Thursday, December 17, 2015

The “Always Believe” Credo Pushes Us Farther Down the Already Very Slippery Slope of Sexual Assault, Consent, the Law, Due Process, and the Ability to Have Honest Conversations About All of It…..and Frankly We May Never Recover From the Damage That the Blind-Faith Advocates Have Demanded

An excellent piece that was just forwarded to me. 


Shutting Down Conversations About Rape at Harvard Law, December 11, 2015
By Jeannie Suk

This is a piece on a subject about which I may soon be prevented from publishing, depending on how events unfold. Last month, near the time that CNN broadcast the documentary “The Hunting Ground,” which focuses on four women who say their schools neglected their claims of sexual assault, I joined eighteen other Harvard Law School professors in signing a statement that criticized the film’s “unfair and misleading” portrayal of one case from several years ago. A black female law student accused a black male law student of sexually assaulting her and her white female friend. The accuser, Kamilah Willingham, has graduated from the law school and is featured in the film. The accused, Brandon Winston, who spent four years defending himself against charges of sexual misconduct, on campus and in criminal court, was ultimately cleared of sexual misconduct and has been permitted to reënroll. The group that signed the statement, which includes feminist, black, and leftist faculty, wrote that this was a just outcome. (The faculty, of which I’m a member, made the final decision not to dismiss Winston from the law school, after a contrary recommendation made by the school’s administrative board, but I rely only on public knowledge produced by the film and his criminal trial, and don’t draw on any confidential or internal information about the case.)