T Nation

Kenneth Clarke and His Hierarchy of Rape


You know that bad rape? Not the acceptable rape, which is healthy, or better? No, me neither.

In case any of you missed it, the 'Justice Secretary' of the UK, Ken Clarke, as a preamble to a discussion about how only 6% of rape court cases lead to a conviction, and how the Consevatives aim to alter rules regarding sentencing, so that if an accused rapist enters a guilty plea, they can avoid up to 50% of their sentence, which could in some cases lead to imprisonment of 2 1/2 years for an admitted rapist. More details here http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-13436429

Confusion stems from his use of the phrase 'date rape' (incorrectly) to mean 'consensual sex between teenagers, when one is not legally entitled to consent to sex': e.g. a 17 year old boy having sex with a 15 year old girl, which is legally rape.

BUT, that is not date rape. AND although the scenario above could be consensual, we disallow the 15-year old's volition, and say she/he cannot give legal consent, because they are not yet wise enough to make judgements. From the 15 year olds I have known, they absolutely must be protected from themselves, the mad little nutcases, or else they will do all kinds of self-destructive things, because children do not yet know consequence.

Anyway, this raises a few interesting points, the first being:

a) 6% conviction rate?
Now, i'm sure there are some false allegations, but this statistic implies that:
EITHER 19/20 of those who accuse another of rape are liars
OR The justice system is failing many rape victims (which would be Ken Clarke's job to sort out)

b) Reduction of sentences for admission of guilt
This would seem to reduce the harrowing emotional torture of a rape victim forced to meet again with their attacker, and see them try to evade justice
BUT I fundamentally think that, pleading guilty or not, a rapist has already done far too much damage to be let off with a sentence less than 3 years long (possibly 18 months long, it is suggested)

I personally see rape as one of those crimes where, you never 'have to' rape a person. It is just evil.

I could imagine me murderinmg a person, under extreme self-defense situations, and even feeling vindicated, if it protected my family from harm. But rape is one of those crimes, in my opinion, where I agree with Immanuel Kant, the perpetrators should be punished 'just because'.