Sunday, January 29, 2012

Honourable Jury

Today in the Shafia murder trial, a jury did the honourable thing and found all four defendants guilty of first degree murder. This case involves so-called "honour killings" in which a father, his second wife, and his son murdered (we can dispense with the allegedly now) his three daughters and his first wife. The motivation for the murders was a belief that the family's honour had been tarnished by the daughters. Clearly the man, his wife, and his son have no understanding of what the word honour actually means.

Though the most important issue in this case was seeking justice for the murdered victims, this was obviously a case that was more loaded than your run-of-the-mill quadruple homicide trial. The fact that the murders were motivated by a patriarch's warped perception that other people can affect his own honour had profound implications for our society. The fact that the accused were found guilty sends a strong message to the community of insane, violent people who would think of committing similar acts against their own children. The law not only serves justice in each case, it also sets precedent, and this is a very good precedent to set clearly. Let us hope that some young women somewhere in Canada are spared as a result of this verdict when their fathers or brothers reconsider the consequences of cold-blooded murder followed by statements of glee at their daughters spending an eternity in hell.

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