Yes, Jonna Spilbor spends an entire Oct. 27 Newsmax column demanding that Ghislaine Maxwell -- alleged co-conspirator with convicted child sex trafficking criminal Jeffrey Epstein -- be released on bail, complaining that she's being held under "unusually restrictive, if not punitive, conditions":
As a lawyer who has analyzed, written extensively about, and provided commentary on a national scale for many a high-profile case — including those with serious sex crime components (Michael Jackson, Kobe Bryant, the Duke Lacrosse case, Bill Cosby and most recently, and Harvey Weinstein) this harsher-than-most handling of Maxwell’s case immediately struck me as beyond odd.
In an era where we witness routinely a veritable parade of high-profile defendants marching into their arraignments with lawyers on their arms after breakfast, and marching out with GPS monitors on their ankles before lunch, why is Ms. Maxwell not being afforded the same constitutional deference as so many her other famous predecessors?
It's a more than fair question.
Her treatment in the legal arena thus far has been anything but equitable.
Perhaps the most glaring anomaly in this case, is the judge’s decision to lock Maxwell up, pre-trial, with no opportunity for pre-trial release, as if her guilt is a foregone conclusion.
A dangerous proposition for anyone who appreciates the presumption of innocence.
I know I do. You should too.
Spilbor handwaved the idea that Maxwell should be seen as a flight risk by declaring, "A person who’s on society’s outrage meter can’t go to a local diner without being detected. Besides, we have the technology to tether defendants inside any jurisdiction." Except that the vast majority of Americans couldn't pick Maxwell out of a lineup, and she would be unlikely to be out and about anyway.
Spilbor then tried to make the case that Maxwell could very well be innocent while also playing the blame-the-victim card by complaining that some accusers have allegedly "procured very visible opportunities" to tell their stories:
In a case where the central allegations are nearly three decades old and supported, if at all, by the untested credibility of the accusers themselves, denying Maxwell any meaningful pre-trial opportunity to push back against these accusations and the motivations behind them — which will necessarily include, like it or not, questioning the veracity of those who have provided evidence to be used against her — represents a complete deprivation of due process.
Add to that, the fact that numerous women — possibly including one or more of the anonymous accusers in the criminal case, although your guess is as good as Maxwell’s —have procured very visible opportunities with Netflix, and other media outlets, to publicly tell their stories, while prosecutors simultaneously implore the judge to keep the accusers’ identities under wraps, renders the decisions made from the bench thus far not merely detrimental, but absurd.
We must keep in mind an arrest marks the beginning, not the end in the judicial process.
Ghislaine Maxwell is not guilty. Not yet, anyway.
And have we considered, maybe not ever?
While defendants do indeed have rights in America, perhaps going to the mat for someone who -- regardless of what her guilt is ultimately ajudicated to be -- has had clear and close contacts with a convicted child sex trafficker is perhaps not the smart thing for Spilbor to do.