When A Judge Does Not Deserve The Title "Your Honor"
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Politics and Activism

When A Judge Does Not Deserve The Title "Your Honor"

CNN recently reported a rape case in which the judge displayed extreme bias and is now facing a judicial hearing to determine if he will retain his post.

When A Judge Does Not Deserve The Title "Your Honor"
CBC News

Disclaimer: All recounting of events and direct quotes (with the exception of one cliche) are from an article off of CNN. I only used this source, and this article is my reaction to this story. It is not a research paper requiring multiple scholarly sources nor is it a full-scale investigation. The article that I am basing this piece off of can be found here: http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/12/world/robin-camp-rap...

Last week CNN revealed the news that Canadian Judge Robin Camp, will be undergoing a hearing to determine whether or not he will be permanently removed from the bench. The reason for this judicial hearing? Well, the question he posed to a sexual assault victim during trial: "Why couldn't you just keep your knees together?" Frankly, this barely scratches the surface of the insulting, degrading, and dishonorable nature of Judge Camp's conduct.

The case in question here took place back in 2014. A young woman, 19 years old, claimed she was raped over a bathroom sink. The judge ultimately acquitted the alleged rapist, but the verdict was recently overturned on appeal, with a new trial scheduled for November. Rape cases are highly sensitive, and I cannot even begin to imagine what it is like in a victim's shoes. There are probably no words to accurately depict the extreme emotional trauma that this girl, as well as all other survivors, faces. Not to mention it must take an immense amount of courage to come forward and tell one's story, to have to recount such a horrific violation, to face the inevitable slut-shaming, and to know there is a possibility there won't be justice. Yet, here Judge Robin Camp fulfilled each one of those nightmares.

Rape is a serious allegation, and I think it's safe to say that a judge never wants to send an innocent person to prison. And for such a heavy allegation, if one is falsely convicted, it could be life ruining. This has certainly happened in the past, especially before DNA testing became a prominent method in crime solving. However, a judge is there to listen to the evidence, hear all aspects of the case, and pass an impartial verdict that upholds the law. A judge has the title Your Honor because their job description carries the burden and honor of ensuring that our legal system (or in this case Canada's legal system) remains intact. That person behind the bench is responsible for ensuring that we can still have faith in the law; that justice is duly distributed fairly and proportionally. Ever heard the saying "with great power comes great responsibility"? Well this is a prime example of great power, and a perfect demonstration of how it was handled irresponsibly.

In addition to posing the question of why this girl could not simply keep her knees shut, Camp continued to openly shame a battered woman. Other remarks include:

Asking why she couldn't "skew her pelvis" or avoid penetration by pushing her bottom into the sink.

"Young women want to have sex, particularly if they're drunk."

"...sex and pain sometimes go together...that's not necessarily a bad thing."

I would like to take this time to thank the Honorable Judge Camp. Thank you sir for imparting your strategies on how to avoid being penetrated without consent, by someone who is likely of much greater physical strength and can overpower a young woman easily. The answer was right there all along: just maneuver your pelvis like so. Beyond that however, women everywhere owe you our eternal gratitude for telling us what we want, especially under the influence. We are clearly incapable of determining that for ourselves. Moreover, because we want sex so bad, it is obviously okay for someone to just force himself upon us without asking because it was quite clear that, without saying anything, we wanted it. Oh and seriously, thank you for lumping together the pain of someone forcing their penis into a vagina with sex between to consenting adults with preferences for things to get a little rough. Those must be the same exact thing so thank you for clarifying.

These remarks do not demonstrate any sensitivity to a highly emotional situation, nor do they show any sign of impartiality. If this complete and utter slut-shaming wasn't mind-boggling enough, then there was Camp's advice to the defendant:

"I want you to tell your friends, your male friends, that they have to be far more gentle with women. They have to be far more patient. And they have to be very careful. To protect themselves, they have to be very careful."

Excuse me, so not only did Camp engage in victim-blaming, he essentially justified an alleged rapist's actions. There is no sign of impartially hearing the evidence, no attempts to get the entire story so as to reach a fair and just verdict. Nope, just a clear bias and total disregard for a survivor of rape. The verdict on whether Judge Camp will retain his position is to be revealed on Monday September 26th. The tale of victim blaming and slut-shaming is an old one, and time and time again a rapist is not only acquitted, but given protection that the victim was not. Yet what tends to go unnoticed is that these judges contributing to rape culture, get to keep their post behind the bench. Judge Camp is one of several who does not deserve the title Your Honor, and there is a chance he will receive the proper punishment. Admittedly, he has gone through sensitivity training and has made public apologies for the comments made to this young woman. However, his words cannot be taken back, and no matter how much public shaming Camp receives, it will never measure up to the public shaming he inflicted on this woman. These breaches of honor cannot continue. A judge sitting behind the bench needs to be worthy of their title. Otherwise they undermine what is supposed to be a progressive, fair, and just court system and turn it into a biased, regressive, rigged system in which not everyone's voice can be heard, not all cases pleaded. This woman was a victim of rape. Her honor has been destroyed. And this has only been exacerbated by a dishonorable judge.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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