University of Minnesota thread

Rick Burlesons Yam Bag

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my mind is kind of blown by what is going on at the University of Minnesota. I believe in due process, but I also believe that there are certain crimes - like sexual assault and abuse of women - that have been buried for so long that I am glad to see a school cracking down. I'm interested in hearing peoples' thoughts.
 

Gunfighter 09

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Is there a good article that offers a detailed view of the case, specifically how the school handled the investigation of the players or what (if anything beyond the video) led to the decision not to indict?

I can just use the Google, but I figure you might have something already. This is a topic where having a high level of familiarity and knowledge about the situation should be prerequisite to having a strong opinion. The protecting due process and the rights of accused vs protecting victims who have been ignored for too long conflict is really hard.

As a country we probably need to talk in non laundry terms about the OBama Admin's use of Title IX to combat sexual assault on campus. This might be a chance for a conversation to happen relatively clear of party politics.
 

Marciano490

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I understand the need for due process in these cases and the frustration with an opaque process. Nonetheless, when your defense is that the gangbang was consensual and you have proof in some surreptitiously taken videos of the act that you have saved on your phone, maybe realize all the process in the world isn't going to matter.
 

Gdiguy

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I understand the need for due process in these cases and the frustration with an opaque process. Nonetheless, when your defense is that the gangbang was consensual and you have proof in some surreptitiously taken videos of the act that you have saved on your phone, maybe realize all the process in the world isn't going to matter.
Also, their defense appears to be "the drunk girl we gang banged legally wasn't too drunk to consent in the state of Minnesota". I don't really feel that bad for you when the school comes back and says "actually, we have a more strict standard of "drunk enough that maybe you shouldn't have dozens of people have sex with her" than the state does for prison time, and you're not someone that we particularly want at our school".
 

twibnotes

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my mind is kind of blown by what is going on at the University of Minnesota. I believe in due process, but I also believe that there are certain crimes - like sexual assault and abuse of women - that have been buried for so long that I am glad to see a school cracking down. I'm interested in hearing peoples' thoughts.
Sooooo you believe in due process...except when you don't.

I'm no fan of sexual assault, but the current system destroy's mens' lives without adequate proof. System needs change badly.

Edit: I should note that I find the behavior of the players reprehensible and disgusting - if my son ever behaved that way, I'd consider myself a failure as a parent. But there are cases out there of college men being railroaded by women who were not raped or sexually harassed. If these players call attention to that issue, I think it's a positive.
 

PC Drunken Friar

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Sooooo you believe in due process...except when you don't.

I'm no fan of sexual assault, but the current system destroy's mens' lives without adequate proof. System needs change badly.
Do you have any proposals to change this system? What exactly is "the current system"? Do you really believe that men need more protection than women in regards to rape?
 

twibnotes

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Do you have any proposals to change this system? What exactly is "the current system"? Do you really believe that men need more protection than women in regards to rape?

The current system sucks for all sides in my view. Colleges often decide guilt or innocence of sexual offenders based on processes that lack the due process and structure of the American legal system.

Sexual crimes are serious and should be adjudicated in a court, not by university bureaucrats.

And who said anything about men getting more protection? All I'm saying is that someone accused of a crime should get his or her day IN COURT.

There is a lot of flawed data out there (e.g., 1 in 4 college women are victims of a sexual crime) that has made people comfortable with the idea that some innocent people may lose their reputations.
 
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PC Drunken Friar

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The current system sucks for all sides in my view. Colleges often decide guilt or innocence of sexual offenders based on processes that lack the due process and structure of the American legal system.

Sexual crimes are serious and should be adjudicated in a court, not but university bureaucrats.

And who said anything about men getting more protection? All I'm saying is that someone accused of a crime should get his or her day IN COURT.

There is a lot of flawed data out there (e.g., 1 in 5 college women are victims of a sexual crime) that has made people comfortable with the idea that some innocent people may lose their reputations.
The flawed data that you say is out there... It may not be 100 %accurate (I do not know)... But it's a good thing sexual assault on campus (and off) is getting a more critical look. IMO.
 

Gdiguy

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And who said anything about men getting more protection? All I'm saying is that someone accused of a crime should get his or her day IN COURT.
Why?

You have a right to not be imprisoned or fined by the government, which is why there's a high burden of proof in our court system to punish someone of a crime.

There is no fundamental right to play football, or attend, a division 1 school. You can read the school's investigation above - I can certainly see where there's reasonable doubt as to whether a crime was committed that would result in a conviction; I also can certainly see that it's pretty clear that these students acted in a way unbecoming of students at a university, that reflects badly on the university, and in a way that makes other students uncomfortable with them remaining at the school.
 

twibnotes

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Why?

You have a right to not be imprisoned or fined by the government, which is why there's a high burden of proof in our court system to punish someone of a crime.

There is no fundamental right to play football, or attend, a division 1 school. You can read the school's investigation above - I can certainly see where there's reasonable doubt as to whether a crime was committed that would result in a conviction; I also can certainly see that it's pretty clear that these students acted in a way unbecoming of students at a university, that reflects badly on the university, and in a way that makes other students uncomfortable with them remaining at the school.

If a woman really is raped or sexually harassed, I want someone to go to jail, not be expelled.

Meanwhile, if someone is falsely accused of a sexual crime, I don't want his or her life ruined by a system that relies on "preponderance of the evidence" as judged by a campus nutritionalist, lacrosse team academic advisor and a senior student doing a project on campus rape.

In short, the current system is bad on all sides. Those who designed it may have had good intentions, but it's a terrible system.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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http://kstp.com/sports/university-of-minnesota-eoaa-investigative-report-gophers-football-players/4347059/?cat=1

KSTP in Minneapolis obtained. and has published a redacted copy of, the UM's internal report. It's a long read, but gives you a good sense of what they found that led to this decision.
At the risk of being called lazy for not reading an 80 page report, has anyone read it and can they provide a summary of the justification for expelling five, suspending four for one year and one player only getting probation? While I'm hesitant to dip into these waters after the Duke, Yale and UVA stories over the recent past, I would simply wonder how they came to those conclusions. I understand from what I've read that the girl reported it started as a consensual group encounter and then progressed to her saying 'stop' and the players - varying reports on how many - just kept going. Is that where the reported video comes into play? And before anyone slings arrows I'm not checking in on either side. These things are a fucking mess and there's no easy answer on how to handle them. I'm just curious as to the mechanics of the decisions and haven't been able to find it in any mass media articles.
 

The Napkin

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The 5 expelled are seniors and have no more eligibility after this year.
The 4 suspended hadn't used their red shirt year yet.
The one on probation is a 4* recruit who red-shirted and is expected to start next year.
 

RGREELEY33

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If a woman really is raped or sexually harassed, I want someone to go to jail, not be expelled.

Meanwhile, if someone is falsely accused of a sexual crime, I don't want his or her life ruined by a system that relies on "preponderance of the evidence" as judged by a campus nutritionalist, lacrosse team academic advisor and a senior student doing a project on campus rape.

In short, the current system is bad on all sides. Those who designed it may have had good intentions, but it's a terrible system.
While I agree with your sentiment to some point, I think we should let the pendulum swing to the "too many men are being falsely accused side of things" before we worry too much about changing the system to accomodate those men that have. It seems that the pendulum has been heavily weighed down on the "she drank too much and wore a risque skirt so . . . . " side of things for way too long, so I am totally comfortable with the system sucking in the favor of women for a few decades. Let's let them have their turn, and then we'll fix it for the men.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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I am a critic of the procedures that many universities utilize to adjudicate these cases and the rush to judgement by unqualified investigative bodies that can sometimes occur. But this really doesn't seem like a case to make that kind of stand. Ten guys running a train on a highly intoxicated woman who can't consent? They are fucking lucky to be avoiding criminal prosecution and I have zero problem with UM expelling them.
 

jose melendez

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I am a critic of the procedures that many universities utilize to adjudicate these cases and the rush to judgement by unqualified investigative bodies that can sometimes occur. But this really doesn't seem like a case to make that kind of stand. Ten guys running a train on a highly intoxicated woman who can't consent? They are fucking lucky to be avoiding criminal prosecution and I have zero problem with UM expelling them.
Here's what I don't quite get--it seems like they should be able to piece together a prosecution with this insane number of witnesses. Also, is it correct that they were suspended from football but not from school? If so, that's not exactly life ruining, particularly given that these guys don't have much eligibiity left.
 

jose melendez

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I just skimmed the review and it's pretty messed up. At the bare minimum, it seems pretty unambiguous that things that I have to imagine are violations of the schools sexual harrassment policy took place. I can't imagine that videotaping someone having sex without their consent is ok.

All that said, I'm kind of curious why the police didn't pursue a case? It seems like there's a decent chance of a sexual assault case, and possibly an obstruction of justice case.

I do generally have concerns about due process on some of these university tribunals. That said, this doesn't seem like one to shed a lot of tears about as a stand alone case. At a bare minimum, these seem to be really shitty people.
 

twibnotes

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While I agree with your sentiment to some point, I think we should let the pendulum swing to the "too many men are being falsely accused side of things" before we worry too much about changing the system to accomodate those men that have. It seems that the pendulum has been heavily weighed down on the "she drank too much and wore a risque skirt so . . . . " side of things for way too long, so I am totally comfortable with the system sucking in the favor of women for a few decades. Let's let them have their turn, and then we'll fix it for the men.
So having principles and striving for justice in society take a back seat to righting past wrongs by screwing innocent people. Gotcha.

http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2014/12/college_rape_campus_sexual_assault_is_a_serious_problem_but_the_efforts.html
 

twibnotes

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I just skimmed the review and it's pretty messed up. At the bare minimum, it seems pretty unambiguous that things that I have to imagine are violations of the schools sexual harrassment policy took place. I can't imagine that videotaping someone having sex without their consent is ok.

All that said, I'm kind of curious why the police didn't pursue a case? It seems like there's a decent chance of a sexual assault case, and possibly an obstruction of justice case.

I do generally have concerns about due process on some of these university tribunals. That said, this doesn't seem like one to shed a lot of tears about as a stand alone case. At a bare minimum, these seem to be really shitty people.

I agree with this. For the record, I don't have sympathy for these guys bc they seem like real scumbags. I'm just glad the due process issue is getting some national attention bc the system is broken in ways that harm, at times, the alleged perpetrator and, other times, the victim. It's bad all around.
 

mauf

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Just as the shootings in Ferguson and (especially) Charlotte were the wrong vehicles to make a point about police brutality, this case appears to be the wrong vehicle to make a point about Title IX and due process. I haven't followed this case closely, but it sure seems like a textbook example of a case where the school needs to take action even if the criminal justice system isn't.
 

Rick Burlesons Yam Bag

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Just as the shootings in Ferguson and (especially) Charlotte were the wrong vehicles to make a point about police brutality, this case appears to be the wrong vehicle to make a point about Title IX and due process. I haven't followed this case closely, but it sure seems like a textbook example of a case where the school needs to take action even if the criminal justice system isn't.
I agree and his is where I disagree with twibnotes. I am surprised that the police won't move forward with this case but there you have it. But the school, to me, has every right and then some to suspend the players from representing the school, or even to expel them. You can't put a person in jail for being an asshole but you sure as shit can ask them to leave your private entity.
 

LeftyTG

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Just as the shootings in Ferguson and (especially) Charlotte were the wrong vehicles to make a point about police brutality, this case appears to be the wrong vehicle to make a point about Title IX and due process. I haven't followed this case closely, but it sure seems like a textbook example of a case where the school needs to take action even if the criminal justice system isn't.
I think this is very well said.

Here's what I don't quite get--it seems like they should be able to piece together a prosecution with this insane number of witnesses. Also, is it correct that they were suspended from football but not from school? If so, that's not exactly life ruining, particularly given that these guys don't have much eligibiity left.
Having read through most of the police report, it doesn't shock me that the prosecutor declined to pursue charges. I think people in general really underestimate how hard it is to prove such charges beyond a reasonable doubt, especially in a case where by all accounts the sexual contact started out consensual and one party claims consent with withdrawn and the other party (parties) says otherwise. The victim here was impaired and, in her interview with the police, had substantial gaps in her memory of the hours long encounter.

Beyond all that, I wonder if the victim did not want to pursue the case. The statement from the prosecutor's office was, "There is insufficient admissible evidence for prosecutors to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that either force was used, or that the victim was physically helpless as defined by law in a sexual encounter". The bolded is what caught my eye. The police can have all the victim statements they want, but a lot of that is hearsay and inadmissible if the victim doesn't want to testify.

Additionally, another layer of weirdness in this case is that the victim and the players reached a settlement back in early November. The victim had gotten a restraining order against several of the players. Due to the fact that the victim was employed at the football stadium, the restraining order prevented several of the players from being at or playing in the home games. On Nov 2nd, the parties reached an agreement where the victim agreed to drop the restraining order and the players agreed to have no contact with the victim and agreed to not file a civil lawsuit against the victim.

On the day the settlement was reached, the victim read a statement in court, "This has never been about punishing anyone. I just wanted to feel safe. Because of the resolution we came to, now I can.”
http://www.twincities.com/2016/11/02/restraining-orders-lifted-gophers-eligible-to-play-at-tcf/

I could very well be over parsing and over interpreting statements, but given the prosecutor's statement and the victim's statement at the settlement and her agreement to drop the restraining order, it sure seems to me that the victim simply wanted to move on with her life and did not want to testify at a criminal trial. Who can blame her, as that process is brutal for sexual assault victims. But for a case that hinges entirely on consent, the prosecutor would have no choice but to decline charges in a situation where the victim does not want to testify.
 

twibnotes

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I agree and his is where I disagree with twibnotes. I am surprised that the police won't move forward with this case but there you have it. But the school, to me, has every right and then some to suspend the players from representing the school, or even to expel them. You can't put a person in jail for being an asshole but you sure as shit can ask them to leave your private entity.
I'd be fine with that if the universities employed a more fair process. It's the "preponderance" of the evidence thing that's wrong here...and the fact that the universities don't have people qualified to adjudicate these things.

These minny football players may be getting what they deserve, but the process isn't fair or effective. As such, I hope this situation prompts change.

Edit: also bears mentioning that univ of Minnesota is not "a private entity"
 

Rick Burlesons Yam Bag

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I'd be fine with that if the universities employed a more fair process. It's the "preponderance" of the evidence thing that's wrong here...and the fact that the universities don't have people qualified to adjudicate these things.

These minny football players may be getting what they deserve, but the process isn't fair or effective. As such, I hope this situation prompts change.

Edit: also bears mentioning that univ of Minnesota is not "a private entity"
It is a private entity in that one doesn't have a right to be there as a citizen.
 

RGREELEY33

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So having principles and striving for justice in society take a back seat to righting past wrongs by screwing innocent people. Gotcha.

http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2014/12/college_rape_campus_sexual_assault_is_a_serious_problem_but_the_efforts.html
My point was more that nobody has given a shit as women have been victimized for decades, but let's make sure those Duke Lacrosse players are doing okay. The number of reported sexual assaults on campuses in America is a joke, and for the ones that are, the number of men who are then suspended or expelled is an even bigger joke. The issue isn't that the system sucks and there isn't due process for those accused, the issue is that sexual assault against women on college campuses has been an ignored and even accepted practice in America for decades.

So, yes, I'm fine with 1 or 2 or 3 or whatever % of innocent men getting screwed if that means we're, you know, actually acknowledging the sexual assault problem and holding these dudes accountable in the other 95% of the cases.
 

twibnotes

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My point was more that nobody has given a shit as women have been victimized for decades, but let's make sure those Duke Lacrosse players are doing okay. The number of reported sexual assaults on campuses in America is a joke, and for the ones that are, the number of men who are then suspended or expelled is an even bigger joke. The issue isn't that the system sucks and there isn't due process for those accused, the issue is that sexual assault against women on college campuses has been an ignored and even accepted practice in America for decades.

So, yes, I'm fine with 1 or 2 or 3 or whatever % of innocent men getting screwed if that means we're, you know, actually acknowledging the sexual assault problem and holding these dudes accountable in the other 95% of the cases.

This is such a reactionary mindset. Not sure why one can't aspire to have a system that is fair to both the accused and the victim.

Your comment about being fine with innocent mens' lives being ruined is scary stuff. You trust authority a lot more than I do.
 

Marciano490

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Keep in mind, it's not just about righting historical wrongs, it's about the continuing assymetries in the system that make it far more difficult for a woman to pursue these claims than for men to defend them. Also, the federal rules already change due process to make things easier on rape victims, so let's not pretend that due process is a set and unchanging principle in all things for all time.
 

RGREELEY33

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This is such a reactionary mindset. Not sure why one can't aspire to have a system that is fair to both the accused and the victim.

Your comment about being fine with innocent mens' lives being ruined is scary stuff. You trust authority a lot more than I do.
Yes, it is reactionary based on the last 100 or so years of sexual assault in America.

I would love a system that nailed it perfectly -- until then though, I'm okay with rapey guys getting the short end of the stick for a change.
 

twibnotes

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Yes, it is reactionary based on the last 100 or so years of sexual assault in America.

I would love a system that nailed it perfectly -- until then though, I'm okay with rapey guys getting the short end of the stick for a change.
No one objects to "rapey guys" getting their due. It's when non-rapey guys' lives are ruined that we have a bit of an issue - your comfort level with screwing over people bc of past injustices is unethical and creepy.

What's more, the current system does NOT give rapey guys their due. How is merely expelling a rapist from school a good outcome?

In short, the current system expels, as opposed to jailing, rapists while also expelling non-rapists and ruining their lives in the process.

Edit:

Another thing you are ignoring: while the schools may not care about due process, the courts still do. By employing an unfair process, schools are now being taken to court, which is expensive.

 
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RGREELEY33

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No one objects to "rapey guys" getting their due. It's when non-rapey guys' lives are ruined that we have a bit of an issue - your comfort level with screwing over people bc of past injustices is unethical and creepy.

What's more, the current system does NOT give rapey guys their due. How is merely expelling a rapist from school a good outcome?

In short, the current system expels, as opposed to jailing, rapists while also expelling non-rapists and ruining their lives in the process.

Edit:

Another thing you are ignoring: while the schools may not care about due process, the courts still do. By employing an unfair process, schools are now being taken to court, which is expensive.

You're missing my point. And I'm not sure how anything I wrote qualifies as "creepy". We can end here.
 

jose melendez

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So, to be clear, the sum total of consequences for these guys is that they were suspended for the Holiday Bowl and nothing else? That seems like all but no consequences.

I guess they were named also, but that seems like a risk you run when you "consensually" gang bang an intoxicated woman.
 

LeftyTG

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So, to be clear, the sum total of consequences for these guys is that they were suspended for the Holiday Bowl and nothing else? That seems like all but no consequences.

I guess they were named also, but that seems like a risk you run when you "consensually" gang bang an intoxicated woman.
No, that isn't quite accurate. Five players are recommended for expulsion, four players are recommended for a one year suspension from school, and then the final player probation. I believe there is still an administrative step that needs to be taken for the recommendations to be enacted, but it seems likely the recommended punishments will ultimately be enforced.
 

dhappy42

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Here's what I don't quite get--it seems like they should be able to piece together a prosecution with this insane number of witnesses. Also, is it correct that they were suspended from football but not from school? If so, that's not exactly life ruining, particularly given that these guys don't have much eligibiity left.
Did you read the police report?
 

dhappy42

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Can we not use "gang bang" to describe what was a gang rape? They are different. A non consensual "gang bang" is gang rape.
Sure, but if you read the police report, it's not at all clear that what happened in the case being discussed was gang rape.
 

Marciano490

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Sure, but if you read the police report, it's not at all clear that what happened in the case being discussed was gang rape.
Do they discuss her level of intoxication? People can get into whatever they want, but I'd bet if multiple people were taking videos and it lasted 90 minutes, she wasn't capable of consenting.
 

dhappy42

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Do they discuss her level of intoxication? People can get into whatever they want, but I'd bet if multiple people were taking videos and it lasted 90 minutes, she wasn't capable of consenting.
Yes, the police report does discuss her level of intoxication, specifically when Sgt. Wente describes the video provided by one (two?) of the players. In the video, the woman is giving head to one player and another is fucking her from behind.

"At one point, [redacted] can be heard saying, "Okay, I have to throw out my gum, where do I put it, I can't, man, no, guh, no, no (laughs.) It's so hard with three of you," and then, "okay, okay, this is fucking hard, I don't know." One of the males then suggests they take turns, [redacted] says "I don't know."

Sgt. Wente surmises that when the woman says "three of you," she's referring to the two men and herself.

"[Redacted] sounds as though she is somewhat intoxicated, but is not slurring her words and is certainly conscious and aware of what is going on. She does not appear to be upset by the sexual activity and does not indicate that she wants it to stop. [Redacted] coordination appears to be normal, and the sexual contact appears entirely consensual."
 

The Needler

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The school's report also concludes based on witness testimony, her own testimony, and the video that she was not unable to consent because of alcohol incapacitation. It also does not find that Carlton Djam (and the unnamed recruit) sexually assaulted her during their threesome, where she was taped, and was apparently looking into the camera.
 

twibnotes

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You're missing my point. And I'm not sure how anything I wrote qualifies as "creepy". We can end here.
Maybe creepy is a bad choice of words. How about "scary."

Due process and fairness are key tenets of the American judicial system. I find it scary when people want to right past wrongs by throwing away those tenets to make up for, as you put it, "100 years of sexual assault." Heck, you admitted to being reactionary.

Edit: removed snarky comment - apologize for that
 
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dhappy42

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Maybe creepy is a bad choice of words. How about "scary."

Due process and fairness are key tenets of the American judicial system. I find it scary when people want to right past wrongs by throwing away those tenets to make up for, as you put it, "100 years of sexual assault."
Agreed. That's a very slippery slope. One could as easily point to 300 years of false rape accusations against black men as a "reason" to let them off. The US justice system already has enough error baked into it (the trial-by-jury system is broken, for example,) without adding "making up for past wrongs."
 

Average Reds

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Sure, but if you read the police report, it's not at all clear that what happened in the case being discussed was gang rape.
I've not read the police report, but I've read sections of the University of Minnesota report. (Or at least as much as I could read before stopping in disgust.)

It's pretty clear to me that what happened here was gang rape. And those players are damned lucky that the case was deemed to be too difficult to prosecute.

Honest to God, I wish I understood what happens to young men that causes them to lose their humanity in situations like this. But that's clearly what happened.