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questions raised by the michael le vell case


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#41 ckn

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 01:29 PM

The thing with the "not proven" verdict is that it does leave a cloud of suspicion over you for the rest of your life. For some as horrendous as raping a six year old, this not something to be taken lightly. And if "beyond reasonable doubt" is not required then it's very easily inflicted.

I do understand your point but then surely a "not guilty" meaning innocent is better than a "not guilty" being so open to interpretation and definitely not meaning innocent..


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#42 ckn

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 01:36 PM

I'm not so sure that the proportion of feminist groups who genuinely believe 'all men are rapists' is that small though.

Their loud voices make them seem like a lot of people...

 

One of my university lecturers was very clearly in the mindset that men are all rapists who just haven't been convicted yet.  That was the worst module of my entire law degree, forced to study stuff about Catharine MacKinnon as if it were fact rather than opinion.


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#43 Johnoco

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 01:42 PM

Their loud voices make them seem like a lot of people....


Yeah but I base that on talking to many feminists. Not just hearing a debate on 5 Live or something.

#44 Martyn Sadler

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 03:00 PM

The thing with the "not proven" verdict is that it does leave a cloud of suspicion over you for the rest of your life. For some as horrendous as raping a six year old, this not something to be taken lightly. And if "beyond reasonable doubt" is not required then it's very easily inflicted.

 

I totally agree.

 

'Not Proven' strikes me as quite a sinister verdict, whereby you want to convict someone, but haven't the evidence. But you want to ensure he or she lives under a cloud of suspicion for the rest of their life.

 

'Not Guilty' isn't the same as 'Entirely Innocent' in its normal English meaning.

 

But the law regarding us as innocent until proven guilty is a tried and trusted formula.

 

Of course sexual crimes are particularly difficult, because they are often committed when only the defendant and the victim were present, with no other witnesses.

 

And that is why defendants should not have an automatic right to anonymity.

 

One accusation may be false, but the weight of evidence increases with the number of accusers.

 

In the Le Vell case there didn't appear to be any other accusers.



#45 Johnoco

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 03:08 PM

All it can take is one false accusation to ruin someones life.

#46 ckn

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 04:01 PM

All it can take is one false accusation to ruin someones life.

Yep.  There are plenty of people who think "no smoke without fire" and a simple "not guilty" will never convince them otherwise.


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#47 Maximus Decimus

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 06:21 PM

Yep. There are plenty of people who think "no smoke without fire" and a simple "not guilty" will never convince them otherwise.


I don't think there is anything wrong with the people that think this, and I don't think it's simply gossipy types. The reality is that in cases like this you will never know either way unless one of them says that they are lying.

Naturally there will be suspicion and that is what is so damaging about these claims if they are not true.

Edited by Maximus Decimus, 13 September 2013 - 06:29 PM.


#48 Johnoco

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 06:54 PM

I don't think there is anything wrong with the people that think this, and I don't think it'd simply gossipy types. The reality is that in cases like this you will never know either way unless one of them says that they are lying.

Naturally there will be suspicion and that is what is so damaging about these claims if they are not true.

There is nothing unusual about people assuming the worst. If someone was accused of being a rapist/paedophile, I would, rightly or wrongly, view them in a different light. As they would me.

This is why false accusations are so damaging.

#49 Marauder

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 07:57 PM

Even Joe Public has to live among other people. Anyone, however unknown has friends and family or a place of work. All which can be ruined by sexual misconduct claims - think of the 'no smoke without fire' stigma that lingers.

Simply bundling accusers together as some band of victims is not right. Many claims *are* malicious.

Correct


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#50 Marauder

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 08:01 PM

I wonder if it would have gone to court if he hadn't been a high profile actor.


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#51 Maximus Decimus

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 08:21 PM

Yeah but I base that on talking to many feminists. Not just hearing a debate on 5 Live or something.


I had no real opinion on radical feminists and didn't really believe that many existed until recently. There is a loose community of atheists/skeptics on the internet and this has been completely torn apart by feminists. As they look at everything through their narrow lens they unsurprisingly found the skeptic community was deeply misogynistic and used evidence such as internet comments as proof.

There is really no discussing with these people. Many people including myself think that there is nothing different about the skeptic community than any other and any problems, especially those on the internet, are representative of wider society. They have even attempted a breakaway atheism-plus, forcing atheists (with their one point of agreement) to accept a whole host of social issues including all the feminist jargon around patriarchy and privilege. The witch hunts are incredible, disagree with them and you face a ban and cries of misogynist. They have even created a block bot on twitter that automatically blocks swathes of people for 'trolling.'

#52 Dave T

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Posted 14 September 2013 - 10:35 AM

I wonder if it would have gone to court if he hadn't been a high profile actor.

why qouldn't it? are you suggesting people only get taken to court on rape charges if they are famous?

#53 Mumby Magic

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Posted 14 September 2013 - 01:36 PM

I find it strange that Le Vell has over riding support from all areas yet, Barrymore is vilified. Townsend and Kelly were never proven guilty and it keeps on cropping up as if they were paedohiles.


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#54 Maximus Decimus

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 04:57 PM

I find it strange that Le Vell has over riding support from all areas yet, Barrymore is vilified. Townsend and Kelly were never proven guilty and it keeps on cropping up as if they were paedohiles.

 

This is a very good point, I must admit I've found it a bit strange that he is now being portrayed as some sort of a hard done to hero. He hasn't after all been proven innocent.

 

However, I think there are differences between the 3 that you mentioned. Even though all were cleared there was still some uncomfortable details about the cases that still create suspicion to this day.

 

A person died at Barrymore's house even if he wasn't involved in it. Townsend admitted to downloading child porn but claimed it was research and Kelly had a holiday home in a notorious area frequented by western paedophiles. Le Vell faced an accusation but there hasn't really been anything aside from that to put suspicion on him, it was one person's word against another and almost no other details have made it into the press.

 

All 3 may be innocent and MLV might be the only guilty one but I think those extra details have led to a reluctance to consider them fully innocent. I also think that personality and a little bit of homophobia comes into it especially in the circumstances of Barrymore and the fact that Kelly is camp.


Edited by Maximus Decimus, 15 September 2013 - 04:59 PM.


#55 Marauder

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 05:25 PM

why qouldn't it? are you suggesting people only get taken to court on rape charges if they are famous?

No I'm suggesting a added pressure would have be put onto the CPS for the case to go to court because of his high profile status.

 

 

Jails are full of rule 43 none famous people who have been convicted of such crimes.


Edited by Marauder, 15 September 2013 - 05:30 PM.

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#56 Northern Sol

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 11:17 PM

This is a very good point, I must admit I've found it a bit strange that he is now being portrayed as some sort of a hard done to hero. He hasn't after all been proven innocent.
 
However, I think there are differences between the 3 that you mentioned. Even though all were cleared there was still some uncomfortable details about the cases that still create suspicion to this day.
 
A person died at Barrymore's house even if he wasn't involved in it. Townsend admitted to downloading child porn but claimed it was research and Kelly had a holiday home in a notorious area frequented by western paedophiles. Le Vell faced an accusation but there hasn't really been anything aside from that to put suspicion on him, it was one person's word against another and almost no other details have made it into the press.
 
All 3 may be innocent and MLV might be the only guilty one but I think those extra details have led to a reluctance to consider them fully innocent. I also think that personality and a little bit of homophobia comes into it especially in the circumstances of Barrymore and the fact that Kelly is camp.


With Barrymore, the added factor is that he has been less than helpful to the police inquiry and generally rather casual about the whole thing "So yeah someone died in my pool but what about my career!?! I'm a victim too".

He may not have been found guilty of anything (or even charged) but he came out of looking really scummy. Not really a good thing in a "family entertainer". Nobody really wants to laugh any more.

Edited by Northern Sol, 16 September 2013 - 11:20 PM.


#57 Derwent

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 07:32 AM

 

No I'm suggesting a added pressure would have be put onto the CPS for the case to go to court because of his high profile status.


Or maybe it was because of the circumstances and who the accuser was (although we aren't allowed to talk about who she was even though it is widely known) ? It appeared at face value that she had very little to gain from making such accusations if they weren't true, I can completely understand why the CPS saw fit to charge him under the circumstances.
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#58 gingerjon

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 08:18 AM

 

Or maybe it was because of the circumstances and who the accuser was (although we aren't allowed to talk about who she was even though it is widely known) ? 

 

Well, it wasn't by me but the later pages of google do help.


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#59 Amber Avenger

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 02:48 PM

One thing I’ve been thinking about in the whole “defendant has anonymity” situation; if that had been applied in this case, do you think once they got wind of it, the tabloids would risk contempt of court regardless of the consequences for the risk of a sales boost? In fact if anyone got wind it was someone who was well known, it would soon spread sharpish regardless as things tend to do these days.


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