Who is correct on this 'Jessica's Law' issue ?

A Massachusetts trial lawyer, also serving as chairman of the State House Ethics Committee, is under fire for advocating “ripping apart” child sexual abuse victims on the witness stand. Massachusetts State Representative James Fagan was speaking against “Jessica’s Law,” a proposal already on the books in many other states that imposes a mandatory minimum sentence for those convicted of raping children. He described how he, as a defense attorney, would treat a six-year-old rape victim on the witness stand. “And I’m [going to] rip them apart. I’m [going to] make sure that the rest of their life is ruined – that when they’re eight years old, they throw up; when their 12 years old, they won’t sleep; when they’re 19 years old, they’ll have nightmares. And they’ll never have a relationship with anybody,” stated Fagan. Fagan argued that “…[w]hen you’re in court and you’re defending somebody’s liberty and you’re facing a mandatory sentence of those draconian proportions, you have to do every single thing you can do on behalf of your client…” That, he said, is the oath and obligation of a trial lawyer. But Mat Staver, dean of the LU School of Law, strongly disagrees. “Certainly, you can successfully challenge the credibility of a witness without destroying their life,” he contends. And no respectable attorney should have that attitude toward a child victim, says Staver. “They’ve already been victimized – and this defense attorney says it’s his duty to actually victimize them, not only on the witness stand, but to victimize them for the rest of their lives - Who’s correct on this issue, Dean Staver or Rep. Fagan ?

Answer #1

jimahl, you better step it up…amoeba’s trying to be the biggest ‘attack dog’ on here !! LOL

Answer #2

jimahl - here’s Dean Staver’s office number: Phone: 434-592-5300 in case you’d like to straighten him out and advise him he didn’t take Rep. Fagan in context as you indicate above - one would think a Law school Dean would know better - note my opinion is not stated at all, please re-read - thanks for playing the constant ‘attack dog’ role on every word word I write here - I’d never be happy constantly criticizng but you obviously enjoy it so - you hate well - keep it up though, somebody needs to keep me straight !! LOL - oh, you’re always in my thoughts and prayers as are certain others here…Take care !!

Answer #3

Attack dog? lol Please show me where I “attacked” you. Amblessed, you need to get a little thicker skin. I don’t “hate” you. I hate your politics, just as you hate mine. Although I do enjoy showing the hypocrisy and obfuscation of the right wing, only because it is so easy to do.

If you don’t want anyone to answer your questions critically, then don’t post them. Particulaly such a blantant attempt to completely misrepresent someone. I don’t hold any creedence in anything said by a law school dean from Liberty University (founded by Jerry Falwell). His opinion is only relevant if you think the guy was actually saying it would be ok to “rip apart’ the victim, but he wasn’t. Of course your right wing source is going to take the lie and run with it because it will shine the worst possibly light on the democrats.

Good try, but I would suggest you maybe do a little fact checking next time…

Answer #4


I’m always on the child’s side.

Thanks for addressing such an interesting topic.

Keep up the good work! Oh, and pay no mind to the negative comments of amoeba, she does this to everybody; it makes her feel better about herself…

God bless

Answer #5

I guess the difference is that I don’t put myself out there as a christian… and talk about how others will serve eternity in hell… I once attended a service a minister friend of mine gave and he preached about spreading the word he said “Christians, who publicly declare their faith, need to walk the walk… those who don’t, do more harm than good…” He is a graduate of Liberty University, I am sure you have heard of it. lol. He also was a missionary in South America for 12 years…He is the most wonderful person, honest, full of faith and love for the lord. When he speaks to me about his faith and love for christ, I can understand and respect his views. When I read you or orion (though you are MUCH less irritating and actually help with some non-faith based questions) I just hear the typical blab-ity-blad dogma of the christian right. Jimahl pointed out that your original question left out the entire quote…he was correct. I don’t remember ONE time that I have used foul language towards you or anyone on this site. I point out the hatred, racism, etc. but I don’t need to use foul language. If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen. And again I ask…Why do you think those on this site show nothing but respect for flossheal? IF IT WERE JUST ABOUT HATING CHRISTIANS, SHE WOULD NOT BE EXEMPT…

Answer #6

hope that helped! << - LOL !! - regardless, your judgement of me and opinion of me mean nothing - my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ’s opinion of me means Everything - amoeba, I wonder why you feel qualified to judge me, your life is spotless ? - jimahl, what you did with the ‘beat’ statement - I would NEVER stoop to say that to anyone - words are sharper than any two-edged sword - both of you criticize and hate very well - I just hope that changes - I invite anyone on this site to look through it for amblessed / jimahl / amoeba answers and notice - who tries to encourage, help - who uses foul language/name calls - who exhibits extreme bias - who doesn’t answer the question at all but goes immediately to attack the person posting the question - who reads ‘intent’ into the questions, who constantly whines, who enjoys ‘putting down’, etc - you’ll see for yourself the story - I am far from perfect but I try and do my best at staying positive and doing it without name-calling and cursing, imagine that - just because a persons a Christian shouldn’t automatically make them a hate target…but then again, they hated Him also, didn’t they.

Answer #7

amblessed - where is that forgiveness that you speak about. jesus didn’t wait for others to apologize…forgiveness was in his heart. tsk…tsk… and to orion, yep, I will speak out against half-truths, hatred, racism and bigotry everytime… do either of you EVER notice that everyone on this site, ATHEISTS included, have respect for flossheal and other respectful christians. they only seem to rail against, the big three: amblessed, orion and silverwings… I wonder why that is? could it be because flossheal doesn’t tell everyone who doesn’t believe in her god they are going to hell. that she has enough respect for humanity to have faith and not try to judge others. or that she likes to look at BOTH sides of a question and answer. that she is intelligent and is able to answer a question regarding religion from her heart and that it is obvious she has true faith and is not just spewing the dogma that falls so easily from your mouth. these qualities are lost on you, how could they not be? with your message of condemnation, hatred, racism, etc… hope that helped!

Answer #8

Oh amblessed, we ALL know that you LOVE to provide just enough of an article to support your stand and then when that is pointed out, you ALWAYS claim innocence, that you were just quoting from someone else. LOL. That is why we all reasearch your questions…lol. there is always another side to the story or a complete quote to be found…not just the snippets you LOVE to provide. and thanks for keeping us in your prayers…lol, I am sure your opinion carries a lot of weight with god, or maybe he ALSO researchs anything you say…

Answer #9

While I have gotten my back up at times before, and my have even provoked a few heated discussions, I did not do that here. If you go back and read my initial answer, I only offered facts and opinion, and there was no personal attack on amblessed. Regardless of how nice a person might be, if they post something that is untrue or misleading, I will point it out. However, I will endeavor to do so respectfully.

Thanks for the very thoughtful and diplomatic response flossheal.

Once again, she is the calm voice of reason…

Answer #10

How does he defend a defendent if there is no mandatory sentence? Does he not defend his defendent as well?

Answer #11

Attack dog? lol >> Please show me where I ‘attacked’ you. <<

jimahl - your memory fails you, remember: Amblessed: Do you your wife ? - Are you man enough to admit you said that and apologize ? - or do you insist in staying in the gutter ? - bet I can guess your choice !

Answer #12

LOL, Didn’t realize this was a ‘judge the best Christian’ contest, with the unsaved passing judgement on the saved ! - I know you didn’t mean to but you just gave me the greatest of compliments, advising me I’m not No 1 !! - Amen !! Thank you !!

Answer #13

I don’t see how trying to ruin someone’s life even furthers his goal of getting his clients off the hook. If I were a juror, I don’t think such unethical behavior on the part of the defendant’s attorney would cause me any reasonable doubt. I imagine that type of nehavior would have the opposite effect on most jurors.

So beside being unethical, it sounds like it’s probably also stupid.

Answer #14

I agree with Dean Staver, the victim shouldn’t have the rest of their lives ruined (if they are truly a victim) why? they didn’t ask to become the victim … the little girl didn’t say “hey you come over here and rape me” They should not have to go through more then what is necessary … The defendant did the crime, he should stay quiet and do the time and let everyone else go on with their lives !!!

Answer #15

I will be shocked if anyone responds to this question saying they think it would ever be justifiable to “rip apart” a child rape victim. After reading amblessed’s seemingly easy-to-answer question, something didn’t seem right. Could there actually be any politician that stupid as to say something like this? Even Dubya never siad something this stupid. So after a little research, mostly from conservative websites, I found the full quote. It seems amblessed did not provide the full quote in context. I am sure it was an innocent mistake.

This guy was trying to defend his position that mandatory sentences for child rapists are wrong. I don’t agree, but he is entitled to his opinion. If you see the whole thing in context, it is clear he was saying that if he was that type of lawyer, or worse, he would rip the witness apart if he had to defend against mandatory sentences, and without them a lawyer would not be so inclined to go that far. While I think the argument is still ridiculous, he was actually making the argument in order to prevent something like this from actually happening to a victim. It is a far cry from the way the right wingers are making it out to be. He was not advocatiing that type of behavior, he was claiming it would happen if you have mandatory sentences.

I knew something was wrong when the first website I found it on was stoptheaclu.com.

Answer #16

Amblessed, I am sorry if you are not able to grasp the meaning behind the ‘beat’ statement. Because if you did, you would not think I was saying something awful to you. That is your problem, not mine. The reason that myself or amoeba don’t directly answer your questions and tend to deal with the ‘intent’ is precisely why I used the ‘beat’ statement in the first place. You frame loaded questions, derived from false or misleading sources.

I was not the one who posted a question that was completely designed to mislead and was sourced from extreme right wing websites. Please show me in my initial response to this question where I did anything but provide facts and opinons about this incident. I did not “attack you”. I merely pointed out that the quote that YOU provided was incomplete. I even gave you the benefit of the doubt by suggesting it was an innocent mistake. So instead of owning up to your mistake, you throw your right wing source at me (as if I’d be impressed with a dean from Jerry Falwell U) and then accuse ME of attacking you. And then bring up something that happend 3 months ago to show how I am an attack dog.

I have never once used foul language with you, or anyone on here I think, and if I have called you any name it was certainly no worse than calling someone an “attack dog”. And I freely admit I show my bias. You pretend like you are middle of the road, and just passing along some useful information, with no agenda at all. I don’t come on here putting up quotes that are incomplete and/or out of context. I think you are just upset because someone took the time to look it up and had the facts to call you out on it.

You or any other chirstians are not a hate targets. As amoeba said, there are christians like flossheal who can have deep faith and still be able be accepting of others views and beliefs, and show respect for them. If your chirstianity has anything to do with my feelings towards you, it is because I don’t see you practicing what you preach. I am married to a very strong christian, with very consistant morals. So I know what a real christian, one who doesn’t judge others, looks like. She is a better person than me.

Have a great Forth of July.

Answer #17

Well, I’m flattered yet embarassed by what some people have been saying about me, but I wonder if I could take the liberty of saying somthing about you other protagonists in this debate, please?

Amblessed is hard working, caring, often widely researched and has the gratitude of many young people on this site, of all beliefs or none. Look at his track record if you don’t believe me.

Jimahl is intelligent, thoughtful, well-researched and caring.

Orion is both brave and extremely generous in her prayers, praying hard for my sick mother despite her own personal needs.

Toadaly is well educated and funny.

Silverwings (not a protagonist here but she has been mentioned) is gentle and caring and, even though this is sometimes questioned, open minded - I know this because she has never questioned my Christian faith, but knows me to be a sister in Christ even though we disagree on many key issues. Others would have written me off.

Amoeba is intelligent, well educated and passionate about truth and justice.

And when I spotted through my ‘friends’ recent activity’ that this rather acrimonious debate was going on, I just felt sorry that so many of my friends were giving each other such a bad day.

I could, as some have done, also make a list of the flaws of each protagonist. And, make no mistake, others have done exactly the same about me on Funadvice and I could, to some extent, compile my own list of personal flaws (it’s always hardest to spot your own). Maybe even making this answer is wrong in itself. But this is my feeling - you are all good guys. You have strong feelings and it’s important to express them with honesty and without subterfuge. Sometimes disgust with another’s view (a valid emotion) has turned into an attack on the person themselves (not fair, surely). It’s been known to happen on ‘both’ sides, if it’s possible to simplify debates like this into a Christian/non-Christian issue, which I myself doubt.

I haven’t even looked at the original question yet, and may not have time to answer as I’m looking after my parents at the moment. But the key thing is, that I find it upsetting to pop onto Funadvice and discover that people I like are getting so worked up with each other.

There, that didn’t answer your question at all, did it, amblessed? Sorry…

Answer #18

Whoa… That was not an attack, and I explained that in the thread it came up in. I never denied saying it. Here is my initial explanation:

“Amblessed responded to a post I made (that has since been deleted) with the following : ‘What exactly is your purpose for saying above: >> amblessed, do you still beat your wife? << STEP UP AND ANSWER !!’

This was not a serious question, nor was it meant as a personal attack. It is an old expression used to highlight a loaded question. Meaning that you can answer neither affrimative nor negative without acknowledging that you do in fact beat your wife. I was trying to show that this question couldn’t be answered in the way he presented it, because in order to do that, you must accept the entire premise and framing of the question.

I obviously don’t believe he beats his wife, nor should anyone else when you look at my full response in full context.”

Keep accepting your version of events all you want, but I never seriously said that you actually beat your wife. You asked what I meant when I said it, and I explained it.

If you are still harboring resentment from something I said on an internet message board three months ago, I think you need to get over it…

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