Justice System Out of Control —- If You Change a Baby’s Diaper in Arizona, You Can Now be Convicted of Child Molestation.

This from a recent story on Slate by Mark Joseph Stern: “The Arizona Supreme Court issued a stunning and horrifying decision on Tuesday, interpreting a state law to criminalize any contact between an adult and a child’s genitals. According to the court, the law’s sweep encompasses wholly innocent conduct, such as changing a diaper or bathing a baby.”

Not only that, but this law places the burden upon the accused to prove that there was no sexual intent. This throws presumption of innocence (innocent until proven guilty) out the window!

“Arizona prosecutors can now dangle the threat of a probable child molestation conviction to coerce any parent of a young child into taking a plea deal on unrelated charges. With the state Supreme Court’s help, Arizona’s child molestation laws have been weaponized into a tool for prosecutorial harassment, allowing the state to target any parent or caregiver—out of spite or malice, or simply to boost their conviction rates.”

Arizona has, once again, proven that the inmates are truly running the asylum. This is so absurd, it would be laughable – if it weren’t so tragic.

Please see the full story on Slate by Mark Joseph Stern here.

7 responses to “Justice System Out of Control —- If You Change a Baby’s Diaper in Arizona, You Can Now be Convicted of Child Molestation.

  1. Thank you Phil for jumping on this horrific Arizona Supreme Court decision. You have helped to shine the harsh spotlight on Arizona’s best kept secret (kept from the public) – the “touching” crime with NO sexual intent is finally out there for the world to see.

    How many thousands of innocent men, women and children have been in prison for years/decades, with these laws that have destroyed the innocent and their families, then after a prison sentence is completed, adding life time sex offender registry — defacto life sentences for those snared into this Venus Fly Trap for $$$’s. Meanwhile, the truly violent and disturbed predators go free.

  2. “Prosecutors under scrutiny are seldom disciplined” by Michael Kiefer | Arizona Republic http://bit.ly/2czoOfk

  3. Prosecutors Would Never Do Something Like That” MEMIS Law 9/17/16 http://bit.ly/2cGA6PS

    “The court then cites Ethical Rule 3.8, a prosecutor’s responsibility of a minister of justice and not simply that of an advocate, apparently completely unaware of the fact that news stories abound of Arizona prosecutors pushing the envelope of the ethics rules and beyond, often with impunity, and that the most powerful prosecutor in the state was disbarred for abusing his power not too long ago.

    The majority’s firm language gives the impression they’re trying to convince themselves it’ll all be okay:

    Finally, the dissent repeats Holle’s hypothetical, unrealistic concerns about subjecting to criminal prosecutions parents or other child caregivers changing diapers. But if a prosecution actually were to result from such innocent behavior (no such case has been cited), an “as applied” constitutional challenge would likely have merit in light of parents’ fundamental, constitutional right to manage and care for their children.

    It’s obvious the justices of the court aren’t a group with a lot of criminal defense experience. If they were, they’d see that concerns about overreaching prosecutions are anything but hypothetical and unrealistic, but rather the sort of thing that defense lawyers battle daily. Moreover, the sentencing laws are so harsh and courts statewide are so unwilling to dismiss sex charges based on as-applied constitutional challenges short of trial and a conviction that that most of the innocent victims of our laws will plead guilty or sit in prison for quite some time waiting to clear their names following an unconstitutional conviction.

    The majority’s opinion can really be summed up as “just trust them.” Given the sad reality of how things work here, that’s a terrifying proposition.”

  4. Former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas disbarred for ethics violations | KJZZ http://bit.ly/2d9VFtg

    http://bit.ly/2cGBQIG

  5. Who you elect as YOUR local prosecutor matters. They drive the laws and sit in the state legislature like “prosecutor-lobbyists” (paid for by the taxpayers), fighting against meaningful reform that would save innocent lives and families; and save taxpayers hundreds of millions of $$$’s. So who has the courage to end this “gravy-train”?

  6. “In Arizona, Parents Could Go to Jail for Changing Their Kids’ Diapers” – Hit & Run : Reason.com 9/19/16 http://bit.ly/2cqguR1

    These fears may seem paranoid, says Fordham Law Professor John Pfaff, and “obviously, if hundreds of these cases came down the line, the legislature would have to change the law. But,” he points out, “we’ll never see those cases. Because even if you can prove yourself innocent, by the time you’re charged with child molesting it’s going to ruin your life. So prosecutors [can] use these tools in ways that are very hard to see.”

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