Redemption And Punishment

Dave · September 16, 2010 at 12:52 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

This will probably be the last thing I write about Josh Lueke for a while, but after receiving a few compelling emails about the subject and having some conversations with people who don’t follow the team or know anything about his situation, I thought it would be worth having a discussion about. Please, keep the comments civil – I know this is a sensitive topic for a lot of folks.

The details surrounding the incident that Lueke was involved with are awful. Here is the original story from his arrest, and then coverage of his no-contest plea. Regardless of what legal terminology is used, it’s pretty obvious that Lueke did something to a girl that should never happen. We weren’t there, and there’s no way any of us can know exactly what happened that night, but there is little doubt that Lueke’s actions that night were despicable, to say the least. There is no justifying what happened, even without knowing all the details.

So, now, the Mariners have a pitcher in the organization that did something awful. A lot of people, when they find out about what happened, want the Mariners to get rid of him, as they don’t want to be faced with the situation of having to root for a guy who has this kind of history. When we did the poll last week on whether you would root for Lueke as a Mariner, 24 percent of those responding said that they would not. For them, his crime outweighs any help he could offer to the team by pitching well. This is a totally understandable point of view.

However, there’s another level that goes beyond not rooting for the kid, and that’s the belief that the Mariners (and presumably, every other Major League organization) should not be willing to employ him. And that’s a position that I don’t think I can get behind. Lueke spent 42 days in jail due to his actions, and has satisfied the legal punishment laid out by the laws of the land. There are no pending charges against him. He has not gotten in any trouble since the incident occurred. By most accounts, he’s remorseful for what happened, and has gone along with all of the requirements set out by the organization since he was acquired, including mandatory counseling.

The argument that the Mariners should cut ties with Lueke is essentially based on a “one strike and you’re out” policy that offers no chance for redemption. Should a 19-year-olds mistake prevent him from pursuing his chosen career after his legally required debt to society has been paid? I don’t think so. As much as it makes my skin crawl when I think about how I would feel if the victim had been my daughter, I also have to consider how I might feel if Lueke was my son.

I’m sure my (eventual) children will not be perfect, and they’ll make some pretty big mistakes. I hope that, when they do, forgiveness and redemption are offered to them, and that they have a chance to make things right. In no way do I want to minimize what Lueke did, but at the same time, I believe that he should be afforded the opportunity to make a living, just like any other person in America who was not in the public spotlight. I can’t support the notion that one night of horrible decision making should be enough to justify the end of Lueke’s career.

He has paid for his crime, and he will continue to in the days to come. It will follow him around for the rest of his life, and deservedly so. But, I don’t believe that punishment should go so far as to nullify a chance at redemption. Lueke deserves another shot to do better. He’s going to have to live on the thinnest of ice, where any future screw-ups will likely spell the end of his career, but he should get the chance to do so.

I will feel certainly feel conflicted every time he puts on a Mariner uniform. My feelings, however, should not negate his right to pitch in the big leagues.

Comments

180 Responses to “Redemption And Punishment”

  1. robbbbbb on September 16th, 2010 12:59 pm

    Amen. Preach to me, brother.

    The biggest thing Lueke’s got going for him is that he’s admitted his mistake and taken his lumps. You’ve got to give the kid some credit for that. He screwed up. He’s taken his punishment.

    You don’t get a chance at redemption unless you’re willing to take the punishment to get there. Lueke’s taken his punishment and has (by all accounts) reformed.

    I’ll be cheering for him when he steps to the mound in a Mariner uniform. I’ll be cheering for him more if he goes out and does talks to other young people about the perils of (a) getting way too drunk, and (b) bringing home a girl who’s way too drunk.

  2. lubin_cuban23 on September 16th, 2010 1:00 pm

    Agreed

  3. The_Waco_Kid on September 16th, 2010 1:15 pm

    Good post. I hope everyone feels conflicted when he puts on the uniform, but should MLB really come together and tell him he can never play? I think he deserves a chance at redemption. You don’t have to like him. Maybe he’ll be your least favorite player, but let’s focus on how he behaves in the future.

  4. LB on September 16th, 2010 1:19 pm

    That all sounds good.

    Now all the M’s ought to do is take down the “Refuse to Abuse” sign in right field and replace it with “Refuse to Abuse unless you have MLB talent.”

    Refuse to Be Hypocrital.

  5. lalo on September 16th, 2010 1:20 pm

    I couldn´t agree more, his mistakes were awful, but you can´t screw up the life of a guy for a terrible mistake in the past, he admitted his error and that´s all of he can make at this point

  6. spankystout on September 16th, 2010 1:21 pm

    Nicely put Dave.

    I voted that I won’t root for Lueke. And I never, ever will. But I will also not protest, or encourage people to boycott/protest the M’s for employing a convict, who has been released, and hasn’t reoffended. We would all be unemployed, or in jail, if we only had one chance.

  7. Rusty on September 16th, 2010 1:22 pm

    On a recent Fangraphs piece, the author brought up Ron LeFlore. LeFlore was actually in prison when Billy Martin first met him. Once he was out of prison, the Tigers signed him and he had a successful major league career during the 1980′s despite starting it so late in his life. I remember, at the time, that there were many who rooted against LeFlore for his previous criminal actions. But I always thought the story of redemption associated with LeFlore was one that everyone should be able to appreciate.

    In a world where some athletes receive many chances across long careers, I believe in this situation that Josh Lueke deserves this 2nd chance.

  8. putnamp on September 16th, 2010 1:24 pm

    I am a strong supporter of redemption and chances and such. I believe Lueke should have a chance to become a better person for it. I hope his victim finds some peace in all of this.

    With that said, when I saw that he entered a no contest plea, and that he did time in jail, I thought, “Oh, the justice system worked, he is repentant, and that is a good sign.” But let’s be clear. By every reasonable piece of evidence, he raped and degraded that woman, and he did.. 40 days in jail. Because of a plea agreement that took two serious charges of rape off the table. 40 days in jail for rape is not what I would call justice.

    The conclusion I look to draw from this is not that he should have his chance at redemption revoked, but that justice was not really done. When you sit down to analyze how you feel about him, and take stock and reflect on how conflicted you feel when he puts on the uniform, you should be careful about saying he’s “taken his lumps”.

  9. spankystout on September 16th, 2010 1:25 pm

    Since when did ‘refuse to abuse’ turn into ‘refuse to forgive’?

  10. Jake Squid on September 16th, 2010 1:30 pm

    I’m not sure whether Lueke deserves a chance or not. There are several reasons for that.

    1) Rape is a violent crime. I have never rooted for anybody who I’ve known to be a violent criminal.

    2) While there are a lot of men who only get caught once, there are very few men who commit rape only once.

    3) This is something on which opinion is likely to be strongly divided by gender. The reason for that division carries weight in my consideration of the issue.

    4) I think classifying rape as a youthful mistake is misguided. Never once have I considered having sex with an unconscious person. That is so far outside of the way I think that it never even occurred to me. Making that choice is more than just a mistake.

    5) There is a very real possibility that the victim is a baseball fan. Why should Lueke’s right to make a career in professional baseball trump the victim’s right to not be exposed to the success of her rapist? When I weigh these two things, I have to be on the side of the victim. Lueke can have a successful career in another profession without ruining his life so I won’t feel sorry for him if his baseball career ends.

    While its certainly possible that he will become a decent human being deserving of forgiveness I see no reason to treat him now as if he weren’t a rapist.

  11. moocow on September 16th, 2010 1:35 pm

    Keep in mind that the prosecutor had to agree to reduce the charges against Lueke, and prosecutors don’t get in the habit of letting someone off easy just because they’re feeling generous. The fact that they offered a plea bargain leads me to believe there were extenuating circumstances, contradictory evidence, or something to that effect. If they had enough hard evidence that a rape had occurred we wouldn’t be having this discussion, because Lueke would still be in jail now.

  12. Breadbaker on September 16th, 2010 1:37 pm

    Why should Lueke’s right to make a career in professional baseball trump the victim’s right to not be exposed to the success of her rapist?

    I really don’t understand what you’re saying here. What right is that? Does Roman Polanski’s victim have the right not to have his films shown anywhere she might possibly walk past a marquee?

  13. harry on September 16th, 2010 1:37 pm

    “The biggest thing Lueke’s got going for him is that he’s admitted his mistake and taken his lumps.”

    He’s taken some lumps. In my opinion, not enough, but I’m the father of three girls, so I recognize my bias pretty readily. Even still, 40 days in jail for what he did was incredibly light.

    But what interests me is how far am I willing to allow him to rise above his past, and I realize that I don’t have an infinite ceiling on that. The one thing that Dave didn’t touch on is how much reward a baseball player can see, when permitted to ply his trade, versus how much an ordinary person can see, when working an ordinary job. The question, to me, is not, “Should be have the right to be employed?” because I think the answer there is trivially yes. But if the question is, “Should he have the right to a job where he can earn millions and millions of dollars while being lionized by the public, or should that access be denied him?” That’s a more interesting question, and I think I come down on the no side, there.

    Because, essentially, that’s a result where the punishment he has endured doesn’t really register. If he makes a major-league roster and saves 65 games in a season, there will be a lot of folks who get all, “Roman Polanski is an OK guy, and it was so long ago anyway, why stir things up?” with him, which I think is wrong. I don’t think he should have access to that future.

    I recognize that people of good will can disagree with me, and that’s completely fine: not trying to start an argument. But I do think that, rarely for Dave, an improper dichotomy was set up here that leads to I think an overly-generous answer in favor of Lueke.

  14. TomG on September 16th, 2010 1:39 pm

    As one of the twenty-four percenters, I could never root for Lueke given the sheer terribleness of his crimes. I won’t actively root against him, especially in the context of his success with the Mariners, but I could never derive any satisfaction with his success on a personal level.

    Very few people truly deserve second chances; Lueke should be incredibly grateful for his opportunity at a second chance in baseball. While I don’t feel he is entitled to the opportunity to pursue his career as a baseball player – athletes, after all, are high-profile professionals and that entails a high level of personal responsibility and goodwill – but he is entitled to another chance at employment. I just hope it’s somewhere other than Seattle and in some profession lower-profile than professional sports.

  15. Chris_From_Bothell on September 16th, 2010 1:40 pm

    As much as it makes my skin crawl when I think about how I would feel if the victim had been my daughter, I also have to consider how I might feel if Lueke was my son.

    I will feel certainly feel conflicted every time he puts on a Mariner uniform. My feelings, however, should not negate his right to pitch in the big leagues.

    These are excellent points and positions, ones I can respect.

    Nevertheless, my own hope is that he proves he is talented enough to become part of a trade.

    The Ms have multiple concerns on their roster, and theoretically relievers (even talented ones) are straightforward to find or develop. It lets him earn a living somewhere else. It brings back (hopefully) some other position player we need. It gets rid of a potential distraction here. It tries to get back to restoring some credibility to the Refuse to Abuse program.

    And no, admittedly, I don’t know how much of a fiasco this is outside of the Northwest, so I don’t know if Lueke would be hard to trade, would not bring back much value, and/or have this same baggage anywhere else he goes.

    If one believes he should be able to pitch in the majors and earn a living, resume his life after doing a crime and doing its time, I can support that. But I personally don’t want to see him as a Mariner.

    Not to the point that I’ll be boycotting games solely because of this, or going to games with a “I just can’t get behind Lueke” sign. But pretty close.

  16. putnamp on September 16th, 2010 1:41 pm

    If you’re going to start surmising over the procedure of the trial, I would point out that it’s very common to see rape victims who don’t want to testify in the trial, because *they* end up being the one on trial as their character, perceived promiscuity, and whether or not they were “asking for it” all come into question. Even though they’re entirely irrelevant. The prosecutor may have been respecting the wishes of the victim to just get it over with, and I would wager that’s a far more likely case than that there was some major lack of evidence despite the rape kit.

    What you’re suggesting is possible, but so are a lot of things. What’s probable, however, is not that thing.

  17. ivan on September 16th, 2010 1:42 pm

    There’s a better precedent than LeFlore. Jim Rivera did four years in a military prison for attempted rape, turned pro at age 26, and came to the majors in 1952, at age 29, with the St. Louis Browns, Traded to the White Sox in 1953, he became a regular, got out of ANOTHER rape charge, and played his career with no further recorded incident.

    Rivera tells his story in a 1983 video here:

    http://mediaburn.org/Video-Priview.128.0.html?uid=1408

  18. MEC on September 16th, 2010 1:43 pm

    We all have our own internal ideas of what “justice” means. That’s a given, and no one can change that.

    That’s why we have laws: so we can agree, as a nation/state/city, on a way to deliver “justice” that works both with our sensibilities and the principles our country was founded upon (i.e., Constitution and Bill of Rights).

    By the measure of our laws, Lueke has been punished for his crimes. By measure of our nation’s principles, we can’t assume ongoing guilt unless/until proven.

    Let me give you MY sense of what “justice” means to me: Lueke served his time for his offense. As an American he deserves the chance to show he’s “rehabilitated.”

    I have much deeper problems with someone like Brett Myers, who was caught dead to rights but avoided having to serve any kind of punishment. Yet clubs seem to have zero problem hiring him. So why should someone who actually was prosecuted and sentenced and served their time be treated worse?

  19. Jake Squid on September 16th, 2010 1:44 pm

    Breadbaker,

    Exactly. The right of the victim not to be exposed to the success of her rapist is as much a right as Lueke has to make a career as a professional baseball player.

    And, yes, Polanski’s victim has as much a right to not see his success as he has a right to have his movies financed and distributed.

    “Right” isn’t the correct word in a legal or constitutional respect for any of these options, but it’s the best option I could come up with for being understood.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is that there is no right for Lueke to make a living as a professional athlete. If nobody wants to hire him, his rights have not been violated.

    ETA: I suppose that I’m using “right” in a moral sense rather than a legal one.

  20. wtnuke on September 16th, 2010 1:48 pm

    Aren’t there other abusive players who have careers in professional sports?

    I’m not saying what the guy did was right – far from it. But I don’t see why this particular crime means he should be kicked out of baseball forever. Is it because sexual offenses are just too personal a violation for us? What about DWI, which to me is essentially the same as attempted manslaughter?

    You can want him to be shunned his whole life, but that’s not the country we live in either. Nor is that a particularly Christian mentality to take. I don’t know that I’ll be his best friend, but he’s paid the debt that society laid out for him, expressed his regrets and is trying to move on. I think we who weren’t a part of the situation really need to do the same.

  21. Rev. Bruce on September 16th, 2010 1:50 pm

    First, I voted that I would not root for him. However, I can’t say with any honesty that should he be pitching in a big game in an important situation that I would be rooting against him either.
    Dave, I want to say that I especially appreciated the approach of looking upon this situation as if the victim was a daughter or the perpetrator was a son of yours. Obviously, we want to protect the victim and to do our best to help her heal. It seems to me that we also hope that the perpetrator never commits such a horrible act again and that he would help others to avoid making the same horrible mistake.
    I believe that by responding with this sort of care we can provide the greatest hope for healing.

  22. BLYKMYK44 on September 16th, 2010 1:50 pm

    In a society where people can root for Dante Stallworth and Leonard Little…I don’t consider Lueke the litmus test of where professional athletes deserve a second chance.

  23. Big Leagues on September 16th, 2010 1:53 pm

    The responses to this are very interesting. If the Mariners or any other employer wants to employ a rapist it is their right, it is America. It is a joke that he only got 42 days for rape. Having tried many sexual assault cases I would guess the victim did not want to testify and be drug through the mud for her behavior so the DA went with the path of least resistence otherwise he would still be in jail.

    The fact that any human being would rape and unconsicous woman is deplorable. It is despictable and a person who can do such a horrible act is a horrible human being. He raped and sodomized and innocent victim. He is disgusting and if it was my daughter he wouldn’t be around to pitch.

    Maybe he is haunted by his actions and maybe he will repent for the rest of his life (I doubt that by the way, I bet the jackass only is remorseful because he got caught, if he got away with it he would be still telling his buddies about it) But if he does spend his life trying to improve himself and does then that’s good for him, but it’s only what he is required to do if he is actually a normal human being. (of course the victim will probably be in therapy for the rest fo her life).

    Those who are so quick to act as if this is some “juvenile mistake” can you ask yourself at what point while positioning an unconscious woman (who could be in serious trouble from alcohol poisoning) do you think to yourself this is great molesting a girl like this when she can’t do anything, fantastic, let me see if she wakes up when I sodomize her. If you think that when you are 12 you are a monster, when you are 16 you a monster, 20 a monster. How could that thought ever be something a normal person could say is a “mistake” It is a complete psychopathic thought.

    How quick is the plug when he does something else?

  24. Dave Spiwak on September 16th, 2010 1:55 pm

    The only difference between Lueke and Kobe Bryant is that Kobe had money for payoffs and attorneys. If we’re gonna boot Lueke, what about Leroy Hill, Freddy Montero, etc. etc. I recall Rueben Patterson maintained employment despite being a serial rapist. Let’s be conistent, one way or the other.

  25. jjenson on September 16th, 2010 1:55 pm

    So I asked a bunch of different women including my wife if they were raped would they ever drop the charges for a plea deal. They all came back with 1 answer NO.

    This is what leads me to believe they both mad some horrible choices but that I am still not 100% sold based on what I have read that either really remember what even happened that night. I think they both got wasted and it was a blank spot from there.

    The plea deal was set up and that the woman accepted it. Which means he is allowed to pursue any form of life he wants to.

    The Mariners as a upstanding organization and should follow the laws of the land and help this kid grow up and be a great service to the community. If they turn their back on anyone who has made a mistake we should cut it a 1 strike and your out deal if you are criminally charged with anything you are out for good. Cause anyone who has paid their debt should either get a chance or not no matter what they paid their time for.

    Again Lueke may very well of raped her but at the same time with all the facts that are out there the woman could very well have said yes to sex and not remember it. None of us knows exactly what happened I really don’t think either of them completely remember either. There is no way to say justice was served or not.

    I have had a sister of mine sexually abused horrible bad and watched it ruin a good chunk of her life. I have never done anything against the law and so I am not trying to defend actions just trying to be a voice of reason that in the end we really have no idea what happened.

  26. harry on September 16th, 2010 1:56 pm

    “Aren’t there other abusive players who have careers in professional sports?”

    Yep, and I’m not fond of them, either. And it leads to folks being fans of Kirby Puckett and Kobe Bryant and being willing to extend to them a benefit of the doubt that normal people do not enjoy.

    I’m against famous people being treated differently in the eyes of the law than normal people, and am dismayed when normal people are fine with that (fine with the different treatment, not me being against it).

  27. the tourist on September 16th, 2010 2:00 pm

    The Roman Polanski/Josh Lueke comps are ridiculous. Also, I have an honest question: is it considered rape if two people are completely trashed-drunk (both the girl AND the guy) and have consensual sex?

  28. wtnuke on September 16th, 2010 2:00 pm

    “(I doubt that by the way, I bet the jackass only is remorseful because he got caught, if he got away with it he would be still telling his buddies about it)”

    Sounds like speculation to me. Gotta love that stereotype. It’s easy to demonize someone you’ve never met.

  29. MarcS on September 16th, 2010 2:04 pm

    Agree with Jake the Squid – framing the question as whether or not Lueke has a right to pitch in the big leagues is bizarre. Legally, he does, but baseball isn’t obligated to give him a shot. Teams can set whatever standards they want for hiring players, and I believe they have a moral obligation to avoid appearing indifferent to date rape.

    And where exactly is the “redemption” in all of this? Jail time is simply a crime deterrent. It doesn’t come close to making things right or repaying a criminal’s debt to society – just ask any crime victim. Lueke could redeem himself if he went on to use his career and life to decrease the change that someone else would fall victim to a similar crime – if actively sought to raise awareness of date rape and make us all think twice before framing his mistake as “bringing home a girl who’s way too drunk.”

  30. bilbo27 on September 16th, 2010 2:05 pm

    I was under the impression the reason he wasn’t in jail for rape was that there lacked evidence that it was actually rape, namely that the girl actually told them no, rather than that she just couldn’t remember because she was very drunk.

    From the story, it sounds like she went back to their place willingly and her actions observed by witnesses at the bar indicated she was probably quite willing for other things. Lueke of course said it was consensual (but he would say that no matter what, so who knows). As the criminal case drug on, the woman eventually agreed to allow a plea deal, which Lueke then took.

    Now of course, she has a right to say no at any time and if she’s passed out drunk, which sounds like might have been the case, then Lueke and his friends’ actions were despicable and more than a little idiotic, even taking into account they too were also probably drunk. But if the evidence pointed to that, it seems odd that a plea deal would have been offered. At least, in my book, admitting to rape should get you a heck of a lot more jail time than 42 days and I’m a little disturbed that if he did do that, that he didn’t have to serve a lot more time. Although, it was the woman herself who agreed to allow the plea deal rather than seek a full conviction, so perhaps she’s the forgiving sort.

    Whatever the case may be, I agree that if the law of the land says he served his punishment and the woman herself was OK with the plea deal, then he deserves a second chance. From what I’ve read, he’s shaped up pretty well since then and probably now goes out of his way to not do anything stupid, which means, in that respect, he’ll be an asset to the Mariners going forward. Though the media frenzy upon his debut is going to be intense and, I’m sure when it happens, he’d rather have another 42 days in jail.

  31. spankystout on September 16th, 2010 2:07 pm

    WOW, just WOW…..I hope Jake Squid is never in a position to make decisions.

    “Exactly. The right of the victim not to be exposed to the success of her rapist is as much a right as Lueke has to make a career as a professional baseball player.

    And, yes, Polanski’s victim has as much a right to not see his success as he has a right to have his movies financed and distributed.”

  32. wtnuke on September 16th, 2010 2:08 pm

    I’m against famous people being treated differently in the eyes of the law than normal people

    I don’t think Lueke was treated differently in this case at all. He certainly wasn’t famous when this happened, and he’s not really famous now either.

    And it leads to folks being fans of Kirby Puckett and Kobe Bryant and being willing to extend to them a benefit of the doubt that normal people do not enjoy.

    Ultimately, celebrities aren’t really “normal” at all, especially when they commit crimes. If you committed a crime, chances are I’d never hear about it regardless of how heinous the crime may be. “Normal” people have the benefit of anonymity when it comes to reconciliation – i.e. they can move somewhere else and not be judged solely on that one act. I don’t like rape, but I might like rapists if I don’t know about their crime.

    Good people sometimes do horrible things, but there’s always a chance to reconcile and move on. Unless, of course, everyone knows who you are.

  33. Rick L on September 16th, 2010 2:08 pm

    Very good points, Dave. It is, as the other comments show, a complex situation. Before he comes up to the bigs, I think he should publicly state his remorse and the GM should say he accepts that and that we need to move on.

  34. dnc on September 16th, 2010 2:13 pm

    I’m against famous people being treated differently in the eyes of the law than normal people

    So you think Lueke got off easy because he was an A Ball relief pitcher who was nowhere to be found on anyone’s prospect lists?

    Come on.

    Lueke got treated EXACTLY like a normal person. You’re the one advocating treating him differently because he’s a baseball player. Just because his chosen profession happens to be high profile or well paid doesn’t mean he should have any less right to pursue it than any “normal person” who has satisfied the law’s requirements of them.

  35. dnc on September 16th, 2010 2:17 pm

    WOW, just WOW…..I hope Jake Squid is never in a position to make decisions.

    +1. You cannot possibly take his argument to it’s logical conclusion with any level of credibility.

  36. JH on September 16th, 2010 2:17 pm

    So I asked a bunch of different women including my wife if they were raped would they ever drop the charges for a plea deal. They all came back with 1 answer NO.

    I’m sorry, but if they haven’t been there it’s a lot easier to say that. A friend of mine who was raped by someone we both knew agonized over the decision of whether or not to press charges and though I encouraged her to do so, she ultimately decided against it. It is a horrible ordeal, and until you’re actually faced with the prospect of spending days to weeks in a courtroom not only testifying against your attacker but also defending every consensual sexual encounter you’ve ever had in the hopes of convincing the jury that you actually meant “no,” uninformed speculation about what you would do is not worth much of anything. It was very easy for me to believe she was making the wrong decision, but I absolutely understand why she did it.

    Trials are awful, and the bar for proof of rape is very, very high. In this case since the victim admitted to unconsciousness and Lueke testified that the sex was consensual, a stronger conviction may have been difficult to achieve. If she agreed with the prosecution’s decision to accept the plea, not one person here can fault her for that decision. I guarantee you she did not make it lightly. If the decision was made without her, well then that’s really a shame.

    Either way, I am similarly conflicted about Lueke suiting up for the Mariners. The range of possibilities based on what we know portray him as anywhere from awful human being to outright monster. It’s tough to get behind that.

  37. wtnuke on September 16th, 2010 2:18 pm

    Sorry to over-comment, just one other point.

    The concept of the Mariners as a “moral organization” is a little bizarre to me. They’re a business organization, which typically means they’re primary concern is money. The way they do that is by fielding a talented team to draw in fans. Secondarily they’ll try to connect with people and make baseball a family experience and convince people that they’re “a good bunch of guys.” But in reality, they’re a bunch of private contractors coming together to put a product on the field for an entertainment company.

    So what can you do if you disagree with them hiring someone with Lueke’s background? Don’t patronize the business. Don’t buy their stuff. And if enough customers do that, the cost of keeping him will outweigh the benefit, and they’ll dump him. If they can field him and still get your money then count on that happening.

    It’s a business calculation for this club, not a moral one. I think they knew about his past and maybe gambled to see if nobody would notice. To keep their “moral appeal” they claim to have known nothing.

  38. Nayners on September 16th, 2010 2:23 pm

    Great piece Dave. Couldn’t have said it better myself. I agree with you 100%.

    I think that the Mariners *may* have made a mistake in aquiring him in the first place, how they did. But now that they have him, they would be better served to give him his shot at the big leagues.

    Your right though, he’s got to toe the line for sure.

    I also agree, before he gets called up, he should address the Seattle media regarding his past, then move forward from there.

  39. Shanfan on September 16th, 2010 2:24 pm

    Luecke has been punished further – he was traded to the Mariners.

  40. spankystout on September 16th, 2010 2:26 pm

    DNC

    Sometimes I can’t ignore the inane.

  41. chimera on September 16th, 2010 2:31 pm

    Dave: I absolutely agree.

    Beyond that, what she did was bad (seeking, puking and passing out), and what he did was worse (taking advantage of her). It leaves a really bad taste, however he did serve his time.

    In the future, I’d say it’s one tiny little strike and you’re out if he EVER does anything else even near appalling as that again.

  42. Nate on September 16th, 2010 2:34 pm

    So there’s a good chance the Texas judicial system didn’t really provide justice, at least according to most of our gut-reaction standards. But does the Mariner organization really in a position to make a better determination of what would constitute justice in this case? I don’t mean just that the Mariners organization is a business, so they should concern themselves with moral questions. I think lots of businesses have done horrible things because people in the organization stopped looking
    at the ethical implications of what they were doing.

    But are the Mariners really equipped to make a determination of what would really constitute “justice” in this case? Isn’t that what judicial systems are for? And unless there’s some evidence that there was gross misconduct or corruption in this case, I don’t know if the M’s should play judge and jury. Sure, we all like the movies about the renegade vigilante out to get the bad guys when the system failed and was corrupt, but is it really a good idea for a baseball organization to try to investigate and correct mistakes made by the Texas courts?

  43. JH on September 16th, 2010 2:40 pm

    Luecke has been punished further – he was traded to the Mariners.

    Can we try to keep rape-related jokes to an absolute minimum? Actually, strike that, just skip the joking altogether.

    Rape isn’t funny. Nothing surrounding rape is funny.

  44. smb on September 16th, 2010 2:41 pm

    I’ll bet if we could remove the shroud and see the real tally of men in pro baseball who have done this same thing, something similar, or something worse and actually got away with it, most of you would never watch baseball again. For every one that gets caught, there’s probably nine that didn’t. As far as personal and moral judgments, I’ll leave them to God and the courts…I wish more people would do the same.

  45. dnc on September 16th, 2010 2:43 pm

    So there’s a good chance the Texas judicial system didn’t really provide justice, at least according to most of our gut-reaction standards.

    I believe it was the California judicial system.

  46. Typical Idiot Fan on September 16th, 2010 2:48 pm

    “If the Court of Public Opinion went to trial, it would lose the case every time.”

    I don’t know who said that, but I’m glad it’s true.

  47. zeebfan on September 16th, 2010 2:58 pm

    I think most of our commenters are forgetting that rape is not a crime of passion; it is a crime of violence. It arises not from a desire for sex but from a desire to dominate, hurt and humiliate.

    Some commenters, in their very logical analyses, also seem to be forgetting that not only women can be raped. How sure are you that if you were forcibly sodomized by someone bigger and stronger than you that you would be willing to go to trial? I’m guessing it would be an extremely difficult decision for most men- and women are a lot like men in that area.

    Violence against women is a huge problem in our society. From what I remember about school, the guys who were athletes got into more than their share of trouble involving possibly non-consensual sex. They definitely had ideas that they were extra-specially entitled.

    Teach your sons to respect women and that “No means No” and you won’t be in Leucke’s parents’ position. They have to love him. I sure don’t.

  48. IdahoFan on September 16th, 2010 3:12 pm

    If what’s happened to him so far isn’t enough (and I’m not arguing that it is), what would Josh Lueke have to do to receive redemption?

    Perhaps for some actions, there is nothing one can do to ever receive redemption.

  49. Shanfan on September 16th, 2010 3:14 pm

    JH,

    I was not joking. Luecke was an employee of the Texas Rangers organization. They washed their hands of him. Not to revisit other threads about how he wound up here, but he’s now been messily wiped like a booger onto a seemingly dysfunctional organization. That’s how teams used to take care of a problem player, trade him to one of the bad clubs. His infamy is growing. A good percentage of his new team’s fan base want to run him out of town or the game altogether. We’re all wringing our hands over him. The point I was trying to make was that his “baseball punishment” has already begun. Whether he sticks here or anywhere will depend on his performance because that is sports in America, but the best possible outcome for Luecke would’ve been a quiet promotion up to the Rangers at some point, their organization and fan base would’ve been the only ones readily aware of his past.

  50. spankystout on September 16th, 2010 3:19 pm

    Zeebfan

    Catholic priests did a lot crime with ‘no desire for sex.’

    Blanket rules are nice and cozy. The problem is they don’t apply to everyone, in every case.

  51. gloo on September 16th, 2010 3:29 pm

    I believe in 2nd chances. However, I also believe that the organization should be able to choose whether or not to grant a 2nd chance to an individual based on the severity of the crime.
    Raping a defenseless woman in my opinion is severe enough to justify my belief that the team I root for will make the decision to not allow that player to be a part of the organization.

    I do believe in quality of character being an asset to an organization, and hope that the M’s will get rid of Lueke.

    He can have a 2nd chance in life, but not as a Major league player in a M’s uniform.

  52. Robo Ape on September 16th, 2010 3:31 pm

    Really good comments on this thread, and a great write-up Dave.

    I have personally gone back and forth on this several times, and here is what I have ultimately come to, which I offer as a direct response to some other comments, though I won’t go so far as to quote them and say they are wrong:

    While I hate the idea of cheering for a man who could have committed such acts, and while I like to think I’d have the ethical fortitude to NEVER cheer for someone who was convicted as such, Lueke was never convicted of rape. In fact, he was never convicted of anything. He plead no contest to a lesser charge, and while that charge implies violence against a woman, and while a no contest charge is treated essentially as guilt (from a punishment stance), it is not the equivalent of a guilty verdict. In essence, despite the charges brought and the plea accepted, Josh Lueke was never convicted of anything.

    Now, while personally I believe he probably did something despicable, as a participant in American society I believe I have a duty to adhere as best I can to innocence until proven guilty.

    Of course, I am aware of how convenient that works for me as a Mariners fan, and I understand that a lot people could easily take a similar stance (for the wrong reasons) purely because they want to pretend it never happened. However, I truly, honestly, believe that it is a responsibility of the members of our society to hold citizens innocent until proven guilty. As there never was a conviction, and I do not have all the facts, I will give this young man the benefit of the [massive] doubt.

  53. terry on September 16th, 2010 3:32 pm

    Exactly. The right of the victim not to be exposed to the success of her rapist is as much a right as Lueke has to make a career as a professional baseball player.

    Technically that is NOT a right the victim can claim. Presumably she could still still have a voice in civil court if she so desired.

    Also presumably the plea deal took the victim’s wishes concerning what would best allow her to cope with and overcome the crime into account.

  54. hub on September 16th, 2010 3:33 pm

    There’s a lot of folks 10x smarter than I. I’ll let them state their thoughtful opinion on Mr. Lueke’s life. Yet as a baseball fan who is interested in baseball, I’ll just stick with the baseball side of it. And thats this: I sure do like watching Josh hurl that baseball.

  55. Jon on September 16th, 2010 3:38 pm

    Two reasons to boo Luecke

    1. His prior bad acts.

    2. The M’s hypocrisy or incompetence (or both) in acquiring him, which was later compounded by disingenuous denials.

    I might boo for the second reason, which will likely be interpreted as booing for the first reason. That’s too bad, because the M’s should not be let off the hook for this fiasco.

    Oh, and just because I might agree that Luecke should be afforded a second chance, it does not mean that I believe the M’s should be the ones giving it to him.

  56. dekdek on September 16th, 2010 3:47 pm

    Luecke plead no contest to “false imprisonment with violence”. That was the crime and not anything else. That is a fact. I think a lot of judgments are being made without consideration of this fact.

  57. littlelinny6 on September 16th, 2010 3:48 pm

    Either you believe in rehabilitation that jail is supposed to afford or you don’t. The guy made a horrible decision but you cannot continually punish a guy years later. The alternative is he should be jailed indefinitely which is not what our legal system has decided. Root for him because he’s going to be a good pitcher for the M’s and by all accounts has been a model citizen since this incident.

  58. Faceplant on September 16th, 2010 4:00 pm

    While its certainly possible that he will become a decent human being deserving of forgiveness I see no reason to treat him now as if he weren’t a rapist.

    Except for the fact that he was never convicted of rape.

  59. diderot on September 16th, 2010 4:03 pm

    Oh, and just because I might agree that Luecke should be afforded a second chance, it does not mean that I believe the M’s should be the ones giving it to him.

    This is the position I can’t understand.

    It seems like there are three separate issues here:
    1) I could or could not cheer for him. Certainly a matter of personal choice.
    2) You think he deserves a chance to pitch…but that doesn’t mean you’ll cheer for him. Again, a personal decision.
    3) You think he deserves a chance…but only for someone else.

    Why is that third position viable? Just because you wouldn’t have to think about it anymore?

  60. putnamp on September 16th, 2010 4:07 pm

    I think if you really want to have this discussion you have to decouple the legal argument from the ethical one. The legal standing is pretty clear. Luecke did his time, cannot be tried or punished again for the crime he committed, has accepted guilt, and that is it. The Mariners, and anyone else, can employ him at their will. There are a few complexities and fine details, I’m sure he has to register as a sex offender where such laws are applicable, but ultimately there isn’t much to discuss here, legally.

    So if you want to discuss the rights and wrongs here, it has to be on an ethical front. That’s where the questions lie. The legal questions were answered a long time ago when the laws were written.

    Also, please be careful about assuming that the prosecutor struck a plea deal because there wasn’t evidence, or whatever else. Trying your rapist in court is an extremely traumatic experience, and this is for someone who’s already suffered the trauma of rape. Making assumptions on behalf of the quality of evidence does a huge disservice to the likely trauma the victim was going through and the prosecutors’ potential sensitivity to that trauma. If you don’t know your best bet is to not make conjectures as to why a plea deal was struck.

  61. putnamp on September 16th, 2010 4:09 pm

    Also I donno what kind of blinders you have to put on to assume that because he wasn’t found guilty of rape that he isn’t a rapist. Unless you operate under some sort of bizarre absolute legalist moral structure, his legal status is irrelevant to his moral status.

  62. Faceplant on September 16th, 2010 4:15 pm

    Also, please be careful about assuming that the prosecutor struck a plea deal because there wasn’t evidence, or whatever else. Trying your rapist in court is an extremely traumatic experience, and this is for someone who’s already suffered the trauma of rape.

    I agree that people shouldn’t just assume anything. I do find it a little silly, though, that while you are cautioning people against assuming that Lueke didn’t commit rape, you are yourself making the assumption that he did.

  63. JH on September 16th, 2010 4:16 pm

    Luecke plead no contest to “false imprisonment with violence”. That was the crime and not anything else. That is a fact. I think a lot of judgments are being made without consideration of this fact.

    The kindest possible interpretation of events (i.e., the one Josh Lueke himself said in his defense) was that he had “consensual sex” with a girl who was barely conscious and therefore in absolutely no condition to consent to anything.

    We don’t know exactly what happened, but even in the most charitable interpretation of these events, Josh Leuke did something beyond despicable.

  64. Faceplant on September 16th, 2010 4:21 pm

    The kindest possible interpretation of events (i.e., the one Josh Lueke himself said in his defense) was that he had “consensual sex” with a girl who was barely conscious and therefore in absolutely no condition to consent to anything.

    How does anyone know that that is actually what happened. She doesn’t remember having sex at all. That doesn’t necessarily mean she was barely conscious.

  65. KDawg on September 16th, 2010 4:21 pm

    [let's not blame the crime victim]

  66. Mike Snow on September 16th, 2010 4:21 pm

    Lueke was never convicted of rape. In fact, he was never convicted of anything. He plead no contest to a lesser charge

    The first sentence here is correct, but the second is not. Pleading no contest is a conviction. To a lesser charge, yes, so I think some of the rhetoric about rape clouds the issue, but even the lesser charge here is still a very serious thing as far as the treatment of women is concerned.

  67. Robo Ape on September 16th, 2010 4:23 pm

    Also, please be careful about assuming that the prosecutor struck a plea deal because there wasn’t evidence, or whatever else. Trying your rapist in court is an extremely traumatic experience, and this is for someone who’s already suffered the trauma of rape. Making assumptions on behalf of the quality of evidence does a huge disservice to the likely trauma the victim was going through and the prosecutors’ potential sensitivity to that trauma. If you don’t know your best bet is to not make conjectures as to why a plea deal was struck.

    Excellent points, of course, but this reads to me like you are assuming his guilt until you see evidence of his innocence. I wholeheartedly agree with your last statement “If you don’t know your best bet is to not make conjectures as to why a plea deal was struck” but it seems that this a two-way street, is it not?

  68. Slippery Elmer on September 16th, 2010 4:24 pm

    Lots of interesting and thought provoking comments in this thread.

    As a Christian I can’t hate Lueke. He’s apparently expressed remorse for his actions and vowed to never repeat them. That and his serving jail time is good enough for me to accept him as a human being who made a mistake and is trying to make up for it. He’s welcome to pitch for my team as long as he continues to live by society’s rules of morality.

    However, that does not mean I will necessarily root for him. To me, his situation is fairly similar to that of Jerramy Stevens. When Stevens was on the Seahawks I continued to root for the team, but did not root for (or against) Stevens. Stevens was a non-factor in my fanhood. That said, Lueke could actually turn my indifference toward him into fanhood, if he were to — to the M’s fans — admit his mistake and publicly work to raise awareness of date rape and similar issues. I would respect that, and he would gain a fan in me.

  69. Dave in Palo Alto on September 16th, 2010 4:24 pm

    I tend to agree with my fellow parents of daughters. Luecke gives me the creeps. What’s interesting here is the echo of very similar points of view about Ben Christensen, who destroyed another player’s future without really affecting his prospects in the game (injuries took care of that). I disagreed with the “paid his price/let’s move on” side then as now.

    Major League Baseball is entertainment. Rapists don’t entertain me.

  70. hapa_lite on September 16th, 2010 4:26 pm

    I do believe in second chances. I do believe that any person that commits such a crime deserves the opportunity to rehabilitate themselves and become a contributing member of society. I don’t believe however, that this opportunity should be handed to them. Just like I wouldn’t vote for a politician that has committed this crime I will not support this player to represent my team and my city.

    He deserves the right to lead a “normal” life and sufficed to say professional baseball like any high profile profession wouldn’t be construed as “normal”.

    I can’t pretend to control what other teams, in other leagues, in other sports do in designing their best rosters but if I feel like I could have any impact on the make-up of the team I choose to root for, then I wouldn’t promote someone of Mr. Leuke’s character. He certainly has the “right” to play but like any employer the Mariners have the “right” to refuse.

  71. LB on September 16th, 2010 4:41 pm

    > Since when did ‘refuse to abuse’ turn into ‘refuse to forgive’?

    Gosh, where was the forgiveness for Julio Mateo? Oh right, he sucked when he got between the lines. Pitchers only deserve forgiveness if they can keep their xFIP below 5.00.

  72. spankystout on September 16th, 2010 4:58 pm

    LB

    Mateo was a Mariner when he committed his crime. Lueke was in the Ranger
    organization, he was arrested, and jailed.

    Should we re-punish people because it is new news to you?

  73. IwearMsHats on September 16th, 2010 5:00 pm

    Gosh, where was the forgiveness for Julio Mateo? Oh right, he sucked when he got between the lines. Pitchers only deserve forgiveness if they can keep their xFIP below 5.00.

    Dumb…if he sucks too much to be an MLB pitcher he should probably lose his job.

    Anyway, I agree with Dave. I think it would be wrong to say he doesn’t have a right to pursue a career as an MLB player. It’s not like everything he does won’t be scrutinized meticulously by Geoff Baker. Justice is a tricky subject, but the courts have already decided that he can continue to persue an MLB career and why shouldn’t that be with the M’s? Some would point out the “refuse to abuse” campaign the M’s are supporting, isn’t Leuke refusing to abuse from the time of his crime, up to this point?

  74. JMHawkins on September 16th, 2010 5:03 pm

    As Bilbo points out, we really don’t know if he is a rapist or not. The prosecution apparently wasn’t confident about proving it.

    It’s not “blaming the victim” to note that the woman’s behavior creates a ton of uncertainty in this case. She was too drunk to be a reliable witness, and it’s unclear whether Leuke raped an incapacitated woman, or – in his own imparied state – only failed to recognize her dimished capacity and carried things through to their logical (based on the evening’s activities up to that point) conclusion.

    Her fault? Society says no. His fault? Hmmm…

    For me, that’s where it’s a grey area. It’s possible he’s a sadistic misogynist who raped a defenseless woman. It’s also possible he was a drunk, horny kid with an even drunker horny woman in his apartment. One possibility is he’s a monster, the other is he was a foolish kid. I don’t know which. You don’t know which. Hell, it’s possible the woman herself doesn’t even know which. We’re all free to have an opinion, but none of us should confuse our opinion with the facts.

    About all we have to go on for facts is his behavior aftewards. So far there’s been nothing in his subsequent behavior that’s inconsistent with “foolish kid.” As long as that remains the case, I’m willing to give him a second chance.

    Oh, and just because I might agree that Luecke should be afforded a second chance, it does not mean that I believe the M’s should be the ones giving it to him.

    Then you don’t think he should be given a second chance. Either he can be an MLB player, or he can’t. If he can, any team is as good as any other. Don’t be a NIMBY.

  75. spankystout on September 16th, 2010 5:06 pm

    Thank you IwearMshats….some people are
    reacting like Lueke did this crime the night he was acquired.

  76. TomTuttle on September 16th, 2010 5:07 pm

    I like how Z is now Lincoln/Armstrong’s bitch for making this ONE bad move (which may turn out not to be a bad move at all) while Bavasi made many, many, many bad moves and STILL got to keep his job as long as he did.

    Seriously, we can debate all day how much our owners want to win. But the fact is, they are IDIOTS to the 100,000,000,000,000th degree when it comes to running a baseball team.

    They may as well be one of those political figures with the Clutch Cargo lips that we would see often on Conan O’Brien’s old 12:35 show.

    They are just dumb, cartoon characters. And they will NEVER change. EVER.

    Fire them all.

    Seattle Mariners = Los Angeles Clippers

  77. Otto on September 16th, 2010 5:16 pm

    I voted for not rooting for him myself. I am the father of a 17 year old girl and if I had found out that this happened to her there is no place he could hide.

    However I have also made my fare share of mistakes and understand that people can learn from their mistakes. If he keeps his nose clean and learns from his mistakes I see no reason to ban him from what he has worked his entire life for.

  78. JMHawkins on September 16th, 2010 5:18 pm

    I tend to agree with my fellow parents of daughters…

    Not all of them. I have two daughters. I also have a son. And I’d like to think that even if I didn’t, I’d be able to, as Dave says, “consider how I might feel if Lueke was my son.”

  79. putnamp on September 16th, 2010 5:34 pm

    I agree that people shouldn’t just assume anything. I do find it a little silly, though, that while you are cautioning people against assuming that Lueke didn’t commit rape, you are yourself making the assumption that he did.

    There’s reasons to believe he did it beyond the plea deal, such as the DNA in the rape kit and the fact that the narrative seems to be fairly accepted (including via Lueke’s own testimony) that she was in no condition whatsoever to give consent, whether she was conscious or not. He pleaded no contest to false imprisonment with violence, and she woke up with her underwear down and semen all over her. Were those details absent, then yes, I would agree that it’s a two-way street. I should’ve probably clarified that originally, though, because at first glance it does seem like a pretty convenient thing for me to just drop out of the blue.

  80. IwearMsHats on September 16th, 2010 5:52 pm

    I tend to agree with my fellow parents of daughters…

    Not all of them. I have two daughters. I also have a son. And I’d like to think that even if I didn’t, I’d be able to, as Dave says, “consider how I might feel if Lueke was my son.”

    Same for me.

  81. Faceplant on September 16th, 2010 5:52 pm

    There’s reasons to believe he did it beyond the plea deal, such as the DNA in the rape kit and the fact that the narrative seems to be fairly accepted (including via Lueke’s own testimony) that she was in no condition whatsoever to give consent, whether she was conscious or not.

    The DNA proves their was sexual contact. It doesn’t provide any evidence as to the nature of that contact.

    And I don’t doubt that her condition rendered her unable to give legal consent. But that doesn’t mean she wasn’t a willing partner at the time. While both behaviors are reprehensible, forcing yourself on someone and having sex with a drunk girl that says yes aren’t comparable.

    He pleaded no contest to false imprisonment with violence,

    To be convicted of false imprisonment with violence in California one only needs to prove that person used an amount of force that was beyond the reasonable amount that would be needed to affect restraint. If someone tells you not to touch them and tries to walk away from you and you grab them by the arm and yank them toward you, then you have technically committed false imprisonment with violence.

    Now, I’m not trying to pretend that what Lueke was accused of doing is the equivilent of that. I just think that since you wanted to emphasize it, it’s important to understand what the modifier “with violence” means in a legal context.

  82. Faceplant on September 16th, 2010 5:57 pm

    Just to clarify my personal opinion…

    I think it is reasonable to believe that Josh Lueke may have raped someone. I think it’s also just as reasonable to think that Josh Lueke may not have raped someone. What we DO know is that he was convicted of false imprisonment with violence. He should only be judged based on what was determined at trial, not on what we want to assume happened.

  83. JohnnyK76 on September 16th, 2010 6:05 pm

    I think this kid’s real punishment is going to come when he gets the John Rocker treatment in every stadium in which he pitches. A 40 day stint in jail is rough, but the hell he will be going through when he makes it to the show is going to be unreal. The only thing that might save him is the fact that this didn’t happen after he made it to the bigs. Hopefully, for his sake, he handles it better than Rocker did.

  84. harry on September 16th, 2010 6:10 pm

    “Lueke got treated EXACTLY like a normal person. You’re the one advocating treating him differently because he’s a baseball player.”

    No, I’m not. I’m saying I don’t want to give him the opportunity to be so treated. If he makes the majors and does well, he will have that opportunity.

  85. harry on September 16th, 2010 6:20 pm

    And I’d like to think that even if I didn’t, I’d be able to, as Dave says, “consider how I might feel if Lueke was my son.”

    If he were my son, I’d like to think I’d be able to say, “This is not who I taught you to be. And this is bad enough that you have robbed yourself of a rare opportunity. You need to understand that. Now you get to go to work with me, and I’ll teach you the business.”

    I’ll make allowances for the moral lapses of those I love, but I’d like to think that I am still able to draw a line someplace that classifies rape as “something worth punishing”, no matter who committed it.

  86. Westside guy on September 16th, 2010 6:38 pm

    In another thread discussing this matter, I’d mentioned I’d want to know about Lueke’s attitude regarding the crime (expressions of remorse) and also whether he was getting counseling before I decided how I felt about him continuing with the Mariners.

    I wish there was some documentation regarding Lueke being “remorseful by most accounts” – because for me, when it comes to second chances it’s important the person realize he screwed up (versus just being sorry he got caught).

    I’m glad to hear counseling is being mandated by the team.

    I’m not happy with the legal end of this, but it’s true he has served the penalty that ended up being meted out by the courts. So I doubt I’ll ever root for the guy (unless more comes out where he’s obviously truly sorry, is doing community service in a womens’ shelter, is buying puppies for the homeless, etc.) – but I’m okay with his remaining on the team. However it really needs to be with the shortest of leashes – any hint of another issue with a woman, even if he was just yelling at her in a bar, and he should be gone.

    And frankly, no matter how he seems to have turned around – if he came near my daughter I’d probably try to hurt him.

  87. GoldenGutz on September 16th, 2010 6:42 pm

    I believe in giving people second chances regardless of profession. If I give someone a second chance, I expect them to take full opportunity of that and I expect them to not screw up again. If I was in his situation, I would be on my very best and would be around people I know won’t screw up my situation (teammates especially the ones he is likely to come up with, Ackley, Smoak, Pineda and Halman likely don’t have criminal records that I know of). If I was in Z’s shoes I would probably get a meeting with Lueke, Armstrong, Lincoln and myself (being Z) and before the meeting told Chuck and Howie his past and talked to him about his oppurtunity with the Mariners.

    I would’ve told him if you screw up once more, your more than likely done for in baseball. You get another charge similar to this, then I will cut you on the spot. Let the big men upstairs know about what he did and discuss with him that he will be on a very short leash. Then some of the firings wouldn’t have happened (possibly) and Lueke could probably be in Seattle after the playoffs.

    It could’ve been handled better but he made a mistake 6 years ago, he served what the judge thought was reasonable and apologized for his actions, he deserves the second chance as anyone would. Vick got a second chance after killing animals. I’m pretty sure Lueke definetley deserves the chance to come back.

  88. thewyrm on September 16th, 2010 6:52 pm

    If society cannot forgive him after he spent time being rehabilitated in prison then why did we send him there? What the Hell is the point of prison then? Maybe in place of prison we should just drop all criminals into an oubliette and erase them from history?

  89. bookbook on September 16th, 2010 6:56 pm

    We need to believe in redemption. Absolutely so. And admirably so. It needs not to be free. And those who would deny him the rare privilege to be a star, ridiculously overpaid professional athlete, are in no wise denying the possibility of redemption.

    The onus is on Lueke–and the Mariners as long as they employ him–to go far beyond the bare minimum in atoning for this past crime that cannot be undone.

    For me, that means money and personal efforts spent to reach youth and prevent future tragic incidents from occurring.

    He can’t afford it yet, but at his career peak, I’d expect multiple millions annually going to education and rape prevention (secular). Until that time, I’d expect a significant public commitment from the Mariners. (I’d also expect the tax benefits from those commitments to be donated back to the federal government’s coffers. I know tax breaks only save 50% or so of the charity donated, but the optics wouldn’t be right.)

    I hope I don’t offend any women when I see some parallels to Michael Vick’s situation (Vick’s crimes were against dogs not humans, but he was a decade older and had been practicing his murderous crimes for years for profit with much malice aforethought.) I must confess that my reaction when Michael Vick got a job in the NFL wasn’t “Yippee.” It’s not easy, no matter what happens.

  90. Breadbaker on September 16th, 2010 7:07 pm

    Vick, Kobe, Roethlisberger, all have jobs. Roethlisberger wasn’t prosecuted even though the whole thing looked like a criminal syndicate enabling the inebriation of underage women. Kobe wasn’t prosecuted in a circus. Vick was prosecuted, but dogs don’t have to worry about what happens to them after they testify. Roethlisberger got his sentence from the commissioner cut after a couple of months of not raping underage girls he’d bought drinks for. It’s an unfair world.

    That being said, I agree entirely with bookbook: this shouldn’t be easy for Lueke. I welcome protesters to Safeco. I think the Mariners and Lueke should welcome them, too (heck, invite them in). Last Friday, when they were introducing the Rainiers, I refrained from clapping for Lueke; I expect to continue to do so. If he becomes the M’s closer, he doesn’t deserve special music for his appearances (I hate that for Aardsma but I recognize it’s not going to stop).

    The M’s have already said there is no tolerance for anything out of line by him. What team other than the M’s is better positioned to make something good come of this?

  91. The Ancient Mariner on September 16th, 2010 7:31 pm

    I’m with Robo Ape and JMHawkins. I realize that prosecutors do plea bargains for a lot of reasons, but the fact that they not only let Lueke plead to a lesser charge but also let him plead no contest — which is not the same as a guilty plea in at least one critical respect: there is no admission of guilt — is telling, especially since the Bakersfield prosecutors had more leverage over Lueke than they would have over most suspects. The whole situation casts a very bad light on Lueke — but how bad, if we look at the evidence dispassionately, is beyond us to say for sure.

  92. snapper on September 16th, 2010 7:50 pm

    “consider how I might feel if Lueke was my son.”

    If Lueke did what his plea indicates, if he were my son I’d consider that I’d failed as a father and he belonged in jail.

    Rape is not a “youthful mistake”.

    I don’t see why a “2nd chance” needs to involve the right to play major league baseball.

    If I were NFL commissioner, Michael Vick would have never set foot on a football field again.

  93. Mekias on September 16th, 2010 7:57 pm

    I got into trouble when I was 18 for stealing CDs from a Walmart. I was young, dumb, and jealous of the kids who could afford things like that. When I look back and think of how it could have ruined my life if they had decided to prosecute me that day, I have to breath a big sigh of relief. Someone gave me a second chance that day and I’ll be forever grateful. I wish I could remember that person’s name (the Walmart manager) so I could go find them and thank them.

    Obviously stealing CDs isn’t the same thing as what Lueke did but I can at least feel a tiny bit of sympathy for him and am willing to give him a 2nd chance. What he did was morally reprehensible and perverted but I can’t honestly say that it was evil. There were circumstances involved that probably led him to think that sex was part of the evening’s schedule of events and while her following them around, kissing them, and going to their apartment doesn’t constitute consent, I knew quite a few young males when I was in college who might have done the same thing, especially athletes. I actually think that as many as 5% of college aged frat boys or athletes would have done something similar in that situation. I’ve always found guys like that disgusting but I know that they are out there in significant numbers.

  94. xsacred24x on September 16th, 2010 8:00 pm

    I agree with you Dave. People asking for his head act like they have never done anything bad in there life. Look at the NFL guys get second chances all the time Michael Vick and Stallworth who actually killed someone don’t see whats to different about Lueke.

  95. djw on September 16th, 2010 8:01 pm

    In general, I agree with the general sentiment behind this post. When ex-cons are out, after having served their sentence, we ought to allow them a fighting chance of living a normal life.

    I could wholeheartedly agree with this post in an alternate universe where Luetke plead to first degree rape and served 10 years. But, of course, that didn’t happen, as so often doesn’t happen with rape. The trauma of what he did helped him get a prepostrously great deal, given the details-it’s a cruel irony that leads to scores of rapists pleading out to lesser crimes, to avoid a the re-traumatrization of a trial for the victims. (and, of course, Jake Squid is right: to treat this as a youthful mistake. We have real sociological/psychological knowledge about the patterns of behavior, and we know that it’s vanishingly rare for people to actually only do this sort of thing once, as a lapse in judgement or whatever). I don’t hold it against him for doing what he’s doing; no one should be expected to volunteer for jail time, or crawl in a whole and hide. But I as a feminist ignoring the ways in which male privilege and rape culture have made it possible for him to be a free man before 2017 or so isn’t an option.

    I’m sure I’ve rooted for rapists in sports before, who didn’t get caught. Statistically, it’d be pretty miraculous if I hadn’t. Realistically, I’ll try and forget about all this and treat him like another team member if he’s on the team. But I’m not going to pretend I wouldn’t be relieved if he’s traded or released, and I don’t know what I’d do if I had a son or daughter who was also a fan.

  96. putnamp on September 16th, 2010 8:15 pm

    Now, I’m not trying to pretend that what Lueke was accused of doing is the equivilent of that. I just think that since you wanted to emphasize it, it’s important to understand what the modifier “with violence” means in a legal context.

    I’m not seeing how this changes anything. Using force to impose your will on someone in lieu of their own is pretty heinous. Doubly so when sex is involved. It’s not about whether he physically hit her or simply used force to detain her, it’s about how his decision to do *either thing* reflects on his respect for her wishes and consent.

    The DNA proves their was sexual contact. It doesn’t provide any evidence as to the nature of that contact.

    And I don’t doubt that her condition rendered her unable to give legal consent. But that doesn’t mean she wasn’t a willing partner at the time. While both behaviors are reprehensible, forcing yourself on someone and having sex with a drunk girl that says yes aren’t comparable.

    If she’s unable to give legal consent then whether she was willing or not doesn’t really matter. If you’re going to concede that she was unable to give legal consent then you’re conceding that the sexual contact was non-consensual. An inability to provide consent means exactly that. There was no way for her to consent to the act of sex. Therefore it was non-consensual. Therefore it was, by any reasonable ethical standard, rape. Legally? No, obviously not, but like I’ve said before, we’re not talking about legality here, and allowing someone’s legal standing to override your own moral calculus is a gross mistake.

  97. putnamp on September 16th, 2010 8:16 pm

    I agree with you Dave. People asking for his head act like they have never done anything bad in there life. Look at the NFL guys get second chances all the time Michael Vick and Stallworth who actually killed someone don’t see whats to different about Lueke.

    If you find yourself using ambivalence about Stallworth to justify ambivalence about Lueke, then you’ve got it entirely backwards. Or entirely convenient. Neither one is particularly admirable.

  98. kraken on September 16th, 2010 8:27 pm

    As a paying fan, I just don’t want to root for this guy. It is no fun for me and I don’t want to have rationalize watching him. This is an entertainment industry. He has damaged his ability to provide entertainment.

    He has every right to play. But if fans don’t want to watch him, it does not matter how much ability he has.

  99. xsacred24x on September 16th, 2010 8:32 pm

    If you find yourself using ambivalence about Stallworth to justify ambivalence about Lueke, then you’ve got it entirely backwards. Or entirely convenient. Neither one is particularly admirable.

    You trying to tell me Murder isn’t worse then what he did? Stallworth basically served no time(year ban from the NFL please if that was anybody else its 25-life). Now i don’t condone what Lueke did but all partys involved were drunk at the time we really do not know what happened we were not flys on the wall.

    Therefore im not going to jump to conclusions i will give him a second chance but if he messes up again then he needs to go. You can’t just throw talent away and it seems like hes learned from his mistake.

  100. the tourist on September 16th, 2010 8:37 pm

    If she’s unable to give legal consent then whether she was willing or not doesn’t really matter. If you’re going to concede that she was unable to give legal consent then you’re conceding that the sexual contact was non-consensual. An inability to provide consent means exactly that. There was no way for her to consent to the act of sex. Therefore it was non-consensual. Therefore it was, by any reasonable ethical standard, rape. Legally? No, obviously not, but like I’ve said before, we’re not talking about legality here, and allowing someone’s legal standing to override your own moral calculus is a gross mistake.

    I’m going to play a little devil’s advocate.

    First of all, wasn’t he drunk as well? Should drunk people not be allowed to have sex ever, due to the possibility that they might not remember it? Or at least not remember saying, “Yeah, okay, swell, let’s do it!”? According to Lueke’s likely hazy (with alcohol) memory, this could have been the case.

    Imagine getting drunk with a girl (not just her, but you as well) and asking her to have sex with you. She says “yes”. You’re really drunk and don’t realize she’s even more drunk. You just hear that she says yes. So you have sex with her. The next morning, you remember what happened the night before through a thick haze. You see her and she is freaking out. Does what you thought in your drunken state as consensual sex turn into full on horror-rape?

    Hmm.

  101. zeebfan on September 16th, 2010 9:11 pm

    Spankystout- Huh? What are you talking about? Pedophilia and rape are not motivated by the same thing! They are both repugnant. Whyever do you think that Catholic priest pedophiles are not motivated by desire for sex?

  102. littlesongs on September 16th, 2010 9:24 pm

    I am not trying to start an argument, but I find it difficult to believe that the team has been rigidly consistent with their “Refuse to Abuse” policy. How about something as seemingly insignificant as music selection?

    It is a matter of public record that Gary Glitter is a convicted pedophile. If a well-known local story about Led Zeppelin is true, they tied up a minor and committed an unbelievably disgusting sex crime less than a mile from the ballpark. Can we say with any certainty that neither of these acts have ever been played over the speakers at Safeco?

    A sizable number of people in attendance at any given game are going to be familiar with the heinous acts of those performers. If the team is going to have a totally admirable and progressive policy like that in place, shouldn’t it be consistently applied to every aspect of the fan experience?

    Josh Lueke is a good pitcher. I would like to think that he could turn out to be an asset to the baseball community. Not just for his play, but for a future commitment to educating young athletes in a frank and direct way. Whether he was in a Mariners uniform or not, I would be willing to forgive the man if he made a difference off the field.

  103. IwearMsHats on September 16th, 2010 9:33 pm

    I think some people neglect to know what a no-contest plea means. No-contest means he can not be sued for what he has (or hasn’t) done. In my opinion, he had a bad lawyer and accepted bad advice from him…I find it hard to believe that he would have been convicted at all if his case went to trial…there was a bunch of circumstantial evidence (and in this case, his semen WAS circumstantial). So if the case had gone to trial and he had been acquitted, there was a chance that she could have sued him. In a criminal trial, he has to be found guilty beyond any reasonable doubt for the crimes he was being tried for…It’s a whole different story in civil court, depending on the state if he was found just 51% guilty he would have to pay.

    The fact remains though, he put himself in a bad situation. I think everyone deserves a second chance though.

  104. JMHawkins on September 16th, 2010 9:38 pm

    If she’s unable to give legal consent then whether she was willing or not doesn’t really matter. If you’re going to concede that she was unable to give legal consent then you’re conceding that the sexual contact was non-consensual

    I’ve been debating whether to post this reply for a while, because I know it will send some people into orbit. This is a baseball blog, not a social issues blog. I applaud Dave for venturing into this in such an even-handed, responsible manner. I don’t want this to be yet another Internet flame war. And yet…

    Here’s where I have a major problem with the way society treats this situation.

    It was impossible for her to participate in consentual sex because she was drunk. It’s simply not her fault in any way, shape or form. The fact that, while sober, she had set herself on a risky course is obviated by her later getting plastered and passing out. Whatever questionable decisions she made earlier in the night (drinking, carousing, engaging in what was essentially foreplay with complete strangers and returning alone to the apartment of two men she had just met) are negated by her drinking herself into a stupor.

    Lueke was drinking too. Obviously he wasn’t as drunk as the woman, but he too had impaired judgement. Yet he’s fully responsible for his actions (drinking, carousing, etc.) to the point several people here are willing to consider him an unforgivable monster. No possibility he made a drunken mistake, he’s clearly a vile predator.

    Goose? Gander? How can this be healthy?

  105. Chris_From_Bothell on September 16th, 2010 9:51 pm

    3) You think he deserves a chance…but only for someone else.

    Why is that third position viable? Just because you wouldn’t have to think about it anymore?

    Yup.

    You think this story is a distraction now, how about when he comes up to the majors and is a part of the bullpen. Especially if the team actually turns it around in the next couple years. Do you want to see more stories about him or more stories about rebuilding Ms of 2011 and the winning Ms of 2012?

    Turn a negative into a positive by trading him. Relievers are a dime a dozen. He’s not worth the distraction.

    Simply trading reliever for reliever is dumping him off on a sucker, but including him in a package to get, e.g. some hypothetical answer at catcher or shortstop, or some depth at third, left or first… that might be nice.

    He can get his redemption and paycheck somewhere else. I’d be happy to see his value as a major league reliever be cashed in as part of a trade to fix another position.

  106. King Rat on September 16th, 2010 9:54 pm

    I believe in redemption. However, redemption doesn’t necessarily come in a couple of years, requires a lot more than feeling remorseful, and doesn’t mean he gets to play in his chosen profession. He should be able to hold a job. Playing baseball is another story. He doesn’t necessarily NOT get to play baseball either. But it’s not as simple as “he’s done his time, he goes back to being normal except for whatever’s on his conscience.”

    Has he done honest spots for the “refuse to abuse” campaign? Has he stopped the partying behavior that was involved in his poor judgement? I dunno. I haven’t seen that in the stories I’ve read. I’m not sure what he’s really done. (And I’m not saying those items above are enough.)

    I not only won’t root for him, I won’t go to games where he plays until I’m personally sure he’s really redeemed. I’m tired of fake changes in life from athletes who continue to behave reprehensibly multiple times.

  107. Rayvensdad on September 16th, 2010 10:09 pm

    Dave I am with you 100%! I don’t condone what he did, not even the slightest. But as a guy who has done stupid things in the past, none to this extent, but still stupid, I do believe in redemption and second chances… especially when things are done at such a young and stupid age. You’re right, his ice is extremely thin, and as a father of a beautiful young daughter I can still say while I’d probably kill the guy who’d do that to my little girl, I still would be willing to give him a chance at redemption. But boy would that leash be short. Lueke… the ball is in your court and YOU’RE the only one that can drop it.

  108. Slurve on September 16th, 2010 10:17 pm

    Just a couple points:

    We don’t know what happened that night. The only people who do know what happened were probably too drunk the night of to remembered what even happened. The details are too blurry to make even the faintest conclusions. It could be Lueke took advantage of an unconscious person or two people made one hell of a mistake but the bottom line is we just don’t know.

    The biggest problem I have with this right now is what do I feel about Lueke. I don’t know how I should feel, if the details of the night was clear and set in stone and Lueke just flat out raped her I wouldn’t let him near an M’s uniform. But that’s not the case alcohol was involved and we don’t know what happened and we’re holding him responsible for a crime that we don’t know the true extent to.

    Lueke is talented but that might not be enough. He’s going to have to carry that mistake he made at age 19 for the rest of hist life. Has he redeemed himself? I don’t know but he definitely should get a chance to prove he’s changed. If Lueke is trying to change then the M’s should let him prove it, if not then why would the M’s even bother with him? After all if what Daniels said is true wouldn’t Armstrong force a trade? Give him a chance if he fails let him sink but I’m gonna give him every chance to do it.

  109. FelixFanChris420 on September 16th, 2010 10:55 pm

    Personally, I don’t care what he’s done in the past as long as he has served his punishment. For too long this organization has gone out and gotten nice guys with marginal talent…look how far thats gotten them…I say enough…if the kids got skills and can be a legitimate, reliable late inning reliever then screw it, he’s done his time, lets win some goddamned ball games.

  110. greentunic on September 16th, 2010 11:02 pm

    He is disgusting and if it was my daughter he wouldn’t be around to pitch.

    I understand and appreciate this perspective, and perhaps it was merely hyperbole, but I do not believe it is our place to hold this sort of animosity towards Lueke. While we may not have committed acts that we percieve as evil as this, we have all made horrible choices.

    I voted that I could root for Lueke. While I will not root for him as much as I root for the uniform, I cannot justifiably root against him on the mound for this. What happened is so much bigger than baseball that for me to channel my response from his acts towards his baseball performance would make me feel shallow and elitist. Don’t know if that made sense, but that’s my opinion.

  111. G-Man on September 16th, 2010 11:11 pm

    I don’t mind if the Mariners decide that he doesn’t belong in Seattle, but I hope that he is accepted by another MLB organization. Other felons are not deprived of the ability to work in their chosen profession after they’ve served their time, with rare exceptions. He shouldn’t be a Sunday school teacher or a Girl Scout trip leader, but let him pitch.

  112. KDawg on September 16th, 2010 11:24 pm

    Wow! I say something a bit off the beaten path and get censored? I try to say something very raw to see how people feel about the reality of the situation and I get censored. This is ridiculous. I am 100% for Lueke.

  113. spankystout on September 16th, 2010 11:43 pm

    Zeebfan

    Not every rape falls under your three guidelines for motivation. That was
    my point with the priest reference.

  114. diderot on September 17th, 2010 12:03 am

    Turn a negative into a positive by trading him. Relievers are a dime a dozen.

    Congratulations. From the standpoint of logic, I think you just struck yourself out.

  115. putnamp on September 17th, 2010 12:17 am

    It was impossible for her to participate in consentual sex because she was drunk. It’s simply not her fault in any way, shape or form.

    Correct. She did not rape herself. Additionally, although this is not essential to the larger point, one of the charges (of the two that were dropped) implied that she was also drugged. But make no mistake, she is not at fault for someone else raping her. She made bad decisions, but that doesn’t imply fault or culpability, only poor foresight.

    The fact that, while sober, she had set herself on a risky course is obviated by her later getting plastered and passing out. Whatever questionable decisions she made earlier in the night (drinking, carousing, engaging in what was essentially foreplay with complete strangers and returning alone to the apartment of two men she had just met) are negated by her drinking herself into a stupor.

    Also correct. I know you’re trying to make a point by showing how absurd this sounds, but the fact is that it’s not absurd. Consent is required for sex. That’s the bottom line. If someone is unable to give consent, then no sex. If you’re really into a girl, and she’s flirting with you, and then she gets absolutely trashed, the right thing to do is not to force yourself on her, even if she seems into it. Sex isn’t some rigid process that must not be disturbed once set into motion. If she thought she was into it, and was warming up to the idea of sex with someone, and then changed her mind.. then it’s done. No sex. Works the same way for guys, although the social and power dynamics are both drastically different, and so while the core idea remains that consent must be mutual, the way that everything pans out once you put it all in the context of the real world is noticeably different.

    At first, all of this sort of seems odd from a male perspective. The reason for that is that we do not see sex and sexuality like women do. For one, our sexual promiscuity isn’t held against us in the court of public opinion. In fact, we’re lauded for it.

    For another, we’re typically stronger and more powerful than our prospective partners, and this plays a major role in the power dynamic. It can often take a fair amount of trust for a woman to want to sleep with a man. The way that trust is built isn’t always rational (desire and lust can play a major role in its construction), but without that trust things go south really quickly.

    Imagine, if you will, if someone began trying to coerce you into doing something while holding a knife in their hands. Even if it’s something you thought you wanted to do, and even if they weren’t making any sort of threatening gestures towards you with the knife, one wrong move on their part and you would probably start to feel a little apprehensive, even if everything had been fine up to that point. I’m not saying that courting a woman is like threatening her with a knife – it’s clearly not – but if you consider the analogy, it helps to understand, at least somewhat, how the power dynamic works.

    Lueke was drinking too. Obviously he wasn’t as drunk as the woman, but he too had impaired judgement. Yet he’s fully responsible for his actions

    Let’s be clear. His actions very probably included rape. Yes, he’s responsible for those actions. If he murdered someone while drunk, or if he violently robbed someone on the street while drunk, would he be any less culpable then? Not likely. If you are unable to prevent yourself from committing a crime while under the influence, then the responsibility is on you to stay sober. The operative difference here is that he committed a crime, while she did not. She should probably reconsider her drinking habits as a general survival instinct, but that’s different than saying she’s to blame.

    (drinking, carousing, etc.)

    You left out rape, by the way.

    to the point several people here are willing to consider him an unforgivable monster. No possibility he made a drunken mistake, he’s clearly a vile predator.

    He’s a rapist. Different people have different reactions to that. Personally, I think most men simply don’t recognize the privilege of security and social support (for sexual promiscuity) that they enjoy. I think once they become more aware of that, they can change dramatically. As a result, I think a rapist like Lueke, and I’m making the very thin assumption that he did in fact do what most of the evidence and follow-through seems to suggest he did, could very easily be rehabilitated and learn to be a better man out of the whole thing. I hope he does.

    If/when he does, then that will be a very personal achievement for him. It will not necessitate forgiveness on the part of his victim, nor anyone else who found his actions reprehensible. It will evince forgiveness and sympathy out of some, and I’m hopeful and willing to be one of them, but this is what being an adult is. It’s recognizing that redemption is personal before it is societal. It’s recognizing that the victims of crimes must be allowed to forgive in their own time, if they ever do. It’s recognizing that justice is not always served, but when it’s not, you still have to move on somehow.

    (It’s late and I’m losing the focus I need to properly write/proofread this, so I’m going to cut it off now. If I’m unclear about anything I’m trying to say, let me know and I’ll clarify it when I look again in the morning.)

  116. putnamp on September 17th, 2010 12:21 am

    You trying to tell me Murder isn’t worse then what he did? Stallworth basically served no time(year ban from the NFL please if that was anybody else its 25-life). Now i don’t condone what Lueke did but all partys involved were drunk at the time we really do not know what happened we were not flys on the wall.

    Therefore im not going to jump to conclusions i will give him a second chance but if he messes up again then he needs to go. You can’t just throw talent away and it seems like hes learned from his mistake.

    No, I’m telling you that if you find Lueke’s actions reprehensible, but didn’t really feel moved to respond to Stallworth’s, then that inconsistency probably says more about the depth and insight of your opinion on Stallworth than it says about whether or not you’re being a hypocrite for disliking Lueke.

  117. John W. on September 17th, 2010 7:33 am

    He isn’t just getting a second chance though. A second chance is finding a job, and being able to live in society. Maybe, through a few years of hard work and good behavior, he can get somewhere in life.

    No. Right now he’s being rewarded, not given a second chance. He’s getting a decent amount of money to play a game he loves to play.

    And I’m tired of people saying “Oh so and so seems genuinely remorseful.” You, I, and everyone we know have no idea what goes on in other’s heads. Actions speak louder than words. And unlike his words, his actions are indisputable.

    Comparisons to Roethlisberger and Kobe don’t make it right, and to be honest, are kind of concerning. I’m not sure what point people are trying to make, maybe that society has grown to accept their behavior? I don’t know.

    I know that sounded harsh… I guess I probably sound a little unreasonable. But I don’t really like to see excuses or defense made for someone who really hasn’t proven anything yet… other than he can stay behind bars for a little while.

  118. rlb on September 17th, 2010 8:23 am

    You are right. We have no idea at this stage if he is truly remorseful and changed. I am so tired of public, “I’m sorry if this hurt someone” apolgogies. That’s not an apology. That’s an indictment of the hearer. (Read Howard Lincoln’s lame apology to the press.

    That said, on hyphen18′s recommendation, I started following Lueke on twitter. First, there’s the recommendation of a teammate. That’s a little more info, but I don’t really know RRS enough to trust his judgment.

    Following Lueke, he tweets a daily bible verse. This is an indicator, but not proof, that there has been something beyond remorse and sorrow, and something like repentance. That’s the beginning of restoration, in my mind.

    Now, this could be fake PR. He wouldn’t be the first to use a phony faith to get people on his side. But it gives me hope, beyond baseball, that either he was guilty and is remorseful, or he is looking to God for strength while falsely condemned.

    Even if he was innocent, he was not righteous, in the words of a past Seahawk on the verge of glory in Atlanta just before a Super Bowl.

    So, I will watch interested. There is a bigger story here than baseball success. But I say keep him and watch.

  119. Faceplant on September 17th, 2010 8:34 am

    I’m not seeing how this changes anything. Using force to impose your will on someone in lieu of their own is pretty heinous. Doubly so when sex is involved. It’s not about whether he physically hit her or simply used force to detain her, it’s about how his decision to do *either thing* reflects on his respect for her wishes and consent.

    Well, you were emphasizing the “with violence” modifier, I assume because of the extremely negative images associated with the word. The images that the word “violence” evokes in the average person, and what the word actually means in a legal context are two different things. I think that’s important for people to understand.

    An inability to provide consent means exactly that. There was no way for her to consent to the act of sex. Therefore it was non-consensual. Therefore it was, by any reasonable ethical standard, rape.

    If Josh Lueke had been sober then you are probably right. If Josh Lueke were sober, there is a good chance he’d be in jail right now. But he wasn’t. His judgement was impaired as well. You are going to have an extremely difficult time proving that two drunk people having consensual sex rises to the level of rape.

    No, obviously not, but like I’ve said before, we’re not talking about legality here, and allowing someone’s legal standing to override your own moral calculus is a gross mistake.

    That’s just silly. I don’t feel that it’s somehow moral to treat a person like rapist when it’s never been proven that he was actually a rapist. And the courts are certainly much better equipt to judge guilt than you or I am.

  120. bermanator on September 17th, 2010 8:45 am

    He isn’t just getting a second chance though. A second chance is finding a job, and being able to live in society. Maybe, through a few years of hard work and good behavior, he can get somewhere in life.

    No. Right now he’s being rewarded, not given a second chance. He’s getting a decent amount of money to play a game he loves to play.

    This is the attitude I don’t really get.

    So he should be allowed to have a job, but not too good of a job, even if the practical skills he has lend themselves towards the latter? Should he have to break rocks on a chain gang? Work construction? What are the sort of jobs he should be allowed to have? Should a precondition of said job be that it NOT be something enjoyable, in order to add further punishment?

  121. zeke5123 on September 17th, 2010 8:45 am

    I would like to point out a few things.

    First, I am not intimately familiar with this case.

    Secondly, the girl was supposedly passed out drunk. In any rape case, her testimony cannot carry much weight. She was not, by her own admission, in a sound state of mind.

    Thirdly, there is incriminating evidence. Unlike in other high-profile evidence (Big Ben where there was an absence of DNA evidence) DNA evidence concludes that Lueke and this lady had a sexual encounter.

    Fourthly, we do not know the nature of that encounter. Perhaps, drunkenly and without remembering it, this girl said yes. Of course, that does not justify having sex with a girl near blacked-out drunk. That is still rape.

    FIfthly, we do not know Lueke’s intoxication level. If both were drunk, and neither objected in their drunken state, can we really claim that Lueke is a rapist and the girl a victim? If both were drunk, could not Lueke claim the girl raped him? How would that action be any different? This is the sad, sexist nature of D/V and rape cases. Most people assume Men bad and strong, women good and weak. The actual numbers suggest both sexes are prone to violence.

    Sixthly, pleading to a lower charge is smart, even if you didn’t commit the crime. Spending 40 days in jail is much greater than spending years in jail, especially with a jury predisposed to supporting the alleged victim. This does not prove he committed the crime.

    In short, only two people know if this was rape. And even they might not know. We shouldn’t pretend to know either.

  122. zeke5123 on September 17th, 2010 8:47 am

    The problem with the relative intoxication of both parties might explain why the DA went with a plea bargain. The case is hard to prove. But apparently, the level of evidence we need to condemn someone as a rapist is much lower than a court/DA.

  123. John W. on September 17th, 2010 9:04 am

    Yes, good jobs are supposed to be the reward in our society for hard work, diligence, and commendable behavior. It’s the American dream. I mean, think about it… You’re working right now, at a job, or at school, or whatever. What are you working for? That dream job… the job you’ll enjoy while also earning lots of money for you and your family. That’s the reward. You’re not working hard to win the lottery, or to earn some sort of prize… your working to work more.

    And his “practical skills” are only as valuable as the company deems them to be. And I’m not sure how valuable they are. A baseball player is two things, an athlete and an idol. Home Runs, WAR and Marketability are all part of the same bottom line.

  124. Osfan on September 17th, 2010 9:10 am

    I could root for Lueke the pitcher even though Lueke the human being is deplorable. I suspect that if I knew everything about a lot of players, I wouldn’t like them. I watch baseball for entertainment, not to find role models.

  125. John W. on September 17th, 2010 9:16 am

    Now, this could be fake PR. He wouldn’t be the first to use a phony faith to get people on his side. But it gives me hope, beyond baseball, that either he was guilty and is remorseful, or he is looking to God for strength while falsely condemned.

    Words are words, whether from the bible or otherwise. A plea of “I do not wish to contend” is an action. That action is extremely similar to a guilty plea. You don’t typically plea “no contest” when falsely condemned… not if he cares anything about his name.

  126. bermanator on September 17th, 2010 9:20 am

    Yes, good jobs are supposed to be the reward in our society for hard work, diligence, and commendable behavior.

    For a job in Major League Baseball, I would argue that “talent” trumps all of these.

    In fact, in all “good jobs” I would place talent as a factor above those other three.

    CEOs don’t usually become CEOs simply because they work hard (and certainly not for how they behave), but because they are very good at those jobs and make money for the company.

    Baseball players don’t reach the Majors because they are good guys who work hard, it’s because they contribute to the team’s bottom line by being talented enough to help them win games.

    And his “practical skills” are only as valuable as the company deems them to be.

    Reading USSM and Fangraphs should teach otherwise — there are ways of placing value on those “practical skills” based on what his numbers tell you. Saying “I deem [Player X] to be valuable because I love how he hugs guys in the clubhouse, and deem [Player Y] less valuable even though he has much better skills because he is a jerk” may or may not have intangible benefits towards that elusive phenomenon known as “clubhouse chemistry,” but definitely results in a weaker roster and fewer wins.

  127. The Ancient Mariner on September 17th, 2010 9:25 am

    One of the things that has interested me about the ongoing discussion on Lueke (about the only thing that still does, actually) is how few people have stepped up and said, “I too am capable of doing really bad things, and so I need to be careful about passing judgment.” An awful lot of people have spoken from a presumed position of great moral superiority — some of whom have made statements to the effect that if they were connected to the girl, Lueke would be dead (with no sense of the irony of such comments). That’s just not sustainable.

    The truth is, we all have monsters inside us, and sometimes they get loose. Some people, of course, enjoy that and encourage it; many in the blogosphere seem to be assuming that Lueke is one of those and condemning him as such, while the rest of us will be watching closely and hoping he isn’t. But none of us really have justification for claiming certainty on that point, and none of us can really claim to be fundamentally better, either.

    It does appear that in combination with arousal, alcohol set Lueke’s monsters loose, at least to some degree. I think were I with the M’s, I would write zero-tolerance clauses on intoxication into every single contract Lueke ever signs. If he’s ever legally intoxicated, the team has the right to either a) reduce his salary to the minimum — with the difference going to a set charity or charities, not back into the team’s pocket — or b) void the contract, with the decision completely at their discretion.

  128. The Ancient Mariner on September 17th, 2010 9:29 am

    John W.: what if he was too drunk to remember clearly? If he really doesn’t know for certain whether the sex was consensual or not — of course he’s going to say that even if he isn’t sure, but if in his heart, he’s wondering what he really did and what he’s just seen of himself — then offered a nolo plea and a chance to get out of jail, why wouldn’t he take it? It doesn’t require him to say he did anything wrong, and he may well not be sure how hard he can really insist that he didn’t.

  129. John W. on September 17th, 2010 9:30 am

    This is not an arguement about clubhouse chemistry. This is an arguement about his value to the organization. If the mariners had an entire team of convicted rapists that hit the ball like Barry Bonds do you think that Seattle would put their love and money behind the team? Where does talent end?

    And I would love for you to show me a CEO of a Fortune 500 company that was convicted of a crime of this calibre.

  130. HititHere on September 17th, 2010 9:34 am

    Words are words, whether from the bible or otherwise. A plea of “I do not wish to contend” is an action. That action is extremely similar to a guilty plea. You don’t typically plea “no contest” when falsely condemned… not if he cares anything about his name.

    These kind of assumptions really don’t do us any good at this point.

    No contests are often likened to guilty pleas, but they are separate and serve different purposes.

    We can be pretty confident the plea he made was recommended by his lawyer as the best way to A) get out of jail and B) get back on a baseball field.

    Inferring anything past that is tiresome and purely conjecture.

  131. John W. on September 17th, 2010 9:48 am

    “he’s wondering what he really did and what he’s just seen of himself — then offered a nolo plea and a chance to get out of jail, why wouldn’t he take it”

    This is why lawyers argue against No Contest in our law system. It allows for this stupid grey area where pleaing guilty to a violent crime would otherwise be cut and dry. …And allows for people to make unsupported conclusions. If you believe your innocent you plead Not Guilty… Everything else is an admittance of guilt. Believe it or not, there is no varying degree. Whether it came at the hands of a plea deal, or some weird logic doesn’t matter. As I said, we don’t know what goes on in his head we only know what he has done. Actions speak volumnes.

  132. Swungonandbelted on September 17th, 2010 9:55 am

    Looking at Lueke’s story, I can’t help but think there but for the grace of God go I…
    I look back at some of the decisions I made in the early 90′s, as an 18/19yo fresh out from under my parent’s roof for the first time and even today I cringe. On more than one occasion I let myself get put into positions where I could have ended up in fairly hot water had anything gone down (if those same decisions had been made today, the water would have been at a full boil instead of just hot)…

    I’ll be there rooting for Lueke if he ever makes it to the M’s.

  133. rlb on September 17th, 2010 10:12 am

    Yes, there but for the grace of God. But for myself, too, I would want to be held to a standard of remorse and redemption or the pain of the error would have been wasted.

    I am interested in Leuke and his victim as people, want to see restoration and life course correction.

    The M’s have a separate decision that says, despite whatever remorse, do I want our ballclub associated with this. They have a right to do that. He has no right to play MLB. I just hope we get to see a redemption story played out on a large stage.

  134. Chris_From_Bothell on September 17th, 2010 10:21 am
    Turn a negative into a positive by trading him. Relievers are a dime a dozen.

    Congratulations. From the standpoint of logic, I think you just struck yourself out.

    Instant replay shows you got the call wrong.

    He has enough value to help get something else back in trade, but he’s not irreplaceable. There’s players who are tradeable for good value, yet able to be replaced without hurting the trading team, all the time.

    What are you not following about this?

  135. xsacred24x on September 17th, 2010 10:24 am

    Turn a negative into a positive by trading him. Relievers are a dime a dozen.

    Really? Just look at our Relievers and tell me this is true.

  136. putnamp on September 17th, 2010 10:49 am

    Well, you were emphasizing the “with violence” modifier, I assume because of the extremely negative images associated with the word. The images that the word “violence” evokes in the average person, and what the word actually means in a legal context are two different things. I think that’s important for people to understand.

    Fair enough, but I think the point I made in response to you still stands. Whether he actually hit her, or simply used the threat of more serious violence, he was still not above using the threat of violence to get what he wanted from that woman. I trust this was one of the first things to go when he underwent counseling, but we weren’t talking about his character now, we were talking about whether the evidence made for a compelling case that he raped her.

    If Josh Lueke had been sober then you are probably right. If Josh Lueke were sober, there is a good chance he’d be in jail right now. But he wasn’t. His judgement was impaired as well. You are going to have an extremely difficult time proving that two drunk people having consensual sex rises to the level of rape.

    Most of your arguments are pretty cogent and, while I disagree with them, I think they’re worth discussing. This one, though, I think you just don’t seem to be getting it. If she is unable to give consent, then the sex being had by two drunk people was, by definition, not consensual. Let me just repeat that very deliberately because I want to make it clear. For someone to engage in consensual sex, he or she must be capable of giving their consent. She was physically and mentally unable to give consent. Therefore the sex was non-consensual. You keep referring to them as having had potentially consensual sex, even after I’ve tried to make this clear, so I’m being really blunt here in the hopes that we can either put this to rest or figure out where the real confusion lies. I’m not trying to come off as condescending or churlish. Just want to be clear about that.

    That’s just silly. I don’t feel that it’s somehow moral to treat a person like rapist when it’s never been proven that he was actually a rapist. And the courts are certainly much better equipt to judge guilt than you or I am.

    I think you’re being seriously dense when you act like he didn’t do this. Do you *really* think he’s been undergoing all of this therapy and negative press, and that teams are hesitant to even deal with him, because he grabbed a girl by the wrist to prevent her from leaving his apartment? Don’t you think he’d protest that a bit if that’s all he did? He’s not toxic because he’s a big ole meanie, dude, and his silence is pretty tacit acknowledgment. Even if you don’t concede that she was unable to give consent (which the narrative seemed to make clear she wasn’t), things don’t really add up to innocence.

    Realistically, to get by in this world, you have to function with an understanding that, while the legal system is what we rely on to maintain peace and order in our society, it’s not perfect. Guilty men can often go free, and in fact we prefer it be that way than the other way around (although it’s not a strict dichotomy either in theory or in practice). This is especially true in rape cases, where victims often refuse to testify due to trauma from reliving the event, fear of reprisal both from the rapist and from society, and sometimes from a (misguided?) desire to ‘just move on’. You can’t have an open and honest discussion without acknowledging that whether someone is found legally guilty of rape or not does not preclude them from actually having raped someone.

  137. Pete Livengood on September 17th, 2010 10:54 am

    There are many very thoughtful comments here, but I am also disturbed by the large number of people who are willing to make black-and-white judgments either way (but mostly on the side of concluding that Lueke is a rapist and a monster). There are many shades of gray here, and I do not think there is much room for black-and-white conclusions on either side.

    Bottom line is that this is a “he said-she said” case where you mix in lust, alcohol, and the loaded expectations people have when people start throwing around words like “groupies” (see the link below), and you have two people who really can’t testify to anything except what they want to believe (he that the sex was consensual and that he would be incapable of doing such a monstrous thing to an unconscious woman, and she that she would never say “yes” to such depravity). In my mind, there is no way to equate what Lueke did to the stone-cold-sober criminal who stalks women and rapes them. While she may have been so drunk that she could not legally consent, he too may well have been so equally drunk that he could not appreciate that that was the case (assuming she was conscious – which is in dispute, and apparently neither Lueke nor the victim can credibly testify on the subject). Certainly Lueke has some moral and ethical culpability here, but it is just as certainly not the same as you average rapist’s.

    I will also offer this, as a correction to somebody who said that Lueke’s no contest plea means he cannot be sued in civil court. That is not true (and for those unwilling to give him a second chance at a lucrative career, remember that his ability to make a MLB-level living might provide the victim here her only real chance to collect on a potential civil judgment). A “no contest” plea does not include an admission of guilt, and therefor cannot be used as evidence of guilt/fault in a later civil trial – but it does not mean that the possibility of a civil trial is precluded. Whether that happens is up to the victim. Her burden of proof (a preponderance of the evidence) is much lower in a civil trial than it would be in a criminal trial, but again she would have to be willing to re-live the evening, and lots of questions about her own behavior and actions that night.

    I do want to point to an interview that Mitch Levy did with Lueke’s defense attorney this morning, as a means of shedding some light on what happened that night.

    This guy didn’t really answer several questions, and I am not sure he did Josh Lueke any PR favors, but he did vehemently say there was no violence or force whatsoever, he seemed to question even the DNA evidence (though mostly he evaded that question), and he even hinted at a defense that may have been offered.

    Mostly, though, he talked about why Lueke plead “no contest” to a false imprisonment charge: Bakersfield is a conservative place and he felt there was a chance he could be convicted simply because the jury would disapprove of his actions; they felt it important that Lueke get back to his career, so not only avoiding the possiblility of more jail time but even the time it would take for a trial was important to them; he got no more jail time than what was already served, and there is apparently an opportunity after a certain amount of time to get the plea/conviction expunged; and he was allowed to plead “no contest,” which is important when considering its impact on a potential civil case, as I explained above. Those are all valid reasons for a plea, even when one believes himself to be 100% innocent (and yes, HitItHere, the lawyer says this was his strong recommendation, and admits he didn’t foresee the backlash we’re seeing right now). I don’t think too much should be read into this, in terms of creating any certainty about what happened or how we should judge Josh Lueke.

    I do not mean to excuse Josh Lueke, by any means. At the very least, he exercised terrible judgment and put himself in a situation deserving of condemnation. But I do believe in redemption and second chances, hope that he can prove to all of us that he is redeemable, and wish him and the Mariners success. Lord knows they could both use it.

  138. Pete Livengood on September 17th, 2010 11:13 am

    Putnamp, I think the “confusion” lies because you are focusing entirely on the inability of the victim to give legal consent, and you want to judge Josh Lueke by something other than the legal conclusion reached about his behavior.

    We do not know what happened here, exactly. She could have been passed out. Or, she could have been in a drunken stupor, maybe saying something like “yes,” or maybe not. Those were matters in dispute, in classic “he said, she said” fashion. Legally, it probably doesn’t matter – she could not give her consent. But in terms of relative culpability, and ability to garner a rape conviction, it does matter.

    I think it was you who earlier said that doing something while drunk does not obviate one’s responsibility for one’s actions. That may be true morally, but it isn’t always true legally. There are diminished capacity defenses in many states (though I don’t know if California is one of them), and intent is an element which must be proved in nearly all crimes. Whether Josh Lueke was also drunk enough that he lost the ability to appreciate his potential partner’s incapacity to consent (regardless of what he believed she consented to) matters. It matters legally, and to me, it matters in terms of how I judge Lueke morally. I find it a bit scary that so many here don’t seem to think that matters at all and find him no different than your average rapist released from Walla Walla.

  139. dekdek on September 17th, 2010 11:33 am

    So many commentors keep talking about “rape” and “rapist”. There was no rape here, other than perhaps in YOUR judgment. You’re entitled to your opinion, however, factually, Lueke is NOT a rapist because there was no rape.

  140. putnamp on September 17th, 2010 11:39 am

    So many commentors keep talking about “rape” and “rapist”. There was no rape here, other than perhaps in YOUR judgment. You’re entitled to your opinion, however, factually, Lueke is NOT a rapist because there was no rape.

    He had sex with a woman who was by all accounts unable to give consent. That is rape. Hope that helps.

  141. dekdek on September 17th, 2010 11:47 am

    “He had sex with a woman who was by all accounts unable to give consent. That is rape. Hope that helps.”

    Factually incorrect. By his account and by the DA’s account, there was no rape. Legally there is no rape.

  142. putnamp on September 17th, 2010 11:51 am

    Pete:

    I think you’re doing me a disservice here, because several times I’ve expressed a far more nuanced opinion of Lueke than “he is a rapist therefore he is a monster.”

    He may have had diminished capacity to recognize her ability to consent, but that changes the scope of the crime committed, not it’s existence.

    I think it was you who earlier said that doing something while drunk does not obviate one’s responsibility for one’s actions. That may be true morally, but it isn’t always true legally.

    I’ve said very clearly that the legal standing of everything is pretty much settled. He can’t be retried. He may be sued, although it’s doubtful that he will, but the point I’ve been making is that his legal status is irrelevant. There are good people in the world who are convicted criminals, and there are awful people who’ve never stepped astray of the law.

    Lueke did a horrible thing. I hope he finds redemption, and I certainly wish him the chance to find it. What he did was monstrous. I do not know if he is, himself, a monster. Really, only he does. I don’t care, though, because I have no reason to. So I hope he finds redemption, and I hope his victim finds peace. And I still think anyone who draws the conclusion that he committed rape has pretty sturdy ground to stand on.

  143. Mike Snow on September 17th, 2010 11:51 am

    You’re entitled to your opinion

    Hope that helps.

    Everyone’s entitled to develop their own style of commenting, but these kinds of exchanges with the tone of “So what, you’re wrong” don’t actually help the discussion along all that much. I’m impressed that we’ve managed to have a reasonably civil and informed discussion on such a difficult topic, but let’s look more to the tone of people like Pete Livengood, or Dave’s original post. Be thoughtful, don’t just disagree for the sake of being disagreeable.

  144. putnamp on September 17th, 2010 11:52 am

    “He had sex with a woman who was by all accounts unable to give consent. That is rape. Hope that helps.”

    Factually incorrect. By his account and by the DA’s account, there was no rape. Legally there is no rape.

    Great. We’ve been over this. The legal standing is well established, and it’s also irrelevant. Saying it is so, legally, has no impact on whether or not it actually happened.

  145. putnamp on September 17th, 2010 11:56 am

    Everyone’s entitled to develop their own style of commenting, but these kinds of exchanges with the tone of “So what, you’re wrong” don’t actually help the discussion along all that much. I’m impressed that we’ve managed to have a reasonably civil and informed discussion on such a difficult topic, but let’s look more to the tone of people like Pete Livengood, or Dave’s original post. Be thoughtful, don’t just disagree for the sake of being disagreeable.

    I think I’ve been pretty patient and civil. But I’ve also had to repeat myself several times, because people apparently just want to read the last 3 or 4 comments and then chime in in spite of the hundreds of comments made on the subject, and that’s frankly a bit annoying when the topic is something as serious as rape. I’ll stand by the dozen or so other comments I’ve made where I’ve gone out of my way to engage in civil debate in defense of the one snarky response I made to someone’s no-effort rebuttal.

  146. dekdek on September 17th, 2010 12:09 pm

    “that’s frankly a bit annoying when the topic is something as serious as rape.”

    Again, there was no rape. I have read this entire thread starting yesterday. It disturbs me that there are so many diatribes referencing Lueke as a “rapsit” and references to Lueke’s “rape”. when there was no such activity. Many people are taking their limited information and declaring him a rapist and I find that appalling.

  147. Mike Snow on September 17th, 2010 12:12 pm

    It wasn’t a critique of anyone’s overall body of work, just the direction in which the conversation has been moving. And with that, I think it’s time to ask that putnamp and dekdek simply stop the back-and-forth because it’s not moving anything forward.

  148. spankystout on September 17th, 2010 12:29 pm

    Hahaha well put Mike Snow.

  149. putnamp on September 17th, 2010 12:31 pm

    You’re right, it’s not going anywhere, so I’m not going to bother, and I assume he probably feels the same.

  150. Pete Livengood on September 17th, 2010 12:56 pm

    Putnamp, I did not mean to do a disservice to you, and frankly I am probably guilty of lumping you in with commenters whose offerings are far less nuanced and thoughtful as yours. I appreciate and respect your opinion on this, even if we have a somewhat “nuanced” disagreement on some parts of the issues here.

    What led me to my comment that was directed to you is you say things like “the legal status” of things is “irrelevant” but then you also make point after point about how the woman’s *legal* incapacity to consent means “that is rape.” Apart from dekdek’s point (that it is *not* “rape” unless and until the legal system concludes that it is – even if it *is* something reprehensible), you are mixing and matching ethical/moral judgments with legal terminology, and more importantly, ignoring the continuum of culpability that Josh Lueke may have depending on what the facts really are (which we can’t know). What if, even though she was incapable of giving *legal* consent, she said something that a young, drunk, lustful man honestly believed was *actual* consent? After all, that is Lueke’s side of the story. If that’s true, doesn’t it change the moral/ethical judgment of him at least a little bit, as oppposed to flat-out rape or having sex with an unconscious woman? It does to me, I would propose to you that it does to most jurors, which is why the prosector would offer a plea like this in these circumstances.

    Again, I am not condoning or excusing any of Josh Lueke’s behavior. I just find it somewhat unsettling that you think Josh Lueke’s “legal status” of not having been convicted of rape is “irrelevant,” but you are willing conclude the worst about Lueke (and use a legal term – “rape” – in doing so) because of the woman’s legal status here, while ignoring the very large gray area (based on a wide array of unknown and probably unknowable facts) in between.

    That sounds harsher than I mean it, because I do recognize you have acknowledged some of the “nuances” here – but I hope it puts my earlier comments into better perspective.

  151. msb on September 17th, 2010 12:58 pm

    Following up on Pete’s thoughts on the legal aspect, a blog piece by “a criminal defense attorney” popped up today on Seattle Sports Insider

  152. Gregor on September 17th, 2010 12:59 pm
    If Josh Lueke had been sober then you are probably right. If Josh Lueke were sober, there is a good chance he’d be in jail right now. But he wasn’t. His judgement was impaired as well. You are going to have an extremely difficult time proving that two drunk people having consensual sex rises to the level of rape.

    Most of your arguments are pretty cogent and, while I disagree with them, I think they’re worth discussing. This one, though, I think you just don’t seem to be getting it. If she is unable to give consent, then the sex being had by two drunk people was, by definition, not consensual. Let me just repeat that very deliberately because I want to make it clear. For someone to engage in consensual sex, he or she must be capable of giving their consent. She was physically and mentally unable to give consent. Therefore the sex was non-consensual.

    I think you are the one who isn’t getting it. According to your logic, it would be illegal for drunk people to have sex, and the woman, as well as Lueke, should be charged with rape.

  153. harry on September 17th, 2010 1:05 pm

    “Factually incorrect. By his account and by the DA’s account, there was no rape. Legally there is no rape.”

    You have used “factually” and “legally” to mean the same thing, and they are not. That you would fail to draw a distinction between the two is interesting.

    The defense of Lueke seems to come down to rationalizing his situation based on a favorable interpretation of information we do not know, and how things played out in court, as if the legal system is a perfect moral arbiter. Those folks against Lueke (like me) are relying on circumstantial information that implies but does not certify guilt.

    There’s room for both sides to be wrong. Folks should debate with that in mind.

  154. MarcS on September 17th, 2010 1:36 pm

    As much as we’re all sick of this story, I encourage you to listen to KJR’s interview with Josh Lueke’s lawyer, David Torres, before closing the topic. Assuming Torres speaks for Josh Lueke (and the fact that Geoff Baker interviewed Torres with Lueke’s apparent consent a few weeks ago suggests he is still acting as Lueke’s representative in the media), I think Torres’ statements blatantly contradict the assessment that “By most accounts, he’s remorseful for what happened.” Torres asserts Josh’s innocence, disputes the suggestion that Lueke’s DNA was found on or in the woman, and even questions the “alleged” victim’s character (at one even stating that she was wearing “skimpy clothing”). He also claims there was no violence, although we all know that he entered a plea of “no contest” to False Imprisonment with Violence.

    This thread has focused primarily on Josh Lueke himself, whether he deserves a second chance, etc. I think the toughest question we could ask ourselves as fans isn’t “Does Josh deserve a chance to redeem himself?”, but rather: “Will having Josh Lueke play for the Seattle Mariners potentially increase the likelihood of date rape (violence against women, or what have you)?” Perhaps this sounds like overreach or pontificating, but it’s at the heart of why such a crime takes on more significance in sports than in other professions. This decision we should make as fans (I believe) isn’t about how to judge Josh Lueke or whether he should be punished, given a chance, etc; it’s whether we should want him as an athlete to represent our city, and how his doing so could affect the public’s perceptions of his actions (which are clearly related to, if not equivalent to, the crime of date rape).

    If he has truly shown remorse, and worked to prevent something similar from happening to other women, putting him on a major league team could be a net positive. If he hasn’t, doing so would help set back at least partially the work done by many groups to dispel myths that help perpetuate date rape. Fans by nature will want to root for him. I hate the term “role model”, but the business of sports undeniably is rooted in the innate human desire to identify with and root for members of “their” tribe. The comments on Seattle Times, Lookout Landing, Bakersfield Times, and even (too a much lesser extent) USS Mariner stories re: Lueke clearly show fans looking for reasons, logic, or speculative realities that could justify or diminish Lueke’s behavior, which has the real life (if unquantifiable) consequence of keeping the “blame the victim” alive for a bit longer and eroding work done in the past few decades to stigmatize date rape.

    Given this dynamic, the people who would win by putting him on the roster are Josh Lueke himself and the fans that want to see their hometown team win. The losers might be girls or women who might be date raped because efforts to stigmatize odious beliefs that this situation is about, e.g., “the perils of (a) getting way too drunk, and (b) bringing home a girl who’s way too drunk.” The chance that even one additional woman could be date raped because of Lueke’s promotion to the big league may be small, but it’s not infinitesimal or inconsequential. And if Lueke had done or said something publicly that might have offset that small chance, the equation changes – but he hasn’t, and his lawyer has actually made things a hell of a lot worse in this regard.

  155. Pete Livengood on September 17th, 2010 2:01 pm

    MarcS, I actually linked to that interview earlier in the comments, and at the time indicated I didn’t think the lawyer was doing Lueke any favors from a PR standpoint. BUT, I think you are wrong to equate or attribute too much of the lawyer’s comments to actual lack of remorse by Lueke himself.

    Lueke and his lawyer may believe for a variety of reasons that, if they had tried the case, he would likely have been acquitted and may want to seek a forum to say that and explain why under those circumstances they would accept the plea deal they did. It is sometimes difficult to project remorse at the same time as one is trying to convey that message (though this lawyer should have tried a helluva lot harder to do so than he did), particularly if one believes in his own innocence.

    “Remorse” may actually be the wrong word to use here, as it implies a guilt that Lueke (or really, his attorney – let’s not put words in Lueke’s mouth) does not believe he has. But I absolutely agree with you about this: Josh Lueke needs to understand, and accept, that he may horrible choices with horrible consequences for this girl – and for him. Whether or not he believes he is “guilty” or not, he should be sorry for that, recognize that he has a somewhat unique platform to educate other young men about the consequences of making choices such as the ones he made that night, and probably has some moral obligation to utilize that platform to make *some* good come out of a horrific situation. If he does that, it will make a difference to a lot of people, and will be absolutely consistent with the Mariners’ Refuse to Abuse program and their support of and affiliation with groups fighting domestic abuse.

  156. pgreyy on September 17th, 2010 2:06 pm

    An interesting discussion…but I’m more concerned about what we do now, rather than what happened (or might have happened or definitely happened but couldn’t be proved by our legal standards) then…and that leads me to more questions than I can answer.

    Are we, by living in and/or rooting for a team based in Seattle somehow required to expect more of the character of our chosen sports team members than other towns?

    The Seahawks made it very clear they would never even think about signing Michael Vick. The Mariners made it very clear they would never even think about signing Barry Bonds. The Sonics shipped out Ruben Patterson as soon as they could.

    And yet, this town has proven that what they really respond to is WINNING. All of this talk about attendance being impacted by the character of a team seems foolish when compared to the reality of how these teams are drawing…unless they’re winning.

    Do we really “Gotta Love These Guys”…more so than Los Angeles has to love everything about Kobe Bryant or Pittsburgh has to love everything about Big Ben? Are we hamstringing ourselves and our competitiveness unnecessarily?

    We survived Carl Everett, Jose Guillen, Milton Bradley–when a lot of people thought the sky would fall if we ever let them into our town. We even made a hero out of Xavier McDaniel (although, the team shipped him out, too…)

    Did more people come to see the Mariners play when they cut ties to Julio Mateo? Would the stands be empty if they hadn’t…and would that have been because they hadn’t cut ties to him or because the team wasn’t winning?

    The next question is for the team–and we have to accept that this is the question they MUST answer and soon. Is Josh Lueke going to help this team win…to a level that is worth whatever public relations hassle having him on the team will cause?

    Yes, the “Refuse to Abuse” campaign is important to the team’s public relations…but it has very little to do with the team’s play on the field or the team’s bottom line.

    I doubt there’s ANYONE who has decided to go to Safeco Field because they take a strong stand against violence to women. That’s nice and commendable, but it isn’t the reason people choose to go to sporting events.

    If the team feels that Josh Lueke is someone who can seriously help them win, then depending on his willingness to do so…he could be encouraged to speak out as a cautionary tale…of someone lucky to have been given a second chance, about how he wishes he’d have learned his lesson before he made such terrible, hurtful decisions…about how the type of thing that he did can’t be tolerated…that he’s paid the price and will live with the shame, regret and guilt forever.

    …and then the team hopes that smooths over their PR problem with keeping him…at least until the team starts winning and the town gets caught up in all that…

    If the team doesn’t win, then this will just be one more in the endless litany of complaints that will be launched at a disappointing organization.

    Personally? There have been Mariners that I haven’t cheered for when they’re announced at the start of the game. But when they do something on the field that helps the team…I don’t care who they are or what I think about them, I’m cheering.

    That means if Charles Manson could hit consistently with power, even in Safeco, in a Mariners uniform…I’d be with everybody in the stands, cheering like crazy when he knocked in the game winning run.

    (And complaining like crazy whenever he’d go into a slump… Sorry, Charlie…)

  157. putnamp on September 17th, 2010 2:08 pm

    I think you are the one who isn’t getting it. According to your logic, it would be illegal for drunk people to have sex, and the woman, as well as Lueke, should be charged with rape.

    There are some rather fringe elements of feminism that will say that any sex with a drunk woman is rape. I think that’s a bit extreme, but the point they’re trying to get at is that sex, at it’s heart, must be consensual by both partners. If a partner has a diminished capacity (in the literal, not legal sense) to consent, then to whatever degree they were impaired, so too was their consent limited.

    I’m not asking you to agree with the statement that sex with a drunk woman is automatically rape. But you have to acknowledge that the story as given to us indicates that she was beyond just ‘a little drunk’. In her last stated memory of the night, she was sick, and on the verge of passing out. We’re not talking about a slippery slope of ‘just a little drunk’ here. And, I would also mention that one of the original charges was that she had been drugged. Presumably the dispute is in whether or not Lueke drugged her, but she was clearly out of it.

    you are mixing and matching ethical/moral judgments with legal terminology, and more importantly, ignoring the continuum of culpability that Josh Lueke may have depending on what the facts really are (which we can’t know). What if, even though she was incapable of giving *legal* consent, she said something that a young, drunk, lustful man honestly believed was *actual* consent?

    I’m not sure where you got the idea that I was making a legal argument. Consent is more than just a legal concept. Her inability to legally consent may or may not be immediately relevant, but it serves as a pretty serviceable benchmark. Either way, though, my point was about her *actual* ability to consent, not her legal ability.

    As to your second question, if she was that piss drunk, then the game’s up. He’s not entitled to sex with her, and I can’t stress that enough. A tie doesn’t go to the runner here (and yes, I do feel bad for making that analogy). If his story has any truth to it then it’s unfortunate because she had given him every indication that she was interested, but if she isn’t consenting at the time of the act then that’s where it ends.

  158. Mike Snow on September 17th, 2010 2:14 pm

    Well, nobody’s ever “entitled” to sex, regardless of circumstances, that’s sort of implicit in requiring consent in the first place.

  159. putnamp on September 17th, 2010 2:37 pm

    Well, nobody’s ever “entitled” to sex, regardless of circumstances, that’s sort of implicit in requiring consent in the first place.

    Right. So if she was incapable of giving consent and she said something he believed was consent, then he should have known it wasn’t.

  160. Pete Livengood on September 17th, 2010 2:46 pm

    Drunk people are capable of “consent” (i.e., saying yes) while at the same time they are incapable of being able to consent legally. You have repeatedly stressed the latter point, and drawn a legal conclusion (therefore, “rape”) without acknowledging that an equally or nearly equally incapacitated young man may not have had the experience or even the ability to make the distinction you are trying to make. My main point is that his moral (and legal) culpability in that situation is less than you seem willing to consider, and definitely impacts my opinion on whether he deserves a second chance.

  161. Pete Livengood on September 17th, 2010 2:56 pm

    putnamp said:

    “… if she was incapable of giving consent and she said something he believed was consent, then he should have known it wasn’t.”

    This boils down the essence of our disagreement. I think you are asking a lot of a horny, drunk, 19-year-old (even if you are legally correct), and focusing an awful lot on her incapacity while ignoring his.

  162. Gerald on September 17th, 2010 3:13 pm

    I don’t really care if people are going to root for or against Lueke, or think he should or shouldn’t have the chance to play for the Mariners. What I want to avoid repeating is a Carlos Guillen scenario where the club screws itself out of a great talent and simultaneously sabotages the trade value of the player to the extent that they get nothing but garbage in return. If Armstrong hadn’t pitched such a fit about this, they probably could have turned around and traded him to somebody else for a decent return, but his actions have drawn so much attention to it that I doubt anybody in MLB wants to create the same firestorm around their own clubs.

    For that reason alone, I really hope Leuke doesn’t get traded and has a nice run with the Mariners.

  163. Faceplant on September 17th, 2010 3:18 pm

    And, I would also mention that one of the original charges was that she had been drugged.

    That doesn’t mean what you seem to think it means. When they use the term “drugged” they are referring to “any intoxicating
    or anesthetic substance, or any controlled substance”. The applicable statute is California Penal Code 261(a)(3). In this case they are simply referring to her being blacked out drunk.

  164. Faceplant on September 17th, 2010 3:20 pm

    I think you are asking a lot of a horny, drunk, 19-year-old (even if you are legally correct), and focusing an awful lot on her incapacity while ignoring his.

    I couldn’t possibly have said this any better.

  165. MarcS on September 17th, 2010 3:58 pm

    Pete/Faceplant/Putnamp – I think/hope you are getting into the theoretical weeds here, because the coverage suggests that (according to the victim and others in the house) she was actually passed out at the time the sex occurred.
    The circumstantial evidence that she was passed out

    It it not too much to ask of a horny, drunk, 19-year-old not to have sex with (or “falsely imprison with violence”) someone who is passed out. He committed a crime, and one the Mariners need him to own up to if he wants a chance to succeed in a career where he is by definition a public figure.

  166. IdahoFan on September 17th, 2010 4:05 pm

    “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

    The piece by the criminal defense attorney posted on Seattle Sports Insider was very helpful. It, along with the radio interview with Lueke’s attorney, helped me see just how much my perception of this story was shaped by the Seattle Times reporter. I’m not going to condemn Lueke based on that article.

    As Dave points out so often, we don’t know everything. I’d want to know more before I decided that this player should be punished further.

    Come and pitch for Seattle Josh—but don’t be foolish, you won’t get another chance. Let your actions demonstrate that you’ve learned from your mistake.

  167. putnamp on September 17th, 2010 4:07 pm

    Drunk people are capable of “consent” (i.e., saying yes) while at the same time they are incapable of being able to consent legally. You have repeatedly stressed the latter point, and drawn a legal conclusion (therefore, “rape”) without acknowledging that an equally or nearly equally incapacitated young man may not have had the experience or even the ability to make the distinction you are trying to make. My main point is that his moral (and legal) culpability in that situation is less than you seem willing to consider, and definitely impacts my opinion on whether he deserves a second chance.

    It impacts my opinion as well; what gave you the idea that it didn’t? It doesn’t change that he did it, but it affects how I feel about his likelihood to do it again, for example, or his capacity to be educated to the point that he knows better in the future. Doesn’t mean what he did was any easier on the victim, though.

    This boils down the essence of our disagreement. I think you are asking a lot of a horny, drunk, 19-year-old (even if you are legally correct), and focusing an awful lot on her incapacity while ignoring his.

    I’m asking him not to have sex with someone who is absolutely piss drunk and possibly drugged. The fact that nobody ever taught him that this was a bad idea doesn’t excuse him from having done it. I’m sorry, but I’m not going to buy into the suggestion that horny, drunk, 19-year-old guys are not as obligated to Not Rape People as others.

  168. putnamp on September 17th, 2010 4:12 pm

    Pete/Faceplant/Putnamp – I think/hope you are getting into the theoretical weeds here, because the coverage suggests that (according to the victim and others in the house) she was actually passed out at the time the sex occurred.
    The circumstantial evidence that she was passed out

    Someone, I don’t remember who at this point, floated the suggestion that “for all we know, it was consensual”, and I’m arguing that given what we know from the article posted in this entry that she was utterly trashed, there’s no way it could’ve been consensual. If she was in fact passed out, then that makes my case a bit easier, but even if she wasn’t, I feel it’s important to point out that if a girl is completely wasted, even though you may think she’s giving you the green light, you’re still treading a dangerous line by doing it anyway.

    I also had a hell of a time finding any other accounts of the rape. All the common search terms just lead to people hand-wringing over Seattle’s acquiring him, and very little of it seems to involve actual documentation of the case itself. If you have sources could you link them? I’d really like to give them a look.

  169. JMHawkins on September 17th, 2010 4:30 pm

    for:

    Whether Josh Lueke was also drunk enough that he lost the ability to appreciate his potential partner’s incapacity to consent (regardless of what he believed she consented to) matters. It matters legally, and to me, it matters in terms of how I judge Lueke morally. I find it a bit scary that so many here don’t seem to think that matters at all and find him no different than your average rapist released from Walla Walla.

    and

    This boils down the essence of our disagreement. I think you are asking a lot of a horny, drunk, 19-year-old (even if you are legally correct), and focusing an awful lot on her incapacity while ignoring his.

    Thank you Pete. Well said.

  170. MBK on September 17th, 2010 5:14 pm

    While I agree that Josh needs watching (for patterns of behavior) I’m not willing to throw him to the wolves just yet. Dave is right that we will never know the full details of this story. They were both probably highly intoxicated and there is a possibility that the sex was consentual even though she may not remember it. He could be guilty of rape, or he could be guilty of stupidly putting himself in bad situations. Sex criminals generally always display a pattern of behavior and a progression of their crimes. If there is no past and no future of sex crimes for him then we can assume is was a stupid isolated error in judgement. A big assumption as there could be unknown things from his past. But we can’t very well condemn him for an imagined history. Josh, be smarter.

  171. Jake Squid on September 17th, 2010 6:00 pm

    putnamp has done an admirable job of patiently explaining his position. I am thankful for that.

    I seem to be in the clear minority here but I really don’t think that it’s too much to ask that a horny, drunk 19 year old not have sex with an unconscious person. I’m flabbergasted that so many feel that this is an unreasonable expectation.

  172. dmojr on September 17th, 2010 6:09 pm

    It would be like not allowing a ball player that got a DUI to play again. A drunken night and a bad mistake is no worse than someone getting smashed and driving a car. I feel bad for the victim, dont get me wrong.. But no one knows what was said and done that night. Im sorry, get over the story, let the guy play ball.

  173. harry on September 17th, 2010 7:32 pm

    Jake Squid put it beautifully: sure, assume this was a drunken mistake. I’ve made drunken mistakes. But none of those mistakes included, or rose to the level of, having sex with an unconscious woman. Has anyone here done something as bad as that when plastered?

    Seriously. I’ve been seriously drunk before, I’ve partied drunk with lots of people I didn’t really know, and been around people who were equally drunk, and no one did anything like that, ever. I never would have considered it. Why should folks be understanding that he did?

  174. nwivoryhunter on September 17th, 2010 11:02 pm

    Plain and simple, both parties made a mistake. Honestly, any chick that hangs out at the ballpark waiting for players after the game, leaves with said players that she doesn’t even know and goes out drinking with them and finds herself at their house late night should have used way better judgement, just like Josh. It’s unfortunately a really bad situation that all parties contributed to, without question. I will bet that the truth is not as nasty as the opinions, legal and professional ramifications will ever be. Oh, did anybody read the depositions and declarations from the victim? I did! As somebody that workss in the legal field and has access, all she wanted was an apology from him in court which is pretty standard for something along these unfortunate lines. Chill out Seattle!!!

  175. putnamp on September 18th, 2010 2:12 am

    Plain and simple, both parties made a mistake. Honestly, any chick that hangs out at the ballpark waiting for players after the game, leaves with said players that she doesn’t even know and goes out drinking with them and finds herself at their house late night should have used way better judgement, just like Josh.

    Yes, they both made mistakes. You’re implying an equivalence, though, that is both grossly mistaken and kinda scarily close to the “asking for it” trope. If you don’t think there’s an equivalence there, then you didn’t do a very good job of showing what distinction you see between the two and their choice of actions.

    As convenient as it might seem, acting like this was everybody’s mistake is both wrong and destructive, so I really hope that’s not where you’re going with that.

  176. Badbadger on September 18th, 2010 7:18 am

    I’m asking him not to have sex with someone who is absolutely piss drunk and possibly drugged. The fact that nobody ever taught him that this was a bad idea doesn’t excuse him from having done it. I’m sorry, but I’m not going to buy into the suggestion that horny, drunk, 19-year-old guys are not as obligated to Not Rape People as others.

    The point that was being made though is that he may also have been absolutely piss drunk, and you’re requiring a degree of coherence from him that you are saying she was not capable of. You’re saying that even if she did say yes (and of course I don’t know if she did) she is not responsible for it, but he is still responsible for his consent.

    Personally, I think that it is likely that Lueke is a bad person who is or was willing to have sex with an unconsious woman, but it is not impossible that they were both really drunk and had consentual sex and she doesn’t remember it. It is not satisfying to not know in situations like this, but I don’t think that we do know.

  177. Pete Livengood on September 18th, 2010 10:11 am

    MarcS wrote:

    “Pete/Faceplant/Putnamp – I think/hope you are getting into the theoretical weeds here, because the coverage suggests that (according to the victim and others in the house) she was actually passed out at the time the sex occurred.”

    MarcS (and Jake Squid, Harry, Putnamp, and others I am probably forgetting):

    You are correct. Despite several characterizations to the contrary, I have been very careful to lay out the framework of this discussion on my end.

    I realize that the victim says she was passed out (or at least doesn’t remember) at the time (though I was not aware that there was testimony to that effect from anybody other than the victim – I have read most accounts of this and have not seen that; please post your sources for that as I would like to read them). I hope you also realize that Josh Lueke says this isn’t true, and that the sex was consensual.

    Like many cases, this is a “he said-she said” situation. My entire discussion of this has been based on the idea, as Dave said, that we cannot know the truth of what happened that night. My guess is that the prosecutor would not have agreed to Lueke’s eventual plea had there not been some problems with proving the rape charge under the facts as alleged by the victim, but again I don’t (and can’t) really know. But for the purposes of this discussion, I’ve asked that you assume that he is telling the truth.

    I have not defended Josh Lueke’s actions, which I find deplorable even when assuming that his story represents the truth of the matter. I am suggesting, however, that his moral culpability (and my willingness to give him a chance for redemption) for his actions changes quite a bit depending on where the truth lies. Those who seem to want to criticize my position because of the assumption I have made (again, for the purposes of argument only) are themselves making an assumption that the victim’s testimony represents “the truth” and don’t seem willing to consider any other possibility.

  178. Axtell on September 18th, 2010 10:48 am

    He’s served his time according to the law. If the prosecution felt that there was a strong case to prove he raped her, they would have proceeded with it. DA’s aren’t in the habit of letting people off with plea bargains when there is evidence of a more serious crime. From the reading of the case, this woman willingly partied with these guys, willingly got drunk with them, and then willingly went home with 2 of them. I’m not saying that means she should be forced to have sex with them, and that something bad didn’t happen, but its obvious that the rape charges would have been impossible to prove in court.

    The guy has served his sentence according to the law. He has complied with every single requirement of his employer since being released. He’s fully entitled to his career, as outlined by both the legal process and his employer.

  179. putnamp on September 18th, 2010 11:18 am

    He’s served his time according to the law. If the prosecution felt that there was a strong case to prove he raped her, they would have proceeded with it. DA’s aren’t in the habit of letting people off with plea bargains when there is evidence of a more serious crime. From the reading of the case, this woman willingly partied with these guys, willingly got drunk with them, and then willingly went home with 2 of them. I’m not saying that means she should be forced to have sex with them, and that something bad didn’t happen, but its obvious that the rape charges would have been impossible to prove in court.

    Oh come on, we’ve been over this like 3 times. The DA just as easily, and in fact very probably, could’ve dropped the charges because the victim didn’t want to go through with a full trial. Rape is not like other crimes in this regard because generally rape victims suffer a lot of apprehension and social pressure around testifying. I’ve said this repeatedly, as have others. Please take a minute to read or something, instead of assuming that nobody’s ever thought of this genius thing you’re about to post.

  180. zeke5123 on September 22nd, 2010 12:13 pm

    putnamp on September 17th, 2010 2:08 pm
    I think you are the one who isn’t getting it. According to your logic, it would be illegal for drunk people to have sex, and the woman, as well as Lueke, should be charged with rape.
    There are some rather fringe elements of feminism that will say that any sex with a drunk woman is rape. I think that’s a bit extreme, but the point they’re trying to get at is that sex, at it’s heart, must be consensual by both partners. If a partner has a diminished capacity (in the literal, not legal sense) to consent, then to whatever degree they were impaired, so too was their consent limited.
    I’m not asking you to agree with the statement that sex with a drunk woman is automatically rape. But you have to acknowledge that the story as given to us indicates that she was beyond just ‘a little drunk’. In her last stated memory of the night, she was sick, and on the verge of passing out. We’re not talking about a slippery slope of ‘just a little drunk’ here. And, I would also mention that one of the original charges was that she had been drugged. Presumably the dispute is in whether or not Lueke drugged her, but she was clearly out of it.

    I am a little late to the party, but this statement really irked me. I understand that putnamp is being honest in his/her thoughts, but I need to point out the inconsistency.

    This post assumes they were both drunk.

    Feminism deals with equality, man and woman are equal. It is a rejection of patriarchy. The point putnamp has advanced is in keeping with patriarchy. Two drunk individuals having sex, the onus is on the MAN to establish consent because the WOMAN is incapable. The whole thinking is warped. If both people are equal and both people are drunk, it is sexist to ascribe to one of the parties culpability because he is the man. Indeed, it is patriarchal in nature, the opposite of feminism. You are saying the woman is incapable, only the man can make this choice.

    Now there may be varying degrees of inebriation. But, it is difficult legally and morally to differentiate between brown-out drunk and black-out drunk.

    If they were both drunk and consent was giving in this state, it is entirely sexist to attach culpability to Lueke will treating the woman as a victim.

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