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Lawyer Links: Roy Black on Anonymity for the Accused

Lawyer Links: Roy Black on Anonymity for the Accused

Last week, in the aftermath of the crumbling case against Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Salon.com asked criminal defense attorney Roy Black, a perennial top 10/100 listee in Florida Super Lawyers, the subject of our 2007 cover feature “Basic Black” and a member of our advisory board, for his opinion. He wasn’t shy. FLSL07.jpgIn “Why we should protect those accused of rape,” Black argues in favor of anonymity for the accused as well as the accuser. An excerpt:

Critics will assert that democracy demands that all defendants be equal before the law, and there is no reason rape defendants should get a pass. It would create a double standard. So why take that step? Simple — equality. The person who levels an accusation is sheltered through anonymity. Doesn’t it violate equality to treat the accused differently?

For decades, there has been a unique, growing disparity between the way we treat accused rapists and their accusers. It’s grown because of a relentless pressure to manipulate the rules to increase arrests and convictions in rape cases. The protections against false accusations have been whittled away one by one to make it easier to charge and easier to convict, with the unintended consequence of making it easier to make a false accusation.

Full article here.

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