About 11 days ago I wrote in defense of a convicted attempted murderer now charged with murder because his victim died forty years later.  Today I am writing in defense of an admitted adulterer.

First of all, adultery is a sin and will land a person in Hell if they don’t repent.   As a member of the LDS faith Adultery will often cost you your membership via ex-communication.  Adultery is a serious and a breach of a very sacred trust in marriage.  It is a crime against marriage and a sin, but not a crime against the state.  There are seven groups responsible for a propely ordered society.  Government, Religion, Family, Community, Education, Media and Business.  It is reasonable to split Government into State, Federal, and Local for this analysis.  The proper actors in handling Gov. Spitzer’s bad acts are the State Government, Family, Community, Media, and Religion.

Former Governor Elliot Spitzer resigned today after details of his use of prostitutes was made public.  Gov. Spitzer was under threat of impeachment and news of his announced resignation last week led to champagne popping in both Albany (by Republican politicians) and on Wall Street in NYC (by stock traders and executives who once faced scrutiny when Gov. Spitzer was Attorney General).

It appears that Gov. Spitzer went to a lot of trouble trying to keep his adultery a secret.  He had the prostitute meet him in Washington D.C., paid money to a shell front corporation for the services, and broke up the transactions into amounts of less than $10,000 to avoid the automatic notice of a large transaction to the IRS called a “currency transaction report”.  These actions violated Federal statutes known as the Mann Act (transporting across state lines for immoral purposes), money laundering (paying to a shall corporation to hide where the money was going) and structuring (by breaking up the transactions into amounts less than $10,000).

It turns out that Gov. Spitzer may have broke open the investigation into himself.  He had the money wired in separate transactions of less than $10,000 and then asked his bank to remove his name from the transactions.  The bank said no and then filed a “Suspicious Activity Report” because of the structured transactions.  The bank was apparently required to do this by law and according to a source for Newsday: “The bank did the right thing[.]”  The bank’s report was then noticed by the IRS and then was forwarded to the FBI for further investigation.  After 5,000 wiretapped phone conversations and 6,000 intercepted emails, it was determined that there was a prostitution ring.  In fairness, it is possible that the FBI may have uncovered corruption, bribery, drug dealing, blackmail, or any other number of activities these laws were designed to catch.  Once it was apparent that they found a guy cheating on his wife, criminal charges should not be filed.

Gov. Spitzer is already in trouble with his wife and family and he will have to handle that.  If he is religious, he will have to face sanctions from that group.  The media has already put pressure on him too.  The State Government has already acted to remove Gov. Spitzer by threatening to impeach him if he did not resign and Gov. Spitzer resigned.  Of course Gov. Spitzer should have resigned because as Governor it was a position of public trust and if he would violate the most important of promises to his wife he is not fit to be Governor of a state.

The party that should be out of the loop is the Federal Government.  Instead of staying out of it, they are currently working to put him in prison for a few years for violating laws that should not be illegal.  “Structuring”?!?  The laws required banks to disclose transactions of more than $10,000 to the IRS and if a person tries to get around that reporting requirement by having smaller transactions, it should not be a crime.  [Banking institutions should not be required to report transactions of $10,000 or more either.]  Money Laundering is generally for drug dealers and terrorists but it also should not be illegal.  There are so many problems with the criminal code in the United States.

The Mann Act is a little different.  There were concerns about possible prostitution rings and slavery related to the prostitutes and the interstate transfer of the women.  The flesh trade so to speak.  This law was designed to combat that.  The law would be greatly improved if the act that is illegal was the unwilling transport of a person across state lines for immoral purposes.  Oh wait, it appears that would already be covered under the Federal Kidnapping Act.  So the Mann Act is also unnecessary.

Gov. Spitzer is a victim too.  Victims can be victimized too.

Comments Welcome

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