By Sigrid Weidenweber
An old lawyer friend once told me during a conversation—we were discussing the merits of the death penalty—that he had hardened his stance on the matter. Over his life time, he had seen too many defendants in death-penalty cases that were changed to life imprisonment, walk free eventually. So, here is my view of the matter after reading a small notice in the Wall Street Journal.
Some countries in the world are even more concerned with the rights and the well-being of murderers than we are here in the USA. With incredulity, I read the report about a child killer in Belgium who is brought up for parole. Of course, the ruling by the court, allowing that a panel of psychiatrists “could evaluate the risks a child-rapist-killer would pose to society if set free,” is hideously tilted in favor of the killer. No wonder the Belgium public is outraged. But your outrage will rise even more when confronted with the rest of the details.
Mr. Dutroux, an unemployed electrician was on parole, for the crimes of abducting and raping five girls, enjoying the freedom of a lenient justice system, when he abducted six more girls, violently raping them repeatedly in confinement, videotaping the assaults and then—killing four of them!
Imagine the kind of court system that now debates if he should be freed; with psychological care—of course—or placed in a mental institution. Mr. Dutroux’s lawyer, Bruno Dayez, declared he wants the killer freed, for his client “expressed regrets for what he’s done.”
Really? 11 girls raped, abused, 4 of them killed under horrific circumstances, and the murderous, evil creature is Sorry? And for that simpering sentiment he should be granted release? Lawyer Dayez must have a mental defect, having arrived at such reasoning.
Dutroux had been given a life-sentence in 2004 for the crimes he committed in the 1990s—now, he is 62 years-old, the courts are playing with psychological evaluations leading perhaps to release.
This is just another case pointing out that only the death penalty gives victims and their families the certainty that their loved one’s lives have been atoned for.
Although this case plays out in Belgium, we have, in the past, observed similar mis-carriage of justice here in the U.S.
What does adjudication of this type say about our modern society? We have decided to side with sociopaths and murderers, denying innocents their voices and the right to be avenged after rape, torture and death. It seems, we have become unfeelingly evil.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Citizens Journal.
Sigrid Weidenweber grew up in communist East Berlin, escaping it using a French passport. Ms. Weidenweber holds a degree in medical technology as well as psychology and has course work in Anthropology. She is co-founder of Aid for Afghans. Weidenweber has traveled the world and lived with Pakistani Muslims, learning about the culture and religion. She is a published author and lecturer. You can find her books on Amazon.com