Friday, December 12, 2008

please change the law

I wish I could understand the way people's minds work!

According to Rana Husseini in the Jordan Times a 59 year old man molested a 13 year old girl and got a 3 year sentence. Ok I will not dispute the sentence as I do not know the facts of the case, but then her father dropped the charges and his sentence was halved. Another case when a 31 year old man molested a teenager and got 7 years and his father dropped the charges and his sentence was cut in half.

Why is up to the father to drop the charges? And why does he drop the charges if he is not related to the offender? Usually in murder crimes, commonly called 'honour killings' the victim and offender are from the same family so when they drop the charges one knows it is a conspiracy and the family usually agreed together who will do the murder. I just wish the law could be changed so that families have no say in the matter of sentencing.

I do know of cases when the relations of the offender intimidate the victim's family into dropping charges. The pressure is almost overwhelming and one has to be very strong to resist all the pleas and threats. T


Blogger YFA said...

Money talks, bull$#!t walks. That is my guess. Still it's absurd. Imagine that being possible in the US....maybe you can buy the best lawyer and plea bargin, but when the sentence is handed do the time!

Saturday, December 13, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I recently asked a Jordanian lawyer about this, as it has always seemed to me that molesting children or murdering anyone is a crime against the whole community and not one family. She said that in sentencing, the judges take into account the pain and suffering such crimes put on the families but if the family withdraws the complaint, then the sentence is dropped accordingly. She said this is similar to what is done in other countries but somehow, it doesn't feel that way and seems to happen in nearly every heinous criminal case here -- therefore, the suspicion that something is going on under the table, as YFA says...or at least some kind of parallel customary legal tradition ("blood money")is playing into the administration of justice. Perhaps this makes sense within the Jordanian community but to an outsider, even one of long residence here, it seems to give the wrong message -- that crimes are at least half a personal matter, as much as they are communal-social. I am not a lawyer but I would like to understand this better!

Sunday, December 14, 2008  
Anonymous Jane said...

Yes, you're right, Anonymous, it is a crime against the whole community. This man will be walking the streets again in a very short space of time, probably looking for another victim, it could be your daughter it could be mine. It makes my blood run cold!

Sunday, December 14, 2008  
Blogger MommaBean said...

T, terrible, terrible shame. I wish the system were more like the US where the State owns the case against the offender, not the family. While charges can be withdrawn, the "withdrawer" can then be charged for wasting taxpayer time and resources. Oh, and the withdrawer would need to be the victim...

Monday, December 15, 2008  
Anonymous Onzlo said...

I think the law should be changes so that it is not possible to withdraw the 'personal right' in cases where the victim is a child or is dead (i.e. murder), as the victim who should be the one with the right to press or withdraw charges is not able to do so, its not a very good idea to give the family the right to withdraw charges on behalf of the victim in such cases.

Monday, December 15, 2008  

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