I’m a “Rule of Law” kinda guy… I don’t like drug laws, but I abide by them. I don’t like the Supreme Court’s ruling in Snyder v Phelps, but I recognize it as being the right decision. I dislike it when celebrities get virtually no punishment at all for crimes that would see one of us plebeians thrown into jail.
So I’m actually sort of upset by this verdict.
The jury in Charleston Municipal Court found Billy Spade of Hico not-guilty of the charge. Spade was arrested when he spit tobacco juice on a member of the Westboro Baptist Church.
Look… I hate the WBC and all it’s members. I wouldn’t life a finger to assist them in any way regardless of what was happening. Hell, I’d probably not help them even if it caused me to suffer the same fate. Seriously, my hate and loathing of those completely worthless fuckwits is a real and tangible thing.
But that doesn’t change the fact that the guy did commit battery. He spit on her, for crying out loud. If I spit on – or even at – a cop, my ass would be soundly beaten and tossed in jail, and I would almost certainly lose my court battle. The man’s claim at trial that he was spitting on her sign, which she was holding over her head, is pretty damned weak. In my mind it doesn’t even pass “reasonable doubt”.
What happened here was the jury didn’t like the victim, and so the wrong-doer got a walk, and frankly that should scare the shit out of you.
What if the jury just plain didn’t like black people? Or gays? What if they don’t like Republicans? Or Jews?
Would you be OK with the a jury giving a pass to someone who just walked up and spit on a gay man holding a sign saying he wants the right to marry? Would you be OK with a gay man getting a pass for spitting on a girl saying marriage should only be between a man and a woman?
If not, why would you find it OK to spit on a member of the WBC?
Either the law applies to everyone, or it should apply to no one.