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January 22nd, 2007

Remember…It’s THOU Shalt Not. I’ll Do As I Damn Well Please.

So it seems that now you can go to jail for life for committing adultery in Michigan…

Footnote on adultery turns into a spotlighted affair

In Michigan, adultery has long been a felony.

But when a judge warned that unfaithful spouses could technically be sentenced to life in prison, an obscure and seldom-used provision of the state’s criminal law became the subject of international scrutiny.

It’s unclear how serious Judge William Murphy of the Michigan Court of Appeals was when he pointed out the possible consequences of extramarital sex. Some observers say the liberal judge was making a political point by taking a strict interpretation of the law to an absurd conclusion.

Others have suggested Murphy was trying to embarrass Michigan Atty. Gen. Mike Cox, whose office triggered the ruling by appealing for a harsher sentence for a man who traded drugs for sex. In 2005, Cox acknowledged having an adulterous relationship.

Murphy’s adultery bombshell was a footnote in a November ruling on a drugs-for-sex case. But since a Detroit Free Press columnist wrote about the footnote last week, blogs and radio talk shows have debated the pros and cons of life sentences for cheating spouses.

The ruling came in the case of Lloyd Waltonen, 43, a man from Charlevoix in northern Michigan, who supplied a cocktail waitress with the prescription painkiller OxyContin in exchange for sex. Last year, Charlevoix Circuit Judge Richard M. Pajtas sentenced Waltonen to four to 20 years in prison, but dismissed four counts of firstdegree criminal sexual conduct, punishable by a life term, on the basis that the sex was consensual.

The state attorney general’s office successfully appealed Pajtas’ ruling, citing an obscure provision of Michigan’s criminal law, which states that a sexual act committed at the same time as a felony constitutes criminal sexual conduct.

An appellate panel found Waltonen guilty of criminal sexual conduct. He has asked the state Supreme Court to consider an appeal.

In the opinion, Murphy wrote that although legislators may have drafted the law conceiving of scenarios in which there was a violent felony involving forced sex, he was "curtailed by the language of the statute from reaching any other conclusion."

Murphy wrote that a person was technically guilty of firstdegree criminal sexual conduct any time he or she "engages in sexual penetration in an adulterous relationship."

He noted that state law defines first-degree criminal sexual conduct as sexual penetration involving another felony. Because adultery is a felony, he wrote, adulterous sex could result in life imprisonment.

So…dig it.  A wingnut prosecutor on an anti-drug jihad piles a sex charge on top of a drug charge, in order to get a stiffer sentence handed down.  The law he’s trying to bend out of shape here was only intended to apply to violent sex crimes, but never mind…he thinks he can use it any damn way he pleases, because he’s on a mission to clean up what consenting adults do in private.  And it works.  Even better then he probably wanted it too.  See…one of the big jokes here in all this, is that this prosecutor has admitted to having an adulterous affair in his own past…

No one in Michigan has been charged with adultery since 1971.

Nevertheless, defense attorneys across the state are snickering and speculating about the prospect of life in prison for the attorney general.

From his office in Lansing, criminal defense attorney Hugh Clarke Jr. chuckled as he contemplated the idea — apparently raised by colleagues — of setting up a special prosecution team to charge Cox.

"It’s all so silly," he sighed. "I only wish Judge Murphy would have used a different example. The judiciary in Michigan shouldn’t be held up to ridicule because of his use of that analogy."

Cox declined to speak to reporters about Murphy’s ruling. His spokesman, Rusty Hills, said Cox’s adultery was not relevant to the case.

He is trying to get a man sentenced to life in prison for trading drugs for sex, with a completely willing partner, and he thinks his own immorality isn’t an issue.  Well of course not.  Morality laws are for the peasants…to keep them in line.  The authorities live by their own rules, up in Valhalla. 

But this is what happens when the law starts treating purely moral issues as criminals ones.  It’s what happens when the law is reduced to panty sniffing by puritan nutcases who are outraged over the possibility that somewhere someone is having a good time.  Suddenly, we’re all criminals.  Every one of us.  And that’s the point.  All have sinned and all have fallen short of the glory of God…and especially fallen short of the glory God’s right hand men…  If we weren’t here to tell you how to live your lives…who knows what you’d do with them…

But the real belly laugh here isn’t the prospect of a jackass prosecutor getting hung by his own petard.  Here’s the belly laugh, proudly posted on the right wing news site, World Net Daily, and thanks to Pam’s House Blend for catching it…

What do you think of the possibility of life in prison for adultery?

Sex between consenting adults should not be a matter for any criminal court, period 32.43% (1248)
Leave it up to civil courts for monetary damages like alimony, but not jail time 15.75% (606)
Come on, if everyone who committed adutery were jailed, there’d be hardly anyone left on the street 12.16% (468)
Stiff jail time is needed, we have to do something about rampant infidelity 10.63% (409)
A little jail time is proper, but life is preposterous 9.98% (384)
Old Testament laws call for executions, so let’s get back to the Bible 7.28% (280)
Other 4.96% (191)
I agree, life in prison is appropriate 2.60% (100)
Any jail time for adultery is ridiculous in this modern age 2.31% (89)
Life sentence is too light, should be execution according to Sharia law 1.90% (73)


This is the same crowd that was screaming for blood when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the sodomy laws in Lawrence v. Texas.  This is the same crowd that thumps the bible like a machine gun constantly on issues of gay rights.  They can cite you chapter and verse each passage in the bible that they believe condemns homosexuality. 

Never mind that Adultery is condemned right in the fucking ten commandments not just once…but if you read it broadly enough, twice:

7. Thou Shalt Not Break Wedlock.

10. Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbor’s House; Neither Shalt Covet Thy Neighbor’s Wife, His Manservant, His Maid, His Ox, His Ass, Or Ought That Is His.

-Translated by William Tyndale

Suddenly it’s a whole ‘nother ballgame when it’s a matter of…er…your own balls.  Listening to the American right wing bellyaching about morals and values, right up to the moment the finger turns around and starts pointing right back at them, you really begin to see why Jesus didn’t much like hypocrites.

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