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Unbelievable! 
13th-Jul-2007 03:20 pm
survivor
This links to an article discussing a rape case and banning of virtually all terminology related to rape and sexual assault.

Just Keep Your Mouth Shut.
EDIT: The judge declared a mistrial.


I'm absolutely enraged by this case. Words have incredible power, and one of the most important parts of my healing is being able to put into words what was done to me. Rape is a crime of domination, and victims are often threatened with further harm if they talk.

The criminal justice system is supposed to free survivors from that. It is supposed to make it safe for us to tell the truth about what was done to us.

This...this is absolutely inexcusable. As soon as I get calmed down enough that every other word I think isn't a profanity, I'm going to write this judge a letter. I'd love to have a bunch of us here write letters--maybe we could coordinate an effort? Anyone else with me?
Comments 
(Deleted comment)
13th-Jul-2007 09:00 pm (UTC)
What enrages me about the declaration of the mistrial is that the judge did it because the victim was stirring up trouble, according to him, and creating prejudice. What did she do? Posted on the internet for support. WTF? I would too!

I tend to think it would be much more effective if we had a whole stack of paper letters, individually written and signed.

I want to send her a letter of support too, but I'm not sure if that would be somehow inappropriate. God knows I wouldn't want to make her any more upset than she's gotta be already.
(Deleted comment)
13th-Jul-2007 09:35 pm (UTC)
To whom should we write the letters? The victim or the judge of the next trial? Or the media? Or all three?
I'm writing to the judge of this trial, even though a mistrial's been declared (and I'm addressing that too). I don't know how to find out yet what judge will take the trial on the next go-'round. I'm not sure about sending letters to the victim. Part of me says it's a good idea, but part of me says she might not want that kind of attention.

Maybe the new trial will be fair?
Only if the judge's prior ruling on banning words gets thrown out, and I'm not sure how case law works on that. I *think* you'd start all over, but the previous judge's decisions might stand.
13th-Jul-2007 09:00 pm (UTC)
I"d be willing to write letter-ness. This whole thing is just disgusting. . .
13th-Jul-2007 09:14 pm (UTC)
I saw this on the news a few days ago and it made me angry then.
Now that the judge has declared a mis-trial, I'm even angrier.
13th-Jul-2007 09:39 pm (UTC)
I think a mistrial is the right thing, but NOT for the reasons he's stated. He's basically blamed the victim for being pissed about not being allowed to tell the whole truth and for getting support.

If I were her, when they asked "Do you solemnly sear or affirm that the testimony you are about to provide will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?" I'd say, "I cannot in good conscience swear to tell the whole truth, on the grounds that the judge won't allow me to."
(Deleted comment)
13th-Jul-2007 09:36 pm (UTC)
Uhm, and how can she really influence the jurors if she can't use the word rape? Or any of the other listed terms?

Another case where I really wann use the nunchaku...
(Deleted comment)
13th-Jul-2007 10:08 pm (UTC)
As I understand it, though, the attorneys should be able to use "alleged rape/rapist," right?

Could you link me to your source, pretty please? Right now I really wish I were on campus so I could go digging through the law library....
14th-Jul-2007 01:17 am (UTC)
It's not so unbelievable.


The court system is the reason that rape victims don't report rapes. Which causes rapes to be one of the most common crimes in America. If the courts are going to side with the perpetrator, then why would a victim even bother to go through all that hell?

Fuck the legal system, I say. If there is something to sign to help out this woman, I'll totally sign it.
14th-Jul-2007 03:01 am (UTC)
I'll sign anything, and/or write letters. This is incredibly WRONG.

icon directed at judge. Because he needs it.
14th-Jul-2007 03:09 am (UTC)
The frightening thing is... this judge has legal precedence. If you say "rape kit", it naturally implies that a rape occurred. Since the jury is there to decide if a rape occurred, it has the slightest chance of influencing a juror.

Of course - all those jurors know that it's always called a "rape kit", and the name of it is a common term, not the medical term (evidence collection kit is the real name)... so it's not biasing the jury.

So while there's this little shred of logic behind it, it's still a bit old crock.
14th-Jul-2007 04:13 am (UTC)
That's sickening. The whole thing is sickening.
15th-Jul-2007 06:11 am (UTC)
This is ridiculous, and so is the basic concept that it's up for the jury to decide whether or not it happened without her being able to claim that it HAPPENED. She's the one who brought charges, she's the one who was RAPED(or is saying that she was in whichever way sexually violated), whatever they might want to CALL that under the law. Yes, it's up to them to determine IF she was, but by NOT letting her tell it in her own words, they are making it so that she can't tell it at ALL. The judge is therefore MINIMIZING what was done to her, the impact it will have, and the criminality of the act. The connotation of SEX is NOT forceable.

-Dira-
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