My unpublished column on Charlie Rogers below:
There was a movie in 1981 called ‘Absence of Malice’ starring Paul Newman and Sally Field. My wife and I went to it and enjoyed the film. It not only contained excellent actors but an intriguing plot that raised all kinds of moral and ethical questions. The title refers to the intent of a person accused of slander or libel.
In another movie ‘Legally Blonde’ starring Reese Witherspoon l first became aquainted with the term mens rea. Reese throws it out to the judge who replies that she knows what mens rea means. It was funny and I learned that mens rea also relates to the intentions of a person accused of a crime.
And of course there is malice aforethought which applies to the definition of premeditated or First-degree murder. I grew up hearing that term thrown around in the jury trial scenes of old movies and TV shows.
All of these terms go to the state of mind of a defendant accused of various crimes.
I am not a lawyer and I don’t play one on TV so I am writing only as a concerned citizen towards what has transpired in Lincoln over the past month. For those of you who would qualify for jury duty in the OJ Simpson trial (one juror interviewed afterwards stated that he was chosen because he never watched TV nor read a newspaper) a former UNL basketball player has been arrested for staging a hate crime.
In my not-so-humble opinion hate crime and hate speech laws cause more trouble than they prevent. In our steady drift as a culture towards feelings and good intentions and away from logic and actual results we are causing bad policies to continue to accrue bad results because our intentions remain pure.
When my front door is kicked in and I am beaten and robbed and threatened as far as I am concerned that is a hate crime. It matters not one wit to me the motive the perp claims to have had when caught. I was violated just the same whether she says she hates me because I’m left-handed or he says he simply wanted my money. What he or she did was hateful whether they realize it or not.
It is not up to some pseudo-legal mind-reader to discern whether the person who violated my person and property hated me or not. As far as my own sense of well being and security and peace are concerned I have been harmed, perhaps irreparably, and left mentally and emotionally damaged just the same.
The law needs to and must punish the criminal equally whether or not he or she hates me or is entirely indifferent to me. Otherwise I am the one being discriminated against. My person is being denigrated by our society by saying I am less worthy of the full protection of the law because I did not belong to a special class of citizens when I was violated.
As far as liberal group-think goes it is somehow better for the victim of violence if the perpetrator of said violence claims to not hate the arbitrary group the liberal has assigned the victim to. Somehow a rape or mugging hurts less if I can be assured the evil doer bore me no ill will. It’s just business you know, nothing personal.
This sort of pernicious dividing of Americans into ascending ranks of victimhood and thereby giving them special claims upon the public treasury, the courts, our institutions and our sympathies is destroying our society. This is madness and it must stop.
Charlie Rogers is not the victim here, we are. She has (allegedly) with malice aforethought or maybe without thinking at all sought to cast aspersions on a great many of her fellow citizens by staging a heinous crime that never happened.
Stop the hate. That is a meaningless statement. It is as useless as ‘make love, not war’. Liberals hate all kinds of things. They hate the Tea Party, they hate capitalists, and they hate the NRA. They hate Big Oil, Big Pharmaceutical, Big Insurance, Big Cars, and just about all things Big except government. And they certainly condone the killing of unwanted, unborn children which to my mind qualifies as hate.
It is entirely appropriate to hate evil and love good. The rub is in defining what is evil and what is good. So let’s be honest and instead of throwing around meaningless slogans let’s start with the six pillars of character used in our schools. And let’s start by agreeing that what Charlie Rogers did was wrong. It was evil – no excuses. It was bad and hurtful to a lot of people. It tied up an inordinate amount of police time, resources and effort. It broke faith with her friends and neighbors. It further divided the city. It was a lie. It broke the law.
Judge: Rogers’ hate crime lie “exploded in her face”
April 19, 2013 12:15 am • By JONATHAN EDWARDS / Lincoln Journal Star
Charlie Rogers will serve a week in jail and two years on probation for faking the anti-gay hate crime that stunned Lincoln last summer and captured the country’s attention.
Lancaster County Judge Gale Pokorny on Thursday morning also ordered the 34-year-old to do 250 hours of community service for lying to police when she told investigators three men broke into her house, tied her up, carved anti-gay slurs into her skin and tried to light the house on fire.
“The evidence is overwhelming that Charlie Rogers’ narrative of July 22, 2012, was an incredible and outrageous lie the second it passed her lips,” Pokorny said.
Rogers will start her jail sentence April 29. She could do another 90 days behind bars in 2015 if she does not complete probation.
Pokorny also ordered her to take a comprehensive psychiatric exam and give her probation officer access to all her medical records.
Rogers, a former Husker basketball star, pleaded no contest in Lancaster County Court in December, a reversal of the not guilty plea she made three months earlier. Pokorny found her guilty of making a false report to police.
Her attorney, Brett McArthur, noted that his client had no previous criminal history and is in counseling, and asked the judge for probation and no jail time.
Later, he said he was happy with the sentence, considering Rogers faced as much as a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
“We’re very pleased with the sentence,” McArthur said, adding that Rogers looks forward to fulfilling her court-ordered 250 hours with Lincoln Parks and Recreation and giving back to the community.
Rogers herself, who cried and hugged supporters at the end of the hearing, declined to speak with reporters.
Deputy County Attorney Pat Condon said probation alone would be inappropriate because since her story scared people in Lincoln — particularly those in its LGBT community — and cost a lot of time, energy and money.
“It does have an effect on the community,” he said
Pokorny agreed, saying Rogers damaged the cause of gay rights she had said she tried to help by staging the attack.
“It exploded in her face,” the judge said. “Ms. Rogers has single-handedly managed to do a disservice to her cause of enormous proportion.
“For a long, long time to come, when a gay makes a legitimate complaint about unequal treatment or discrimination, there’s going to be a knee-jerk reaction among many: ‘Yeah, well Charlie Rogers said the same thing.’”
Her “horrific, kick-in-the-face accusations” and decision to plead no contest and avoid trial denies Lincoln closure, Pokorny said.
“It doesn’t give Lincoln’s citizens any chance to see for themselves, to evaluate, to reach their own conclusion as to what really happened. The people who came out on those dark July nights to hold a candle in one hand and their child’s hand in the other deserve a better explanation.”
Then, the judge laid out the backbone of what he thought the prosecution’s case would have been had Rogers gone to trial.
Experts found no trace of blood on her neatly made bed, even though she said her attackers bound, cut and pinned her down on it, Pokorny said. Photographs taken the day after Rogers reported the attack show her wounds oozing blood, he said.
“I was kicking, wrestling, punching trying to get up,” Pokorny said she told police. “I was fighting the whole time.”
A forensic pathologist concluded Rogers cut herself, saying an attacker struggling with a victim could not have spent the time or care to make the short, superficial, uniform cuts.
The cuts were all in areas accessible to Rogers and avoided sensitive body parts, the pathologist said. And the anti-gay slurs were written from her perspective, not an attacker’s.
A police investigator discovered that the white knit gloves, zip ties and utility knife used in the attack were purchased July 17 at ACE Hardware on 27th Street. During one of four interviews, Rogers said she regularly shops at the store to buy supplies for her lawn-mowing business.
The employee who sold the items identified Rogers from a photo lineup as the customer who bought them. Rogers said the gloves were not hers, but investigators found her DNA inside them.
She maintained her innocence after she pleaded no contest in December, and Pokorny found her guilty. McArthur declined to comment on whether, four months later, she is sticking to her version of events.
“We need that to be a closed subject,” he said.
Pokorny praised Lincoln police for working the case well after tensions spiked in the wake of the reported attack, all in the limelight of national media.
“Lincoln should be proud of the women and men of its police force who quietly navigated a minefield of political correctness, endured Ms. Rogers’ vitriol, repeatedly gave her the benefit of a doubt at every twist and turn in a long road of contradictory versions, and then when the inevitable led them to the inevitable, professionally assembled the case.”
The judge ordered Rogers to return money she got from donors after she reported the attack. If a donor can’t be found, the money will go to Lincoln police toward the cost of the investigation. Any cash that’s left after that will go to the department’s Santa Cop charity.
McArthur said neither he nor Rogers had access to money but said her former lawyer Meg Mikolajczyk controls it.
Mikolajczyk said she’s more than willing to follow the judge’s orders if she’s needed, but stressed she’s no longer Rogers’ attorney.
She declined to say how much people donated.
Pokorny also ordered Rogers to get a “legitimate,” full-time job, not mow her friends’ lawns while taking money from her parents.”
“It is time to give up this Peter Pan existence,” he wrote in his sentencing order, adding that Rogers, a high school valedictorian and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate who earned a 3.7 GPA, shouldn’t have a problem finding work.
Now, he said, Lincoln residents can feel safe and know that masked men did not break into a lesbian woman’s home and brutally attack her.
“Lincoln can breathe a collective sigh of relief. This is not a community where masked nor hooded men secretly meet to come out of the dark to terrorize and burn out those who might be different from themselves.”
To become more equal than other animals on the politically correct farm, the most privileged among us have to pass themselves off as oppressed. This has caused an endless stream of phony “hate crimes” against homosexuals. At least the 1998 Matthew Shepard killing — liberals’ answer to the Passion of Christ — wasn’t staged. But as few seem to realize, it wasn’t a hate crime either:
The story garnered national attention when the attack was characterized as a hate crime. But Shepard’s killers, in their first interview since their convictions, tell “20/20′s” Elizabeth Vargas that money and drugs motivated their actions that night, not hatred of gays.
If punks kill you for drug money, it’s just another sad tale of life and death in a disintegrating civilization. But if it happens to a homosexual, it is a National Tragedy to be hyped for years.
Obviously if homosexuals really were “oppressed,” the media would be able to uncover violence against them motivated by their repulsive behavior (i.e., genuine “hate crimes”) — especially considering how aggressively they have been shoving that behavior in everyone else’s face.
Ann Coulter | Jan 15, 2014
Is Chris Christie less believable than Al Sharpton and Tawana Brawley
I agree with MSNBC. I find it hard to believe that Gov. Chris Christie knew nothing about his staff’s plotting a massive traffic jam on the ramp to the George Washington Bridge for political retribution.
On the other hand, I also find it hard to believe that Obama didn’t know his own IRS was auditing his political enemies.
And I find it hard to believe that Obama didn’t know you wouldn’t be able to keep your doctor under Obamacare.
But most of all, I find it hard to believe that MSNBC host Al Sharpton didn’t know Tawana Brawley was lying when she claimed to have been gang-raped by rogue cops on the Wappingers Falls, N.Y., police force.
Back in November 1987, 15-year-old Tawana Brawley was found curled up inside a plastic bag in an apartment building parking lot. She had feces and racist graffiti all over her body, her clothing was torn and burned, and she was apparently unconscious.
When she emerged from her (fake) unconsciousness, she claimed she had been held captive in the woods for several days, while being raped and beaten by six white men, including policemen and the local prosecutor.
The story being utterly preposterous, every law enforcement agency in the universe was called in to investigate — the FBI, local, county and state police. Gov. Mario Cuomo directed the state attorney general, Robert Abrams, to investigate Brawley’s claims.
MSNBC’s Al Sharpton was one of Brawley’s “advisers” throughout this massively expensive investigation, along with lawyers Alton Maddox and C. Vernon Mason — both later disbarred.
Eight months and 1.3 million taxpayer dollars later (in today’s dollars), the purported attack was exposed as a complete fraud. It turned out that Brawley made up the gang-rape story to avoid explaining to her volatile stepfather why she hadn’t come home for four nights straight.
Among other findings, the grand jury’s 170-page report noted these facts:
— Witnesses saw Brawley getting into the plastic bag by herself, and then hopping around in it before curling up into a ball on the ground.
— The hospital rape tests were negative and no semen was found anyplace on her body.
— She had no recent bruises or other marks on her body consistent with rape.
— Hospital technicians who evaluated Brawley concluded that she was faking unconsciousness.
— Brawley was well-nourished, had clean breath, no bruises or injuries to her body and was not suffering from exposure, despite temperatures having dropped to freezing several times when she was allegedly being gang-raped in the woods.
— Witnesses had seen Brawley in a vacant apartment where she had once lived during the period of the alleged attack.
— In that apartment, investigators found charred fibers matching the burnt clothes Brawley had been found in, the source of the material that had been stuffed in her nose and ears, and the feces that had been smeared on her. Investigators even identified the dog whose feces it was. Her dirty clothes were still in a washing machine in the building.
At no point did Sharpton question Brawley’s story or urge her to recant. To the contrary, as the case fell apart, Sharpton’s demagoguery rose to Olympian heights.
He branded Abrams “Hitler,” called Gov. Mario Cuomo a racist, and demanded that Cuomo appoint Maddox special prosecutor on the case. (It was a reasonable request: Maddox had accused Abrams of masturbating to photos of Brawley.)
Even in 1997 — a decade after Brawley’s story had been proved a hoax beyond a scintilla of a doubt — Sharpton arranged for her to give a speech to his United African Movement at a Brooklyn church.
I find it hard to believe that Al Sharpton did not know Brawley was lying about being raped by a Nazi cult on the Wappingers Falls police force.
Brawley’s boyfriend later told Newsday that she had admitted to him at the time that she cooked up the story with her mother. Is it believable that she didn’t also tell her trusted adviser Al Sharpton?
While a story about white supremacist cops raping and torturing a teenage girl may not have the flashy news value of traffic patterns in northern New Jersey, trust me, the Tawana Brawley case was a big deal at the time. Lots of people were irreparably harmed because of Sharpton’s outrageous conduct.
There was the falsely accused prosecutor, Steve Pagones, whose life was ruined by Sharpton’s monstrous accusations.
There was Bill Cosby and Mike Tyson, who embarrassed themselves by briefly believing Sharpton. (Imagine how rare and difficult it is for Mike Tyson to experience embarrassment!)
There was the Wappingers Falls police officer, Harry Crist Jr., who committed suicide a few days after Brawley was found in the plastic bag — and was immediately accused of being one of Brawley’s rapists by Al Sharpton. (It was later determined that he had committed suicide after failing the test to become a state trooper for the last time.)
How do you think his parents felt having their dead son accused of gang-rape in the wake of his tragic suicide?
But why limit the list of Sharpton’s victims to the facts? Let’s take a page from MSNBC, and posit a series of “What if?” speculations.
What if there were women who were raped, families whose homes were burglarized and children who got lost on their way to school and froze to death because the entire law enforcement apparatus of New York State was busy working the non-existent rape case?
Leave aside MSNBC’s wishing-and-hoping method of reporting a scandal. (What if we find out Chris Christie has ordered murders?) Does MSNBC really think Al Sharpton is the guy who should be accusing Christie — as he did this week — of putting politics above “people”?
I’d recommend the universal condemnation of his fellow man, but couldn’t MSNBC at least take the maestro of the Tawana Brawley hoax off the “How Can He Not Have Known?” beat? As a matter of basic decency, Al Sharpton should never be allowed to accuse anyone of wrongdoing, especially about who knew what when.
What about the rest of the MSNBC news team? Could Chris Matthews add to his repertoire of do-you-believe questions (in evolution, in global warming, that Obama was born in Hawaii) one question to Sharpton about whether he really believed Tawana Brawley? Are we supposed to believe that Sharpton’s colleagues don’t know about his appalling behavior in the Tawana Brawley case?
What kind of culture exists at MSNBC to encourage such willful blindness?