Monday, October 16, 2006

Duke Rape Case

For almost 8 months we have heard all kinds of things said about the Duke rape case. Immediately after this story broke, the media were having a field day. That is all anyone saw on the news.

With the help of district attorney running for reelection, the Duke lacrosse team members were tried and convicted of rape in the media.

CBS did an interview with the young men accused of the rape.

Now that a few facts are coming out, were see that the district attorney may have been misleading the media and the community in order to win reelection-

The district attorney, Mike Nifong, took to the airwaves giving dozens of interviews, expressing with absolute certainty that Duke lacrosse players had committed a horrific crime. His comments fueled explosive news coverage and fed public suspicion of the team, before much of the evidence was gathered.

"There’s no doubt in my mind that she was raped and assaulted at this location," he said on Fox News' "The O'Reilly Factor." D.A. Nifong referred to the lacrosse players “a bunch of hooligans” whose “daddies could buy them expensive lawyers.”

He played up the racial aspects of the case, but insisted that his public comments had nothing to do with the hotly contested election campaign he was waging in a city with a large black population.

What is staggering to me, in order to win reelection, this DA has destroyed the lives of three young men, destroyed the reputation of the school and destroyed the reputation of the media.

This DA told America with certainty that the Duke Lacrosse team had raped a women, now we see that any attempt these young men made to prove they were innocent was completely ignored.

But based on 60 Minutes' six-month review of the case file, it appears that standard police procedures were violated and evidence disregarded – evidence that may have pointed toward the players’ innocence.

The DNA did not match to a single player-

"I mean, we were kinda, I mean, shocked by the fact that we – that we had to actually go to a police station to give DNA. But everyone – we were told it would help to clear everything up. So we were happy to go," Finnerty explains. They were even happier when the results came back: there was no match. No DNA from any member of the lacrosse team was found on or inside the accuser or on her clothing. Reade Seligmann thought the case would now be closed, but he was wrong.

"It’s so frustrating because that was an opportunity for us to exonerate ourselves, and we were told that," he says. "We trusted that you know if we cooperated, we would, you know, those that were innocent would be shown to be innocent. And that's just, it didn't play out that way."

District Attorney Mike Nifong, who had declared that DNA would be the crux of his case, played down the results, speculating that the absence of DNA meant that the attackers may have used condoms, although the accuser had already stated that there were “no condoms used”, and that at least one of her three attackers had ejaculated inside her. Although it was a major setback for his case, the D.A. said he was undeterred.

When the young men, accused of this crime, attempted to clear their names, the DA completely ignored them-

Seligmann says his lawyer offered to present proof of his whereabouts to authorities, but said they didn’t want to hear it.

He says he never once talked to the police about the night. Seligmann says he was never interviewed by police or anyone from the district attorney's office about what happened that night.

Now here these men sit, accused of a crime, tried and convicted in the court of public opinion, and they could be innocent.

There lives have been destroyed, all because of a politician. The DA was so worried about his political career, he was actually willing to sacrifice these three men.

Now that the DA has already been re-elected, perhaps now is the time to actually address the evidence against these men.

Now, I have no idea whether or not these men are actually innocent or guilty of the crime they are accused of. Seems to me, the DA should have plenty of time to figure this out now that he is not running for re-election.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I totally agree that this case has no merit and that Nifong took this case to win election to keep his pension. 3 more years and he can retire. This man needs to be disbarred.

I have lost confidence in prosecutors and grand juries as well from all of this. For lots of information on the subject, check out and the blog called Durham in Wonderland. A professor is writing a book and has daily updates in this case - very enlightening.