No prison time for two men who raped their 12-year-old sister

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/09/16/no-prison-time-for-two-men-who.html

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One can only hope.

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As awful as they and their crimes are, I’d rather they be locked up for the rest of their lives in a more humane, Scandinavian-style prison system (which wouldn’t give a prosecutor this out*) than have this outcome.

[* one I strongly suspect wouldn’t have been used if the perpetrators hadn’t been white]

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Someone needs their license reviewed.

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I’d have thought someone who retweets James Woods, Curt Schilling, Judicial Watch, and Donald Trump (https://twitter.com/BJBerkstresser) would be a little tougher on pedophiles. Maybe if they were cannibal satanists or Democrats that would have tipped the scales?

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I wonder if AG Berkstresser is Amish?

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“But think of the poor rapist” sentences INFURIATE me. Another judge that needs firing ASAP if possible.

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A Missouri court sentenced two men to write a letter of apology to their Amish community after pleading guilty to sexually abusing their sister when she was 12 and 13 years old.

“These two young men would’ve been eaten alive in the state prison system.”

Great - one instance highlights two fucked up problems with our society.

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I wonder if this guy can advise who wouldn’t be eaten alive in the state prison system? Anyone who isn’t Amish? I foresee some urgent religious conversions coming soon.

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I think the problem here was her not wanting to testify.

The amish generally police their own, in their own way. This is less likely an example of letting the guilty go free and more of a case of restorative justice. Those folks trying to show how much they disapprove of the decision may wish to look further into the history and culture of the amish and how they deal with crime. Locking the two brothers up for life would cost their community more than what they stand to gain by letting they go free. The expectation is that they learn from their mistakes and make amends. I’m not saying I think rape is right (I believe it is absolutely wrong), but this form of justice is, to some degree, to be commended and not ridiculed.

However, if this is just an example of a coverup, I think the animosity should be put toward those that are methodically covering this up.

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So do drug cartels. So do the police themselves. And so on.

What will the Amish gain from having two convicted child rapists free among them? What will the Amish community lose from having them treated like other similarly convicted persons? Please enlighten me, because hopefully you have some more specific reasons for those statements and I have (again) misunderstood your intent.

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As far as I know, they’re still as subject to the same law as any non-Amish citizen. Whatever courts or remedies the community have are secondary at best to the actual law.

Restorative justice is about making amends to the victim and sometimes to the community, not as a feel-good lesson for the offender. It also doesn’t preclude prison time.

Two convicted rapists being allowed to wander around free? What community wants that?

Not a cover-up, just yet another unabashed example of young white males getting to walk away from the consequences of their serious crimes where other offenders wouldn’t.

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This, also. @cosmotic please enlighten us as to the restorative aspects of this - or is it just the writing of a letter?

(Bedtime. I’ll check back in tomorrow.)

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Gives Amish boys preferential treatment. I’m guessing the girl is Amish too.

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It takes a lot of time and resources to raise a child. Assuming they two brothers are indeed sorry for what they did, the community accepts them back, and they do not reoffend, the community does not lose their investment in raising those two children to adulthood. They also gain back their sons, brothers, cousins, etc. It may be hard to fathom, but if the community forgives them, the community will heal.

What community wants that? The Amish community, for one. Numerous other communities prefer a more restorative process over IMPRISON FOR LIFE mentality.

The recidivism rate for such a system is much lower than that of a punish-forever system.

Restorative justice is about making amends to the victim and sometimes to the community, not as a feel-good lesson for the offender. It also doesn’t preclude prison time.

The goal of the amends to the victim and community is forgiveness which is, usually, a good-feeling emotion for everyone involved. Restorative justice may not preclude prison time, but it also does not necessitate it.

The same could be said for a black father arrested for selling drugs, but you never seem to see that figure into the sentencing guidelines.

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Does anyone know what the Amish community will do with regard to punishment? Do they have an internal sort of justice system or do they just rely on the state system? My ignorance of this culture is giving me the idea that they might be “shunned” or something.

Webster County Prosecuting Attorney Ben Berkstresser explained why he didn’t seek prison time for rapists: “These two young men are white.”

There, I think that’s what he really meant.

People of color, presumably.

… a whole lot of those hit by the criminal justice system, really.

Yes, apparently for six weeks. That’s it. (The victims get blamed for a lifetime, though.)

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For everyone, not just the Amish. I highly doubt the prosecutor makes an exception for every offender whose parents spent time and resources raising them.

Your evidence in this case? The Amish community here doesn’t recognise the authority of the state, but that’s not the same thing as wanting rapists to wander around free.

Again, that is not the primary goal for the offender. Furthermore, I don’t see any evidence of a formal restorative justice process here, just a prosecutor letting a couple of rapists off the hook in sentencing.

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