd, 3rd, nth time around. It's not like your average voter is qualified to assess judicial competence or reading that far down the ballot. So unless a judge does something really "egregious" (i.e., politically poisonous) s/he likely to stay on the bench until retirement. In other words, the judge is far less accountable to the electorate than an ordinary politician would be.

i have to plug Hot Coffee again. I think watching that might give you a different perspective.

miceelf
07-14-2011, 04:25 PM
I honestly didn't mean to make a big deal about the attributed redneck thing. i was just offering a different perspective on the causal mechanism. It's not that judges are so much worse than juries, but that judges who are elected are elected by roughly the same people who are going to be in jury pools, so in that scenario, you can't expect judges to be any better than their electoral realities.

And, yeah, hot coffee. What you say about inertia is accurate until a really wealthy group decides they want to "invest" in judicial elections. In that case, the inertia thing actually works in favor of said wealthy group as they really don't have any competition in terms of advertising.

bjkeefe
11-12-2011, 10:33 AM
Which brings us to the new charges (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/nov/11/dominique-strauss-kahn-prostitution-scandal) ...

(h/t: Rufus Polk (https://twitter.com/#!/rufuspolk/status/135330191802241024))