CNN grieves that guilty verdict ruined ‘promising’ lives of Steubenville rapists

By David Edwards
Sunday, March 17, 2013 13:41 EDT
CNN Candy Crowley reports on guilty verdict in Steubenville rape trial

CNN broke the news on Sunday of a guilty verdict in a rape case in Steubenville, Ohio by lamenting that the “promising” lives of the rapists had been ruined, but spent very little time focusing on how the 16-year-old victim would have to live with what was done to her.

Judge Thomas Lipps announced on Sunday that Trent Mays, 17, and Ma’lik Richmond, 16, would be given a maximum sentence after being found guilty of raping a 16-year-old girl while she was unconscious. Richmond could be released from a juvenile rehabilitation facility by the age of 21 and Mays could be incarcerated until the age of 24.

CNN’s Candy Crowley began her breaking news report by showing Lipps handing down the sentence and telling CNN reporter Poppy Harlow that she “cannot imagine” how emotional the sentencing must have been.

Harlow explained that it had been “incredibly difficult” to watch “as these two young men — who had such promising futures, star football players, very good students — literally watched as they believed their life fell apart.”

“One of the young men, Ma’lik Richmond, as that sentence came down, he collapsed,” the CNN reporter recalled, adding that the convicted rapist told his attorney that “my life is over, no one is going to want me now.”

At that point, CNN played video of Richmond crying and hugging his lawyer in the courtroom.

“I was sitting about three feet from Ma’lik when he gave that statement,” Harlow said. “It was very difficult to watch.”

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Hacker Group Anonymous Leaks Chilling Video in Case of Alleged Steubenville Rape, Cover-Up

Published on Jan 7, 2013

DemocracyNow.org – We turn to Steubenville, Ohio, where members of a high school football team allegedly raped an underage girl and possibly urinated on her unconscious body over the course of an evening of partying in late August. The young men chronicled their actions on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. But after many in the town of Steubenville, including the high school football coach, rallied to the players’ defense, the hacker group “Anonymous” vowed to release the accused players’ personal information unless an apology was made. Anonymous has since released a video showing a male Steubenville high schooler joking about the alleged victim. We’re joined by three guests: Monika Johnson Hostler, president of the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence; Kristen Gwynne, an associate editor at Alternet; and “X”, a member of the hacktivist group Anonymous using a pseudonym.

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Steubenville rape and India gang rape show India isn’t so ‘backward’

By The Christian Science Monitor
Friday, March 15, 2013 21:05 EDT
Steubenville protest 010512 by roniweb via Flickr CC

The December 2012 gang rape in New Delhi, India, deserves the public condemnation and outrage that it has brought. But much of the commentary on the case has gone beyond this, holding up the case as evidence of India’s larger flaws. The subtext writes India off as a backward and incorrigible third world country, whose primitive norms and lack of rule of law put it outside of modern democracies with more reliable norms and laws.

The unfortunate truth is that India’s reported rape rate, and even the slightly higher rate in New Delhi where the gang rape occurred, is less than that of typical European and American rates. In the days following the attack, scores of protests were held all over India but mostly in the New Delhi region where the attack occurred. Democracy went on the move, as thousands upon thousands of people joined in the calls for justice.

The Indian reaction to the incident is in many ways more gratifying and promising than reactions to American rape cases. Take the Steubenville, Ohio, case, which began trial on Wednesday. It has not generated nearly as much public outrage as the case in India. If there is a larger lesson that the gang rape and the public outcry that followed teach us about India, it is one of promise and hope, not alienation and despair.

But commentators have painted a different picture. Lakshmi Chaudhry wrote in The Nation: “[T]here is only one India, a social Darwinian nation where there is no rule of law; where might always makes right, whether your power derives from your gender, money, caste or sheer numbers, as in the case of a gang rape….The young girl who paid an astronomically steep price for an evening out at the movies proved that the so-called ‘new India’ exists in a bubble built on the delusion of safety.”

Is India indeed “a social Darwinian nation,” to be marked off from other, civilized democracies?

According to UN figures, India’s reported rape rate is 1.8 per 100,000 population (Delhi City’s is 2.8), as compared, for example, to Ireland’s 10.7, Norway’s 19.2, or America’s 27.3. Of course, given the intimate nature of the offense and its social stigma, the actual rape rates are generally higher than these official rates based on reports to police. By last official US estimate, only a half to a third of rapes are reported; and it could be that the reporting rates are even worse in other countries, including India. But the larger picture suggests that the India rape problem may not be that different from the West’s.

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