"There is always a philosophy for lack of courage."—Albert Camus

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Could the Dukies Be Guilty After All?

A persistent commenter has asked what evidence suggests the Duke lacrosse players are innocent. Well, let's see. As regards the DNA under the accuser's fingernails, no one denies that she was at the party, and that is all that that bit of evidence confirms. She has made exactly this kind of false accusation before. The DNA found, ahem, inside the accuser was that of her girlfriend. The photos she was shown in the photo "lineup" were only of Duke lacrosse players. And so on and so on. And since when, in this society, are we supposed to have to prove people innocent, even in the court of public opinion? There is no evidence whatsoever showing that the accused young men raped that girl. None. These young men are innocent, and that woman accused them falsely, and that is precisely what the evidence shows.

If this were any other case but allegedly rich white boys and a stripper from a minority group, people like the commenter would be outraged at the rush to judgment and the prosecutor's outrageous behavior. They should be so regardless of the color and financial status of the individuals involved. That is what justice requires.

19 comments:

Tlaloc said...

"And since when, in this society, are we supposed to have to prove people innocent, even in the court of public opinion?"

When you claim the case is already done before it ever starts. Then yeah you get called to back it up.

So far nothing you said proves that the rape didn't happen now does it? You can certainly claim the prosecution has a weak case. But you claim the question is definitively settled. Can you back that up?

It would seem not.


"There is no evidence whatsoever showing that the accused young men raped that girl. None."

Other than her testimony?

There is certainly evidence that the woman had been sexually assaulted. Not ironclad evidence by any means, but some evidence. Whether it was those three guys who did it? Don't know. I'm in no rush to pre-judge the case.

Why are you unwiling to just let the courts work in this matter?

Kathy Hutchins said...

The willingness to use, with insufficient discernment, available "evidence" to decry those things we dislike is all too common, and just because we readily recognize it in our political opponents is no guarantee we recognize it in ourselves. The same thing happened a couple of years ago when some preliminary medical results out of San Francisco, which indicated a drastic rise in new AIDS cases, was blown up into a wholesale indictment of reckless suidical gay male behavior. It later turned out (and I was suspicious at the time, as I am suspicious of all early clinical data from self-selected samples) that the data has been grossly overinterpreted. At least in that case the "accused" were anonymous. I have no idea where these young men go to get their reputations back. I suppose suing Nifong for willful prosecutorial misconduct would be a waste of good lawyering.

I'm no big expert on North Carolina politics, but a cursory google tells me that Nifong only won a Democratic primary, not a general election, that he did it with less than 50% of the vote, and that fewer than 1000 votes separated him from second place. The total number of votes cast for Nifong is less than the number of students enrolled at Duke. All the news stories say he's unopposed in the fall -- but is that cast in stone? If the Duke students bothered to organize a write-in vote campaign they might be able to get rid of him without a recall.

The Classic Liberal Anonymous said...

I could claim that Nifong hired the "lady" to make the accusation thus getting him reelected, but that does not constitute EVIDENCE.

Of course, my claim would not be taken seriously and carried by all forms of media as FACT (or implied to be true at the very least).

Thus, we are left with proving a negative, ie that something did not occur. Can we do that? Not really, but we can easily infer from the lack of evidence that it is highly likely that the rape did not occur.

ST is correct. There is no evidence that a rape occurred. There is, OTOH, plenty of evidence that it would have been near impossible for it to occur.

While our frequent commenter may think it is noble to let the courts decide, the lack of evidence will assure that this will never happen.

Tlaloc said...

"I could claim that Nifong hired the "lady" to make the accusation thus getting him reelected, but that does not constitute EVIDENCE."

Uh, actually it does. If, you know, you actually make a sworn statement to the police about being the victim of a crime that is indeed admissible evidence. It is not proof by itself of course, but yes it is evidence.

Really, I'm not making this stuff up.



"Thus, we are left with proving a negative,"

Yep. I wondered why Karnick insisted on painting himself into that corner, but he did. Now he gets to stay there and watch it dry.



"ST is correct. There is no evidence that a rape occurred."

Except of course for the sworn testimony of the witness and the testimony of the doctor and nurse, and the DNA evidence. And possibly more that is sequestered, who knows? But that's the point. We have a process to determine the legitimacy of the various claims and evidence and to weigthem in balance and to reach a reasonable conclusion.

It's the place with the person who wears a black dress and has a little hammer.

And until they bang the little hammer it is more than a tad presumptuous for an internet blogger with no first hand knowledge of the case to declare it definitively over. Don'tcha think?



" There is, OTOH, plenty of evidence that it would have been near impossible for it to occur."

No. There is some evidence (provided by the defense naturally) that may indicate an alibi for one or more of the chargedpeople. That does not in anyway prove the rape was impossible to occur (see that thing about disproving a negative above, unless you really want to join karnick in that corner).'



"While our frequent commenter may think it is noble to let the courts decide, the lack of evidence will assure that this will never happen."

Tell me Buzz, what makes you sure you've seen all the evidence? Are you familiar with how sequestering evidence works? Are you really really sure that hasn't happened in this case?

The DA may certainly drop the case. Or he may not. Seems foolish to stake a claim that the outcome is already decided. Then again its not like I'm going to be too upset when people choose to look foolish. I do like entertainment afterall.

Francis W. Porretto said...

No doubt many on the Left are saying "Well, even if they didn't do it, the agony they've suffered at being falsely accused is punishment for past injustices committed by politically and socially dominant whites against persons of color, and by patriarchally privileged men against women."

That's the formula, isn't it?

Tlaloc said...

"That's the formula, isn't it?"

For some, unfortunately it is. Not that many though, really. The PC branch of the left is diseased and needs to be pruned, no doubt about it.

Tom Van Dyke said...

Well, this is the kind of popular media spectacle like Scott Peterson and Natalie Holloway that I assiduously try to avoid becoming infected by, but osmosis is unavoidable in our 24/7 infotainment world.

(A quick check reveals that I spelled the unfortunate Ms. Holloway's name correctly on the first shot. Ouch.)

I was rather with Mr. Simpson on his original post, that something stank about this affair.

First, an escort service was called for the "strippers." Usually, escort services provide, um, "escorts," and we're all adults here. If viewing the loveliness of female nude nudididity was the goal, a more esthetic experience is usually offered by the larger number of the gentle sex whose motto is look but don't touch.

Cheaper than "escorts," too. These gals (whom out of intellectual honesty I must adjudge in the lower quintiles of stripper pulchritude), were paid $400 each for their brief performance, while the going rate seems more like a more justifiable $150. I mean, the Girls Gone Wild chicks do it for a Budweiser and a half a pack of Virginia Slims.

Something stinks here.

Now, of course, per Tawana Brawley and to even up the racial ledger, Susan Smith, the allegations could be complete fabrication. Anything is possible when humans are involved.

But were these sweet courtesans treated with Southern respect and courtesy, fees paid, service delivered, a good time had by all?

The answer is quantifiably no. And neither did these gentlewomen perform their (disproportionately highly paid) dance and get properly appreciated and applauded.

Did the rape(s) happen? Likely not. But something funky did, I think. And no, STK, I'm with Mr. Simpson in principle: hookers are not appropriate party entertainment by any standard, especially a mere two for a roomful of men.

We likely will never know what went down, except things did not go as they should've. But no matter what their profession, these two ladies are professionals. Some breach of chivalry by the amateurs involved is almost certainly responsible.

tbmbuzz said...

Tell me Buzz, what makes you sure you've seen all the evidence?

You talkin' to me? :)

Tlaloc said...

"You talkin' to me? :)"

Doh, sorry. I was talking to CLA but used your name instead. Apologies for the mix up.

S. T. Karnick said...

Tom, if these two "ladies" are "professionals" and merit "chivalry," then the Duke players did nothing wrong in hiring them, and nobody can criticize them for it.

Tom Van Dyke said...

Even if hiring them were wrong, that wouldn't obviate the duties of chivalry.

And I do criticize them for it, the cheap bastards. You think they only ordered two kegs?

S. T. Karnick said...

Tom, the notion that prostitutes merit chivalric treatment is way outside the chivalric tradition, to say the least. Let me just say I'm not convinced, and leave it at that.

In addition, Tom, ponder for a moment your astute question about "service delivered, a good time had by all," and see if an obvious alternative explanation of the events does not spring to mind, and one that fits all the facts perfectly.

Tom Van Dyke said...

Sam, do you mean the answer to the classic, "How do you make a hormone?" Or the contrary, pay her and get some stupid dance instead of what you actually paid for?

I could feature that. Still, when bad things are attempted, even worse things things happen. I don't see the marital act as party entertainment.

As for chivalry, I might not be as up on it as I think. I sorta saw it as an obligation of the male, a noblesse oblige, not an earned perk on the part of the woman. Treat ladies like ladies, and whores as whores? This feels uncomfortable, and brings no credit to the gentleman.

Now I think I heard somewheres that the consummate cocksman treats whores like ladies and ladies like whores.

That seems about right, although I have no way of knowing. ;-)

S. T. Karnick said...

A true gentleman treats everyone alike: as he would wish to be treated himself. And of course even a gentleman has his bad moments or even bad days. A real gentleman would treat even a prostitute well, but he would give an ill-mannered, poor-serving prostitute precisely what she deserved and needed: a boot in the bottom, right out the door.

But that's not the issue at hand here. The question is not whether the Duke lacrosse team is composed of perfect gentlemen, it is whether their conservative critics are correct to claim that they are utterly dastardly fiends in barely discernibly human form who exemplify the appalling decline of morals in this fair land yadda yadda yadda. And to that question, the answer is clearly no, in my view. In fact, their conservative critics look decidedly ungenteel, to me.

S. T. Karnick said...

Tom, as to your first point, about the hormonizing, you're on the right track. Now imagine a situation in which the clients might think themselves justified in doing so, or could in fact be seen as justified in making a hormone. Then think about what you know about the condition the accuser admits she was in when she arrived on the job, then about the fact that she made exactly the same kind of accusation before, which is known to have been false, then consider whose DNA was found inside her private parts (and whose wasn't), then read the rest of the facts of the case in light of those facts, and it should become very obvious what happened there.

Tom Van Dyke said...

I can feature that.

James Elliott said...

"Tom, the notion that prostitutes merit chivalric treatment is way outside the chivalric tradition, to say the least."

How astonishingly narrow-minded. I'd never have suspected it from you, Mr. Karnick.

James Elliott said...

It's also astonishing how the discussion has swerved from "Was there a rape and is their doubt?" to "Was she a prostitute or just deserved to be treated as one?"

S. T. Karnick said...

Mr. Elliott--read above where I say how a prostitute actually should be treated, and I'm sure you'll find nothing wrong with it. I'm not saying what I think the code should be, just noting what it is. The code of chivalry is a very specific thing, and prostitutes in the course of their business do not fit in, I should have thought it needless to say.