Innocent until proven guilty and rape accusations? - …
The Presumption is considered by many to be too valuable a principle to undermine, even for the sake of preventing terrorism. If a legal system can convict innocent people it is entirely useless. There is no meaning to justice if there is no real distinction made between the guilty and the innocent. If punishment comes at random, there is no reason not to commit crime. Even one innocent conviction would undermine the system. The actual definition of consent, when defined in law, moves the burden of proof to the accused. The defendant has to prove that they received positive affirmation rather than the complainant having to prove that they protested. This undermines the presumption of innocence. The “yes means yes” actual definition assumes no consent until proven otherwise. The burden of proof moves to the defendant, not the complainant. It is for this reason that the law should not reflect reality.
Guilty Until Proven Innocent: The Skewed White ..
In rape cases the fear is that without the presumption of innocence there will be many more men punished after being falsely convicted. Women would have the unjust power of being able to claim, without proof, that they were raped, and thus destroy the lives of any man they dislike. Men imagine that women frequently feel so much shame after having enjoyable, consensual sex, that they invent rape charges to feel less ashamed. This claim is supported by the potential historical use of rape accusations as a way of protecting women from accusations of adultery. It’s certainly true that in the US rape claims were used as an excuse for racist hate crime. It was claimed to be impossible for a white women to consent to a black man, and so this was a line of attack for white supremacists.
The presumption of innocence is considered by many to be one of the cornerstones of a valuable justice system. For law to be just, it must be fair. It must, at the very least, punish the guilty and not the innocent. To assume that all those accused are innocent until proven guilty provides insurance against most unjust convictions. The burden of proof is on the complainant, it is up to them to prove guilt, rather than the defendant having to defend their innocence. If the default position is innocence, we need not fear being convicted with little or no evidence of our crime.