Archive for August, 2011

Roger rejects “modest reforms” in rape trials.

Sunday, August 28th, 2011

A double dipper today with two posts dealing with Roger Canaff and his blog. In this post, Roger is critical of Florida Attorney Roy Black and his recent article suggesting “modest reforms” in rape cases.

Now, I have several issues with Roy Black and how he makes his argument. He brings up Jamie Jones and the Halliburton case. I do not believe that is the same thing as DSK or Kobe or some random guy off the street who has been accused of rape. What Black is requesting is something that I also have said would be a good idea, and that is to extend the rape shield laws to protect the name of the accused.

This shouldn’t be too controversial. If we are truly a nation that treats people as innocent until proven guilty, then we should not seek to parade them in front of the media and splash the name of the accused all over the place.

Of course, like the author of the other article Roger criticizes, Black invokes the flawed Kanin Iowa study that “showed” 40% of rape accusations to be false.  This is why Black is not helping his own cause. When you bring up flawed studies, you are not coming to the table with clean hands and as such you make your own demands less likely to be agreed to.

However, Roger also has some issues with his rebuttal. Black believes it is easy to make a false accusation. It is. I know. It was very easy for my false accuser (who Roger personally knows) to make her claim to police. She just made it up and called the cops.  Roger uses unreported cases of rape as proof that it is not easy to make a false claim. Yes, you read that right. Roger states:

The idea that rape is an accusation “easily made but not easily defended,” for instance, never existed in reality, but only in the minds of men who could enforce this paranoid fantasy in courts of law.  In fact, most victims don’t report being sexually assaulted; it remains a chronically under-reported crime and a tiny percentage of victims ever see their rapists legally punished.

That rape is under-reported does not change that a rape charge is easily made if it is false and that it is not easily defended when you handcuff the defense.  Roger also claims that rape shield laws prevent cross examination but in fact some laws in some states do indeed prevent certain things that some might view as relevant from being asked. Now, is what a woman was wearing or how she was dancing relevant? Absolutely not. If a woman is walking around in nearly nothing she still has her body autonomy and as such should not be touched without her consent. But in the article linked to in my last post, it described a case where the emails by the accuser describing a desire to participate in BDSM were ruled inadmissible under rape shield laws. Now, the conviction was overturned on appeal. However, how much extra jail time was served because such evidence was barred from trial.

This is why Roger fails in his argument. He claims that the defense is allowed to bring up relevant information at trial when we have evidence that on occasion it does not. He also fails to disproves that false claims are easy to make yet hard to defend against. I would say this makes Roger 0-2 but he is wrong about so many other things I have lost count.

Roger shocks me.

Saturday, August 27th, 2011

There is an article on The Weekly Standard about false accusations of rape. I have several issues with the way in which the article was written. One of the problems is the highly flawed Iowa study done by Kanin.

Well, Roger Canaff has some criticisms of the article as well.  However,  in his attempt to discredit the author he fails to link to one study or one report to back up his claim that the author is, in fact, wrong about her claim that women lie about being raped more than other people lie about other crimes.

And let’s look at one of the quotes that he criticizes in full context. “While orthodox feminists grudgingly admit that women sometimes make false reports of rape, they insist that such cases represent a minuscule share of all complaints and that to give them much attention is to perpetuate misogynistic “rape myths” and revictimize real victims.”

To me, her point is that she is attacking the idea that because the occurrence of false accusations is low that it should, in some way, be deserving of no attention.

Now, I will grant you that she does quote the Iowa study and anyone who does that is suspect. Even if the number of false accusations in that one town was true, the town is such a small sample size and is irrelevant in the grander conversation that should be had about people who do lie about being raped or sexually assaulted for any reason.

The overall point made by reasonable people who wish to discuss false accusations of rape is that people accused of any crime should be considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law and that the law should be held to the same burden of proof when it comes to convicting someone on a charge as serious as rape or sexual assault. When such a person is found guilty, it is my opinion that the book should be thrown at them.

Unfortunately, there are many (not all, not most, but many) in the feminist movement (of which I am a part) who do wish to sweep false accusations under the rug because they fear that every false accusation hurts every prosecution of every real rape.

But here is where Roger shocks me. He states: “False reports are both horrific and criminal. People who make them should be dealt with harshly unless serious mental illness was at play in making the report.” Unfortunately, he then seems to try and sweep them under the rug as well. But if false rape accuser apologists can make a statement that false reports are horrific and criminal, perhaps there is hope.