Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Duke Rape Case: accuser shield laws

Tucker Carlson of MSNBC has a personal stake in wanting the removal of rape victim shield laws.

On the April 18 edition of The Situation with Tucker Carlson, he argued vigorously against Susan Filan, a former prosecutor, that the name of alleged victim in the Duke lacrosse rape case should be made public information. But passionate argument doesn't make his position right or well reasoned.

Mr. Carlson also admitted that he had been falsely accused of rape 3 years ago. Charges were never brought against him because he and the alleged victim, a viewer who apparently suffers from mental illness, had never met and no evidence existed to support the claim. It was interesting to note that he hired the same attorney hired by a group of Duke supporters when that accusation came in.

What Mr. Carlson forgets is that while his situation is representative of false rape allegations, it was not representative of the majority of rape cases. But because of his situation (likely a variation of celebrity stalking) he sees false rape accusers everywhere and cannot comprehend the harm that would be caused to rape victims if the shield laws were removed.

Look at how much hatred has been directed at this alleged victim even though there is physical evidence to support her allegations. There are people out there who are doing everything they can to destroy her and the harm is only mitigated by the shield laws. Remember the Kobe Bryant case? Someone tried to put out a hit on her. How will Mr. Carlson feel if an unshielded rape victim is murdered?

Oops?

Rape is a crime where even when the charges are proven in a court of law, people regularly blame the victim for the crime and for destroying lives of 'decent' men. Many times legitimate rape cases don't result in jury trials or convictions so the rapists are viewed as innocent (even if they're not) while the victims are viewed as the real perpetrators.

And Mr. Carlson wants everyone and anyone to know these victims' names. Including those who see the victims who didn't get justice as easy prey because they aren't likely to be believed if they yell "rape!" again.

Mr. Carlson says he's for justice, but without the shield laws, justice will be nearly impossible for many true rape victims. but Mr. Carlson isn't as passionate about justice for rape victims as he is for accused rapists.

One in six American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape.

Every two and a half minutes, somewhere in America, someone is sexually assaulted and 10% of sexual assault victims aren't female so if you think being a man makes you immune to rape, think again.

I won't claim to be an unbiased observer in this debate, I'm one of the many who was raped and didn't come forward out of fear of being blamed and called the types of names 'good' people are calling the alleged victim in the Duke lacrosse rape case.

Just to make my position perfectly clear: Say no to the removal of the shield laws that protect rape victims.

Update:
Alas, a blog discusses whether shield laws should also apply to alleged criminals until they are convicted.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 1:25 PM   2 comments links to this post

2 Comments:

At April 21, 2006 8:52 AM, Blogger mlr710 said...

Let me get this straight.......Tucker Carlson used his case, which lets be clear, this WAS celebrity stalking....as a comparison to support revealing the identity of every person that alledges rape?? That bowtie is clearly too tight and preventing oxygen from getting to his brain.

 
At April 26, 2006 3:52 PM, Blogger doug said...

I agree with you. A rape victim's name should never be made public. And an alleged rape victim's name should only be made public if her claim can be proved false.

However, as a skeptic in the Duke case, I can understand where people are coming from. Two (young) men have had their lives ruined. They may be guilty. But they may not. Nevertheless, their identities are out in public now, forever tainted.

So when you say:

Look at how much hatred has been directed at this alleged victim even though there is physical evidence to support her allegations.

You ignore that there is no physical evidence that connects either of these two men to the alleged rape. None. In fact, one of them seems to have a pretty strong alibi (with physical evidence to back it up)...unless he committed the rape in the back of a cab.

I believe that people are thinking: "These Duke players are having their lives destroyed without any sort of consequences for this stripper who (it appears) is falsely accusing them."

But from my point of view, people who want the accuser's name released at this point are (a) misguided, or (b) acting in bad faith.

The fact of the matter is that we, the public, don't have enough information to categorically condemn the players nor do have sufficient evidence to dismiss the charges of the alleged victim as false. Hence, releasing her name would be a grave mistake.

 

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