Collective Guilt at Duke

Wednesday, May 17th, 2006 12:42 pm by Neal

The worst thing said in the case involving rape charges against Duke University students was not said by either the prosecutor or the defense attorneys, or even by any of the accusers or the accused. It was said by a student at North Carolina Central University, a black institution attended by the stripper who made rape charges against Duke lacrosse players.

According to Newsweek, the young man at NCCU said that he wanted to see the Duke students prosecuted, “whether it happened or not. It would be justice for things that happened in the past.” [emphasis added — editor]

This is the ugly attitude that is casting a cloud over this whole case. More important, this collective guilt and collective revenge attitude has for years been poisoning race relations in this country.

Thus begins “The biggest scandal” by Thomas Sowell on the increasingly bizarre case of a black stripper who claims she was raped by Duke lacrosse players. Sowell points out that the collectivist trend, exemplified in this case and by this student’s comment, is a dangerous precedent for civil rights leaders.

At one time, the black civil rights leadership aimed at putting an end to racism, and especially to the perversion of the law to convict people because of their race, regardless of guilt or innocence.

Today, this young man at NCCU represents the culmination of a new racist trend promoted by current black “leaders” to make group entitlements paramount, including seeking group revenge rather than individual justice in courts of law.

Tragically, the way the Duke case is being handled, it looks as if District Attorney Michael Nifong is pandering to these ugly feelings. Legal experts seem baffled as to why he is proceeding in the way that he is because it is hard to explain legally.

It is not hard to explain politically, however. The District Attorney may well owe his recent election victory to having tapped into the kinds of racial resentments expressed by the young man at North Carolina Central University.

Now Mr. Nifong is riding a tiger and cannot safely get off. His bet best may be to let this case drag on until it fizzles out, long after the media have lost interest. His extraordinary postponement of the trial for a year suggests he understands that.

Perhaps this is Nifong’s strategy; however, harassment and intimidation of witnesses is part of his game plan as well, and this is prosecutorial abuse of the worst kind: the kind of abuse that one expects from a Banana Republic not a country of laws. Sowell puts it this way:

In the meantime, the taxi driver who provided the first airtight alibi for one of the accused Duke lacrosse players has been picked up by the police on a flimsy, three-year-old charge, supposedly about shoplifting. He was held for five hours for questioning — reportedly not about shoplifting, but about the Duke rape charges.

Does this smell to high heaven or what?

The taxi driver himself is not accused of shoplifting. But two women who were passengers in his cab were. Since when are taxi drivers held responsible for what their passengers did before or after being in their cab?

What purpose can this harassing of the taxi driver serve? His account of what happened in the Duke rape case has already been corroborated by a surveillance camera at the bank to which he took one of the lacrosse players, as well as by other time-stamped records indicating where his passenger was during the time when he was supposed to be raping a stripper.

If the prosecution cannot discredit the taxi driver’s statement in a court of law, what can they gain by harassing him? One thing they can gain could be to at least stop the cabbie from going on television again to repeat what he has said before.

If nothing else, the harassment can serve as a warning to anybody else who might feel like coming forward with testimony that undermines the prosecution’s case.

Is this America or some banana republic?

Some people in the media saw this case from day one as a matter of taking sides rather than seeking the truth. They want to be on the politically correct side — for a black woman against white men — and the facts be damned.

If such attitudes prevail, we will indeed become a banana republic. Or worse.

Is this still America?

3 Responses to “Collective Guilt at Duke”

  1. Betty Friedan Says:

    District Attorney Mike Nifong is a disgrace to his job: Abuse of power and corruption surrounds Durham’s new DA.

    1) A responsible DA would have stated at the beginning that “there is an investigation, and we don’t have enough to make a statement right now. I’m responsible not only to the accuser, but to the accused. Please wait and let our investigators do their jobs”, but Mr. Mike “all-of-these-privileged-white-boys-are-rapists” Nifong at the beginning of the investigation he will prove the entire lacrosse team is guilty for aiding and abetting a gang rape inside a small enclosed bathroom. Nifong stirred up racial woes and put the lives of Duke and Durham at risk for gang threats and the racist groups like NAACP and the New Black Panthers. Nifong encouraged sexists groups to paste these boys pictures with hate slogans all over their school. Daily hate protests by women’s groups claiming these boys are rapists.
    2) DA Mike Nifong cares nothing of guilt, innocence, or destroying innocent boys’ lives.
    a. The first batch of DNA came back with conclusive for no match to any of the lacrosse boys.
    b. The crime scene was completely void of any DNA evidence of any gang rape.
    c. The boy’s that Nifong charged has an air-tight alibi and wasn’t at the party at the time the stripper claimed a rape occurred, and he refused to see this evidence before destroying his life.
    d. The second batch of DNA came back with no conclusive match to any of the lacrosse boys.
    e. DNA couldn’t rule out partial material found on top of a fake finger nail, inside a waste basket full of DNA material from the boys who lived in that house.
    f. The third boy indicted went down to the police department for questioning without counsel, helped with the investigation by identifying all the other boys at the party, offered to take a lie detector test, willingly volunteered a DNA sample, and past a lie detector given by a top senior experienced FBI agent. The stripper said is 90% sure if he had his mustache, but he has never had a mustache, which makes it 0% sure. DA Mike Nifong refused to see this evidence and instead decided to destroy another innocent boy’s life.
    g. The stripper’s body was completely void of any sign of a sexual assault (except for signs of recent vaginal and anal from her boyfriend). The alleged crime scene was completely devoid of DNA. It is impossible that a crime scene with three drunk men in a small enclosed room with a fighting and clawing woman being orally, virginally, and anally penetrated not leave any DNA evidence of urine, blood, vaginal fluid, sweat, fecal matter, scat smears, saliva, tears, or semen… especially if condoms were used. How would they take off the condoms during all this chaos without spilling, smearing, or touching the content inside or outside of the condom?

    3) Investigator Mark Furman reviewed the lie detector test completed by the FBI on the 3rd boy unfairly indicted for a rape that never occurred. Mr. Furman stated that the boy not only passed the lie detector test, he passed with flying colors, but even without the test, this boy’s resume of helping the police with the investigation is impeccable.
    4) DA Mike Nifong stated that all of these boys are hiding the truth and covering up for one anther. Nifong claims the boys are “stone walling”, but when the accusation was made, the police questioned the three boys who lived in the house for over six hours, not one asked for a lawyer. When the entire team was told they had to submit DNA samples, they didn’t call their parents or fight the warrant. The boys cooperated completely. These aren’t the actions of guilty boys. Only when their parents witnessed the circus-like atmosphere created by District Attorney Mike Nifong, the boys were advised to remain quiet.
    5) DA Mike Nifong gave the second stripper a deal to change her story to support the false accusation of rape, and he wouldn’t revoke her probation from a previous conviction of embezzling $25,000 from her empolyer.
    6) A Taxi driver had a fair, two years ago, who left stolen items in his cab. Mike Nifong had him arrested for larceny last week.

    Mike Nifong got re elected by pandering to black voters more interested in convicting white boys than guilt or innocence.

  2. Betty Friedan Says:

    Lawyers are waiting in the shadows for lucrative civil suit

    A man stands in the shadows of the Duke Lacrosse ‘rape’ case…watching and waiting. While the three wealthy, white male students remains in criminal court, he is not likely to step forward.

    Even at this early stage, the stripper’s mother is “very much interested” in “getting Willie E. Gary is a litigator renowned for winning huge settlements.

    The stripper’s parents met with Gary in April. The meeting was facilitated by civil rights activist Rev. Jesse Jackson.

    Gary acts as a family adviser, and the parents are laying groundwork to make a civil bid. Public opinion can be a large bargaining chip in obtaining a lucrative settlement. Earlier, the parents spoke freely; now they’re being more media savvy.

    Essence Magazine featured three articles by Kristal Brent Zook. Each is sympathetic to the accuser. (1st) “Family Defends Daughter’s Painful Past”, (2nd) “Nowhere to Turn,” depicts the accuser as living in terror. (3rd) is basically an announcement of Willie Gary’s appearance in the case; it concludes by stating that the parents “worry that their daughter may…need additional legal guidance.”

    Civil law deals in torts or harms inflicted by one person upon another; its purposes are compensation for actual or perceived damages.

    A “guilty” verdict in criminal court can be used to establish liability in a civil one but if the verdict is “not guilty” or the charges are dropped, a civil case can proceed independently.

    Kobe Bryant settled out-of-court settlement. Such settlements are not necessarily admissions of guilt. After months of media blitz, Bryant may have been embarrassed to settle, so civil suits could be lucrative even if the “accuser’s” claim is completely fabricated. The Duke students will face the same choice?

    Civil suits can be lucrative, and they’re easier to win; standards of evidence and other legal protections enjoyed by a defendant are significantly lowered in civil court.

    Clearly, her parents wish to explore a civil proceeding. Gary is conspicuously available.

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