Duke Case: Were I On The Jury, I'd Vote "Not Guilty"

Reasonable doubt rears its head. From an article in The New Yorker:

It was also learned that the photo identification of the three players Nifong indicted was the result of a procedure so problematic that it may prove not to have been worth the effort. After the failure of the first two tries at getting an identification, Nifong instructed police to compile a photographic lineup consisting only of lacrosse players, and to ask the accuser if she recognized her attackers. That process (which Osborn described as “a multiple-choice test with no wrong answers”) seems to have been a violation of the Durham Police Department’s own rules.

I don’t know what happened at the party. But I know the photo IDs are essential to the DA’s case against the three accused Lacrosse players. And this was clearly a bad ID. There are standard procedures for running IDs, designed to protect innocent people from being railroaded; these procedures were ignored, and the ID has no reliability. Under those circumstances, I don’t see how anyone – including those who are sure Mary Doe was raped – could be certain beyond reasonable doubt that these three men raped her.

I’ve said a few times in the past that although I think Mary Doe was raped at that party, I also recognize that I could be mistaken about that. And I continue to believe that many of the arguments supporting the “Mary Doe is a liar” case – that her initial statements to police were jumbled and incoherent, that she’s a stripper, and that she also reported being gang-raped many years ago, for three examples – are not only garbage, but are based in dangerous, harmful myths about rape. All of these complaints are variations of The Myth Of The Platonic Rape Victim – the idea we should imagine a perfect rape victim, and then ask if the complainant’s behavior and statements match what our imaginary perfect rape victim would have done and said. The Platonic Rape Victim’s statements are never incoherent, contradictory or inaccurate; the Platonic Rape Victim is not raped twice in one lifetime; the Platonic Rape Victim is certainly not a stripper!

On the other hand, some of the new evidence – in particular, the recent public statements of the other stripper, essentially accusing Mary Doe of making the whole thing up – seems to be to provide much more substantial reason for doubt.

I stand by most of my past posts on this subject. But I no longer believe Mary Doe was raped that night. (Nor do I believe she wasn’t raped. I’m now an agnostic on this question.)

There are two questions to consider here: First, “Did a rape happen?” and second, “Is there enough evidence to prove in a courtroom that these particular three men committed rape?” I don’t know the answer to the first question. But – especially in light of the bad ID – I think the answer to the second question is “no.”

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166 Responses to Duke Case: Were I On The Jury, I'd Vote "Not Guilty"

  1. 101
    Original Lee says:

    And of course, the other half of the disdain nutshell for strippers is that their testimony, especially about rape, is *automatically* unreliable, because they are, you know, um, strippers.

  2. 102
    Q Grrl says:

    Guys, face it. When a man purchases a woman’s “services” to the end of his own, personal, sexual titillation or release, he has indeed purchased a woman. You can fall all over yourselves to try to minimize the dehumanization of this type of financial transaction, but the bottom line is that men buy women for all sorts or reasons, but never want to name what they’re doing. You purchase a ticket to go see a movie; you purchase a woman if you want to be sexually aroused. You cannot separate the “services” of a stripper from her body, from the very concrete, biological essence that she is. And indeed, that is why she is bought – to reduce a woman of all individuality, to reduce a female body into a form of entertainment or sexual release, to reduce the sexuality of women into something that can be purchased, manipulated, switched on and off like a TV, to focus it narrowly into the confines of male masturbatory release.

    And that’s why these two strippers left in the first place. Because the men did forget that there were women behind the sexual display. They offered to sodomize the women with a broomstick. They thought they had every right and every moral imperative to do so. If all they had bought was a strip tease, they would not have thought to make the dance explicit in it’s sexual function, they would have left it with the implicity for which the original financial transaction should have contracted.

    And BTW, to who ever suggested that these women were foolish, or asking for it, because they failed to have a body guard — well, you just kind of nailed it on the head on why and how it is that these men did indeed purchase these women. The body guard wouldn’t protect the women per se, he (undoubtably male) would be protecting a financial interest of someone else (undoubtably male) who acted as, shall we say pimp or liason?, to arrange between himself and the party throwers what women would dance, and the contractual nature of that dance (which again can’t be separated from the women).

    If all these men had wanted was to hire a stripper for her “services”, then a woman would have shown up at 11:30 and started peeling the paint off their damn house.

    It seems only women and slaves can be purchased but still denied the agency and humanity of their bodies. And before any smart ass comes in here whining about how the strippers have agency to leave, or hire a body guard, please don’t forget that these women did leave – without their money, without the men honoring the contract which the men themselves had already violated by suggesting that the women be sodomized with a broom stick. Financial concerns, being what they were for these two women, they returned to the party and re-entered an unsafe space occupied by 30+ drunk and sexually aroused males who had already conveniently forgot that what supposedly had been purchased was a “service”.

    Fuck, it really doesn’t get more obvious.

  3. 103
    RonF says:

    An additional development

    Accuser changes story in lacrosse case

    In her latest statement to investigators, the accuser in the Duke lacrosse rape case changed her account again about when the alleged gang rape occurred, who attacked her and how. Defense attorneys filed the statement in court today, arguing that it was more evidence that the woman is an unreliable witness.

    The woman adjusted the timing of the assault to earlier in the evening, a time point preceding the well-documented alibi of one accused player, Reade Seligmann. The defense, however, introduced yet more alibi evidence for Seligmann: he was on the cell phone with his girlfriend during the height of the attack as the accuser now times it.

    Plenty more details in the story itself. The interview took place Dec. 21st. This was the interview after which Nifong dropped the rape charges, but apparently the interview itself has just been made public when the defense got it into Court records.

  4. 104
    RonF says:

    Hm. Q Grrl, if “only women and slaves can be purchased but still denied the agency and humanity of their bodies.”, how do you explain the existence of male strippers? Heck, my wife’s been to the Sugar Shack, and she tells me the women get pretty wild and male strippers have had women assault them and have had to retreat off the stage.

    Strippers aren’t slaves, and they are not equivalent to such. Slaves have no choices. Strippers and anyone else who sells services do have choices. That includes refusal to provide services if the people they are selling them to violate the terms agreed to. Which, sometimes, people do. Broken contracts end up in the courts all the time, but that’s not slavery. The fact that these guys acted like assholes and in one case apparently even threatened one of them is dead wrong but is not equivalent to buying or enslaving these women.

  5. 105
    RonF says:

    Abyss2hope said:

    RonF, the way strippers are treated isn’t linked to the man’s sexual desperation. Demeaning treatment comes from disdain not desire.

    I’d fully agree with that second sentence. But the first sentence is a function of whether or not a stripper in a particular situation is being treated in a demeaning fashion. Hiring and watching a stripper is not inherently a demeaning act.

  6. 106
    Q Grrl says:

    Ron, the first paragraph of that N&O article is highly misleading.

    WRAL reports that the defense in filing a claim which they will have to substantiate with the judge:

    http://www.wral.com/news/local/story/1133573/

  7. 107
    Q Grrl says:

    The fact that these guys acted like assholes and in one case apparently even threatened one of them is dead wrong but is not equivalent to buying or enslaving these women.

    I didn’t say women were like slave or enslaved. I implied they are purchased for the same thing: their bodies sans individuality and agency. And you’re right, the guys being assholes (and breaking the contract) is not the equivalent of buying the women – it is in addition to buying the women.

  8. 108
    RonF says:

    Yeah, Q Grrl, that’s why I basically posted it with little commentary and noted that there were more details. It’s a defense claim, not established fact, and it needs to be proved in court. I just clipped a couple of the first paragraphs to give the flavor, I was not trying to spin it. Sorry if that’s how it appears.

  9. 109
    mythago says:

    Speaking from experience rather than speculation, RonF, it’s not “damn few”. It’s a sizeable number; it includes both the kind of guy who thinks money entitles him to sex (in a date context, he’s the one throwing a tantrum because he bought a woman dinner, yet she won’t sleep with him), and the kind of guy who thinks that if a woman isn’t a lady, she deserves whatever you want to do to her.

    The body guard wouldn’t protect the women per se, he (undoubtably male) would be protecting a financial interest of someone else (undoubtably male)

    No, he’s probably hired directly by the strippers to protect them, because the customers see the presence of another male as authoritative.

  10. 110
    just a lurker says:

    “A source close to the investigation said Nifong sent a letter to North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper asking his office to assume responsibility of the case.”

  11. 112
    RonF says:

    No, he’s probably hired directly by the strippers to protect them, because the customers see the presence of another male as authoritative.

    From what I’ve seen of bouncers and bodyguards, the concept is not so much male authority as it is having the strength, ability and disposition to kick your ass if you don’t behave yourself. I’ve never seen a 5′ 10″ (1.78m) 160 lb. (72.7 Kg) bodyguard.

  12. 113
    mythago says:

    I have. That’s because the good ones realize that height alone is not going to help you, especially when you’re outnumbered. 5’10″ is the average height for a man, as well, so it’s not as though a 5’10″ bodyguard will be towered over.

    If that’s true, I’d say that it applies to damn few men.

    On what do you base this?

  13. 114
    RonF says:

    Well, I haven’t. I have little experience with strippers’ bodyguards, but the ones I have seen and the various bouncers that I’ve seen are all big guys. I’m not talking about professionals; I figure that a stripper can’t afford to hire one.

    BTW, Nifong wants out. Nifong has asked the North Carolina Attorney General to appoint a special prosecutor to take over the case. Nifong’s attorney, who is defending him against the professional and ethics misconduct charges brought by the North Carolina State Bar, says “[Nifong] feels, as a result of the accusations against him, that he would be a distraction, and he wants to make sure the accuser receives a fair trial. He still believes in the case. He just believes his continued presence would hurt her.” The Attorney General has yet to announce a decision.

    This should throw some delay into this case, especially if the Attorney General grants the request.

  14. 115
    mythago says:

    RonF, if you don’t have any experience with strippers’ customers or bodyguards, why are you issuing pronouncements on the subject?

  15. 116
    RonF says:

    Well, that was quick.

    Prosecutor Mike Nifong Removed From Duke Case

    The state attorneys general’s office says it will take over the Duke lacrosse sexual assault case at the district attorney’s request. “I wish I could tell you this case would be resolved quickly,” Attorney General Roy Cooper said. “Since we have not been involved in the investigation and prosecution, all of the information will be new to our office. Any case with such serious criminal charges will require careful review.”

    And apparently the forensics investigator who says he helped withhold information from the defense in the case will be on 60 Minutes this weekend.

  16. 117
    RonF says:

    The NC Bar Association has amended their complaint against Nifong:

    “New ethics charges have been filed by the State Bar accusing Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong of withholding DNA evidence and misleading the court in the Duke lacrosse case.

    An amended complaint from the State Bar cites findings from April 2006 that DNA tests found on the alleged accuser excluded all of the Duke lacrosse players as potential contributors.

    The complaint states Nifong was told of the test results by Brian Meehan, the director of the DNA company where the tests were performed. The amended complaint also states that Nifong and Meehan agreed the “potentially exculpatory DNA evidence and test results” would not be provided to defense attorneys.

    In subsequent court hearings, Nifong told defense attorneys that he had released all of the evidence that would potentially benefit the defense.

    “I’ll do what I’ve been doing. Whatever I’ll say, I’ll say in the courtroom,” Nifong said.

    In its complaint, the State Bar also cited dozens of pretrial comments Nifong made to the media early on in the case that may have been deceptive and dishonest.

    “I’ll say anytime any charges are filed with the State Bar, they are all serious, so we want to make sure we handle them all properly,” said David Freeman, Nifong’s attorney.”

  17. 118
    RonF says:

    I think this is significant because this is not media posturing by the defendants’ attorneys; these are charges made in court that will now be either proved or disproved.

  18. 120
    RonF says:

    Here’s the latest and greatest rumor: Report: All Charges Against Duke Lacrosse Players to Be Dropped Soon

    Inside Lacrosse Magazine writer Paul Caulfield told FOX News on Thursday that several sources have revealed to him that the assault and attempted kidnapping charges still pending against Collin Finnerty, 19, of Garden City, N.Y.; Dave Evans, 23, of Bethesda, Md.; and Reade Seligmann, 20, of Essex Falls, N.J., will soon be dropped. Caulfield said his sources include more than just attorneys for the defense. There is no case here and they will be hearing a dismissal in the coming days,” Caulfield told FOX News.

    Of course, this is not definite, but perhaps this means we’ll hear something official in the next few days.

  19. 121
    RonF says:

    N.C. attorney general statement dropping Duke sexual assault case

    Statement from North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper on the Duke University lacrosse rape case.

    The result of our review and investigation shows clearly that there is insufficient evidence to proceed on any of the charges. Today we are filing notices of dismissal for all charges against Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty and David Evans.

    The result is that these cases are over, and no more criminal proceedings will occur.

    We believe that these cases were the result of a tragic rush to accuse and a failure to verify serious allegations. Based on the significant inconsistencies between the evidence and the various accounts given by the accusing witness, we believe these three individuals are innocent of these charges.

    My emphasis.

    “We’re dropping the charges due to insufficient evidence” is one thing. But you’ll very rarely hear a prosecutor say that they believe defendants to be innocent.

    So; after all this, the defendants are cleared not only of charges but even of suspicion; and the prosecutor is going on trial. That’s not something you’ll see very often. The service of justice is taking a very unusual turn here.

  20. 122
    joe says:

    It’s important to note the AG did NOT say the assault didn’t happen. Just that these three didn’t commit the assault.

  21. 123
    RonF says:

    Joe said:

    “It’s important to note the AG did NOT say the assault didn’t happen. Just that these three didn’t commit the assault.”

    True. But consider that there was an enormous rush to judgement against these three young men, with real consequences to numerous aspects of their lives and a great deal of expense. A lot of people very vociferously and immediately condemned them; their perceptions of class, race and privilege were far more important to them than any actual facts. That, to me, is the important issue to face given the denoument of this case.

    As I stated way upthread; it is also a great shame that Nifong’s actions in this case may well have destroyed any chance to figure out if anyone actually did assault this woman, and if so, who. The State’s attorney has not said that there’s proof that no assault ocurred, but:

    We approached this case with the understanding that rape and sexual assault victims often have some inconsistencies in their accounts of a traumatic event. However, in this case, the inconsistencies were so significant and so contrary to the evidence that we have no credible evidence that an attack occurred in that house that night.

    My emphasis. So:
    1) These three young men didn’t assault her. Period.
    2) The prosecutor doesn’t think she was assaulted at all in the lacrosse house.
    3) It doesn’t appear very likely that it will ever be established that there was an attack on her at all anywhere that night.
    4) I’ll personally be that no one will ever be charged with having assaulted this woman on that night, regardless of the location.

  22. 124
    RonF says:

    I breathlessly await the Group of 88′s next communique. I’m sure it will have an apology to these young men and a condemnation of Nifong’s actions.

  23. 125
    joe says:

    I should have followed the link. The part you emphasized does say that the assualt didn’t happen. (Without getting into the tricky part about proving a negative.)

  24. 126
    FormerlyLarry says:

    The NC AG was very impressive declaring the boys innocent today. A lot of people have egg on their face over this. The race baiters in the media should have to make Imus like apology rounds all over the media. The loony group of 88 should be publicly rebuked by the Duke dean. I am not sure whether the former supposed victim should be prosecuted or not. I guess it would depend on whether she is genuinely crazy or was lying. Apparently the AG thinks she is crazy. We will see how the NYT and WashPost handle this tomorrow. If they had a single ounce of honor they would print an apology in 2″ letter on the front page. At a minimum Nifong should go to jail.

  25. 127
    Robert says:

    Eh. While I’m glad these young men won’t be wrongfully prosecuted, it isn’t the first time and it won’t be the last time. State power is dangerous power. It’s worth remembering, particularly given the context of the case, that there have been any number of bullshit cases pushed through against people by overzealous prosecutors. These guys were just lucky enough to catch the public eye.

  26. 128
    Lyn says:

    From the NYT article:

    “This entire experience has opened my eyes up to a tragic world of injustice I never knew existed,” Mr. Seligmann said. “If police officers and a district attorney can systematically railroad us with absolutely no evidence whatsoever, I can’t imagine what they’d do to people who do not have the resources to defend themselves.”

    Let’s hope he goes and does something with this insight.

  27. 129
    RonF says:

    These guys were just lucky enough to catch the public eye.

    They were lucky enough to have parents with enough money to hire good lawyers and to put them in the public eye. Three working-class or lower-class white kids would still be in jail and Nifong would be standing on their bodies looking for the State’s Attorney’s job.

  28. 130
    Q Grrl says:

    They were lucky enough to have parents with enough money to hire good lawyers and to put them in the public eye. Three working-class or lower-class white kids would still be in jail and Nifong would be standing on their bodies looking for the State’s Attorney’s job.

    You’d think with all the hullabaloo, more men would be reaching out to younger men and advising them not to drink, not to serve alcohol to minors, and not to hire strippers. I mean, it’s really quite obvious.

    I look at it this way: these boys were rich enough to buy trouble. They bought a stripper (aka: woman) and assumed, through wealth and privilege, that this would be a normal cash transaction. Give money, get dance. Strange how there was a woman behind that dance. A woman who they obviously pissed off and obviously tried not to pay. Silly, privileged, rich white men. They assumed a poor black stripper would merely fade into the night after and not go to the authorities (i.e police) after they made her so angry (or scared) the first time that she left the house. Without being fully paid.

    They were right. She went to the authorities so pissed off she hurt these boys the only way she knew how. Obviously not the wallet. That was way too deep for these boys. Obviously she couldn’t shame these men into honesty.

    No, she went for the balls. Gets them every time, no?

    Do I feel sorry for these three boys. The one’s who serve alcohol to minors, disrupt neighborhoods with their constant partying? The one’s who purchased a woman?

    Nah, they should have seen it coming. But money, position, and power blinded them.

    I’d say they got their money’s worth from that dance. It’s a great lesson to learn while young.

  29. 131
    RonF says:

    So, Qgrrl, you condone falsely accusing someone of a felony?

  30. 132
    RonF says:

    Oh, and do you also condone the act of an elected official who it seems had used the power of the State to knowingly cooperate in false felony accusations?

  31. 133
    Sailorman says:

    Q,

    1) The woman got screwed over.
    2) Her life will never be the same.
    3) The players involved, by all reports, are assholes. Sexist, racist, insert your favorite “-ist” here.

    I don’t think many folks will disagree with you on any of those points. I sure don’t, and I seem to recall RonF doesn’t either.

    But I think

    4) the players ALSO got screwed over.

    And though they are racist/sexist assholes, they got punished far, far, more than we generally punish folks for being assholes. Are you saying that you think they got exactly what they deserved?

  32. 134
    Q Grrl says:

    No, Ron, I don’t support what she did. I just think smart boys like this would have seen it coming. I don’t feel sorry for them.

  33. 135
    Q Grrl says:

    And though they are racist/sexist assholes, they got punished far, far, more than we generally punish folks for being assholes.

    How so? The served no jail time, did not have to go to trial, and had no financial burden because of this mess (the burden fell on their parents). Sure they had butterflys in their stomachs for a year, but really, *did* they get served any punishment?

    No, they didn’t.

  34. 136
    SamChevre says:

    Wow, Q Grrrl–are you really, in general, this hostile to underage drinking/providing alcohol to minors? I’ve always viewed that as one “crime” that an sensible cop ignores–like driving 5 mph over the speed limit on the freeway, or possessing a joint–good for pretextual arrests, but entirely pointless otherwise.

    Because really–that’s the only thing that I see anyone being accused of that’s CRIMINAL, as opposed to juvenile.

  35. 137
    RonF says:

    Well I don’t think that there’s any reason that they should have seen this coming.

    a) Someone in their house hired a stripper.
    b) Someone in their house shouted insults at the women.
    c) Someone in their house who was responsible for paying the woman didn’t do so.

    I haven’t seen (although I’ll welcome being corrected) anyone say that these three young men were involved in the hiring, insulting, or lack of payment. I don’t seen any reason where these 3 young men should have anticipated that they’d be falsely accused of rape. I think it is entirely unreasonable that anything that happened that night should have caused them to expect what happened.

    Also – whose word do we have that insults were shouted at the strippers and that they were shortchanged? That is, besides the word of someone who filed false accusations of rape? I seem to recall that there might have been independent verification of the former, but I’m not so sure about the latter.

  36. 138
    Q Grrl says:

    SamC: No, just in relation to the Duke Men’s Lacrosse Team. It’s a matter of public record how many times I had to call the police because of the team’s constant noise violations, underage drinking, and the promotion of drunk driving.

    RonF: These are college students at Duke. Any one with an average IQ can figure out that if you have to pay a woman to sexually titillate you, everything is *not* on the up and up. Desparate actions (paying to purchase a woman) lead to desparate situations.

    I think it is entirely unreasonable that anything that happened that night should have caused them to expect what happened.

    Only sheer male entitlement would lend a person to think this way about that situation. You know, the situation where someone offered to sodomize the dancers with a broomstick, and then the dancers left? Yeah, no one could have expected trouble after *that*.

    Snort.

  37. 139
    FormerlyLarry says:

    QGrrl

    I look at it this way: these boys were rich enough to buy trouble. They bought a stripper (aka: woman) and assumed, through wealth and privilege, that this would be a normal cash transaction. Give money, get dance. Strange how there was a woman behind that dance. A woman who they obviously pissed off and obviously tried not to pay. Silly, privileged, rich white men. They assumed a poor black stripper would merely fade into the night after and not go to the authorities (i.e police) after they made her so angry (or scared) the first time that she left the house. Without being fully paid.

    Nice, so any 20 year old that drinks a beer 5 months before their birthday, any person that walks into a strip club, any person that goes to bachelor or bachelorette party with strippers are obviously asking to be publicly excoriated by the mass media, charged with trumped up felonies, forced to pay millions of dollars of legal fees, kicked out of school, etc. Great plan for both curbing underage drinking and a return to puritanical society! But before signing on I would like to see the fine details of that legislation and the amendments to repeal certain constitutional rights. Also, are these new rules only for upper middle class white males?

  38. 140
    FormerlyLarry says:

    Sailorman,

    1) The woman got screwed over.
    2) Her life will never be the same.
    3) The players involved, by all reports, are assholes. Sexist, racist, insert your favorite “-ist” here.

    I don’t think many folks will disagree with you on any of those points. I sure don’t, and I seem to recall RonF doesn’t either.

    1) Depends on whether she lied or is crazy.

    2) It shouldn’t be the same

    3) What reports would those be? Could you provide links to those reports. Thanks.

  39. 141
    RonF says:

    I wonder what kind of offense filing a false police report accusing someone of a felony is in North Carolina? Is it a criminal offense? If so, will we see this woman brought before the law on it?

    What punishment did they have to undergo?

    Having their season cancelled, a season they might have won a national championship. Being thrown off the team. Being tossed out of school for a semester and their graduation delayed 1/2 a year. Having their friends and acquaintances and fellow students think they were rapists. Having undergone the stress of being booked for a felony they did not commit. Having to spend months being railroaded for a heinous and despicable crime they did not commit. Having to live with groups of people demonstrate and publish ads condemning them for things they didn’t do. Having to deal with the stress both they and their parents were going through all that time. Having this dominate their lives for all this time. Having to deal with this for the rest of their lives.

    You don’t think that’s punishment? And for what, by the way? Being racist/sexist assholes? Once again, tell me what they did. Not what the kids at that party or the Duke Lacrosse team or white people or rich people have done. Tell me what it has been proven what these particular 3 young men did to that woman on that night that justifies any of this.

  40. 142
    Robert says:

    If so, will we see this woman brought before the law on it?

    No. They’ve said that she has mental health issues and they aren’t going to prosecute her. They are, of course, prosecuting Nifong, which is appropriate since he is the one whose job it is to know better. (Obviously, she should have known better too, but it’s pretty clear that she’s a badly disturbed person.)

    I do worry on her behalf that she is now extremely vulnerable, in that people know who she is and she is very unlikely to get a fair hearing from law enforcement if she IS sexually assaulted, which remains a strong possibility in her line of work. (Hell, just in being alive as a woman.) I believe this is her second false rape accusation; some sicko out there may well try to take advantage of her situation.

    I don’t know what can be done about that. Fret, I guess.

  41. 143
    Q Grrl says:

    Nice, so any 20 year old that drinks a beer 5 months before their birthday, any person that walks into a strip club, any person that goes to bachelor or bachelorette party with strippers are obviously asking to be publicly excoriated by the mass media, charged with trumped up felonies, forced to pay millions of dollars of legal fees, kicked out of school, etc.

    Nay, Larry. Just the women. Men obviously don’t have to worry about these things.

    I wonder if YouTube has a link to Dr. Phil lambasting Miss America? Anyone know?

  42. 144
    Q Grrl says:

    I wonder what kind of offense filing a false police report accusing someone of a felony is in North Carolina?

    The case against these three men was dismissed. I don’t see how that means that her police report was false. You would have to prove that in a court of law… oh, but the case was dismissed. She won’t have a chance to show how Nifong mislead her when she identified these men.

    Guess we’ll never know.

  43. 145
    FormerlyLarry says:

    “Nay, Larry. Just the women. Men obviously don’t have to worry about these things. ”

    Ya, I am sure the 3 Duke student’s would testify to that.

  44. 146
    Julie, Herder of Cats says:

    Ignoring the impacts of my being right in #44, I’d like to point out that everything that just now came out was well reported back when I made my post at #44.

    And I vote Nifong gets strung up by his toenails.

  45. 147
    Q Grrl says:

    Having their season cancelled, a season they might have won a national championship. Being thrown off the team. Being tossed out of school for a semester and their graduation delayed 1/2 a year. Having their friends and acquaintances and fellow students think they were rapists. Having undergone the stress of being booked for a felony they did not commit. Having to spend months being railroaded for a heinous and despicable crime they did not commit. Having to live with groups of people demonstrate and publish ads condemning them for things they didn’t do. Having to deal with the stress both they and their parents were going through all that time. Having this dominate their lives for all this time. Having to deal with this for the rest of their lives.

    Which college was it recently that told a woman who had been raped by a fellow student that her request to have him removed from campus could not be accomodated?

    yeah, those poor boys. Having to go through what women go through when sexually harrassed or raped. Tsk tsk tsk.

    You would think there would be more public outcry against the men who *do* rape and how they make all men look guilty.

  46. 148
    FormerlyLarry says:

    “Guess we’ll never know.”

    Sorry I just missed this little jewel. Actually we do. The charges were not just dismissed, the boys were declared INNOCENT.

  47. 149
    Q Grrl says:

    Right. But her police report doesn’t name these three. She says she was assaulted. Nifong fucked up the chance to prove who did it.

  48. Pingback: Alas, a blog » Blog Archive » Duke Lacrosse Players Cleared Of All Charges

  49. 150
    Julie, Herder of Cats says:

    Q Grrl writes:

    yeah, those poor boys. Having to go through what women go through when sexually harrassed or raped. Tsk tsk tsk.

    I have strongly mixed feelings about statements like this. I don’t think that two wrongs makes a right. I do hope that the three students learn something other than “they done me wrong!”. Like, maybe, something about power and how it’s abused, and how it’s important to get the right people under the spotlight from the start.

    I’ve been following a lot of the work coming out of groups like the Innocence Project. I’m glad that DNA is being used more often, and especially that DNA databases are being constructed of known offenders. One thing, as I recall, that did happen is DNA was taken as part of the rape kit from when she went to the hospital. I’d like to know what’s being done to pursue any leads that DNA might produce, other than clearing those three men.

  50. 151
    RonF says:

    Qgrrl:

    “Right. But her police report doesn’t name these three. She says she was assaulted. Nifong fucked up the chance to prove who did it. ”

    Or whether or not anyone at all did.

    “Which college was it recently that told a woman who had been raped by a fellow student that her request to have him removed from campus could not be accomodated?”

    I don’t remember. But that’s irrelevant to this case. In response to your question – yes, these young men were punished. The fact that other people have been subjected to injustice does not diminish any other individual’s subjection to injustice.

  51. 152
    Julie, Herder of Cats says:

    RonF,

    Uh, no, it’s not irrelevant. It’s very likely that these men were punished precisely because there’s a history of not taking these sorts of complaints seriously. My recollection is that Nifong did what he did in large part to prove that he was “serious” so that he could, again, if I’m remembering correctly, improve his odds of winning a state political position.

    Had women’s complaints been taken seriously (… by the men who were in power all this time …), Nifong wouldn’t have had to prove anything, and those three students wouldn’t have been raked over the coals. Likewise, had women’s complaints of sexual abuse been taken seriously, those three students, and the rest of the men who organized that event, might have thought twice about everything that happened that evening involving women.

  52. 153
    Paul1552 says:

    Qgrll:

    The case against these three men was dismissed. I don’t see how that means that her police report was false. You would have to prove that in a court of law… oh, but the case was dismissed. She won’t have a chance to show how Nifong mislead her when she identified these men.

    Guess we’ll never know.

    She might get that chance in the unlikely event that one of the 3 accused men sues her or in the even more unlikely event that criminal charges are brought against her.

  53. 154
    Paul1552 says:

    Qgrrl:

    No, Ron, I don’t support what she did. I just think smart boys like this would have seen it coming. I don’t feel sorry for them.

    So, instead of focusing on her falsely accusing these three men of rape, we should focus on their putting themselves in a position to be falsely accused of rape?

    (By the way, I apologize for mispelling your screen name in my last post)

  54. 155
    Daran says:

    So, instead of focusing on her falsely accusing these three men of rape, we should focus on their putting themselves in a position to be falsely accused of rape?

    Yes, because they’re sluts who deserved it.

    What’s not clear to me is whether Q Grrl really is arguing this, or is parodying the “lying bitch” brigade. If it’s parody, then I think it misses the target, because the people her remarks are directed towards (i.e., RonF and Robert) do not appear to regard rape complainants generally to be lying bitches or sluts who deserved it. They don’t even seem to regard this particular complainant to be a lying bitch. Rather, the prevailing view here seems to be that she’s mentally ill, not responsible for her actions, and deserving of our compassion not our condemnation.

    If Q Grrl really is blaming the victims of these false accusations, then she’s a hypocrite.

  55. 156
    Paul1552 says:

    Golly, it never occured to me that her remarks weren’t parody.

  56. 157
    Q Grrl says:

    Daran gets the gold star award for perception!!!!!

    I was surprised that even Julie thought I might harbor such inanity. I wasn’t so much as addressing RonF or Robert, but that much larger audience that will most likely not post.

    Many men are quick to tell women not to do x,y, and z so they won’t get raped (don’t go to bars alone, don’t get drunk, don’t walk alone at night). These men are outwardly motivated by concern and protectionistic/paternalistic feelings. I want to know where these men are now, why aren’t they warning young men of the potential pit falls of delving into the sex trade? Why have no men come forward to say: these young men should have gone to a strip bar… everyone knows hiring two strippers for a private, all-male, barely out-of-adolescent, university affiliated crowd is a recipie for disaster.

  57. 158
    Julie, Herder of Cats says:

    Q Grrl,

    I don’t think it’s inanity at all — these things happen because other things have happened. There is an interconnectedness betwee why 3 white students were falsely accused of rape and why that other woman was unable to have her safety and security respected. The statement is only “inane” if you don’t see the relationship between what happens on the one hand and what happens on the other. Is it “just”? No, but it is what happens when systematic injustice occurs, and it is what happens when people rush into solutions without full knowledge of the problems, or with ulterior motivations.

    I went looking for the text of Malcolm X’s famous “the chickens are coming home to roost remark”, but couldn’t find it in the amount of free time I have for such things.

    His comment was similarly not understood, and unless you weren’t hinting that there is a connection between these things — between “I’m going to advance myself by jumping on a bandwagon I do not understand and do not fully support” on the part of Nifong, and “We’re not going to take these women seriously, we’re not going to address their concerns, we’re not going to protect them from these crimes” — I don’t see your comment any less appropriate than his.

  58. 159
    Julie, Herder of Cats says:

    Hey, I found this –

    “I want Dr. King to know that I didn’t come to Selma to make his job difficult. I really did come thinking I could make it easier. If the white people realize what the alternative is, perhaps they will be more willing to hear Dr. King.”
    – Malcolm X in a conversation with Mrs. Coretta Scott King.

    The alternative to men working together to end the rape culture is political opportunists who will do what they can to flex their political muscles and “get tough” on crimes against women. Men can cut it out NOW, working together amongst themselves, or others will exploit the situation those men are failing to fix and “fix” it in ways that many men find objectionable.

  59. 160
    Robert says:

    Men can cut it out NOW, working together amongst themselves, or others will exploit the situation those men are failing to fix and “fix” it in ways that many men find objectionable.

    Ding, ding, ding. Julie wins the prize.

    It is, mostly, men who rape. It is, mostly, men who have to take responsibility for this, and change it. This means internalizing some cultural values that are not popular anywhere on the political spectrum.

  60. 161
    mythago says:

    Is that code for “we need to bring back Man as Protector,” or what?

    Many men are quick to tell women not to do x,y, and z so they won’t get raped

    And note how it’s always phrased as “get raped”. It’s something the woman causes to happen to herself, not something done by another person.

  61. 162
    Robert says:

    Is that code for “we need to bring back Man as Protector,” or what?

    No. “Man as Protector” would be popular along wide swathes of the political spectrum, as you know.

    The values I have in mind are more along the lines of “nobody is entitled to sex”, and “just because you really want sex doesn’t mean that you need it”, and “the intensity/urgency of sexual desire is not a justification for violating the rights of another person.”

    Very few people want to hear any of that; men don’t want to hear it, because (many) men have been raised to believe that natural law is whatever they want or feel like. Many women don’t want to hear it, because it is the first step along a path of expecting self-control and self-restraint and a lot of women have thrown the patriarchal interpretation of those values out the window as oppressive.

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  63. 163
    RonF says:

    Actually, Qgrrl, I didn’t think it was parody at all. There are sites out there that are putting forward quite seriously that these guys deserved what they got even though they in fact did nothing to their accuser, because they were white, rich (although in fact they aren’t all rich), male and were at a party where someone had hired a poor black stripper. I thought you were serious.

    You say you weren’t – fine. I’m cool with that. Do me a favor and use a [ /sarc ] pseudo-tag or something next time, O.K.?

  64. 164
    Bob Unferth says:

    I’ve served on several petite juries and four months on a grand jury. I also worked for four years with a division of the attorney general’s office in my state. I left these experiences very disturbed at the immense and very rarely challenged power of persecutors. The selection of the grand jury and the procedures involved resulted in a grand jury which was very subservient to the prosecutors. We may not have indicted a ham sandwich, but we came damn close.

    I think this is generally true of grand juries throughout the country, and is a dreadful perversion of the institution started under Henry II in the 12th century. It is one of the rights guaranteed in the 5th amendment to our constitution. It is supposed to be a check on the power of the Sovereign to accuse people for no good reason, but it has completely lost its effectiveness.

    Over 90% of criminal cases are settled by plea bargains. For the vast majority of criminal cases, there is no petite jury, and essentially no judicial review. The entire burden of ensuring justice, fairness and equity lies almost entirely in the hands of the prosecutors. The people who suffer the most from abusive, ideological, incompetent or crazy prosecutors are the poor, mentally ill, immigrants and other minorities, and anyone who has difficulty adequately defending themselves.

    I don’t think anybody in our society is benefited by prosecutorial misconduct, corruption or incompetence, all of which, I think, occur with some frequency. I witnessed what I considered to be a lot of such behavior. Rarely were the victims non-poor white boys, but those affected faced felony charges with prison terms covering the entire range from three years to life. It was a very serious business; very badly conducted, in my opinion.

    It seems to me that the most significant raised in the Duke case is the excessive and unchecked power of prosecutors in the United States. Not the evils of underage drinking. In most European countries alcohol is “absolutely forbidden” to those under 16. Nor the evils of hiring strippers, which has gone on since the beginning of the human species, is practiced in almost every part of the world, and does not, I think, cause nearly as much harm as smoking.

    But the unchecked power of prosecutors in the United States has grown steadily since Prohibition—almost 90 years, and shows every sign of continuing to get worse.

    Bob