Justice is Blind

Singaporeans have been calling for a harsher sentence for American Joshua Robinson. He had consensual sex with two 15-year-olds and filmed it, as well as possessed child porn and showed a sex video to a 6-year-old girl. Really terrible and unacceptable crimes. 

But the AGC will not appeal his sentence. This guy has broken down why: https://sg.news.yahoo.com/singaporean-why-did-joshua-robinson-130532446.html. Basically, other people charged with sex with 15-year-olds have gotten around 12 to 18 months in prison. To be fair to all accused, the judgment should be roughly in line with previous similar judgments (called precedents), unless there are aggravating factors. That’s why the court decided on 4 years for all of Robinson’s crimes. 

If you want Robinson to get a harsher sentence, then to be fair, all the precedents have to be hauled up and given a harsher sentence too. Actually, even if you apply the maximum sentence, Robinson can’t be caned- the law doesn’t allow caning unless the victim is under 14, molested or raped. 

Let’s remember the classic statue of Justice: blindfolded, holding a pair of scales. (You probably know it from Hong Kong courtroom dramas.)

It symbolises that Justice is impartial, judging based on the law, not who the accused is. The sentence definitely shouldn’t change just because the accused is a foreigner. By that same logic, would we ask for a Singaporean who hurt a foreigner to be let off? 

One thing I learnt from this case though: Singapore law does not differentiate between possessing child porn and possessing regular pornography, unlike many other countries. Parliament needs to look into changing the laws in this respect, so such crimes will get a harsher punishment in the future.