Over at Rachel’s Tavern I am answering some of the emails I have gotten in my new monthly mailbag post. In this post here at Alas, I am going to post my response to the most common questions I have been getting, which are of course about the Duke Rape case.
I have gotten numerous emails on this subject, so I figure I should give a general statement on the case. Mostly people have been asking why I haven’t been posting and if my lack of posts indicates that I now believe that these “boys” are innocent. There are a few reasons I haven’t been posting. First, the information on the case has been slow to trickle out, so I have decided only to update when there are big developments in the case. Second, the vast majority of the recent stories on the case have involved leaks from the defense, which I don’t consider newsworthy. They have routinely leaked information to try to spin the case in their favor, which is of course the job of the defense attorneys, but they simultaneously refuse to release the actual documents for the media to review. In fact, there was a really good story in the NY Times today with the following quote:
“I have no doubt that Mike believes her,” said H. Wood Vann, a lawyer in Durham who once represented the woman in a joy-riding case and has also done general legal work for her parents. Mr. Vann said that he wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt but that few other people in town do, and he added that many wonder why Mr. Nifong persists.
“At some point in time he’s going to have to get to a tipping point,” Mr. Vann said. “His case is going to hell in public opinion. He’s suffering death by a thousand cuts.”
Mr. Nifong’s silence makes it impossible to evaluate the case as a whole. Certainly some evidence has not been revealed … the next hearing is set for June 22 … and the defense has released evidence selectively, presumably showing only those parts that strengthen its public position.
I generally agree with that quote. The Prosecutor is losing in the court of public opinion, and that is because the only chatter we hear is from defense attorneys, who would have people believe that there is no grounds whatsoever for this case. If the case was as groundless as they claim, then the grand jury and/or the judge would have intervened. You’ll have to pardon me if I am a little skeptical of defense attorneys claims, especially since we are hearing them with no rebuttal. That also leads to the third reason I have not been putting up as many posts on the case.
I am relatively certain that the defense attorneys are reading these blogs trying to figure out what will stick with people, and I didn’t want my blog to be used as a means for them to test the jury pool. In fact, I suspect that one of the emails I received was from someone close to the defense in this case (I could be wrong, but that is my guess.) The defense in this case is a vast well oiled machine. In fact, one of the best articles on this matter came out in the Washington Post. The articles is called “Lacrosse Players Case a Trial for Parents,” and it shows you how powerful the families in this case are.
Now I’d be liar if I didn’t say I think the defense team is winning the court of public opinion, but I also know that the DA has been firm in maintaining his support for the victim and this case will be tried in a court of law, not the court of public opinion (which is the other reason my posts have been a little sparse lately). The defense team seems to be taking the condemning the condemners strategy in what appears to be an attempt to keep this case from going to trial. I assume they are thinking that if they taunt the victim and the prosecutor enough the charges will be dropped.
So there you have it those are my current thoughts on the case…..if you want to read an extended version of the mailbag, you can come over to Rachel’s Tavern.