CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

"In Historic Win for Due Process, ABA Defeats Controversial ‘Affirmative Consent’ Measure"

From the Center for Prosecutor Integrity. In part:

Yesterday, the American Bar Association House of Delegates defeated an “affirmative consent” resolution that could have fundamentally reshaped the sexual practices of many millions of Americans. Following a contentious debate, delegates voted 256-165 to defeat the measure.

. . . .

The resolution was opposed by a broad coalition of groups, including over 100 members of the American Law Institute, the National Association of Criminal Justice Lawyers and many of its state affiliates, and other organizations (2).

Prosecutors played a key role in defeating the measure. The Center for Prosecutor Integrity opposed an earlier version of the resolution because it “violates the Due Process Clause of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments by shifting the burden of proof to the accused person, effectively eliminating the presumption of innocence.” (3)  The North Carolina Advocates for Justice, which consists of both prosecutors and defense attorneys, came out against the measure because it “offends fundamental and well-established notions of justice.” (4)

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