After 13 years of delays and tactical efforts to avoid trial on charges of child molestation, Dragon*Con founder Ed Kramer is due have his day in court at last, however unwillingly.
The judge has ordered many accommodations to Kramer’s health problems – which the Gwinnett County jail’s medical director previously testified includes pain from a cervical fusion, psoriatic arthritis, diabetes and emphysema. In the courtroom Kramer will have:
— Access to medications
— Use of his oxygen system and TENS unit (an electrical nerve stimulator used to treat back pain), as well as plenty of batteries for them and “personnel knowledgeable in the operation of such equipment.”
— A wheelchair or walker
— “Proper nutrition to manage his blood sugar”
— A 60- to 90-minute break from proceedings “approximately every four hours,” and the opportunity to recline during those breaks
— The use of an “assistive listening system”
The alleged victims — now “grown men with careers” notes the district attorney — will travel to Georgia from their homes in the western U.S.
In the event of a conviction, one technical question is what sentencing guidelines would apply. Since Kramer’s original arrest Georgia has increased the penalties: each of the six counts of child molestation he’s facing now carries a mandatory minimum of 25 years in prison; the two aggravated counts now have the potential for life sentences.
On the other hand, District Attorney Danny Porter speculates that if convicted Kramer might not serve much of any sentence:
“The real elephant in the room is if we were to try the case, and if he were convicted, and if he were sentenced to the Georgia prison system, he’s so difficult to maintain in incarceration that what I’m afraid of is he might be paroled out early,” Porter said. “And then we’d have to rely on parole to control his behavior. That’s something of real concern to me.”
[Thanks to Nancy A. Collins for the link.]