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Opening Arguments

She ruined a life, but never mind

There seems to be a slight imbalance here. Elizabeth Paige Coast made a false accusation of rape, and then:

Coast, 26, accused Johnathan C. Montgomery, a former neighbor of raping her in 2000 when she was 10 years old and he was 14. She later admitted that she made up the story and lied on the witness stand at his June 23, 2008, trial.

Montgomery's life was ruined and he spent four years in jail. Coast however was sentenced by Hampton Circuit Court Judge Bonnie L. Jones to just two months in jail and ordered to make $90,000 in restitution for perjury. Jones suspended the rest of the five-year sentence and even allowed Coast to serve the remainder on weekends so not to disrupt her life.

The poster prescribes stronger sentences for such false accusations -- for example, serving at least as much time in prison as the person falsely accused; if people start understanding lying under oath is taken seriously, they might stop doing it. But one of the commenters suggests that if she thought she'd face a severe penalty for fessing up, she might have just kept quiet and the poor guy would still be in prison. Interesting dilemma.

There's also some interesting back and forth about fundamentalist religion, which some are blaming for the girl's actions. She was supposedly caught reading adult material on the Internet, and told her strict and very religious mother she was viewing the material because she had been sexually assaulted. The false accustation grew out of that lie. Seems like a bogus argument to me, whatever you feel about "fundamentalist religion." Being willing to get out of trouble by unfairly putting someone else in trouble is a deep character flaw, which would sooner or later have been brought out by something else if Mama's God-fearing ways hand't.