The Visconde-Webb Saga

“Better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer.” I think this 10:1 ratio (known as the“Blackstone ratio,” thanks to English jurist William Blackstone) is one of the reasons why our justice system must find an accused “guilty beyond reasonable doubt” before it convicts that person.

We hear it once again as the debate rages on regarding the upcoming Supreme Court final decision on the infamous Visconde Massacre case. (Backgrounder: “On the morning of June 30, 1991, a mother and her two daughters were found slaughtered in their own home. Estrellita Vizconde, 47, sustained 13 stab wounds; Carmela, 18, had 17 wounds and had been raped before she was killed; and Jennifer, 7, had 19 wounds.” Source: Other than the sheer gruesomeness of the crime, the massacre gripped the nation because those accused and later on convicted are from influential families. The debate focuses on whether Hubert Webb, son of former senator Freddie Webb and one of those convicted, is really guilty or not. The prosecution proved its case through seven witnesses particularly its star witness, self-confessed drug addict Jessica Alfaro, who testified that she saw Webb raping and then killing the Visconde daughters. “Questioning Alfaro’s credibility, the defense panel submitted voluminous documents [including certifications from the US State Department] and presented 95 witnesses… to establish the defense’s main argument: that Hubert Webb was in the US on the night of the crime.” (Ibid) Sadly, a key DNA evidence(semen recovered from the body of Carmela), which was not examined before, is now missing. The Webb family accuses the NBI not only of losing that key evidence but also of withholding pivotal information such as suppressing the FBI report supporting the alibi of Webb. The nation waits breathlessly for the Supreme Court to pronounce guilt or innocence beyond reasonable doubt.

As I monitor this legal saga, I thought, “Ultimately, all of us would want to be justified or declared innocent and not guilty by the Supreme Judge.” With God, no guilty person could escape and no innocent person would suffer. But the problem is we have no alibi whatsoever. We are all sinners and are guilty as charged. But those who believe in the Lord Jesus as Savior “are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 3:24, NET Bible)

Brethren, in Christ we are justified beyond reasonable doubt!


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