Mensch tracht, un Gott lacht

Thursday, December 03, 2015

The Tale of the Swedish Prosecutor, the Citizen, and the Human Being

It may not be unnecessary to inform the Reader, that the following Reflections had their origin in a correspondence between the Author and a very young person at Paris, who did him the honour of desiring his opinion upon the important transactions, which then, and ever since, have so much occupied the attention of all men.
—E.B. (1790)

I suggested in my last missive that modernity has created:

a disconnected transnational ... elite ... which sees tradition, loyalty, and patriotism as primitive, and whose promoters teach that nations, citizenship, borders, and law defined by elected parliaments are irksome problems to be overcome.

Here I will try to continue that theme.

I cannot verify the facts of this story. So, please, consider this a piece of fiction: a mere story seeking to pose a moral question. In other words, it is a story about you: about what you believe about your government, your public officials, your fellow nationals, and others—foreigners—nationals of countries other than your own.

The story is that a Swedish prosecutor successfully convicted a migrant (hailing from the Third World) for raping a Swedish twelve year old. A sentence of confinement was imposed by the court. The judge asked the prosecutor to make a recommendation in regard to whether the defendant should be deported after the period of confinement ends.

The prosecutor made a recommendation against deportation.

The prosecutor reasoned that the defendant was unlikely to be rehabilitated by confinement, and therefore, the defendant was likely to commit the same crime again. The prosecutor’s position was that whether the defendant goes on to rape a Swede (or a non-Swede in Sweden) or someone in the defendant’s own home country should not be considered because the health, safety, and lives of all potential future victims should be valued equally. And equality is a value upon which we all do or should agree.

Did the prosecutor act rightly or wrongly?

If rightly, would you agree with the prosecutor’s moral framework, or would you articulate a different general principle which would better justify his/her recommendation against deportation? And in what circumstances, if any, should a prosecutor recommend deportation?

If wrongly, what general principle should the prosecutor have acted upon? And why is your moral framework better than the prosecutor’s equality principle? Equality is a generally recognized value. Right?

Finally, in what sense, if any, is this Swedish prosecutor Swedish? Was the prosecutor acting in his capacity as a citizen or human being? Both or neither?


PS: My prior is post: Seth Barrett Tillman, ‘Teaching Children About World Religions and Ethics Could Help Counter Islamophobia’: A Response, The New Reform Club (Nov. 26, 2015, 12:34 AM),

N/B: Welcome ChicagoBoyz and Instapundit readers. Please stop by again, and take a look at our blog. My co-bloggers have a lot to say too!

Twitter:  ( @SethBTillman )

Seth Barrett Tillman, The Tale of the Swedish Prosecutor, the Citizen, and the Human Being,’ New Reform Club (Dec. 3, 2015, 8:52 AM), <>; 

This post now (Sept. 18, 2022) has over 16,000 views.


Tim Kowal said...

Equality demands deportation for the very reasons given by the prosecutor. The rapist's home country presumably will faithfully enforce its laws to protect its innocents. Sweden's innocents deserve equal protection.

Mike said...

If you are an immigrant, you are a guest in the country. If you then commit a crime you should also lose your welcome. The citizens of the country deserve protection from criminals and if you are a public official charged with protecting them, you have a responsibility to do so. Deport him.

pst314 said...

"The rapist's home country presumably will faithfully enforce its laws to protect its innocents."

I think it is extremely unlikely that the immigrant's home country will enforce laws against rape. Far more likely would be the execution of the rape victim for shaming her family.

Tim Kowal said...

"I think it is extremely unlikely that the immigrant's home country will enforce laws against rape. Far more likely would be the execution of the rape victim for shaming her family."

This conjecture, opposite the one I posited, is worth exploring. Very well: the home country is backward, brutal, and barbarous, which punishes its victims and fails to punish its villains. One first wonders why the migrant should not repatriate himself rather than suffer the inconveniences of Judeo-Christian justice. But assume he does not. The prosecutor is bound by law to protect the people of his jurisdiction: his legal duty of equality ends at the Swedish border. He has failed in his task.

But supposing you will object that the exercise is not legal but moral, and that the moral duty to afford equality will not bow to jurisdictional limits. Still wrong, I think: a man cares for his family first -- not because of strong feeling merely, but because he has sworn an oath to God and his neighbors to stand by his bride, and to protect, with his very life, the offspring of their union. And to those before whom he swore the oath, he owes also a special duty to protect them from such harm that it is in his control to avoid.

But to those in foreign lands, whose ways are not known to him, and who send visitors to share his country's fortunes but not its customs, and who ignore its laws, and violate its mothers and daughters, and eat out its substance -- to them he owes merely to send prayers instead of harm, and his charity which God directs and which is not pledged first to the mothers and daughters and poor among his countrymen; he owes no supererogatory duty to equate the interests of foreigners with those he is sworn and bound to protect. The world is God's charge, not man's, who, frail and impotent, is charged instead with the modest task to care for those around him.

He who will not be satisfied with saving less than the whole world, however, would make himself God -- and in so doing, he casts those in his charge out of their homes and into strange lands, and into the arms of rapists and murderers.

This is our Swedish prosecutor, who would be mankind's savior but whose impotence ushers ruin instead. The only comfort he offers is that the ruin will be visited first upon his own house.

pst314 said...

"He who will not be satisfied with saving less than the whole world...."

Well said.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Teenagers have much the same imitation of reasoning, in which they seize upon a single point to the neglect of other valid ones.

First, none of us can protect the world or enforce justice everywhere. We each have our own little plot. We do the best we can there, and do not become so grandiose as to attempt more. Tim Kowal said that well. I append Tolkien's quote: "Yet it is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succour of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till. What weather they shall have is not ours to rule."

Second, if we believe that discomfort discourages criminals from repeating antisocial acts and comfort encourages them to repeat them, then deportation may have some instructive value, and refusing to deport may actually worsen the character.

I read an Hasidic saying years ago that I have been unable to find again, to the effect that he who tries to be more just than God becomes cruel.

Anonymous said...

"Off With His Head", recidivism is unknown post execution.

richard mcenroe said...

Justice demands the prosecutor be deported after that recommendation.

Jake-the-Rake said...

"He who will not be satisfied with saving less than the whole world...."

That's it precisely. The cosmic garden (sideral space actually) as opposed to real persons, a circumscribed space... one's own garden.

Derfel Cadarn said...

If one wished to be "equally" judicious to all potential victims of this scum bag then the death penalty is the proper answers , it answers all concerns in all countries. Problem solved fry the bastard !

Anonymous said...

When the judge asked for a recommendation it was obviously addressed to the person in the role of Swedish prosecutor. If the person who was the prosecutor, in their role as Swedish citizen or human being, felt differently than the person in the role of Swedish prosecutor then the person was as free as any other Swedish citizen or human being to offer advice to the judge in the manner which Swedish citizens and human beings offer advice to judges.

The rationalization for the recommendation not to deport strays far outside the boundary of a Swedish prosecutor's grant of authority, if Swedish prosecutors are allowed to consider crimes in other countries then there is no geographical limit on the extent of Swedish law. The role of prosecutors in the Swedish judicial system makes the prosecutor complicit in all the rapes murders and so forth committed in the entire world which the prosecutor fails to arrest, based on this line of reasoning. Given that we do not regularly hear of cases where Sweden invade other countries to charge people with rape in those countries, either the rationalization for the recommendation was wrong or the prosecutor is extremely negligent in performing their job.

All that said, there are plenty of legitimate reasons for a Swedish prosecutor to recommend non-deportation of criminal migrants but this rationalization is not one of them.

Anonymous said...

Deporting the offender is the second best option, if they won't hang him. Which, of course, being and enlightened European nation, they won't do.

Unknown said...

Exile him to one of Sweden's uninhabited islands, and let nature take its course. He would still be free and in Sweden.

Unknown said...

I think the moral issues have been well covered, but it also seems to me the prosecutor is guilty of sabotage at least. In any case, the political entity of Sweden can ill afford one of it's own agents refusing to best represent and protect the political entity of Sweden. Since the prosecutor no longer serves, he should be removed or impeached.

The bigger question here is whether the modern nation state any longer holds enough of it's people's allegiance to survive. It would only take a minority of Swedes no longer supporting Sweden for the system to break down for everyone (in Sweden.)

Anonymous said...

The rapist should serve out a term of house arrest in the residence of the prosecutor, his wife and daughter.

Mark Allen said...

The prosecutor acted wrongly and the equality principle is irrelevant. The prosecutor has an obligation to ask for deportation in any case in which the criminals harm to society and likelihood to repeat the offense puts their society at risk. The third world country from which the child molester hails has an obligation to enforce a rule of law in their own country that is non-objectionable to their culture. If child rape is culturally accepted in that country then the citizens of that country are free to live with child rapers. The prosecutor is imposing lawlessness on a country that finds
child rape objectionable.

Yannai Segal said...

The Jewish saying is: one who is kind to the cruel will eventually become cruel to the kind.

Robert said...

How long can this go on? Until we see that Progressives believe Hegel's maxim: "No proposition can be proved true" and that it is utterly INSANE to believe this... but if any leader wants an excuse to do whatever, to be a tyrant, said leader can use Hegel to get and gain power (via useful idiots) and then enslave by every means other than ball and chain. Hegel allows pervert, self-dealing leaders to believe they are god.

Free Americans, who are not FUBAR, they more or less believe James Madison's maxim: "No man can be judge of his own case." Note that anyone believing this, believes it for all humankind BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY... also for himself. The higher thought is that we can all be bad, very bad... but with admission of such comes the self-discipline (and societal discipline upon ones self) to be good, and even very good.

In other words, if you had an Animal Farm with animals that believed Hegel, for the good of the universe you would find out where they learned this con job meme (they learned it from public-funded education) and you would defund this worldview Heegl-Progressive-Backwardism in education K-12, university and Journalism School! You would replace the Ed system with Western Enlightenment, enlightenment that has vacuumed out every jot and tittle of Prog-Backwardism.

Alec Rawls said...

Given that the rapist views himself as an invading soldier and views his rape of Swedish 12 yr olds as an act of religiously commanded conquest, the question reduces to the question of whether it is desirable to repel invading armies or not. Kind of late to be asking that, when you already let the invading army in.

Inkling said...

Claims by an internationalist elite that nationalism is evil are nothing new. H. G. Wells was championing them and G. K. Chesterton was fighting them before WWI. I've collected many of Chesterton's arguments for a healthy nationalism in Chesterton on War and Peace.

Unknown said...

Assistant Village Idiot wrote "I read an Hasidic saying years ago that I have been unable to find again, to the effect that he who tries to be more just than God becomes cruel."

I don't think it's a Hasidic saying; it is a Midrash in Ecclesiastes Rabbah on verse 16 of chapter 7 "Al t'hi tzaddik harbeh" (" Be not righteous over much;")Loosely translated "Be not righteous overmuch, more than your creator.. Rabbi Simeon ben Lakish said 'Whomever is merciful to the cruel ends by being cruel to those deserving mercy' "

unominous said...

The prosecutor is only half right. In the name of equality the rapist should not be deported. Further, Sweden should import the convicted rapists of all the other countries as well. In the name of equality.

Mark N. said...

I am confused. Where is the moral question presented in the hypothetical? Viewed from the perspective of the US legal system, the prosecutor makes no decision, only the judge does. Thus it is the judge who faces the "moral" dilemma as to what should happen to the felon when his term of confinement is complete. The Prosecutor is only asked to recommend what he thinks would be the "appropriate" course of action, which is not a moral question at all, but instead a question of what result is in the best interest of his client, Sweden. Sweden's interest is obviously best served by incarcerating or excluding convicted felons, as the law permits, to prevent recidivist criminality. Hence, the Prosecutor violated his fiduciary duty to his client by recommending a course of action that failed to protect the State or its citizens, and as such nothing but a useful idiot who should have left his philosophy at home and represented his client instead.

gurugeorge said...

Yeah, if the guy was taking his principle seriously, surely he's require just putting the guy in jail for life and throwing away the key?

In reality, it's the prosecutor virtue-signalling, which is disgusting because it's putting his "face" above his job.

DocPenn said...

Base your decision on the foundation of Judeo-Christianity, that we're all brothers and sisters and should treat each accordingly. Treating each accordingly calls for corrective consequences. NO OTHER FOUNDATION FOR MORALITY TREATS ALL EQUALLY AND WELL. In this instance, death produces the only outcome that maximizes the safety of others.

jocon307 said...

It is clearly incorrect if we assume that the prosecutor is the representative of "the people", that is "the people who live (legally) in Sweden". Presumably none of those people want a convicted child rapist living in their midst if there is a reasonable way to be rid of him.

However, if the prosecutor is really working for the crown (let's just say it that way) then he must judge by what they think is correct, which one can only suppose is what he did otherwise he'd be catching some sort of hell.

But what did the judge do, or don't we know because this is just a story....?

david's pics said...

Both need to go. One for the tape, the other for being a fool.

Salient said...

The rapist has business to finish in Sweden:
1. He needs to engage prison labor and make monetary reparations to the girl.
2. He needs to pay for his room and board in the Swedish jail.
3. Once his debts are paid, he should be promptly deported.

I'm not talking about a debtors prison because he is not going to jail for debt, but just like a debtors prison, his family can pay his bills and get him out (for deportation).