The vile Harvey Weinstein deserves a fair trial. All the vile leftists that are being gobbled up by the twin Frankensteins of identity politics and cultural Marxism that they have helped become so dominant in the world deserve a fair trial. They deserve a fair trial, even if they would be the first to deny me a fair trial. Even if Hollywood, the media, the politicians, and their acolytes would all get together and happily skewer anyone who has values that both differ from their own and that are too publicly professed. In fact, not only does Weinstein deserve a fair trial, but Weinstein ESPECIALLY deserves a fair trial. Just as Roger Stone especially deserves a fair trial, though the never-Trump Republicans and the leftists who
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The vile Harvey Weinstein deserves a fair trial. All the vile leftists that are being gobbled up by the twin Frankensteins of identity politics and cultural Marxism that they have helped become so dominant in the world deserve a fair trial.
They deserve a fair trial, even if they would be the first to deny me a fair trial. Even if Hollywood, the media, the politicians, and their acolytes would all get together and happily skewer anyone who has values that both differ from their own and that are too publicly professed.
In fact, not only does Weinstein deserve a fair trial, but Weinstein ESPECIALLY deserves a fair trial.
Just as Roger Stone especially deserves a fair trial, though the never-Trump Republicans and the leftists who used to be wined and dined by Weinstein want to make sure Stone is given anything but a fair trial.
Or Ross Ulbricht, of the infamous Silk Road, especially deserved a fair trial.
Any criminal defendant that is likely to be held as an example, likely to be held as a warning to others, to be harshly dealt with for the purpose of parading his demise through the media and deterring others – someone like that is especially deserving of fairness in the legal system.
The protection of such a person is an act in defense of individuals everywhere from tyranny in the legal system. A common component of tyranny, is an inability to see a person as an individual.
There is no one whose conviction and sentencing should be intended to send a message, or who should be seen as a symbol. There is no one who should be made an example of, or treated as a sacrificial lamb through the twisted notion of collective guilt, nor given an Orwellian two minutes hate to help everyone else feel better. Guilt is individual. Guilt is not collective.
Our adversarial legal system so often fails to provide a fair trial, with innocence and truth unfortunately playing so small a role in that process. As defense attorney F. Lee Bailey commented in 1970 to the New York Times “Those who think the information brought out at a criminal trial is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth are fools. Prosecuting or defending a case is nothing more than getting to those people who will talk for your side, who will say what you want said.”
In his 1971 book “The Defense Never Rests,“ Bailey writes about a rare breed of defense attorney, a dying species that would do all he can to provide his client with as much advantage under the law as possible. Weinstein appears to have that kind of attorney in Donna Rotunno.
Rotunno has defended her client vigorously, based on courtroom accounts, in which she repeatedly savaged witnesses in cross-examination. In the press, Rotunno, self-described as “the ultimate feminist,” denounces a culture that infantilizes women and rewards victimhood.
Deep down, Rotunno is likely disgusted with her client, and in our adversarial system, her personal feelings must mean little in defending someone so deserving of legal defense. But in the courtroom and outside of the courtroom, she is fighting for that client and relieving pressure from the jury in hopes that he can be seen as an individual and judged according to his crimes. Journalist Michelle Mark comments “Rotunno knows she has the weight of an entire cultural movement working against her client, and that the jury may feel pressure to convict him.”
Weinstein is disgusting to look at. Weinstein’s politics are disgusting. Now we also know that Weinstein’s personal behavior behind closed doors is disgusting. There’s widespread agreement on that. But what there is not widespread agreement on is whether or not he committed a crime. That widespread agreement doesn’t matter. What matters is what the 12 jurors determine.
Our adversarial system is set up for it to be easy to acquit and hard to convict. A single juror who finds the prosecution’s case not to have been proven beyond a reasonable doubt, can withhold his vote and foil millions of dollars of carefully laid arrangements by government attorneys to place the accused in prison. In fact, it is the duty of the juror to do so.
Many who rubbed elbows with Weinstein in the past have abandoned him now that his proclivities have attracted public scrutiny, outside his circle. It would be easiest for them if he went away for a good, long time, and they could all say “Justice has been served.”
It is likely unimportant to such people that justice actually be served. It is important to them that the footage of them saying “Justice has been served,” is aired in public, instead of the footage of them knowingly palling around with Weinstein, trading favors with him, accepting his gifts and attention, and introducing him to his prey.
There’s no justice in that.
The lawyers who stand in defense of Weinstein are defending our noble experiment in human potential as it careens toward destruction.
A foundationally flawed system cannot predictably determine truth, it can only reveal truth by chance. In some settings, the truth may be no more likely to be settled than it was in the Inquisition or the Salem Witch Trials, because the underlying mechanism for identifying truth is flawed.
Weinstein’s attorneys defend the sentiment that the accused has an advantage. They stand for the idea that one is innocent until proven guilty. Not innocent until proven disgusting. Nor innocent until proven unpopular.
The person who believes in the American experiment in human freedom, the person who sees the centuries of struggle that brought us to a system that elevates the individual, must support the idea of Weinstein’s innocence until proven guilty.
Not only is it his attorney defending these principles, but Weinstein himself, that disgusting fellow, is defending those principles by merely representing his own self-interest. The more likely he is to be made an example of, the more impactful a fair trial is in preventing a further slipping away of society from individual guilt into the unjustifiable territory of collective guilt.
A fair trial for Weinstein should be cheered for by all.
May he be convicted by a jury for the crimes he’s committed, and for nothing else. May he be assessed fairly. May a fair day of reckoning come for him. Nothing less. Nothing more.
As unlikely as that is to happen, that should be the undisputed, agreed upon, aim of all who wish success for the attempted American experiment in upholding the rights of the individual.