Update: The Quantum of Recovery For Rape-and-Torture-By-Police In New Mexico Is $1.6 Million

Effluvia

Back in November I wrote about David Eckert of New Mexico. As you may recall, City of Deming police officers stopped Eckert for running a stop sign, and together with Hidalgo County Sheriff's Deputies concluded that there was probable cause to think that he was smuggling drugs in his anus. As I wrote back then, that conclusion was based on the following fanciful chain of supposition:

That his hands were shaking and he avoided eye contact during a traffic stop;

He refused to consent to a search of his person;

He stood erect with his legs together;

No drugs were found in his car or in a pat-down of him (police pat-downs for weapons often turn up drugs, which mysteriously feel like dangerous weapons when touched by police, or which are immediately identifiable as drugs when touched by police);

A drug dog (with no information given about the dog's training or qualifications or success rate) "alerted" to his car seat (though no drugs were found in his car); and

An unidentified Hidalgo County K-9 officer asserted, without any specificity, that Eckert had previously hidden drugs in his anus.

Based on those "facts," and with the approval of Deputy District Attorney Daniel Dougherty, the police sought and obtained a warrant to search Mr. Eckert's anus. The following rape and torture — and I use those words deliberately and advisedly — followed:

1. Eckert's abdominal area was x-rayed; no narcotics were found.

2. Doctors then performed an exam of Eckert's anus with their fingers; no narcotics were found.

3. Doctors performed a second exam of Eckert's anus with their fingers; no narcotics were found.

4. Doctors penetrated Eckert's anus to insert an enema. Eckert was forced to defecate in front of doctors and police officers. Eckert watched as doctors searched his stool. No narcotics were found.

5. Doctors penetrated Eckert's anus to insert an enema a second time. Eckert was forced to defecate in front of doctors and police officers. Eckert watched as doctors searched his stool. No narcotics were found.

6. Doctors penetrated Eckert's anus to insert an enema a third time. Eckert was forced to defecate in front of doctors and police officers. Eckert watched as doctors searched his stool. No narcotics were found.

7. Doctors then x-rayed Eckert again; no narcotics were found.

8. Doctors prepared Eckert for surgery, sedated him, and then performed a colonoscopy where a scope with a camera was inserted into Eckert's anus, rectum, colon, and large intestines. No narcotics were found.

No. No narcotics were found.

Are there consequences to that sort of conduct? Sort of. Eckert has settled with the City of Deming, the County of Hidalgo, Officers Bobby Orosco and Robert Chavez, and Deputies David Arredondo, Patrick Green and Robert Rodriguez. He has agreed to dismiss his lawsuit against them. he will be paid $1.6 million — it's not clear how that is apportioned between the City and the County, but you can assume that New Mexico taxpayers, not the law enforcement officers who engaged in a conspiracy to commit torture and rape, will foot the bill.

Deputy District Attorney Daniel Dougherty has a motion to dismiss pending. He will probably win it. Prosecutorial immunity is most likely broad enough, under current law, to cover approving a transparently ridiculous warrant application seeking to torture and rape a man based on fluff. Nice work if you can get it and you are in to that sort of thing, I suppose.

Doctor Robert Wilcox of the Gila Medical Center — who played the "bring out the gimp" role in this rape and torture scenario — has also filed a motion to dismiss, which in part argues that he is entitled to immunity because he was following orders — the orders of the police and the judicially approved search warrant. We'll see how that works out for him.

The $1.6 million was offered and accepted quite swiftly. That's a substantial amount of money for a case not involving death or dismemberment, especially during times when local governments don't have a lot of money. It suggests to me that the City and County thought they had a terrible case. It makes me even more suspicious that the key "fact" of the warrant application — that some unspecified deputy told the affiant that Mr. Eckert had smuggled drugs in his anus at some unspecified time before — was knowingly fabricated by somebody in the chain.

This case sickened me. But I can't say that it surprised me. The only thing out of it that would surprise me is if any of the individual police officers or sheriff's deputies faced any genuine significant consequences arising from it.

Whether or not you agree with my legal criticism of the sufficiency of the warrant application, bear this in mind: because of the mindset promoted by the Great War on Drugs, these cops, this deputy DA, this judge, and this doctor all reached the same moral conclusion. Their moral conclusion was that because they posited that this man had drugs in his anus — necessarily the small amount that could fit there — it was necessary and appropriate and acceptable forcibly and repeatedly to probe his anus, forcibly to give him an enema, to x-ray him, to sedate him, and to perform a colonoscopy on him under sedation. That's the mindset of the Great War on Drugs. It's perverted and despicable. It's subhuman. Do you support it?

Last 5 posts by Ken White

71 Comments

71 Comments

  1. R  •  Jan 16, 2014 @7:35 pm

    Man, for that kind of money perhaps I need to take a tour of the Southwest with clenched buttocks and see what happens.

  2. Just a thought  •  Jan 16, 2014 @7:41 pm

    That's the mindset of the Great War on Drugs. It's perverted and despicable. It's subhuman. Do you support it?

    How can anyone still support this ridiculous war on drugs? It's cost billions, ruined countless lives (and cost many) and engendered widespread disrespect for the law. It's been about as useful as the war on terror. So wit, worse than useless.

  3. Clark  •  Jan 16, 2014 @7:56 pm

    he is entitled to immunity because he was following orders

    1947 was a lot different from 1944.

    I hope that 2020 will be a lot different from 2014.

    There's certainly precedent for going after doctors.

    I personally wouldn't mind seeing Robert Wilcox getting the old Karl Gebhardt treatment.

    pour le encourage les autres, or however you pronounce that in German.

  4. Harry Johnston  •  Jan 16, 2014 @7:59 pm

    You'd think that after having to pony up that sort of money due to the misconduct of employees, the employer (whether that's the City or the County) would be strongly motivated – and have every legal and moral justification – to fire said employees. I take it that's not likely to happen?

  5. That Anonymous Coward  •  Jan 16, 2014 @8:04 pm

    The Doctor who was following orders from another county, outside of the scope and authority of the officers to compel him to do anything, that doctor thinks he can skate?

    I wonder if the others who came forward reporting similar incidents will get their day in court, or if there is a statue of limitations on rape & abuse of authority.

  6. ...  •  Jan 16, 2014 @8:14 pm

    "Under the terms of the settlement, police admit no wrongdoing."

    To protect and serve

    To rape and torture

  7. Michael  •  Jan 16, 2014 @8:30 pm

    It's extremely disappointing that the police admitted no wrongdoing, though not surprising. I don't think I'm alone in taking their denial of wrongdoing with 1.6 million grains of salt.

  8. Zinc  •  Jan 16, 2014 @9:00 pm

    The hospital charged him $6000 for the procedure(s).

  9. Johnny Canuck  •  Jan 16, 2014 @9:06 pm

    The war on drugs keeps a lot of people employed at probably pretty good salaries with decent pension provisions. I’m not talking about the distributors here.
    Cancel the war, lots of LEOs are gonna have to find less well paid work. I have no doubt that many in government and law enforcement are true believers, but for many others it’s a reliable gig.

  10. Graham Shevlin  •  Jan 16, 2014 @9:17 pm

    …or tried to charge him $6000. Given the current state of the litigation, I think that anybody in the hospital food chain with half a functioning brain would already have struck that from the list of bad debts.
    I do look forward to seeing the court's response to the doctor's Motion To Dismiss. I need to know whether the Nuremberg Defense is going to apply to doctors in NM.

  11. Bear  •  Jan 16, 2014 @9:20 pm

    @Harry Johnston Jan 16, 2014 @7:59 pm: "You'd think that after having to pony up that sort of money due to the misconduct of employees, the employer (whether that's the City or the County) would be strongly motivated – and have every legal and moral justification – to fire said employees to raise taxes."

    FIFY.

  12. Kevin  •  Jan 16, 2014 @9:34 pm

    @Clark

    I personally wouldn't mind seeing Robert Wilcox getting the old Karl Gebhardt treatment.

    I'm curious Clark: do you mean this literally? I.e. the death penalty? Should "BURN[ing] THE SYSTEM TO THE GROUND" actually include the deaths of the implements of the system? This is not a rhetorical question, it's something I actually struggle with myself, morally.

    In the aftermath of the acquittals in the Kelly Thomas case, I've found myself fantasizing about meting out street justice on the perpetrators with a .38 special, then quickly feeling ashamed of myself for thinking such thoughts… the death penalty is, after all, the sine qua non of state power run amok.

    The sub-human scum who commit such crimes clearly are deserving of comeuppance, and their successors of deterrence, yet it's also important that we don't become that which we oppose in the course of our opposition.

    So I guess I'm just curious how a fellow "anti-government extremist", with the advantage of a few years on me, thinks about such things.

    Disclaimer to law enforcement: I'm not actually seriously contemplating murdering anyone here, this is just a philosophical thought experiment.

  13. The War Hamster  •  Jan 16, 2014 @9:49 pm

    Two words: Occam's Razor. Of the six links in the chain of supposition, at minimum five of them can be readily and one of them (the drug dog) can be more reasonably explained without the anal cavity. But my favorite is:

    "He stood erect with his legs together"

    This is apparent specificity and involuntary silliness; it relies on the imagination of the reader to fill in the blanks and to imagine a man standing as if he had a broomstick up his ass. Properly translated, however, it means nothing more than "he's a biped."

  14. marco73  •  Jan 16, 2014 @10:18 pm

    That settlement was amazingly fast. There have been other situations cited on Popehat, some even involving death, that are still grinding through the system. I almost wonder if the facts in this case were even more horrific than have been reported. Did Mr. Eckert suffer permanent damage, or contract some dread disease? You can't tell me that after all the other abusive cases in Hidalgo county, someone in authority grew a conscience over this incident.

  15. bill  •  Jan 16, 2014 @10:46 pm

    I may be seeing trends that are just random data points, but it really seems like incidents of the Deming sort are happening more eand more frequently. This is such an outrage, one would think partisan differences could be put aside with people agreeing this should never happen. But I've seen countless posts from people pointing out the victim was known to put drugs in his anal cavity on prior occassions as though that mitigates the outrageous behavior here. Others keep pointing out that drugs are a scourge and people's anger should be focused at drug dealers, mules and the cartels, b/c if it wasn't for them, stuff like this wouldn't happen. There's also a good contingent of people who respond to this and every other atrocity like this with Next time someone is breaking into your house, call a hippy (in my case, I'm absolutely content to make sure I take my chances with the burglars as opposed to calling the cops), Cops get killed every day or the Isolated incident/Few Bad Apples platitudes. I keep hoping one day I'll wake up and people will be mad enough to demand changes but it'd be a fools bet.

    I'm guessing a lot of Popehat readers are also SimpleJustice readers, but Scott linked to an exhange exchange on some Catholic/Liberty blog that will infuriate a lot of people.

    There's a group of people (and this can't be blamed on the internetz) that simply can't ever find themselves outraged at police abuses. One of the money quotes is The fact that you're calling an anal cavity search RAPE doesn't lend you credibility, either

  16. James Pollock  •  Jan 16, 2014 @11:24 pm

    I think that anybody in the hospital food chain with half a functioning brain would already have struck that from the list of bad debts.

    At first, I was incredulous that the medical facilities would attempt to bill someone for procedures that not only did they not request, but which they actively did not consent to. But now, having thought about it, I think it's probably because the hospital's accounting software had to be told that some procedures were done, to account for consumables used in the process, but the software doesn't have an option for "we did this because the cops told us to" and "bill it to the county", which is where the bill should have gone. IF there's someone at the hospital that can hand-wave bills away, that probably has a lot of anti-fraud provisions built into it. I'm not sure how you'd report it as uncollectible… there probably isn't a "we never should have done this procedure" checkbox under "stop sending bills to this person", and although there probably IS a "this bill is under present litigation" option, that one probably ties into the malpractice insurance.

  17. Noxx  •  Jan 17, 2014 @1:13 am

    I laughed so hard I peed myself a little. Fired? Not even written up.

  18. Nik Bougalis  •  Jan 17, 2014 @1:27 am

    For what it's worth, if I were the plaintiff, I would not agree to any settlement regardless of the amount offered.

    I would seek to take this case to Court, even if it meant paying for my legal representation out of my own pocket, if for no other reason than for the moral justification that I would feel as a result.

  19. xtmar  •  Jan 17, 2014 @4:00 am

    I wonder if they'll ever try to change the immunity that prosecutors and judges get. What if you could go after the judge for signing off on an obviously incorrect warrant, and the prosecutor stood a decent chance of getting charged for abuse of office. It seems absurd that judges have absolute immunity for anything they do while in office, no matter how corrupt it is.

  20. G. Filotto  •  Jan 17, 2014 @5:11 am

    Way I see it is pretty simple. Absent reasonable doubt, (which is hard but not impossible to have) certain types of crimes deserve the death penalty. Corollaries: 1. If you believe in the death penalty you should be willing to pull the trigger/switch yourself.
    2. Killing someone deserving of the death penalty does NOT make you "like them".
    3. Philosophically, a mosquito has the same right to life as you or I do. Keep that in mind when thinking how much damage a mosquito does vs a bad cop/child rapist etc.

  21. Christoph  •  Jan 17, 2014 @5:14 am

    The hospital charged him $6000 for the procedure(s).

    I'd sue them for malpractice. Foreign objects in the digestive tract can be located using ultrasound, which unlike xrays doesn't increase your chance of getting cancer.

    I would seek to take this case to Court, even if it meant paying for my legal representation out of my own pocket, if for no other reason than for the moral justification that I would feel as a result.

    Yes, sometimes the ability to sleep a bit better is preferable to getting extra money.

    Did Mr. Eckert suffer permanent damage, or contract some dread disease?

    Latency for xray-induced cancer is years to decades. So the answer is probably "No, he did not … yet."

  22. G. Filotto  •  Jan 17, 2014 @5:46 am

    When you lose the case because the system works as intended (see Clark's famous burn it to the ground post) will you feel vindicated? I'd take the 1.6 million. Then use it for lobbying etc. Or to move country.

  23. Clark  •  Jan 17, 2014 @5:54 am

    @Kevin

    @Clark

    I personally wouldn't mind seeing Dr. Robert Wilcox getting the old Karl Gebhardt treatment.

    I'm curious Clark: do you mean this literally? I.e. the death penalty?

    Well, to be clear, that's illegal right now. Just like it was illegal to hang the government employee Karl Gebhardt in 1944.

    So I am most certainly not suggesting that anyone break any laws in the year 2014.

    I am only suggesting that (a) the US government has already gone on record noting that ex post facto laws that invoke the death penalty are valid, (b) and it's entirely possible that the laws will be different in the year 2020.

    So if the laws did support hanging Dr. Robert Wilcox in the year 2020, and it was possible to do so while being in complete adherence to due process? Then, yes, I would absolutely make a big old bag of popcorn with extra butter and salt, and take it to the village square and watch Dr. Robert Wilcox dance at the end of a rope.

    Rape has consequences, and while I'm not a huge fan of the death penalty, (a) if there are a half dozen witnesses so there's no doubt as to his actions, and (b) if that's what the law proscribes, sure.

    Dance motherfucker.

    Should "BURN[ing] THE SYSTEM TO THE GROUND" actually include the deaths of the implements of the system? This is not a rhetorical question, it's something I actually struggle with myself, morally.

    Should it? Pragmatically? Morally?

    I'm not sure. I can't exactly imagine Jesus standing behind me, clapping a hand on my shoulder as I slit the throats of bound former senators, and saying "Well done, Clark, well done." On the other hand,
    maybe I'm wrong.

    I do know that – if in the year 2020 – the law says that Dr. Robert Wilcox should hang, than the person who pulls the handle will be just following orders…just like Dr. Robert Wilcox was.

    In the aftermath of the acquittals in the Kelly Thomas case, I've found myself fantasizing about meting out street justice on the perpetrators with a .38 special, then quickly feeling ashamed of myself for thinking such thoughts

    They're not subhuman. If a pack of pitbulls killed him we would mourn, but we wouldn't hold the dogs morally responsible. The cops who murdered Kelly Thomas are worse than subhumans: they are humans who chose evil.

    Disclaimer to law enforcement: I'm not actually seriously contemplating murdering anyone here, this is just a philosophical thought experiment.

    Disclaimer to law enforcement: I intend to follow all the laws of 2014 in 2014. …and all the laws of 2020 in 2020.

  24. Spacemanmatt  •  Jan 17, 2014 @6:08 am

    Can Mr. Eckert buy a private prosecutor? It doesn't sound like the DA is going to take up the rape charges against the doctor or hospital.

    The part I don't get about qualified immunity for *anyone* acting under color of law, is what prevents the collusion of a cop and a non-cop from driving a Mac truck through the loophole of reduced expectations on the citizen acting under temporary color of law?

    On the other hand, they pass container ships of fraud through the system because it's designed to allow it. So maybe this is just not an attractive loophole.

  25. Nik Bougalis  •  Jan 17, 2014 @6:10 am

    No, I would not feel vindicated. But I would feel better with myself for having actually pursued it instead of taking some money to walk away quietly and allow those who attacked me to go unpunished because they could get someone else to cut a check.

    I find nothing wrong with fighting for one's principles and beliefs and against those who initiate violence, even if I lose the fight. Your mileage may vary.

  26. Dirkmaster  •  Jan 17, 2014 @6:41 am

    "Under the terms of the settlement, police admit no wrongdoing."

    But does ANYONE anymore think that after a mere couple of months, a 1.6 million dollar settlement isn't an implicit admission of guilt? For sure it is as Ken said, a sure sign that they thought their case was really crappy. And that a jury would award even more. Just imagine what that figure would have been if the lowball offer from the city was $1.6M!

  27. Kilroy  •  Jan 17, 2014 @6:47 am

    Based on the fact that Clark is commenting on this thread, is it safe to assume that he has bailed on the "A Funny Joke" post? It is okay to admit to being wrong every now and then. If anything, it adds credibility.

  28. Dan Weber  •  Jan 17, 2014 @7:17 am

    I think this has been brought up before, but I can just imagine the trainwreck going through the cops' minds as they walked deliberately through those 8 steps. "Holy shit, if we don't find drugs we are in so much trouble, better sedate the guy and perform surgery so we can find the drugs."

  29. Graham  •  Jan 17, 2014 @7:39 am

    @marco73
    I would imagine their lawyer told them there was no way they were winning this case, the best they could do was to try to stretch it out, and if they did, people were going to be punished, and they would have to argue with the Police unions despite the fact the officers were clearly negligent, which seems to always be a barrel of laughs in the US, and they would *STILL* have to pay, and it would be a media circus for months.

    Not every bureaucrat is a moron, although quite a high percentage of them seem to be.
    This is an entire Barrel of worms no-one sensible would want to touch. Just settle and let the whole mess to go away. No-one will care in a months time except for the odd satirical comment on a law blog.

  30. Shane  •  Jan 17, 2014 @7:49 am

    @bill

    The fact that you're calling an anal cavity search RAPE doesn't lend you credibility, either

    FYI. I was detailing in broad terms this post to my wife, and her first response was: "Isn't that rape?"

    Ken may have used the headline to grab attention (or not), but I don't think that it is in tinfoil hat territory (not even close) to call what happened to this man rape.

  31. Taliesyn  •  Jan 17, 2014 @8:27 am

    Kilroy – He'd certainly have gained points and credibility where I (and I'm sure many others) am concerned, had he owned up to just making a mistake. As it is, it appears that he's going to pretend the post never happened.

    Everyone misreads things and jumps the gun on occasion. The important thing is to acknowledge your mistakes, not hide from them. *shrug*

  32. Kilroy  •  Jan 17, 2014 @8:33 am

    @Taliesyn: when one is convinced they are they next Demosthenes, it is a little difficult to accept one's own mistakes. Should probably burn that post to the ground anyway.

  33. Clark  •  Jan 17, 2014 @8:52 am

    @Kilroy

    Based on the fact that Clark is commenting on this thread, is it safe to assume that he has bailed on the "A Funny Joke" post?

    I'm not sure what "bailed" means in this context.

    It's certainly safe to assume that I've been overwhelmed with work for the last few days and have not commented on anything here at Popehat, if that's what you mean.

  34. Kilroy  •  Jan 17, 2014 @8:56 am

    bailed out: idiom meaning to abandon a situation; to get out of something.

    I had just assumed you were busy until you started commenting in this thread yesterday.

  35. Richard  •  Jan 17, 2014 @9:02 am

    So if the laws did support hanging Dr. Robert Wilcox in the year 2020, and it was possible to do so while being in complete adherence to due process? Then, yes, I would absolutely make a big old bag of popcorn with extra butter and salt, and take it to the village square and watch Dr. Robert Wilcox dance at the end of a rope.

    Rape has consequences, and while I'm not a huge fan of the death penalty, (a) if there are a half dozen witnesses so there's no doubt as to his actions, and (b) if that's what the law proscribes, sure.

    I just don't get you, Clark.

    I had you nailed down as a firm believer in the principles "Whatever power the government has, they are going to abuse," and "The government is illegitimate, therefore I reject the legitimacy of its laws, and only follow them to avoid punishment."

    I'm having trouble reconciling that with "the death penalty is okay for [a given offense] if that's what the law prescribes."

    Why would you ever be okay with the State exercising its power to execute its citizens, if you feel that if the State has such power, that it will be abused?

    Why would you care what "the law prescribes" if you reject the legitimacy of the government passing those laws?

    Is this cognitive dissonance, or am I just not understanding your position correctly?

  36. En Passant  •  Jan 17, 2014 @9:32 am

    Clark wrote Jan 17, 2014 @5:54 am:

    I do know that – if in the year 2020 – the law says that Dr. Robert Wilcox should hang, than the person who pulls the handle will be just following orders…just like Dr. Robert Wilcox was.

    I have no doubt that somebody, somewhere, would gladly pay good money for the privilege to pull the handle. Probably enough somebodies to have a good auction with a very high winning bid. No orders would be necessary; just release from any legal consequences.

  37. Clark  •  Jan 17, 2014 @10:19 am

    @Kilroy:

    I had just assumed you were busy until you started commenting in this thread yesterday.

    Yes, that's correct: I was busy until I started commenting in this thread yesterday.

  38. Clark  •  Jan 17, 2014 @10:26 am

    @Richard

    So if the laws did support hanging Dr. Robert Wilcox in the year 2020, and it was possible to do so while being in complete adherence to due process? Then, yes, I would absolutely make a big old bag of popcorn with extra butter and salt, and take it to the village square and watch Dr. Robert Wilcox dance at the end of a rope.

    I just don't get you, Clark.

    I had you nailed down as a firm believer in the principles "Whatever power the government has, they are going to abuse," and "The government is illegitimate, therefore I reject the legitimacy of its laws, and only follow them to avoid punishment."

    Yes, both of those things are true:

    1) Whatever power the government has, they are going to abuse

    2) The government is illegitimate, therefore I reject the legitimacy of its laws, and only follow them to avoid punishment.

    The US government in 1947 was illegitimate, but Nazis are the second worse thing on the planet, after communists (who are basically just a different flavor of Nazi with a higher kill count), and I would have no problem eating popcorn and watch the 438th worst thing on the planet (FDR's neofascist / Keneysian government) kill members of the second worst thing on the planet (Hitler's neofascist /
    Keneysian government).

    The US government in 2014 is illegitimate, and the US government in 2020 will be illegitimate. I'll have no problem eating popcorn and watching members of the US government of 2020 kill members and quislings of the US government of 2014.

    I'm having trouble reconciling that with "the death penalty is okay for [a given offense] if that's what the law prescribes."

    I'm not saying it's OK. I'm saying that it's dulce et decorum est to watch someone who fed citizens into the maw of Moloch be, in turn, fed into the maw of Moloch.

    That doesn't make Moloch just. It just makes the irony equisite.

    Why would you ever be okay with the State exercising its power to execute its citizens, if you feel that if the State has such power, that it will be abused?

    To a good approximation: no state can be legitimate, therefore no state execution can be legitimate.

    Why would you care what "the law prescribes" if you reject the legitimacy of the government passing those laws?

    Note that I am not advocating executions; I am advocating eating popcorn.

  39. Kilroy  •  Jan 17, 2014 @10:37 am

    I'm just having trouble imagining Clark as a normal functioning part of our society. Are you real, or just a well played troll?

  40. Josh C  •  Jan 17, 2014 @10:43 am

    Was there anything in the warrant actually requiring Dr. Wilcox to take any action? Was he individually named?

    If not, how on Earth can he claim to be following orders?

  41. Richard  •  Jan 17, 2014 @10:50 am

    Clark wrote Jan 17, 2014 @5:54 am

    Rape has consequences, and while I'm not a huge fan of the death penalty, (a) if there are a half dozen witnesses so there's no doubt as to his actions, and (b) if that's what the law proscribes, sure.

    Clark wrote Jan 17, 2014 @10:26 am

    I'm not saying it's OK. I'm saying that it's dulce et decorum est to watch someone who fed citizens into the maw of Moloch be, in turn, fed into the maw of Moloch.

    That doesn't make Moloch just. It just makes the irony equisite.

    [...]

    No state can be legitimate, therefore no state execution can be legitimate.

    [...]

    Note that I am not advocating executions; I am advocating eating popcorn.

    Still having trouble reconciling the first blockquote with the second blockquote.

    I'm reading it as: "Rape has consequences, [...] if [the death penalty is] what the law prescribes, sure."

    Now, we may be seeing different meanings of the word "sure" (I'm taking it, based on the context, to mean "I'm okay with the death penalty being one of those consequences").

    The first half of what I quoted in my previous post (the part that you preserved when you quoted me), I can see as just meaning "if that happened, I wouldn't lift a finger to save him; in fact, I'd enjoy the spectacle." I can also, now, see how the "if the law prescribes" would make his death ironic, and increase your enjoyment of said spectacle.

    It's that "sure" in the following paragraph that's triggering my cognitive dissonance meter.

    If I'm wrong: what does that "sure" mean?

  42. Joel  •  Jan 17, 2014 @10:53 am

    About that doctor. Isn't the highest order he should be following "Do no harm"?

  43. Steve White  •  Jan 17, 2014 @11:41 am

    More on the doctor: I'm a doc myself and find his defense ludicrous. I think the plaintiffs response is correct, and indeed doesn't go far enough to heap the scorn that this doctor deserves.

    To riff on the "I was following orders" defense: if the prosecutor had ordered him to infuse a solution of sodium cyanide into the plaintiff, would the doctor do that?

    No? Fine. Then explain, doctor, why you anesthetized the patient and performed a colonoscopy. Oh, and first explain why you did a digital rectal exam (twice), all at the 'order' of a prosecutor.

    And if the doctors says to me, "your example is crazy, I would never infuse sodium cyanide into a person but a colonoscopy is different," then I'd invite him to explain the difference in terms of patient consent, autonomy of person and ethics. I'd enjoy listening to the response.

    I've worked ERs, wards and clinics. There is not one prosecutor on this earth who can 'order' me to do a medical procedure on a person who refuses to consent to the procedure. A court might be able to provide me with legal justification, if I'm a public employee, but even a court can't 'order' me as a private, practicing physician to do something on a patient if the patient refuses consent and I think it's wrong. I'm allowed to refuse, and I would.

    Regardless of how the lawsuit turns out, I do think there are grounds for the New Mexico state board of medicine to review the case. A doctor simply cannot penetrate a patient at the order of a prosecutor.

  44. mud man  •  Jan 17, 2014 @12:56 pm

    Clark:

    the person who pulls the handle will be just following orders

    "Just" would be the thing we have to get away from, isn't it? The person pulling the handle should personally believe that it's the right thing to do. After consultation with his peers and pursuing some structured investigation.

  45. luagha  •  Jan 17, 2014 @2:30 pm

    Steve White: If you read the case, the first doctor the cops tried to browbeat into assisting them told them no. (He was the one at the hospital in county.)

    That's why they had to take him over county lines to the next nearest hospital.

  46. jackn  •  Jan 17, 2014 @2:38 pm

    "You'd think that after having to pony up that sort of money due to the misconduct of employees, the employer (whether that's the City or the County) would be strongly motivated………………………to raise taxes."

    That's the breaks when you put someone like Boss Hogg in charge.

  47. Harry Johnston  •  Jan 17, 2014 @4:12 pm

    I don't think it makes sense to say that all governments are illegitimate. If there are laws, then (by definition) whatever process was used to decide upon those laws is a form of government. If there are no laws, then by definition nothing can be illegitimate, including the government.

  48. barry  •  Jan 17, 2014 @4:41 pm

    This is a bit like the Murray Rothbard suggestion that police should be allowed to torture criminal suspects, and if they are found to be not guilty the police are charged with assult. And if the suspect is found to be guilty, the torture is considered to be part of the punishment anyway.. or something. (under the "Torture of criminal suspects" sub heading ).

    A difference in the real life example is that the torture victim is compensated rather than the police being charged, but the similarities to the Rothbard proposal remain

    This is also subhuman. I don't see how any rational person could support it, let alone think it up intentionally in the first place. In the Eckert case it is an example of something very broken and obviously not how it should be. To suggest that is actually how it should be in a brave new Rothbardian anarcho-capitalist world is just plain nuts. For Moldbug to call Rothbard a 'giant' looks like nuts too (without reading much or knowing the heights of either of them).

  49. Spacemanmatt  •  Jan 17, 2014 @6:50 pm

    @Kilroy

    I'm just having trouble imagining Clark as a normal functioning part of our society. Are you real, or just a well played troll?

    There are a lot of us who think like Clark.

  50. Trent  •  Jan 17, 2014 @7:09 pm

    Y'all are being way to hard on Eckert. By all descriptions I read this man was part of the poor underclass. That $1.6 million even after the lawyers take 40% and the government takes another 40% in taxes is likely more than his lifetime earnings. I point you to Ken's excellent discussion of Privilege the other day and ask you to examine the fact that you are looking on this actions from a position of privilege.

    Personally I'm happy for the guy. The money likely won't last but at least he'll get some enjoyment out of what had to have been one of the worst days of his life.

    Myself, I wouldn't care so much about the money or day in court, so much as an acceptance of guilt by the Police department and discipline for everyone involved including the Judge the signed the warrant. Anything less and I'd likely pursue it to Jury trial regardless of cost. I'm always a bit disappointed when these settlements allow the people in question to claim no responsibility in the matter while they write a check for millions. But on the other hand I'm not going to fault Eckert for taking the money rather than the high road because being poor sucks.

  51. htom  •  Jan 17, 2014 @11:00 pm

    At least Ken found someone who has the "Law Enforcement Officer[sic]"s' names. They need to be publicly shamed. (As does the prosecutor.)

    Dogs. Dogs, in general, are good people, doing what they're taught. When someone claims that their dog is responsible, I take that as an admission of guilt — they trained the dog (or should have) and they are responsible for their agent's acts. Yes, I'm saying that dogs have a right to claim to be "just following orders". Even canine officers have that right.

    The others … the so-called humans (there are days when I am ashamed of being a human) … I do not understand why they are not facing charges of rape, attempted murder, and torture, and conspiracy to commit those crimes.

  52. James Pollock  •  Jan 17, 2014 @11:54 pm

    That $1.6 million even after the lawyers take 40% and the government takes another 40% in taxes is likely more than his lifetime earnings.

    Compensatory damages are not income, and thus not subject to income tax. He will, of course, have to pay any applicable sales tax when he spends the money, but that's closer to 10% than 40.

  53. Trent  •  Jan 18, 2014 @1:04 am

    Compensatory damages are awarded at trial. Settlements where there is a denial of any responsibility are very unlikely to be considered compensatory in any way.

    Though I'm willing to admit I'm wrong if you can point to the appropriate IRS publications that indicates settlements of civil suits where there is no finding of responsibility are considered by the IRS to be compensatory because honestly I highly doubt they would with a settlement of this nature without a court finding of actual damages.

  54. Tom  •  Jan 18, 2014 @7:18 am

    If you read the original news reports, he was presented with a consent form by the police officer and told that the police would pay for the procedure if he signed. He refused (and quite rightly so). Sort of like the "we will release you without charge if you sign this form agreeing not to sue us" that some police try to use.

  55. AlphaCentauri  •  Jan 18, 2014 @11:20 am

    OT, but I'm curious. I gather Eckert had been arrested for drugs before, whether they were secreted in his rectum or not. If his lawyer were a highly ethical professional who was concerned about his client's overall well being, and he therefore put the settlement money in a trust that would pay him a monthly check instead of a lump sum, would he still be liable for taxes on the entire amount up front, or only the distribution?

  56. n4zhg  •  Jan 18, 2014 @1:16 pm

    When a government offers you that kind of cash, refuse. You have them by the balls and you need to make a fist so they feel the pain.

  57. n4zhg  •  Jan 18, 2014 @1:22 pm

    Why do you think there was tearful testimony in Congress the other day by a pussy who is "scared" of marijuana legalization?

  58. n4zhg  •  Jan 18, 2014 @1:26 pm

    Lead is precious commodity. OTOH wood chippers are cheap and plentiful.

  59. Fury  •  Jan 18, 2014 @3:59 pm

    Agree with the comments above that those involved should be shamed.

    Special shame needs to be meted out for the doctor, Robert Wilcox. He is a coward of the first order. I mean, he performed not one, but multiple invasive procedures against the consent of his – HIS – patient.

    Perhaps at some point http://www.drrobertwilcoxcowardice.com will pop up, documenting what he did as noted in the official documents.

    I'd like to think that there are some people in Deming area that get it – including some in the local medical community – and never view Dr. Robert Wilcox quite the same. If you are a patient of Wilcox, how could you ever have confidence in medical treatment he recommends?

    Dr. Robert Wilcox is a coward and should be publicly shamed.

  60. Jeff  •  Jan 18, 2014 @6:53 pm

    It would appear the officer at the center of this entire travesty is not only still on the job but very proud of his daily escapades.

    https://www.facebook.com/robert.chavez.5095

    How can this be? How can someone be so incompetent and still retain his job? In the private sector it would never fly. As a public employee, no doubt protected by a union brotherhood, he continues on as proud as ever. He may be on duty with a badge and gun as you are reading this. Sad and truly sick.

  61. AlphaCentauri  •  Jan 19, 2014 @7:09 am

    omg, and he actually has the balls to post this:
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=623852797649606&set=a.200554849979405.50552.100000746750533

    He is not the friendly policeman I would have wanted my kids to look for when they are lost!

  62. Erwin  •  Jan 19, 2014 @7:25 am

    Dunno. I'm thinking that the civil part of system worked okay. Rape and torture versus a lifetimes wages…or two. That's enough.

    Besides, if I understand correctly, he still has a case against the doctor and the hospital…

    Part that hasn't worked yet…medical board review followed by dismissal. Followed by a lifetime of paying off student loans on minimum wage… And, well, losing a civil suit. That'd be reasonable. And the hospital in question being found liable…that'd be nice.

    Part that probably won't work…policemen in question still have a job… Don't be too optimistic though…plenty of businesses retain workers of comparable incompetence…particularly in management.

  63. Dion starfire  •  Jan 19, 2014 @12:02 pm

    @ken just wanted to point out a minor typo towards the end "it was necessary and appropriate and acceptable forcibly" should read "… to forcibly".

    @everybody_else there's actually a (somewhat effective)method within our current legal system for dealing with this type of behavior: get this on the public media next time during the next election in Deming. The cost of the settlement alone is good political ammo, let alone the cause of it: "They wasted how much to find drugs that were never there in the first place?! And they probed a man REPEATEDLY after an x-ray showed nothing?!?! "

  64. AlphaCentauri  •  Jan 19, 2014 @2:46 pm

    Malpractice insurance doesn't cover things that are not considered the practice of medicine, and doing an unnecessary procedure without consent is not practicing medicine.

  65. DaveL  •  Jan 20, 2014 @8:22 am

    @AlphaCentauri,

    The graphic he posted states:

    Parents: Please stop telling your children that we will haul them off to jail if they are bad.

    Obviously that should have been followed by "Sometimes we haul them off to jail whether they've been bad or not."

  66. ZarroTsu  •  Jan 20, 2014 @9:16 am

    @DaveL

    Better yet,

    "Parents: Please stop telling your children that we will haul them off to jail if they are bad. Or we will haul you off to jail for being bad."

  67. NI  •  Jan 20, 2014 @10:42 am

    That the police were able to get this silly warrant based on these ludicrous facts is only half the problem. The other is that the medical staff went along with it. Anyone at the medical facility who had anything to do with this case should lose their professional license for at least a year. If word gets out that doctors participate in atrocities like this at their peril, the next doctor will think twice.

    Oh, and I sure hope one of his claims against the doctor was for medical malpractice. That could impact his insurance premiums for the rest of his professiona life.

  68. Trent  •  Jan 20, 2014 @10:57 am

    If there is anything fair and just in this world the Doctor will lose is license to practice medicine forever. He performed unwarranted medical procedures on a patient without consent violating every single medical oath he took.

    When I first read about this I was appalled by the conduct of the police, judge and prosecutor involved BUT I was infuriated by the conduct of the doctors and medical personal involved. They violated their oaths and they should have their licenses revoked as they clearly don't have the professionalism to warrant a medical license.

  69. AlphaCentauri  •  Jan 20, 2014 @12:31 pm

    Oh, and I sure hope one of his claims against the doctor was for medical malpractice. That could impact his insurance premiums for the rest of his professiona life.

    What I was referring to is the fact that he could be sued for claims other than medical malpractice. Malpractice is covered by his insurance up to a certain insured limit, and the premiums are likely paid by his employer. A single claim probably would only affect his premiums for a few years after the claim is paid, and if he has any sense, he will settle out of court quickly to get the clock rolling on that.

    But claims for harms that are not part of medical practice — and physical harm being done without Eckert's consent on orders of the police rather than on the basis of medical necessity would clearly fall under that — he's not covered. His legal fees and any judgment awarded would come out of his pocket. And if he doesn't go to jail, a bankruptcy judge is going to consider a physician capable of paying off such a debt, even if it takes him a very long time.

  70. James Pollock  •  Jan 22, 2014 @8:15 pm

    he therefore put the settlement money in a trust that would pay him a monthly check instead of a lump sum, would he still be liable for taxes on the entire amount up front, or only the distribution?<he therefore put the settlement money in a trust that would pay him a monthly check instead of a lump sum, would he still be liable for taxes on the entire amount up front, or only the distribution?

    Annuities also are not income. It's a nice little give to the insurance industry embedded into the IRC.
    No, I'm not going to quote chapter and verse. Income Tax class was 4 years ago.

  71. c andrew  •  Jan 23, 2014 @12:28 pm

    Alpha Centauri wrote,

    "He is not the friendly policeman I would have wanted my kids to look for when they are lost!"

    Robert Chavez wrote, (with interpolation by your humble servant);

    Parents: please stop telling your children that we will haul them off to jail if they are bad.

    You see, we may want to take them to a hospital and such. You know, to save their lives. By sodomizing them.

    We want them to run to us if they are scared,

    It makes it a lot easier to assault them if they run to us. And being scared? Well that just adds spice!

    Not be scared of us. Thank you.

    'Cuz if they're scared and run away, we might just have to bend them over the first available car hood. Instead of using hospital personnel to do it properly. You know. To save their lives.