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Mothers of the Accused – Our Best Hope for a Fairer Justice System?

Updated: Feb 14, 2023

In the numerous falsely accused groups on Facebook, one factor immediately jumps out. This is that the majority of people commenting are the mothers of those either falsely accused or wrongfully convicted. Like some sort of labyrinthine Mumsnet for the catastrophically aggrieved, these ludicrously stressed women appeal to the hive for some kind of guidance in how to deal with the post-MeToo fallout that has decimated their families.

Mothers are also a proxy here for anybody who cares for someone who is going, has gone or will go through the fire of sex allegations. There are also plenty of friends, wives, partners, girlfriends, sisters and colleagues; but the deepest, most intractable suffering falls with the mothers, unconditional as their love tends to be.

Their continued, pained appeals stem from the counter-intuitive way in which postmodern justice is carried out, where no evidence is needed to convict – they tend not to buy the assertion that a complainant's testimony is evidence - the background of the complainant is barred from being explored, and spurious third-party reporting of alleged infractions is rife. It is seen on college campuses, football changing rooms and theatre green rooms on a seemingly daily basis: some true, some media-inflamed, but all increasingly investigated in a heavy-handed way by a police desperate not to be seen as failing by various activist groups. What they ignore is that these groups will complain and protest whatever the conviction rates, as that is their stance, and they've built their identities around this position.

Then there are the conviction targets that police are obliged to chase for any chance of promotion or bonuses, along with the fact that there are 70,000 sexual assault allegations made per year. Politicians keep blaming the police and courts for this, when it's the definition of what is sexual assault that has shifted incrementally since 2003 - with decent compensation paid, little attention paid to false memory syndrome or the vigilante effect of someone being socially unpopular for whatever subjective reason. Since the 2000s, when the government made a new law for every day they were in office, the balance of probabilities test that they introduced has effectively become a guilty until proven innocent principle.

There are an estimated 80% of prisoners in the UK with mental health problems, and a further huge number with undiagnosed autism. Both of these groups can seem arrogant, strange and aloof, when they're in fact just shy. The victimising of these people for misreading signals, then sending them down under blanket consent laws is an increasing, if anecdotal, problem. The mothers of the accused know this even if their loved ones aren't vulnerable in this way but are powerless to do anything about it except visit and post in social media groups for crumbs of advice and emotional support.

The new orthodoxy powers that be have scant interest in a handful (15K-plus) of men protesting their innocence against false allegations, but they are somewhat more mindful of the power of the Aggrieved Mother, intuitively knowing that the country will relate to their pain and vote them out. When no evidence is needed to convict, and new evidence or trial error is needed for an appeal, there is little surprise that only about 2% of appeals are referred by the Criminal Cases Review Commission. If it's not a stitch-up, it feels like one, and the MOTA are the unheard victims of the whole socio-politicised saga.

At some point these authorities will acknowledge that conflict resolution could be used for the majority of contested, non-violent, known-party allegations, and the compensation inducement removed as is the case in Germany. Juries should also be required to explain their decisions, as in Greece. Until these common sense, natural law measures are taken and British justice is returned to its once venerated place, the Mothers of the Accused are the best chance of returning a genuine balance of reason to a chronically biased justice system.

By Sean Bw Parker

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