Saturday, July 25, 2009

I still say the accused should get annonymity as well...

In most cases of accuser/accused things go normally and there is little stigma in the form of pre-drawn assumptions and conclusions about the accuser and accused. For some odd reason however all that goes out the window when it comes to rape. When one person accuses another of the horrible crime of rape often times battle lines are immediately drawn between two camps.

In the first camp you have those that assume that there is no way that the accuser can be lying because of how serious rape is. This bunch is usually made up of people who advocate for victims' rights and while there is nothing wrong with helping victims sometimes these people can go too far and fling some pretty wild things. Some will just state that the rape must have happened if the accuser is talking. Some will assume the accused is guilty because of their character. ("He is an ass so he must have done it."/"If he didn't rape HER he more than likely raped SOMEONE."/"He is a privilege jerk that has probably done something to someone in the past and now its come back to him.") In short once the accusation is made and case breaks these people can go from 0 to guilty in no time flat.

In the other camp you have those that will go to the greatest lengths to profess the innocence of the accused. The people of this camp are usually made up of those who insist that the accused must be innocent and while the accused should get a fair chance at clearing their name these folks can go too far. Some of them will declare that the accuser must be lying and is only trying to cover her own ass. Some will assume the accuser is lying because of their character. ("She likes sex so she must have wanted it."/"She probably had buyer's remorse and is crying rape for revenge."/"What was she wearing, drinking, etc...that nigh?") In short once the accusation is made and the case breaks these people can go from 0 to non-guilty in no time flat.

Well despite the war that these two camps get into there is one thing that shines pretty clear to this fence-sitter (the ones that actually wonder what happened before assuming innocence or guilt) here. Even though both the accused and accuser may have their lives, names, and reputations drug through the mud to hell and back most of the time ONLY the accused has to go through such treatment in full view of the public while it is a very rare occurrence for the accuser to do so. Why is it that knowing full well the emotional charge that is carried with a rape accusation the identity of the accused is instantly plastered all over the place while the identity of the accused is a tightly guarded secret?

Look at the latest big time example in Pittsburg Steeler quarterback Ben Rothesburger. He has just been accused of raping a 19 year old woman on year ago in a hotel. As soon as the story broke (despite seemingly intentional efforts to suppress the story) Ben's name was all over the place and the two camps I mentioned above are already in full swing.

So you have an accuser whose identity the public is not allowed to find out about which allows for this woman to (relatively) safely accuse Rothesburger from the shadows. Yes there are people trying to assassinate her character but bear in mind they are trying to assassinate the character of an anonymous woman whereas the those trying to assassinate his character are taking wide open shots at a fully identified man.

I'm getting a bit muddled here so I better end this.

In closing what I'm wonder is why is it that only the accuser gets the protection of anonymity while the accused has to suffer from getting drug through the mud (and stop erasing the suffering of the falsely accused with that BS that the "real" victims of a false accusation are the actual rape victims that left too scared to speak up) in public regardless of guilt or innocence? I suppose in an ideal world the court of public opinion would reserve judgment in rape accusations but this is not an ideal world and as of right now the accused is definitely getting the short end of the stick here.

3 comments:

aych said...

It is odd that, for almost any kind of crime, good Liberal folks are the first to demand that defendants get full protection from any possible abuse by law enforcement. We must keep in mind the causes of criminal behavior before we punish. The accused may have had a bad childhood and we must be compassionate.Prisons are barbaric.

What's that? The crime you're talking about is rape? Hang the bastards and drag their corpses through the mud!!1!!

Danny said...

Sadly aych that does seem to be how rape charges are treated these days.

thebigmanfred said...

I got to say it does seem unfair to me hide the accuser and not both (or none). It just seems we should give both the same protections or neither. If a defendant isn't anonymous and their name can be displayed in the newspaper (and I saw one not too long ago where the guys name and address where there, the only thing missing was what time of day he's normally home) then the same should apply to the accuser. Or alternatively we shouldn't display either.

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