I sat in the court room last week for some hours to hear the charges of rape against the two RCMP officers from Watson Lake and I now hear today of the “not guilty” verdict and know it is a complete failure of our legal system. The young woman who brought forward the charges fully convinced me that at one time she believed without question RCMP officers were here to serve and protect.
And I thought, as I sat there last week, that if this is as good as our court system gets then every woman in Whitehorse should be here to witness how utterly useless it is to consider coming forward to seek justice if they are raped.
The outcome of this trial is another warning to every woman in this country. Judges and lawyers have the greatest of privileges with their education and the benefits that come with their high office and positions of trust. In the absence of just laws and legal processes it would not hurt them to remember that they can still rightly show evidence themselves of simple human decency when performing their work. And they can rise above so many of their peers when they remember that it is only an obscene cleverness that twists the meanings of words to serve unjust ends.
It is a terrifying thing that our courts and its servants are unable to do a better job of protecting us all. But it is a great comfort that one woman’s immeasurable courage will not be held back by such appalling failures.