Credit: Pablo Nadim /

The Supreme Court does sex offenders a favour

The first thing to be said about yesterday’s ruling by the supreme court, which made defending oneself against charges of statutory rape a little bit easier, is that it is very hard to argue with the ruling on the grounds of the law.

Most criminal cases are straightforward: The state charges that an accused person did something, and the state must prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. In fact, there is no obligation on an accused person to even present a defence: If the prosecution itself fails to convince a jury beyond a reasonable doubt, then a defendant may well choose not to testify, or call any witnesses for the defence. The prosecution simply failing to prove that you did a thing is enough for the court to let you off the hook.

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