Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Dickie's Quickies

In the U.K., Blair's government is going to propose new rules about what can and cannot be used in a rape trial as evidence. The government wants to increase the number of convictions. This article from The Guardian explains why:
Last year, 14,000 rapes were reported but only one in 20 resulted in a conviction.
You may now pick your jaw up off the floor. Shit, and how many rapes went unreported because they knew the likelihood of conviction was so low? It seems to me that reform is obscenely overdue. The Independent has more statistics, but they are still terribly shocking:
Currently, only 5.6% of allegations lead to a rapist being punished.

In 2004/05, there were 14,002 allegations of rape reported to police by both male and female victims.

But in the the 2004 calendar year there were just 791 convictions.

Only 14% of allegations reach the trial stage, where about half of defendants are acquitted.

I see that President Bush is opposing a possible Iraqi Prime Minister candidate. While I note that this guys is probably a nasty character, I'd also note that democracy is never so grand as when it is guided by dictatorship. Did we learn nothing from the puppet regimes of the past? Apparently, the answer is "no".

I've been reading up on the Duke Rugby Team alleged rape case. You might say that the whole team didn't commit the crime, but I'd say anyone there who did nothing is complicit in it's actions. and Rachel have some good posts on this. Someone needs to put some real pressure on these players to speak up. If they don't come clean and they were there at the time of the crime, then they should automatically be expelled if there are convictions.

What sort of pain and torture does one have to go through to get refugee status in the U.S.? Check this out:
In Liberia, a female head of a household was referred to the U.S. resettlement program by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees as a person particularly vulnerable to attack. Rebels had come to her home, killed her father and beat and gang-raped her. The rebels held her hostage in her own home and forced her to wash their clothes. The woman escaped after several weeks and made her way to a refugee camp. The Department of Homeland Security has decided that because the rebels lived in her house and she washed their clothes, she had provided "material support" to the rebels; the case has been placed on hold.

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