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Why rape cases should not be subject to reasonable doubt

Conviction rates for sexual assault against women are shockingly low, to the extent that, even in a developed nation such as the United Kingdom, only 6 per cent of rape allegations result in a conviction, a far lower rate than for any other violent crime. As The Guardian columnist Julia Bindel puts it, ‘rape might as well be legal’.

Disturbingly low conviction rates have many explanations, but one contributing factor is the ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ standard of evidence employed in criminal cases. This standard requires that the jury not have any reasonable doubts about the defendant’s guilt in order to convict. Doubts they have that are frivolous or hypothetical should be put aside. Full Article

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  1. Shaking my head

    This article presents a one sided argument. It assumes the Justice system currently works. If you remove reasonable doubt from trials so often based on one person’s word over another’s, the district attorney’s of this country will abuse the loophole. In california, from my experience, if you were arrested then you must be guilty, at least that’s how you are treated. Your word means nothing because you are a criminal, and often the eleged victim is given the opportunity to accuse you all day long without needing to prove a thing.

    • David Kennerly

      It’s worse than that: this article is a tangle of completely discredited social justice and “gender” theories.

      The first clue is the invocation of Julia Bendel in the piece. For those not familiar with U.K. social justice warriordom, Bindel is one of its most aggressive and unhinged proponents.

      Christopher Wareham, the author, is on a crusade to double-down in efforts to rout-out “sexual violence” and to carve out legal exceptions to due process wherever it is deemed inconvenient to the cause of mass conviction. The idea they wish to propagate is that convictions are “shockingly low,” an assertion which many others, such as barrister and author Barbara Hewson, find to be ludicrous misstatements of how British justice now works.

      I recommend Googling Barbara Hewson after reading this piece to get the antidote for social justice poison.


    These are the kind of ideas that are dangerous to individual freedom and real justice. The implied practically of such ideas would certainly lead to accusations only, putting people into prison. We see some of that same fascists leaning idea in our justice system already… Where was is that a parent could be accused of sexually assaulting their child for changing his or her diapers? That’s right…here in the good’ole USSA! These things will creep forward as long as all political sides look to government as the fix for our problems. This is way bigger than rape cases and sex offenders.

  3. kat

    One particular paragraph in this article speaks volumes to how ill-conceived it is-

    “Moreover, sexual offenders are likely to offend multiple times. In one study, rapists self-reported an average of 10 violent crimes, even before their “careers” had ended.”

    The authors seem to assume that everyone convicted of a sex offense is a violent, contact, multiple offender? That they all are likely to re-offend? That they are they all rapists?

    If the authors can’t be accurate, educate themselves as to how many ridiculous non-contact acts can land you on the registry and branded a sex offender, then it’s best for them not to write at all.

  4. Timmr

    All peace is obtained when one admits the truth, whether it is one who has done wrong or one who accuses falsely. The law can not make up for a lack of moral character and wisdom.

  5. A.D. Former Attorney

    This reminds me about a report from a well-known psychiatric association in the United States that determined that “children do not lie” at young ages when it comes to sexual misconduct allegations. I think the report came out about 20 years ago. This reminds me of an incident that I was involved in in 2003: One time, way back when, when I was assisting an attorney in a sex case in Broward County, Florida (Fort Lauderdale), I was called to testify for a 30 year old man who looked to be 21 and acted at the mental age of 16, and was slightly, mentally handicapped. He was charged with what is called a “lewd and lascivious conduct” (misappropriate sexual contact ) with a 17 year old male who was about 150 lbs more, 1/2 taller than the Defendant, and looked about 27 years old. Though I was no longer an attorney, I was an expert in sex crimes and the psychological makeup of a perpetrator and criminal defense work/strategies, and everyone knows my background and that I am an S.O. After the Defense Attorney laid the groundwork for the Defendant, I took to the witness stand. My approach was that in reality, this 30 year old was only 16 or 17 psychologically, regardless of the age of the body, and that the 17 year old stole his car, his credit cards, and drained his bank account, so the 17 year old was psychologically more mature and hustled this guy for money and what he could get. This was a first-time offender. I testified to these facts and put two psychologists on the stand to support my position. We did not win the case, but we got the charges reduced and got the guy out of jail and settled the case. This was the first and only time in Court that I ever had a judge review the facts as they were and under mitigating circumstances which Florida law allows, reduced the charges and let the guy go after he pled no-contest to some minor misconduct charges. My point is that we have to work with people who believe in what they are told about sex offenses and ignore the true facts and statistics, and it will be very far and few in-between where we find a politician who is not scared to stand-up and give the true facts and go against their colleagues and constituents for the truth! This is what we face in our challenges.

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