This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Duke Lacrosse

I intended to post something about this when this case was hot a few months ago. It's hot again, with Mike Nifong's mess.

I *still* wasn't going to post anything until one lone man spoke what I was thinking all along, and then some. That man would be Barry Saunders, an N&O columnist.

Of course, I am a Barry Saunders fan. I can't wait to read his column. I don't always agree with him but he has earned enough favoritism from me that I allow him free passes when we disagree.

But when I read his column in this past Friday's paper (I am a weekend-only subscriber) acknowledging the ton of hate mail, e-mails and phone messages he received for 'defending' Mike Nifong, I knew I had an ally.

Let me first say that I do believe Mike Nifong deserves to be assessed for whether he was unethical. This did take place and it has been determined that he was. He has been disbarred and yet, it's still not over for him. His reputation is ruined, at best. His life, I hope, will be better after all this becomes tiresome for the news.

BUT, he said from the beginning he felt something happened in that bathroom. A nurse who examined the victim also felt something had happened. As reported by WRAL in January "... a nurse trained to treat rape victims and a physician who treated the woman said they witnessed symptoms consistent with sexual assault."

Also, "Officers who searched the house also recovered the woman's makeup bag, cell phone and a stack of $20 bills consistent with the woman's statement that $400 in cash was taken from her purse after the attack, the police statement said."

And " Legal professionals not associated with the investigation told WRAL that evidence could be damaging to a suspect because women typically won't leave behind items, such as a purse."

AND "Those are all pretty strong indications there was a violent struggle and someone left in a hurry," Wake County District Attorney Colon Willoughby said Wednesday. "That would tend to collaborate that something was done without consent or with force."

So, Nifong was NOT the only person that felt something has happened. Other folks did too but suddenly, these people are nowhere to be found. Another case of people not sticking up for their beliefs and letting someone else hang...all alone.

He made mistakes but did he make them for the RIGHT reason? I'm sorry - I am one who thinks people are better than the media makes them out to be, so I feel he thought he was doing what he felt was right -- morally, not politically.

I recall how everyone attacked the lacrosse players as soon as this was reported. Why? Because the media steered the story in that direction. They did it. Those upper crust goodie boys did it.

Now, we are supposed to crucify Nifong -- and only Nifong -- for trying the wrong people.

I agree with Nifong - and I agree with Saunders. Something happened in that house. Maybe not a rape, but my view is that something happened. My fear is that that something will never be known publicly and Nifong will go down in flames. The folks who believe the same thing are now hunkering in the corner with their spineless backs turned on him, and subsequently the accuser, now that he is on the bad side of the media.

Saunders adds that none of this media attention to a prosecutor (or any lawyer) who makes a mistake happens to anyone who is not of wealth. I paraphrase him, so don't hold my word on his words -- read his columns. In essence, from his words is what formed a new frustration in me. No one will give a shit about a bad lawyer making a myriad of mistakes on a case if you're black, hispanic, poor, uneducated, or anything other than a Duke lacrosse player.


  1. "Something happened" in every house in Durham that night. The doctor who examined the accuser did not say there were injuries consistent with sexual assault. The written report contained only a finding of vaginal edema which is consistent with sexual assault and consensual sex and yeast infections and twenty other things. More to the point the woman was a prostitute who'd done four tricks that weekend so a little swelling was to be expected.

    She left her belongs becaused she was so bombed she didn't know where she was at. How else do you explain the fact she walked out of the house carrying Dave Evens shaving kit.

    The woman also claimed the other dancer stole $2,000 from her. I wonder why Nifong didn't pursue that?

    I notice your quotes are from last spring before the facts were known. Is there a reason you can't find anything more current. Also can you explain why a DA should press a case for moral reasons. I thought a DA was supposed to pursue the truth regardless of whether it leads to convictions or dropping the case. I wonder how the three defendants view Nifong's morality?

    A pretty weak job all in all. But when all you have is the race card it's an uphill battle.

  2. The accused were not boy scouts. They made it easy for the bandwagon of sheep to join the rush-to-judgement with their bad behavior prior to this fiasco.

    The guys at this party were drinking, rowdy, and they hired strippers to come to their house. I don't think the plan was to play Candyland and sing Kumbaya. So yeah, I think something happened at *this* house.

    What exactly happened and who was involved? Honestly I don't know. I can have an open-mind about this - really. I didn't join the rush-to-judge bandwagon and I felt awful for those three boys and their families. I just haven't been convinced that NOTHING happened.

    This *is* a racial issue -- it has been from the first accusation. That a man like Nifong would defend a black stripper accused by blue-blood Duke white boys is inexplicable. How would this have helped him in any way?

    You can pick my points out the way you want to promote your slant on this case. My view is that Nifong was trying this case based on evidence he believed was true - he wasn't doing this based on political motivations.

    He made mistakes and the wrongly accused have been cleared. Yet, there is continuation of beating this horse TO DEATH. Jeezus - like this hasn't happened before? Enough already.