pageok
pageok
pageok
Duke Provost on the Effect of the Phony Rape Allegations on the Campus Community:

Appropriate sympathy and concern for faculty who have been on the receiving end of an apparent torrent of racist and personally vituperative emails, an uncalled for attack on bloggers (with no acknowledgment of the role they have played in exonerating falsely accused Duke students!), and not a word about the accused students. Gail Heriot reports. As has been apparent from the day the allegations became public, the rights and well-being of Duke's students are apparently among the last things on its administration's mind, which prospective students should certainly take into account [harsher language deleted]. The good news is that the provost is apparently rejecting calls to enact a new speech code at Duke ("Regulatory measures—other than individual, self-regulatory ones—are to be excluded".) Much to my admitted surprise, given Duke's reputation as a hotbed of PC, FIRE gives Duke a positive free speech rating of "green."

godfodder (mail):
Wait a minute, buster. You aren't trying to punish the Duke Administration for looking out for the powerless, are you? Mr. STINSON? Next you'll be telling alums and businesses to take their money and donations elsewhere!

I suggest we begin disbarment proceedings immediately.
1.28.2007 10:55pm
danr4:
I think that it's time that all people of good will acknowledge that sometimes, less than perfect results happen in our nation-and worldwide battle to ensure equality of outcomes in all cases.

Stuff happens. Get used to it. Let's put behind us an unfortunate blip in our eternal struggle and move on.
1.28.2007 10:58pm
straightarrow:
No putting behind us until the real miscreants are brought to heel. Nifong, Duke, the Duke 88, The News &Observer, the Herald Sun, Detective Sgt. Gottlieb, and assorted police officers, Melanie Sill, Bob Ashley, Ruth Sheehan, the perjuring accuser and the New Black Panthers. Just for starters.

Jail is appropriate for many of them and, especially Nifong. And banishment from their present careers for life for others, plus huge monetary judgments against all the race hustlers and PC sycophants that were the drivers of this outrage to justice.
1.28.2007 11:14pm
r78:

an uncalled for attack on bloggers (with no acknowledgment of the role they have played in exonerating falsely accused Duke students!

Two things 1) "exoneration" is a bit premature as there are still serious charges pending against two of them, 2) bloggers role in the exoneration was probably somewhat less compelling than the total absence of DNA evidence coupled with the "victims" constantly changing story.
1.28.2007 11:46pm
Christopher Cooke (mail):
60 Minutes really saved these students. Ed Bradley's final story was a masterpiece of journalism. He, more than any blogger, helped to save these students (so far, at least).
1.28.2007 11:56pm
Fearmonger (mail):
danr4,

You're absolutely right. Those pesky innocent duke lacrosse players should just acquiesce in the bogus charges against them, do hard jail time, accept a permanent blemish on their reputation, and let it go. Furthermore, let's just forget about the injustice and completely forgive those responsible for it. Come to think of it, why hold any perpetrator/criminal responsible for any act that has ALREADY occured.

My guess is you'd be singing quite a different tune if your reputation, future, and freedom were on the line.
1.29.2007 12:26am
Fearmonger (mail):
Is danr4 Nifong?
1.29.2007 12:34am
DavidBernstein (mail):
I think Danr4 is sarcastically paraphrasing the Duke Administration, not expressing his own opinion.
1.29.2007 12:36am
Fearmonger (mail):
ah, well my apologies then. this bar studying has got me a tad uptight.
1.29.2007 12:43am
Rick Wilcox (www):
r78,
I think there's something to be said for being exonerated in the Court of Public Opinion.
1.29.2007 1:14am
Pantapon Rose (mail):
It was really shocking how the administration allowed the faculty to demonize the students. Why any parent would consider sending their kid to an institution that refuses to stand up for its students, and instead, fosters an environment that is both hostile and unsafe toward them, is beyond me.
1.29.2007 1:53am
Federal Dog:
"It was really shocking how the administration allowed the faculty to demonize the students."


You should look into how white students are treated during orientation "diversity training." All that is is demonizing white students (and Jews and Asians). An essential part of contemporary colleges is teaching white people to hate themselves as predators and oppressors. This is just a very public instance of racial demonization that happens every day on college campuses.
1.29.2007 7:17am
Bruce Hayden (mail) (www):
r78:

It is worse for the prosecution than that there is no DNA of any of the LAX players found in or on the compainant. That would of course severely impact any rape claims. Of course, she claimed they used condoms...

Instead there was DNA from multiple other males found. Yet, the complainant claimed to not have had sex with any other males recently. Sounds like pretty good impeachment to me, even if she weren't spinning her story as fast as she can, changing it every time the defendants find more evidence to corroborate their alibis. Oh, and did I mention fundamental problems with the identification process?

Yes, there may be substantial charges still pending. But the seriousness of the charges absent serious evidence to support them just makes the DA filing them look venal. It says little about the merits of the case.

My question is why any parents would support their kids applying to Duke in view of that school's response to this entire mess. Guilty until proven innocent beyond a reasonable doubt of nefarious crimes solely on the basis of being White, male, and LAX players.
1.29.2007 8:10am
s806:
The apparently unspoken rule is that you select strippers of your own race when undertaking debaucherous event planning.

Seriously though, I'm glad to see that it has been uncovered for what it is.
1.29.2007 8:51am
Richard Riley (mail):
For what it's worth (and I'm an alum so discount my comments accordingly), I think the law school at Duke, at least, has come out of this looking pretty good. I heard no support from Nifong or the rape case as a whole from any law school faculty member during this whole sorry episode, and one law professor - James Coleman - has become a strong voice for justice. Maybe the Law School faculty should have been louder or more forthright in opposition to Nifong earlier in the case, but the guy was an elected prosecutor so it was hard to dismiss the case entirely until the facts became clearer, say since last fall.

Also, my guess is that Judge David Levi - no lefty - would not have agreed to become dean of the law school unless he was pretty comfortable that the law faculty as a whole was opposed to any PC rush to judgment against the lacrosse players.
1.29.2007 9:25am
WHOI Jacket:
This should be in the brochure:

"Prospective Duke student should be aware that they will be sold up the river by the faculty and administration of Duke University the moment it becomes politically-expediant for them to do so."
1.29.2007 9:56am
Houston Lawyer:
While I enjoy the Duke bashing as much as anyone, I believe the faculty at every major university in the United States would have behaved similarly. The accused are wealthy white boys who must always be presumed to be guilty. The whole "diversity" cult is based on this premise and all of our faculties have breathed deep of its fumes.
1.29.2007 10:21am
anonVCfan:
I agree with Houston Lawyer.
1.29.2007 12:11pm
r78:

The accused are wealthy white boys who must always be presumed to be guilty.

Welcome to Bizarro world.
1.29.2007 12:49pm
neutral:
Of course, the real lesson of this case is that everyone deserves respect, especially a stripper, because stripper's blackmail is very powerful. Disrespect a stripper when she demands a really big tip and you land in a really big trouble. "The accuser" showed real guts to stand up for strippers nationwide so they as guild be assured of respect which is part of attractiveness of this profession.
1.29.2007 12:56pm
Ragerz (mail):
Since the Attorney General's office, and not Nifong is in charge of this case, I think we just have to wait to see if the AG drops the charges before we mentally acquit the lacrosse players.

Or are y'all going to go after the AG too? If your story is that there is one out of control prosecutor, fine. But if the story is that there is an out of control AG and an out of control prosecutor not to mention a massive government conspiracy against all lacrosse players, then, I am sorry, but your case gets a whole lot weaker.

Nifong did the right thing by stepping off the case. But guess what, attacks on Nifong no longer equal attacks on the case. Your new target is the state AG.
1.29.2007 1:03pm
Ragerz (mail):

While I enjoy the Duke bashing as much as anyone, I believe the faculty at every major university in the United States would have behaved similarly. The accused are wealthy white boys who must always be presumed to be guilty. The whole "diversity" cult is based on this premise and all of our faculties have breathed deep of its fumes.


Cry me a river.

Don't you think this victim mentality just a little overwrought?

Are wealthy white males in America oppressed?

Give me a break.
1.29.2007 1:07pm
happylee:
It's kind of nice to see pinko-elitist-professoriat-scum squirming in the sunlight. Sadly, they control the language, the media and the history books. Our kids will either never learn of the Duke hoax, or it will be remembered as a sad tale of white male power prevailing over a black female victim. lol.
1.29.2007 1:54pm
Richard Riley (mail):
Ragerz makes a decent point in his first post above. I agree the opposition to this prosecution - including K.C. Johnson's useful "Durham Wonderland" blog - became too focused on demonizing Nifong. But really, the prosecution's case is astonishingly weak on the facts. The accuser's suddenly changing her story last month about when in the evening the assault occurred was a transparent attempt to explain away the strong alibi evidence for one of the accused (cell phone records, ATM records, cab driver's statement). And the DNA evidence is damning to the prosecution - no way could the baroque pornographic phantasm described by the accuser have occurred with zero DNA left behind by those responsible. But I have not supported the demonization of Nifong.
1.29.2007 2:05pm
American Psikhushka (mail) (www):
Ragerz-

If the AG still pursues obviously false charges they are fair game for criticism as well. They're still putting the freedom, lives, and well-being of innocent people at risk. They are a little less culpable than Nifong, but if they persist in pursuing a false prosecution for the sake of appearances, political expediency, and the false aura of government infallibility they will become just as culpable.

Don't you think this victim mentality just a little overwrought?

If you were an innocent person with your freedom, safety, livelihood, etc. at tremendous risk your tune would change.

Are wealthy white males in America oppressed?

All males in America are subject to bias, prejudice, and often outright witch hunts when certain areas of the law are involved - namely family/divorce law and any kind of sexual allegations, no matter how false, fantastic, or farfetched, in both civil and criminal law.

Wealthy white males and even less affluent white males can also be subject to reverse racism or discrimination in certain situations. Like the Duke situation and just about any dispute where one of the parties is from an accepted "victim" class.
1.29.2007 2:10pm
PersonFromPorlock:
Ragerz:

Are wealthy white males in America oppressed?

Well, it looks like these three were. Or don't you admit to oppression in less than wholesale lots?
1.29.2007 2:15pm
rarango (mail):
Ragerz--I am having diffiulty following your arguments: are you saying that criticisms of Nifong are not now warranted as the AG has the case?

As for Houston Lawyer's point about white men: I think we would all agree that that WWMs are hardly oppressed in society; but they are certainly viewed by many PC faculty in prestigious institutions with considerable scorn and derision; particularly interesting in that I suspect many of the Duke Tenured Faculty among the group of 88 are WWMs and WWWs.
1.29.2007 2:20pm
Pantapon Rose (mail):
Richard Riley, as a fellow alum of the law school I have been appalled at the near uniform silence coming from the professors there. Yes, Coleman was a shining light, the guy is not only a great crim law professor, but someone who cares about his students, but what about the legions of civil rights experts there, such as Erwin Chemerinsky, or just about anyone who has a basic grasp of our legal system? The silence on the part of the vast majority of law faculty there was deafening.
1.29.2007 2:20pm
cfw (mail):
20/20 hindsight makes it easy to object to what Brodhead and Provost Lange did (or did not do) right off the bat - a working assumption that prosecutors win 90% of their cases makes sense, initially.

What Provost Lange and the Duke 88 have since done wrong, in my view, is essentially deny that they did anything that turned out wrong in retrospect. Even Bush will, on occasion, admit that "mistakes were made." No admission of mistakes (even made in good faith) has come from the Duke 88, Lange or Brodhead.

That "whistling past the graveyard" evidences foul-smelling weakness and lack of character.
1.29.2007 2:48pm
Disenfranchised Jets Fan (mail):
Agree that the case is weak (fatally) but I don't understand how anyone can, for lack of better words, over-demonize Nifong. The media and certain faculty members rushed to judgment, but ultimately it was Nifong's statements, actions and inactions...in each case due to either incompetence or willful misconduct that caused and continues this whole mess.

It was Nifong who opportunisticly took over this case...assumingly when he read the police report. After all if you were to take the allegations seriously certainly DNA evidence would indicate the guilty parties.

It was Nifong that then trumped this case up to be more than just a sexual assault, but a referendum on race, class and gender.

Once the DNA evidence came back negative, it was Nifong that still pursued indictments and who instructed that exculpatory matches on non-lax players not be turned over...to the defense attorneys or to the court. Read some of the motions in the interim and see some of his statements to the court and his unwillingness to turn it over (at one point insinuating that it would be too expensive).

There are lots of losers here. There are people who will still belive "something happened" that night because of their agenda..nothing will change their mind even if the woman recants. You have the media and the faculty members who made comments and insinuations, which would seem counter to their professional obligations. But the biggest loser has to be Nifong...no one else had a greater obligation to justice and no one else bulloxed it as much as he did. That is why he now has to defend himself in the bar inquiry. I urge everyone to read the complaints, they are pretty damning.
1.29.2007 2:58pm
Ragerz (mail):
Of course. What could be more important than what a bunch of professors think about the case, the outcome of which they have absolutely no power to influence.

It makes a lot of sense to compare their supposed failure to "admit to mistakes" to similar failures by Bush. After all, it is not like Bush has any influence on policy or anything.

The obsession with the opinions of these Duke professors, the so-called "group of 88" seen in these comments (by conservatives and libertarians I presume) is just plain weird. And creepy.

Guess what. The vast majority of people who are indicted for a crime by a grand jury are in-fact guilty and are in-fact punished for their crimes. Even if in this particular case (which isn't over yet, by the way) the charges are dropped or there is an acquittal, Duke faculty members reasonably assumed that this general truth with respect to the indicted applied in this case. So what??

Innocent until proven guilty is for legal factfinders, not the general public. If you see someone murder someone right in front of your face, that person is innocent until proven guilty from the perspective of a legal factfinder. But, obviously, not from your perspective.

Clearly, if you are ever asked to serve on a jury, you should serve with an open mind and only convict upon proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Nonetheless, chances are, the person who is "presumed innocent" is in fact guilty, and there will be evidence to convict beyond a reasonable doubt.

Nonetheless, I fully expect the right-wing obsession with the opinions of professors who don't agree with right-wingers to continue. That, in my opinion, is precisely what is driving this strange fascination with the opinions of these particular Duke faculty members. Conservatives just don't like it when professors disagree with their opinions. It really is kind of sad and creepy. I don't care if someone disagrees with one of my opinions, professor or not.
1.29.2007 3:14pm
Ragerz (mail):

After all if you were to take the allegations seriously certainly DNA evidence would indicate the guilty parties.


I am not commenting on this particular case. But as a general matter, lack of DNA does not prove lack of guilt.
1.29.2007 3:16pm
Disenfranchised Jets Fan (mail):
Lack of DNA evidence doesn't prove lack of guilty in many instances, such as the alleged victim showering or otherwise cleansing herself before an opportunity for examination, or in the event of a faulty DNA test that wouldn't turn any positive results.

Neither applied here. The woman was examined that night, and the DNA test turned up positive results..that's what makes Nifong's initial refusal to turn over such results so troubling, effectively it was refusing to turn over exculpatory evidence.

I'm but a lowly corporate lawyer with little use for Westlaw, but I'd love to hear of any conviction where the alleged victim said that 3 men brutally assaulted and raped her (well, she changed her story now since the DNA evidence shows otherwise) for several minutes, an examination is conducted within hours and not only is there no DNA match from any of the 3 named defendants (or anyone else present at the time of the alleged crime) but there are multiple DNA matches from other male individuals.

"Duke faculty members reasonably assumed that this general truth with respect to the indicted applied in this case. So what?? "

So if a Duke faculty member is told that out of two students in her class is a criminal, one being white and the other being black, would you argue that that said Duke faculty member could reasonably assume that the black student is the criminal since the general truth is that a greater percentage of black individuals have been convicted of crimes than white individuals?

You really should stop commenting on this case, you've only been wrong with, well, every single one of your posts.
1.29.2007 3:27pm
AlexT (mail):
Its fun to watch (presumably) white people react to unfairness. You guys (like everyone) can really feel it when the shoe is on your foot.

Its not good for innocent people to be accused/charged/convicted. I just know that it happens all the time to people we all are less "connected" to (by actual or cultural bonds), and we couldn't care less. Maybe this will help sensitize those of you who feel it acutely to other instances where similar injustices occur.
1.29.2007 3:29pm
Ragerz (mail):
Jet's Fan,

As a corporate lawyer, maybe you should stay within your area of expertise. Which is obviously not criminal law.

I repeat: As a general matter and not with reference to this case, lack of DNA evidence does not prove lack of a crime. And not only when someone showers.
1.29.2007 3:34pm
rarango (mail):
Weird and Creepy that right wingers/libertarians etc are upset by the professoriate--I fear you miss the point, Ragerz. I suspect that many are pointing out some hypocracy on a group that in some cases demands due process for some and is apparently willing to not provide it for others.

You may find that "weird and creepy," but I suspect there are some commenters on this board that find your posts a bit on the creepy side as well. You must certainly be awfully tired at the end of the day from jumping at so many conclusions.

But as we apprently both recognize: opinions are like armpits; we all have them
1.29.2007 3:35pm
Disenfranchised Jets Fan (mail):
"Its fun to watch (presumably) white people react to unfairness. You guys (like everyone) can really feel it when the shoe is on your foot"

Well I'm glad someone's getting their jollies out of this debacle.

At least you took the high road by saying this should be a wake-up call as to how district attorneys' can act unprofessionally and unfairly to defendants of all types...wait actually you didn't, you made a presumptive strawman out of the matter. Nice going dude!
1.29.2007 3:36pm
Ragerz (mail):
This DNA conversation seems to be a classic example of the "CSI effect".
1.29.2007 3:38pm
Disenfranchised Jets Fan (mail):
"As a general matter and not with reference to this case, lack of DNA evidence does not prove lack of a crime. "

Which is why I referenced the facts of the case, so it wouldn't be as a general matter....what point are you missing? 100% and still counting.
1.29.2007 3:38pm
Ragerz (mail):
rarango,

So, if before OJ Simpson was acquitted, if someone said, "OJ did it" outside a court of law, has that person deprived OJ Simpson been deprived of due process?

I think one of us needs to re-read the Constitution.
1.29.2007 3:40pm
rarango (mail):
Raqerz: rather than one of us rereading the constitution, perhaps you should reread my post. No where did I make such a silly statement as you are making. Bait and switch works for selling cars; doesnt do much for rational argumentation.
1.29.2007 3:46pm
Ragerz (mail):
Jets Fan:

Your general ignorance concerning DNA evidence is illustrated by the general statements you made.


Lack of DNA evidence doesn't prove lack of guilty in many instances, such as the alleged victim showering or otherwise cleansing herself before an opportunity for examination, or in the event of a faulty DNA test that wouldn't turn any positive results.


You were correct up to this point.

Here is the problem:
"The woman was examined that night, and the DNA test turned up positive results"

There are several conceptual problems with your analysis. (1) You seem to be implying that DNA testing is an either/or proposition. That is, if you have positive test results, this means all possible sources of DNA have been detected. This is obviously false.

Hypothetical:
A woman has sex with three men. A, B and C. DNA testing is performed. Here are the possible results.

A - negative, B - negative, C - negative
A - positive, B - negative, C - negative
A - negative, B - positive, C - negative
A - positive, B - positive, C - negative
A - negative, B - negative, C - positive
A - positive, B - negative, C - positive
A - negative, B - positive, C - positive
A - positive, B - positive, C - positive


Hypothetical:
Woman has sex with a man A three weeks before X date. His semen dries in her underwear. On X date, woman is raped by B. Is it possible for a DNA test to detect semen from A, but not from B?

Answer: Yes.

The moral: Positive DNA results say something. Failure to detect DNA does not. Positive DNA results showing that a woman had relations with other men may be relevant and can be argued to have exculpatory tendencies in certain circumstances, depending on the specifics of the case. However, such DNA results do not prove innocence.
1.29.2007 4:01pm
Ragerz (mail):
rarango,

Okay, let us go to your post:


I suspect that many are pointing out some hypocracy on a group that in some cases demands due process for some and is apparently willing to not provide it for others.


I do not believe anyone was advocating that the accused lacrosse players be deprived of their liberty without due process of law. No Duke professor I am aware of suggested that we do without a trial and lynch the players in question. So, where is the "hypocrisy?" Please, illustrate the hypocrisy with respect to due process that you claim exists with specific quotes from specific faculty members. Juxtapose those quotes right here, revealing the hypocrisy for us all to see.

Otherwise, you can just admit that you blundered
1.29.2007 4:09pm
cfw (mail):
The focus on the Duke 88, Lange, and Brodhead makes sense from a contract perspective (as a dad of a Duke junior I am concerned that the tuition gets properly used), and because profs are sort of quasi-fiduciaries with respect to students.

The profs are hired to help judge the students in the university, and they can and must do so accurately, or at least admit promptly and clearly when they have erred.

That obligation to speak frankly and completely about the university's students is part of the implied (in fact and law) contract between the students and the professors.

If that is creepy for the Duke 88, then maybe they need to reacquaint themselves with what it means to hold oneself out as professors for pay.

This has nothing to do with being left or right from a political perspective - only giving fair value for pay received.

Just as a lawyer or a doctor or a stockbroker has to 'fess up when errors have occurred, a prof needs to admit a misjudgment when it has become as plain as day.
1.29.2007 4:14pm
Disenfranchised Jets Fan (mail):
If the DNA analysis is so sophisticated and detailed to detect semen samples deposited three weeks earlier, then a reasonable mind would assume that the test would almost certainly pick up the DNA of someone who deposited on her that night (particularly when recalls the alleged victim's report in this case). For one to take the stand that the lack of DNA is never proof of innocence, fine, its certainly a logical position to state that the lack of evidence isn't enough to prove a negative. But be consistent, it is never enough in all circumstances. Thus all of those men (many black) who have been exonerated by the Innocence Project aren't proven innocent either.
1.29.2007 4:17pm
Ragerz (mail):
Jets Fan:

People who are exonerated by the Innocence Project are not necessarily innocent. However, without evidence that was wrongly attributed to them, it is thought that they would not have been convicted.


If the DNA analysis is so sophisticated and detailed to detect semen samples deposited three weeks earlier, then a reasonable mind would assume that the test would almost certainly pick up the DNA of someone who deposited on her that night (particularly when recalls the alleged victim's report in this case).


Length of time since the deposit of DNA is merely one variable among many. (How long was it since Clinton spilled his semen on Monica Lewinski's dress was it before it was tested??) Other variables include the amount of semen deposited, whether the person testing get's an adequate sample of what is deposited by a particular individual, how the evidence is handled, etc. etc. DNA evidence is sophisticated, but it all depends on the specific case, handling of the evidence, whether sufficient evidence was deposited. People not taking this into consideration is common, and is called the "CSI effect." You are far from alone in your misconceptions concerning DNA evidence.
1.29.2007 4:39pm
Disenfranchised Jets Fan (mail):
"You are far from alone in your misconceptions concerning DNA evidence."

What misconception do I have?

That in the case at hand its exculpatory evidence and should have been turned over by the prosecution? If so the NC bar shares the same misconception.

The key word here is obsfucation. On the one hand you present that DNA evidence should only be viewed in the context of the "specific case, handling of the evidence, whether sufficient evidence was deposited" yet you seem unwilling to discuss the specifics, handling and sufficient deposit of the Duke case.

Here are the specifics: Semen was found inside her vagina (allegedly attributed to her boyfriend). Multiple matches of males were found in or around the anal and vaginal areas. Yet not only were DNA matches negative against the named defendants, but against the DOZENS of other people present at the party. The alleged victim's intial claim of a brutal 30 minute anal and vaginal rape including mouth penetration and ejaculation. Its one thing to claim the lack of evidence can never "prove" a negative, its another to completely ignore the facts in a situation where the standard is reasonable doubt, in which the lack of DNA alone would provide to anyone who isn't sexist, racist or stupid. And that's not discussing other inconvenient facts such as the numerous inconsistent accouts of the alleged victim (with the latest timeline being absolutely absurd since its counter to an impartial witness' claim (the neighbor) and the alleged victim's own cell phone records), the lack of any corroboration by another impartial witness (the other stripper), the the lack of physical injuries consistent with the alleged brutal assault, the photo line-ups that did not meet state guidelines that resulted in inconsistencies within viewings and with police notes, and the potential alibi that was completely ignored by the LE and the DA.

And that's just the evidence that will definitely be at trial, and completely ignoring other circumstancial evidence that may or may not be admitted.

There's a cliche concerning hitching themselves to the wrong cart, well in this case the cart is the Titanic and Nifong is likely only the first of those to go down.
1.29.2007 5:15pm
Pantapon Rose (mail):
Ragerz, at the Duke demonstration, there were signs calling for these boys to be castrated. At the New Black Panther Party demonstration, there was talk of burning the lacrosse house down. The faculty thanked these demonstrators for 'speaking out' in their infamous ad. That's pretty far from due process.

The hypocrisy is a separate issue, one that is secondary, in my view. More something to laugh at than anything else. The same people that wanted these boys deprived of due process are the same people that demonstrate for due process for terrorists. The Gitmo clinics are among the most popular classes at the law school.
1.29.2007 5:40pm
Ragerz (mail):
cfw:

This is the ad by the Duke professors that people are making a big deal about.

Let's see what it says...

"Regardless of the results of the police investigation..."

Indicating that their is an official investigation and process that will determine factual guilt or innocence.

"If it turns out that these students are guilty, I want them expelled."

Indicating that guilt or innocence has yet to be determined.

"These students are shouting and whispering about what happened to this young woman and to themselves."

Suggesting that something probably happened to the woman in question, but not saying what.

One thing seems very likely. Whether or not a rape occurred, racial slurs are very likely to have been used. The claim that the N-word was used is corroborated by the racist statement that Jason Bissey, a credible witness (you can see video of his statement here)
heard from one of the lacrosse players who shouted: "Hey bitch, thank your grandpa for my nice cotton shirt!"

So, even if no rape occurred, it is clear that at least one unidentified lacrosse player has issues with racism. This alone would justify the ad by the Duke 88.

Ultimately, regardless of the fate of the rape charge, which is obviously and justifiably getting the majority of the attention, there were some very serious problems with racism revealed by this incident, if you credit the statement of Jason Bissey.

Overall, the Duke 88 have nothing to apologize for.
1.29.2007 5:52pm
happylee:
It looks like it's Jets 7 to Ragerz 0. Very nice.

To hammer home the obvious: The Duke faculty wanted the Duke players to be guilty, because it'd give them a chance to harp on and on about their marxian class analysis, ie, rich v poor, white v black, men v womyn, out-of-townie v townie, etc. That's the curse of being a Marxoid. One is constantly looking for something, anything, that proves what is obviously a lie. It wasn't enough that hundreds of millions died for this fake; many more must perish, and the Duke boys would have just been a couple more victims to appease the insatiable appetite of our modern pinkofascistsacademic friends.

Nifong was merely a moron-of-the-moment who thought to advance his petty and forgettable career by catering to trendy thoughts of victimology. He thought to get some votes from the hoi polloi and support from the pinkofascistsacademic intellectual guards by supplying a couple of innocent victims to our marxian monster.

But, fear not, because soon a report will come out that will blame the extinction of entire species (the least of important of which is mankind) on.....white man and the evil industrial revolution he brought upon us. Regulations of the sort that would make even FDR cringe will follow. And with some luck, after a suitable amount of time, all of mankind will be returned its "natural state" of true "harmony" with nature -- in short, life will be nasty, brutish and short again, with ragged men, women and children digging for roots to eat. (And then it will be discovered that some root better than other...and the whole shebang will start again.)
1.29.2007 6:03pm
Disenfranchised Jets Fan (mail):
You missed my favorite part:

"To the students speaking individually and to the protestors making collective noise, thank you for not waiting and for making yourselves heard."

So what should they not be waiting for?

If noting else they should apologize for such making Duke look like such a terrible place to go to school, and using 8 anonymous sources (the overwhelming majority of quotes) to further their point.
1.29.2007 6:08pm
Ragerz (mail):
Jet Fan asks:


What misconception do I have?

That in the case at hand...


I am not talking about, nor will I talk about the specific rape allegations. It is up to the state AG, not me, to evaluate the merits of the case and decide whether to go forward with the case.

However, your general statements indicates a general misconception. For example, you apparently think that if older DNA that dries into clothing is detected, but doesn't detect other DNA, that one should put a decisive amount of weight on this. That is plain false:

You write:

If the DNA analysis is so sophisticated and detailed to detect semen samples deposited three weeks earlier, then a reasonable mind would assume that the test would almost certainly pick up the DNA of someone who deposited on her that night...


From this statement, we can conclude that your "reasonable mind," which in this case is making an unreasonable inference, does not understand how DNA evidence works. Do not feel bad. Many many people have unreasonable expectations regarding DNA evidence in particular, that is why the term "CSI effect" was coined.

However, if you are going to be willfully ignorant, then you should feel bad. There is no connection between the detection of some DNA and the lack of a detection of other DNA. The lack of detection of DNA is not any more informative in the presence of older DNA that is detected that is detected than it would be if no DNA were found at all.

The reason other DNA is relevant usually goes to identification. Clearly, if we believe someone has been raped, but there is some question about the identity of the assailant, the presence of other DNA is relevant. If you have a stranger's DNA in your system that is unexplainable based on your consensual partners, the thought is that this is the likely perpetrator. If the DNA does not match the person you identify in a line up, it would be considered exculpatory. However, in cases where the other DNA is from an explained sexual partner, such as a husband, then it is much less relevant.
1.29.2007 6:12pm
r78:
Oh - just curious about one thing: Would it be acceptable for Duke to boot the involved young men off of the school lacrosse team for nothing more than hiring a stripper to entertain them?
1.29.2007 6:17pm
great unknown (mail):
Ragerz:
Guess what. The vast majority of people who are indicted for a crime by a grand jury are in-fact guilty and are in-fact punished for their crimes


a) What is a "vast majority"?
b) What are your sources?
c) Are you aware that on that particular day, the grand jury heard and returned indictements on 81 cases?
d) Are you aware that there are no notes or any records of any of the grand jury proceedings?
1.29.2007 6:19pm
Ragerz (mail):
Jet Fan,

Well, given the context where the ad made clear that the factual guilt or innocence of the players regarding the rape charge would be made elsewhere, I think "not waiting" would refer to addressing the racial issues brought up by the racist statements made, including "Hey bitch, thank your grandpa for my nice cotton shirt!"

We don't have to have a trial to pass judgment on this statement, since the statement itself is probably not a crime. (Fighting words exception? Well, it certainly isn't the basis of a charge, especially since it is unknown who exactly said it.) Jason Bissey, a very credible witness if you watch the MSNBC video asserts that he heard the statement made by one of the lacrosse players. This corroborates the statement that the N-word was used. (But whether the N-word was used or not, the statement Bissey heard was racist on its face.)

This is enough to justify this ad, which is meant to address student reaction after hearing about direct eyewitness statements concerning the blatant racism here.

The duke lacrosse case is not just about rape. It is also about racism. And whether the rape charge is questionable or not, the racism charge stands on pretty firm ground.
1.29.2007 6:20pm
Ragerz (mail):
great unknown,

If you are so interested in the statistics, why don't you look them up. If you find that I am incorrect and you find that most grand jury indictments do not end in guilty or nolo pleas or convictions, but instead acquittals and dropped charges, feel free to post that here.
1.29.2007 6:24pm
Ragerz (mail):
r78


Would it be acceptable for Duke to boot the involved young men off of the school lacrosse team for nothing more than hiring a stripper to entertain them?


In my view, I would say that depends on the university. If you go to Bob Jones University and hire strippers, that probably would be grounds for expulsion. I doubt Duke would expel someone for hiring a stripper, but I have no first hand knowledge of their policies.

I will say this. If you consent to go to a university that has a policy that makes expulsion a proper punishment for hiring strippers, then I would think that expulsion would be justified if you hire a stripper.

I myself would not consent to go to such a university.
1.29.2007 6:28pm
Disenfranchised Jets Fan (mail):
"The duke lacrosse case is not just about rape. It is also about racism. And whether the rape charge is questionable or not, the racism charge stands on pretty firm ground."

At least you're finally being honest.

So if say, Reade Seligmann left the party before the alleged racial slurs happened (taking into account the credible Bissey and the ATM timestamps this would appear to be the case), its fine that he's lost a year of his academic life, had incurred hundreds of thousands of dollars if not millions of legal fees and still faces legal consequences since one Duke lacrosse player made a racial comment.

Nice world you live in guy.
1.29.2007 6:30pm
Ragerz (mail):
Jet Fan:

"At least you're finally being honest."

I think I have been honest all along.

"So if say, Reade Seligmann left the party before the alleged racial slurs happened..."

I have no personal knowledge of where Seligmann did or did not do, or what he did or did not say. Further, I don't know if their is a causal connection in this case between the racist comment and the decision of the DA to bring rape charges against this particular individual.

Hypothetically speaking, if X happens to hang around a bad crowd and suffers negative consequences as a result, despite their individual innocence, this is not a good thing.

Of course, if any lacrosse players who did not make a racist slur, but heard a racist slur and know who said it but hides the identify the individual in question, they are morally culpable.

I should point out one thing. You write:

"one Duke lacrosse player made a racial comment."

Should be changed from "racial comment" to "racist comment." It is one thing to say "racial slur" where the badness of what is said is evident from the word "slur." It is another thing entirely to say "racial comment." A racial comment can be entirely neutral and not a bad thing at all. Perhaps you are subconsciously minimizing the seriousness of the racist comment in question.

I am not going to say that this is conscious dishonesty on your part, your using language to seemingly minimize the seriousness of what was said here. But, I think it might be problematic. Only you can say.
1.29.2007 6:47pm
Ragerz (mail):
I wrote:

"The duke lacrosse case is not just about rape"

When I would have preferred to write:

"The duke lacrosse incident is not just about rape"

I am not primarily referring to the rape case.

The duke lacrosse incident would include the racist statements. The rape case would only include those statements if they are relevant to the alleged perpetrators state of mind.
1.29.2007 6:54pm
Disenfranchised Jets Fan (mail):

"I have no personal knowledge of where Seligmann did or did not do, or what he did or did not say. Further, I don't know if their is a causal connection in this case between the racist comment and the decision of the DA to bring rape charges against this particular individual. "

That's becaused you've ignored the facts, evidence and details of this case. Ignorance can be convenient, but remember the cliche about hitching to the wrong cart.

"But, I think it might be problematic. Only you can say."

While we're soul-searching over minutia, I'm pretty confident if this was a case involving 3 black football players allegedly raping a "cracker" stripper with identical facts otherwise (and its a whale of an assumption that the gang of 88 would make a similar statement or that the DA would make similar racial claims) I would be just as outraged at the lack of due process and rush to judgment and the general behavior of the media, facult and DA.

Would you be just as outraged at the racial comment (see, I use the same terms in both situations) and aloof towards the faculty's comments?
1.29.2007 7:01pm
Ragerz (mail):
First of all, maybe this is due to my lack of knowledge concerning the particular social context surrounding the term "cracker," but I don't think it is as offensive as say, the N-word. Or the reference to slavery in this case.

Looking "cracker" up at dictionary.com, I find three interesting definitions.

(1) (initial capital letter) Sometimes Disparaging and Offensive. a native or inhabitant of Georgia (used as a nickname).

(2) Used as a disparaging term for a poor white person of the rural, especially southeast United States.

(3) Used as a disparaging term for a white person.

First note that, apparently, the word cracker is only sometimes considered offensive when referring to a Georgian. Second, that the word also refers to a food, which is something other than a racist slur. Unlike the N-word, which has no analogous neutral purpose. Third, that when used to reference a person, it can be a compliment to someone who is very good at computer programming. Fourth, whites have not been subjected to slavery and Jim Crow at the hands of blacks who used to word to refer to them in a disparaging way. Overall, I think the term "cracker" has much less stigma attached to it than the N-word. Don't you agree?

Your point still stands however. But I would say something much less ambigiously bad would be "white trash" rather than cracker, which strikes me as an obscure word. And still, "white trash" while very offensive, is not as offensive as the N-word, when used in a disparaging context.

Overall, I would be outraged if a group of black men treated a white stripper abusively, referring to her as "white trash" (especially in the context of stripping, which seems closely associated with economic exploitation and those with limited financial means). Would I be as outraged as the case here? I think that would depend on the intensity of the abuse and the surrounding context. I think you can imagine scenarious every bit as outrageous where you switch the race of the victim and the perpetrators.

This is a nice theoretical discussion. But the bottom-line is, that what actually occurred here was a serious racist incident. And you should be outraged. That you can imagine other outrageous situations should not change that.
1.29.2007 7:26pm
Ragerz (mail):
One thought that this case brings to mind. Perhaps strippers who work at private parties should be required by law to hire and bring a bouncer.

There is a good argument for this, because we don't want "race to the bottom" situations where some strippers are able to charge lower rates because they don't hire a bouncer, thus driving some strippers who would prefer to hire a bouncer out of the market or inducing them not to hire a bouncer. I wonder if this whole lacrosse incident, including the racist comments, would have been prevented by the presence of a bouncer...
1.29.2007 7:41pm
Toby:
Ragerz:

Parading ignorance and creating cimeras do not an honest argument make:

1) Whatever your awareness, one of the few time that I thought I might not live to finsifh college was when I jokingly used the word cracker to refer to some good old Georgia boys. I'm not sure many of those boys use wikipedia. From reading your posts, I do not think you would accept such a weak response on any of the disparaging terms used against members your canonical victims,

2) Press reports indicate multiple internal and on flesh "DNA samples". Such samples do not have nearly the life of samples preserved by drying on underware. Your repeated return to repeating "samples on underwaer" bespeaks either that your read someone's depsparate attempt to justify this elsewhere, or that you are attempting delibberate misdirection. Neither one speaks well to the argument.
1.29.2007 8:56pm
great unknown (mail):
Ragerz:
In the intellectual circles I was educated in, the claimant had to back his claim. Throwing out a statement and stating it was true unless proven otherwise is tantamount to saying a defendent is guilty until proven innocent...Hmmm, didn't I just read something like that a few comments back?

By the way, I have reliable information that you are a liberal-arts faculty member at Duke, a member of the Group of 88, and/or a sex offender. My source: the fact that anybody supporting the charges against the LAX trio must be a member of one or more of those groups - as is well known.
Of course, if you can document that this is not true, I will be quite willing to examine your exculpatory evidence...eventually, maybe.

Legal disclaimer: the previous is said in the spirit of sarcasm and does not refer to any member of the human race, living or dead.
1.29.2007 9:08pm
Ragerz (mail):
Toby,

First of all, whatever the merits of the rest of your argument, your claim that I am making a dishonest argument is ridiculous. You have no basis for such an assumption.

1) Context matters. Cracker doesn't really mean anything to me, but then I live in California. As I said in my last post, "maybe this is due to my lack of knowledge concerning the particular social context surrounding the term 'cracker'..." To me, something like white trash is much more clear than cracker, but then I have not ever lived in the Southeast either.

As mentioned, I can imagine equally outrageous situations involving black on white abuse. It all depends on context.

By the way, the victims here are not "canonical victims," but actual people. And in the end, the effects on actual people seems to me to be what matters when analyzing this. If you are trying to justify your lack of outrage by suggesting that since other acts can be equally outrageous, this one is not, you are making a logically fallacious blockheaded argument.

Answer one question, and only one question: Is the racist statement, "Hey bitch, thank your grandpa for my nice cotton shirt!" outrageous and morally wrong, or is it not? Don't dodge the issue.

2) I am neither desperate to make a point -- I call things how I see them -- nor have I looked at other's justifications when making this argument. If you recall the Monica Lewinsky matter, you will recall another incident involving DNA dried on clothing. I have really not been trying to speak to DNA evidence in this case in particular, but rather to DNA in general. (I am happy to let the state AG handle the case, rather than investigate the facts myself. They have access to all the evidence. I do not. They have the time to analyze this case carefully on the merits. I do not. If they drop the charges, I will assume it is due to lack of evidence. If they go forward with the charges, I will make a rebuttabable assumption that they are proceeding in good faith. But whatever they do, the general points about DNA that I have made here will stand.)

In any case, your extremely weak and poorly thought out accusation of dishonesty does not reflect well on either you or your argument.
1.29.2007 9:20pm
Ragerz (mail):
great unknown,

First of all, your last sarcastic comment was too obscure for me to decipher with great confidence. But, based on the context of your last comment and my response to it, I am assuming you are suggesting that I should prove to you the well-known fact that most grand jury indictments result in punishment.

I don't have the time (but especially not the inclination) to prove every commonly known fact to the ignorant. If you don't believe that most indictments result in punishment, I don't really care. You can do a google search yourself. Or not. I have absolutely no incentive or desire to prove it to you. Let us say that I were to prove it to you. Would I get a cookie?

I also haven't proven to you that my mostly orange cat has a white spot on its stomach. Or that I even own such a cat.

Sometimes, when you doubt commonly known facts, people will humor you and prove them for you. Other times, they may not feel like it. That would be now.

But you are of course, as always, welcome to produce statistics yourself demonstrating that the following statement "most grand jury indictments result in the punishment of the accused" is false. Go for it.
1.29.2007 9:31pm
ed (mail) (www):
Hmmmm.

I think people have to keep in mind that the AG's office isn't squeaky clean on prosecutorial misconduct and illegal withholding of evidence.

A member of the AG's office testified in court that it was a common practice in the AG's office to withhold exculpatory evidence. Which is probably from where Nifong got the idea in the first place.
1.29.2007 10:40pm
Sherlock Holmes:
"The DNA evidence requested will immediately rule out any innocent persons, and show conclusive evidence as to who the suspect(s) are in the alleged violent attack upon this victim." - Mike Nifong

Looks like Ragerz just got OWNED!!!!
1.30.2007 12:22am
David M. Nieporent (www):
Answer one question, and only one question: Is the racist statement, "Hey bitch, thank your grandpa for my nice cotton shirt!" outrageous and morally wrong, or is it not? Don't dodge the issue.
It is. You might want to note, however, that it was made to Kim Roberts in response to a racist comment she had made, as she explained. That doesn't justify it, but it does put the statement in its actual context.
1.30.2007 3:49am
Toby:
Ragerz:

The statement is indeed stupidly insulting and puerile. It is only criminal in a modern Bizarro world, and has little to do with validating any charge of rape.

And as a Southern California boy, I too was ignorant of any semantic content of the term. I didn't, however, plead with them that they were mistaken or try to prove they were wrong. I instead quickly and profusely apologized and resolved to drink my beer elsewhere thence forward.
1.30.2007 1:40pm