Atlanta’s Fox News station devoted five minutes of its April 16 broadcast to Ed Kramer’s conduct since being returned to jail in Georgia. Kramer has filed a new lawsuit against his Gwinnett County jailers for not accommodating his many disabilities.
The Fox anchor’s sneer and dismissive hand-wave as she utters the words “science fiction” in the introduction are precious, but I find the video report itself disturbing.
The station website’s description conveys its tone —
A Georgia man who successfully delayed his child molestation trial for more than a decade is now running up big medical bills in jail and filing hundreds of sometimes bizarre complaints.
Ed Kramer co-founded DragonCon, the popular science fiction convention held each year in Atlanta.
Gwinnett County’s sheriff tells FOX 5 I-Team reporter Randy Travis that some of Kramer’s complaints are out of this world.
Kramer has filed 214 requests and grievances since arriving back in Gwinnett County. Because Kramer sued them before, blaming a deputy’s assault for his neck injury, sheriffs video recorded the entire journey from Connecticut to Georgia.
Four of the five illustrations provided of Kramer’s “hundreds of bizarre complaints” are not “bizarre” in any real-world sense, merely attempts to reconcile jail life with strict Jewish dietary and hygiene rules or to celebrate the Sabbath. (The report shows Kramer telling someone, “Right after sunset I’ll be glad to sign anything you need me to.”) The fifth example is a menu request, not at all extraordinary, despite the Sheriff’s relish in rejecting it.
The requests are not bizarre. Whether Kramer’s beliefs are sincere is a separate question. A deputy said religious observances were not part of his incarceration 13 years ago. The Sheriff of Gwinnett County was openly skeptical that Kramer has the same requirements when he is not in jail. In contrast, a sympathetic account of Kramer’s beliefs — “Truth, Justice and Ed Kramer” — was published in American Jewish Life Magazine in 2004.
Kramer wore a neck brace and rode as a patient in an air ambulance when he was extradited from Connecticut and Gwinnett County in January. The county says it has paid $23,000 for Kramer’s medical bills since his return.
Kramer continues to argue that his medical condition makes him unable to stand trial. Or as the Fox reporter dramatizes, “To sit through this trial would endanger his life.”
[Thanks to Nancy Collins for the story.]