February 13, 2009
Beltway academics search rural Alabama for bigotry, can't find any
November 10, 2008
Gullible means believing whatever defence lawyers say
From the Edmonton Sun:
Having sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl he believed was older was not a criminal act by a Calgary man, a judge ruled yesterday.
Provincial court Judge Bruce Millar said Matthew Allan Armstrong's testimony he accepted the girl's claim she was 16 was convincing, especially since he suffers a condition which makes him more gullible.
Millar noted Armstrong has myotonic muscular dystrophy, a disease which makes it difficult for those afflicted to make complicated decisions.
"The sufferer deals in absolutes," he said, pointing to expert evidence called by defence lawyer Balfour Der.
"People with myotonic dystrophy tend to believe what they are told is fact."
Okay, a couple of problems here. First of all, it seems rather odd to me that muscular dystrophy would cause mental problems like "gullibility". But I'm not a doctor, so I can't really say.
More importantly, why is what Armstrong "believed" even relevant here? If he sincerely thought she was 16, and is now in trouble because she was actually 13, that's still his fault for not checking enough. If someone gets pulled over for going 50 km/h in a 30 km/h zone, I doubt they would get off by saying "Sorry officer, but my speedometer is broken, and I really believed I was only going 25."
But the real kicker is the very last line in the article:
Armstrong still faces other allegations he tried to lure young girls over the Internet and remains in custody on those charges.
I'm sure those other girls all claimed they were old enough too, right?
I think the judge must be the one with the gullibility disease...
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