We have noted the unfairness and ineptness of the kangaroo-court style proceedings that have evolved as colleges attempt to addresses sexual assault cases on their campuses.

Now, the editors of USA Today deride the campus-style “justice” (hat-tip, Instapundit)

…The strongest punishment schools can deliver is to expel a rapist from campus. That’s an appropriate punishment for cheating on a physics final, not for a felony on par with murder and armed robbery. Campus judicial systems aren’t designed to address that sort of offense.

So they are failing. The Department of Education is investigating 55 schools on possible violations of female students’ civil rights by mishandling sexual assault cases. Schools are accused of pushing victims not to report their crimes to police, dragging cases on for months without resolution and failing to investigate serious allegations.

…A system run by university employees will always face the temptation to put the school’s interest above the interest of victims. Similar ethical conflicts in the military have led activists to demand that sexual assault cases be removed from the jurisdiction of base commanders and their subordinates.Federal law compounds the rape problem by inviting secrecy. Schools can’t make convictions public. When a rapist applies to another school, admissions officers have no database to check.

As bad as schools are at providing justice for rape victims, they might be worse at protecting the rights of the accused.

Across the country, accused students don’t have the right to see all the evidence against them, and administrators can find a student guilty based on low levels of proof, rather than “clear and convincing evidence.” Protecting the accused is no small matter when 2% to 10% of rape accusations are found to be false and many more are riddled with uncertainty.

Until colleges and local government find a way to bring the full power of criminal courts to bear on sexual assault among students, campus courts will remain second-class justice for both rape victims and those who are accused.