Monday, April 20, 2009

A judicial and moral dilemma

I'm really upset at a report from Sweden, but I don't know what I'd do under the circumstances. How about you?

Just hours before a 15-year-old girl was set to give evidence against a 42-year-old man suspected of raping her, she committed suicide.

The man will no longer stand trial for the rape of the teenager, reports Sveriges Radio Jönköping.

The girl came into contact with the man after she started having trouble at school and began suffering from psychological problems.

When the girl was at her lowest ebb she sought contact with the 42-year-old, who is alleged to have supplied her with drugs.

He is also alleged to have raped her repeatedly over the course of last year, when the girl was only 14-years-old.

The case against the man was based on the testimony of the teenager. Her death now means that the case will be closed and the man will no longer stand trial.

If he did, indeed, treat her like that, I want him thrown into the deepest, darkest, dampest cell available, and the key thrown away . . . but I also have to admit that in the absence of sufficient evidence, no-one should be convicted of a crime. The tragic suicide of his accuser means that the prosecutor has been left in an invidious position.

What to do? If one leaves a rapist free to offend again, how many more teenage girls will he target? But . . . we can't say for sure - or, at least, the justice system can't say for sure - that he did it.

It's a heck of a dilemma. What say you, readers?

And may the soul of that poor girl rest in God's peace.



Wayne Conrad said...

No evidence, no conviction.

If he's an offender, he'll offend again. The system will catch up with him.

Raptor said...

Hopefully, yes it will.

And when it does, I vote for castration by 12-gauge buckshot.

Anonymous said...

No conviction can be made without evidence, but I would want to make dang sure it was really a suicide.

Stranger said...

There are only a few offenses that call for the gravest punishment. This is one of them.

I vote for flaying - although the ancient Persian "Punishment of the Boats" would also fit the crime.