The left side of the blogosphere is looking a lot like the tail end of an episode of The Dukes of Hazzard right about now, with feminist types everywhere sitting, coughing, Roscoe P. Coletrane-like, in a cloud of the dust of the accuser’s crumbled story, shaking their fists at those Duke boys who have, somehow, escaped their idea of justice.
It is significant that in the Duke case, the police did not say that the three men were â??not guiltyâ?. They used a very different term that is not often uttered in the American legal system.
â??Not guiltyâ? is what they say when the prosecution is not able to prove guilt. â??Innocentâ? is trotted out only in those rare occasions when the evidence so overwhelming exonerates them that they basically should never have been suspects in the first place.
The stripper committed a terrible fraud against three innocent people, and came close to destroying their lives. Even with the surprising declaration of â??innocentâ?, it has cost them and their families enormous heartache â?? not to mention tens of thousands of dollars defending themselves against her lies.
I think false accusations, especially of such horrifying crimes as rape, should carry a very simple penalty: if someone are found guilty of falsely accusing somebody of a crime, and it can be shown overwhelmingly that the accusation was a deliberate lie, then the accuser should be given the same sentence that a “guilty” verdict against their victims would have carried.
We don’t punish perjury harshly enough in this country.