Thursday, January 21, 2010

Disregarding Probable Cause

In the comments of my post Feminists Alleged False Accusation Against False Rape Society a man using the id slwerner wrote in part:

Now, while there is a likelihood that the man being accused did assault and rape his wife. No one associated with the FRS denies such evil and criminal men exist. Yet, just because there exists a likelihood that a crime has actually occurred, there is no way for officers arriving on the scene to be sure. There is also a possibility that the woman was making a false claim in order to get her husband into serious trouble, for instance, to gain the upper-hand in her plans to divorce him.
What slwerner disregards in this statement is probable cause.

From 'Lectric Law Library:
PROBABLE CAUSE - A reasonable belief that a person has committed a crime. The test the court of appeals employs to determine whether probable cause existed for purposes of arrest is whether facts and circumstances within the officer's knowledge are sufficient to warrant a prudent person to believe a suspect has committed, is committing, or is about to commit a crime. [...]

When there are grounds for suspicion that a person has committed a crime or misdemeanor, and public justice and the good of the community require that the matter should be examined, there is said to be a probable cause for making a charge against the accused, however malicious the intention of the accuser may have been. And probable cause will be presumed till the contrary appears.
Slwerner's statement admits that there were grounds for suspicion that this husband committed a crime which means there was probable cause. However, this probable cause is supposed to be ignored because of generic speculation about vindictive wives plotting their divorce strategies. No evidence of this possible plot is required for slwerner to demand that it be treated as if it were actual evidence which should impact the handling of the case.

This is a demand for bigotry to prevail. But those who make this demand try to spin their bigotry into nothing more than a support of an unbiased response.

Addendum: If probable cause exists when someone is arrested the probable cause behind this arrest does not suddenly cease to exist if the prosecutors decide there isn't enough evidence to prove the suspect's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt or if evidence is later found or presented which clears the suspect.

So when people try to use the outcome of a case as proof that there was no probable cause for the arrest, their alleged proof is meaningless.


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posted by Marcella Chester @ 10:38 AM   2 comments links to this post


At January 22, 2010 6:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's also worth noting that in the case discussed in that thread, the alleged perpetrator was in the house with the alleged victim, and would remain so unless removed. So if there was probable cause for an arrest, there was also reasonable suspicion of continued danger.


At January 22, 2010 11:34 PM, Anonymous m Andrea said...

We are asked to believe that during divorce proceedings, ONLY the female is ever likely to behave maliciously. So it's obvious that the MRA's true concern is that "innocent until proven guilty" only applies to men.

But even if the mere existence of an impending divorce were to mean that we should assume anything, then it stands to reason we should assume BOTH parties have motivation to be malicious.

Unfortunately it just so happens that men tend to possess both an entitlement mentality and a greater propensity for violence.


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