Thursday, August 28, 2014

A Race to the Bottom: Missouri is the Next State in Line to Lower the Bar of Guilt When it Comes to Sex Crimes, Virginia Did It as of July 1, 2014

I foresee this proposed measure passing with the majority of the vote in Missouri, sadly. 

A reminder for readers; I was the ONLY person to oppose the same proposal at the 2013 VSCC meeting and no one (other than Virginia Senate committee members) voiced ANY opposition or concern with the proposal during the 2014 Virginia General Assembly session and yet it still passed both Virginia Chambers January 4, 2014, February 16, 2014, February 24, 2014 and was signed into law by Governor McAuliffe. 
Mary Devoy

Defense attorney raises concerns about Missouri proposal on evidence in child sex abuse cases, August 27, 2014       By David Lieb

A Missouri ballot measure that would allow allegations of past actions to be used against people facing child sexual abuse charges could lead to more wrongful convictions of the falsely accused, a prominent defense attorney said Wednesday. 

The proposed constitutional amendment is backed by prosecutors, sheriffs and police chiefs' groups. 

It would allow past criminal acts — even alleged crimes that didn't result in convictions — to be used to corroborate victim testimony or demonstrate a defendant's propensity to commit such crimes when people face sex-related charges involving victims younger than 18. 

If approved by Missouri voters in November, Constitutional Amendment 2 could make it more difficult for defendants to persuade juries and judges of their innocence, said Kim Benjamin, a Belton attorney who is the past president of the Missouri Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. 

"You're now defending your entire life, your entire reputation, rather than this one act," she said. "It causes a tremendous risk for more people to be wrongly convicted."