Why the Burden of Proof for Disabled Victims of Sexual Assault Should Shift to the Accused
Updated: Jul 8, 2019
I am currently working on an article to shift the burden of proof in sexual assault cases that occur in medical institutions from the prosecution to the defense. Right now, the US legal system requires the prosecution to prove his case, not the defense because of the Reasonable Doubt Rule. In these cases, the Reasonable Doubt Rule is un-American and should be abandoned.
The Reasonable Doubt Rule places the burden of proof on the prosecution by requiring him to overcome the presumption of innocence (Morano, p. 510). The Reasonable Doubt Rule requires the prosecution to prove every element of a crime beyond a reasonable doubt with a substantial majority (Morano, p. 507). This rule comes from the British belief that the defense should be innocent until proven guilty (Morano, p. 509). This practice leads to the prosecution having a higher burden of persuasion than the defense. By continuing the Reasonable Doubt Rule, the system favors the defense over the prosecution because the prosecution’s case is automatically doubted.
In US culture, nepotism is frowned upon. Scholars believe the Reasonable Doubt Rule originates from various Romano-canonical laws (Morano; Whitman), but Leviticus 19:15 specifically says, “Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly” (NIV). No matter if the law is trying to prevent erroneous convictions (Morano, p. 508), favoring the defense is an anti-American practice and an act of injustice. Justice is the rule of law, but the law cannot be enforced if parties are unequal because one party will not have to abide by the law. In this case, medical personnel can take advantage of patients and sexually assault them.
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