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

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

More on the NC False Prosecution Scandal

A comment on my previous post on this subject suggested that I was judging the truth of the Duke lacrosse rape allegation too soon, just as I have accused those who assumed the players did it, of having done.

If we await a trial, however, we will never be able to comment, as there will be no trial of the Duke lacrosse players charged of rape. That is an absolute certainty.

Fortuntely, it is perfectly fair and reasonable to comment now. The evidence is in, and the charge is false, just as I said.

Unlike those who rushed to blame the players, I withheld public judgment until the evidence was clear. (Look at the date on my Reform Club post, and also note that I got it right when Newsweek was getting it spectacularly wrong, as noted below.) It did not take very long for the evidence to become clear, as it happens.

The Newsweek story referenced here is a good example of the kind of hooey that was being written shortly after the allegations arose. The DNA tests had already come back negative, but the story recounted the prosecutor's claims of use of a date rape drug, etc., suggesting that the accuser's accusations would prove true anyway. Characteristic of the piece is this claim: "From the beginning, the case has provided a tawdry real-world blend of true crime, high life and low manners, for the likes of novelists John Grisham and Tom Wolfe." The main problem with that assessment is that there was no "real-world . . . crime" of the sort they were suggesting, only the despicable crime of a made-up accusation of rape.

The Newsweek story characterized all lacrosse players as spoiled rich boys, which is an incredibly stupid thing to write, and entirely wrong, if you must have it spelled out for you. The article says, "The antics of the lacrosse team had attracted the notice of administrators at Duke, both for raucous tailgating parties before football games and a high rate of campus misdemeanors, like public underage drinking (15 of the 47 players on the roster have been cited by police at some point in the last three years)." But as K. C. Johnson noted in NRO and I quoted in my posting here, "An investigation headed by James Coleman, a Duke law professor and former (Democratic) counsel to the House Ethics Committee, confirmed that while the men’s lacrosse players had a disproportionate number of alcohol violations, they also performed extensive community service, achieved athletic excellence, and demonstrated unfailing courtesy to Duke staff. The Coleman Committee found no evidence that 'the cohesiveness of this group is either sexist or racist.' On the academic front, more than half the team made the ACC’s academic honor roll; one professor recalled that “the lacrosse players were willing to defend unpopular positions in class.' "

The facts are indeed in, and they prove that Nifong, Broadhead, the accuser, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Newsweek, and all the other agitators, journalists, and political commentators who jumped in to convict the Duke lacrosse team and its coach were wrong, and that many of them were utterly despicable in their cynicism.

You know, if you care.

15 comments:

Tlaloc said...

"Fortuntely, it is perfectly fair and reasonable to comment now. The evidence is in, and the charge is false, just as I said."

What evidence is that? The first DNA test was inconclusive. Subsequent DNA tests of skin under the victims fingernails have been a match for one of the players on the team. The woman was judged to have symptoms (mental and physical) consistent with sexual assault by the doctors who saw her the night of the incident. There have been three indictments

What is this evidence of which you speak which so conclusive indicates the allegations were false?

The polygraph test is inadmissable for a good reason: polygraphs are terrible at actually detecting lies. Tricking them is childs play, I know because I routinely did it as a child. Furthermore the polygraph was arranged for by the defense, not an independent party.

You seem just so certain, that it seems odd when as far as I can tell there is not one shred of evidence to back up your claim.

(Note: I am not claiming that the duke students are guilty. I simply find the matter sufficiently open to question that claims by either side of certainty seem awfully suspicious.)

yportne said...

http://boards.courttv.com/showthread.php?s=488303c46af12b0cc0c52277cd71385f&threadid=266362

Tlaloc said...

Sorry, I trust Newsweek more than random anonymous internet posters who don't even present an argument.

S. T. Karnick said...

A Newsweek story that was full of inaccuracies released by the NC prosecutor....

Tlaloc said...

"A Newsweek story that was full of inaccuracies released by the NC prosecutor"

By all means support that contention. What, specifically, in the story was inaccurate?

S. T. Karnick said...

Asked and answered. See this post and my other posts and comments.

Tlaloc said...

"Asked and answered. See this post and my other posts and comments."

Un-uh. You made a specific claim that the newsweek story is inaccurate. Are you going to back that up with quotes from the article followed by rebutting evidence or not?

What you've done in your previous posts is not to rebut anything but merely to assert, dramatically, that the prosecution case is so absurd that no trial is called for. To support this assertion you've offered nothing to date.

S. T. Karnick said...

Contrary to this assertion, I offered specific quotes from the Newsweek article and answered them. They're right there for all to see. And I not only said a trial isn't warranted, I said that Nifong will not bring this case to trial. The notion that Nifong, who has released everything possible to the press, is holding back powerful evidence against the defendants is perfectly absurd. The proof is in the pudding, and any claims that there is good evidence against these defendants that is being held back by this irresponsible publicity hound of a district attorney will be proven false when the matter quietly dies before reaching trial. It will do exactly that.

At this point, we've all said all that can be said about the evidence, and will have to await the outcome of the November election to see whether the trial goes forward. But I will say it right now, again: there will be no trial. Those who disagree with that assessment are welcome to return in November and discuss it further.

Gregory said...

Hey Matlock...er...taloc, the dna was found on TOP of the fingernail, which was fished from the garbage can in the bathroom, after being put in the garbage by one of the residents of 610 Buchanan. Moreover, there was no "match" as you say. It just means that one of the players, who happens to live in the house and used the garbage can there, is not excluded. To mention just one piece of evidence, and to mischaracterize it in such a staggeringly obscene way implies to me that you are either uniformed or biased.

yportne said...

Links and articles at Friends of Duke University
http://friendsofdukeuniversity.blogspot.com/2006/05/links-and-media.html

S. T. Karnick said...

Thanks for sending the links, Yportne. I found the discussions on the CourTV blogs quite interesting, and it was nice to see our site referenced on the Duke blog. I'm very glad to be able to contribute something hopefully constructive to the discussion, as this has been such a repugnant situation.

Tlaloc said...

"Hey Matlock...er...taloc, the dna was found on TOP of the fingernail, which was fished from the garbage can in the bathroom, after being put in the garbage by one of the residents of 610 Buchanan."

None of which is news to me. Nor is any of it particularly relevent to the question of whether evidecne exists. The evidence does exist. There are of course questions that the defense can and should raise about what the evidence really shows.

People around here seem to have a very poor grip on what precisely it means to say something is evidence in a legal sense.



"Moreover, there was no "match" as you say."

Sure it was. It wasn't an exact match but a partial match. That is still a match.



"To mention just one piece of evidence, and to mischaracterize it in such a staggeringly obscene way implies to me that you are either uniformed or biased."

Well the third option is that you don't have a clue what you are talking about, which would seem to be the case since you don't comprehend the meaning of either "evidence" or "partial match."

S. T. Karnick said...

If we are talking about evidence with probative value, which is what we are doing in this case, then Yportne is certainly correct here.

Again, the proof will be in the pudding. This will not come to trial.

The Classic Liberal Anonymous said...

Lookie here ...

S. T. Karnick said...

Thanks for the link, CLA. I heard that on the news last night and laughed out loud. A crock, all right!