October 26, 2009

No, you could not consider it

[Whether a person goes to church is] an indication as to their moral values, whether they know the difference between right and wrong and whether or not they respect people ... and in looking at the mitigating circumstances ... you could consider that under any one of [the sentencing factors].
State v. Fuerst, 512 N.W.2d 243, 247 (Wis. Ct. App. 1994).

It never ceases to amaze me that anybody — particularly a learned judge — could actually believe that "indication" only works one way.

Remember, for example, Enron Corp. CEO Kenneth Lay's first public appearance following his indictment was emerging from a church.

That was an indication of nothing more than cynical lawyering.

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