There is really no excuse, given the facts of the case, for not presenting it to a grand jury. The only exception I can think of is if the Defendants’ lawyers were smart enough to have their clients polygraphed, they passed, and this information was then presented to the DA.I wrote in response:
This may be effective for the defense, but it says nothing about effective justice. As this case shows and as the title of this [Pandagon] post highlights, at least one man present didn't view what was being done as rape. He and many others very likely could pass a polygraph test even when they witnessed or committed rape.
That twisting of sexual assault into something the victim did to herself is appallingly common. People talk about a victim provoking rape for a variety of reasons that excuse rape (short skirt, drinking alcohol, walking alone, etc.) and blame that victim while having not a single negative word for that person's rapist.
What would be interesting is if there were questions on the polygraphs which described a variety of situations where a sex crime has been committed, including the alleged actions in that case, and which asked the person taking the lie detector test, "In that scenario was a crime committed?"
I suspect the rapists would say no on their scenario and possibly other scenarios and they would be evaluated as giving a truthful answer.
A polygraph measures belief, not truth. (end of my Pandagon comment)
The Local Crank also wrote:
In fact, some DA’s offices routinely require the VICTIM to take a polygraph before proceeding on certain cases.This statement seemed to be made to show that those DA's are helping see justice done in rape cases, but I think this "routine" move supports rape and can in fact lead to a false conclusion that a real rape victim has lied.
Too many people shrug this problem off as if it were nothing. But it isn't nothing and it sends the message that those asking for a routine polygraph have clearly aligned themselves with the alleged rapist in opposition to the alleged victim.
Think about the number of times when people refuse to call certain rape victims innocent victims. Think about all of the systematic blaming and shaming of victims and the refusal to believe that certain alleged rapists could possibly be guilty based simply on who they are. Routinely asking alleged rape victims to take a polygraph reinforces victim blaming and sends a message that law enforcement routinely doesn't believe rape victims.
Polygraphs have been shown to be a tool which can be misused to increase the number of false confessions -- and a false retraction is no different than a false confession. If a polygraph of the victim happens before a thorough investigation of all of the available evidence, that's a recipe for injustice against those who have already endured one or more assaults.
Frankly, if something like this is to be acceptable as routine, it must be routine in all types of crimes. That polygraphs of alleged victims isn't routine across the board shows a real bigotry against rape victims and a willingness to scare rape victims away from cooperating with police.
Yet the rape victim gets blamed when the relationship between the victim and law enforcement breaks down.
If those asking for a polygraph succeed at scaring victims into not cooperating or the polygraph is misused to falsely label a real victim as a false accuser then those people who claim to be working to see justice done are in fact working against justice when it comes to rape.
Labels: defense excuses