Tag Archives: crime

Tonic Immobility and the Neurobiology of Sexual Assault

Dr. Rebecca Campbell from Michigan State University walks through the trauma to the human organism during a sexual assault – and how the body’s systems for self-preservation that usually recommend to flee or fight might simply freeze. This response is called tonic immobility where the body shuts down during the attack as stress hormones flood the bloodstream.

It is an autonomic response, meaning that it’s uncontrollable. This is not something a victim decides to do. It is a mammalian response. It is evolutionarily wired into us to protect the survival of the organism. Because sometimes the safest thing to do to protect the safety is to fight back. Sometimes the safest thing to do is to flee. Sometimes the stupidest thing to do is to flee because it will incite chase. Therefore, our bodies have been wired for a freeze response too — to play dead, to look dead, because that may be the safest thing for the survival of the organism. So it is a mammalian response that is in all of us — we can’t control it. And it happens in extremely fearful situations.

Watch Dr. Campbell’s arrowing and fascinating presentation and how law enforcement can be trained to recognize the condition when investigating an assault and how to assist the victim in recall and memory consolidation. (via Metafilter)

Comparing the Nuremberg and Tokyo Trials

From a history thread on Reddit:

“After WWII the administration of justice in Germany and Japan were markedly different. In Germany, the Nurenberg Trials were overseen by a joint judiciary made up of the Western European Allies, the United States, and the USSR. In Japan, the Tokyo Trials were unilaterally adjudicated by the United States. This was the first problem. In both situations, the United States acted against the wishes of their allies and blatantly or secretly extradited and exonerated hundreds of war criminals from Germany and Japan. This was the second problem. The third problem, and probably the biggest contributor to the current Japanese cultural and societal ethos and perspective of WWII was the control the US exercised over post-war Japan.

In Germany, the Nurenberg Trials were largely a successful exercise in identifying and prosecuting war criminals. These criminals were tried and punished. While there is still a lot of controversy about the proceedings and the manner in which the prosecution acted – i.e. “perspective of the victors” – there is little doubt that the Nurenberg Trials not only established a precedent for future International Military Tribunals, but laid the bulwark for the development of the field of bioethics as it relates to the human experimentation conducted by the Nazis. US interests in the trial and desire to exonerate some of the more “valuable” Nazis for their scientific abilities were nullified by the influence of Western European and Soviet influence. The key point in Nurenberg is this: criminals, by and large were punished.

In Japan, in stark contrast to Germany, the Tokyo Trials were not only shambolic, but the near unilateral control the US had in the prosecution of the war criminals resulted in a complete mockery of justice. Now let me say this: I am a proud American. I was born in America and have American flag shorts I wear on the Fourth of July as I pound brews to the Red White and Blue, but I am also a historian and a realist and realistically America’s history is not pretty. And in Japan, McArthur essentially held a mock trial where literally hundreds of war criminals either avoided the death sentence or were exonerated altogether. The USSR was responsible for the only punishment and sentencing of Japanese criminals involved with Unit 731 in the Khabarovsk War Crime Trials. While the Tokyo Trials had an “international” panel of judges and prosecutors, there is no doubt that the real prosecutorial power lied with the Americans.
In both cases, the US acted explicitly and with a great deal of subterfuge to exonerate and extradite Nazi and Japanese war criminals whom they felt could contribute to American military and strategic interests. This included one of the pioneers of NASAs rocket program Wernher von Braun. The OSS – precursor to the CIA – and other USA military groups attempted to take these individuals to the US where they would receive research grants, government positions, etc. In Germany, these efforts were largely stymied (but still pretty successful) by the Western Allies and the Soviets, in Japan, these efforts were wildly successful.

Culturally, the influence and proximity of the Western Allies, US forces, and the USSR served to constantly remind Germany of their atrocities and fostered a climate of repentance. In Japan, 70% polled did not know about the contents of the Tokyo Trials, which was even higher for people in their 20’s. Even more alarmingly, there are Japanese that believe that WWII was a war of defense and some just recognize a “degree” of aggression on the part of Japanese. Not only did McArthur and the US fail to pursue justice, but also exonerated/absolved the royal family of all guilt and moved quickly to remove the notion of war guilt from the collective Japanese psyche. Consequently, many Japanese do not see the war with regret, like the Germans do, but view it with a mixture of mild regret and a sort of pride.

Ultimately, the end result was a Germany that is repentant, recognizes its atrocities, and has developed a culture/society that, more or less, understands their role in WWII. However, as [another user] points out, one negative side effect has been a very profound guilt complex that affects cinema and other forms of art. In Japan, the people are not only ignorant of their atrocities, but this ignorance has resulted in a dangerous nationalism not at all obfuscated by any guilt from the nearly innumerable atrocities their country committed from the late 1890s to the end of the Second World War. This is not at all helped by textbook revisions that are not only devoid of the atrocities, but paints the Japanese in a sympathetic light.”

Full article http://www.reddit.com/r/korea/comments/1yte4i/japan_considers_revision_of_comfort_women_apology/cfnyhwx

How Communities Cover Up Sex Abuse

From a thread about the Woody Allen accusations:

“My grandfather molested multiple children and was accused but never charged. No one did anything even after he was reported (my mom’s childhood friend later changed her mind).

Another person in my family was molested by her grandfather, it was reported, but they said that there wasn’t much they could do about these “groping incidents” especially since it was out of state.

Life destroyed? Less often than you think. Most often what happens is that a few people are livid at the abuser and everyone else stands around defending them and pointing out no one else can know for sure and the courts can’t prove anything because it’s one person’s word against another so when no charges are filed communities can heave a sigh of relief and presume innocence– which also presumes guilt or mentally instability/delusion on the part of the accuser and thus destroys THEIR relationship with their community which is sacrficed in order to allow everyone to go on pretending nothing happened.

In short, in saying “innocent until proven guilty” they assume the reporter is guilty of lying or being deluded– also without trial.

The court of public opinion is and should be handled differently than courts.

There is no right for the accused’s words to be considered more valid than those of the accusers. People are allowed to make their own opinions and handle the matter accordingly. The most common response to abuse is not anger but disbelief– EVEN WHEN YOU SAW IT HAPPEN YOURSELF OR IT HAPPENED TO YOU.

Part of why dissociation is so strong in sexual abuse victims, people don’t even want to believe it could be true when they saw it happen to them.”

Full thread http://www.metafilter.com/136269/When-to-Separate-the-Art-From-the-Artist#5402567

Image from http://www.parentsprotect.co.uk/resources.htm

How to Spend Your Time in Jail

A formerly incarcerated Redditor gives advice to a guy about to head into the pen:

“OP, first, good luck to you. It’ll be the longest 6 months of your life. Some tips:

-Read a lot. Seriously, grab anything you can and read it. Even if its some crappy Harlequin story or some boring 600 page Russian novel. It’ll keep you busy because boredom will become your biggest enemy. 6 months feels like 6 years when you can literally hear each second ticking by in slow motion and you only have your thoughts and regrets to keep you company.

Your mom or dad might want to visit you. DO NOT LET THEM. Do something right for once in your life and don’t make your friends/family go to jail to visit you. Just talk to them on the phone. You will hate yourself forever if you have to think that your mom or dad had to stand in line waiting to get frisked before being allowed into the video conferencing room full of crack whores trying to talk to their locked up pimps.”

Read the full advice http://www.reddit.com/r/battlestations/comments/1x5bpt/im_about_to_go_to_jail_heres_my_precarceration/cf8hztn?context=3

Image is George Clooney emerging from prison at the start of Ocean’s Eleven.

Indiana Man Robs Casino With Chopsticks

News in your area:

“A poker blogger has been sentenced to a probation program for stealing nearly $700 in dealers’ tips by pulling the cash out of a locked box with chopsticks. Forty-one-year-old Jay Newnum of Fishers, Ind., has returned the money and announced in a blog post that he plans to “step away from the poker world indefinitely.” The Day of New London reports (http://bit.ly/1dBp89p ) that Newnum was arrested on a misdemeanor larceny charge Dec. 16 for the theft at Foxwoods Resort Casino, but state police didn’t announce the arrest until Thursday. Newnum was granted accelerated rehabilitation, which allows charges to be erased after probation periods. State police say Newnum was caught “fishing” cash out of the dealers’ tip box with chopsticks.”

http://www.indystar.com/story/news/crime/2014/01/17/indiana-man-gets-probation-for-casino-theft-with-chopsticks/4577659/

Here’s What The Police Will Do

Commenter on Metafilter: “Here is what the police will do:

Whatever they want, whenever they want, however they want to. They are tiny gods, moving among us, deciding who gets shot today and who merely gets hauled away. Any attempt to assert your rights will result in you either being arrested (because you HAVE done something illegal, know it or not) or even worse — being flagged in the system for continued harassment. The police hate a smart ass.

And here’s the thing — you think there are rules. There aren’t. The police will lie to you, they will beat you up, they will gas you, they will restrain you, they will hit in places where the bruises don’t show, and then they will lie about it on the stand.

Assuming you actually have the gumption to bring a case to trial. So much easier and cheaper to just plead out. Because taking a case to trial just ties up everyone’s time — the judge resents you, the prosecutor resents you, your attorney resents you: why not just plead out, you’re only going to make them angrier.

My attorney said that to me.

He was right, but I’d rather do jail time than the newfangled Orwellian nightmare that is “court diversion” wherein they set a series of increasingly elaborate bureaucratic hurdles in your path and threaten you with jail at each one. Fuck that, I’ll just do the time up front.

I live in what is by any metric is one of the more murderous cities in a nation known for murder and I am not scared of gangs. Gangs have rules. Gangs have codes. I’m scared of COPS.

I have been beaten up, seriously on the ground bleeding in a fetal position, three times in my life. Once by a gang of street thugs in a New York City park. And twice by the police.

I have had guns pulled on me three times. Once by a scared kid in a parking lot who fled before trying to rob me. And twice by police SWAT teams searching my house.

The police have made their point to me quite clearly.

I am terrified of them.

Commenter on Metafilter

Why Nancy Grace is a Miserable Shrew

“Don’t forget the way she harped incessantly on the Duke LaCrosse case, repeatedly calling them rapists and insisting they were guilty, confronting everyone who stated otherwise or withheld judgment as being rape apologists. … Or the Danielle van Dam case, where she repeatedly flat out fucking lied all over the air – even after being corrected – and said ridiculous shit like how “that DNA must be pretty tough to survive on a [leather] jacket through a shower.” No DNA was found on his jacket, and who the fuck showers in a leather jacket? Or how bout the Melinda Ducket case, where she brutally and repeatedly attacked the 22 year old mom, all but flat out saying she was a murderer and that anything shed been told not to do or speak of by her attorneys was evidence of her guilt. When Melinda broke down and appeared confused, started to cry, and repeat that the media pressure has made everything so much worse, Nancy flat out said she thought she murdered her son and was lying. Melinda shot herself in the head the next day, and her son was never found. Or the Casey Anthony case, where she near single-handidly blew up the trial to a national frenzy. In those months alone, Nancy Grace convinced most of a nation that the legal system failed them, because shed spent months portraying only a partial view of the prosecution and repeatedly hammering into them that she was guilty, no doubt, she needed to fucking burn for what shed done, and now the justice system had failed the entire country by not putting this “tot killer” mom to death. As if the judge, 12 jury members, and a defense attorney had collaborated to get Casey Anthony out of it just to damage Nancy’s reputation. She then hinted out of the blue on the day of her release that maybe vigilante justice was a totally good idea. Fuck Nancy Grace. She’s the single most damaging persona in “journalism,” entertainment, and because of her sick influence and viewership, she corrupts the entire justice system. She doesn’t give a fuck whose lives she destroys, branding them forever as rapists, murderers, child killers, as long as she’s got a missing white girl she can plaster across her banner for 4 hours a day.”

tremens comments on Nancy Grace on Reddit thread