Quill and Gavel Fall 2020 Edition

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ARTICLES Judicial Review: The Best Defense is a Good Offense

Megan Castonguay

Educational Inequity: Disparities in Public School Funding

Michael C. Ndubisi

“Proof Beyond a Reasonable Doubt”: The Continuous Failure of the U.S. Criminal Justice System for Rape Victims

Chloe Care

Prostitution in the United States: Should it be Legalized?

Erin Hong

The Historical and Political Effects of Cybercrime on the U.S

Emma Heurta

The Importance of Rural Communities in Global Improvement

Emma Huerta

QUILL AND GAVEL NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL LAW REVIEW VOLUME I ISSUE I Fall 2020 Founder and Editor-in-Chief Megan Castonguay Head of Marketing Sarah Langer Head Copy Editor Chloe Randolph Editorial Board Megan Castonguay Sarah Langer Chloe Randolph David Yang Erin Hong Marissa Newbauer Maya Adhikari Sophie Brault Advisory Board Justin Chan Dustin Leenhouts

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Dear Reader, The journal you now hold in your hands—or more accurately click through on your screen—is the culmination of an idea I first had halfway through junior year. It was a simple idea for a club at my school, an activity for students interested in law after mock trial season ended. However, when COVID hit and prevented me from starting the club,​ Quill and Gavel​ became something much more: a National digital publication and a means of connecting students not just in my high school, but in high schools across the country. I remain in awe of the wave of messages, submissions, and applications that followed. To the writers, board members, and all those who supported the publication along the way: thank you. Without further adieu, I am proud to present the very first edition of Quill and Gavel. Sincerely, Megan Castonguay Founder and Editor-in-Chief

GAMBINI AWARD The Vincent Gambini Award is an honor bestowed upon one student per issue. This award is given by our editorial board for the most creative and/or all-around impressive article we received. All accepted work will be considered for the Gambini Award.

TABLE OF CONTENTS Judicial Review: The Best Defense is a Good Offense By Megan Castonguay Educational Inequity: Disparities in Public School Funding By Michael C. Ndubisi “Proof Beyond a Reasonable Doubt”: The Continuous Failure of the U.S. Criminal Justice System for Rape Victims By Chloe Care1 Prostitution in the United States: Should it be Legalized? By Erin Hong The Historical and Political Effects of Cybercrime on the U.S By Emma Heurta The Importance of Rural Communities in Global Improvement By Emma Huerta


Gambini Award Recipient








Judicial Review: The Best Defense is a Good Offense Megan Castonguay Council Rock High School South Abstract Judicial restraint and judicial activism are competing philosophies of judicial review. Their constitutionality in U.S court decisions has been debated for decades, but what these debates have long ignored is the difference between the theory and practice of each philosophy. This article serves to suggest that by combining the theory of judicial restraint with the practice of judicial activism, courts may arrive at the most impartial decision while defending the Constitution and the individual liberties of U.S. citizens. Introduction In the first Congress of the newly formed United States, James Madison famously stated that the judicial branch must be an “impenetrable bulwark against every assumption of power in the Legislative or Executive” [1]. Our nation’s system of checks and balances is immensely important in reducing corruption and ensuring that no one branch has absolute power, and Madison understood that the judicial branch


would be an essential part of this process. One philosophy of judicial review jeopardizes this: judicial restraint. Historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr. first coined the terms “judicial restraint” and “judicial activism” in his 1947 article describing the philosophies of each of the nine Supreme Court justices [2]. This began decades of controversy over which philosophy judges should adhere to. ‘Judicial activism’ became commonly used to criticize legal decisions suspected to be based on personal beliefs rather than the Constitution, while judicial restraint has been championed for its lack of bias and adherence to legal precedent. However, judicial restraint may not be the best philosophy in practice. Judicial Review Those advocating for the philosophy of judicial restraint fear ‘legislating from the bench’. They believe that the best way to protect our Constitution is to err on the side of caution and avoid overturning decisions. In reality, judicial restraint poses a threat to our Constitution. This is not because courts should be in any way biased or “legislate from the bench,” but because deferring court decisions and electing not to employ what is often condemned as “judicial activism” leaves the government's power unchecked [3]. Judicial restraint may seem to be the best way to defend the Constitution at first glance. After all, judges need to be as impartial as possible, particularly at our nation's highest court. However, in trying to remove bias and uphold our constitutional rights, judicial restraint limits the court's power to protect these rights. Judges should implement judicial activism, but to achieve the intended


purpose of judicial restraint, to protect the Constitutional rights of every American, as seen in ​Obergefell v. Hodges.​ Obergefell v. Hodges In 2015, John Arthur and Jim Obergefell wanted to get married before John Arthur succumbed to a terminal illness, but they lived in Ohio, where same-sex marriage was banned. Not all states banned same-sex marriage, so they were able to get married in Maryland [4]. However, after John passed away, the Ohio government refused to list Jim Obergefell as his surviving spouse. This incited a lawsuit from Mr. Obergefell that eventually reached the Supreme Court. This left the justices with an important question: should they uphold Ohio’s law and defer same-sex marriage law to the states and legislative branch or should they protect Mr. Obergefell’s constitutional right to same-sex marriage?

Ultimately, the Supreme Court protected Mr. Obergefell’s constitutional right to

marriage. Justice Kennedy wrote in the majority opinion, stating that Mr. Obergefell and his deceased partner were entitled to the same state benefits that straight couples enjoy because of the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution [4]. Unlike Justice Roberts, who wrote a dissenting opinion, Justice Kennedy adhered to judicial activism. However, he used the power of the court to defend the Constitution. Had Justice Kennedy ascribed to judicial restraint, the Supreme Court would have denied Mr.


Obergefell his constitutional right to marry and enjoy the state benefits of marriage through the due process clause and equal protection clause, respectively. Conclusion In this way, judicial activism is widely misunderstood. Willingness to overturn legislation or past decisions is not necessarily characteristic of biased, so-called "legislating from the bench". Just as the best defense is a good offense, the way to protect our constitutional rights and limit government power may be to actively rule in favor of their protection and be willing to overturn unconstitutional decisions from the past.

Citations [1] Boaz, D. (2020, April 03). Judges and the Rule of Law. Retrieved June 13, 2020, from https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/judges-rule-law [2] "Judicial Activism." ​Gale Opposing Viewpoints Online Collection​, Gale, 2015. ​Gale In Context: Opposing Viewpoints,​ https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/PC3010999043/OVIC?u=mlin_m_brandeis&sid=OVIC &xid=a239aecb​. Accessed 1 July 2020. [3] Sandefur, T. (2014, February 03). It's Time to Ditch "Judicial Restraint". Retrieved June 13, 2020, from https://www.cato-unbound.org/2014/02/03/timothy-sandefur/its-time-ditch-judicialrestraint [4]​Obergefell​ v. ​Hodges,​ 576 U. S. 644 (2015)



Educational Inequity: Disparities in Public School Funding Michael C. Ndubisi North Salinas High School Abstract This paper reviews and dissects the causes, effects, and solutions to the educational inequity caused by disparities in school funding. Education, the facilitation of learning in students, is essential to the proper functioning of society. By not funding some schools as well as others, an unjust two-tier system is created in which who or where you are born arbitrarily predetermines whether or not you will live a life of disadvantage and misery. This gap in the two-tier system is largely a result of the American educational system’s heavy reliance on property taxes to fund schools as well as past discrimination, which impacts people and their children to this day. The borders put up by the system allow for some students, often in the same state or city, to receive totally different educations and go on to live extremely different lives. This injustice can be fixed by reexamining and reforming the way we fund our schools as well as addressing the reasons they were unequal to begin with. The power to do that, however, lies exclusively in our hands and in our hands alone.


Background Today two hundred sixty-four million children don’t receive education around the world. The absence of education they receive is a result of the extreme poverty in which they live, and the effect is further perpetuation of their condition. Education is a privilege only afforded to a few, and for the many, whose only crime is being born in the wrong place at the wrong time, education is unattainable. For the millions more, however, fortunate enough to be born in a country where primary education is a right, their condition is not so bleak. In the United States, education is guaranteed to all children as a matter of right and not of privilege. From Kindergarten to 12th grade, each state government is tasked with providing quality education that will prepare students for the world they will enter. The Boston Latin School, the first public school in America, opened in sixteen thirty-five as a place for boys of wealthy and elite upbringing to gain an education. Also in Massachusetts, one year later, Harvard University opened as the first institute of higher education in the United States, and like The Boston Latin School was only available to White males who could afford to attend. Education in America was vastly limited until the eighteen hundreds when, in an era historians call the ‘Era of the Common Man,’ came and things began to change. President Thomas Jefferson, an advocate for more universal education, said “If we can... enlighten the people generally... tyranny and the oppressions of the mind and body will vanish, like evil spirits at the dawn of the day.” And since then, The United States has come a long way in its effort to universalize education and diversify the educated public.


However, because the responsibility to educate falls on each state, a student in one state is not ensured the same quality of education as another student one state over. The inconsistencies do not stop there; educational lines are drawn along the lines of socioeconomic status and race within the states themselves. This variance in quality of education creates educational inequities, which come chiefly as a result of disparities in school funding. The entrapment caused by the lower quality of education provided to lower-income and urban students is no different to that of the two hundred sixty-four million children across the globe living in places where education is not a right. Under educating certain children for reasons beyond their control does an extreme disservice to our country and society as a whole. To fix the issue of educational inequity, the root causes and general effects must be examined, and the proposed solutions must be explored. Origins of Educational Inequity Amanda Litvinov, of the National Education Association, insists the United States has never provided equitable funding to all citizens, especially not already disadvantaged communities (Litvinov, 2015. para. 5). The early years of American education were exclusive, and the exclusivity has remained while taking new forms. From favoring people based on their wealth in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries to favoring people based on race in the 20th century, the educational system in twenty-first-century America favors people based on where they live. The educational nonprofit organization EdBuild released a report exposing the


disparities in school funding by district and neighborhood. The report identified the root cause of the problem to be “local control”, or the right of the individual states and neighborhoods to finance their schools through property taxes. The report also pointed out that California is among the worst offenders. The divisive financial borders put up by America's education system are why it is not uncommon to hear that, according to Monterey County KION News’ Groff (2019), “Monterey County is a collection of cities separated by minutes, but are full worlds apart” (para. 1). The distance Groff was referring to is most felt in Monterey County schools where students who live minutes apart gain very different educations. For example, Carmel Unified School District received an estimated total of forty-eight million dollars last year while neighboring Gonzales Unified School District received only six million dollars. This is as a result of the State of California’s local control formula that makes property taxes the ultimate decider in how much a school generates in revenue. Because property values are generally higher in Carmel than in Gonzales, the tax revenue is greater, and therefore more money is available for Carmel students, leaving Gonzales students at a disadvantage. The question of what role race plays in the disparities of public school funding was also raised by the EdBuild report. The KION report stated, “Carmel received roughly double the revenue per student compared with the other three. Their "nonwhite" student percentage is thirty-eight percent. MPUSD is eighty percent nonwhite. Soledad and Gonzales are both ninety-eight percent.” (Goff, 2019. para. 2).


Inequality based on race is not only apparent in Monterey County schools but across the country. Across the country, the vast racial differences in funding of school districts and students have caused poor students of color to have a more difficult time escaping the conditions which have put them in their inadequate schools. This vicious pattern of injustice is known as the cycle of poverty, and the current state of America’s educational system only serves to perpetuate it as opposed to serving its intended function of liberating individuals by educating them fairly and equally. The reason it seems students of color are disadvantaged is because of past discrimination, which has lead to wealth inequality in communities of color. In communities and neighborhoods where there is less wealth, the schools are less adequately funded from property taxes. KION spoke to EdBuild’s policy director who said, “The way we segregated our communities is built on years and years that made it easier for white families to build off wealth in their homes,” (Goff, 2019. para. 4). But does school funding inequality disproportionately affect students of color for reasons other than neighborhood wealth? According to Pacific Standard Magazine’s Dwyer Gunn, it does. Dwyer acknowledges the findings of the EdBuild report but dug deeper in its research to find that not only do White students receive more funding on average than students of color, but even equally poor White students receive more funding on average than students of color. (Gunn, 2019. para 4). The importance of school funding in the American educational system is unparalleled. The level of opportunity increases tenfold when schools are properly funded, and doors of opportunity are closed when


schools are not given the resources needed to function effectively. The data suggests we are systematically denying non-White students unequal education not because of their socio-economic status but because of the color of their skin. They wish to be freed from the bonds of oppression by the public school system, but are failed by that same system. It is the obligation of the federal government to step in and aid schools that are especially underprivileged by the funding policy of their state government. Thankfully, federal programs and legislation like Title I and IDEA serve that purpose exactly. Unfortunately, however, poorly funded schools do not have their needs met by the federal government. (Litvinov, 2015. para 8) Because the right to educate falls on the states the federal government is limited in its ability to step in. Only ten percent of school funding is Federal and can not functionally change things. In the last analysis, it is the job of state governments to move away from the local control system, which creates so much inequity, and create a more fair system for all students. The Experience of the Disadvantaged So where did this funding discrimination come from? Every superintendent and principal in The United States are not racists who have decided to single out students of color and underfund them. The discrimination begins with America’s long history of abusing minorities and poor people. The United States has, as many experts like to call it, an “educational debt”. After centuries of disadvantage, which still continues today, communities of color have not been given the same fair shot at a good life as their White counterparts have. The idea behind the “educational debt” is that increasing


funding laws alone will not make our schools more equal. Only recognizing the past discrimination of the educational system and working to pay down the debt will make schools more equal. This idea is supported by the fact that states that have equal, if not more, funding for urban schools still have an achievement gap. To put it simply, we cannot just throw money at the problem and expect real results. Jack Schneider of The Atlantic observes the plight of disadvantaged communities to be like that of a woman fired unjustly from her job. Because she has no other source of income, she is forced to use a credit card for a year to get by and accumulates thirty thousand dollars in debt with six thousand dollars every year in interest. Fortunately for this lady, the employer realizes the injustice of their decision and hires her back at the same job and same salary. While all outward appearance of injustice is gone, “the consequences of her initial firing will follow her for years to come.” (Schneider, 2018. para. 7) The quality of the lady’s life is significantly less than that of her coworkers with the burden of the debt on her shoulders, and the same is true for underfunded students. Students in Detroit, a city whose educational system has been called a “national disgrace”, cannot do things all students should have the opportunity to do because of the minuscule level of funding their district has. Detroit's schools are in a state of complete disrepair because of unfair funding laws. A video by the AFTHQ focuses on one Detroit middle school that, not through any fault of their own, offers subpar education, fails students, and does not truly prepare them for the real world. For example, the gym was closed due to a leaking roof, the school was unable to pay for repairs, and as a result the entire gym was closed. The school’s building has a


music room, band uniforms, and instruments, but because they cannot afford to keep a music program, the room stays locked, empty, and inaccessible to students. A radiator pipe burst in a classroom, and due to limited funds, the teacher was understandably wary of the quality of the repair. She has had to clear half of her room and cram her students into a smaller space for their safety. The school cannot afford books, so a teacher has had to print (with her personal printer, paper, and ink) books for her students to learn to read. And in the snowy months of the year, the students cannot play in the snow because the city pipe is broken and releases one hundred degrees of heat right next to the playground. (AFTHQ, 2016) The burden also falls quite heavily on teachers and parents who both feel like they are not doing enough to save children from the world the system is forcing them into. According to the video, parents are often unaware of how poor the conditions are on their child’s campus, and teachers are forced to buy supplies for students with their already insufficient paychecks. Some of the greatest parents and educators are in the most underprivileged schools because of how hard they work and how much they care for the students who have been dealt an unfortunately bad hand. Implications for the Future However, this issue can be solved through legislation. The issue of the inequality caused by disparities in school funding is compared to racial segregation of the mid-twentieth-century in the book School Desegregation in the 21st Century. Editors Christine Roswell, David Armor, and Herbert Walberg explain one benefit of desegregated schools to be, "Black student achievement would become equal to that of


their White counterparts.” (2002) They go one to illustrate that when school systems are changed to create more equity and fairness, disadvantaged students thrive. In the nineteen-nineties, major reforms were made to the educational system, and the formerly disadvantaged students who received an increase in funding went on to live significantly better lives. (Roswell, Armor, Walberg, 2002) Many of these students would have ended up in unsavory conditions, but by bringing justice to their classrooms they graduated from high school, went on to pursue higher education at higher rates, had a higher median income, and experienced lower rates of poverty. Their lives, thanks to the equality brought to their education, were fundamentally improved. But the question must be asked, how do we create a fairer educational system on a national basis? The book suggests legal battles like in the case of Brown v. Board of Education, in which the Supreme Court ruled that separate but equal schooling did not truly exist and that separate and unequal schooling was unconstitutional. Moreover, legal pursuits must be supplemented by conscientious legislation and reform. Amanda Litvinov (2019) noted: A court ruling in favor of increasing school funding does not automatically bring relief for underfunded schools. Although such court cases do put pressure on state legislatures to address inadequate school funding, they do not necessarily make those funding systems more equitable.” (para. 10) In order for the school funding disparities to disappear, or even decrease and create a more fair system, the voters must choose elected officials who will actively work to change the situation. Local control is built upon revenue generated from taxes yet, as


Litvinov observes, corporations pay less in taxes than ordinary citizens, in many cases as a result of the tax laws set by elected representatives in government. (2019. para. 7) American schools currently do not maximize their efforts to give the youth of our country a decent and equal education, They are hemorrhaging funds from their communities that could be used to buy books, maintain facilities, better pay teachers, finance equal opportunity courses and activities, and more. With over sixty-six percent of voters believing taxes should go up for this and many other reasons, (Litvinov, 2019. para. 7) nothing has happened because people are choosing not to act. Many proposals have been made to improve the quality of education for all students in the United States, but they are all dependent on people acting on their convictions and refusing to simply look up to those in power when there is an issue, but rather looking within themselves and others to make the change these students need. Conclusion While there are still millions of uneducated children around the world, The United States has dedicated itself to educating all of its children. But America cannot claim to be achieving its goal with this system, which provides unequal education to students based on factors they cannot control. While the United States government is failing to do its job, ordinary citizens must not. For the injustice to end, the people must act and dedicate everything they have to the cause of improving the lot of those whom the educational system has chosen not to favor. Reforming the ways in which we allocate school budgets is the way to fix this issue, and that can only be


accomplished by “we, the People”. For only when we decide things have to change and actively pursue ways to make it happen will change come. And when that change comes not only will millions of lives be saved, but millions of lives yet to come will be improved, having been born into a world where this injustice no longer exists. Education is foundational to our society, and by ensuring that everyone, regardless of who they are, can have equal access to it will improve our community and our world.

Citations AFTHQ (Education). (2016, Jan, 15). Life inside Detroit public schools. [Video File] Retrieved from ​https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ROCxtuyFjp0 Groff, A. (2019, August 29). Special report: School district funding disparities in Monterey County. KION. Retrieved from https://www.kion546.com/news/special-report-school-district-funding-disparity-inmonterey-county/1114874492 Gunn, D. (2019, February). Non-white school districts get $23 billion less funding than white ones. Pacific Standard. Retrieved from https://psmag.com/education/nonwhite-school-districts-get-23-billion-less-fundingthan-white-ones Litvinov, A. (2015). 5 unavoidable truths about school funding. National Education Association. Retrieved from https://educationvotes.nea.org/2015/08/25/5-unavoidable-truths-about-school-fundin g


Rossell, C., Armor, D., & Walberg, H. (Eds.) (2002). School desegregation in the 21st century. Retrieved from https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=RuhyQ9zVQCgC&oi=fnd&pg=PR1&d q=disparities+in+school+funding+book&ots=mIZol5MpsU&sig=-UdJh5tLjt-q5UjZ83M QHxeNWxk#v=onepage&q&f=true Schneider, J. (2018). What school-funding debates ignore. The Atlantic. Retrieved from https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2018/01/what-school-funding-debate s-ignore/551126/



“Proof Beyond a Reasonable Doubt”: The Continuous Failure of the U.S. Criminal Justice System for Rape Victims Chloe Care Martin Luther King High School Gambini Award Recipient Abstract The American justice system fails to protect victims of rape and sexual assault. Flaws in rape shield laws, media coverage on high-profile rape cases, the burden of justification placed on victims, the court’s consideration of “consent”, the dehumanization of male rape victims, discrimination against LGBTQIA+ victims, the suppressive system in place for victims within the US military, and the burden of proof in rape cases (“beyond a reasonable doubt”), constantly lead to rapists and sexual assault perpetrators walking free. Societal views of women and sexuality oblige female rape victims to justify their actions and feelings in court. Societal masculine expectations cause male victims of sexual violence to be brushed under the rug and ignored. The burden of proof “beyond a reasonable doubt” prohibits hundreds of rape cases from being filed in the first place, and further prevents many of those that are


filed from resulting in felony conviction. The system in place to serve justice for the American people fails to do so for male, female, LGBTQIA+, and military rape victims. Overview Every seventy-three seconds, an American citizen is sexually assaulted.​1​ One in five American women will be raped at some point in their lives. 42.3% of women are seventeen or younger at the time of their first victimization.​2​ Out of every 1,000 sexual assaults, 995 perpetrators will walk free.​3​ As shocking as these statistics may sound, they portray the reality of modern-day America and its criminal justice system. For decades, rape was defined by the FBI as the “carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will”.​4​ This misogynistic and misandristic definition would create the basis for sexual discrimination against both female and male victims. Not only did it define rape simply as a forced act of vaginal sex against a woman’s will, but it also failed to recognize men as rape victims. The failure to recognize rape as more than a forced act of vaginal penetration blatantly belittled both female and male victims. Past and present societal views of sexuality, promiscuity, sex-appeal, and sexual-needs create inequitable standards for women. “Rape culture” has become an epidemic that silences and brushes sexual assault victims under the rug. Ideas such as “She was asking for it,” “Boys will be boys!,” “It’s her fault.,” “He was just joking”, and “Women are just sexual objects,” normalize sexual assault, glorifying the act in media and popular culture.​5​ Worst of all, these ideas shift the blame from perpetrators to the victims. Not only are victims blamed, but they are also left unprotected by the law.


Rape Shield Laws Prior to 1974, any and all evidence of a victim’s past sexual behaviors could be introduced into trial as long as the relevance of the evidence was established.​6​ If it could be shown that the victim had had consensual sex in the past, doubt may be generated as to if the “rape” was actually rape or a false-accusation. When questioning a victim about past sexual encounters, defense attorneys were able to demean victims’ character and question the reliability of the witness.​7​ Such standards of evidence (otherwise irrelevant evidence) caused immense amounts of humiliation for victims and became a deterrent for victims reporting sexual abuse, assault, and/or rape.​8 In 1974, the first-ever rape shield law was enacted in the state of Michigan.​9 Throughout the 1970s, most states adopted the laws that made evidence of past sexual history difficult to be admitted in court.​10​ Furthermore, in 1994, the federal government enacted the Violence Against Women Act, in which rape shield laws were applied to federal cases.​11​ However, even though rape shield laws prevent a defendant from introducing evidence of a victim’s sexual conduct or reputation to prove consent was given, there are a few ways in which the past sexual history of a victim can be admitted. In California, any evidence of a victim’s past sexual encounters with the defendant may be admissible.​12​ This means that past sexual encounters with the defendant can be used to prove a victim’s consent. Herein lies a major issue: does past sexual consent with a person mean consent has been given for future sexual


activities? In some states, evidence of a victim’s clothing may be admissible if a judge decides the probative value of the evidence substantially outweighs the danger of prejudice.​13​ This proves to be another major issue in which the prejudice against females can be clearly seen. Does a female’s clothing, or lack thereof, mean she is consenting to a sexual activity? The Danger of the Media in High Profile Cases When it comes to high-profile rape cases, victims have an even lower chance of receiving a fair trial. When a high profile case involving a celebrity comes to light, the media immediately spews private information onto news reports, magazines, and the internet.​14​ The media can divulge personal information about an alleged victim’s life, family, and background.​15​ As stated by Megan Reidy, “Although rape shield statutes are effective in the courtroom, they do not prevent the media from publicizing damaging information about the victim throughout the trial process.”​16 Such media coverage presents potential jurors with an opportunity to hear, read, or see any number of media publications regarding the victim and/or the case.​17 Inevitably, potential jurors will have the opportunity to form their own biased opinion before trial.​18​ Even if the “evidence” published by the media contains a certain truth value, it may be excluded from trial. In this case, the potential jurors may have already seen the “evidence”, creating prejudice against the victim.​19​ Even with victim’s rights statutes (which prohibit the media from publishing the identities of victims), publicizing the sexual history of a victim is not prohibited.​20


Defendant-like Victims The crime of rape originated as a property offense.​21​ Ancient laws considered a woman to be the property of her husband. Therefore, when a man raped another man’s wife, he was simply damaging a piece of property. Once rape was seen as a sexual offense, the law placed a heavy burden on victims.​22​ In order to prove that a woman was sexually assaulted against her will, the court would evaluate a woman’s previous behavior.​23​ Rather than investigating the physical acts of the defendant, the court would focus primarily on a woman’s sexuality, reputation, and personality to prove whether or not a crime was committed. Certain information revealed about the victim at trial effectively put rape victims on trial by placing such a burden on them.​24 Over time, the American Justice System continued placing similar burdens on rape victims. Rape victims were expected to prove that the sex was non-consensual and that resistance was given towards the alleged rape.​25 Reformation to these burdens has been made over the past 30 years in an effort to direct the court’s attention less from a victim’s private life, but more to the actions of the defendant.​26​ However, certain burdens still rest upon rape victims. Often, a defense attorney's cross-examination forces the victim to justify their own behavior.​27 No other victims of any other crime are required by the justice system to justify their actions in the same manner.​28​ Additionally, defense attorneys commonly introduce extremely private (often humiliating) pieces of evidence in their cross-examinations of a victim in order to create “reasonable doubt”.​29​ Such evidence introduced may be used to prove the level of willingness by the alleged victim in order to show consent.​30


Sometimes, the evidence introduced places the blame on the victim, focusing on provocative clothing, nature, and suggestive language. The brutal cross-examination of a rape victim by a zealous defense attorney often has the effect of a “second rape” .​31 The Court and “Consent” One of the biggest issues addressed in rape cases is the issue of consent. Was consent given? Was consent not given? Understandably, there is no legal definition of consent. “Consent” can take various forms and be addressed in many different scenarios. Generally, it is understood that sexual consent is an agreement to take part in a sexual activity.​32​ However, a certain danger comes with the societal view of consent. Often, a female’s clothing, state of sobriety, and provocative indications are considered her “asking for it” (otherwise considered, “consent”). This view of female sexuality has shaped how rape victims are viewed. Society fails to recognize actual consent. Consent can be given and taken away at any time.​33​ Consenting to one sexual activity does not mean consent has been given for recurring sexual contact.​34 Consenting to sexual activities with someone in that past does not mean that the person has been given permission for sexual activities in the future.​35 An issue arises when it comes to proving consent was or was not given. Often, a victim’s account of a sexual assault differs from the defendant’s. Verbal accounts often prove to be unreliable. If a victim claims they told the defendant, “Stop.” but the defendant claims the victim never said that, who is to be believed? In such cases, a significant amount of weight is given to physical evidence. The court turns to any bruises, cuts, and abrasions on the body to show that physical resistance took place,


therefore showing the lack of consent. Here lies one of the dangers of relying on physical evidence to prove consent. Rape is an incredibly personal crime. The violation of one’s body for another’s satisfaction makes rape a very different experience for different victims. Frequently, the rape of a female comes as a result of a larger, more physically dominant male forcibly exploiting a female. In those cases, physical resistance may be extremely difficult if not impossible to execute. In other cases, the experience may be so terrifying that a victim feels immobilized, unable to move. The lack of evidence of physical resistance may be used to show that consent was given. Masculinity v. Male Victims For decades, the very definition of rape excluded men from being considered rape victims. Common “rape culture” ideas include claiming men are not victims of rape and that only “weak” mean are raped.​36​ Societal perceptions of “masculine behavior” include dominance, control, and sexual aggression, while females are depicted as submissive and passive.​37​ The very word “rape” indicates male sexual control over a female. Men are almost never seen as rape victims for these reasons. The environment surrounding male victimization can only be described as dehumanizing. Being a victim of sexual violence by a female perpetrator is viewed as all the more degrading because of the societal views of “manhood.” Women have been depicted for centuries as weak, submissive, and controlled by men. As a result, male rape victims are accused of being “weak”, “sissy-like”, and considered less-manly. Rape reports of male victims are more likely to not be taken as seriously as one of a


female. Because of these standards, men have one of the lowest percentages of reporting sexual assault or rape. To be raped is humiliating and degrading. To report the rape, is even more degrading. Male rape victims need to be recognized and defended as victims, but not with the societal expectations placed upon them. Discrimination Within the LQBTQIA+ Community Without a doubt, the American LGBTQIA+ community has and continues to face intensive scrutiny and hate from many groups of people. As a community, LQBTQIA+ people face higher rates of ​poverty, stigma, marginalization, and hate-motivated violence.​38​ Oftentimes, these hate crimes are perpetrated as sexual assaults and/or rape.​39​ Furthermore, the ways in which society both hypersexualizes LGBTQIA+ people and stigmatizes LGBTQIA+ relationships can lead to intimate partner violence (IPV) that stems from internalized homophobia and shame.​40​ According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals experience sexual violence and rape at a similar or higher rate than straight individuals.​41​ The CDC’s National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey found that 44% of lesbians and 61% of bisexual women experience rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner, as opposed to 35% of heterosexual women.​42​ 26% of gay men and 37% of bisexual men experience rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner, as opposed to 29% of heterosexual men.​43​ 46% of bisexual women have been raped, compared to 17% of heterosexual women and 13% of lesbians.​44​ 40% of gay men and 47% of bisexual men have experienced sexual violence other than rape, compared to 21% of heterosexual men.​45​ No only do these statistics indicate the


horrifying reality that the LQBTQIA+ community faces daily, but also show the failure of the US Justice System to protect LGBTQIA+ individuals. For LQBTQIA+ survivors of rape and sexual assault, their identities as lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, etc. -and the discrimination they face surrounding those identities- often cause hesitancy to seek help from police, hospitals, shelters, or rape crisis centers.​46​ Many fear being “outed” or being discriminated against even further.​47​ A survey conducted by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) showed 85% of victim advocates reporting having worked with an LQBTQIA+ survivor who was denied services because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.​48​ Another survey conducted by the NCAVP reported 39% of LGBTQIA+ survivors interacting with police following an incident of intimate partner violence. 49​ ​ 7% of survivors said that police were hostile towards them.​50​ 12% of survivors indicated that police were indifferent to them, whether that be not believing the victim, or indicating a certain lack of attention.​51 The Rape Epidemic Within the US Military Sexual assault within the US Military is a prevalent issue that has received media attention in the past. While the Pentagon appeared to be making reformations after receiving desperate calls for justice, today it can be seen that little substantial change was made. Military personnel who experience sexual assault and/or rape face multiple challenges in regards to reporting, receiving protection, and obtaining justice. As a result of reports happening outside the reach of police and being handled


by a unit’s commanding officer, according to the Pentagon’s own survey, around 15% of reported cases are actually prosecuted.​52​ Reports of sexual assault and rape must be taken to a commanding officer who holds the power to make a decision regarding the report.​53​ According to a retired captain in the Marines, “There's no investigatory training. They don't tell you to look for evidence. Military justice imbued me with the ability to be judge and jury.”​54​ When discussing his own story, another male military veteran who was raped during basic training in 1972 claims that a sexual assault/rape report made to a commanding officer is often disregarded and/or brushed away. “You take [a complaint] to your commanding officer. He doesn't want that black eye. He wants the promotion. So he tries to keep it under the carpet.” 55​ The fear of a ruined career also contributes to the low reporting rates within the military.​56​ This is especially true in cases of a rape of a male by another male. The humiliation that stems from male-on-male rape in the military is one of power and rank. Cases of male-on-male rape are perceived as indications that the victims are military warriors who are not strong enough to “fighting back”.​56​ Because of this perception by the US military, to be a male and report a rape perpetrated by another male could potentially change the course of one’s career.​57 Additionally, in order to receive full benefits for mental and physical health issues stemming from sexual assault, veterans must first prove that the assault occurred.​58​ The burden of proof placed on military victims to prove that an assault or rape occurred is a blatant display of the discrimination and injustice of the US justice system. Not only is a military victim “stuck” with their perpetrator(s) due to


stationing, but they are held responsible for actions perpetrated against them and against their will. “Proof Beyond a Reasonable Doubt” The burden of a prosecutor lies in the words ​“​proof beyond a reasonable doubt”. This means that in order to convict a defendant of rape, the judge or jury must be almost completely certain that the evidence presented in court shows that the defendant committed rape. If the defense team presents evidence that leaves a “reasonable doubt” in the judge’s or jury’s mind, the defendant will automatically be found not guilty. For this reason alone, most reported rapes rarely go to court. If a prosecution team feels that they will be unable to prove guilt (according to burden of proof), they may decide not to press charges.​59​ A case may be almost impossible to prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” due to a lack of evidence (ex. physical abrasions indicating resistance), an inability to identify the perpetrator, or other factors.​60​ Out of every 1000 instances of rape, 230 are reported, only 9 cases get referred to a prosecutor, and only 5 cases will lead to a felony conviction.​61 The burden of proof “beyond a reasonable doubt” fails victims, allowing rapists and sexual abuse perpetrators to walk free. Because the burden of proof is so heavy, prosecutors will continue to fail to prove perpetrators guilty. At the time of this writing, there are several petitions being made in favor of changing the burden of proof for sexual assault and rape cases from “beyond a reasonable doubt” to “clear and convincing evidence”. Rather than convincing a jury or judge almost to the point of certainty, prosecutors would only need to “prove that it is substantially more likely


than not” that the defendant is guilty.​62​ If this change was made, the American Criminal Justice System would see a significant increase of sexual assault and rape cases going to trial, increases in convictions, and possibly an increase in reported sexual assaults and rapes of both female and male victims. If this change was made, the number of rapists and sexual abuse perpetrators who walk free would dramatically decrease. Some may argue that changing the burden of proof for rape cases would lead to an increase in false convictions. If the system makes convicting an alleged rapist easier, the numbers of those wrongly accused and convicted would likely dramatically rise as well, right? In order to address these concerns, the US criminal justice system’s statistics of rapes should be considered. 2-8% of rapes are falsely reported (for an average of 5%).​63​ As previously stated, out of every 1000 rapes, 230 will be reported, and only five will end in a conviction.​64​ If we assume that 5% of the 230 reports are false accusations, twelve people are falsely accused of rape. If we assume that five reported rapes end in felony convictions, out of the twelve people falsely accused, 0.26% of those will be falsely convicted. Let’s assume that if the burden of proof for sexual assault and rape cases is changed from “beyond a reasonable doubt” to “clear and convincing evidence”, the number of reports of sexual assault and rapes will double (460 reports). Let’s also assume that the number of false reports will double and the number of convictions will double (ten felony convictions). In that case, twenty-three reported rapes will most likely be false reports. If ten of the original reported rapes end in a felony


conviction, only one of those will end up being a wrong conviction. Therefore, if the burden of proof for sexual assault and rape cases was changed to “clear and convincing evidence”, causing reports and convictions to double (from their current statistics), only one out 1000 alleged rapes would end in a false conviction. Hundreds more abusers and rapists would see time behind bars, serving time for their crimes, as opposed to walking free. Conclusion Out of every 1000 sexual assaults, 995 perpetrators walk free.​65​ Out of those 1000 sexual assaults, 3 out of 4 go unreported.​66​ Of the sexual assault crimes not reported, 20% feared of perpetrator retaliation.​67​ 15% believed that the police couldn’t and/or wouldn’t do anything about the report.​68​ 13% believed it was a personal matter.​69​ 8% believed it wasn’t important enough to report.​70​ What do these statistics demonstrate? The American Criminal Justice System is failing sexual assault and rape victims. Even with rape shield laws, rape victims are unprotected. Past consensual sex with a defendant can be used to prove that an alleged rape was actually consensual (simply because the past sexual activity had been consensual). Rape victims involved in high profile cases constantly have their rights violated. The media is left unchecked to freely publish confidential information about a rape victim’s life, family, and notoriety. Furthermore, male rape victims are discriminated against, not even seen as victims. LGBTQIA+ individuals experience extremely high rates of discrimination when obtaining help and/or reporting sexual assaults and


rapes. The system in place for reporting rapes in the military continues to prove its injustice, preventing victims from seeking help or restitution. The burden of proof “beyond a reasonable doubt” fails rape victims and the pursuit of justice. Changing the burden of proof for sexual assault and rape cases to “clear and convincing evidence” could cause an increase in the numbers of rapists convicted and sentenced to time in prison, rather than walking free. If this reformation was made, the way society views perpetrators, female victims, male victims, LGBTQIA+ victims, and military victims would fundamentally change for the better.

Citations 1. “Victims of Sexual Violence: Statistics” "Victims Of Sexual Violence: Statistics | RAINN". Rainn.Org, 2020, https:// www.rainn.org/statistics/victims-sexual-violence​. Accessed 24 June 2020 Statistics given estimating the numbers of Americans who have and/or will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime. 2. “Statistics About Sexual Violence” “Statistics About Sexual Violence". Nsvrc.Org, 2020, https://www.nsvrc.org/sites/default/files/publications_nsvrc_factshe et_media-packet_statistics-about-sexual-violence_0.pdf​. Accessed 24 June 2020 Statistics reported by the NSVRC show the extremely high percentages of American women, men, children, and college students who are (or will) be a victim to sexual assault. Also discussed are the monetary cost and impact of rapes, along with statistics regarding the low reporting percentages of sexual assault and rapes 3. See Citation 1 4. “The FBI Finally Ditches Its 80-Year-Old Definition of Rape” Hess, Amanda. "The FBI Finally Ditches Its 80-Year-Old Definition Of Rape". Slate Magazine, 2020, https://slate.com/human-interest/2014/11/fbi-2013-crime-report-the-bureau-e xpands-its-definition-of-rape.html​. Hess discusses the effects of the new definition of rape and when “crimes


involving male victims, oral and anal rape, and sexual assaults committed with objects are included, the numbers of sex offenses reflected in the UCR program could increase by more than 40 percent”. 5. “Rape Culture” "Rape Culture – Women's Center". Marshall.Edu, 2020, https://www.marshall.edu/wcenter/sexual-assault/rape-culture/ Accessed 24 June 2020. A brief discussion on “Rape Culture” detailing societal views toward the roles women and men play in society and how they are expected to conform. 6. “Rape Shield Laws: Definition and History” Poortvliet, Kenneth. "Rape Shield Laws: Definition & History". Nsvrc.Org, 2020, https://www.nsvrc.org/sites/default/files/publications_nsvrc_factsheet_med ia-packet_statistics-about-sexual-violence_0.pdf​. Accessed 24 June 2020. A comprehensive history of rape shield laws. Poortvliet also discusses the constitutionality of such laws and how they are enacted/enforced. 7. See Citation 6 8. See Citation 6 9. See Citation 6 10. See Citation 6 11. See Citation 6 12. “California's Rape Shield Law (Evidence Code 1103 & 782)” GROUP, SHOUSE, and Dee M. "California's Rape Shield Law (Evidence Code 1103 & 782)". Shouse Law Group, 2020, https://www.shouselaw.com/ca/defense/evidence-code/rape-shield-laws/​. ​This exemplary explanation of Evidence Code 1103 and 782 gives examples of evidence that may be admitted into trial and explains what evidence will be barred from being introduced to a jury. ​13. See Citation 12 14. “The Impact Of Media Coverage On Rape Shield Laws In High Profile Cases: Is The Victim Receiving A Fair Trial?” Reidy, Megan. "The Impact Of Media Coverage On Rape Shield Laws In High Profile Cases: Is The Victim Receiving A Fair Trial?". Scholarship.Law.Edu, 2020, https://scholarship.law.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1230&context=l awreview Reidy states “Although rape shield statutes are effective in the courtroom, they do not prevent the media from publicizing damaging information about the victim throughout the trial process. The effect of such media exposure on potential jurors is considerable.” Reidy continues to explain how such exposure could create the possibility of undue prejudice in trial. 15. See Citation 16


16. See Citation 16 17. See Citation 16 18. See Citation 16 19. See Citation 16 20. See Citation 16 21. “The Impact Of Media Coverage On Rape Shield Laws In High Profile Cases: Is The Victim Receiving A Fair Trial?” Reidy, Megan. "The Impact Of Media Coverage On Rape Shield Laws In High Profile Cases: Is The Victim Receiving A Fair Trial?". Scholarship.Law.Edu, 2020, https://scholarship.law.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1230&context=la wreview​. Reidy gives a historical perspective on rape: “The crime of rape originated as a property offense. Because ancient societies viewed women as chattel,45 laws punished men not for the offense committed against a particular woman, but rather for unlawfully 46 taking another man's property.” She continues to talk about the heavy burden placed upon rape victims in modern-day America. 22. See Citation 23 23. See Citation 23 24. See Citation 23 25. See Citation 23 26. See Citation 23 27. See Citation 23 28. See Citation 23 29. See Citation 23 30. See Citation 23 31. See Citation 23 32. “What Consent Looks Like” "What Consent Looks Like | RAINN". Rainn.Org, https://www.rainn.org/articles/what-is-consent​ Details what consent is, how it can be given and withdrawn. Also explains that past encounters do not mean consent has been given for future. 33. See Citation 34 34. See Citation 34 35. See Citation 34 36. “Rape Culture” "Rape Culture – Women's Center". Marshall.Edu, 2020, https://www.marshall.edu/wcenter/sexual-assault/rape-culture/​. Accessed 24 June 2020. A brief discussion on “Rape Culture” detailing societal views toward the


roles women and men play in society and how they are expected to conform. 37. See Citation 52 38. “Sexual Assualt and the LGBTQ Community” Campaign, H., n.d. Sexual Assault And The LGBTQ Community | Human Rights Campaign. [online] Human Rights Campaign. https://www.hrc.org/resources/sexual-assault-and-the-lgbt-community This article by the Human Rights Campaign details the statistics of sexual assaults and rapes within the LGBTQIA+ community. 39. See Citation 38 40. See Citation 38 41. See Citation 38 42. See Citation 38 43. See Citation 38 44. See Citation 38 45. See Citation 38 46. See Citation 38 47. “LGBTQ People At High Risk Of Sexual Assault, Yet Many Don't Say MeToo” "LGBTQ People At High Risk Of Sexual Assault, Yet Many Don't Say Me Too". USA Today, https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2018/06/13/sarah-mcbride-gay-surviv ors-helped-launch-me-too-but-rates-lgbt-abuse-largely-overlooked/692094 002/ Article reports about statistics of sexual assaults and rapes within the LGBTQIA+ community and how LGBTQIA+ individuals are hesitant to report due to ongoing discrimination for their identities. 48. See Citation 38 49. See Citation 47 50. See Citation 47 51. See Citation 47 52. “The Military’s Secret Shame” Ellison, Jesse. "The Military's Secret Shame". Newsweek, 2010, https://www.newsweek.com/militarys-secret-shame-66459​. Article by Jesse Ellison provides an in detail report of the true secret shame behind the US military. Includes interviews with veterans who were victims of sexual assault and/or rape during their service. 53. See Citation 52 54. See Citation 52 55. See Citation 52 56. See Citation 52 57. See Citation 52


58. See Citation 52 59. “What to expect from the Criminal Justice System” "What To Expect From The Criminal Justice System | RAINN". Rainn.Org, https://www.rainn.org/articles/what-expect-criminal-justice-system​. ​RAINN provides a breakdown of a prosecutor’s burden of proof and why many rape cases rarely go to court. “The criminal justice system includes a wide range of activities from the investigation of a possible crime, to a legal determination of guilt or innocence.” 60. See Citation 61. See Citation 62. ‘Change rape cases from "beyond a reasonable doubt" to "clear and convincing evidence.”’ ​"Change Rape Cases From "Beyond A Reasonable Doubt" To "Clear And Convincing Evidence".". Change.Org, https://www.change.org/p/leo-varadker-change-rape-cases-from-beyo nd-a-reasonable-doubt-to-clear-and-convincing-evidence Petition to change rape case burdens of proof from “beyond a reasonable doubt” to “clear and convincing evidence”. 63. “Myths and Facts” "Myths And Facts". Resilience, https://www.ourresilience.org/what-you-need-to-know/myths-and-facts/ Myths and Facts about rape statistics, false reports, male victims, and more. 64. “The Criminal Justice System:Statistics” "The Criminal Justice System: Statistics | RAINN".Rainn.Org, https://www.rainn.org/statistics/criminal-justice-system​. ​Statistics relating to the Criminal Justice System, perpetrators, victims, and reporting. 65. See Citation 66. See Citation 67. See Citation 68. See Citation 69. See Citation 70. See Citation



Prostitution in the United States: Should it be Legalized? Erin Hong Tenafly High School Abstract Prostitution, which has long been practiced throughout history and the present, has been described as “the world’s oldest profession.” (1) Today, prostitution is illegal in the majority of the United States except in several counties in the state of Nevada. Despite this, the United States government in 2004 stated that it “takes a firm stance against proposals to legalize prostitution because prostitution directly contributes to the modern-day slave trade and is inherently demeaning.” (2) This essay will discuss the background of prostitution in the United States as well as the cases for and against the profession. I. History Prostitution, an American institution, was once completely legal. In Colonial America, with a much higher male population than a female one, sexual commerce was pervasive especially from the eighteenth century into the nineteenth century. In that time period, the word “prostitution” was not even in possession of a legal definition. Despite a public stigma and condemnation being omnipresent around its


topic, sex work remained legal. At first, brothels were common along the coasts then spread to America’s more rural areas. After the local governments’ failed attempts to regulate prostitution, it was concluded that complete prevention of the profession was impossible. America resorted to confining sex work to certain geographical areas called “redlight districts”, which were technically illegal in numerous states but were often tolerated by the government. At the turn of the nineteenth century, the states and the Congress began to enact criminal laws banning the profession. (3) Since then, prostitution was occasionally controlled until the federal Mann Act (1910), which prohibited interstate transportation of women for “immoral purposes.” (4) Prostitution remained banned in the majority of Western countries even after World War II, and increasing law-enforcement agencies paid more attention to regulating the crimes associated with sex work, such as theft committed against clients. The profession was widely called “white slavery”, and authorities frequently prevented girls from being pressured into it. II. Advocates The advocates for the legalization of prostitution claim that “if you are uncomfortable with the idea of women having sex for money, then you should also have a problem with pornography, exotic dancing, and people dating for money,” (6) which are, in, fact, widely legal. However, they say that difference between these three situations and prostitution is that in this situation, “it’s easy to pretend”. They say that prostitution does not let the general public to pretend that they are simply observing pornography actors in the act of consensual sex, or that the exotic dancers


are not selling their bodies since they are not directly having sex, or that people in sexual relationships for the purpose of financial gains possess other reasons for doing what they do. They state that the general public are uncomfortable with the honest portrayal of how sex and money are directly correlated in the case of prostitution. The public are also uncomfortable with the idea that women are willingly engaging themselves in prostitution. The advocates claim that “rather than recognize this reality, those who oppose the legalization of prostitution march forth with arguments about the concern for the safety of women.” In fact, the legalization of sex work has had several benefits across countries in Europe. One of the countries most famous for prostitution is the Netherlands, where sex work has been legal for about two decades. By bringing the industry out of the black market and imposing strict regulations, the safety of sex workers has been improved. Advocates claim that sex work becomes safer when it is regulated, but legalization helps take out the black market part out, removing the label of “criminal” on sex workers so that they have better access to legal systems that may benefit them. RJ Thompson, a human rights lawyer and the managing director of the Sex Workers Project at the Urban Justice Center, who once resorted to the profession of prostitution for his economic necessities, states that “many street-based workers are migrants or transgender people who have limited options in the formal economies. And so they do sex work for survival. And it puts them in a very vulnerable position - the fact that it’s criminalized.” (5). The advocates add that legalizing prostitution will lead to other positive effects, such as “tax revenue, reduction in sexually transmitted diseases, and reallocation of law


enforcement resources” (6). ​III. Opposition The case against prostitution is that legalizing prostitution expands upon the exploitative act of buying sex. The argument stems from a place of morality, stated as a concern for the safety and health of women. Prostitution’s opposers claim that it helps pimps, fails to protect women, and leads to more violence. They also believe that prostitution will teach women that the sole purpose of their bodies is for men to exploit them sexually, and the legalization of it will make it even harder for women to get out of the industry. (6) In addition, the opposers claim that prostitution in its base nature is abusive and violent. Prostituted individuals in New Zealand claim in interviews that a majority of prostituted people did not feel as if decriminalization had reduced the violence that they undergo (7), and a study of prostituted women in San Francisco massage parlors discovered that about 62% of them had been beaten by customers. (8) Moreover, most prostituted people are women, whether transgender or not, (9) while most sex buyers are male. (10) Even in areas where prostitution is decriminalized or legal, these women face extremely high rates of murder and violence at the hands of the male sex buyers. VI. Conclusion Prostitution is a widely uncomfortable and controversial topic for many Americans to explore. Tens of thousands of men and women are arrested each year for their involvement (11), and calls for attention and decriminalisation of the profession are spreading. Decriminalisation bills have already been introduced in


some states, like Maine and Massachusetts. (12) Although prostitution is illegal for now, so were marijuana, abortion, pornography, and same-sex marriage at one point. Public opinions continue to evolve and are consistently subject to change, and it is necessary for this polarizing issue to be closely examined once more.

Citations 1. Keegan, Anne (1974). "World's oldest profession has the night off," ​Chicago Tribune​, July 10. New World Encyclopedia 2. Bazelon, Emily. “Why Is Prostitution Illegal?” ​Slate Magazine​, Slate, 10 Mar. 2008, https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2008/03/why-is-prostit ution-illegal.html​. 3. Micah Schwartzbach, Attorney. “Prostitution Laws.” Www.criminaldefenselawyer.com​, Nolo, 23Mar. 2017, https://www.criminaldefenselawyer.com/crime-penalties/federal/Prostitut ion.htm 4. Jenkins, John Philip. “Prostitution.” ​Encyclopædia Britannica,​ Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 11 May 2020, https://www.britannica.com/topic/prostitution​. 5. Garsd, Jasmine. “Should Sex Work Be Decriminalized? Some Activists Say It's Time.” ​NPR​, NPR, 22 Mar. 2019, https://www.npr.org/2019/03/22/705354179/should-sex-work-be-decriminali zed-some-activists-say-its-time


6. Forestiere, Annamarie. “To Protect Women, Legalize Prostitution.” ​Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review,​ https://harvardcrcl.org/to-protect-women-legalize-prostitution/ Report of the Prostitution Law Review Committee: pp 14 8. HIV Risk among Asian Women Working at Massage Parlors in San Francisco: pp 248 9. ​Estimating the Size and Structure of the Underground Commercial Sex Economy in Eight Major US Cities​: pp. 219 and ​The Impact of the Prostitution Reform Act on the Health and Safety practices of Sex Workers​: pp. 61 10. ​Executive Summary of the Preliminary Findings for Team Grant Project 4 – Sex, Safety and Security: A Study of Experiences of People Who Pay for Sex in Canada:​ pp. 3 11. Chapman, Steve. “Are Americans Ready to Legalize Prostitution?” Chicagotribune.com,​ Chicago Tribune, 7 June 2019, www.chicagotribune.com/columns/steve-chapman/ct-perspec-chapman-pros titution-harris-hickenlooper-new-york-20190607-story.html 12. McKinley, Jesse. “US States Consider Decriminalising Prostitution.” ​The Independent​, Independent Digital News and Media, 2 June 2019, www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/prostitution-decri minalisation-bill-sex-work-new-york-maine-us-a8939586.html​.



The Historical and Political Effects of Cybercrime on the U.S. (originally written for AP Capstone Seminar)

Emma Huerta Cooper City High School Abstract In a world where technology is gradually becoming more and more prominent, increased amounts of cybercrime are expected to result. Cybercrime is essentially the use of a computer to take part in illegal activities, usually by stealing or manipulating others’ information (Merriam-Webster). Past and current studies report on various known incidents of cybercrime, including the U.S. security leaks by Edward Snowden as well as Russian and Chinese attacks on the U.S. This paper compiles various examples of cybercrime, including the aforementioned, to analyze the historical and political effects this form of digital attacks has had on the United States. It was concluded that cybercrime has significantly impacted U.S. history and politics because it has occurred more frequently over time, directly affects basic governing systems, and damages international relationships. The analyses discussed in this paper remain relevant as instances of both technology usage and cybercrime increase, allowing further understanding of the phenomenon.


Introduction November 2016: U.S. election night. For most, presidential elections like this one are often perceived as the most effective way citizens can showcase their beliefs and have their voices heard. But for some, the results were disappointing – allegedly an inaccurate representation of these beliefs. While scrambling for answers among the shock and disbelief, a sudden accusation was reached: Russia may have altered the election results in favor of the Republican party. This predicament launched a thorough investigation, while also bringing the topic of cybercrime further into society’s spotlight. Cybercrime is essentially the use of a computer to take part in illegal activities, usually by stealing or manipulating others’ information (Merriam-Webster). The emergence of cybercrime, such as Russia’s interference, has made the issue more prominent and increasingly relevant to many, especially the U.S. government. Thus, cybercrime has made sharp impacts on U.S. history and politics because it has occurred more frequently over time, directly affects basic governing systems, and damages international relationships. Cybercrime Frequency has Increased Over Time Historically, cybercrime existed for a relatively small amount of time. The first major cases arose in the 1970s with the invention and spread of now-common technology, such as the Transmission Control Protocol and Internet Protocol (TCP/IP), a principal model of data communication via networking (Andrew, 2013). For instance, the first computer virus “Creeper” was created in the late 70s in order to make free long-distance calls by hacking a telephone company. Almost a decade later in 1988, the


first computer worm that spread via the Internet, “Morris Worm”, was developed and received substantial coverage in the media. Only a year later, the first ransomware attack, “AIDS” surfaced (​Shakeel, 2016​). Thus, the diffusion and consequential increased use of emerging technologies facilitated the arisal of cybercrime. This spread created the proper foundation for the start of these occurrences, since it provided criminals with an accessible platform to steal information by hacking undercover. Also, as a result of the technology world’s constant evolution, both the prevalence and awareness of cybercrime have risen over time. A prime example of this can be noted in consumer information hacking. In 1998, 8 million people were banking online. But, in 2012, this number grew to 72 million, only 14 years later (White, 2013). Coincidentally, that same year, there was a 42 percent increase in successful cyberattacks on 56 different tech companies, and a 6 percent (or $500,000) increase in cybercrime costs (Ponemon Institute, 2012). These two pieces of evidence show a distinct correlation between the increase of technological use in society over time, and the increase in cybercrime and its accompanying effects. As time went on, technological innovation spread, and more people utilized these sources than before, cybercriminals increasingly saw this as a chance to attack. Deterioration of Basic Political Systems While cybercrime steadily progressed with the surfacing of new innovations, cybercriminals found more ways to use this technology against others in massively impactful situations. For example, in political functions. Cybercriminals may use computers to attack national governing systems directly, either by stealing classified


information or by shutting the whole system down, both leading to many drastic effects nationwide. For example, in April of 2001, three Chinese “hacktivist” groups attacked U.S. networks in light of the crash of a U.S. spy plane. The groups attacked almost 1000 important U.S. websites, including government sites like the White House and the Central Intelligence Agency (Gandhi, Sharma, Mahoney, Sousan, Zhu, Laplante, 2011). This situation depicts the political impacts increased cybercrime rates may have on a government, as groups have over time become stealthy enough to hack these official websites. Although the motives of these groups may vary (whether it be to protest new legislation or a global conflict), the main goal of the attacks are to cause some damage to these governments, and in turn make a noticeable impact. Not only do cybercriminals target the government out of retaliation for an event, but criminals may also use the advancements of computers in order to expose injustice occurring within the walls of their own nation’s government. One of the most notable examples of this in the U.S. is the infamous case of Edward Snowden. In 2013, Snowden, who formerly worked for the National Security Administration (NSA) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), was able to copy and leak classified information the NSA had obtained by spying on certain people. All of this information was stored in a program called PRISM, which contained information on consumer activities from major Internet companies such as Apple, Microsoft and Google (CNN Library, 2018). This instance exemplifies a case in which the government was highly affected by a cybercrime within the nation, since Snowden (although showing the world what the government was hiding) unjustly took and spread information that was not his to take.


Besides increasing awareness about what the government was doing behind its walls and bringing attention to the issue of cybercrime, Snowden showed the nation that the government should not be entirely trusted, hence infiltrating a hesitancy and doubt among the people regarding their government. This consequently deteriorates the relationship between state and society, as the population may no longer see the political body as a trustworthy authority. Damaging International Relations Not only have cyber attacks been profoundly detrimental to national government databases themselves, but they have also damaged the relations between nations. In other words, criminals may use such attacks via technology in order to damage opposing countries and their systems, usually as a form of warfare or protest. As with the increase of cybercrime itself, international cyberattacks against countries including the U.S. have also increased over time. Particularly, according to Volume 22 of the Symantec Internet Security Threat Report, political sabotage via cybercrime saw a massive increase with specific countries, largely due in part to the major attacks against the U.S. Democratic Party in the 2016 presidential election (Sangani, 2017). As evidenced, the inferred success of attacks such as those against the U.S. may cause other nations to launch the same. The perceived ease and effectiveness that accompanies these cyberattacks often leads to the increase of nation-versus-nation attacks. As these conflicts increase in frequency, so will harsh tensions between countries. In fact, evidence of these damaged relations has already been visible concerning the United States, specifically with attacks from Russia and China.


Reportedly, the U.S. receives at least 5,000 attacks an hour, with most of them being from the Chinese. And, in 2015, 10,000 attacks from Russia were recorded over the course of only 4 months. While China mainly is trying to weaken strong areas in the U.S. economy in which they lack, Russia implemented their attacks primarily over a disagreement regarding the conflict in Ukraine and Syria (Duverge, 2015). However, the objective of both of these nations’ attacks can be derived from one main goal: to deteriorate the United States’ power. In hindsight, not only did these attacks originate from disputes between the U.S. and the two countries, but will also exacerbate conflicts. When nations are more hostile to each other, they will worsen their relations by using this invasive warfare tactic. As counterintuitive as it may seem, international governments try to utilize cybercrime in order to cause a necessary reaction, but instead drive each other apart by minimizing diplomatic and negotiable communication. Conclusion In summary, cybercrime has continuously made impacts on society and its accompanying governmental bodies both historically and politically. This is a result of its increasing frequency over time, direct effects on the basic functions of governments, and damage to international relationships. As the increasing amount of technology causes more instances of cybercrime, the necessary consequences must result. However, in order to preclude these consequences, prevention methods (such as increased cybersecurity and diplomatic relationships) must be implemented further, if they are not in place already. Thus, the issue of cybercrime remains relevant


as it must be overcome in order to promote a more tactful approach to governments, both national and international.

Citations Andrew, E. (2013, December 13) ​Who invented the Internet? https://www.history.com/news/who-invented-the-internet CNN Library (2018, June 4). ​Edward Snowden Fast Facts​. https://www.cnn.com/2013/09/11/us/edward-snowden-fast-facts/index.h tml Crowdstrike (2017, May 12). ​How cybercrime and cybersecurity affects nations and geopolitics.h ​ ttps://www.crowdstrike.com/blog/cybercrime-cybersecurity -affects-nations-geopolitics/ Duverge, G​. (2015, May 09). ​How International Cyber Crime Affects Global Relations. https://online.pointpark.edu/intelligence/international-cyber-crime/ Gandhi, R., Sharma, A., Mahoney, W., Sousan, W., Zhu, Q., ​& ​Laplante, P. (2011, February). ​Dimensions of Cyber-Attacks: Cultural, Social, Economic, and Political. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/224223630_Dimensions_of_Cy ber-Attacks_Cultural_Social_Economic_and_Political Hern, A. (2018, February 21). ​Growth of AI could boost cybercrime and security threats, report warns.


https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/feb/21/ai-security-threat s-cybercrime-political-disruption-physical-attacks-report Le VPN (2018, October 18). W​here does cyber crime come from? History of Cyber Crime. ​https://www.le-vpn.com/history-cyber-crime-origin-evolution/ Merriam Webster (n.d.). ​Cybercrime. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cybercrime Ponemon Institute (2012, October) ​2012 Cost of Cyber Crime Study: United States. https://www.ponemon.org/local/upload/file/2012_US_Cost_of_Cyber_Cr ime_Study_FINAL6%20.pdf Sangani, P. (2017, April 26). ​Cyber criminals now targeting political manipulation: Report. https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/tech/internet/cyber-criminals-no w-targeting-political-manipulation-report/articleshow/58377202.cms Shakeel, I. (2016, June 27). ​Evolution in the World of Cyber Crime. https://resources.infosecinstitute.com/evolution-in-the-world-of-cyber -crime/#gref Waddell, K. (2017, February 02). ​How Did Cybersecurity Become So Political? https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2017/02/how-did-cyber security-become-so-political/515349/ White, K. (2013) ​The Rise of Cybercrime 1970 through 2010. https://www.slideshare.net/bluesme/the-rise-of-cybercrime-1970s-2010-29879 338



The Importance of Rural Communities in Global Improvement (originally written for AP Capstone Seminar)

Emma Huerta Cooper City High School Abstract Although they tend to be the poorest and least developed areas on regional, national, and global scales, rural communities still have a vast relative importance on changes in world improvement, despite the current focus on urban areas. ​This paper argues that the development of rural communities will have greater impacts on global improvement, specifically through economically, environmentally and futuristically beneficial ways​. The results supported by the existing evidence and discussed in this paper’s analyses support that focusing on rural communities for global improvement could be internationally beneficial in the long run. Despite the possible limitations of executing rural improvement, such as lack of resources, cultural deterioration and inefficiencies, it can be effectively implemented via volunteer and non-profit organizations, microfinance, and rural investments. This paper provides a reputable justification for rural improvement to benefit global affairs, and can perhaps be used as the framework for future global policy.


Introduction According to recent data by the US Census Data Bureau, about 97 percent of US land is considered rural, or not urban. In a more global scope, rural community inhabitants compose about 45 percent of the entire world population, says The World Bank. Although the world has steadily become more urbanized and this rural percentage has decreased over time (United Nations, 2014), these communities still maintain a vital role in world affairs. Rural communities would soon advance as much as other more developed regions, if not more, once targeted and aided with sufficient financial and physical resources through rural improvement. This initiative would also promote a more effective global economy with increased participation from these areas, which tend to have many vital resources. It may also turn out to be more “eco-friendly”, as massively agricultural rural areas can switch to sustainable processes once developed. However, when executing demographic and economic reform in relation to global improvement, one specific type of region is often focused on: the urban city. In fact, ​if well managed, cities offer important opportunities for economic development and expanding access to basic services, including health care, sanitation and education, to large numbers of people (United Nations, 2014). Although a substantial portion of global development can be accredited to the advancement of urban areas, the significance of smaller– yet arguably more efficient –areas is often overlooked (Montgomery, 2008). After determining what the main focus of development should be in order to promote global improvement, world goals


such as environmental sustainability can be more easily reached (Thatcher, 1989). When presented with this issue and the theme of change in the stimulus materials ​The Urban Transformation of the Developing World​ by Mark K. Montgomery and ​Speech to United Nations General Assembly ​by Margaret Thatcher, I decided to investigate the topic through the question, “Should urban or rural communities be the main focus when implementing initiatives towards effective global improvement?” This paper argues that the development of rural communities will have greater impacts on global improvement, specifically through economically, environmentally and futuristically beneficial ways​. A More Economical Approach The first overall benefit of rural improvement would be economic development, both within the rural area and worldwide. From a local perspective, this improvement would have a substantial impact on the local economy, due to the large amount of workers originating from these areas. For example, out of the 380 million new workers estimated to enter the workforce in sub-Saharan Africa by 2030, 220 million are coming from rural areas ​(Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2017).​ In hindsight, this means that more than half of these possible economic contributors are rural inhabitants, showing the large stake these areas have in the regionalized economic sector. Therefore, rural improvement is necessary to ensure these workers have enough means to be as productive as possible. By providing more opportunities, such as financial, technological and physical resources, a more successful path is paved for them, hence securing the local labor-force and promoting


everyone’s participation in the rural economy. Increased rural opportunity will also provide more effective net production, resulting in more products for the region and for international commerce. This correlation is specifically noted by International Fund for Agricultural Development president Kanayo F. Nwanze, who states that for every dollar spent towards rural agricultural research, 9 dollars in additional food are generated. He also remarks that with more resources efficiently produced, rural businesses thrive, incomes increase and more product is made to export ​(Nwanze, 2015)​.​ ​Not only does this establish a more stable food supply for rural areas themselves, but also allows for the flourishing of the global interactions with more product to profit off of. As a result of this huge shift, the benefits of rural development are magnified, and areas contribute more to economies on a global scale. In fact, according to the 2013 World Trade Report, developing economies increased their share of world exports from 34 percent to 47 percent from 1980 to 2011 as these communities advanced ​(World Trade Organization, 2013)​. This reflects upon the huge role these areas have in a worldwide scope, and how internal improvements eventually find their way to the global economy due to the increasing trade between developing and developed. With more opportunities, workers and resources, these rural communities make their mark on local global commerce, providing other economies with products in exchange for a profit. Saving and Advancing the Earth Simultaneously An additional benefit, not only of rural improvement itself but also of the consequential economic prosperity, is increased environmental sustainability, caused


by a variety of factors. For instance, rural areas tend to have a lot of desirable resources for countries both developing and developed to trade for, often leading these areas to utilize a lot of land for agricultural cultivation. As a result, these areas tend to resort to cheap and fast agricultural methods, such as slash-and-burn agriculture, or when farmers clear land for cultivation, then burn it after immediate use (Stief, 2018). This type of farming is common in the rural areas of Eastern Europe, Indonesia and Panama, with stark environmental consequences such as increased carbon emissions and soil or nutrient depletion (Bradford, 2018). Without exposure or availability to more sustainable agricultural methods, these rural regions have to use dangerous ways to produce their food supply, all while destroying the Earth. Although these damages seem irreparable, they can be reversed by implementing rural improvement accordingly. For example, in Panama, improved crop-fallow systems and agricultural intensity have shown promise to revert environmental damage and propel rural development (Tschakert, 2007). Therefore, rural improvement can play a huge role in environmental health. Besides deforestation through slash-and-burning, rural agriculture also tends to involve other detrimental methods. These include improper waste disposal, little to no regulation on toxic chemical use, mining or nutrient extraction, and inadequate human dispersion, mostly due to a lack of financial resources and opportunities to promote sustainability (International Environmental Forum, 2008). However, rural improvement can help combat this, specifically by ensuring the land is essentially in good hands. This is the basis for land consolidation, which passes land ownership to groups or individuals who will use it in


an eco-friendly manner (Zhang, 2018). With rural improvement, the implementation and enforcement of such environmentally friendly ways becomes more attainable to the regions. This in turn affects the world on a large scale due to the universality of environmental issues and increasing need for a solution to such problems. Thinking for the Future Finally, further emphasized rural improvement would also create a more equally strong, global foundation for the future. This is due to the fact that it expedites the accomplishment of international goals. For example, the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals are aimed at improving global development, and the implementation of more rural opportunities plays a huge role in achieving these goals (Ching, 2014).​ By shifting the focus of development to areas that need it the most, overall improvement is universalized and thus global human development can be achieved. Increasing rural opportunities also helps the accomplishment of other UN goals, such as ending hunger and making cities safe and sustainable ​(United Nations, 2015)​, objectives that inspired the 2015 UN Sustainable Development Goals ​(United Nations Development Programme, 2015)​. Again, as development is brought to these rural areas that are not as advanced as their urban counterparts, the initiative for global development becomes much more effective as goals are reached and the world gets a step closer to becoming equally advanced. Therefore, it would help guarantee a more successful future for most, if not all, areas of the world. Lastly, rural development can also be important specifically to rural youth, as it helps readily prepare incoming generations to make definitive and profound impacts on the world,


and even breakthrough benefits. As stated by ​The Rural Youth Employment synthesis paper​ (published by the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the World Bank), rural development helps unproductive youth and high youth unemployment rates by helping create more educational and work opportunities​, consequently facilitating their success in local rural communities ​(Benfica, 2017)​. It would additionally help reduce the implications that often surface with rural youth unemployment. These include mass-migration to search for opportunity elsewhere, labor shortages, and unstable political and socio-economic structures ​(Benfica, 2017)​. With increased rural development and resulting youth employment these implications can be prevented further, thus helping save the communities by preparing the generations to come for participation in global affairs. Limitations and Solutions A common objection to the idea of rural development is the alleged lack of resources to support it, making it infeasible. In that perspective, this reform may be relatively pricey due to the multitudinous regions that need it in various aspects. However, one way rural development can be supported financially and promoted to other countries is through volunteer and nonprofit organizations. A prime example would be community health workers (CHW), who work through local agencies to provide care and social services for rural inhabitants (Rural Health Informational Hub, n.d.). Although CHWs are not professionals, they are volunteers and thus come at little to no cost. They are also familiar with the people and needs of the area they will be assisting, and are trained by the organizational professionals in a specific field. More


developed countries can also pitch in with their own programs, such as Margaret Thatcher’s proposed Aid Programme to help rural areas with environmental issues (Thatcher, 1989). Other organizations include the International Food and Agricultural Trade Policy Council, Food and Agricultural Organization of the UN and Revision International, which all tackle rural issues through various methods (Pennsylvania State University, n.d.). Nevertheless, another limitation that opponents may present against focusing on rural improvement is the possible deterioration of distinct rural culture. For example, as rural cities develop, they may urbanize (Montgomery, 2008), resulting in a disruption in the cultural landscape as rural mannerisms change. But, through the correct implementation of improvement, this can be prevented. As this is an issue typically associated with urbanization, it often generalizes the goal of the reform. Rather than solely working toward urbanization, improvement can provide the necessary resources for rural success, which communities can apply in their own unique way. One way to do this is through microfinance. In hindsight, microfinance is the practice of personal small loans to spur creativity in developing nations (Wolfe, 2011). By utilizing such a technique, rural communities receive aid from regions that have enough resources and experiences to provide in accordance to what they see is needed in that area. For instance, Seattle-based organization Lumana implemented such a technique in rural Ghana, stating, “It is our goal to use our programs to do community economic development that increases opportunities for rural people and makes it easier for them to thrive in the villages they choose to call home.” (Wolfe,


2011). While promoting useful development in rural areas, this solution solves the issue of rural diminishment, as not all portions of the area become urbanized, per se. Consequently, this retains the unique qualities preexistent in these areas. Although both nonprofit organizations and microfinance provide viable options, it is often argued that these solutions may take longer to go into full effect, or do not enforce effective rural improvement in the first place. Despite this assumption, these methods do prove to be efficient, as they take the immediate necessities of the rural areas into account in order to construct a strong resource. Another aspect of rural improvement that refutes this claim is the possible implementation of strict policy or global investment within these regions. This technique is beneficial because not only are the ground rules for rural improvement set, but power is also granted to local governments to enforce these laws. For example, the Republic of Malawi (with funding from the African Development Fund) composed the “Local Economic Development Project” in order to promote rural economic growth and stability in distinctly developing regions of the country (Republic of Malawi, 2014). This government-issued protocol is tailored to the needs of specific areas and allows for the administration of policies toward rural productivity, all under the sponsorship of the local government. Another example refers back to land consolidation. By implementing regulations such as taxation and land-ownership legislation, countries in Eastern Europe can help promote sustainable land use in developing regions as well as help propel rural development forward (Maliene, et al. 2010). This can be seen specifically in Lithuania, where local governors have noticed how this type of regulation makes rural areas


more stable, both environmentally and economically. Although these methods may be relatively new, the sole fact that it provides definitive rules for improving rural qualities shows its effectiveness in a wider scope. All in all, while each solution has its respective positive and negative aspects, there are various ways to implement rural development. Besides the multiple solutions, these practices can be altered to suit specific areas in order to produce the greatest benefits, whether it be an area with close international ties or a diverse area that does not wish to deteriorate its culture. The grand versatility of rural improvement contributes to its success, further supporting how it propels global development efficiently.

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