Fishnut wrote: ↑
Fri Sep 16, 2022 9:23 pm
The judge sounds like a right c.nt
So a 15 year old "runaway seeking to escape an abusive life with her adopted mother [who] was sleeping in the hallways of an apartment building when a 28-year-old man took her in before trafficking her to other men for sex" isn't a victim and needs to admit to making "poor choices" but a 37 year old repeated rapist is completely innocent in all this. f.ck that sh.t.
She isn't a victim of homicide, which is the crime that was before the court. I can find no report that says anything about the rapist being innocent, let alone completely so. She made choices which would normally be poor - not going to the police after several rapes, not summoning the police or ambulance after stabbing Brooks, returing to the man who had forced her at knifepoint to go with Brooks. However, her personal experience with authority was very bad - which was what drove her into this situation in the first place. The Guardian article says that the judge asked her to explain her poor choices but does not say anything about her response. Given how poor reporting is for court case, without a transcript or recording it's impossible to say whether it was reasonable or not.
Lewis stabbed Brooks 30 times the morning after he raped her. She is not reported to have claimed that this was in self defence, which strongly suggests it was in retribution. The state reserves to itself the right of retribution. Even self-defence is only permitted when the circumstances are such that there is immediate danger - you can't claim self defence where you fear something that will happen hours or days later. The closest thing to a claim that Brooks was innocent was the judge dismissing the argument that Lewis should not have to pay restitution, where her lawyer said that Brooks should be considered to be 51% responsible and so not get compensation. The law (says: Iowa Code 915.100 – Victim restitution rights
2. a. In all criminal cases in which there is a plea of guilty, verdict of guilty, or special verdict upon which a judgment of conviction is rendered, the sentencing court shall order that restitution be made by each offender to victims of the offender’s criminal activities.
c. In cases where the act committed by an offender causes the death of another person, in addition to the amount ordered for payment of the victim’s pecuniary damages, the court shall also order the offender to pay at least one hundred fifty thousand dollars in restitution to the victim’s estate or heirs at law, pursuant to the provisions of section 910.3B.
There's nothing which requires the victim to be innocent. I suspect this was considered during draughting and is deliberate - for example, if a member of an organised crime gang has murdered several members of a rival gang, and someone from that rival gang is convicted of mudering him in turn, I expect that the lawmakers very much intended that restitution be paid and that the fact that the victim had committed many murders was not supposed to be taken into consideration.
In the UK, for a case like this the CPS would have to consider if prosecution was not in the public interest. And if it went to court it seems likely that a jury might find Lewis innocent. That's one of the reasons for having juries - to fix problems where cases are so unusual that the law doesn't really reflect justice. However in America, plea bargaining can terrorise defendants into pleading guilty (in this case the threat was at least 20 years in prison - possibly life in prison without the possibility or parole if the charge had been left at first degree murder). I don't know how likely it would have been for a jury to have returned a guilty verdict in this case - this is where a good lawyer can give valuable advice, but the problem with relying on the judge is that judges (except possibly at the very highest levels) apply the law as written because that is their job.