Is Justice Women Friendly?
The symbol for JUSTICE in our country is a woman. This symbol is a blindfolded woman carrying scales and a sword. She symbolizes fair and equal administration of the law, without corruption, favor, greed, or prejudice.
This symbol of justice originated from Ancient Roman art known as Justitia, which is the equivalent of the Greek goddess Dike. Greek goddesses were always myths, right? I hope that justice is not a myth.
I have noted in my time on the earth, that women are often beaten, their ribs are broken, arms and legs sometimes broken, shot, and often left for dead by men. In some cases, their lovers and other cases law enforcers, pimps, traffickers, and strangers have continually abused women. If the women respond by stabbing, beating, or killing this cruel man, the women are sentenced to a lifetime in prison. Why is this acceptable? Why not do things fairly, why not understand and find the facts of abuse and this retaliation is an act of survival, not murder for no reason.
Astonishingly, 94% of some women's prison populations have a history of sexual abuse before being incarcerated. I do not understand how our justice system works positively for women. After being sexually abused on the street or in their homes or a place that is familiar and thought to be safe, when women fight back, they are put in jail, not the abuser. What is wrong with our system.
And even worst many women after being put in jail or prison are sexually abused by inmates and law enforcement officers inside the prison. When does the madness stop? How long will we allow this to continue to happen to innocent women? Incarcerated women are 30 times more likely to be raped than free women. Even though women account for less than 10% of inmates, their reports account for three-quarters of assaults, and almost three-quarters of staff are men. (Officer Bimbleberry / Wikipedia Commons)
You would think that since more women are judges in our country that things would be different. As of 2016, only 36% of judges on the federal courts of appeals were women, that is 60 out of 167 active judges.
Women judges contribute far more to justice than improving its appearance
they also contribute significantly to the quality of decision-making and thus to the quality of justice itself. This is great information but not enough to make a difference in our judicial system nationwide.
Read the article below, to see what a college student did to acquire justice in her rape case.
Kansas woman alleging dorm rape convenes own grand jury
By HEATHER HOLLINGSWORTH May 25, 2021
MISSION, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas woman who alleges consensual sex with a friend in his college dorm room turned into a terrifying assault took matters into her own hands when prosecutors declined to bring rape charges. She called a citizen grand jury, relying on 134-year-old state law.
Madison Smith, 22, collected the hundreds of signatures necessary to impanel the grand jury after the county prosecutor resolved the case by allowing Jared Stolzenburg to plead guilty to aggravated battery and receive two years’ probation.
Smith, who graduated earlier this month from Bethany College in Lindsborg, about 70 miles (112.65 kilometers) north of Wichita, is part of a generation of women emboldened to go public with their stories due to the #MeToo movement.
“This happens nationwide, worldwide that victims and survivors are minimized by the prosecutors who don’t believe them,” she said, “And that is not OK because rape culture is so prevalent, and we need to get rid of it, and one of the ways to do that is to get our stories out there.”
Kansas is one of six states that allow citizens to petition for grand juries. The 1887 law was rarely
used until anti-abortion activists began using it to force grand jury investigations of abortion clinics. It has since been used to go after adult bookstores and to challenge former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s right to appear as the Republican nominee for governor.
But Smith’s case, which will be considered in September, is believed to be the first time that someone claiming sexual assault has used it, said Kathy Ray of the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence.
“This case has a lot of issues within the criminal justice system, and sometimes victims feel they have no other choice but to go public,” she said.
The process of seeking a grand jury wasn’t easy. Smith had to stand in a parking lot telling her story over and over again to strangers to collect hundreds of signatures, and then do it again when the first petition was rejected on a technicality.
Some of the strangers she approached snatched the pen from her hands just a few minutes after she began speaking, hugging her and whispering into her ear so others nearby couldn’t hear that they had been sexually assaulted in the past themselves.
“They were very thankful that I was fighting, just fighting the justice system and trying to make a change in the world because they were too scared to fight back,” she recalled.
But Smith said she felt it was the only way she could get justice for the February 2018 attack.
McPherson County Attorney Gregory Benefiel told Smith’s mother in a recorded conversation that the case was challenging because Smith didn’t verbally withdraw consent during the encounter. Smith said that’s because he was choking her.
“I think anybody could realize that if you can’t breathe, you can’t speak,” she said.
Smith said the attack happened after she ran into Stolzenburg while doing laundry and went back to his room at Bethany College, where they had sex. It initially was consensual, but then he began slapping and strangling her, leaving her gasping for air, Smith said during Stolzenburg’s sentencing hearing in August 2020.
“I reall thought that he was going to kill me, and the only way I was going to leave that room was in a body bag,” said Smith, who is working at a nursing home before she begins to study nursing in the fall.
“He would strangle me for 20 or 30 seconds at a time, and I would begin to lose consciousness,” she said.
Stolzenburg’s Bethany College transcript shows that he was administratively withdrawn in March 2018, said Amie Bauer, the school’s general counsel. She wrote that the college had no further comment.
Defense attorney Brent Boyer said during the sentencing hearing that Stolzenburg and his family had been threatened and that Stolzenburg wanted to “move forward.” A woman who answered the phone in Boyer’s office said that Boyer didn’t participate in media interviews and hung up. Stolzenburg doesn’t have a listed phone number and didn’t immediately respond to a message on Facebook.
Benefiel said in an interview with The Associated Press that sex crimes cases are “extremely challenging to prosecute” because jurors are looking “for that CSI type of evidence.” He said he couldn’t comment on the specifics of the case but added that he believed that he and Smith both wanted the same thing — “truth and justice.”
“There is a disagreement on what it looks like in this case, but I think everyone has the same goals,” he said.
But Julie Germann, a former Minnesota prosecutor who reviewed the Kansas law for the Smiths and determined that the attack qualified for a rape charge, said prosecutors need to “look at the totality of the circumstances.”
“This idea that because she consented then anything that follows is acceptable, that is a very dangerous precedent to set,” said Germann, who consults and teaches about sexual assault.
Justin Boardman, who trains police and prosecutors to investigate sex crimes, said defense attorneys often try to argue that the victim had consented not just to sex but to rough sex. However, in that lifestyle, there are typically a lot of check-ins and discussions before sex starts, he said.
“If it is just a surprise, it is assault,” he said.
A court services worker said during the sentencing hearing that Stolzenburg told her he should have communicated better and “does feel sorry for the victim.” Sent from my T-Mobile 5G Device