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Old 13th November 2017, 10:14 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
There is some debate as to (w)racking one's brains.

https://www.merriam-webster.com/word.../rack-vs-wrack
Yeah, I get that there's disagreement, but adding a "(sic)" usually implies an outright error, either in spelling or the actual word. It looks to me like whoever added it didn't actually know that "wracking" could be valid.
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Old 13th November 2017, 10:49 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by Information Analyst View Post
Huh?!?!

The correct spelling is "racked".

Oops, ninjaed. I agree, I tend to let that one pass with a sigh, though it really should be "racked".
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Old 13th November 2017, 11:42 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by bluesjnr View Post
I think he was simply going to check Brunton for Klingons.
You mean the ones circling Uranus?
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Old 13th November 2017, 11:51 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by Babbylonian View Post
That sure sounds like a good reason, except that there's no statute of limitations on murder. Is it really that much easier to prove old murder cases?
Hell yes.

For a murder cold case, there will be witness and eye-witness interviews, an examined crime scene and physical evidence.

For a sexual assault that was never reported, you have nothing; no crime scene, no interviews, no physical evidence, and in this case, a 35 year gap and only the word of someone with just vague recollections of what might have happened.
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Old 13th November 2017, 12:11 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
Hell yes.

For a murder cold case, there will be witness and eye-witness interviews, an examined crime scene and physical evidence.

For a sexual assault that was never reported, you have nothing; no crime scene, no interviews, no physical evidence, and in this case, a 35 year gap and only the word of someone with just vague recollections of what might have happened.
So, the statutes of limitations presuppose the outcomes. Is it really a good idea to pretend we can predict the future in our laws?
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Old 13th November 2017, 12:29 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by Babbylonian View Post
So, the statutes of limitations presuppose the outcomes. Is it really a good idea to pretend we can predict the future in our laws?
I certainly hope so. Because I'd really hate to see a society where the laws were passed with no concern for the outcomes they might have on the future.

Nice straw man, by the way. It started with "So", so I should have expected that.

It's not about predicting the future or presupposing an outcome. Part of it is trying to make efficient use of limited law enforcement and judicial resources, but a larger part is because we're constitutionally guaranteed the right to a speedy trial.

And it's done in pretty much all common law countries: Australia, Germany, Canada, India, Norway, the United Kingdom, and South Korea...just to name a few. This is not one of this forum's cherished examples of American stupidity...or rather, if it is, it's one we inherited from our European ancestors.
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Old 13th November 2017, 12:41 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by Arcade22 View Post
I guess that means that they have to edit him out of the old star trek show?
Of course, they could simply replace him with Christopher Plummer. After all, he's already had a Star Trek role and there is precedent for actors playing multiple characters.
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Old 13th November 2017, 12:46 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by Hellbound View Post
I certainly hope so. Because I'd really hate to see a society where the laws were passed with no concern for the outcomes they might have on the future.
Purely hypothetical: If someone happened to have videotape of George Takei forcibly raping someone in 1985 and didn't reveal it until 2015, Takei shouldn't face consequences for that because someone decided a long time before anyone alive today was born that proving such a case would be too difficult?

My point is that evidence today isn't what it was 30 years ago, and certainly isn't what it was 100 years ago. Things are possible today that simply weren't when statutes of limitations were created. It seems foolish not to address these things on a case-by-case basis. Maybe if there was evidence that eliminating those statutes would result in huge numbers of new accusations that would paralyze the justice system, there'd be a point. As far as I know, however, that's not the case.

It doesn't apply in this specific situation since, so far, we only have one person's word against another's. That can be problematic even if the crime is reported days after the fact rather than years or decades. Still, statutes of limitations continue to exist because people think that they make sense. I'd like some evidence that they make as much sense today as they did a century ago.
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Old 13th November 2017, 01:05 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by Babbylonian View Post
Purely hypothetical: If someone happened to have videotape of George Takei forcibly raping someone in 1985 and didn't reveal it until 2015, Takei shouldn't face consequences for that because someone decided a long time before anyone alive today was born that proving such a case would be too difficult?

My point is that evidence today isn't what it was 30 years ago, and certainly isn't what it was 100 years ago. Things are possible today that simply weren't when statutes of limitations were created. It seems foolish not to address these things on a case-by-case basis. Maybe if there was evidence that eliminating those statutes would result in huge numbers of new accusations that would paralyze the justice system, there'd be a point. As far as I know, however, that's not the case.

It doesn't apply in this specific situation since, so far, we only have one person's word against another's. That can be problematic even if the crime is reported days after the fact rather than years or decades. Still, statutes of limitations continue to exist because people think that they make sense. I'd like some evidence that they make as much sense today as they did a century ago.
And they still do make sense the majority of the time. You're focusing on the exceptions, for the most part. I do think they should remain, and definitely make sense, for most things (misdemeanors and below, at least). I do think they should be exempted for more felonies. However, a lot of felonies ARE exempt from statutes of limitations, but it varies by state. And in response to changing technology and capabilities, as well as sensibilities, laws are changing. Some places allow for exceptions to the statute of limitations in cases where DNA evidence is available. Some places have added crimes, specifically sexual assault against a minor, to the list of crimes that are not subject. You'd have to check the state you're interested in in order to see what's affected by SoL and what isn't. This particular example may meqan this is actually a moot discussion, as the alleged act may NOT be covered by SoL laws...we'd need more information to determine that.

Another part of the reasoning for them is to prevent government abuse. For example, if the local sheriff didn't like you, then without limitations he has all the time in the world to investigate you until he finds something to charge you with (like that time in college when you mooned your friend out the window...that's indecent exposure. Off to jail with you!). The same could be done by, say a political opponent. Without some time limitation, it's likely that you could find enough evidence against anyone to bring charges of some sort. We've all made mistakes in our youth. Which leads to the final part of the reasoning.

ETA:
There's also the problem of people "revenge blaming" someone else, whether you actually committed any crime or not. Think about business rivals, crazy ex-girlfriends, and the like. Especially with a crimes unlikely to leave evidence, it gives anyone a lever to harass someone they dislike with the full backing of the government. It is partly about no overloading the justice system (which is already woefully overloaded in many places, even with current SoL laws. Any increase in the number of cases will make that worse).
/ETA

These laws are also intended so that we don't punish those who aren't a danger. If someone committed a crime 20 years ago, and there's no record of bad behavior since, should they still face punishment? Again, this is pretty much the question asked when determining whether an SoL should apply. If they shoplifted something 20 years back and have been clean since, sure, let it pass. It doesn't appear to be a pattern of behavior, the crime was non-violent, the person is unlikely to be a danger. Burglary? Hmmm...a bit tougher, but probably let it go. Murder? Definitely don't let it go. The in-betweens get into gray areas (I personally think rape should not be affected by SoL laws, and I'd suspect that is isn't in many areas, although sexual assault likely is affected by SoL...and probably I agree with that, although it's hard to say).

My entire point is that it's a LOT more than "foreseeing the future" or "evidence collection"...and states are recognizing that current technology and ability are able to make more crimes prosecutable for longer periods. And laws are starting to take that into account.

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Old 13th November 2017, 01:06 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by Babbylonian View Post
So, the statutes of limitations presuppose the outcomes. Is it really a good idea to pretend we can predict the future in our laws?
Why do you spin it in the most uncharitable way? It really gives the impression that you have your conclusion already.
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Old 13th November 2017, 02:55 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by NoahFence View Post
Fear
Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Never have understood that concept. Get away with a crime for long enough and you are scot-free.
Me neither.

Except for the most minor of offences. Parking offences, for example.
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Old 13th November 2017, 05:06 PM   #52
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We just went through a similar problem with our mayor. At first it seemed way too suspicious, the guy was already in jail, had a shyster lawyer with an anti-gay leaning, and the minute the mayor said he wasn't running for re-election, the guy dropped his case.

But then several other men started popping up with similar stories - yes, they'd all been tricking for cash at the time, but they were underage and it had ruined their lives. Finally a cousin said it had happened to him too, and the mayor gave up and resigned on the spot. It still smelled bad to a lot of people, but it was completely disrupting the city. I guess we'll see if any of it ever has any evidence... ?
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Old 14th November 2017, 09:08 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by Babbylonian View Post
So, the statutes of limitations presuppose the outcomes. Is it really a good idea to pretend we can predict the future in our laws?
It doesn't necessarily presuppose the outcome. It just recognizes that there is a time and a place for bringing charges, and ancient charges brought forth may have more to do with score-settling in the present than justice for the past. Ancient charges are difficult to prosecute; just imagine how difficult they are to defend. Where were you on the night of October 20, 1981?

These days, of course, we leave more of an electronic trail behind us, so that figuring out what you were doing on the night of October 20, 2011 might not be as tough.
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Old 14th November 2017, 09:50 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
It doesn't necessarily presuppose the outcome. It just recognizes that there is a time and a place for bringing charges, and ancient charges brought forth may have more to do with score-settling in the present than justice for the past. Ancient charges are difficult to prosecute; just imagine how difficult they are to defend. Where were you on the night of October 20, 1981?

These days, of course, we leave more of an electronic trail behind us, so that figuring out what you were doing on the night of October 20, 2011 might not be as tough.
This is not just for you but for all the posters holding the position that the difficulty to prove a case is a likely and sufficient reason for a statute of limitations.

I feel like we have a lot of other mechanisms that keep impossible to prove cases out of the courts. We have prosecutorial discretion, we have hearings. If a particular case is a poor one, it generally won't get near a trial regardless of how long ago it was.

Even if long ago cases with reasonable evidence are outliers, why exclude those cases? We're a big country. Something that happens to one in a million happens to hundreds of people.

On your specific point, Brainster, "a time and a place" is pretty circular in this case. Why that time? You suggest that older charges are more likely to be score settling, I don't really see why we should assume that. There are a damned lot of good reasons people don't always report things right away. Up until very recently a lot of people would not be believed or would be treated poorly for making sexual assault claims. I could write pages and pages on the risks they might face and the low chances of their assaulter facing justice.
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Old 14th November 2017, 09:51 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
It doesn't necessarily presuppose the outcome. It just recognizes that there is a time and a place for bringing charges, and ancient charges brought forth may have more to do with score-settling in the present than justice for the past. Ancient charges are difficult to prosecute; just imagine how difficult they are to defend. Where were you on the night of October 20, 1981?

These days, of course, we leave more of an electronic trail behind us, so that figuring out what you were doing on the night of October 20, 2011 might not be as tough.
Not getting this - in our shared common law tradition guilt has to be proven beyond reasonable doubt, innocence does not have to be proved.

Either there is insufficient evidence so no prosecution happens or there is and if the prosecution can show beyond reasonable doubt then the person will be found guilty. Can't see why time comes into it beyond a weighing of evidence.

Lets say personX is raped and in their state the statute of limitation for rape is 6 years. There is DNA evidence but the police never found the rapist. 6 years and a day later the rapist walks into a police station and says "I raped personX six years and a day ago, I'm happy to provide a DNA sample to show it was me". What do the police do?
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Old 14th November 2017, 10:28 AM   #56
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I agree about the statute of limitations on sexual assault/rape/etc. I think the matter can be easily resolved by simply looking at the evidence. No physical evidence, only allegations? Don't prosecute. Video of the act? DNA evidence? Prosecute. It's worth noting that about half the States don't have such a SOL. Of the remaining states, many have a provision where if there is DNA evidence, the SOL starts over/is waived when DNA evidence is presented.

I have a problem with all these public accusations about alleged sexual assaults from several decades ago. There are too many motives for shenanigans. It costs the accusers nothing and at the very least casts suspicion on someone who may be completely innocent. It's very easy to say, "Rich and famous person X sexually assaulted me," when what actually happened may have not met any definition of sexual assault. Memory is a funny thing and may not be a reliable source of evidence. Stories that have been told for decades get embellished and may not resemble reality. Sounds like it's at least possible that in Takei's case there was no assault, just drunken fooling around that didn't progress to sex because one party said stop and the other party stopped.
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Old 14th November 2017, 10:29 AM   #57
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Not getting this - in our shared common law tradition guilt has to be proven beyond reasonable doubt, innocence does not have to be proved.

Either there is insufficient evidence so no prosecution happens or there is and if the prosecution can show beyond reasonable doubt then the person will be found guilty. Can't see why time comes into it beyond a weighing of evidence.

Lets say personX is raped and in their state the statute of limitation for rape is 6 years. There is DNA evidence but the police never found the rapist. 6 years and a day later the rapist walks into a police station and says "I raped personX six years and a day ago, I'm happy to provide a DNA sample to show it was me". What do the police do?
Ask the perp for tickets to their next show?
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Old 14th November 2017, 11:14 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
I have a problem with all these public accusations about alleged sexual assaults from several decades ago. There are too many motives for shenanigans. It costs the accusers nothing ...
False accusations aren't legal: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/f...ctionNum=148.5.
Slander, libel, defamation
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Old 14th November 2017, 11:31 AM   #59
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Not getting this - in our shared common law tradition guilt has to be proven beyond reasonable doubt, innocence does not have to be proved.

Either there is insufficient evidence so no prosecution happens or there is and if the prosecution can show beyond reasonable doubt then the person will be found guilty. Can't see why time comes into it beyond a weighing of evidence.

Lets say personX is raped and in their state the statute of limitation for rape is 6 years. There is DNA evidence but the police never found the rapist. 6 years and a day later the rapist walks into a police station and says "I raped personX six years and a day ago, I'm happy to provide a DNA sample to show it was me". What do the police do?
Quite obviously they look for more recent rapes that they can pin on you.

ETA: And the time passing really is a problem for the defense. Suppose you have an iron-clad alibi for the date and time in question. You were with Walter Cronkite (the most trusted man in America) than evening. Ooops, Walter passed away in the intervening years, and any appointment book that would have shown your presence has long since been destroyed.
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Old 14th November 2017, 11:44 AM   #60
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Originally Posted by dann View Post


Proving defamation is a difficult thing to do. Not only that, slander and libel are civil laws, not criminal. This means that the accused has to sue the accuser which costs money, has little to no hope of achieving anything and carries the risk of making the situation worse.
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Old 14th November 2017, 12:44 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
Sounds like it's at least possible that in Takei's case there was no assault, just drunken fooling around that didn't progress to sex because one party said stop and the other party stopped.
That's possible, and if no corroboration comes forward I suspect people will forget about this pretty quickly.
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Old 14th November 2017, 01:39 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
Proving defamation is a difficult thing to do. Not only that, slander and libel are civil laws, not criminal. This means that the accused has to sue the accuser which costs money, has little to no hope of achieving anything and carries the risk of making the situation worse.

Yes, it's easier for rich people to sue, it's risky, yes, but not impossible.
'Put up or shut up' is also an option: to challenge the accusations publicly, ask for proof.
That, of course, is also risky, but not so much if specific accusations are made, time and place, for instance, and you can come up with a credible alibi.
If the accuser backs down, is vague, it will discredit the accusation.
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Old 14th November 2017, 03:29 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
Yes, it's easier for rich people to sue, it's risky, yes, but not impossible.
I don't think you understand the challenges in bringing a defamation lawsuit, especially for a public figure.

The problem is that public figures have to demonstrate actual malice -that is, that the statement was made knowing that it was false or with reckless disregard as to whether or not it was false. Oftentimes, it is impossible to determine whether or not a statement is false. It would be difficult to show that a sexual assault allegation was made knowing it was false. If the person alleging such can convince a jury that they believe it to be true or that something happened that they believed was sexual assault (even if it wasn't), then the lawsuit will fail. How is the accused going to prove something that allegedly happened decades ago did not actually happen? Maybe if the event is alleged to occur in one city but the accused can show that he/she actually lived in a completely different city and never visited the other city. . . even then, the accuser can argue any number of things that show they believed it to be true or it was just an honest mistake.

Defamation is not easy to show for anyone, but especially public figures.
Quote:
'Put up or shut up' is also an option: to challenge the accusations publicly, ask for proof.
That, of course, is also risky, but not so much if specific accusations are made, time and place, for instance, and you can come up with a credible alibi.
If the accuser backs down, is vague, it will discredit the accusation.
That only works in clear cases like the event occurring in a place where it would be impossible for the accused to be: The rape occurred in Las Vegas 1984 but the accused was deployed in a foreign country during that time and has never visited Las Vegas. The majority of cases will not be so clear cut; the accuser is usually someone the accused knows and has interacted with in some way. The best thing a public figure can do is simply issue a public denial and then shut up and refuse to discuss it.
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Old 14th November 2017, 11:07 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
If the person alleging such can convince a jury that they believe it to be true or that something happened that they believed was sexual assault (even if it wasn't), then the lawsuit will fail.
OK, that would explain why Neil DeGrasse Tyson didn't respond to the allegations against him. His accuser seems to be able to believe anything
http://www.internationalskeptics.com...d.php?t=324214
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Old 15th November 2017, 02:05 AM   #65
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Old 15th November 2017, 02:20 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
Quite obviously they look for more recent rapes that they can pin on you.

Which means as I said he gets off scot free because he avoided detection for an arbitrarily set period of time.

Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
ETA: And the time passing really is a problem for the defense. Suppose you have an iron-clad alibi for the date and time in question. You were with Walter Cronkite (the most trusted man in America) than evening. Ooops, Walter passed away in the intervening years, and any appointment book that would have shown your presence has long since been destroyed.
Not seeing the problem myself. You could have met with Walter 7 days ago, he then died the next and as per his last request all his documents were burnt the following day. Police turn up at your house 3 days later. Your alibi is just as destroyed as if it had been 30 years ago...

And of course have to remember that for some crimes it doesn't matter how long ago it was committed, so we would seem to have a contradiction between how "old" evidence is viewed depending on the crime.
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Old 15th November 2017, 05:27 AM   #67
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In Canada the idea of a "limitation period" for criminal offences only applies to crimes pursued by summary trial (lesser offences or offences where the prosecutor has the discretion to only pursue minor punishments). Sexual assault isn't one of those offences here.

The contrast to the States is that we have one criminal law for the entire country, not a patchwork of 50 different criminal legal systems, plus federal criminal laws.
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Old 15th November 2017, 07:57 AM   #68
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Originally Posted by TubbaBlubba View Post
That's possible, and if no corroboration comes forward I suspect people will forget about this pretty quickly.
I think you underestimate how hated he is by conservatives, mostly because of his calling out of such bad behaviors in others and how loved he is in many liberal circles.
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Old 15th November 2017, 10:21 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by Border Reiver View Post
In Canada the idea of a "limitation period" for criminal offences only applies to crimes pursued by summary trial (lesser offences or offences where the prosecutor has the discretion to only pursue minor punishments). Sexual assault isn't one of those offences here.

The contrast to the States is that we have one criminal law for the entire country, not a patchwork of 50 different criminal legal systems, plus federal criminal laws.
That is how it should be. Especially when we know how people often take years before coming forward with sexual assault allegations.

Or they do come forward, and are not believed, and get nowhere for decades.
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Old 15th November 2017, 03:09 PM   #70
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Not getting this - in our shared common law tradition guilt has to be proven beyond reasonable doubt, innocence does not have to be proved.
Unfortunately, the reality is that, in this age of instant information where any moron with a twitter account can have an opinion that will circle the globe in milliseconds, the person against whom historical allegations are made, will struggle to defend themselves against those allegations in the court of public opinion, and for a celebrity, it is this court that counts more than any other.

I could right now, pick an sufficiently old former A list celebrity at random and start twittering about how he/she molested me when I was a child, and if it was picked up by a dubious news outlet such as the Daily Flail, some of the mud would stick even though the story is totally fabricated.

Remember this quip by Samuel Clements... "A lie can travel halfway around the world before the truth can get its boots on"
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Old 15th November 2017, 06:50 PM   #71
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
Unfortunately, the reality is that, in this age of instant information where any moron with a twitter account can have an opinion that will circle the globe in milliseconds, the person against whom historical allegations are made, will struggle to defend themselves against those allegations in the court of public opinion, and for a celebrity, it is this court that counts more than any other.

I could right now, pick an sufficiently old former A list celebrity at random and start twittering about how he/she molested me when I was a child, and if it was picked up by a dubious news outlet such as the Daily Flail, some of the mud would stick even though the story is totally fabricated.

Remember this quip by Samuel Clements... "A lie can travel halfway around the world before the truth can get its boots on"

Wait a tic ... are you suggesting that perhaps Goody Proctor wasn't dancing with the Devil?
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Old 15th November 2017, 06:54 PM   #72
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Given he's a happily married and outspoken gay man, this one is a bit harder to believe at the moment.
Was neither in 1981
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Old 15th November 2017, 08:14 PM   #73
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To be honest, I'm surprised nothing has come out against William Shatner; he certainly seemed to be the real playboy of the TOS crew.
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Old 16th November 2017, 04:59 PM   #74
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Not getting this - in our shared common law tradition guilt has to be proven beyond reasonable doubt, innocence does not have to be proved.

That's true in an idealized, rainbows and unicorns, fantasy world. But I am willing to bet you have enough experience of the real world to know just how often that is proven to be completely and utterly false. In the real world, circumstances are very often very much the opposite. Especially when dealing with emotional issues and emotional juries. And even more especially when dealing with defendants from unpopular demographics, whether that's ethnic, sexual, or social minorities.

Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
Unfortunately, the reality is that, in this age of instant information where any moron with a twitter account can have an opinion that will circle the globe in milliseconds, the person against whom historical allegations are made, will struggle to defend themselves against those allegations in the court of public opinion, and for a celebrity, it is this court that counts more than any other.

And that's the worst part of it. Lives can be utterly and completely ruined even if the allegations are demonstrated conclusively and comprehensively to be false. Jobs can be lost, friends and family can be lost, and so on. We've seen it happen to celebrities, I've seen it happen to members of my own family.

And it's not just celebrities. Politicians, highly visible business-people, religious figures, pretty much anyone with a public profile can be victims.

There was an incident a number of years ago where a group of eco-terrorists attacked a scientist (in the UK I believe) who was involved with animal-based pharmaceutical testing. They began making public accusations of child sexual abuse against the scientist, going so far as to call in to local new outlets and poster his neighborhood with flyers. Although there was never any substantive claim, and no law enforcement officials were ever involved, the reaction of the community was such that he was forced to move.

I'm sure most of us remember the Tawana Brawley case, and the Duke Lacrosse team case, the West Memphis Three, the Satanic Ritual Abuse witch hunts, and so on. There are still more than a few people today who insist that Tawana Brawley and Crystal Magnum were truly raped, despite their admissions that they lied, and that their rapists got off scot free. There are people who fully believe (one of who posts on this board) that Damien Echols was a devil worshipper who tortured and killed three children. There are more than a few people (my parents included) who fully believe that there were and are gangs of satanists who sexually assault and murder children all the time.

Even without fanatical support for such accusations, there is always that public sentiment that "where there's smoke there's fire", and such allegations can prove damaging over the long time even when clearly and provably false.

And when cases like this do come to court, these are the sorts of people who will be sitting on the juries.

Quote:
Remember this quip by Samuel Clements... "A lie can travel halfway around the world before the truth can get its boots on"

Indeed.
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Old 17th November 2017, 01:32 PM   #75
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
I agree about the statute of limitations on sexual assault/rape/etc. I think the matter can be easily resolved by simply looking at the evidence. No physical evidence, only allegations? Don't prosecute. Video of the act? DNA evidence? Prosecute. It's worth noting that about half the States don't have such a SOL. Of the remaining states, many have a provision where if there is DNA evidence, the SOL starts over/is waived when DNA evidence is presented.

I have a problem with all these public accusations about alleged sexual assaults from several decades ago. There are too many motives for shenanigans. It costs the accusers nothing and at the very least casts suspicion on someone who may be completely innocent. It's very easy to say, "Rich and famous person X sexually assaulted me," when what actually happened may have not met any definition of sexual assault. Memory is a funny thing and may not be a reliable source of evidence. Stories that have been told for decades get embellished and may not resemble reality. Sounds like it's at least possible that in Takei's case there was no assault, just drunken fooling around that didn't progress to sex because one party said stop and the other party stopped.
There's also a changing definition.

By current standards, if two college kids get drunk and fool around, it's entirely plausible for the more-drunk one to accuse the less-drunk one of sexual assault or even rape. And yes, there's a significant amount of taking advantage that can occur when two parties are differentially intoxicated. But the same standard of consent wasn't in place thirty years ago. Our views have changed over time.

Thirty years ago, alcohol was viewed as lowering inhibitions. Now it's viewed as inhibiting judgement. Thirty years ago, a person drunkenly consenting to sex was a person whose inhibitions had reduced to a level where they were willing to do something they were perceived to have wanted to do but were too nervous to act on. Now we recognize that too much alcohol is likely to have resulted in them being pressured into doing something they would not have wanted to do were they sober - not that they were too nervous, but actually did not want.

The perception of what constitutes sexual assault has changed over time. To me, the current view of it is more appropriate... but that wasn't the view in place at the time. We shouldn't judge people's past actions through the light of today's mores.
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Old 17th November 2017, 05:46 PM   #76
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Not getting this - in our shared common law tradition guilt has to be proven beyond reasonable doubt, innocence does not have to be proved.

.....
This is only true in a court room...
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Old 17th November 2017, 09:25 PM   #77
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Originally Posted by Skeptical Greg View Post
This is only true in a court room...

And not often true even there.
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Old 17th November 2017, 10:24 PM   #78
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So has anyone else come forward?
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Old 17th November 2017, 10:46 PM   #79
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
The loophole is that it must be proven that the accuser knew the accusations are false - accuser refuses to accept that their charges are false and stick to their story, very few DA's would prosecute and the accused would then need to file a civil suit to recover damages.

It happens often when there's a citizen's complaint against an LEO and the charges are found to be without merit. Officers can not generally file suit against their accuser for defamation or slander without solid evidence the initial complaint was fraudulent.

ETA - You can find yourself in court over eating hard boiled eggs. Being found guilty of a crime over that is unlikely.
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Old 17th November 2017, 11:54 PM   #80
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Which means as I said he gets off scot free because he avoided detection for an arbitrarily set period of time.
You really seem to have grasped the whole concept of a statute of limitations.

Quote:
Not seeing the problem myself. You could have met with Walter 7 days ago, he then died the next and as per his last request all his documents were burnt the following day. Police turn up at your house 3 days later. Your alibi is just as destroyed as if it had been 30 years ago...
And which is more likely, that key witnesses have died in the last 30+ years or in the last week?

Quote:
And of course have to remember that for some crimes it doesn't matter how long ago it was committed, so we would seem to have a contradiction between how "old" evidence is viewed depending on the crime.
Yes, absolutely. The criminal justice system seems to have this crazy notion that there is limited value to chasing down a man who stole a loaf of bread years ago, but on the other hand someone guilty of murder should be locked up even if it is decades later. I cannot figure out whence these bizarre ideas have arisen. It's almost like the entire system went out to see Les Mis one night and came back with this idea that maybe some crimes didn't deserve a life on the run.
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