Due Process, Progressive Style

During a confab at the University of Virginia concerning college students and sexual misconduct, the following remarks were made in all seriousness:

Amanda Childress, Sexual Assault Awareness Program coordinator at Dartmouth College, a position newly created just for her:

Why could we not expel a student based on an allegation? If we know that a person is reasonably a threat to our community, why are we not removing them and protecting the safety of our students?  It seems to me that we value fair and equitable processes more than we value the safety of our students.  And higher education is not a right.  Safety is a right. Higher education is a privilege.

Childress went on to claim that 90%-95% of sexual…misconducts…are unreported, committed by repeat offenders, and intentional.  She seems not to have disclosed how she knows the per cents of unreporteds, despite their not having been, you know, reported.  She also seems not to care that due process is a fundamental right, acknowledged in the 5th Amendment—which Amendment, as well as the Constitution as a whole, most assuredly are not waived at the campus gate.

But wait—there’s more!  Linda Fairstein, Senior Advisor for the Sexual Misconduct Consulting Group at K2 Intelligence, told the panel that criminal acts

should only be handled in the criminal justice system.

But only if the criminal justice system gets it right.  If not, the college administrators must step in and administer justice.  After all, a prosecutor might decide there isn’t enough of a case from which to get a conviction.  Properly administered justice, then, must depend not on an actual crime’s beyond reasonable doubt, but on the much more conveniently squishy “preponderance of the evidence;” just 50.1% of certainty.  Because

If there’s no other forum, now it’s a matter of getting it right.

Never mind that it was done right in the first place, by the criminal justice system.  If there’s no case, there’s no case.  Americans, even students on a college campus, remain innocent until proven guilty—not until a college administrator gets the outcome he wants.

There’s nothing more naked, more despotic, more anti-American than guilt by accusation.

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