Friday, June 29, 2012

One Man Justice

When Howard Shaw, grandson of Asian movie mogul Runme Shaw, turned up in court on Wednesday to plea guilty to the charge of having paid sex with a 17-year-old in October 2010, he was accompanied by a different lawyer. Well, if one is going to throw oneself at the mercy of the court, any lawyer will do. No point paying top dollar for a dream team like OJ Simpson did, not in Singapore where the jury system has no place.

Senior Counsel Harpreet Singh Nehal's best shot to stave off jail time was that Section 376b of the Penal Code was intended for sexual predators who deliberately target minors. Not guys who are misled by an online pimp and his stable of underaged whores. But he was on precarious ground when he argued that the girl's "physical attributes" are "solid grounds" for his client to be led to an "honest and reasonable mistake". Ignorance in the eyes of the law has never been an acceptable excuse.

Judge See Keen Oon has his hands tied too, he has already sent one clean cut solid citizen, elementary school principal Lee, to 9 weeks' jail for the same offence. In doing so, he has set a precedent for the rest of the 48 charged so far. It's awkward to dwell on mitigating arguments when the stink from the Woffles Wu decision is still in the air.

Explaining his view on the jury system to BBC in 1977, Lee Kuan Yew said his defence of 4 murderers "using simple tricks of advocacy - contradictions between between one witness and another, contradiction between a witness and his previous statement to the police and the preliminary enquiry" made him sick after his clients were acquitted.
"I decided when we became the government, we will not allow this foolish, completely incongrous system which will never take root here, because no juror will take upon himself the onus of saying, 'Yes, he will go to jail'."

Doubtless, there will be lawyers who have differing thoughts about the subject. David Marshall did, and his outrage on the abolishment of the jury system in 1969 still resounds, "The last nail has been driven into the coffin of justice". He also said during an interview in 1994, "For me, the punishment must not fit the crime, the punishment must fit the criminal and the punishment must fit the needs of society." Too bad he's no longer around, his holistic approach sounds more humane.

22 comments:

  1. The abolishment of the jury system paved the way for judges to be bought.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. can i then say, a one man justice was all along meant to serve the father and son who lords over everyone on this tiny island ?

      Delete
  2. problem is the powers that be do not see that there is a "stink" in the woffles wu case....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Are you sure the system was not deliberately structured such that elites are treated more fairly as compared to the slaves and serfs and where meritocratic aristocrats are the untouchable caste?

      Delete
  3. When Howard Shaw was shown that SYT who looked under-aged, he should have done a Run Run Shaw.

    Instead, he did a Runme (ruin me) Shaw.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But ah, the SYT's "physical attributes" must have kicked in the casting couch reflex...

      Delete
  4. It's Internet, not the Woffles Wu case, that is causing the powers-that-be severe heartburn.

    ReplyDelete
  5. If the revised new law for underaged sex was revised, was there extensive and sufficient coverage in the media about such offenses where it categorically states that such offence will be an absolute liability? Otherwise, reasonable doubt has to be given to some genuine misrepresentation by the pimp.

    If flocks of worshippers can be misled by a charismatic religious leader, how do you expect customers who won't be misled by a charlatan business dealer?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do you believe everything you read in the Straits Times?

      Do you believe everything you read in the internet?

      Do you believe everything the PAP government tells you?

      http://singaporedesk.blogspot.sg/2012_05_01_archive.html

      Delete
  6. Everybody seems to assume that all these men being charged are first timers? Newbies?

    It's the first time they have been charged.
    Yes?

    But is it the first time they have engaged in commercial sex over the last 10 years?
    Nonetheless.
    Innocent till proven guilty.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Howard's lawyer has a tough job because his client was jailed before for a week in 2006 for drink-driving. It's not like it's the first time he had trouble with the law. It's the principal that deserves mercy - and didn't get it.

      Delete
    2. Now if I may add, that ex-principal was a man-of-principle when it come to facing up to the court.
      Alas, he was too remoseful and honest.

      Delete
  7. It seemed to me that each time the ruling party tweaked the laws, they ended up with a system that produced more anomalies and a system that became more vulnerable to abuse.

    ReplyDelete
  8. To the above....

    That is why we have self pawned farktards like TCH asking us "What do you think"....

    After not thinking enough when they suka suka change this and change that..not knowing enough and still making changes which lead to more problems which could be avoided easily if all the facts are in hand and using the common sense/logical approach from the "we the people" point of position instead of "me and my party" position...

    And LKY call this "talent"...more like Leetarded talent. Study so much...but still a dud.

    Brainless idiots who has to ask others "What do you think".

    Go Fark spider lah!

    ReplyDelete
  9. To be or not to be.

    This is the problem when it is perceived that too many favours for the elite have been granted but this one they better not do it lest it proves that Alan Shahrake was right afterall.

    Let's wait and see whether they intend to make a sacficial lamb out of him just to prove the point that this kind of perception is wrong.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I will only feel sorry for these men if they are not card carrying political members of the Pro Alien Party.

    ReplyDelete
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