|Monserrate Gets A Slap on the Hand from Justice Erlbaum.....Gender Bias Persists in New York State Courts|
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Monserrate Gets A Slap on the Hand from Justice Erlbaum
Gender Bias Persists in New York State Courts
ALBANY, NY (10/16/2009)(readMedia)-- The National Organization for Women-New York State has learned that NY State Supreme Court Justice William Erlbaum from the Bronx, NY found State Senator Hiram Monserrate (D) guilty of a mere misdemeanor for abusing his girlfriend.
Apparently, forty stitches in the victim's face, testimony by hospital employees regarding the victim's statement, and video showing Monserrate dragging the victim down the hall were not enough to convince Justice Erlbaum that Monserrate is an abuser and a violent man who should spend a long time behind bars. Perhaps Erlbaum needs to see the victim dead before evidence of abuse is adequate.
So what message does this send to the women of New York State? Why it boldly declares that clear, documented, dramatic evidence is not enough to convict abusers. And while women in New York continue to fear telling the truth about abuse, abusers walk free. After all, fear of retribution is a the major causes of women not reporting abuse and/or women retracting such reports that are made.
Now Monserrate will retain his prestigious State Senate seat, unless of course, the Democratic leadership finds the courage to oust him for his behavior. So the question now is: will the Democratic leadership turn a blind eye for political expediency, or will they do the right thing? History intimates it is highly unlikely that the Democrats will rid themselves and New York of Senator Monserrate, even though they could hold a special election and easily fill his seat with another Democrat. But they hold a slim margin in the NYS Senate, and even the slightest chance of losing control takes precedent over the safety of women.
NOW New York State calls on the Democratic leadership of New York to do the right thing for women. Do not send yet another message that the lives of New York's women are worthless. Judge Erlbaum has already sent that message. Shame on him! We do expect more from the Democrats.