Saturday, April 05, 2008

Odds and Ends

Another judge issued an outrageously lenient decision here the day before yesterday. I've been fuming about it for a couple of days. A Boy Scout leader was letting two 13 year-old scouts drive his van when they ran over and killed a 7 year-old boy riding a bicycle. He then lied to the police about who was driving to protect the kids that he had irresponsibly allowed to do this. He received a whopping 10 months in jail for this crime and lost his drivers license for 2 years.

The judge basically pissed on the grave of this little kid and the bereaved family was understandably furious. The judge then issued the same stinking self-loathing platitudes acquired in his second class British University or HKU (Sycophantically British in methods and curriculum) about how "You can't bring the child back to life" bla-bla-bla that HK judges always spout after they let an obvious criminal off with a slap on the wrist. Someone needs to tell these pompous twerps that it isn't about bringing the child back to life. It is about punishing wrong doers.

Indeed, this whole incident isn't about the perpetrator at all in one sense. It is about justice for the little boy's family. I do not care how contrite man was. I do not care that he pleaded guilty. I do not care that he is a low risk to do this again. How many people are high risk for this type thing? It is about people driving automobiles having courtesy and respect for people not in their cars. It is about a safe and fear free society. It is about remembering that "mercy to criminals is injustice to victims."

After the trial the boys father said on camera that "he would be waiting when the man got out of prison and would kill him" Since threatening to kill someone is an offense this judgment has already caused another crime to be committed. The boy's father probably won't do that but if he does then both the murdered man and the murderer's blood should but on the judges hands.

Humans have an innate sense of justice. The scout master needs to believe that he has made recompense for what he did. The father of the boy needs to know that the man who was responsible for killing his son has been punished. The two boys in the van need to know that it wasn't their fault. Nobody got justice in this decision. Nobody gets closure Not the plaintiff, defendant or the accessories. The judge gets to go home and feel that he is a progressive, enlightened person.

May he someday know what it is like to have injustice thrust upon him.

The man sentenced should have been put away for 3 to 5 years. While heinous this was an accident and not premeditated murder. It was a mistake but, there are some mistakes that you shouldn't make. If you want to teach a 13 year-old how to drive then great, do it where nobody is going to get killed. He is not only responsible for killing a 7 year-old but traumatizing two 13 year-old boys for life. How would you have liked to be the 13 year-old driver? More than that it would allow him to come to grips with a terrible mistake. It would also give the boy's family time to accept their son's death and to forgive someone who has hurt them badly.

Injustice being masqueraded as justice is nothing new in Hong Kong. Especially if the crimes committed are against bicyclist, children or the elderly as I have so often pointed out in this blog. Indeed, if letting criminals off with a wink and a nudge were an Olympic sport Hong Kong would probably be a favorite for the gold medal.

Which brings me my other topic today.

I don't like the Olympics. I gave up on them several years ago. When I was a child they were special because it was amateur sport. The Olympics were also special when I was a kid because it was a chance to see how non-professional US athletes could compete with and often win against those from Iron Curtain nations who everybody knew took hormones (Today we call them steroids)and were professionally trained. You always groaned in the figure skating events if more than one of the judges was from East Germany because you knew that your nation didn't have a chance.

Now all the teams, players and athletes can be seen on ESPN playing for their regular professional team. So what makes the Olympics such a big deal anymore? It never occurred to me that the Olympics were not a political event. They were all about politics. Cold War political slogans were almost etched into the medals. That is why I find the posturing of both sides of various groups wanting nations to either boycott the Olympics or not kind of silly.

It is simply inconceivable to me that the IOC chairman could sit there with a straight face and say "We are not about politics" BS, pure simple BS is all that was. But did these French doctors who want to free Tibet ever advocate boycotting Olympics in other places besides China that have equally abysmal records on Human Rights? Did they support Jimmy Carter for making the US team boycott the Moscow games? Did they ever complain about judges from Communist nations that obviously fixed various events in the name of politics? No. So, why start now?

That said, I hope that if I were a 28 year-old bicycle racer who had made the US team Olympic cycling team that I'd have the moral courage to skip these games. I think that if a significant number of athletes refused to go on their own accord it would be a much more meaningful protest than if their nation simply refused to issue them a visa. If the government of The-Socialist-Paradise of (Insert any EU member) bans it athletes from going the PRC can chalk it up to politics. If athletes refuse to go because they don't want to be associated with a regime that is repressive, cruel and corrupt then the PRC could still chalk it up to politics but couldn't hide the fact that it isn't.

Until Next Time
Fai Mao
The Blogger who has never been to an Olympic event


Anonymous said...

A very slight part of the problem was that the kid should not have been riding his bike there.

Didn't his grandmother leave him to go to the market?

Isn't it the law that children under 11 have to be supervised on bicycles?

He was riding on the road?

Yes, the punishment for the scout leader was woeful, but shouldn't people take responsibility for their children also?

Fai Mao said...

I wouldn't fault a 7 year old. I would fault his grandmother.

The scout master also after the van hit the child got out and saw that the child was alive. Rather than waiting for an ambulance he attempted to back the van off the child and that is what actually killed the little boy.

All of that said. And you may have a point in this case, the legal system in Hong Kong is broken. Judges have been far too lenient in many cases