Saturday, December 16, 2017

Teach British Women Not to Lie About Rape — Accused man who went through “mental torture”: "I feel betrayed by the system which I had believed would do the right thing"

A judge has called for an inquiry after the trial of a student accused of rape collapsed because police had failed to reveal evidence proving his innocence.
Thus reports David Brown in the Times of London. As Instapundit says, this should lead to jail time, but not just for the woman, also for the members of the bar in charge of the prosecution. Shouldn't at the very least the reparations that the young man is due come directly from their pockets? And why on earth can't she be named and identified?! Maybe there ought to be jail time for the (fake news?) journalists (or, rather, their editors) refusing to fully inform the public (not least, the future potential lovers of hers)…
[Update: thanks for the Instalanche, Glenn Reynolds; Instapundit readers, as the full story turns out to be even worse, do not fail to check out the update to this post, Betrayed by the UK System of Justice: The case of Liam Allan is just the “tip of the iceberg” (!!)]
Liam Allan, 22, spent almost two years on bail and three days in the dock at Croydon crown court before his trial was halted yesterday.

The judge demanded a review of disclosure of evidence by the Metropolitan Police, Britain’s biggest force, and called for an inquiry at the “very highest level” of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). He warned of the risks of “serious miscarriages of justice” after hearing that, to save costs, material was not always handed to defence lawyers.

Mr Allan, a criminology undergraduate at Greenwich University, had been warned that he would be jailed for at least ten years if found guilty after being charged with six rapes and six sexual assaults against a woman who told police that she does not enjoy sex. Mr Allan said the sex was consensual and that the woman was acting maliciously because he would not see her again after he started university.

His lawyers had repeatedly been refused access to records from the woman’s telephone because police insisted that there was nothing of interest for the prosecution or defence, the court was told.

When a new prosecution barrister took over the case the day before the start of the trial, he ordered police to hand over any telephone records. It was revealed that they had a computer disk containing copies of 40,000 messages.

They showed that she continued to pester Mr Allan for “casual sex”, told friends how much she enjoyed it with him and discussed her fantasies of being raped and having violent sex.

Jerry Hayes, the prosecuting barrister, told the court yesterday that he would offer no evidence. “I would like to apologise to Liam Allan. There was a terrible failure in disclosure which was inexcusable,” he said.

Mr Hayes, a former Tory MP and criminal barrister for 40 years, added:
“There could have been a very serious miscarriage of justice, which could have led to a very significant period of imprisonment and life on the sex offenders register. It appears the [police] officer in the case has not reviewed the disk, which is quite appalling.”
Speaking outside court, Mr Allan told The Times: “I can’t explain the mental torture of the past two years. I feel betrayed by the system which I had believed would do the right thing — the system I want to work in.” His mother, Lorraine Allan, 46, a bank worker, hugged her son as he was surrounded by friends who had been lined up to give character evidence if the trial continued.

“In the current climate, in these sorts of cases, you are guilty until you can prove you are innocent,” she said. “The assumption is there is no smoke without fire.”

Radhia Karaa, a district crown prosecutor, wrote to the court admitting that the handling of the telephone downloads “has fallen below the standard that we expect”. Judge Peter Gower found Mr Allan not guilty on all charges. “There is something that has gone wrong and it is a matter that the CPS, in my judgment, should be considering at the very highest level,” he said. “Otherwise there is a risk not only of this happening again but that the trial process will not detect what has gone wrong and there will be a very serious miscarriage of justice. He [Mr Allan] leaves the courtroom an innocent man without a stain on his character.”

The judge said that police must tell prosecutors about all material collected during their investigations. “It seems to me to be a recipe for disaster if material is not viewed by a lawyer,” he said. “Something has gone very, very wrong in the way this case was investigated and brought to court.”

Julia Smart, for the defence, said she received the details of the woman’s text messages on the evening before she was due to cross-examine her, so stayed up reading them. When she told the court what she had found, the trial was halted. She said she believed that evidence from phones was being withheld from defence lawyers to save money.

Alison Saunders, the director of public prosecutions, has pushed to increase the prosecution and conviction of sexual offences. Rapes recorded by police have risen from 12,295 in 2002-03 to 45,100 last year but the number of rapes referred to the CPS for a decision on charging has stayed broadly static. Of the 35,000 adult and child rapes recorded by police in 2015-16, just over 6,800 were referred to police, a fall of about 690 on the previous year, according to Rape Monitoring Group figures.

A Met spokeswoman said: “We are aware of this case being dismissed and are carrying out an urgent assessment to establish the circumstances.”
Down Under, meanwhile, Victoria Craw has more quotes from Liam Allan:
A STUDENT has described going through “mental torture” after a rape case against him was thrown out in court because police had failed to hand over more than 40,000 messages from his accuser. 

Liam Allan, 22, faced up to ten years in jail charged with six counts of rape and six counts of sexual assault against a young woman over a 14-month period that began when he was 19.

 … Now, the judge has called for an inquiry at the “very highest level” to understand why police failed to hand over critical evidence including 40,000 messages from the accuser to Mr Allan and friends.

The messages showed how she had continually messaged Mr Allan for “casual sex”, said how much she enjoyed it and discussed fantasies of violent sex and rape, The Times reports.

 … Outside the court, Mr Allan said he went through “mental torture” over the two year period and relied on the system to uncover evidence that would exonerate him.

When first accused, he turned to a local lawyer he had done work experience with and said he was terrified at the idea of going to prison with sex offenders and worried about what would happen to his mum and flatmates when he was away.

You are all on your own. I could not talk to my mother about the details of the case because she might have been called as a witness. I couldn’t talk with my friends because they might have been called. I felt completely isolated at every stage of the process,” he said.

“I can’t explain the mental torture of the past two years. ... I feel betrayed by the system which I had believed would do the right thing, the system I want to work in.”

 … The Crown Prosecution Service said they will not conduct a “management review” with the Metropolitian Police to “examine the way in which the case was handled.”

Mr Hayes, who is a former Conservative MP wrote in The Times the case marked the most “appalling failure of disclosure I have ever encountered.”
Update: Betrayed by the System of Justice: The case of Liam Allan is just the “tip of the iceberg”

Update 2: Confirmation bias in this alarmed age says that because some teachers have been abusers, some men have raped, and many victims weren’t believed, it follows that assuming guilt is the safe bet
There have to be consequences, because sexual crime is too serious, lying about it too wicked, to be used as a weapon of the petulant. In the Allan case we know nothing of the vulnerabilities or mental problems of the woman who lied, but it will be dismaying if she is not promptly charged with perverting the course of justice. Or, at least, wasting police time. Certainly she should lose anonymity. …
Update 3: Police Corruption in the UK — Manchester force ‘took bribes from organised crime gang’

Is it really true? Are these “sexual orientation” nondiscrimination laws really aimed at no one in particular?

Over at the Constituion website and in spite of Neil Gorsuch, Benny Huang is not optimistic.
The American people probably won’t learn the Supreme Court’s decision in the groundbreaking case of Masterpiece Cake Shop v. Colorado until the court deigns to deliver its “wisdom” sometime before June.

We’ll all be holding our breath until then, waiting to know if Justice Anthony Kennedy feels like allowing us to have a few scraps of freedom.

My prediction: probably not. The First Amendment is dead.

Interestingly, the plaintiff in this case, a Christian baker named Jack Phillips, has made his appeal primarily on free speech grounds, arguing that his rights have been violated because he’s being forced to use his artistic talent to communicate a message that he does not support. Though he is also making a free exercise claim, it is secondary in nature.

That’s because Phillips would almost certainly lose if he hung his hat on the Constitution’s free exercise clause. I don’t mean to imply that I wouldn’t find a free exercise argument compelling, only that the court probably wouldn’t. If SCOTUS were to uphold his free exercise right not to be forced to be an unwilling participant in someone else’s wedding, it would mean overturning precedent, something the court is loath to do.

For credibility’s sake, the supremes have traditionally stood by previous decisions, even bad decisions like Employment Division v. Smith, a free exercise case that the court decided in 1990. The case was brought by Alfred Smith, a member of Oregon’s Klamath tribe, who lost his job as a drug and alcohol counselor for using the psychedelic drug peyote, a controlled substance, and was subsequently denied unemployment benefits. Smith argued that his free exercise rights had been violated because he only used peyote in the context of religious rituals sponsored by the Native American Church, of which he was a member. He took his case all the way to the Supreme Court…and lost. 

There are a number of thorny issues surrounding the Smith case that would require a lengthy tangent to explain here. Suffice it to say that the case set a bad precedent and greatly diminished religious freedom in this country. SCOTUS came to two conclusions that we’ve been forced to live with ever since. They are:
  1. Laws that happen to impinge on free exercise rights are not unconstitutional on their face. If they are “laws of general applicability” that happen to bump up against someone’s religion, “the First Amendment has not been offended.” Only laws that intend to curb free exercise are automatically unconstitutional.
  2. Legislatures may create special religious accommodations but they don’t have to.
The first of these conclusions is problematic because it speaks to motive. A law can be either constitutional or unconstitutional depending upon what the legislators’ were thinking at the time. Trying to divine legislators’ true motives seems like a fool’s errand—especially if they aren’t honest about their intentions—so my instinct is to discard motive as a guiding principle in favor of effect. Yet on the other hand I can see that some laws really do find themselves in conflict with people’s religious beliefs and practices quite by accident. An example of this can be found in a 2003 case from Florida in which a Muslim woman, Sultaana Freeman, sued the state for not allowing her to have her driver’s license photo taken while wearing a niqab, a garment that covers all of the face except the eyes.

I can see an argument for creating a special accommodation for religious garb. After all, if she’s pulled over while driving she will be wearing her niqab so her face will match her license photo. On the other hand, a photo ID is basically worthless if its bearer can obscure her face in the picture.

Though I can see the pros and cons of granting this woman an accommodation, it’s actually irrelevant. The question is not whether Florida should make special accommodations for Muslim women but whether it must. 

The answer is no. Sultaana Freeman lost her case because the infringement upon her free exercise rights was incidental. The law wasn’t written to make her feel like a lesser citizen. It was written because people often need to prove their identities and because identities must be matched to faces.

The reason that free exercise claims have failed to protect private business owners from intrusive nondiscrimination laws is because supporters of such laws have countered that any infringement upon free exercise rights is entirely unintentional. Just as Sultaana Freeman was forced to yield to a law of general applicability, so too must Christian bakers, florists, and wedding photographers.

But is it really true? Are these “sexual orientation” nondiscrimination laws really aimed at no one in particular?

How anyone can make this argument with a straight face is beyond me. Just listening to the way supporters of these laws talk tells me that they harbor a deep animus against people of faith—hence all the talk of flying spaghetti monsters and creeping theocracy, the constant comparisons of Christian conservatives to ISIS and the insane claims that religious zealotry is to blame for the Holocaust.

Supporters of these laws are the same people who maintain that restricting marriage to the union of a man and woman violates the Constitution’s establishment clause because only religion could be the impetus. Then, when a Christian baker asks not to be forced to design a custom wedding cake for a same-sex wedding they act as if religion has nothing to do with it.

A good example of someone who can’t stop betraying the true motives of such laws can be found in homofascism’s premiere sugar daddy, Tim Gill, a billionaire homosexual who uses his fortune to bankroll “gay” “rights” initiatives. Basically, he promotes nondiscrimination laws and opposes religious freedom laws.

Said Gill to a Rolling Stone reporter:
“We’re going into the hardest states in the country. We’re going to punish the wicked.”
Punish the wicked? And who might that be, Mr. Gill?

Gill offers a clue that such laws aren’t actually comparable to the Florida law that so vexed Sultaana Freeman. The purpose of the Florida law is to establish a reliable form of identification, something the state has an actual interest in. It’s not intended to “punish the wicked” and if it were we could logically infer that “the wicked” must be religious Muslim women.

Naturally, Gill denied that “the wicked” means Christians. Rolling Stone’s Andy Kroll defended Gill in a follow-up article: “Not once in my profile does Gill talk about ‘targeting’ Christians. Not once does Gill so much as hint at singling out Christians or adherents of any other religion. Not once does the word ‘Christian’ appear.”

It’s worth noting that none of the various state religious freedom initiatives Gill opposes say anything about homosexuals or wedding services. Tim Gill simply infers that that’s what is meant.

But it’s true that Tim Gill didn’t explicitly mention Christians. He only said that he would go into the “toughest states” (the Bible Belt was clearly implied) and use his huge checkbook to crush religious freedom laws. In other words, “punish[ing] the wicked” was a dog whistle that all of his supporters heard loud and clear.

For a wonderful rebuttal to Gill’s nonsense, I’ll refer to The Federalist’s Bre Payton.
“Ah, so ‘the wicked’ whom Gill says need to be ‘punished’ are indeed Christians, as well as everyone who agrees with them. Anyone who stands up for a Christian’s right to live in accordance with his or her religious beliefs will also be targeted for harassment in public and the legal system. Further, he clearly defines ‘wickedness’ as adhering to centuries-old Christian (and Jewish and Muslim) beliefs on human identity and sexuality. To Gill, orthodox Christian beliefs comprise ‘wickedness.’ Thanks for clearing that up.”
The distilled version of Gill’s argument is that nondiscrimination laws apply to everyone so shut up. This is not nearly the air tight argument he thinks it is.

In days gone by, some states required poll taxes to vote. They applied to everyone but they were often aimed at blacks even if the legislators who passed them wouldn’t admit it. They claimed it was about funding elections.

Prior to 2011, the US military prohibited homosexual conduct in the ranks, a policy which I supported then as now. This was a law of general applicability yet some people—people like Tim Gill for example—believed that it targeted “gays.”

In short: Just because a law applies to everyone doesn’t mean that it isn’t aimed at someone in particular. The outrageous laws that Tim Gill pushes are aimed at people of faith and they therefore run afoul of the Constitution, even as interpreted in light of the Smith ruling. The First Amendment was written to protect us from exactly this kind of governmental overreach. If it doesn’t protect us from this it’s not worth the paper it’s written on.