Saturday, February 1, 2014

Updates on Two Criminal Cases

A sentence has been issued in this absurd prosecution of two adults in Zimbabwe for loving each other and (gasp!) being cousins! Here's a report from
Two members of the Feremenga family from Dzivarasekwa Extension in Harare, whose incestuous relationship resulted in two pregnancies, were yesterday convicted and ordered to perform 630 hours of community service at different institutions in the suburb.
Robson (21) and Ashley Feremenga (19), whose fathers are blood brothers, pleaded guilty to incest charges when they appeared before Harare regional magistrate Adonia Masawi and were slapped with a 36-month prison term each.

But Masawi later suspended 18 months of their sentence on condition of good behaviour and again suspended the remainder on condition each of them performs 630 hours of community service.

Got that? If you break up your family, you can stay out of prison. Of course, the bigots in the neighborhood are going to have a field day being sadistic towards you anyway, and we won't stop that. Because, you know, you shouldn't be allowed to love each other.
The court was nonetheless, left in stitches when the two relatives insisted they wanted to stay together as a couple despite the implications of their unlawful relationship.
The cruelty is appalling. First cousins have been marrying for all of human history. Everyone involved in prosecuting these two should look into their heart, if they one, and clear it of this hatred.

The other update is about a case out of Nevada in which there was a sentencing a while back. I don't think the media ever specified the relationship, but my guess would be uncle-niece. This update comes from reported by Dylan Woolf Harris.
Hughes isn’t specifically appealing his conviction, but instead the district court’s decision to allow prosecutors to use evidence gathered during a search of Hughes’ home. Leading up to trial, the defense filed a motion to suppress on grounds that a search warrant request wasn’t supported by probable cause, but District Judge Nancy Porter held that the warrant was supported and the prosecutor’s evidence was permissible.

The investigation and eventual search of Hughes’ home began in late 2008 after Kimberly Harphant, an acquaintance of Hughes, met with sheriff’s detective Kevin McKinney. She brought with her an unsigned, handwritten letter she said she took from Hughes’ home one day, as well as a prepared document of cut-and-pasted emails between Hughes and the victim.

Harphant had helped Hughes set up a business email account to which she remembered the password, and had lent him a phone. She was retrieving the phone when she found the letter, according to court documents.

The letter appeared to indicate romantic love between two people, but “in addition to a complete lack of attribution, it contains no references to a past or existing sexual relationship,” the brief states. Similarly, the emails’ authors were unverified and didn’t mention sex.

The appeal brief asserts McKinney made little attempt to corroborate or verify the items Harphant presented to him.

Update from February 2017.
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  1. It seems that in the second case she was under 18 when the relationship started. While I acknowledge that she could have personally consented, we still consider it proper for the state to regulate the age of consent. Is this really the kind of case we want to be defending? In Nevada, even if they weren't related, he'd still be going to jail for pornography with someone under 18. I consider the first and second cases to be on very different moral levels.

    1. You're right, they are two very different cases, and the second one is not much like the first oen.

      You'd have to follow the links back to see what I'd written about the second case before:

      Here are my problems with the second case. When a state allows a 17-year-old to legally have sex with a complete stranger, or group sex with three complete strangers, should it really be prosecuting an uncle of hers for having sex with her? I'm not saying the age of consenting SHOULD be 16, but that IS the age of consent in that state.

      The other problem is with the video. I understand there are federal laws that can come into play saying a 17-year-old can't have sex on video. OK. But I do find that a little odd where 17-year-olds can legally marry. So a married couple that includes a 17-year-old can't take video of themselves, like so many other married couples?

      Now, in this case, maybe this guy is a really bad guy in general. That is possible. My heart doesn't bleed for him like it does the couple in Zimbabwe. I do think, however, if he had coerced the 17-year-old, the video would have provided strong evidence to prosecute him for assault or rape, and that wasn't done. My guess is that the video shows them both having a jolly ol' time.


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