Duke Lacrosse Team rape case on the edge of collapsing in on itself

Doubts About Duke
The prosecutor insists his rape case is strong. One big problem: the facts thus far.

If Nifong has a smoking gun it better be the size of a howitzer at this point.

I’m usually one who gives the law-and-order side the benefit of the doubt, knowing as I do that the media has a tendency to exaggerate and leave out pertinent facts.

But bleedin’ Jesus, unless the media is all in a vast conspiracy to ignore crucial evidence this case is a text-book example of over-determnined prosecution.

Hit submit too soon.

I regret that this is going to be exploited as a racial issue (and it already has been.) From what I read in the article, this has been tacitly encouraged by the prosecution. Looking at this, it seems to me the only path he could be taking is to continue with the case, get the expected not-guilty verdict, and then say he tried, but racism our society is systemic.

He cannot possibly believe he will win. For the love of Mike, he’s an intelligent man who graduated from law school. This case is a textbook dud.

First of all, the accuser has been painted in the media as a liar, which is the kiss of death for many cases. She made a previous allegation which she supposedly told her father was false, which she then dropped. She made grossly conflicting statements in the emergency room. Of course, nany victims of sexual assault are so traumatized that they don’t communicate clearly, but the defense will have a field-day with it.

Secondly, the lineup identification will surely be tossed. There were no confederates in one of them-- she picked from a selection of photos that were all team members. It’s inherently flawed.

Thirdly, the accused are being portrayed as chior boys. Good grades, clean records, with big All-American smiles, I’m sure. The victim, on the other hand, is being painted as a woman of low moral character, a substance abuser and a liar. Her co-worker is getting even worse press. “How can I spin this to my advantage?” Ouch!

Fourthly, and most importantly, the lack of evidence and the alibis of the accused. No DNA from any of the players have been recovered. Yes, they may have worn condoms which they then carried away with them, but from the rough treatment this woman claims to have had, you would think that at least some DNA would have survived. Also, the lack of bruising either on the accuser or the accused. And, of course, the death knell for the prosecution’s case: alibis. It seems it can be proven that at least a couple of the accused were elsewhere, or talking to other people when the alleged crime took place.

One of them was speaking on his cell-phone to his girlfriend all throughout the time of the attack. It would take an incredibly bold rapist to call his girlfriend while he was raping another woman. Did the girlfriend hear anything unusal? Did he sound out of breath? (Beating and subduing a woman is hard work.)

Regardless of whether any of this is true is immaterial. The jury pool has surely heard it, and I don’t think any amount of voir dire will completely control for impressions which have already been formed. There is reasonable doubt galore, holes in the case large enough to drive a truck through-- frankly, there isn’t a snowball’s chance in hell that they’ll be convicted.

I likewise usually defend civil servants, but this prosecutor is an idiot. The cops, from what I’ve heard haven’t done anything wrong (unless they were responsible for the team photo lineup). The cops didn’t believe there was a rape, the rape nurse in training didn’t believe there was a rape, the ‘friend of the accuser’ didn’t believe there was a rape…until she thought she could make a buck on it. Turning this into a racial issue only gives racists more fuel for the fire. “Three nice young white boys have had their names run through the mud by some black bitch. Forty other nice white boys had their whole Lacrosse season cancelled because of her lies. You can’t trust them darkies.” You have to feel sorry for the guys involved. They will spend at least a year of their young lives defending themselves against these charges that will never be proven. In the mean time, they are supposed to be finishing school and starting new jobs? How do you explain to a prospective employeer that you may have to take an extended leave of absence to defend yourself against a rape accusation? How do you explain the year you took off between school and searching for a job? Maybe there was a rape, and if so, I feel bad for the victim, but this whole case has turned into such a pissing contest between lawyers and media members that in the end there will be nothing but losers on all sides.

Don’t forget the Duke lacrosse coach. He’s out of a job. (Although that may be because this was the final straw on a whole camel’s back of shenanigans.)

God, why don’t some of these black leaders learn not to make comments and take stands before they know the facts?? Can’t wait for their comments after the case is thrown out :dubious:

Nice white boys? Am I the only one who saw their criminal records? Granted, most of their crimes are public indecency and the like, but one of the three guys charged is also charged with assault.

Why wait for facts when the gleam of the TV spotlight is now? If constrained by facts, Jesse and Al would never get any press at all. :rolleyes:

That’s probably a perfect example of media engineering, then. I haven’t followed the case closely, but I’ve never heard anything about past criminal records of the accused. On the contrary, they’ve been portrayed as studious (i’ve heard several mentions of them having good grades) and willing to assist the police.

I’ve heard about the prior record of (I think) Seligmann. The last I saw, some months ago, he was in additional trouble because the charges meant he’d violated his probation for something else. They have assisted the police.

The thing that bothers me about this case, beyond the kids being charged for what look like political reasons, which is terrible, is the number of commentators who piled on to these kids for all these reasons - for not coming forward to name the names of the guilty parties, then for getting drunk, for being racist, for being rapists, for being rich, white spoiled kids - who will move on, when this wraps up, and tell new people what to do with nary a word about what they said in the past. No apologies or anything, of course, no responsibility. Even if it’s people’s lives and livelihoods, it’s just entertainment.

Unlike the paid representatives of the accused students who were so restrained in their haste to point out the history and character of the accuser.

I know - that was their job and I don’t fault them (although I might have expected a little more professional courtesy towards a fellow prostitute). What I found upsetting, as usual, was how many people were quick to leap on either side when there were so few facts to form an opinion on. Too many people seem to assume that their subjective identification with one side or the other of a public dispute is actually a valid basis for determining reality.

That said, it does now appear that the accusations were false based on the objective evidence that has since been presented.

I agree bigtime, but I can’t understand why you slipped this into MPSIMS.

Apparently, the state evidentiary rules require the prosecutor to turn over all evidence to the defense attorney. So, in all likelyhood, what we’ve seen is what we’ll get.

In which case, Nifong really needs to end up flipping burgers somewhere.

The prosecutor is not an idiot. He’s already won. The entire point of the prosecution was to get more black votes and win the election. Done, and done. Now all he needs to do is let the ‘victim’ hang herself on her own rope, provide her with no actual support for her claims, just keep saying “It’s true.” with no details. Let her twist in the wind until she recants and asks for the charges to be dropped. Then he can pretend to be shocked and everyone will forget about it by the next election.

I’m not so sure. Seems rather insulting to the black voter in that region, if you ask me. Are they all racists? Are they all willing to ignore that a man is an idiot simply because of the color of his skin?

Unless the area is highly populated by black people who vote, and who vote based on race alone, I can’t see it helping him. It certainly won’t score him points with white voters, or with those who don’t see this as a racial issue.

To quote Avenue Q, “Everyone’s a little bit racist”. More seriously, I actually consider “racist” to be a heavier loaded term than some, so I don’t like labeling “everyone” as racist. It’s undenyable, though, that race does affect our perceptions.

I think there is a definite racial divide over this. Especially earlier on, there were fewer details so it was all a bit up in the air, it’s easy for people to decide on racial lines. No cites, but I’d bet dollars to donuts that more poor black folks believed the stripper than rich white folks.

Poorer people and blacks might bristle a bit more at the assumption that the victim was a liar. As if people are weighing believability based on wealth and color, it’s easy for them to see themselves in the place of the stripper, getting their complaints ignored. With Nifong, maybe they feel they have a bit more of a voice, since he took this person seriously, he may take them seriously as well.

Realistically, nobody can say whether or not the decision to prosecute helped or hurt his campaign, but he did win, and I think his decision was intended to help his campaign, and had nothing whatsoever to do with justice.

I went to the black school the alleged female victim went to.
I worked at a restaurant in the local community.
Not all of the black voters in the region concerned (Durham, NC) are racists. If racism means making lawful decisions on the basis of race, I believe that most are.
Are they all willing to ignore that a man is an idiot simply because of the color of his skin?
What man? You mean the alleged female victim being an idiot?
In any equation that can be perceived as a conflict between blacks and whites, the black folks there that I remember will always side with other blacks. The only exception I can imagine would be if the blacks in question were absolutely and incontestably guilty of some heinous action.
While the alleged victim in this case is likely guilty of a heinous action, that fact may be in doubt by at least a few reasonable people, and at the outset of the situation, it was at least reasonable to find one’s self trusting this young lady’s account.
I believe that the community in question may in fact respect and like Nifong’s treatment of this case, although I suspect as the evidence continues to mount in favor of the defense, the more reasonable and honest parts of Durham’s black community are calling the same kind of “BS” on Nifong that many persons across the country are. I suspect that this reasonable element in the community doesn’t mind his initial handling of the situation, but rather his recent handling thereof.

No. I meant, “Are the black people in that area willing to ignore that the prosecutor is an idiot just because he’s of their race?” It was a rhetorical question. That said, I will say that I think anyone who votes for a candidate just because they’re black, or white, or Asian, or Hispanic, or Eskimo is being racist.

Is any crime involving two people of different races automatically an issue on which skin color takes precedence? Sometimes a crime is just a crime, neither motivated nor prosecuted because of race.

Of course. Until stories about her actions and past came out, there was no reason to think she might be lying. I wouldn’t hold her past against her if the DNA or medical exams had proven that a rape did occur. At that point, it wouldn’t matter even if she was the Whore of Babylon, the perpetrators should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.

And yes, the initial actions of the prosecutor were well-intentioned. (Though his methods might be a tad questionable.) However, once he realized that the alleged perpetrators had alabis and there was no DNA to support the allegation, he should have dropped the charges, leaving it open for the alleged rapists to be charged later if more evidence should come to light. If nothing else, it’s piss-poor prosecuting to continue.

Nifong is a white dude; hence your question is quite confusing.

I find it interesting how race is being used in this case. This is like OJ: the 10-Year Anniversary Special. Once again, the subject of conversation hovers around what black people are thinking and doing, what their motivations are, are they being racist, etc. Even with respect to Nifong’s actions, its all about the black folks. Almost half the voting public in Durham is white, yet for some reason we are to believe that Nifong is only concerned about pandering to the black half. The possibility that his actions just might be pissing off an equal if not greater percentage of white spectators just doesn’t seem to rate high in people’s awareness. Apparently, the default assumption is that any bias that exists in the court of public opinion comes solely from black people. Because, ya know, whites only look at the facts when reaching their conclusions, whilst blacks are prone to irrational, emotion-based judgements. Of course, no one says that. Out loud. But that unspoken sentiment still comes across just the same.

The media has played up the race angle to a ridiculous degree. They never fail to remind us that the accuser is black and the accused are white. It’s almost as if everything else is secondary. It’s no wonder that people are so polarized. Everything we read and hear about this case is intended to polarize.

Word for word, I agree with this. It sums up rather well all the problems I’ve had with the public’s reaction to this case.

Maybe before you call people racist, you might want to check your facts, District Attorney Mike Nifong’s website
I could be wrong, but he looks pretty white to me!

CMC fnord!