Should rape suspects receive anonymity too?

posted at 11:01 am on June 22, 2014 by Jazz Shaw

Glenn Reynolds highlights a rather touchy story from across the pond, where Peter Lloyd, writing for the Telegraph, points out that the assumptions of both innocence and privacy are handled rather unequally in sexual assault cases. The primary case under discussion involves the handling of laws in the UK, but parallel debates are taking place in the United States today. Lloyd speaks rather passionately about what happened to Oxford University Union President Ben Sullivan following what turned out to be two unfounded rape allegations.

After five weeks of public humiliation, finger-pointing and gender bias – both on campus and in the media – police confirmed that he won’t face a single charge over two unfounded rape allegations.

Not one. Nothing. Nadda.

But, like countless men all over the world – including Paul Weller, Amy Winehouse’s ex-boyfriend Reg Traviss, Nigel Evans MP, William Roache and Craig Charles – Sullivan’s life has already been affected by a system that considers men’s innocence a bonus, not a baseline.

What a joke.

In a damning example of everyday sexism, Sarah Pine, President for Women at Oxford University Student Union, spearheaded a character assassination against the innocent 21 year-old, before the accusations against him had time to be considered.

While providing some historical background and analysis, Lloyd asks the central question in the debate:

So much for innocent until proven guilty.

Ben Sullivan’s prehistoric treatment not only proves that pre-conviction identification doesn’t work, but reiterates a very pertinent question: why, in our best-ever age of equality and human rights, are men still being denied their right to anonymity ahead of a not-guilty verdict?

It’s bonkers.

I suppose the first question would be, why do we – generally be default – provide anonymity to anyone involved in a pending criminal case? It seems to be restricted to sexual assault for the most part. You never see a robbery where the name of the accused thieves (or the bank, for that matter) are withheld from the public. But we can have a greater deal of sympathy for a rape victim, as such publicity can be tremendously painful on top of the damage already done.

But what about the damage to accused if the allegations turn out to be false? Ben Sullivan is one example in the UK, but America faces the same situations regularly. You don’t need to look back as far as the Duke student case, either. Ever since the #yesallwomen thing hit the social media circus we’ve seen similar eruptions. The names of four men on the Columbia campus were scribbled on bathroom walls, accusing them of sexual assault, and the media picked up on the story. The names were redacted in many, but the local news knew who they were and the word got out. Other examples may be found without much effort.

Even if no evidence turns up and nothing comes of the charges – as was the case with Sullivan – and they are never arrested, what happens to those individuals later in life? The internet never forgets, so what will a prospective employer think if they apply for a job, a quick web search is conducted, and their name pops up in link after link with the phrase sex offender plastered next to it? That’s not going to do much for your job prospects. Would anyone be held accountable? As things stand today, apparently not.

It seems as if some measure of equality is called for. If we are to deny the public information about ongoing criminal cases – and in rape trials, there’s clearly an argument to be made in that direction – doesn’t such protection deserve to go both ways?


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Comment pages: 1 2

I could care less that Nifong was running for re-election. He tried to railroad several innocents via a perjuring accuser.

He orchestrated it, PRECISELY to further his ambitions. What you “care less” about is also irrelevant.

WryTrvllr on June 22, 2014 at 2:00 PM

Please. You know I am not. Stop trying to confuse matters with pseudo-intellectual nonsense.

I am specifying for the sake of being clear, not for putting on airs.

Nonsense. The gang members clearly increases the status both among their peers and each other at the distinct loss of status to the man. Indeed, this sort of things happens too often. The robbery is usually incidental.

There’s a loss in status, yes, although it’s still not quite the same since there’s abuse but not use of the victim.

Coulda, woulda, shoulda, Stoic. It’s not going to happen. And should it, really?

Nomennovum on June 22, 2014 at 1:53 PM

That depends on whether you think that we should have absolutely equal treatment under the law between men and women, or if we should have separate legal standards due to biological differences. Obviously we don’t have absolutely equal treatment (e.g. selective service) even though it’s commonly peddled that it’s an ideal of the nation.

Stoic Patriot on June 22, 2014 at 2:01 PM

You need to go back and read for understanding.

WryTrvllr on June 22, 2014 at 1:55 PM

We’re not worthy ! We’re not worthy !

Yeah, right….

One figures that the accused can likely figure out whom has accused him !
Maybe not Eliot Spitzer? Oh, that’s right… he pays.

The point is should accuser be able to snipe at him otherwise anonymously with the burden of proof of innocence thus being his to bear unequally?

viking01 on June 22, 2014 at 2:02 PM

He orchestrated it, PRECISELY to further his ambitions. What you “care less” about is also irrelevant.

WryTrvllr on June 22, 2014 at 2:00 PM

Again your pomposity works against you as the phony arbiter of what is relevant.

Who cares what Nifong’s motivations / excuses are? Lock him up…

O.J. should have fried whether he killed for jealousy or for anger at her white boyfriend…

viking01 on June 22, 2014 at 2:07 PM

Actually, my assertion was that we shouldn’t get rid of the shield laws, and in part that’s because of sickos on the internet. Given that the internet was part of DARPA in the 1970s, I really don’t think that talking about internet public comment forums at that time holds a lot of relevance.

Stoic Patriot on June 22, 2014 at 1:56 PM

Are you drunk?

You brought up the internet comments towards Sarah Palin as evidence that removing 40 year old shield laws would lead to rapists searching out rape victims to traumatize once again.

Seriously, I’m not joking, are you drunk?

ButterflyDragon on June 22, 2014 at 2:07 PM

Are you drunk?

You brought up the internet comments towards Sarah Palin as evidence that removing 40 year old shield laws would lead to rapists searching out rape victims to traumatize once again.

Seriously, I’m not joking, are you drunk?

ButterflyDragon on June 22, 2014 at 2:07 PM

Uh, actually that’s not what I asserted at all. What I said is that publicly disseminating names and photos allows people to act abusively towards people who are already victims. I did not say that the publication of names serves as an aspiring rapist’s directory.

Stoic Patriot on June 22, 2014 at 2:09 PM

Stoic Patriot on June 22, 2014 at 2:01 PM:

There’s a loss in status, yes, although it’s still not quite the same since there’s abuse but not use of the victim.

Stoic Patriot on June 22, 2014 at 2:01 PM

You can’t be serious. The gang used the victim to enhance their status. It’s precisely the same thing. The only thing they didn’t do was turn him into a woman and f^ck him.

I am specifying for the sake of being clear, not for putting on airs.

You were drawing a false difference for the sake of obfuscation.

Nomennovum on June 22, 2014 at 2:10 PM

viking01 on June 22, 2014 at 2:02 PM

I never said “you’re not worthy” , (those are your words), just that you hadn’t answered my question. Does the accused know the name of the accuser before trial? I really want to know. To me, that WOULD be incredibly unfair.

WryTrvllr on June 22, 2014 at 2:10 PM

Uh, actually that’s not what I asserted at all. What I said is that publicly disseminating names and photos allows people to act abusively towards people who are already victims. I did not say that the publication of names serves as an aspiring rapist’s directory.

Stoic Patriot on June 22, 2014 at 2:09 PM

I stand corrected and apologize.

ButterflyDragon on June 22, 2014 at 2:13 PM

You can’t be serious. The gang used the victim to enhance their status. It’s precisely the same thing. The only thing they didn’t do was turn him into a woman and f^ck him.

I am specifying for the sake of being clear, not for putting on airs.

You were drawing a false difference for the sake of obfuscation.

Nomennovum on June 22, 2014 at 2:10 PM

1.) I was drawing the difference for the sake of being precise. There is a difference between a person’s status relative to others, and a person’s pride or shame in their own actions. My only desire was for precision.

2.) The gang hasn’t made use of the person himself though (i.e. his physical being). That’s a key distinction.

Stoic Patriot on June 22, 2014 at 2:14 PM

Again your pomposity works against you as the phony arbiter of what is relevant.

Who cares what Nifong’s motivations / excuses are? Lock him up…

Wrong on both counts. It was Nifong’s malfeasance that almost crucified those guys. Any other prosecutor probably would have thrown it out much earlier. Instead, Nifong turned it into a witch hunt.

WryTrvllr on June 22, 2014 at 2:15 PM

I stand corrected and apologize.

ButterflyDragon on June 22, 2014 at 2:13 PM

It’s alright, but thanks anyway. =)

Stoic Patriot on June 22, 2014 at 2:16 PM

WryTrvllr on June 22, 2014 at 2:10 PM

Actually your question was posed to unclesmrgol as I had read it hence my leaving it for him to answer if he cared to.

“You need to go back and read for understanding.”

I read then commented then read and went back read again and commented again. I had no trouble “understanding” and “relevance” here is subjective.

Your condescension fails to impress.

viking01 on June 22, 2014 at 2:19 PM

Here’s a thought let’s quit being so paternalistic …maybe teach people that if they are the victims they have nothing to be ashamed for one and then if they are harassed we as a society come down hard on the bullies. I would think that modern feminists would want it this way.

CW on June 22, 2014 at 1:14 PM

We can “teach people…they have nothing to be ashamed of” at the same time we teach our boys and young men not to rape.

ncinca on June 22, 2014 at 2:20 PM

Wrong on both counts. It was Nifong’s malfeasance that almost crucified those guys. Any other prosecutor probably would have thrown it out much earlier. Instead, Nifong turned it into a witch hunt.

WryTrvllr on June 22, 2014 at 2:15 PM

That is pure presumption regarding what “other prosecutors” probably would or would not do.

I simply have no further time to waste on you. Sorry.

viking01 on June 22, 2014 at 2:23 PM

Your condescension fails to impress.

viking01 on June 22, 2014 at 2:19 PM

as do your comprehension skills.

WryTrvllr on June 22, 2014 at 2:24 PM

We can “teach people…they have nothing to be ashamed of” at the same time we teach our boys and young men not to rape.

ncinca on June 22, 2014 at 2:20 PM

Already taught, user of bromides. 99.9% of men don’t. The ones who do don’t give a rat’s @ss about their lessons.

Where do you live, ncinca, that they teach “our boys and men” to rape?

Nomennovum on June 22, 2014 at 2:29 PM

as do your comprehension skills.

WryTrvllr on June 22, 2014 at 2:24 PM

Blah blah blah….

Again the “we’re not worthy” your bloated highness?

viking01 on June 22, 2014 at 2:29 PM

And don’t be sorry. I appreciate it.

WryTrvllr on June 22, 2014 at 2:30 PM

you have some serious inferiority complex there. get it looked at.

WryTrvllr on June 22, 2014 at 2:30 PM

you have some serious inferiority complex there. get it looked at.

WryTrvllr on June 22, 2014 at 2:30 PM

Are you still talking to yourself?

viking01 on June 22, 2014 at 2:36 PM

The gang hasn’t made use of the person himself though (i.e. his physical being). That’s a key distinction.

Stoic Patriot on June 22, 2014 at 2:14 PM

My response was either lost or caught up in moderation because I used the word “vag!nally” spelled correctly.

Shorter version. Of course tying the man up is using “his physical being,” silly. You seem to want to define “using his physical being” only as “raping a woman.”

Would you feel better if I included in my example “they tied him up and beat him” (if I didn’t in the original example)? Physical enough, or does a man now need a v@g!na to be used physically?

Nomennovum on June 22, 2014 at 2:38 PM

My response was either lost or caught up in moderation because I used the word “vag!nally” spelled correctly.

Shorter version. Of course tying the man up is using “his physical being,” silly. You seem to want to define “using his physical being” only as “raping a woman.”

Would you feel better if I included in my example “they tied him up and beat him” (if I didn’t in the original example)? Physical enough, or does a man now need a v@g!na to be used physically?

Nomennovum on June 22, 2014 at 2:38 PM

A beating is a better approximation since it relates to the person’s physical being, but it’s still abuse rather than use. If it were anal rape (which is common in prison) that would qualify as an apples-to-apples comparison.

Stoic Patriot on June 22, 2014 at 2:42 PM

Again the “we’re not worthy” your bloated highness?

viking01 on June 22, 2014 at 2:29 PM

What’s that, like 6 times now.

Are you still talking to yourself?

viking01 on June 22, 2014 at 2:36 PM

It couldn’t be less informative. Anyway, we’ll tangle again, no doubt.

WryTrvllr on June 22, 2014 at 2:46 PM

The rationale for rape shield laws seems to be “women rape victims need these shield laws because women rape victims need to be shielded from possible humiliation. Shielding them from humiliation is worth the cost of possible false rape accusations against men because women need to be shielded from possible humiliation felt in making the accusation.”

Do I have that right, Stoic?

Nomennovum on June 22, 2014 at 2:47 PM

A beating is a better approximation since it relates to the person’s physical being, but it’s still abuse rather than use. If it were anal rape (which is common in prison) that would qualify as an apples-to-apples comparison.

Stoic Patriot on June 22, 2014 at 2:42 PM

Convenient. All around, very convenient. You excel at sophistry, Stoic. Bravo.

Nomennovum on June 22, 2014 at 2:49 PM

The rationale for rape shield laws seems to be “women rape victims need these shield laws because women rape victims need to be shielded from possible humiliation. Shielding them from humiliation is worth the cost of possible false rape accusations against men because women need to be shielded from possible humiliation felt in making the accusation.”

Do I have that right, Stoic?

Nomennovum on June 22, 2014 at 2:47 PM

The humiliation involved distinguishes rape from many other crimes. Discoveries of false accusations ought to result in prosecution of the accusers, but shield laws should not be held responsible for false accusations. Doing away with shield laws doesn’t directly deal with the problem of false accusations, and instead opens a hornet’s nest of other problems for real rape victims.

Stoic Patriot on June 22, 2014 at 2:58 PM

Convenient. All around, very convenient. You excel at sophistry, Stoic. Bravo.

Nomennovum on June 22, 2014 at 2:49 PM

It’s not sophistry to highlight a distinction that makes an analogy inadequate and to then provide a substitute analogy which is wholly satisfactory.

Stoic Patriot on June 22, 2014 at 3:00 PM

We can “teach people…they have nothing to be ashamed of” at the same time we teach our boys and young men not to rape.

ncinca on June 22, 2014 at 2:20 PM

wow just wow….it has taken me a few minutes just to get over the shock factor that there is someone here on this forum so intellectually dishonest as to make a general assertion such as this. I mean really… how disingenuous do you have to be to go on a forum and make a statement that infers that the men in our world have never been taught or told that Rape is wrong. It is completely out of touch with reality in more ways then one. First as a mother of 6 boys ,EVERY LAST ONE OF THEM was taught A) DO NOT hit girls, b)NO means NO c) treat everyone the same regardless of color or economic standing or religion d) do not hit anyone e) DO NOT hit Girls.
Then of course there is the fact that in KINDERGARTEN teachers teach the entire class inappropriate touching is bad and should be reported. you are an unbelievable shill.

katee bayer on June 22, 2014 at 3:02 PM

It’s not sophistry to highlight a distinction that makes an analogy inadequate and to then provide a substitute analogy which is wholly satisfactory.

Stoic Patriot on June 22, 2014 at 3:00 PM

It’s only inadequate to people like you, Stoic — people who like to pretend shield laws are to protect alleged victims from further humiliation resulting from the unlawful “use of their physical being,” when it’s really just about protecting women from any consequences to them whatsoever, the consequences to men be damned.

You end up absurdly defining “use of their physical being” as rape in order to justify the limit of the current extent of the law. Now rape is generally a crime committed by men against women — that’s what most people think of when they think of rape. But you magnanimously extend this to a category or rape so rare that it really only applies to convicted criminals who are currently in prison, which just happens to be a group of victims who are never reported anyway! (What’s particularly ironic about that is the prison rapists are likely to be real rapists of women, while the prison victims might be someone convicted as a result of a false accusation.)

You are not persuasive.

Nomennovum on June 22, 2014 at 3:28 PM

Seems to me a male falsely accused would also suffer from humiliation. To have people believe that one could behave that badly toward another human being would be hard to live with and even after one is proven innocent it’s still going to be there.

wifarmboy on June 22, 2014 at 3:29 PM

Really want your blood pressure to blow? Most courts still enforce child support, when, at divorce proceedings, it is discovered the child isn’t related to the “father of record”.

4-5% of all children born in the US.

Men most assuredly don’t get fair treatment.

WryTrvllr on June 22, 2014 at 12:29 PM

Not sure of the exact number, but I’m aware of the courts forcing biologically unrelated males to pay for progeny of their significant-female-other.

Despite knowing the reality of it, I still find it absolutely amazing that a court could call it justice to force a man to pay for a child not his own. Then again, the courts allow a woman to terminate her parental obligations prior to birth but not a man, so…screw the courts for their fundamental bias against men.

xNavigator on June 22, 2014 at 3:31 PM

It’s only inadequate to people like you, Stoic — people who like to pretend shield laws are to protect alleged victims from further humiliation resulting from the unlawful “use of their physical being,” when it’s really just about protecting women from any consequences to them whatsoever, the consequences to men be damned.

Nomennovum on June 22, 2014 at 3:28 PM

Women aren’t supposed to suffer the consequences of rape because they’re not supposed to be raped to begin with, period. Your entire objection to what I’ve stated rests on a false dilemma, where not publishing the names of women who claim to be raped thereby permits them to make false accusations. That’s a non-sequitur.

You end up absurdly defining “use of their physical being” as rape in order to justify the limit of the current extent of the law. Now rape is generally a crime committed by men against women — that’s what most people think of when they think of rape. But you magnanimously extend this to a category or rape so rare that it really only applies to convicted criminals who are currently in prison, which just happens to be a group of victims who are never reported anyway! (What’s particularly ironic about that is the prison rapists are likely to be real rapists of women, while the prison victims might be someone convicted as a result of a false accusation.)

You are not persuasive.

Nomennovum on June 22, 2014 at 3:28 PM

I went for an analogy to your man-on-woman rape where a man is the victim. Are they rare relative to man-on-woman rape? Yes. So what? Men are also far more likely to be in prison for crimes not involving rape as well. That’s not a matter of the law being unfair by targeting men. That’s a matter of men being far more likely to commit crimes.

Stoic Patriot on June 22, 2014 at 3:37 PM

If women increasingly violate the public trust (growing pattern of false accusations, violence etc.) then shield laws should go.

Had the ERA amendment to the constitution had passed, shield laws would be utterly unconstitutional. As for now, they are probably unconstitutional but we let them stand because of special protection granted to women. Perhaps these protections need to be codified to make them constitutional, but that would require feminists to admit men and women are different.

Perspicacious on June 22, 2014 at 4:57 PM

It is nice to see one of the main double-standards being exposed here. The thing that I hate most in life is double-standards and the “woman is always right in these scenarios” bias which destroys the life of many innocent men is one of the worst. Thanks.

Theophile on June 22, 2014 at 5:05 PM

Stoic Patriot on June 22, 2014 at 3:37 PM

Stoic, your entire argument is “I believe this to be thus, and I believe this other to be something else”.

Whether or not you personally believe that experiencing rape is fundamentally different from any other violent experience is moot; it is not fact, simply part of your belief system.

I could equally well argue that for an adult male, being physically and aggressively dominated by another man/men is as or more traumatic than for a woman to be dominated sexually.

Would I be right? Maybe, maybe not. My opinions are not facts.

As a woman I will never know what it feels like to be a guy beaten down by other guys, but one of my best friends from high school had this happen to him. He was never the same afterward, and as long as I knew him, he was tormented by the experience.

He would not, however, have garnered much sympathy if he had demanded special shield-law treatment from the court system when he accused the men who beat him..

Dolce Far Niente on June 22, 2014 at 5:07 PM

But for Unclesmrgol’s assertion to be valid requires that the accused not know the name of the accuser. My question still stands. Is that the case?

WryTrvllr on June 22, 2014 at 1:31 PM

No. My point is that if the accused knows the name of the accuser and noone else does, then there is far less of a chance of exculpatory testimony coming forth than if the public does know both.

Indeed, all allegations, including those of the accused, or their attornies of record, should be made public. All filings should be available to the public before trial.

So the more I think of it, are you trying to say that many, some, a handful, of false rape accusations could be stopped when a convenience store clerk comes forward and says “hey wait, she was actually with me that evening!”

I doubt that happens much.

WryTrvllr on June 22, 2014 at 1:38 PM

I submit that if it happens even once, then justice has been properly served.

unclesmrgol on June 22, 2014 at 5:20 PM

The only people who deserve anonymity as part of the criminal justice system without qualification are children. Child victims, child witnesses, and child suspects should all have their anonymity preserved.

Adults are different. Unless there is a demonstrable reason that an adult’s life would be in danger if their identity was known, adults should be named in public documents and reporting about a crime, no matter if they are a victim, witness, or suspect. An injunction could be entered if there is a reasonable expectation that public knowledge of the person’s identity would jeopardize their lives. This protection could be applied to victims, witnesses, and even suspects at the request of either the prosecution or the defense. The default position when it comes to adults should be to identify them.

Dukeboy01 on June 22, 2014 at 6:21 PM

Stoic, your entire argument is “I believe this to be thus, and I believe this other to be something else”.

Whether or not you personally believe that experiencing rape is fundamentally different from any other violent experience is moot; it is not fact, simply part of your belief system.

I could equally well argue that for an adult male, being physically and aggressively dominated by another man/men is as or more traumatic than for a woman to be dominated sexually.

Would I be right? Maybe, maybe not. My opinions are not facts.

As a woman I will never know what it feels like to be a guy beaten down by other guys, but one of my best friends from high school had this happen to him. He was never the same afterward, and as long as I knew him, he was tormented by the experience.

He would not, however, have garnered much sympathy if he had demanded special shield-law treatment from the court system when he accused the men who beat him..

Dolce Far Niente on June 22, 2014 at 5:07 PM

Yeah, moral judgments are based on principles being applied to facts using logical deduction. They are not subject to empirical verification in the same way that “the sky is blue” is. So what?

Morality is something which is known a priori, and which we debate and discover through reason. I have highlighted the portion of rape that differentiates it from other acts. I am not here to say who suffers greater emotional trauma. That’s not really relevant to my argument.

What I am saying is that removing anonymity for rape victims is a bad idea because it puts them in a situation that can invite further mistreatment at the hands of others, be it media harassment or sickos on the internet. The justice system exists to protect the innocent and punish the guilty, and removing anonymity for rape victims would be destructive towards the first end, while doing nothing to further the second end. Consequently removing anonymity is ill-advised.

Stoic Patriot on June 22, 2014 at 6:26 PM

I submit that if it happens even once, then justice has been properly served.

unclesmrgol on June 22, 2014 at 5:20 PM

Let me rephrase. I doubt that happens. It’s tough to get a rape conviction if the was no DNA passed. In either direction.

WryTrvllr on June 22, 2014 at 6:44 PM

there

WryTrvllr on June 22, 2014 at 6:45 PM

I submit that if it happens even once, then justice has been properly served.

unclesmrgol on June 22, 2014 at 5:20 PM

That sentence can be used to justify a lot of mischief too you know.

WryTrvllr on June 22, 2014 at 6:46 PM

I am not here to say who suffers greater emotional trauma. That’s not really relevant to my argument.

What I am saying is that removing anonymity for rape victims is a bad idea because it puts them in a situation that can invite further mistreatment at the hands of others

You have absolutely nothing but unrelated anecdotal evidence to assert that rape victims who publicly accuse their rapists receive mistreatment at the hands of others, or that this mistreatment is confined to victims of rape or is fundamentally different in kind than mistreatment other crime victims are subject to.

If you assert that mistreatment is merely a possibility and therefore the justice system must be bent to accommodate this possibility, that argument is absurd.

You have only feelings; no data. And formulating law based on feelings is for libs and statists.

But aren’t you the nimrod who thinks government cameras in our bedrooms is fine if it prevents a rape?

Is there an issue underlying all this for you?

Dolce Far Niente on June 22, 2014 at 6:56 PM

You have absolutely nothing but unrelated anecdotal evidence to assert that rape victims who publicly accuse their rapists receive mistreatment at the hands of others, or that this mistreatment is confined to victims of rape or is fundamentally different in kind than mistreatment other crime victims are subject to.

Dolce Far Niente on June 22, 2014 at 6:56 PM

Anecdotal evidence are stories. I haven’t told any stories about “Person X suffered Y” with the exception of an allusion to Palin being targeted for a “hate f*ck” session.

If you assert that mistreatment is merely a possibility and therefore the justice system must be bent to accommodate this possibility, that argument is absurd.

You have only feelings; no data. And formulating law based on feelings is for libs and statists.

Dolce Far Niente on June 22, 2014 at 6:56 PM

Actually, it’s called prudence — a virtue which consists of the ability to reasonably anticipate where an action or policy will lead, and to adjust one’s actions or policies accordingly. What do you gain from putting out the person’s name? Nothing. What do you risk from putting out the person’s name? Further abuse. If there’s a reasonable case for strong downward risk from putting out their name, why would you do it?

And as for someone criticizing my positions, where are your facts, hm?

But aren’t you the nimrod who thinks government cameras in our bedrooms is fine if it prevents a rape?

Is there an issue underlying all this for you? Dolce Far Niente on June 22, 2014 at 6:56 PM

I’ve said that I don’t believe in a right to privacy, and consequently I have no problem with cameras in the bedroom put there by law enforcement if the only avenue of objection is privacy. Rather, I’ve said that cameras in the bedroom would be desirable so long as the cost isn’t excessive, the method is actually effective at apprehending criminals, and that it doesn’t represent a major inconvenience in people’s lives (i.e., maintenance crews going in and out disrupting life). Since almost all 3 of the aforementioned would be violated (with the possible exception of costs which fluctuate with advances in technology), I’ve stated my opposition to that policy.

As for what motivates me, it’s a thirst for justice: that the innocent are compensated for their hardships, and that the guilty get their just desserts.

Stoic Patriot on June 22, 2014 at 7:06 PM

If someone is found to be innocent, then that means someone lied, tampered with evidence, withheld exculpatory evidence and so on-therefore, an immediate investigation should proceed against the accusers, the police and the DA followed by charges…someone has to have borne false witness somewhere.

Of course, what I just posted is not part of our legal heritage. It is assumed that the “system” brings forth charges and prosecutes in good faith.

Our legal system isn’t based upon fairness and justice, but rather tradition, precedent and prejudice.

Also, there really is no such thing as justice-that’s just in the mind of the beholder. All we can really hope to do is prevent those who have already committed crimes to do so again, either by being held against their will or killed.

Dr. ZhivBlago on June 22, 2014 at 8:54 PM

Yes, some victims are more special than others. A person who is the victim of a rape has suffered a more severe trauma than someone who had some litter thrown on their lawn. Yes, crimes are inherently different from one another. That’s why some people only go to jail for a few days, and others are executed. Justice is proportionate to the crime, and we shouldn’t pretend that all crimes are equal.

As for facing your accuser, that’s different. That happens in a court room, and that the accused should have the right to know. That does not mean however that that information should be disseminated to the general public.

Stoic Patriot on June 22, 2014 at 12:03 PM

1. Oh good Lord, who said anything about the penalties being equal? The PROCESS should be equal and in the open. If you can name a litterer, you can name the accused and accuser in a rape case, otherwise you aren’t treating all accused the same. Yes, the crimes are not the same but the process has to be. Otherwise you invite corruption.

2. Rape shield law has prevented many types of defense because it often won’t let the accused bring into evidence the past history aka motive of the accuser.

oryguncon on June 22, 2014 at 9:19 PM

The state would be charging someone but we don’t know who? That seems troubling too.

J.B. Say on June 22, 2014 at 10:08 PM

1. Oh good Lord, who said anything about the penalties being equal? The PROCESS should be equal and in the open. If you can name a litterer, you can name the accused and accuser in a rape case, otherwise you aren’t treating all accused the same. Yes, the crimes are not the same but the process has to be. Otherwise you invite corruption.

2. Rape shield law has prevented many types of defense because it often won’t let the accused bring into evidence the past history aka motive of the accuser.

oryguncon on June 22, 2014 at 9:19 PM

1.) The general public though (i.e. the uninvolved) isn’t part of the legal process. The legal process involves police investigation and the examination of witnesses. What we’re talking about is disseminating information to the general public about accusers, which has no bearing on culpability.

2.) In so far as rape shield laws prevent the examination of past sexual behavior of accusers which speak to their character, I think they’re a bad idea and should be amended (see this case for why).

The case turned ugly as the Starbucks law firm, Akin Gump, used hard ball tactics to defend their client, including successfully seeking to make public the young woman’s sexual history once it learned she had been interviewed for “20/20.”

“They are trying to defend themselves by calling me a slut,” she told “20/20.” “It’s intimidation. It’s harassing to sit though deposition and just be re-victimized.”

Federal judge Andrew J. Guilford agreed with Starbucks lawyers and ordered the information unsealed because of the company’s need “to defend themselves” and “level the playing field.”

Starbucks disclosed in court papers that the woman has had sexual encounters with 12 men other than Horton, seven of them before she met Horton.

However, revealing an accuser’s identity to the public is not the same as dictating what is or is not admissible evidence / testimony.

Stoic Patriot on June 23, 2014 at 6:20 AM

To answer the question, YES!

I’ve long thought it dead wrong that a man’s reputation could be so destroyed (And his chance of a fair trial undermined.) before he even goes to trial. But do you hear much from the press when such a man if found innocent? I do was familiar with the Oxford Union case, but this post is the first time I’ve heard of the man’s exoneration. Innocence doesn’t sell papers, don’tchaknow.

Thanks for having the courage to post on this.

WannabeAnglican on June 23, 2014 at 8:34 AM

Using Jazz’s logic, shouldn’t everyone accused of a crime have anonymity until he/she is convicted?

bw222 on June 23, 2014 at 9:39 AM

Using Jazz’s logic, shouldn’t everyone accused of a crime have anonymity until he/she is convicted?

bw222 on June 23, 2014 at 9:39 AM

In reality, that would be the fairest thing to do. After all, until convicted the person is “innocent”. And, the media doesn’t really publicize acquittals and the person’s reputation is ruined.

I’d say the same thing for civil lawsuits. the Media loves to breathlessly report on all of the allegations in a court complaint as if they are true, but doesn’t report when that complaint is dismissed on a motion to dismiss or on summary judgment – leaving the public to believe all the allegations were true.

And, anyone can put anything in a complaint.

the real problem is that the media doesn’t do its job at all. Most “journalists” were at best C students and have very little understanding of the issues they are reporting and don’t do a good job at obtaining facts.

and that is before you add in the “journalist’s” bias and agenda.

After having been involved in, or have inside information regarding a number of issues that were reported on, I believe that 90% of what is reported is inaccurate, incomplete, and of course, one-sided.

You can ever assume you are getting close to the truth out of any media report. It is very rare when the reporter is a) competent at his job; b) understands the subject matter at hand; c) is at least trying to be objective and fair; and d) has enough time to do a thorough job.

So, we are left with “reporters” picking a side and basically printing that side’s press releases as “journalism”. that is what the vast majority of what you see as news today consists of – cutting a pasting from a few press releases, maybe with a follow-up call or two for a quote (from a source that agrees with the reporter’s agenda/bias).

So, with that all being said, it probably would be much more fair not to publish details about the accused unless their is a conviction.

Monkeytoe on June 23, 2014 at 11:11 AM

No. But, then again, I don’t think the victim should have anonymity, either. Sorry, but if you’re accusing someone of a crime you should not get to do it from the shadows. Period.

GWB on June 23, 2014 at 11:20 AM

As a retired detective who worked more than one assault case, let me weigh in here.

1. Children should be protected. Their identity should not be revealed. Too many things could go wrong.

2. Adult victims should be identified. The “stigma” of being a rape victim is gone. In fact, if you’ll note more than one celebrity whose fame is waning suddenly remembers they were victims of a sexual assault, getting them attention. So, as tough as the crime may be, the stigma is gone.

3. Adult suspect absolutely must be identified. Why? Because if the suspect is a serial rapist- like the one I drug out from under his roommate’s bed early one morning after a raid- then his identity MUST be shown to the public. The police are about half smart, which means we missed half his victims. If one looks up at the screen and sees the man’s face, maybe we can find her and then bring her closure.

4. That said, here is the sticky part about rape nobody wants to talk about. Far too many people, mostly female, use the charge as a weapon against men. One day I spoke with a female detective in major crimes about this. She estimated 80% of her cases were falsely reported. It was girl under age dating an older boy who broke up with her, or the parents finding out about the consensual sex and demanding the nineteen yr old gets arrested for having sex with their fifteen year old daughter, OR it is the woman who didn’t get what she thought she would just making it up.

Sad but true.

And the guy is basically screwed. So two things should be done. One- change the laws to reflect the reality of the sexual activities of the youth of today. Two- if the assault charge is proven to be false ARREST THE WOMAN! That is a third rail in the prosecution’s world, but it must be done from time to time- and publicized- to dull the ire of the next woman scorned.

Just my two cents from seeing far too many men looked stunned when we go “You are under arrest for..”

archer52 on June 23, 2014 at 4:13 PM

What is the point of publicly accusing someone of a crime, if the public is not allowed to know?

The right to a public trial is worthless if the public is not appraised of what transpires.

Mark was here on June 23, 2014 at 6:28 PM

Disgusting feminist double standards.

weedisgood on June 23, 2014 at 8:54 PM

She estimated 80% of her cases were falsely reported. It was girl under age dating an older boy who broke up with her, or the parents finding out about the consensual sex and demanding the nineteen yr old gets arrested for having sex with their fifteen year old daughter, OR it is the woman who didn’t get what she thought she would just making it up.
archer52 on June 23, 2014 at 4:13 PM

In cases of an adult having sex with a minor child where both parties say it occurred, it’s not a “false report” – it is rape, under the law.

whatcat on June 23, 2014 at 9:47 PM

innocent until proven guilty. period.

Karmashock on June 24, 2014 at 6:21 AM

whatcat-

You miss the point. You are correct, it is against the law. And the law was hardened to scar the male participant forever by listing him as a sex offender. A good idea for real offenders, but not so much for that 18 or 19 yr old who is involved with a sexually active younger teen. Dumb, but a crime?

However, that is the problem. If the female and male participants are sexually active for years prior to the encounter, how is it sexual assault if their two paths cross? If the girl is sexually active (I worked a case where the girl was thirteen and BOASTED of thirty-seven lovers including other girls to all her friends. Something I tended to believe since when I found her she was engaged in “pulling a train” sex with five boys, all thirteen to fifteen- eagerly and willingly. When I told her single mom, the woman’s total response was “I trust my daughter.” My partner and I very upset over her response, almost ill- but hey, we are one liberated and feminist driven society! Thanks F-ing Murphy Brown for that!)

That is why I say change the laws and let the police and the prosecution USE COMMON SENSE when approaching these types of cases. The laws passed over-corrected through the old problem of women NOT getting a fair shake, into the PC world of all men are beasts and should be marked as such. Pull it back is all I’m saying.

But I think part of the problem is if we OFFICIALLY make that change the next question asked is why young teens think having sex is a good thing at twelve. Then the question is asked if it wasn’t that way before 1970′s then what happened. Then the feminism agenda of “you don’t need a man or a family to raise kids, single women can do just fine with the help of government” gets criticized.

And that won’t happen. So the men suffer. Hmmm… sounds like a theme recently.

Look I’ve seen this for twenty years. You have NO idea how bad it is. And you can thank President Clinton for part of it. Back in the late nineties I actually had a conversation with a young girl, trying to get her away from her dirtbag boyfriend. She was giving him oral and actually believed it was like shaking hands. It wasn’t sex. What was her justification? I kid you not- she said, “The President says so.”

What does a cop say after that?

archer52 on June 24, 2014 at 7:09 AM

That is why I say change the laws and let the police and the prosecution USE COMMON SENSE when approaching these types of cases.
archer52 on June 24, 2014 at 7:09 AM

I prefer leaving it in the hands of the parents. They should have the right to tell an adult that if he takes sexual advantage of their underage daughter he’s going to pay. That’s why they call it “jailbait”.

whatcat on June 24, 2014 at 7:46 AM

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