Besides the call to prejudge this case, there's something else off about these comments.
These people claim to be experts on credibility and evidence yet they hide their identities. For those who are opposed to rape shield laws or who think it is okay for people to reveal this alleged rape victim's identity, this refusal to reveal their own true, legal identities is interesting to say the least.
I know that at least one anonymous commenter is behaving unethically because he let me know he's been leaving comments on other blogs in my name that directly contradict my beliefs. He may think that makes him clever, but it just makes him unethical and untrustworthy. And that rubs off on all those he defends.
As the saying goes with friends like that ...
How do I know whether any of these so-called objective observers aren't paid to spread their message throughout the blogosphere or aren't family or friends of the defendants or their teammates?
Getting paid secretly for writing in the blogosphere has been done and raises serious ethical questions. It raises even greater questions if it is being done to prejudice the public against an alleged victim in a specific criminal case. If there aren't ethics rules that address this type of behavior there needs to be. Defending alleged rapists should be based on evidence not character assassination.
The other aspect of credibility was raised yet again in a comment over at Alas.
This woman is NOT worth defending, and she has hurt the credability (sic) of other rape victims.
And I wrote in response:
If you really believe this full sentence then you don’t believe in evidence. But then you are asking us to judge this case based on news stories which often have as a major source the defense teams.
If you really believed the logic behind this sentence then you would be doing everything possible to stop men from raping since it is the men who do rape who hurt the credibility of men falsely accused of rape.
But somehow women accused of lying about rape are worse than rapists. Very convenient for those defending alleged rapists.
There's also something disturbing in saying that this alleged rape victim is not worth defending considering she has been accused of committing a crime by reporting rape. I believe Slumpyb would be horrified at the suggestion that any alleged rapist isn't worth defending and should be tried and found guilty by the public.
Yet he has no problem doing just that to alleged rape victims. How ethical is that?
When people demonstrate a willingness to be unethical, directly or indirectly, they demonstrate that they are not worthy of the slightest bit of trust in what they say.
Technorati tags: rape crime politics sexual violence sexual assault feminism