I came across this article last week. It details how a man facing multiple criminal charges, including rape and assault with intent to commit murder, was cut loose after none of the witnesses showed up to the preliminary hearing.
There is the obligatory deer-in-the-headlights, scary mugshot along with the story.
The story is unremarkable. The comments to the story online aren't, either. There's pissing and moaning about how horrible this is, how broken our "criminal" justice system is because this guy was let go. I think that attitude is problematic at best. He was let go for one simple reason: they had NO EVIDENCE to charge him with anything.
How anyone could consider releasing someone from jail due to lack of evidence anything but a fully functioning justice system is beyond me. You see, you can't just lock someone up because you "know" they are guilty, even though you can't actually produce any evidence to prove it. But then with a proper authoritarian mindset, I guess that just doesn't occur to you.
This is a story that actually makes me happy. Not because this guy is out on the street - he may in fact be dangerous, and that is a worry. But even MORE dangerous would be living in a society where anyone could be locked up for a crime that the authorities have no evidence of. That's not justice. Letting him go due to lack of evidence, that is justice. To anyone who would complain that this puts society at risk, I counter, society is already dead if we did otherwise. Because if they can lock him up with no evidence, then they can lock anyone up with no evidence. By the way, that would also include YOU.
So I see this is a positive thing. The system worked, in a small way. Too bad it doesn't work better.
(By the way, just because the charges were dropped, doesn't mean they can't be reinstated later. If they can get the evidence, they can prosecute. If not, tough luck. That's the price we pay to actually live in a free society of laws.)
4 years ago