[I]Proposed anti-rape laws (UK) - probably controversial

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Gary N

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Nov 28, 2007, 10:13:02 AM11/28/07
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The Merkin woman on the BBC News 24 report said "I was so drunk that I
couldnt stand up properly and I think he raped me" (after she'd gone back
to his place)

At what point does a drunken f**k become rape?

And at which point do the words "Personal Responsibility" cease to be
relevant.

Please understand that I do _not_, in any way, shape or form, condone rape.
But when the proposed laws are intended to "Increase the prosecution rate"
of accused rapists I find it of concern.

Of course this, emotionally charged, intended change to the law was
released on the same day that Gordon got slaughtered in the House over the
illegal donations to Labour.

How Very Convenient.

gary
--
"If Americans had longer attention spans, who knows the follies they could
have wrought."
Jack Womak

Eric Jarvis

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Nov 28, 2007, 11:48:42 AM11/28/07
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In article <Xns99F69B078AAECga...@212.23.3.119>,
ga...@scaryriders.com says...

> The Merkin woman on the BBC News 24 report said "I was so drunk that I
> couldnt stand up properly and I think he raped me" (after she'd gone back
> to his place)
>
> At what point does a drunken f**k become rape?
>
> And at which point do the words "Personal Responsibility" cease to be
> relevant.
>

At no point. Which means that when faced with the choice of whether or
not to have sex with somebody who is drunk you have the responsibility to
decide whether they are in a state to meaningfully consent. "Personal
Responsibility" cuts both ways.

> Please understand that I do _not_, in any way, shape or form, condone rape.
> But when the proposed laws are intended to "Increase the prosecution rate"
> of accused rapists I find it of concern.
>

Since I know several women who claim, convincingly, to have been raped
and who did not report the rape to the police because of fears about how
they would be treated in court, I'm inclined to suspect that the plans
are very sensible indeed.

We have an adversarial system of justice in the UK. Which means that the
crux of the matter in court is how well the accusation of rape holds up
when the victim is cross examined. Having been subjected to hostile
questioning in court about a matter of some emotional intensity I can
assure you that it isn't something to be undertaken lightly no matter how
clear cut the case. So I'm strongly in favour of allowing at least some
form of video evidence. There have long been well established concerns
about the way rape accusations are investigated. Again there is good
reason to at least look at possible changes to police procedures.

I'd say it's sensible and long overdue, at least in principle. Of course
after a few months of sensational and inaccurate reporting, and the
inevitable emotional blackmail by various campaigning and lobby groups,
who knows what sort of mess will result. However that's a problem with
how the political establishment currently operates in practise, a reason
to ignore the hype and speculation in the media and to vote against any
politicians pandering to it, not a reason to ignore real problems.

--
eric
www.ericjarvis.co.uk
"live fast, die only if strictly necessary"

Puck

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Nov 28, 2007, 12:42:43 PM11/28/07
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Gary N wrote:
> At what point does a drunken f**k become rape?

Hard to say. I live on a college campus and have been to some parties
where you'll see utter bastards hovering over girls, refilling their
drinks at every opportunity in what can only be described as an attempt
to get them horizontal one way or another.

If a guy takes advantage of a girl who is too wasted to make rational
decisions then you'd better believe it's rape. I know some people will
say that the girl should have known better then to drink so much, but to
me that sounds like the arguments you get in the Middle East where a
rape victim was "asking for it" by showing her ankles. A victim is still
a victim. Yes, it's stupid to walk down a dark alley in the middle of
the night, but if you get mugged then the mugger is the criminal, not you.

The problem with drunkenness (indeed, with any sort of substance abuse)
is that it's a gradual process. Having a couple of drinks probably won't
make you dopey enough to sleep with a stranger, but it might be enough
to convince you that *another* couple of drinks is a fine idea, and your
rationality slides downhill from there.

To me the only problem is how to interpret it when /both/ participants
were intoxicated. If a wasted guy goes to bed with a wasted girl, and
then she claims she was raped, then what? I doubt the courts will listen
if the guy says she raped him, but if neither of them could think
straight then what would the new laws say?
--
Sic Semper Segfaults - Programmer's Motto

Daniel Orner

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Nov 28, 2007, 1:11:16 PM11/28/07
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Gary N wrote:
> The Merkin woman on the BBC News 24 report said "I was so drunk that I
> couldnt stand up properly and I think he raped me" (after she'd gone back
> to his place)
>
> At what point does a drunken f**k become rape?
>
> And at which point do the words "Personal Responsibility" cease to be
> relevant.
>
> Please understand that I do _not_, in any way, shape or form, condone rape.
> But when the proposed laws are intended to "Increase the prosecution rate"
> of accused rapists I find it of concern.
>
> Of course this, emotionally charged, intended change to the law was
> released on the same day that Gordon got slaughtered in the House over the
> illegal donations to Labour.
>
> How Very Convenient.
>
> gary

Having never been drunk, I'm probably in no position to really comment
on this. But drunk driving laws are in effect pretty much everywhere, so
obviously being drunk doesn't absolve you from responsibility. If you're
going to get drunk, I suppose you'll need to either a) make sure you
don't get so tanked you're no longer aware of your actions, or b) lock
yourself in a room until the pink elephants go away.

Daniel Orner

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Nov 28, 2007, 1:15:19 PM11/28/07
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Gary N wrote:
> The Merkin woman on the BBC News 24 report said "I was so drunk that I
> couldnt stand up properly and I think he raped me" (after she'd gone back
> to his place)
>
> At what point does a drunken f**k become rape?
>
> And at which point do the words "Personal Responsibility" cease to be
> relevant.
>
> Please understand that I do _not_, in any way, shape or form, condone rape.
> But when the proposed laws are intended to "Increase the prosecution rate"
> of accused rapists I find it of concern.
>
> Of course this, emotionally charged, intended change to the law was
> released on the same day that Gordon got slaughtered in the House over the
> illegal donations to Labour.
>
> How Very Convenient.
>
> gary

Oh, I misread who was responsible for what here. X-X That's an entirely
different kettle of fish. Yes, I certainly believe that if the woman can
barely stand up, she can't give consent and therefore it's rape. If it's
someone you don't know well and she's had a few, leave her alone.
I'm really reaching here, though, having had no experience in this
field either. 8-)

Eric Jarvis

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Nov 28, 2007, 4:59:06 PM11/28/07
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In article <fikau0$1v1l$6...@mud.stack.nl>, webm...@ffcompendium.com
says...

>
> Having never been drunk, I'm probably in no position to really comment
> on this. But drunk driving laws are in effect pretty much everywhere, so
> obviously being drunk doesn't absolve you from responsibility. If you're
> going to get drunk, I suppose you'll need to either a) make sure you
> don't get so tanked you're no longer aware of your actions, or b) lock
> yourself in a room until the pink elephants go away.
>

Believe me, the pink elephants won't go away. They will come right inside
the room with you. Best thing is to down a few more drinks for the pink
elephants until you go away.

Graycat

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Nov 29, 2007, 4:13:24 AM11/29/07
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Gary N <ga...@scaryriders.com> wrote:

>The Merkin woman on the BBC News 24 report said "I was so drunk that I
>couldnt stand up properly and I think he raped me" (after she'd gone back
>to his place)
>
>At what point does a drunken f**k become rape?

The point where it's non-consensual. That's not that hard to grasp, is
it?

If she's too drunk to consent, don't sleep with her. If you're too
drunk to know whether she's consented or not, you wouldn't be
convicted in Sweden (can't say about the UK) - because you'd lack
provable intent.
--
Elin
The world makes perfect sense, as a black comedy

Orjan Westin

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Nov 29, 2007, 4:20:49 AM11/29/07
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That's an interesting distinction, though. Arguably, there should be
something like "unintended rape", like the distinction between manslaughter
and murder.

Orjan
--
The Tale of Westala and Villtin
http://tale.cunobaros.com/
Fiction, Thoughts and Software
http://www.cunobaros.com/


esmi

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Nov 28, 2007, 6:36:29 PM11/28/07
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on 28/11/2007 16:48 Eric Jarvis said the following:<snip>

>> And at which point do the words "Personal Responsibility" cease to be
>> relevant.

> At no point. Which means that when faced with the choice of whether or
> not to have sex with somebody who is drunk you have the responsibility to
> decide whether they are in a state to meaningfully consent. "Personal
> Responsibility" cuts both ways.

<snip>

I can foresee two problems here:

1. How does the average person define at what point A.N.Other is no
longer in a state to meaningfully consent? Sure - there are obvious
extremes of drunk and not-drunk but it's the fuzzy bit in the middle
that bothers me. When it comes to driving we have breathalysers that can
be used to give a precise reading which can the be compared to a clearly
defined alcohol threshold. No "ifs" and no "buts"[1]. Frankly I don't
see party/dating breathalysers catching on...

2. What if *both* parties are drunk? If they're both in the same state
and she is deemed not to be able to meaningfully consent, then surely he
can't meaningfully understand the ramification of any actions he might take.


esmi
[1] Well - not many...

--
2008 Discworld Convention
22nd to 25th August 2008
Hilton Metropole Hotel, Birmingham, UK
http://www.dwcon.org/

Graycat

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Nov 29, 2007, 5:01:19 AM11/29/07
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"Orjan Westin" <nos...@cunobaros.com> wrote:

>Graycat wrote:

>> If she's too drunk to consent, don't sleep with her. If you're too
>> drunk to know whether she's consented or not, you wouldn't be
>> convicted in Sweden (can't say about the UK) - because you'd lack
>> provable intent.
>
>That's an interesting distinction, though. Arguably, there should be
>something like "unintended rape", like the distinction between manslaughter
>and murder.

In sweden there's mord, dråp and vållande till annans död - which I
think people would translate as murder 1, murder 2 and manslaughter -
but without knowing british or american murder laws I can't say that
they mean the same thing.

Vållande till annans död in Sweden is when you kill someone without
intent for murder, but with serious carelessness/culpability. It could
be useful to have a carelessness-offence for rape too.

Now that I think about it, that's probably what a lot of the people
who are advocating changed rape laws are after - only they don't know
it, or they don't want to phrase it like that.

A reason to tread carefully are the extreme personal consequences for
someone who gets convicted of rape - there are almost no crimes that
carry a heavier stigma. And, of course, you wouldn't want to water the
rape definition down so much that people would shrug it off and say
"yeah, but he was only convicted of _unintentional_ rape - and we all
know what bitches are like with their no means yes..." You'd still
have to keep the evidence bar pretty high so as to avoid convicting in
uncertain cases.

It's a lot easier with murder because death is a lot easier to prove
than rape.

mcv

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Nov 29, 2007, 5:26:40 AM11/29/07
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Daniel Orner <webm...@ffcompendium.com> wrote:
> Gary N wrote:
>> The Merkin woman on the BBC News 24 report said "I was so drunk that I
>> couldnt stand up properly and I think he raped me" (after she'd gone back
>> to his place)
>>
>> At what point does a drunken f**k become rape?
>>
>> And at which point do the words "Personal Responsibility" cease to be
>> relevant.
>
> Oh, I misread who was responsible for what here. X-X That's an entirely
> different kettle of fish. Yes, I certainly believe that if the woman can
> barely stand up, she can't give consent and therefore it's rape. If it's
> someone you don't know well and she's had a few, leave her alone.

If she's drunk and he's not, yes, but on the other hand, if you're liable
to get so drunk you can't stand up properly, perhaps you shouldn't be
going back "to his place" at all. Also, if you don't want to have sex
with strangers, yet have a tendency to do so while drunk, you should
simply not get drunk while going out alone.

Both parties carry responsibility here. If she made it clear she didn't
want sex, and he forced it on her anyway, then it's obviously rape, but
if both are so smashing drunk that neither had any idea what was happening
anymore, then both carry equal responsibility for what happens afterward.

To me, "I was drunk so I can't be held responsible for what I did" is
never an acceptable defense.


mcv.
--
Science is not the be-all and end-all of human existence. It's a tool.
A very powerful tool, but not the only tool. And if only that which
could be verified scientifically was considered real, then nearly all
of human experience would be not-real. -- Zachriel

Graycat

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Nov 29, 2007, 6:03:57 AM11/29/07
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mcv <mcv...@xs4all.nl> wrote:

>If she's drunk and he's not, yes, but on the other hand, if you're liable
>to get so drunk you can't stand up properly, perhaps you shouldn't be
>going back "to his place" at all. Also, if you don't want to have sex
>with strangers, yet have a tendency to do so while drunk, you should
>simply not get drunk while going out alone.
>
>Both parties carry responsibility here. If she made it clear she didn't
>want sex, and he forced it on her anyway, then it's obviously rape, but
>if both are so smashing drunk that neither had any idea what was happening
>anymore, then both carry equal responsibility for what happens afterward.
>
>To me, "I was drunk so I can't be held responsible for what I did" is
>never an acceptable defense.

Criminal law doesn't work like that. A crime doesn't stop being a
crime because the victim's an idiot.

Sabremeister Brian

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Nov 29, 2007, 6:41:53 AM11/29/07
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In a speech called u17tk31bo59kh3h87...@4ax.com,

Er ... that's what he said.

--
www.sabremeister.me.uk
www.livejournal.com/users/sabremeister/
Use brian at sabremeister dot me dot uk to reply
"Cupid has a depressing tendency to use me for target practice"
- Me, sometime in 2002.


Graycat

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Nov 29, 2007, 6:56:27 AM11/29/07
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"Sabremeister Brian" <bpwak...@hotmail.com> wrote:

>In a speech called u17tk31bo59kh3h87...@4ax.com,
>Graycat <grayca...@gmail.com> said:
>> mcv <mcv...@xs4all.nl> wrote:
>>
>>> If she's drunk and he's not, yes, but on the other hand, if you're
>>> liable to get so drunk you can't stand up properly, perhaps you
>>> shouldn't be going back "to his place" at all. Also, if you don't
>>> want to have sex with strangers, yet have a tendency to do so while
>>> drunk, you should simply not get drunk while going out alone.
>>>
>>> Both parties carry responsibility here. If she made it clear she
>>> didn't want sex, and he forced it on her anyway, then it's
>>> obviously
>>> rape, but if both are so smashing drunk that neither had any idea
>>> what was happening anymore, then both carry equal responsibility
>>> for
>>> what happens afterward.
>>>
>>> To me, "I was drunk so I can't be held responsible for what I did"
>>> is
>>> never an acceptable defense.
>>
>> Criminal law doesn't work like that. A crime doesn't stop being a
>> crime because the victim's an idiot.
>
>Er ... that's what he said.

It is? I was responding, or intending to respond, to the bits that
said they'd be equally responsible, that she shouldn't be getting that
drunk and that she shouldn't be going back to his place.

My point is that you can say that all you like, his responsibility
doesn't go away just because she's been an idiot.

If that's what mcv meant too, it's all good and we agree. If not, then
we disgree :o)

Peter Ellis

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Nov 29, 2007, 7:11:18 AM11/29/07
to
On Thu, 29 Nov 2007, Graycat wrote:
>
> It is? I was responding, or intending to respond, to the bits that
> said they'd be equally responsible, that she shouldn't be getting that
> drunk and that she shouldn't be going back to his place.
>
> My point is that you can say that all you like, his responsibility
> doesn't go away just because she's been an idiot.

But how are you defining "that drunk"? OK, if she can't actually walk,
it's fairly obvious. What if she can walk and talk just fine, says "Yes"
loudly and then says "No" the next morning? Still rape? Presumably not.
But what if she doesn't remember saying "Yes"? Is it rape again now?

Everyone reacts to alcohol differently. You seem to be saying there's an
obvious clear-cut definition of when someone's "too drunk" and when
they're not.

Peter

Sabremeister Brian

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Nov 29, 2007, 8:00:16 AM11/29/07
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In a speech called q1atk3h8ehh12sp9d...@4ax.com,

The way you replied made it look like you were responding solely to
the final paragraph.

The first paragraph is common sense (which alcohol has a tendency to
erode and suspend). The second paragraph basically says (AIUI) that if
both parties are irresponsibly drunk, you cannot make a valid case
that only one of them is responsible for what occurs between them. If
someone were to be charged with rape in that instance, the other party
would also have to be charged with rape, or at least with
drunk-and-incapable (or reckless stupidity). The final paragraph I
don't think anyone can disagree with.

--
www.sabremeister.me.uk
www.livejournal.com/users/sabremeister/
Use brian at sabremeister dot me dot uk to reply

"Love is like the measles; we all have to go through it."
- Jerome K Jerome


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Graycat

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Nov 29, 2007, 9:00:12 AM11/29/07
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Peter Ellis <pj...@cam.ac.uk> wrote:

>On Thu, 29 Nov 2007, Graycat wrote:
>>
>> It is? I was responding, or intending to respond, to the bits that
>> said they'd be equally responsible, that she shouldn't be getting that
>> drunk and that she shouldn't be going back to his place.
>>
>> My point is that you can say that all you like, his responsibility
>> doesn't go away just because she's been an idiot.
>
>But how are you defining "that drunk"? OK, if she can't actually walk,
>it's fairly obvious. What if she can walk and talk just fine, says "Yes"
>loudly and then says "No" the next morning? Still rape? Presumably not.
>But what if she doesn't remember saying "Yes"? Is it rape again now?

Events after the fact are irrelevant.

>Everyone reacts to alcohol differently. You seem to be saying there's an
>obvious clear-cut definition of when someone's "too drunk" and when
>they're not.

What? No I'm not - I'm not defining drunk at all, or even caring about
the level of drunkenness. I'm saying that the rapist's culpability is
irrelative of the victim's. He is responsible for his actions
regardless of her drukenness.

Reader in Invisible Writings

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Nov 29, 2007, 9:04:25 AM11/29/07
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On 28 Nov, 15:13, Gary N <g...@scaryriders.com> wrote:
> The Merkin woman on the BBC News 24 report said "I was so drunk that I
> couldnt stand up properly and I think he raped me" (after she'd gone back
> to his place)
>
> At what point does a drunken f**k become rape?
>
> And at which point do the words "Personal Responsibility" cease to be
> relevant.
>
<SNIP>

> gary
> --
> "If Americans had longer attention spans, who knows the follies they could
> have wrought."
> Jack Womak

My news server seems to be censoring me! Third time via Google Groups.

This stems in part from a Judge ruling that if a woman can't remember
then possibly she gave consent.

The key is being in a fit state to give meaningful consent.

If you arrived home drunk and a friend or neighbour let you in and in
the morning you found your TV or Car or other valuable gone their
defense of 'you said I could have it' would not stand up in any
court. To me it follows with this offense as without consent it is
assault of the worst kind - this used to get the same punishment as
murder!

Peter Ellis

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Nov 29, 2007, 9:09:50 AM11/29/07
to
On Thu, 29 Nov 2007, A.Reader wrote:
>
> It's fairly well known, I think, that a male so drunk that he's
> not responsible is also so drunk that he's not capable - too much
> booze wilts the tonker. So if it happened at all, he was sober
> enough to take responsibility.

Rubbish. Some men get brewers' droop, others don't.

Peter

Peter Ellis

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Nov 29, 2007, 9:22:03 AM11/29/07
to

OK, take the following situation. You are a juror. A man is in court
accused of rape.

He admits sex, and says that she said "yes".

She admits she was drunk and can't remember everything that happened, but
is adamant she didn't say "yes"


Do you convict? If so, why? If not, why not?

Peter

Daniel Orner

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Nov 29, 2007, 10:39:10 AM11/29/07
to

Not being able to consent doesn't mean you're not able to change your
actions. It simply means you're more susceptible to suggestion than
would otherwise be the case, and that you'd regret it later.
I think there has to be pretty much a zero-tolerance policy for this -
if not legally, then at least morally. If you see that someone is in
that fuzzy state between drunk and not-drunk, don't try anything.

Eric Jarvis

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Nov 29, 2007, 10:03:33 AM11/29/07
to
In article <r9ftk3datornfmgli...@4ax.com>,
anony...@example.com says...
> On 29 Nov 2007 10:26:40 GMT,

> mcv <mcv...@xs4all.nl> wrote:
>
> >Both parties carry responsibility here. If she made it clear she didn't
> >want sex, and he forced it on her anyway, then it's obviously rape, but
> >if both are so smashing drunk that neither had any idea what was happening
> >anymore, then both carry equal responsibility for what happens afterward.
> >
> >To me, "I was drunk so I can't be held responsible for what I did" is
> >never an acceptable defense.
>
> It's fairly well known, I think, that a male so drunk that he's
> not responsible is also so drunk that he's not capable - too much
> booze wilts the tonker. So if it happened at all, he was sober
> enough to take responsibility.
>

I'm afraid that simply isn't the case. Well known though it is. Alcohol
affects different people in different ways. Some people can drink huge
amounts and still behave responsibly even when they can barely stand up
unaided, others are a menace if they so much as walk past an open bottle.
Some people are prone to brewer's droop after a pint of beer, some remain
unaffected in that way whilst almost completely incapable of rational
thought.

Eric Jarvis

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Nov 29, 2007, 10:18:59 AM11/29/07
to
In article <fim0f4$9st$1...@mud.stack.nl>, es...@lspace.org says...

> on 28/11/2007 16:48 Eric Jarvis said the following:
> > In article <Xns99F69B078AAECga...@212.23.3.119>,
> > ga...@scaryriders.com says...
> <snip>
>
> >> And at which point do the words "Personal Responsibility" cease to be
> >> relevant.
>
> > At no point. Which means that when faced with the choice of whether or
> > not to have sex with somebody who is drunk you have the responsibility to
> > decide whether they are in a state to meaningfully consent. "Personal
> > Responsibility" cuts both ways.
>
> <snip>
>
> I can foresee two problems here:
>
> 1. How does the average person define at what point A.N.Other is no
> longer in a state to meaningfully consent? Sure - there are obvious
> extremes of drunk and not-drunk but it's the fuzzy bit in the middle
> that bothers me. When it comes to driving we have breathalysers that can
> be used to give a precise reading which can the be compared to a clearly
> defined alcohol threshold. No "ifs" and no "buts"[1]. Frankly I don't
> see party/dating breathalysers catching on...
>

Only a problem if you expect every decision to be clear cut. It's like
any other decision requiring an idea of the mental state of somebody
else, liable to be inaccurate, almost certain to be difficult to prove
with any precision. It doesn't matter in terms of the law since that can
work solely on the basis of perception.

> 2. What if *both* parties are drunk? If they're both in the same state
> and she is deemed not to be able to meaningfully consent, then surely he
> can't meaningfully understand the ramification of any actions he might take.
>

If both are drunk it makes no difference. Being drunk is no excuse for
any form of wrongdoing. It's not like you can get away with saying in
court "I realise I was wrong to drive home from the party after drinking
12 pints of beer and half a bottle of whisky, but it's not my fault, I
was too drunk to make a responsible decision".

I'm really just saying that anyone who is going to drink or to be around
people who are drinking then there are some basics to learn. Firstly how
to be drunk without causing trouble, and how to deal with somebody who is
drunk without causing trouble.

> [1] Well - not many...
>

Not many, but all after the offence rather than before. You generally
decide whether or not to drive without the aid of a breathalyser.

Eric Jarvis

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Nov 29, 2007, 10:30:56 AM11/29/07
to
In article <Pine.LNX.4.64.07...@hermes-1.csi.cam.ac.uk>,
pj...@cam.ac.uk says...

If that's all there is then you will pretty much be told by the judge
that you shouldn't convict. It's simply one person's word against
another's, which can only be decided by comparing the stories against
something else. The chances are that there's other evidence though.
Forensic evidence, evidence of witnesses that saw either or both before
or afterwards, character witnesses. So in the end you'll either convict
or not according to which story, if either, is backed up by other
evidence.

FiX

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Nov 29, 2007, 11:14:10 AM11/29/07
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On Thu, 29 Nov 2007 12:11:18 +0000, Peter Ellis <pj...@cam.ac.uk>
wrote:

Frankly, we're in speculation realmhere... it of course depends on
each individual story. However I agree with Elin that the fac that the
victim was drunk never absolves the raper of any responsibility...

FiX

--
"[afp believes its] sensibilities are so refined that we
appreciate things that leave Joe and Josephine Q.
Public drooling with duh."
-April Goodwin-Smith

Peter Ellis

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Nov 29, 2007, 11:20:41 AM11/29/07
to
On Thu, 29 Nov 2007, Eric Jarvis wrote:
> pj...@cam.ac.uk says...
>> On Thu, 29 Nov 2007, Graycat wrote:
>>>
>>> What? No I'm not - I'm not defining drunk at all, or even caring about
>>> the level of drunkenness. I'm saying that the rapist's culpability is
>>> irrelative of the victim's. He is responsible for his actions
>>> regardless of her drukenness.
>>
>> OK, take the following situation. You are a juror. A man is in court
>> accused of rape.
>>
>> He admits sex, and says that she said "yes".
>>
>> She admits she was drunk and can't remember everything that happened, but
>> is adamant she didn't say "yes"
>>
>> Do you convict? If so, why? If not, why not?
>>
>
> If that's all there is then you will pretty much be told by the judge
> that you shouldn't convict. It's simply one person's word against
> another's, which can only be decided by comparing the stories against
> something else. The chances are that there's other evidence though.
> Forensic evidence, evidence of witnesses that saw either or both before
> or afterwards, character witnesses.

... all of which are pretty much irrelevant if he admits having sex with
her.

I was posing the question to Greycat, and the context is her assertion
that the man shouldn't have sex with her if she's too drunk to give
consent. How is the man supposed to judge how drunk is "too drunk"? If
it ends up in court, how is the jury supposed to make that decision?

Peter

mcv

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Nov 29, 2007, 11:21:04 AM11/29/07
to

While I agree that *his* responsibility doesn't go away because she's
an idiot, *her* responsibility doesn't go away because she's an idiot
either. See, while going back to his appartment doesn't give him any
right to expect sex, if she's all flirty with him in the bar, goes
with him to his appartment, *and* doesn't object or give any kind of
struggle when he starts getting all amorous, it does get kinda hard
to claim you're raped.

When the time comes, it is just as much het responsibility to say no
as it is his to get het consent.

By the way, why is it always the women that has to consent or say no?
What if in this scenario the man remembers as little as she does and
also claims to have been raped? Are they suddenly both rapists
because neither was capable of making responsible decisions?

Peter Ellis

unread,
Nov 29, 2007, 11:25:38 AM11/29/07
to
On Thu, 29 Nov 2007, FiX wrote:
>
> However I agree with Elin that the fac that the
> victim was drunk never absolves the raper of any responsibility...

And I of course agree too. However, getting drunk may lead to the true
facts of the case being impossible to determine. And in that case you
cannot convict. Potential victims (of any sex and/or orientation!)
should be aware of that.

Peter

mcv

unread,
Nov 29, 2007, 11:29:32 AM11/29/07
to
Graycat <grayca...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Peter Ellis <pj...@cam.ac.uk> wrote:
>>On Thu, 29 Nov 2007, Graycat wrote:
>>>
>>> It is? I was responding, or intending to respond, to the bits that
>>> said they'd be equally responsible, that she shouldn't be getting that
>>> drunk and that she shouldn't be going back to his place.
>>>
>>> My point is that you can say that all you like, his responsibility
>>> doesn't go away just because she's been an idiot.
>>
>>But how are you defining "that drunk"? OK, if she can't actually walk,
>>it's fairly obvious. What if she can walk and talk just fine, says "Yes"
>>loudly and then says "No" the next morning? Still rape? Presumably not.
>>But what if she doesn't remember saying "Yes"? Is it rape again now?
>
> Events after the fact are irrelevant.

But often easier to check, remember and prove.

What if she did say "yes", but both were so drunk that neither can
remember it, and the next day she says no? And what if she said "no",
but neither can remember it the next day? No-one can tell the
difference, and yet one is rape, and the other isn't.

It gets kinda hard to prosecute a case like that.

And then you get the problem of what happens when neither can remember
what happens but one of them lies and claims he/she does remember.

At some point you have to decide whether to run the risk of imprisoning
an innocent man, or letting a rapist go free.

>>Everyone reacts to alcohol differently. You seem to be saying there's an
>>obvious clear-cut definition of when someone's "too drunk" and when
>>they're not.
>
> What? No I'm not - I'm not defining drunk at all, or even caring about
> the level of drunkenness. I'm saying that the rapist's culpability is
> irrelative of the victim's. He is responsible for his actions
> regardless of her drukenness.

But doesn't the same think go the other way? What if she was the one
who, in het drunken state, initiated the love making? What if he said
no, but neither can remember it the next day? What if she's technically
the rapist, but no-one can tell?

mcv

unread,
Nov 29, 2007, 11:32:41 AM11/29/07
to
Daniel Orner <webm...@ffcompendium.com> wrote:
>
> Not being able to consent doesn't mean you're not able to change your
> actions. It simply means you're more susceptible to suggestion than
> would otherwise be the case, and that you'd regret it later.
> I think there has to be pretty much a zero-tolerance policy for this -
> if not legally, then at least morally. If you see that someone is in
> that fuzzy state between drunk and not-drunk, don't try anything.

But what if you're both in that fuzzy state, and you (mistakenly?)
interpret the other's behaviour as already trying something?

David Chapman

unread,
Nov 29, 2007, 11:28:17 AM11/29/07
to
From the Collected Witterings of Eric Jarvis, volume 23:

> If that's all there is then you will pretty much be told by the judge
> that you shouldn't convict. It's simply one person's word against
> another's, which can only be decided by comparing the stories against
> something else. The chances are that there's other evidence though.
> Forensic evidence,

If a woman is too drunk to resist, there will be no forensic evidence that
is not consistent with ordinary sex.

> evidence of witnesses that saw either or both before
> or afterwards,

Such as?

> character witnesses.

So you shouldn't convict when it's the victim's word against the
defendant's, but it's OK to convict when it's the word of the defendant's
mates against that of the victim's family?

mcv

unread,
Nov 29, 2007, 12:43:35 PM11/29/07
to
Reader in Invisible Writings <markfo...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> On 28 Nov, 15:13, Gary N <g...@scaryriders.com> wrote:
>> The Merkin woman on the BBC News 24 report said "I was so drunk that I
>> couldnt stand up properly and I think he raped me" (after she'd gone back
>> to his place)
>>
>> At what point does a drunken f**k become rape?
>>
>> And at which point do the words "Personal Responsibility" cease to be
>> relevant.
>
> My news server seems to be censoring me! Third time via Google Groups.
>
> This stems in part from a Judge ruling that if a woman can't remember
> then possibly she gave consent.
>
> The key is being in a fit state to give meaningful consent.
>
> If you arrived home drunk and a friend or neighbour let you in and in
> the morning you found your TV or Car or other valuable gone their
> defense of 'you said I could have it' would not stand up in any
> court. To me it follows with this offense as without consent it is
> assault of the worst kind - this used to get the same punishment as
> murder!

Although I don't want to minimise the seriousness of rape, the
comparison with murder doesn't quite work in all situations. People
have consentual sex all the time, but they don't consentually kill
each other all the time. While is it unlikely that a girl pulled
from her bicycle on a dark straat consented with sex, consent isn't
anywhere near as unlikely if she met him in a bar and voluntarily
went home with him.

In the end, I'm a big fan of Voltaire's "it is better to risk saving
a guilty man than to condemn an innocent one."

Daniel Orner

unread,
Nov 29, 2007, 2:11:01 PM11/29/07
to

Courts generally look at what a "reasonable person" would assume. If a
reasonable person could think that the girl was too drunk to give
consent, then the accused should be found guilty. It's up to the jury to
decide that based on evidence and testimony.

Daniel Orner

unread,
Nov 29, 2007, 2:11:59 PM11/29/07
to
mcv wrote:
> When the time comes, it is just as much het responsibility to say no
> as it is his to get het consent.
>
<snip>
> mcv.

Actually, no. It's never her responsibility to say no. It's the person
initiating the sex act who has the responsibility to make sure the other
person is giving consent.

Daniel Orner

unread,
Nov 29, 2007, 2:15:28 PM11/29/07
to
mcv wrote:
> Daniel Orner <webm...@ffcompendium.com> wrote:
>> Not being able to consent doesn't mean you're not able to change your
>> actions. It simply means you're more susceptible to suggestion than
>> would otherwise be the case, and that you'd regret it later.
>> I think there has to be pretty much a zero-tolerance policy for this -
>> if not legally, then at least morally. If you see that someone is in
>> that fuzzy state between drunk and not-drunk, don't try anything.
>
> But what if you're both in that fuzzy state, and you (mistakenly?)
> interpret the other's behaviour as already trying something?
>
>
> mcv.

You said it yourself. Drunkenness is no excuse for this behavior. If
you're not awake enough to interpret correctly, you should stay away
from trying.

Alec Cawley

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Nov 29, 2007, 2:27:37 PM11/29/07
to

In my opinion, drunkenness is not, except perhaps for the first two or
three times you do it, an excuse for any kind of what you might call
"volitional" acts. If you find that drunkenness makes you violent or
over amorous (to the extent od possible rape, as we are discussing in
this thread) you have a duty not to get drunk in circumstances where
this tendency may be released,

There is a tendency, particularly in Britain, to regard drunkenness both
as in some way good, and as an excuse for behaviour that would be
unacceptable when sober. In my opinion neither is true. Drunkenness
results when you go past the good effects of moderate levels of alcohol,
which one might call tipsiness (though I am told that other languages
have words with more positive connotations for the state). The idela is
to reach that state of relaxation, sociability and reduced but not
removed inhibitions, then slow ones drinking to stay there as long as
the party lasts. But to many people see that as a mere whistle-stop on
the walk to getting deeply drunk - in which state they do very foolish
things.


Of course, I am fortunate in that, apart from falling over, when I get
drunk I only, as I am informed, talk bollocks (usually followed by "no
change then")

Graycat

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Nov 29, 2007, 2:32:13 PM11/29/07
to
Eric Jarvis <a...@ericjarvis.co.uk> wrote:

>In article <Pine.LNX.4.64.07...@hermes-1.csi.cam.ac.uk>,
>pj...@cam.ac.uk says...
>> On Thu, 29 Nov 2007, Graycat wrote:
>> >
>> > What? No I'm not - I'm not defining drunk at all, or even caring about
>> > the level of drunkenness. I'm saying that the rapist's culpability is
>> > irrelative of the victim's. He is responsible for his actions
>> > regardless of her drukenness.
>>
>> OK, take the following situation. You are a juror. A man is in court
>> accused of rape.

First of all, I wouldn't be a juror - we don't have them :o)
I'd be a judge.

>> He admits sex, and says that she said "yes".
>>
>> She admits she was drunk and can't remember everything that happened, but
>> is adamant she didn't say "yes"
>>
>> Do you convict? If so, why? If not, why not?
>>
>If that's all there is then you will pretty much be told by the judge
>that you shouldn't convict. It's simply one person's word against
>another's, which can only be decided by comparing the stories against
>something else. The chances are that there's other evidence though.
>Forensic evidence, evidence of witnesses that saw either or both before
>or afterwards, character witnesses. So in the end you'll either convict
>or not according to which story, if either, is backed up by other
>evidence.

In actual rape cases there is usually little or no forensic evidence,
no witnesses and a history of consensual sex between the defendant and
the accuser. Thats what makes them hard. In Sweden we don't use
character witnesses (though as far as I can tell there isn't an actual
law against them, it's just not seen as relevant).

To answer Peter's question; most crimes are made up of two components
- an action and an intent. The action part is usually the easy and
uncontroversal part - in your example the guy admitts to the sex, so
that's not in question.

The issue then is wether he had intent. For him to have had intent he
has to either understand that she is not consenting, or at the very
least have had enough clues that she wasn't that he can be said to
have acted without regard for her opinion. (if this sounds a little
fuzzy it's because I don't have the right English words, I'm sorry)

Generally speaking drunkeness is not a defence for an accused person -
if you have intoxicated yourself, you are tried as if you had been
sober. There are problems with this, but it's the general rule.

Her drunkeness is relevant in two ways - firstly it will make proof
harder to come buy because she doesn't remember very well. Secondly in
judging what he could have known about her opinion.

If she _was_ in fact too drunk to consent, he should be convicted.

If she wasn't too drunk and didn't consent, and he realised this, he
should be convicted.

If she wasn't too drunk and she didn't consent but he didn't know
this, and didn't have strong reason to suspect it, he should not be
convicted.

If she wasn't too drunk and did consent he should not be convicted.

What is "too drunk" is a question that has to be determined in each
case and will be a question of proof. If all the evidence that is
available is what you (Peter) outlined above, it will be a question of
whether her story can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt - and it
probably can't, so I would probably not convict. If in doubt, you have
too free.

Graycat

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Nov 29, 2007, 2:37:05 PM11/29/07
to
mcv <mcv...@xs4all.nl> wrote:

>Graycat <grayca...@gmail.com> wrote:

>> What? No I'm not - I'm not defining drunk at all, or even caring about
>> the level of drunkenness. I'm saying that the rapist's culpability is
>> irrelative of the victim's. He is responsible for his actions
>> regardless of her drukenness.
>
>But doesn't the same think go the other way? What if she was the one
>who, in het drunken state, initiated the love making? What if he said
>no, but neither can remember it the next day? What if she's technically
>the rapist, but no-one can tell?

We're talking about different things here. One, what I'm talking
about, is the legal technical facts - what the law says. The other,
what I think you're talking about, is questions of evidence.

The law is what it is irrespective of what you can prove. If a person,
male or female, has sex with another person, male or female, without
that person's consent, that is rape. There is no question about this.
Wether in any one specific case you can prove what has actually
happened and convict a person is a wholly separate issue.

Graycat

unread,
Nov 29, 2007, 2:42:47 PM11/29/07
to
mcv <mcv...@xs4all.nl> wrote:

>Graycat <grayca...@gmail.com> wrote:

>> My point is that you can say that all you like, his responsibility
>> doesn't go away just because she's been an idiot.
>
>While I agree that *his* responsibility doesn't go away because she's
>an idiot, *her* responsibility doesn't go away because she's an idiot
>either.

She doesn't (if she's the victim) _have_ a legal responsibility. A non
legal responsibility in general terms, sure, but not a legal one.

>When the time comes, it is just as much het responsibility to say no
>as it is his to get het consent.

No, it's not. There is never a responsibility to say no, not legal,
and imo, not moral. She needs to make sure he's consenting, he needs
to make sure she is.

>By the way, why is it always the women that has to consent or say no?
>What if in this scenario the man remembers as little as she does and
>also claims to have been raped? Are they suddenly both rapists
>because neither was capable of making responsible decisions?

Their memeory changes nothing - whether it was rape depends on what
_happened_at_the_time_, not what they think happened or remember
happened afterwards.

Carol Hague

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Nov 29, 2007, 2:44:04 PM11/29/07
to
Daniel Orner <webm...@ffcompendium.com> wrote:

> mcv wrote:
> > Daniel Orner <webm...@ffcompendium.com> wrote:
> >> Not being able to consent doesn't mean you're not able to change your
> >> actions. It simply means you're more susceptible to suggestion than
> >> would otherwise be the case, and that you'd regret it later.
> >> I think there has to be pretty much a zero-tolerance policy for this -
> >> if not legally, then at least morally. If you see that someone is in
> >> that fuzzy state between drunk and not-drunk, don't try anything.
> >
> > But what if you're both in that fuzzy state, and you (mistakenly?)
> > interpret the other's behaviour as already trying something?

>

> You said it yourself. Drunkenness is no excuse for this behavior. If
> you're not awake enough to interpret correctly, you should stay away
> from trying.

The trouble is that if you're not in a state to interpret correctly
you're likely not aware that your mental functions are impaired, or by
how much.

--
Carol
"If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put
that thing in your mouth. Particularly if the thing is
cats." - Lemony Snicket _The Wide Window_

Arthur Hagen

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Nov 29, 2007, 3:39:07 PM11/29/07
to
Alec Cawley <al...@spamspam.co.ulk> wrote:
>
> There is a tendency, particularly in Britain, to regard drunkenness
> both as in some way good, and as an excuse for behaviour that would be
> unacceptable when sober.

Like coming on to someone, you mean?
There are many happy couples who would never have been so if alcohol handn't
loosened the inhibitions enough for people to take the first few steps.
Perhaps /especially/ the British appear to have a hard time breaking the
ice, or risking rejection, or guessing whether leaning over for a kiss would
be welcomed or not.
Moderate alcohol use has done a lot of good.
Not-so-moderate alcohol use, in uncontrollable situations, has done a lot of
bad.

> Of course, I am fortunate in that, apart from falling over, when I get
> drunk I only, as I am informed, talk bollocks (usually followed by "no
> change then")

I tend to solve world problems. And I don't fall over, as I've learned the
trick of holding on to the rug with both hands.

Re alcohol: My local liquor depot has been unable to obtain Innis & Gunn
for me lately, and I've had to make do with Belhaven. And I /really/ wanted
beer simmered sausages for my birthday dinner next week... *sigh*

Regards,
--
*Art

FiX

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Nov 29, 2007, 4:45:15 PM11/29/07
to
On Thu, 29 Nov 2007 19:44:04 +0000, ca...@wrhpv.com (Carol Hague)
wrote:

>Daniel Orner <webm...@ffcompendium.com> wrote:
>
>> mcv wrote:
>> > Daniel Orner <webm...@ffcompendium.com> wrote:
>> >> Not being able to consent doesn't mean you're not able to change your
>> >> actions. It simply means you're more susceptible to suggestion than
>> >> would otherwise be the case, and that you'd regret it later.
>> >> I think there has to be pretty much a zero-tolerance policy for this -
>> >> if not legally, then at least morally. If you see that someone is in
>> >> that fuzzy state between drunk and not-drunk, don't try anything.
>> >
>> > But what if you're both in that fuzzy state, and you (mistakenly?)
>> > interpret the other's behaviour as already trying something?

>> You said it yourself. Drunkenness is no excuse for this behavior. If
>> you're not awake enough to interpret correctly, you should stay away
>> from trying.

>The trouble is that if you're not in a state to interpret correctly
>you're likely not aware that your mental functions are impaired, or by
>how much.

Not to mention the fact that quite a few people don't realise they're
drunk eventhough they have trouble walking... "I'm just a little bit
tipsy"... it's always theother who's a drunkard, you know?

The fact still stands that drunkeness is not an excuse for any
behaviour. And while I've been drunk a few times myself I can safely
state that I've never done any reprehensive act due to my being
drunk[1]

FiX
[1] which is _not_ the same as "I've never done any reprehensive act
while drunk", in case you wondered O:-)

Daniel Orner

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Nov 29, 2007, 5:40:04 PM11/29/07
to
Carol Hague wrote:
> Daniel Orner <webm...@ffcompendium.com> wrote:
>
>> mcv wrote:
>>> Daniel Orner <webm...@ffcompendium.com> wrote:
>>>> Not being able to consent doesn't mean you're not able to change your
>>>> actions. It simply means you're more susceptible to suggestion than
>>>> would otherwise be the case, and that you'd regret it later.
>>>> I think there has to be pretty much a zero-tolerance policy for this -
>>>> if not legally, then at least morally. If you see that someone is in
>>>> that fuzzy state between drunk and not-drunk, don't try anything.
>>> But what if you're both in that fuzzy state, and you (mistakenly?)
>>> interpret the other's behaviour as already trying something?
>
>> You said it yourself. Drunkenness is no excuse for this behavior. If
>> you're not awake enough to interpret correctly, you should stay away
>> from trying.
>
> The trouble is that if you're not in a state to interpret correctly
> you're likely not aware that your mental functions are impaired, or by
> how much.
>

That's indeed the problem with drunkenness, and if you know that that's
how you get when you drink, you have a duty to society to not get
plastered. If you refuse to exercise that duty, society's laws will take
care of it in the unfortunate case that it results in a crime.

Carol Hague

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Nov 30, 2007, 2:33:24 AM11/30/07
to
Daniel Orner <webm...@ffcompendium.com> wrote:

People are very bad at knowing things about themselves sometimes though
- they may seem like obnoxious drunken gits to you or me, but *they*
probably think they're "just a bit tipsy and having a laugh" and may
retain that perception even after they wake up in a shop window with a
traffic cone on their head. I'm not saying you're wrong in theory,
mind, just that there are definite snags in practice. Human involvement
tends to cause this in most systems...

>If you refuse to exercise that duty, society's laws will take
> care of it in the unfortunate case that it results in a crime.

I think this is a tad idealistic. No society is perfect, nor are their
laws or, indeed the people who enforce them (as the recent taser thread
points out) so there will always be mistakes, in both directions.

Gary N

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Nov 30, 2007, 5:07:23 AM11/30/07
to
mcv <mcv...@xs4all.nl> wrote in
news:474efa47$0$229$e4fe...@news.xs4all.nl:

Which is roughly what was worrying me.

Bringing in a law designed, according to the reports on the Beeb, to
"Increase the prosecution rate" of accused rapists sounds suspiciously
like "guilty until proven innocent".

gary

--
"If Americans had longer attention spans, who knows the follies they
could have wrought."
Jack Womak

Graycat

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Nov 30, 2007, 5:23:15 AM11/30/07
to
Gary N <ga...@scaryriders.com> wrote:


>Bringing in a law designed, according to the reports on the Beeb, to
>"Increase the prosecution rate" of accused rapists sounds suspiciously
>like "guilty until proven innocent".

Prosecution is not conviction, it's a trial.

Orjan Westin

unread,
Nov 30, 2007, 5:34:43 AM11/30/07
to
Graycat wrote:
> Gary N <ga...@scaryriders.com> wrote:
>
>
>> Bringing in a law designed, according to the reports on the Beeb, to
>> "Increase the prosecution rate" of accused rapists sounds
>> suspiciously like "guilty until proven innocent".
>
> Prosecution is not conviction, it's a trial.

Unfortunately, prosecution is often mixed up with persecution. Especially
in the tabloid-led UK, where prosecution is often read as conviction, in
high-profile cases, and any "not guilty" verdict gets translated into
"guilty but let off by a technicality or conspiracy". :-(

Orjan
--
The Tale of Westala and Villtin
http://tale.cunobaros.com/
Fiction, Thoughts and Software
http://www.cunobaros.com/


Arthur Hagen

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Nov 30, 2007, 5:55:40 AM11/30/07
to
Graycat <grayca...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Gary N <ga...@scaryriders.com> wrote:
>
>
>> Bringing in a law designed, according to the reports on the Beeb, to
>> "Increase the prosecution rate" of accused rapists sounds
>> suspiciously like "guilty until proven innocent".
>
> Prosecution is not conviction, it's a trial.

That depends on where you are. In the US, being prosecuted for, or even
arrested for a sex offense means you are barred from quite a few types of
employment for the rest of your life. Even if aquitted.

In /some/ states, you can sue the state to get an arrest record stricken,
but that costs /your/ time and money, and the net result is similar to a
community service sentencing (which you spend on paperworks and in court)
plus a very high fine (which you pay the lawyers and the court).

Regards,
--
*Art

mcv

unread,
Nov 30, 2007, 7:19:50 AM11/30/07
to
Daniel Orner <webm...@ffcompendium.com> wrote:
> mcv wrote:
>> When the time comes, it is just as much het responsibility to say no
>> as it is his to get het consent.
>
> Actually, no. It's never her responsibility to say no. It's the person
> initiating the sex act who has the responsibility to make sure the other
> person is giving consent.

My point is that when there has been flirting, they go home together,
etc, it may become a bit hard to determine exactly where the line between
harmless firting and initiating sex lies. If the situation is already
quit romantic, things get on a roll, they end up having sex, and later
she realises she's never actually said she wanted sex, is it rape, or
does het going along with it count as consent?

Do my wife and I have to give each other explicit permission to
continue before we have can sex? I'd say there is some point where
consent is implicit, unless explicitly denied. Exactly where that
point is can probably be a matter of lots of debate, but I think
it is there somewhere.

mcv

unread,
Nov 30, 2007, 7:24:49 AM11/30/07
to
Graycat <grayca...@gmail.com> wrote:
> mcv <mcv...@xs4all.nl> wrote:
>>Graycat <grayca...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>>> What? No I'm not - I'm not defining drunk at all, or even caring about
>>> the level of drunkenness. I'm saying that the rapist's culpability is
>>> irrelative of the victim's. He is responsible for his actions
>>> regardless of her drukenness.
>>
>>But doesn't the same think go the other way? What if she was the one
>>who, in het drunken state, initiated the love making? What if he said
>>no, but neither can remember it the next day? What if she's technically
>>the rapist, but no-one can tell?
>
> We're talking about different things here. One, what I'm talking
> about, is the legal technical facts - what the law says. The other,
> what I think you're talking about, is questions of evidence.
>
> The law is what it is irrespective of what you can prove.

But the law is also kind of irrelevant when nothing can be proven.

I'm all for the harsh punishment of sex offenders, but I'd prefer to
restrict that to real, obvious and provable crimes, and not treat
every stupid drunken fuck as a possible crime, no matter how much
I'd like to see some of those stupid drunken fuckers behind bars.

Sabremeister Brian

unread,
Nov 30, 2007, 7:26:40 AM11/30/07
to
In a speech called 5ra7c6F...@mid.individual.net,

Orjan Westin <nos...@cunobaros.com> said:
> Graycat wrote:
>> Gary N <ga...@scaryriders.com> wrote:
>>
>>
>>> Bringing in a law designed, according to the reports on the Beeb,
>>> to
>>> "Increase the prosecution rate" of accused rapists sounds
>>> suspiciously like "guilty until proven innocent".
>>
>> Prosecution is not conviction, it's a trial.
>
> Unfortunately, prosecution is often mixed up with persecution.
> Especially in the tabloid-led UK, where prosecution is often read as
> conviction, in high-profile cases, and any "not guilty" verdict gets
> translated into "guilty but let off by a technicality or
> conspiracy".
> :-(

And quite apart from an media circus, people accused of sex crimes are
often immediately fired from whatever job they have (or suspended on
no or half-pay), cannot claim any benefits to help them out
financially, are unable to get another job at anything like the same
pay level (even after being cleared at trial (if applicable)), and any
family life they have disintegrates. Being accused of rape is pretty
much as life destroying as being raped.

--
www.sabremeister.me.uk
www.livejournal.com/users/sabremeister/
Use brian at sabremeister dot me dot uk to reply
"When the rich wage war it's the poor who die."
- Jean-Paul Satre


mcv

unread,
Nov 30, 2007, 7:37:40 AM11/30/07
to
Graycat <grayca...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Eric Jarvis <a...@ericjarvis.co.uk> wrote:
>>In article <Pine.LNX.4.64.07...@hermes-1.csi.cam.ac.uk>,
>>pj...@cam.ac.uk says...
>
>>> He admits sex, and says that she said "yes".
>>>
>>> She admits she was drunk and can't remember everything that happened, but
>>> is adamant she didn't say "yes"
>>>
>>> Do you convict? If so, why? If not, why not?
[...]

>
> To answer Peter's question; most crimes are made up of two components
> - an action and an intent. The action part is usually the easy and
> uncontroversal part - in your example the guy admitts to the sex, so
> that's not in question.
>
> The issue then is wether he had intent. For him to have had intent he
> has to either understand that she is not consenting, or at the very
> least have had enough clues that she wasn't that he can be said to
> have acted without regard for her opinion. (if this sounds a little
> fuzzy it's because I don't have the right English words, I'm sorry)
>
> Generally speaking drunkeness is not a defence for an accused person -
> if you have intoxicated yourself, you are tried as if you had been
> sober. There are problems with this, but it's the general rule.
>
> Her drunkeness is relevant in two ways - firstly it will make proof
> harder to come buy because she doesn't remember very well. Secondly in
> judging what he could have known about her opinion.
>
> If she _was_ in fact too drunk to consent, he should be convicted.

IMO only if he was not too drunk. Because what if they were both too
drunk to consent, and had sex anyway? Drunken people do stupid things.
Are they both rapists in that situation?

Or is the one who doesn't regret it afterwards the offender?

> If she wasn't too drunk and she didn't consent but he didn't know
> this, and didn't have strong reason to suspect it, he should not be
> convicted.

But what if she was too drunk to consent and he didn't know it?
Perhaps because he was too drunk himself, perhaps because he simply
had no idea exactly how drunk she was?

> What is "too drunk" is a question that has to be determined in each
> case and will be a question of proof.

And I think it's extremely hard to prove after the fact exactlly how
drunk you were.

> If all the evidence that is
> available is what you (Peter) outlined above, it will be a question of
> whether her story can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt - and it
> probably can't, so I would probably not convict. If in doubt, you have
> too free.

And in many of these drunken fuck/possible rape situations, there is
an enormous amount of room for doubt, and very little that can really
be proven.

Graycat

unread,
Nov 30, 2007, 8:06:24 AM11/30/07
to
mcv <mcv...@xs4all.nl> wrote:

>Graycat <grayca...@gmail.com> wrote:

>> If she _was_ in fact too drunk to consent, he should be convicted.
>
>IMO only if he was not too drunk. Because what if they were both too
>drunk to consent, and had sex anyway? Drunken people do stupid things.
>Are they both rapists in that situation?
>
>Or is the one who doesn't regret it afterwards the offender?

Deja vu... I allready said that the relevant issue is what _happened_.
Questions of proof are hard - but that's what youre talking about, not
the law itself.

The law states what the consequences will be if certains things happen
- wether they have happened is a question of proof.

I say "if he raped her, he should go to jail" you respond with "what
if it wasn't rape?". To that all I can say is that well, in that case
he shouldn't. That's pretty obvious isn't it?

Having sex while drunk, or with a drunk person, does not make you a
rapist. Having sex with someone who isn't consenting does.

And I'm done with this discussion.

Daniel Orner

unread,
Nov 30, 2007, 9:34:41 AM11/30/07
to
Carol Hague wrote:
> Daniel Orner <webm...@ffcompendium.com> wrote:
>
>> Carol Hague wrote:
>>> Daniel Orner <webm...@ffcompendium.com> wrote:
>
>>>> You said it yourself. Drunkenness is no excuse for this behavior. If
>>>> you're not awake enough to interpret correctly, you should stay away
>>>> from trying.
>>> The trouble is that if you're not in a state to interpret correctly
>>> you're likely not aware that your mental functions are impaired, or by
>>> how much.
>>>
>> That's indeed the problem with drunkenness, and if you know that that's
>> how you get when you drink, you have a duty to society to not get
>> plastered.
>
> People are very bad at knowing things about themselves sometimes though
> - they may seem like obnoxious drunken gits to you or me, but *they*
> probably think they're "just a bit tipsy and having a laugh" and may
> retain that perception even after they wake up in a shop window with a
> traffic cone on their head. I'm not saying you're wrong in theory,
> mind, just that there are definite snags in practice. Human involvement
> tends to cause this in most systems...

Yep. How about the fact that (at least around here) literally no one
goes less than 10 km/h above the speed limit - and yet, if you're in a
crash, if you're going anything at all above the speed limit, regardless
of whose right of way it was, you're liable. That's the problem with
laws: they deal with how the world *should* work rather than how it
does, and often that's the only way *to* deal with it.

>
>> If you refuse to exercise that duty, society's laws will take
>> care of it in the unfortunate case that it results in a crime.
>
> I think this is a tad idealistic. No society is perfect, nor are their
> laws or, indeed the people who enforce them (as the recent taser thread
> points out) so there will always be mistakes, in both directions.
>

Of course - but the point is that the laws are in place to deal with
those situations.

Daniel Orner

unread,
Nov 30, 2007, 9:45:40 AM11/30/07
to
mcv wrote:
> Daniel Orner <webm...@ffcompendium.com> wrote:
>> mcv wrote:
>>> When the time comes, it is just as much het responsibility to say no
>>> as it is his to get het consent.
>> Actually, no. It's never her responsibility to say no. It's the person
>> initiating the sex act who has the responsibility to make sure the other
>> person is giving consent.
>
> My point is that when there has been flirting, they go home together,
> etc, it may become a bit hard to determine exactly where the line between
> harmless firting and initiating sex lies. If the situation is already
> quit romantic, things get on a roll, they end up having sex, and later
> she realises she's never actually said she wanted sex, is it rape, or
> does het going along with it count as consent?
>
> Do my wife and I have to give each other explicit permission to
> continue before we have can sex? I'd say there is some point where
> consent is implicit, unless explicitly denied. Exactly where that
> point is can probably be a matter of lots of debate, but I think
> it is there somewhere.
>
>
> mcv.

We're not talking about a man and his wife. We're talking about a man
and a stranger. Obviously things are different if you're talking about
someone who's already in a relationship with the person in question.
Her "going along with it" only counts as consent if she was conscious
enough for it to count as consent. Obviously people rarely straight-out
ask the other "Would you like to have sex with me?". Again, we come back
to the reasonable person and how he's expected to react to the situation.

Daniel Orner

unread,
Nov 30, 2007, 9:47:23 AM11/30/07
to
Sabremeister Brian wrote:
> In a speech called 5ra7c6F...@mid.individual.net,
> Orjan Westin <nos...@cunobaros.com> said:
>> Graycat wrote:
>>> Gary N <ga...@scaryriders.com> wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>>> Bringing in a law designed, according to the reports on the Beeb,
>>>> to
>>>> "Increase the prosecution rate" of accused rapists sounds
>>>> suspiciously like "guilty until proven innocent".
>>> Prosecution is not conviction, it's a trial.
>> Unfortunately, prosecution is often mixed up with persecution.
>> Especially in the tabloid-led UK, where prosecution is often read as
>> conviction, in high-profile cases, and any "not guilty" verdict gets
>> translated into "guilty but let off by a technicality or
>> conspiracy".
>> :-(
>
> And quite apart from an media circus, people accused of sex crimes are
> often immediately fired from whatever job they have (or suspended on
> no or half-pay), cannot claim any benefits to help them out
> financially, are unable to get another job at anything like the same
> pay level (even after being cleared at trial (if applicable)), and any
> family life they have disintegrates. Being accused of rape is pretty
> much as life destroying as being raped.
>

I agree that morally, the "victim" has to think back on the situation
and be reasonable, herself, in whether or not to go to the police. If
she really was only a bit tipsy, there's no way she should take
advantage of that. But legally, I think she'd still be within her rights
to do so.

Gary N

unread,
Nov 30, 2007, 9:48:06 AM11/30/07
to
Graycat <grayca...@gmail.com> wrote in
news:p75uk39h6tg7np2hr...@4ax.com:

> Their memeory changes nothing - whether it was rape depends on what
> _happened_at_the_time_, not what they think happened or remember
> happened afterwards.

Unfortunately one arrives back at the problem of memory. Since (unless
being of the exhibitionist persuasion) the actual act is likely to have
taken place in an at least secluded, if not completely private, location
the memory of the participants has to be relied on.

Which is always a bit dodgy.

I'm currently in legal dispute with one of our wonderful Government
agencies. Events in question, as recollected by members of this
organisation, differ significantly from what I _know_ happened.

Of course events as recollected by me differ extensively from what *they*
_know_ happened.

And we were all sober at the time (well I was - they claimed to have been).

Jeff Howell

unread,
Nov 30, 2007, 10:10:44 AM11/30/07
to
Daniel Orner wrote:
> mcv wrote:
>> Daniel Orner <webm...@ffcompendium.com> wrote:
>>> Not being able to consent doesn't mean you're not able to
>>> change your actions. It simply means you're more susceptible to
>>> suggestion than would otherwise be the case, and that you'd regret it
>>> later.
>>> I think there has to be pretty much a zero-tolerance policy
>>> for this - if not legally, then at least morally. If you see that
>>> someone is in that fuzzy state between drunk and not-drunk, don't try
>>> anything.
>>
>> But what if you're both in that fuzzy state, and you (mistakenly?)
>> interpret the other's behaviour as already trying something?
>
> You said it yourself. Drunkenness is no excuse for this behavior. If
> you're not awake enough to interpret correctly, you should stay away
> from trying.

Wait, wait. In the case mentioned in the original post, the 'rapee'
apparently can't remember exactly what happened. If both parties were
drunk, and if there was no application of excess force on the part of
one or the other, how exactly can that be rape? And if it is, isn't it
more of a mutual rape?

--
Jeff

Jeff Howell

unread,
Nov 30, 2007, 10:24:58 AM11/30/07
to
Graycat wrote:
> "Sabremeister Brian" <bpwak...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
>> In a speech called u17tk31bo59kh3h87...@4ax.com,
>> Graycat <grayca...@gmail.com> said:
>>> mcv <mcv...@xs4all.nl> wrote:
>>>
>>>> If she's drunk and he's not, yes, but on the other hand, if you're
>>>> liable to get so drunk you can't stand up properly, perhaps you
>>>> shouldn't be going back "to his place" at all. Also, if you don't
>>>> want to have sex with strangers, yet have a tendency to do so while
>>>> drunk, you should simply not get drunk while going out alone.
>>>>
>>>> Both parties carry responsibility here. If she made it clear she
>>>> didn't want sex, and he forced it on her anyway, then it's
>>>> obviously
>>>> rape, but if both are so smashing drunk that neither had any idea
>>>> what was happening anymore, then both carry equal responsibility
>>>> for
>>>> what happens afterward.
>>>>
>>>> To me, "I was drunk so I can't be held responsible for what I did"
>>>> is
>>>> never an acceptable defense.
>>> Criminal law doesn't work like that. A crime doesn't stop being a
>>> crime because the victim's an idiot.
>> Er ... that's what he said.
>
> It is? I was responding, or intending to respond, to the bits that
> said they'd be equally responsible, that she shouldn't be getting that
> drunk and that she shouldn't be going back to his place.

>
> My point is that you can say that all you like, his responsibility
> doesn't go away just because she's been an idiot.
>
> If that's what mcv meant too, it's all good and we agree. If not, then
> we disgree :o)
>

I think you're right. They were both utterly smashed out of their
minds, had no idea what they were doing, and clearly she raped him.

What?

--
Jeff