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The Accused The accused is a movie about Sarah Tobias a woman of questionable character who is gang raped in a bar by three men while others looked on and cheered Outraged by the plea bargain made by the prosecuting attorney Sarah is appalled In an effort to right this wrong her attorney Kathryn Murphy brings the onlookers to court for soliciting the crime thus restoring Sarah as the victim and putting the rape on record In the end the onlookers were found guilty and Sarah is vindicated From the beginning you could see the prosecuting attorney tearing holes in the allegations being made Sarah was drunk she smoked some grass she had a prior record she went to the bar alone dressed in a sexy manner and her license plate read Sexy Sadie Kathryn had no doubt a rape occurred at least technically but saw her client as a sitting duck and a horrible witness In her eyes there was huge doubt that a jury would convict Based on this she was told to cut a deal she plea-bargained the case down to reckless endangerment which carried two to five years This scenario was described perfectly in the article Discrediting Victims Allegations of Sexual Assault Prosecutorial accounts of case rejection Only cases characterized as solid or convictable are filed As we saw in the movie prosecutors are actively looking for holes or problems that will make the victims version unbelievable hence unconvictable 212 The motto when in doubt reject or as the movie showed make a deal but dont take it to court Sarahs behavior at the bar was considered by many to have contributed to the crime In essence she was also to blame In a study by Kalven and Ziesel it was shown that jurors would go to great lengths to be lenient with defendants if there is any suggestion of contributing factors This is just another reason a case may
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