Fleshing out what’s been stated by Paul Elam and some of his followers on AVfM on the topic of rape trials and jury nullification

A few comments received in my flooded “Open Letter to MGTOWs I’ve Offended” post deserve a special response in a separate post. This pertains to a quote I take direct issue with posted by Paul Elam on July 20, 2010:

I make the following pledge as an activist, and as an American that believes fully in the rule of law. Should I be called to sit on a jury for a rape trial, I vow publicly to vote not guilty, even in the face of overwhelming evidence that the charges are true.

[…]

If you are sitting on a jury hearing a case of rape, the only way to serve justice is to acquit.

Better a rapist would walk the streets than a system that merely mocks justice enslave another innocent man. And better a system that cannot be trusted as it is, be corrected from within by a single honest citizen in the name of real justice.

[Bold emphasis mine]

http://www.avoiceformen.com/mens-rights/false-rape-culture/jury-duty-at-a-rape-trial-acquit/

In this instance, the comment thread is less relevant because the article was written by the FOUNDER and itself carries the most weight. Notice though, the only comments on there are from 2013 since apparently all old ones were removed when he took that article down for a while. So whatever disagreements people in the MRM professed having back then are not showing anymore, though the article itself is back up.

(That article and a few others were brought to people’s attention thanks to Dave Futrelle’s blog where you can find links to more of Paul Elam’s stated views. [Not a fan of Dave Futrelle, but he did call a lot of attention to all of this.])

Paul Elam posted a follow-up to that on August 1, 2010 on AVfM:

http://www.avoiceformen.com/feminism/government-tyranny/on-jury-nullification-and-rape/

A particularly relevant snippet from that 2nd article by Paul Elam:

This is a problem so intractable and entrenched in the culture that any attempt to address it through conventional means is certain to result in failure and vilification.

So, what do you do within the system when the system is the problem? What do you do when laws that purport to serve the cause of justice can be so easily wielded as an instrument for revenge or the next rung up on a political ladder? And when there is all but impunity for those that do so?

What do you do when courts practice tyranny and innocent men are ground to dust along with their rights?

What do you do when these concerns are dismissed out of political expedience by a system that has built, with the majority of public support, a brick wall around its own systematic malfeasance?

Extreme circumstances call for extreme measures. And there is no better example of extreme than in the way this false rape culture has run common decency and sacred rights into the ground.

One possible extreme is jury nullification. When a law or system of applying laws becomes the source of injustice, jury nullification has long been a viable option.

Nullification occurs when a jury acquits a defendant despite the weight of evidence against him. It is legal and completely moral depending on the application.

For instance, a 1930’s white jury finding a white male not guilty of murdering a black man despite a mountain of evidence that points to a conviction would be an immoral application of this principle.

But on the other hand, what would you think if a cancer patient were on trial for possession of marijuana, and you knew that drug was the only resource they had to help them tolerate their chemotherapy? Would it be immoral to ignore the law and let them go?

The law is clear. Marijuana is illegal. If they were in possession of it they were breaking the law. Should we not then send them to jail?

Now, I am not comparing an accused rapist to a cancer patient, but simply pointing to the fact that when the legal system fails to seek justice, when it is, in fact, undermining the very concept of justice, juries are equipped to put a stop to it.

Now what if you are on a jury in a rape trial, and you know that it is highly likely that evidence that may be exculpatory has been deliberately hidden from you? What if you think there is a genuine possibility that the trial is more about the career of the prosecutor than about the pursuit of justice?

What if you know you cannot trust what you are seeing?

In your mind, here and now, I challenge you to ask yourself. What kind of impact do the answers to these questions have on the concept of reasonable doubt?

And I would argue that if you are aware of how the system actually works, then you must be aware that reasonable doubt cannot be ascertained in a rape trial. There is just not enough trustworthy information in many cases to make that judgment, and unfortunately as a juror, you are not able to discern if the case you are seeing is one of the ones that has been tainted.

There are perhaps exceptions to this. If the state is able to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt that breaking and entering, an abduction, the use of a weapon or extensive bodily harm occurred during the alleged attack, then a guilty vote may be justified.

But I say perhaps for a reason. Remember the Jovanovic case? He was convicted of kidnapping with the other charges. It never happened. The Albert case as well. There were “injuries” involved there. All consensual. And he was convicted anyway. So even with these possible exceptions the state could be running a political circus instead of a legitimate trial.

Now, as to nullification, it is easy to conclude that the chances of getting 12 people on a jury knowledgeable enough of the system to see it for the railroad that it is, are highly unlikely. Actual acquittal is out of the question.

Never happen.

But in most cases it still takes unanimity to convict. It ususally takes unanimity to convict on retrial as well. It takes only one to bring the system down, even if only for the time being. And it is a system so tainted that it quite clearly needs to be corrected- for the sake of justice.

[That was directly copied and pasted.]

And most comments there (which Paul Elam decided to leave up this time around) aren’t disputing the idea. Go have a look.

A few particularly fucked-up excerpts come from a comment by someone named Benjamin [published May 12, 2011]:

“To avoid being sodomized is one of the prime directives (if you will excuse the phrase) to being a man. IMO, and from my observations, a man is put into an un-righteous and unnatural position of submission to other men who are trying to dominate him gruesomely. This particular crime, especially if allowed to spread throughout a society and become entrenched, will quickly lead to the absolute denigration and dissolution of the family, the extended family, and “civil” society. (Please see this element and its terrible results in prison societies, for reference.)”

“In contrast, a woman who is similarly taken in the ‘exit’, has a very unpleasant time, I don’t much doubt. But, no danger is created to her place in society nor to the family itself nor to society itself, by that. In such a case, she is *rather roughly* put into her natural position of being submitted to a man. (Surprisingly, I actually worked with a man whose Granddad advised him to use this strategy with his wife! Granddad had, for decades, whenever his wife became altogether too b!tchy with guests or whomever, taken her upstairs and initiated sex with her via “an alternate route”, if you will. Granddad actually is reported to have said, and I am not making this up[!], that his wife would come back downstairs basically purring and back to being just as sweet as you would like, again.)”

“It may not be any fun, OK! But it is a far cry from what you asked Mark, about a man’s being sodomized.”

“To ask about the forced taking of a woman in the more natural mode, though, is WAY far away from the topic of the forced sodomy of a man! Those two are not even in the same ballpark.”

____________________
To read his full comment and others, see: http://www.avoiceformen.com/feminism/government-tyranny/on-jury-nullification-and-rape/comment-page-1/#comment-37605

____________________

Holy shit! WTF??!  Seriously???

Another notable comment on there:

Jean Valjean says

April 29, 2011 at 7:58 PM

I think that as soon as jury nullification is used a few times the feminists will call it the backlash of the patriarchy and demand that anyone engaged in JN should be charged with a crime.

Sadly, I’ve never been called up for a jury duty but I have long wished to have an opportunity to sit on a rape trial just for this purpose.

Here’s finally one voice of reason:

Rachael says

June 8, 2011 at 7:49 AM

So…. because of a few false convictions ALL rapes shouldn’t be prosecuted? You are ridiculous.

 

Now, addressing this second article by Paul, I’d like to acknowledge that it’s one thing to vote to acquit if you have reasonable doubts, but it’s quite another if those doubts are sown purely due to ideological reasoning and personal politics. Though apparently humans cannot prove above bias so as to treat a situation objectively because it’s the right thing to do. No, and that’s how the U.S. got corrupted in the first place. And that’s all he’s really advocating more of, not for people to truly be skeptical and turn off their personal biases so as to judge the specific case in question or to demand all relevant information be made available in these trials. No, instead it’s about turning evermore jurors into activists who treat each case as opportunities to further their own causes, even where it’s completely inappropriate and overwhelming evidence (Paul’s own words) is presented. I might understand if the evidence is purely circumstantial and jurors are honestly left with doubts and questions, but otherwise it’s just horseshit bias invading the courts in an attempt to offset the bias they’re convinced is running the other way. Basically playing a tit-for-tat game with people’s lives and our justice system. What society can continue to function if citizens embrace such strategies?

It was/is wrong when feminists do this, and it is wrong when MRAs attempt to do it too. How is more corruption of our courts going to rectify these wrongs? When the principle of protecting men eclipses the principle of dispensing proper justice to the best of our ability, you’ve lost me completely.

And this is why movements drive me nuts. The ideological bullshit winds up mowing right over individuals in its wake because they’re seen as mere examples, not real people, and innocents on one side of the aisle or the other wind up hurt by the system because we the people are assholes who can’t give our personal, heavily-biased agendas a rest!

False accusations do occur and it is the responsibility of the jury to keep that in mind and to scrutinize the evidence carefully. But we’re not just talking date rape here, folks. And why would concern over evidence tampering or police/prosecution misconduct only be framed here as relevant in rape trials?

The system is begging for an overhaul, but this isn’t the way to go about it, not for me anyway. I, for one, cannot support this approach.

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9 Responses to Fleshing out what’s been stated by Paul Elam and some of his followers on AVfM on the topic of rape trials and jury nullification

  1. TheBiboSez says:

    Byenia, rape cases are unique in that rape shield laws make it impossible for the defendant to present a thorough defense and challenge the credibility of the alleged victim -- if she has made hundreds of false claims against other men, this fact is omitted from consideration by the jury, but it would be fair game in any other type of trial.

    These laws -- to protect the reputation of the alleged victim -- were made during an era when sexual purity was paramount -- something that no one cares about any more.

    A trial where the truth is illegal is no fair trial at all.

    • Byenia says:

      In the case of admitting in past confirmed false allegations, I agree that rape shield laws can create an unfair barrier and should be checked where that evidence may indeed be relevant. But because *some* people make false accusations and because laws seriously do need to be altered and retooled, that still in NO WAY justifies voting to acquit in ALL rape trials. That’s throwing individuals under the bus just to promote some ideological objective. That’s like a passive-aggressive response that doesn’t send a clear message and doesn’t actually improve a thing, but it does drag even more personal and political biases into the courtroom and further erodes any chance that justice may be served in this country.

      And for the record, rape shield laws were not enacted “during an era of sexual purity” — they are a fairly recent addition.

  2. Doug Spoonwood says:

    “Now, addressing this second article by Paul, I’d like to acknowledge that it’s one thing to vote to acquit if you have reasonable doubts, but it’s quite another if those doubts are sown purely due to ideological reasoning and personal politics.”

    If the rape shield laws prevent relevant evidence from coming to trial, do you think at all possible that there may exist cause for reasonable doubt, but we can’t tell that because of what the laws prohibit from getting admitted as evidence?

    I’ll try and make an analogy. Suppose we could only solve a summation problem by human counting. For example, to determine 124+245 we can’t use positional notation or a calculator. We have to count 124, 125, … until we finally get to 367. Now suppose we had to determine 1,067,382,874+12,345,678,249,309,754. From that basis of “evidence” there is no sum 1,067,382,874+12,345,678,249,309,754. But here the requirement for what qualifies as evidence biases the situation and leads us to an incorrect answer.

    Similarly, I think Paul’s implicit argument here rests on a claim that no rape trial can legitimately prove that rape happened *beyond a reasonable doubt*, since other evidence may have existed and deliberately got ignored as admissible in trial, because of rape shield laws.

    • Byenia says:

      Your analogy makes no sense.

      No rape trial, not a one, not even with clear DNA evidence (because that could somehow have been tampered with), no admissions on the part of the defendant (because those might’ve been coerced), not even strong circumstantial evidence (because the prosecution could be withholding relevant info).

      Here’s the thing. Men are innocently charged and convicted for plenty of crimes outside of rape, because our system is fucked up. And yet we’re going to use rape trials to further our cause because that’s guaranteed to garner public attention and may force the issue that laws need to be reassessed. In the meantime, individual cases are treated as collateral damage until enough of a disturbance is caused that the outrage forces the issue.

      I still say that’s the passive-aggressive response, and it will likely backfire. The focus on rape specifically here sends the clear message that this is about women and that rape trials don’t deserve serious care on the part of jurors. No, they’re a perfect ground for launching this political attack.

      This logic troubles me.

  3. Spoonwood says:

    “No rape trial, not a one, not even with clear DNA evidence (because that could somehow have been tampered with), no admissions on the part of the defendant (because those might’ve been coerced), not even strong circumstantial evidence (because the prosecution could be withholding relevant info).”

    I don’t have a clue as to what you’re getting at here.

    “Men are innocently charged and convicted for plenty of crimes outside of rape, because our system is fucked up. And yet we’re going to use rape trials to further our cause because that’s guaranteed to garner public attention and may force the issue that laws need to be reassessed. In the meantime, individual cases are treated as collateral damage until enough of a disturbance is caused that the outrage forces the issue.”

    How are other invidual cases getting treated as “collateral damage”? Collateral damage happens when one party engages in a war and bystanders not engaging in the war get hurt. How does there exist a link between what happens in rape/rape accusation cases and other cases? Sure, there exist other crimes with problems, but you have to have a link between rape cases and those other cases where injustice does not happen. I don’t believe such a link exists, and unless you can demonstrate a link, your argument can get dismissed as lacking any sound basis whatsoever.

    “The focus on rape specifically here sends the clear message that this is about women and that rape trials don’t deserve serious care on the part of jurors.”

    No, it does NOT send such a clear message, because it concerns a rape *trial* which usually concerns both a man and a woman. Such cases concern the actions (if he did commit rape or sexual assault) and future reputation of a man (if he has to register as a sex offender), and the condition and potential need for justice of a woman.

    And to make my position clear here, I do think rape shield laws come as problematic in homosexual cases as well as in cases where a woman rapes a man.

    • Byenia says:

      I’m rebutting the arguments Paul made in his second article. If you can’t even track what’s being said, why comment?

      Individual cases and the individuals therein are treated as collateral damage when we wage political/ideological battles that treat them as nothing but numbers, mere examples lumped in under one blanket. Yeah, individuals on both sides of the aisle ARE GETTING HURT, can’t you see? People refusing to acknowledge and weigh the evidence and coming in with their minds made up to automatically acquit are denying the rights of individuals, and that is no better than the actions of activist judges or other activist jurors. That strategy isn’t helping anyone here, and neither side is contributing to create a fairer system, which was supposed to be the whole idea of a justice system to begin with: to administer justice blind to our personal preferences and pet ambitions.

      The link between what happens in rape cases and any other cases that’s relevant here is that 1.) men may stand falsely accused of any number of crimes; 2.) the same judges, police, and prosecutors bungling rape cases are also involved in every other criminal case out there and likely are responsible for bungling them too (leading back to point #1); 3.) therefore focusing in on man-on-woman rape trials exclusively doesn’t seem an effective way to draw attention to males being falsely accused, but it does, however, send a very messed up message to the public that MRAs apparently trivialize this particular type of crime when they are willing to wage their political and ideological battles through advocating jury nullification when it comes to those crimes IN PARTICULAR (saying nothing else in his jury nullification articles about other crimes where men may stand falsely accused — it shows a distinct bias rather than true concern over the corruption of our system or a willingness to help men).

      If it was just about helping men, why would the focus be leveled specifically against this particular type of crime and trial? Do we think men aren’t wrongly accused of sexually mistreating other men or children? Do we think men aren’t wrongly accused when it comes to theft or physical assaults or homicides? Yeah, of course they are, yet that’s not what Paul Elam cared to address, and I’m taking issue with where he SPECIFICALLY is placing the emphasis here. (Note: Paul doesn’t mention homosexual or woman-on-man rape trials in his articles, only man-on-woman rape trials, and that’s what I see as showing a clear bias that extends beyond wanting honest justice to be served.)

      Every woman (or man, for that matter) out here isn’t part of this stupid gender battle some are intent on waging, yet they wind up caught in the crosshairs of it by virtue of simply belonging to one sex or the other. It’s extremely frustrating, especially for those seeking justice through the courts. All this says to me is that there’s even less reason for a woman to come forward to police after being sexually attacked, because a bunch of activists out there will aim to acquit no matter what. We’re not just talking date rape here — violent rape is a very serious offense. Being wrongfully accused and convicted is as well, so it seems a better strategy is to admit all evidence and to find some sort of way to hold police, prosecutors, and judges accountable to the public when they falsify evidence or refuse to admit information relevant to each case in question, etc., and also to hold people accountable who knowingly make false accusations against others. Seems that’d be a much better way to go if the goal is to repair a broken system, which men’s rights advocates claim to want.

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