Friday 25 March 2016

Because It's 2016: Part 2

From my blog on the Cologne attacks. It has some relevance to the societal constructions that allow the blame-shifting to victims to be the predominant construction of western society (I won't discuss other societies - "clean up the mess in our own house first, I say").

Sometimes the legal system is just an excuse to avoid dealing with the larger social presuppositions of our society. It is the legacy of our western history - scapegoating has been the answer for so long (bah, humbug to René Girard), it is time we really tried to get rid of the larger social construction that enable it.

If we don't then we are all enablers of these travesties of justice.

Comments to my Facebook post:

Male Friend 1: Ok, ok...but it's interesting - and significant - that both the defence attorney AND the law professor that CBC had on as commentators for the decision agreed that it would have been nearly impossible to obtain a conviction on the basis of the evidence as presented and cross-examined! So is this the court's fault or the crown's?
LikeReply38 mins
Sheila A. Redmond The Crown Prosecutor's Office did not represent the women in the best way possible. And no I still do not think that it was predominantly the prosecutor's fault - there is a flaw in the system that has a hard time in a patriarchal society to avoid "blame-shifting" to women (or to male victims) in cases of sexual assault. It is the most blatant example of a society that is still stuck in its Christian past (almost 2,000 years to get it right - enough time already) with respect to women, and over issues of sexuality. Western society - whether we like it or not - is still embued with the fundamental constructions of Christianity as the foundation of its legal systems & we know what Christianity has thought about women over the centuries.
LikeReplyJust now
Sheila A. Redmond
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Male Friend 2: All the judge stated was that there is reasonable doubt as to his guilt based on the conduct evidence and inaccuracies of the accusers. When witnesses/victim testimony are the only evidence, and that evidence is deemed to be less than credible, there is no other choice -in law- than to find not guilty.

It is a fundamental principal of justice that you cannot lock a person away without certainty of guilt.

Agree or disagree with the judge on a personal level, but in legal terms he made the only available decision. This is a justice system dispute, not the makeup of the bench.
LikeReply7 minsEdited
Sheila A. Redmond We'll get to that shortly - the great gender divide on this issue is becoming clearer

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