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Innocent Until Proven Guilty
April 11, 2007 11:46 AM   Subscribe

Newsfilter: The State Attorney General of North Carolina, who took over the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case and conducted his own investigation after Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong withdrew from the case when the North Carolina State bar filed ethics charges against him, has dismissed the remaining charges against the three players originally accused of first degree forcible rape, first degree sexual offense, and kidnapping. [previously discussed].
posted by ericb (158 comments total)

 
Case Background and Resources :
CBS News: Duke Case Chronology.

Duke University Chronicle: A Year of Lacrosse.

Inside Lacrosse: Timeline of Events -- Duke Lacrosse Case.

Wikipedia: 2006 Duke University Lacrosse Team Scandal

Durham-in-Wonderland blog.

Friends of Duke University blog.

John In Carolina blog.

La Shawn Barber's Corner blog.

Liestoppers blog.
posted by ericb at 11:47 AM on April 11, 2007


Very strong language: "No attack occurred..." The State Attorney General refers to Nifong as a "rogue attorney general," etc.
posted by ericb at 11:48 AM on April 11, 2007


"...the athletes were innocent victims of a 'tragic rush to accuse' by an overreaching district attorney.

'There were many points in the case where caution would have served justice better than bravado,' North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper said in a blistering assessment of Durham County District Mike Nifong’s handling of the case."
posted by ericb at 11:51 AM on April 11, 2007


Statement from North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper on the Duke University lacrosse rape case.
posted by ericb at 12:01 PM on April 11, 2007


I'm sure all the parties involved and all of the media figures that de facto publicly accused the Duke players of the worst kind of criminal behavior will now apologize for their actions.

/me waits patiently
posted by frogan at 12:04 PM on April 11, 2007 [2 favorites]


Well, Nifong gambled his career and livelihood on this and has lost, finally, and with prejudice, any remaining integrity he held. He can't blame this on anything but his own blinkered ambition.
posted by docpops at 12:11 PM on April 11, 2007


I'm sure all the parties involved and all of the media figures that de facto publicly accused the Duke players of the worst kind of criminal behavior will now apologize for their actions.

Well, gosh, I know I for one am thrilled we can safely buy our underage athletes alcohol and strippers who we can send e-mails about threatening to murder without fear once again.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 12:14 PM on April 11, 2007 [3 favorites]


Wow, that was a far stronger statement than I anticipated. It's been obvious for some time to anyone willing to take a fair look at the evidence that these guys didn't commit the crimes they were accused of. I wish them the best of luck in the future. I also wish the best of luck to their accuser, an obviously sick woman. As far as Nifong, I wish him everything he has coming to him.
posted by pardonyou? at 12:18 PM on April 11, 2007


Well, gosh, I know I for one am thrilled we can safely buy our underage athletes alcohol and strippers who we can send e-mails about threatening to murder without fear once again.

Oh no!!!! Alcohol and strippers?!? In college!! I've never heard of such a thing!! Those evil heathens! Privileged white athletes! And a quote from the book American Psycho to boot?!? Lock them away!!

Thanks for trying to "balance the scales," XQWHATEVER. Because being falsely accused of rape, kidnapping, and murder in a case of national publicity for more than a year is a reasonable counterweight to underage drinking and ill-advised jokes.
posted by pardonyou? at 12:21 PM on April 11, 2007 [2 favorites]


The law didn't really require any announcement beyond "We're dropping all charges", but justice demanded that the AG remove all lingering doubts about the innocence of these three young men, who were the real victims in this case.

Justice demanded total public vindication of those men, and I'm glad that the NC AG realized it. I don't consider this a courageous act by him, but he deserves credit for recognizing an obligation beyond the minimum required by the law.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 12:24 PM on April 11, 2007


rape, kidnapping, and murdersexual assault...

Heh, got carried away there, I guess. I need that edit function.

posted by pardonyou? at 12:25 PM on April 11, 2007


I for one am shocked, SHOCKED, that rich white All-American men would somehow manage to be found innocent of sexually assaulting a poor black woman in North Carolina of all places. Never would have seen this coming.
posted by DU at 12:27 PM on April 11, 2007 [2 favorites]


Thanks for trying to "balance the scales," XQWHATEVER. Because being falsely accused of rape, kidnapping, and murder in a case of national publicity for more than a year is a reasonable counterweight to underage drinking and ill-advised jokes.

I wasn't equating the two. I just think the oncoming notions that the players are some kind of angelic sweet pack of pure innocents is absurd. If you don't think racism, sexism, and class issues as well as a structure of elitism among the athletic department didn't contribute to this whole thing blowing up in the first place you're woefully naive. If "Girls Gone Wild" creator Joe Francis was accused falsely of murder and acquitted, I'd be glad he was acquitted of a crime he didn't commit; I wouldn't stop thinking he's a misogynist asshole.

Your dismissal of the athletes' attitudes before the accusations even started is upsetting but it seems obvious by your snark I'm not going to convince you otherwise. That said, as far as your statement "I wish them the best of luck in the future. I also wish the best of luck to their accuser, an obviously sick woman. As far as Nifong, I wish him everything he has coming to him" I agree with you 100%.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 12:28 PM on April 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


I for one am shocked, SHOCKED, that rich white All-American men would somehow manage to be found innocent of sexually assaulting a poor black woman in North Carolina of all places. Never would have seen this coming.
posted by DU at 12:27 PM on April 11


How old are you? Have you not read anything about this case?
posted by billysumday at 12:30 PM on April 11, 2007


Your dismissal of the athletes' attitudes before the accusations even started is upsetting

LOL

I mean, wow. How much lube did it take to get that politically correct pole so far up your ass, anyway?
posted by frogan at 12:34 PM on April 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


Sounds like the city's ready to throw Nifong to the wolves. It's a good gesture, but too late - I'd be willing to give them some truly epic civil judgements against the city, Duke, the media, and Nifong if I were on the jury.

Also, justice won't be fully satisfied until Nifong and the stripper are both in prison, preferably in the general population where the accused would have ended up had this not been stopped.
posted by Mitrovarr at 12:35 PM on April 11, 2007


I didn't say they were guilty. Even if they really are innocent I'm still pretty disgusted by how much justice these guys can buy (or, just as bad, "earn", due to their handsome athleticism) compared to people in the economic and social status of the accuser. How much lawyer ink was spilled on these three? How much would have been spilled if the positions had been reversed?
posted by DU at 12:35 PM on April 11, 2007


DU: I didn't say they were guilty. Even if they really are innocent I'm still pretty disgusted by how much justice these guys can buy (or, just as bad, "earn", due to their handsome athleticism) compared to people in the economic and social status of the accuser. How much lawyer ink was spilled on these three? How much would have been spilled if the positions had been reversed?

So, let me get this straight: You're pissed off because these guys were able to buy their freedom with expensive lawyers, despite the fact that even a fool could see they were totally and completely innocent. So, what situation would you prefer instead? That they were in prison on these trumped-up charges?
posted by Mitrovarr at 12:40 PM on April 11, 2007 [2 favorites]


Even if they really are innocent I'm still pretty disgusted by how much justice these guys can buy (or, just as bad, "earn", due to their handsome athleticism) compared to people in the economic and social status of the accuser.

I repeat billysumday's question: "Have you not read anything about this case?" Again, if you had a modicum of understanding about this case, you'd know that it's specifically about a rouge prosecutor's (to use the North Carolina Attorney General's phrase) relentless attempt to manufacture charges against these guys specifically because they were rich white athletes. If these guys "bought" justice, I'd hate to see what injustice is.
posted by pardonyou? at 12:42 PM on April 11, 2007


Like most young, attractive white people involved in a well-publicized criminal action, I suspect that these young men will wind up with a financial windfall (tv, movie, books, interviews, etc) that other falsely accused people never see. They will also probably ultimately benefit from the attention that they have received from this case in the long run (getting interviews, jobs, promotions, clients that they would not have had, etc.).
posted by flarbuse at 12:42 PM on April 11, 2007


send e-mails about threatening to murder without fear once again

The player who sent the email was never charged with anything.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 12:43 PM on April 11, 2007


If "Girls Gone Wild" creator Joe Francis was accused falsely of murder and acquitted...

Well, Joe Francis has other legal problems -- but, none as severe as a murder accusation.
'Girls Gone Wild' Founder Joe Francis in Federal Custody.
posted by ericb at 12:44 PM on April 11, 2007


They will also probably ultimately benefit from the attention that they have received from this case in the long run (getting interviews, jobs, promotions, clients that they would not have had, etc.).

"Accused of Rape (Charges Dropped)" always looks good on a resume.
posted by stifford at 12:45 PM on April 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


Your dismissal of the athletes' attitudes before the accusations even started is upsetting

LOL

I mean, wow. How much lube did it take to get that politically correct pole so far up your ass, anyway?


Cute, I guess, but I found it weird that the entire issue of this case was the gross inaccuracies and overzealousness of the prosecutor, and yet what the Lacrosse players did was dismissed merely as "drinking and strippers." The racist comments, death threats, and gang-bang stuff, ahh, that's just insignificant details.

No one deserves to be falsely accused of rape by a drugged-out, drunken and likely crazy person; these kids were. Pampered college athletes shouldn't gang-fuck and hurl racist insults at drugged-up strippers; these kids did. Is it really impossible to accept both those statements at the same time?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 12:46 PM on April 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


I don't know what I'm angry about, but I'm angry about something.
posted by kbanas at 12:46 PM on April 11, 2007


XQUZYPHYR, you're being quite knee-jerk without knowing anything about the players, their personalities or their actual character. If anyone's worst college moments were broadcast along with some really strong charges, I'm sure some really strong opinions would be formed around background, race and your economic background as well....

I will say that "Rich and white" come in different flavors: one of the players went to my high school and was always a good honorable student, an upstanding individual, and a good athlete; while another (I believe) is a a homophobe who was arrested for beating up a gay guy in D.C.

It should be noted that the parents of these kids spent a HUGE amount of money on PR (including an article in the WaPost, and pieces on network news shows to counter negative press), lawyers, and the like to clear their names, and make sure these (mostly) innocent kids would have a future...
posted by stratastar at 12:48 PM on April 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


LOUD NOISES!
posted by psmealey at 12:49 PM on April 11, 2007


Pampered college athletes shouldn't gang-fuck and hurl racist insults at drugged-up strippers; these kids did.

I have no reason to believe this is true. Do you?
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 12:52 PM on April 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


DU and XQUZYPHYR: You have really lost your perspective on this.

I suggest regrouping your thoughts and coming back.

Honestly. You're upset that some college students who were clearly innocent from the day of the allegations were, a year later, finally relieved from prosecution?

The witness was completely unreliable from the very first day, unable to recall if 3 men raped her or 20.

DNA testing was conducted on THE ENTIRE TEAM and came up negative. So there was not even any consensual sex, much less rape.

The DA's peers found his behavior reprehensible and brought him up on ethics charges.

Really? THIS is the case that you're going to make a stand about social injustice and inequality? THIS one? Really?
posted by Ynoxas at 12:55 PM on April 11, 2007 [6 favorites]


you're being quite knee-jerk without knowing anything about the players, their personalities or their actual character

Newsweek spent four hours with one of the accused and published this article in January 2007:

In Scandal's Shadow -- "Reade Seligmann details his family's anguish since that infamous lacrosse party."
posted by ericb at 12:57 PM on April 11, 2007


The racist comments, death threats, and gang-bang stuff, ahh, that's just insignificant details.

The record shows one racist comment (that came from a Chris Rock routine) in response to a racially-oriented comment from the other stripper -- and that comment was not made by any of the accused. No evidence of "death threats" or "gang-bang stuff" by any of the accused or other lacrosse members (unless you'd care to cite a source I'm not aware of?)

What is it about this case that turns liberals topsy-turvy on issues of crime, punishment, and due process? (No need to respond -- that's a rhetorical question to which I already know the answer).

Pampered college athletes shouldn't gang-fuck and hurl racist insults at drugged-up strippers; these kids did.

I would recommend studying this case a little more before opining. You're making claims that have no basis in fact.
posted by pardonyou? at 1:00 PM on April 11, 2007


So, what situation would you prefer instead? That they were in prison on these trumped-up charges?

I'm guessing that DU (and others who seem unsatisfied by this news) would have prefered to have seen his assumptions proven correct - the assumption being that rich, white athletes rape poor black women, when given the chance and opportunity. Because these assumptions did not conform to the truth of the matter, frustration gets shifted - instead of DU's assumptions being incorrect, it is the fault of the "system" - our culture is polluted, rigged, unjust, and anything benefiting the athletes is a sign of its unfairness and prejudice. Which of course makes him and his ilk look like fools, because ultimately the system got this one right.

Just because we all might think that these guys are assholes in their daily lives doesn't mean they deserved this attention. They were put on trial not as individuals but as RICH WHITE KIDS - who wouldn't have rooted for THE POOR BLACK GIRL in a battle such as this? Most people did, at the beginning. Then the facts came out and, slowly, we learned of times, dates, accusations, testimony, and evidence. Ultimately, and thankfully, it stopped being a case of "generalized group of people" versus "another generalized group of people" and started being a case of actual people being tried for actual crimes. When that happened, and when the evidence clearly showed that these boys had not committed the crimes they were accused of, I suspect that most people took at least some stock of themselves and wondered where the root of their original generalizations were born.
posted by billysumday at 1:02 PM on April 11, 2007 [5 favorites]


One of the more amazing things about this case was that Seligmann had an ironclad alibi. At the time that Crystal Gail Mangum claimed he was raping her, he was away from the party. There are records from the ATM where he withdrew some cash, and records of calls he made on his cell phone, and a cab driver was willing to testify on his behalf.

All that came out last spring, yet Nifong still maintained all charges against Seligmann. Why? Well, Crystal Gail Mangum had identified Seligmann as one of the attackers, and if that identification was clearly shown to be false than her indentification of the other two would also be called into doubt, and then Nifong wouldn't have had a case he could pursue in his efforts to suck up to Durham's black voters.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 1:07 PM on April 11, 2007


What is it about this case that turns liberals topsy-turvy on issues of crime, punishment, and due process?

Because, well, you know, white people are mean to black people. Always. Without exception.

How dare you suggest a drug-addled stripper's changing-by-the-minute story is fake? It's because she's black, isn't it? Racist.

A total lack of evidence is in no way any reason to not put these white boys in jail. They were asking for it. Look at how they dressed!
posted by Ynoxas at 1:07 PM on April 11, 2007


Building off of billysumday's comments, it is indeed frustrating that the accused were perhaps only able to clear their names because they were able to employ financial resources well beyond the means of most Americans.

Being upset with the accused is the precise wrong reaction, though. We should be upset with a legal system that can persist so pigheadedly and unjustly that only people of means can hope to see justice done.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 1:08 PM on April 11, 2007 [4 favorites]


What is it about this case that turns liberals topsy-turvy on issues of crime, punishment, and due process?

I know you meant for that to be rhetorical, but if you'll allow me, I'll give my perspective on it. I think at the root of this is that the whole process of bringing up rape charges is so thoroughly invasive and humiliating, that it's very difficult for some people to believe the someone would go through it if there were not some basis in truth to it. So there is a natural tendency to think that she wouldn't lie about it, if she were willing to put herself up to such scrutiny.

Then, as an extension from there, you get all the nasty rich vs. poor, uni vs. townies stuff, that takes the speculation to a whole different level.
posted by psmealey at 1:10 PM on April 11, 2007


The same people who bring up the "rich & white vs. poor & black" dichotomy don't acknowledge that the rich, white DA had a poor black witness arrested for an outstanding warrant on a trumped-up charge because he told the truth about Seligmann's activities that night, thereby providing him with an alibi.
posted by Challahtronix at 1:17 PM on April 11, 2007


it is indeed frustrating that the accused were perhaps only able to clear their names because they were able to employ financial resources well beyond the means of most Americans.

Indeed. Imagine that this were a group of drunken, poor rednecks instead of drunken white college boys.

If that were the case ... would Nifong had tried so hard in the first place? If you answered yes, then compare/contrast that answer with numbers of real rape victims in the U.S., which tends to suggest that there's plenty of cracks in the system for them to fall into.

And then, if it were just a bunch of poor drunk rednecks, would we have heard about it? Again, if you answered yes, consider that the story only has legs because of the rich vs. poor news angle, of pampered college boys.

Finally, if it were just a bunch of poor drunk rednecks, and there wasn't a huge media outcry ... would the NC officials have bothered as much as they did to clear the rednecks of the accusation? And again, if you answered yes, consider that there's plenty of stories recently where people are getting sprung because of DNA evidence only now after years of incarceration.

So, I echo the statement above, that this case is a piss-poor example of something to hang your hat on in the name of social justice for the downtrodden and oppressed.
posted by frogan at 1:17 PM on April 11, 2007


I get the impression that the anger is more at the fact that were it wealthy, white people accusing a poor, black person of rape, the innocence of the accused wouldn't be an issue.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:18 PM on April 11, 2007


Crystal Gail Mangum was "troubled".
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 1:20 PM on April 11, 2007


Reminds of another case.
posted by Gnostic Novelist at 1:22 PM on April 11, 2007


frogan, nobody is calling it "social justice for the downtrodden and oppressed." People are just happy that justice was done. What's wrong with that?
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 1:23 PM on April 11, 2007


Ultimately, and thankfully, it stopped being a case of "generalized group of people" versus "another generalized group of people" and started being a case of actual people being tried for actual crimes.

Exactly, and a point driven home as I watch the press conference with the families at el (right now) at MSNBC.com (accessible from the front page of that website).
posted by ericb at 1:26 PM on April 11, 2007


This entire experience has opened my eyes up to a tragic world of injustice I never knew existed. If it is possible for law enforcement officials to systematically railroad us with no evidence whatsoever, it is frightening to think what they could do to those who do not to have the resources to defend themselves. So rather than relying on disparaging stereotypes, or creating political and racial conflicts, we must all take a step back from this case and learn from it. This tragedy has revealed that our society has lost sight of the core principle of our legal system, the presumption of innocence.
-- Reade Seligmann
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 1:36 PM on April 11, 2007 [2 favorites]


People are just happy that justice was done.

Some here are not. Some here wanted those rich white boys to rot in jail, to make up for all the nasty things that rich white boys have done in the past.

And never mind whether these particular rich white boys actually did anything wrong. Rich White Boys are collectively guilty of many crimes, so all of them must be punished for it.

(In fact, never mind that these particular Rich White Boys weren't actually rich.)
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 1:41 PM on April 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


"Cooper declined to say whether he believes Nifong should be disbarred, saying it would not be fair to pass judgment before he goes on trial before the state bar in June."

Nice that Nifong's getting the treatment that he denied the accused college kids.
posted by aberrant at 1:47 PM on April 11, 2007


Karl Rove is popping open some champagne tonight!

This thread needs another 'rhetorical' ideological strawman.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:55 PM on April 11, 2007


This appears to be Crystal's Myspace page.
posted by dhammond at 1:56 PM on April 11, 2007


So, did the faculty members that were so upset at the boys ever apologize? (he asks, just to get the flames stoked up again.)
posted by djfiander at 2:07 PM on April 11, 2007


Watching this play out from beginning to end has been like slowly choking down a pint glass full of liquified feces.
posted by The Straightener at 2:11 PM on April 11, 2007


I've been watching the news all day. IMUS is still the top story (next to McCain going on about Defeatists). It just shows the bias of the corporate media. 3 men had their named dragged through the mud, and were presumed guilty because they are somewhat privileged and white. Racial activists essentially called for the boys head or surely didn't presume innocence, yet they aren't being held accountable.

It's a sad day, when Rush Limbaugh is the most sensible media figurehead. Sean Hannity is usually on the ball with these type of issues too (he had Kobe Bryant's back and if Kobe).

Once again, it just shows many (not all) of the race fetishists, or "anti-racists" are seeking political power and don't care who they harm in the process.

If you can't afford a super legal team, you are screwed in America if you are involved in a high profile case. If you are poor, you are screwed anyway (it's all about the middle class in theory and upper class in practice).

Oh, and false rape accusations aren't exactly rare, but it's one of those things that isn't very PC to mention.
posted by Gnostic Novelist at 2:25 PM on April 11, 2007


> Karl Rove is popping open some champagne tonight!

Freshen mine a bit willya, Karl?
posted by jfuller at 2:35 PM on April 11, 2007


Oh, and false rape accusations aren't exactly rare

Your link deals with cases where defendants are exonerated by DNA evidence in cases referred to the FBI. It doesn't distinguish between false accusations and misidentification, nor does it even mention which proportion of cases referred to the FBI involve identification by some means less certain than the accuser previously knowing the accused.
posted by transona5 at 2:39 PM on April 11, 2007


This entire experience has opened my eyes up to a tragic world of injustice I never knew existed. If it is possible for law enforcement officials to systematically railroad us white people with no evidence whatsoever, it is frightening to think what they could do to those who do not to have the resources to defend themselves. So rather than relying on disparaging stereotypes, or creating political and racial conflicts, we must all take a step back from this case and learn from it. This tragedy has revealed that our society has lost sight of the core principle of our legal system, the presumption of innocence.
FTFY. HTH. HAND.
posted by eriko at 2:57 PM on April 11, 2007


djfiander writes So, did the faculty members that were so upset at the boys ever apologize? (he asks, just to get the flames stoked up again.)

I'm actually curious about this as well. If any Prof punished and/or shunned a student for completely baseless accusations, they should be booted from the institution, tenure or no. That's what really gets me. They have no business being paid to be educators if they're so quick to figuratively lynch their own freakin' students.

This whole thing was just a lose-lose-lose, for the three LAX guys, for the city of Durham, for the reputation of Duke. I can't imagine the false accuser is doing so well these days either. I hope the families of the three athletes don't sue in civil court, just to get past this whole ugly episode, but then again, they have every right to. If this wasn't an example of wanton libel I don't know what is.
posted by bardic at 3:14 PM on April 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


This entire experience has opened my eyes up to a tragic world of injustice I never knew existed.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 3:16 PM on April 11, 2007


transona5: It doesn't distinguish between false accusations and misidentification...

A misidentification is still a false accusation, it's just not a fraudulent one.

I believe the main thing we have to take from this case (and from that link) is that we must stop treating accusations as fact.
posted by Mitrovarr at 3:17 PM on April 11, 2007


From eriko's link: If it is possible for law enforcement officials to systematically railroad us white people with no evidence whatsoever, it is frightening to think what they could do to those who do not to have the resources to defend themselves.

OK, so the student in question might have some cloudy ideas about race in America. Hell, he might even be a raging bigot (probably more likely now than ever, if he is).

Guess what? Those aren't crimes. Lying to the police to get someone arrested for rape is.

Like I said, I'm not elated or excited for this. I'm glad that it happened, because it's the only outcome that was somewhat fair. Maybe these three guys will get their reputation back. That's actually more than likely. Nifong can open up an ambulance-chasing operation, the kind that advertises on local television. Maybe the woman will get the help she needs, because otherwise I doubt she's going to live much longer. It's something. It's sad, but it's still something. I can't believe people are still trying to score points over this.
posted by bardic at 3:19 PM on April 11, 2007


If any Prof punished and/or shunned a student for completely baseless accusations, they should be booted from the institution, tenure or no. That's what really gets me.

Soon after the allegations were made, 88 Duke professors (commonly referred to as the "Group of 88") placed an ad in The Chronicle supporting the alleged victim and quoting individuals citing racism and sexism in the Duke community.

In January 2007, a new letter was posted at the Concerned Duke Faculty website signed by 87 faculty members stating that the original ad was misinterpreted.[132] In the letter, the group does not apologize for the original ad but instead states that the intent of the ad was to address issues of racism and sexism on the Duke campus and not prejudge the case.
posted by ericb at 3:30 PM on April 11, 2007


Bardic, "eriko" added the words "white people" to the quote. Reade Seligmann did not say that. "eriko" is being an ass. (or reconfirming that he's an ass.)

I hope the families of the three athletes don't sue in civil court, just to get past this whole ugly episode, but then again, they have every right to.

It's not just that. The three families collectively are out about $3 million on legal fees. They need to sue in order to recover that loss. If they don't, all three families will be bankrupt.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 3:35 PM on April 11, 2007


In January 2007, a new letter was posted at the Concerned Duke Faculty website signed by 87 faculty members stating that the original ad was misinterpreted.

LOL academics
posted by bardic at 3:38 PM on April 11, 2007


stating that the original ad was misinterpreted.

I am not seeing anything prejudicial in the original ad (though it is definitely provocative), and I also think they can legitimately make that case. This whole clusterfuck, using the language in the ad, is still a "social disaster". If anything, it's actually worse than they thought, because whatever racial problems did exist before are likely to be ignored or swept under the rug as a result of this because there will be tremendous pressure to forget about the whole thing.

So, everyone lost and keeps on losing here.
posted by psmealey at 3:38 PM on April 11, 2007


Well, by all means they should sue the fuck out of Duke. I'm sure Duke would be more than happy to settle quickly.
posted by bardic at 3:40 PM on April 11, 2007


shorter Gnostic Novelist:
quack quack quack quack [race card playa h8r] quack quack quack quack.

Not that I don't agree with the small grain of truth in all of that duckspeak with respect to the observation that some allegations of racism are pretty opportunistic and that there seemingly aren't any consequences for fronting allegations of the same.

As for Hannity, Limbaugh, et al you might consider the obvious empathy peers in the same gender group would have for themselves. Add in the blatantly exposed hair-trigger these two men in particular have with respect to the largely superfluous men's rights movement and the fact that they'd have the Duke students' back is not a question decided by facts on the ground or presumption of innocence, but by rhetorical posturing. I can't speak for Hannity (no exposure to him) but I do know for a fact that Limbaugh has never shied away from pressing allegations as fact when it suits his purpose.

IHBT. Trying to HAND anyway.
posted by Fezboy! at 3:40 PM on April 11, 2007


It is interesting. I think things get so heated because there are elements of power, perceived power and a lot of contentious history. There is too much incoherent name calling here to sort things out satisfactory, however I'll take a stab at things. *deep breath*
This was a high profile case, lots of legal firepower and media manipulation was brought to bear on both sides. Ultimately things seemed to have worked out well. Would they have done so in a different situation where not so much attention was paid? Hard to say, but likely not. Having said that, there are plenty of cases where so much attention is lacking and the defendants end up going to jail, wrongly, for long periods of time. It often seems (and this may be a false perception, but on balance I think it is correct) people with the African/American phenotype bear a disproportionate brunt of false imprisonment. (This gets to the power/perceived power) This certainly has been true historically.
This is no reason to have treated these players as they have been, but this stuff happens to other people too, who don't get the advantages of a national spotlight. Of course, the solution is not to create equity by falsely imprisoning rich white boys, but to ensure that everyone receives fair and comprehensive legal access. Sad thing is, this is not going to happen.
posted by edgeways at 3:42 PM on April 11, 2007


If any Prof punished and/or shunned a student for completely baseless accusations, they should be booted from the institution, tenure or no.

"Duke lacrosse team member Kyle Dowd filed a lawsuit against Duke University and visiting associate professor Kim Curtis. In his lawsuit, Dowd claims that he and another teammate were given failing grades on their final paper by Professor Curtis 'as a form of retaliation after the Duke Lacrosse scandal broke.' Professor Curtis was among the 'Group of 88' who published an advertisement in the Duke Chronicle supporting the accuser. According to the press report, Dowd had been receiving passing grades until the scandal, but received an 'F' for his last paper and participation, leading to a final 'F' grade. After graduation, his grade was adjusted upwards to a 'D' with the administration citing a 'calculation error.' The lawsuit seeks for the grade to be changed to a 'P' for pass and seeks $60,000 in damages."*
posted by ericb at 3:45 PM on April 11, 2007


Fezboy! writes As for Hannity, Limbaugh, et al you might consider the obvious empathy peers in the same gender group would have for themselves.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but this is basically a defense of collective punishment. These three boys might be jerks, they might be spoiled, they might be typical frat-jocks (believe me, not the sort of person I spent a lot of time with myself in college), but guess what? They're also completely innocent of rape. Period. And yet, they had to deal with being made into pariahs for a few years.

It pains me as well, but Limbaugh and Hannity are right on rare occasions. This was one of them.
posted by bardic at 3:47 PM on April 11, 2007


Mike Nifong's a pathetic excuse for a DA, and at this point, it wouldn't really matter whether those athletes were guilty or not. The way he violated their due process was inexcusable, and the charges should have been dropped the moment it came out that he'd knowingly suppressed exculpatory evidence.

That said, I feel a certain amount of frustration about this, mostly due to the reaction of well-to-do white folks in Raleigh. The lesson they've learned doesn't seem to be "Wow, it's really easy to railroad an innocent person. Maybe we should take another look at the way the justice system works." Instead, to a large degree, it seems to be "Poor black women are lying sluts who go around trying to ruin the reputations of innocent rich white boys." That's the wrong lesson here, and Seligmann and Cheshire deserve credit for speaking to the other point today.
posted by EarBucket at 4:02 PM on April 11, 2007


From eriko's link: If it is possible for law enforcement officials to systematically railroad us white people with no evidence whatsoever, it is frightening to think what they could do to those who do not to have the resources to defend themselves.

OK, so the student in question might have some cloudy ideas about race in America. Hell, he might even be a raging bigot (probably more likely now than ever, if he is).


What? Isn't the point being made that 'despite having white privilege and money we were railroaded with no evidence, imagine what they could have done to those without'. Isn't the whole acknowledgment here that they have an advantage showing some character that despite having been badly hosed by a system the character didn't create his own demons in response? Why is bigotry a more plausible interpretation of that comment?

After preview I see that it was a misquote anyway, but what the hell. Most people who were accused in this manner would form quite a bit of hatred and prejudices as a result. This attitude seems like a positive path towards a recognition that not all of those guilty through our courts are in actuality guilty. An opinion 'privileged white boys' probably didn't hold aforehand.
posted by kigpig at 4:25 PM on April 11, 2007


Can we all just agree this was a nightmare for all concerned? A nightmare that could have been partially avoided if Nifong wasn't trying to get reelected instead of DO HIS JOB?

I hope those young men and their families can get past all this. I even hope that young woman can find some peace-it seems possible she has some mental issues.

I hope Nifong is held responsible.

And I hope we have all learned something about race and class and perception and justice. Having just gotten done listening to a ton of local news on this (I live in NC) I think those of us here are taking the right lessons from this, and the two universities involved (Duke and NCCU) are handling themselves well.

I don't know about the rest of y'all out there. Maybe you should stick to the IMUS/ Sharpton show.
posted by konolia at 4:49 PM on April 11, 2007


Gnostic Novelist writes "IMUS is still the top story (next to McCain going on about Defeatists)."

konolia writes "Maybe you should stick to the IMUS/ Sharpton show."

Why is everyone spelling his name in all caps? Is it something I'd need to be an East Coaster to understand?
posted by mr_roboto at 4:54 PM on April 11, 2007


And I hope we have all learned something about race and class and perception and justice.

Like what? Seriously, what new thing have you learned about "race and class and perception and justice" specifically as a result of this case?
posted by Armitage Shanks at 4:55 PM on April 11, 2007


Seriously, what new thing have you learned about "race and class and perception and justice" specifically as a result of this case?

Honestly? Race is still the biggest, strangest, most bizarre issue in America, and I have no idea when this will ever change. Not that things haven't improved dramatically since the 1960's, but it remains our national obsession, whether we want to admit it or not.
posted by bardic at 5:02 PM on April 11, 2007


From this thread, it sure seems like a triumphant day to be a white man. Collective punishing, not good, but collective gloating? Sure, boy howdy.

Coupla other thoughts— I'll admit generally thinking they were guilty, and not paying much attention past that. Maybe it's because I hate Duke (I still remember when Michigan had a good basketball team), and maybe it's because of prejudice. But I still believe that OJ killed Nicole, and I haven't seen a lot of the usual upthread suspects defending him after he was found not guilty.

Second, while obviously the three accused suffered disproportionately, this might serve as a disincentive for other folks thinking about getting drunk and hanging out with strippers. No matter their innocence, I'd be willing to bet that if asked they'd say they'd be somewhere else that night (barring, of course, the one guy who was).

Third, this really will set back legitimate rape claims. Just this morning, I was getting harangued by a sports writer who was saying this proved that both Mike Tyson and Kobe Bryant were railroaded too. Just spitballin', but I'd imagine that the broad discredit this woman did to legitimate rape victims (especially of color) will circulate for a long time.
posted by klangklangston at 5:08 PM on April 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'll respond to your obvious strawman re: "gloating" (haven't seen any of it here myself).

Being tacky isn't a crime, in the legal sense. Lying to the police is.

As for legitimate rape claims being silenced, it might be a problem. But to look at it another way, it's pretty clear that even in the south, even in a smallish town, even in a presumed altercation between privileged whites and a working class black woman, the police will do every thing they can to make sure the alleged victim's claims are investigated. I'd call it a wash, overall.

And really, OJ? Please. The system worked here, but it doesn't always. Welcome to real life.
posted by bardic at 5:20 PM on April 11, 2007


Nobody is gloating. People are just glad that 1) justice was served, and 2) the race baiters lost this round. I don't see anything wrong with that.

Nobody defended OJ because prosecuting him was quite reasonably perceived as not abusive. There really did seem to be good evidence linking him to the crime, and as it turns out, the jury wasn't convinced beyond a reasonable doubt, but that doesn't mean the prosecution's case wasn't worth bringing. As the Duke case dragged on, though, it became clear that the prosecution's case was not worth bringing, that there was no way they could ever get a conviction in front of an impartial jury.

The fact that OJ was found not guilty doesn't mean there wasn't (and isn't still) good reason to think he did it. Such evidence just wasn't present in the Duke case. That's the difference.

If you're trying to suggest that speciously prosecuting people isn't all bad so long as it discourages vice, that's reprehensible.

I agree that it will set back legitimate rape claims, but that's Nifong's fault.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 5:26 PM on April 11, 2007


Not just Nifgong's fault. Wouldn't the woman who brought the false accusations forward be just a teensy bit responsible?
posted by Justinian at 5:34 PM on April 11, 2007


Justinian, it's hard to say. For all I know, she really was raped, and she really did think those three did it. Or maybe she really was raped, didn't know who did it, but didn't want to be deprived of justice by being unable to make an identification--understandable behavior.

That's why I blame Nifong. He should've been the responsible party. It's his job. Instead he got caught up in the politics of the case and failed in his professional responsibility as a prosecutor.

As it turns out, we don't have any reason to believe the three are guilty. There's no evidence except for her testimony, and she's just not a reliable witness. That doesn't mean she has no reason to believe the three are guilty. That's why I don't blame her.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 5:39 PM on April 11, 2007


"Nobody is gloating. People are just glad that 1) justice was served, and 2) the race baiters lost this round. I don't see anything wrong with that."

Of course you don't. But justice wasn't served, in that the outcome was demonstrably worse for everyone involved, and the perceived fight against "race baiters" is as much a straw man as anything I said.

"But to look at it another way, it's pretty clear that even in the south, even in a smallish town, even in a presumed altercation between privileged whites and a working class black woman, the police will do every thing they can to make sure the alleged victim's claims are investigated. I'd call it a wash, overall."

Well, they did this time. I'd imagine that the next time that Duke players are accused of raping a stripper, or any other congruent hypothetical, the authorities might be just a little less willing to pursue the charge with all due diligence. "Man, remember last time?"
Which, again, is the fault of Magnum and Nifong, but it doesn't serve the interests of justice.

"And really, OJ? Please. The system worked here, but it doesn't always. Welcome to real life."

Yeah, well, forgive me my ad hominems, but it seems that there's a bit of tribal loyalty that takes over in these discussions. I have a hard time imagining SDVB workin' so hard for a black man. Call it a personal skepticism, if you will.

"If you're trying to suggest that speciously prosecuting people isn't all bad so long as it discourages vice, that's reprehensible."

No, and it takes a willfully bad faith misreading to imply that I did suggest that. Perhaps I'm simply tired of hearing reasoning like "What did she expect, going to his room?" While it may be wrong to blame the victims, excuse me if I'm not bereft at the thought of college athletes now having to think twice about the danger of rape allegations.
posted by klangklangston at 5:45 PM on April 11, 2007


"Justinian, it's hard to say. For all I know, she really was raped, and she really did think those three did it. Or maybe she really was raped, didn't know who did it, but didn't want to be deprived of justice by being unable to make an identification--understandable behavior."

That's actually a good point, and why I'm not feeling the big "Justice been served!" lust that some of the folks upthread were.
posted by klangklangston at 5:47 PM on April 11, 2007


What? Isn't the point being made that 'despite having white privilege and money we were railroaded with no evidence, imagine what they could have done to those without.

This was exactly the point. I thought that it would be obvious that I was being over the top with the silly icq initialisms, never mind the bold face, or the fact that do you think he'd really have said "us white people" in the last 25 years.

The *real* point, however, is that he *did*, for all intents and purposes. He didn't utter the words "White People", but they were there, unvoiced. Tell me that quote, without my addition to make it clear, doesn't say exactly that. Allow me to paraphrase a bit:

"Hi, I, as a rich white person who could afford a lawyer, was almost sent to jail for multiple felonies that not only did I not commit, but that were never committed. Imagine what would have happened if I was black, and/or Muslim, and/or couldn't afford my high power defense lawyer."

THAT'S. THE. POINT. Because, every day, people are railroaded by the police and prosecutors and AGs of this land, and they don't have the resources to deal with it. Finally, when all those tools are used against someone in power to do the same thing, it is a sudden condemnation of Attorneys General and Prosecutors gone mad.

The dozens of men -- almost all poor, the vast majority black or Hispanic, who were *RELEASED AS INNOCENT* from death row speaks to how this happens all the time -- and you don't hear about how many are release from non-capital crimes.

Why is it only important when a white man from Duke is the victim? Why is it that only this one particular prosecutor is a blight on the land?

BECAUSE HE DARED TO RAILROAD A WHITE MAN.

That, sirs, is the point, which is why I made it clear. Our Cowardly Den Beste is afraid of this guy, because he railroads white men. The prosecutors who railroad blacks, or even better, Muslims? They're just fine and dandy, but as a white man, this prosecutor is a danger to him.

That's why Mr. Den Beste is celebrating this. This prosecutor will never, ever, railroad a white man from Duke again. He can now sleep safe at night.
posted by eriko at 5:50 PM on April 11, 2007


Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America: That doesn't mean she has no reason to believe the three are guilty.

I don't know. Between her magical changing testimony and the fact that it's been proven she wasn't raped by anyone at that party, I think it's fairly obvious that either she's lying or has a complete disconnection with reality. If she's lying, she should go to prison, and if she's crazy, she should be committed. In no case should she remain in society.
posted by Mitrovarr at 5:51 PM on April 11, 2007


the outcome was demonstrably worse for everyone involved

The three LAX players not going to serve hard time are worse off than they were before?

Interesting. Do you have a legal newsletter to which I could subscribe?

but it seems that there's a bit of tribal loyalty that takes over in these discussions

Which you've failed to directly point out, for the second time.
posted by bardic at 5:51 PM on April 11, 2007


eriko, do two wrongs make a right?
posted by bardic at 5:53 PM on April 11, 2007


SCDB wrote Justice demanded total public vindication of those men, and I'm glad that the NC AG realized it. I don't consider this a courageous act by him, but he deserves credit for recognizing an obligation beyond the minimum required by the law.

This is not the "gloating" that your hyper-pc sensibilities are looking for, eriko and klangklangston.
posted by bardic at 5:55 PM on April 11, 2007


Well, klangklangston, justice was served with respect to the three accused. Regardless of whether they actually committed the crimes they were accused of, it's clear that there was little if any evidence supporting the allegation, so justice demanded that the charges be dismissed.

Justice doesn't demand that the guilty always be punished. That's impossible. It demands that ordinary people weigh in good faith the evidence available and try their best to get at the truth.

Maybe you're concerned that it doesn't seem justice wasn't served with respect to the accuser. Well, you're right. It wasn't. Nifong fucked her case up beyond any hope of ever being salvaged months and months ago. This thread wasn't really about that, though.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 5:58 PM on April 11, 2007


I don't know. Between her magical changing testimony and the fact that it's been proven she wasn't raped by anyone at that party, I think it's fairly obvious that either she's lying or has a complete disconnection with reality.

I disagree. It's quite possible that she doesn't remember very well what happened. I recall there was some suggestion that she was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the alleged attacks, and it wouldn't be surprising if her memory of the night wasn't clear.

She may have initially felt (rightly or wrongly, I don't know) that she needed to exaggerate her claims with lurid details to get attention from the police. As the case dragged on, she may have felt guilty and tried to pare her testimony down to what she honestly believed happened, only to discover that she just didn't remember.

It happens. People are drunk, high, traumatized, or any number of other things. People get scared the police are going to ignore their very real complaint and make up stuff. People get desperate when they know they've been wronged but also know they just can't ID the people who did it.

I'm not comfortable calling her crazy or a liar.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 6:04 PM on April 11, 2007


This is not the "gloating" that your hyper-pc sensibilities are looking for

I think this was the gloating he was talking about: I wouldn't assume that people's feelings are motivated by political correctness, that's not really a good bet in a case that involves such a complex web of issues.
posted by psmealey at 6:06 PM on April 11, 2007


"The three LAX players not going to serve hard time are worse off than they were before?"

You're seriously arguing that they're better off having been accused of rape? Are you arguing from some square planet version of "worse"?

As to SCDB—
"The law didn't really require any announcement beyond "We're dropping all charges", but justice demanded that the AG remove all lingering doubts about the innocence of these three young men, who were the real victims in this case."

Justice doesn't demand that all lingering doubts be removed, justice demands that the prosecutor drop the charges and state that there wasn't evidence to proceed.

And I'll admit to conflating him with the scores of other comments, like "Also, justice won't be fully satisfied until Nifong and the stripper are both in prison, preferably in the general population where the accused would have ended up had this not been stopped," which presume a level of knowledge about this case that seems pretty third-person omniscient.

Or: "Once again, it just shows many (not all) of the race fetishists, or "anti-racists" are seeking political power and don't care who they harm in the process."

Which is an attempt to score some cheap demagoguery against a perceived political enemy. That's the "tribalism" that I was talking about.

But hey, pretend this is about me being hyper-pc all you want, so I can dismiss you as a Dittohead moron. I mean, as long as we're about fundamentally misrepresenting each other in order to have an easy effigy to beat.
posted by klangklangston at 6:10 PM on April 11, 2007


The dozens of men -- almost all poor, the vast majority black or Hispanic, who were *RELEASED AS INNOCENT* from death row speaks to how this happens all the time -- and you don't hear about how many are release from non-capital crimes.

eriko, you would be far more credible if you pointed to actual cases of railroading, rather than just convictions of innocents, which is not necessarily the same thing.

The thing is, if you brought up such a case, where a prosecutor who knew that he lacked sufficient evidence violated the rules of professional responsibility and prosecuted a black man he believed to be innocent, well, everyone here would agree that the prosecutor should lose his job.

No one would defend him! Nobody would say that this hypothetical case was anything but a travesty. In this respect, it's quite different than the Duke case, the resolution of which seems to have evoked some disappointment from certain parties.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 6:11 PM on April 11, 2007


"Justinian, it's hard to say. For all I know, she really was raped, and she really did think those three did it. Or maybe she really was raped, didn't know who did it, but didn't want to be deprived of justice by being unable to make an identification--understandable behavior."

That's actually a good point, and why I'm not feeling the big "Justice been served!" lust that some of the folks upthread were.

How the fuck is that even remotely a "good point". That's madness. That if she was raped (of which there was no evidence, and they did check) it would be anything less than criminal for her to blame someone other than the person who did it? That's disgusting.
posted by Riemann at 6:12 PM on April 11, 2007


Edit: Because of the lack of a decent quote system on this board it may have appeared above that I in any way agreed with Mr. President and klangs completely fucking stupid comments. I don't.
posted by Riemann at 6:15 PM on April 11, 2007


And thanks to psmealey for wading through the rest of the crap that I was too ADD to bother with.

"Justice doesn't demand that the guilty always be punished. That's impossible. It demands that ordinary people weigh in good faith the evidence available and try their best to get at the truth.

Maybe you're concerned that it doesn't seem justice wasn't served with respect to the accuser. Well, you're right. It wasn't. Nifong fucked her case up beyond any hope of ever being salvaged months and months ago. This thread wasn't really about that, though."

Well, I agree with you on the issue of justice, but the reason why I feel like it wasn't served in respect to the accused is that there's really no way of knowing what happened. So they got drug through the mud for some sort of post-modern Kafka drama. The whole thing is kinda fucked, and this feels like an anti-climax to a giant imbroglio.
posted by klangklangston at 6:15 PM on April 11, 2007


You're seriously arguing that they're better off having been accused of rape?

Nope. Not what I said. I argued that they're better off because they're not going to freakin' jail.

But hey, pretend this is about me being hyper-pc all you want, so I can dismiss you as a Dittohead moron.

I'd prefer you read what I wrote semi-carefully, but you're incapable of that. So go right ahead.
posted by bardic at 6:18 PM on April 11, 2007


"How the fuck is that even remotely a "good point". That's madness. That if she was raped (of which there was no evidence, and they did check) it would be anything less than criminal for her to blame someone other than the person who did it? That's disgusting."

If it was criminal, how would justice have been served by just dropping charges? And it's not criminal without intent. A mistaken ID is not criminal.

This was a fucking morass, we'll never know what did and didn't happen, and you're a moron if you can't see that.
posted by klangklangston at 6:19 PM on April 11, 2007


Riemann, maybe I wasn't clear. A rape victim feels immense pressure when called upon to identify the person who raped them, because they realize that if they don't make a successful ID, their rapist will walk free.

Under this sort of pressure, it's very easy for the victim to convince herself that she recognizes someone in the lineup when in fact she doesn't. I'm not saying she intentionally, knowingly, and maliciously lied. I'm just saying that maybe she knew she had to recognize someone or her rapist wasn't going to pay.

It's easy to sit behind our computers and indignantly say that oh no, sir, if we were raped we would apply only or rational faculties and make the most dispassionate and reasoned identification humanly possible, even if that meant identifying no one. But that's not very realistic.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 6:20 PM on April 11, 2007


"I'd prefer you read what I wrote semi-carefully, but you're incapable of that. So go right ahead."

Where's pot and kettle when you need 'em?

"Nope. Not what I said. I argued that they're better off because they're not going to freakin' jail."

And I said they were worse off because they were accused of rape, which it appears they did not commit.
posted by klangklangston at 6:21 PM on April 11, 2007


"Under this sort of pressure, it's very easy for the victim to convince herself that she recognizes someone in the lineup when in fact she doesn't. I'm not saying she intentionally, knowingly, and maliciously lied. I'm just saying that maybe she knew she had to recognize someone or her rapist wasn't going to pay."

Well, yeah, and combine that with the proven unreliability of eye witness testimony. It's pretty common for people to fill in details, or to misremember faces, or just flub things.
posted by klangklangston at 6:23 PM on April 11, 2007


klangklangston, and that's why it's so important that the DA assure the integrity of the process by using proper lineup and identification procedures that minimize the effect of mis-identifications (accidental or otherwise). It's not the complaining witness's job make sure evidence isn't destroyed (in this case, her ID). It was Nifong's, and he screwed up badly.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 6:26 PM on April 11, 2007


there's really no way of knowing what happened

Huh? Sure there is. If she was raped by a member of the Duke lacrosse team, there'd likely be semen on or inside of her. There would likely be bruises on her from being held down, and there would be nail scratches and bites on some of said LAX players.

Sorry, but this ain't Roshomon. If there was even a scrap of evidence to find these three guys guilty, it would have been found. What you got instead was a constantly shifting story, and forensic evidence indicating that the accuser had had sex with others guys recently, none of whom were members of the lacrosse team.

That's not to say that there aren't some very intricate complexities regarding rape and/or alleged rape, and yes, historically, women have been silenced due to fear of reprecussions, but Jesus Christ on a pogo-stick this woman got every benefit of the doubt, every step of the way, so the eventual clearing of the three LAX guys is somehow a problematic thing for justice? Bullshit. It was a very good thing, since innocent people didn't go to jail for something they didn't do. As for the larger social and racial issues? Well, multiple hornets' nests, obviously. Racism is still a part of America, as is misogyny, but to take your logic a few steps further, it really does sound as if you'd argue that a false conviction for these three guys would have been a net-gain for justice and race relations in America.

Please never go to law school.
posted by bardic at 6:28 PM on April 11, 2007


Huh? Sure there is. If she was raped by a member of the Duke lacrosse team, there'd likely be semen on or inside of her. There would likely be bruises on her from being held down, and there would be nail scratches and bites on some of said LAX players.

I used to work in the sex-crimes division of a DA's office, and you're just wrong. Sometimes there are bruises, and sometimes there isn't. Sometimes there are scratches and sometimes there aren't. Sometimes there's semen and sometimes there isn't.

Physical evidence of this sort is often lacking when the victim was intoxicated, in particular.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 6:33 PM on April 11, 2007


Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America: People get desperate when they know they've been wronged but also know they just can't ID the people who did it.

Yeah, well, people need to find out that you can't lie and file fraudulent charges because you desperately want revenge on some third party. It wouldn't clear her if she'd shot some random guy in the face, it wouldn't clear her if she'd ran one of them over in her car, and it shouldn't clear her if she made a false rape claim. Hell, maybe the guy who raped her was doing it to get revenge on some woman who had wronged him.
posted by Mitrovarr at 6:33 PM on April 11, 2007


Bardic has it. We might never know precisely what happened on a minute-by-minute level, but anyone who has followed the case closely has a pretty good freakin' idea what happened in broad outline. These three guys didn't rape Magnum and it's very unlikely anyone at that party did. That's a far cry from "there's really no way of knowing what happened".
posted by Justinian at 6:36 PM on April 11, 2007


"so the eventual clearing of the three LAX guys is somehow a problematic thing for justice? Bullshit. It was a very good thing, since innocent people didn't go to jail for something they didn't do."

Wait, where did I argue that the CLEARING of them was what was problematic? Can you give me a quote?

"Racism is still a part of America, as is misogyny, but to take your logic a few steps further, it really does sound as if you'd argue that a false conviction for these three guys would have been a net-gain for justice and race relations in America."

Really? That's supported by what? By your anti-pc stance? Can you please attempt to argue based on what I've written, not based on what gas-huffing fantasies you have about defending the white race from us evil lib'ruls?
posted by klangklangston at 6:36 PM on April 11, 2007


Klang, why are you blaming me for things other people said?
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 6:39 PM on April 11, 2007


Well, I know cops, so I think I'm right. There are exceptions, obviously, and I've tried to make it clear that rape is obviously horrible on many levels, in particular because the line between consensual and non-consensual sex can be problematic, but let me put it this way -- there was as much evidence to prove the LAX guys raped her as there was to prove that you did it or I did it. I don't feel compelled to fly to Raleigh and offer myself up as a potential perpetrator.
posted by bardic at 6:44 PM on April 11, 2007


bardic, nobody is suggesting that you believe a rape happened. I certainly don't. There's insufficient reason to.

That's why dropping the charges was the right thing to do.

The fact is, though, actual rapes can leave this little evidence, so I don't know how you conclude that we know a rape didn't happen. That's why I can't be sure the accuser lied, or received justice for that matter.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 6:52 PM on April 11, 2007


(directed at MPDSEA)
posted by bardic at 6:52 PM on April 11, 2007


THAT'S. THE. POINT. Because, every day, people are railroaded by the police and prosecutors and AGs of this land, and they don't have the resources to deal with it. Finally, when all those tools are used against someone in power to do the same thing, it is a sudden condemnation of Attorneys General and Prosecutors gone mad.

The dozens of men -- almost all poor, the vast majority black or Hispanic, who were *RELEASED AS INNOCENT* from death row speaks to how this happens all the time -- and you don't hear about how many are release from non-capital crimes.


Isn't it often the case that social problems are brought to light when it happens to the more famous? One could say this is bad because we don't pay attention to the poor and downtrodden, or one could see it as finally someone's paying attention.

Also, this wasn't brought into the media by those who scream about people playing the race card. Attention was brought to it by a media that wanted to lynch them. This is significantly different since had the media not accused them to begin with, there probably would be little fuss over it now. I think this is part of the vindication people feel...that collectively they were considered guilty.

Further, there's 3 distinctions this case has. Race, wealth, and gender. The obvious one is wealth, if you have it, you're more likely to be found innocent. Race is slightly less clear cut...you're more likely to be accused, but are you more likely to be smeared in the public eye? Someone brought up OJ and that was a terrific counter-point since everything was stacked against him and so many refused to believe and he was found innocent. With Duke, had evidence pointed against them, the voicing of their innocence would have faded. However probably still net better off to be white since it means significantly less likely to be arrested in the first place.

The catch though is the gender issue...more specifically in relation to rape. I have little doubt that they were railroaded on this specifically BECAUSE people would heavily favor the woman and it would help the prosecution's vendetta/need for wins/whatever reason. Certainly one can't claim a higher likelihood of being accused of a crime as a woman than a man. And public appeal will favor you. However as a man alleged to have committed a crime against a woman, the cards are stacked heavily against you.
posted by kigpig at 6:57 PM on April 11, 2007


The fact is, though, actual rapes can leave this little evidence, so I don't know how you conclude that we know a rape didn't happen. That's why I can't be sure the accuser lied, or received justice for that matter.

Again, I take your point to heart regarding how little physical evidence can be left from a rape. But then you lose me, honestly. She had a DA in Nifong who was chomping at the bit, every step of the way, to convict these guys. If there had been an iota of evidence to such effect, he could have proceeded with a trial. Lest we forget, he couldn't even get a judge to take a move to trial seriously.

To go a little further, it's scary to think that any time a man and a woman are alone together in a room, we can never know that a rape didn't happen. Honestly, if you think about it, that's pretty twisted.
posted by bardic at 6:58 PM on April 11, 2007


The obvious one is wealth, if you have it, you're more likely to be found innocent.

You know what else is more likely to make you be found innocent?

Being innocent.
posted by bardic at 7:00 PM on April 11, 2007


Bardic has it. We might never know precisely what happened on a minute-by-minute level, but anyone who has followed the case closely has a pretty good freakin' idea what happened in broad outline. These three guys didn't rape Magnum and it's very unlikely anyone at that party did. That's a far cry from "there's really no way of knowing what happened".

Check out the minute-by-minute reconstruction of the events for the night of March 13, 2006 (compiled by the Duke University student newspaper, The Chronicle, using information provided by ABC News, NBC 17 News, the Durham Herald-Sun, The Raleigh News & Observer and The New York Times).

Also ... To repeat the words of North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper at today's press conference:
"We have carefully reviewed the evidence collected by the Durham County prosecutor's office and the Durham Police Department. We have also conducted our own interviews and evidence gathering. Our attorneys and SBI (State Bureau of Investigation) agents have interviewed numerous people who were at the party, DNA and other experts, the Durham County district attorney, Durham police officers, defense attorneys and the accusing witness on several occasions. We have reviewed statements given over the past year, photographs, records and other evidence.

....We believe that these cases were the result of a tragic rush to accuse and a failure to verify serious allegations. Based on the significant inconsistencies between the evidence and the various accounts given by the accusing witness, we believe these three individuals are innocent of these charges.

We approached this case with the understanding that rape and sexual assault victims often have some inconsistencies in their accounts of a traumatic event. However, in this case, the inconsistencies were so significant and so contrary to the evidence that we have no credible evidence that an attack occurred in that house that night."
posted by ericb at 7:02 PM on April 11, 2007


Regarding alleged rape, race and class, there's another incident in Durham, NC that has not garnered quite the national press coverage of the Duke Lacrosse Case.

It involves the alleged rape of a white female Duke student by a black male (not a Duke student) this year -- in February 2007.
posted by ericb at 7:20 PM on April 11, 2007


Klang, why are you blaming me for things other people said?

steve, you disagreed with him ... that makes you a moron along with everyone else who disagrees with him and he has trouble telling one moron from another because they all look like tea bag holders to him
posted by pyramid termite at 7:21 PM on April 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


frogan, nobody is calling it "social justice for the downtrodden and oppressed." People are just happy that justice was done. What's wrong with that?

Hey bud, I'm on your side. I was saying that anyone attempting to turn this into an issue where, once again, "rich whitey gets away with it" fails to understand the details of the case, and fails to understand how easily it could've gone in the direction of something truly and more horribly unjust.
posted by frogan at 7:23 PM on April 11, 2007


bardic, let me see if I can be more clear. There obviously wasn't enough evidence to proceed against the three accused men. There probably wasn't enough evidence to proceed against anyone.

Nifong, though, is partly responsible for this lack of evidence by failing to talk to the accuser and contaminating her through the faulty line up.

I personally think it's likely the accuser was not raped by anyone, but I'm not so sure that I can feel good about Nifong pissing away her chances of having someone successfully prosecuted.

The mere absence of evidence of rape is enough, in my mind, to absolve the accused. It does not, however, mean that the accuser wasn't actually attacked. There's not much we can do with this uncertainty, but it's another thing that bothers me about Nifong's little mess.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 7:27 PM on April 11, 2007


Nifong, though, is partly responsible for this lack of evidence by failing to talk to the accuser and contaminating her through the faulty line up.

Agreed. But how can you not see Nifong's inept flailing as part and parcel of the fact that he knew, from the very beginning, that he had no case? And that he knew no assault had occured?

Take a garden-variety DA, competent and without political motives, and you'd have had an initial investigation that revealed there was no evidence against the Duke athletes, and hence no case.

Ramifications as to a bunch of white college dudes hiring black girls to dance for them? Certainly. And while that's worthy of discussion and condemnation in iteslf, it's light-years away from rape. (If the coach hadn't stepped down, he should have been fired IMO.)
posted by bardic at 7:35 PM on April 11, 2007


The obvious one is wealth, if you have it, you're more likely to be found innocent.

You know what else is more likely to make you be found innocent?

Being innocent.


Does it really? Jury duty experiences make me suspect that the correlation is somewhat weak. Not to be confused with getting accused of a crime when innocent, but once accused I don't know what the conviction rate of guilty vs. innocent is and I suspect it's not a huge divide.

Regarding alleged rape, race and class, there's another incident in Durham, NC that has not garnered quite the national press coverage of the Duke Lacrosse Case.

It involves the alleged rape of a white female Duke student by a black male (not a Duke student) this year -- in February 2007.


"Marijuana, cocaine and Oxycontin were found in the house, according to the DPD police report. "

yet no charges against the residents for this (because of the rape?). Talk about privilege.
posted by kigpig at 7:46 PM on April 11, 2007


What is it about this case that turns liberals topsy-turvy on issues of crime, punishment, and due process?

What the fuck, man? I mean, seriously, What. The. Fuck? Why do you feel the need to be such a sectarian asshole? There are plenty of liberals, myself included, that thought this was a travesty from the get-go.

And some of us even support the 2nd amendment.

In conclusion, take off your rubber underwear before you starve your brain of oxygen.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:46 PM on April 11, 2007


Just for the record: Michael Byron "Mike" Nifong (born September 14, 1950) is the Democratic district attorney for Durham County, North Carolina

Wikipedia

Needless to say, the media will continue to focus on the actions of Republican attorney scandals.
posted by Gnostic Novelist at 7:58 PM on April 11, 2007


Persecution complex much, Gnostic? DiFong lost his job, was sanctioned, and is now being investigated for criminal misconduct. All of which has been covered ad nauseum by the media. What do you expect, public lynching?
posted by Justinian at 8:04 PM on April 11, 2007


Newsweek: An Unbelievable Day -- "North Carolina's attorney general did more than drop the charges against the Duke lacrosse players. In a move seldom seen in the annals of American law, he gave the accused their reputations back."
posted by ericb at 8:08 PM on April 11, 2007


Persecution complex much, Gnostic? DiFong lost his job, was sanctioned, and is now being investigated for criminal misconduct. All of which has been covered ad nauseum by the media.

They have covered IMUS more in less than a week than they have covered Nifong as a Democratic opportunist. Alberto Gonzales, as AG, is scum, but the media won't let me forget he is a Republican, and I'm not one who needs egging on to find fault with Republicans.

What do you expect, public lynching?

Some would call for the death penalty for rapists. I saw the death penalty is immoral--unless the accused wants it. It all rests on what the accused wants.
posted by Gnostic Novelist at 8:13 PM on April 11, 2007


Jesus Christ this thread is a clusterfuck.

As I said above... THIS case is the one you're going to stage your fight on? THIS case is the bedrock upon which you're going to build your kingdom of reversing wrongs and changing the minds of everyone else in the country?

THIS case? Are you for real?

Here is the case:

A drugged stripper accussed some drunk frat boys of raping her. Her story was never, ever even close to consistent, DNA testing cleared THE ENTIRE LACROSSE TEAM, and the DA withheld evidence.

That's all you need to know, as even a reasonably intelligent human being, about this case.

That's it. Nothing else enters into it. Nothing. NOTHING. Nothing else.

Do you get it? Do you understand? Do you get it yet? This isn't about race, or privilige, or wealth, or racism or sexism or elitism or anything else.

No evidence, no motive, no witnesses, no proof.

That's it. That's all you need to know. That's it.

Are you getting it yet? Are you? Do you understand yet?

I really, really, really jumped the gun on calling out DU and XQ on losing their perspective. The guys below them in the last 1/3 of the thread take it to a whole new level.

You have lost your damn minds.
posted by Ynoxas at 8:19 PM on April 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


DiFong lost his job, was sanctioned, and is now being investigated for criminal misconduct.

To be accurate, he has not lost his job as D.A. of Durham County, North Carolina.

He is indeed under investigation by the North Carolina State Bar for alleged ethics violations as they relate to the Duke rape case.
posted by ericb at 8:42 PM on April 11, 2007


EDIT Say
posted by Gnostic Novelist at 8:46 PM on April 11, 2007


One hopes this might instill in the public a more general suspicion of prosecutorial overreach, or – dare to dream – suspicion of instances where people are imprisoned without any prosecutors to do any overreaching.

Oh well time to score some points!
posted by furiousthought at 8:49 PM on April 11, 2007


One hopes this might instill in the public a more general suspicion of prosecutorial overreach,

That is like hoping one of us will be shown to be the biological son of Jesus Christ.
posted by Gnostic Novelist at 8:55 PM on April 11, 2007


That is like hoping one of us will be shown to be the biological son of Jesus Christ.

ah ... so you're really not trying to persuade the body politic at all but simply posing as the roman cynic perched upon the ruins while the sheeple graze below

got it

ynoxas - You have lost your damn minds.

indeed ... what a sorry, pathetic mess

but, like i said last time this subject came up, this is what happens when the justice system gets politicized ...
posted by pyramid termite at 5:36 AM on April 12, 2007


Minor points below as this horse is well past dead.

IMUS is not an acronym for something. His name is Imus. Also, LAX is an airport in California. "Lax" is a suitable enough abbreviation for lacrosse, if you must.

Also, wtf, one asshole, incompetent out of control DA who happens to be a Democrat should provide balance to a major national story about a systemic party-driven abuse of power at the highest levels of govt? Nice canard, Gnostic. Do you work for Murdoch? Did you also know that Fred Phelps is a Democrat? Perhaps you'll enjoy trotting that hobbyhorse out in a future thread.
posted by psmealey at 5:59 AM on April 12, 2007


What the fuck, man? I mean, seriously, What. The. Fuck? Why do you feel the need to be such a sectarian asshole? There are plenty of liberals, myself included, that thought this was a travesty from the get-go.

Sorry, I (unintentionally) omitted the word "some" before "liberals." Clearly not all liberals feel the same way about the case -- K. C. Johnson himself being "Exhibit A."

But thanks for the unhinged lunatic raging, anyway. It made my morning.
posted by pardonyou? at 6:40 AM on April 12, 2007


Did you also know that Fred Phelps is a Democrat? Perhaps you'll enjoy trotting that hobbyhorse out in a future thread.

Phelps is not a politician, or at least he failed in his attempt. Nifong used these young men in order to sway the voting public and not to pursue justice. When a Republican does it, there is media outcry. When a Democrat does it that point is played down. Could it be that the media elite tends to favor Democrats? Meh, IMO, it is a classic example of how elected officials under big government behave.
posted by Gnostic Novelist at 6:40 AM on April 12, 2007


Brilliant ploy, Gnostic, using a weblink to an undoubtedly un-biased


which is based on a 25 year old study and whose follwups cited on that page are laughably biased and do not meet objective standards of proof by any measure.

C'mon, the canard that the great liberal media giants run anything is pathetic whining by sore-winners of 9 out of the last 14 presidential elections. Yep, that liberal media bias sure is effective!

posted by klangklangston at 7:04 AM on April 12, 2007


Nifong used these young men in order to sway the voting public and not to pursue justice.

To the chagrin and embarrassment of a lot of Democrats. The two situations (the AG scandal) and this are not analogous. Nifong's story is about overreach, ruthlessness, incompetence and possible corruption and has little to do with his political affiliation. The Gonzales story is principally about political affiliation and degrees of loyalty thereto.

Could it be that the media elite tends to favor Democrats?

Let's save that discussion for another thread, which I'm sure will be as collegial as this one.
posted by psmealey at 7:06 AM on April 12, 2007


Uh, I don't know what happened there--it looked ok on preview.

The Media Research Organization's metatags refer to themselves as: meta NAME="description" CONTENT="Media Research Center (MRC) is a conservative media watchdog group dedicated to bringing political balance to the news and entertainment media."

Their conclusions are based on a 1981 study--and subsequent ones, which show that the journalists who were polled tended to vote Democratic, and from that extrapolated that the stories they wrote were biased in favor of their viewpoints, and in turn that people were "likely" by a 54% positive response to be affected by what a journalist wrote.

I am affected everytime I see O'Reilly on TV. Doesn't mean I vote like him.

I sincerely hope.
posted by klangklangston at 7:10 AM on April 12, 2007


Brilliant ploy, Gnostic, using a weblink to an undoubtedly un-biased

Objectivity in the media is a myth. There is only one true way to be objective.

To the chagrin and embarrassment of a lot of Democrats. The two situations (the AG scandal) and this are not analogous. Nifong's story is about overreach, ruthlessness, incompetence and possible corruption and has little to do with his political affiliation. The Gonzales story is principally about political affiliation and degrees of loyalty thereto.

This is just repetition and a natural result of the two-party system. The parties essentially, not directly, control the media due to the fact that most members of the media support one or two parties. The corrupt system is propped up by the members of the party who seem to behave corruption is always an isolated incident. It may be isolated percentage wise, but proportionately, in almost every case, it outweighs the power of non-corruption (i.e. the Vietnam War vs. the Great Society. 21st century corruption in the Republican party vs.[I suppose the Republican party has done some good this century].)

I can't blame the problem on the benefactors, i.e. politicians: it's the population's (I believe something like 98% of American voters are Demopublicans) fault for supporting a one-party, two-divisions, state.

It's not hard to see why Nifong could be so brazen in ruining these young men's lives. Politics is disgusting, but a political judicial system is far worse.

I know the above seems like a tangent, but these are endemic and systemic problems. Nifong is just a manifestation of it and he will be used as a scapegoat so that the status-quo can continue and many Demopublicans can sleep at night.


Let's save that discussion for another thread, which I'm sure will be as collegial as this one.

Agreed.
posted by Gnostic Novelist at 7:24 AM on April 12, 2007


Haha. I left myself logged in at my folks' house and my dad is posting under my name...

But it sure helps confirm those stereotypes to see that Gnostic is a Randroid.
posted by klangklangston at 7:31 AM on April 12, 2007


So they're innocent. Doesn't make me dislike rich white lacrosse players any less.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 11:17 AM on April 12, 2007


But it sure helps confirm those stereotypes to see that Gnostic is a Randroid.

Incorrect. The word "Gnostic" should tell you why I am not (everything between quasi-idealism and militant spiritualism).

I like her as a person though.
posted by Gnostic Novelist at 11:33 AM on April 12, 2007


So now they are saying that Nifong apologized to the Duke players. That is hilarious.

I don't practice in that county, but I do practice criminal law in Superior Court in North Carolina. An officer determined there was probable cause for them to be arrested. A magistrate determined that there was probable cause for them to be charged. I believe that a Grand Jury indicted them on the charges. What is Nifong apologizing for?

I have had and seen plenty of criminal cases dismissed in Superior Court through my years of practice. I have never once seen a District Attorney apologize to a defendant for pursuing the case up to the point of dismissal. This is all just so funny.
posted by flarbuse at 1:13 PM on April 12, 2007


So now they are saying that Nifong apologized to the Duke players.

"To the extent that I made judgments that ultimately proved to be incorrect, I apologize to the three students that were wrongly accused. I also understand that whenever someone has been wrongly accused, the harm caused by the accusations might not be immediately undone merely by dismissing them. It is my sincere desire that the actions of Attorney General Cooper will serve to remedy any remaining injury that has resulted from these cases." *
posted by ericb at 1:23 PM on April 12, 2007


"There's no doubt in my mind that she was raped and assaulted at this location." Nifong said last year. *
posted by ericb at 1:25 PM on April 12, 2007


Awesome. Bringing Ayn Rand into this will only make it better!

Wait, wait -- HITLER!!!

There we go.

But seriously, you're unhinged Gnostic Novelist. As long as Imus is being brought up, I'll just mention that the Malkin/Hannity crowd tried to spin his bigotry along the lines of "libtards like him so they won't try to get him fired."

Within 24 hours, the most prominent librul bloggers were calling for him to be fired. Now that he has been fired, the most prominent librul bloggers are quite pleased with themselves, since they called for it. I know you're desperate to establish the fact that there's some sort of double-standard, but fact is the media is more conservative than ever these days. The WaPo, the NYT -- they bent over backwards to support the occupation of Iraq.

Shorter: Here's two words for you to google -- Judith Miller.
posted by bardic at 2:34 PM on April 12, 2007


But seriously, you're unhinged Gnostic Novelist

What is hinged?

Malkin/Hannity crowd tried to spin his bigotry along the lines of "libtards like him so they won't try to get him fired."

Those are two totally different crowds. Keep in mind they are FOX minions and Fox has it out for MSNBC. I don't get what liberals would like about IMUS, but I definitely know Fox attacks MSNBC for every little thing. Liberals bread-and-butter is playing the race-card, like persecution is the Christian Right's card, so I certainly don't think they defended him (probably a few exceptions).

I know you're desperate to establish the fact that there's some sort of double-standard, but fact is the media is more conservative than ever these days

There is a double standard. Unless those same bloggers happen to be Democrats who called for the charges to be dropped from the beginning and pointed out that Democrat Nifong was indeed a Democrat, ran as a Democrat, and won a close election as a Democrat, and Democrats outnumber Republicans amongst the ranks of journalists. Not all Democrats are liberal, but, statistically, pretty much all voting liberals are Democrats. I just don't expect criticism to overwhelmingly come from liberals on the issue, but amongst the non-partisan ranks of moderates and conservatives.

The WaPo, the NYT -- they bent over backwards to support the occupation of Iraq.

Democrats supported it, why would WaPo/NYT oppose it when their overlords supported it?
posted by Gnostic Novelist at 2:54 PM on April 12, 2007


So now they are saying that Nifong apologized to the Duke players. That is hilarious.

At this point Mike Nifong is a desperate man. Not only is he going to be disbarred, he's also going to be sued into bankrupcy and quite possibly spend time behind bars. It's been clear for several months now that he's been trying to buy time hoping for a miracle to save him. There won't be one, though.

I'm sure that this apology is mostly motivated by his hope that he can convince the three students not to sue his ass off. Unlikely, of course.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 3:00 PM on April 12, 2007


Cleared Duke Players Could Sue Mike Nifong.
posted by ericb at 3:05 PM on April 12, 2007


They should. I hope they do.
posted by bardic at 3:16 PM on April 12, 2007


Digby on Imus: "But when the media and political elite constantly appear with someone who makes a living demeaning others in the coarsest and most inflammatory ways and then laugh and yuk it up on the same show, they are, at the very least, endorsing the kind of show he does if not the specific statements."

Digby's about as liberal as they come and, I'll admit, a blogger I read every day.

Here's Michelle Malkin's defense of Imus (albeit a particularly tortured one). Bascially, it was OK for him to use racist language because rappers do too, amirite?

So who's playing the race card here? Granted, I'm only quoting one liberal blogger, but he condemns Imus not because of his politics but because he's part of a bigger problem, a comfy-cozy media insider culture, Republican and Democrat. And he's pleased to see him go (I guess I am too, but honestly I've never listened to his show, and I don't know anyone, personally, who does).

Please, the "double-standard" argument is so freakin' tired. You got your war and you got your Republican president for eight years in no small part due to the "librul" establishment media. Again, message to Karl Rove and Republicans in general: it ain't 2003 any longer. You screwed the collective pooch, royally, and now the media is the least of your concerns. It's the fact that the American people hate what you've done to this country.
posted by bardic at 3:24 PM on April 12, 2007


Digby's about as liberal as they come and, I'll admit, a blogger I read every day.

As I said above, there are exceptions. I can't name any ideology that has 100% agreement when you get beyond the general. He is pretty much spot on. Bill Maher had the best appraisal of it as he always does: fake outrage.

Here's Michelle Malkin's defense of Imus (albeit a particularly tortured one). Bascially, it was OK for him to use racist language because rappers do too, amirite?

I don't think she is saying it is okay, so much as the outrage isn't appropriate. It's like seeing two men kill someone and letting one go free while punishing the other; murder isn't right, but if it is so bad then the other one should have been punished to. Not that this is an issue like murder is, but it happens.

You got your war and you got your Republican president for eight years in no small part due to the "librul" establishment media

Who is this "we"? I've never voted for a Republican and other than Ron Paul, I don't see myself voting (D) or (R). Did you not see what I wrote in this very thread?


This is just repetition and a natural result of the two-party system. The parties essentially, not directly, control the media due to the fact that most members of the media support one or two parties. The corrupt system is propped up by the members of the party who seem to behave corruption is always an isolated incident. It may be isolated percentage wise, but proportionately, in almost every case, it outweighs the power of non-corruption (i.e. the Vietnam War vs. the Great Society. 21st century corruption in the Republican party vs.[I suppose the Republican party has done some good this century].)

I can't blame the problem on the benefactors, i.e. politicians: it's the population's (I believe something like 98% of American voters are Demopublicans) fault for supporting a one-party, two-divisions, state.

It's not hard to see why Nifong could be so brazen in ruining these young men's lives. Politics is disgusting, but a political judicial system is far worse.

I know the above seems like a tangent, but these are endemic and systemic problems. Nifong is just a manifestation of it and he will be used as a scapegoat so that the status-quo can continue and many Demopublicans can sleep at night.

posted by Gnostic Novelist at 4:13 PM on April 12, 2007


There is a double standard. Unless those same bloggers happen to be Democrats

don't conflate local politics with national politics ... don't assume that a prosecutor who runs as a democrat or republican has a real partisan interest in doing his job as a party member first and then an advocate of the people ... don't assume that a southern democrat is the same thing as a national democrat ... don't assume that durham's politics are as partisan as the national ones are, that the local media have the same biases, or that if they are partisan and biased, that it means what it would mean nationally

i don't think that a prosecutor or drain commissioner being a democrat has anywhere near the same meaning as it would if they were running for congress
posted by pyramid termite at 4:45 PM on April 12, 2007


I can't believe people are still trying to score points over this.

welcome to politics. when you strip away all the rhetoric from every side of every issue, that's all any political animal ever is doing.
posted by jonmc at 4:49 PM on April 12, 2007


Prosecuting the Prosecutor -- Did the DA in the Duke lacrosse case commit a crime?
posted by ericb at 5:19 PM on April 13, 2007


"Mike Nifong found out about the case that now threatens his career March 23, 2006, when he stopped by the office copier and found a court order demanding DNA samples from 46 Duke lacrosse players. An escort service dancer told police that three men at a team party had dragged her into a bathroom and raped her anally, vaginally and orally for 30 minutes, according to the order.

...The next day, Nifong told Durham police he was taking over....It was an unusual move for a prosecutor, but there's no evidence that the police challenged him. The case, however, was already in trouble.

The 27-year-old complainant, Crystal Gail Mangum, couldn't identify her alleged attackers. She had given at least six conflicting accounts. And the first officer who encountered her didn't believe her story.

Nifong forged ahead in what became a single-minded quest to support the accuser's account, not a mission to discover the truth.

...A News & Observer examination of Nifong's handling of the case, based on documents and dozens of interviews, adds new insights about the investigation's focus on shoring up Mangum's claims. Nifong ignored contrary facts, withheld evidence favorable to the accused and refused to discuss the case with defense lawyers."

more...
posted by ericb at 9:57 AM on April 14, 2007


Newsweek: That Night At Duke.
posted by ericb at 8:04 AM on April 15, 2007


Jon Stewart: Duke (Non) Rape Case.
posted by ericb at 8:08 AM on April 15, 2007


Cleared Duke student has hope for future. NBC video.
posted by ericb at 11:10 AM on April 16, 2007


CBS News/60 Minutes: The Duke Case: Innocent.
posted by ericb at 11:13 AM on April 16, 2007


Attorney General Releases Duke Lacrosse Case Report.

Summarizing the Report: The Lacrosse Case Was a Hoax.
posted by ericb at 1:42 PM on April 29, 2007


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