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  #1  
Old 13 March 2008, 08:37 PM
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Judge Hillary defended a rapist?

Comment: I've heard that, during her time as a lawyer, Hilary Clinton once
defended a man accused of raping a 12 year old girl. During the trial,
Clinton supposedly attacked the credibility of the girl on the basis of
how many men she fantasized about and, in the end, earned her client a
reduced sentence.

I heard about this on a forum and, after doing a quick google search,
found two second-hand references to the case but nothing direct or
credible.
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  #2  
Old 13 March 2008, 08:47 PM
Ryda Wong, EBfCo. Ryda Wong, EBfCo. is offline
 
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Well, the best source looks to be this newsday article:

here
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  #3  
Old 13 March 2008, 08:58 PM
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You mean as a practicing attorney Hilary Clinton defended a client accused of a crime? Zounds!
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  #4  
Old 13 March 2008, 08:59 PM
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Tarquin Farquart Tarquin Farquart is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CannonFodder View Post
You mean as a practicing attorney Hilary Clinton defended a client accused of a crime? Zounds!
My thoughts exactly. Whatever next?
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  #5  
Old 13 March 2008, 09:00 PM
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Haven't we discussed this before? I did a search and found nothing, but CannonFodder's response is bringing on intense deja vu.
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  #6  
Old 13 March 2008, 09:05 PM
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The article does seem to be overly sympathetic of Clinton's methods. Of course she was obligated to defend her client, but there seems to be some evidence that she made unfounded accusations against the victim.

I am particularly interested in how you feel about this, Ryda, since you are both a Clinton supporter and an avid defender of women's rights to be free from sexual violence.
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  #7  
Old 13 March 2008, 09:12 PM
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I am astounded by these replies (with the exception of Buckle Up's). Where is the usual rant about how they always make it look like the victim asked for it? Where is the indignation on behalf of the victim for being portrayed as the guilty party? It couldn't possibly be missing because Hillary was the one attacking the victim, could it? Don't tell me she was just defending her client in the best possible way because that is what all the other lawyers do in these cases but they get blasted for it.

Hillary attacking a 12 year old girl and making it sound like she asked for it is sickening. Win at any cost. Funny, but this seems to fit Hillary's MO.

ETA;
Quote:
Originally Posted by Buckle Up View Post
The article does seem to be overly sympathetic of Clinton's methods. Of course she was obligated to defend her client, but there seems to be some evidence that she made unfounded accusations against the victim.

I am particularly interested in how you feel about this, Ryda, since you are both a Clinton supporter and an avid defender of women's rights to be free from sexual violence.
I am wondering the same thing. Ryda normally blasts away at anyone that defends a rapist.
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  #8  
Old 13 March 2008, 09:15 PM
Ryda Wong, EBfCo. Ryda Wong, EBfCo. is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buckle Up View Post

I am particularly interested in how you feel about this, Ryda, since you are both a Clinton supporter and an avid defender of women's rights to be free from sexual violence.
Well, I'm actually an Obama girl

As to how I feel? It's a horrid thing if the details are true.

does it change what I would do if she gets the nomination? Not at all. She may have committed what I feel is a dispicable act, but she's far better than anyone on the other side in terms of social issues.
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  #9  
Old 13 March 2008, 09:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wild Redhead View Post
I am wondering the same thing. Ryda normally blasts away at anyone that defends a rapist.
I'm not Ryda, but I think there's a distinction between defending a rapist to oneself or ones friends, and Defending a rapist in court. The lawyer can hate the client's slimy guts, but is still legally required to do everything possible to defend the client. And yeah, unfortunately that includes casting doubt on actions, sexuality, mental state, etc, etc.

I speak out against the former in the hopes that if the prevailing attitude changes, the latter will no longer work as a valid Defense strategy. Does that make sense?

(Obama supporter here, too, by the way.)
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  #10  
Old 13 March 2008, 09:56 PM
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First: Ryda, I apologize for wrongly identifying you as a Clinton supporter. I must have misinterpreted or misremembered something from your post(s). Sorry! Glad to hear you like Obama, as I do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aimee Evilpixie View Post
The lawyer can hate the client's slimy guts, but is still legally required to do everything possible to defend the client. And yeah, unfortunately that includes casting doubt on actions, sexuality, mental state, etc, etc.
That's not the legal requirement for a public defender. I thought the same thing when I read that line in the article, and I thought it again when I read your post. You have to take all reasonable actions to defend the client, and defend him how you would a paying client. To say that a public defender is required by law to do everything possible to defend the client, is just silly, when you think of how far that could be taken. Under that logic, a defense attorney can say whatever she pleases, lie out of whole cloth, put a gun to a witness's head, etc., to present a defese for the client.

By no means is a public defender legally required to cast aspersions on the sexual aggressiveness of a 12-year-old girl, particularly when it seems to have been something Clinton grabbed out of the air - that is, on what evidence did she present that argument? And did it have any relevancy whatsoever?

I have to say that Wild Redhead said it best - the usual chorus of outrage at victim-blaming seems unusually and inappropriately silent on this issue, and I have to wonder if it is because Clinton is the one who seems to have been guilty of the victim-blaming. Were it not Clinton and this were just another court case about a rape survivor being seemingly blamed, many snopesters would be saying, quite correctly, that a 12-year-old's actions are irrelevant to the sexual assault raged upon her by a full-grown adult man.
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  #11  
Old 13 March 2008, 09:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buckle Up View Post
I have to say that Wild Redhead said it best - the usual chorus of outrage at victim-blaming seems unusually and inappropriately silent on this issue, and I have to wonder if it is because Clinton is the one who seems to have been guilty of the victim-blaming. Were it not Clinton and this were just another court case about a rape survivor being seemingly blamed, many snopesters would be saying, quite correctly, that a 12-year-old's actions are irrelevant to the sexual assault raged upon her by a full-grown adult man.
The incident took place in 1975. If it had happened recently I would have been rather more outraged.
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  #12  
Old 13 March 2008, 09:58 PM
Ryda Wong, EBfCo. Ryda Wong, EBfCo. is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buckle Up View Post
I have to say that Wild Redhead said it best - the usual chorus of outrage at victim-blaming seems unusually and inappropriately silent on this issue, and I have to wonder if it is because Clinton is the one who seems to have been guilty of the victim-blaming.
Nope. It's because I doubt the veracity of the claims. I'd have to see a reputable news outlet do research and publish on the matter.
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  #13  
Old 13 March 2008, 09:59 PM
Ryda Wong, EBfCo. Ryda Wong, EBfCo. is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarquin Farquart View Post
The incident took place in 1975. If it had happened recently I would have been rather more outraged.
That too. Or if she was still practicing law. She's not.
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  #14  
Old 13 March 2008, 10:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buckle Up View Post
I have to say that Wild Redhead said it best - the usual chorus of outrage at victim-blaming seems unusually and inappropriately silent on this issue, and I have to wonder if it is because Clinton is the one who seems to have been guilty of the victim-blaming.
I have no particular like or dislike of Senator Clinton. I certainly hope that if this same article had been printed about Obama (using a really sleazy defense once in his hypothetical career as a lawyer) I wouldn't think it was fine and hunky-dory that he did it. And I don't think it's hunky-dory that Clinton did it. And I would hope that had this article been printed about McCain I wouldn't be any extra outraged, assuming it was a one-time thing and he didn't have a history of victim-blaming.*

Essentially, I think it was a really shitty thing for Clinton to do, but I don't think it indicates that she personally believes rape victims bring it on themselves. I'm more worried about the people who do believe that.

But, really, I want Obama to win, because Clinton wants the government to regulate my livelihood, and it's completely unnecessary.

*I really can't know how I'd react for sure, but I hope my reactions would be consistent.
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  #15  
Old 13 March 2008, 10:47 PM
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Are people really so shocked about this? This is standard. It's why we hope for a confession, but barring that, a plea bargain - because having to subject a child to questioning by a defense attorney generally does involve them having to face an aggressive defense.
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  #16  
Old 13 March 2008, 10:52 PM
Victoria J
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buckle Up View Post
That's not the legal requirement for a public defender. I thought the same thing when I read that line in the article, and I thought it again when I read your post. You have to take all reasonable actions to defend the client, and defend him how you would a paying client. To say that a public defender is required by law to do everything possible to defend the client, is just silly, when you think of how far that could be taken. Under that logic, a defense attorney can say whatever she pleases, lie out of whole cloth, put a gun to a witness's head, etc., to present a defese for the client.

By no means is a public defender legally required to cast aspersions on the sexual aggressiveness of a 12-year-old girl, particularly when it seems to have been something Clinton grabbed out of the air - that is, on what evidence did she present that argument? And did it have any relevancy whatsoever?
That's interesting. As I understand it a criminal lawyer (barrister) in the UK could in fact be obliged to.

They are obliged to take any case under the "cab rank" principle. Though it would have to be a case within their expertise and not conflict with their schedules.

Once acting for someone they are obliged to act on instructions. Exceptions would be where they would be breaking ethical rules in order to do so - knowingly lying in court is one, but aggressively attacking a witness would not itself be banned. If the client states that they are guilty and then instructs the lawyer to conduct a case based on their innocence then the lawyer must excuse themselves, and the defendant needs to get a new defence, and keep quiet about their guilt this time.

If the lawyer advised the defendant not to attack a witness as it would make them unsympathetic to the jury, or not to testify themselves, this is only advice. If the defendant insists I believe they are meant to carry out the instructions to the best of their abilities.

I'm no expert so someone else may be able to explain better.

I still believe that (in the UK and the US) the ultimate responsibility lies with judges to put an end to grossly inappropriate questioning, and the legal system as a whole to set out clear principles. While it is allowed, and it works, it remains a valid defence tactic however abhorent it is.

Victoria J
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