Monday, August 22, 2011

Contempt of court

No sooner had Nafissatou Diallo left the office of Manhattan District attorney Cyrus Vance, who revealed that he intended to dismiss charges against Dominique Strauss-Kahn, than the alleged victim's attorney Kenneth Thompson made a public speech:

"Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance has denied the right of a woman to get justice in a rape case. He has not only turned his back on this innocent victim. But he has also turned his back on the forensic, medical and other physical evidence in this case."

In the USA, this kind of behavior on the part of a lawyer is tolerated. Admittedly, the alleged victim is a black woman, defended by a black lawyer, in a nation that still suffers from racial tensions, in spite of the presence of a black president. Terrible background visions of the slave trade are present eternally in the conscience of modern Americans.

Here in France, I would imagine (although I'm unskilled in law) that the outspoken behavior of a Kenneth Thomson would be stigmatized as an understandable but blatant case of contempt of court... which is, of course, a crime. Thomson's job should normally consist of defending his client, not of criticizing the laws of the land and the ways in which they are administered. He comes through as a hot-under-the-collar guy of a provocative nature who's prepared to try anything at all. Contemptible!

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