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Jimmy Savile - guilty without trial - is it right or wrong?


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Old 08-11-2012, 19:43
Keiō Line
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I find it odd that despite commenting on the case here, you don't seem to have read much about it...

Many people reported him & were either ignored, laughed at or told, as was one BBC employee - not to tell anyone or they could all lose their jobs.

What kind of evidence are you expecting from historic sex offences beyond the first hand testimony of victims & witnesses of his behaviour?
There have been many prosecutions of historical sex abuse, confined to a much narrower location, time frame and number of victims, and presumably abusers who were secretive.

Many people reported him based on "my friend told me that ...." , which 30 years later becomes "I told the police what he was up to with the kids, but they laughed at me".
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Old 08-11-2012, 19:44
Voynich
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The hundreds of accounts from witnesses and victims are hard to ignore. Would a government funded investigation satisfy your need to hear it "officially" from the establishment? Would that make you feel better about what people are saying and believe, OP ?
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Old 08-11-2012, 19:45
Christa
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A massive(and frankly quite scary) amount of rape and sexual assault cases in the UK never get to court even with detailed accounts so ,while the the people in this case may be genuine,it doesn't mean they'd have enough evidence to to get to court,let alone for a jury to find him guilty.
That's not really the point though is it. He either did these things or he didn't.

Cases of historic sex abuse generally hinge on the credibility of the victims & witnesses. There's rarely hard evidence.

People seem to want a simple outcome of trial & verdict, so they can then 'know' what to think. But this case is asking of us something altogether more complicated...
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Old 08-11-2012, 19:46
GetFrodo
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You can't libel or convict the dead, the matter of his guilt is now simply one of historical record, as is, for example, whether Servilius Casca murdered Julius Caesar or whether Hitler committed genocide.

If there is overwhelming evidence and consensus then his guilt will simply be recorded as fact (and it's interesting that not even his nearest and dearest are defending him; his foundation did for a day or two but then very quickly went quiet).
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Old 08-11-2012, 19:48
Christa
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Many people reported him based on "my friend told me that ...." , which 30 years later becomes "I told the police what he was up to with the kids, but they laughed at me".
All the people that I have read of who reported him did so because they witnessed his behaviour first hand.

This is entirely your own speculation...
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Old 08-11-2012, 19:48
Keiō Line
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The hundreds of accounts from witnesses and victims are hard to ignore. Would a government funded investigation satisfy your need to hear it "officially" from the establishment? Would that make you feel better about what people are saying and believe?
Do you think there should be an investigation?

If there are so many "witnesses" and "victims" then it should be trivial to establish guilt.
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Old 08-11-2012, 19:49
stoatie
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That's not really the point though is it. He either did these things or he didn't.

Cases of historic sex abuse generally hinge on the credibility of the victims & witnesses. There's rarely hard evidence.

People seem to want a simple outcome of trial & verdict, so they can then 'know' what to think. But this case is asking of us something altogether more complicated...
The thing is in this case that there are so many allegations of complicity by people who are still alive, that there ARE prosecutable offences. Now, if those people can be prosecuted for their complicity in these events, then it logically follows that these events have legally been found to have happened.

It's prosecuting the living that's the key to the whole thing... unfortunately ALSO very tricky for the reasons you've outlined.
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Old 08-11-2012, 19:51
1Mickey
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That's not really the point though is it. He either did these things or he didn't.

Cases of historic sex abuse generally hinge on the credibility of the victims & witnesses. There's rarely hard evidence.

People seem to want a simple outcome of trial & verdict, so they can then 'know' what to think. But this case is asking of us something altogether more complicated...
I agree its more complicated but thats every reason not to jump the gun.After all,if this does go back as far as the papers have said,how reliable is the word of a person remembering something that happened 40 years ago with no other witnesses?
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Old 08-11-2012, 20:03
francie
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I agree its more complicated but thats every reason not to jump the gun.After all,if this does go back as far as the papers have said,how reliable is the word of a person remembering something that happened 40 years ago with no other witnesses?
I should imagine that many, depending on age and depth of trauma, will remember. There's generally no witnesses to incidents like this, one reason why many get away with it
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Old 08-11-2012, 20:04
Christa
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The thing is in this case that there are so many allegations of complicity by people who are still alive, that there ARE prosecutable offences. Now, if those people can be prosecuted for their complicity in these events, then it logically follows that these events have legally been found to have happened.

It's prosecuting the living that's the key to the whole thing... unfortunately ALSO very tricky for the reasons you've outlined.
Agreed.

But even if certain events can't be legally proven to have occured, I'm still open to the idea that they did - on the balance of probablities.

I found the testimony of the women featured on the first Savile documentary by Mark Williams Thomas (a former child sex offences detective) convincing - ie they didn't strike me as obviously lying. Whether those cases can be proven is another matter...
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Old 08-11-2012, 20:05
lightdragon
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So who gets to decide if it is right or wrong to libel the dead?
I could be wrong, but I think legally you can't libel the dead. Which makes sense, it's not harming him in any way.

The problem I have is should dead people be accused in this way, when they have NO chance of defending themselves? Surely outside of whether it's right or wrong, is we all have the right to a defense? And it bothers me that if he was guilty, then he got away with it, but we need to punish someone so others take it instead under the umbrella of *cover up*.
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Old 08-11-2012, 20:15
1Mickey
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I should imagine that many, depending on age and depth of trauma, will remember. There's generally no witnesses to incidents like this, one reason why many get away with it
I don't doubt whether people could remember things like that.But i doubt it would be difficult to create enough doubt in a court as to whether a persons memory of an incident 40 years ago when they were a child is reliable and the fact is that if you have a guilty until prove innocent system thats all the Accused would need to get off.
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Old 08-11-2012, 20:18
R410
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I do think it is wrong that they are doing it now, a year after his death. They should have come forward and done something about it whilst he was alive, they had long enough.
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Old 08-11-2012, 20:26
Voynich
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Do you think there should be an investigation?

If there are so many "witnesses" and "victims" then it should be trivial to establish guilt.
If only to try and discover why he had unlimited access to children's homes and if it could have been halted. His guilt is a given now with the sheer amount of people with stories. I don't believe they're all liars. And I don't feel bad for thinking it.
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Old 08-11-2012, 20:42
proviso
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Legal guilt and factual guilt are not the same thing, however where someone is alive we assume that they coincide with one another because most of the time they do coincide with one another. So we say that because people are legally innocent until proven guilty in court, we may as well just assume they are factually innocent until proven guilty in court. We know this is, strictly speaking, to believe in a fiction, but since the legal system usually gets things right, and that since we don't as individuals have the resources or time to make our own very accurate judgments about someone's factual guilt or innocence, it makes sense to simply assume that the legal position (innocent until proven guilty in court) is the same thing as the factual position. We want our judgments to be very accurate because such judgments have a substantial effect on the life of the suspect. Because we can't reach very accurate judgments, we substitute the legal truth for the factual truth.

Where someone is dead there is no legal position, there is no 'legal truth', there is no presumption of innocence. So there is no sense in presuming the legal position to coincide with the true factual position, because that doesn't get us anywhere at all. In light of that we are free to come to our own judgements. We still don't have the time and resources to come to very accurate judgments, but since there will be no adverse effect on the life of the suspect (since he is dead) we can make do with a judgment which is probably accurate. We still want our judgment to be probably accurate because to settle for something that is probably innacurate goes against good sense, it's just a worthless exercise in speculation which a reasonable person is uninterested in.

Now, it may well be that in many cases, where the suspect is dead, it is still not possible to come to even a probably accurate judgment. The fact that the suspect is not alive to tell their side of the story, the fact that events occurred a long time ago may mean we can only speculate. Having regard to the evidence in this case, I think we can do more than merely speculate, I think we can say with reasonable certainty that Savile did commit serious sexual offences.

Of course, where some people who may have been complicit in Savile's actions are still alive, we should be cautious in what is said because we should not prejudice their trials. We should, until they are tried, by circumspect about what we say about Savile in regard to specific allegations, but that is out of a concern for the living suspects, not for Savile.
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Old 08-11-2012, 20:44
francie
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I don't doubt whether people could remember things like that.But i doubt it would be difficult to create enough doubt in a court as to whether a persons memory of an incident 40 years ago when they were a child is reliable and the fact is that if you have a guilty until prove innocent system thats all the Accused would need to get off.
Sad indeed that a genuine victim's case could be dismissed due to enough doubt being cast
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Old 08-11-2012, 20:46
paralax
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He probably is guilty but we are starting to support trial by media (who's agenda is selling papers not getting justice) and Twitter. I honestly don't see the point of digging up his decomposed body and cremating it. These en masse accusations should have been made while he was alive and able to defend himself, or face the consequences.
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Old 08-11-2012, 20:47
francie
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I do think it is wrong that they are doing it now, a year after his death. They should have come forward and done something about it whilst he was alive, they had long enough.
Being abused affects people in different ways. It's easy for people to say they should have come forward sooner, there's many reason why they didn't. The ones that did many years ago were laughed at / their claims ignored etc according to the press.
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Old 08-11-2012, 20:49
francie
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If only to try and discover why he had unlimited access to children's homes and if it could have been halted. His guilt is a given now with the sheer amount of people with stories. I don't believe they're all liars. And I don't feel bad for thinking it.
BIB I tend to agree. So many people
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Old 08-11-2012, 20:52
jesus of xanadu
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Is it right to convict someone who is dead without a trial?


Although the amount of people who have come forward is vast with their claims regarding the conduct of the late Savile, the automatic assumption of guilt via the media and public has got me questioning if it right for us to make that assumption?

In this country you are innocent until proven guilty, Jimmy Savile has not been found guilty in a court of law however the public and media refer to this situtation as he is deemed to be guilty of what he has been accussed of.

Are we right to do that?

He's dead, ergo, he doesn't give a shite what's going on... However, his name has opened a lot of curtains... Name the bloody lot of them and get them lined up... Beast bastards.
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Old 08-11-2012, 20:58
fredster
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Sad indeed that a genuine victim's case could be dismissed due to enough doubt being cast
That is very sad, the problem here is that there are an awful lot of people jumping on the jimmy saville bandwagon, people who probably did not experience any sort abuse from him. One "has been pop singer"wrote "he looked at me in a perv way".
How many of his accusers actually knew him?
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Old 08-11-2012, 21:05
francie
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That is very sad, the problem here is that there are an awful lot of people jumping on the jimmy saville bandwagon, people who probably did not experience any sort abuse from him. One "has been pop singer"wrote "he looked at me in a perv way".
How many of his accusers actually knew him?
These fraudsters are everywhere, want their 15 mins of fame, a few quid in their pockets...coming out of the woodwork as we speak I just hope that the genuine victims get listened to.
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Old 08-11-2012, 21:11
1Mickey
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Sad indeed that a genuine victim's case could be dismissed due to enough doubt being cast
I agree its sad but if the other option is vigilantees taking the law into their own hands in the street when some of the accused could be innocent, i think i'd rather stick to the system we've got.
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Old 08-11-2012, 21:15
motsy
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The newspapers have already decided that JS was guilty. Obviously they don't understand the concept of innocent until proven guilty and who appointed the newspapers as judge, jury and executiOner anyway?

God help us if it ever came down to trial by media...

Last edited by motsy : 08-11-2012 at 21:34. Reason: SPELL CHECK POLICE'LL COME BANGING ON MY DOOR
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Old 08-11-2012, 21:27
Gordie1
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the problem is there are so many people making accusations that it is now impossible to tell the truth from the lies.

the truth is none of us know what really went on, my feeling is that maybe 40 or 50 people were truly involved, another 10 or so have convinced themselves they were, the rest are in it purely for either the money or are attention seekers.


I really feel for the 40 50 people who have been abused by him, unfortunately, the others inventing stuff is making the truth harder to believe for everyone, and making the truth harder to find out.
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