originally posted by: JustJohnny
Because if you DO NOT give the accuser the benefit of the doubt, then you are inherently giving the accused the benefit of the doubt...
Giving the accused the benefit of the doubt is not something we do to be nice when it makes sense.
Giving the accused the benefit of the doubt is the fundamental bedrock of our legal justice system.
Yes this method of administering legal justice does mean that the guilty will sometimes go free. This is not just an unfortunate consequence; it is
long thought out, tested and agreed to result of exercising our societal ideals.
We as a society agree and believe that it is a much better outcome to allow the guilty to go free than it is to punish the innocent. The reverse;
accepting the punishment of some innocent people so that we may punish all guilt people; flys in the face our most cherished beliefs. Those beliefs
involving individualism, liberty, human rights and ect.
There are many crimes, violent or otherwise, that occur with little to no evidence; in that regard rape is not special among crimes. And so there is
no compelling reason to abandon our way of administering legal justice and the practice of our most cherished beliefs in order to accommodate the
victims of rape; just as we would not abandon those ideals in order to accommodate the victims of other crimes.
"Should the victims of rape (male or female) always be believed?". Of course they should be; just like the victims of all crimes should be believed.
There is a difference between "believing" the victim (and witnesses) of a crime and finding a person legally guilty of that crime. The two are not the
same action; they are not mutually exclusive; the first does not always need to lead to the second.
A lot of things have to occur between when a victim reports a crime and when someone is found guilty of that crime. An investigation has to occur,
pretrial activities have to occur, a trial has to occur and jury deliberations have to occur. Through out that process two things can happen:
1) The victim is not believed. In which case detectives might not do their best to investigate the crime. The DA may not do their best prosecuting the
crime. And the jury may not take their decision making seriously.
2) The victim is believed. In which case detectives will do their level best to investigate the crime. The DA will do their level best to prosecute
the crime. And the jury will do their level best in making their decision of whether the accused is guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt.
If the first occurs I'm sure we would all agree there was a miscarriage of justice no mater the outcome of the trial. These situations do
unfortunately occur and we as a society should strive to correct the problem.
If the second occurs it is still not necessary true that a guilty party will be found and brought to justice. The detectives and DA could make honest
mistakes. The jury may find that there is not enough evidence to erase all doubt. If this occurs it does not mean the victim was not believed; just
that not enough went right to bring the guilty to justice.
In the end your question, "Should the victim be believed or should the accused be given the benefit of the doubt?", is steped in false logic...
... The victim should be believed ... and
... The accused should be given the benefit of the doubt
Both should occur when our legal justice system is working correctly.
And yes sometimes that means the guilty will not be found legally guilty. It's the price we pay for being a free people who cherish their
individuality and liberty.
edit on 18-7-2019 by DanDanDat because: (no reason given)