Sexual Violence and the Justice System

Introduction

In May 2011, Ken Clarke caused outrage by remarks made in a media interview. When questioned about the tariffs received for rape convictions, he asserted

“A serious rape, with violence and an unwilling woman, the tariff is much longer … Date rape can be as serious as the worst rapes, but date rapes … vary extraordinarily one from another and in the end the judge has to decide on the circumstances.”

Implying that date rape isn’t serious, doesn’t involve violence or an “unwilling woman” is shocking coming from the Justice Secretary.

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Some thoughts on assisted suicide

I wrote the following piece 17 months ago but as the issue of assisted suicide is still live (sorry, couldn’t resist it); note this news item from yesterday about Glaswegian Helen Cowie, and the Strathclyde Police announcement that they are not investigating the case of her son Robert’s death in Switzerland.

Margo MacDonald sparked controversy!

Margo MacDonald sparked controversy again recently with her assisted suicide bill. Or did she? There was considerably less drama surrounding this bill because she has Parkinson’s disease, and hearing those arguments from a shaking woman is powerful. Most of those who feel obligated to condemn right-to-die legislation on grounds of faith and/or morality are rarely in the company of folks who have to live in deteriorating and dysfunctional bodies.

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