Jan. 18th, 2017 10:47 pm
tim: text: "I'm not offended, I'm defiant" (defiant)
Nóirín Plunkett died a year and a half ago. At the time of their death, their ex-spouse Michael Schwern was busy abusing the court system to terrorize Nóirín, suing Nóirín because their friends (of whom I am one) talked online about Schwern's arrest for domestic violence. (Yep, somehow it was Nóirín's fault that Schwern got himself arrested and that other people copied/pasted the link to his arrest record into tweets.)

Who is Schwern? Well, he's the kind of guy who can't stop trying to extort money from his ex even after they're in the grave, and he continued his lawsuit, targeting Nóirín's father. His attorney, a charming fellow named Bear Wilner-Nugent who defends rapists for fun and profit, was happy to go along for the ride. This type of lawsuit is known as a SLAPP lawsuit, because its goal was to silence and intimidate victims who talk about their experiences with sexual assault in public.

Nóirín not being around to talk about it further, there's no one alive who can say for sure that Schwern raped Nóirín. It would be understandable if other people looked at the possibility of being sued for $30,000,000 for telling the truth, and said nothing. What we can say is that Schwern was indecent enough not only to sue his ex-partner for (allegedly) talking about it, but to continue the lawsuit after that person died. You can decide for yourself whether Schwern is a rapist or just somebody who thought suing a corpse was a good way to rehabilitate his reputation.

Thankfully, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of freedom of speech, in favor of victims, and against Schwern and Wilner-Nugent's meritless lawsuit; you can read the decision (PDF) for yourself, but a content warning for graphic descriptions of rape applies. The decision also misgenders Nóirín, whose pronouns are they/them.

None of this will bring my friend back to life, but in these times, it's good to see justice done.
tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
Two quotations from _The Honest Politician's Guide to Crime Control_ by Norval Morris and Gordon Hawkins (which, based on what I've read of it so far, everyone should be forced to read, or at least, everyone who is a political leader or votes for them):
And, particularly from these "sportsmen," we must never tolerate the argument that if the murderer lacked a gun he would kill in some other way. If they believe that, they should, on grounds of sportsmanship, throw away their guns and club the deer to death, knife the bears, and poison the ducks.

The sanctity of life is often also taken to refer to the life of "the unborn child." Yet the use of this expression is as if we referred to the reader as "an adult fetus." To say that a fertilized ovum or an embryo is a human being and therefore entitled to the full protection of the law is a prejudicial abuse of language. Nor do those who take this position ever maintain it consistently, for they never embrace the logical corollary which is that all abortive operations are murders and should be so treated in law.

For our part, in view of the fact that human reproduction is a continuum, such questions as "When does life begin?" are unanswerable, except perhaps in metaphysical or theological terms. Nevertheless it is quite practicable to draw objective distinctions between abortion, infanticide, and homicide; and in terms of these well-recognized distinctions we say that abortion should not be regarded as criminal as long as the woman desires its performance. We see no reason to regard some other arbitrarily selected point prior to parturition, in what is a continuous process, as having any particular significance.
I think I may have posted part of the second quotation before. But it's worth re-posting, among other reasons because I came across this Cat and Girl comic that [ profile] pinkhairedcyn linked to that says the same thing, only with pictures.


tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
Tim Chevalier

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