Friday, November 10, 2017

Think Progress Lied About Roy Moore Child Sex Abuse Decision

Think Progress’s “analysis” (being repeated everywhere now) of Roy Moore’s dissent in Higdon v. State is so egregiously FALSE that my heart was racing in indignation over it for at least a few minutes. For the record, I’m a moderate liberal Democrat who detests the politics of personal destruction, and am increasingly alarmed by other common features of contemporary public political discourse that are actively shredding the fabric of American society, destroying too many of us “regular” folks’ filial, family, and community bonds in process.

I have to get to my paying job soon, so I’m just going to throw down a quick and dirty critique for now. Hopefully I’ll motivate to flesh it out later (we’ll see.)

Higdon v State, the case ThinkProgress referred to, was an appeal involving charges of:
(1) 1st degree sodomy of a kid <12, AND
(2) 1st degree sodomy by forcible compulsion
These charges arose from incidents involving a 17 year old (minor) perpetrator & one child victim (BTW, ThinkProgress, the child victim was 4, not 12, as you “reported.”)  Juvenile perpetrator Higdon was convicted on BOTH counts. He appealed both convictions to the State Court of Appeals. (For readers less familiar with legal and judicial process and systems, since Lord knows I didn’t learn this stuff until law school, that’s the
intermediate court between the trial court level and the State Supreme Court.)

On review, the State Court of Appeals UPHELD the conviction as to Charge 1. So that felony conviction stood. But they overturned the conviction on Charge 2 based on a 2002 State Supreme Court decision in a case called “Ex Parte J.A.P.” (initials used there as Defendant was also a minor child.) That case established precedent that limited the scope of what's defined as "forcible" compulsion when the perpetrator is also a juvenile.

The State appealed the Court of Appeals decision as to Charge 2. Higdon did not appeal the decision as to Charge 1 (1st degree sodomy of kid <12), so that conviction stood.  In other words, regardless of what the State Supreme Court decided on appeal, the juvie perp was STILL going to be a felon & likely a lifelong registered sex offender due to their abuse of the victim.

So the Supreme Court overruled the Court of Appeals on the legal applicability of Charge 2, overruling Ex Parte JAP.  Justice Moore *concurred* (AGREED WITH) that interpretation and result.  He dissented on a more narrow point of law, which I don’t have time to get into.

So here’s the WORST irony of all.  You know that Ex Parte JAP case?  Guess which Court of Appeals Judge wrote that 2001 opinion finding that a minor can engage in forcible compulsion through an implied threat? A view the 2002 Alabama Supreme Court rejected, but came around to in 2015 with the Higdon decision?

ROY MOORE. Yep. THAT Roy Moore. Then-Court of Appeals Judge Roy Moore was right on that matter of law at least 13 years before the State Supreme Court “got it.”

Again, read the decision & dissent for yourself here. Roy Moore’s dissent even mentions that he authored the 2001 Court of Appeals decision in J.A.P. and discusses how it aligns with Alabama Supreme Court’s reasoning in ruling on Higdon.

I'm sick of political spinmeisters and their evil BS smears. Enough already.