Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Two Justice Systems

There is a plethora of articles comparing the French and American systems of Justice.

Yann Baly writes at Bernard Antony's blog:

Behind the Strauss-Kahn affair, there is the scandal of the reactions by political and media leaders.

Since the arrest of DSK, we have witnessed an organized attack against the American police and justice systems: it is a scandal to have shown this gentle lamb Strauss-Kahn in handcuffs, they refused to give him V.I.P. treatment, he was jailed with other criminals of all backgrounds (those on the Left should rejoice)… "The French are indignant" came from the mouth of such and such journalist or Socialist leader.

No. You have only to listen to the man in the street to understand that the French are not indignant, that they are even pleasantly surprised to see a country where justice is inflexible with defendants, even if one happens to be head of the IMF! We are far from the French "tradition" of acquittals, of cases not followed up, or of affairs discreetly swept under the rug whenever a powerful person is implicated.

French political leaders of the Right and the Left who have been sharing power, now one, now the other, for so many years, ought to be more discreet on these questions. They are the ones responsible for the catastrophic situation of justice in France, a system where too often criminals are granted more rights than victims. They are the accomplices, through the laws that they pass, of dozens of crimes, murders and rapes, perpetrated by individuals that their justice system has released, having deferred the day of sentencing, with unpredictable clocking-in or surveillance by ideological Freudian psychiatrists as the only means of control.

So, Ladies and Gentlemen, you who adhere to the right to be different, allow the Americans the right to a justice that is different from ours!

Below, a short video on Rikers Island, and a discussion of the suicide watch placed on Strauss-Kahn.

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At May 18, 2011 10:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, before we Yanks pat ourselves on the backs too much, let us remember our own aristocracy - Trashy Hollywood celebs like Lindsay Lohan. Judges have certainly cut her plenty of slack. They would not treat us with such forbearance.

Still, it is good to know that, once again, the opinions of the anti-American caviar socialists of Paris are not the same as the ones held by the average Jacques.

I noticed the perp walk seemed to bother even those French who dislike DSK, whereas I was more disturbed to discover that a suspected rape victim's name can be broadcast and published in France. Different cultures, differing ideas of what is acceptable...


At May 19, 2011 12:44 PM, Anonymous dauphin said...

@ Diane

Most French do not understand or are not told the actual reason for the handcuffs which you explained in a previous comment, but also were surprised that an accused person was able to be photographed. As to the victim's name in France, I believe it is at the discretion of the news organization.

But you are right, it is not the average person (other than members of the PS) who sympathize with DSK, and in my circle, I've only heard elation, especially from one woman acquaintance. I think women in France (unless very partisan), are sick of this type of treatment by a certain type of Frenchman who is called a "great seducer" (like DSK) while actually being an aggressor and predator, and they are tired of not being able to fight back, of being told to be quiet (like Tristane Banon).

Also, this morning I saw a woman journalist from Québec really give it to France on French tv; she said people in Québec are disgusted by the "French" reaction, and she was particularly hard on Bernard-Henri Lévy.

I'm sorry that France which is a country of gentility, beauty, art and aesthetics has to learn such terms as "perp walk" and see places such as Riker's Island, but guilty or not, DSK is the one who has brought this ugliness and dishonor to France and to himself through his behavior. Ultimately, it is a good lesson in equal treatment before the law, and will hopefully shake things up a bit in France.

At May 19, 2011 1:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At May 22, 2011 2:11 PM, Anonymous NGPM said...

If you're going to accuse someone of a heinous crime that society would be obligated to punish, it makes sense to show yourself. The rule in law is called "clean hands"--don't make an accusation if you're not prepared to be transparent.

I don't know what newspapers that Québécoise journalist was reading to be "disgusted" by the "French" reaction--Le Monde and Libération, I would guess--but I have not met a single person here in Paris who was willing to speak in favor of DSK, and most of the tabloids/humorists I have seen have been nothing short of savage with him. Example: a comic strip in the ever-irreverent Le Canard déchainé showing Martine Aubry in a maid's uniform, crying as a businessman hands her a mop: "It's okay, Martine! Dominique's in jail; you can go back to cleaning up house!" Dreadful, but I had to laugh.

And yes, it most certainly HAS shaken things up here and it continues to give Marine Le Pen credibility. She and her party have moaned for years about the weenies in the establishment parties and now she has a cold, hard, dramatic example of their insular corruption and self-congratulation.

At May 22, 2011 11:57 PM, Blogger tiberge said...


Thanks for the comment. BHL was all over the place, so it is possible for North Americans to judge the French reaction by his idiocies. But I'm glad to hear you confirm what I've been trying to say - that even though he is innocent until proven guilty, this is still a good thing for France, because the dam of silence has been broken, and what a flood it is!

At May 23, 2011 4:32 PM, Anonymous NGPM said...

I should add, though, that if Americans use this opportunity to vant the efficace of American justice versus French justice, they are gravely mistaken. Possible rapists, pederasts, druggies, killers and other such scum roam free in D.C., while the innocent are maligned in their youth or burned to death by their own government. I am thinking, respectively, of:

- Bill Clinton
- Mark Foley
- The Interior Department
- Ted Kennedy

And the innocents:

- Bobby Fijnje
- The Branch Davidians

U.S. justice has a not so nice record these last 20 years and perhaps further back...


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