Sexperts in the courtroom: Part 1

Witch doctor
There’s only one person in the courtroom who’s allowed to have an aura of reliability, and you can probably guess who that is. Anybody who wants to testify about specialized knowledge is rigorously scrutinized by the judicial gatekeeper under the 12-prong orgone-kryptonite test before they’re allowed to open their mouths.  Judges pore over stacks of peer-reviewed magazines to make sure this ipsie-dixie expert isn’t trying to befuddle the jury with high-flown bunkum. 

Unless of course it’s somebody testifying for the prosecution about sex.  In that case, any soothsayer can testify to any kind of applesauce. Anything goes to justify branding people forever under SORA or throwing them into the oubliette of civil commitment with the Orwellian name of Sex Offender Management and Treatment. Anybody with a degree in forensic dental flossing can diagnose a person with a “mental abnormality” that “predisposes” them to commit “sex offenses.”

In  State v. Shannon S.,  the Albany branch of Mount Olympus recently held that a man was properly civilly committed based on a diagnosis of “hebephilia” – sexual attraction to “fully formed pubescent women” who haven’t reached the age of consent in their jurisdiction.

Hebephilia is not only unrecognized by reputable shrinks, the American Psychological Association has repudiated this horsefeathers.  

Judge Smith, taking on the role of the one-eyed man in the country of the blind, dissented. “But of course, the idea that a man’s mere attraction to pubescent females is abnormal is absurd,” he observed grandly. But of course! It is a natural desire, n’est ce pas?

But Smith duly goes on to thunder that any man having a relationship with an underage girl is simply “exploiting” her for his “sexual pleasure.” If that’s not ipsie-dixie expertise, we don’t know what is. We doubt that this theory of human sexuality would pass the orgone-kryptonite test.

To be continued.

About Appellate Squawk

A satirical blog for criminal defense lawyers and their friends who won't give up without a squawk.
This entry was posted in Civil Liberties, Forensic "science", Law & Parody and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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