Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Unjustly Convicted or Getting What He Deserves?

From Montana comes this report, “Jury convicts Helena man on incest charge,” which is scant with relevant details. The Independent Record has a few skips in it. (You young’uns might not get that reference.)

A Helena man was convicted late Thursday in District Court of incest Thursday evening.

Once again, we must note that “incest” can mean rape, including rape of a minor, or consensual sex with an adult. Those are two very different things. Which was it? We aren’t told. Since he wasn’t convicted of sexual assault, isn’t that an indication that this was consensual?

Randy Bill Ring, 57, is already serving a two-year federal prison sentence for possessing 11 guns after being prohibited to do so following a forgery conviction in Powell County in 2008.

The man is no stranger to the law. Still, unjust laws are unjust regardless to whom they are applied.

In the incest case, prosecutors said Ring gave alcohol to a family member in February 2010 and had intercourse with her.

“Had intercourse with” doesn’t sound like assault. “Gave alcohol” is also vague. If she didn’t know she was drinking alcohol, or was under the age of 21 (or 18… I’m not going to bother to look up the drinking laws in Montana,) wouldn’t he have been charged with those crimes? And how much alcohol did she actually consume? I know some are of the belief that any amount of alcohol consumption on the part of a woman means that any male who subsequently has sex with her is guilty of assault, but I don’t buy that. (Perhaps if you do, we should close down all bars.) The article doesn’t say she was inebriated.

He could face 100 years in prison for the crime.

District Judge James Reynolds set a sentencing hearing for April 5.

I sure hope this isn’t another case of someone being prosecuted and convicted for consensual sex. It is outrageous that someone could be sentenced to 100 years in prison for that. An adult should be free to share love, sex, residence, and marriage with any consenting adults without prosecution. If this was a matter of a sexual assault, the language of the article and the charges should have reflected that.

It is too bad we don’t have more information.

You do know that if you serve on a jury and you do not think the laws applied are just, you have the ability to acquit the defendant, right?
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