I just watched a movie called “Conviction”. It relates the story of a woman who spent 16 years of her life fighting for the release of a brother accused of murder.
But how can anybody be so steadfastly sure that a loved one is innocent?
It is understandable that parents would want to protect their children, but sons, husbands, wives, lovers are all capable of murder and shouldn’t be automatically thought to be innocent because of emotional ties.
Victims are often pushed aside while many people eagerly rush to embrace the cause of the accused.
Judicial errors are of course possible, but not every case is a Dreyfus affair.
Florence Cassez, a French National, was just released from a Mexican jail after spending 7 years in prison for involvement in “a crime she didn’t commit”.
She was the lover of Israel Vallarta, the alleged leader of a kidnapping gang and was originally arrested for complicity with that gang.
She always claimed her innocence.
Ms. Cassez was welcomed back in France as a national hero and greeted by President Francois Hollande at the Elysée Palace.
The exact circumstances of her case are fairly murky but her predicament was kept on the front burner by no less than two French presidents, Nicolas Sarkozy and Francois Hollande.
Relations between France and Mexico have been severely strained because of this affair and many people in Mexico believe that her release had nothing to do with legal proceedings.
Polls revealed that Mexicans were overwhelmingly opposed to her release and believe that courts protect criminals, not victims.
French public opinion was of course swayed in her favor by the media, her mother and her lawyer. She was railroaded by corrupt officials and had nothing to do with kidnappings they said.
Difficult to know for sure where the truth lies, but I wouldn’t rush to defend somebody simply because she or he happened to be a French or American national.
I am not so cynical to believe that every arrested person is guilty as charged, but I am also wary of too many claims of innocence.
There seem to be a dearth of guilty people throughout the world and many crimes still beg to be resolved.
I just hope that Florence Cassez enjoys her release but refrains the overwhelming temptation to write about (and profit) from her slightly fishy story.