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Unjust justice
by Thanos Kalamidas
2009-03-19 08:30:11
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A few days ago I wrote an article emphasizing that justice is blind; unfortunately reality came to remind me that justice is blind but it doesn’t matter if she would peek sometimes through the blinds. So I took some deep breaths and a long walk trying to remind myself why I believe that justice should be blind.

When you have kids you discover that you are worrying about them and you realize that you will worry for the rest of your life and that makes you more sensitive to news that include kids, furthermore when these kids are tortured. I don’t mean that it is different when you don’t have kids it’s just becomes personal, you see the face of your own kid in the face of the victim. And because it is personal you don’t stop in the disgust but you going further, you are angry and you demand punishment.

What made me thought all these things was an article that was talking about the Austrian court case with the monster – I’m really sorry but I cannot think of him in any other way – who imprisoned his daughter and the kids he got from her, raping and torturing her for over twenty years. The daughter is today a woman of forty but still I cannot avoid seen the eighteen year-old girl this inhuman imprisoned and in my mind she is just a kid.

But coming to the point the man can be accused for rape, torturing but not for murder despite the fact that he cremated one of the children he got with his daughter while she was imprisoned. You see in this case there is no body, according the daughter he cremated it so there is no proof, is just his word against her word and her word can cause doubts due to her ill mental situation and the circumstances. That’s the logic beyond the feeling. Of course the man rejects the fact that he killed a child admitting only imprisoning and raping his daughter. The major sentence he can get for those crimes is twenty years in prison which means according the system that he will be out of prison in six or seven years. Having already spent time inside the man will be free sometime mid 2015! Suddenly this date doesn’t seem so far away.

His wife and his other kids in the same town; the victim with her kids under the protection of the state having change city and identities lives in the same country. I never believed that the mother was as innocent as she wants to present herself so it wouldn’t surprise me if she welcomes him back; after all she has done it before when he was accused and convicted for rape. The monster is 73 year-old, does anybody think that he’s going to change with five years in prison? A year after and with all the world talking about him he appeared in the court house with no regrets, he didn’t apologize even ones to his daughter and to his kids because is not only the kids he had with his daughter is the kids he had with his wife also.

In a very weird twist after his daughter’s video testimony the monster asked to change his plead into guilty to all charges including the murder of the newborn infant. But here again we have another example of the blind justice and the effort to manipulate the court. He’s admitting guilt to something nobody can prove while the same time state psychologists testify that the man has serious psychological problems which raises the question is he really guilty for the murder or he says so because suddenly he feels guilty for everything he did and in an act of self-destruction gives to the court the right to sentence him for life? The same time his act makes him look more troubled mentally but with remorse for his crime and somehow manipulates the court to sentence him to something lighter. What makes me suspect that this is a defense move is his defender’s surprise reaction but eagerness to explain his remorse. It looks like a set up.  

So the bitter truth is that after a few years he will come out of prison and return to what he knows and owns, his house, his wife and then …what? I know that I’m going to sound cruel but his kids are going to start feeling free the day he dies and it will be only the beginning of a long healing process if some of them ever heal. His wife is still living there and I don’t think she will move. Actually her somehow neutral attitude makes me more suspicious that she knew but even if she didn’t why doesn’t she move, why doesn’t she go to her daughter? And please I cannot accept the excuse that her daughter didn’t like that some of the kids called her mother. How many hours, days and months this girl spent screaming for help and her mother two floors only above didn’t hear anything?

The man did all that to his daughter and this should raise another question, to how many other women had done the same? We all know that only 25% of the raped women go to the police and far less accept to go to the court when their rapist is arrested and in a court room. And what can guarantee that he will not do it again? As I said before for days while the court was listening to what his daughter had gone through he shown no regret. According to observers the only thing he did was sit down and stare the judge or a wall! The law in Austrian prevents that in certain cases and sentences the accused cannot apply for early freedom. Let’s hope that his will be one case and remember that in his case the justice has been blind but the same time with the same attitude justice has helped people who regretted their action to return to the society saved men and fortunately these people are the majority.

  
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Emanuel Paparella2009-03-19 13:44:19
There is another monster in a California jail; his name is Charles Manson. He will stay there for the rest of his life. He has so far shown no guilt or repentance for his actions. He gets an interview every year. We are fascinated by him, but as Derrida used to say, beware of naming your monsters or they’ll become your pets.

I think the reason we are fascinated by him is that he puts the mirror before our faces. He makes a clever argument, for he is not crazy as some would like to believe. His argument is this: in a relativistic society, everything is relative to the circumstances and to the culture. My family circumstance were abysmal, I was brought up in a society of permissiveness. The prevalent social theory is behaviorism and determinism: we are all conditioned and determined by our social environment and background and freedom is an illusion. And then comes the punch-line: therefore, I don’t understand what I am doing in jail. This is a miscarriage of justice. Of course we don’t like his argument, and we go back and interview it once more time hoping for a better explanation for his actions and a sign of repentance; but the man is cleverly putting before our eyes an inconvenient truth: that truth itself has been prostituted, is now spelled with a small letter and is relative to what is convenient for the individual. Perhaps this prostituted truth is the real monster we ought to be examining more carefully, even at the risk of making it our pet. A good place to begin the debate is by re-reading Dostoyevsky’s “Crime and Punishment.”


Emanuel Paparella2009-03-19 13:49:47
Errata: interview him one more time.


Thanos2009-03-19 17:48:41
An update:

Austrian Fritzl sentenced to life
Josef Fritzl, who kept his daughter in a cellar and fathered her seven children, is found guilty on all charges and sentenced to life in a psychiatric institution after his trial for murder and rape in Austria.


Eero Nevalainen2009-03-21 19:42:50
The international community should just ban the construction of basements in Austria and mandate annual checks on existing ones...


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