- - - - - - - - - - - - -

Monday, March 31, 2008

Courts 'fail child sex-abuse victims'

Courts 'fail child sex-abuse victims'
Child sex-abuse victims are being failed by the courts as lawyers bully young witnesses and jurors misunderstand abuse, ground-breaking research suggests. Juries are increasingly wanting corroborative evidence before convicting an accused even if they believe the child. Conviction rates for alleged assaults on adults and children remain low, with only 6 per cent of all cases reported to police resulting in a conviction. The research, done by forensic psychologist Suzanne Blackwell, shows the court process is particularly fraught for children, as many defence lawyers use aggressive, misleading cross-examination and play on myths about child abuse to get their clients off. Some lawyers also appear to engineer delays, knowing that juries are less likely to believe older children, especially teenagers. Critics say that, rather than seeking truth and justice, child sex-abuse trials are simply a fight to win. And it is the child victims who are losing out.

Wow conviction rates are only 6%? That seems like a lot of accused people walking free, the issue at hand is a call for a more inquisitorial sexual abuse court system rather than the punch up fight it is now, there is also something called the ‘CSI effect’ where Juries expect a huge amount of forensic evidence and without it won’t convict. This combines with our attitudes towards young people as a society, it’s something I’ve pointed out many times, that we as a society we really don’t like young people and that this dislike is created in part by the negative way young people are always portrayed in the mainstream media – this research shows that even when the Jury believe the kid, they won’t convict. Watching the moral ‘outrage’ so many NZers showed to legislation banning them from abusing their kids is a litmus test to how we internalize a lot of the angst of being a NZer and then project it onto a younger generation who are simply acting out all the self destructive behaviour they’ve watched from their elders.


At 31/3/08 8:36 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Juries are increasingly wanting corroborative evidence before convicting an accused even if they believe the child."

The CSI effect?

How about the;
"needing the evidence before we put a person away on he said/she said evidence effect".

I put it to you bomber, if the police arrived at your house and said you were under arrest for historical child abuse offences, wouldn't you want the prosecution to provide at least some evidence to prove your guilt?

Or would you be happy to be labelled a paedophile on the basis of a child saying that you are?

At 31/3/08 8:43 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In other words,

better the "CSI effect" than the "Peter Ellis effect".

At 31/3/08 4:36 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It’s the smart-ass, smug, filthy, woman hating. child hating, crim loving, lying, cheating, lawyer effect.

Lawyers (and ex lawyers who are now judges. MPs, Ministers etc) are the people who will destroy society. When people are constantly ridiculed and abused by those who should know better, who should care about them, protect them and stand for decency and justice people will (and should) turn and seek their own justice.

Probably not in NZ - most of them are to lazy to get out of bed to fight back and the rest are just empty self-promoting do nothing talkers.

At 31/3/08 5:10 pm, Blogger Bomber said...

better the "CSI effect" than the "Peter Ellis effect".

Yes, that is an excellent point and I was thinking about that when I posted the blog, but don't you think the Ellis case was the exception and not the rule? His case was an appalling example and was more witch hunt than Court Trial.


Post a Comment

<< Home