“The atmosphere changed dramatically. Evidence was no longer important. It was the accusation that mattered, as well as the identities of the accuser and accused. The presumption shifted from innocence to guilt. For a man to call a false accuser a liar became a political sin, even if the accused had hard evidence of the accuser’s lies, as I did.” — Alan M. Dershowitz, in his new book, Guilt by Accusation.
What is indisputable are the broader implications his book raises about injustices in our justice system.
“Currently, lawyers, clients, and witnesses can make defamatory statements in public court filings and depositions without fear of a civil suit or a perjury prosecution…. I could not sue them, because their allegations were contained in a court filing, and were thus immune from a defamation suit. Even more absurdly, by denying Giuffre’s allegations and saying they were lies, I subjected myself to a defamation suit.” — Alan M. Dershowitz, in his new book, Guilt by Accusation
Independent of, and more broadly than, Professor Dershowitz’s own case — in which he asserts that the accused often has little recourse — Dershowitz highlights major deficiencies in our legal system. Namely…, that there are no “consequences for those who file accusations with no offer to prove them and no legal responsibility if they are categorically — and disprovably — false.”
Professor Dershowitz’s book is a plea for reforms in our justice system to treat both the accused and the accuser fairly, and for the court of public opinion to do the same.