Trial by media
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Trial by media

Having followed the Duke lacrosse case closely, let me say that while I sympathize with those who have actually suffered abuse, I have also seen how “trial by media” can ruin lives and reputations. Perhaps a middle course would be acceptable, but with the proviso that the scriptural injunction to punish false accusers is also followed: Give the false accuser the same sentence the accused would have received (Deuteronomy 19:18-20). And in that way, the scripture says, the rest of the people will hear of this and fear, and never again will such an evil thing be done in the land. At present we treat most false accusers as emotionally disturbed, and send them for treatment (if even that). There is very little downside to making a false accusation; but, as Dennis Prager noted, “the rape of a name is also a rape.” False accusations should be understood as criminal acts, capable of inflicting tremendous harm and they should be responded to accordingly. And that might go a little way toward protecting those who are innocent.

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