These legal sanctions must be supported by all those who demand that women who lie about being rape victims must face legal sanctions. Both are rape lies and in both cases the liar is claiming to be a victim when that person is a perpetrator. The main difference is that this man is also in the set of violent perpetrators.
For 25 years, Huntley Ruff claimed he wasn’t the rapist who attacked a guest at a downtown Kansas City hotel. And after a long court battle, the Missouri Supreme Court last summer ordered the DNA testing that Ruff argued would prove his innocence.
Turns out he shouldn’t have bothered.
Jackson County prosecutors announced Friday that the testing Ruff sought has confirmed his conviction, and they are now seeking legal sanctions against him for filing what they say was a frivolous motion.
According to prosecutors, the testing of genetic material that had been preserved since 1984 showed that the odds of somebody else other than Ruff having been the donor were one in 103.7 quadrillion.
“It’s frustrating to use the financial resources for a defendant who clearly knows he’s guilty,” said Jackson County Prosecutor Jim Kanatzar.
If the lies of a woman who fraudulently claims to be a rape victim harm real rape victims then this man's lies harm men who are real victims of wrongful identification.
The disappointment from Ellen Suni, dean of the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law, who represented Ruff in his appeals shows that she missed the main point of these results. Her efforts paid off. The forensic evidence was tested and the results are in.
If she's disappointed in anything it should be that she was suckered into believing that an inmate's consistent denial of guilt and convincing manner are evidence in themselves.
This result is good since it provides important evidence. To view this result as disappointing because the result upholds the accuracy and honesty of a rape victim who may have felt tainted by 25 years of false allegations against her shows that Suni lost perspective. There is a disturbing backlash against rape victims who are seen as being a party to a wrongful conviction.
Just as prosecutors should be seeking the truth rather than a conviction, those who take on the cases of convicted felons should be seeking the truth rather than working with the goal of overturning a conviction.
A previous story in the Kansas City Star by Laura Bauer looked at the statistics in this type of DNA testing.
I disagree with Warden. This is news if what you are seeking is the truth no matter what that truth might be. By choosing not to send a press release when a client is reconfirmed as guilty, Warden is choosing to uphold a false and deceptive image of our criminal justice system. This false image can falsely undermine the credibility of criminal trials which don't have forensic evidence.
In an era of DNA exonerations, where headlines scream of wrongful convictions and photos highlight vindicated inmates leaving prison, these aren’t the results destined for a made-for-TV movie.
Not as much is heard about the inmates who plead for DNA testing — and get it — knowing full well they’re guilty. “We’re obviously not going to put out a press release when we ask for DNA tests for somebody and it comes back nailing them,” said Rob Warden, executive director of the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Chicago’s Northwestern University School of Law. “It’s not news when the criminal justice system operates the way it’s supposed to.”
From later in the story about the rate of exonerations:
In the last five years, The Innocence Project out of New York exonerated 43 percent of the inmates whose DNA it tested. But almost as many inmates — 42 percent — had their convictions confirmed. The tests couldn’t exclude them.This ratio is important news. Consistent claims of innocence can come from those who are innocent and they can come from those who are guilty. Neither possibility should be ignored.