Daily Archives: January 31, 2010

The Constitution is a wet blanket

The Constitution was intended to be many things: a guide, a charter, founding principles and at the very least a set of instructions for those that sought to build a just and fair country from the ashes of rebellion.

What it was never intended to be was a blanket, and a wet one at that. Unfortunately, state Sen. Tim Burchett, R-Knoxville, TN (hey! stop rolling your eyes) didn’t get that particular memo.

So, in his Tennesseean way, he has introduced a bill making it a felony for criminal defense lawyers to make “unproven insinuations” about crime victims during the course of a trial.

Lawmakers said it isn’t fair for attorneys to try to make criminals out of victims during a trial. However, some attorneys believe this notion is unconstitutional.

The discussion for the new law came about after a couple in Knoxville was tortured and killed in 2007. The parents of Channon Christian listened to the graphic details in court last year and said defense attorneys insinuated their daughter used drugs.

“They criminalize the victims. They are in the grave. They have no defense,” said state Sen. Tim Burchett, a Republican from Knoxville.