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In a self declared civilised society, there lurks an invisible evil. It is spreading like a virus; a plague decimating entire families. It is driven by the worst qualities emanating from human kind: hate, jealousy, malice, dishonesty, narcissism, and fear. At the same time, a form of brainwashing has taken hold of the majority of the population with few able to resist. Those with power to affect change cower behind this nefarious veil or cling to systems which no longer apply. They have faith in antiquated institutions; afraid to embrace change and admit that perspective and objectivity have been lost. It is left to those brave enough to rise up; break the spell indoctrinating the people, releasing them from the thrall of ‘black magic’; and exterminate the disease.
This is not a blurb for one of the latest Stephen King novels nor the synopsis of the newest James Cameron movie. It is an accurate description, in my view of the current state of the criminal justice system and how its perception by the general public, is being manipulated.
The epidemic to which I refer is that of false allegations. Allegations sparked by the ‘Saville effect’; fuelled by media obsession and fanned into destructive infernos by celebrities and social networks. False allegations are not the mythical unicorns we have been led to believe, they are in fact increasingly more common. Consider how many lies you hear in the course of an ordinary day? ‘I only had one’; ‘I’ll be back soon’; ‘Sorry I already made plans’; ‘He’s only a friend’; ‘It was just a kiss’; ‘I’m too tired to come out’; ‘Let’s meet up soon. How many lies do you tell in a day? I challenge you to count.
Many lies are harmless ‘white lies’, to be kind, but others are not. Lying about alcohol, money, drugs, infidelity and crime causes great harm. While recognising these happen every day and their impact, at the same time we have developed social media networks which provide perfect platforms to scaffold lying into ever day practice. How many of our friends on Facebook bend and restyle their version of the truth to benefit themselves; make themselves more interesting. So why does it seem impossible to accept that some people can and will lie about sexual abuse, misconduct or offences?
We live in an age where sexualisation is everywhere. Adverts on mainstream television now peddle sexual aids and toys. Shows such as ‘Love Island’ encourage millions of viewers to voyeuristically watch human courtship as it were a social experiment conducted by extra-terrestrials; as if it were ‘the norm’. The twenty first century attitude to sex differs from centuries before. Attitudes have changed and evolved, as society has changed and evolved. Sex is no longer taboo as it was in Victorian times; that is, until it is discussed in ‘legal terms’. As soon as the Law is applied we travel, as if by time machine, to an era before evidence, human rights and where the presumption of innocence no longer applies. A land governed by oaths and vows; men and women in wigs and where allegations alone are required to judge and condemn.
The Legal System will have us believe no one would ever make false allegations of a sexual nature. It is almost biblical in inferring that sex only takes place behind closed doors; lights off, for the sole purpose of procreation. But more worryingly than these archaic notions, are those which continue to insist that a juror swearing an oath will stop him or her from discussing the case at home with friends or family. Further, it will also prevent the ‘googling’ of information on accusers and/ or accused. Maybe, once upon a time in ‘days of yore’, when jurors did not have access to instant and almost unlimited information in their pocket phones and were steered by a moral compass invoking fire and brimstone and the wrath of God himself if an oath was broken, might there be pause. But not in today’s climate. People don’t believe in oaths or the consequences of breaking them, anymore that they believe in magic spells, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy. Furthermore, Jurors chosen randomly from the wider population bring conscious or unconscious bias and beliefs into the court room. In contemporary society, manipulation of the public by the media is unprecedented and’ celebrity influence never stronger. For jurors to make a ‘pinky promise’ not to talk to anyone or carry out their own research is not enough and so called ‘safeguards’ by judges, insufficient. The public believe what they hear and see on the ‘news’ and so do jurors.
Sex is talked about every day. It is on our TV, adverts, in newspapers, in social media and in our online profiles and sometimes part of our exchanges. With increasing confidence in our ability to talk about and discuss this previously sacrosanct subject, we have widened the scope for people to lie about it and nothing is too shocking. Add to this, instructions to police to believe all complainers and movements such as ‘#metoo’ using titles such as ‘survivors’, ‘brave’ and ‘valiant’ and you have a petri dish in which to breed a culture of false allegations. Don’t get me wrong there was and still is a great need to root out genuine abuse and encourage real victims to come forward for justice and support. But what is happening with false claims is a trivialisation of those who have suffered silently and helplessly.
Consider those who have had false sexual allegations leveled against them; hunted like witches of old, condemned by the mere verbal testimony of an accuser. They have no rights. If someone was accused of assault, would there not be an expectation of independent evidence? Would you be satisfied by the word of a person claiming to have been punched ten, twenty or thirty years ago? Would you ask,
‘But why would they lie?’; ‘Why put themselves through it?’.
If it were your father, husband, brother, son or uncle accused of a sexual offence, wouldn’t you expect there to be evidence? Would you expect a presumption of innocence? At least the benefit of the doubt?
Wake up ‘sheeple’! You are being bullied and manipulated by the media and government to do their dirty work. If there is insufficient evidence and ‘they’ merely seek to evoke an emotional response, then acquit your fellow man. At the moment there is a shocking abuse of a system which was designed to protect the innocent and guarantee a fair trial. Ideals and entitlements which are being eroded. Allegations are not facts and the ‘accused’ has a right to justice.
Charlie (his pen name) is the Failed Justice prison resident poet, he is currently serving time in prison on a false accusation, you really didn’t need me to explain that the poetry he writes on the site speaks for itself and now he is writing a regular blog on the site from behind the wall.
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