Saturday, January 9, 2016

Nathan Lewin: Defense of the Epstein Torture Gang - because they were just doing a mitzva!?

Nathan Lewin is a very smart lawyer - but in his continued defense of the Epstein Torture gang he is showing he knows nothing about elementary halacha. Torturing a husband to give a Get invalidates the Get. Furthermore it is clear that Epstein was doing it for money - not for the mitzva of freeing an Aguna. 

But even if he were doing it for a noble cause - his lack of concern for the facts as well as the illegality of kidnapping and torture - makes the whole enterprise disgusting. It is a chilul haShem and embarrassment to the Jewish community that the Jewish Press saw fit to publish such trash. Perhaps next week they will have an article about torturing a beis din into giving the wife an annulment or perhaps it will be enough to give substantial bribe - for this noble cause. Why does he think that the end justifies any and all means?! 

Instead of focusing his complaints on the FBI and the American Justice system for protecting husband from torture - he should have spent some time asking halachic experts for letters supporting Epstein's work. Does he really think Epstein's approach is supported by the mainstream poskim? If so - who are they? 

Is Lewin in favor of special training in torture techniques for dayanim so they can be more effective? Maybe instead of electric shock, Epstein should have used an electric drill on the brain of these stubborn husbands or maybe slowing skinning them alive! How can a frum lawyer defend the Epstein torture gang?

In more than 50 years of practicing law as both a prosecutor and defense counsel I have witnessed no more misguided and foolishly destructive use of law-enforcement resources than the FBI’s recent triumph in a federal court in Trenton, New Jersey.

Three distinguished rabbis who had courageously championed the cause of agunot – women whose former husbands cruelly prevent their remarriage by deliberately withholding a Get – were sentenced in mid-December to terms of ten years, eight years, and more than three years in federal prison because they were induced by FBI actors to participate in what they believed was a “forced Get” but was, in reality, nothing more than a show – a “sting” – created by the federal authorities.

The FBI set out to lure rabbis who would actively – perhaps over-zealously – try to have a recalcitrant husband (who did not exist) authorize the writing and delivery of a Get to a weeping agunah who was, in reality, an FBI agent. The agent’s acting talent persuaded the trusting rabbis that she was authentic, particularly because she brandished a forged but legitimate-looking ketubah and a seruv signed by the presiding dayan of the Beth Din of America fraudulently secured by the FBI.[...]

The “Getcha Sting” backed the wrong side in the battle between agunot and their despicable recalcitrant husbands. There are, to be sure, legitimate law-enforcement objectives that require undercover agents and call for “stings.” Potential terrorists have been smoked out by federal agents who masqueraded as compatriots or supporters. Under-age prostitution in 135 cities was stopped in October as a result of a “massive FBI sting.” The famed “Abscam” prosecutions of seven Congressmen and one Senator in 1980 grew out of an FBI “sting.”

If the FBI had some basis to believe that rabbis had formed a mafia-style organization to beat recalcitrant husbands, it might have justified a “sting” directed at such a group to prevent future violence. But the “Getcha Sting” began with efforts to lure ORA and the Beth Din of America into the FBI’s web. Not only was this an enormously foolish expenditure of federal law-enforcement resources, it was a disastrous choice made by the FBI. Husbands who withhold gittin from victimized agunot are evil, and one would expect the FBI to choose the virtuous side in this conflict. The FBI should have sided with the agunot, not with the spouses who flout rabbinic orders to give a Get.[...]

The presiding judge wrongly excluded all evidence of religious motivation and intent. From the beginning of the Trenton trial, I and the other three defense counsel tried to present to the jury the overriding motive of all those who planned and participated in the trip to the warehouse. None truly wanted to lay a hand on the fictional husband or to engage in violence. All believed the husband might agree to authorize a Get if he was only confronted. All thought they were performing a mitzvah in helping to free an agunah.[...]

The FBI’s “Getcha Sting” was comparable to similar “stings” that have been found “outrageous” so that prosecutions were dropped. Did the prosecution’s conduct in creating the “sting” entitle the defense to claim that the defendants had been “entrapped?” The current law on entrapment presents a significant obstacle to such a defense. But the FBI’s conduct is not beyond correction by the courts. Federal courts have dismissed criminal cases when the prosecution’s conduct in promoting and prosecuting fictional crimes was “outrageous.” Last January the federal prosecutor in Chicago dropped charges against 27 black and Hispanic defendants who were charged after being arrested following similar “stings” conducted by the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). [....

If the ATF’s “sting” was so outrageous that Zachary Fardon, the federal prosecutor in Chicago, dropped 27 cases against black and Hispanic defendants rather than prosecute them, why did Paul J. Fishman, the United States attorney for the District of New Jersey, proceed with the trial of rabbis and young Jewish men who committed a less serious offense than attempted robbery and possession of cocaine? And why did he urge severe prison sentences for rabbis and Orthodox Jews who were only trying to perform the mitzvah of freeing an agunah?

No comments :

Post a Comment

please use either your real name or a pseudonym.