Being Muslim Grounds for Appeal in Rape?

celtic_crippler

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Are you one who believes in the old precept ignorantia juris non excusat?

Apparently “ignorance of the law” goes a long way as a defense in Australia.

Article: http://frontpagemag.com/2013/dgreen...m-cultural-differences-valid-excuse-for-rape/

Excerpts:

An Afghan refugee [Esmatullah Sharifi ]would drive from his home in Tullamarine to nightclubs in Frankston late at night searching for drunk, vulnerable young woman to prey on, a court was told today.

He would pick them up in his white 1988 Honda Civic and rape them.

[Defense Attorney] Mr. Regan said Esmatullah Sharifi was uneducated, illiterate, inexperienced in forming relationships with women, and was confused about the nature of consent. He is in Australia on a permanent protected visa.

It appears from the article that the initial judge was ready to “throw the book” at Sharifi, but his attorney continued to appeal until he found a sympathetic judge.

Not an unfamiliar tactic in the US, but perhaps someone from Australia could shed more light on how their justice system works?

Granting leave to appeal, Court of Appeal Justice Robert Redlich said: “The sentencing judge rejected any suggestion (Esmatullah Sharifi) didn’t have a clear concept of consent in sexual relations.”

In April last year, a psychologist told the County Court that Sharifi had “an unclear concept of what constitutes consent in sexual relationships” in Australia.

“It proves, in my view, an adequate basis for most grounds of appeal that (Sharifi) wishes to pursue,” the judge said.
The grounds for the appeal seem a tad outrageous to me personally. I tend to agree with the first judge:
Ms Dalziel said Esmatullah Sharifi claimed he did not have a great understanding of sexual mores in Australia but Judge Mark Dean disagreed.

“These are acts of violence,” the judge said. “Serious acts of violence against women, nothing to do with sexual mores. They’re brutal acts of violence.”
Here’s a link to the article quoted in the first link with more details: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/b...ees-suburban-rape-cruises-20120328-1vxyj.html
Five days later he drove back to Frankston and abducted a 25-year-old woman, punched her in the face and raped her. She escaped by jumping out of his moving vehicle.
How do you feel? Does one’s “cultural background” provide adequate grounds to appeal or even be let off? Or should he be castrated with a brick?
 

Big Don

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As far as I am concerned assault, and rape aren't things any adult should claim ignorance of the illegalities of, ergo use a dull brick
 

jezr74

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Needs a bit of Aussie bush justice.

I actually live next suburb along to Frankston. Tullamarien (sp?) is the other side of town too, 1.5-2 hours drive.

No excuse, if he is not convicted, I'd say there there would be a backlash.

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arnisador

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No excuse. Beyond the basic human rights and dignity issue, if you live there--learn the basics of the law. You don't need to be a taxation and accounting lawyer to figure this much out. Heavy sentence.
 

K-man

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This nonsense is 100% caused by the lawyers. Any excuse to go back to court and get another fee. My opinion, for what is worth ... give him a dose of Sharia law. Give him 50 lashes, cut off his nuts and send him back where he came from. :asian:
 

Daniel Sullivan

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How do you feel? Does one’s “cultural background” provide adequate grounds to appeal or even be let off? Or should he be castrated with a brick?
1. The judge is an idiot, Sharifi is a predotory rapist and his attourney is his enabler/facilitator.
2. No.
3. That is not my call to make.
 
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celtic_crippler

celtic_crippler

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Okay, now to address the elephant in the room.

If this fellow were claiming “ignorance” on any other basis other than being a Muslim, do you think he would have been granted grounds for an appeal?

Do you think fear of retaliation by the Islamic community or fear of not appearing politically correct influenced the appeals judge in any way?
 

Daniel Sullivan

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Okay, now to address the elephant in the room.

If this fellow were claiming “ignorance” on any other basis other than being a Muslim, do you think he would have been granted grounds for an appeal?

Do you think fear of retaliation by the Islamic community or fear of not appearing politically correct influenced the appeals judge in any way?

I don't think that it is specifically about Islam. A laywer has basically worked out a defense based on the defendant being from a sufficiently non-western and fractured culture. If the defendant were from Dubai or an Austrailian born Muslim, I suspect that the lawyer would have taken a different tack. The lawyer did what many lawyers do: screamed loudly from door to door until someone opened up, let him in, and gave him his way.

The initial judge wanted to throw the book at him, so the lawyer shopped around until he found a judge who wouldn't. Typical legal gymnastics that are all about exploiting the law and have nothing to do with justice.
 

K-man

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Okay, now to address the elephant in the room.

If this fellow were claiming “ignorance” on any other basis other than being a Muslim, do you think he would have been granted grounds for an appeal?

Do you think fear of retaliation by the Islamic community or fear of not appearing politically correct influenced the appeals judge in any way?
As Daniel said, this is not about being Muslim. This guy is being assisted by a lawyer who is probably being paid by 'legal aid'. That means this guy is his meal ticket. Don't worry about any women this guy has assaulted, just show me the money! I don't believe this to be a PC situation.

There is no fear of reprisal from the Islamic community. Although we do have a small number of radicals, the Muslem community here is the same as any other community. They just want to get on with their lives without hassles. I'm sure that the vast majority of them would want this guy put in jail and the key thrown away. :asian:
 

arnisador

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I'm sure the fear of being politically incorrect is in everyone's mind, "ignorance of the law is no excuse" is a popular phrase that captures a basic idea but which is not a legal standard. Sometimes you can claim ignorance and get away with it. He's trying, and it's working its way through the system. Slow but exceedingly fine, as they say...
 

punisher73

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Odd defense, but I have seen it used before with the cultural thing. Back in my jail days, we housed lots of INS inmates waiting to be deported for crimes they were convicted of and served their time. I was speaking with an Israeli person and he was saying that he shouldn't be sent back because he didn't do what they said he did. I asked him what that was and he said he was convicted of "domestic violence". He went on to say that he would "discipline" his wife, but that he never badly beat her. To him, it was okay to hit/strike a woman as her husband to correct her behavior.

In this case, I don't know of any society that accepts rape as a normal course of good/acceptable behavior. It's ridiculous and insulting to the victims for the lawyer and judge to even consider an excuse.
 

K-man

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In this case, I don't know of any society that accepts rape as a normal course of good/acceptable behavior. It's ridiculous and insulting to the victims for the lawyer and judge to even consider an excuse.
If anyone is interested in pursuing this line of thought, check out the attitude to rape in India. The rate of rape has skyrocketed in recent years but I suspect it might be more that the 'reporting' of rape is more the reason. Indian women have been second rate citizens for centuries.

The truth is, when most women report sexual harassment in India's cities, towns and villages, they are typically met with a shrug. Slowly, but firmly, the onus of remaining safe seems to have shifted to women, instead of being shared by society and law-keepers.
At a protest rally held in the city on Tuesday, when women waved placards saying: "Don't teach me what to wear, teach men not to rape," it was meant as a wake-up call for society, for mothers and fathers, for law-keepers as well as lawmakers. Other posters saying: "Don't get raped," with words crossed out to read: "Don't rape," were a chilling reminder of how vulnerable and isolated women feel in India.
India's apparent nonchalance towards sexual harassment has escalated into a major crisis. And we're not just talking about the odd sly remark or attempt to grope a woman but far more serious assaults. India's misplaced tolerance has helped this cascade into a brutal, violent menace.
http://edition.cnn.com/2012/12/19/opinion/india-rape-anger-menon

Another example of community attitude to rape was demonstrated by a group of Mudlim youths in Sydney a few years back. They grabbed a girl and raped her, then called all their mates to come and join in. Their excuse was that this girl was not Muslim so was fair game.

The Sydney gang rapes were a series of gang rape attacks committed by a group of up to fourteen Lebanese Australian Muslims led by Bilal Skaf against Australian women and teenage girls, as young as 14, in Sydney Australia in 2000. The crimes— described as ethnically motivated hate crimes by officials and commentators — were covered extensively by the news media, and prompted the passing of new laws. The nine men convicted of the gang rapes were sentenced to a total of more than 240 years in jail. According to court transcripts Judge Michael Finnane described the rapes as events "you hear about or read about only in the context of wartime atrocities".
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sydney_gang_rapes
:asian:
 

billc

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This nonsense is 100% caused by the lawyers. Any excuse to go back to court and get another fee. My opinion, for what is worth ... give him a dose of Sharia law

I believe according to Sharia, there must be three witnesses to the act for it to actually be rape...and a woman's testimony only counts for have that of a man's...so under Sharia...he would probably walk...and she might be in trouble...
 

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