Untouched issues in DSK case

Three awkward questions in the DSK case:

  1. If any woman who has ever given false information on any matter in the past (immigration status, for example, or maybe even lesser matters) is too unreliable to bring a charge of rape against a sexual molester, is every  such woman fair game to be raped by anyone wishing to do so without any protection at law? In the DSK case, is the complainant fair game for attack by anyone so inclined for forever?
  2. Rape is often a case of her word against his word.  If credibility is to be judged by previous actions, is it only the woman’s credibility that informs the decision as to whether to prosecute, and not the man’s?  In the DSK case, are the many falsities that must have accompanied  Strauss-Kahn’s checkered sexual career  as relevant as the complainant’s?
  3. In the U.S. system of justice, when, where, and by whom is the credibility of a witness to be judged? Where two parties in a criminal proceeding contradict each other, absent compelling evidence as to the facts themselves, is judging credibility not a classic function of a jury in an open trial in a court-room? In the DSK case, is the prosecution pre-empting the jury’s role?

Author: pmarcuse

Just starting this blog, for short pieces on current issues. Suggestions for improvement, via e-mail, very welcome. pm35@columbia.edu

2 thoughts on “Untouched issues in DSK case”

  1. Points well taken. It has been open season on DSK’s alleged victim. I think there ought to be rules about what can and can’t be reported about a case. We do have some rules along those lines in Canada. Though I’m not at all expert in these matters, I believe the amount of discussion of this case that has been bandied about the media wouldn’t have been allowed were DSK on trial here. I’d be interested to know what a lawyer who knows both legal systems has to say about this.

    1. Exposure to the media would be a major concern in jury selection, but only a ban on comments by councsel, rather than a blackout, would I think be doable under U.S. law.

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