Criminal defense is nerve-racking enough, what with having to prove your client’s innocence beyond a shadow of a doubt. Even worse if your client is a “sex offender” where you have to prove he’s innocent of crimes that haven’t happened yet.
Of course people aren’t punished for future crimes – that would be wrong. They’re treated. Supervised. Managed. In “secure” facilities. Forever. Based on the testimony of highly qualified experts.
A recent sex offender hearing went like this:
DA: Dr. Armpit, what are your professional qualifications?
Dr. A: I have a Ph.D. from Dog Obedience School and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the Hokey Pokey Academy of Forensic Dry Cleaning. I’m a member in good standing of the International Association of International Associations .
DA: Have you published in your field?
Dr. A: Yes, indeed, my publications are attached to numerous lampposts. I’m also the person who scratches “PRAY” on subway seats.
Defense Counsel: Objection! Dr. Armpit has no relevant qualifications.
Court: Never have I seen such impressive credentials! Please continue, Doctor.
DA: What tests did you perform to evaluate the defendant?
Dr. A.: I had him thrown into a lake. As a result, I diagnosed him as a maximum risk sex offender.
DA: Did he sink or float?
Dr. A.: I don’t recall offhand. I know it was one of the two.
DA: But you determined that he was a dangerous sex offender?
Defense counsel: Objection! No foundation for the reliability of this test.
DA: Goes to weight, not admissibilty.
Court: Doctor, is this test reliable?
Dr. A.: Yes, it is. It’s been used since the Middle Ages.
Court: That settles it. You may continue.
DA: Does the test determine to a reasonable degree of aqueous certainty whether the person will commit a sex offense in the future?
Dr. A: Yes, it’s absolutely infallible. Floating is plainly diagnostic of the risk of reoffending. Sinking is also highly correlated with future risk unless the subject drowns. Those are considered outliers.
Court: I find Dr. Armpit entirely credible, knowledgeable and just marvelous. No child is safe if defendant is at large. Next case.