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October 28, 2013

Rape role-play plans (and a link to an extra reading about the MPC need for reform)

I am very pleased to see and report that we already have two legislative sub-committees formed to start working on needed revisions to Oliwood rape law.  I have given silly names/labels to the groups for ease of reference:

Mid-Back Oliwood Rape Reform Drafting Subcommittee (MORR) is comprised of Katherine U., Alia S., Kristen M. and Elizabeth Y.

Front-Side Oliwood Rape Reform Drafting Subcommittee (FORR) is comprised of Kristin V., Melanie L., Kayla E. and Tresha P. (and now also Alaina P.)

Though not essential, it would be valuable to have at least one more group working on draft legislation along with the MORR and FORR Subcommittees. That way there can be three (distinct?) proposed new rape statutes for the full Oliwood Criminal Justice Reform Committee (which is our class) to consider and vote on for moving forward with further review and revision in the process of bringing a working reform bill to the floor of the full Oliwood legislature.

On Friday, each subcommittee will have about 10 minutes to present their proposed reformed rape statute (and, ideally, these proposed statutes can be sent my way for posting at least a few hours before our Friday class session).

In the meantime, every member of the Oliwood legislature can and should benefit from reviewing this short (and very informative) 2003 article published in the Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law authored by Professor Deborah W. Denno titled "Why the Model Penal Code’s Sexual Offense Provisions Should Be Pulled and Replaced."

UPDATE:  The comments to this post reveal the emergence of two more legislative sub-committees,  which I have given a few more silly names/labels ease of reference:

Boy-Based Oliwood Rape Reform Drafting Subcommittee (BORR) is comprised of Chris S., T. Elliot G. and Matt R.

Co-ed Oliwood Rape Reform Drafting Subcommittee (CORR) is comprised of Ben W., Kelly F. and Morgan C.

Because I think that having more than four drafts could get unwieldy, I hope that anyone else eager to be involved in the drafting experience join one of the existing subcommittee.  And, absent any special requests by any subcommittee, I will plan to have the subcommittees present their proposals in alphabetical order.

October 28, 2013 in Course materials and schedule, Recommended scholarship | Permalink


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Chris S., T. Elliot G., and myself will also form a legislative group.

We're anxiously awaiting our acronym.

Posted by: Matt Raby | Oct 28, 2013 7:19:42 PM

Is anyone interested in a mixed-gender committee?

Posted by: Ben Wallace | Oct 28, 2013 11:15:34 PM

An update on the OU incident mentioned in a previous post -- http://fox8.com/2013/10/28/prosecutor-no-charges-filed-in-ou-student-rape-claim/

I think it's interesting to note that facts such as she had been drinking with him and kissing along the street are noted. As was evidenced in People v. Barnes, just because a person might appear to go along with the situation does not necessarily mean she or he wanted to do so. Further, just because somebody engages in kissing does not mean they want to engage in activity beyond that. And since she had been drinking, that just complicates the situation even more.

If witnesses are correct in what they heard - that she told him not to stop when he asked - that might be a bit more compelling evidence for no charges to be filed, however, something about the whole situation, I still find to be unsettling.

Posted by: Melanie Lennon | Oct 29, 2013 7:49:39 AM

Hey Ben - I'll join the mixed-gender committee if you're still looking for members!

Posted by: Kelly Flanigan | Oct 29, 2013 8:35:58 AM

Hey Ben,

Ashley and I would be interested in joining your committee.


Posted by: Morgan Cheek | Oct 29, 2013 8:52:37 AM

I will be joining the CORR group as well.


Posted by: Ashley Winters | Oct 29, 2013 4:34:06 PM

Speaking of inappropriate touching.. this is happening in my home state. Groping gone too far so as to criminalize the action and constitute a low-grade form of harassment? Admittedly, it's a little weird for a stranger to touch a woman's pregnant stomach, especially if she's not actually pregnant. But when a woman is put on alert, thinks she (or her baby) might be in danger or even is she is merely annoyed, maybe this harassment charge has a basis. If a stranger leaps at you with arm extended, but claims only to have wanted to touch your pregnant stomach, shouldn't a woman be concerned? One of the comments pointed out that if pregnant stomach touching is permitted, other types of groping might inadvertently result. If you reach for the stomach but accidentally grope the woman, what then? Would it be a defense that "you didn't mean to" if one type of touching were permitted?

Again, a very weird case.. but interesting to think about what constitutes harassment in the context of inappropriate touching.


Posted by: Kelly Flanigan | Oct 29, 2013 5:24:22 PM

Interesting case! While I agree at first it may seem a little extreme to criminalize what may seem to be a fairly innocuous touching, the more I think about it the more the person alleging harassment has a point. It would annoy me to no end if people kept coming up and touching my stomach, not to mention how much of an invasion of personal space that would be. Further, the article makes it seem like she had asked the person to stop and he did not, which makes it much more of a harassment case.

We could look at it under a utilitarian lens so as to hopefully deter those pesky people from ever daring to touch a poor, pregnant woman's belly.

Posted by: Melanie Lennon | Oct 29, 2013 8:50:50 PM

Such a sad case but interesting in terms of rape in other countries. I looked up rape law in Kenya and they should've been sentenced to a minimum of 15 years with the possibility of imprisonment for life -- certainly not just cutting the grass. http://www.cnn.com/2013/10/31/world/africa/kenya-liz-protests/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

Posted by: Melanie Lennon | Oct 31, 2013 8:17:29 AM

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