***TRIGGER WARNING*** To not understand why people start victim blaming when a high profile defendant is found not guilty?

(73 Posts)
frustratedandsad Thu 06-Feb-14 17:11:16

(Name changing regular because I'm going to disclose something very personal.)

I was sexually abused for many years as a child by a 'beloved' family member. I've had lots of therapy and have often discussed reporting it but ultimately, felt I couldn't go through with it. Seeing how people respond to the highly publicised cases just confirms that I will never do it.

I've seen/heard vile comments such as;
"It seems unlikely that anyone could get raped more than once."
"The so-called victims should be sued."
"I wonder if Jimmy Saville would have been found innocent if he was alive."

And these weren't even the ones from the DM site!

Tuhlulah Thu 06-Feb-14 17:16:58

It's not unreasonable. A non guilty verdict does not mean that the accused did not do what he or she is accused of. It doesn't prove anything other than that 12 jury members decided that the evidence presented to them did not, in their view, convince them beyond all reasonable doubt that the dependent did what he or she was accused of.

So I don't blame any alleged victims just as I do not exonerate those who are found not guilty. I just hope that the jury's decision was the right one.

BookABooSue Thu 06-Feb-14 17:38:23

frustratedandsad I'm sorry for what happened to you and understand why our legal system wouldn't encourage you to report the abuse. Conviction rates are abysmal.

I think the comments that you've listed come from different motivations. The first is idiotic and shows a complete lack of understanding. The second taps into a feeling that the accused who has been found innocent is the victim of a grave and public injustice and hence deserves some kind of recourse.

The third is based on a lack of understanding of the legal basis on which Jimmy Saville was found guilty when he was not in a position to 'defend' himself. The police and the legal system have again failed victims of sexual abuse by not explaining clearly the process they followed and how they could establish guilt when not going through the usual legal process (which involves the accused being alive).

Of course because conviction rates for rape and sexual assault are so low, lots of people will believe (as Tuhlulah mentions) that the accused should not be exonerated regardless of the outcome of the case. However, in non-sexual assault cases, a percentage of defendants will be found not guilty so its likely a small percentage of defendants accused of sexual assault are not guilty too. So our low conviction rates fail them too because lots of people will be unsure if they should have been found not guilty or if they've benefitted from the appalling conviction rate.

MeepMeepVrooooom Thu 06-Feb-14 17:38:37

I can understand what you mean, although I actually don't think these cases should be reported on to the extent they are anyway.

However, if he had been found guilty would you be bothered by the comments made against him? Due to a situation someone I know has been in I'm not going to lie, it pisses me off that people found not guilty still have alot of people saying "doesn't mean they didn't do it just means it couldn't be proven" but if found guilty slander them all over the place without given thought to the fact that people can get found guilty of a crime they didn't commit.

AngelaDaviesHair Thu 06-Feb-14 17:42:37

Well, given that it turns out a lot of people on here don't even know the difference between 'charged' and 'convicted' (earlier threads have revealed), expecting them to make any kind of mature and nuanced assessment of what a jury acquittal means in any given case, let alone a sex offence case, is going to be in vain.

And I don't mean to sound dismissive or unsympathetic, because I heartily agree with you OP. But people are ignorant of these things and often not bothered about understanding them, plus there is so much stigma and prejudice against the women who come forward. So I am despondent.

YANBU. Victim blamers will take any opportunity to air their tedious views.

I've never heard anybody say that a case "should never have been brought" against someone acquitted of burglary, or suggest suing the complainant in a GBH case if the defendant is acquitted.

Joysmum Thu 06-Feb-14 17:53:19

I personally feel we need to change the system to not guilty, not proven and innocent.

AngelaDaviesHair Thu 06-Feb-14 17:56:16

No, not proven is a horrible, unfair, confusing, unsatisfying cop-out. There has been debate about dropping it in Scotland for that reason.

Because people aren't very bright and they like to cling on to black and white thinking as long as possible.

They always want someone to blame too sad

The reality is that barring issues, or being a liar those women believe it happened to them.

There are no winners here.

Tuhlulah Thu 06-Feb-14 18:06:19

I agree, not proven implies that you are guilty but that the evidence wasn't strong enough to convince the jury. There can be only two verdicts, guilty or not guilty. You are presumed to be innocent until proven otherwise, so you are not found innocent, you are found not guilty.

pamish Thu 06-Feb-14 18:08:48

I am especially pissed today at all this man's friends and ex-colleagues who are saying that they just know he couldn't have done it. 'He's a decent chap so we believe him' Christine Hamilton. 'The boy [sic] I knew liked women and had lots of girlfriends and respected them so he could not have done it' - Ken Farringdon aka Billy Walker in 1970something.

I have a new career for these people, let them stand on a street corner and pick out the rapists. Or if that's too difficult, let's give them a list of everyone they know and ask them to find the rapists on that list. It's really easy no?

I've served on a jury, twice, and each time we acquitted, not because we thought the perp had not dunnit, but because we didn't think they were proved to have dunnit. That has to be the bias, beyond reasonable doubt. 'Not proven' in other words.

In all the news reports today I have not heard from the prosecuting lawyers or DPP, let alone spokespeople for the women. Maybe they lied, the verdict suggests that (doesn't prove it), but someone could have gone back to them for statements instead of all this sycophancy.

MeepMeepVrooooom Thu 06-Feb-14 18:09:53

I personally feel we need to change the system to not guilty, not proven and innocent.

I disagree with this. I am in Scotland and disagree with the three tier verdict system we currently have. I think a better system wouldn't be guilty and not guilty but rather proven and not proven.

Tuhlulah Thu 06-Feb-14 18:13:30

Yes but it's semantics. What is proven? Guilt. What is not proven? Guilt. So what is the difference between proven/ unproven and guilty/ not guilty?

CromeYellow Thu 06-Feb-14 18:18:58

A man who is falsely accused, has his reputation shredded, career interrupted, loses a lot of money due to not working and having to pay a shitload in legal fees would be considered the real victim by most people.

It's not victim blaming to say that a case should never have got to court based on witnesses who were proven that they couldn't have being telling the truth on the stand with one claim based on one of the women 'thinking' that something 'may' have happened but couldn't be sure because she had no memory of it.

This type of nonsense is doing a huge amount of damage to REAL victims in the now who won't be believed despite what evidence they may have because of the absurd witch hunts against public figures where the police have invited every attention seeker in the country to make allegations, promising to take them seriously no matter how patently false, ridiculous or impossible to prove.

People are angry over the needless victimising of innocent men as the police pretend to show how much they 'care' about victims of sexual violence.

DoctorQuinn Thu 06-Feb-14 18:20:47

If a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty, a 'not guilty' verdict means he hasn't been proven guilty and is therefore to be presumed innocent.

So 'not guilty' does mean 'innocent'.

Nobody needs to be proven innocent. We all assumed to be innocent until proven otherwise.

MeepMeepVrooooom Thu 06-Feb-14 18:22:38

If the system was to change to proven not proven in my opinion it would be a truer reflection of the actual situation.

You eliminate the guilt that currently goes alongside the "not proven" verdict at present by removing the other two options of guilty - not guilty that currently stand.

Bill Roach was found not guilty. You still have people saying "it doesn't mean he didn't do it, they just couldn't prove it."

EdithWeston Thu 06-Feb-14 18:25:53

I don't really think he comparisons with burglary or GBH stand up to scrutiny. But assuming like previous poster that they do, and looking at one of them:

The number false claims of burglary are on the rise, and those who claim they have been burgled when they have not been are likely to be prosecuted. A not guilty verdict in a burglary trial (burglary occurred but not by him) would not lead to action against the complainant. But if it could not be demonstrated that the burglary had taken place at all, or the account was fabricated, then the complainant may well be prosecuted.

I think that friends of Roache are only speaking now because they could not do so before as it could be considered prejudicial to the trial. Yes, it is possible that someone dupes everyone they are close to for over 50 years; but the people who are attesting to his character are not claiming to be able to identify rapists in the abstract, they speak as individual character witnesses.

The Guardian published a piece very shortly after the verdict, and it points to some glaring discrepancies in the testimony.

somedayillbesaturdaynite Thu 06-Feb-14 18:30:54

In answer to the thread title, I am shocked at how many think the women should be prosecuted. "I believe you"

MeepMeepVrooooom Thu 06-Feb-14 18:30:57

I am especially pissed today at all this man's friends and ex-colleagues who are saying that they just know he couldn't have done it.

Really? I would be 100% behind a member of my family or a friend (which alot of his ex colleagues are). I have been before and I said then there is no way this is true. Why would this piss you off that people would stand by a man they care about?

pamish Thu 06-Feb-14 19:06:41

@ meep meep - just because he's their friend doesn't mean they know whether he's a sexual predator in other situations. You can testify that he's a gentleman when he's around you, that's all. You can stand by him and support him, that is not unreasonable, but claiming to know he would never misbehave is misplaced loyalty.

plutarch14 Thu 06-Feb-14 19:07:46

Because most people have simply no idea how the British legal system works.

cory Thu 06-Feb-14 19:14:28

In the one case where I know someone has done it (as in, actually seen the evidence) I would expect everybody who did not have that inside knowledge to be convinced that this person, whom they know well, could not have done it. I'd understand them for standing by a friend- but they'd be wrong.

MeepMeepVrooooom Thu 06-Feb-14 19:22:34

See I disagree with that if I'm honest. In their heads they believe he has done nothing wrong. If they believe it 100% then to that individual there was no way he could have done it. They could have been proved wrong but they weren't so I think it's a fair statement to make. It's their personal opinion that's all.

To try and explain it another way some people say they know there is a god, I would say they are wrong. It doesn't make their personal belief any less. To them there is a god. Many people will say something is fact until proven otherwise. There is no difference here IMO.

DoctorQuinn Thu 06-Feb-14 19:42:34

In most pre-Savile sexual abuse cases, there was a significant weight of evidence against the defendant and juries had to think long and hard before bringing in a verdict.

If that verdict was 'not guilty', it usually meant they jury didn't disbelieve the alleged victim but simply that they couldn't be certain she was telling the truth. There's no shame for an alleged victim in such a verdict.

Since jimmy Savile was exposed, however, we've seen charges brought in circumstances which would never before in history have merited bringing any charges.

Apart from the strain on innocent defendants like Michael le Vell and William Roache, perhaps the saddest aspect of these evidence-free, witch-hunter 'show' trials is that victims will in future fail to come forward, fearing that their cases too will be thrown out as readily as the juries threw out those two cases

specialsubject Thu 06-Feb-14 19:48:20

I also read the Guardian article and the prosecution case seemed to be full of holes.

Our system isn't perfect but it is the best available. It has to be 'innocent unless proven otherwise' or life would be hell in this country.

the guy doesn't sound the nicest chap in the world and by his own confession has screwed around, but that doesn't automatically make him a rapist.

juries (been there) are also told not to convict unless they are sure. And that is also how it should be.

ComposHat Thu 06-Feb-14 19:54:37

The history of the proven/not proven/ not guilty in Scotland is interesting.

Historically there were only two verdicts but in C18th when dealing with a trumped up case expressed their dissatisfaction by returning a 'not guilty' verdict. From then on not proven has had the status of 'not guilty but don't do it again. '

I think proven/not provenis a more accurate reflection of what the jury is being asked to do (assess whether the crown has proved the case) rather than deciding on whether you think someone is innocent/guilty.

Tuhlulah Thu 06-Feb-14 20:07:16

Doctor Quinn, I'm sorry but you simply cannot say that either BR or MLB are innocent. You could only do that if you were there. You can only say that they were found not guilty. And you cannot talk about the trials like that either if you want to retain any credibility. These were historic allegations which would be very hard to establish.
Don't mistake me, I am not saying that either BR or MLV are guilty or innocent, just that all we can say is that the jury didn't believe it could find them guilty beyond all reasonable doubt.

MeepMeepVrooooom Thu 06-Feb-14 20:15:09

ComposHat I agree with that entirely.

MeepMeepVrooooom Thu 06-Feb-14 20:20:54

I'm sorry but you simply cannot say that either BR or MLB are innocent. You could only do that if you were there. You can only say that they were found not guilty

This is the thing that bothers me with this though. As I asked in a previous post to someone else, would you think the same way if they were found guilty? Would you question their guilt the way people question their innocence? In the eyes of the law they are innocent men so why not in the eyes of the public?

I appreciate the difference i.e "proof" in a guilty verdict, however there have been and will continue to be innocent men and women found guilty of crimes they didn't commit. Do you cast doubt over a guilty verdict the way you do with a not guilty?

DebrisSlide Thu 06-Feb-14 20:24:11

frustratedandsad

I'm with you. People who have not thought about the nuances of either jury trials and/or rape myths will jump to the black and white thinking such as you describe.

Many people have posted on here over the years about every topic surounding rape and sexual assault, yet you get the same people giving the same responses. Anyone would they didn't read replies or re-cosider their fixed viewpoint and just wanted to get their opinion out there.

The fact is, when rape myths are so widespread, a not guilty verdict in the cases of rape or sexual assault are just not "safe". A jury of, say, DM commenters and another of MNers would probably come up wth different verdicts on the same case.

Tuhlulah Thu 06-Feb-14 20:38:02

MeepMeep, check out the thread about Amanda Knox. Not everyone thinks she is guilty. Also check the thread about Woody Allen and the allegations about the alleged abuse of his daughter Dylan. Many people have strong feelings about that too, and he didn't even come to trial!

The problem is that we only get to hear about a minority of the cases that pass through the criminal courts. And the press pick up the most controversial ones and these are the ones which most people feel strongly about because of the nature of the crime, like the death of Peter Connoly, etc, where the crimes so awful most people want to see someone punished for it.

You asked what I think about not guilty verdicts? the same that I think about guilty verdicts -'I hope the jury made the right decision'.

Smartiepants79 Thu 06-Feb-14 20:53:30

As always in these discussions, people's life experiences heavily influence their opinions on this subject.
Personaly, I know from my experience that people can be falsely accused of sex crimes. No one except the two people directly involved can ever truly know what occurred.
Whether this man is guilty or not, his life will never be the same again. Mud sticks, this will not be forgotten.

MeepMeepVrooooom Thu 06-Feb-14 20:59:58

I will have a look.

'I hope the jury made the right decision'

I think this is the only way a case should be looked at although I do understand absolutely that it is difficult in some cases when overwhelming evidence is presented in the press.

I too have first hand experience of someone close to me who has been wrongly accused of a crime. He is innocent but for the rest of his life he will live with this. It tarnishes his life daily and it's terribly sad to see.

Honeysweet Thu 06-Feb-14 21:02:32

I have not read much about the Roache case. Dont know why.

But could it be the jury's "fault" that a guilty verdict wasnt reached. That juries are more lenient than they used to be?
[Obviously he may well be innocent]

MeepMeepVrooooom Thu 06-Feb-14 21:02:35

Sorry Smartiepant I realise you say from your experience. In the case with the person I know it was actually proven he was innocent hence the certainty.

DebrisSlide Thu 06-Feb-14 21:02:45

You can't say that only the 2 people involved know what went on and also say they were wrongly accused.

MeepMeepVrooooom Thu 06-Feb-14 21:05:08

DebrisSlide I took it to mean that the poster was wrongly accused.

meditrina Thu 06-Feb-14 21:18:13

Well, if The Guardian is to be believed, the discrepancies were startling.

I doubt very much indeed that rape myths weighed much in the balance in this particular case when a woman described an assault in the 1970s taking place in his distinctive car. A car which it could be demonstrated that he did not own until 1984. And there were other major anomalies in the accounts, plus some that the woman said she 'believed' had happened, not that she remembered happening.

DebrisSlide Thu 06-Feb-14 21:19:38

My comment was to Smartiepants. Se her post before mine.

DebrisSlide Thu 06-Feb-14 21:23:11

And Meep, you are not reading the posts. There is no such thing as being proven innocent. You are proven not guilty beyond the bounds of reasonable doubt i.e. the Crown could not make a case the the jury could believe beyond reasonable doubt. Given the prevalence of rape myths, the "reasonable doubt" thing is something of a lottery.

MeepMeepVrooooom Thu 06-Feb-14 21:27:45

Yes I know who your comment was too. Like I said I read it like the poster (smartie) was the one that was wrongly accused.

Tuhlulah Thu 06-Feb-14 21:31:55

And (things may have changed in the New Labour blitz of legislation but) rape was the only crime in which the jury were warned that they should not accept the uncorroborated evidence of the victim. So in other words the victim's oral evidence must be backed up by something else like a witness statement or some forensic evidence. I don't know if that still stands - maybe there is a criminal lawyer on here who can assist? So rape has historically treated differently than other crimes. It was only recently that the law was amended to make rape within marriage a crime.

Rape seems hard enough to successfully prosecute when it happened recently so it must be nigh on impossible to bring a case in which the offence allegedly took place many years ago.

DebrisSlide Thu 06-Feb-14 21:32:12

Interesting. Bet you a tenner to Rape Crisis that it wasn't smartiepants that was the accused.

MeepMeepVrooooom Thu 06-Feb-14 21:37:25

Debris With regards to there being no such thing as being proven innocent. That is very small minded and actually entirely wrong.

The person I am referring to was being accused of something 6 years previous. The accuser lied saying something happened on her birthday, everyone of her lies was surrounded by the events that took place on her birthday, no question of the date.

The person accused could not remember where he was at that time due to the time lapse but knew he wasn't there. It wasn't until after the trial that actual proof emerged that he could not have physically been where the alleged attack had happened because he was somewhere else entirely. That was proven with CCTV footage. It proved his innocence. I didn't say a verdict was given of innocent I said he had been proved innocent.

Tuhlulah Thu 06-Feb-14 21:43:09

KeepMeep, no, you've misunderstood.

Under the criminal law we are all presumed to be innocent until proven guilty. This is called the presumption of innocence. You do not have to be proven innocent because you are, that's your starting position.

It is us to the crown/cps acting on behalf of the plaintiff Or victim to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the act which he or she is accused of.

Debris is just pointing out the actual phrasing of the law, and I'm sure it isn't meant as any comment on your situation.

Tuhlulah Thu 06-Feb-14 21:43:45

And arson my typos.

Tuhlulah Thu 06-Feb-14 21:44:06

Pardon my arson.

DebrisSlide Thu 06-Feb-14 21:45:37

He wasn't proven innocent in court.

I can argue this all night, btw.

And don't forget, the fact that HE was found not guilty does not mean that a crime did not occur and that she is making a false allegation. It may be a case of mistaken identity, hard thought it might be for him.

MeepMeepVrooooom Thu 06-Feb-14 21:45:42

I am aware of how the legal system works. As I said he was proven to be an innocent man after a trial which had resulted in a guilty verdict.

DebrisSlide Thu 06-Feb-14 21:46:44

Quite, I am not saying your mate was guilty. You just need to understand what the law says, as a potenial juror.

DebrisSlide Thu 06-Feb-14 21:47:40

Waht happened with the verdict?

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Thu 06-Feb-14 21:51:30

Meep, in that case he was "proved innocent" - used to be expressed as "leaves the court without a stain on his character" I think.

But mostly it is guilt that is proven, so it is more likely that a guilty verdict is correct than incorrect. Not always, but more likely. That's the premise of the standard ax well - better ten guilty men go free than one innocent goes to jail etc.

So me and my identical twin are at a party in the same clothes. An eye witness sees one of us taking a purse from a bag with gloves on and running away. We each blame the other. One of us is most definitely guilty - a crime has definitely happened - but there is no way to reach a guilty verdict.

MeepMeepVrooooom Thu 06-Feb-14 21:52:04

I have never once said he was found innocent by a court. He was proven to be innocent by his legal team.

Therefore he was acquitted of any charges due to evidence proving he wasn't in the vicinity when the alleged attack took place. The accuser admitted lying eventually.

He was an innocent man that is my point. I know it as does everyone else who was involved. It is a fact that he didn't commit the crime.

Tuhlulah Thu 06-Feb-14 21:58:57

theDoctrine, no really, you can never be proven or found innocent because you are presumed innocent. You will be found guilty or not guilty. I'm not being pedantic, but this is the legal position.
Also your example about two people having potentially having committed a crime but you cannot say which one actually did it. I think that also got changed a bit under New Labour. I cant remember what its called. There was a case in which a person was attacked by several people and it couldn't be established whose action caused death. Under a change in the law they were all found guilty of murder.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Thu 06-Feb-14 21:59:40

Sorry if I expressed it badly, I meant that it's probably rare for a defence team to price innocence, as happened with your friend - the legal standard is the other way round. And of course cases do not get to court unless the CPS thinks there is a reasonable chance of oroving guilt.

AskBasil Thu 06-Feb-14 21:59:53

YABU

Of course people victim blame when a high profile defendent is found not guilty of rape or sexual assault.

We live in a rape culture, where only 6% of reported rapes end in a guilty conviction, even though the rate of false allegation is only about 2-3%. Where only the most water-tight cases, where victims have also endured other violence as part of the rape, come to court so the evidence is pretty overwhelming.

This is largely due to rape myths and victim blaming, as well as the construction of the concept of consent, which deems the victim in a permanent state of consent unless she can prove she wasn't. It's hardly surprising that most men who are accused of rape, do not end up being found guilty, whether they were or not.

I'm always surprised that some are tbh. I was absolutely astounded by Stuart Hall.

Tuhlulah Thu 06-Feb-14 22:01:17

MeepMeep, if this is the case then he could apply to have the conviction overturned or quashed. Then his good name could be restored. There are things which can be done to restore justice when there has been a miscarriage of justice

HadABadDay2014 Thu 06-Feb-14 22:02:34

I am in 2 minds.

What if a man really didn't do it, I think he then is the victim. Because no matter what the courts and he say he will alway have that stigma attached to him ( and vise versa for a women)

However I do not want to think that the victim is lying and didn't get abused.

DebrisSlide Thu 06-Feb-14 22:02:40

I am a thief. I stole a large pink erasor from Woolworths in Beverley c. 1981. I also stole a Turkish Belight from Jacksons in Cottingham in the same year. (I didn't believe the ads, but wanted to see if they were true before I spent my pocket money). Until now, I only ever told my brother, and that was last year.

Am I innocent because I was never caught? Would I be innocent if I was brought to trial now and said I couldn't remember even being there?

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Thu 06-Feb-14 22:04:09

Tuh, in my example, one twin is innocent and the other guilty - I think the group of attackers can act and be accused in concert.

I realise there is no such thing as proving innocence in court but in the example of Meep's friend, it wasn't the the evidence wasn't strong enough or wasn't there, there was active evidence that he could not be guilty. All three scenarios result in the same "not guilty" verdict though.

MeepMeepVrooooom Thu 06-Feb-14 22:04:50

used to be expressed as "leaves the court without a stain on his character

If only the latter was the truth of life after. He will live with it for the rest of his life. Regardless of the proof there will always be people who question it. People who for no other reason than their own amusement stick the boot it. He will live the rest of his life being called the worst names by people who barely know him. He will not leave the village he lived in because he was family there who need him. It's heartbreaking but it's true. Innocent people do have a permanent stain on their character, their life has been tarnished and there is nothing anyone can do about it.

I hate this innocent until proven guilty but if found not guilty many will accuse you of not being innocent attitude. It can affect someone so badly they don't see the point of living. And that is what I along with every member of my family see, it's not a mate, not with an ex colleague but a member of my family who I love with all my heart but who hates himself because of malicious lies and people who won't let the past go.

Tuhlulah Thu 06-Feb-14 22:06:19

Debris, I suspect you know this but to be guilty of a crime you have to have actually committed the act, and have had the intention to commit the act. So you must have intended to permanently deprive woolworths of the eraser.
What you remember now is not the issue, what matters is if at the time you knowingly took the rubber and intended to take the rubber.

MeepMeepVrooooom Thu 06-Feb-14 22:08:30

DebrisSlide

No because you were guilty. If you had PROOF you were in a different part of the country and didn't actually do it then yes you would be innocent even if found by a court to be guilty.

MeepMeepVrooooom Thu 06-Feb-14 22:09:24

But with you having admitted you did do it the latter wouldn't happen.

DebrisSlide Thu 06-Feb-14 22:13:51

As if I would admit it!

"M'lud, I don't remember being there on that day"

Meep, I know what you're saying. It doesn't really relate to anything much on this thread, though, does it? However hard your mate's situation has been.

Tuhlulah Thu 06-Feb-14 22:16:46

Meep, I have every sympathy with your friend. We have seen what can happen when innocent people are targeted by the press, never mind found guilty in court- I am thinking of the former school teacher in Brixton who was arrested for the murder of a young woman in his block of flats, and the peadophile who was murdered by the mob for an offence he didn't commit.
It must be dreadful. People kill themselves for less. Imagine being falsely accused of committing a child murder.
Do you remember Lindy Chamberlain, the Australian woman who served a prison sentence for the murder of her 7 day old baby Azaria? The press didn't like her because she was a 7th Day Adventist. She said the baby had been snatched from her tent by a dingo. The court found her guilty, but later the conviction was quashed and she was released when evidence emerged strong,y suggesting the baby had been snatched by dingos.

DebrisSlide Thu 06-Feb-14 22:18:54

Was your mate's comviction overturned, Meep? It should have been, from what you say. That's a very different scenario from what we are talking about.

MeepMeepVrooooom Thu 06-Feb-14 22:19:39

It does though. People can be found guilty and be innocent. People can be found not guilty and be innocent. People can be found not guilty and be guilty, people can be found not guilty and be guilty.

But to express your opinions of they could still be guilty publicly on someone who has been found not guilty is cruel. You don't know what happened so let the people who have been found not guilty and therefore in the eyes of the law are innocent men/women live their life.

The title says it all.... "Victim blaming". How about "alleged victim". If someone can't be innocent by being proven to be not guilty why is someone who potentially lied still being called a victim.

LizzieHexham Thu 06-Feb-14 22:28:35

Name change
There was a case in the 80s I think where a minor member of the aristocracy alleged she was raped by 4 men. All were acquitted and she was charged with perjury.

Her defence to the perjury charge was she was not lying, she had been raped. She was acquitted too as the Crown could not prove beyond reasonable doubt she was lying.

MeepMeepVrooooom Thu 06-Feb-14 22:35:15

It wasn't a mate it was a family member and no it wasn't immediately overturned because it had to be appealed. At the appeal I'm not exactly sure what happened because I wasn't there but he was released as a result of the appeal. I assume the original charge was quashed and I can't be certain but I am almost positive there was compensation involved. I was out of the country at this point.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Thu 06-Feb-14 22:55:35

OP this thread is prob not helping now. This link may be good:
thenewinquiry.com/blogs/zunguzungu/woody-allens-good-name/

NinjaPenguin Fri 07-Feb-14 00:12:02

I think YABU. I struggle with it as I was sexually abused (by my father and a close family friend) as a child, although both were convicted and sentenced during my childhood. I take it a innocent until proven guilty for everyone. So that is for the alleged victim too- they shouldn't be considered to be liars/etc; until proven so iyswim, they could well have actually believed it.

Piscivorus Fri 07-Feb-14 00:27:41

I am in 2 minds too.

I hate the idea of a victim not being believed and supported but also hate the idea of someone being subjected to a false allegation and presumed to be guilty regardless of a jury deciding they are not guilty because we have decided we should always believe every accusation.

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