How Common Are False Rape Allegations and What Should The Punishment Be?
What really bothers me is that it says "she could face up to a year of prison time if convicted". I feel like if someone falsely accuses someone of something, and it is later PROVEN that they lied, they should be made to serve the same sentence that the accused would have gotten if the false conviction got through. One year at most?
I admit, as a guy this kinda got me interested so I wanted to see just how common of a situation this really was. That is where things got complicated.
The following is a 1996 study by the US Department of Justice.
According to this...
"The study documents 28 cases which, "with the exception of one young man of limited mental capacity who pleaded guilty," consist of individuals who were convicted by juries and, then, later exonerated by DNA tests."
"At the time of release, they had each served an average of 7 years in prison".
"Every year since 1989, in about 25 percent of the sexual assault cases referred to the FBI where results could be obtained, the primary suspect has been excluded by forensic DNA testing. Specifically, FBI officials report that out of roughly 10,000 sexual assault cases since 1989, about 2,000 tests have been inconclusive, about 2,000 tests have excluded the primary suspect, and about 6,000 have "matched" or included the primary suspect."
Of course, other people claim that false rape is a rare phenomenon. Back in 1975, Susan Brownmiller published a book "Against Our Will" stating that only 2% of all reported rapes were false.
On the other hand, a sociology professor Eugene Kanin put it at a much higher level.
"This claim comes from a study conducted by Eugene J. Kanin of Purdue University. Kanin examined 109 rape complaints registered in a Midwestern city from 1978 to 1987."
"Of these, 45 were ultimately classified by the police as "false." Also based on police records, Kanin determined that 50 percent of the rapes reported at two major universities were "false."
Kanin, Eugene J., "False Rape Allegations", Archives of Sexual Behavior, Vol. 23, No. 1, Feb 1994, p. 81.
So basically, depending upon your source, anywhere between 2% and 50% of all rapes are false. This is further complicated by the many cases where it cannot be proven one way or another and in cases where she recants (was it out of fear?).
What really alarmed me is that there seems to be little in the way of protection for men in these situations, and virtually no significant punishment for the false accuser (if the police even bother to convict for it). I believe that if it cannot be proven either way, then the constitution should afford the benefit of the doubt, and if it can be PROVEN that the false accuser is deceitful, then they should have to serve the same sentence the accused could have gotten. Unfortunately, that is not how it is.
So here are my questions...
1) How common do you think these sort of false accusations are?
2) What should the punishment be if it can be PROVEN that the accuser was dishonest?
3) Most importantly of all, what do rape victims think about this? Since I started reading about this, I got a lot of flak from people who think I'm somehow against rape victims in general. The truth is, I hate rapists, but I hate anyone who would accuse falsely even more. Do you agree they should serve the same sentence the accused could have gotten? Do you think that if that became the reality that fewer GENUINE rape victims would report their attacks?
Please don't troll, I want this to be an intellectual topic for those who are well read on the subject only.