Court documents in this nation are public records, available for inspection at any point. Exceptions are made to protect underage victims and perpetrators. Last year, a district court judge issued a sweeping order keeping all records relating to a lawsuit against Jeffery Epstein brought by his victims sealed out of concern for unintended damage to victims. It IS critical to protect certain victims who do not want their names associated with the matter. However, this is generally easy to do with a giant black marker, or aliases. Today, the Second Circuit court of appeals seemed to recognize the importance of the issue, the public interest, and the ability to accommodate very real privacy concerns. The Second Circuit ordered certain documents in the Epstein case unsealed today. The Second Circuit vacated that decision today, with U.S. Circuit Judge Jose Cabranes waxing eloquently on behalf of a three-judge panel about how the ruling will empower journalists to inform the public about the U.S. judiciary. “We have long noted that the press plays a vital role in ensuring the public right of access and in enhancing ‘the quality and safeguards the integrity of the fact-finding process,” the 24-page opinion states. “When faithfully observing its best traditions, the print and electronic media’ contributes to public understanding of the rule of law’ and ‘validates [its] claim of functioning as surrogates for the public.’” Thank you, to the appellate judges who said “Enough.” Because were it not for the “soon-to-be-awarded-a-Pulitzer-prize Miami Herald and its brave reporters within, it is likely that Jeffery Epstein would be preying upon a child tonight. Courtnews provides us with a disgusting, but necessary prelude of what is to come. Taken from a lawsuit filed by a victim, Virginia Giuffre: . The batch of files soon to be made public come from a lawsuit filed by Virginia Giuffre against Epstein’s associate Ghislaine Maxwell, accusing the British socialite of turning her into a “sex slave.” Giuffre has claimed that Maxwell passed her off as a minor to Prince Andrew and said that she was trafficked to Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz as an adult. Both vehemently denied the allegations. If a member of the British royal family, and a tenured Harvard law professor specializing in criminal law (for fucksake) are both implicated, it is difficult to imagine the number of prominent child-preying-monsters left in-between. Soon, we will not have to imagine. Sex-trafficking. Disgusting. But, I find something even more disgusting. The U.S. attorney, one former cabinet member (Acosta), oversaw the “non-prosecution agreement” that allowed this child-predator to engage in obvious sex-trafficking and serve one year in county jail, with allowances to go to “work” during the day, and return late at night. That “deal” may prove to be more disgusting than even Epstein’s crimes, precisely because it allowed him to go on living what surely was a life of crime. (That part is speculation, though well-founded). After all, we’ve yet to hear the number of crimes that may have been committed in the time period between then and now, and the number of victims who should never had been in Epstein’s presence. Sorry if I ruined your dinner. But, we all ought to be thinking about how our system failed these children, and resolving to never let it happen again. My daughter is […]
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