Thursday, August 6, 2009

Quotas for rape convictions, and the end of men as we know them

In the course of closely monitoring issues related to false rape claims, I have encountered a host of loony, comical, barbaric, perplexing, downright incomprehensible, and sometimes dangerous ideas that, to varying degrees, advocate putting at risk the lives and liberty of presumed innocent men, boys and even women (generally school teachers) accused of sexual assault. This post is about an idea that is among the most barbaric, and dangerous.

The sexual grievance industry incessantly beats the conviction-rates-for-rape-are-too-low tom tom, claiming that rapists are raping with impunity because our criminal justice machinery, dominated by males, is "too soft" on rape. Their advocacy for beefing up the laws to make it easier to convict males they assume must be rapists depends in large measure on the "fact" that women don't lie about rape and that "fact's" corollaries: false rape claims are a "myth," and only two percent of all rape claims are false. As we have demonstrated on this website time and time again, these assertions are not merely false, they have taken on the quality of the Nazi "big lie." Men loathe and detest rape and have a vested interest in eradicating it. But false rape claims are a significant problem that has gone largely unaddressed because the sexual grievance industry fears that addressing this problem will destroy their metanarrative that women are sexually tyrannized by men. They prefer to view the world through a simplistic gender lens where men are bad and women are holy, and where there are no shades of gray. Rape and false rape claims have become politicized symbols of something much bigger than the actual crimes.

In the UK, Labour's deputy leader, Harriet Harman, is famous for having a problem with men. How she stays in office given that almost half the voters are male and that a huge percentage of the female population depends upon and/or loves one or more males is one of those enduring mysteries like Stonehenge or Bigfoot that likely will never be explained. One of Ms. Harman's pet projects is jacking up the conviction rates for rape in the UK. As we reported yesterday, "Ms Harman is understood to want a more radical overhaul of the law which could include targets for prosecutors and police to secure more convictions."

This suggestion, in all its Star Chamber ramifications, is among the most barbaric and shameful I have yet encountered. Feigning that justice can be achieved by meeting quotas has no place in the most advanced jurisprudence the world has ever known; it is beyond cavil that justice can only be achieved by analyzing each case on its own facts and merits, freed of external pressures to hit an arbitrary target imposed by some bureaucrat.

What would these quotas entail? It is reasonable to suspect they would entail police and prosecutors being required to furnish reports explaining the reasons quotas are not met, with all manner of negative consequence imaginable for "unsatisfactory" explanations; further, it is reasonable to suspect that police would be deprived of certain government funding in the event their responses are not "satisfactory."

What effect would this have on innocent persons falsely accused of rape? Let's furnish an example. In the United States, law enforcement agencies are notoriously afraid of losing highway dollars from the federal government if they fail to make a sufficient number of DUI arrests. A DUI expert famously contended on American television that innocent people who have nothing to drink are taken to jail after submitting to roadside field sobriety tests. The charges are later dropped, but presumably the incarceration is sufficient to help meet a quota. There have also been allegations that U.S. border patrol agents have been given arrest quotas which, if not met, result in punishment to the officers who fail to hit their targets. And, of course, many police departments are believed to engage in improper traffic ticket quotas to raise revenue.

Consider a police officer examining a claim for date rape where there is strong evidence that the encounter was consensual, based on the couple's ex post facto behavior, the statements of witnesses after the fact, etc., but the charge was concocted later after the boy dumped the girl. Does the officer recommend charges be brought on the flimsy claim of a jilted lover? A police officer who is guided by the dictates of the facts and the law might make a very different decision than a police officer who is guided by the dictates of the facts and the law and pressure from his superiors to arbitrarily jack up his rape arrest numbers to satisfy a radical feminist bureaucrat. The prosecutor, of course, won't want to take that case since he knows it's a loser, and if he does take it, it will hurt his conviction quota.

Innocent men and boys not only would need to worry that a woman might decide to lie about their relationship, now they would also need to worry about whether the police department has hit its numbers when a woman falsely accuses them. Men and boys accused at the end of a month might have much to worry about if the police haven't hit their target that month.

And what is next? Will there be a quota for arresting and convicting a certain number of black male "rapists"? Muslim male "rapists"? And where will it end?

And what incentive do police or prosecutors have to keep going after real rapists after they've hit the quota? Presumably, the more convictions they are able to achieve, the higher their quota will be when the numbers are reassigned. Rape is a notoriously difficult crime to prosecute, and if the quota has been met, isn't it human nature to spend time on a less arduous task -- perhaps going after a drug dealer -- as opposed to raising the bar when the quota numbers are re-looked at?

So if you ask if the rights of innocent men and boys will be jeopardized by these targest, the question scarcely survives it's statement. But this system could also hurt actual rape victims. By any measure it doesn't serve the interests of justice.

The good news is there is some indication Harman is backing away: "Among the more contentious of the new proposals were conviction targets for prosecutors and police, which immediately rubbed up against the obvious objection from those who would be subject to the targets that undue pressure could distort the law. Whether or not Harman really was interested in advancing these ideas is unclear; yesterday the Home Office suggested they were not her priority."

It may not be her "priority," but the fact that she even considered it is beyond inexcusable. By no standard is it proper to put the innocent members of one gender at risk under the guise of protecting members of the other gender. Perhaps such a public policy would play well among the mythical Amazon band of female warriors, but it the real world it is unjust, shameful, and disgusting on a multitude of levels.

This woman is a threat to innocent men and boys and needs to be removed from office.