Roger rejects “modest reforms” in rape trials.

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.

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