Perhaps I should qualify the title of the post with the word “probably”, as the verdict in the Ghomeshi trial is not in yet. Only when Jian Ghomeshi has been found innocent will I be able to say that it has been a truly fair trial.
What prompted this post is this article in Toronto’s 24-hr news radio station 680 News, entitled “Jian Ghomeshi’s trial highlights need for deep legal reform: lawyer”. Now I am not suggesting that you should listen to 680 News for deep thoughts, but it is a great place to go to see what the Mainstream Media’s current zeitgeist is, because 680 is both too stupid and too sane to deviate much from the received wisdom.
So why does the lawyer quoted by 680 News think our criminal justice system is broken?
“A Toronto lawyer who’s called for substantial reforms to how the legal system handles sexual assault cases says the Jian Ghomeshi trial shows that the adversarial model presently in place is ‘structurally ill-suited’ to deal with such allegations.
The current system is ‘basically trial by war.’”
The reason why our justice system involves ‘trials by war’ is that trials necessarily represent two irreconcilable interests: the interests of the guy who doesn’t what to go to prison, as well as the people who want to send him there. Non-adversarial criminal trials may sound superficially nicer but in practice will mean that one side will not be fairly represented. You either have kangaroo courts – where the rights of the accused are waived – or you have a paradise for criminals. I am old fashioned enough to not favour either option.
“That is probably the worst thing to do to complainants who are coming forward to talk about very intimate and distressing violations of their sexual integrity,” he said.
What about the distress that an innocent man will have to endure for the next ten years in a federal prison?
“The high-profile Ghomeshi case has seen witnesses alter their statements under relentless cross-examination that often focused on details of memories dating back more than a decade”
This is an interesting point, and illustrates the need for a statute of limitations on sexual assault. These cases, especially after an intervening decade, devolve into a question of he said – she said, with no physical evidence or corroborating testimony available for either side. If memories are as unreliable as has been demonstrated in the Ghomeshi trial, how can anybody be found guilty of sexual assault beyond a reasonable doubt after a decade has passed?
“— a tactic deemed common among defence lawyers.”
This tactic is also common among prosecutors. This, because it is useful for separating truthful witnesses from perjurers and false accusers.
“Moving away from an adversarial model, I think, is going to be necessary because look at the Ghomeshi trial — who would voluntarily put themselves through that?”
Somebody with a desire for vengeance against a person who has done them grievous harm? Of course, that assumes, grievous harm has actually been inflicted.
“Canada’s legal system has made strides in the last few decades in trying to recognize the unique nature of sexual assault cases, including the implementation of rape shield laws that bar using a woman’s sexual history to discredit her.”
If the Ghomeshi trial illustrates anything at all, it is the absolute necessity of vigorous cross-examination. The testimony of every complainant was full of contradictions and fanciful stories that made no sense at all. If they hadn’t been exposed by cross-examination, an innocent man would have been sent to prison.
“Sexual violence is nonetheless often kept secret: a Statistics Canada survey found that only five per cent of sexual assaults were reported to police in 2014, a proportion consistent with previous studies.”
Really? So how do you go about counting something that is, by definition, unreported? I smell a statistical fish here - as well as another story about the corruption in our sciences.
What’s their solution?
“Creating a specialized court to deal with sexual assault cases, like those earmarked for young offenders or those accused with mental health issues, could help, although those tend to focus on the circumstances of the offender, Witelson said.”
A specialized court that focuses on the circumstances of the complainant? Sounds like a kangaroo court to me.
“In order to convict, the criminal justice system requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt, a standard that is ‘almost impossible’ to meet, particularly in cases when the complainant and accused have an existing relationship, Butt said.
The civil system, meanwhile, needs only for one side to be more believable that the other, which increases the likelihood that someone will be held responsible, he said.”
See, what did I tell you. This validates what I said in my previous article:
“I also think this case points out how dangerous The Left really is. They demonstrate through their actions that they do not want justice at all - in any recognizable form of the word. What they want to do is to mete out group justice, like the way the Bolsheviks meted out group justice to the kulaks, or how Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge exterminated a third of Cambodia. If this assessment seem harsh, then let me ask you this: in what way is the feminist idea of justice in sexual assault cases different from communist persecution?”
You know, the social justice warriors are not going to stop. They are going to keep going until they achieve Pol Pot’s Year Zero. And green-eyeshades conservatives who just want to focus on ‘balancing the books’ while leave the messy, culture-war stuff to the Left, are inadvertently aiding and abetting them.
For this nonsense to stop, good men (and women) have to step up to the plate and stop them.