Should lawyers represent rapists?
The question has been posed as to whether lawyers should represent
alleged rapists and child molesters in the wake of the public outcry
against such offences.
Two women who were overheard discussing the topic in a supermarket said no lawyer should represent rapists.
“Lawyers should never waste their time to represent such criminals,” one of the women said.
“Animals behave better than these rapists,” the other woman
remarked as she confessed that she had a friend who was brutally raped
by three men.
“If I were a lawyer, those type of criminals could not engage my
services, because rape is a very wicked act,” one of them said.
A lawyer who did not wish to be identified said this week that
the public must be aware that a person is innocent until proven guilty.
He explained that serious allegations are made regularly against
persons and, on first hearing such allegations, they would draw the
response that the person is guilty.
“There are some innocent persons in prison because people tell
lies on them and it was very difficult for them to prove they did not
commit the act.
RUSHING TO JUDGEMENT
“Someone can easily say that an individual pointed a gun
at him and it can be very difficult for the accused to prove that he is
innocent,” the lawyer said.
It is his view that people should not rush to judgement in cases until
the matter is aired in court. “Many times, what is reported turns out to
be quite different at times when the evidence comes before the court, ”
“I am not saying that rapists and child molesters should not be
severely punished once it is proven that they commit the offence, but we
should just wait until the culprits are caught and the verdict is
“Identification of the suspects is very essential in rape cases,
and the case will even be stronger if DNA tests are done linking the
suspects to the offence,” he explained.
According to the lawyer, people should respect the work that
lawyers have to do and it is to ensure that they defend their clients to
the best of their ability.
The lawyer said that people must remember that everyone who is
charged with a criminal offence is entitled to legal representation. He
pointed out that the Legal Aid Act came into force to ensure that
accused persons get free legal representation for certain offences, and
rape, carnal abuse and murder are included.