We hold these truths . . . . but for how long?

By Larry . . . For those who cherish our Constitution, this is a sad time for our country. I deeply believe in the presumption of innocence and that the presumption of innocence follows those who have been charged with crimes through the duration of the process until they either plead guilty or are convicted by a jury of their peers. Despite the protests of victim advocacy organizations, this is the America I believe in and will champion at every possible opportunity. I also deeply believe that persons who are presumed innocent should be released pending trial so that they can assist with their own defense. There is no question that persons held in detention cannot have the same access to attorneys or resources which permit them to assist with preparing for trial that those not in custody have.

Prior to the Bail Reform Act (BRA) of 1984, it was very uncommon in the federal system for people to be held in detention unless they could not post a monetary bond. That all changed when President Reagan signed the BRA into law. The BRA made it possible for the prosecution to move for pre-trial detention, regardless of whether or not the person could post bail. The Supreme Court upheld the BRA in 1987 on a 7-2 vote. See USA v. Salerno. Now after more than three decades of the BRA, nearly everyone accused of a federal crime is subject to some type of confinement pending trial, which can range from house arrest to confinement in a halfway house or correctional facility. This was the case for Jeffrey Epstein; he was confined to the Metropolitan Correctional Facility (MCC) in Manhattan, one of our nation’s toughest prisons.

Many victims’ advocates contend that Epstein was a coward who, with his suicide, took the easy way out. Of course, they are entitled to their opinion, but it is one with which I disagree. I believe that Jeffrey Epstein probably was totally dejected once he recognized that the American system he believed in did not exist. He presented many options for his pre-trial release that were categorically rejected by the court because to grant release would have enraged those who advocate for the victims. These advocates do not share my belief in our Constitution’s presumption of innocence.

Mr. Epstein complained about the harsh conditions he was subjected to at MCC. Could it be that he gave up on life once he realized that the system does not care? Many of our supporters agree that improving conditions in our jails and prisons is a goal worth pursuing. If that is what one believes, how can the opinion that Mr. Epstein, or anyone, deserves such harsh conditions be justified?

The ultimate tragedy is that we will never know if the government had a strong case or if they simply filed charges to satisfy the angry mob. This is the same angry mob that drove Alex Acosta from his job as president Trump’s Labor Secretary for his decision not to prosecute Epstein years ago. And it’s the same angry mob that drove Judge Persky from office in the case involving the Stanford University swimmer. As far as Mr. Epstein, it is my personal belief that major contributing factors to his prosecution were greed, desire for fame, and class envy, which is sad.

My final comment is that our system of justice has lost, and the only winners are the people alleging to have suffered abuse at Epstein’s hands. He is now dead, which opens the door for many to make allegations which may or may not be true. The angry mob will feed on the carcass of the Epstein estate until it is completely decimated, and then they will go after the insurance companies. It is with sadness that I may be one of the few to understand the long-term damage this does to our nation. This situation, coupled with the abolition of the statute of limitations and the constant erosion of the right of confrontation, which victim advocates insist is revictimization, is allowing due process to crumble before our eyes, and there is hardly a whimper from the citizenry.

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Larry Neely

Larry serves as NARSOL'S treasurer, publisher of the Digest, and co-chair of the conference planning committee. He also hosts the "NARSOL in Action" and "Can They Do That?" webinars and is a regular on the "Registry Matters" podcasts.

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    • #58925 Reply

      Have you ever read Flowers for Algernon, the short story by Daniel Keyes?
      No doubt Mr. Ep___ succumbed his own perception of his fall from grace.

    • #58930 Reply

      I haven’t even considered that Epstein, after sharing that people were trying to kill him, actually killed himself.

    • #58947 Reply

      I agree. I personally think the internet is a big problem for society and has grown this mob mentality into an uncontrollable problem that is speeding us ever quicker down a path that we will be unable to recover from. With each generation they understand less of liberty and the corruption and control of government. But I will not give up or give in. One never knows for sure what is around the corner, so the fight continues.

    • #58949 Reply

      Why Larry I’m really impressed. Now if we can put those actions in words. It is what it is until it is what it ain’t. “We as people can’t read between the lines”. Call it micro-analyzation, but it is we the people that establish justice. Who is pushing and who is shoving in this game of wits in many cases.

      Sure we all make choices but how many make decisions? Two entirely different words and rmeanings. There is also a difference of evil and wicked. I hope nobody likes evil justice as that is what a lot of this is in this cocky concrete jumgle.

      I know your article talked about this Epstein guy. Did he make a choice or a decision? If all of this sex offender stuff is a crime of nature than who abused who., one wonders if Epstein took a lot to his grave as were talking about high officals involved but thats another story.

      Killing one’s self is not to good even dwelling over it. Sure when people are done wrong we all should stand up. Punishment is one thing but someone inducing punishment on someone or punishing themself is no good.
      Sure women can say anything against a man but where is the proof, in the conscience of a person’s mind. If one is talking about being brazen with one’s mouth via this internet encounter’ or if an actual teenager was involved than that is two different factors.

      So who stole who’s mind over this matter?

    • #58990 Reply
      linda shedlock

      I am amazed at the outcome of this situation . We dont really have all the facts about the situation . I am a woman and I wanted to know more with specifics . Some of these women claiming abuse did not look like children to me . Not that matters . A victim is a victim ! I needed more facts . It amazes me on how people make decisions without the facts . They go on hearsay ! Now we will never know and the so called victims will prevail . I don’t think Mr. Epstein hung himself . Just my thoughts . This man was in a high influenced circle with many powerful people .! Just saying . To coincidental , could be wrong , is just my opinion ! And he will be judged without a jury of his peers ! I m not saying that he did nothing wrong . I m just saying we need to know the facts before we as humans can judge ! People that were harmed against their will need to have justice served . Wondering at this point how that is possible . And because of this what does this mean for humans in the future !

    • #59052 Reply

      Larry, you’re spot-on. I’ve heard you discuss this very thing during recent “Registry Matters” podcasts. The point WE ALL NEED TO GET IS THIS AND YOU’VE SAID IT MANY TIMES:

      We need to start attending legislative sessions, including committee meetings when any type of legislation that impacts fair and impartial due process when it comes to allegations of sexual offenses. If the only side being heard by legislators are these advocacy groups, that’s what they’re going to go with. Once a piece of legislation leaves committee and is submitted for final vote, the politicians have to vote for it or face the end of their political careers. I have learned from you recently that the best places for these kinds of bills to die is in committee. It’s more behind closed doors. We have to derail the train before it reaches the station.

    • #59051 Reply

      What I want to know, and this is a question that I have not yet seen asked is, did Epstein commit new crimes since his Florida conviction, or are these allegations simply a way for society to get another pound of flesh from someone who was already punished for these offenses?

      Other questions I find myself asking…

      Did he take his second chance and use it for evil to commit new sexual crimes, or did he, like the vast majority of us, try to put the past behind him, using his wealth to make the best life for himself that he could given his status as a registered citizen?

      After he paid his debt to society, was his only “crime” that he was better off financially than most, prompting a bloodthirsty, vengeful, and perhaps jealous society to destroy him for his past?

      I fear that I may already know the answers to these questions, and it troubles me deeply the level to which people will let hatred and malice rule their actions. I believe any one of us, if faced with being punished for a violation, would do everything in our power to reduce the severity of that punishment if it were possible. It sounds like Mr. Epstein did just this, and we abhor him for it, yet we ourselves look to get out of the consequences of our own bad choices every chance we get. Anyone who conducts an honest self-evaluation will understand my point. How can we sit in judgement, then, in light of our own hypocrisy?

      I believe society is best served when the aim of justice is to restore, to the best extent possible, both the offender as well as the victim. People can grow through the painful times and failures of life, if we give them the guidance, support and opportunities to do so. The alternative is to continue to pile more broken individuals on the trash-heap of society, hoping that the stink of it won’t reach us within our own glass houses.

    • #59243 Reply

      I’d like to reflect a bit more on Larrys’ article “We the People” but for how long? Ir does ibrings up an important issue in this registry matters. Now what were the people trying to do. They were trying to form or establish a more perfect union.

      One would have to agree that is a good basic start. Now almost three hundred years latter one wonders where is the principal. Sure the articles are their but where anything about discrimination or where is principal. Sure they want to extablish Justice to make a more perfect union but one can’t have a perfect union without principal.

      Now I am nobody but does man keep the letter of the law or are we all being discriminated in many ways with true justice. These are just my thoughts. I wonder who corrupts to instill on another.

    • #59869 Reply

      Larry I wanted to follow up on your article a bit more. While everyone enjoy’s justice when justice is served. The question is what is justice today, Is it common law justice, manmade justice, or basic principals of justice. Many times we all tend to overlook the consitutition but the constutition is a basic guide to go by with rules just the same as the emancipation proclamation and other documents.

      Aside from the Epstein thing we all have liberty to ourselves even liberty for true justice in many of these ordeals. Sure one could go on to say we have responsiblities. So who’s inflicting the sword of Justice or are a lot of these ordeals a vain attempt and so devilish by even constitutional principal. Their is a right way and a wrong way in all principals. I can’t judge another man even my sister and I’m sure we have all had our ups and downs in family matters over a lot of this registry issue.

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