[lbo-talk] Strauss Kahn

Dissenting Wren dissentingwren at yahoo.com
Wed Aug 24 12:54:37 PDT 2011

The legal standard of "reasonable doubt" is invoked after all of the evidence is presented in a court - and we'll never know how that might have come out.  Since we're not in court, I think the relevant standard is "moral certainty" - being sure enough to proceed on the assumption that something is true.  And even "moral certainty" is variable, because being "sure enough" depends on what you're planning to do.  And since all I'm planning to do is howl at an indifferent universe, then my standard is "can I think of any other plausible explanation" for what happened there?"  Nope.  As far as I'm concerned, this cochon just got off with one more cochonnerie.  You haven't slandered Diallo, but SA suggesting she engaged in an act of prostitution, or Shane suggesting that this was an extortion scheme "just like Roman Polanski" (ZOMGWTF?) ... I need another shower.

As far as reasonable doubt and rape cases, there's the problem that "reasonable doubt" is a vague standard left to the interpretation of each member of the jury.  Unfortunately, there are enough jurors out there willing to blame the victim that sleazy defense tactics work.  I know the case of one seven-year-old girl whose case went to mistrial because one juror was convinced by the defense case that she seduced her attacker.  When those tactics start to backfire on defense attorneys, then the dilemma I talked about earlier will evaporate (e.g., the right of the accused to a robust defense won't make it virtually impossible to prosecute the rapists of "bad women").  But until then, we have a fucking problem.

---------------------------------------------- DW: So, is it true that Nafissatou Diallo shot herself in the foot by making false statements to the prosecutors? Surely.  (Though the problem is not that she's a "proficient fabricator".  By all evidence, she's not very good at it.)  Is it also the case that DSK sexually assaulted her?  Oh hell yes.

DH: Probably yes, not "oh hell yes." But the standard of proof involves that reasonable doubt thing.

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