Since I wrote this, Mr Evans has had his conviction for rape overturned. He is now being allowed to resume his career as a professional footballer.
There is a multitude of questions to consider and to debate, concerning Mr Ched Evans.
- Is the law under which this offender was convicted, just?
- Did the judge direct the jury correctly? If so, why did the jury apparently reach a finding of fact that the victim was so drunk as to be incapable of giving informed consent to sexual intercourse, given that evidence of that incapacity to consent seems, at best flimsy, to many who (like myself) came at this story with an open mind?
- Was the jury’s verdict perverse? If so, why did the jury reach a perverse verdict?
- Given the reluctance of the Court of Appeal to overturn jury verdicts without new evidence, what sort of new evidence does Mr Ched need now to produce, in order to sustain an appeal, and where is he going to get that new evidence from?
- Is it virtuous for members of the public to seek to bring moral and economic pressure upon potential employers of a convicted offender, now paroled and looking for work, in order to disrupt the rehabilitation of one particularly offender? If so, why is that virtuous?
- Is a convicted offender denying his guilt, after serving his sentence, a relevant consideration, when deciding whether to offer a released convict employment, so that he can rejoin society?
- Ought potential employers of this particular convicted offender to give in to public moral and economic pressure, aimed at preventing this offender’s rehabilitiation? How can potential employers be expected not to give in to the mob, if funding offered for a new stadium (for example) is at stake?
- How is the victim ever going to sue the alleged perpetrator for damages in a civil action, if mob rule ensures that he remains unemployable?
- Why should this particularly complicated case have become the battle field which it has become, of a pitched battle in the gender politics war?
- Which of the above questions is it the the gender politics culture warriors hope to settle, by choosing this case for its next pitched battle?
The chances of anybody getting the chance even to read out the above list of questions during a four-minute slot on sound bite radio (say a dumbed-down magazine format like Woman Sour), is slim. This case needs an hour-long programme of its own, like Radio 4’s Analysis, because there aren’t just two opposing camps, who give opposite answers to all ten questions. There are ten distinct questions that need debating, not just one.