Jewish World Review Sept. 6, 2011 / 7 Elul, 5771
Ultra-feminists thwarting justice
By Jay Ambrose
http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The criminal justice system, which too often these days operates as a criminal gotcha system, just did something right, and guess what? There is anger in the land, people saying you need to prosecute even when there is no case because, after all, a woman made the accusation. I say let's listen to Scott Turow.
He's a well-known novelist, a former prosecutor and now a defense lawyer, and he knows whereof he speaks when he says prosecutors too often take cases to court when they know good and well there's a reasonable doubt the accused party was guilty.
Had the Manhattan district attorney failed to drop the case against Dominique Strauss-Kahn, that's exactly what he would have been doing.
Half the country seemed joyful about the prospect of seeing this rich, prominent Frenchman doing time for allegedly forcing a hotel maid from Africa to have oral sex with him, but then detectives did some interesting detecting.
Among the maid's multiple lies, they discovered, she had falsely said while seeking asylum in the United States that she had been gang-raped in Guinea.
She told several different stories about her activities the day of the incident. She was also found to have a bank account in which felons had deposited $100,000. And in a phone call to her boyfriend in prison, this woman who filed a civil suit against Strauss-Kahn said, "Don't worry, he has plenty of money."
Pursuing a case based on this mishmash would be a fraud, a way of making someone suffer for the fun of it.
Turow wrote in a New York Times Sunday Review that such adventures are additionally a principal cause of wrongful convictions.
The last thing you want is "prosecutorial intransigence," a refusal to back up from first judgments. A proffered example from this lawyer's experience: prosecutors letting two men sit on death row for years despite another man's confession of murder.
That's repugnant, and something else that's repugnant is certain ideologically inane women's groups telling us we shouldn't even be discussing the maid's credibility. These ultra-feminists are forever arguing that women accusers are always truly victims, are always right, and that the male defendants are always guilty, are always wrong.
How far a distance is that from someone saying he is an Aryan and you are a Jew and, therefore, he is a real human and you are not?
I do not deny generations of mistreating women, but swinging from one extreme to another is multiplying error, not erasing it.
If members of these groups fall short of Nazi ambitions, they're still in the camp that would happily ruin lives on the basis of infantile generalities. Right now, the Obama administration is insisting that universities work even harder on the goal. To find out more, listen to Peter Berkowitz.
In a Wall Street Journal op-ed piece, this fellow at the Hoover Institution tells how the U.S. Education Department is advising universities to disregard due process in deciding the fate of male students accused of sexual assault.
Universities more concerned about federal lucre than ethics should listen up to even the nastiness that says the accused male student should not be allowed to cross-examine the female witness.
The 19-page document on Title IX additionally advocates a low proof standard. Reasonable doubt does not get you off in Obama land. If the accused is allowed to appeal, the accuser can also appeal, meaning the accused could face double jeopardy.
And should the male student lose at the hands of a campus disciplinary board being urged to presume guilt, Berkowitz explains, he can figure on expulsion, no graduate school, possible criminal prosecution and a lost reputation for life.
Bigots always think they are justified, of course. They always find excuses for themselves, pretending their immorality is moral.
But unfairness is unfairness, and blatant, tyrannical, fanatical unfairness is an abomination this nation should not stand for.
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Jay Ambrose, formerly Washington director of editorial policy for Scripps Howard newspapers and the editor of dailies in El Paso, Texas, and Denver, is a columnist living in Colorado.
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