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View Diary: NO! Pandering to the Rape Culture. (264 comments)

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  •  I'd settle (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    madhaus, LSophia, demoKatz, Lonely Texan

    for better than abyssmal.  I'd settle for a woman being by default believed, so that that overwhelming majority of non-reported rapes turns into an overwhelming majority of reported ones.  (Which would, btw, HUGELY reduce the proportion of false accusations, since those are always by their very definition reported.)  Neither thing is ever going to be true if the attitude toward the criminal justice system's failures and outright malignacies is just "oh well, cost of doing business".

    As things stand, at least those unfortunate few men who do run afoul of a psychopathic liar can console themselves with the fact that even real rapists overwhelmingly are not convicted.  Their chances of vindication are excellent.

    •  Why should anyone be believed by default? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sparhawk, Massconfusion, dizzzave

      That's not how our system works or should work

      •  Why should they be believed by default? (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        leaf63, NancyK, Lonely Texan, LSophia

        How about because, while studies range by orders of magnitude on the rate of false rape reportings even the most accused-friendly ones still show more true reports than false ones, and the most accused-friendly show ratios of many dozens to one in terms of true to false reports?

        Yet the rate of convictions is unbelievably abyssmal.

        Here's a fascinating blog entry you may want to read discussing studies on the rate of "undetected rapists" in the general population.  There have been two so far.  The first found that 6 percent of male college students at the college in question had committed rape.  The other found that 13% of Navy enlistees had.  It was a rather clever methodology - basically, they found that rapists will generally gladly confess to rapes if you don't use the word rape in the description, and simply describe sexual situations that are rape.  Most rapists see nothing wrong with what they did, and are often proud of their "sexual conquests by whatever means".

        •  That turns the basic philosophy (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sparhawk, Massconfusion, dizzzave

          of our criminal justice system on its head. Everyone is presumed innocent, including those accused of rape. What you have posted in no way justifies changing this concept.

          •  People make that absurd argument all the time. (5+ / 0-)

            No, it's not turning "innocent until proven guilty" on its head.  Nobody is saying "call them guilty until they prove they're innocent".  The accused isn't being deprived of their right to vote, their property, their right of movement (unless there's determined to be an imminent threat), or any of the other things that happen with a guilty conviction.

            There are different standards for achieving a conviction for different types of crimes.  Most civil crimes have the standard "presumption of innocence".  Most criminal crimes have "beyond a reasonable doubt" as the standard.  Some capital crimes have "beyond any doubt" as the standard.  The standard is not always the same.  All people who say that the standard should be changed in rape cases are saying is that the balance between the public interest eradicating an ill and the risk of and seriousness of wrongful convictions is currently poorly balanced on the side of the accused and against the victims, given the absurdly high rate of rapes and absurdly low rate of convictions.

            Nobody is saying that the accused shouldnt have a trial by their peers.  Nobody is saying that they should be deprived of rights without a conviction.  Nobody is saying that the burden of proof doesn't lie on the state.  All people are staying is that the standard for the particular level of doubt required in this particular type of case is clearly far too friendly to the accused.

            And dont even get started with the "women falsely accuse all the time and get away with it" nonsense.  One, its false that women falsely accuse all the time, and two, falsely accusing is a serious crime that can itself lead to jailtime.  If clear evidence emerges that there was a deliberate attempt to falsely accuse, then of course they should get tried.  But that is A) not common, and B) completely irrelevant to the question of whether criminals of a major societal plague are getting off the hook because the standard of doubt in their particular type of crime is too high.

            •  No (0+ / 0-)

              Sorry, but this is just plain wrong:

              There are different standards for achieving a conviction for different types of crimes
              All crimes must be proven by the prosecution beyond a reasonable doubt and there is no such thing as a "Civil crime." In EVERY criminal case, there is a presumption of innocence going into the start of it. Every one.
              •  There is a such thing as civil law. (0+ / 0-)

                If you don't believe civil law exists, what the heck do you think OJ Simpson was convicted in after being acquitted in his criminal trial?  Civil law concerns conflicts between individuals - things like tort, breach of contract, etc.  The legal standard for civil law is generally a mere presumption of innocence and not "beyond a reasonable doubt".  On the other hand, capital crimes often have higher standards than "beyond a reasonable doubt".

                This isn't some radical concept here.  In fact, even presumption of innocence isn't even maintained in some first-world states in rape cases.  For example, in the UK, the prosecution has the burden of evidence to show that the sexual act took place under the details specied, but under some circumstances where consent would appear highly unlikely in such circumstances, after that's been established, the burden can be on the accused to show that the act was consensual.

                •  I didn't say there was no such thing as civil law (0+ / 0-)

                  There's no such thing as "Civil crimes."  
                  O.J. was never convicted of anything. He was found liable for damages to Fred Goldman in a cilv case. There's no determination of "innocence of guilt" in a civil case, only liability and no, there's no higher criminal burden of proof. It's always "beyond a reasonable doubt" in a criminal case, be it for murder, rape or trespass.

                  I honestly don't care what the U.K. standard is, since my concern was U.S. criminal law. The U.K. has a lot of features in its legal system that I don't think are good ideas.

          •  So if a friend calls to tell you s/he's been (7+ / 0-)

            robbed, your first response is to interrogate about how much s/he's been drinking, or how s/he's been dressed, or whether s/he's just mad at his/her robber? And you think that's an appropriate line of inquiry for the officer who comes to take the report (assuming your friend feels comfortable pressing charges of course)?

            Because that's the type of believing survivors that should happen that does not happen. Survivors of sexual assault are routinely disbelieved by friends, acquaintances, police officers, members of the jury. Heck, Feministing recently had a blog post off chronicling the amount of times Dear Prudie encouraged letter writers to not believe their friends about rapes since Prudie was convinced the rapes must really be regretted drunken hook-ups. This is the real. This is rape culture. This is why people do not report rapes. This is why rapists rape repeatedly.

            It is obscene to have this discussion in a case where there are photographs, tweets, and video that let us know the perpetrators not only raped and humiliated a vulnerable teenage girl but did so with support from their social circle.

            Also, in reality, people are not presumed innocent prior to conviction. If they were, no one would see the inside of a jail prior to conviction or ever need to post bail. someone like Nancy Grace wouldn't talk about Casey Anthony as the Tot Mom. People are presumed innocent in the sense that the crimes are described as alleged in formal media and jurors are instructed only to consider the evidence presented in a courtroom.

      •  Please distinguish (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        demoKatz, leaf63, Lonely Texan, LSophia

        between legal obligation and ethical obligation.   The legal system is obligated to presume innocence and make the accuser prove her case.  If she can't, she loses.  No one here has a problem with that as such, assuming a non-prejudicial defense.

        Ethically, when it comes to you or me or any other non-legally-obligated individual, I believe we need to TRUST that any given claimed raped victim is overwhelmingly likely to be telling the truth, and relate to her and discuss her case accordingly.  Because any given victim probably is telling the truth, however many "but why did she do THAT" questions can be dreamed up about her story and however uncomfortable her accusations may make you or me or anyone.  We will be right to support her far more often than we will be wrong.  On balance, we will be giving comfort to the right person instead of adding to her burden.

        •  Re (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dr Swig Mcjigger, nextstep
          The legal system is obligated to presume innocence and make the accuser prove her case.  If she can't, she loses
          The accuser isn't part of a criminal case at all, except possibly as a witness, and does not 'win' or 'lose' the case.

          The state is the prosecuting party.

          (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
          Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

          by Sparhawk on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 04:33:02 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

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