Sunday, July 27, 2008

[justice] what lengths would you go to

Older readers would recall the Winslow Boy, the play by Terrence Rattigan, where a boy is wrongly accused of stealing and his father almost breaks his family in getting the boy exonerated.

Witness this one in the photograph. It was when a black soldier was accused of participating in a lynching and:

Despite their protests of innocence -- and the government's own secret investigation showing the prosecution's case was poisonously flawed -- the men were sentenced to hard labor and forfeiture of military pay and benefits, and were given dishonorable discharges.
Now they have finally been exonerated but at what cost? In Agatha Christie's Tuesday Club Murders and other stories, a similar theme appears quite often - that someone is accused but in this case is not punished but merely suspected for the rest of his or her life.

Example was the trusted servant whom the husband and wife then no longer trusted anywhere around money or valuables when a brooch went missing. She went to her grave, the servant, still under the cloud. Later the wife found her brooch down the back of a chest of drawers.

UPDATE Monday - the veteran who was the subject of the report has now died after receiving his apology.


Gallimaufry said...

I recall a similar story in "The Good Soldier Svjek". Someone is accused of a capital crime, found guilty, hanged, buried in the precincts of the prison, then new evidence to exonerate him turns up, so he is pardoned and reburied in the churchyard. Problem solved.

Lord James Bigglesworth said...

It has to be awful, that constant pall over the person suspected.

Richard Havers said...

The Winslow Boy is a fantastic play.

Linden said...

And there's Gelert, the faithful hound.

dearieme said...

About ten years ago a friend of mine moved the bookcase in his office. He found an envelope down the back, containing obsolete coins and notes, and marked "Tennis Club Tea Money" in the handwriting of a chap who'd used the office 20 years before (!). He decided it was best to say nothing (except to me). Was he right?

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Nothing can recompense someone wrogly convited of a crime. What they must go through in the interim is unimaginable.