Saturday, November 01, 2014

A Correct Ruling on Rape

Watch the video at this link and read the opening lines:

Typically, the burden of proof lies with the accuser. Otherwise, anyone could accuse anyone else of anything and then say “prove me wrong.”

And that’s not how the legal system — or logic — works.

The Washington Supreme Court ruled Thursday that those accused of rape are not responsible for proving they obtained consent. In a 6-3 ruling, the court said that requiring the accused to provide such proof to the preponderance of evidence standard violated constitutional rights.

"Requiring a defendant to do more than raise a reasonable doubt is inconsistent with due process principles," wrote Justice Debra Stephens. She added that doing so raised "a very real possibility of wrongful convictions."

Justices writing for the dissent claimed the decision would lead to sex offenders going free.

Of course sometimes the guilty will go free; that's the price we pay for living under our system of jurisprudence, where law and evidence and reason are supposed to win out over emotion.  Why is "sex offenders going free" worse than locking up an innocent person? 

Rape victims have undergone a horrific crime, but two wrongs don't make a right.  Locking up innocent people isn't going to stop rape.

I agree completely with the closing paragraph of the linked piece:

Reliving any crime is difficult, and helping accusers through that difficulty should be a goal of addressing the problem of sexual assault, so that sexual predators can be brought to justice. But that difficulty isn't a justification for adopting a standard — as many college campuses already have — that denies due process to the accused.

1 comment:

maxutils said...

That is good news.