This true story takes place in Switzerland. To use the established expression, it could have happened anywhere.
A man convicted of rape is initially sentenced to four years and three months in prison.
The country’s highest court, however, decided to reduce the sentence because the rape in question had been of “short duration”, exactly eleven minutes, it seems.
The sentence would now be three years, with eighteen months suspended.
Outcry obviously, because the Swiss have not yet completely discarded common sense and morality.
You will easily find other judgments of the same ilk in various companies.
You don’t need to be a doctor to understand the message that this type of decision sends to victims, even if it is undeniable that justice, as a whole, takes these cases more seriously than in the past.
I can understand that a defense lawyer multiplies more or less convincing arguments to defend his client in a rape case: duration of the act, play of domination rather than aggression, ambiguous signals sent by the victim, behavior past, his word against that of my client, absence of witnesses, etc.
But we are talking here about the judgment rendered, and not about the defense’s argument.
- Listen to the film criticism of Richard Martineau and Joseph Facal via Radio QUB :
We are also talking about a judgment made by the highest court in the land, not an aberrant judgment made by a lower court that should be overturned.
Forgive my naivety, but I had the impression that the highest authorities should tend to render judgments of greater quality, greater wisdom, greater probity.
After all, if these famous people have reached this height…
I will rightly be told that these absurd and shocking judgments are the exception.
It’s true, but for them it’s the same thing as for the dishes in a restaurant: a single hair on a single plate casts doubt on the entire menu and the entire establishment.
CNEWS revealed last week that more than one in two French people (51%) say they do not have confidence in their country’s justice system, particularly when it comes to sentencing.
I don’t have numbers for ours, but I don’t see why it would be so much better.
We often and rightly notice that the tone is rising in our societies. We insult each other more and we listen to each other less.
Elected officials, the media, the justice system and the large institutions which are the foundations of our societies are particularly targeted.
If the tone rises, it means that confidence is falling, that seems quite clear to me.
An ill-advised gesture or comment, a shocking decision, and our institutions fuel this distrust.
This distrust is then exploited by demagogues, who will pass themselves off as messiahs who have come to save the people, who will rush to further weaken the institutions.
And this is how societies regress.