Essay about Rape Law Reform For The United States Over The Last Decade

1297 Words Dec 11th, 2015 null Page
The chapter this week has indicted that we have seen rape-law reform take place in the United States over the last decade. Why was this reform necessary and what have been beneficial aspects of the reform for the victims of this type of crime?
Rape shield laws were passed in the states to protect the victims of rape from the emotional distress that can occur when being questioned about their prior sexual history on the witness stand. Our text (Schmalleger) has characterizer this as the “second rape” at the trail stage of a rape investigation (Schmalleger, 2012, p. 250). It is this type of legal maneuvering by defense council that creates fear among victims. The fear is being humiliated in front of their peers and sometimes these cases can take a very high profile turn and be broadcast live on TV. We have to look no further than Nashville, Tennessee and the rape of the young college student at Vanderbilt University (Barchenger, 2015). That rape made local and national news as well as several segments on syndicated television news investigative shows. In Tennessee Reputation or opinion evidence of the sexual behavior of a victim of crime of rape is inadmissible unless admitted in accordance with the rape shield law, which I have included in its entirety below. This information is decided in judge’s chambers after the motion out of view of the jury to decide relevancy. I do feel like these laws are achieving what they are designed to do, which is to protect the…

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