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Author Alice Sebold apologises to man wrongly jailed for raping her



  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 12,140 Mod ✭✭✭✭ riffmongous

    I read the section in her book dealing with the line-up out of interest..

    She claims, that it came down to two people in the line-up, one looking at the floor, the other looking out aggressively, and she quickly picked the aggressive one (they were only a foot away from each other on the opposite sides of the glass). Once she got out, she started to doubt her decision and then she was told she had been wrong but the one she picked, was actually a friend of the suspect brought in to mislead her, with a similar appearance and to purposely look like a bad guy. That it was another unfair defence tactic after having been questioned about what she was wearing, not allowing her to have someone from the rape crisis centre present during the lineup etc. This seems to be what what reinforced in her mind that Broadwater was really the guy, that they had tricked her and he was going to get away with it.

    Humans are not infallible in that regard, the judge and prosecution need to be impartial though, they need to see what's wrong here and didn't. One look at the lineup photo should have been enough to create doubt.

    There's a lot of other problems coming out of this too, did the real rapist go on to rape others? (seems very likely as he told her she was not his first victim)

    How many other innocent black men were convicted over the years based on weak evidence?

  • I haven't looked into it to be honest.

    If she admitted that she lied under oath, then I don't think she should get the benefit of the doubt. If it turns out the poster above who said she admitted it is wrong, I will revise my position.

    I can't look into whether or not she did admit to it as I am in work and most sites are blocked.

  • Registered Users Posts: 303 ✭✭ Metroid diorteM

    I've followed this on other sites and have to laugh how women never seem to get the blame for false accusations.

    Now the narrative is, Oh it must have been those around the woman from the police force, lawyers, judge etc. who are to blame!


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,817 ✭✭✭ Darc19

    That's what police do - worldwide.

    they can never ever admit to a mistake unless they are absolutely forced to do so.

    A report out a couple of years ago here said that if gardai simply made an apology when they got things wrong, most of the high court cases that are taken by people wrongly arrested / maliciously prosecuted would not be taken here.

    That would save a few million every year.

    Same everywhere. - Police will never admit when they are wrong and would prefer to see innocent people jailed rather than admit a mistake

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    This woman didn't make a deliberate false allegation.

    And surely plenty of people are not denying her mess-up? E.g. on this thread alone.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 16,217 ✭✭✭✭ osarusan

    Regarding the trial, it's not too much of a stretch for me to imagine the prosecution telling her they were certain even if she wasn't, they had some matching hair, there's no doubt he was the guy, and she was convinced and went along with it. They lied to her as well as everybody else. There's plenty of 'wrong' to go round in the trial, and some should be directed her way alright. But I'd be looking mainly at a prosecution who wanted a conviction more than the truth.

    Some of what she published in the memoir (apparently, i haven't read it) is worse in a way, if true.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,334 ✭✭✭ Wombatman

    "Once she got out, she started to doubt her decision and then she was told she had been wrong but the one she picked, was actually a friend of the suspect brought in to mislead her, with a similar appearance and to purposely look like a bad guy."

    The more I read this the more ridiculous it sounds.

    Does she tell anyone she is in doubt "once she go out" Horrible.

    "Similar appearance and purposely look like a bad guy." LOLZ. Purposely look like a bad guy? Did he have devil horns on or something?

    They made the friend out to look like the actual perp..........who was there! Why not just pick him if she was sure?

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    There is a substantial body of research demonstrating that eyewitnesses can make serious, but often understandable and even predictable, errors (Caputo & Dunning, 2007; Cutler & Penrod, 1995).

    Really it's the system that's broken if the system allows people to be sent to prison for decades based on evidence that contains understandable and predictable errors.

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,909 ✭✭✭✭ markodaly

    She barred a lot of responsibility in fairness, including knowingly lying about the case. Perjury is a crime is it not?

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  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 19,219 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Bannasidhe

    She has some responsibility, and I said so.

    Perjury is not a crime everywhere. How it is defined is not the same everywhere.

  • Registered Users Posts: 516 ✭✭✭ BattleCorp1

    She didn't deliver the guilty verdict but if she told the truth.........that she wasn't 100% sure it was him...........then that leaves room for reasonable doubt and then it's unlikely a guilty verdict would have been delivered.

    If she wasn't sure, she should have said she wasn't sure.

    I do get that the cops probably put a lot of pressure on her but I'm not completely absolving her from some of the blame for this guy losing a large chunk of his life. She certainly has to take a chunk of the blame.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,921 ✭✭✭ conorhal

    The producer quit over the fact that in the movie they wanted to cast a white male as the rapist, the guys seems to be a stickler for accuracy and wasn't a fan of playing fast and loose with the facts of the case in it's portrayal. It seems he started looking into inconsistancies in the source material because he also suspected that itr had played as fast and loose with the facts as the movie production.

  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 19,219 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Bannasidhe

    "Ms Sebold, did you identify my client as part of a lineout?" - reasonable doubt right there.

    Look, I am not saying she has no responsibility. She absolutely has. And she took her time 'struggling' with her conscience before admitting she lied on the stand however there are posters here who seem to wish to present this appalling miscarriage of justice as all the fault of Sebold. It is not. The fault for the finding of a guilty verdict when there was enough evidence to cause reasonable doubt already available lies with justice system - prosecution, defence, and the supposed to be impartial judge. That is what I am responding to.

  • Registered Users Posts: 464 ✭✭ The Quintessence Model

    That's a fair point. But I feel want makes many uneasy is her subsequent profiteering off other lies.

  • Registered Users Posts: 464 ✭✭ The Quintessence Model

    Great article on the guardian by the producer who helped in the exoneration. What he says, is what many of us here have been saying:

    'I do not believe that Sebold, as an 18-year-old rape victim, bears any blame. She was doing the best she could, being guided by an unethical and unscrupulous assistant district attorney. But I do have questions about the 39-year-old Sebold who wrote Lucky. Before she wrote the book, she had reviewed the entire district attorney’s file, including the photo of the police lineup.'

    What's also interesting is the example of where ultra-progressivism leads you, with a director wanting a white actor to play the rapist to make it seem like it was a white person who carried out the attack, a complete distortion of actual events.

    'such as the insistence of director Karen Moncrieff on changing the race of the actor playing Broadwater from a black actor to a white actor.

    Moncrieff’s reasoning was that she wanted to dispel the racial stereotype of a black man raping a white woman, but as the actual perpetrator had been African-American, this did not make sense to me'