Voltaire once said “If we believe absurdities, we shall commit atrocities.” He was right. Recently, I came across an article written by Paul Elam. He is someone that I personally have a lot of respect for, which is why this is anything but a pleasure to write; but, he needs to be called out on a terrible mistake that he is making, which has dire consequences. In his recent article, “Jury Duty at a Rape Trial? Acquit!”, he has sworn that should he ever be a juror in a rape case, he will always vote not guilty no matter what the evidence of the case indicates, or in his own words, “Should I be called to sit on a jury for a rape trial, I vow publicly to vote not guilty, even in the face of overwhelming evidence that the charges are true.” (Emphasis his, shockingly enough)
Mr. Elam says that “Voting not guilty on any charge of rape is the only way to remain faithful to the concept of presumed innocence.” Certainly, the assumption of innocence is invaluable in preserving objectivity and fairness in court cases; but, that’s not what we are dealing with here. What we have here is a conviction of innocence. Such bias runs contrary to reason and justice.
Compare his statement to that of the psychotic blithering of Marilyn French, who said “All men are rapists and that’s all they are.” These sentiments are two sides of the same coin. One would give unrelenting and unobjective favor to the accuser, and the other would give unrelenting and unobjective favor to the accused. Both extremes are anathema to a decent and just legal system, and both must be extinguished, for the course of justice to carry on unabridged. Lady Justice is supposed to be blind, so let us retrieve her blindfold and strike an objective balance. Rather than turn away from evidence, we should examine and reexamine it diligently, for the cost of a mistake in a rape case is the releasal of a rapist back into the streets or the damning of an innocent to the hell that is prison. Only through vigilance can we seek justice. Ignoring evidence creates new crimes.
This kind of callous disregard for fact damages the men’s movement’s image and legitimacy. It makes a laughing stock out of us, and leaves us vulnerable to mischaracterization. Examples of backlash, because of his article, include pieces by Alysha Bayes and Jesse Powell. As Matthew5sixteen said, “I must voice my disagreement publically so that it would not be said in the future that all men in the Men’s Rights Movement agree with Paul Elam’s statement.” If you’d like to voice your disagreement with me, simply post a comment for all to see on my article or any of the above, so that anyone and everyone can see that we as a movement care about truth. I know I do. I hereby make the following pledge, as a citizen with a conscience who fully believes in the rule of law, that should I ever be called to sit on a jury for a rape trial, I vow publicly to examine the evidence with much deliberation before coming to a verdict for the defendant.