Former professor accused of prostitution, commits suicide
Is Society Now safer? 1/29/07

BALTIMORE Maryland authorities say a former university professor accused of prostitution hanged herself over the weekend. Brandy Britton's body was found at her home in suburban Baltimore by a family member. She was a sociology and anthropology professor at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County until she lost her job in 1999 and filed a discrimination suit.

Britton was charged a year ago with four counts of prostitution. She had been scheduled to go on trial next Monday. The charges carried up to a year in jail each. A prosecutor says it's unlikely she would have served any time. Her attorney questions whether the public was served by Britton's arrest and prosecution.


Comments from a blog sent to me:

Brandy Britton, 43, had been a professor at the University of Maryland. She taught in the fields of sociology and anthropology at the University of Maryland until 1999 when she lost her job. There isn’t a high demand in those fields. You rarely hear anyone saying, “Gee, I was looking for a good anthropologist. Can you recommend anyone?” So Britton turned to the oldest profession in the books, so old in fact that anthropologists study it. She became a prostitute.

And things must have gone well enough for her since she continued in the profession for some years. One year ago the local police, having run out of real criminals to pursue, turned their attention to Britton and arrested her. The local prosecutor also lacking any other activity of value worth doing was taking her to court in a few days times. Britton faced four charges and each carried a potential of one year in prison. Britton, however hung herself.

Christopher Flohr was her attorney. He said she was “kind and generous”. And he noted: “Her death underscores an important question: Was the public benefited at all by the resources spent on her arrest and prosecution?”

Busybody neighbors bare some of the responsibility. They noticed “men pulling up in fancy cars and staying only briefly”. What is missing? They didn’t notice any deterioration of the upscale neighborhood. They didn’t find drug dealers or other prostitutes hanging around outside the door. In fact they didn’t see anything except men periodically driving up to Britton’s home. But they suspected she was having sex and in America that’s practically considered tantamount to genocide. One can have sex, of course, provided they hide the fact and feel guilty about it.

With the nosey neighbors peering over the fence, hoping to catch a glimpse of something salacious, the police decided to investigate. Now one news article I read said: “According to Baltimore Crime Statistics and Crime Data, Baltimore’s crime level rates ‘worse’ than the national average in every category except the ‘Rape” category.”

The Baltimore Examiner had a headline that screamed: “In Baltimore, not even police officers are safe from random crime.” They write: “Two visiting law enforcement officers were robbed at gunpoint outside a bar in a trendy section of Baltimore, hours before they were to attend the funeral of a Baltimore detective who was shot to death during a robbery attempt at the end of his shift.”

Police Commissioner Leonard Hamm said: “We’re hurting as a city.” After this attack one of the police officers said: “I’m upset that stuff like this is happening in Baltimore and in areas that are fairly decent. I could have been dead. This is terrible. This city has been horrible lately.” Horrible lately? Perhaps true but the city is sending a message to women who engage in prostitution.

So they don’t have the resources to fight robbers and murderers. But the police and the prosecutors and the courts can spend hours going after woman like Britton. They can put them under surveillance and troll the internet to see if they are advertising prices for their services -- which is what they did in Britton’s case. And real criminals are dangerous! They sometimes do nasty things to officers who arrest them. It’s safer to arrest someone who is harmless, someone like Britton. So that’s what they did while Baltimore goes to hell in a handcart.

Brandy Britton’s arrest made life difficult for her. She had to hire an attorney and attorneys are not cheap in America. To make things worse she had to stop working since the police were watching her. With her trial only days away she would have been despondent. With no income she was desperate. And then she found the piece of paper on the front door of her home. It was being repossessed. The only glimmer of hope she had was that a conviction could mean she wouldn’t need a home -- the state of Maryland would provide one at great expense to the taxpayers.

The eviction notice, coming on top of the arrest and pending trial, was obviously more than she could take. So she hung herself.

That must give some comfort to the people of Baltimore and the nosey neighbors with nothing better to do. An obviously dangerous criminal is now off the streets -- permanently. She may have been kind. She may have been generous. She may have done nothing to harm another person. But the good Christian people of Baltimore can sleep knowing that one less prostitute threatens their safety. But if I were them I’d sleep with one eye open. While the police and prosecutor were chasing Britton they were ignoring murderers, rapists, thieves, and sundry other violent individuals who actually violate the rights of others. But in a decent society you have to have priorities. After all this horrible woman was having sex! For money!!!!

A visit to Baltimore might mean that you get mugged, your wife is murdered and your daughter is raped. But joy of all joy, Brandy Britton isn’t around to solicit you anymore. Don’t you feel better already?