More on Maryland’s Rape Decision

Even over at Feministing, which covered Maryland’s rape ruling decision when it came out, the readers seem to think that the decision might be valid. I’m not going to get into the particulars of the case, just the decision.

The case hinges on whether Maryland accepts the old common law definition of rape as a crime against the husband or father, rather than the victim. The Maryland court held that, until Maryland’s legislature rejects the common law definition of rape, it stands. Unfortunately for the decision, Maryland has rejected the common law definition. The legislature has made it clear that if a man rapes his wife, it is still a crime. I would say that this rejects the common law definition pretty clearly.

Also, since Maryland’s rape law says that it is a crime to “engage in vaginal intercourse with another by force, or the threat of force, without the consent of the other,” and both “engaging in vaginal intercourse” and consenting are ongoing acts, the law itself (adopted in 1957) obviously makes continuing the intercourse after the victim withdraws consent a crime.

The only way they could have reached this decision is if they had decided it before they looked at the case law. It’s ridiculous.


1 Comment »

  1. Manas said

    Enlightened Modernity. What else can I say?

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