Thursday, 25 November 2010

The Dreadful State Of Our Justice System

Well, it didn’t take long for the justice system to go into one of its self-correcting frenzies:
The most senior judge in England and Wales today freed a mother who had been jailed for retracting "truthful" allegations that she had been raped by her husband.
Note that the ‘Guardian’ has the sense to put the ‘truthful’ part in inverted commas.

It’s the last bit of common sense you’ll see, however…
Overturning her eight-month sentence, Lord Judge, the lord chief justice, criticised the Crown Prosecution Service's decision to prosecute the 28-year-old woman, who he accepted had been the victim of prolonged domestic abuse and been put under pressure by her husband to withdraw the allegations. Judge said there should be "a broad measure of compassion for a woman who had already been victimised".
So a judge can just decide this at the appeal, without having heard any of the testimony first-hand? Without any kind of trial of the husband?
It was, he said, "an extreme case" which he hoped would not be repeated.
Probably not, now. But it should be.
Though delighted at her release, the woman's family said she was distraught at being sent to jail away from her children.
"The system has failed her and she knows it," the woman's older sister told the Guardian. "She is devastated. She can't believe it ended this way."
Well, a lot of that was down to her, wasn’t it?
Campaigners described the ruling as a "turning point" but said it was wrong that the victim was the one left with a criminal record while her husband walked free.
Well, no. She has a criminal record because she committed a criminal act and was convicted of it, whereas he hasn’t faced a trial or been convicted of anything.

A professor of law will tell you tha…

Oh. Maybe not:
Clare McGlynn, professor of law at Durham University, said: "Where is the recognition that the woman is the victim here? How come a victim of domestic violence and rape is the one with a two-year community sentence and a criminal record?"
Because she’s NOT a ‘victim of domestic violence and rape’, is she? That hasn’t been proven in court. It’s just what she claims.

Since when did we start unconditionally accepting that whatever someone claims is the truth, without putting it to a test in a court of law? And since when have we paid the salaries of professors of law that don’t seem able to grasp this?
"What does this say about the way the authorities deal with rape victims? It's especially worrying given the climate over the last couple of months with the proposal to grant anonymity to rape defendants, which was underpinned by the belief that a high number of rape complaints made by women are untrue."
I’ve got about 57, and I’ve only been compiling them for less than a year, I think.

Also, I’ve only been noting the ones that make the papers…
Lisa Longstaff from Women Against Rape said: "While we are relieved the woman has been freed, we are outraged that the lord chief justice did not rule that she should never have been prosecuted in the first place. It is common for women and girls to be pressed to withdraw, by attackers, family members and/or police.

Imprisoning rape victims for supposed false allegations is discouraging other victims from reporting and encouraging rapists to carry on. It is a perversion of justice by the authorities."
Whereas making false allegations is…what?

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

guilty or not guilty, that is the question.

she, raped or not, has made a mokery and should pay.

if she was raped then i have symapthy for that but as false accusers do, she has made a mokery of the justice sytem that is equaly to blame for this situation

Anonymous said...

he on the other hand will have to live with his sins as we all do.

having read the case i doubt her retoric is as acurate as we alead to belive.

Anonymous said...

raped six times, i think not after the first or second you'd think she would learn how to give a swift kick where it hurts!!!!!

;)

Anonymous said...

Julia, I'm a mother of three sons. I still think you are wrong. What has made you think like this? I am hugely confident that my sons would never be in this situation.

Equally, I worry for my daughter. She is young, very beautiful and rather naive. Obviously she is vulnerable. She is also kind, honest and, although I say it myself, a rather wonderful, and much loved person.

If anything bad ever happened to her, there wouldn't be any questions asked. We would believe her.

If you have a problem with other women, and you do come over as ungenerous, I would say, look to yourself. Why do you hate other women?

Because you do. And it's daft. And yes, some cretins make false rape claims. But most don't. Most women are genuine. And men are mostly in charge. And they don't need you to defend them.


And I know you should never start a sentence, let alone a paragraph, with the word 'and'. And I know that you are on a mission. I just do not understand it.

g1lgam3sh said...

Anonymous 11:00

I can't quite get why you would think that being 'the mother of three sons' gives you any added credibility beyond that of being an individual with an opinion.

Reading the rest of your diatribe though confirms that opinions are like arseholes, everybody's got one.

The idea that Julia hates women is so beyond absurd as to be surreal; it is undeniable however that she can, and does, despise the way individuals, who happen to be women can behave.

Speaking as a man, a man who went to University as a mature student in the early 80's and quite deliberately did the Womens Studies course, one of only two males in a three year stretch...well...

I am grateful that women like Julia both exist and articulate.

You, Madam, are a Poltroon.

Bucko said...

On one hand you have "She was a victim of domestic violence and rape". The assumption of guilt without trial.
On the other hand you have "imprisoning rape victims for supposed false allegations". The assumption of innocence after a trail has declared guilt.

Does no one understand, fair trial anymore?

Anon - Your supposition about Julia is way off the mark.
She does not hate women, she simply hates injustice. As a woman it is perfectly ok to judge another woman for making false rape allegations. It happens with regular monotiny because al lot of women understand the power they wield in this area.
And by the way, your daughter is not "vulnerable" simply because she is attractive. If you label her as such now, she will always think it herself.

KenS said...

Anonymous 11:00
If anything bad ever happened to her, there wouldn't be any questions asked.

More fool you. Luckily, in this country, someone independent would [ask questions].

Anonymous said...

so, guilty or not guilty?

she is guilty of taking a serious crime and using it to her advantage.

i have had all sorts of things leaveled aginst me. some right, some wrong. i am not perfect. but women are now going to get the right to remove men from tier home on a wish. because women are never guilty of domestic abuse are they?

Anonymous said...

equlity, my arse!

;)

Anonymous said...

the best thing about opinions and comments is we all have one, just like and arse, male or female, lol.

make your mind up woman, were you raped or not!

Timdog said...

You eeeevil woman-hater, "JuliaM", if that is even your real name, most likely "JulianM" with your eeevil woman-hating ways.

Lol.

Otherwise, I was pretty much going to say what Bucko said, so I'll leave it there.

allcoppedout said...

I rather hope you do hate women Julia, they deserve it! At least I rather hope there is still another person on the planet who might see this comment as a joke first!

I do see other serious implications in this matter, not least if this judge has got it right. This concerns how our CJS manages to treat someone like this woman so badly in the first place. There is massive evidence that victims don't get treated at all well.

The issues you raise are just as important. I hope you have something larger in mind with regard to the 'collection' you're making. On a personal point, I remain impressed by your prose, juxtaposition and its critique. And, and, and - might just be a start of anything and I wouldn't sentence you for that!

JuliaM said...

"What has made you think like this? "

Seeing abuses of our legal system time after time after time.

Seeing the perpetrators given leeway because they are female, and thinking 'Is this what some bird threw herself in front of the King's horse for?'.

Seeing the gradual effect this ratcheting down of legal standards is having on our society.

"I am hugely confident that my sons would never be in this situation."

Are you really? What has made you think like this?

"If anything bad ever happened to her, there wouldn't be any questions asked. We would believe her. "

That's only to be expected of you, as her mother. As others have pointed out, that's why you would never take part in any court case involving her, except as an observer.

"And I know that you are on a mission. I just do not understand it."

No, clearly you don't. It's a pity. It means you've decided to think with your sex, instead of your head.

"Does no one understand, fair trial anymore?"

It's beginning to look a lot like it, at least on this subject, isn't it?

JuliaM said...

"but women are now going to get the right to remove men from tier home on a wish. because women are never guilty of domestic abuse are they?"

Exactly!

"most likely "JulianM" with your eeevil woman-hating ways."

Heh! Took me most of the first chapter of Julian May's first sci-fi novel before I thought 'Ummm, hang on...' and checked.

Yes, she's a female author!

" At least I rather hope there is still another person on the planet who might see this comment as a joke first!"

As long as there is, we'll still have a civilisation...

"I hope you have something larger in mind with regard to the 'collection' you're making."

Actually, it was left-wing blogger JohnB's frequent pooh-poohing of this issue with the comment that these cases are 'very rare' that got me started....

Jiks said...

Can I say Julian May is awesome?

JuliaM said...

You certainly can! Not too impressed with her 'Trillium' or 'Boreal Moon' series, just couldn't get into them for some reason.

But the 'Pliocene', 'Galactic Milieu' and 'Rampart Worlds' series were top-notch. I've read and re-read them several times.