Submitted by Ganggang in Anarchism (edited )

Someone I know is on a jury now, and wanted advice on what to do cause theyre pro prison abolition and stuff. Normally youd just sabotage but the defendant is charged with rape. It feels wrong to try and help a rapist get off, also how the fuck would you explain that to the other jurors. Further complicating the situation is that the defendant is an illegal immigrant, perhaps they will face particularly cruel punishment if a guilty verdict is reached. But this person also doesnt want to support the prison industrial complex, and neither do i.

So Im pretty unsure on what advice to give really. What do you think?

And also, she still has to actually hear the case and decide if theres enough evidence. It may be the case that the evidence is overwhelming, just mostly damning or maybe there isnt much at all. Should this change the approach?

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RichOldWhiteMan wrote (edited )

It feels wrong to try and help a rapist get off

[CW rape] I think the rapists gets off if the jury verdict is guilty or not guilty. If the prisons in your country is anything like the US, rapists raping other prisoners is almost encouraged. Prisons are often breeding grounds for teaching and honing misogyny and toxic masculinity. Prison will probably just encourage the rapists behavior or even help them be better at raping people. God forbid the rapist has their masculinity challenged so they "have" to regain it by attacking women again. The rapist knew the risk of going to prison and chose to rape anyway. I doubt the punishment will make them reconsider their choices. Prison will most likely will not inhibit rape maybe encourage the behavior and outside of prison rape will not be inhibited.

I'm assuming a lot here, but the ideas behind it apply even if a lot of my assumptions are wrong. I think the jury in this situation will have no if not little power to prevent the rapist from hurting people in the future. Its a sucky situation for sure.

The prison for the area your friend in matters a lot but most likely it won't do anything to prevent the possible rapist from hurting more people. It can be scary to think about but most criminal justice systems aren't much more than performative security to make people feel safe rather than do anything about the abuse people receive.

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CameronNemo wrote

I think the evidence should indeed change the approach.

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Ganggang OP wrote

Well yeah probably. How so though?

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CameronNemo wrote

Is the victim pursuing a punishment, or is it just the DA looking for a star on the vest? Was a rape kit done? Are there conclusive DNA results? If not, why?

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Ganggang OP wrote

hard to say. could be the victims family putting her up, theoretically. she cant talk to victim thats very illegal and also likely not in the victims interest. apparently the charge is only digital penetration. they found male dna in the underwear and irritation on the vagina but nothing else.

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CameronNemo wrote

I would be worried about the scenario that the victim misidentified the perpetrator, and the DA just went with it because unsolved sexual assaults look bad. Does the victim know the accused? Hard to misidentify someone you know. The "male DNA" detail is concerning. Did they not run a DNA test against the accused?

Other than that seems like a clear enough case.

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celebratedrecluse wrote

Hey, thanks for posting this interesting question. Can you do me a favor and edit your post so it has (cw: sexual violence) in the title? Thanks

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Ganggang OP wrote

added a warning

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celebratedrecluse wrote

Thanks for doing that, I appreciate it. As a further discussion: some user may find that word triggering, in the future I gently recommend "sexual violence" as it communicates same thing but is not as "loaded"

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moonlune wrote

She should do what makes the victim feel safe. In this case, sending the rapist to prison.

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celebratedrecluse wrote

Without knowing the victim, or the specific jurisdiction, or the charges, it is entirely possible that this case has been pursued without the consent of the victim. Some places do that, specifically when it's an otherwise political charged situation or a racialized defendant, because it is the government lawyer decision whether to prosecute someone, not the defendant, and people have been successfully prosecuted for statutory rape for instance when it was a consensual relationship between people of roughly the same age. Just to lock up an organizer, or someone seen as politically undesirable.

However, if the set of assumption underneath what you say is in fact the case, I would probably defer to the victim's desire in the situation as well. However, it is necessary before participating in an act of state violence to at least have a good grasp of what you are getting into. And whatever the reason, even if it's the least bad option in a particular situation, it's never even remotely anarchist to do this, nor is it praxis. Because, the rapist is least likely to be rehabilitated in a place known for producing rape and rapists, as well as other terrible social outcomes and behaviors...like prison, for instance.

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