Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Despicable Training Materials Stanford Furnishes it's 'Impartial' Sexual Assault Judicial Panelists

Stanford trains its judicial panelists who will preside over disciplinary proceedings involving allegations of sexual assault by using materials that assume the accused male is guilty even before the hearing has begun. I will be providing a detailed analysis of these materials, but I wanted to quickly share an excerpt with you today.

Among other things, panelists are provided an article by Lundy Bancroft called “Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men.” Here is an excerpt:

The goal of holding sexual offenders accountable for their misconduct is one that is universally shared by all civilized people. However, Stanford’s hearing process, as illustrated by the above, unduly enhances the risk of holding innocent persons responsible for such offenses in furtherance of the objective to hold true offenders accountable.

Stanford’s process, in short, is an affront to the fair administration of justice.

I follow these issues closely and can’t ever recall hearing of a school that wears its biases on its sleeve in so egregious a manner as is illustrated in the materials I've reviewed. Presumptively innocent young men accused of sex offenses at Stanford are assured a process with all the fairness employed in Salem, Massachusetts, 1692. If these biases were better known, I can't imagine any sane parent paying to send his or her son to that school.

It is a hallmark of the American experience and a universally accepted tenet of the common law tradition that hearings be conducted with impartiality, fairness, fidelity to the evidence, and free from even the appearance of bias. Those fundamental principles must never be tossed onto a scrapheap of politicized indifference to appease one interest group or another.  Here we have not only an appearance of bias, we have a blatant, politicized, institutionalized embrace of partiality that favors the female accuser and the maligns the male accused.

Stanford owes it to all its students to treat them fairly, even when the charge is sexual assault, and even when the student is male. On this issue, there can be no plausible, just, moral, or legitimate debate.