When Gerry was in France, I kept the TV on CNN most of the time. The first night he was gone, there was the breaking news about the killing of that evil man in Pakistan. That kept them [CNN] busy for quite some time. Then there was Arnold Schwarzenegger and then there was Dominique Strauss-Kahn. If you don’t know about the case, please take time out and follow the link.
As I had not much else to do — the weather was lousy all three weeks Gerry was away — I followed this case closely. On top of it all, Gerry was in France, so I got to hear some reactions from there too. Before this happened I didn’t know who Strauss-Kahn was and I don’t think I was alone.
All the time I had a gnawing feeling that they seemed quick to judgement … even though they have to say the word « allegedly» all the time, it sort of grows on you. The reactions in France on the ‘perp walk’ were fierce, and so they would in other parts of Europe, I think, had he been from any other European country.
This brings me to the subject that I really wanted to write about — this wasn’t meant to be entirely about Strauss-Kahn [DSK]. One of the biggest differences between my native Sweden and North America is that here they publish name, picture and address of people who have allegedly committed a crime … be it shop-lifting or rape. Swedish media are by law forbidden to publish the name before they are judged and sentenced.
This has sometimes irked me to no end, but now I honestly don’t know what to think. Before this DSK case, I’ve often asked Gerry what they do if the person turns out to be innocent. Do they publish a disclamation?! I’ve never seen one, so perhaps they’re correct each time. Sometimes I read here in the local paper about someone who has been shop-lifting, I see in which apartment building they live and I often wonder if they can go on living there or if they move away somewhere where nobody knows them.
All these thoughts I’ve had on this subject, were once again actualized while DSK was in Rikers Island. There were so many things in the story I couldn’t get together to start with. For example, how he managed to make her do the things he allegedly had forced her to do all on his own without a knife or any other weapon. He’s almost double her age and much shorter. If you have followed this case, you know what I’m talking about.
Even though many things pointed to that he seemed guilty … they even produced some DNA evidence … I was thinking in the back of my mind: «what if it turns out somehow that he is innocent?!» «WHAT IF?» His life is ruined regardless of whether this case gets thrown out or not. He had to quit his job … he had a brilliant career going for him and could even have become president of France! A rape charge is an immensely serious allegation that could render him at least twenty five years in jail. A false rape accusation can, as we may have seen here, ruin a person’s life forever. What will happen to those who commit those crimes … will their names and faces be plastered all over the media too?!
I doubt that we’ll ever get to know all the answers in this story, but in peoples minds this is what he’ll be remembered for, whether he’s guilty or not.