Friday, June 29, 2007

Man Who Confessed Via Text Message Acquitted

There is another case where bias and stupidity rules.

The jury heard that Mr Forbes sent a series of text messages and a letter to the woman telling her that his guilt over what he had done was "slowly eating me alive".

Basically, the man confessed but because the woman had consensual sex with this man a week earlier and couldn't testify with absolute certainty that she hadn't mumbled yes after falling asleep on top of the bed fully dressed except for her shoes, the judge threw the case out.

The line of questions that defense attorneys are allowed to use against alleged victims who wake up to find someone using their body exploits unconsciousness the same way rapists do.

Can anyone imagine this line of questioning directed toward a man who woke up as someone he thought was a friend removed his Rolex and let his arm drop? If this alleged victim gave that friend a watch the week before does it make it credible that this alleged victim was truly giving legal consent for his friend to take his watch from his wrist and to keep it?

Do we really believe that a fully conscious decision to do something or to give something looks anything like unconscious or semi-conscious passiveness when that something is being done to you or taken from you?

With the logic used by this judge in this case as long as someone can get you to mumble yes in your sleep or you can't testify that you didn't mumble yes in your sleep, that person has gained your legal consent for whatever they want from you. Your testimony of waking up mid-crime will be less than meaningless.

But we, and judges like this one most likely, immediately understand the flaw in this logic when what's been taken is a watch or cash or an expensive leather coat or a piece of electronics.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 8:48 AM   0 comments links to this post

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