Convicts are not victims ... a look at the Mary Lynch case

Sunday, October 14, 2018

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It was recently brought to my attention that a certain play is soon to be released. This play is the version of events, according to Mary Lynch, regarding the murder of her husband Leary in 1992.

For those not familiar, Leary was a prominent banker who was killed by his wife Mary and his body dumped. The trial had all the makings of a drama and the accompanying media attention that tends to be present when a person who lives uptown is murdered, especially by one of their own.

Needless to say, there were allegations of physical abuse by Mr Lynch that didn't seem to impress the judge and jury because she was sent to jail for 14 years for the butchering of the banker.

So fast-forward to the present; she has done her time and Mary's out and planning this play to tell her side of the story. Hmmm, well I thought that was what she did when the defence was presented at the trial and it didn't impress a jury because they didn't acquit, nor the judge because she got both barrels in the sentencing.

So, what then is she planning to say? And should she be given the platform to spew unsupported allegations about the man she has slain?

This just doesn't feel right. You kill a man, dump his body, get convicted and now you get to paint the man as a demon and earn from the blood you drew?

There have been several serial killers in the United States of America whom judges have ordered not to seek to benefit from their notoriety by publishing books or movies. To me, this murder didn't seem like self-defence. If you defend yourself under any condition that leaves your attacker unable to harm you any further, the expected action is to call the police, not dump the body and burn evidence.

Also, is it fair to his family and his memory for him to be portrayed as a cruel wife beater without having an opportunity to defend himself?

The Mary Lynch scenario, though being unusual with its elements of wealth, murder, family, and the island's largest bank, is still is a reflection of a new thought process that prisoners have in some way been a victim of the system.

This thought process is the result of under exposure, and at many levels! Under exposure to the real victim of crime. This being the prematurely ended life, the family left behind, or in cases of crimes that don't involve death there is the literal shell of a rape victim, the pain of the wounded, or the hurt of a human who has been deprived of the possession he or she worked for by someone who choose to simply take it with force. These are victims.

Crime is a choice! Poverty doesn't cause people to kill, rob, or rape. They may steal food. But, promoting an ideal that criminals are victims in any way is giving them a pass for the choices they have made and the damage they have done.

The victim farce is aided by a misunderstanding and a perception that convictions are easily achieved in our system. This simply is not so. They are accomplished by surpassing hurdles that involve police officers literally using their own sparse resources to keep victims coming to court over the five years it takes to finish a case; by prosecutors who have made a decision to forego the wealth of private practice for a good carpenters wage in pursuit of public service; and by the sheer courage of the victims themselves, who continue to be frustrated, terrified and eventually belittled during the trial.

After all of these hurdles are overcome and you see the well bailed 'old criminal' get sentenced you now have to deal with the growing sentiment: “dem mash up de yute”.

Not that he has destroyed someone's life and is getting what's due to him, oh no, it is someone else or something else who has caused it. I guess if this were a text message, I would do a 'KMT'.

The epidemic of people not taking responsibility for their actions needs to be halted. If you kill, rape, rob, resist arrest, or fire at the police, then you get what you damn well deserve: prison or whatever else that happens. It's nobody fault but your own and in a true society of fair play you should be forced to pay — in labour —when released from prison for a period of time, until you have compensated the individual for his or her loss .

So let's revisit the butchering of the banker and see the possible justification for this alleged 'victim'.

Well, if she was under attack and defended herself, then she would have my unequivocal support. However, the post-homicide conduct doesn't support this. She was not some teenager living in a garrison with little or no exposure to the options available. Lynch was a prominent banker. Make a report that goes public and his career is over.

So if there was a cycle of abuse, why not try this avenue or visit a number of women's rights groups, or even get one of our battle axe female lawyers to help you get a restraining order? I know many who would have done it for free. There were just too many options to choose the one taken.

Violence is violence, irrespective of where it occurs and by whom. This farce would not even be considered or probably not even allowed if this murder had occurred in a ghetto involving the citizens of same.

This is a step in the wrong direction and has the potential of allowing persons who are released for similar or worse crimes to be given the opportunity to sour their victims' good name and justify their actions post-conviction.

Imagine if someone breaks into your home and rapes and kills a wife and mother and 30 years later that person sells a book claiming they were lovers, even though there is no evidence to even suggest that.

This case is even worse because Mrs Lynch tried to peddle this crap in the trial and the court rejected it.

I never knew Leary and I don't know any member of his family, so I truly don't know whether he was an abusive man or not. I don't accept conjecture. I deal in facts.

The one fact here is Mrs Lynch was convicted of killing him. That's the only fact that matters.

Jason McKay is a criminologist. Feedback:

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