New bill calls for courts to allow 'cultural defense'
Amnon Meranda
Published: 02.06.08, 21:28
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1. This is total insanity
Gee ,   Zikron Yaakov   (06.02.08)
Instead of one law for everybody, a different law of each culture is not only illegal, but crazy. We need new elections just to get rid of Kadima.
2. #1
INCognito ,   Brooklyn, USA   (06.02.08)
It's not total insanity. It would not determine the outcome, it would only allow to adjust the term under 3 years. Something similar exists in many states of the US. Usually the defense presents an expert in the culture (a professor, a diplomat) and then uses info to persuade the jury that defendant should not be punished as harshly based on this cultural understanding. They almost never argue that defendant should be completely acquitted: it's simply unrealistic to expect the jury to just let defendant go.
3. this is insane
david ,   new york   (06.03.08)
so now we're going to get defenses like: "he couldn't stops himself from robbing, he's a [fill in proper ethnicity here]" or "she looked real good and you know, he's a [fill in ethnicity here] and those people ain't just like you and me, they got those hormones" could you please pass the kool-aid?
4. An idea already refuted
Raffaele Ladu ,   Verona, Italy   (06.03.08)
Mr. Mula, last year two German courts tried to implement something akin to cultural defense, and erred seriously. In one case, they dismissed the claim of a Moroccan woman against her husband, because they were convinced that the woman's culture allowed for such behaviour. But, actually, the Moroccan Family Law punished such a behaviour harshly, and granted the woman immediate divorce for that, while German law did not. In another case a Sardinian rapist got a somewhat lenient sentence because the German judge was convinced that Sardinian culture approved of rape. Not only did the judge ignore that Sardinia is now part of Italy, and the Italian Criminal Code sternly punishes rape, but also that a Sardinian statute known as "Carta de Logu", which was effective from 14th Century up to 1827, and is still revered as a source for learning the Sardinian ethos, mandated that a rapist had to pay a hefty fine to the court and indemnify the victim within 15 days after conviction - or face the amputation of his left foot. It was the harshest sentence for a crime other than high treason, murder or attempted murder. Traitors and murderers faced a mandatory death sentence; those who attempted murder the unconditional amputation of their left hand. These cases prove that it is far more difficult for a court of law to know the cultural upbringing of a defendant, than for anybody to learn the law of the country he lives in - and to abide by it. Take care.
5. What about Honor Killings?
Joe Example ,   USA   (06.03.08)
6. Ah, great, the moral relativism argument
Roman ,   Lod, Israel   (06.03.08)
I can already invision it being used in many wife-beating and child-beating cases. Folks, there's a simple and straightforward issue here - do you undermine the moral and legal code in the name of "multiculturalism"? Because that's a big pile of poo just waiting to hit the fan. Quite frankly, moral and cultural relativism is built on foundations of naivete, insecurity, and... arrogant racism. Do you honestly want to use someone's ethnic origin as a legal argument, one that may allow a lighter sentence? There's already a claim that the more liberal-minded among the judges in Israel tend to give lighter sentences than necessary to honor-killers, unofficially using the "culture" argument to give murderers a lighter sentence, and people want to make it an *official* part of the system? It's a slippery slope that will be breached and expanded. And frankly, do you honestly see anything positive in judging a culture by its worst aspects? And reinforcing them via the legal system, thus drowning any calls for change *within* that group? Utter madness.
7. now we are going to have a legal system based on culture
zionist forever   (06.03.08)
Arab shoots a bunch of jews dead. We get to court and the arabs defense is jews are the enemy in arab culture and so we are supposed to kill them wherever we see them. Judge says ok I understand where your coming from and your right so I will charge you for illigaly carrying and using a gun the murder charge will be dropped as it wasnt really murder just you living by your cultural beliefs which is understandable and acceptable, Does this mean now when judges are handing down punishments they are going to have to consider the cultural background of the criminal. Your arab Your Russian Your South American Your British Your American Your French Your German Your a sabra Different laws for different cultures. The law cannot be based on political correctness or desires to be multi cultural it must be one size fits all. If an arab commits a crime it must be the same sentence as it would be if a jew commited the same crime otherwise our legal system is going to end up just as much a pathetic non representetive body as the circus we call an electoral system. 1 crime & 1 punishment no cultural loopholes.
8. One law for everyone
Josh   (06.03.08)
This idea violates the torah idea of one law for everyone and tweaking justice for the powerful or the weak. There is already so much discrimination againts converts and non-native Israelis in this country that one who loves God and has retunred cannot even enjoy a night out without being badgered, bumped into, assaulted, or fight instigation just to force them to leave an establishment. People cannot go out on their own, but must stay at home secluded. It is wrong. It is not Torah and is against God.
9. Anti-Democratic
Marty ,   USA   (06.03.08)
What happened to equality under the law? Just another nail in the coffin of freedom.
10. So if a Jew kills kadima members they should get off
Mordechai   (06.03.08)
If i have a Jewish culture which preaches killing leftists I guess that will be legal now right?
11. I'd like some concrete example....
Ilan ,   Ariel   (06.03.08)
Public littering, or vandalism of public property? That wouldn't be acceptable. Cruelty to animals? What exactly would be covered?
12. concrete example for Ilan of Ariel
Michael ,   Haifa   (06.03.08)
Settlers, who thieve, uproot olive trees, beat up Palestinians, break the law by resisting the police and the Army and all for an ideology imbedded in a warped version of Judaism... enough ? or do you want more ?
13. Could be good for Mr Benizri
Simon ,   TA Israel   (06.03.08)
Well that could be good news for Mr Benizri from Shas who recieved hundreds of thousands of shekels in money and services from contractor Moshe Sela, in which the judge described as the biggest case of corruption in the history of Israel. Benizri naturally claims he is innocent says he is a victim because he comes from a spheradi background! Although i think his Pal Arie Deri from Shas already tried to pull that one on the public.
14. today the jewish state discrimainates against jews
zionist forever   (06.03.08)
Are muslims going to charged with murder now if they carry out an honer killing as thats part of islamic culture? We seem desperate to do everything we can to appease minorities make it look like Israel welcomes non jews and wants them. Look at Temple Mount holiest site in the world for jews, soverign property of the jewish state and look how often it is closed off to jews these days. In 1967 the idea was supposed to be freedom for all faiths to visit holy sites in Jerusalem provided they are respected today the government reguarly discriminates against jews. We let arab MKS say publicly Israel has no right to exist, make iligal visits to enemy states and when they come back we shout and scream a little while then we forget all about it. If a jew said Israel had no right to exist he would be thrown out the Knesset and probably be investigated by the security services. If he illigaly visited an enemy state he would be greeted at the airport by police with handcuffs to interogate him. Thats what clutural differences in Israel are starting to become political correctness and tolerance is the new law.
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