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Opinion: Was Justice Served?

| December 04, 2009, 12:24 PM | 3 Comments

Or Was Shropshire Railroaded?

Sam Shropshire

Sam Shropshire

By now all of the local papers (here and here) and blogs (here and here) are abuzz with the news that soon to be former Alderman Samuel E. Shropshire of Annapolis was convicted of sex crimes against a midshipman.

Some will thumnp their chests in victory and feel that society and our jusicial system has served the public well and another predator has been punished. I contend they are wrong!

For a moment, let’s strip away all the fluff around this case. At its basic core, we have two adults who went out to dinner and had a few drinks. One adult perceiv ed (correctly or incorrectly) that the other was flirting and returned the gesture. He was mistaken. He stopped. It was awkward. And now he is guilty.

What would have happened had this not involved a gay male? A Democratic contender forMayor in a highly competitive primary? Or involved a man and woman?

Was this political? Were there powers that be that needed to get Shropshire out of the primary? Did the judge’s straight conservative Republican background have any bearing on the lifestyle of a gay liberal Democrat?  I don’t know Shropshire, but I have heard that his sexual preferences have been known and obvious for some time.  Did the midshipman know? If Shropshire was his sponsor for four years, one might assume he had to know? Did the midshipman lead Shropshire on and then have “groper’s remorse”?  There are certainly a lot of questions involved and I hope that Shropshire does consider an appeal.

But seriously, what happened in that car in May 2009 will happen several hundred times tonight in Annapolis. It is Friday. People will be out having a good time and drinking and flirting. Many will make an unwanted pass at someone. Some will be slapped (maybe Shropshire should have been), others will be scolded, some may be beaten, and others may enjoy the attention and take it further.  What is so different about tonight and that might in May?

Shropshire made a pass and it was rebuffed. Are the police prepared to ass this to their list of duties? Aren’t there more pressing issues in the world today than two adults deciding to not mover forward with sexual activity? Does Judge Harris want to see a docket full of “assault” and “sexual offenses” for what many consider harmelss flirting?

Come on people, this guy was railroaded. When you get to the bottom of the wheat and chaff, there is nothing here. How many wives rebuff their husbands on a daily basis?  Think about it.

As citizens of the 21st Century, we deserve better than this witch hunt we just witnessed.

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  1. Jesse says:

    It’s a double standard.

    Why wasn’t Leopold criminally charged? Is it because it was male/female and not male/male?

    He reportedly touched him twice, through his clothing. One could argue that it’s one time too many, but how many women shut down men’s advances two or three times for it to stick?

    Were the advances right? No. Should he be labeled a sexual predator for what he did? Absolutely not!

    If this is the new standard then we might as well lock up every guy going to college because what happened in that car happens on college campuses millions of times a night.

  2. Jesse says:

    Also, notice how long it took to get Dixon guilty on one count … when there was lots of evidence of what she was doing?

    With this guy — another guy says something happened while they were drunk (what was the midshipman’s BAC, BTW…when I’m drunk I think a lot of stuff happens that doesn’t) and BAM, guilty on both counts.

    Finally, judges are political in nature. The case should have been moved to another jurisdiction.

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