Jens 'n' Frens
Idle thoughts of a relatively libertarian Republican in Cambridge, MA, and whomever he invites. Mostly political.

"A strong conviction that something must be done is the parent of many bad measures."
  -- Daniel Webster

Tuesday, May 17, 2011 :::

France's broadcasting watchdog called Tuesday on the country's television channels to be extremely cautious in showing footage of International Monetary Fund managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn in handcuffs, a practice that contravenes French law.

In the days since New York City police said Mr. Strauss-Kahn had been arrested and charged with sexually assaulting a cleaning woman in his room at the Sofitel Hotel near Times Square, images of the International Monetary Fund chief have flooded airwaves and the pages of newspapers and magazines in France.

The footage has transfixed the nation, not least because French law prohibits cameras inside French courtrooms, as well as any footage of people in handcuffs unless they have been convicted by a court.
As far as restrictions on the press go, I don't think that one is terrible, though I wonder whether any advocates for defendants have been charged under the law for trying to document police abuses. I certainly don't think the US should adopt the law, even if it were constitutional to do so, but I do think the perp walk should be considered unethical.

By the way, am I wrong in my understanding that all we have on the guy is the statement of his accuser and some comments by people who know him that, yes, this sounds like something he would do? That might be enough, assuming the accuser hasn't made a habit of unsubstantiated accusations, but this recent piece indicating that false accusations of rape are more common than is generally assumed seems relevant.

The article notes that, in sexual assault cases with DNA evidence, the DNA evidence excludes the primary suspect 25% of the time; I would think these would be more likely to be cases of mistaken identity than outright lies, because the presence of DNA should discourage dishonesty, because the presence of DNA indicates that at least something happened, and because DNA evidence doesn't have much to say on whether there was coercion (so the 25% wouldn't include any cases in which there was consensual sex which the woman later regretted).

Most of the other numbers in the article are estimates by people who should have some idea what they're talking about. Hard data is, presumably, difficult to obtain.

From what little I know of this case, it doesn't seem like the accuser has any motive for or history of making things up (at least, I haven't read otherwise), and it does appear that DSK has a history of being accused of actions similar to what he's accused of now. So the accusation is enough for me to assume that he's guilty, and it might even be enough to convince a jury past "reasonable doubt". But if it does go to a jury, I hope they get a little bit more evidence to work with.

::: posted by Steven at 11:15 AM

My understanding is there is some evidence that he "left in a hurry"; I don't know whether the timeline makes this inconsistent with simply trying to catch his flight, but it's been played up in some accounts.
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Idle thoughts of a relatively libertarian Republican in Cambridge, MA, and whomever he invites. Mostly political.

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