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June 16, 2010 12:36 PM   Subscribe

The crux of this FPP is a Supreme Court decision (concerning a male-on-male attempted homicide) that allegedly curtails the testimony of SANE nurses in rape cases. The Court's decision, as linked, uses the word "rape" twice, both times in the phrase "tried to rape [her]". However, that document does not use the words "SANE", "nurse", "medical" nor "doctor" at all. The only link that appears to connect SANE nurses to the Court's decision is behind a paywall and we only have the OP's interpretation of that document. Does this make for a good FPP?
posted by Ardiril to MetaFilter-Related at 12:36 PM (48 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

My general question for this sort of situation is this: is it a worthwhile or functional post without the paywall content? If the answer is yes, the paywall thing is kind of a questionable inclusion in the post (if most people aren't going to be able to access it, just go ahead and skip it or add it later in a comment) but not really a deathblow to the post itself.

So I hear you that there's a specific quibble on the content of the paywalled item here, but I haven't been digging into this particular post so don't really have a sense of the answer here. Is the general feeling in the thread that the post is nerfed without that, or is it more that that's a frustration to just one point of contention or line of discussion in an otherwise workable thread?
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:52 PM on June 16, 2010


It's otherwise a good and interesting post, and obviously a lot of work went into it, but when the main link is behind a paywall that can't be bypassed, I don't see the point of posting it on a general interest site such as this one.
posted by enn at 12:52 PM on June 16, 2010


Team Mod can correct me if I'm wrong, but my impression is that if emilyd22222 would like to she can copy the text of the paywalled article into a publicly available Scribd doc, and then the link can be substituted. I've moved articles into scribd docs myself once or twice prior to creating posts.
posted by zarq at 12:53 PM on June 16, 2010


Copy/pasting to get around paywalls seems uncool.
posted by misterbrandt at 1:00 PM on June 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


I agree with enn, and I thought this post was a pretty good example of making a post about something the poster is too close to. Also, I thought it was a no-no to link to colleague's work?
posted by lalex at 1:02 PM on June 16, 2010


but when the main link is behind a paywall that can't be bypassed, I don't see the point of posting it on a general interest site such as this one

That's pretty much how we look at it, yeah. My question here, not in abstract but specifically regarding this post in question, is whether that link is "the main link" or just "one of the links" in terms of the viability of the post as a worthwhile thing on the front page.

Team Mod can correct me if I'm wrong, but my impression is that if emilyd22222 would like to she can copy the text of the paywalled article into a publicly available Scribd doc, and then the link can be substituted.

We're actually not so hot on that. Aside entirely from the question of scridb sucking (I've heard rumors that they're making an effort to un-suck lately, maybe?), we don't really like the "I made a personal copy of this so that it's available on the internet for me to use in a post" thing; at that point you're not linking to stuff on the web in the general sense of how mefi is supposed to work so much as putting stuff on the web so you can link to it.

It's definitely sort of grey area stuff, it's not necessarily a violation the way a straight-up self-link is a violation, but our general stance on it is "don't". Sucks if the thing you want to link to isn't really available, but that's the way it goes.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:03 PM on June 16, 2010


The discussion so far has focused on hearsay exceptions. The Supreme Court decision concerns allowing an exception for hearsay testimony when one spouse invokes spousal privilege, whereas the post and the paywalled document concern exceptions (or denial thereof) for SANEs in rape cases. I consider the paywalled document the main link and further, a crucial link.
posted by Ardiril at 1:06 PM on June 16, 2010


It seems like the main link to me. The others are background; the paywalled link (presumably) explains what actual effect on the profession this court ruling is having, which seems like the point of the post.
posted by enn at 1:07 PM on June 16, 2010


This looks like kind of a GYOB kind of post, doesn't? The vast majority of the post is just her personal opinion on the subject.
posted by empath at 1:07 PM on June 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


We're actually not so hot on that. Aside entirely from the question of scridb sucking (I've heard rumors that they're making an effort to un-suck lately, maybe?), we don't really like the "I made a personal copy of this so that it's available on the internet for me to use in a post" thing; at that point you're not linking to stuff on the web in the general sense of how mefi is supposed to work so much as putting stuff on the web so you can link to it.

Ack. Oops. OK, I won't do that again. Mea culpa.
posted by zarq at 1:08 PM on June 16, 2010


Also FWIW, the scribd doc I created for this post was for a PDF that was already available for free at the American Journal of Pediatrics (also linked in the post.) My thinking (convoluted though it may have been) at the time was that if people couldn't read a pdf, they might be able to read whatever format (flash?) that Scribd posts its docs in. I didn't use it to get around a firewall.
posted by zarq at 1:13 PM on June 16, 2010


Doh. This post.
posted by zarq at 1:13 PM on June 16, 2010


In digging around to answer why a document on nih.gov is behind a paywall, I found this Copyright and Disclaimers page.

"Copyright Status
Information that is created by or for the US government on this site is within the public domain. Public domain information on the National Library of Medicine (NLM) Web pages may be freely distributed and copied. However, it is requested that in any subsequent use of this work, NLM be given appropriate acknowledgment."

Is that sufficient for someone with access to republish?
posted by Ardiril at 1:21 PM on June 16, 2010


Ardiril, publishers get first dibs. I asked that very question in a previous post. That answer and the one after it explain fully.
posted by zarq at 1:26 PM on June 16, 2010


Argh!
posted by Ardiril at 1:29 PM on June 16, 2010


I don't understand the poster's point, anyway, because the hearsay argument doesn't make much sense to me. (Maybe my first clue should have been the misspelling in the FPP of "hearsay.)

I'd add that I see plenty of SANEs testify in rape cases . . . and can't recall the last time I saw a prosecution of a rape charge without the alleged victim testifying.

So, not a quality post but they can't all be great.
posted by bearwife at 1:29 PM on June 16, 2010


Argh!

Yeah. :(
posted by zarq at 1:30 PM on June 16, 2010


My general question for this sort of situation is this: is it a worthwhile or functional post without the paywall content? If the answer is yes, the paywall thing is kind of a questionable inclusion in the post (if most people aren't going to be able to access it, just go ahead and skip it or add it later in a comment) but not really a deathblow to the post itself.

And I can't speak for emilyd22222, but judging by what happened in this post, she may have felt that an abstract of an article behind a paywall would have been good enough to pass muster if she supported the link at length with other links.
posted by zarq at 1:37 PM on June 16, 2010


not a quality post but they can't all be great

True, and in this case, disappointing. A document titled "Nobility in objectivity: A prosecutor's case for neutrality in forensic nursing." could be quite an interesting read.
posted by Ardiril at 1:40 PM on June 16, 2010


I actually didn't think of article as the main link, since my knowledge of this topic comes mostly from my research on suspect exams and ongoing conversations with Rebecca Campbell, the author of the study I linked to in my comment immediately following the fpp. I tried to accurately and objectively represent the explanation of the issue given by that article. I have a copy of the pdf and would be happy to share it with whomever shoots me a memail. If the mods feel like it can't stand alone without the full text, I'm fine with deleting it.

empath: The vast majority of the post is just her personal opinion on the subject.

Could you say more about that? I guess I can see how it sounds like opinion in the last paragraph, but all of that is supported by research I linked to.
posted by emilyd22222 at 2:06 PM on June 16, 2010


bearwife: I'd add that I see plenty of SANEs testify in rape cases . . . and can't recall the last time I saw a prosecution of a rape charge without the alleged victim testifying.

While that's one problem, my understanding is it really undermines SANE willingness to conduct suspect exams and isn't great for SANE/law enforcement relationships.

While I am all for the work of SANEs, I am not trying to make an argument that the decision was a bad one or something, I was just trying to present the implications on a topic that most people don't know much about.

And I swear I know how to spell hearsay! It doesn't even make sense as heresay...sigh.
posted by emilyd22222 at 2:17 PM on June 16, 2010


Am I the only one who finds it amusing that a post that involved a discussion about the admissibility of hearsay has as its "strongest evidence" a link that not everyone involved can read?

Testify!
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:18 PM on June 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


my knowledge of this topic comes mostly from my research on suspect exams and ongoing conversations with Rebecca Campbell, the author of the study I linked to in my comment immediately following the fpp.

that seems a little close to me. a blog is a good place for "i've done a boatload of research and discussed the issue at length with someone who is deeply involved". metafilter is, as i understand it, "look at this cool, interesting, noteworthy thing i've found online - lets talk about it". i understand the appeal of getting all the metafilter eyes on a topic that isn't being discussed broadly and one that you feel is very important - but that's why the self-posting rules are so strict.
posted by nadawi at 2:19 PM on June 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Emilyd22222, I respect your work, but I'm still having trouble with the proposition that SANEs won't conduct suspect exams because what suspects say isn't admissible post Crawford. That just isn't accurate. What suspects say is non hearsay by definition, really it is, so the prosecution can use it unless the suspect is in custody and didn't get Miranda rights, or the SANE nurse beat up the suspect to get them to talk or something.

I do question using nurses to interrogate suspects, anyway -- why couldn't the SANE examine the suspect and let the police do the interrogating? Medical personnel don't usually take it on themselves to do this when dealing, for example, with suspects in DUI or vehicular assault or drug or other criminal cases.
posted by bearwife at 2:22 PM on June 16, 2010


Could you say more about that? I guess I can see how it sounds like opinion in the last paragraph, but all of that is supported by research I linked to.

Can't speak for empath, but we can't read the part of the post that supports the assertion that the "role of SANEs is being increasingly curtailed." Plus your link supporting the assertion that "SANE programs increase the prosecution rates of sexual assault cases" is written by one of the authors of the research you were involved in.

This is a really interesting post and I don't doubt that you have unique expertise in the subject, but it does come off a bit like the post there to discuss and advocate for your research.
posted by lalex at 2:22 PM on June 16, 2010


I actually didn't think of article as the main link, since my knowledge of this topic comes mostly from my research on suspect exams and ongoing conversations with Rebecca Campbell, the author of the study I linked to in my comment immediately following the fpp. I tried to accurately and objectively represent the explanation of the issue given by that article.

This is kind of not what metafilter is for.
posted by empath at 2:22 PM on June 16, 2010


I'm still having trouble with the proposition that SANEs won't conduct suspect exams because what suspects say isn't admissible post Crawford.

My understanding is that, if they conduct suspect exams as part of their central duties, it's harder for them to make the case in court that they have a strictly medical, noninvestigatory role.
posted by emilyd22222 at 2:24 PM on June 16, 2010


The problem here, I believe, is how the post and addendum were written. 3/4 of the post concerns hearsay testimony, and the remaining 1/4 of the post (about SANEs and convictions) brackets those 3 paragraphs with the first paragraph ending with an introduction to the court case that may curtail hearsay exceptions.
posted by Ardiril at 2:25 PM on June 16, 2010


Emilyd22222, the question I have is why they would present themselves to suspects or alleged victims as part of the investigative law enforcement effort. Um -- nurses are medical personnel, and you'd think they'd present as such. The focus in our courts in my jurisdiction is on why the statement was made -- for medical purposes? Or as something that would be presented later in court?

If they are just deputies for law enforcement, and telling their "patients" that they are taking information for purposes of later prosecution, then I'm fine with barring their testimony under Crawford about what alleged victims said, assuming those victims don't testify themselves in the case. And with barring what suspects say without benefit of Miranda warnings.

The SANE nurses in my jurisdiction are performing a medical role, and hence like all medical personnel can testify later about what suspects or alleged victims told them was the medical history in the case.
posted by bearwife at 2:31 PM on June 16, 2010


lalex: Plus your link supporting the assertion that "SANE programs increase the prosecution rates of sexual assault cases" is written by one of the authors of the research you were involved in.

My thinking was that since I didn't know her at the time that she wrote that and wasn't involved in any of the research she cited, it was OK.

empath: This is kind of not what metafilter is for.

Really? One of the things I've come to really value about this community is that people have in-depth knowledge on a variety of topics.

Obviously I didn't write the FPP with the knowledge that it's problematic, but given the responses here, I'm fine with asking the mods to close it unless anyone has any objections.
posted by emilyd22222 at 2:32 PM on June 16, 2010


Really? One of the things I've come to really value about this community is that people have in-depth knowledge on a variety of topics.

That is certainly true in general. But the way I see it, there are two ways you can use in-depth knowledge on Mefi: putting it in a comment (not on your own post), or using it as a basis for finding good links for an FPP. The one place in-depth knowledge seems out of place is if it's a whole bunch of text in an FPP with no links aside from Wikipedia-ish links. The last 3 paragraphs of your post had just one link to a legal dictionary entry as background info.

In this case, the whole thread seems quite thoughtful so I have no particular desire to see it deleted. But for future reference, it seems pretty borderline to me (even aside from one of the links in the first paragraph being inaccessible).
posted by Jaltcoh at 3:03 PM on June 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm fine with asking the mods to close it unless anyone has any objections.

Our feeling is that we're sort of not that psyched but no one seems to be really flipping out over it so basically we're okay leaving it unless someone is really itching to have it closed.

That said, linking to something behind a paywall as a main link isn't good, subverting that paywall by putting the document someplace else on the web is not okay, and if you're close enough to the subject of a post that you've spoken to them personally, it's probably a little too close to friendslinking unless that person is some sort of celebrity.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:05 PM on June 16, 2010


The post is borderline because of the way it was written, and I have no problem with it remaining. However, I would not like to see this particular post used as a precedent.
posted by Ardiril at 3:14 PM on June 16, 2010


Yeah it may be the exception that proves the rule or however you say that sort of thing. There's good discussion and I think it was made in good faith, but it pretty much defines the edge of okay.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:15 PM on June 16, 2010


jessamyn: if you're close enough to the subject of a post that you've spoken to them personally, it's probably a little too close to friendslinking unless that person is some sort of celebrity.

She's one of the most well-known sexual assault researchers, and most people who do sexual assault research know her by name if not personally, so she has a niche celebrity. Are you speaking hypothetically about the "subject of a post" part, or do you mean that it seems that she's the subject of this post? If so, that is definitely not what I intended.
posted by emilyd22222 at 3:15 PM on June 16, 2010


Yeah I was saying I didn't know if she was a celebrity or not and honestly I haven't read the post too closely, just speaking in generalities.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:17 PM on June 16, 2010


And honestly folks, this thread is not a place to trot out your rape jokes.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:23 PM on June 16, 2010


Also- if anyone wants to shoot me a memail with their email address, I can pass along a copy of the paper in question.
posted by emilyd22222 at 3:24 PM on June 16, 2010


emilyd22222: just curious, but what -is- the subject of the post? It seems a little like a call to arms, but also it seems a little like a report on a legal controversy, and also it seems a little like "here's a job some people have."

I think a lot of the issues the post raises are really, really great issues, so I'm not complaining, but I too felt the 'edge of okay' jessamyn mentioned with the editorializing, paywall, and self-link in first comment. bearwife's contradictory experience in the field makes me wonder if perhaps there isn't a there, there.

It would be nice if you'd duck in and clarify a bit what you were hoping people would focus on, because I'm guessing it's not the minutiae of the hearsay rule.
posted by anotherpanacea at 4:46 PM on June 16, 2010


It would be nice if you'd duck in and clarify a bit what you were hoping people would focus on

I was hoping people would focus on the changes to SANE's work as a result of this ruling. My understanding is that this wasn't an immediate effect of the ruling, but is becoming increasingly salient.
posted by emilyd22222 at 4:52 PM on June 16, 2010


I think, without the paywall link, and with bearwife's claim that nothing has changed, we're having a little bit of trouble discussing that particular aspect.
posted by anotherpanacea at 4:54 PM on June 16, 2010


Nothing has changed in bearwife's community.
posted by emilyd22222 at 4:57 PM on June 16, 2010


It would change fast here if SANES became law enforcement adjuncts. (That is also the point the article behind the pay wall makes.)
posted by bearwife at 5:07 PM on June 16, 2010


My experience with a couple of communities of SANEs (as a sexual assault medical advocate) was that they are working increasingly closely with law enforcement, often in the context of Sexual Assault Response Teams. There's been a push to make sure the survivor tells her story a minimal number of times, which sometimes means that law enforcement interviews the survivor with the nurse present so that the nurse gets the information needed to guide the exam. In part, the increased attention to this ruling means that such practices would be undermined.
posted by emilyd22222 at 5:20 PM on June 16, 2010


Well, SANEs need to choose then. If they are going to act as medical personnel and take histories, without law enforcement present, they will likely be able to testify later. If law enforcement is present or is conducting the interview, no judge is going to view what the alleged victim said as non-testimonial.

Again, Crawford and its progeny make it clear that statements made for the purpose of being used in court -- which includes statements made to law enforcement or in law enforcement's presence -- can't be introduced in court later unless the alleged victim also testifies in court and is subject to cross examination.

In my jurisdiction, which is not exactly a backwater (Seattle) legally or medically, sexual assault victims continue to deal separately with law enforcement and medical personnel, and so this issue of SANEs not being able to testify doesn't come up. (And as I said in the thread, it also doesn't come up because it is almost impossible to prove a sexual assault case without calling the alleged victim to testify.)

There are those of us who work in the sexual assault field, and I have myself for over 20 years, who would really question the idea that it is healthier not to talk about the event, but that's a different argument I guess.
posted by bearwife at 5:29 PM on June 16, 2010


She's one of the most well-known sexual assault researchers, and most people who do sexual assault research know her by name if not personally, so she has a niche celebrity. Are you speaking hypothetically about the "subject of a post" part, or do you mean that it seems that she's the subject of this post? If so, that is definitely not what I intended.

Are you talking about Ann Burgess?
posted by hal_c_on at 4:03 AM on June 17, 2010


Are you talking about Ann Burgess?

Nope, Rebecca Campbell. I should note that if I've incorrectly portrayed the issue as has been suggested, I am reflecting my own misinterpretation, not hers.
posted by emilyd22222 at 6:48 AM on June 17, 2010


I rule that the post is heresay and is therefore inadmissible. *gavel*
posted by electroboy at 7:38 AM on June 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


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