M2001.99.65 | Raoul, 11, Appears in U.S. Court for Incest

Drawing, cartoon
Raoul, 11, Appears in U.S. Court for Incest
Serge Chapleau
1999, 20th century
Graphite on paper - Collage
43.2 x 35.6 cm
Gift of M. Serge Chapleau
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Cartoon (19139) , Drawing (18637) , drawing (18379)
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Keys to History

"This one's a bit hard to explain. You have to read the excerpt:

"Two weeks after his arrest, Raoul, an 11-year-old Swiss-American boy, appeared today in a Colorado court to answer charges that he engaged in incest with his 5-year-old sister.

After a neighbour reported to police in June that she saw him remove his sister Sophie's underwear and fondle her genitals, Raoul was arrested by police during the night of August 30. Police woke him, handcuffed him and took him to a juvenile detention facility [...]"

This is a very nice drawing of a chair..."

Serge Chapleau

  • What

    The American justice system treats young criminals much more severely than does the Canadian system. In some states in the U.S., the death penalty is still in force, and the nation has one of the highest rates of incarceration in the world. Here, the cartoonist sought to spotlight the excesses of the American system by depicting a child's seat in an electric chair.

  • Where

    In Canada, the criminal code is applied in the same way all across the country. In the United States, however, each state has its own criminal laws.

  • When

    Violence is more widespread in the United States than in Canada. From 1980 to 1994, the juvenile crime rate in the U.S. more than doubled, and juveniles were responsible for more than 5 per cent of the nation's homicides. The mass murders in schools that took place in the late 1990s were particularly shocking to the public as well as to governments.

  • Who

    Raoul, an 11-year-old boy whose family name cannot be revealed, was not condemned to death. He was, however, detained for six weeks after being accused of sexually touching his sister.