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The Weinstein Verdict Sets a Very Bad Precedent
As far back as 3500 years ago, the Bible required that there be corroborating evidence in the form of at least two witnesses before someone could be convicted of any crime (Deuteronomy 19:15-20). In other words, you could not just accuse someone of a crime, whatever that may be. The burden was on the accuser to present corroborating evidence of the crime.
And about 250 years ago, Benjamin Franklin stated “That it is better 100 guilty Persons should escape than that one innocent Person should suffer, is a Maxim that has been long and generally approved.”
But in our post-feminist and humanist society, it is feelings, not facts and logic, which have become the basis for economic and social policies. And the justice system is no exception to this rule. Before the women’s rights movements got rid of protections in the 1980’s, corroborating evidence was required to prove a man raped or sexually assaulted a woman just as you would have to have corroborating evidence to convict a person of any other crime. In other words, prior to the 1980’s the burden of proof was on the accuser of sexual assault, not the one being accused as it had been for thousands of years.
But from the 1980s onward, in any case of a sex crime, the burden of proof was transferred from the accuser to the accused. The only protection left for those accused of sex crimes without corroborating evidence was that most juries would still not convict people for sex crimes without corroborating evidence even though the law no longer required it for a conviction. This is why in most cases prosecutors would decline to prosecute people without corroborating evidence.
The Weinstein Verdict has now broken this legal precedent and many other precedents. Two women accused Weinstein of rapes than occurred more than a decade ago. The defense proved from emails they consented to meeting with Weinstein to have sex with him many times after the supposed rapes occurred. They said they only did so to further their careers.
Weinstein was convicted on two counts of rape, with absolutely no corroborating evidence. The real sad truth is that Weinstein had already been convicted in the court of public opinion and no one on this jury had the courage to stand up to the MeToo mob who wanted their piece of Harvey’s flesh no matter what horrible legal precedent this would set.