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    June 24, 2009

    Sanford's 'crime against morality'

    Posted by: Chris

    Marksanford Following the admission by Republican Gov. Mark Sanford that he had disappeared to Argentina as part of an extramarital affair, some have been minimizing the legal dimension of his offense.  Unlike Republican Sen. David Vitter (La.), who admitted to having sex with a prostitute, the South Carolina governor hasn't broken any laws.

    That may be untrue under South Carolina's penal code:

    Title 16 - Crimes and Offenses
    CHAPTER 15.

    SECTION 16-15-60. Adultery or fornication.
    Any man or woman who shall be guilty of the crime of adultery or fornication shall be liable to indictment and, on conviction, shall be severally punished by a fine of not less than one hundred dollars nor more than five hundred dollars or imprisonment for not less than six months nor more than one year or by both fine and imprisonment, at the discretion of the court.

    SECTION 16-15-70. "Adultery" defined.

    "Adultery" is the living together and carnal intercourse with each other or habitual carnal intercourse with each other without living together of a man and woman when either is lawfully married to some other person.

    The crime of adultery is listed along side not just prostitution, but bigamy and incest. I wonder if his relationship with his mistress will be compared to a same-sex marriage. The prohibition against "buggery" remains on the books in South Carolina in the same section of the criminal code.

    Without additional information about the extent of "carnal intercourse" between the governor and his Eva Peron, it's impossible to know if it was so "habitual" as to constitute the crime of adultery.  Also unclear is whether the South Carolina criminal prohibitions against adultery and fornication survive the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Lawrence vs. Texas, striking down state sodomy statutes.

    No doubt Sanford disagreed strongly with the Lawrence ruling, at least until recently.



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    1. Kelly on Jun 24, 2009 5:25:47 PM:

      Ah, but he did whatever he did outside the state, so I don't see how SC has jurisdiction. Still, it would make for a nice question to his office: "Given the governor's admission to criminal behavior, will he resign or call for repeal of the state's criminal penalties for adulterers?"

    1. Hawyer on Jun 24, 2009 7:28:55 PM:

      You know - Republicans across-the-board have been nattering about what they need to do to resurrect their credibility. My answer - start with walking the "family values" of which they so glibly talk. On that score, they are a fucking freak show - from Sen. Larry Craig's forray into glory hole bathroom sex to this kness-slapping adulterous side-show courtesy of Gov. Mark Sanford.

      But - there's not a CHANCE he'll be indicted and convicted of adultery.

      Meanwhile the SC legislature today 06/24/09 ratified the Gay Marriage Amendment which passed last November. For that Gov. blueballs weighed in foursquare against gay marriage AND gay civil unions. Tsk Tsk But fucking an Argentinan prostitute and skipping out on his four sons on Father's Day are apparently just dandy. Waaa Ha Ha !!!!

      LINK >

    1. Michael on Jun 24, 2009 10:25:34 PM:

      Don't think Lawrence is going to save him. As I recall, that only struck sodomy laws off the books. Other laws dealing with other sexual misconduct would, I imagine, remain valid and in force--even if they were codified in the same article. The Supreme Court's decision in Lawrence should, I think, only reach the specific provision on sodomy.

    1. James M. Taft on Jun 25, 2009 2:33:45 PM:

      No wonder we have lost confidence in our elected people they are too busy F***ing around, yet they were real mad when Clinton ate P**** in the oval office, they got busted, impeach them

    1. Hawyer on Jun 25, 2009 2:54:58 PM:

      The Repubs should give Bill Clinton a medal of honor for doing it in the White House under cover of the Secret Service.Any criticism of Slick Willie is just sour grapes.

    1. Georgiaguy on Jun 27, 2009 12:47:53 PM:

      I think we have seen the last of Republican moralizing on family values and gay rights. Any attempt to use those will result in howls of laughter from commentators, but never overestimate the intelligence of the American voter. They re-elected Bush, didn't they. The bashing given Rick Warren will keep his big mouth shut, he so wants to be Billy Graham. Dobson has retired and Pat Robertson sounds senile.

      Obama came close to winning South Carolina and things are changing there. An out lesbian came close to upsetting a conservative Republican incumbent in 2008. One confirmed bachelor (GAY!) is US senator and another one is the lieutenant governor. Graham seems to be hiking the Appalachian trail to avoid comment, although Andre Bauer (lt. gov.) was on Rachel Maddow and local press. You can no long keep secrets (like Strom Thurmond's black daughter) out of the public.

    1. cheap ugg boots on Nov 29, 2010 6:22:08 AM:

      Rank and file Democrats are not about spend one-cent of political capital on us. (Hello Nancy Pelosi - you bitch; and Harry Reid - your Mormon piece of shit.)

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