Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Ched Evans

Been following this Ched Evans story - the Sheffield United footballer who was found guilty of rape.

  1. There are some inconsistencies about the conviction, despite him not being given leave to appeal (jury convictions rarely get leave to appeal) and still trying to clear his name. For example, the girl who was raped never made a rape complaint - the police brought the prosecution - and another footballer who was present and charged was subsequently acquitted on the same evidence.
  2. He has done his time. 
  3. He is out of his contract with Sheffield United.
I'm a great believer in giving people a 2nd chance. He has served his sentence and therefore has paid his debt in the eyes of the law (assuming guilt). If the sentence doesn't meet the crime, that's another matter. Given Evans is still trying to clear his name, I think it a bit previous to deny him a job. 

My first reactions was that this could all blow over if he simply made a public statement demonstrating contrition and donated his first few weeks' salary to a rape crisis charity - but, if he's still trying to clear his name, that's also a bit previous and tantamount to an admission of guilt. Catch 22.

Then there's the matter of him being a role model, as some term it. Not many footballers could be called role models - I can think only of a handful. Should a role model be treated more severely than just an ordinary person? Perhaps yes, but I would hesitate to call him a role model.

If he were still in his contract and there was no specific clause within it prohibiting him from engaging in certain acts or having a conviction, then the football club itself could be guilty of discrimination.

I think too many people are jumping on too many bandwagons, far too quickly, and without knowing a great deal about the case in question. There have been numerous cases of miscarriages of justice in the past, but the jury system is nevertheless still considered infallible. Similarly, offenders have gone on to reoffend.

1 comment:

Roger said...

I have served on jury service and I would say that, in my opinion, it is far from infallible.