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Confessions of a "Rape Cop" Juror
September 8, 2011 8:34 PM   Subscribe

Jurors in the rape trial of NYPD officers Kenneth Moreno and Franklin Mata voted to acquit, stunning many who believed the evidence in the case was sufficient to win a conviction.

The acquittal was chalked up to the "CSI effect" -- due to limited physical evidence, including a lack of DNA, the jurors felt that the burden of proof beyond reasonable doubt was not met.

Today, the Gothamist daily blog published their first pay-to-read longform feature, Confessions of a "Rape Cop" Juror, written by juror Patrick Kirkland. Kirkland explains, in detail, how the jury arrived at their verdict.

So far, reactions to the article have been mixed.

(Previously.)
posted by palomar (126 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
Reasonable doubt is a tough standard to meet, especially in cases as murky as this one. It would be nice if more people understood that.

Selling the memoir is a shitty move, though.
posted by kafziel at 8:41 PM on September 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


Pay to read? Fuggedaboutit. They can post it for free and let me block their ads.
posted by Ardiril at 8:41 PM on September 8, 2011 [7 favorites]


Did they post a "funny" photo to go along with the article like they normally do?
posted by Threeway Handshake at 8:57 PM on September 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Interesting to hear people complain about them trying to make money off this. Journalism has always been about making money off of bad things happening, for the most part.
posted by delmoi at 8:59 PM on September 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


Interesting how people think physical evidence is needed. Evidently the cops lied about how often they went back to the apartment and other stuff, just that doesn't seem to matter as much.

The low cost, long form essays are a good idea, but this particular story sounds low and slimy. Am glad to hear the cops were fired though.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:00 PM on September 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


There was obviously enough, from the cop's own mouths, to show wrongdoing, so firing them (and suing the city) seems like a slam dunk.

From what I was able to read from the jurors, though, I don't envy them. It sure as hell looks and feels like they raped her or something like it, but it really seems impossible to say exactly what happened because her memory was fogged by alcohol and there was no physical evidence.
posted by fatbird at 9:09 PM on September 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Pay to read? Fuggedaboutit. They can post it for free and let me block their ads.

I'm assuming that this a joke, and if it is, I salute you.
posted by The Devil Tesla at 9:30 PM on September 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wait. We used to be against Police States, right?
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 9:35 PM on September 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


9/11 Changed Everything.(tm)
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 9:37 PM on September 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Stupid jury.
posted by polymodus at 9:46 PM on September 8, 2011


Interesting how people think physical evidence is needed. Evidently the cops lied about how often they went back to the apartment and other stuff, just that doesn't seem to matter as much.
First of all, I think these cops probably did it. But if you look at the DSK thread, it's obvious people think that if both the victim and the accuser are non-credible then you default to not guilty -- if you doubt what happened because you don't know who to trust, that's 'reasonable doubt'

The problem here is that it's possible she could have consented to sex, then forgotten about it.
posted by delmoi at 9:51 PM on September 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Yes, delmoi, I suppose that's possible. After all, everyone has a kink... maybe Moreno is super turned on by semi-conscious/unconscious women covered in their own vomit.
posted by palomar at 9:56 PM on September 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


They should declare a mistrial because of this whole Kirkland/Gothamist thing.
posted by polymodus at 9:57 PM on September 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


The problem here is that it's possible she could have consented to sex, then forgotten about it. Well, sure, but then she'd also have to be lying about waking up to being raped so hard that she thought her head was going to go through the window. As far as I know, unconscious people can't give consent.
posted by stagewhisper at 10:15 PM on September 8, 2011 [12 favorites]


The jury did not agree with the press. I know nothing of the actual facts, just the name of the officers and the raw allegation.

Did the victim testify?
posted by Ironmouth at 10:30 PM on September 8, 2011


So far, reactions to the article have been mixed.

Another reaction: NYPD “Rape Cop” Juror Is Cashing In
posted by homunculus at 10:36 PM on September 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Did the victim testify?
Yes, it was covered somewhat in the previously link, but another partial recap is here.
posted by stagewhisper at 10:44 PM on September 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Here's a statement the victim made after the trial: Woman in Rape Case Says Verdict Left Her ‘Devastated’
posted by homunculus at 10:47 PM on September 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


stagewhisper: Well, sure, but then she'd also have to be lying about waking up to being raped so hard that she thought her head was going to go through the window. As far as I know, unconscious people can't give consent.

You can be blacked out from drinking, yet still conscious (and even walking and somewhat coherent).
posted by Mitrovarr at 10:52 PM on September 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Anyone found a pirate copy yet? This is going to be a pretty thin discussion if the bulk of the content comes with a price tag.
posted by Ardiril at 10:55 PM on September 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Teflon blue.
posted by 3.2.3 at 10:58 PM on September 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


Did they post a "funny" photo to go along with the article like they normally do?

Funny you should ask. Jezebel says "The package also includes a photo shoot with Moreno that Gothamist conducted, which Gothamist publisher Jake Dobkin told me was "particularly controversial" with his staff." They included one of the images, the cop and his dog, in the Jezebel article. Yik.
posted by jessamyn at 11:09 PM on September 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Interesting to hear people complain about them trying to make money off this. Journalism has always been about making money off of bad things happening, for the most part.

People are mad that a juror is making money off of this. That's much worse even than tabloid journalism at a rape trial.

Here's an interview with a different juror.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 11:47 PM on September 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


She was so drunk that the taxi driver was concerned and called the police. I don't see how it is reasonable that those same police then came to the conclusion that she is totally okay to consent to sex, or that she "consented" to sex and then forgot about it. At that level of drunkenness it is impossible to consent and someone sober should be able to figure that out quite easily and refrain from committing rape.
posted by the young rope-rider at 11:55 PM on September 8, 2011 [44 favorites]


At that level of drunkenness it is impossible to consent

Is that the law in New York?
posted by Ardiril at 12:03 AM on September 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yes, when you are so drunk that people call the police to look after you, then you cannot consent to sex. That is the law in NY, that is the law pretty much everywhere that is at all civilized.

It is not a complicated legal loophole; in fact it is pretty easy not to rape people.
posted by the young rope-rider at 12:10 AM on September 9, 2011 [43 favorites]


It seems it is also pretty easy to rape people and get away with it in New York.
posted by CautionToTheWind at 1:44 AM on September 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


CautionToTheWind: "It seems it is also pretty easy to rape people and get away with it in New York if you're a cop."

Fixed it.
posted by dancestoblue at 2:43 AM on September 9, 2011 [6 favorites]


Mitrovarr: "You can be blacked out from drinking, yet still conscious (and even walking and somewhat coherent)."
I've known my fair share of alcoholics, it's quite common for some alcoholics to black out after just two or three drinks.

But what happens in a blackout of that sort isn't going unconscious, it's staying completely conscious, and alert, and talking and laughing and driving and getting married and whatever else, and when you finally do stop the drinking run you snap out of the blackout and have no idea where you are, who is in bed next to you, or on top of you, or whose car is it you're driving and where are you driving to, and why.

So if you met this person, when they were in a blackout, you'd not really be able to tell -- they're walking, talking, seemingly in charge of themselves, and in fact they ARE in charge of themselves, the selves that seem to be generated upon taking a few drinks.

They say it's quite scary but also quite the thrill and quite the escape -- drink some and then ZAM! you're gone somewhere else.

Not saying that this was the case with this woman, just picking up on Mitrovarr talking about blackouts...
posted by dancestoblue at 2:53 AM on September 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


. That is the law in NY, that is the law pretty much everywhere that is at all civilized.

I'm not sure of that at all. The laws of consent for New York, judging from here, require either:

Physically helpless: physically unable to indicate a lack of consent (e.g. because victim is unconscious or because of a physical disability that makes one unable to physically or verbally communicate lack of consent).

or

Mentally Incapacitated: when the victim is made temporarily incapable of understanding or controlling his or her conduct because a drug or other intoxicating substance (e.g. alcohol) was given to them without their consent.

It would take being drunk enough not to physically consent, not just black out drunk. It's a pretty low bar to consent to sex. And the alcohol was taken of her own volition. We don't know how drunk she was, and thus we can't know if she was in a position to consent. It's insanely unlikely, but there remained a reasonable doubt.
posted by zabuni at 2:59 AM on September 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


It's insanely unlikely, but there remained a reasonable doubt.

If something is insanely unlikely, that's probably an unreasonable doubt.

FWIW, I agree with whoever upthread suggested that this was a product of the CSI effect. All that forensic evidence would prove is that penetrative sex took place, despite the fact that one of the cops actually admitted it.

Sounds to me like these cops had extremely competent legal representation. The prosecution, probably not so skilled. That, and the assumption that any woman who drinks to intoxication is obviously a slut who'll put out for any random person who suggests a fast fuck.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 3:31 AM on September 9, 2011 [7 favorites]


This piece here suggests the jurors believed the cops did it, but still didn't convict.

I suggest these jurors were morons.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 3:35 AM on September 9, 2011 [6 favorites]


Moreno is super turned on by semi-conscious/unconscious women covered in their own vomit.

I was all going to come in and say "well reasonable doubt also insures that you don't go to jail for murdering your neighbor who you didn't murder".

But then I read that, and I want to put nail clippers in my little pocket, take out my handkerchief soaked in apple cider vinegar, put in in my balaclava and get my riot on in NYC.

Motherfuckers.
posted by hal_c_on at 3:46 AM on September 9, 2011


All that forensic evidence would prove is that penetrative sex took place, despite the fact that one of the cops actually admitted it.

wait, I thought that Moreno admitted to "spooning" with her when she was naked, but not sex. And that that was what the issue was, since Moreno and his partner were obviously not credible, and that the victim was so drunk that she might not 100% remember what occurred, so she couldn't be considered credible. And since there was no forensic evidence, you get into a he said/she said thing.

What I find remarkable is that since everyone admitted she was probably so incapacitated she couldn't consent to sex, or probably much of anything else, naked "spooning" IMHO while not rape, has to be 3rd degree sexual something or other, legally speaking, right? Good for some jail time, right? In New York State, right? and that while not as satisfactory as rape would at least be something.
posted by xetere at 4:01 AM on September 9, 2011


wait, I thought that Moreno admitted to "spooning" with her when she was naked, but not sex.

He admitted to using a condom for spooning? That's taking protection a bit far, isn't it?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:21 AM on September 9, 2011 [6 favorites]


Why would anyone be surprised by this verdict? Women are punished all the time for the crime of having a vagina, no matter what mental state they are in. Women are assumed to always be in a state of "yes." Unless shown to have been beaten up severely, the woman must have wanted it, and even then sometimes, she probably was just into being beaten up. Actual laws are being debated across the country to set the standard for rape to be only "virgins" can be raped.

Let's face it, she was lucky the jury didn't decide she should be stoned to death for this.
posted by Belle O'Cosity at 5:03 AM on September 9, 2011 [6 favorites]


it really seems impossible to say exactly what happened because her memory was fogged by alcohol and there was no physical evidence.

I think that may really be what's going on here. It doesn't sound to me as if the jury was saying that they would never, under any circumstances, convict in the absence of DNA evidence. It sounds like what they were saying was that because the alleged victim's testimony was so poor, they needed something more objective before they could convict.
posted by valkyryn at 5:07 AM on September 9, 2011


Actual laws are being debated across the country to set the standard for rape to be only "virgins" can be raped.

I call bullshit. You want to make a claim that outrageous, I'm gonna need to see some linkage. This is nonsense.
posted by valkyryn at 5:07 AM on September 9, 2011 [11 favorites]



Actual laws are being debated across the country to set the standard for rape to be only "virgins" can be raped.


I think people recognize the situation is bad enough as it is without accelerating this thread into histrionics. Rather than get worked up about things that probably don't exist (at least not in the United States), can we concentrate on actual reform so that the next time cops allegedly rape someone, or someone is raped while too drunk to consent, the trial doesn't become a farce?
posted by ChuraChura at 5:13 AM on September 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


Women are punished all the time for the crime of having a vagina, no matter what mental state they are in.

Stop making this about men and women. This is about the abuse of power by the police and lack of power to do jack shit about it by the citizenry.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:36 AM on September 9, 2011 [8 favorites]


If you want better juries, you need to start with better jurors. For instance people who can tell the difference between television dramas and reality.

From personal experience and anecdotal data it would appear that a college education is pretty much a Get Out Of Jury Duty Free card, and an post-graduate degree doubly so. I don't think that's what the Founding Fathers intended with that whole "jury of your peers" thing.
posted by tommasz at 5:41 AM on September 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


Stop making this about men and women. This is about the abuse of power by the police and lack of power to do jack shit about it by the citizenry.

Right, because non-policemen never ever get away with rape.
posted by kmz at 5:46 AM on September 9, 2011 [5 favorites]


Imho, the "CSI effect" is a Very Good Thing (tm). It makes railroading innocent people slightly more difficult. Conversely, I loathe how police so frequently get away with absolutely horrible abuses of power. Jurors should have really considered how any charges that actually get brought against cops have already cleared enormous legal and bureaucratic hurdles.
posted by jeffburdges at 5:58 AM on September 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


What I liked is the part at the end where he goes to a celebratory dinner with Moreno and decides that such a nice guy couldn't possibly be a rapist. Charming!
posted by prefpara at 6:03 AM on September 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


There's content out there on the web that I would be willing to pay to read, but this isn't remotely it.
posted by Zonker at 6:03 AM on September 9, 2011



Right, because non-policemen never ever get away with rape.


The point is that this THREAD is about a SPECIFIC case. So stop with the generalizations.
posted by spicynuts at 6:05 AM on September 9, 2011


Ardiril: "Anyone found a pirate copy yet?"

It's TWO FUCKING DOLLARS. If your really need to debate it, paying the asking price to read it is the least you can do.
posted by falameufilho at 6:06 AM on September 9, 2011


Rape by cop appears to be or appears to have been a recent problem in Connecticut.

I was surprised that ex-police officer Bert Lopez of New Mexico for having sex in public view while on-duty in his uniform. He was not charged with a crime. I heard a legal commentator on television comment that no crime was committed. Would a non-copy have been charged under similar circumstances? New Mexico code section 30-9-14 defines public indecency. The picture of Bert Lopez and the woman on the hood of the car is not terribly clear but that woman seems awfully young looking. Was she 18 or older or did not investigators not even bother to check into that detail?
posted by millardsarpy at 6:08 AM on September 9, 2011


From personal experience and anecdotal data it would appear that a college education is pretty much a Get Out Of Jury Duty Free card, and an post-graduate degree doubly so. I don't think that's what the Founding Fathers intended with that whole "jury of your peers" thing.

Which makes professional malpractice trials that much weirder. Here we've got a dozen or so people with high school degrees trying to decide whether a person screwed up in a discipline it takes seven to fifteen years of training after high school to even begin. In my experience, defense counsel are a lot more amenable to educated people on the jury, particularly in malpractice cases, as it creates a disincentive for plaintiff counsel to grandstand, showboat, and generally just pull shenanigans.
posted by valkyryn at 6:11 AM on September 9, 2011


Correction: I was surprised that ex-police officer Bert Lopez of New Mexico was not charged with having sex in public view while on-duty in his uniform. I heard a legal commentator on television say that no crime had been committed. Would a non-civilian have been let go under similar circumstances?
posted by millardsarpy at 6:35 AM on September 9, 2011


Imho, the "CSI effect" is a Very Good Thing (tm). It makes railroading innocent people slightly more difficult. Conversely, I loathe how police so frequently get away with absolutely horrible abuses of power. Jurors should have really considered how any charges that actually get brought against cops have already cleared enormous legal and bureaucratic hurdles.

Another reason the CSI effect is a good thing is the complete unreliability of eye witness testimony. The more jurors look for physical evidence, the less they're going be swayed by the victim pointing their fingers at the one person in the room who looks remotely like the perpetrator and happens to be sitting at defense counsel table.

Obviously, identification is not the issue here, but those sorts of issues are a lot more common than the ones in this case.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 6:44 AM on September 9, 2011


From personal experience and anecdotal data it would appear that a college education is pretty much a Get Out Of Jury Duty Free card, and an post-graduate degree doubly so. I don't think that's what the Founding Fathers intended with that whole "jury of your peers" thing.

Huh. Whose personal experience wins? On the jury I served on (murder trial), nearly everyone had at least a BA and a couple were in grad school.

I won't generalize about how all juries everywhere must be just like the ones I'm most familiar with.
posted by rtha at 6:46 AM on September 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


From the "Far" link: What seems crass and tasteless about this is that juror Patrick Kirkland and Gothamist are basically charging $3 a pop for the inside story on the trial. It goes beyond tabloid journalism and strikes me as personally profiting off someone else’s misfortune

I don't understand this thinking. Kirkland could have just not written anything, but he sat down at his desk and wrote. He spent X number of hours giving anyone who is interested an inside look at what jurors do and think and how they arrive at a verdict. For taking the time to do this he should be paid. If you are not interested in what he has to say, don't give him the money.

If I sit down and write a novel about the Titanic am I personally profiting off someone else's misfortune?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:54 AM on September 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


I would much rather our justice system erred on the side of guilty people going free, rather than on innocent people being convicted.
posted by dunkadunc at 6:56 AM on September 9, 2011


I would much rather our justice system erred on the side of guilty people going free, rather than on innocent people being convicted.

Yeah, this is not being challenged. The reason people are reading this juror's story and flipping out is that the nature of the error in this case, or at least in his case, seems to be that he fundamentally does not understand what rape is and his lack of understanding is a widespread one that leads to the systematic underprosecution and underconviction of rapists. He also holds attitudes about consent and sex that are widespread and lead to rape actually happening.
posted by prefpara at 6:59 AM on September 9, 2011 [6 favorites]


I've always thought a trial by my peers would actually work out to being a trial by a bunch of total lunkheads.
posted by dunkadunc at 7:08 AM on September 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


If I sit down and write a novel about the Titanic am I personally profiting off someone else's misfortune?

Nice trolling.

The objection here is that jurors, who decide the outcome of the case, should not have any financial ulterior motives. This guy profits directly from the "not guilty" verdict (I guarantee that a "guilty" decision wouldn't have drawn as much traffic to Gothamist's site), and that's a clear conflict of interest with his duty as a juror.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 7:08 AM on September 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've always thought a trial by my peers would actually work out to being a trial by a bunch of total lunkheads.

There's a reason a lot of businesses opt for bench trials, i.e. a trial where the judge is also the jury.
posted by valkyryn at 7:17 AM on September 9, 2011


If I sit down and write a novel about the Titanic am I personally profiting off someone else's misfortune?

If you were on the crew of the Titanic, then yes. That seems analogous to earning a profit from one's experience as a juror on a controversial case.
posted by palomar at 7:23 AM on September 9, 2011



From personal experience and anecdotal data it would appear that a college education is pretty much a Get Out Of Jury Duty Free card, and an post-graduate degree doubly so.

This could be an interesting thread, in someone in the field did a little research on the topic. Apparently it depends on the type of trial. In one case in which I was a potential jury, during the voir dire part of the trial, anyone who read anything other than The TV Guide or had an opinion about anything was kicked out. (It was a civil case, lawyers against a video store.)
posted by kozad at 7:31 AM on September 9, 2011


oops: juror
posted by kozad at 7:32 AM on September 9, 2011


There ain't nothing wrong with writing about your personal experiences for profit or otherwise, well unless your violating some confidentiality agreement, publishing someone else's password, intentionally in-sighting racial violence, etc. You should critisize this juror for his decision making process, not writing about it.
posted by jeffburdges at 7:40 AM on September 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


If you were on the crew of the Titanic, then yes. That seems analogous to earning a profit from one's experience as a juror on a controversial case.

The hidden premise here is that the crewman on the Titanic somehow caused the sinking, thus enabling him to profit from the experience with a book.

Is there any suggestion the juror threw the case because he thought he'd get a better magazine deal from a not-guilty verdict?
posted by fatbird at 7:57 AM on September 9, 2011


-Stop making this about men and women. This is about the abuse of power by the police and lack of power to do jack shit about it by the citizenry.

Yeah, because cops follow drunk men home and rape them all the time.

-The point is that this THREAD is about a SPECIFIC case. So stop with the generalizations.

Yeah, this one, single, solitary, specific incident has nothing to do whatsoever with a general rape-culture, the norms and unexamined mindsets that flow from existing in that milieu, and how that informs the way people do things like, oh, I dunno... decide rape cases in which they're jurors.

No larger picture to be seen here, and you're a fool and a Communist if you suggest there is.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 8:01 AM on September 9, 2011 [13 favorites]


When I was growing up, a wise man -- a poet from New York, incidentally -- taught me something about law enforcement in this country that helps me cope with events like this stunning acquittal.

"The police department," he said, "is like a crew. That does whatever they want to do."

I always wonder if jurors on cases where police or former police officers are defendants are somewhat influenced by their awareness that the officers' "brothers in blue" can make life very difficult for the jurors if they vote to convict. So I don't know that I'd call them stupid. They might have been fearful for their well-being.

Anyhow, thanks for the words of wisdom all those years ago, Mr. Parker.
posted by lord_wolf at 8:07 AM on September 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


The point is that this THREAD is about a SPECIFIC case.

To me at least, this SPECIFIC case seems to be more about rape culture and the stacked deck against women rather than a typical police abuse case. The main points of contention are issues of consent.

And on preview, Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey said it way better than I could.
posted by kmz at 8:07 AM on September 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


kmz: And on preview, Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey said it way better than I could.
No, you said it far better, because you expressed your point in a way that clarifies and encourages discussion. Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey instead chose to be a mocking, petulant child and express the same point in a way that encourages adversariality and silences discussion. There really ought to be a standing penalty for "Yeah, <sarcastic opposite of point I intend to make>" because of how damaging it is to any kind of discussion (to say nothing of the sheer stupidity of it).

On topic:
I'm pretty amazed that people have totally let go of Belle O'Cosity's claim that "Actual laws are being debated across the country to set the standard for rape to be only "virgins" can be raped." Can we please get a source on this? I don't really want to Google "virgin rape law" at work.
posted by IAmUnaware at 8:22 AM on September 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


I have to say, the "CSI effect" doesn't make a lot of sense. The effect, allegedly, is that jurors expect there to be more evidence than there is due to television shows. However, if they believe that evidence that they have is insufficient to convict, their expectations about how much evidence there "should" be are irrelevant.

If you have reliable video of a rape, then the jury isn't going to worry about a lack of DNA evidence. If you just have a he-said/she-said situation, then while evidence that is likely on t.v. and unlikely in real life would be enough to convict, if that evidence isn't there, it isn't there regardless of the jury's prior expectations.
posted by callmejay at 8:22 AM on September 9, 2011


Have people already forgotten the tremendous courage that officers of the NYPD showed on 9/11?
posted by Flashman at 8:23 AM on September 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


I continue to be disgusted at the expectation that if a woman doesn't resist rape "enough", then it's not really rape.

As for the 'virgin rape' law thing, I would assume Belle O'Cosity means something like the redefinitions going on for abortion exemption "in the case of rape", eg the sodomized virgins only exception in South Dakota from a few years ago.
posted by rmd1023 at 8:31 AM on September 9, 2011


Imho, the "CSI effect" is a Very Good Thing (tm). It makes railroading innocent people slightly more difficult.

Yeah, it might just be me but I prefer a jury that's intelligent enough to make sensible distinctions between the weight of various evidence and and actually understand the law that's being explained to them.

Because this 'CSI effect' works both ways. How many people have been railroaded by spurious forensic evidence that doesn't actually say what the state's expert implies it says, while the poor defendent who can't afford a team of expert witnesses and has to make do with an overworked and underfunded public defender isn't really in a place to mount an effective challenge.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 8:34 AM on September 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


Is there any suggestion the juror threw the case because he thought he'd get a better magazine deal from a not-guilty verdict?

I don't think there's any specific allegation in this case.

But if we start to accept juror profiteering as normal, then it will skew verdicts eventually. One of the most reliably true tenets of economics is that people respond to financial incentives. It's why convicted criminals aren't allowed to profit from their crimes via book deals or film rights, it's why politicians aren't allowed to accept bribes, it's why those who award contracts aren't allowed to accept gifts from those who are bidding, it's why teachers help their students cheat when bonuses are given for improved test performance, and it's why jurors shouldn't be cashing in on the cases they decide.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 8:37 AM on September 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey instead chose to be a mocking, petulant child...

pet·u·lant
   /ˈpɛtʃələnt/ Show Spelled[pech-uh-luhnt] Show IPA
adjective
moved to or showing sudden, impatient irritation, especially over some trifling annoyance: a petulant toss of the head.

I don't think my comment was impatient, nor in reaction to a trifling irritation. So I'm gonna argue you on that one. And I dunno about your experience, but most children I know don't actually use sarcasm or Bill Hicks references, so again I'm gonna call bulshit.

I'll cop to the mockery part.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 8:38 AM on September 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


most children I know don't actually use sarcasm or Bill Hicks references

Their parents have failed them then.
posted by kmz at 8:43 AM on September 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


This piece here suggests the jurors believed the cops did it, but still didn't convict.

I suggest these jurors were morons.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 3:35 AM on September 9 [2 favorites +] [!]


That's a feature, not a bug. The point of justice is to separate out the emotional from the rational. I believe the cops did it too, but that's not what juries are there for. It's not a popularity contest or an election, where one casts their vote based on their own metrics. The judge or jury is specifically charged to ignore their *feelings* and instead weigh evidence and credibility.

If a juror is predisposed to believe the defendent is guilty, and the prosecution STILL can't provide enough evidence for them to vote to convict, there mustn't have been very much actual evidence.

That sucks, but it sucks a lot less than the alternative, where we lock up people based on mind reading and imaginings.
posted by gjc at 8:47 AM on September 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


Is there any suggestion the juror threw the case because he thought he'd get a better magazine deal from a not-guilty verdict?

I don't think there's any specific allegation in this case.

But if we start to accept juror profiteering as normal, then it will skew verdicts eventually. One of the most reliably true tenets of economics is that people respond to financial incentives. It's why convicted criminals aren't allowed to profit from their crimes via book deals or film rights, it's why politicians aren't allowed to accept bribes, it's why those who award contracts aren't allowed to accept gifts from those who are bidding, it's why teachers help their students cheat when bonuses are given for improved test performance, and it's why jurors shouldn't be cashing in on the cases they decide.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 8:37 AM on September 9 [1 favorite +] [!]


I agree. I don't imagine any jurors are currently thinking that they can throw cases one way or another for profit, but there may come a time that it becomes a variable that needs to be corrected for. Hopefully the requirement for a unanimous verdict already corrects for that, but you're right, there may come a time when jurors will have to be prevented from profiting from their service like that.
posted by gjc at 8:50 AM on September 9, 2011


If I sit down and write a novel about the Titanic am I personally profiting off someone else's misfortune?

Nice trolling.

The objection here is that jurors, who decide the outcome of the case, should not have any financial ulterior motives. This guy profits directly from the "not guilty" verdict (I guarantee that a "guilty" decision wouldn't have drawn as much traffic to Gothamist's site), and that's a clear conflict of interest with his duty as a juror.


You seem to want to ascribe the worst possible motivations for people's actions. I am a troll rather than someone stating a personal opinion. The juror voted not guilty in order to write a profitable essay.

I don't think we have anything to worry about as far as large numbers of jurors profiting from their decisions. In order for that to happen you would have to have a) a high profile case, b) someone with the time and talent to write about it sitting on the jury, c) that juror's vote somehow swaying or influencing all the other jurors into voting against the right outcome.

In other words we have a 12 person jury for a reason. On every jury you can probably find a couple of people voting the way they do for the wrong reason: prejudice, apathy, ignorance, or vindictiveness to name a few. I'm up for a discussion about how we can improve the system and if that means establishing professional full-time jurors, then we can talk about non-disclosure agreements. Until then, I have no problem with a juror getting paid for writing about what they personally experienced.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 9:35 AM on September 9, 2011


Yik.

Yik is right. Gothamist started putting up lots cartoony "oops" photos along with stories about horrific things happening to people, crime, accidents, etc. I stopped reading them long ago and won't ever click on their linkbait shit.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 9:45 AM on September 9, 2011


Secret Life of Gravy: You seem to want to ascribe the worst possible motivations for people's actions. I am a troll rather than someone stating a personal opinion.

Fair enough, I apologize for calling you a troll. But the reason I did it is because your Titanic analogy is troll-like: It ignores the perceived problem with this situation (juror conflict of interest) and implies that anybody who is uncomfortable with this kind of thing is unreasonable.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 10:21 AM on September 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


As I understand it, the 'CSI effect' usually benefits defendants, PeterMcDermott. And requiring less evidence ain't gonna help much if public defenders are underfunded.

Ideally, public defenders should simply be paid whatever assistant DAs are paid given comparable experence, i.e. the state employee lawyer rate.

We should probably even have some general principle of legal equalization even for civil trials, like both parties must pay 20% of whatever they pay their own lawyer to the opposition's lawyer, along with a tax on retainer fees. A pro-bono layer simply gets paid 20% of whatever the opposition gets paid for example.
posted by jeffburdges at 10:38 AM on September 9, 2011


Moreno "was kind of low and pungent and shifty-eyed and speaking very quietly," she said.

What a portrait, Ms. Doe. My mounting GRAR was totally derailed by that lovely little bit of poetry.
posted by pH Indicating Socks at 10:56 AM on September 9, 2011


As I understand it, the 'CSI effect' usually benefits defendants, PeterMcDermott.

Not sure that this is true, though I imagine that there are vested interests who would keep claiming that this is the case. Do you have any evidence for your beliefs, or just the various newspaper reports filled with speculation? If so, I've seen those too.

But even if it were the case, that's not actually that helpful unless they also happen to be innocent.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:28 AM on September 9, 2011


I'm pretty amazed that people have totally let go of Belle O'Cosity's claim that "Actual laws are being debated across the country to set the standard for rape to be only "virgins" can be raped.

What's to be amazed about? If you disagree with her, then you argue the point. If you regularly get amazed that the MeFi mob doesn't set upon the people you disagree with, I predict that you'll spend a lot of time being amazed here.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:35 AM on September 9, 2011


Stop making this about men and women. This is about the abuse of power by the police and lack of power to do jack shit about it by the citizenry.

This is ridiculous. While I agree that the abuse of power by the police is a huge problem in this country, the outcome of this particular case is very clearly about men, women, and the relative ease with which members of the former group can plausibly claim to have "consent" to be "spooning" with blackout-drunk, vomit-covered members of the latter.

I think it goes without saying that "automatic retroactive 'consent' to any and all sex acts that may occur with uniformed officers of the law who've ostensibly been summoned to help me" is not on the list of shitty things that just happen-to-happen to people (not women! stop making this about women!) after they have too many drinks. The argument of the defense is so blatantly gendered that these cops may as well have been acquitted for having penises.

If this were simply about police power, they'd have argued the usual (it never happened, and we have two police "eyewitnesses" who'll swear to that on their shiny, shiny badges), not the gender-specific (it sort of happened, but she totally wanted it!)
posted by vorfeed at 11:55 AM on September 9, 2011 [9 favorites]


anyone who thinks Gothamist is shelling out top dollar for this needs to have their head examined.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:57 AM on September 9, 2011


Dentata makers should use this case for a profit, too.
posted by Revvy at 12:22 PM on September 9, 2011


This is ridiculous. While I agree that the abuse of power by the police is a huge problem in this country, the outcome of this particular case is very clearly about men, women, and the relative ease with which members of the former group can plausibly claim to have "consent" to be "spooning" with blackout-drunk, vomit-covered members of the latter.

No, the outcome of this case is very clearly about how a he-said/she-said with two unreliable witnesses and nothing else correctly resulted in a not guilty verdict, because that is the definition of reasonable doubt. Wanting to insert your politics doesn't make this about politics.
posted by kafziel at 12:22 PM on September 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


kafziel, your oversimplified summary excised major pieces of evidence. This was more like he said/she said/he admitted several lies/video cameras recorded/other witnesses testified...
posted by prefpara at 12:36 PM on September 9, 2011


No, the outcome of this case is very clearly about how a he-said/she-said with two unreliable witnesses and nothing else correctly resulted in a not guilty verdict

By "he said, she said" you must mean on the question of consent to sexual contact (either penetration, or, if you don't believe the accuser and want to stick with Moreno's claim, naked spooning) by a vomiting blacking out drunk woman?

By "and nothing else" you must mean the false 911 calls, the videotapes of the police leaving and returning multiple times, the testimony of another building tenant that states that the police lied to him about their reasons for being there when they followed him into the door on one of those occasions, the photographs of her vomit strewn bathroom, and the testimony of the taxi driver?

Just trying to clarify.
posted by stagewhisper at 12:41 PM on September 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


All of which goes to the unreliability of the police testimony, and not to the facts of the case.
posted by kafziel at 12:43 PM on September 9, 2011


No kafziel, there are a number of facts, separate from testimony, some of which are in my reply:

They were called to remove a vomiting, incapacitated woman from the back of a taxi

They were caught returning to her apartment 4 times on video, using a key to unlock the front door during some of those visits

They were unable to provide proper logs for their time that night

Moreno was caught on tape making a false 911 call in order to create an excuse to return to her block

Moreno, when challenged on returning to the victim's apartment stated he was worried that she wasn't okay went back to check on her. When it was pointed out that if the victim was not ok the proper procedure is to call an ambulance for the victim, Moreno stated he did not call an ambulance due to a previous heart attack call he responded to whereby the ambulance did not arrive in time to save the man because it was tied up with taking a drunk to the hospital, although he tried in vain to save the man's life himself.
The fact: Ambulance logs show that Moreno was lying about every single detail of this imaginary event other than he did show up (after the ambulance btw), and there were no deaths attributable to an ambulance being tied up transporting a drunk.

There are a whole bunch of other *facts* that I don't have time to list, but you might want to read the court transcripts and testimonies if you are actually interested in *the facts* of the case yourself.
posted by stagewhisper at 1:04 PM on September 9, 2011 [6 favorites]


a college education is pretty much a Get Out Of Jury Duty Free card

First time I was on jury duty, in Fulton County, Georgia (Atlanta), about 20 minutes in, they dismissed everyone who had any college degree including a 2-year degree. The second time, next door in Decatur County, shortly after 10 am they dismissed everyone who had ever attended a major university.
posted by Ardiril at 1:37 PM on September 9, 2011


TWO FUCKING DOLLARS is a lot of money for someone on disability, sweetie.
posted by Ardiril at 1:38 PM on September 9, 2011


stagewhisper: One problem from the perspective of a Juror is that Moreno didn't testify at the trial (right?) That means the prosecutor wouldn't have been able to cross examine him on those issues. I'm not sure, however it sounds like the Jurors did think he raped her:
"In my heart of hearts, I believe her that the officers did it," said juror Melinda Hernandez.

Another female juror, who asked not to be named, said of former NYPD officer Kenneth Moreno: "He raped her. There is no doubt in my mind."
Which is mind-bogglingly stupid.
posted by delmoi at 1:40 PM on September 9, 2011


The objection here is that jurors, who decide the outcome of the case, should not have any financial ulterior motives. This guy profits directly from the "not guilty" verdict (I guarantee that a "guilty" decision wouldn't have drawn as much traffic to Gothamist's site), and that's a clear conflict of interest with his duty as a juror.
Seems like he could have made money on a guilty verdict, although the not-guilty verdict does seem to have raised the profile of the case somewhat.
posted by delmoi at 1:43 PM on September 9, 2011


So, what we learned from this case: "Yes still means yes." and "No New York law prevents a juror from writing their experiences." Get to work on that for real, people; you've wasted too much time bloviating in this thread.
posted by Ardiril at 1:50 PM on September 9, 2011


No, the outcome of this case is very clearly about how a he-said/she-said with two unreliable witnesses and nothing else correctly resulted in a not guilty verdict, because that is the definition of reasonable doubt. Wanting to insert your politics doesn't make this about politics.

If commenting on the context of the case means "inserting politics", then insisting that there is no such context nuh-uh nuh-uh strikes me as an equally political act, one which is not just about "the facts of the case". Besides, gender "politics" is directly related to "a he-said/she-said with two unreliable witnesses and nothing else" -- note that it's not a "they-said/they-said"!
posted by vorfeed at 2:31 PM on September 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


So, what we learned from this case: "Yes still means yes."

THAT'S what you've learned from this case?

Holy crap.
posted by palomar at 2:37 PM on September 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


stagewhisper: One problem from the perspective of a Juror is that Moreno didn't testify at the trial (right?) That means the prosecutor wouldn't have been able to cross examine him on those issues.

delmoi, a large percentage of the discussion here and the outcry about the case so far has been related to Moreno's testimony at the trial. So yes, he did take the stand. Here are some overviews of his testimony.
posted by stagewhisper at 2:43 PM on September 9, 2011


If commenting on the context of the case means "inserting politics", then insisting that there is no such context nuh-uh nuh-uh strikes me as an equally political act, one which is not just about "the facts of the case".

Indeed. Use of the phrase "inserting politics" in this context sounds like MRA-speak.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 2:43 PM on September 9, 2011


So, what we learned from this case: "Yes still means yes."
Huh? Where is the "Yes" in this case?
a large percentage of the discussion here and the outcry about the case so far has been related to Moreno's testimony at the trial.
Oh, my mistake. Hmm. Yeah, it seems like (from this article) the Jurors just completely screwed this up by refusing to convict without DNA evidence.
posted by delmoi at 3:17 PM on September 9, 2011


Yup delmoi, that and (according to this particular juror's personal reasoning) assuming sex took place despite Moreno's testimony to the contrary, but that it could have been consensual.
posted by stagewhisper at 3:22 PM on September 9, 2011


Huh? Where is the "Yes" in this case?

Looks like there wasn't one. That's kind of the point, right?
posted by milk white peacock at 3:33 PM on September 9, 2011


But then I read that, and I want to put nail clippers in my little pocket, take out my handkerchief soaked in apple cider vinegar, put in in my balaclava and get my riot on in NYC.

It took me about ten re-readings to infer that these must be the shibboleths of rioters: nail clippers to escape arrest, balaclava to conceal your identity, vinegar-soaked handkerchief to trick any cops-who-have-to-sneeze into inhaling some vinegar. Without context it read to me like an insane to-do list: "I'm so pissed off about this judicial outcome, I'm going to pack my fedora with breadsticks and glue all my umbrellas together", eg.
posted by foursentences at 10:04 PM on September 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


This verdict is asinine, and damages all of us.
posted by desuetude at 10:20 PM on September 9, 2011


I bought this last night and read it in a single swoop. Like most on this thread, I thought these cops were guilty, guilty, guilty.

Like few on this thread, I went through the trouble of actually reading the thing.

After reading the piece, I agree with the jury - they were guilty of misconduct and should do time and lose their badges for that, but the rape accusation is based on testimony alone. The only damning piece of evidence is his admission of using a condom, but when taken into the context of the recorded conversation obtained in an undercover operation by the D.A., you see that it could go either way - he's either making an admission or just telling her that he did use a condom just to allay her fears. She asked him the question "did you use a condom?" thirteen times, all the time he's saying "m'am, I am sorry, but nothing like that happened". She says she's worried about STDs, all that matters to her is that he used a condom. Finally he says "yes". Once she asks him "what did you do with the wrapper" he goes back to what he was saying before "I am sorry, nothing like that happened, nobody took advantage of you". It's a very odd exchange.

Did Moreno have sex with the accuser? It's possible. Was it non-consensual? It's possible. But there's no evidence, and there's very reasonable doubt, so he gets to walk from that charge. Honestly, I think that this time the system worked the way it was supposed to work, and I'm glad this juror wrote about his perspective. It's a good piece.
posted by falameufilho at 8:18 AM on September 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


Ardiril: "TWO FUCKING DOLLARS is a lot of money for someone on disability, sweetie."

Being on disability doesn't give you carte blanche to be cavalier about breaching this guy's copyright, specially when we're not talking about sticking to the man at the MPAA or the RIAA, but rather about a somewhat independent effort to keep alive a dying journalistic format, which is the long form piece. Darling.
posted by falameufilho at 8:18 AM on September 10, 2011


Did Moreno have sex with the accuser? It's possible. Was it non-consensual? It's possible. But there's no evidence, and there's very reasonable doubt, so he gets to walk from that charge.

Yeah.

One could come to that sequence of conclusions.

Alternatively, one could come to the conclusion that given the fact that some of the jurors believe that he did committed rape on his accuser while his partner stood lookout, the jury as a whole misinterpreted the judge's instructions to mean that only physical evidence counts, or counts more that testimony, video, records, etc., and they were fucking knuckleheads, or too fucking cowardly to do what they in their heart of hearts knew what was right just because of the badge.

One could look at the documented sequence of events that the cops engaged in and think Who in their fucking right minds thinks these two were doing anything less than shady and criminal? I mean, you have to be a serious authoritarian apologist to look at what they did, the inadequacy of their explanations, and not come up with "This looks like a rapist and his lookout dressed as NYPD". I don't believe them and think their liars.

One could conclude that anyone who in their heart of hearts harbors the belief that this could have been a consensual sex act needs their fucking head examined.

One might conclude that No, there was no reasonable doubt in the minds of the jurors, only a faulty understanding of what that means.

One might hold this all up as an example of "This is what is meant by rape culture".
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 1:34 PM on September 10, 2011


... think they're liars.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 1:37 PM on September 10, 2011


Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey: "and they were fucking knuckleheads, or too fucking cowardly to do what they in their heart of hearts knew what was right just because of the badge."

Did you read the juror's account? I will assume no. I don't think these people were "knuckleheads" ready to let a policeman walk just because they were blinded by a badge.

Look, there's evidence of something shady? Of course these guys were up to no good. That's why they were guilty of misconduct and got ejected from the force. But there was no evidence of rape, and that's the way the system is supposed to work - so people don't get convicted left and right of crimes when there's no evidence.

"rape culture"

pfffffffffff.
posted by falameufilho at 3:18 PM on September 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


there was no evidence of rape

The woman said she awoke to discover that she was being raped. Testimony is evidence. Therefore, there was evidence of rape.

that's the way the system is supposed to work

The system is supposed to work to make rape prosecution impossible whenever the rapist uses a condom? The system is supposed to work to reify ignorant assumptions about the nature of rape and female credibility?
posted by prefpara at 3:35 PM on September 10, 2011


Did Moreno have sex with the accuser? It's possible. Was it non-consensual? It's possible. But there's no evidence, and there's very reasonable doubt, so he gets to walk from that charge.

Under what circumstances can men fairly be convicted of rape, then? There's pretty much always "no evidence" of consent (or the lack thereof) in rape cases, and quite often "no evidence" of sex; calling that and that alone enough to create reasonable doubt is a bizarre application of the standard. Rape cases were prosecuted long before the advent of modern forensics -- if a guilty verdict here necessarily means convicting "when there's no evidence", then the perpetrators of most rapes committed before rape kits were common (and probably half of them afterward) ought to have walked free.

Besides, I think there's a question as to whether it is reasonable to believe that a uniformed, on-duty police officer would have returned to an apartment four times to sing Bon Jovi and have fully-consensual not-sex with someone he'd never met before who was, according to evidence, so drunk that police were called to help her out of a cab. These officers obviously knew what this looked like, given that they tried to cover it up by falsifying a patrol log and making a fake 911 call... so why, if Moreno is not actually a rapist, were they both willing to break regulations in order to put themselves in a position they knew would look exactly like rape?

IMHO, believing their story requires much more than reasonable doubt.
posted by vorfeed at 4:23 PM on September 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Vorfeed and prefpara - if only you were in that jury everything would have been different. This injustice would have been fixed. Where were you guys?

Actually, if testimony is undeniable evidence, and circumstances are so obvious, why do we need a jury anyway? Let's just sit King Salomon on a throne and he'll listen to both sides and decide in his infinite wisdom. The officer is castrated for being a rapist and the victim is stoned for being a harlot and justice is served.

(Honestly, I'll bow out of the discussion because it clearly seems like you guys haven't RTFA. Cheers.)
posted by falameufilho at 4:43 PM on September 10, 2011


falameufilho, your response is bizarre. First, you strangely suggest that vorfeed and I shirked our civic duty by not serving as jurors, which I can only explain by assuming you have no idea how jury service works in the US. Then, you misstate our position, which is simply that testimonial evidence is real evidence and can and does serve as a basis for criminal convictions. Finally, you assert that we haven't read the article based on, as far as I can tell, nothing. Why are you getting so heated? And why do you think that attacking people and arguing in bad faith is a worthwhile way to engage on this site?
posted by prefpara at 5:27 PM on September 10, 2011


Prefpara this post is about one specific article. The article is about why the jury reached the veredict it did. The article managed to change my opinion about how the jury acted in this case. But if you haven't read it, this debate is kinda pointless.

P.S.: Sorry if I came out as "heated" - I was just being sarcastic. Cheers.
posted by falameufilho at 5:49 PM on September 10, 2011


vorfeed: Rape cases were prosecuted long before the advent of modern forensics -- if a guilty verdict here necessarily means convicting "when there's no evidence", then the perpetrators of most rapes committed before rape kits were common (and probably half of them afterward) ought to have walked free.

Yeah, and if you look at the history of the convictions overturned by DNA evidence, many of them probably should have. Many people have been convicted, based upon nothing but testimony from the victim, which later turned out to be totally wrong. Much of the time, the victims were sincere, but were still inaccurate (often true when victims were identifying a stranger, particularly one from another race). In other cases (the satanic abuse cases come to mind) the episode the victims sincerely remembered could be proven to have never actually occurred. So the idea that we need to have some sort of evidence beyond eyewitness testimony needs to be considered; terrible injustices have already been perpetrated when that was relied upon alone.
posted by Mitrovarr at 8:20 PM on September 10, 2011


So the idea that we need to have some sort of evidence beyond eyewitness testimony needs to be considered; terrible injustices have already been perpetrated when that was relied upon alone.

The very thing that makes rape a crime (consent) almost always depends on eyewitness testimony. Given that, I find it hard to be more concerned about the terrible injustice of false convictions (which is quite terrible, don't get me wrong) than I am about the terrible injustice of essentially legalizing rape. We have legal mechanisms by which all people who are falsely convicted can try to overturn their convictions, and they can even use eyewitness testimony to do so; we don't have mechanisms by which all raped women can magically provide physical evidence. And again, the fact that it is generally impossible to provide evidence of consent or the lack thereof also "needs to be considered".

I agree that eyewitness testimony is not always reliable, but it has a long history in jurisprudence, and for good reason. I'd be nice if all criminal cases involved direct physical evidence which could possibly implicate only one person, but the world doesn't work that way, and I see little evidence that freeing the defendant in cases which come down to eyewitness testimony would create a net decrease in injustice. Quite the opposite, actually.
posted by vorfeed at 9:32 PM on September 10, 2011


rape culture"

pfffffffffff.


Are you fucking kidding me? This is exactly how that sexual violence is frequently excused, normalized, explained -- people who blithely "bow out" with some cheap sarcasm and the assumption that anyone who disagrees just didn't interpret things right.
posted by desuetude at 10:17 PM on September 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


Delmoi quoted part of an article that is leaving me flabbergasted. I'll quote the next line as well.
Another female juror, who asked not to be named, said of former NYPD officer Kenneth Moreno: "He raped her. There is no doubt in my mind."

The verdict, she said, was "a slap in the face for women."
What the? I don't even? If the quote is accurate I fear that this juror has failed at life. You can't vote to acquit someone and then call the acquittal a slap in the face for women! You're the one who acquitted!

Can someone explain what is going on here?
posted by Justinian at 10:29 PM on September 10, 2011


This is ridiculous. While I agree that the abuse of power by the police is a huge problem in this country, the outcome of this particular case is very clearly about men, women, and the relative ease with which members of the former group can plausibly claim to have "consent" to be "spooning" with blackout-drunk, vomit-covered members of the latter.

THIS is ridiculous. You honestly think that if this wasn't the police, if this was just a regular pair of guys that followed someone home, took advantage of their drunkeness, then went back and falsified evidence, you honestly believe that the verdict would have been the same? No way.

And that is precisely why this is a power issue and not a gender issue. The victim could have been a guy and the verdict would have been exactly the same.

Yeah, because cops follow drunk men home and rape them all the time.

Oh, wow. Really? So guys don't get raped by cops in your world? Is that your sexist, fucked-up contention?
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 6:42 AM on September 11, 2011


And oh by the way, even after all the publicity of that last link, three of the cops involved still walked. See a pattern?
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 6:45 AM on September 11, 2011


Oh, wow. Really? So guys don't get raped by cops in your world? Is that your sexist, fucked-up contention?

Not in the least. Only that women getting raped by men is the much more often repeated scenario across the culture. And I think that the relative weight of those numbers is an important consideration.

This particular incident involved abuse of authority by cops. But that fits into a larger picture culturally.

Rape is terrible no matter who the victim is. But I'm gonna go on record as believing male-on-female rape has worse effects on our society, not because one rape is any worse than another, but because of the sheer weight of numbers and the casual acceptance of anti-women violence it breeds.

You honestly think that if this wasn't the police, if this was just a regular pair of guys that followed someone home, took advantage of their drunkeness, then went back and falsified evidence, you honestly believe that the verdict would have been the same?

Certainly a possibilty. lots of non-cops get acquitted of rape with the "He said/she said" defense. Also the "She's a whore with a slutty past" defense. The "Why didn't she fight harder/why isn't she more beat-up" defense. And the "Why would a good-looking, nice boy/Director of the IMF like that need to rape someone" defense.

Being a cop also helps. But it's not the entirety of the equation.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 9:57 AM on September 11, 2011


And that is precisely why this is a power issue and not a gender issue.

Woah..... dude! I am about to blow your mind:

It Can Be Both!

At The Same Time!

The issue of whether or not "she was asking for it" factored largely into the jury's decision. That doesn't mean that the fact they were police didn't play at least a subconscious role in the jury's decision making process, but of course it's *primarily* a gender issue. The defense's argument was that something might have happened because she wanted it to and tsk tsk boys will be boys so he was helpless to resist her feminine vomit encrusted charms- so who could blame him for taking it as far as he did? (Naked snuggling, singing her Bon Jovi tunes, etc.)

Yeah, because cops follow drunk men home and rape them all the time.

Oh, wow. Really? So guys don't get raped by cops in your world?


Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey did not say that men don't ever get raped by cops and it's kind of disingenuous to reply as though they did.

Even the best lawyers would have trouble arguing that Louima gave consent to an act that tore his insides up, and that case wasn't exactly about the cops following a drunk man home and having sex with him, was it? That was a case of straight-up police brutality using rape as a tool of torture.
posted by stagewhisper at 10:08 AM on September 11, 2011


"Gunpoint Rape" Cop Implies Sex Was Consensual, Pleads Not Guilty
posted by homunculus at 1:10 PM on September 21, 2011


A quote from a lawyer in the article about a recent NYC case that homunculus posted, where there were actual witnesses who called 911 about a rape in progress, and the off-duty police officer carrying out the act was caught by the police while still in the act:

"Today, his lawyer Ephraim Savitt implied that those witness testimonies were contradictory, and got a jab in at the Manhattan DA's office: "It remains to be seen if it's strike three for the DA's office or a base hit," Savitt said, referring to failed rape prosecutions against two other cops and Dominique Strauss-Kahn."

Looks like defense lawyers in NYC have decided that "It was consensual" is a get out of jail free card now even when it's not a case of "he said, she said". Sadly I'm not betting against them.
posted by stagewhisper at 7:34 AM on September 22, 2011


Looks like defense lawyers in NYC have decided that "It was consensual" is a get out of jail free card now even when it's not a case of "he said, she said". Sadly I'm not betting against them.

but hey, there's a single ray of hope: at least this is not about men and women!
posted by vorfeed at 8:03 AM on September 22, 2011


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