Convictions require evidence, not just allegations

Rewon Shimray | Cartoonist

By Collin Keele | Guest Contributor

I first want to start this letter off by saying a few things: I do not support the sexual assault of women (or anyone for that matter), all allegations should be taken seriously, if the allegations against Judge Brett Kavanaugh are proven to be true he should not be a judge, and evidence is needed to convict anyone of any crime.

In Claire Crites’ Sept. 25 column “Boys will be boys… and Supreme Court Justices?”, she first begins with, “To believe women or not to believe women.” That is not the case about the hearing. When Dr. Christine Blasey Ford testified, she seemed very credible and put together. Even if one believes that Ford isn’t lying, are allegations without evidence at all enough to finish Kavanaugh’s career?

Because of the dire lack of corroborating evidence, Ford’s testimony was an emotional appeal. Is what she said more credible because she said it aloud at the hearing? Does it provide any verification of what she said because she said it out loud? I don’t think it does. But if it does, one must ask themselves, what changed since the day before? The United Sates cannot have a standard of evidence where someone can be denied a life on the mere allegation of anything criminal, from an unspecified time with a vague location in a quasi-public place where there should be at least one other witness, but there are none.

Since the only witness to this incident is Ford, and there are denials on the other side, the burden of proof is on Ford to at least find some evidence of the crime. Four witness statements were used as Ford’s evidence, but none of them corroborated her story. In fact, one of her closest friends could not say whether it did or did not happen, nor remembered a time where she was at a party with Kavanaugh with or without Ford. The other three were very odd, essentially saying at some point in time she told her story to them, but not that they were witnesses to the crime itself.

Something quick to note is that Ford took a polygraph test. She passed said polygraph test, but that does not particularly matter for two reasons. Polygraph tests are inadmissible in court; it is very easy to lie to one and pass. Take the Soviet spy Aldrich Ames: He lied twice on a polygraph but passed both times. Ford was also only asked two key questions for the test: “Is any part of your statement false?” and “Did you make up any part of your statement?”

Crites ends her article with, “… try to determine whether you believe the overwhelming evidence of Kavanaugh’s assault…” While Ford was a credible witness, she did not bring anything new to the hearing; she weakened the possibility of any new evidence being brought forth, her witnesses were unable to corroborate her story and polygraphs are inadmissible in court. There was not an “overwhelming” amount of evidence.

We will never know the truth of what happened those 36 years ago. Ford, although a credible witness, brought forward no evidence. Evidence is needed to either corroborated or refute Ford’s allegation. Because of the lack of evidence, no court – civil or criminal – would convict based solely on the allegation alone.

Colin Keele
Pre-Business freshman