Monday, April 03, 2006

Defense attorney asserts that alleged rape victims have an unfair advantage

A statement repeatedly made by some who see members of the Duke University Lacrosse team as potential victims of a setup is as follows: Men accused of rape cannot hope for true justice.

But this assertion doesn't match the statistics on rape convictions or the statistics on the percentages of rapes that are never reported. These types of assertions have been backed up by a variety of data analysis.

What about the argument that the justice system impedes justice for alleged rapists?

The closest I've come to the source of this argument is a blog entry dated Aug. 17, 2003 that quotes from a Los Angeles Times op-ed titled Rape Suspects' Uphill Road written by defense attorney Barry Tarlow.

Now I agree that defense attorneys are necessary for our system of justice, but even the best of them can't be taken as impartial experts since their job is to get their clients acquitted. Not just their innocent clients, but all their clients. To help them do this, they want the rules to favor them and if they are really skillful, they will try to convince all of us they only want what's fair.

In the op-ed piece, the defense attorney uses the then-active Kobe Bryant case to show that the alleged victim and the prosecutor have huge advantages over the defendant. However, the outcome of his perfect example blows his theory out of the water.

Note to those who think alleged rape victims have all the advantages: no one was arrested for plotting to kill Kobe Bryant over this case, but someone was charged for plotting to kill his alleged victim. If that's an advantage, I'll stick with being an underdog like Kobe.
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posted by Marcella Chester @ 1:08 PM   0 comments links to this post


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