Thursday, September 17, 2009

Lay, Freeman Beat the Rap with the 'I'm Stupid' Defense

Pace High School principal Frank Lay and his athletic director, Robert Freeman, were acquitted early this evening by the same federal judge who earlier had charged them with criminal contempt of her judicial order. The judge found that while the defendants in fact had violated the court's order, their actions were not intentionally contemptuous.

"It was just out of reflex," Freeman testified about his own actions in offering a prayer during a school event, according to Pensacola News Journal reporter Kris Wernowsky. As for Lay, U.S. assistant attorney Randy Hensel repeatedly hammered home the principal's earlier out-of-court admission, "I asked Robert to say grace. I didn’t think about it."

In other words, Judge Casey Rodgers concluded neither the Pace High School principal nor the head athletics teacher was thinking. This is known in criminal defense circles as the "Dumb as a Post Defense."

It might be bad for educators but, when believed, it works wonders for people charged with crimes. The dumber the defendants seem to the ultimate fact-finder, the more believable the defense.

The thing is, it's a one-time pass. If either of these birds do it again, they'd better have a toothbrush packed, because theyll be staring at a very long stretch in the pokey.

Meanwhile, the federal consent order entered back in January continues in force. Santa Rosa schools, including Pace High School, for the first time in that locality's history are enjoined to cease all religious proselytizing in the schools.

More Pace High School Religious Instruction

Sept. 18: Late Editorial Update ("Homo Neanderthalensis")
Sept. 17: Pictures of a Pep Rally
Aug. 22: Stupid, Not Contemptuous
Aug. 5: The One and Only Faith
Aug. 4: Frank Lay's Criminal Contempt Order
May 31: Principal Lay Has a 'Come to Jesus' Moment
May 27: Laying Down the Puritan Law
May 15: Southern Hos-Pee-Tility


Anonymous said...

What do you think of the President's speech to all schools in america that ended with "thank you, God bless you and God bless america".

Anonymous said...

Well I don't like that either!!! Pandering.