Identity based judgement is nothing new. For most of the history in most countries, laws were based on the identities of both the victim and the accused. The idea of considering each case on its circumstances was an important development, and it is disappointing to see its reversal. In his memoir (cited from the English translation Professor Krylov’s Navy), a Russian admiral quotes XVIII century document to illustrate the importance of this concept.
I opened Tsar Peter’s Naval Regulations… and read, “Who rapes a maiden, should be executed by death.” An interpretation followed: “When considering such cases, the judge must act with great discernment: where and when this deed was done, whether she screamed or did not scream, whether she has abrasions or bruises, when did she bring the complaint, soon after, or tarried a day or two…then often by everything evident it can be seen that she also had a desire for it. Some, however, believe that a whore cannot be raped, but this is wrong, because violence is always violence, and it is necessary to look at the actual case and its circumstances regardless of the person against whom it was perpetrated. I said, “Here are the words of the great founder of the navy and a great legislator. Even in the judgment of such despicable felony, you should not regard the person…”