Sunday, July 08, 2007

Murder Plot Against Witness In Upcoming Rape Trial

What's scariest about this case is that it could easily have gone undetected until the witness either disappeared or was found murdered.

A Philadelphia man in state prison for theft now faces a much more serious charge: Attempting to arrange a murder. Anthony M. Day, due to be released in a little more than two weeks from State Correctional Institution-Somerset, is accused of trying to plan for the killing of a witness in an upcoming rape case against him.

Too many people still talk about those who report rape as people who are given too much support and too much protection. Too many people still talk about those who report rape as people who don't face enough challenges before their report is taken seriously and people who should face greater penalties if the criminal justice system decides they are liars or cannot find evidence to back up the alleged rape victim's claim.

The bottom line is that too many people still help rapists by actively minimizing the trauma of most rapes and by deliberately ignoring or increasing the trauma that comes from reporting rape.

Until the criminal justice system works for rape victims (no matter when they report the crime), aggressive movements to reduce what people assume to be false reports of rape only serve to treat all alleged rape victims as potential criminals which aids and abets rapists.

If we are supposed to view all alleged rape victims with deep suspicion then it must be doubly true of those who are pushing for greater sanctions against those who report rape. Maybe they aren't acting out of any desire for true justice. Maybe true justice for all rape victims is the last thing some of these people want.

It would be interesting if all of these people faced the same scrutiny they want directed at those who report rape before any of their recommendations would be considered. Let's put them through the gauntlet they are designing for rape victims and see how many of them are deemed to be criminal or non-credible or without supporting evidence.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 9:40 AM   0 comments links to this post

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