A recent hung jury in a sex case against a minor has prompted an attorney to call into question the justice system, as it relates to such crimes.
Ralph Francis said “there is a general abhorrence for sexual offences and it is stronger when it comes to minors. But I believe that when you look at the legal system which requires a certain standard of proof, in many sex cases, “all you have is he say and she say.”
He said while he has no doubt many accused persons are guilty, he has a difficulty with cases where the only evidence is that of the word of the victim against the accused.
The lawyer further noted even though there might be some circumstantial evidence in some of these cases, he believes that on many occasions, it is not enough.
He added that jurors are therefore often placed in a position to make a decision “based on their emotions and personal views” rather than corroborating facts.
“I’ve been in many of these cases and most of the time it is based on emotion we go on, and not strong evidence,” he said, adding that his comments are in no way meant to demean or discredit any victim.
Francis suggested the police also need to be more thorough in their investigations.