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Rape shield laws also intended to protect victims of sexual assault from being humiliated at trial by the disclosure of intimate details of their past. These laws are also intended to encourage victims of sexual assault to alert law enforcement authoriti

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Introduction

Nghi Le 909401213 Rape Shield Laws Facing with much criticism from women's group with the legal definitions of rape and how rape cases are being processed in the legal system, the government is forced to pass a Rape Law reform in the 1970s. Rape law reform urging courts to treat rape case the same as other crimes, rape law reforms modified traditional rape laws and ratified evidentiary reforms in every state in the United States. The most common and widespread changes occurred in three areas. First, rape was redefined so that there was no longer a single crime of rape. Second, the victim was no longer required to support her testimony. The third and perhaps most important area of change, known as rape shield laws, prevented defense attorney from introducing information about a victim's prior sexual behavior. These statutes were intended to address the problem that jurors perceive a victim's prior sexual history to be probative of a victim's credibility, moral character, and consent. Proponents of the statutes argued that these perceptions have a prejudicial impact on the jury decision-making process. However, along with much strength of this statue, there are also many weaknesses of the rape shield laws. ...read more.

Middle

Without rape shield laws in place, victims may hesitate to disclose the incident to authorities; for fear that details regarding their sexual pasts will ultimately be disclosed. Such disclosure would likely harm not only their reputation, but also result in situations where arguably irrelevant information regarding their past is used against them in court The rape shield law also helps to keep the victim blaming that continues in our society out of the courtroom. This is essential if victims are to feel comfortable utilizing the criminal justice system after a sexual assault and other crimes. For many years, women have distrust in the America criminal justice system because of the male dominant society. Women often treated unjust and unfair by male dominant society and more specifically in the court system. Therefore, rape shields laws can play as a stepping-stone as a way to gain back the trust in women in the court and the criminal system. Along with the strengths, there are also some weaknesses to any laws and more specifically the rape shield laws, is that rape shield law doesn't prevent rape. Studies indicate that most rapes are committed by serial offenders. ...read more.

Conclusion

Due to this and the increasing awareness of rape, there are some people who believe that the rape shield law is no longer necessary and should be repealed. Some of these people believe that the rape shield law keeps an accused rapist from receiving a fair trial and that the laws are discriminatory against men. For example, in the case of the Kobe Bryant, DNA expert contended that the woman had sex with someone other than Bryan in the 15 hours between the alleged rape and the medical exam, and sperm and semen from a man other than Bryant were found on the underwear she wore to the exam. If it weren't for the exception rule to the rape shield laws, those evidences wouldn't be introduced to the trial. As a result, that would play on the advantages of the accuser and it wouldn't be a fair trial for Bryant. Additionally, despite rape shield laws, evidence of a prior sexual relationship between the victim and the defendant will most likely be admitted, even when evidence concerns a single encounter months before the rape. This is particularly discouraging for acquaintance rape cases, where consent is typically a defense. As it shown, the rape shield laws can play as a strengths and weaknesses both for the victims and defendants. ...read more.

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