The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil,
but because of those who look on and do nothing.

~~~ Albert Einstein

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Confusing love and...

"He loved her."

That might have been Jeff Banks best defense of his client, but in the end it doesn't hold water. His client, a former priest who viciously attacked a woman in his church office was sentenced to 4 to 12 years in state prison in connection with the attack.

Prosecutors dropped other charges, including attempted murder, sexual assault and kidnapping, that could have resulted in a sentence of life in prison with parole. The duration of his sentence hinges on whether he is approved for parole.

In court Thursday, Chaanine denied he sexually assaulted the woman and offered an apology and a rambling statement about his feelings for her before he was led from the courtroom in handcuffs, court information officer Michael Sommermeyer said.

"He loved her," Chaanine's court-appointed lawyer, Jeff Banks, said later. "His emotions got the better of him. It was the biggest mistake of his life, and he's going to have to come to grips with it."

The woman, then 54, said Chaanine hit her in the head with a wine bottle, stomped on her hand, groped her and choked her until she began praying Jan. 26. She said he suddenly stopped and fled. Chaanine was arrested almost a week later near Phoenix.

Hitting someone with a bottle, stomping on any part of them, groping them and choking them is NOT a sign of love. It's not even a sign of "like". And let's be honest here- it's not the perp in these sorts of crimes that 'have to come to grips' with what has happened- it's the victims who have had these horrific criminal acts committed against them.

I understand the position of defense lawyers, I 'get' that it is their job to defend their client to the best of their abilities, but when one stoops to the lowest level by attempting to lighten the actual nature of the crime by claiming "he loved her"... then the lawyer becomes as flawed as the guilty.

Love is a lot of things, and it will move people to do a lot of things- but I can't believe for a moment that it would cause someone to attack the object of their affections in such a violent manner.