The conviction of Larry Nassar of his heinous crimes is the poster child for making capital punishment the norm, but I’ll hold that debate for a different day. What is appalling and unforgiveable is the management of the case AFTER some of the girls told the FBI what happened to them. If you have not seen the Senate testimony given by members of the United States Women’s Olympic Gymnastics Team, it is not only moving but infuriating! To hear their accounts of what happened is horrible, but to understand how their bravery was dismissed by a law enforcement agency that should, clearly, know better, should make every single one of us seethe with anger. Due to the inactions of agency personnel, this nefarious man went untouched for months after his acts were identified.
Instead of indictments of agency personnel, we get the head of the FBI apologizing and promising he’ll do better next time.
There should be no next time. He should be immediately fired and indicted. Any and all agency personnel involved with this case should receive the same treatment. They are all culpable. We should demand change, not accept apologies. The fact is it won’t happen and that speaks volumes about our “justice” system.
How many people talk to law enforcement detailing their horrors, only to have a report filed without any action taken. This was a high profile case, with high profile victims, what happens to all the Jane Does’? Our system of justice is as broken as other facets of our government. The number and breadth of examples proves it is systemic. Those who use Nassar’s conviction as proof it works is insulting, and ridiculous.
Policies don’t work unless enforced. Enforcement doesn’t happen without desire, and in many cases oversight. If there are no repercussions for failing to do the job, the policy is toothless. First the policy has to be created, then enforced. Without management, and oversight, there can be no assurance the policy is being enforced. Congress needs to ensure this happens and when it doesn’t, heads need to roll (and budgets cut with funding flexibility eliminated). People need to pay the price for their ineptitude or apathy; until these come with a price, nothing will improve. All we will get is another “I’m sorry”.
We are in desperate need of substantive, systemic change and the way these Olympic Athletes were treated, or closer to fact – ignored, is a textbook example.