Dershowitz On Believing Accusers: A Jury Is ‘Obliged To Presume The Innocence Of The Defendent’
Former Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz appeared on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Thursday, providing his take on Sunny Hostin’s claim that sexual assault victims do not necessarily need evidence to prove their claims in a court of law.
On Thursday’s episode of “The View,” Hostin, a former prosecutor, claimed, “After 40 years we’ve finally changed the law. We finally said a woman’s word is enough. I’ve taken many cases to trial with just a woman’s word.”
“Technically it is true, the law was changed some years ago, and I think it was a good change, that you don’t need corroboration to make a case. So that if a woman, who was raped, immediately goes to the hospital, gets a rape kit, identifies her assailant, knew her assailant previously, certainly her word would be enough,” Dershowitz responded.
He added, “But if it’s 35 years old, if her main witness said ‘no, she wasn’t there,’ if there are inconsistencies in the story, then obviously, the testimony of the woman, though technically sufficient, would not be enough to convince any reasonable factfinder beyond a reasonable doubt,” which was a clear reference to Dr. Ford’s allegations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
Dershowitz added another caveat, saying that the presumption of innocence outweighs the presumption that the witness or victim is telling the truth. “First of all, not only are you allowed, but if you’re on a jury you are obliged to presume the innocence of the defendant which means you cannot presume that the witness is telling the truth. You have to look at the totality of the circumstances,” Dershowitz stated. (RELATED: Dershowitz: Kavanaugh Assumed Guilty Because He’s A White Man)
“Look, we know, we’ve seen case after case where women have told the truth, and have been assaulted, and men have gotten away with it. But we have seen case after case where women, for their own reasons, have lied,” he added.
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