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scullars
04-25-2005, 05:09 PM
Huh? is exactly my reaction to the draconian law written about in the linked article. Male teenager is sentenced to prison for 17 years for having a consensual encounter with a 15 year old boy based on an anti-sodomy law. Now, you just know he's going to be labelled a "predator" once he's released and you can just imagine the hell he's going to go through in prison. I agree with the author of the article; this law is based on homophobia than the need to protect children. And yet, the true predators sometimes get less years than this poor child.

http://www.salon.com/mwt/col/waldman/2005/04/25/limon/

maestrowork
04-25-2005, 05:22 PM
To be honest, I don't understand the laws in this country. A boy gets 17 years of prison for having consensual sex with another boy (can you say homophobia quick enough) -- Sodomy law my ass (pardon the puns). If sodomy law is to be enforced, a lot of adults (straight, gay, whatever) are going to be in big trouble. Besides, are they going to arrest and jail all the teenage boys who have sex with teenage girls and get them pregnant? We'd better build a lot of prisons! No, because according to the article, the laws "allows" that under the "Romeo and Juiet" clause. Talk about hypocrites.

Even if there's such a law, the court and the judge show immense bigotry by enforcing it, and sentencing the boy not probation, not 18 months, not 2 years, but 17 years. And this boy is going to be tarnised forever as a sex offender by having oral sex with his boyfriend?

Meanwhile, child molesting priests go free...

Sometimes there are things in this country that make me sick to my stomach.

Thank God I don't live in Kansas.

three seven
04-25-2005, 06:29 PM
If I may play devil's advocate for a moment, the Romeo & Juliet statute only applies if both parties are under 18 (ie neither is an adult).

It is illegal to bum your boyfriend or pets in Kansas even if you're all adults; however, the pertinent issue is Kansas Statute 21-3505(a)(2), which states that "sodomy with a child who is 14 or more years of age but less than 16 years of age" is a felony, unless you're a married couple. Doesn't matter whether you're gay, straight or a cauliflower.

In this instance, an 18-year-old indulged a 14-year-old. It's a cut and dried case, regardless of gender, and the penalty for an adult who has sex with a child in Kansas is a long time in jail.

Sarita
04-25-2005, 06:45 PM
In this instance, an 18-year-old indulged a 14-year-old. It's a cut and dried case, regardless of gender, and the penalty for an adult who has sex with a child in Kansas is a long time in jail.

There are some very strange laws regarding sex in this country and many other countries: http://www.dribbleglass.com/subpages/strange/sexlaws.htm

I'm not sure how reliable these are, but check it out. For the record, I don't think a law stating adults shouldn't have sex with children is strange ;)


In Georgia, a man was sentenced to five years in prison for engaging in oral sex. With his wife. With her consent. In their home.

three seven
04-25-2005, 07:16 PM
The fun is in imagining the scenario that led to the law being passed in the first place. Especially this one...

It is illegal for any member of the Nevada legislature to conduct official business wearing a penis costume while the legislature is in session.

And I especially love the imagery here...

No female shall appear in a bathing suit on any highway within this state unless she be armed with a club.

Sarita
04-25-2005, 07:20 PM
LOL, that's exactly what I was thinking when I read this:


It is illegal for any member of the Nevada legislature to conduct official business wearing a penis costume while the legislature is in session.

Um, who did this... and WHY?

veinglory
04-25-2005, 07:39 PM
In terms of preventing older and younger youths going at it, not locking them up at night in the same dorm would be a start, methinks the younger kids should be in their own area.


But perhaps that is a whole other can of worms.

three seven
04-25-2005, 07:42 PM
Yes, it is a whole other can of worms, but apparently


this law is based on homophobia than the need to protect children.so we needn't open it.

rich
04-25-2005, 07:44 PM
I would think a politician would be applauded for sporting such a costume since he'd be showing his consistuancy his true self.

Back to Kansas, did you know that state law doesn't consider a greyhound a dog? Reason: if you treated them humanely it'd cut into the dog track revenue.

Hmmm, does that mean we can date them?

maestrowork
04-25-2005, 07:45 PM
If I may play devil's advocate for a moment, the Romeo & Juliet statute only applies if both parties are under 18 (ie neither is an adult).

It is illegal to bum your boyfriend or pets in Kansas even if you're all adults; however, the pertinent issue is Kansas Statute 21-3505(a)(2), which states that "sodomy with a child who is 14 or more years of age but less than 16 years of age" is a felony, unless you're a married couple. Doesn't matter whether you're gay, straight or a cauliflower.

In this instance, an 18-year-old indulged a 14-year-old. It's a cut and dried case, regardless of gender, and the penalty for an adult who has sex with a child in Kansas is a long time in jail.

OK, I'll buy that, and I'd even go along and say "yeah, the kid is a predator" (rolling eyes) even though I still think 17 years is harsh for this case, for a 17yo kid -- his life is completely ruined... especially if they have been boyfriends since the kids are both under 18... could it be they arrest him AFTER he turned 18?

It's just weird.

And yeah, the man got sentenced for having oral sex with his wife. Sheesh. But the law is there: oral sex is considered sodomy, consenting or not.

three seven
04-25-2005, 07:48 PM
Ray, you're missing the point. This took place when the elder boy was 18, and the younger boy 14. Adult and child, full stop. And from the article, it didn't sound to me like this had been an ongoing affair.

Sarita
04-25-2005, 07:52 PM
Matthew had just turned 18 the week before, and his partner was just shy of his 15th birthday. The younger boy, identified only as M.A.R., consented to the sex, but changed his mind. As soon as he asked Matthew to stop, Matthew did, and M.A.R. has always been steadfast in his statement that what happened was consensual.

I was under the impression this was the first encounter, since the younger boy asked him to stop. But it could have been a repeat occurrence. Makes you wonder how he would have been treated had it happened a week earlier?

maestrowork
04-25-2005, 07:55 PM
Well, I guess I don't know enough about the case to make any judgment. My impression is that they were both under 18 when they became lovers. The younger boy is 15, isn't he? But anyway, coming back to Scullar's original point -- there were real predators out there who got lesser sentences, and priests who got away for molesting boys and girls... and get maybe 5 years with probation. The judge who sentenced this boy to 17 years must have an axe to grind, don't you think?

Edit: just saw Sara's post. See... I think someone wants to get Matthew REALLY bad. They were lovers before Matthew turned 18. As soon as Matthew turned 18, they stopped. But it didn't stop them from arresting him and putting him away for 17 years.

Someone is definitely going after blood here (the younger boy's parents, perhaps?) I think they were waiting for him to turn 18 -- before then they couldn't do anything and the parents were probably desperate...

three seven
04-25-2005, 08:16 PM
Ray, you're reading it wrong. M.A.R. asked Matthew to stop what he was doing, not to stop being his boyfriend because he'd turned 18. There's no indication whatsoever that they were in any kind of relationship.

And I'd also disagree with you in that even if I read Scullars' OP (and, indeed, yours) as a comment on the apparent disparity in the sentencing of paedophiles rather than an accusation of homophobia, the fact that he's 18 and doesn't hang around school gates is irrelevant. Whether or not he's a 'true predator', he broke a clearly-defined law and the sentence imposed falls within the bounds set for such an offense.

I really don't see the argument here.

three seven
04-25-2005, 08:19 PM
I think they were waiting for him to turn 18 -- before then they couldn't do anything and the parents were probably desperate...This isn't the case either - the Romeo & Juliet statute only applies between heterosexual couples, so if Matthew was under 18 it would still be illegal. In fact, that statute only applies up to the age of consent between heterosexual couples, which is 16, so whichever way you look at it, there's no defence.

The gender issue, I can agree, is arguably unfair, but it has no bearing on the case.

maestrowork
04-25-2005, 08:34 PM
I just see things as shades of grays, that's all. Again, we don't know what really goes on in and outside of that courthouse. But I think to say "he is going to jail for 17 years because he clearly broke a law" is simplicist and unfair. I don't see it as black and white and "end of discussion."

That's how I am, I suppose.

Many of us would be going to jail for things we do. For example, I think in PA there's still a sodomy law. I wonder how many people are going to go to jail for that...

three seven
04-25-2005, 08:41 PM
I think in PA there's still a sodomy law. I wonder how many people are going to go to jail for that...Which PA are we talking about here? ;)


Oh, and I agree, the law isn't always black and white. But where it involves an adult having sex with a child, I'm afraid I believe it is. I know if that were one of my kids, 17 years would be just the start of that guy's problems...

Sarita
04-25-2005, 08:45 PM
Many of us would be going to jail for things we do. For example, I think in PA there's still a sodomy law. I wonder how many people are going to go to jail for that...

Indeed! How many of us are going to jail for this one?


In Harrisburg, Pennsylvania it is illegal to have sex with a truck driver inside a tollbooth.

EDIT: Yes, Three. And with the younger boy being a 14 yr old, I can see how the parents would go after the strongest penalty. It's hard to judge this case without knowing all the facts (for me at least).

maestrowork
04-25-2005, 09:03 PM
For the younger boy's parents, I can understand they want the toughest penalties (it doesn't matter if the boy consented or not -- the argument is that he wouldn't have known... of course, when I was 14, I knew what I was doing... ;) )

For the older boy's parents, though, it's another story. Here you have your just-turned-18 son going to jail for 17 years. By the time he gets out, he would be 35 years old and FOREVER a sex offender. I wonder how we're going to think if he were one of our kids...

Is this fair? We could argue whether the 17-yo boy should know better, or whether the 14/15yo is all that innocent... we don't know, since we're not there.

I hope we'd spend more time on catching real pedophiles.

Sarita
04-25-2005, 09:44 PM
For the older boy's parents, though, it's another story. Here you have your just-turned-18 son going to jail for 17 years. By the time he gets out, he would be 35 years old and FOREVER a sex offender. I wonder how we're going to think if he were one of our kids....

Right. 17 years is ludicrous. I'm not sure what kind of sentence, if any would be appropriate in this case. I wish we knew ALL the facts! I'm sure the parents will appeal the sentence, I know I would if he were my son.

I don't think it's a case of innocence. Really. 14 year olds today know what they're doing. As much as parents would like to think they don't, 14 year olds are doing some naughty sh!t.


I hope we'd spend more time on catching real pedophiles.

Me, too.

maestrowork
04-25-2005, 09:48 PM
I know I was, and I knew exactly what I was doing. ;)

Seriously, here we are putting someone like him in jail for 17 years. Meanwhile, a 17yo who committed a murder would be tried as a juvenile and probably get away with a much milder sentence. Something is definitely wrong with our judicial system.

scullars
04-25-2005, 10:08 PM
Here's what I posted on another board to explain my objection to the sentence in this case:

I'm in no way justifying the encounter. I am taking issue with the inequitable application of the Kansas laws, leading to my suspicion of another agenda going on with this specific sodomy law. That the Romeo and Juliet law would have allowed a similar incident with the same aged participants to pass with only 15 months given while this mentally challenged 18-year-old is given 17 years says that the sodomy law was enacted basically to discourage "gay-like" activities.

There are probably other statutory rape laws on the Kansas books, but I would probably bet that they do not have as onerous a sentence where the participants are heterosexual. I do see the similarities to the Marcus Dixon case cited in the article, where an 18-y-o black youth was sentenced to 10 years in prison for having consensual sex with his then 15-y-o white girlfriend. In that case, the sentence was reversed by the Georgia Supreme Court, ruling that the defendant should have been prosecuted under the less onerous statutory rape law and not the sexual predator law.

I feel the same in this case. Yes, the 18-y-o should have done time, just not 17 years. I don't compare him to a predator with a known pattern of seeking out and harming children (a la Florida rapist, maybe even R. Kelly), but as someone who stupidly had an encounter and is going to pay a hefty price for it.

trumancoyote
04-25-2005, 10:26 PM
Well said, Scullars.

It's essentially this: there is absolutely NO way a straight man would receive so ridiculous a punishment for the same thing. He'd be punished, surely, for decorum's sake; but afterwards, I don't doubt the judge would invite him over for a beer and pat him on the back for baggin' a youngin'.

One might also keep in mind that (and I don't mean to generalize here, but this type of prejudice DOES exist) with the Marcus-Dixon case, in spite of his heterosexuality, the dude may have received that sort of sentence because it was an interracial thing.

I wouldn't exactly argue the complete veritability of such a supposition, but one should take that sort of thing into account, considering the world we live in.

Do you think it would have been different in either case, were both the participants heterosexual and white (if not at least the same ethnicity)?

three seven
04-25-2005, 11:54 PM
Man, this drives me up the f**king wall. Why does everything have to come down to "because he's gay" or "because he's black" or whatever your particular agenda is this week? Like it or not, the justice system does not revolve around your ethnicity or sexuality. Plenty of straight white guys have spent decades in jail for crimes they didn't commit, and does the rest of the straight white world scream discrimination? No, of course not. We scream injustice along with everyone else.

Yes, 17 years is a harsh penalty and yes, he probably could have been prosecuted under some misdemeanor and served a week and a half, but the fact remains that if you don't want to do the time, you've always got the option of not doing the crime.

For every crime on the statute books, there is a maximum sentence that the judge can hand down. If the maximum for having sex with an emotionally challenged minor is 17 years, so be it.

And Ray, a 17-year-old being tried as a juvenile is entirely irrelevant. Please get it out of your head that the defendant in this case was 17 years old - he was not, no matter how many times you say he was!

FFS, am I the only one who sees an adult sucking a child's **** here? Does it have to be photographed and plastered across the internet before anyone sees a problem with it? Boy or girl, a 14-year-old is a vulnerable creature, no matter how much they might think they know what they're doing. And all your wink-wink-nudge-nudge comments, Ray, are in unbelievably poor taste.

robeiae
04-26-2005, 12:05 AM
In Coral Gables, FL there was law that prohibited more than 3 unrelated women to share a home (a free standing structure, apartments were okay); reason: it promoted prostitution. That law made it impossible for sorority houses to exist at UM, despite the fact that there were many fraternity houses. Silly, isn't it.

I would like to be able to agree with those who say the sentence of 17 years was too harsh, for it certainly will ruin his life. The question is, however, would that sentence be too harsh for a 40-year old who had "consensual sex" with a 14 year old? I personally don't think so. But can we differntiate crimes by ages beyond the adult/child dichotomy? Talk about a can of worms! Of course, what's good for the goose...if adults who are just barely so are subjected to the full sentencing guidelines, then it would be consistent to claim that children should never be tried as adults, no matter how close they are to their birthday of legality.

Just my 3 cents,
Rob

maestrowork
04-26-2005, 01:22 AM
Three, I respectfully disagree. The kid was 17 only a week ago before he was arrested. He was thus tried as an adult. One week before, one week after. Tell me there's a difference. It wasn't the "first encounter." They were boyfriends. They waited for him to turn 18 to arrest him -- that's what I gathered from the "facts" I read so far....


Also, don't pretend and tell me that if it had been an 18yo boy and a 15yo girl it would have been the same. I bet my reputation that the boy would get far LESS than 17 years.

I do suspect that he's getting 17 years because he's a homosexual, and he lives in Kansas.

I am not saying he shouldn't be punished for anything... please re-read my original post. Probation, 2 years, even 5 years would have been appropriate, but not 17 years. I never said he should go away free.


Edit: my point was that the laws are not just the laws. They're there for intepretations, and the judge needs to weigh in all the factors to pass a reasonable sentence. I really don't think 17 years was due justice in this case, as far as I can tell (maybe there's something more sinister that I don't know?) And that's the reason why I brought up the whole sodomy laws in many US states -- meaning, if we are to say "you break a law, you go to jail" then a lot of us would be in trouble -- husband performing oral sex on his wife, consenting gay adults -- you name it. If you think I was "advocating" 18yo having sex with 14yo then I'm sorry I've misled you.

astonwest
04-26-2005, 01:24 AM
For the older boy's parents, though, it's another story. Here you have your just-turned-18 son going to jail for 17 years. By the time he gets out, he would be 35 years old and FOREVER a sex offender. I wonder how we're going to think if he were one of our kids...

I'd be thinking 'where did I go wrong?' in the fact my kid was having sex with a 14 yr. old...regardless of the gender...


I hope we'd spend more time on catching real pedophiles.

At what age does a person become a pedophile then? 20? 30? 40?
Imagine a person at each of those ages with a 14 yr. old...
which one of those turns your stomach?

Personally, it turns my stomach regardless of the age...

trumancoyote
04-26-2005, 01:28 AM
I don't think being 18 makes you an adult -- legally, perhaps, but there's still a sense of peerage between 18 year-olds and 15 year-olds. It has to do with maturity. And I'm not saying that the law should take that into account; that's naturally too subjective. I am saying, however, that I do not see an adult sucking a minor's dick. I see two minors doing what they chose to do.

And Three-Seven, I was just throwing out the black and homosexual things because they exist: and they DO, no matter how much you believe in the fairness of the American judicial system, affect the outcomes of trials. Often. I didn't mean to imply that these things were undeniably related to the cases at hand; but I sure as Hell wouldn't be surprised if they were.

Simple as that.

astonwest
04-26-2005, 01:30 AM
I do suspect that he's getting 17 years because he's a homosexual, and he lives in Kansas.

I'd love to hear an explanation for this remark......

maestrowork
04-26-2005, 01:33 AM
When you were 17, the difference between 14 and 17 isn't that much of a difference.

We seem to consistently assume that a 14yo is innocent, and a 17yo would be evil. There are a LOT of shades of gray there, people. Who's to say the 14yo didn't seduce the 17yo? If you don't believe it would happen, read Augusten Burrough's "Running with Scissors." So should the 14yo be tried, too, since he was having sex with a minor as well (when their relationship happened)? Truth is, a friend of mine seduced a 28yo man when she was 15. It happened.

Sure, the 17yo should have known better. But I am not arguing that.

Listen, I didn't say it was something to be proud of. The kid should be punished. And if you want to call him a predator and pedophile, it's your value system. But 17 years of jail time? If anything, he should get rehab, counceling, etc. etc. instead of 17 years of life-ruining experience. While everyone turns a blind ear to kids being molested by priests?

Put yourself in his shoes, at 17. Have some compassion, people. It's not like this kid is molesting children all over the place or committed murder. 17 years? The punishment does not fit the crime, and you HAVE to wonder why the judge passed that sentence...

trumancoyote
04-26-2005, 01:33 AM
I'd love to hear an explanation for this remark......

Is an explanation really necessary?

maestrowork
04-26-2005, 01:44 AM
I'd be thinking 'where did I go wrong?' in the fact my kid was having sex with a 14 yr. old...regardless of the gender...


By your logic, I thnk the parents of the 14yo should ask "Where did I go wrong? That my kid was having sex with a 17yo boy" and then they should wait until the now-15yo turn 18 and arrest him for having sex with a minor when he was 14... since "Romeo and Juliet" won't pardon him.

Interesting, don't you think?

three seven
04-26-2005, 01:54 AM
RAY, FOR THE LOVE OF CHRIST, THERE IS NO 17 YEAR OLD INVOLVED. THE INCIDENT TOOK PLACE AFTER THE OLDER BOY'S 18TH BIRTHDAY. FOR. F**K'S. SAKE. HOW HARD IS IT TO UNDERSTAND? I am therefore not addressing any more of your remarks about underage couples.

Zach, I'm not suggesting that the American justice system is perfect and fair 100% of the time. However, your comments implied that to belong to any kind of minority effectively slashes the likelihood of getting a fair trial. And if that wasn't your intention, it certainly was Ray's.

Ray, I'm sure your friend is hugely proud of 'seducing a 28 year old' and putting him at risk of a jail term for statutory rape. You seem to think that's normal. I, however, think it's disgusting.

And what, he's not molesting children all over the place so we should give him a break? Hell, let's just release ALL first-time offenders, shall we? Has it maybe occurred to you that the reason he's not molesting children right now is that he's locked safely away in a jail cell?
I'm sorry, but having seen the effects of molestation on young teenagers, I find it hard to have any sympathy for a 'life-ruining' sentence.

And just who, exactly, turns a blind eye to child-molesting priests? I don't. Do you?

astonwest
04-26-2005, 02:04 AM
Is an explanation really necessary?
Indeed, I believe so...considering in college, I knew of a fellow (who was homosexual) who had been convicted of sodomy earlier in life, and didn't receive 17 years...all while in the state of Kansas...so blanket statements such as the one made by maestro seem a bit out-of-hand in my opinion...


By your logic, I thnk the parents of the 14yo should ask "Where did I go wrong? That my kid was having sex with a 17yo boy" and then they should wait until the now-15yo turn 18 and arrest him for having sex with a minor when he was 14... since "Romeo and Juliet" won't pardon him.
Indeed, I would think "where did I go wrong?" because my 14 yr. old is having sex.

The absurdity of your other statement...sigh.
If a teenager steals a car at 14, do they wait until he turns 18 before arresting him, and then charge him as an adult? Doubtful that they could, even if they wanted to...and equally doubtful they could do as you describe in this case.

Something people are failing to realize here is that if the punishment is too severe for the crime, then there are remedies under the US Constitution...

trumancoyote
04-26-2005, 02:05 AM
The new Pope does.

I think what Ray is trying to emphasize is the fact that a relationship between an 18 year-old and a 15 year-old isn't all that alarming. After all, I was 16-turning-seventeen when I was with my first boyfriend, who was 14. At the time, I didn't feel as if I was taking advantage of him, nor did he me -- it was a happy, reciprocal thing. It seems as if your vision is a bit myopic, here, because if our relationship would have lasted for two years, we would have been in almost the same predicament as these two boys.

Would you consider that statutory rape? And moreover, should I have been punished for that?

I wouldn't say that minorities are doomed to unfair trials. I would, however, go so far as to say, depending on the place of the trial and the 'type' of minority (sorry, I couldn't think of any better word to describe it :(), there is more of a chance that said minority will receive a more harsh sentence than say, someone of the same class, gender, and ethnicity of the judge and all others involved.

I don't know if any of that makes sense, and I apologize for that; I'm not the best at forming arguments.

maestrowork
04-26-2005, 02:07 AM
Many people turn a blind eye to priests here. You have to be in the States to understand that.

Once again, you seem to think that I think having sex with 14yo is normal or to be encouraged. Please don't. I'm just arguing the fact that there are all shades of grays, here. I am not advocating sex with minors here, for cry'in out loud.

I think your emotion is disabling you to see my real arguments.

I was telling my friend's story to tell you that 14yo are not all innocent. -- it seems like a lot of people always assume that they are. I have seen teachers' lives get ruined because a minor lied about being molested by a teacher. It doesn't matter if it turns out it wasn't the truth; the teacher's life was ruined anyway. I for one would not think children are all innocent and pure for one minute. Call me a cynic.


I'd have to agree that he was 18 when he performed the act, then yeah, he committed a crime. I'm not arguing that. I am just saying that there are more stories behind that, the fact that they were lovers BEFORE he turned 18, etc. etc. So yes, THERE WAS a 17yo involved, who happened to turn 18 a week earlier. I don't see how we can just forget that fact...

Now, can we just agree that 17 years is too harsh for the crime?

Can you tell me why the judge would pass such a harsh sentence?

Do you really think a 18yo boy with a 15yo girl would get the same sentence?

I think these are interesting questions to ask.

maestrowork
04-26-2005, 02:09 AM
If a teenager steals a car at 14, do they wait until he turns 18 before arresting him, and then charge him as an adult? Doubtful that they could, even if they wanted to...and equally doubtful they could do as you describe in this case.

I admit I was wrong in that statement. I was under the impression that the boy stopped having sex with the other boy AFTER he turned 18, and was still arrested. Now I read it, I understand he was doing it when the other boy changed his mind, and he did stop. But, yes, he did perform oral sex on the other boy... OK. Now I get the facts straight...

As I mentioned in my other post, since the incident did happen AFTER he turned 18, then yes, legally he commited a crime.

And yes, I am sure the boy's lawyers are going to repeal. But that's not the argument with Scullar's first post. The question is:

Why give him 17 years in the first place. Is it gay-related? Here's the passage that was in question:


If Matthew had had consensual sex with a girl, and the state had prosecuted him at all, the longest sentence they could have given him was 15 months. Instead, because Matthew had sex with another boy, and only because he had sex with another boy, he has spent the past five years in Ellsworth Correctional Facility in central Kansas.

That's the question we were asking, before we went off on other things...

three seven
04-26-2005, 02:30 AM
Ok, since you asked nicely, I'll put my gut reactions to one side and consider only the facts:


18 year old boy has sex with 14 year old boy. No indication of relationship prior to 18th birthday.

Same-sex relations a criminal offense at any age.

Heterosexuals under age of 16 allowed to have sex, despite being below age of consent.

These things are all wrong.


17 year sentence for sodomising a minor.

I don't think anyone would argue against this.


Perpetrator emotionally challanged and only recently turned 18.

This is a grey area. Personally, I'd argue that the law isn't a secret and that ignorance is no defence. We each are responsible for measuring our actions against their consequences.


The justice system has a perceived tendency to hand harsher sentences to those in minority groups.

This is obviously wrong. However, in the case of a gay man accused of sodomy in a state where it's illegal, his homosexuality is not just relevant to the case, but forms its very foundation. Playing the discrimination card here is akin to claiming that you were only convicted of robbery because the judge had a thing against robbers...

maestrowork
04-26-2005, 02:41 AM
Wait, was that first occurence? Where did you see that they had no relationship prior to Matthew's 18th birthday? My understanding is that they had done that before.

I was under the impression that they had sex before.

And if that WAS first occurence, wouldn't the judge consider that first offense, and given that it was two boys "experimenting"?

Also consider both boys are developmentally delayed (meaning physically, mentally or emotionally challenged), and that even though legally Matthew had turned 18, he was probably mentally or emotionally still a child, I really do think 17 years is harsh. We can argue until the cow comes home, but it sounds harsh to me.

All that aside, it is a fact that the judicial system in the US is unfair to some minorities. That is the sad way of life to a lot of people.

Sarita
04-26-2005, 02:47 AM
I was under the impression this was the first encounter, since the younger boy asked him to stop. But it could have been a repeat occurrence. Makes you wonder how he would have been treated had it happened a week earlier?

This is what I read that gave me the idea above:


It's generous, perhaps, to call them boyfriends. What they did was more akin to sexual experimentation, two boys in a dormitory at night, messing around. It's generous, perhaps, to call them boyfriends. What they did was more akin to sexual experimentation, two boys in a dormitory at night, messing around.

three seven
04-26-2005, 02:47 AM
I didn't say the system wasn't unfair to some people. I merely stated that you can't say that in this case, because the homosexual aspect is precisely the reason he was in court in the first place.
Nor did I say that 17 years was necessarily the right sentence in this case. Just that the law is what it is, and by the letter of the law, Matthew is a kiddy fiddler.

Anyway, I'm all argued out. I've made my feelings clear.

trumancoyote
04-26-2005, 02:49 AM
I didn't say the system wasn't unfair to some people. I merely stated that you can't say that in this case, because the homosexual aspect is precisely the reason he was in court in the first place.

Are you saying that only homos can sodomize?

maestrowork
04-26-2005, 02:52 AM
18 year old boy has sex with 14 year old boy. No indication of relationship prior to 18th birthday.

Same-sex relations a criminal offense at any age.

Heterosexuals under age of 16 allowed to have sex, despite being below age of consent.

These things are all wrong.


I agree on all counts.



17 year sentence for sodomising a minor.

Now that's what is under scrutiny here: the sentencing. We all know the based on the case, the evidence, the testimonies and interpretation of the law, a judge has the power to offer leniency up to maximum terms. I think it's the 17 years that is upsetting people, not the fact that Matthew was convicted.

maestrowork
04-26-2005, 02:56 AM
Are you saying that only homos can sodomize?

Good point, Truman, and that was one of my arguments. If they want to enforce the sodomy law, that would include heterosexuals in a committed relationship.

It still doesn't mean an "adult" sodomizing a minor is not wrong. It is wrong. But what I am saying, again and again and again, is that in the court of law, a lot of things are grey. And that I truly believe the 17 years sentence is unjust.

That's how I feel. I have also made my feelings know and I won't go any further.

three seven
04-26-2005, 02:57 AM
Legally, in Kansas, yes I am.

As you'll see in the following extract, it's a misdmeanor between same-sex adults, and permissible among heterosexual couples.



Article 35.--SEX OFFENSES

21-3505. Criminal sodomy. (a) Criminal sodomy is:

(1) Sodomy between persons who are 16 or more years of age and members of the same sex or between a person and an animal;

(2) sodomy with a child who is 14 or more years of age but less than 16 years of age; or

(3) causing a child 14 or more years of age but less than 16 years of age to engage in sodomy with any person or animal.

(b) It shall be a defense to a prosecution of criminal sodomy as provided in subsection (a)(2) that the child was married to the accused at the time of the offense.

(c) Criminal sodomy as provided in subsection (a)(1) is a class B nonperson misdemeanor. Criminal sodomy as provided in subsections (a)(2) and (a)(3) is a severity level 3, person felony.

Any questions?

three seven
04-26-2005, 02:59 AM
I think it's the 17 years that is upsetting people, not the fact that Matthew was convicted.Mmm. Well I entered this argument because I got the impression it was Matthew's conviction based on his sexuality that was upsetting people.

Sarita
04-26-2005, 02:59 AM
Did we ever wonder why Three was made the mod for Story Research? That was impressive, in less than 10 minutes.

three seven
04-26-2005, 03:02 AM
You didn't think I'd quote the statute without reading it first, did you? ;)

trumancoyote
04-26-2005, 03:02 AM
Mmm. Well I entered this argument because I got the impression it was Matthew's conviction based on his sexuality that was upsetting people.

I was personally affronted by the harshness of the verdict, which I perceive to be the result of his sexuality, yes. Being convicted is understandable.

Those laws are fucked, though, and I doubt anyone would argue that.

three seven
04-26-2005, 03:04 AM
I was personally affronted by the harshness of the verdict, which I perceive to be the result of his sexuality, yes.There's no perception about it, he was convicted on the basis of his sexuality because it's illegal. Refer back to my point about the robber.

trumancoyote
04-26-2005, 03:07 AM
I was referring to the 17 years, i.e., the harshness of the verdict, which is just ludicrous. I apologize if I'm not making myself clear.

robeiae
04-26-2005, 03:10 AM
All that aside, it is a fact that the judicial system in the US is unfair to some minorities. That is the sad way of life to a lot of people.

Ughh...

The system is not unfair; particular laws may be, but ususally only if minorities are ascribed particualr rights of behavior beyond that behavior which is generally seen as socially acceptable; particular decisions may be, but such a point of view is highly subjective since every case is necassarily unique regardless of what kind of statistical trends can be compiled.

But who exactly is being treated unfairly? People who did something illegal? Criminals? What is sad to me is the habit many seem to have in the current world of attributing all bad decisions to external causes. For me "I will choose a path that's clear, I will choose free will." (sorry, but I heard it on the radio today)

Now I'm up to 6 cents,

Rob

trumancoyote
04-26-2005, 03:16 AM
I'd say it's also sad that some people completely overlook external causes in crime -- and moreover, when someone who's guilty of what would be considered a petty crime is deemed, not technically, but condescendingly, a criminal.

three seven
04-26-2005, 03:22 AM
I appreciate what you're saying, but I honestly believe that minority groups don't have exclusive rights to unfair trials.

Take a look at this poor bastard. (http://www.nickyarris.2itb.com/index_nf.htm) A white, straight, middle-class guy, 22 years on death row for a crime he didn't commit.

trumancoyote
04-26-2005, 03:37 AM
I hope I didn't imply any sort of exclusivity for minorities; that's just nonsensical.

scullars
04-26-2005, 03:39 AM
[QUOTE=three seven]Man, this drives me up the f**king wall. Why does everything have to come down to "because he's gay" or "because he's black" or whatever your particular agenda is this week? Like it or not, the justice system does not revolve around your ethnicity or sexuality. Plenty of straight white guys have spent decades in jail for crimes they didn't commit, and does the rest of the straight white world scream discrimination? No, of course not. We scream injustice along with everyone else.
[QUOTE]

As hard as it may be believed, the justice system here in America is sometimes skewered by factors having nothing to do with the facts of the case before the court. Yes, there are innocent straight white guys in jail, just as there have been innocent blacks sent to death row based on little or no evidence. I live in Illinois where a moratorium is still in place because of the racial inequities of how the death sentences were applied. Additionally, throughout American history, gays have been persecuted with the laws of the land. The history of American justice system differs from the justice system in England, although I'm sure there are tangential factors that may skewer cases before your court system as well. The observation made here isn't an "agenda" of those who protest; it is simply that some of us note the irregularities and inequities of certain laws and how they are applied. If I as a black woman wanted to talk about race and justice, I would point to jails teeming with black men who have committed non-violent crimes (ie, possession of "recreational" drugs) while suburbanites (usually white) are sometimes given just a slap on the wrist for the same offense. Anyone, no matter what color, should scream discrimination when it is obvious and should demand justice along with everyone else.

three seven
04-26-2005, 03:40 AM
Maybe there's just too much implication floating around here! I know I've tried to be as clear as possible, but we're all tired and emotional, so, you know... ;)

astonwest
04-26-2005, 03:40 AM
I was referring to the 17 years, i.e., the harshness of the verdict, which is just ludicrous. I apologize if I'm not making myself clear.

http://www.sedgwickcounty.org/da/explain_sentence_grid.html

http://www.sedgwickcounty.org/da/sentencing_grid.html

I have to assume they considered it a 'two-person felony', severity 3 (as explained in three's quote from the statutes). In this instance, the minimum sentence would be 206 months (just over 17 years), maximum 228 months (19 years).

trumancoyote
04-26-2005, 03:44 AM
http://www.sedgwickcounty.org/da/explain_sentence_grid.html

http://www.sedgwickcounty.org/da/sentencing_grid.html

I have to assume they considered it a 'two-person felony', severity 3 (as explained in three's quote from the statutes). In this instance, the minimum sentence would be 206 months (just over 17 years), maximum 228 months (19 years).

I'm not the most savvy when it comes to law, but wouldn't a two-person felony imply that they should both be punished, or?...

Please enlighten me :Huh:

maestrowork
04-26-2005, 03:54 AM
I appreciate what you're saying, but I honestly believe that minority groups don't have exclusive rights to unfair trials.

Take a look at this poor bastard. (http://www.nickyarris.2itb.com/index_nf.htm) A white, straight, middle-class guy, 22 years on death row for a crime he didn't commit.

Well, saying minorities get unfair trials does not mean white, straight, middle-class guys don't. It's a different argument.

But at least the perception is there, and there many individual cases... and when you add them all up you find a pattern -- that black people, for example, tend to get harsher sentences. Now, that itself is a generalization, and every argument, ideally, should be presented with quantitative data and analysis. But it's true that there's a demonstrable perception that minorities do receive unfair trails in some parts of the country. To think otherwise, I believe, is naive. It is as if to say "racism" does not exist in America.


Moving on...


Article 35.--SEX OFFENSES


Yup, does that mean the Kansas law is in fact unfair to homosexuals?

And, if indeed the minimum sentence for a-2 and a-3 is 17 years, then I have nothing to say.

But look at (b) though... it would be a "defense" to a prosecution if a child is married to the accused...

I am still not moving to Kansus...

maestrowork
04-26-2005, 03:57 AM
I'm not the most savvy when it comes to law, but wouldn't a two-person felony imply that they should both be punished, or?...

Please enlighten me :Huh:

No, I think it means the offense involves two people, as opposed to 1-person+non-person (meaning bestality, for example, or animal cruelty or something).

Well, don't mind me, I am not a lawyer. ;)

maestrowork
04-26-2005, 04:01 AM
Just did some snooping and came up with this:

http://www.bostonphoenix.com/boston/news_features/other_stories/documents/02704491.htm


I guess it's a matter of challenging the existing law that seems unfair. But in this case, a law is a law, and it becomes a battle to strike the archaic and unfair law down. And it's not going to be pretty...

So in this case, astonwest is correct to state that it is not the trials and sentencing that was unfair, it was the law and statue that were...

Fractured_Chaos
04-26-2005, 01:37 PM
There are some very strange laws regarding sex in this country and many other countries: http://www.dribbleglass.com/subpages/strange/sexlaws.htm

I'm not sure how reliable these are, but check it out. For the record, I don't think a law stating adults shouldn't have sex with children is strange ;)

I agree. But let's look at the definition of child, here. Some teens don't -look- like teens, to be honest. And if a guy gets busted for bedding a 16 y/o, and he's only a couple years older, this guy is going to be branded for life. Rediculous, IMO.

Seriously, some cases are obvious molestation. No ifs, ands or buts about it. But some tread that grey zone, and frankly, we need to investigate the cases a little deeper.

Was the younger one victimized? Was it a control issue? Or was it just plain stupidity on everyone's part?

Over the past 20 years, there have been alot of changes in how young children are questioned in cases of molestation. Remember the "Satanic Ritual Abuses" of the 80s? Yeah, alot of innocent people had their lives ruined because of over zealous investigators and bad questioning. That needs to be extended to older kids, too...Teens.

There is the theory that if a 12 y/o girl is sexually active, then she was obviously molested.

I disagree.

There is a very strong correlation between the hormones used in beef, and early sexuality of our kids. There are other environmental factors. Hello? Paris Hilton is in the news constantly. And there is a chain of stores that caters to the sexualizing of our children. It's kind of like "Glamour Shots", but for tots. Loom at the clothes that are being hawked to our kids, and the parents who buy them. Is it any wonder our children are engaging in sex at a younger and younger age?

The laws need to be adjust for this.

Is the 18 y/o who sleeps with the 12 y/o stupid? You bet your a$$. Is he a pedophile in need of prison? Most likely not.



*drgn steps down off her soapbox*


EDIT: Sorry, Sara. I wasn't yelling at you. :o Actually, I had intended to respond to this:


In Georgia, a man was sentenced to five years in prison for engaging in oral sex. With his wife. With her consent. In their home.

What I want to know is.....HOW did anyone KNOW? Were they looking in the windows? If so, then should those people be charged with voyuerism? Seems to me, in a case like this, someone committed a crime, to discover a crime.

Liam Jackson
04-26-2005, 02:05 PM
No, Three, you're not the only one. The eighteen-year old is guilty of sex with a minor. Period. End of story. However, can you imagine that same court charging an eighteen year old male for having consentual sex with his sixteen year old girlfriend? It might be interesting to research and see if such a charge of sodomy has ever been filed for a heterosexual encounter. If not, you'll probably see a hellacious defense case base on the unconstituionality of the statutue in question.

Now, having said all that, is the sentence too harsh? Hard to say without reading the entire case history, and knowing a bit more about that particular state statutue. It's wayyyy too easy to draw conclusions without benefit of reading the entire case file.

Most states have "carnal abuse" or "statutory" laws to temper sentencing in cases in which age of the offender might be viewed as a mitigating factor.

maestrowork
04-26-2005, 02:33 PM
I think the repeal might have a defense here....

1. Matthew has already served for 5 years...

2. Was it first offense? Is there anything about first offense?

3. The definition of molestation/statutory rape -- it was consenual, then when M.A.R. changed his mind, Matthew stopped.

4. The "mental age" of Matthew -- he was developmentally challenged, meaning even though he was legally an adult, his mental and emotional states were that of a younger child. I think that might be the repeal's strongest argument, that Matthew should not have been charged as an adult. So yes, legally Matthew committed a crime based on the definition of the law. But I bet the defense is going to argue his actual mental age...

5. Then there's the whole thing about the unconstitutionality of the law itself, that it excludes heterosexuals. That's why the case is now in the Supreme Court.

I think it's very interesting to watch this case.

Celeste
04-26-2005, 03:06 PM
Wow! Looks like I missed a good one yesterday.

I can relate to this story in a few ways.

I have a cousin, who is homosexual. He was 21 in a consenual relationship with a 16 year old boy. The boy's parents pressed charges and my cousin spent six years in prison for it.

I also knew a teacher when I was in eighth grade who lost his teaching job all because of a slutty little 15 year old girl that used to flirt with this teacher. He told her she had to stop this behavior so, she got back at him by making false accusations that he raped her. He lost his teaching job. I don't know what become of the charges filed on him, but a few months after this took place, I saw him working as a security guard at a shopping mall. This man lost his career because of some 15 yr. old, excuse my language, slut. He was a good teacher.

I can also relate to having been 16 and dating a 20 yr. old man. I had a child with him. Our son is 15 years old now.

Now, having seen both sides of a situation of this sort and also having a 15 year old son, I'm not sure where my opinion falls as for this case of the 18 yr. old and 14 yr. old boy. I do think 17 years is a bit harsh, though.

I don't know. I'm going to have to give this one some more thought.

celeste

three seven
04-26-2005, 03:17 PM
I can give you a definitive answer to most of these questions, but it'll take some time. There's a lot of case history to trawl through!

As far as the appeal goes, the US Supreme court threw this back to the Kansas Supreme Court after overturning a similar sentence in Texas and thereby effectively negating all same-sex-only sodomy laws. But Kansas don't want to play along. I have yet to find an account of the Kansas hearing, but I'm working on it. Man, this is a can of worms.

Constitutionally speaking, technically the law can be found unconstitutional if 'good reason' can be shown in court; however, the constitution allows for the provision of laws based on 'traditional values' so that particular avenue is almost certainly a dead end.

three seven
04-26-2005, 03:25 PM
Breaking News!


Because of Limon's prior two adjudications for aggravated criminal sodomy, the trial court sentenced Limon to 206 months' imprisonment.
(From Kansas Court of Appeals records)

Sarita
04-26-2005, 03:26 PM
Well, that solves it. Where did you find more info on the case, Three? We want links, links! (okay, I want a link)

three seven
04-26-2005, 03:32 PM
Lawrence v. Texas

Limon relies on the recent United States Supreme Court decision in Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. ___, 156 L. Ed. 2d 508, in support of his equal protection claim. Nevertheless, Lawrence is factually and legally distinguishable from the present case. In explaining that homosexual acts, illegal under Texas law, are protected by the Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process Clause of the United States Constitution, Justice Kennedy stated:

"The case does involve two adults who, with full and mutual consent from each other, engaged in sexual practices common to a homosexual lifestyle. The petitioners are entitled to respect for their private lives. The State cannot demean their existence or control their destiny by making their private sexual conduct a crime. Their right to liberty under the Due Process Clause gives them the full right to engage in their conduct without intervention of the government." 156 L. Ed 2d at 525-26.

From this language, the major premise that underlies the Lawrence holding is clearly apparent:

No state may prohibit adults from engaging in private consensual sexual practices common to a homosexual lifestyle.

This major premise may be reconstructed to state:

All adults may legally engage in private consensual sexual practices common to a homosexual lifestyle.

Reference is made to all adults in the above proposition; children are excluded from the proposition. As a result, all children are excluded from the class that "may legally engage in private consensual sexual practices common to a homosexual lifestyle," and all persons who "may legally engage in private consensual sexual practices common to a homosexual lifestyle" are excluded from the class of children. Moreover, in declaring that the majority's decision did not encompass children, Justice Kennedy stated:

"The present case does not involve minors. It does not involve persons who might be injured or coerced or who are situated in relationships where consent might not easily be refused. It does not involve public conduct or prostitution. It does not involve whether the government must give formal recognition to any relationship that homosexual persons seek to enter." 156 L. Ed. 2d at 525.

Because the present case involved a 14-year-old developmentally disabled child, it is factually distinguishable from Lawrence. In addition, the present case is legally distinguishable from Lawrence. For example, the Lawrence majority overruled Bowers v. Hardwick, 478 U.S. 186, which refused to extend to homosexuals the privacy right to be free from the criminalization of homosexual sex. In so doing, the Lawrence Court declared that private consensual homosexual acts between adults are protected by the Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process Clause. Nevertheless, as pointed out by the State in its brief, Limon is not asserting a Lawrence-like due process challenge. Instead, Limon makes an equal protection challenge to K.S.A. 2002 Supp. 21-3522. As a result, the law and facts are distinguishable from Lawrence.

..

maestrowork
04-26-2005, 03:52 PM
Now that's an interesting development. What two prior adjudications (more research, please!), though, and wouldn't that be when he was still a minor himself (since he just turned 18 when this case broke)? And with whom? Those "prior adjudications" would have to have involved two minors, then -- which shouldn't fall under "criminal sodomy" IF the "Romeo and Juliet" statue were to apply to homosexuals.

Still they're ignore Limon's being "developmentally challenged" himself -- I am sure the defense would use that vigorously as well...

This is really interesting. More research, Three!!

three seven
04-26-2005, 04:09 PM
Limon was sentenced to 206 months of imprisonment, which is the lowest sentence in the grid box for a severity level 3 offense with a criminal history category of B. His history consisted of two prior juvenile adjudications for aggravated criminal sodomy. Without consideration of these offenses the presumptive sentence would have been 55 to 61 months.

Limon contends that the use of the prior juvenile adjudications to increase his sentence violated constitutional rights recognized in Apprendi and Gould.

In Apprendi, the defendant pled guilty to firearms offenses and was sentenced to an extended term under New Jersey's hate crime statute. On appeal, the United States Supreme Court ruled in part that other than the fact of a prior conviction, any fact that increases the penalty for a crime beyond that prescribed in the statutory maximum must be submitted to a jury and proved beyond a reasonable doubt. 530 U.S. at 490.

In Gould, Kansas followed Apprendi and struck down as facially unconstitutional those portions of our sentencing system in conflict with Apprendi. 23 P.3d at 814.

Limon argues that juvenile adjudications cannot be used for purposes of increasing a sentence. The fact that juvenile adjudications are not actually criminal convictions is argued to prevent them being so used.

Apprendi did not involve a juvenile or the use of prior juvenile adjudications to enhance an adult sentence. Neither issue was addressed there and apparently neither has been discussed in the United States Supreme Court. This specific issue was discussed in State v. LaMunyon, 259 Kan. 54, 63-65, 911 p .2d 151 (1996), and decided squarely against the appellant. We are bound by this determination. Juvenile adjudications can be used under present law to enhance adult sentences without implicating constitutional bars.

And on the subject of the Constitution:
24 states and the District of Columbia have statutorily struck down their sodomy statutes, and the courts of 7 other states have struck down their state sodomy laws, apparently on state constitutional grounds. As of July 2000, 18 states continue to have sodomy laws in force; 5 of those (including Kansas) outlaw only same-sex sodomy.

While these facts should be considered by legislatures in evaluating the fairness or humanity of their criminal laws, they have yet to succeed in the United States Supreme Court or the Kansas Supreme Court on constitutional equal protection grounds. This intermediate Court of Appeals is without proper authority to ignore the rulings of the United States Supreme Court or the federal constitutional provisions concerning equal protection jurisdiction, or the Kansas Supreme Court's likely adherence to them in interpreting our state constitutional provisions in that area.

three seven
04-26-2005, 04:16 PM
Matthew's mugshot


http://www.inthesetimes.com/images/28/09/limon.jpg

maestrowork
04-26-2005, 04:24 PM
"Toto, I don't think we're moving to Kansas anymore," said friend of Dorothy. (from OZ -- the TV show, that is)

maestrowork
04-26-2005, 04:29 PM
I was just wondering, what laws are we all breaking because we're ignorant of their existence, and would they ever come and bite us in the ass?

I like the one about no more than three women could share a house (or something like that)... Gives me an idea for a movie "Sorority House Jail!"

three seven
04-26-2005, 04:33 PM
Sorry, the one thing I can't find is an up-to-date Appeal Court ruling. I'm not convinced there was one... (And if there was, it certainly didn't rule in favour of reducing the sentence.)

maestrowork
04-26-2005, 04:36 PM
I doubt it, Three, and that's probably why they're now talking about it and the ACLU is looking at it...

three seven
04-26-2005, 04:41 PM
I have to say, though, that the sentence, regardless of its morality, appears legally and constitutionally watertight.

scullars
10-23-2005, 07:50 PM
Reviving the thread per this recent update on the case:

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/22/national/22kansas.html

three seven
10-23-2005, 07:52 PM
:Clap: