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Criminal Law

2009

Faculty Scholarship

Boston University School of Law

Law and literature

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Full-Text Articles in Law

A Witness To Justice, Jessica Silbey Jan 2009

A Witness To Justice, Jessica Silbey

Faculty Scholarship

In the 1988 film The Accused, a young woman named Sarah Tobias is gang raped on a pinball machine by three men while a crowded bar watches. The rapists cut a deal with the prosecutor. Sarah's outrage at the deal convinces the assistant district attorney to prosecute members of the crowd that cheered on and encouraged the rape. This film shows how Sarah Tobias, a woman with little means and less experience, intuits that according to the law rape victims are incredible witnesses to their own victimization. The film goes on to critique what the right kind of witness would …