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Open thread for discussion of Jian Ghomeshi acquittal

Jian Ghomeshi
Jian Ghomeshi

Today, as CBCNews reports:

Jian Ghomeshi has been acquitted on four counts of sexual assault and one count of choking by an Ontario Court judge who says the “deceptive and manipulative” evidence of the complainants raised a reasonable doubt in the guilt of the former CBC Radio host.

Share your thoughts below. This thread is a NO TROLL/NO MRA etc thread.

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GenJones
GenJones
4 years ago

3. So let’s say you’ve done the deed and have a dead body on your hands. Now what? Do you call the police and put yourself in the hands of the courts, or do you hide it and try to get on with your life? Is this going to result in pressuring women to have contingency plans to get rid of evidence?

I’d like to add that even if this killing took place at the time of the assault and was not planned later, the law prescribes that one only incapacitate in order to run away, which unfortunately means that the only punishment the rapist is likely to receive is a temporary bruise. If one continued to beat their attacker after they got the upper hand instead of running away it could not be considered self defense in a court of law, then you’re on trial for first-degree murder for excessive use of force. The only conditions the justice system will accept for killing in self defense if you manage to kill or critically injure them before they get a chance to back off.

hedin
hedin
4 years ago

@FriendlyFyre

I love what you said with what you said about education! Beyond more justice for victims, I think it will build empathy, resulting in less rape and other sorts of wantonly cruel behavior.

In a culture that trains us to see others as competitors or means to an end, teaching how others experience trauma is a radical act — not just against sexual violence, but also economic exploitation, racism, imperialism and other systemic evils. And just listening can be radical too. It gets people asking the most important questions: how have we fucked up enough as a society that we have to teach this, and what can we do about it?

there is this sick little lizard brain part of us that doesn’t want to believe someone unless given evidence WE can understand, and for people who HEAR about the violation of rape, this makes it nigh impossible for them to believe they would do what the survivor did by waiting.

That’s not a “sick little lizard brain” thing, that’s like practically the entire human condition. Even for empathetic, thoughtful people, it’s hard to understand what other people have gone through, or why they react the way they do — particularly with trauma.

I don’t think the problem is that we only want to believe “evidence we can understand” (taking things on faith is usually a bad thing) — it’s that too many of us are willing to leave it there, and not put in the hard work to listen and try to understand. That’s why what you said about education resonated with me.

@Policy Of Madness

What we need is for the justice system to take victims seriously, to understand how victimization alters a person’s behavior, and to view all persons as truly equal before the law rather than holding the powerful to a different standard than those without power.

Agreed, but how? Our justice system is so deeply fucked (way worse in the US than Canada, AFAIK, although it’s clear from this verdict that Canada has problems of its own.)

Cops and prosecutors routinely dismiss compelling evidence of guilt or throw cases when it suits them. Then they’ll trick traumatized victims into accusing the wrong person, or bully the falsely accused into making a confession in another case just to look tough on crime, or even to get inconvenient political adversaries out of the picture (look at the trial of Rev. Pinkney in Michigan.)

I mean, it’s basically there to protect the wealthy, create a spectacle of the torture and dehumanization of prisoners, keep minorities and the poor in line, enrich private prisons, and (if it doesn’t get in the way of any of those other goals) preserve justice.