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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

#Not all convictions

Sadly, the only lessons anyone will learn about campus sexual assault from the convictions of two former Vanderbilt football players is 1) Don't be so stupid (or arrogant) as to record and share your criminal activity and 2) You cannot get away with as much when you are not the star quarterback at a championship-contending football factory. More sadly, I am not sure what would happen if you have a star quarterback who is stupid enough to record. Still more sadly, we already know what happens if the non-star is smart enough not to record.

Posted by Howard Wasserman on January 28, 2015 at 09:34 AM in Howard Wasserman, Law and Politics | Permalink

Comments

Maybe I'm just pessimistic about such things . . .

Posted by: Howard Wasserman | Jan 28, 2015 4:52:08 PM

I don't agree. I think another lesson is that rape convictions may just be possible even when the victim is rendered incapable of remembering, witnesses don't intervene or step forward later, one of the defendants has been in a consensual relationship with the victim, etc. And that universities sometimes pursue these cases and then get out of the way of other investigations, and that prosecutors can flip the script by pursuing a theory that the culprits thought they could get away with it because they were entitled athletes and BMOC.

Few cases have this documentary proof, so the generality of this may be questioned. But who would consider that the lesson of this successful prosecution was that "[y]ou cannot get away with as much when you are not the star quarterback at a championship-contending football factory," and what causes you to doubt what would happen if such a player were actually to have been recorded in the act? Perhaps no one would keep evidence, and perhaps no charges would be brought or sustained. But I'd much rather contemplate the upside and the possibility that the victim's cooperation wasn't for nothing.

Posted by: Learner | Jan 28, 2015 4:04:13 PM

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