Election results from Philly. This makes me sick.

2007 Municipal Election
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Unofficial Returns
*** 6,626 out of 9,268 Districts (71.49%) Reporting Statewide ***

Judge of the Municipal Court
Judicial Retention


1st Judicial District (Philadelphia County)

Candidate Votes Percent
DAHER, GEORGANNE V. “Yes” 72,250 68.3%
“No” 33,457 31.7%
DENI, TERESA CARR “Yes” 70,385 66.1%
“No” 36,107 33.9%
GRIFFIN, DEBORAH “Yes” 75,976 71.3%
“No” 30,647 28.7%
MERRIWEATHER, RONALD B. “Yes” 82,952 77.2%
“No” 24,560 22.8%
PEW, WENDY “Yes” 78,480 76.1%
“No” 24,707 23.9%
PRESENZA, LOUIS J. “Yes” 77,646 75.1%
“No” 25,694 24.9%

45 Responses

  1. If there is ever a question of why anti violence groups need to work together and find common ground, this horrible election results are an answer. This election results are a terrible day for women, horrific for the rape survivor, horrific for sex workers as it says it’s fine to rape a sex worker, the sex worker has to survive the rape, recover from it, she gets screwed by the justice system and voters give the presiding judge a landslide win.

    I have to believe much of her victory margin came because people were unaware. There can’t be that large a percentage that would support what Judge Deni did.

    This breaks my heart and absolutely makes me sick.

  2. That makes two of us.

  3. It is horrible. And yeah, I imagine most people were unaware: the story was starting to get traction, but not enough not fast enough, I reckon. and in general that’s the sort of position where voters go bing bing bing down the party line, not really thinking about it at all. Hell, I know I have. Good lesson for future reference.

  4. ..I mean if you look at that list, they ALL got voted back in by a wide margin; they’re not running against anyone, right? just, hey, wanna put the judge back? most people don’t really give it much thought, I think. maybe it even means something that her “win” margin is just slightly slimmer than any of the others.

    well. doesn’t mean people can’t continue to make noise.

  5. And noise we’ll make!

    Kinda makes me want to become a lawyer or a city councilperson.

  6. I feel degraded by the “system”, again. Not much more I can say this morning.

  7. These are the actual results:

    DENI, TERESA CARR
    “Yes” 74,647 65.9%
    “No” 38,681 34.1%

    I didn’t actually expect her to lose though I was hoping for a smaller margin. Still, it’s the smallest margin of the judges, but it’s not a big consolation.The organizing only started three weeks ago and there was a zero budget up against the lowest turnout voter election in Philly in decades.

    I’ll keep fighting. I only got one piece of hate mail over this and it was from one of her minion’s who tipped her hand by telling me that Deni was bucking for a position with the DA. We’ll get her there–people will pay much more attention to that race than a judicial retention race.

    In the mean time, people should be writing to her boss and recommending she be removed from any court where she has the power to exercise her biases. I’m thinking traffic court for her.

    When I pull my heart out of my feet later today I will send out another bulletin with instructions about how to get the letter writing campaign going.

    In the mean time, I need a catchy slogan for stickers/bumperstickers/buttons. Perhaps all you clever women can help.

    And here is Porter’s latest article on the subject.

  8. she’s been raped again — this time by the voters!

  9. Thanks for posting this Jill. I was wondering about the results of the election.

    Disappointing and awful as hell, though. Not much else I have to say. It’s awful news.

    XX

  10. This is so fucked up!

    So what are the alternatives now? Is there any way to get a judge disbarred (or whatever the judicial equivalent of disbarring is)?

    Election results like this that are the result of pure voter apathy really calls into question whether positions like this should even be elected ones. Perhaps they should simply be appointed by elected officials, who would also have the power to recall them in cases of clear misconduct. (Though voters should still be able to petition for recall elections of judges.)

    Anyway, I’m rambling – there must be some way of sanctioning gross judicial misconduct like this, even if the judge can manage to win a simple election.

  11. “mattiethecat,” four posts up, says I sent her hate mail.

    I did no such thing.

    I expressed a different point of view, and I did so respectfully.

    I guess to the “matties” of the world, being out of lock step with their opinion is a hateful thing to do.

    Then she accuses me of being a “minion” and says I “tipped my hand.” What utter nonsense she is spreading.

    I see these “anti Judge Deni” posts by “mattie” and the same few others, croping up in many places.

    I urge you to take what you read with a grain of salt. Definitely, the posts by “mattie,” I am seeing first hand how little regard she has for telling the truth accurately when she posts comments like the one above.

    “Mattiethecat” is using exactly the kind of hyperbole that makes it dangerous to jump on the bandwagon against someone, when you don’t have all the facts, or when you rely on the word of people who tell you they DO have all the facts, when what they may be doing is exaggerating what they know, and twisting how they tell it, in order to tell the story the way they want it to be told.

    It is not enough for some to respectufully disagree with what they think Judge Deni did, and try to get it addressed.

    No, that’s not exciting enough, they have to absolutely villanize her, demonize her, viciously trash her in a hundred blogs, and destroy her reputation.

    This, by women who purport to care about women.

    Telling the truth matters.

    Not exaggerating, or distorting the truth, and not making things up for the sheer hell of it, that matters too.

    Another thing:

    A number of people are putting a lot of stock in a critical statement that was published by the Chancellor of the Bar Association. That wasn’t right, either.

    It was her own personal opinion, that’s fine, but she issued it as if she were speaking on behalf of the Bar Association, something she had neither the right nor the authority to do.

    And on top of that, she did it a week before the election, which was also out of line, when she knew Judge Deni was prohibited from responding to it.

    It’s ok to be critical of someone, and it’s ok to say so, what isn’t right is to do all this other garbage, where fuel is being thrown on the fire by people who don’t know what they’re talking about, and who couldn’t care less about the truth.

    The ugliness, and the mean spirited viciousness that is being leveled at Judge Deni, I wonder just how much more superior these self-righteous and self-appointed vigilantes really are than the person they presume to be judging?

  12. I urge you to take what you read with a grain of salt. Definitely, the posts by “mattie,” I am seeing first hand how little regard she has for telling the truth accurately when she posts comments like the one above.

    Oh, really, where am I lying? Where am I using hyperbole? Where am I not telling the truth?

    Before I took this on I spoke with a number of people who were in the courtroom that day. I also spoke with a number of people who have been in Deni’s courtroom before. Some of them had good things to say actually but all of them concurred, whether they liked her or not, that she has a real issue when women come before her who either engage in sex work or are suspected of engaging in sex work. I then read transcripts of other cases in which she threw out rape charges in situations that involved women who admitted to having sex for money.

    I did not take this campaign on lightly. Believe me when I say I do not have the time. Nor do I find the fact that I have to do this “exciting” as you put it. I find it repulsive actually. Why should I even have to be defending the fact that sex workers can be raped? Why is that even in question?

    Also, I find it very interesting that you knew that my above comment referred to you even though I wrote it before you had ever even posted here and I made absolutely no reference to you. Clearly, you did not come here to engage these women in a debate, you came here looking for me. I have no interest in arguing with you over this topic anymore. You obviously have an agenda and I have better things to do than to play into that.

  13. You are viciously attacking a very good judge for one ruling, and you are plotting still, in your post above, to smear her reputation further, and destroy her career.

    You ought to be ashamed of what you’re doing, but I’m sure you’re not, your type never is.

    Judge Deni handles 2500 cases a year, has an 89.12% approval rating, plus the endorsement of the Philadelphia Bar Association.

    Not good enough for you, though, no way, you want her head on a stick, and nothing less will do.

    A person has to be 100% perfect 100% of the time, or watch out for you! I’m sure you hold yourself to the same high standard, right?

    You’re not out to address an issue, you’re out to destroy another person. Shame on you.

  14. Oh my. I thought you weren’t coming back, Kathy.

    And, my god, could you WHINE any harder? WTF does this have to do with being “perfect?” And you’re right, it’s NOT an “issue.” It’s about a PERSON, and a whole bunch of OTHER PEOPLE, NONE of whom are your goodbuddy and PARTICULARLY not THE ORIGINAL VICTIM YOU INCREDIBLE MORAL EEJIT.

    God, seriously, you sound like Bush with General Petraeus. “It’s HARD WORK.” Who gives a fuck? This isn’t some little screw up like she forgot to bang the gavel the right way; and hello, what is she doing to rectify it? Or even acknowledge that it was a problem for -any- reason besides, oops, bad P.R. for mememe?

    And when are you going to ANSWER THE QUESTIONS, CLAIRE?*

    *note for the irony impaired: no, I am not possessed of the belief that you are seekritly a person called Claire. that is a popculture reference.

  15. Okay, fuck this, now the shit is on.

    Ashamed? Our type? What the fuck? You want some idea on who should be ashamed? You’re goddamn judge friend, who did not so much as say “maybe I was wrong” about her shit ruling. Lives destroyed? How about the woman your judge friend fucking abused the shit out of in a court of law. You know, the goddamn victim?

    And you, you cannot even answer a damn question, all you can do is whine about the poor poor judge and poor poor Kathy and how mean all of us are being to.

    Fuck off you classist asshole.

  16. Kathy, what are you kidding with this? You haven’t answered any questions that anyone has asked for you to document your beliefs. I approached you respectfully asking for documentation which you offered none. I asked you your feelings about the case, you offered none except white noise garbage about the whole world being out to get your pal Deni.

    Now you want to talk about others that should be ashamed? There isn’t any documentation to substantiate your claims. You have provided nothing. Obviously because the truth is Deni did what she is accused of doing. No smear, no conspiracy. Just your friend the judge did a horrible thing. And you are trying to bury it under a pile of white noise and pretentious elitism from your Jersey suburb.

    Lets step out of the nice suburb and courtroom for a minute. Have you been raped more than once Kathy? Have you been raped by more than one man at the same time? Have you had the shit beaten out of you because these men raped you and took the money and your pimp saw things the way Deni did as theft of services?

    Fact. I have. That young single mother who happened to be a sex worker that was raped by the rapist then by your friend Judge Deni in an abysmal legal horror has been raped. She has to pick up the pieces and survive from it. Just as I did. This isn’t about what you are so strongly complaining about your friend Deni’s suffering. If she can’t handle criticism or you can’t then you can shut off the internet connection and be done with hearing it. Rape victims can not. It haunts for the rest of our lives. Having our pain discredited haunts for the rest of our lives. If your friend Deni is having difficulty with the criticism, tell her to go see a therapist, just like rape victims have to. I guarantee the pain of being criticized on the internet is nothing to the pain faced by a rape victim. Especially one screwed by the legal system like the young woman in Philly.

    I am a rape victim that survived. You want to walk line by line through my history and tell me that what poor judge deni is going through is the same? We can do that.

    Deni has options. Quit being a judge if she can’t handle it. I”m sure she can get another high paying job with her credentials. Maybe she can’t afford the Lexus payment…..
    compare that to the raped sex worker who gets gang raped but that does not have the options Deni has and has to go out and face the same risk the next day while arrogant bastard rapists laugh at a sex worker they just raped and violated taunting them about trying to get justice because they know that sex workers seldom get justice in court.

    You simply have a hair about Mattie the cat and you are on a smear campaign. You have done nothing but pile white noise, ignored questions, offered no substantiation. You are a pathetic troll with a hair about Mattiethecat.

    You want to talk about being ashamed? Deni should be ashamed. Given what she has done if her career is destroyed she brought it on herself and it is nothing compared to the pain of being raped and then screwed by the legal system. A person has to be perfect 100 percent of the time? No, but when you do what Deni did to this rape victim, and the other victims of this rapist who will also pay for her errors, you are wide open for justified criticism.

    So save your pious and vaccuous defense for an audience that will buy what you are peddling. All you have done here is prove our point. Maybe the woman upset about the traffic light on Cherry Street in your hometown is a better audience for your vapid arguments. You aren’t selling anyone on them here.

  17. >Fuck off you classist asshole.>

    and your classist, racist, whorephobic friend too.

  18. It is not enough for some to respectufully disagree with what they think Judge Deni did, and try to get it addressed.

    No, that’s not exciting enough, they have to absolutely villanize her, demonize her, viciously trash her in a hundred blogs, and destroy her reputation.

    This, by women who purport to care about women.

    You have so much gall pulling this argument here. We do care about women – we care about women who have been victimized by the system and the judges who use that system to brutalize them. Caring about women as a group does not mean that every woman is beyond reproach, and I cringe every time a feminist tries to use this argument to shut down discussion.

    Full stop, Judge Deni Carr deemed a gang rape to be a theft of services. If she’s making decisions like that on the bench, letting her continue to sit on that bench is like giving a psychopath free rein with a loaded gun. She will harm more women who need justice for the crimes inflicted against them. Anyone who cares about women is rightfully concerned about her continued career as a judge.

    It’s not about being 100% perfect 100% of the time. It’s about not making horrifying and dehumanizing decisions. She’s dismissed a second rape case. It seems clear to me that she’s only interested in justice when the people she considers human are the victims.

    So, fuck that noise. If you’re this outraged over any campaigning against Deni Carr, then you should be at least 10 times outraged about Deni Carr’s attitudes toward rape. A hundred times. This is nothing in comparison to what she did to that woman. That black woman. That single mother.

  19. >The ugliness, and the mean spirited viciousness that is being leveled at Judge Deni, I wonder just how much more superior these self-righteous and self-appointed vigilantes really are than the person they presume to be judging?>

    um. and besides everything else, yes, how dare we sit in judgment on a PROFESSIONAL JUDGE. i mean! how harsh can you get! judge not lest ye be judged! live and let live!…

    headdeskbangliedownnow’k.

  20. It must be marvelous to be so sure of yourselves.

    Nice language, too.

  21. Kathy is a troll nothing more. I’m not sure how much more bandwidth should be wasted on her. There are many constructive efforts we can still take and challenging Judge Deni and working toward sex worker rights.

    Kathy is nothing but a red herring diversion who would love for us to divert our full attention toward arguing with her vaccuous and elitist bullshit.

    We have repeatedly asked her to back her arguments. She can’t. As an attorney, she knows one of the golden rules of law school and if you can’t defend your client attack the witnesses character and hope the jury buys it.

    As irritating as her repetitive, vapid and elitist posts are, we are going to simply wast time and bandwidth on a deliberate red herring. I really advocate blowing off any more of her posts. They aren’t worth the effort. It’s a waste of time.

    Adios Kathy, Chao

  22. >Nice language, too.

    fuckin’ A!

    sorry, Jill, couldn’t resist one last.

  23. argue with her as long as you want, I’ve just reached a point where conversation with her is like conversation with a fruit fly
    annoying and meaningless.

  24. yeah, pretty much.

    still it’s hard to resist swatting at ’em. you could ban, i suppose, if the software allows, and if you’re of a mind.

  25. A fair fight: Take issue with a report about a ruling you disagree with, and work to have your concerns addressed.

    Not a fair fight: Set out to viciously attack and destroy a person’s career and reputation, by smearing her reputation with exaggerations, distortions of the truth, outright lies, engage in vile name calling and threats to destroy her, and by attacking anyone who dares to say a word in her defense.

    Character: Knowing what the difference is between a fair fight and a not fair fight.

    “Sorry, Jill, couldn’t resist one last.”

    I know you don’t get it, but no matter how much you stamp your feet and demand details, and no matter just how special you truly are, you are not entitled to know the judicial details of a pending criminal action.

    Another bit of nonsense: You say “As an attorney, she knows one of the golden rules of law school and if you can’t defend your client attack the witnesses character and hope the jury buys it.”

    This is NOT a ‘golden rule of law school,’ what, are you just making this stuff up as you go aloing?

    You seem to be hung up on the fact that I’m a lawyer. I’m also a down to earth person and a grass roots community worker and organizer, but don’t let that stop your name calling, your accusations, and your nasty character assasinations.

    Heckuva job, Brownie!

    *note for the irony impaired: no, I am not possessed of the belief that you are seekritly a person called Brownie, that is a popculture reference.

  26. >I know you don’t get it, but no matter how much you stamp your feet and demand details, and no matter just how special you truly are, you are not entitled to know the judicial details of a pending criminal action.>

    No, friend, -you- don’t get it. I don’t want to know the “judicial details of a pending criminal action.” I want you to answer some of the questions these other much more patient people than I had posed to you ages ago. I want you to demonstrate SOME sign that you have the faintest inkling of a scintilla of understanding -why- people keep asking you “what about the VICTIM?” Barring that, I want you to fuck away off.

    And barring that–

    Well, can you play “Melancholy Baby?”

  27. oh, well, here’s -one- answer to -someone’s- question:

    http://dragonballyee.com/blog/2007/10/31/what-is-rape/

    # Albert Says:
    November 7th, 2007 @ 4:30 pm

    Kathy,
    Are you suggesting that Ms. Gindraw wasn’t raped? Do you feel that a robbery cannot occur before/while/after being raped? What are your thoughts on the bar’s statement? What is your definition of rape?
    # Kathy Hogan Says:
    November 8th, 2007 @ 8:57 pm

    In response to your questions:

    I honestly have no factual basis, certainly not a sufficient one, for forming an opiniuon about whether this person was raped or not. I think a person being raped can be robbed, I think a person being robbed can be raped.

    Your question about the bar statement, I have two problems with it. One, it was the personal opinion of the Chancellor of the Bar Association, which is fine, but she published it as if it were from the Bar Association, and it was not.

    Second, she published it the week before the election, when she knew that Judge Deni was prohibited by the rules of judicial conduct from responding to it.

    Rape is the sexual assault on a non-consentual person. As to the facts alleged here, absolutely I think that prostitutes can be raped. What I don’t know is what the actual facts were in this particular instance, as presented to the court, and the many other considerations, some technical, some not, that resulted in the charges that were filed.

  28. Kathy:

    “Not a fair fight: Set out to viciously attack and destroy a person’s career and reputation, by smearing her reputation with exaggerations, distortions of the truth, outright lies, engage in vile name calling and threats to destroy her, and by attacking anyone who dares to say a word in her defense. ”

    A fair fight? Destroying a persons career and rep? Smearing? Lies and namecalling? Defense?

    Ahem…you DO realize you are dealing with primarily a bunch of sexworkers and former sexworkers here, right? People who deal with unfair fights, destruction of career and rep, smearing, lies and name calling on a daily basis? The victim in this case (the real one, remember her?) She’s the one with the destroyed life. The judge is still on the bench.

    There is this thing called perspective. Figure it the hell out. Judge Deni being mocked and criticized vs the victim be raped, assaulted and robbed at gun point, then having to watch her attackers walk. Hummm, who got the worse deal there? Not the judge.

    ANd gee, you WONDER why “we people” might be angry and prone to using foul language.

    You’re a lawyer, you’re smart. Wrap your damn head around this situation from a perspective that’s not quite so classy and privileged and realize Deni is not the victim here.

  29. As much as I hate to continue this, it was left gift wrapped.

    Not a fair fight: A group of men who all want sex from a young woman, all at the same time, a woman who does not consent and has no ability to stop the vicious assault.

    Not a fair fight: A rape victim, a 19 year old single mother, a sex worker vs. a rapist with the backing of a judge that does not understand the definition of rape, that has a bias against sex workers,

    Not a fair right, a young woman gang raped by a group of men, then by the justice system, who has to put the rest of her life back together, and live with the horror of the rape, then having it torn apart line by line in trial, then having to see her attacker get off, then get ridiculed by the judge, and somehow having to still go on with life, take care of her child, live, survive, deal with the emotional and physical harm done by all of this for the rest of her life.

    Those are not fair fights.

    Neither you, Kathy, or the judge are the victim. That you are trying to make yourself the victim and usurp the attention from the true crimes in this case is pathetic.

  30. it’s DISGUSTING.

  31. and yeah, “Heckuva job Brownie” IS rather apropos, but, once again, it doesn’t mean what you think it means.

    “Aint’ I An Asshole?” Why, yes, yes, that you are, at that.

  32. OK, I can see I’m the enemy in your eyes no matter what, but I am an active advocate for everyone’s civil rights, including prostitutes, including sex workers, and I have worked and demonstrated against the victimization of sex workers in the law and on the streets, in Philadelphia and New York, but I’m sure you either won’t believe it or it won’t matter, if your mind is made up.

    I absolutely care about the woman in this matter, and every woman who alleges that she has been raped, robbed, or otherwise criminally assaulted. Unless she presses a civil suit, all she’ll get to do in this case is testify. I hope she’ll be a good witness.

    There are facts none of us knows, like whether the prosecutor will be bring additional charges against the other alleged criminals, whether their cases will be joined, whether the prosecutor will refile additional charges, etc..

    If there are several victims willing to testify, that makes the prosecutor’s case stronger, and maybe that will happen in this case, we don’t know yet, but none of that has anything to do with the judge. It’s the prosecutor’s call.

    Like you, I tend to believe it when women say they are the victims of criminal activity, just as I tend to believe it when children allege abuse.

    I do know this accused defendant, at least the main one, is sitting in jail right now, no bail, facing a mandatory 5 to 10 year sentence if convicted. That’s more actual time than a number of sex assault charges carry, and a lot of charges don’t carry mandatory minimums.

    None of us knows how strong the evidence is, how credible the possible witnesses are, what other facts are involved, and that is not to be at all against the victim in this matter, I’m not, it’s just to say that there are facts none of us has that will weigh in the decision of how best to prosecute this case.

    Despite what some people are saying, that they know all the details in this case, and everyone’s motivations, they don’t.

    It’s not an “either or,” where, if I say a word to temper the volume of the venom being directed at Judge Deni, then I must not support the rights of sex workers.

    I’m really not the enemy you’re making me out to be.

    If this accused defendant and the other men who are alleged to have been involved are convicted, I hope they get maximum sentences, mandatory time, and no “deals.” I am concerned about why the other men have not been arrested or charged yet, but I’m willing to wait to see how this unfolds, and not jump to the conclusion that the prosecutor must hate sex workers.

    He can always file the same charges, or new ones, before any judge, and he knows that. If he feels that rape is his best chance at getting a conviction, he may file for that to be added, but if he doesn’t, it may be for completely technical and strategic reasons that have nothing to do with whether he supports or doesn’t support the rights of sex workers.

    Those of you who haven’t believed anything I’ve said so far won’t believe this either.

    At the risk of having you chop my head off, I think it is a good thing when people get involved and speak up about things that make them mad or cause them concern.

    The judge is constrained by the rules of judicial conduct from explaining her decisions in detail to the public or in the in the press. I know this sounds like total b.s. to you, like the judge is “hiding,” like no one is giving you the answers you want, and I understand your frustration about it. I know you think the judge hates sex workers and prostitutes, and I know that it will mean nothing to you that I assure you, she does not feel that way.

    I hope there is evidence enough to put the bad guys away for a very long time. The prosecutor can have any judge add as many charges as he wants, that’s no problem. How many charges you have or which ones you have isn’t the thing. The aim is to nail down which charges you think have the strongest evidence and best chances of getting a conviction for.

    Like getting Al Capone convicted on tax evasion, that wasn’t exactly the most satisfying criminal charge for the families whose loved ones he murdered, but it was the charge they knew they could prove, and it was the one that succeeded in getting him put away.

  33. So, if I’m reading this right, basically what you’re saying is that without being able to give away details, you have reason to believe that Judge Deni went for the “armed robbery” charge because she -does- thing a gang rape happened, but she thought this way it was more likely to actually stick and/or keep them in jail for longer.

    Okay. That’d be nice to believe, putting aside quibbles as to whether that’d be really a great idea for longterm practical/setting precent reasons, which I don’t really feel qualified to discuss.

    Mostly, I’m still not really clear on how this jibes with f’r instance these quotes she gave to the press:

    http://www.philly.com/dailynews/local/20071012_Jill_Porter___Hooker_raped_and_robbed_-_by_justice_system_.html

    “She consented and she didn’t get paid . . . I thought it was a robbery.”

    “Did she tell you she had another client before she went to report it?” Deni asked me yesterday when we met at a coffee shop.

    “I thought rape was a terrible trauma.”

    A case like this, she said – to my astonishment – “minimizes true rape cases and demeans women who are really raped.”

    ****

    Because, unless you’re now charging that Jill Porter made these quotes up out of whole cloth, which is a pretty serious charge in itself, seeing as how she’s a professional journalist and all, I’m sorry, but I really just can’t see how those quotes could be “taken out of context,” or whatever the usual handwave is. I can’t read those quotes as anything other than her saying that she does NOT believe the victim was raped, “really” raped, -because- she accepted money for sex. And if that’s truly what she believes, well, again, that’s more than a simple “she said a hurtful thing in public,” that’s indicative of how she’s going to rule in cases like this, and that is a real problem.

    If it’s NOT what she believes, well, she has a funny way of showing it.

    And you know, as for you and the rest of it: yeah, no one wants to be the bad guy; that’s pretty much a universal given. Once more with feeling: people simply aren’t -interested- in what a swell fella your friend is, or you for that matter. It isn’t the -point.- You in particular we wouldn’t be discussing if you hadn’t come around and -made- it about you, neh?

    And now, I think the fine women here would like to get back to what they feel is the main subject: where to go from here.

  34. “I hope she’ll be a good witness.”

    Is there some particular reason why you think she might not be?

  35. “precent”=”precedent”

  36. …yeah, reading between the lines here, what I’m picking up is something like, it’s a -given- that (other) people are gonna think that because she accepted money for sex, it’s gonna be very very hard to convict the guys of rape. Even though they held a gun to her head: it still isn’t “rape” (the only way that would not be at minimum violent assault is if you’re now saying she negotiated gunplay in her original agreement). “Armed robbery” is…when you hold up a corner grocery. Or when you mug someone. That’s NOT what happened here.

    but anyway, so: so, it’s not that Judge Deni thinks this, -herself- (quotes to the press notwithstanding); it’s that she doesn’t feel she can go against the tide of mass consensus. And/or that, as you just dropped here, it’s the prosecutor, now, who might be subtly trying to undercut his/her client? Something. anyway: don’t shoot the messenger, we’re on your side, it’s just the world isn’t ready to accept that (young, poor, black) prostitutes can be raped, even though -we- are. Be patient. We know what we’re doing. Trust us. Something like that?

  37. I agree that while it might be nice to think that Deni was trying to get a longer sentence for the guy by going for different charges, the reason the argument doesn’t hold up is because of her subsequent remarks to the press. It’s the kind of enabling argument people make up all the time to justify the actions of people they don’t want to believe would do something wrong like their abusers or their friends with substance use problems. But you can’t really justify the comments she made to Jill Porter. I think that if that really had been her strategy she would have said that to the press instead of those horrible comments she made. She said herself that she slept well over it–clearly she had no qualms.

    I wrote a very long comment in this thread earlier today but it seems to have disappeared into the netherworld so I’ll repeat part of it here. Teresa Carr Deni has a longstanding reputation for being very biased against sex workers. I have spoken to many people who have been in her courtroom over the years. Many say good things about her in general, lots of public defender’s say she’s done right by many of their clients (of course, they were stuck defending Gindraw), but even so, all the people I have spoken with all say the same thing about her issue with sex workers.

    I’m sure this is something she doesn’t advertise to her friends. Though I have never heard of her nor have any of my sex worker organizer/advocate friends nor anyone here as far as I can tell, if Kathy Hogan truly has been involved in advocating for sex workers’ rights, I can’t imagine Deni would mention her personal abhorrence for them. If Kathy Hogan only knows of the good things that her friend has done and has never sat in on Deni’s courtroom when there was a case involving a sex worker nor read the transcripts from one, then it makes sense that she would defend her.

    My advice to her would be to think about what those comments to the press mean–both to the victim and for sex workers in general. Ask around about her and read some of the transcripts. Or, better yet, exercise her concern for sex workers’ rights by sitting in sometime when one comes before Deni so that she can advocate for him or her if the judge metes out a raw deal.

  38. I think you’ll agree that there is widespread social prejudice against sex workers. I don’t think I’m mean for noticing it.

    What I meant by “I hope she’ll be a good witness” was not a reference to prostitution. It is a nerve wracking and difficult thing for anyone to hold up well on the witness stand any time you’re testifying or being cross examined, especially if you are the victim, and you have to sit there and face the accused, that’s all I meant, nothing else.

    No, I’m not saying at all that Judge Deni didn’t think she could ‘go against the tide of mass consensus,’ I don’t know where you got that impression, but it’s not what I said, and it’s definitely not what I meant to convey.

    I also didn’t say, and didn’t mean, that the prosecutor was somehow trying to undercut the victim, again, I don’t know where you got that impression, what I’m saying is pretty much the opposite, that the prosecutor decides what the best strategy is for getting a conviction. No prosecutor wants to undercut a victim by putting on a losing case.

    If I understand you, I think you’re saying my attitude is “Be patient. We know what we’re doing. Trust us.” That’s not it. It’s just a statement of fact that we all have to wait to see what will happen as the prosecution moves forward, and that probably does involve having a bit of patience, but it doesn’t involve “trusting” me about it.

    Personally, I think if the prosecutor is able to prove that a gun was held to the victim’s head, that a jury I HOPE will vote to convict, regardless of whether the defense tries to trash the victim for being a prostitute. Maybe I have too much faith in juries, but I hope they would convict, if the evidence is there.

    You’d be amazed (maybe not) how often criminal cases that seem to have slam dunk evidence fall apart during a trial. This is not a comment about this victim or this case, I’m just saying, you can never predict how a jury will vote, or how well the evidence will hold up.

    How about the murder trial of Phil Spector in Los Angeles, where he shot his lover in the head, and they had a whole string of his ex’s get up and testify that he held a gun to their heads, too. Everyone thought that was going to be a slam dunk conviction, and then the jury voted to acquit him.

  39. what mtc said.

  40. “No, I’m not saying at all that Judge Deni didn’t think she could ‘go against the tide of mass consensus,’ I don’t know where you got that impression, but it’s not what I said, and it’s definitely not what I meant to convey.”

    Just extrapolating. But the general gist, I think, you’re saying–yeah. Judge Deni means well and does not have prejudice against sex workers, even though it’s undeniably true that a -lot- of people do.

    Which, yeah, and I understand why one -would- want to think that of one’s friend.

    But then, well, there are still those quotes. And, mtc is saying she has other stories of other cases, but I’ll leave that for now; that’s not for me to say at this point.

    And then, there is also the much deeper rooted problem of: the attitude expressed in those quotes is only shocking to (some) people because it comes from a (female, generally with a liberal/feministl track record/reputation, as you say) judge, and because of the strong implications of that rather -unusual- charge, in this context.

    Either she’s a daring maverick judge using an unusual maneuver to get around the usual difficulty in convicting rape cases, much less well yep of a sex worker, we still have the jury to convince (right?); or, well, she -does- believe what she said to Porter.

    Or, I suppose, some combination of both; but that’s still problematic.

    Okay, you don’t want people howling for Deni’s blood. She’s your friend.

    How do you propose to get them to stop? Because clearly just saying she’s a mensch, you know her, just let’s wait and see how this develops, isn’t enough, considering those quotes. And, no one’s really that interested in the backroom Philly political maneuverings, I’m sorry to say, whether it’s true that some rival has it in for Deni or not.

    What people care about -here- is, shortterm, justice for this victim, who has been abused and abused again and certainly FEELS that the legal system has been a part of that, and I don’t think just arguing with her much less other people on the Internets is going to change that. What can be DONE? And longterm: as you may have noticed by now, this is a sex workers’ advocate board, by and for sex workers. It is related to the feminist movement, obviously, but, if you read through some of the archives here, you’ll see that in fact it’s NOT a given that a -lot- feminists have been looking out for sex workers’ best interests. So, women’s rights, yes; but the point is, it’s a REAL problem, the whorephobia, feminism isn’t automatically exempt and neither are judges or politicians with good records.

    I’m not even gonna get into the race and class dynamics (more) here, but, well, yeah. There’s that, too.

    So, yeah, that’s what people are on about. And if Deni wants to prove herself a not-bad-guy, for the sake of maintaining her seat (although she already has done for the time being) and reputation if nothing else, she’s going to have to put her money where her mouth is. What mtc and others are saying, I think, is that at -minimum-, Deni is on notice; that this case as has developed thus far is symptomatic of a much deeper and wider problem, and this (among other places) is where it starts.

    So.

  41. Specifically, to be clear that this -isn’t- ultimately about this one person, I meant to say here:

    “And then, there is also the much deeper rooted problem of: the attitude expressed in those quotes is only shocking to (some) people because it comes from a (female, generally with a liberal/feministl track record/reputation, as you say) judge, and because of the strong implications of that rather -unusual- charge, in this context.

    In another sense (I meant to say), it’s not shocking at all, because it’s an attitude, as you noted yourself, that’s -all too familiar-.

    A LOT of people believe you can’t rape a whore.

    (and the fact that she’s young, poor, and black doesn’t help her case either).

    This belief gets manifested in horrible ways, all the time.

    THAT’s the problem, here.

  42. There’s also mtc’s point from the other thread:

    “#
    mattiethecat, on November 10th, 2007 at 5:31 pm Said:

    That’s not what I see going on here. The judge threw out a rape charge that the prosecution thought it could successfully prosecute. Is this or is this not the case?”

    Yes, that is correct. In fact, they had been trying to get this guy for some time. This is his regular MO, as several rape advocacy workers can attest. Jill Porter’s original article on the matter references a second case they were planning to bring before Deni but that the DA pulled because of her bizarre ruling. These were not the only two incidents and the DA was thrilled to have two such strong cases against Gindraw so they could finally get him.

    ****

    I take it you have a different interpretation of events?

  43. I’ve read about trials where the judge went with a strange ruling in order to get the maximum sentence for the bad guy because the original charge wouldn’t have been punishment enough. And they always explain (after the ruling) that was their strategy.

    If Judge Deni felt she was giving a bigger sentence with an armed robbery charge — we’re fine with that.

    But in her interview afterwards, she should’ve said that was her strategy. What she said afterwards revealed her real thoughts and they weren’t judicial, or nice, or even on the side of the victim. I don’t think anyone is misconstruing her words when she says that this sex worker/victim demeans rape for all women. I hardly think that’s a rousing sign of support for sex workers.

    That she even believes that a rape victim can somehow make rape worse for other women (presumably other, better women), is why we’re mad. That she believes the tired stereotype: money = consent to anything and everything, is why we’re mad.

    After years of sitting on the bench and being in the public eye, I would think Deni is capable of being aware of what’s coming out of her mouth in the presence of the press. I’m not going to buy that she was tricked into the questions or merely had an impolitic moment.

  44. “What she said.”

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