Just in time for Fathers Day, a question about a father taking the law into his own hands. A young black girl is raped and killed by two racists in Mississippi and when the defendants are killed by the father at the court, a white lawyer defends him against the prejudice in the community. The KKK become involved, shots are exchanged and there are victims but the father is declared not guilty when the jury are asked that if the accused had been white, would they make a different decision.
You may recognize this as the plot of the stunning John Grisham book and subsequent movie, A Time To Kill. While the story may be fictional the overall question remains. What should happen if a father kills someone abusing his daughter? It is a relevant question as this is being played out in real life in Texas.
A father discovered a man sexually abusing his 5 yr old daughter and proceeded to beat the man to death. The death was not intentional and charges have not been laid as yet although the sheriff’s department is investigating the incident. The news has grabbed headlines in America and beyond with questions being asked about the amount of blame the father should be getting for his reaction.
In both the fictional and factual story, the reaction from the parent has been instinctive and understandable. A father’s love for his daughter is a very powerful thing but does that give the father the right to exact their version of justice on the attacker?
In the small community in Texas, the 2,000 residents believe that what happened was justified and that the father didn’t do anything that anyone else wouldn’t do. Just because most people would have reacted the same way, does that mean that no charges should be laid?