The following article, which is from the Vienna News section of ORF, describes the sentencing of a Turkish immigrant for trying to kill his estranged wife. It also explains the reasoning behind the court’s decision to treat the convicted man leniently.
JLH, who translated the article, has this to say about the case:
What intrigues me here is that the conservatives had no need to step forward. The Left appeared in the person of human rights and women’s rights members of the SPÖ and the Greens to protest a decision that was not only unfavorable to women, but blatantly PC. One wonders what NOW would do in a situation like this.
It is remarkable that the court apparently expects thirty years of living in Austria to have had no civilizing effect on this poor, unregenerate savage.
An immigrant Turk in Austria, despite his lengthy residence in the country, is held to a lower standard for criminal behavior than the natives — or, as the article puts it, “Austrians who have lived here longer”. How much longer? Maybe since the Bronze Age?
This case is an example of what Michael Gerson called the “soft bigotry of low expectations”. And it’s a safe bet that the children of the convicted man will also be held to a lesser standard, due to their shared “cultural background”. The inability to act morally is thus considered a heritable characteristic. It is in the blood. In other words, the Vienna court is guilty of racism.
And now the translated article from ORF:
Verdict Causes Upset: Knife Attack “Understandable”- - - - - - - - -
A court in Vienna found the attack by a Turkish-born man on his wife to be “in the main, understandable.” She wanted a divorce and he stabbed her several times. For the SPÖ and the Greens, the ruling is “unacceptable.”
More Than a Dozen Stab Wounds
His wife wanted a divorce and gave him the papers on October 12th, so the 46-year old husband and father reached for a knife. He stabbed his wife over a dozen times in the head, chest and neck. Then he continued to attack the critically wounded woman with a steel pipe 50 centimeters long, until one of his sons threw himself in the way. [Another version of this story mentions that the son’s arms are injured at this point. — translator]
The judge allowed that the perpetrator had acted under the influence of “understandably violent emotions.”
State’s Attorney Emphasizes the Man’s Origins
Although it is possible, from the method of the attack and the wounds themselves, to get the idea that the man intended to kill his wife, he was not charged with attempted murder. The state’s attorney justified this decision, first on the fact that the wife refused to testify, and second on the man’s background.
Emotional Reaction Fostered by Origins
The man comes from Turkey, although he has lived in Austria since 1980 and is an Austrian citizen. One must “proceed from the question of whether the defendant, at the moment of acting, was in an understandably violent emotional state caused by his wife’s intention to seek a divorce. Foreigners or persons with an immigration background can often find themselves in difficult life situations which — influenced by their background — can be relieved through emotional reaction. Although foreigners’ emotions may have their roots in customs and beliefs that are alien to Austrians who have lived here longer, they may still be generally comprehensible,” the prosecution’ indictment continued.
Wife Did Not Testify
The jury adopted this point of view. There was an “emotionally charged manslaughter intent” but no attempted murder. Since the wife was not prepared to testify, “we have no idea what happened in the home,” the judge said.
One therefore had to accept the testimony of the accused, in whom, considering his origins, a divorce was capable of unleashing an emotional reaction that was as violent as it was understandable. The perceptive court emphasized that this decision was in accordance with the highest judicial standards.
Six Years for Attempted Manslaughter
The 46-year old was sentenced to six years for attempted manslaughter. The state’s attorney had asked for a sentence “in the upper quartile” — the maximum for manslaughter is ten years. He immediately filed an appeal of the sentence.
The range of sentences for attempted for murder is ten to twenty years, or life.
Unworthy of a Modern System of Justice
SPÖ Women’s Affairs spokesperson, Gisela Wurm, called the sentence an “insupportable belittling and mockery. The court is suggesting its sympathetic understanding that the wife’s desire for a divorce may lead to a violent act by the husband.” She is awaiting a statement from Minister of Justice, Claudia Bandion-Ortner.
In a written statement, Wurm said that it is no longer acceptable for acts of violence to be minimized publicly. The reasoning in the verdict displayed stereotypes, prejudices and role-models that are unworthy of a modern, progressive system of justice.
Culturally Conditioned Emotional Acts Not Admissible
Like Wurm, Alev Korun and Judith Schwentner, Greens’ Human Rights and Women’s Affairs respectively, said it was unacceptable to judge dozens of stab wounds to the head and a subsequent attack with a steel pipe as a “culturally conditioned act” in the context of the violent thug’s ethnic origin.
The Green politicians stated: “For a court to invoke an immigrant background as mitigating or even excusing violence against women denies the principle of offering people equal protection under the law. People living in Austria have the right, regardless of their origin, to be both protected and punished according to Austrian law.”
For a complete listing of previous enrichment news, see The Cultural Enrichment Archives.