Chelsea Handler Wants to Skip Trial for Derek Chauvin

by on April 15, 2021 · 10 comments

in Civil Rights, Ocean Beach

Chelsea Handler, wikipedia

By Edwin Decker

It’s rather shocking to me that someone of comedian Chelsea Handler’s age and experience considers the idea of fair trials for all as being “pathetic.”

It’d be one thing if it was some dung-brained undergraduate majoring in Neotraditional Jazz Puppetry spouting this nonsense to their dorm-mates, but we’re talking about a 41-year-old woman here. She has traveled the world as a successful producer, writer, actor, TV host, comedian, activist and drunk. She should know some stuff! But this? This is dumb.

Forget the obvious problems with her statement such as that video, by itself, is not entirely reliable as evidence.

Forget about field of view and all the information that the camera does not capture.

Forget that videos can be doctored.

Forget that film lacks nuance, which is crucial when deciding between the varying degrees of crimes such as murder and manslaughter one, two three.

Forget the human variables that frame the perception of any given video by any given person.

Forget the goddamn Sixth Amendment of the goddamn Constitution ensuring everyone’s god-given right to a goddamn trial – goddammit!

Forget that video is two-dimensional, which is wildly inferior to 3-D and precisely the reason the Cyclops’ died out.

Forget compression, motion prediction, enhancement technology and all the other losses and modifications that create an indiscernible gap between record and reality.

Forget the case of Claudia Muro, an undocumented Peruvian immigrant who wilted in jail for 2½ years awaiting trial after being caught on a nanny cam shaking a baby. The footage seemed so incontrovertible that the media and much of the public – both of which, like Handler, was certain the video told the whole, true story – all but burned her on a stake.

It wasn’t until trial, 29 months later, that the case was dropped because two videotape experts – one hired by the defense, the other the prosecution – discovered something interesting. They found that while most video cameras capture about 30 frames per second, the nanny cam captured only five per second. This substandard, jumpy frame rate made what was likely the normal, gentle rocking of an infant appear to be violent and jerky.

But hey, let’s forget all these perfectly sensible reasons not to automatically convict someone based solely on video evidence and focus on the most compelling: that no matter how many damning videos, no matter how many witnesses, no matter how many incriminating strands of DNA – the purpose of the Sixth Amendment is to protect us against this little, recurring, human annoyance called tyranny.

Make no mistake, what Chelsea is proposing is the lopping off a vital limb of the Bill of Rights. You know, the thing. The thing with all the rights in it? The thing that inhibits a potentially repressive regime from wielding its unassailable might to destroy whomever it chooses which – as I’m sure Handler knows – happens from time to time. Sometimes even with a Bill of Rights.

Imagine a government filled with bad-faith actors only interested in power and money (I know, I know – a stretch, right?). What do you think said administration would do to achieve those goals? It couldn’t simply eliminate the Constitution in one, sweeping action. It would have to be incremental. It would have to eliminate one protection at a time, frog-in-a-pot style.

If I were a corrupt, power-thirsty president poised to start amputating various limbs of the Constitution, I would periodically send out my attractive, young press secretary to announce them one at a time.

“Ok everybody, so we were thinking, this Miranda thingy? Can we admit that it’s really just a loophole and ditch it?”

Then, a few months later, we’d call another press conference.

“Don’t know about you guys, but we think Reasonable Doubt is highly unreasonable. How about we go with our gut instead?”

And another: “We all know there are some defendants who are obviously guilty. Sometimes we have it on video! In those cases, let’s just skip the expensive trials and use that money to give porridge to the needy!”

And no, of course, Handler is not a power-gobbling government official, but, given her comments, I have no doubt she would jump up and shout, “Yes, Yes! The poor love porridge!” – giving cover and comfort to those who would excise our liberties.

I know what you are thinking. You’re thinking, Oh Ed, it’s just one person. Wrong! It’s one person, with a giant platform. As horrified as I am that Chelsea Handler could tweet such a colossally asinine thing, what scares the snot right out of my snooter is how many followers chimed in agreement.

There were plenty, thank Christ, who disagreed. But my question for Handler and her agreerers is, if America is as institutionally racist as you say, who do you think will be most adversely affected when it starts chipping away at due process? Who do you think will be railroaded by even the most spurious of video or other evidence? Will it be affluent whites and their powerful lawyers or an undocumented Peruvian nanny and her public defendant?

It’s like what I say to people who want to criminalize hate speech. “Well sure, hate speech is awful but who will be in charge of what words and ideas should be banned?” Because if we’re talking about hate speech laws, then of course, it would be the government that decides. And, again, I ask – if America is institutionally racist, how long do you think it will be before the script is flipped? How long until the mostly white courts and Congress determine that it is Colin Kaepernick saying hateful words and not Richard Spencer?

So, sorry Chelsea, but you’re wrong. Just wrong. We should not cede even an inch of our freedoms or protections – especially not free speech and especially not due process. Because once the government confiscates those protections, it can exploit the fact that we no longer have them to take even more. That’s why we have a Bill of Rights in the first place. Goddamnit! How do you not know this?

 

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Avatar J April 15, 2021 at 11:50 am

It seems all the plastic in her face started to seep into her brain.

Reply

Peter Peter from South O April 15, 2021 at 5:10 pm

Who in the heck gives a fig what her opinion is? I give her “twits” less credence than Decker rants about her supposed importance.

Reply

Avatar edwin decker April 15, 2021 at 6:35 pm

You’d be surprised with how many people are on board with this, or similar thinking. I find it frightening.

Reply

Peter Peter from South O April 16, 2021 at 6:24 pm

Sure. And lots of people think we never landed a man on the Moon, too. Doesn’t make them newsworthy OR influential.

Reply

Avatar edwin decker April 17, 2021 at 8:27 am

Hmm, that’s funny because there are literally thousands of articles about people who think we never landed on the moon which are consumed by millions of people who either find them interesting or compelled by the idea.

Whatever though, it’s really just a matter of opinion. You don’t see her comments as an issue and I see them as part of a growing, dangerous trend to dismantle our judicial system.

Reply

Avatar Josh Board April 16, 2021 at 9:42 am

As usual, you nailed it, Decker. Especially when it wouldn’t have been so hard for Handler to have simply said, “With this video, this case will be a slam dunk” (although, we thought with all the evidence against OJ, that would be a slam dunk conviction, too). But here’s a question I have for you. Since you brought up Miranda Rights, something I’ve always wondered about those. If you were driving, and made some illegal turn and an officer pulled you over…you can’t tell him/her “Sorry officer, I didn’t know you couldn’t make a u-turn there,” and if you do, they often respond (so I’ve heard, I don’t break the law), “Well, ignorance of the law is no excuse.” So my question is this. If not knowing a law, is no excuse for breaking a law, why do we need Miranda rights? If you have the right to remain silent and blah blah blah…well, if you don’t know you have that right, oh well.

Reply

Avatar edwin decker April 16, 2021 at 10:15 am

Interesting question, Josh, that I will need to ponder further but right out of the gate I can say that there is an important distinction between your example and a Miranda situation.

In your example, the law in question is one that is being broken by the accused. And it makes perfect sense that ignorance to laws that prohibit certain actions cannot be a defense because there would never be a conviction for any crime, ever, if it was.

On the other hand, the Miranda is a reminder of the accused’s RIGHTS (not prohibitions). And while still a plausible question by you, reminding a person of their rights is in a whole ‘nother ballpark from claiming ignorance about a prohibition.

Reply

Avatar Fstu April 17, 2021 at 11:29 am

You’re right on as much as I don’t like that terrible cop he does deserve a trail even though he is guilty as they come and probably has been for sometime . Maybe he got lucky with other incidents and just got to beat the perp and didn’t kill him and no cameras were involved.

Reply

Avatar Judy Swink April 21, 2021 at 8:42 am

Wow, Edwin! An outstanding article. Thank you.

Reply

sealintheSelkirks sealintheSelkirks April 26, 2021 at 11:33 am

There was another Chelsea that publicly stated a pretty ignorant comment not too long ago, too, that I found maddeningly offensive like you did with this one, Ed. It probably is just a coincidence they had the same name, yes?

Chelsea Clinton, yes THAT Clinton, in an interview said that smoking merrywanna causes people to become psychotic. But of course that bit of intelligent thinking must have come from her ‘I never inhaled’ dad and ‘Never on my watch will it be legal’ mom. It can’t have anything to do with having the first name, just straight ignorance!

sealintheSelkirks

Reply

Leave a Comment

Older Article:

Newer Article: