Understanding the Law
June 9, 2006
Rape and the death penalty

The vicious rape of two teenage visitors last week horrified everyone. Rape is the nightmare of every female and I must say that of parents who feel the pains of their children. This is a crime of the worse magnitude. Not only is physical pain inflicted on the victim but also emotional pain that could last a lifetime. Indeed this is the worse case scenario for mothers and daughters and this writer strongly condemns this crime.

This is not the first rape case against young visitors. A few years ago a similar incident was played out in the Ratho Mill area. A mother and two daughters were visiting during the carnival season when they were attacked by two men. After pleading with the rapist the mother had to watch helplessly as her two daughters were raped. {{more}}Do they hunt in packs? Are there so many like-minded males that would get together with the same intent?

Far too many crimes are perpetrated against women young and old and it makes one wonder about the mindset of the criminal. Well I dare not say if he considers his sister because he may not have sisters, but everyone has a mother if she is not dead. It shows the lack of respect and concern for women. It seems that the criminals are not even concerned about themselves, for their victims could be carrying the HIV infection. They are only interested in that one moment when they could impose their power and strength on a hapless female. I doubt that in that moment they ever think about the consequences of their crime and the penalty that the law imposes. They carry out their dastardly act under cover of night or in lonely areas.

Could anyone deter a person who is bent on breaking the laws of a country and violating the rights of women? Perhaps they are hoping they would not be caught. These people live for the present and care not for the future. Would we ever know what drives them?

When they are caught they always expect leniency and while they were in their act they showed no mercy or concern for the victim. They do not think of the pains and the cries of their victim. When people steal there are those who would point to the poverty in our country but what excuse is there for rape?

What are the defences of the female? I am certain that the majority of our men are willing to help us but we have to help ourselves. We cannot wear our vulnerability on our sleeves, we need to take our defences into our own hands. This does not mean that we have to walk around with a gun in our hands. Moreover we cannot sit around and feel that it cannot happen to us and that the other person is just unfortunate. We need to be on our guard at all times. Avoid the danger areas and secure our homes. Perhaps this is the time to get into marshal arts. Time is of the essence. We have to be one step ahead of the criminal. Be prepared! Life is precious!

Rape is having intercourse with a woman illegally and without her consent. The maximum penalty is life imprisonment. The attempt is as serious as the crime. Many people still feel that because of the incidence of crime that the death penalty and castration should be fitting punishment. But would these serve as deterrence to this vicious crime?

• Ada Johnson is a solicitor and barrister-at-law.
E-mail address is: exploringthelaw@yahoo.com