Guns of Infinity



As glad as I am that so many people are coming forward now to hold those who sexually assaulted or harassed them accountable I am really not comfortable with a guilty until proven innocent environment around any crime. Even if the rate of false accusations is 3% or lower I’d say that’s too high to ruin innocent people’s lives and reputations over. The truth about these incidents is often a lot more complicated once the entire truth comes out in court. I have personally sent a young man to federal prison for three years for sexual assault, and I would still say there were many mitigating factors in that case that needed to be considered. Even in in fairly clear cut instances I don’t think “mob justice” is appropriate. We all cheer now when it sinks the candidacy of someone distasteful, but if the accusation is false or politically motivated as claimed that is a two way street. In any case I’m nearly certain the Republicans will take advantage of this climate in future elections.


I’m not in favor of mob justice, but I am outright against the “we should be even more skeptical of any allegations that aren’t beyond the possibility of doubt”.

As far as the Republicans go, they’ll take advantage of any possible position people like me take on the issue - so I’m in favor of the position that might lead to the guilty being convicted instead of continuing to treat coming forward with an accusation as suspicious.


That’s not really what I’m saying. I think you should believe and accusation at face value. I think that is really useful and necessary guidance in personal relationships as well. But once you start firing people unless they violated some other aspect of company policy (other than “don’t embarrass me”) we get into some really murky territory. I think you can put the accused on adminstrative leave etc, but outright firing them before they have had a day in court I’d consider that wrongful termination for example.


So you’re JAG, eh @cascat07 and here I didn’t take you for the kind of officer to command little more than his own desk. :wink:


No, but I’ve been a panelist on a court martial proceedings however.


I’m not an employer, and my knowledge of law from the perspective of “my father was a lawyer so I know a little about laws” is mostly related to a different field entirely.

But I’m very unsympathetic to this:

and actively unsympathetic to this:

The problem with our society is not that we are too unforgiving of questionable sexual behavior.


I’d agree, but we are at risk of over correcting. I think we have some really good foundation principles for dealing with criminal behavior. I would consider those principle to be jeopardized, because the court of public opinion is starting to become powerful enough that the outcome in the court of law is immaterial. We have these norms even when it benefits a whole lot of SOBs because we don’t what anyone subject to mob justice (even when they richly deserve it).


Ooh, so essentially military jury duty. Man I’d like to be on jury just once in my life. Unfortunately that’s not likely to happen even if I did change my nationality, since my American counterparts would throw me out right at voir dire, since they don’t generally like letting jurists on the jury. :disappointed:


I disagree, with twenty characters and a fair amount of irritation at those emphasizing that false accusations exist as a reason to make it even harder to prove guilt than “the burden of proof is on the accuser”.



I don’t think anyone is talking about what happens in court here. The burden of proof from a legal standpoint hasn’t changed. I’m really only talking about those punishments we meet out before the accused has an opportunity to defend themselves. Like firing them, kicking them out of college, removing their name for an election ballot etc.


I should note that divorced from the example you’re citing, the powerful being accused of sexual assault have an overwhelming advantage in the court of public opinion, and that this is a bipartisan problem (Assange provides such a wonderful example of this, being somehow still the darling of a good chunk of the left). If anything, recent incidents have shown that so long as the accused can maintain certain networks of influence and support in place, they’re effectively immune to “getting their life ruined”, and in fact, tend to ruin the lives of their accusers, one way or another.


Yeah the political arena is a little different I suppose since that is a court of public opinion more or less institutionalized. I can just see the Moore situation coming back to roost is all.


Yep, all the lovely things the court of public opinion likes to inflict on people. Particularly in this age of “social” media and fake news it’s starting to get downright medieval again in many cases.
Except that I think throwing rotten fruit was at least a more fun activity then social media slander often masking as “journalism”. :unamused:
Not to mention that if they did get out of the dungeon simply moving to the next town was often enough to start a new life, whereas a conviction in the court of public opinion can hound one for an arbitrarily long time, but often for life it seems.

The wealthy and powerful play by a different set of rules compared to the rest of us, but then that isn’t really news now is it?


Iunno, “moving to the next town” seems to have worked fine for Polanski, Woody Allen, and once again, Julian Assange.


As long as

is a thing, I don’t think the danger of overcorrection is as serious as the danger of people saying that we’re being too harsh, too unforgiving, too severe on general principles.

Especially not when what even counts as something to apply any stigma has to overcome various “oh, this wasn’t really sexual harassment” attitudes.

That part is probably the most obvious reason I’m not worried about overcorrection.


That sounds patently true when you are talking about Kevin Spacy, but runs into the reality of the Duke LaCross team.


Well he is in a sort of prison (“house” arrest) that is on the level some of our rich and powerful too get.

As to the other ones, yeah, but then again their cases happened quite a bit before the new kind of social media whipping posts came into vogue.

In any case rich people have always had it easier because they don’t need to find work in the new town and even if they do they can often draw on networks of patronage to bypass the normal hiring process. For the rest of the people though if your new would-be employer Googles you and find things they don’t like you’re not getting hired, simple as that in most cases.


Congratulations. You don’t care about people who have had their lives ruined and were sentenced to a crime they never committed. Enjoy your “nice person of the year” award.

That might apply to celebrities, but not to everyday people who don’t have any influence or support. You know, the normal everyday people who are the majority.


The Duke Lacrosse case is one of those interesting intersections between gender and race which makes this whole topic so complex.

On one hand, you have the “women are always liars” myth, on the other hand, you have the “black men are rapists” myth, and things are never tidy when those two collide.

That’s the thing.

Sexual assault is usually about power, and reinforcing the inequality of power between two groups of people or individuals. That’s why it happens so often in places where social standing is so vitally important. The powerful have both a disproportionate platform and a disproportionate propensity to reinforce their power. In the end, not only are the powerful probably the most likely to commit sexual assault, but when they “get away with it”, they also serve as a symbol of “I got away with it, and you can too.”


To put this with a smile, the only time I won that award before this was with people actively lying about me to the judges. :grinning:

Seriously, I refer to myself as a sufferable (as opposed to “insufferable”) unforgiving ******* to my best friend because I’m good at holding grudges. If this was meant to make me feel guilty, it’s not working, if it’s meant to make me look like an awful and judgmental person -

I made an argument that Wittelbrook having a case of nerves at Blogia makes comparing him to his horse unduly flattering to him.

I know I’m terrible.

You’re not really going to do anything except give me a chance to say “Yes, I am. What’s your point?”