A/N: Most of my readers know there's nothing I like better than Sam-centric stories so here's a mini one. Includes up to date spoilers.
Many of the public think we should bring back the death penalty for murderers and rapists. A public hanging every week, or a beheading even, that would soon put everybody back on the straight and narrow, crime would be cut in half within a week so they say. I suppose many police officers feel the same way. Though they're not at liberty to discuss the situation because, naturally, we are supposed to remain impartial to these public disputes at all times, save any misunderstandings.
I'm one of the few who resolutely believes the death penalty isn't the way to go, though perhaps I'd be thought by some to be at the head of the queue with a bright banner. No, I feel I understand too much to be on that side of the debate.
For example, I just watched Peter Baxter die and I neither blame his rape victim for reacting the way she did when he appeared on her doorstep or Baxter for the rape in the first place. It seems ridiculous to say it, a woman in my profession, but it's how I feel.
I've known of Baxter for three years now. During that time he's progressed from a mere suspect in a case to someone who helped find Abigail when she was missing and, I'm not sure, a confidante perhaps. One of the only people in the world who can read me, and well at that. What does... What did that make him? A miracle worker some would say.
It's not often that phrase is used to describe a rapist. Yet when he claims he has repented, I believe him. Most of my colleagues think I've gone mad, I saw that in Ramani's face when he was questioned about the murder of the nurse. A leopard doesn't change it's spots. But Peter did. In my years in the job I've heard of people wanting to give something back to their victims but the proceeds from a house worth four hundred thousand when they were practically living in squalor? No, to me that proved something about Peter. He had changed.
I can fully comprehend why his victim from almost thirty years ago, Ruth Gordon, reacted as violently as she did. I think anybody would lash out, coming face to face with the man who robbed them of their life as they knew it. For all she knew he was there to gloat, mock her with the fact that he was free while she was still reliving the nightmare he had inflicted on her over and over again. Hurting him... a logical course of action for someone in her position. And one I don't think Peter blamed her for.
The death penalty for either of them? Ruth Gordon, the woman who defended herself from a man she thought would attack her? No. Peter Baxter, a rapist, yes, but someone who had reformed more than anyone would have thought possible? Not in my eyes, no. Many will disagree with this. Those people who read about it in the papers, not knowing the full intricacies they'll dismiss the situation out of hand. Most likely condemn them both. As I'm sure half of the station will. But I'd say I know differently. The day when I can say I understand rape and murder hasn't come but something's changed. Perhaps now I understand the meaning of repentance and fear, until I looked in Ruth Gordon's eyes and gazed at the blood pouring from Peter's wound I didn't truly understand the concepts.