Judges Who Appear To Have Difficulty Grasping The Seriousness Of Rape, And The Results Of Misallocating Values

Ok, I grant you, he drugged his wife to rape her for three years. But she was snippy when she was conscious...have some compassion!

OK, I grant you, he drugged his wife to rape her for three years. But she was snippy when she was conscious…have some compassion!

In Indiana, Superior Court Judge Kurt Eisgruber decided that jail time was too harsh for David Wise, who was convicted of  drugging his wife, raping her in her sleep, and videotaping the rapes…for three years.  He sentenced Wise to eight years of home confinement, with the remaining 12 years of his 20-year sentence suspended. Prosecutors had asked for a forty year sentence.

For some reason, Wise’s victim and former wife Mandy Boardman still holds a grudge. She recounted to the press how she would wake up puzzled, with a half-dissolved pill in her mouth. Finally, all became clear when she found videos of sexual encounters on Wise’s cell phone, and her husband confessed to her that his non-consensual sex with his drugged wife had been going on for more than three years. In trial, he explained that she was a little snippy sometimes, so drugging her and having her unconscious during sex made it a lot more pleasant for him.

Judge Eisgruber has declined to explain why this horrendous crime doesn’t warrant imprisonment, though he is running for re-election unopposed this fall, making a write-in campaign for, well, just about anybody or anything essential, I would think. He did express concern with the victim’s conduct, however, imploring her to forgive her ex-husband for his astounding breach of  trust, respect, fairness, dignity, and honesty, not to mention the law, telling Boardman during the sentencing  hearing, “I hope that you can forgive him one day, because he’s obviously struggled with this and struggled to this day, and I hope that she could forgive him.” The judge added, helpfully,

“Ultimately, I think that helps a lot of people heal — it helps them to reach that point. Some can, some cannot. I’m not in her shoes, I’m not able to say one way or another … It’s not something that’s limited to her or this case. But when people are really struggling, I just offer that out. … I just hope that they find peace.”

You have to admit, the judge sounds like a compassionate, caring man. He also sounds like an idiot. Judge Eisgruber just doesn’t quite get this rape thing. He’s not alone though. We had this judge, who thought a one month sentence was appropriate for a teacher who raped a 14-year-old student (who later killed herself). There was also this judge, who apparently didn’t feel that a prostitute could be raped; or this one, whom I wrote about this month, who announced that some kinds of rape deserved only probation. A month earlier, this judge decided that a man who raped his three-year-old daughter needed treatment, not jail.

Feminists like to blame these sentences on a so-called “rape culture” that makes the crime seem more acceptable, but allegedly feminist, female judges are handing out these sentences as often as clueless male judges. My growing belief is that this is an unintended side-effect of society’s increasing discomfort with negative consequences of any kind, for any wrongful conduct, criminal or otherwise. Criminals are sick, or abused, poor, or badly educated; they need compassion, and treatment, not jail. Punishment is the old-fashioned, uncivilized, mean way, and besides, mistakes are made sometimes. Better to be merciful to all, just in case.

Once again, this is a misalignment of ethical priorities. Caring is the nice, generous, feel-good category of values. Responsibility is the tough one, the one that includes accountability. In the traditional hierarchy of values, caring trails responsibility, and that is where it belongs,  keeping mercy, compassion, kindness and forgiveness in the ethical decision-making process when appropriate, but not taking over. Placing caring first encourages irresponsible conduct.

Sentences like this one are a good example.

______________________________________________

Pointer: Think Progress

Facts: LA Times

Graphic: LA Times

36 thoughts on “Judges Who Appear To Have Difficulty Grasping The Seriousness Of Rape, And The Results Of Misallocating Values

  1. Maybe this judge belongs to the club which thinks a husband can’t rape his wife because she consented when she said “I do”.

  2. How many times have we been chastised that sentencing a killer to death won’t bring back the dead? This sounds much like, “You know that sentencing rapists to prison won’t undo the rape, right?” Disgusting.

    • Disgusting, but increasingly popular. Hence the argument that the US has “too many” people in jail. Enough people in jail is exactly how many people willfully break laws warranting jail time. I’m certain that by that definition, we don’t have anywhere near enough people in jail.

      • One of the things I should fear is the day when popular opinion on prison sentences is reduced to “no one in prison” and “everyone in prison”. Surely, we’re heading in that direction.

        • I don’t think so, I’m sure there’s a healthy cohort of over educated, under intelligent mouth breathers who think “no one in prison” is acceptable, but even people on the right are slowly coming around on the war on drugs… Well some of them.

          I like to piss off both extremes by saying that I believe that a gay couple should be able to protect their adopted child in the home they own with guns…. But maybe I’m weird.

          • To me, a gay couple adopting is no different than a pair of brothers or a trio of sisters adopting.

            I still support preferential treatment for those married consistently with the common law tradition in this area of law.

            • Appeal to tradition. I think couples where the man owns all property should have preferential treatment due to their consistency with the common law tradition in this area of law. Ye gads.

              • Though sometimes—usually, in fact—there are valid reasons traditions exist. There is nothing but the kids keeping sibling groups together, for example, so a preference for legally bound couples, any sex, makes sense. If someone were to argue that a hetero couple deserved preference over a same sex couple, I wouldn’t dismiss the argument out of hand…the traditional male-female couple may provide the best mix of models and roles for parenting, though I personally don’t see how anyone could prove it.

                • Though sometimes—usually, in fact—there are valid reasons traditions exist.

                  Valid reasons for them being traditional doesn’t mean valid reasons to privilege something in the past, much less now. There were valid reasons to not eat pork: trichinosis. There were valid reasons to not eat meat on Fridays: the church wanted to prop up the Spanish fishing industry. They aren’t exactly equal, and neither apply today. Michael Ejercito was attempting to bolster his opinion by claiming it’s traditional.

                  If someone were to argue that a hetero couple deserved preference over a same sex couple, I wouldn’t dismiss the argument out of hand…

                  Slippery slope. Kids of white couples do better than kids of black couples, should white couples get preference? Kids in the suburbs do better than kids in the city, should suburban couples come first in adoption?

                  We set a minimum required amount, and everyone over that is first-come, first-serve. Giving preference to groups because they might be a little better than another group? Bad idea.

                  • I agree with you on all of this, tgt. “It’s traditional” is not an argument. But it is wise to examine what was behind traditions, just in case they embody legitimate but forgotten wisdom. That was all I was saying.

  3. i think prison would have been a good choice, even for three years. He could have had a nice roommate named Bubba and all the sex he wanted. 😉

  4. Just seems insane, he planned, obtained drugs and videoed it, how many times? How is it not an enhanced sentence? This is why there are unethical minimum sentencing guidelines.

    Side note: As much as I respect you and your work, your still wrong on Judge Deni. You should stop using that case as an example, poor reporting and lack of any supporting information makes it certain it was a politically driven character assassination. Each time you use it your advocating judges sentence based on emotion and not evidence. There are so many other cases that illustrate your point with out the need to continue besmirching Judge Deni reputation.

  5. My growing belief is that this is an unintended side-effect of society’s increasing discomfort with negative consequences of any kind, for any wrongful conduct, criminal or otherwise. Criminals are sick, or abused, poor, or badly educated; they need compassion, and treatment, not jail. Punishment is the old-fashioned, uncivilized, mean way, and besides, mistakes are made sometimes. Better to be merciful to all, just in case.

    I suspect this is the true motivation of the leadership of the capital punishment abolitionist movement.

    Feminists like to blame these sentences on a so-called “rape culture” that makes the crime seem more acceptable, but allegedly feminist, female judges are handing out these sentences as often as clueless male judges.
    Rape culture is a subset of evil culture, where evil acts are excused.

    How many people excused the evil acts of Lance Armstrong?

    • I see there might be some agreement here. Rape culture is not proved wrong when women feed into it. The same goes for black people who back racist stereotypes and “ex-gays” who claim homosexuality is sinful.

  6. He must have had an awful good attorney. Home confinement makes sense for some drunk who has been caught numerous times dui. Put an ankle bracelet on him that goes off if he gets the urge to go to a liquor store. Not for this guy! He’s a predator.

  7. “Criminals are sick, or abused, poor, or badly educated; they need compassion, and treatment, not jail. Punishment is the old-fashioned, uncivilized, mean way, and besides, mistakes are made sometimes. Better to be merciful to all, just in case.”

    Sounds remarkably similar to: “In trial, he explained that she was a little snippy sometimes, so drugging her and having her unconscious during sex made it a lot more pleasant for him.”

  8. In trial, he explained that she was a little snippy sometimes, so drugging her and having her unconscious during sex made it a lot more pleasant for him.

    In fairness, it probably made it more pleasant for her, too, as she was not required to actually experience his 20 seconds of furious rutting while pretending she was anything but disgusted by him.

  9. What it all comes down to is that some judges consider their “conscience & wisdom” to supercede the laws they swore to uphold. Uphold with mercy and forbearance, yes; but uphold primarily for the protection of society. Have women and children become so incredibly devalued in the eyes of the bench in general that their exploitation in such a matter becomes a minor offense… one to be “forgiven”? Doesn’t it occur to these black robed loons that someone capable of drugging and violating his own wife would likely be capable of this or worse with any woman he could corral? Have logic, morals and duty completely departed from the education of jurists? And are we all just pounding our heads against the wall of the courthouse to no avail?

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