Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Re: "the victim forgives, let Polanski go" argument

Let's take a quick look at US criminal law:

"Criminal law involves the prosecution of wrongful acts by the state which are considered to be so serious that they are a breach of the sovereign's peace (and cannot be deterred or remedied by mere lawsuits between private parties)." - from Wikipedia

So, rape of a minor is definitely a matter for the state to concern itself with, as it has happened in the Polanski case. So, even if the victim forgives the perpetrator, the state (the government) can & should continue to seek justice on behalf of general society or attempt to apply the punishments that fit the crime. So that's what's happening now in the Polanski case - the legal conflict is now the state vs. Polanski, not victim vs. Polanski (or, it does not matter if the victim forgives Polanski or not, the nature of the crime makes it one that was committed against the entire state, not just one individual).

Anyway, that's how I understand it at the moment, check with a legal expert for more clarification.

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