Wednesday 29 August 2001
No justiceEeva Sodhi
The Ottawa Citizen
Having been found not guilty after spending 31/2 years in prison for a crime he did not commit, it is wrong to say Jamie Nelson "got justice." Once justice is denied, it can never be replaced.
According to the current psychological dogma, you are told to see a counsellor, pick yourself up and start your life anew as if nothing had happened. This applies to all concerned: the convicted, the accuser, the judges.
The victim, in this case Mr. Nelson, will not be able to erase the consequences of the wrongdoing. Only the accuser and the judges can seek solace in this world of make-believe.
The ultimate irony is that all our existing laws and practices encourage and reward those who wish to make false allegations. Take the procedure to collect DNA evidence in alleged sexual assault cases. The accused has to submit a sample, but the accuser can refuse to submit one (see the Toronto police sexual assault squad instructions for collection). It is not logical to expect someone who makes a false allegation to submit a sample. On the other hand, he or she is eligible for a reward in the form of "victim" compensation.
What is needed is to restore justice to our judicial system.
Copyright 2001 Ottawa Citizen Group Inc.