Monday, March 26, 2007

Duke (non) Rape Update: Three Million Reasons This Prosecution Was Wrong

Are you rich enough to defend yourself in a false prosecution, because the accused Duke lacrosse players have accrued over three million in legal fees. There's a way you can help with the legal fees at the link. How many people, even so-called "privileged" ones can afford millions in legal fees? Imagine being the parent of a falsely accused son and then having to pay those bills.

Speaking of worn out clich├ęs, Newsbusters shines a light on The New York Times sports reporter Selena Roberts. Even after all the evidence of both the Duke players innocence and Mike Nifong's guilt, she manages to see the miscarriage of justice as beneficial.

Roberts seems to think the false rape charges were worth it in the end, if it opens up Duke to "change," and seems to think that partying and misbehavior on campus (not to mention "public urination") is the exclusive realm of spoiled white athletes.

"What’s new? Nothing really. But the opportunity to change this chronic campus dynamic is up to Duke. For now, administrators and faculty members seem earnest in giving it a college try.

"That would be a welcomed development to citizens who had long complained about the raucous partying and misbehavior of athletes in their neighborhoods. There were red flags about the Duke lacrosse team, including a history of off-campus conduct problems.

"Apparently, no player could hold his own beer because public urination was an issue."

[…]

"But if you take on the athlete culture that was exposed, not the alleged crime, there can be one healthy legacy to a scandal.

"A dismissal doesn’t mean forget everything. Amnesia would be a poor defense to the next act of athlete privilege."
It's not shocking that a Times reporter is biased against white men. Unfortunately, it's not shocking that "men of the cloth" would judge a matter before it's heard, either. KC Johnson catalogs the sins of the clergy and it's discouraging. He concludes with this anecdote:
One lacrosse parent who attended the service approached Fr. Vetter afterwards, reminded him of the presumption of innocence, and said that part of the priest’s job was to minister to Catholic players on the team.

Vetter’s response? “Tell them to confess their sins first.”
This case laid bare the bias that pervades institutions supposedly dedicated to truth: the press, the clergy, the law, the academy. Too many American bastions of learning are infected with a pernicious case of political correctness. It changes the mind and blinds one to justice or even critical thought. Unfortunately, innocent people have suffered as a result.

On a positive note, Barack Obama calls for an Department of Justice investigation into Mike Nifong's actions. As KC Johnson notes, Obama is uniquely qualified to make this call--he was a law school professor.

On a sad note, Reade Seligmann's attorney died of a sudden heart attack and will not get the satisfaction of seeing his client fully exonerated.

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