Contact: Teri Stoddard
Turning the Criminal Justice System into an After-Thought:
SAVE Announces Opposition to Campus Accountability and Safety Act
WASHINGTON / August 5, 2014 – Today Stop Abusive and Violent Environments (SAVE) is announcing its opposition to the Campus Accountability and Safety Act. The CASA bill was introduced last week by Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri.
By limiting the involvement of the criminal justice system, the bill would make it harder for thorough investigations to be completed, fair trials to be conducted, and appropriate sanctions to be imposed. The bill impairs the deployment of criminal justice resources in three ways:
1. The Act would not require campus rapes to be reported to law enforcement, thus thwarting the ability of trained investigators to collect evidence.
2. Campus security programs do not possess the legal authority to search FBI DNA and fingerprint databases. A match can prevent a future rape, and allow a previous crime to be solved, as well.
3. The law would preclude the local prosecutor’s office from filing charges unless and until the victim gave permission.
Over 200 editorials have criticized the existing system of campus disciplinary committees for failing to appropriately respond to victims’ needs and conducting shoddy investigations: www.accusingu.org . Even if the accused is found guilty, the most severe punishment is expulsion, a sanction that is woefully inadequate, most say.
The CASA bill has been sharply criticized for ignoring due process protections, as well. Charlotte Hays at the Independent Women’s Forum highlighted concerns about the “erosion of due process for the accused.” Diana Furchtgott-Roth of the Manhattan Institute charged the bill would encourage colleges to “throw out due process.”
“The CASA bill says the way to stop rape is to turn the criminal justice system into an administrative after-thought,” notes SAVE spokesperson Sheryle Hutter. “Rape victims are outraged by this misguided attempt to handcuff the involvement of police, detectives, and prosecutors.”
Stop Abusive and Violent Environments—SAVE—is a victim-advocacy organization working for evidence-based solutions to domestic violence and sexual assault: www.saveservices.org