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Determining the truth

Editor:

It takes a lot of courage for victims of sexual abuse to come forward and speak out. Obviously these women, and perhaps there are male victims as well, want to be believed when they take such a chance. However, when it is one’s word against another, it is difficult to define where the truth rests. The Duke Lacrosse player’s lives were about to be totally ruined until it was shown that the victim had lied. Rolling Stone published a story of a rape victim at the University of Virginia who eventually was proven to have given false witness. Are there people who would stoop that low to ruin another’s life? Absolutely. Evidence is hard to come by in support of a victim’s claim; occasionally there are photos or the payment of hush money to give them credibility. I think a victim wants to be believed so why not require them to take a lie detector test? The results of these instruments are not allowed in a court of law, but what about in the court of public opinion? I would think that a victim with the courage to come forward would jump at the chance to take a test that would verify their claim. If they pass the test, then let the consequences come. If they refuse the test, that too would bring consequences, as it should. A lie detector can be wrong, but so can a jury. However, both of them are the best thing that we have in determining the truth, so I would say use them.

Lewis Brandt

Dillwyn