Friday, February 6, 2015

True Crime Friday - Beyond Conviction

Truth be told, I stumbled across the documentary, Beyond Conviction, the other day, but I didn't watch all of it.

Basically, it's a movie wherein victims of crimes confront the people who made them victims.  The stories themselves seemed like they'd be interesting, but the commentary from 'noted psychologists' turned me off.  If only the criminals could see the way victims lives were impacted, and if only the victims could see... and if only people stopped thinking of these criminals as criminals... yada, yada, yada.

Okay, so I watched the first of three such cases - which I suspect were cherry-picked to prove the documentarian's theories - was presented originally as a rapist who attacked a girl who was living in the house where he stayed while going through some personal crap.  Partway into the segment, low and behold, the rapist was the victim's brother.  Pure shock value presenting it that way, and I was a little pissed for the rape survivor at their tactics.  And yes, in this particular instance, the only way she could heal was by confronting her brother and letting go of the anger she'd been holding for 13 years.

I skipped the next one when it turned out to be a mother whose son was killed in prison by another inmate.  Yes, she was hurting, but I couldn't see how confronting the other criminal who killed her son would do anyone any good.

I didn't go back for the third instance, but according to what I could find online, it centered around a daughter seeking answers from her father - who had killed her mother.

They call this 'restorative justice'.  The first and the third cases here, I could see how confronting the person who basically ruined your life could help with closure.  Not so sure how that mother in the second case is ever going to find closure.  But that's just me. Personally, I'd just want to be alone with the man who killed my child so I could beat him to death with a brick. 

Have you ever watched Beyond Conviction?  If you have, should I have stuck around through the other two cases?  If you haven't, what do you think of the concept of restorative justice?  Would you want to talk to the person who wronged you and get answers?  Or would you rather they just rot in jail?


  1. I haven't seen this programme and I'm not sure I'd want to. I'm with you - I would become a lioness in defence of my children. I'm not entirely sure I believe all that psychological BS about confronting to heal & bring closure. Those poor people have suffered enough. Why bring the nightmares into sharper focus with the face & voice of the attacker? Still, what do I know?

  2. I like what you know, Fran. Yes, they have suffered enough. Still, they all choice to participate, so they must've felt they needed the confrontation to find closure. Personally, I hate confrontation. I'd rather find a way to gain closure on my own.

  3. I don't think I've heard of this show. I do know that in the legal system here in Oklahoma, victims/families are allowed to speak during the sentencing phase of the trial. They give victim impact statements for the jury and to the perpetrator.

    There was also a local news story last month about a woman who lost her grandsons in the Murrah Building bombing. She began a correspondence with Terry Nichols, the second defendant in the case, and has visited him in prison. Her reasoning was that she couldn't get on with life until she learned to forgive him. Not forget, just forgive. She's a strong Christian (perhaps Catholic? I don't remember now) and this stage was vital to her healing process. The whole story put me in mind, in a much smaller way, of my mother. If she was angry at someone, she refused to take communion until she could "forgive" them for whatever trespass. Hard to believe that this is the 20th anniversary, come April.

    As for me, yeah. I'd be too tempted to just put the MFer out of society's misery so it would be best if I weren't in close proximity.