As we go into the festive season and enjoy our festivities i cant help but wonder about those who languish in jail or under purgatory, those falsely accused or convicted. It brought me to this question….are we really all equal before the law?
Im not sure if there is actually an identifiable way of answering the question in full. I keep getting the picture of Fred van der Vyver (accused of murdering his girlfriend inge lotz) in my head, how unlucky he was that the police targeted him in such a malicious way, yet how lucky he was that his family has the financial resources to pay for the best legal team and experts to prove him innocent. The case is a reminder to those that some people are more equal than others. In other words if Freds parents did not have the money to pay for his defense (which costed around 10 mill) he would most probably have gone to jail…now how is that justice? It just doesnt seem fair to me.
Just recently i was reading through an american case, Michigan v Unger….what a nightmare for the husband
He was convicted with absolutely no evidence tying him to the crime scene, no witnesses, no forensics, no cameras or pictures…zero. Yet a jury of his peers convicted him of murder? Its cases like these that i dont understand, they just cannot possibly come to that conclusion…can they? but the jury does, and i dont know how, where did common sense go? reasonable doubt? The guy wasnt there and even if he was there, there just isnt any evidence to support the prosecutions theory, none.
From the opposite perspective there is the case i posted on here in one of my earlier posts about the SCA upholding an appeal of a convicted rapist. Is that justice? To free a convicted rapist based on the fact that the complainant wasnt sworn in, or the court record is inundated with “inaudibles”?? what of the true facts of the case? the evidence? the victim?….How is that justice?
There may be a pervasive attitude that “this is not my problem” or “who cares”….the problem with this approach is simple, what if it were you sitting in the dock? or your family? what if you went for drinks this friday, got home later than usual to find your wife raped and murdered….you phone the police looking for help, but instead they arrest you, detain you, interrogate you….to top it off they charge you, with murder! Now you are already screwed because if you did it you screwed and if you didnt you still screwed because a lot of people will think you did it anyway…thats human nature for you, nice!
My point is this. This xmas while you enjoying festivities spare a thought for those less fortunate, legal wise or otherwise.