Thursday, November 01, 2007

The Goddess Wins One

I love me some righteous justice. What a nice way to celebrate Halloween.

A Pennsylvania jury has awarded the family of slain Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder some eleven million dollars in a court case against the “ministry” of Fred Phelps.

After members of Reverend Fred Phelps’ Westboro Baptist Church demonstrated at the funeral of Lance Corporal Matthew Snyder his father was justifiably upset. But Albert Snyder didn’t just get mad - he got even:

A grieving father won a nearly $11 million verdict Wednesday against a fundamentalist Kansas church that pickets military funerals in the belief that the war in Iraq is a punishment for the nation’s tolerance of homosexuality.

Albert Snyder of York, Pennsylvania., sued the Westboro Baptist Church for unspecified damages after members demonstrated at the March 2006 funeral of his son, Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder, who was killed in Iraq.

The jury first awarded $2.9 million in compensatory damages. It returned later in the afternoon with its decision to award $6 million in punitive damages for invasion of privacy and $2 million for causing emotional distress.

U.S. District Judge Richard Bennett noted the size of the award for compensating damages “far exceeds the net worth of the defendants,” according to financial statements filed with the court.

What is unbelievable is the following:

Outside court today, Rev Phelps and his children waved placards with slogans such as “Pray for more dead kids” and “God hates fag enablers”, while passing drivers and pedestrians shouted abuse at them.

Defence lawyer Jonathan Katz urged jurors not to award punitive damages because the $US2.9 million ($A3.11 million) in compensatory damages was already three times the defendants’ net worth.

“It’s enough already to bankrupt them and financially destroy them,” Mr Katz said.

Pretty much leaves one speechless. Let's hope they lose their appeal.

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