Rights group calls on presidential candidates to denounce 'victim-centered investigations'
By Ashe Schow (@AsheSchow) • 8/11/16 2:17 PM
An organization dedicated to overturning and preventing wrongful convictions is calling on presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump to denounce "victim-centered investigations."
The Center for Prosecutor Integrity works with prosecutors, defense attorneys, law enforcement and the falsely accused to prevent wrongful convictions and over-criminalization. The group says victim-centered investigations have led and will lead to more wrongful convictions and false accusations.
"Victim-centered investigations emphasize the collection of evidence supportive of the complainant and discourage the collection of exculpatory evidence, thereby increasing the likelihood of a guilty verdict," the group wrote in a press release. "Victim-centered investigations represent a departure from ethical standards of investigative impartiality, neutrality and objectivity."
Both the Democratic and Republican Party platforms discussed fairness in accusations of sexual assault, specifically on college campuses. But requiring victim-centered investigations removes fairness, as investigators — whether actual law enforcement or campus bureaucrats — are told to believe accusers and pressured by the federal government to punish the accused no matter what the evidence shows.
As I've written before, one of the few times the general public was able to review just what constituted a "victim-centered" investigation, the results were unnerving. Investigators were outright told that false accusations are rare (so best not to ever disbelieve the accuser) and to predict what a likely defense would be, so as to counteract it during the investigation.
Investigators for the University of Texas system were told not to repeat questions with accusers (or not to take notes when doing so), so that there would not be evidence of inconsistencies that could be an indication the accuser was lying.
The CPI press release mentions the case of a young man who was accused of sexually assaulting a woman even though he had never been to the town the alleged assault was said to have occurred.
The group called for Clinton and Trump to endorse a "justice-centered" approach that "protects due process, preserves the presumption of innocence and utilizes an impartial evaluation of all evidence."
Accusers, CPI notes, should be treated with respect and taken seriously, but investigators must remain impartial. I've previously advocated for a "trust but verify" approach, which would ensure accusers aren't disbelieved from the start, but that the accused would also not be treated as guilty from the beginning.
Trump hasn't mentioned campus sexual assault during his campaign, but Clinton has tweeted that we should "listen and believe" anyone who makes an accusation (unless they're accusing her husband, of course).
As you can plainly see that as far as men's rights go Hillary is a lost cause. The proof is here and here. Which is causing this and rightfully so. That means our best bet is with Donald Trump. So contact him at facebook or send him a tweet and let him know that we are very concerned about this. The more of us that contact him the better so don't delay.