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Saturday, August 02, 2008

Sadly, this isn't worthy of national news.

When I went to iGoogle this morning, I found that one of the three top stories that they put up as being newsworthy was this one, about the bond revocation of a convicted child molester.

Last year, Aaron Mohanlal, a Florida school teacher, was convicted of having spent the previous two years sexually assaulting one of his students.

Mohanlal, of course, appealed. While the case was on appeal, he put up some property as collateral for bond, to assure that he would not abscond. In order to assure that Due Process Of Law is served, he can avoid serving his convicted punishment by posting sufficient bond.

The appellate process is a worthy thing to have in our criminal justice system. It assures that improper court decisions do not stand. Courts do need oversight, to be sure. They are composed of humans, and humans make mistakes. Exculpatory evidence might have been ignored. Clear violations of rights may have gone unchallenged. Due process might not have been followed. Convictions in such instances might be thrown out.

In this instance, the teacher brought his student home to have sex. He sexually assaulted the student in a supply closet in the classroom. He bought the young student a cell phone so that he could have phone sex with the child. He was convicted of thirteen counts.

If his appeal --which might last up to two years-- failed, he would serve a 43 year prison sentence. As he is 41 now, that would amount to a life sentence if he served it all. He put up family land as collateral for the $610,000 bond set.

There's been some furor. The victim and his family are upset that he's out, even while wearing a GPS tracking device and surrendering his passport. Understandably, they are upset.

The judge, acting on evidence (a pending forclosure) that the property put up as collatoral does not (and did not) have the value represented to secure the bond, revoked Mohanlal's bond and ordered Mohanlal incarcerated in lieu of bond, pending his appeal. Mohanlal's spirited defense attorney challenged the trial judge's jurisdiction to do that, apparently claiming that it would now be the appellate court's venue to revoke bond. That challenge has thus far borne no fruit.

All of this is a real-life drama for the victim and his family, and for the convicted actor and his family, and for the community of Port St. Lucie, FL. The repercussions are serious.

But it's not national news. It's business as usual.

Like politics and sausage, you may appreciate criminal justice, but you don't want to see it made.

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4 Comments:

At Saturday, August 02, 2008 8:24:00 PM, Blogger HollyB said...

Unfortunately it's not worthy of Nat'l news attention because sexual offenses against children have become too common to be considered "news" anymore.

You and I know that the offenses were occurring anyway they just didn't get reported in years past. It was Society's "dirty little secret." Then abused children became a "cause celebre' " for a time and they were all over the nightly news. Now the pendulum has swung back to its prior position and these cases are only worthy of local news again.
Shame that.

 
At Sunday, August 03, 2008 3:42:00 PM, Blogger Old NFO said...

I'm sorry, but I'd revoke his bond in a 'slightly' different way that would be much more permanent...

 
At Monday, August 04, 2008 5:02:00 PM, OpenID crankylitprof said...

Indeed.

A loop of piano wire around the upper sack, with the opposite end tied to whatever location you do not want the perv to stray too far from...

 
At Wednesday, August 06, 2008 12:02:00 PM, Blogger Rogue Medic said...

Let him file whatever appeals are relevant, from jail. The housing market seems to be doing more to protect the children in the community than this judge was.

 

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