Should people go to prison for filing false rape cases?
Say, if somebody filed a false rape case, should the person filing the false rape case go to prison instead? IMO, the person filing the false rape case should get the same amount of time the accused rapist would have got if he/she were to be convicted.
No. What constitutes "false?" A not guilty verdict? If you put someone's freedom on the line every time he/she tries to press charges for a crime, many many real crimes would never be reported or brought to trial. A victim would have to be 100% sure he or she was going to win the case or twould be risking his own freedom by having a criminal charged with a crime.
This kind of thing would kill the entire judicial process.
If a charge is entirely fabricated, I'm pretty sure the prosecutors and people bringing the charges in the first place can already be charged for a number of things including perjury and filing a false report-definitely civil and possibly criminal charges depending on the case. Then they'd have to go through their own trial to judge guilt and levy an appropriate (not equivalent to the previous charges) punishment. That's fair and reasonable judicial policy, it's already in place and already sufficiently addresses the issue of false accusations.
OP refers to the fabricated accusations. In an ideal world, sure, teach them a real lesson. Will it happen? Not a chance.
Yes. You get in trouble for filing a false police report for anything else, I don't see why this should be any different.
Should people go to prison for filing false rape cases?
If the accusation is provably false, then I believe the accuser should face repercussions for their actions. What constitutes 'provable' is the problem. No one should be afraid to come out and seek justice for being raped. Likewise, no one should fear going to prison because of some spiteful, psychotic a$$hole.
I think there needs to be a shift in the general public attitude of "if he/she's accused, they're guilty". Stop hanging people before the trial's even begun. I think it would be a nice change to make it illegal to make the accused's name known before the verdict.
Andrea died. Her mom's boyfriend died. His best friend was paralyzed. The mom and girlfriend were wounded but recovered.
But the guy they all identified as the shooter was rich. So he hired a really effective lawyer and got off.
Then he was on tape paying an undercover FBI agent to kill the judge from his divorce case with Andrea's mom. So he hired the same lawyer and got off again.
While in a perfect scenario that seems to make sense, you can not put the further onus of the threat of jail time on the victim if the guy somehow gets off. It is hard enough for the victims to come forward, this just adds another deterrent to them speaking out.
I think it would be hard to make a law that recognizes the difference between a failed prosecution and an obviously fraudulent accusation.
But yeah. If she was actually raped, ABSOLUTELY let her accuse her rapist. But if she wasn't actually raped and claims she was, hold her accountable for that false report.
Is anyone else remembering the big Duke University case from a while back? Buncha frat boy athlete types. Stripper accuses them all of rape. Big stink all over the news. Turns out not only had THEY not done it, but she hadn't been raped at all.
That kind should be prosecuted for a false report.
One like the Steubenville(?) case where not only did it really happen, but everybody knew it happened, there was photographic evidence that it happened, and the offenders didn't really even try to hide that they'd done it. Then the whole town turns on the victim and anyone who helped her get her story out. It's bad enough that she got no justice. But to pursue her afterwards because the local town doesn't want to hurt their high school athlete's futures would be an atrocity on MANY levels.
If it was verifyably false, then yes, I think falsely accusing someone of a serious crime should be punished.
The problem with these cases is to prove anything though, since it's often a he said she said kind of situation. And, it could also get ugly with counter-accusations and more pain for someone who has actually been raped but where it can't be proven. So, not easy to decide what would be the right thing here.
An innocent man was sent to prison because of her lies.
In my opinion, prison? No. Should they be punished? Yes, without doubt.
I just tend to be of the mind that prison should be reserved for violent crimes, non-violent crimes should still be punished, but in a way that also benefits society while punishing the criminal. Prison is simply too expensive.
And let's also be clear that while the media makes a big thing of these fabricated rape accusations, in reality it's but a tiny proportion.
It depends on the situation of course but I do think that prison time should be on the list of possibilities. The repercussions and stigma of a rape claim are potentially horrific. In some instances it reverses the whole idea of "innocent until proven guilty", where the accused is essentially held as guilty until they can prove otherwise.
Theres two records..if not more.
The police arrest record and the judicial outcome record.
Lets say I am accused of rape and therefore arrested.
I have a record now. And that's almost impossible to get rid of. Other things like simple theft, small drug charges..those can get expunged or sealed, expect to pay a few hundred to do that and wait 90 days or so.
But a rape charge is not as easy to get rid of, even if false. SO now, through no fault of your own, you got that..and the whole world can look that up.
I understand it might deter some people from coming forward on a real case, but there should be the same repercussion for someone filing a false rape case against you..
Thats your life, your freedom your job, everything thats being thrown under the bus because some goof person doesn't like you.
Not to mention CPS knocking on your door if you have kids.
EDIT: you can spend hundreds of dollars and other court fees to remove the arrest record, the state police and the local authority who arrested you..can go ahead and say no, we will not expunge our arrest record, if they want to...They don't have to say yes, even if the arrest is false.
I agree that a false rape accusation is a nightmare, only topped by child molestation accusations really. Inevitably there will be people thinking "no smoke without a fire", and if there is any police record it will come back to haunt you regardless if it was a false accusation.
They should most definitely be punished if it is in fact a false charge. Just being accused of raping a person is a serious black mark on anyone's life, regardless of whether they actually did it or not. And as others have said, it does dilute the urgency and support system needed to help real victims.
If someone was falsely accused someone of rape, and the person accused spent any time in jail, then the person who accused them should have to serve the same amount of time as the person they falsely accused.
I would take it a step further. There was a man in Houston that was convicted of rape because of faulty DNA testing at the Houston crime lab. He spent 4 1/4 years in prison when they retested the DNA and found that he was 100% innocent. After all of that the DA at the time Chuck Rosenthal did everything he could to keep him locked up. I think that the whoever fudged that DNA test and the prosecutor who tried that case should do the same time he served. That would damn sure make them not so quick to ruin someones life without enough evidence.
Rape is a tough one because of the nature of the crime. As it rule it happens in a private location and the only witnesses are the participants.
My beef with the whole rape issue it the "date rape" definitions. I'm sorry if you took your drunk male or female friend home, and both of you said yes, yes, yes. And you woke up in the mourning hungover and regretting it, it wasn't a rape.
If you were drugged it was a rape, If you were wasted and allowed someone to take you home, invited them into your house brought them into your bedroom, and you were too drunk to remember half of what happened you have a problem too.
But I believe anyone who clearly falsely accuses someone of a serious crime should face the full weight of the law.
I'm actually afraid of Texas. I nearly moved to Denton in the mid '80s and I'm glad I didn't; I can't imagine getting probation for a parking violation or jail time for jaywalking.:p
The U.S. Constitution provides some very clear guarantees regarding the rights of the accused and of their due process of law. The standard for convicting someone of a crime is assumption of innocence until the burden of proof of guilt beyond reasonable doubt is met by the prosecution.
It most certainly is a crime to falsely accuse another person of felony wrongdoing by knowingly making bogus claims to the police. Let's assume that an innocent person is convicted of a crime based on such a bogus claim as well as knowingly false testimony in court (perjury). Should the false accusation be discovered then there is a process by which:
1) the innocent person can appeal to have his conviction overturned* and other possible remedies instituted.
2) the person making the knowingly false accusations can be prosecuted and, if found guilty in accordance with due process of law, suffer the appropriate sentence as proscribed by criminal statute.
3) the person who is harmed by being falsely accused may sue the accuser in civil court for loss. Here, the burden of proof is less than for a criminal case.
This process is not automatic. The legal (as well as financial) burden for overturning a wrongful conviction lies with the convicted. Prosecution of the crime of false accusations or perjury is at the discretion of prosecutors, who will usually decide whether to prosecute based on the their estimation of likelihood of gaining a conviction. In reality, other factors come into play, such as the expected public reaction to prosecuting the false accuser who may be a sympathetic character in some way.
In the Duke University gang rape case, for example, the woman making the false charges was not prosecuted because it seems as if she had some serious psychological issues as well as substance abuse issues. In addition, it also appears that the prosecutor himself knowingly participated in the fabrication of false information for the purpose of making himself a more appealing candidate during his re-election campaign.
Generally speaking, prosecutors are virtually immune from being prosecuted themselves for misconduct that results in a false conviction, but there are exceptions, if the misconduct is grievous enough (and if the wrongfully convicted has a lot of money or clout).
* The Innocence Project is a non-profit group that has successfully assisted hundreds of wrongfully convicted persons in proving their innocence and getting their convictions overturned. They also advocate for systematic reforms to the criminal prosecution process.
These people are truly awesome and it's one of the very few causes that I regularly donate to. I try to spread their word as often and as far as I can.
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