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Monday, September 15, 2014

More thoughts on campus rape and due process

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM (#)

Here are a few additional thoughts on due process in campus sexual assault investigations.

The fact that the Obama regime has ordered universities to abandon the "beyond a reasonable doubt" (BARD) standard in favor of a "preponderance of the evidence" (POTE) standard is irrelevant, and Indiana University is not breaking the law by refusing to obey. The highest legal authority in the land is the Constitution, not federal law or administrative rules dreamed up by federal government bureaucrats.

As a state institution, Indiana University is morally and legally obligated to follow the Constitution instead of arbitrary federal regulations imposed by the Obama regime. And that's what this is - an administrative regulation, not federal law. Congress has not passed a law mandating the POTE standard. Even if they did, Indiana University would be morally and legally obligated to disobey that law because it is unconstitutional. The Constitution requires due process and the BARD standard is a critical component of due process.

University disciplinary hearings are the wrong place for rape allegations to be tried, anyway. The worst a university can do to someone found guilty of rape is to expel him, but has no authority to punish him beyond that. A rapist, who can be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, should be behind bars. Having this handled by an academic disciplinary panel instead of the criminal justice system still leaves him free to victimize more people.

Some have said the POTE standard is necessary for victims to get "justice." Was it "justice" for the Central Park Five to spend years in prison for a crime they did not commit? Was it "justice" for the many people exonerated by the Innocence Project to spend years in prison for crimes they did not commit?

A critical thing to remember here is that all of those people spent time behind bars for crimes they did not commit under a "beyond a reasonable doubt" standard, with significantly more due process protections than you will find in a university disciplinary hearing, where the accused often does not even have the right to an attorney, examine witnesses, etc.

You can bet that there will be many more fraudulent convictions under the Obama regime's illegal "preponderance of the evidence" standard for university sexual assault investigations. It is hardly "justice" to destroy someone's academic career with a weighted system designed by activists to get convictions rather than seek the truth.

Neither I nor anyone else is saying rapists should not be punished. In my opinion, the Supreme Court was wrong to disallow the death penalty for rape. (Especially the rape of a child.) The concern here is that Obama's POTE standard ignores due process for the purpose of gaming the system to get more convictions. Putting a finger on the scale to get the desired result is not "justice." It is a political agenda, and one that has no place in a public institution like IU.


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Comments:

At September 15, 2014 at 5:11 AM , Blogger Mike Newton said...  

"The fact that the Obama regime has ordered universities to abandon the "beyond a reasonable doubt" (BARD) standard in favor of a "preponderance of the evidence" (POTE) standard is irrelevant, and Indiana University is not breaking the law by refusing to obey. The highest legal authority in the land is the Constitution, not federal law or administrative rules dreamed up by federal government bureaucrats."

Same three problems. 1. You need to produce the supposed "order." 2. "Beyond a reasonable doubt" still isn't in the Constitution. 3. "Preponderance of the evidence" is the recognized standard in all American civil litigation. Universities don't have criminal courts. You're howling at the moon over nothing. In short, the usual.


At September 16, 2014 at 6:25 PM , Blogger Scott Tibbs said...  

1. You need to produce the supposed "order."

The fact that the Obama administration has ordered colleges and universities to use the POTE standard has been very well documented across multiple news sources for the last three years.

2. "Beyond a reasonable doubt" still isn't in the Constitution.

Yes, it is. It's a critical component of due process, which is explicitly required. SCOTUS has confirmed that. You're wrong, plain and simple.

3. "Preponderance of the evidence" is the recognized standard in all American civil litigation.

But this isn't civil litigation. It is an investigation of criminal activity by a public, tax-funded entity. Universities are being sued right now for denying due process rights and the courts have ruled on a number of occasions that public universities cannot deny constitutional rights. (Usually on free speech issues.)