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The Plight of Falsely Accused People Just Isn’t a Story Any Editor Dares to Tell



The title is a quote from an article on Peter Joyce’s new website ‘Blackstone’s Drum‘.

Blackstone (1723-1780) famously said “it is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer.” This principle is said to have influenced the nineteenth-century development of “beyond a reasonable doubt” as the burden of proof in criminal law in England.

If you have been unfortunate to have been wrongfully accused of a sexual crime, especially if it was non-recent, you may have encountered the almost insurmountable barriers that have to be overcome in order to convince the legal system that you were innocent. You may well be forgiven for thinking that Blackstone’s principle has been reversed and ‘it is better that ten innocent persons suffer than one guilty person escapes’.

Peter is no stranger to this experience, hence the title of his website. In his blog ‘Blackstone’s Drawbridge‘ he describes the difficulty he had in getting anyone to publish an article about his experience of a false allegation of rape. Indeed, FACT has also found that journalists with the courage to challenge the ‘believe the victim’ mantra are vanishingly rare.

Do read Peter’s blog and follow his new website. We need to hear more voices like his.

Read ‘Blackstone’s Drawbridge’ here