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bedlam breakout

questions raised by the michael le vell case

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Warm up the tar whilst I fetch the feathers.

That is exactly the attitude of many feminist groups.

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That is exactly the attitude of many feminist groups.

There are plenty of feminists on here and I've seen no evidence of that attitude. Which groups have issued statements implying that that is their attitude in this case?

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That article wgave an excellent summary of online debate. Far too many people will decide without any real knowledge of the situation.

Both extremes are as bad as each other. The feminists who see all men as potential rapists help contribute to the uncaring attitude from some in these cases, as does their muddying of the waters around what constitutes rape. There are a number of feminists that will state that a man cannot in any circumstance have sex with a 'drunk' woman without it being rape as she cannot give her consent. Well if that's the case I've been raped many times! To me this undermines the far more serious cases of rape that occur by men (or women) that know full well what they are doing.

I've no idea whether Le Vell is guilty or not but the the #ibelieveher hashtag is ludicrous in my opinion.

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There are plenty of feminists on here and I've seen no evidence of that attitude. Which groups have issued statements implying that that is their attitude in this case?

Technically I'm a feminist but I think there is an understanding that when people say 'feminist' they usually mean the radical feminists.

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Technically I'm a feminist but I think there is an understanding that when people say 'feminist' they usually mean the radical feminists.

So perhaps it would be wise not to quote a very small proportion of a group as representative of the overwhelming majority.

Muslims are terrorists, Scousers are funny etc.

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So perhaps it would be wise not to quote a very small proportion of a group as representative of the overwhelming majority.

Muslims are terrorists, Scousers are funny etc.

It's similar to the term atheists for me. There are many atheists that just don't believe in God but when the media or people reference 'atheists' they generally mean outspoken atheists. It's the same with feminists, most people IMO are feminists but there are those who self-identify as feminists and these are often the radical sort.

Personally I usually would use the term radfems when talking about it.

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It's similar to the term atheists for me. There are many atheists that just don't believe in God but when the media or people reference 'atheists' they generally mean outspoken atheists. It's the same with feminists, most people IMO are feminists but there are those who self-identify as feminists and these are often the radical sort.

Personally I usually would use the term radfems when talking about it.

 

Well that is misusing the term. It's like saying the term Christian refers to just those right-wing bigots who seem to despise most of humanity for one reason or another. A feminist is someone who believes women to be the equal of men. An atheist is someone who does not believe in God. Although extreme examples of feminists and atheists do exist they should not be allowed to define the terms.

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Well that is misusing the term. It's like saying the term Christian refers to just those right-wing bigots who seem to despise most of humanity for one reason or another. A feminist is someone who believes women to be the equal of men. An atheist is someone who does not believe in God. Although extreme examples of feminists and atheists do exist they should not be allowed to define the terms.

You're preaching to the converted but it's the reality of how many use them. Criticising people for using terms that are already widely in use is a bit pedantic IMO.

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I agree with most of that.

 

I really don't get all the black/white conclusions being drawn on this.  In short, a jury found at least reasonable doubt that he did the crimes as charged, they didn't, and couldn't, find him "innocent".

 

I much prefer the Scottish system where there's a verdict of "not proven" available as well.  Historically, "not guilty" in Scotland means the jury find you innocent whereas "not proven" means that there was a reasonable doubt in the minds of the jury but not enough of one to be conclusive as to the innocence of the accused.  Both are acquittals, one means that the accused cannot go around saying he was innocent though.  I think it would be a good alternative verdict for rape trials where it makes it less black and white, a "not guilty" gives innocence to the accused, a "guilty" validates the accuser and a "not proven" means the accused cannot go around calling the accuser a liar while the accuser cannot go around calling the accused a rapist.

So Levell can or cant say he was found innocent and can say I am innocent?

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So Levell can or cant say he was found innocent and can say I am innocent?

You cannot say he was "found innocent" because it would be untrue. He wasn't. He was found "not guilty".

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You cannot say he was "found innocent" because it would be untrue. He wasn't. He was found "not guilty".

This...

 

It's a point about the law that I've never really liked because there are too many people who only see absolutes and the verdict of "not guilty" in England really doesn't lend itself to an absolute.  To the feminists, he's only not guilty because the jury weren't fully convinced but he probably did it.  To his friends and family, he's utterly innocent because the jury said not guilty.  In reality, the truth could be either but it could be some point inbetween as well.  I'd like juries to be able to say that he was "not guilty because it wasn't proven and there was reasonable doubt" or "not guilty because he's innocent".

 

A perfect example is the OJ Simpson trials.  In a criminal court, he was found "not guilty" but a civil court with a lower burden of proof said he did it.  If you looked at it like some people with absolutes did at the time of the trial then Simpson was innocent.  Those same people reacted with incredulity when the civil court said that on the balance of probabilities that Simpson did the two murders.

 

For these very sensitive trials such as rape, it's really not serving justice well enough to allow some people to go back to their community saying they're innocent but really are only on the street because the prosecution couldn't get over the burden of proof hurdle.  It's also not serving justice to have a genuinely innocent defendant have the persistent doubt about him about whether he "got away with it".  Note, I am specifically not referring to this Le Vell case, I wasn't there for the evidence and can only refer to the snippets that the media chose for us to read.

On a different view of it, if a jury said "innocent" then this brings into play the other options of action against the accuser, naming her and so on.

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You cannot say he was "found innocent" because it would be untrue. He wasn't. He was found "not guilty".

I had a similar discussion with someone yesterday who was initially adamant that the not guilty verdict clearly meant he was innocent. The best way of dismissing that viewpoint is simply to say if you saw someone committing a crime with your own eyes but that person subsequently got a not guilty verdict in court would you then say that the person is innocent despite having knowledge of their guilt ? You could not logically say they were innocent just because they were found not guilty. 

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This...

 

It's a point about the law that I've never really liked because there are too many people who only see absolutes and the verdict of "not guilty" in England really doesn't lend itself to an absolute.  To the feminists, he's only not guilty because the jury weren't fully convinced but he probably did it.  To his friends and family, he's utterly innocent because the jury said not guilty.  In reality, the truth could be either but it could be some point inbetween as well.  I'd like juries to be able to say that he was "not guilty because it wasn't proven and there was reasonable doubt" or "not guilty because he's innocent".

 

A perfect example is the OJ Simpson trials.  In a criminal court, he was found "not guilty" but a civil court with a lower burden of proof said he did it.  If you looked at it like some people with absolutes did at the time of the trial then Simpson was innocent.  Those same people reacted with incredulity when the civil court said that on the balance of probabilities that Simpson did the two murders.

 

For these very sensitive trials such as rape, it's really not serving justice well enough to allow some people to go back to their community saying they're innocent but really are only on the street because the prosecution couldn't get over the burden of proof hurdle.  It's also not serving justice to have a genuinely innocent defendant have the persistent doubt about him about whether he "got away with it".  Note, I am specifically not referring to this Le Vell case, I wasn't there for the evidence and can only refer to the snippets that the media chose for us to read.

On a different view of it, if a jury said "innocent" then this brings into play the other options of action against the accuser, naming her and so on.

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.

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So perhaps it would be wise not to quote a very small proportion of a group as representative of the overwhelming majority

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

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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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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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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.

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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.

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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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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.

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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.

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

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