Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Does the Duke Case Expose a Weapon in the Female Arsenal?

Cathy Young has an interesting article in The Boston Globe arguing that it is unreasonable to assume that women don’t sometimes lie about being raped. Without hazarding a guess about what actually happened in the Duke case, she argues persuasively that those who suggest simply questioning the credibility of a person making rape charges is somehow "blaming the victim" are off base.

This week our church bulletin had a little piece in it that cautioned readers to take very seriously any hint of a suggestion from a child about sexual abuse. I think that is probably good advice and I think that most parents would do that even without the advice. But women are not children. Oddly, those would-be feminists who suggest that women never or rarely lie about rape are giving them a rather back-handed compliment and demonstrating their own child-like naivete at the same time.

Discussions - 4 Comments

Julie, it’s good to see you’re still concerned with exposing all of those lying women out there even though, you know, just like Young, you’re tactfully, conservatively, not even "hazarding a guess" on the guilt or innocence of anyone involved in the Duke case, right?:

"Even if the charges prove false (as it seems they will)..."



From Young’s article we learn that as many as 9 percent of rape charges could be unfounded. It’d be interesting to see stats on how many men convicted of raping women falsely accused their victims of having consented to sex. Do you have any stats on that, or is asking that question antimale? I know how much false accusations grind your gears! Oh well, at least the Young article wasn’t as obnoxious as the Coulter "piece."
But why are you still focusing on this depressing, divisive issue when today should be a happy, yip-skippy day of celebration at NLT - It’s the Third Anniversary of "Mission Accomplished" in Iraq!! - and Bush’s flight suit speech (how manly! - bet it gives some of you goosebumps!) on the USS Lincoln (yeah...LINCOLN!!!). Here are some fun snippets:

"Major combat operations in Iraq have ended."

"The battle of Iraq is one victory in a war on terror that began on September the 11, 2001 — and still goes on. That terrible morning, 19 evil men .... terrorists and their allies believed that they could destroy this nation’s resolve, and force our retreat from the world. They have failed."

Except that...um...well...I thought we went there because of WMDs, or to remove the "mushroom cloub" threat that Saddam posed. Was Iraq/Saddam really involved with 9/11?? Oh well, never mind.

"The liberation of Iraq is a crucial advance in the campaign against terror. We’ve removed an ally of al Qaeda, and cut off a source of terrorist funding. And this much is certain: No terrorist network will gain weapons of mass destruction from the Iraqi regime, because the regime is no more."

Except that they didn’t have any WMDs, and they weren’t (emphasis on PAST TENSE there!) really an ally of Al Qaeda... oh well, never mind.

Happy "Iraq: Mission Accomplished" Day!!
Heckuva Job!

Don’t forget the strange role that race plays in all this. Part of the reason why the Duke case is getting so much attention is that rich white boys raped poor black girls. Back in the day people focused more on the opposite transgression. For a classic example of women lying about rape (and the role played by race) I recomend Dan Carter’s book on the Scottsboro Boys.

I have a bit of experience in prosecuting jury trials. In so doing, I have made an observation or 2. Here are some of them:

1. Prosecutors do not get to pick their witnesses at central casting;

2. The credibility of the prosecutor’s witnesses is always an issue;

3. Absence of defense evidence on a particular issue can be devastating to the defense, but the absence of prosecution evidence on a particular issue would be far more devastating to the prosecution.

There’s one other rule of thumb I hesitate to mention. O.K. hesitation over: High profile trials usually end up as acquitals. I’m not proud of the predictions I made when O.J. was arrested, but.... Until that arrest, the Menendez brothers were the big celebrities on trial. You may recall the jury hung in their first trial. When O.J. got arrested, I predicted that O.J. would be acquitted and the Menendez brothers, who were no longer celebrities, would be convicted. O.J. was not acquitted, by the way, because he was innocent. Neither was he acquitted because he is black. He was acquitted because he was a celebrity.

Back on topic. Applying the above rules of thumb to the facts of this case, the victim is a stripper and so is the prosecutor’s eye witness. Evidence of traumatic sex on a stripper would, most likely, be given alot less weight than if the victim were, say, a woman of virtually any other field of endeaver. There is no getting around that for the prosecutor. The jury will consider that in weighing her credibility. The victim was drunk to the point of unconsciousness. The jury will weigh that against her too. The victim has accused others of rape. The prosecution did not file charges in that case. The defense will be entitled to the names of those she accused in the past. The defense will surely call the individuals previously accused by her to testify that she lied about them...whether she did lie then or not.

Whether there is an absence of DNA or the defense is just grandstanding remains to be seen, but if there is an absence of DNA, game, set, match Navratilova, defense wins. On the other hand, no matter how bad the credibility of the victim and eye-witness are, if there are DNA matches, game, set, match Everett, prosecution wins. (Pleeeze don’t assume I prefer Chrissy over Martina.

Add to all this, the pandering of the prosecutor to the Black community weeks before an election...

Tough case for the prosecution...unless that DNA comes through.

Oh. And one other bit of evidence the defense will use against the victim:

She was prosecuted for stealing the car keys from a client, while dancing on his lap, leading the police on a merry chase, trying to run over a copper, while sh*t faced drunk. (and yes I do eat with this M*uth).

One other rule of thumb and do not lambaste me for this, I REALLY have NOT prejudged this case:

Sometimes it’s better for a prosecutor to reject a case than to put a victim through the added humiliation of an acquittal.

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