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The problem with our court system

15 February 2013, 09:00

We often hear people blame their wrong doings on demons or circumstances.

If it wasn't their parents who were poor then they must have been discriminated against.

Take rape for example it is the single worst thing you could suffer yet the victim is treated worse than the criminal.

When the police somehow manage to arrest the suspect he gets released due to lack of evidence or some technical issue with the arrest. Others get off due to documents or evidence going poof in the night.

Let us not forget the anguish the victim had to endure not only during the crime but during the fiasco I call the interrogation process. Interrogation? That is exactly what it is. The victim is forced to describe the experience in every detail countless times so that the "facts" can get written down on endless sheets of paper. If an arrest is made and the perpetrator appears in court all he has to do answer is guilty or not guilty but even this appears to be so hard for the poor criminals that they require interpreters, lawyers and special medical treatment before they can utter the words "not guilty". What? Did you think they ever admit guilt? Once in custody they get the best medical treatment possible for free while the victim is left to fend for themselves often suffering permanent damage or getting some dreaded disease.

What about the rights of the criminals? Ah! yes the good little criminals who according to law are innocent until proven guilty. The great day approaches and the Judge is ready to hear the case only to be informed that the docket is missing. Now if this was a first world country, it would require nothing more than a 5 minute delay as the relevant documents get printed again from the electronic copy stored on a server, but this is not a first world country. The result is the victims are left with no chance at getting justice. Once in a while when documents managed to prevent themselves from disappearing into the ether a case actually gets heard in court. This can go any number of ways. My personal favourite is the postponements that stretch out till either the victim or criminal has died. Now obviously not all cases in court go this way. If this were true then our prisons would be empty but as we all know we have a huge overcrowding problem in our prisons. The long prison sentences are spent doing penance for the crimes they committed. Oops! Guess I was daydreaming again. The truth is t is spent watching TV (DSTV) or sitting on their pampered backsides doing nothing productive. Some repeat offenders call it the Hilton or University as the education offered is first class and so is the medical and accommodation.

Ok so let's assume the case made it all the way to the final stage and it is time for a sentence to get handed down. We all expect the judge to be fair and give the criminal the full wrath of the law. Unfortunately it is often no more than a slap on the wrist or a small fine as low as R100.00 for the poor or a few thousand if you're rich. The long term sentences are only imposed for murder, not paying your TV licence as it is seen to be a greater evil as opposed to rape. During sentence mitigation the fun part starts.

Claims of insanity are considered. After all it is plausible as only someone who is truly insane could think this a valid excuse.

Why not claim abuse as a child? This might not get you off but will reduce the sentence. Who can blame the tormented soul for lashing out?

Lately victimization or discrimination works best. Anything from farm killings to theft is forgiven by it. The farmer was killed because he abused the farm worker and the woman was raped because she was his wife. The pretty little 3 year old must have been beating them.

This is the problem with our police and court system but blaming them for these failures is about as effective as pissing on a barn fire. We do not report the crimes because we feel nothing ever gets done. People who commit a crime are guilty of the crime and are punished but what about those who made it possible for that crime to take place in the first place. Don't point fingers at the cops who work so hard to catch these criminals. Look in the mirror as the person you see there is part of the problem. So if you think the crime rate is too high why haven't you joined the police force yet or tried tracking down those corrupt officials out there that burn through our TAX money.

You will then see the problem with the system is you.

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