Tuesday, June 19, 2007

An Eye For An Eye, A Flogging For A Rape & Macavity Nominees

I’d rather be raped in the Bahamas.

I don’t mean to sound completely flippant about something as serious as rape, and any of you who know me know I’m not being dismissive. So, what am I talking about? In parts of Scotland, the conviction rate for rape is less than 1 %. 1 %.

I don’t know what the conviction rate is in the Bahamas, but here, we’re pretty lenient on rapists. Couple years inside, if that. Meanwhile, a Bahamian man who is to be flogged 10 times with a whip for raping a six-year-old girl will appeal that part of his sentence, his lawyer said Monday.
Andrew Bridgewater was sentenced to the flogging and seven years in prison for attacking the girl. He will not seek to reduce his prison sentence but should be spared corporal punishment, defence lawyer Wayne Watson said in an interview.
The whipping - from a whip made of nine, knotted cords - would come in two sessions spread over two weeks.

Gee, you rape a six-year-old girl and you think you should be spared corporal punishment? I’m just thinking about the physical damage (never mind the emotional and psychological trauma) a grown man could do to a six-year-old and I’m ready to get on a plane and come flog you myself. The article says she was in the hospital for two weeks after being found. I don’t even want to think of the hell that girl’s going to go through for the rest of her life.

And really, that’s what gets me about it. You know, I’m fully behind ‘life for a life’. When we sentence a murderer to life in jail they should bloody well stay there for life. But when it comes to other crimes the punishment falls far short of what seems appropriate to me. This six-year-old has been robbed of her childhood. She’s been stripped of her innocence. Whatever the physical repercussions that she’s had to face this will compromise her ability to trust, to form healthy relationships, to have a healthy sex life when she’s mature. She will live with this for decades. And the man who did this will get seven years in jail and he thinks it’s unreasonable he be flogged?

Well, I’m all for letting him off of the flogging if they lock him up and throw away the key. See, I can be reasonable.

You know, I don’t look at Bahamians as savage or uncivilized. In a way, I look at the perverse society we live in, where multiple murders linger in jail before getting released because life doesn’t mean life in this country, and I think that’s savage. We’ll forgive anyone anything. I mean, damn good thing Clifford Olson and Paul Bernardo might actually stay behind bars until they die, but Paul’s former wife and partner in crime, Karla Homolka, is living free and the families of her victims have to deal with the fact she’s now a mother.

That’s savage. Imagine the trauma of being that kid.

And, in wholly unrelated news, there aren’t words. Evil Kev had been trying before to get the old chief to agree to lower the flag every time a firefighter died. Perhaps the new acting chief here will agree.

One other bit of congratulatory news: Cornelia Read, Tim Maleeny, Troy Cook and Denise Mina have been nominated for various Macavity awards. I haven't found the listing online, but the nominees are reported as:

Best Mystery Novel:

Christine Falls by Benjamin Black [John Banville] (Picador)
The Janissary Tree by Jason Goodwin (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
The Dead Hour by Denise Mina (Bantam)
The Virgin of Small Plains by Nancy Pickard (Ballantine)
Piece of My Heart by Peter Robinson (McClelland & Stewart)
All Mortal Flesh by Julia Spencer-Fleming (Minotaur)

Best First Novel:

Consigned to Death by Jane K. Cleland (Minotaur)
47 Rules of Highly Effective Bank Robbers by Troy Cook (Capital
Crime Press)
King of Lies by John Hart (Minotaur)
A Field of Darkness by Cornelia Read (Mysterious)
Mr. Clarinet by Nick Stone (Michael Joseph Ltd/Penguin)

Best Nonfiction:

Mystery Muses: 100 Classics That Inspire Today's Mystery Writers
edited by Jim Huang and Austin Lugar (Crum Creek)
The Beautiful Cigar Girl: Mary Rogers, Edgar Allan Poe, and the
Invention of Murder by Daniel Stashower (Dutton)
Don't Murder Your Mystery: 24 Fiction Writing Techniques To Save
Your Manuscript From Ending Up D.O.A. by Chris Roerden (Bella Rosa

Best Short Story:

"Provenance" by Robert Barnard (EQMM, Jul 2006)
"Disturbance in the Field" by Roberta Isleib (Seasmoke: Crime
Stories by New England Writers, edited by Kate Flora, Ruth McCarty,
& Susan Oleksiw; Level Best Books)
"Til Death Do Us Part" by Tim Maleeny (MWA Presents Death Do Us
Part: New Stories about Love, Lust, and Murder, edited by Harlan
Coben; Little, Brown)

Sue Feder Historical Mystery:

The Lightning Rule by Brett Ellen Block (Morrow)
Oh Danny Boy by Rhys Bowen (Minotaur)
The Bee's Kiss by Barbara Cleverly (Constable & Robinson)
Dark Assassin by Anne Perry (Ballantine)
Messenger of Truth by Jacqueline Winspear (Holt)

Congrats to all.


Kris said...

Amen to that. Anyone who thinks seven years in jail is adequate punishment for raping a child needs to watch the documentary Deliver Us from Evil. The damage doesn't just end with the victim - it ripples out to their loved ones as well.

mai wen said...

Well, I'm going back into Social Work for Child Welfare, so I'm sure my feelings on this issue are obvious. It infuriates me the leniency that rapists and child molesters get in our country and while I don't think this guy should get out of the flogging, I too would trade the flogging for a longer sentence. Research shows the pedophiles are one of the least reformable types of sick people and so I'm a huge advocate for locking them up and throwing away the key. I guarantee you that sick fuck has NO IDEA what he did to that child and that's why he can try to get out of the flogging with no remorse. Often pedophiles actually convince themselves the child wanted it, which is diluted and twisted.

I'd never heard of the documentary "Deliver Us from Evil" and I'll definitely check it out, thanks for the suggestion Kris.

Sandra Ruttan said...

I hadn't heard of that documentary either, so I'll have to look for it as well. True as well that the damage has repercussions on more than just the physical victim. Like throwing a boulder in a pond and watching the waves ripple out. Thanks for the recommendation Kris.

Mai Wen, oh, what a job for you. I can't imagine dealing with that day in and out. You be sure to take care of yourself - such a high stress job with a lot of risks. Evil Kev's training is in social work, but it's a tough field.

Eileen said...

I say we slam his willie in a car door.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Ah. Homemade castration. I have no issue with that.

Kris said...

I should warn you - Deliver Us from Evil is excruciatingly hard to watch in places. I'm a veteran of a hundred horror movies, but there were scenes in that documentary where I covered my eyes. And it's not like it's graphic or something - it's just the explosive emotion rending these people's faces and the complete lack of remorse from the abomination who ruined their lives forever.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Not a date movie, then.