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Debates Forum

  1. Joined
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    23 Jun '17 15:29
    Originally posted by Rank outsider
    I can't comment on that, but that seems like a deficiency in the US system which is not best resolved by arbitrarily putting a shelf-life on a prosecution.
    Isn't the issue of consent often little more then the testimony of the parties (especially if the victim doesn't come forward in a timely manner)?
  2. Germany
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    23 Jun '17 15:40
    Originally posted by sh76
    Seems completely unworkable and ill-advised to me.

    Just a few of the myriads of reasons:

    1. The settlement negotiations would simply take place before the suit is filed when the plaintiff threatens to sue.
    2. Court dockets wouldn't be able to handle that kind of stress.
    3. It would be almost impossible to enforce since the plaintiff could simply drop th ...[text shortened]... ssed outright as tradeoffs for non-financial consideration, such as the waiving of other claims.
    1. Make it a crime to purchase dropping of lawsuits through bribes.
    2. ?
    3. The government should already "snoop around" to fight tax evasion. Yes, if someone just magically got paid ten million dollars from someone for no apparent reason, the government should know about it. Apart from that, see 1.
    4. How is that? When the legal action isn't over the hope for a financial payoff through settlement, the legal action will be over an actual legal dispute. People should not be able to bribe people into dropping their lawsuits when they are being wronged; this leads to class justice (an exception of course would be the case where the dispute is over an actual payment that one party demands).
    5. And?
  3. Joined
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    23 Jun '17 16:40
    Originally posted by sh76
    Your argument sounds good in a vacuum, but when a victim comes forward with no hard corroborating evidence but with psychologist reports that s/he was likely abused and some peripheral circumstantial evidence such as alone time with the accused and maybe some gifts received from the accused, judging futility becomes extremely difficult. Prosecutors are under t ...[text shortened]... olitical pressure to bring these types of cases to trial and you never know what a jury will do.
    "never know what a jury will do"
    so that's why you don't bring a potential rape case to trial? because you don't know what juries would do? isn't that the whole freakin point of juries?
  4. Joined
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    23 Jun '17 16:501 edit
    Originally posted by Zahlanzi
    "never know what a jury will do"
    so that's why you don't bring a potential rape case to trial? because you don't know what juries would do? isn't that the whole freakin point of juries?
    If you know a case has a structural problem such as excessive passing of time you don't allow the jury to consider it. It is no different from denying the jury prejudicial information or illegally obtained information.
  5. Joined
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    23 Jun '17 17:01
    Originally posted by sh76
    23 seems about right. That gives a victim 5 years after turning adult to come forward. Since most of these cases are fundamentally "he said - he said" and the defendant's reputation is often ruined regardless of the outcome of the trial, I think there's a strong public policy interest in ensuring that these are settled as close in time to the events as reasonab ...[text shortened]... , the victim cannot come forward, I'm okay with there being no statute of limitations on murder.
    "23 seems about right. That gives a victim 5 years after turning adult to come forward."
    yeah! as we all know, 18 is the exact moments all humans turn adult. well, the kind of adult that can go die in your wars. not the kind that is trusted to buy alcohool.
    but you're right, someone who went through trauma has more than enough time until 23 to get support from friends, to decide if he wants to go through with a rape trial, to decide if people will believe him/her, if they will side with the rapist (who often is a person in a position of power and very respected in the community)

    "the defendant's reputation is often ruined regardless of the outcome of the trial"
    oh, gosh, we wouldn't want to inconvenience a rapist, now, would we.

    the "reputation" of the defendant being ruined is the fault of the community. not the legal system's. if a crime has been committed, the victim has the right to report it whenever they feel like it, with the caveat that the evidence might not be sufficient after a time. but not lose the right entirely after a randomly chosen period of time.


    "50 is just plain ridiculous."
    for civil cases. not criminal cases. and it's still a matter of going through a civil trial, as usual.


    "Do you really want middle aged adults suddenly coming forward and saying "I was molested in 1974" "
    bloody yes. especially since we know how we treat rape victims TODAY. especially since we know how many rape cases go unreported TODAY. i am sure we treat them even worse then.
    it's not your job to decide if there is a case. it's not a politician's job to decide if there is a case, mr small government. it's a judge's job. a prosecutor's job. in your case, a jury's
  6. Zugzwang
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    23 Jun '17 19:111 edit
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra to Sh76
    Abolish the possibility of settling lawsuits through financial settlements.
    Problem solved.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limitation_Act_1980

    "The Limitation Act 1980 (c. 58)[1] is a British Act of Parliament applicable only to England and Wales.
    It is a statute of limitations which provides timescales within which action may be taken
    (by issuing a claim form) for breaches of the law. For example, it provides that breaches
    of an ordinary contract are actionable for six years after the event[2] whereas breaches
    of a deed are actionable for twelve years after the event."
  7. Zugzwang
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    23 Jun '17 19:13
    Originally posted by Rank outsider to Quackquack
    Do you believe this should apply to all crimes? Do you believe that there should be a period of time after which a murderer should not be capable of being prosecuted due to the elapse of time?
    Would Quackquack oppose the prosecution of alleged Nazi war criminals for crimes that happened decades ago?
  8. Zugzwang
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    23 Jun '17 19:263 edits
    Originally posted by Rank outsider to Quackquack
    If it was simply a case of 'he said, she said' then the 'beyond reasonable doubt' test would have
    no realistic chance of being met and, under UK practice, the case would never get to court.
    So no problem.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jessie_Gilbert

    Jessie Gilbert (1987-2006) was a British chess player, who accused her father of raping her.
    Even after her death, Ian Gilbert was put on trial in an essentially 'he said / she said' case.

    "On 7 November 2006 the prosecution played a tape recording of Jessica in interview with Surrey police.
    She told officers of the first attack by her father when she was eight: "I was asleep and
    he sat on my bed and I woke up. He didn’t say anything. I did not scream or anything
    because he had his hand over my mouth and I was really scared." She said there were
    at least another eight such attacks over the next five years. She also told the officers her
    father tried to strangle her by wrapping a computer lead around her neck, and would
    walk into the bathroom at their home in Woldingham while she was showering."

    Ian Gilbert was acquitted. As far as I know, Jessie Gilbert's mother and sisters still
    believe that he really did rape her and have shunned him ever since.

    I would add that a jury may find in a 'he said / she said' case that the defendant and the
    alleged victim are not equally credible. If a nun accused a previously convicted rapist of
    raping her, then would not a jury tend to find her more credible?
  9. Subscriberno1marauder
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    25 Jun '17 15:54
    Originally posted by Rank outsider
    If it was simply a case of 'he said, she said' then the 'beyond reasonable doubt' test would have no realistic chance of being met and, under UK practice, the case would never get to court.

    So no problem.
    I don't think your statement is accurate. Looking at this page which discusses UK rape and other sexual crime laws, it certainly seems like there is plenty of ground for he said/she said cases. For example:

    Did the defendant believe the complainant consented? This relates to his or her personal capacity to evaluate consent (the subjective element of the test).

    If so, did the defendant reasonably believe it? It will be for the jury to decide if his or her belief was reasonable (the objective element).

    http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/p_to_r/rape_and_sexual_offences/consent/

    In general, I am in agreement with sh76's posts and do not see a compelling reason for an extension of the already lengthy statute of limitations for these types of crime.
  10. Subscriberno1marauder
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    25 Jun '17 16:02
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jessie_Gilbert

    Jessie Gilbert (1987-2006) was a British chess player, who accused her father of raping her.
    Even after her death, Ian Gilbert was put on trial in an essentially 'he said / she said' case.

    "On 7 November 2006 the prosecution played a tape recording of Jessica in interview with Surrey police.
    She told of ...[text shortened]... reviously convicted rapist of
    raping her, then would not a jury tend to find her more credible?
    Deciding on witness credibility is the jury's job. It has been held many times that credible testimony from a victim or other witness can be sufficient to convict a defendant "beyond a reasonable doubt".
  11. Subscriberno1marauder
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    25 Jun '17 16:19
    Here's an article arguing that we should do away with the "beyond reasonable doubt" standard in criminal rape cases and replace it with the civil "preponderance of evidence" standard. https://aeon.co/ideas/why-rape-cases-should-not-be-subject-to-reasonable-doubt

    Any takers? The article makes some decent points about the difficulty of convicting alleged rapists (though it omits that rape cases that do go to trial have comparable conviction rates to other major crimes) pointing out:

    Conviction rates for sexual assault against women are shockingly low, to the extent that, even in a developed nation such as the United Kingdom, only 6 per cent of rape allegations result in a conviction, a far lower rate than for any other violent crime.

    On the other hand, do you really want to send people to prison for potentially decades based on the this criteria:

    If a woman’s testimony provides a stronger reason to believe that she did not give consent, this should be enough.
  12. Standard membersh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
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    25 Jun '17 18:58
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    Here's an article arguing that we should do away with the "beyond reasonable doubt" standard in criminal rape cases and replace it with the civil "preponderance of evidence" standard. https://aeon.co/ideas/why-rape-cases-should-not-be-subject-to-reasonable-doubt

    Any takers? The article makes some decent points about the difficulty of convicting allege ...[text shortened]... mony provides a stronger reason to believe that she did not give consent, this should be enough.
    Maybe it's because I "grew up" under our system, but to me, the idea of lowering the standard of proof in any criminal case (though especially in the case of a felony punishable by many years in prison) is horrifying.

    Send someone to prison for a decade because a jury thought the evidence was slightly more favorable to the prosecution than a coin flip? Yikes!
  13. Joined
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    25 Jun '17 19:07
    Originally posted by sh76
    Maybe it's because I "grew up" under our system, but to me, the idea of lowering the standard of proof in any criminal case (though especially in the case of a felony punishable by many years in prison) is horrifying.

    Send someone to prison for a decade because a jury thought the evidence was slightly more favorable to the prosecution than a coin flip? Yikes!
    you do not lower the standard of proof. how is this so hard to get?

    a prosecutor still has to make a case, with an added difficulty of proving the evidence stands despite the time passed.


    ugh, i think i have to give an example, draw you a picture.

    the rapist films the victims. has a ton of vhs tapes of said rapes, plural. they end up 20 years later in the hands of the victim, through legal enough means that the poor rapist can't scream that his rights have been trampled.
    can the now 24 year old victim press charges? with these tapes in hand? does he/she have a case?
  14. Joined
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    25 Jun '17 19:08
    Originally posted by sh76
    Maybe it's because I "grew up" under our system, but to me, the idea of lowering the standard of proof in any criminal case (though especially in the case of a felony punishable by many years in prison) is horrifying.

    Send someone to prison for a decade because a jury thought the evidence was slightly more favorable to the prosecution than a coin flip? Yikes!
    in other news, you basically admit that juries cannot be trusted in difficult cases.
  15. Standard membersh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
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    28 Jun '17 12:28
    Originally posted by Zahlanzi
    you do not lower the standard of proof. how is this so hard to get?

    a prosecutor still has to make a case, with an added difficulty of proving the evidence stands despite the time passed.


    ugh, i think i have to give an example, draw you a picture.

    the rapist films the victims. has a ton of vhs tapes of said rapes, plural. they end up 20 years la ...[text shortened]... can the now 24 year old victim press charges? with these tapes in hand? does he/she have a case?
    You obviously didn't bother to read that post I was responding to.

    No surprise there, but maybe go back and actually read No1's post and you'll see what I was referring to.

    To your "point" (and I use that term loosely), statute of limitations laws often have exceptions where the perpetrator concealed evidence. Those general rules should be applied to sexual assault cases to the same extent they apply to robbery or arson or any other crime.
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