Editorial: Lawmakers have to deliver justice to abuse victims before Election Day


September 26, 2018

Bill Cosby. Harvey Weinstein. The Roman Catholic clergy named in the Pennsylvania grand jury report. Brett Kavanaugh.

They all have two things in common: They’ve been accused, to varying degrees, of sexual misconduct. And all face accusations involving incidents said to have happened years ago.

Victims deserve to be heard. They deserve justice. But the accused also must be afforded the opportunity to defend themselves, in a court of law if necessary, and not branded as criminals based on accusation alone.

Cosby had his day in court; a jury convicted him and a judge sent him to prison. Weinstein has been indicted and faces criminal prosecution. Kavanaugh and his accuser will appear at a U.S. Senate hearing Thursday.

The problem in nearly every one of these cases is that time degrades memory. While the central incident may be alive in a victim’s memory, circumstantial details fade.

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