Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Yet another lesson in Semantics, Abram Harker Jeffs Trial begins

As I have observed before (here or elsewhere), it's what you call it. The San Angelo Standard-Times isn't trying to prejudice the Jury, they're just naming the statute violated. (I note that when I just tried not name the motion granted at Wikipedia, I got run off.) The headline on the story reads:
"Sexual assault of child trial set to begin today." The story goes on to mention Abram could get 99 years and recalls the basic outline of the raid narrative:
"Evidence gathered against the FLDS men came from an April 2008 raid on the Yearning for Zion Ranch in Schleicher County. Law enforcement personnel searched for a woman who had called saying that she was being abused at the ranch. The authorities now believe the call to have been a hoax.

More than 400 children were put into protective custody from the ranch during their search, but they were returned weeks afterward at the order of an appellate court.

Authorities collected trailer-loads of evidence, papers, records from various buildings on the ranch. The state also collected DNA evidence, which has been used at each trial to show that the accused men fathered children by their underage victims.

FLDS defense counsel has tried to suppress the evidence gathered from the ranch on grounds that the search warrant was improper. Defense lawyers also have tried to quash indictments against the FLDS men because they say the grand jury selection process didn’t represent Schleicher County’s Hispanic population proportionately."
And again, the phrase repeated in the media like a mantra; "Authorities now believe the call to have been a hoax." Once in a while a reporter slips up and says "the call WAS a hoax," but no one will do the reporting.

It's like make-up. De-emphasize that which you don't find attractive, accentuate your best points. Anyone reading the San Angelo Standard-Times article, who is also part of the unsequestered jury, will "know" that Abram Harker Jeffs is charged with pulling his phallus out of his pants, and beating a baby girl with it. The fact that she is now an adult, didn't assist in the prosecution, and won't isn't in the headline.

The reasonable speculation that the call may have actually been arranged, is also not in the article.

If Abram's trial goes much longer than any of the others, I will be surprised, though I am hearing rumors of some new wrinkle. Most of the "wrinkles" so far have been set ups for later appeals.

How, as a God Fearing Juror, can you NOT convict a man charged with using his penis as an assault weapon against a "child?" That's why they named the crime the way they did. It's inflammatory and prejudicial. Ask "Booger Red."

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