Friday, June 7, 2013

Ezekiel Gilbert murdered a woman because he assumed she was a prostitute. He got away with it.

So, I read this article, and I was both baffled and outraged. Unless all of the news outlets are portraying the case as anything other than true, here is the breakdown of the situation:

1. An escort service posted an ad on Craigslist. It implied, either directly or indirectly, that a woman was offering her TIME in exchange for $150. This was corroborated by the "pimp" (the manager of the escort service). Nowhere in the advertisement was a direct mention of sex or sexual services, which is a standard practice in the sex work industry (as most sexual services are illegal, mentioning them implicitly is viewed as problematic to sex workers). I reiterate: nowhere did she have "sex" in the ad, in fact it was testified in court that the particular escort service in question had specific policies against sex on the job.

2. Ezekiel Gilbert hired this woman for exactly what the ad said. An "escort" service. Her "time" and at most, her service as a surrogate partner. For those of you who don't know this, the term ESCORT does NOT have an inherent sexual meaning. It means you will be escorting a client for a period of time, and then whatever happens during that time is to be discussed within the time frame. Escorts are, without presupposed connotation, escorting a client [to a wedding/ reunion, to a baseball game, for conversation, so they may be looked upon] - whatever the purpose, sex doesn't "go without saying." It has to be discussed, agreed upon, and acted out only after the first two conditions are met. If you have sex with an escort against her will, that is rape (not "shoplifting" as the ignorant joke goes). The idea that a prostitute can't be raped is a myth perpetrated by privileged scum with entitlement issues so deep they end up sociopathic in nature.

3. So, the "pimp" (who is the manager of this service) who was in the car with the victim, corroborated the evidence above. He also stated that in the past he had been part of a scam operation where women would get money and leave (which was technically irrelevant because he testified that this was NOT the case in this particular event). Even if this woman literally received the money and ran, she was in the physical presence of the man who willingly handed her money BEFORE anything other than being in her presence, and thus she gained the money legitimately. Her "escort service" may have been decided as "one second of my time, then I leave" which is another problem in criminalizing sex work - there is no standard, other than what you "can't" do, as a client of a sex worker/company. You cannot make a contract, for example, that states exactly how long a sex worker must be in the presence of a client (or what they need to physically DO) before they are paid, or imposing a penalty for not fulfilling those work obligations before being paid. A "stiffed" prostitute also does not have a legal recourse for being screwed out of money, either. Both parties can lose on this deal, but a prostitute cannot perform a sex act, then KILL their john if they aren't paid. So the verdict reflects a grave miscarriage of justice in many ways.

4. Even if Ezekiel Gilbert had the money stolen from him (which he didn't, he had buyer's remorse and was mad he wasn't automatically entitled to sex, which he only ASSUMED was part of the deal - he didn't get confirmation about it), he would not have any legal action available to him wherein he runs after the victim and then fires a gun IN PUBLIC at a MOVING VEHICLE that had ANOTHER PASSENGER in it. That is reckless endangerment of the general public and he should have an EXTRA charge slapped on for that, plus attempted murder of the driver... in addition to a guilty verdict on the charge of voluntary manslaughter.

5. The judge, Mary Roman, has been implicated in judicial misconduct on more than one occasion. She was found to be abusing her station as a judge to attempt to alter her adult daughter's probation, to obtain special treatment for her. She was also accused of informally discussing cases in her docket to extract implicating/evidentiary information on defendants, PRE-TRIAL, ex parte (without notice) and independently of the defendant, which is also judiciary misconduct. She should have been dismissed from her job during the case, a mistrial declared, and a retrial to follow.

6. The idea of a "nighttime" crime, which is a theft committed during non-daylight hours, is completely insane. That said, the law reads as follows:

§ 9.42. DEADLY FORCE TO PROTECT PROPERTY. A person is justified in using deadly force against another to protect land or tangible, movable property:
(1) if he would be justified in using force against the other under Section 9.41; and
(2) when and to the degree he reasonably believes the deadly force is immediately necessary:
  • (A) to prevent the other's imminent commission of arson, burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, theft during the nighttime, or criminal mischief during the nighttime; or
  •  (B) to prevent the other who is fleeing immediately after committing burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, or theft during the nighttime from escaping with the property; and

(3) he reasonably believes that: 
  • (A) the land or property cannot be protected or recovered by any other means; or 
  • (B) the use of force other than deadly force to protect or recover the land or property would expose the actor or another to a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury.
Because the laws were written to protect against theft, not what you SUPPOSED you would get once you ALREADY handed someone money... these conditions do NOT apply to this case. I don't know what manner of TERRIBLE lawyers were dealt from the state or what kind of great white shark lawyer rocked the defendant side, but something is afoul here. The fact that you can legally shoot someone who steals from you violates the "take care" clause 5 of article 2 of the constitution. The only time you should be able to kill someone is if they are threatening your life, not running away from you to escape in a vehicle. Vigilante justice isn't constitutional, self-defense of life is. 

7. Even if you decided that this man had $150 stolen from him, had a right to sex without the woman's consent because he forked over cold, hard cash for her to give up her humanity and ability to decide her actions, there is still the question of ex turpi causa (non oritur actio), which means "from a dishonorable cause, action does not arise." Even in believing Gilbert was the victim of theft, the fact that he was soliciting an ILLEGAL good or service renders him unable to use the defense that he shot her with good cause. You can't shoot a drug dealer that sells you bunk weed. You can't strangle a massage therapist for refusing a "happy ending."

It was said by the defendant, "I sincerely regret the loss of the life of Ms. Frago. I've been in a mental prison the past four years of my life. I have nightmares. If I see guns on TV where people are getting killed, I change the channel." Boo hoo, remind me to send a care package. I'll stuff $150 into it, and sign it "Sincerely, Lenora Frago."

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