Fox News on Kramer’s Jail Stay

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.]

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7 thoughts on “Fox News on Kramer’s Jail Stay

  1. Kramer is only Observant and devout when it suit his needs. He certainly never had any problems toiling on the Sabbath when it came to DragonCon, and he definitely never wore a yarmulke in public before his arrest. He’s a congenital liar, trying to hide behind the appearance of faith, and I’m glad the authorities are finally stepping up their game and calling him on his manipulative behavior.

  2. I remember reading he was (pardon the Yiddishism, given the context) schlepping a heavy film camera uphill for some distance while in Connecticut prior to his arrest there. If there are witnesses who can testify to that, it should support an early (from now) trial date.

  3. “Was he set up by enemies he made in the seedy underworld of science fiction conventions?” — Binyamin Cohen, American Jewish Life Magazine

    I’ve seen nasty convention politics on occasion but this is the first time I’ve ever heard we had a “seedy underworld” amongst us.

  4. Back before the alleged incidents took place, I never noticed Mr. Kramer observing the Sabbath by not participating in convention activities when he attended conventions in Florida. He may have become more devout since then but I suspect he will have to find a way to demonstrate that he has if he wants the authorities to believe that. Since under the law , he is innocent, it seems to me that he would be well advised to quit spending money on law suits and go to trial. I think all involved except Mr. Kramer want this over with. It feels like he’s just playing games.

  5. I think all involved except Mr. Kramer want this over with. It feels like he’s just playing games.

    In other news, I can’t shake this nagging feeling David Duke doesn’t like Jews very much. The reports say dozens of witnesses saw him on the location shoot of “The Penny Dreadful Picture Show” toting cameras and walking around. He gets arrested, and all of a sudden he’s back in the neck brace and wheelchair again.

    Since under the law , he is innocent, it seems to me that he would be well advised to quit spending money on law suits and go to trial.

    Unfortunately, the man has been extremely successful in avoiding trial for 12 years using these shenanigans. The props: the neck brace, the wheelchair, the CPAP machine, the whole situationally Shomer Shabbat act complete with tallit and yarmulke, anything to throw sand into the already exceeding slow grinding gears of justice. With his medical complaints he eventually wore the system down into giving him an indindefinite continuance. House arrest is a hell of a lot better than going to the pokey as a rock spider. He has no incentive to do other than what he is doing.

    His is hardly the behaviour of a man who wants to clear his name by having his day in court. His defenders who used to claim, in a classic display of chutzpah, that the very delays in setting a court date that Kramer fought tooth and nail to obtain were proof of how the Atlanta DA and court system were violating his rights, they are now gone. It is now obvious to everybody that, for whatever reason, the man will do anything to avoid a trial date. Hopefully now the court system will get wise to his act and tell him he’s going to trial in two months, come hell or high water.

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