Monday, March 12, 2012

The community of the wrongly accused

This blog is dedicated to giving voice to persons wrongly accused of serious criminality. The most serious wrongful accusations typically involve murder and related offenses, but fortunately, these appear to be rare. The Innocence Project addresses the principal causes of wrongful convictions for such crimes.

More common are wrongful accusations of heinous sex crimes. Because of their prevalence, and the stigma that attaches to victims from them, by any measure these are fundamental social evils.

For various reasons, rape and sexual assault have become politicized in the past several decades. As a result, despite the grievous harm often suffered by the wrongly accused, the unique needs of the victims of such wrongful accusations are rarely acknowledged, much less addressed.

Persons wrongly accused of serious criminality typically suffer the deprivation of liberty and unjust and often severe reputational harm. Presumptively innocent men and boys accused of rape are often jailed for inordinate periods of time, and sometimes in harsh and unconscionable conditions. They often lose their wives and girlfriends, social acquaintances, businesses, jobs, not to mention their financial savings defending the claim. Some are beaten, chased, spat upon, and some are even killed. Some kill themselves. The emotional toll is incalculable.

Compounding the problem is that false accusers are often excused with little or no punishment, inviting others to falsely accuse with impunity and without deterrent.

The victims most acutely affected by this phenomenon appear to be young minority males, but the problem also affects white males and even some women.  For every person wrongly accused, there are typically some, and sometimes many, loved ones affected.

This is their blog--a safe haven where the wrongly accused and their loved ones can be assured that they are not alone, and that in some small way, their needs are being publicly aired.