Monday, March 22, 2010

An appalling miscarriage of justice

False accusations of rape. How common are they? This question runs through my mind whenever I read a story like this one, a particularly shocking case given the accused spent 17 weeks in Waikeria Prison prior to a trial at which the jury then found him 'not guilty' after 7 minutes deliberation.

Perhaps if the police kept statistics on the incidence of false rape complaints they might take a more cautious approach to investigating and prosecuting. But they don't.

They keep statistics on "False statement/Declaration Etc" but do not distinguish the nature of the false complaint. And they keep statistics on sexual offences.

I know I have blogged about this subject before but it keeps resurfacing. 1990s US data shows that 1 in 4 men suspected of rape can be excluded through DNA testing. That is not to say the other 3 were guilty. In 20 percent of cases the DNA evidence was inconclusive. A match was established in the remainder but then the matter of whether or not an assault or consensual sex took place has to be determined.

On a reading of just the media coverage, this man has suffered a gross miscarriage of justice. It doesn't do much for my faith in police procedures. Note his barrister's comment;

"What happens in these cases is everyone is risk-averse. No-one wants to exercise any discretion as to whether the case will proceed or not."


Berry said...

The point I would like to focus on is the failure of the court system to process cases with appropriate speed. If matters would come before the court much faster, there would be a tremendous avoidance of unnecessary stress and anguish. Also, there must be much, much more transparency in the information exchange between the various government branches and departments involved. At the moment there is just too much "starsky and hutch" going on.

KG said...

Partly, this situation can be blamed on the feminazis who oppose more rigorous investigation of complaints and who have fought for years to make it easier to convict accused men.
On the specious ground that anything else would discourage rape complainants from coming forward.

KPete said...

Bloody awful for the accused. "There but for the grace of God go I" ecetera...I can't believe that there is no comuppance for the accuser. We had a spate of false rape accusations in Hamilton last year, around 3 or 4 inside a couple of months, it was very disturbing. The above mentioned case does little to discourage continuance of the same.
Witch hunting still appears to be alive and well.

brian_smaller said...

A false accusation should bring the same punishment as the accused would have got had he been convicted.

scrubone said...

I read somewhere (think it was on the herald) an item from a policewoman (promoting her book) who quoted the false rate as 2 in 3 complaints.

I know it was that because I had to read it twice.

But funnily enough, I couldn't find the report when I tried to find it again...

Mark said...

I think 50% of cases brought before the courts are false, a lot are about buyers remorse.

If men starting claiming they were raped becaue of the above then women should be very scared.

As a man I could be able to say she applied with drink or drugs, or even I was pissed or drugged and didn't want to have sex I should claim rape.

I think it's high time men should say enough is enough, I got drunk or I was on drugs and some women took me home that I later regretted it run down to your local police and claim rape.

Even better if you have got a women pregnant claim historical rape where no evidence can exist (your word against hers) then you don't have to pay.