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The Duke Women's Lacrosse Team Should Be Honored.--

More on the Duke case: I was reading a long, stirring letter/post from a Duke alum, who identifies herself as Meadow (posted on Liestoppers):

Last spring, one of the only groups that stood up against a tirade of prejudices were the members of the Duke Women's Lacrosse team, led by their courageous coach, Kerstin Kimel. While the rest of the world was condemning the Men's Lacrosse team as guilty, Coach Kimel was actively supporting the students and her players' choice to show their support by wearing wristbands with the numbers of the indicted players. Rather than highlight the fortitude and commitment to the truth of these accomplished female athletes, the media rained criticism down in the most sexist and dismissive ways. Some examples:

Duke Free-falling from Grace (Stephen A. Smith)

"I never believed the day would come when we'd see an educational institution so flagrantly stupid, so selfish, so conspicuously aloof. Evidently it's Duke, supposedly one of America's more honorable institutions of higher learning."

Duke Women Not Innocent (Kevin Sweeney)

"And what lesson has the women's team taken? They apparently have learned that pack behavior is a good thing. They are speaking as one, and are proclaiming the entire men's team, as one, to be innocent. Team unity trumps all."

"By making such a public stand of unity before the facts come out, by saying so clearly that the accused is a liar, the women of Duke's lacrosse team won't make it any easier for other women to step forward. I can only hope that none of them will ever be in such a position — where they may be a victim, want to step forward, but sense ultimately that it just isn't worth it."

Duke Women Show Lack of Sensitivity (Jeff Schultz, quoting Katherine Redmond)

"These are stupid, spoiled little girls. It smacks of high school. Maybe one day when they'll read about one of their friends who was raped. Then they'll rethink this." said Kathy Redmond (founder of the National Coalition Against Violent Athletes). Redmond goes on to say, "More than any other sport, there's this mentality with women lacrosse players of, 'We're as tough as the men.' It's almost like a competition. It's like they try to carry themselves with a masculine edge. They want to be looked at as being just as good as the men, yet they still look to the men for validation."

Coda: Bodies of Evidence (Karla Holloway)

"They were athletes themselves, as well as "true fans." In a moment that called on more action than I had will for, I wanted to write to them to ask if they might, instead, consider writing the word "justice" onto their gear, a word whose connotations run deeper than the team-inspired and morally slender protestations of loyalty that brought the ethic from the field of play onto the field of legal and cultural and gendered battle as well."

Amazingly, in face of all of this unsupportable ridicule, Coach Kimel told reporters after the women lost in the semi-finals:

"Any attention we got for the wristbands paled in comparison to having the media staked outside of our practice and the girls' dorms. Of watching your friends be arrested; watching your fellow students not support fellow students; watching professors not support students."

Did Duke professors choose to support these female students dismissed as "little girls" in the press? Was calling collegiate women "little girls" a social disaster? Apparently not. Has anyone come forward now that the women's lacrosse team was obviously correct to acknowledge their heroic courage and apologize for the response they received?

The women of the Duke lacrosse team knew that their friends on the men's team were innocent because they had talked with them, they knew that the rape story was implausible, one of the men had an airtight alibi, and, of course, the Duke suspects had already been exonerated by the DNA evidence.

Meadow writes about all the people who need to apologize, but I was thinking that some of the courageous people who spoke up for the truth relatively early on should be recognized and honored for their efforts. Every year Duke gives many graduating students prizes for contributions to the community. Every graduating member of the Duke women's lacrosse team (as well as perhaps the chief reporters and editors of the Chronicle) should be given the William J. Griffith University Service Award:

The William J. Griffith University Service Award will be presented to a select number of graduating students whose contributions to the Duke and larger communities have significantly impacted University life. Students whose efforts demonstrate an understanding of the responsibilities of effective university, communal and global citizenship are eligible for this award.

To have stood up for justice and the best principles of the Duke community in the face of opposition from some members of the faculty, the administration, and the press was an act of bravery that should be rewarded. When one compares their behavior to the usual activities for which such prizes are given to students, these student-athletes engaged in actions that risked real sacrifices of the kinds that one can't list as credentials on applications to graduate or professional schools--risking their own grades, reputations, and honor.

Such obviously deserved prizes would show real contrition on the part of the administration.

There appear to be other awards that these students have also earned. The most ironic award that one of these brave students might be eligible for is the "Karla F.C. Holloway Award for Service to Duke." The fact that it is given out by the African & African American Studies Department may mean that none of the Duke women's lacrosse team members would qualify (I have no idea what their majors might be), but one of the team members would certainly fit the description of "Service to Duke."

The administration should also consider faculty service awards to law professor James Coleman, coach Kerstin Kimel, and whoever was behind the Duke economists' faculty letter. These are people who tried to uphold the highest values of the Duke community in the face of attacks from both within and without.

Related Posts (on one page):

  1. The Duke Women's Lacrosse Team Should Be Honored.--
  2. The Duke Case.--
Lev:
[post deleted]
1.30.2007 12:52am
elChato (mail):
Maybe we shouldn't celebrate ANYONE who expressed an opinion on the merits without knowing any of the facts, even if the opinion later turned out to be right.

Certainly the faculty and students who jumped on the PCer-than-thou bandwagon, and seized on an inverted To-Kill-A-Mockingbird fable to conveniently embody their nightmare image of privilege/race/class exploitation, are justly subject to ridicule today for their ridiculously overheated statements and actions.

But shouldn't the bigger lesson be that wisdom requires withholding judgment on disputed facts early on, even when an allegation seems to confirm some belief to which we're predisposed? It seems that finding a way to impart something like THAT to students, would be much more valuable in a university environment than rewarding someone who chose sides well, given later developments. The economists' letter did seem pretty sensible, I must say.

Intelligence is hardly the same as wisdom; it's a shame that so many Duke professors who should have known better were so eager to be on record making absolutely idiotic statements, so as not to be outflanked by their peers.

P.S. This thread and the previous one should resurrect the poster who thought that because there was an indictment there should automatically be a trial and anyone with an opinion critical of the case's merits, even after all that's come out by now, was exactly like a "lyncher-" he was amusing.
1.30.2007 12:56am
Jim Lindgren (mail):
elChato wrote:


Maybe we shouldn't celebrate ANYONE who expressed an opinion on the merits without knowing any of the facts, even if the opinion later turned out to be right.


Did you read my post? I wrote:


The women of the Duke lacrosse team knew that their friends on the men's team were innocent because they had talked with them, they knew that the rape story was implausible, one of the men had an airtight alibi, and, of course, the Duke suspects had already been exonerated by the DNA evidence.

The Women's lacrosse team did not wear the armbands of support "without knowing any of the facts," as you claim. It was already public knowledge that the prosecutor sought DNA evidence which would exonerate the innocent, and that none of the 46 players matched the supposed rapists' DNA. Most of the women's lacrosse team also knew that the three men charged didn't fit the description given to the police, that the lineup was intentionally designed not to get reliable IDs, and that one indicted player had multiple airtight alibis. Then there is the physical improbability of the woman's account in such a tiny bathroom.

Beyond the presumption of innocence, the women knew that their friends were innocent for most of the same reasons that we (who were not following the case) now know that the players were innocent.

Jim Lindgren
1.30.2007 1:23am
Alan321 (mail):
How dare Mz. Redomnd insinuate that women are inferior to men. Such quotes as "'More than any other sport, there's this mentality with women lacrosse players of, 'We're as tough as the men.'" would seem to indicate that Mz. Redmond clings to the Neanderthal notion that women are not equal to men in physical prowess and that any efforts to demonstrate otherwise, or even having that attitude, are reprehensible. Tisk tisk Mz. Redmond!
1.30.2007 2:29am
Bruce Hayden (mail) (www):
I am a bit surprised at the "We're as tough as the men" stuff, as my understanding is that the men's and women's lacross are different as to the amount of physical contact involved. At least here in CO at the HS level, the boys cross-check, and the girls do not. The boys are thus a lot better padded, including full helmets, and the girls are not. The boys' game is thus a lot more physical than the girls' game is. Indeed, the girls playing LAX here in HS seem thinner, lighter, and faster than the girls playing soccer (I was surprised to hear girls picking soccer over lacross because there was less running involved). We didn't have woman's lacross when I was in college (it was added since then), but the pictures I see of college lacross seem to indicate that this distinction in the amount of physical contact between the sexes playing lacross continues.
1.30.2007 4:53am
Federal Dog:
I actually find the ""These are stupid, spoiled little girls" attack much more astonishing than the assertion that the girls are trying to be as tough as men. Ms. Redmond's remark tells us everything about her and nothing about the women's Lacrosse team.


Stupid, spoiled little girl, indeed.
1.30.2007 7:08am
a knight (mail) (www):
It is time to push back a bit, Mr. Lingren. Your response has given given a plausible rationalisation for some of the campus' egregiously inappropriate responses. They knew that DNA had been taken, and the State agent assigned with prosecutorial duties had not come out with an innocent test result in a timely fashion. In many minds this would be an indication of guilt. The players had originally got themselves "all lawyered up" before talking to authorities too. I am not claiming that this was wrong or that the act implied guilt; quite the contrary, I recommend it whenever one is forced to deal with an agent of the government in an official manner. Still many of the American Public viewed this as another laser pointer aimed in the direction of the players guilt, and who is to blame for that virus spreading through the datastreams and infecting the collective consciousness; the right or left side of the political bipolarity?

When contemplating effective manipulation of the American public opinion in this subject, the Duke Student Body's and Faculty's roles were minor. I readily admit that I have not been a regular reader of this forum for very long, and it was Mr. S. Horton's honourable stand against the current administration's unjust acts toward the detainees of Mr. Bush's War Upon Terror, that caused me lurk around here recently, and I may well have missed it. So I am respectfully asking that you point me to your outraged posting about a principle spreader of this reprehensible disinformation across America, the despicable Nancy Grace.

Or is your motivation instead to use an argument of reverse class/race as a vehicle to bootstrap your personal ideology up upon a soapbox, and into the spotlight? It is damn fortunate that the kids in this instance are the progeny of wealth, whose families could afford capable and aggressive attorneys for their defense.

Had it instead been Hispanic cafeteria workers at Duke falsely charged with rape, with representation from a young, overworked, inexperienced, under-compensated, and poorly budgeted public defender's office caught in the withering enfilade fire coming from an overzealous prosecutor, and a led by the media hub in their nose public, they would most likely already be serving long sentences at a North Carolina Penal Institution after copping a plea, which despite their innocence, was the best option available for them to choose.

Prosecutors will abuse their State power if allowed, they will hide behind a defense of antinomianism if discovered, and the media pundits will let them walk free. This a real source for the ills which brought this hell upon the Duke Lacrosse Players, yet you attack at the periphery, while the disease within America's legal system continues to metastasise. The real culprit is an unmuzzled leviathan, and an acquiescent citizenry unwilling to struggle in the worthy effort of will and force to compel our government to act justly; to apply fairly and equally, due process of law to all. This must assuredly reach to the government's treatment of those perceived as America's foes.

Our beast must again be chained, or America will be eaten alive.

"An avidity to punish is always dangerous to liberty. It leads men to stretch, to misinterpret, and to misapply even the best of laws. He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself."

Thomas Paine, "Dissertations on First Principles of Government", 1795, published online by the School of Cooperative Individualism
1.30.2007 7:13am
Loki13 (mail):
Mr. Lindgren,

Your post was persuasive until your invocation of the Karla F.C. Holloway award. Not only was that unnecessary, but it spoke volumes.

For many observers, the main lesson learned from this case was that if you're the scion of a rich white family that can afford excellent counsel, then you will achieve justice. As the previous poster noted, that is not often the case. Where is the outrage for all the other victims of baseless prosecution?
1.30.2007 7:54am
ReVonna LaSchatze:
1). Don't cheapen the history of the award by giving it to the women's lacrosse team. Acknowledge their statements publically if you like, but don't cheapen award for others who have really done something to win it:

...whose contributions to the Duke and larger communities have significantly impacted University life. Students whose efforts demonstrate an understanding of the responsibilities of effective university, communal and global citizenship are eligible for this award.


Further, unless you want all future high-profile athletic and celebrity legal cases tried in the media, maybe hold off on the proclaimations of "innocence" (which is not the same as "not guilty") until the legal process runs its course, Mr. Lindgren? Or should we cherry pick the cases that you are sure can be tried in the press, with the high-priced lawyers never needing to step inside a courtroom?

Ditto Loki13. Mr. Lindgren sounds a bit... emotionally involved, rather than really caring much about Duke or those "whose contributions to the Duke and larger communities have significantly impacted University life."
1.30.2007 8:15am
Eric Muller (www):
Jim, to my eye, this post from last May seems much closer to right than yours.

I think you are blurring the line between what you know now and what the women really knew then. And I also think you're omitting things that the women actually knew then, including their male counterparts' well-earned reputations for drunken excess and one male team member's much-publicized sexually sadistic and homicidal fantasies.

Friends deserve praise for standing up for friends. Absolutely. But friend-for-friend loyalty isn't the same thing as omniscience, and it isn't usually the stuff of campus service awards.
1.30.2007 8:40am
Brian Church (mail):
What is your source for the claim that the women's lacrosse team knew of the exculpatory DNA evidence back in May? This story claims that defense attorneys were not made aware of the DNA report until October.

It seems like if one is going to praise the women's lacrosse team, to the point of commending them with awards, one should have some sort of conclusive evidence that their defense of the men's team was principled and well reasoned rather than reflexive circling the wagons. At least one women's lacrosse player in May explained her wearing the "innocent" headband by saying, "All the athletes at Duke all kind of stick together,. To be fair, the only other student quoted gives a more reasonable "innocent until proven guilty" defense, but nothing in any story I've seen shows that the women's lacrosse team had any sort of special knowledge that the accused were innocent, or that there had been any sort of prosecutorial misconduct.

Perhaps jumping to a conclusion of innocence based on character assessments is less egregious than jumping to a conclusion of guilty based on victim's statements; but aren't the real people deserving of praise here those who withheld all judgement until the facts were in?
1.30.2007 8:43am
Andy Freeman (mail):
> the main lesson learned from this case was that if you're the scion of a rich white family that can afford excellent counsel

Is this actually true of the Duke lacrosse players or are we simply assuming that white boys at Duke come from rich familes?
1.30.2007 8:51am
Charlie (Colorado) (mail):

To have stood up for justice and the best principles of the Duke community in the face of opposition from some members of the faculty, the administration, and the press was an act of bravery that should be rewarded. When one compares their behavior to the usual activities for which such prizes are given to students, these student-athletes engaged in actions that risked real sacrifices of the kinds that one can't list as credentials on applications to graduate or professional schools--risking their own grades, reputations, and honor.

Such obviously deserved prizes would show real contrition on the part of the administration.


Jim, as a Duke grad myself (MS '88) I have two reactions: (1) you're right, and (2) fat chance. At least until some rich alum threatens to cut back on a contribution. (Melinda Gates, are you listening?)

ReVonna, it's "innocent until proven guilty", not "not guilty until proven guilty."
1.30.2007 9:07am
Thomasly (mail):
Some of the defense attorneys involved announced last April that the DNA tests indicated that the accused were innocent.

Jim, people like Eric, who probably believed that the accused were guilty just a few weeks ago, despite the mountain of evidence the other way, aren't going to give credit to someone who came to the obviously correct answer months before them. Getting the answer right when they got the answer wrong is evidence of moral fault, but not theirs. That's why Eric can point to a post that calls these women lacrosse players, who were were right, "simpletons" without noting that the author of that post insisted that we couldn't know whether these young men were innocent or guilty, but we knew the accuser was a "victim of sexual violence." The more wrong you were, the better a person.
1.30.2007 9:18am
Al Maviva (mail) (www):
Loki, I've worked as a public defender. My outrage at unfair treatment in the criminal process is roughly in proportion to the likelihood that a particluar individual is getting railroaded.

Most ong term members of the defense bar I have asked about it will say they've seen one or two really innocent defendants in a few decades' work. You've watched way too many movies if you think the courts are littered with innocent defendants. Most appear in court about as often as the average judge. I did have a couple clients who were mischarged for their (admittedly culpable) actions (like getting popped for car theft when it was really carjacking), and one or two who were only marginally capable of forming mens rea, but I never had a question about whether the client had been involved in something seriously bad; any doubts (due to protestations of innocence) were usually quickly dispelled when I did my factual investigation to prepare their case. In spite of being Matlock Jr., Lawyer of the Damned, I did pretty fair work for them. While money may get you a white shoe firm, it doesn't necessarily get you better representation; sometimes it just gets you overbilled. I managed to get a lot of rotten, vicious guilty bastards set free because the state couldn't carry its burden or manage to comply with basic procedural requirements - simple and fairly cheap legal defense work. You don't like it, move to France where they don't have such procedural due process niceties. My favorite client (who should have asked for a bulk discount on court fees and bail deposits) was a recidivist car thief / rapist who always protesting his innocence - the only problem is he kept coming up on surveillance films, DNA tests and in possession of stolen goods. It's tough to make a public case you're being railroaded, when the boxcars are full of physical evidence. His career highlight occurred on a single day when I represented him in two separate matters. First thing in the morning, I got a car theft case against him dismissed on procedural grounds, as the state mishandled some evidence and lost other evidence. Later that day, I managed to keep him out of jail in a parole revocation hearing related to the morning proceeding, even though there were felony charges pending against him in a neighboring county (the state failed to ask about that, and it wasn't my duty to volunteer the fact). Later that afternoon, he was picked up in another stolen car in a third county on his way to go rape a 13 year-old. (Long story... not a terribly attractive one).

Mmmmmm... now that's some tasty social justice, don't you think Loki? You think lots of people in the criminal justice process are completely innocent and getting railroaded? I suggest you take a job as a public defender to help win justice for some of these poor underserved folks. Let me know how that works out for you.
1.30.2007 9:30am
Eric Muller (www):
Thomasly,
You'll note that I said that the post to which I linked was "closer to right" than Jim's. The reason I said "closer to right" was precisely because I didn't think that the word "simpletons" was a fair characterization of the women. That characterization aside, I do think that the linked piece is essentially correct in characterizing what the women showed as loyalty (which it was) rather than "correct knowledge" (which Jim L. says it was, but it wasn't).
1.30.2007 9:33am
Ken Arromdee:
Had it instead been Hispanic cafeteria workers at Duke falsely charged with rape

A hispanic worker would not get falsely charged with rape under these circumstances, because the whole prosecution and trial-by-media owes itself to the PC idea that these guys must be rapists because they are white male frat boys.
1.30.2007 9:41am
margate (mail):
Yeah. What Muller said.

That doesn't mean the defendant's haven't been mistreated. It seems they have.

But all in all, the Georgia prisons have had just as many innocent men incarcerated for more than a decade for rape as the Duke Men's lacross team has had charged with rape in the last year.
1.30.2007 9:58am
Henry Woodbury (mail):

To be fair, the only other student quoted gives a more reasonable "innocent until proven guilty" defense


Isn't that enough? It was more than most were capable of.


For many observers, the main lesson learned from this case was that if you're the scion of a rich white family that can afford excellent counsel, then you will achieve justice. As the previous poster noted, that is not often the case. Where is the outrage for all the other victims of baseless prosecution?


I've seen this sentiment expressed a number of times in different ways and there is some truth to it, but it misses the bigger point. Certainly the mix of race, sex, violence, and athletics that made this a big story is immaterial to the moral issue of guilt and innocence. Certainly there are many victims of baseless prosecution who deserve a better defense whose cases will never receive such attention.

But the bigger point is that justice is not a zero-sum game. Anyone who cares about justice can use the Duke case as leverage. If one prosecutor runs amok, use it to call attention to others.

Once you dismiss the Duke case into an example of identity politics, you lose that chance.
1.30.2007 9:59am
elChato (mail):
Jim,

I read your post, thanks so much for asking. Did you read mine, and think about it? I don't mind if the women's lacrosse team made a decision out of loyalty or friendship. People align all the time with someone they have a connection with. But to say that they "knew" the male players were "innocent" because they had "talked with them" is laughable. Should the police have just relied on this sleuthing by the women's lacrosse team and closed the file based on their rigorous investigation?

Did the alleged victim's family "know" she had been raped? After all, they had "talked with her," right? It seems to me that crediting people who made decisions out of loyalty is pretty much a wash. If someone's daughter says she was raped, do we expect her dad to call her a liar?

My comments were mainly directed at people who had no connection to any of the people involved in the disputed events, flying off the handle and pronouncing a verdict.
1.30.2007 10:00am
The Ace (mail):
The players had originally got themselves "all lawyered up" before talking to authorities too.

This is an out &out lie.

All of the players cooperated with the investigation and were refused on several occasions to meet with Nifong.
1.30.2007 10:16am
The Ace (mail):
I readily admit that I have not been a regular reader of this forum for very long, and it was Mr. S. Horton's honourable stand against the current administration's unjust acts toward the detainees of Mr. Bush's War Upon Terror, that caused me lurk around here recently, and I may well have missed it. So I am respectfully asking that you point me to your outraged posting about a principle spreader of this reprehensible disinformation across America, the despicable Nancy Grace.

This is hilarious to watch someone who has an obvious emotional investment in the "white boys raped that black girl" narrative fly of the handle in such an unhinged and embarrassing manner.

Take a deep breath clown, you are a fool.
1.30.2007 10:18am
The Ace (mail):
the main lesson learned from this case was that if you're the scion of a rich white family that can afford excellent counsel

Er, one of the kids falsely accused has the "rich" background of his dad being a city fireman in NY.

You are a pompus, ill-informed jackass.

Your emotional investment is embarrassing.
1.30.2007 10:20am
Serenity Now (mail) (www):
a knight: The players had originally got themselves "all lawyered up" before talking to authorities too.

Before getting lawyered up, "... the three roommates—Flannery, David Evans, and Matt Zash, who were team captains—had already let the police in and had shown them around the place; when asked if they would go to the station to answer some questions, they agreed. By the end of the search, the police had seized evidence including four laptop computers, three digital cameras, a bathmat, a bath rug, five artificial fingernails, a bottle of K-Y jelly, and a stack of twenty-dollar bills.

"At the police station, the three young men offered to take a polygraph test. The police declined the offer, but questioned them extensively about the night of the party and sent them to the hospital to have DNA samples collected. The boys had no legal representation during this visit with police."

- The New Yorker
1.30.2007 10:27am
Hoosier:
At universities like Duke, athletes and ROTC (if any) are the students who are /least/ likely to have parents paying their way. I am an Notre Dame alumn, and I can vouch for the fact that the average non-athlete comes from an upper-MC home. Many, many atheletes, even in more "preppy" sports like LAX and tennis, come from LMC homes. And in the "prestige sports"--i.e., footbal, m and w basketball--it's lower than that.
1.30.2007 10:32am
Owen Hutchins (mail):
Wow. A lot of people seem to be of the opinion that the women's team weren't right, they just happened to be not wrong.
1.30.2007 10:36am
Brian Church (mail):
Mr Woodbury,

"Isn't that enough? It was more than most were capable of. "

It is. Medal-worthy, I don't know. In any case, it's clear from the other girl's statement, as well as statements made by the coach, that many (if not most) of the girls made their decisions based not on universal principles, but on loyalty, and because the character of the boys was such that they couldn't have possibly done such a thing. That strikes me as understandable, but not necessarily rational, and certainly not medal worthy. The fact that they were eventually shown to be right (about the boys' essential innocence, if not of their strong character) doesn't prove their reasoning was sound or commendable.
1.30.2007 10:39am
Steve:
I guess the "it was terrible to prejudge the Duke lacrosse team" threads and the "Jose Padilla is a terrorist" threads must have two entirely different sets of commentors.
1.30.2007 10:40am
Loki13 (mail):
The Ace,

Do you mean Colin Finnerty? His mother's grandfather was a NYC firefighter. While others on the team do, in fact, claim a direct firefighter patrilineage, I was not aware that they were charged. And, without getting into the payrates of NYC firefighters...

The boys sure did pay for some good attorneys. Which makes me happy, as it appears they were innocent, and people end up getting the Civil Proceedure they can afford.
1.30.2007 10:42am
Serenity Now (mail) (www):
Brian Church: What is your source for the claim that the women's lacrosse team knew of the exculpatory DNA evidence back in May? This story claims that defense attorneys were not made aware of the DNA report until October.

DNA results released in May 2006 showed no match with the Duke lacrosse players..

The story you link to dicusses testing "that found DNA from multiple males in the accuser's body — but none that belonged to the accused players, according to a defense motion filed Wednesday." This is even more helpful to the defense than the May '06 results for reasons cited in the story.

(btw, i fixed your broken link)
1.30.2007 10:46am
Disenfranchised Jets Fan (mail):
More sophistry.

"I think you are blurring the line between what you know now and what the women really knew then."

How can you make this statement if YOU do not know what the women really knew then? Are you omniscient? First though, can we assume the women at least followed the situation via public reports and court documents? We knew then from public statements and court documents that none of the laxers or anyone else in the party left DNA evidence on the woman's person or clothing, yet we did know that there was a sperm sample insider her from another source (alleged source was boyfriend) notwithstanding her claim that she had no sexual contact in the prior week (we did not know of the multiple other male samples on her until months later courtesy of Nifong's withholding of evidence, but that's another topic altogether). We knew then that the line-up proceedings did not follow state guidelines (again another topic). We knew then there were inconsistencies in her description of the alleged attackers and the laxers she picked out of the lineup. We knew that she had given multiple and inconsistent accounts of the alleged attack. We knew then that the "leaked" information of the extent of the alleged victim's injuries were incorrect and that there were no rips, bleeding, tears or other injuries consistent with a brutal vaginal/anal rape but rather only "diffuse edema" which is consistent with numerous activities, including casual sex. We knew then that the initial reports that the laxers refused to cooperate were bogus and in fact they offered polygraph tests. We knew then that Reade Seligmann filed an alibi motion based on a timeline that matches the initial account of the accuser (now conveniently changed) and independent witnesses. We knew that there were odd proceedings from the DA (improper public statements) and LE (trial of the cabbie). We knew then that Reade Seligmann, Colin Finnerty and David Evans were the indicted laxers.

That's what they would have known publicly. But there is no one here that can state for sure what else they know or don't know. Its been reported Colin Finnerty also has an alibi for the timeline and he later went to a restaurant. I don't know if that's true or not, and neither does Professor Muller. If it is true again neither of us know what company he was with at the restaurant. Neither of us know if possibly a women's laxer was present if the event took place. Neither of us know whether or not a women's laxer had a phone conversation with any of the male laxers that evening or otherwise know of any other information. We do know that one women's laxer, Catherine Krom, is the sister of a male laxer. Neither of us know of they had any conversation or other contact that night. We just don't know anything, yet Professor Muller can insinuate "what the women really knew then?" Its pure speculation on what any of them know or don't know.


We knew And I also think you're omitting things that the women actually knew then, including their male counterparts' well-earned reputations for drunken excess and one male team member's much-publicized sexually sadistic and homicidal fantasies.

Friends deserve praise for standing up for friends. Absolutely. But friend-for-friend loyalty isn't the same thing as omniscience, and it isn't usually the stuff of campus service awards.

"And I also think you're omitting things that the women actually knew then, including their male counterparts' well-earned reputations for drunken excess and one male team member's much-publicized sexually sadistic and homicidal fantasies. "

Complete obsfucation, but that's pretty much the only thing left for people who've hitched their political and philosophical capital to a sinking ship. Its almost a year later, Nifong has effectively been removed from the case and faces serious ethical charges, the alleged victim's story has changed (yet again), we know more of more DNA evidence that was eventually turned over, but its not about rape at all, its about drunk rich, white boys and a meathead that sent a stupid e-mail. Ridiculous.
1.30.2007 10:46am
Loki13 (mail):
And if I'm wrong (always a distinct possibility), please cite so I can change my statement from

the main lesson learned from this case was that if you're the scion of a rich white family that can afford excellent counsel

to

the main lesson learned from this case was that if you're the scion of a rich family (or a middle class friend of said scion that is charged at the same time) that can afford excellent counsel

Better?
1.30.2007 10:46am
Bill_C:

For many observers, the main lesson learned from this case was that if you're the scion of a rich white family that can afford excellent counsel, then you will achieve justice. As the previous poster noted, that is not often the case. Where is the outrage for all the other victims of baseless prosecution?


Let's say that another way, paraphrasing Gore Vidal (?). It is not that an innocent black person be acquitted or exonerated. But rather, for many of these people, an innocent "scion of a rich white family" (any scion of a rich white family), must be found guilty.

That it takes the means of the rich family to bring such broader misconduct to light, is immaterial.
1.30.2007 11:15am
Loki13 (mail):
I assk the question here-

why the outrage? I only have a passing familiarity with the facts of this case because I didn't really care. It was interesting only in a 'man bites dog' sort of way. When you get incidents like the Tulia fiasco (never see any outrage about that on Volokh), there is little popular press. The officer responsible recieved probation, and the various officials who knowingly benefitted received promotions and bonuses. In this case, we have prosecutorial misconduct aimed at young, white, collegiate men.

Now.... now there's outrage. *shrug*
1.30.2007 11:16am
Loki13 (mail):
Bill_C,

I saw your post after I posted. I don't think it will change a thing.

-This is all Nifong's fault.
-This is a rogue prosecutor.
-Nifong will face sanctions.
-The criminal justice system works, because the boys got off!

And then all of these angry posters (after making their gratuitous digs at the mainstream media, and the PC college campuses, and gratuious references to the African-American studies department) will go back into complacency without any structural reform.
1.30.2007 11:20am
WHOI Jacket:
Loki,

Obviouisly we hate black people.

I first heard about the Duke case when they were harping on it every night on Sportscenter (ESPN) for like a month. It was supposed to be the big expose'. "Rich white jocks rape poor black stripper". It gave every person with an axe to grind against the supposed culture of "athletic-celebration" or "white male dominace" an instant cause celebre'. I read article after article about how these Duke players were an indictment of college athletics, the fraternal system, etc. etc. Have you followed the case, these charges led a group of Duke's own faculty to publiclly trash the defendents of all the percieved ills that exist in today's society.

And now, with a pushback, the initial claim is unraveling. And the consequences of people's initial reactions are beginning to take on entirely different ramifications. I always want people to get their fair day in court, but I take offense at the implied "You racists wouldn't have cared if they'd been _insert minority group here_". This case became very much one of national concern.
1.30.2007 11:24am
Steven Vickers:
I assk the question here-

why the outrage?


Because there was outrage from the "they're guilty" contingent (e.g., Nancy Grace) from the beginning. Initially, before Nifong was disgraced and when many commentators believed him, there was a great hue and cry regarding the lacrosse team's conduct for weeks. You can't then uncork the genie of news coverage when the facts don't fit the original narrative--once something's news, it's news.

(full disclosure--I graduated from Duke last spring and my perspective may be somewhat skewed regarding the initial news coverage)

And I also think you're omitting things that the women actually knew then, including...one male team member's much-publicized sexually sadistic and homicidal fantasies.

This doesn't strike me as fair, as the author of this email was not one of the indicted players, as I recall. What does that have to do with the women's players supporting the accused three?
1.30.2007 11:26am
Disenfranchised Jets Fan (mail):
With all due respect, how do you know any digs are "gratuitous" if you "only have a passing familiarity with the facts"?

You seem to have a pretty strong and presumptive opinion for a passing familiarity. If you care to bother check out the NYT's coverage of this case and the critics of their coverage from many sources, including Stuart Taylor and New York magazine (which my wife subscribes to, I read occasionally, and find it pretty "liberal").

There are already enough posts on these topics from people who can't be bothered to uncover the basis behind their beliefs.
1.30.2007 11:26am
Al (mail):
>>I assk the question here-why the outrage?

Loki, you are really missing the point. As one Duke professor (I believe) has stated, the lacrosse players were not prosecuted despite the fact that they were white male athletes at an elite university, but because of that fact. The outrage, as you call it, stems from the despicable conduct of not just the DA, but also the potbangers, the Gang of 88, the NC NAACP, and others, who are so quick to point out the real or imagined bigotry and prejudices of others, yet who rushed to judgment so quickly and publicly based upon little more than their own bigotry and prejudices.
1.30.2007 11:34am
Loki13 (mail):
*grin*

I think many people are missing my question about the outrage...

Why are ...you.... outraged? I don't watch the TV so I don't know about the saturation coverage, but again... given all the problems with criminal prosecutions in our country, why all the outrage over this?

Oh yeah. Race. Because it's unfair. But... so? Our criminal justice system is unfair. Other than (as I wrote above) the 'man bites dog' aspect of this case (a prosecutor going after affluent white defendants) this was an unexceptional case. Moreoever, the system, in the end, worked. I try to save my outrage for cases like Tulia. You?
1.30.2007 11:46am
rarango (mail):
It seems to me that many of the groups Al cites in the upthread post missed a great chance to talk about systemic issues: that argument might go something like this: Look at the system: when "wealthy white boys" can get railroaded, think about all the other folks who can't "lawyer-up." etc etc. Rather than casting the issue narrowly it could have been framed to enlist wider support to examine prosecutorial/police misconduct that might everyone. (Please note I am not saying that prosecutorial or police misconduct is the norm--all I am saying is, that this case could have been used to greater effect than it was by the potbangers, NAACP, etc)
1.30.2007 11:52am
Al (mail):
Nice try, Loki.

As a matter of fact, I am outraged when people are persecuted and publicly condemned on the basis of their race or gender, regardless of what their race or gender is. You...apparently not so much.

An unexceptional case? Name another case where dozens of professors, and even entire academic departments, made such inflammatory comments and publicly encouraged protesters to attack their own students as the Gang of 88 did in this case.
1.30.2007 11:56am
Disenfranchised Jets Fan (mail):
"Other than (as I wrote above) the 'man bites dog' aspect of this case (a prosecutor going after affluent white defendants) this was an unexceptional case. "

You're right, this case is completely typical. Its every day that a DA faces disbarment for his actions in a case including making prejudicial statements and witholding exculpatory evidence, every day that faculty members at a top tier university make public comments concerning criminal proceedings involving their students, and every day that a sexual assault case gets this much media coverage that turns a 180 once the initial judgment period ended and the facts arrived. You've already discussed your ignorance on the last point (and thus, the entire case), but surely by now you're cognizant of the first two, right?

Why would you be outraged about this case? After all you know nothing about it.
1.30.2007 12:01pm
The Ace (mail):
I only have a passing familiarity with the facts of this case because I didn't really care.

Comical.
Yet you're droning on &on about what you "know" regarding the matter.

See previous comments about your pomposity.
1.30.2007 12:17pm
The Ace (mail):
But... so? Our criminal justice system is unfair.

Wow, the persuasiveness of this is mind boggling!

The facts!

The evidence!

Seriously dummy, why. are. you. commenting?
1.30.2007 12:18pm
The Ace (mail):
Moreoever, the system, in the end, worked.

Coming from the same crowd who makes up fantasies about "secret prisons" and innoncent people being detained by Darth Vader Cheney, et. al.

And yes, you're far, far too stupid to see the irony.

Gee, who knew "the system" consisted of the prosecutor conspiring to suppress evidence from the defense.

I bet you're a Harvard Law grad or something...
1.30.2007 12:20pm
The Ace (mail):
the main lesson learned from this case was that if you're the scion of a rich family (or a middle class friend of said scion that is charged at the same time) that can afford excellent counsel

Better?


Um, no.
No statement you've made on this matter is true.
1.30.2007 12:22pm
Steve:
Coming from the same crowd who makes up fantasies about "secret prisons" and innoncent people being detained by Darth Vader Cheney, et. al.

Are you seriously under the impression that secret prisons are a fantasy?
1.30.2007 12:33pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
Al Maviva:

Bravo to you for injecting the real world into this discussion. People like loki13 seem to live in a Hollywood world where the white guy is is the real culprit while the innocent member of your favorite group of the month gets railroaded until Columbo sets everything straight.
1.30.2007 12:52pm
Kazinski:
According to this timeline the first DNA tests showing no match for the players was released April 10th:

A day after DNA results failed to link any of the lacrosse players to the accuser, Nifong promised a community forum that the investigation was "not going away."


But what ever the timeline the fact remains that the Duke Womens Lacrosse team through either acumen or instinct went out on a limb at a time when there were real risks to supporting the mens team. The fact that one of the players on the mens team was failed in a class for no other reason than his membership on that team illustrates the point.
1.30.2007 12:53pm
Seamus (mail):

So I am respectfully asking that you point me to your outraged posting about a principle spreader of this reprehensible disinformation across America, the despicable Nancy Grace.



As a matter of fact, the first place I ever read about Nancy Grace, and about her irresponsible commentary, was here at TVC.
1.30.2007 1:01pm
Seamus (mail):
Actually, that wasn't about her irresponsible commentary, but about her irresponsible behavior as a prosecutor. My bad (but her worse).
1.30.2007 1:03pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
Loki13:

When you're in a hole stop digging. People will respect you more. Or do you feel the need to play the fool here?
1.30.2007 1:05pm
Loki13 (mail):
Actually, I'm waiting for Ace's cite to the firefighter article (one of the three charged). I like his posts- he's a funny guy.

Once again- all this outrage for three Duke students who were exonerated and served no time. How many posts on volokh about Tulia (0)? Why was there the gratuitous dig about the Karla Holloway award in the original post?

Selection bias showing again.
1.30.2007 1:08pm
Sherlock Holmes:
I became suspicious of the allegations when the 911 called was played BEFORE the DNA tests came back empty. One of the talking heads actually pointed out how something sounded fishy about the call.
1.30.2007 1:10pm
Al (mail):
>>But what ever the timeline the fact remains that the Duke Womens Lacrosse team through either acumen or instinct went out on a limb at a time when there were real risks to supporting the mens team.

A good point. The commenters who assert that the Women's team did nothing more than "support their friends" ignore the environment that existed at the time. The actions of the women's coach were particularly commendable given what had just happened to the men's coach.
1.30.2007 1:17pm
ReVonna LaSchatze:

Maybe we should ask the women's lacrosse team if they've got a plan for Iraq?

Being they're so heroic and all.

My how our standards have fallen...
1.30.2007 1:18pm
James Dillon (mail):

Coming from the same crowd who makes up fantasies about "secret prisons" and innoncent people being detained by Darth Vader Cheney, et. al.


The CIA operates secret prisons abroad for holding key suspects in the war on terror, President Bush acknowledged Wednesday.
Cite

Yeah, that George W. Bush, such a delusional conspiracy theorist.
1.30.2007 1:20pm
Disenfranchised Jets Fan (mail):
"Once again- all this outrage for three Duke students who were exonerated and served no time. How many posts on volokh about Tulia (0)? "

Funny, I didn't realize all the charges have been dropped. Last time I checked there are still allegations of sexual assault and kidnapping, and their lives are still on hold.

At least you're consistent about getting facts wrong. Since you're so knowledgable about Tulia why don't you petition the VC to make a post so you can comment and educate all of us there, and leave the discussion here to people who are at least courteous enough to do some background research before telling other posters how they should think.
1.30.2007 1:24pm
Al (mail):
>>Why was there the gratuitous dig about the Karla Holloway award in the original post?

If you even have to ask that question, you obviously have no clue about the facts of case.
1.30.2007 1:25pm
JohnAnnArbor (www):
ReVonna, are you even trying to make sense? The women's team bucked the trend by supporting their friends when it would have been much easier to throw them to the slavering wolves of political correctness, which is what many Duke faculty not only did, but are proud to this day for doing.
1.30.2007 1:29pm
Michael B (mail):
The "innocent until proven guilty" theme seems to be missing from some of the analyses herein. That principle is primary whether or not the women's team members possessed absolutely certain knowledge of the men's team members' innocence. Even if the women's team members merely had a soundly informed, largely intuitive sense of the mens' innocence, that, together with the "innocent until proven guilty" principle, is decisive.

And as a whole the legal community was not, at least not apparently, as critical of Nifong as it could have been. That reticence extended beyond the legal community, but the legal community, conceived as a whole, did not perform in stellar fashion.
1.30.2007 1:30pm
Loki13 (mail):
Okay, I'll take the bait. But once again, why?

Why does so many people here have so much, um, angst, over this case? I can think of dozens (yes, really, dozens) of cases of prosecutorial misconduct that have had a much worse effect on the people wronged than this one. But it seems that a certain segment of the population is really getting their knickers in a twist over this. Why? Because of the NAACP was involved? Because of the mainstream media? It cannot be just because of the prosecutorial misconduct, because that's usually ignored.

*shrug*

Obviouisly we hate black people.

No, it's not obvious. Sometimes it's subtle.
1.30.2007 1:33pm
Loki13 (mail):
So.....

for all the people who have been so horrified by what happened here, I ask you for constructive proposals. Less media coverage of trials (1st amendment concerns)? More accountability for prosecutors (how)? A higher burden (grand jury plus+) just to bring charges? How would this affect the criminal justice system?

Do you believe this is a one-off, or, if this is a systemic problem, what measures can be taken to ensure that it is less likely to occur in the future?
1.30.2007 1:41pm
Harry Eagar (mail):
'The law in its majesty forbids the millionaire as well as the bum to sleep under bridges.' -- Anatole France

The notion that because the Duke 3 'are exonerated' (though I have not heard that a court has done that), they have suffered no injury is absurd.

K.C. Johnson reports that legal expenses have been running $80K/mo, and this has been going on now for almost 10 months. That's per person, as I understand, and it appears that even non-charged players have run up legal bills, though I am not clear why.

At any event, if someone transferred $750,000 out of my pocket, I wouldn't consider that I hadn't been injured.
1.30.2007 1:46pm
The Ace (mail):
Once again- all this outrage for three Duke students who were exonerated and served no time.

Um, they're still going to trial.

But then again, you haven't followed the case closely.
1.30.2007 1:52pm
The Ace (mail):
I can think of dozens (yes, really, dozens) of cases of prosecutorial misconduct that have had a much worse effect on the people wronged than this one.

Yet you fail to name one.

We're shocked.
1.30.2007 1:53pm
JohnAnnArbor (www):

No, it's not obvious. Sometimes it's subtle.

My Loki, you do love to label people, don't you? I bet it makes you feel all warm inside.
1.30.2007 1:54pm
The Ace (mail):
Yeah, that George W. Bush, such a delusional conspiracy theorist.

I'm sorry, I should have phrased it clearer:
The same crowd who thinks there are secret prisons in America and that people are "disappeared."

Happy now, clown?
1.30.2007 1:56pm
Charlie (Colorado) (mail):

At any event, if someone transferred $750,000 out of my pocket, I wouldn't consider that I hadn't been injured.


Plus, this cost the one of the three who has already graduated a Wall Street job; there's the loss of salary and bonus there, which could be substantial, even for an entry level gig, plus the question of whether he's now "damaged goods" unlikely to get a position of trust in the future.
1.30.2007 1:56pm
The Ace (mail):
Do you believe this is a one-off, or, if this is a systemic problem, what measures can be taken to ensure that it is less likely to occur in the future?

Yes, have fewer Democrats run for DA offices nationwide.

Just imagine if a Republican had falsely accused 3 black kids like this in order to get elected.

I'm sure you'd be asking "why the outrage?" and such.
1.30.2007 1:58pm
Al (mail):
>>for all the people who have been so horrified by what happened here, I ask you for constructive proposals.

Less bigotry and more maturity by the Duke administration, (some) faculty members, and (some) Durham leaders and residents.
1.30.2007 2:02pm
Thomasly (mail):
Loki, I think the commentary is a reaction to the commentary, just as your repeated posts on the subject are a reaction to the many other posts.

Eric, can you tell me if we could know that the accuser was a "victim of sexual violence" in May? The post you say you agree with (save for the one point) says we knew that then. The same post says that we couldn't know whether the accused were innocent or not. As it happens, there was plenty of evidence making clear that the accused were innocent, and we never "knew" that the accuser was a "victim of sexual violence" because she wasn't in fact such. It seems to me you're still wanting credit for believing a false accusation, and wanting to denigrate these young women who rightly didn't believe it.
1.30.2007 2:06pm
Andy Freeman (mail):
> The fact that they were eventually shown to be right (about the boys' essential innocence, if not of their strong character) doesn't prove their reasoning was sound or commendable.

It's more commendable than the reasoning of folks who got it wrong.
1.30.2007 2:08pm
Fearmonger (mail):
Loki,

You consistently miss the point.

1)When a gross injustice occurs, people of all stripes should stand up and speak up against it. If you think there are greater injustices in the world, then stand up against them as well. This whole attitude of "why care about these privileged white youths when so many other less fortunate suffer" presupposes that these kids don't deserve fair treatment because of the color of their skin, and is, well, offensive.

2) People can be horrified about what happened without having a constructive, or even specific proposal to prevent this kind of thing from happening in the future. Frankly, I'm not sure that there is a nationwide, systematic problem of prosecutorial misconduct like this. But the solution here is quite simple: drop the charges against the boys, prosecute Nifong for his misconduct, and expose the so-called "Duke 88" for their flagrant rush to judgment. The best way to prevent Nifong from bringing politically motivated charges without any bases is obviously to fire Nifong. I think this will satisfy those "so horrified" by the situation. Does this answer your question?

------------------

Also, as a duke alumni, and friend of many former female and male lacrosse players, I agree with Jim that it would be appropriate to honor the girls lacrosse team for taking such a principled and unpopular stance in support of their classmates and friends (although I think it is unlikely that they will be so honored).

On another note, I don't take anything Steven A. Smith takes seriously, and I'm not sure he does either.
1.30.2007 2:08pm
James Dillon (mail):

I'm sorry, I should have phrased it clearer:
The same crowd who thinks there are secret prisons in America and that people are "disappeared."

Happy now, clown?

I would be positively ecstatic if you were to:

1) Cite a legitimate media source (i.e., other than some 15-year-old "anarchist's" Myspace page) that makes that assertion;

2) Explain what relevance it could possibly have to the Duke rape case; and

3) Develop an appreciation for the fact that flinging gratuitous ad hominems, particularly in response to a comment that has just demonstrated your initial position to be glaringly wrong, only serves to make you look more foolish.

I suspect I'm doomed to disappointment, though.
1.30.2007 2:11pm
ReVonna LaSchatze:
ReVonna, are you even trying to make sense?

I was responding to the language from another blog that linked to this one. He compared the women's lacrosse team's courage to Sen. Hagel's courage.

Funny how the standards have fallen.
1.30.2007 2:13pm
rarango (mail):
I dont think I am horrified as much as outraged--but for the record, I am outraged at any cases of such demonstrable injustice and excesses of state power irrespective of the victim; eg, Corey Mayes who shot a cop during a no-knock raid in the wrong house but is still being prosecuted; Abner Loima, and yes, even Rodney King--But since you, Loki, have so compartmentalized issues of injustice along what appears to be racial lines, you are, IMHO, denigrating those of us who may be concerned for the larger issues of injustice, of which this case is only emblematic.
1.30.2007 2:15pm
ReVonna LaSchatze:
The fact that they were eventually shown to be right (about the boys' essential innocence, if not of their strong character)

Again, my how character standards have fallen if this is what we think is "strong".
1.30.2007 2:15pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
Loki13:

The abuses in Tulia are essentially due to one rogue witness, that a jury found credible. But even in this case the prosecutor would listen to an alibi. From Wikipedia


"One suspect had his charges dropped when he was able to prove he had been at work during the times he had supposedly sold Coleman cocaine. Another produced bank and phone records indicating she was in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma at the time of her alleged crime."



We had similar alibis in he Duke case, but Nifong refused to even meet with the defendants' lawyers and hear any exculpatory evidence. This is one of the reasons the Duke case has attracted so much attention from the legal community. The system failed in so many ways. The system continues to fail as all the charges have not been dropped.
1.30.2007 2:17pm
Disenfranchised Jets Fan (mail):
Nice catch Thomasly, in McCann's post in his comments he states clearly:

"And no, this isn't about writing a law review article; it's about using common sense and showing decency towards a victim of sexual violence. "

It would appear that he seems to "know" that she was indeed a victim of sexual violence, yet I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he meant to put in "alleged" and just neglected to in the comments section. Call it a UVA alumni gift.

Still, both McCann and Muller are making assumptions that the women truly don't "know" what happened. Unless they are omniscient I don't see how either of them can make that claim. "Professors" of a feather flocka together?
1.30.2007 2:28pm
The Ace (mail):
Cite a legitimate media source (i.e., other than some 15-year-old "anarchist's" Myspace page) that makes that assertion;

Um, let's go here.

And for more distortions on the matter here

Happy now?
If you think this idea isn't prevalent among the modern libearals you're lying to yourself.

Explain what relevance it could possibly have to the Duke rape case; and

Um, as I already stated: a mindless liberal dipshit is here arguing "what's the big deal" while at the same time believing in the falsehoods perpetrated against the Bush adminsitration regarding "civil liberties"

So to slow it down for you since you have obvious problems with logic:

It's
The
Hypocrisy
Stupid

Develop an appreciation for the fact that flinging gratuitous ad hominems, particularly in response to a comment that has just demonstrated your initial position to be glaringly wrong

Except I wasn't wrong, clown.
1.30.2007 2:46pm
The Ace (mail):
1) Cite a legitimate media source (i.e., other than some 15-year-old "anarchist's" Myspace page) that makes that assertion;

More lies

they can detain you without charges indefinitely, granting you no legal recourse except to a military tribunal, and, under the proposed bill, "disappear" and torture you.



Go ahead and call that an illegitimate source now clown.
1.30.2007 2:49pm
JohnAnnArbor (www):

Sen. Hagel's courage.

You mean, his courage in taking a position the media will lionize him for?

Yeah, real courage, that.
1.30.2007 3:07pm
Mike G in Corvallis (mail):
Loki13 wrote:

But it seems that a certain segment of the population is really getting their knickers in a twist over this. Why? Because of the NAACP was involved? Because of the mainstream media?

Well ... yeah, actually. We depend on the mainstream media for virtually all of our information about that part of the universe that isn't personally accessible to us. When the mainstream media get the facts wrong, in such a spectacular and egregious fashion, then it's worthwhile to understand this and to try to discover how and why false information was spread. And when a media outlet such as the New York Times not only gets the facts wrong but fails to update its readers' perceptions of the case with the truth when it becomes glaringly obvious ... well, I think that's worth paying attention to as well.

And the NAACP? I think it's noteworthy when a formerly admirable organization, one that I'd wager most of the folks who post here have supported, is taken over by people who spread racially inflammatory lies.
1.30.2007 3:08pm
Colin (mail):
The Ace,

Do yourself a favor and read the comment policy at the bottom of this page. You'll notice that it asks commenters to be civil, to avoid profanity, to be calm and reasoned, and to "avoid rants, invective, [and] substantial and repeated exaggeration" (emphasis original). In a single comment you used "clown," "stupid," and "mindless liberal dipshit." Your language is not up the relatively mature standards of most of the commenters here, and I don't think I'm the only reader who would appreciate it if you would calm down. Please take a deep breath and try to conduct yourself as if you were an adult and a professional engaged in a serious conversation.
1.30.2007 3:21pm
James Dillon (mail):

Um, let's go here.

And for more distortions on the matter here

Happy now?
If you think this idea isn't prevalent among the modern libearals you're lying to yourself.

Unfortunately I can't read "shadowmonkey.net" through my office web filter, so I'm unable to comment on that link. As to the Salon article, perhaps I'm not quite clear on what, precisely, is the idea that you believe is "prevalent among the modern libearals [sic]." Is it that the Bush administration asserted the authority in the Padilla case, under the Authorization for Use of Military Force Joint Resolution, to designate a U.S. citizen as an "enemy combatant" and hold that individual in military custody indefinitely? That strikes me as a pretty fair reading of the government's argument (try reading it again: http://www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/03pdf/03-1027.pdf. My description seems pretty accurate unless, of course, the late Chief Justice Rehnquist was one of those nasty liberals out to besmirch the government's noble intentions?), and, moreover, I note that your Revised Second Characterization of the Wild-Eyed Liberals' Baseless Slander is still does not describe Salon's fairly accurate summary of the government's position in Padilla. To the extent that the "libearals" seem to think that there are not-quite-secret military holding cells in which the government has claimed authority to detain American citizens without criminal charges, then their position seems well-grounded in reality. To the extent that you characterize that position as a belief that a secret network of federal prisons exists, and that American citizens are being snatched off the street and whisked away in the dead of night by men in black to never be heard from again, then you're simply erecting a straw man.* Either way, your criticisms are unfounded.


Um, as I already stated: a mindless liberal dipshit is here arguing "what's the big deal" while at the same time believing in the falsehoods perpetrated against the Bush adminsitration regarding "civil liberties"

So to slow it down for you since you have obvious problems with logic:

It's
The
Hypocrisy
Stupid

Again, seems like a pretty tenuous connection to me, especially since, as I noted above, the descriptions of the administration's policy in Salon and Time seem generally accurate, if we assume that CJ Rehnquist can be trusted to describe that policy fairly in Padilla. In any case, I think that a persuasive argument could be made that an officially acknowledged policy of the executive branch of the United States government is somewhat greater cause for concern about institutionalized disregard of due process than are the aberrant actions of one North Carolina prosecutor, who now faces disbarment because of those actions.


Except I wasn't wrong, clown.

Then why did you feel the need to revise your position to say something entirely different, after I cited a quote from the President himself showing your first argument (i.e., that secret CIA prisons are a liberal myth) to be completely inaccurate?


More lies

Can you please explain to me how asking a question, an act which does not involve any kind of affirmative representation or statement of fact, can possibly be a "lie"?

* I note that the Time blog you cite contains basically the same accurate description of the administration's detention policy.
1.30.2007 3:23pm
Pantapon Rose (mail):
You can say what you want about the women's lacrosse team, but walking by their practices in the afternoons from the law school was a little slice of heaven.
1.30.2007 3:26pm
The Ace (mail):
To the extent that you characterize that position as a belief that a secret network of federal prisons exists, and that American citizens are being snatched off the street and whisked away in the dead of night by men in black to never be heard from again, then you're simply erecting a straw man.*

Problem is, I provided a link which says exactly that.

* I note that the Time blog you cite contains basically the same accurate description of the administration's detention policy.


Um, no it doesn't.

The DTA states:

`In this chapter:

`(1) ALIEN- The term `alien' means an individual who is not a citizen of the United States.

`Sec. 948c. Persons subject to military commissions

`Any alien unlawful enemy combatant engaged in hostilities or having supported hostilities against the United States is subject to trial by military commission as set forth in this chapter

`Sec. 948d. Jurisdiction of military commissions

`(a) Jurisdiction- A military commission under this chapter shall have jurisdiction to try any offense made punishable by this chapter or the law of war when committed by an alien unlawful enemy combatant before, on, or after September 11, 2001.


As you can clearly see, that doesn't apply to US citizens.
1.30.2007 3:33pm
The Ace (mail):
Can you please explain to me how asking a question, an act which does not involve any kind of affirmative representation or statement of fact, can possibly be a "lie"?

Who asked a question?

Then why did you feel the need to revise your position to say something entirely different, after I cited a quote from the President himself showing your first argument (i.e., that secret CIA prisons are a liberal myth)

Comical.
I said no such thing.

I dare you to find the phrase "CIA prisons" in anything I typed.
1.30.2007 3:35pm
The Ace (mail):
* I note that the Time blog you cite contains basically the same accurate description of the administration's detention policy.

Another comical comment.

Of course when you believe in "disappearing" and "torture" (which you can't define accurately) then maybe you actually believe this.
1.30.2007 3:38pm
Pantapon Rose (mail):
By the way, can we put to bed the left's mythology that these were lacrosse players were rich? It's my understanding that they were on scholarship. Their families are currently in debt to the tune of $3 million for their legal defense and are asking for donations.
1.30.2007 3:38pm
Disenfranchised Jets Fan (mail):
Actually the 3 named defendants are from very wealthy (in some cases very wealthy) families. Finnerty's dad is loaded. Evans' father is a partner at Reed Smith DC and his mom seems to be pretty high up in the DC social scene. Seligmann is the kid whose family had trouble making bail, but I'd still describe his family as pretty wealthy, but with 4 sons in various stages of private school I can see how cash can be tight.

In fact, for conspiracy theorists KC Johnson at one point posted the average (or possibly median) incomes for the various cities the laxers were from and these 3 guys were from the top 6-8 (don't remember the actual number) cities. Us ex-mathematicians can calculate the probability that someone would select 3 people randomly in this subset.
1.30.2007 3:52pm
The Ace (mail):
James Dillon,

here is how the left characterized the DTA:


700 years of western political development is thrown out the window

And:
Plus, the bill actually authorizes the president to decalre american citizens enemy combatants -- no habeus corpus for them, either.


If you read enough of those comments you would hopefully understand my point.

If you're concerned about civil liberties in that instance, one would hope you would be in the Duke case as well.

Somehow it dosen't seem most liberals do.

Funny that, huh?
1.30.2007 3:52pm
Well Armed Coward:
Kazinski,

You've nailed it. The women's team deserves admiration because given the despicable self-promoting savagery of substantial elements of the soft-side Duke faculty (and let's not forget their whack-job students) the atmosphere
would have been highly intimidating. As a young kid you
don't have the tools at hand to successfully deal with academic thugs.

I was initally impressed that none of the faculty in the non-whack job departments signed the outrageous nonsense from the gang of 88, who were all drawn from the departments involving thumb-sucking and navel-gazing "science" and the like. However,on reflection I have come to the conclusion that the non-signers are mostly just the same old cowards who wait until it is safe to come out (as was the case in the Civil Rights Movement and Vietnam). So, given no powerful Duke faculty condemnation of the bizarre gang of 88 (said Duke U being embedded in a Democracy with a "Bill of Rights") one must admire these young women even more, not less than the Duck apologists and generalized detractors propose.

A reasonable person would have expected more from them,
if indeed the Duke faculty as a whole were among the best and brightest, and it should have been instantaneous and reflexive. Yet there was little from these losers, er, collegial Doctors of Philosophie.

The actions of these young women rose well above defending friends (loki 13 take notice)
because people who are jackasses to begin with, like the 88 and their friends, are likely to also take names of those who are dissagreable to them (what else would you expect of they who's very existence as faculty is based on egregious rubbish). Indeed, such funklty owe their existence on campus to the gutlessness OF THE OTHER faculty and administration, who tolerate these posers and
their idiotic, made-up departments/disciplines. It is easier to "go along to get along" in academia, rather than be true to demands for character and scolarship.
Thus you get gangs of 88 extruding their apalling, juvenile, vicious behaviors and "scholarship" (have you ever read some of their shit...incredible!).

What we know about these young lacrosse women is that
they are righteous in the face of risk, and their gonads (philosophically speaking) have descended a lot further than the punk Duck faculty and the wimps running the show, and most of you as well.

Admirable. Absolutely admirable.


Revonna! Back on your meds.

The above is opinion only, and marked "Entertainment".
1.30.2007 3:54pm
glangston (mail):
Owen Hutchins (mail):
Wow. A lot of people seem to be of the opinion that the women's team weren't right, they just happened to be not wrong.



There is anecdotal evidence that the team was so excited (at being NOT WRONG) that they pooled their money to buy Powerball Tickets.
1.30.2007 3:55pm
ReVonna LaSchatze:
Well Armed Coward:

You don't give community prizes just because people act logically and loyally like this, even if they're women.

Now if I were you, I would gush for paragraphs and paragraphs here to make my point. Stay inside and think up another special award for these women, maybe if you want to see them honored for their special works?
1.30.2007 4:00pm
ReVonna LaSchatze:
You mean, his courage in taking a position the media will lionize him for?

Yeah, real courage, that.


Actually, Sen. Hagel's been talking from the middle of the country for quite a while. See his comments on the Israeli Palestinian conflict from way back. He's a typical Midwesterner skeptical of fear mongering, and plain thinking enough to isolate cause and effect. Actions and results. You won't see many rushing to smear him, even VP Cheney.

Look to the polls, if you dare. Seems there's still an awful lot of fair thinking Americans who aren't buying what this Administration's selling anymore. Buck up and focus on American Idol and the Duke lacrosse scandal because the easy going bandwagon times are over. The instaexperts and academic scholars are going to have to eat what they kill, and there mark's been a little off of late. Indeed. Heh

I'm sure we can come up with a special award winning prize for that though...
1.30.2007 4:08pm
Well Armed Coward:
Revonna,

Are you Duck faculty?

It's pretty clear that I was indeed offering up my admiration for people who act logically and loyally.
On your other issue, I don't give a rat's ass if they get a community prize. That suggestion was pretty obviously a vehicle, a device in the original post, not really meant.
That's been used a lot in the structure of discoursive argument in literature over the last 300 years.

Um, as I recall there are examples of that even in Wilder's "Our Town" (1938) and, of course, in the works of our pal Will.

Well, this has been fun. Gotta go, a test tube is calling.
1.30.2007 4:18pm
Michael B (mail):
"You don't give community prizes just because people act logically and loyally like this, even if they're women." ReVonna LaSchatze

The gender factor has, literally, nothing to do with it. While no one is suggesting they be awarded the Medal of Honor or the Presidential Medal of Freedom, an award commensurate to both their avowed and exemplified loyalty, respect, dignity, common humanity, etc., especially so in the face of the groveling and kowtowing behavior afforded superfical, politically correct attitudes, is fully warranted. Indeed, it would reflect well upon the women per se and would additionally reflect well upon the communities that decided to reasonably and responsibly honor these women.

Common decency is deserving of recognition when deeply rooted, systemic forms of social/political indecency need to be confronted. It was substantial segments of the legal and academic communities, most pointedly, that consciously chose to act in such an indecent manner for such a protracted period of time, and to some degree continue to do so.
1.30.2007 4:29pm
ReVonna LaSchatze:
C'mon now, Michael B and others.
Me thinks you're leg is being pulled a bit here.

The William J. Griffith University Service Award will be presented to a select number of graduating students whose contributions to the Duke and larger communities have significantly impacted University life. Students whose efforts demonstrate an understanding of the responsibilities of effective university, communal and global citizenship are eligible for this award.


How have these female lacrosse players significantly impacted University life?

They haven't. Be honest now, and fair to previous winners of this award. We get the point.

You're using the Duke women's lacrosse team to make a statement on the ill treatment of the men's team. Message received.

Now stop tainting such awards with silly suggestions that these women have actually qualified for it on their own merits. You might just get some gullible suckers believing you are serious.

Or worse, equating the award to some kind of military or political courage, in another leap of logic in connecting dots that aren't there. Silly litttle point, but then, that's all some of you have now, eh? Indeed.
1.30.2007 4:43pm
JohnAnnArbor (www):

You can say what you want about the women's lacrosse team, but walking by their practices in the afternoons from the law school was a little slice of heaven.

Does women's lacrosse use a boundary line yet? I remember running around the athletic fields of my high school (track practice), trying to give a girl's lacrosse game room. As I cut between their field and the fence, I was suddenly in the middle of a play! I ducked out of the way, but it was weird. No lines on the field at all to mark boundaries, just a circle for the center of the field and goal creases.
1.30.2007 4:44pm
ReVonna LaSchatze:
Gotta go, a test tube is calling.

People are so public about their wanking these days...
Heh.!
1.30.2007 4:45pm
James Dillon (mail):
The Ace,

I'm more than a little confused as to what, exactly, we're talking about here, since it seems to change with each of your posts. First it's "secret prisons" that are a liberal myth, then, upon it being pointed out that we actually do have secret prisons, the problem becomes the alleged mischaracterization of the Bush administration's assertion of executive authority to detain U.S. citizens (such as Jose Padilla) indefinitely without charge, then when I point out that the Salon article you cited is essentially accurate in its description of the administration's assertion of that authority under the AUMF (as described by the presumably impartial Chief Justice Rehnquist in the Supreme Court's Padilla decision), your argument now seems to have something to do with the fact that the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 does not appear to apply to U.S. citizens. That's a far cry from "secret prisons are a liberal myth," but in any case, I note that the DTA was signed by the president in December 2005, whereas the Time blog entry, as well as the Washington Post article that it cites, and also the Kos entry citing Senator Reid's floor statement, are from September 2006 and are discussing the Military Commissions Act of 2006, which the Post says would involve "a less restrictive description of how the government could designate civilians as 'unlawful enemy combatants,'" that "applies to foreigners living inside or outside the United States and does not rule out the possibility of designating a U.S. citizen as an unlawful combatant." (Cite). Clearly, these articles are not referring to the 2005 DTA, and whether the DTA does or does not apply to U.S. citizens is not really relevant to the question whether the MCA does.

In any case, we're quite far afield from your original argument, which was, again, that "secret prisons" are a liberal myth.* You've also failed to identify any aspect by which any of the criticism of the administration's detainee policy (including its interpretation of the AUMF), the DTA, or the MCA that you've cited is demonstrably wrong.


If you read enough of those comments you would hopefully understand my point.

If you're concerned about civil liberties in that instance, one would hope you would be in the Duke case as well.

Somehow it dosen't seem most liberals do.

Fair enough. In the spirit of conciliation, here you go: As a bona fide liberal, and a genuine, card-carrying member of the ACLU, I hereby state, declare, avow, and even exclaim that I am concerned about the civil liberties of the defendants in the Duke rape case. It seems as if they've been treated quite badly by the prosecutor in the case, and it appears more likely than not at this point that they are actually not guilty of any of the offenses with which they are currently charged. As one concerned about civil liberties, I sincerely hope that the remaining charges against them are dropped with all due haste (allowing the state AG reasonable time, of course, to review the evidence in the case so as to confirm that there is no colorable criminal case remaining against any of them), and that Mr. Nifong, if it is determined by the relevant ethics board that he acted in a manner unbecoming an attorney, is subject to the full extent of whatever legal or disciplinary penalties may apply in his situation. Lest I be accused of playing favorites, I also note that I'm quite concerned about the civil liberties of all other victims of prosecutorial misconduct, even those I've never heard of.

That said, I am much more concerned about the Bush administration's increasingly aggressive assertion of executive authority to indefinitely detain, without charge, those individuals (both U.S. citiens and otherwise) whom it deems "enemy combatants," and to provide them no meaningful recourse or ability to challenge their detention. I base this view on the judgment that a single instance of prosecutorial misconduct, for which the prosecutor is already facing ethics charges, simply pales in comparison, in terms of relative seriousness, to an avowed policy of the highest officials of the federal government that may potentially impact unknown hundreds of individuals and which does, in my own view and in that of many informed and sincere observers, represent an unprecedented departure from the norms of due process and equal protection that have characterized our nation's values, in principle if not always in practice, since its inception.


Who asked a question?

An indirect question is still a question. Can you point out the affirmative representation of fact, much less the "lie," in: "I would be positively ecstatic if you were to...[c]ite a legitimate media source (i.e., other than some 15-year-old 'anarchist's' Myspace page) that makes that assertion" (my 2:11 pm comment, for those following)? Unless you're saying that I wouldn't actually be ecstatic if you were to do such a thing, I can't see how my statement could possibly be a lie.

Sorry to all for the lengthy post and the quasi-derail. I'll bow out at this point, as I can't imagine that treading further down this path would be in any way fruitful.

* You're right, of course, that you didn't initially specify secret CIA prisons, but since I'm fairly certain that the CIA remains an agency of the United States, I fail to see how that fact saves your initial comment on this subject from being entirely wrong.
1.30.2007 5:10pm
Seamus (mail):

And no, this isn't about writing a law review article; it's about using common sense and showing decency towards a victim of sexual violence.


Uh,huh. A victim. Kinda like Tawana Brawley, Victoria Price, and Ruby Bates?
1.30.2007 5:28pm
WHOI Jacket:
Jeez, can we get back on the subject at hand.
1.30.2007 5:28pm
Michael B (mail):
ReVonna,

The award was not being equated with anything.

And given the description of the award, the women's lacrosse team is deserving, and then some. Obviously, since the politically correct atmospherics (both within academe and the legal community and within society more generally) constitute a substantial aspect of the systemic b.s. that needs to be consciously and honestly confronted, coming to terms with the practical implications of that honesty is not going to be easy for everyone (wink) involved.
1.30.2007 5:29pm
ReVonna LaSchatze:
And given the description of the award, the women's lacrosse team is deserving, and then some.


Oh Michael.
I'm sorry to hear you are serious.
I can only repeat... standards have fallen...

The William J. Griffith University Service Award will be presented to a select number of graduating students whose contributions to the Duke and larger communities have significantly impacted University life. Students whose efforts demonstrate an understanding of the responsibilities of effective university, communal and global citizenship are eligible for this award.
1.30.2007 5:31pm
Al (mail):
So, ReVonna, which students would be more deserving of the award?

How about the students that held up the "Castrate!" sign outside of the lacrosse players' house?
1.30.2007 5:35pm
Pantapon Rose (mail):
The median income for their towns is $140K. That's hardly in the ballpark of a (so far) $3m in legal fees.

You can contribute to defray their legal fees here:

https://www.online-donation.com/truthandfairness/
1.30.2007 5:40pm
Michael B (mail):
Oh ReVonna, oh my, oh dear, oh ...

"whose contributions to the Duke and larger communities have significantly impacted University life. Students whose efforts demonstrate an understanding of the responsibilities of effective university, communal and global citizenship are eligible for this award."

They meet those qualifications to a substantial, to a notable and heightened degree. They witnessed to a common decency and basic humanity while others stepped aside, granting deference to vacuous PC standards instead.
1.30.2007 5:47pm
Harry Eagar (mail):
I'd say ReVonna's right in the sense that the upright behavior of the women athletes doesn't seem to have had a significant impact on campus life. More's the pity.

But more's the credit to them, when they're among the very few who are standing up.

I must suppose that ReVonna would scorn any gesture of admiration toward, say, Bonhoeffer, because he sure didn't have much influence on his 'campus.'
1.30.2007 5:49pm
ReVonna LaSchatze:
But more's the credit to them, when they're among the very few who are standing up.

Give them credit galore, Mr Eager,
but don't cheapen the William J. Griffith University Service Award by seriously suggesting that the women's team actions here make them deserving.

That's all.
Maybe stop reading into things? You know nothing of my scorn, except for giving these women a prize here.
1.30.2007 6:02pm
great unknown (mail):
Actually, ReVonna is correct. The ethics, intellectual honesty, courage, loyalty, and understanding of basic constitutional principles will not significantly impact Duke University life.
It will pass as a temporary abberation in a culture of self-congratulatory ethical corruption, to be forgotten or laughed at.
The truly significant impact on University Life will come from the attorneys waiting in the wings to swoop down with massive lawsuits, and the number of Duke alumni channelling their former donations to the University into the defense fund for the true victims.
1.30.2007 6:02pm
ReVonna LaSchatze:
They meet those qualifications to a substantial, to a notable and heightened degree.

I give up Michael B.

You've cheapened the idea of service awards and lowered your standards already, I can see.
1.30.2007 6:03pm
ReVonna LaSchatze:
So, ReVonna, which students would be more deserving of the award?

How about the students that held up the "Castrate!" sign outside of the lacrosse players' house?


Al: I betcha a lot of academic and service work benefitting the community and even "global citizenship" took place from Duke students last year.

Pity that all the bloggers benefitting from the hits and the old and new media exploiting this one to the hilt give the impression that the LaCrosse Scandal is the only thing going on at Duke University nowadays...

Sad state, really.
1.30.2007 6:06pm
ReVonna LaSchatze:
Thanks for your words about true victims, Great Unknown. I can see it now:

Duke University --
Where Victims are Made.


Sad sad sad
1.30.2007 6:09pm
ReVonna LaSchatze:


Oh, and tying this post about Service Awards into some political point about Hegelian courage, as one prominent instalinker did...

Tell me who is exploiting these boys' situation really? Who is more than happy to paint them as victims, and discredit Duke as just a bed of scandal really?

Tennessee will never measure up to Duke, sadly... And there's no need to ever apologize for being an elite private school where the value of awards are upheld and not cheapened by those who would politically exploit values and traditions.
1.30.2007 6:17pm
Michael B (mail):
No, you've effectively established a cynically dismissive redoubt. It's a matter of making neither too much, nor too little, of what has transpired.

Btw, to refer to fallen standards, in the midst of Nifong and all the bathos, posturing, evasiveness, social "caution" and "carefulness," etc. that has characterized so many critical players - and all this while peoples lives are being violated and potentially ruined in substantial part - is to fail to place primary, secondary and lesser qualities back into perspective. I.e. it's to render only a token acknowledgement of what has transpired, both practically - and symbolically in a manner that has broad social import.

(They will, almost certainly, not be given the award, the redoubts of PC rectitude are too firmly established. Hence the point being made is for purposes of rhetorical effect. Sad, sad, sad, oh my, oh dear. Gosh.)
1.30.2007 6:21pm
Bruce Hayden (mail) (www):
Someone above asked for some suggestions about what can be done to help keep this sort of thing from happening again. My suggestion is that the situation is somewhat self-correcting already:

- The biggest problem was prosecutorial abuse. Nifong is facing serious ethics charges already. I think it unlikely that he escapes from that unscathed. Rather, with the latest charges, if proven, I think it somewhat likely that his discipline will be severe enough that he can no longer legally retain his office. And then, he faces the real possibility of civil rights claims, both civil and criminal for his actions. He may very well end up bankrupt, as well as disbarred. And that is the sort of thing that focusses the attention of the other prosecutors in that state and, in this case, around the country on being cleaner than Cesaer's wife.

- The school is apparently seeing a signficant reduction in applications for next year. Surprise, surprise. But what may be even worse for them, I suspect that alumni donations are going to be off even more. Who wants their donations to even remotely help the gang of 88 or the school administration after this? Besides, the deep dark secret at many schools like this is that the biggest group of consistent donors often came from just the sort of demographic seen with the men's and women's lacross teams.
1.30.2007 6:26pm
Ken Arromdee:
In the spirit of conciliation, here you go: As a bona fide liberal, and a genuine, card-carrying member of the ACLU, I hereby state, declare, avow, and even exclaim that I am concerned about the civil liberties of the defendants in the Duke rape case.

I think you're missing part of the reason why there are calls for liberals to be concerned about the defendants. The reason is that *your side's causes were the motivation for railroading the defendants*. Feminism. Minority rights versus white privilege. Exploitation of the poor by the rich.

Can you recognize *that*?
1.30.2007 6:31pm
ReVonna LaSchatze:
They will, almost certainly, not be given the award, the redoubts of PC rectitude are too firmly established.

Or maybe, just maybe Michael B...
it has nothing to do with PC and the award will be given for work that took place at Duke and benefitted others completely irrespective of the lacrosse team scandal??!? GoodGollyMissMolly...Sure Like to BAWL! My goodness gracious INDEED! heh lol
1.30.2007 6:33pm
James Dillon (mail):

I think you're missing part of the reason why there are calls for liberals to be concerned about the defendants. The reason is that *your side's causes were the motivation for railroading the defendants*. Feminism. Minority rights versus white privilege. Exploitation of the poor by the rich.

Can you recognize *that*?

Yes, that's true. It seems likely that much of the public jumped to conclusions about this case because the story initially told by the alleged victim fit so snugly into the themes of the themes of racial and socioeconomic oppression that the left has developed over the last several decades. I don't think that this instance undermines the general validity of those themes, but it should certainly be a lesson to us all that we shouldn't rush to believe something simply because it fits with our preconceived ideas about the world.
1.30.2007 6:51pm
guest (mail):
"Give them credit galore, Mr Eager,
but don't cheapen the William J. Griffith University Service Award by seriously suggesting that the women's team actions here make them deserving. "

This must really be some important award.

So who were the winners in the last,say, 10 years; and why are they more deserving than the womens lacrosse team?
1.30.2007 7:30pm
BobDoyle (mail):
Wow, JD, that was one of the few posts you've made that I can agree with unconditionally. And I thank you for making it.
1.30.2007 8:03pm
Toby:
Hard to see what most winners have done from perusing the DU web site
======================================
The student protests of 2000, Troy Clair's sophomore year, couldn't have come at a worse time. Smack in the middle of the protests, which were sparked by a deeply offensive editorial advertisement in The Chronicle, fell Black Student Recruitment Weekend. Many black students boycotted the social activities scheduled to welcome the recruits to Duke.
"We were worried about scaring them off," said Clair, one of this year's winners of the William J. Griffith University Service Award. "We wanted to encourage them to come here, but we wanted them to understand that Duke needed to make some changes to be a better community for everyone."

During that passionate period, Clair emerged as a leader, focusing students' energy on constructive dialogue and setting up a task force that effectively lobbied for change. The following year, Clair was elected president of the Black Student Alliance, one of a string of increasingly responsible offices he has held since he was first elected a senator at his junior high school in Brooklyn, N.Y. This year, Clair has served as Duke Student Government's vice president for student affairs.

"If you see something you don't like, then the way to change things is to get involved," Clair said. "I've always taken that philosophy."
==========================
Colleen Stack is a recent graduate of Duke University. While a student she worked as a Student Programmer and Peer Education Programmer in the Office of Sexual Assault Support Services at Duke Women's Center. She was an active participant on the Duke Sexual Assault Policy and Procedure Review Committee. Colleen volunteered with the Healthy Devils Peer Education Program. Her work has been recognized with the Lighthouse Award in Peer Education. Other awards are the Peer Educator of the Year Award and the William J. Griffith University Service Award. She currently works as a Health Communications Specialist for the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's National STD and AIDS Hotlines. Her future plans include becoming an OB/GYN physician at a women's health clinic. Colleen enjoys reading, painting and her dog, Niko.
==============================
Wiiners apper to be politically correct, but otherwise one can't tell. Several winners most years...
1.30.2007 10:08pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Ref lax &$.

I played lacrosse back when the sticks were made of wood. Tried to convince a couple of high school laxers of that and they refused to believe me. As if the Indians had aluminum and composites. But then they didn't know about the Indians, either.

We got a start--first year at Mich State--with an equipment loan from the Midwest Coaches'Association. I was surprised at how expensive it was to outfit a laxer. Not quite football or hockey, but, considering its competition is baseball, quite substantial.

Even given the increase in general prosperity, getting ready to lax is expensive. Remember all the time you spent throwing the baseball around with your dad or brother or buddies on the block? You had to do that for a cumulative hundreds of hours to be good enough to play any kind of organized baseball. Well, same thing for lax. You have to show up not needing to be taught elementary stick handling and ball control. That means you have a stick in your hand at about nine. And if you're going to do a bit of scrimmaging, you need a helmet. Maybe gloves. Money.
That's why, when I watch the NCAA quarterfinals and up, most of the guys seem to have come from someplace that sounds like St. John's Academy, instead of Schenactady Consolidated.
Schen Con's guys would have been passing time as little kids with baseball and basketball. Cheaper.
Our team was made up of easterners who knew how to play and a bunch of midwestern bandits who had no idea but liked hitting. I was in the latter crowd. Which didn't come from the same money the easterners did.

Even today, when people think nothing of going to Starbucks for fifteen cents worth of material and paying four bucks for the experience, effecivtely putting $3.85 into the shredder without a thought, lax is still not the poor kids' game.

There will be a social and economic difference.

The interesting thing is, we have supposedly the effete upper class playing a game that, one anthropologist told me, the Indians invented for when they had no prisoners to torture. I played two years and was only in the hospital for a week.
1.30.2007 10:33pm
Luke:
By April 11, 2007, even USPN was reporting the results of the DNA test. http://sports.espn.go.com/ncaa/news/story?id=2404002 This was over six weeks before the women wore the innocent sweatbands. Consider the implications of the absence of a DNA match at that time. Before the changed her story in December of 2006, the accuser originally stated that she was raped vaginally, orally, and anally without a condom. Within a few hours after the alleged rape, she was examined by medical professionals who took cheek scrapings, oral swabs, vaginal swabs, rectal swabs, and pubic hair combings. They also took her clothing: her panties, a pair of red lace underwear, her tops, her skirt. This is generally known as the Rape Kit. Her fake fingernails were later collected from the alleged crime scene. There was no DNA found to match any of the three players. And while it is indeed the case that rape cases frequently have no DNA evidence, this is not the case where the accused showered or douched or washed her clothes, or waited days or weeks or months or years before reporting the rape such that DNA testing was fruitless. Not a single cell from any of the three was found -- not a single one of their head hairs, body hairs, or pubic hairs, not a flake of their dandruff, not a drop of their body sweat or a smear of their skin oils, not an eyelash. Her fingernails did not contain their skin or blood. When the private DNA lab tested the Rape Kit material, it did so in a sterile environment because of the fear that DNA from the individual doing the testing would somehow end up in the swabs and clothing being tested. Despite the care taken, and even in such a sterile environment, a dander from the examiner's body fell into the test and his DNA showed up in the results. And yet, none of the three men's DNA was found.
1.30.2007 11:38pm
Justthisguy (mail) (www):
What Richard Aubrey said. I've never played the game, but recall reading that it's the only college sport in which hitting people on the head with sticks is a legitimate part of the play.

I think the Injuns used their ordinary war clubs in the game.

Supposedly, Pontiac captured a British fort by offering to play a lacrosse game just outside. The Brits opened the gates, went out and watched, and hey presto, on secret signal the Injuns ran into the fort, braining with their "lacrosse sticks" any and all, and took the place
1.31.2007 12:05am
Justthisguy (mail) (www):
P.S. Wasn't USMA the first college to have its students play lacrosse? I think they did it to teach the cadets to keep fighting, though taking nasty licks with big sticks.

Seems like that is still a good idea, and works.
1.31.2007 12:16am
Public_Defender (mail):

and, of course, the Duke suspects had already been exonerated by the DNA evidence.


This is just plain wrong.

The State's case has largely fallen apart, but the suspects were not "exonerated by DNA evidence." There are a lot of people in prison for rape today who were convicted even though none of there DNA was found in the alleged victim.

As some of my clients have discovered to their chagrin, the absense of a suspect's DNA evidence in an alleged victim's vagina does not prove that the suspect did not have sex with that victim. Even the presence of someone else's DNA only shows that the victim had sex with someone else, not that she did not have sex with the suspect. (Sorry for the multiple negatives.)

There are plenty of reasons to believe that the suspects are not guilty, but the lack of DNA evidence is only one piece of that puzzle. It is just plain wrong to say that the lack of DNA "exonerated" the defendants.

Also, to prove kidnapping charges, the State likely only has to show a very slight restriction on the stripper's liberty. If a jury believes that the students who were there held her down for even a few seconds, a kidnapping charge might succeed.
1.31.2007 4:35am
guest (mail):
"Give them credit galore, Mr Eager,
but don't cheapen the William J. Griffith University Service Award by seriously suggesting that the women's team actions here make them deserving. "

This must really be some important award.

So who were the winners in the last,say, 10 years; and why are they more deserving than the womens lacrosse team?


Thank you for your response, Toby.


So, the Billy J. Griffith Community Service award is apparently some p.c., racist, bullsh*t Lefty award? How shocking!
1.31.2007 7:28am
a knight (mail) (www):
I apologise for the part of my previous post which caused anyone to misunderstand my intent in using the term 'lawyered up'. Upon rereading it tonight, I realised this conclusion could be rationally made. My intent was to convey how it had been portrayed in the news, and how this is often misconstrued as a pretrial indicator of guilt; not my personal belief. Still, I strongly recommend that anyone under investigation by any agent of the government request to have counsel present when questioned, especially if it involves a Federal Investigator, because the rules are inherently unfair. They can deceive with impunity, irrespective of intent, but a dishonest reply, even to an immaterial query can be construed as a felony.

I am not an attorney, nor do I possess a strong educational background in Constitutional Law, so maybe my analysis is provincial, but that is the clear instruction I received when reading Scalia wittily opining No Problemma defending the government's abuse of prosecutorial powers in "Brogan v. United States, 118 S. Ct. 805 (1998)". Maybe I'm just too thick-headed to find humour when activists disguised in a cloaking shawl of conservatism, yield more power to the state, but those always hilarious situationalists at The Federalist Society got a good chuckle.

I also will to state that I did not imply that the financial burden for the families of the Duke lacrosse players for retained counsel was not, because of class onerous. Instead, because of class, it was an unjust yoke which was able to be shouldered. There is no justice to be found in this event, nor is there likely to be even a partial remedy of relief from the injustice. My points of contention are one; that is it the right-side of the bi-polity which has distorted the exercising of the constitutional right to counsel as an finger of guilt, unless of course, it is them or theirs under indictment. It is the right-side generally responsible for legislative enactments which have severely limited an individual's ability to possess standing in court seeking redress for an injury, both in Civil, and Criminal appellate cases. Two; the allegation that this is an unusual prosecution in this country is specious. There are classes of indictments which carry with them a strong presumption of guilt. One class is sexual offenses, while another is terrorism. If you allege the State acts improperly prosecuting one class, but not the other, you are a hypocrite, and an enabler, because any acceptance of prosecutorial overreach will soon choke liberty in the ensuing darkness of kudzu dreams. It will spread across the imaginary barrier of citizenry. It cannot be released, then subsequently constrained within boundaries. Understand your fate will be to reap the whirlwind, for the seeds you now sow into the howling wind.

To any who were offended because of personal affiliation to Duke University, I offer a dated bit of humour that still is considered blasphemous out in this part of the west:


Q: Why does Duke University have an unfair advantage against UNLV when they compete in a basketball game?
A: The Duke players are able to read and write before they receive their scholarships...


Specifically, I address Al Maviva here, if he is present for qualifiers. I found troubling implications within some of your statements:


*...one or two really innocent defendants in a few decades' work
*You've watched way too many movies if you think the courts are littered with innocent defendants. Most appear in court about as often as the average judge
*...clients who were mischarged for their (admittedly culpable) actions
*...never had a question about whether the client had been involved in something seriously bad
*...the state couldn't carry its burden or manage to comply with basic procedural requirements
*...You think lots of people in the criminal justice process are completely innocent and getting railroaded?


I know that this was not addressed to me, and yet I am left wondering a bit about it anyway. Are you implying that even if a convicted defendant was not guilty of the actions presented in the indictment, he was still, judging from your knowledge of past behaviours, guilty of past crimes, and therefore, deserving of the sentence? Also, if this is the case, are you claiming a justification for this is because the state employs enforcement officials and prosecutors who are slothful and/or incompetent? A dangerous pathway to traverse. It seems that far to many state agents, elected or otherwise, believe their own personal acts in performance of their duty are not restrained by the very laws they claim to uphold and enforce. An egregious example, which many will find inflammatory, is a LAPD homicide detective, I believe named Van Adder, who investigated the Nicole Simpson/Ron Brown double murder cases. In the subsequent murder trial of O.J. Simpson, he testified that OJ was not a murder suspect when they went warrantless over the wall of his residence. Quite the contrary, OJ was believed to be a potential victim. Does anybody believe this lie stated under oath? This is the behaviour that many state actors believe to be proper. It is unacceptable. Persons who have life liberty and/or property stripped from them in an American Court must be guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of the charges placed before them by a state which is truly sincere in their Constitutionally mandated provisioning of due process for the defendant, before it is legitimised. This transcends citizenship, because the compulsion is not based upon rights which the state has extended, but are rights which all humans were in universality endowed with at birth by their personal ideation of the Creative, and remain unalienable.
1.31.2007 7:51am
ReVonna LaSchatze:
And the entertainment comes full circle. In nominating the women's lacrosse team actions for this award, in making a political point, we get this:


So, the Billy J. Griffith Community Service award is apparently some p.c., racist, bullsh*t Lefty award?


Beautiful. It's so easy to tear things down, and truth is, it's enjoyable too, eh? Cause and effect. Consequences of actions...
1.31.2007 8:37am
David M. Nieporent (www):
A knight: I'm not getting how you think it's an abuse of prosecutorial powers to punish someone for lying to the police, given that there's a statute that criminalizes lying to the police.
1.31.2007 10:48am
guest (mail):
"This must really be some important award.

So who were the winners in the last,say, 10 years; and why are they more deserving than the womens lacrosse team? "


Third time.

Too scared to answer, ReVonna?
1.31.2007 10:50am
lynp (mail):
These ladies are heriones. They do Susan B. Anthony and their mothers proud. The reporters (most of them black) who condemed them are the stupid, silly and non thinking ones. For all the agenda driven female ex-prosecutors (why do these folk not have a job?) who called a 28 and 31 year old strippers "young ladies" and "exptoc dancer" -Keep showing folks how stupid you are.
1.31.2007 11:59am
lynp (mail):
Most of us do not have the money to fight a false charge - most of us are two paychecks away from homelessness. We would have been jailed in spite of our our good hearted public defender. If this can happen to those with money to hire the best attorneys, what would happen to us. Not a pretty picture.
1.31.2007 12:04pm
quaker:
In re the award, I don't think Jim is arguing that the WLAX team deserves a CMoH.

When everyone around you is behaving like a slavering pack of wolves, though, simply acting with basic common sense and loyalty and decency is extraordinary and is worthy of *some* praise. Especially when you're the least powerful member of your community.

The Griffith Award would bestow a modest honor for a modest courage.

But its impact would be large as Duke, from the highest levels, began to abjure the ways of the wolf pack.
1.31.2007 1:58pm
quaker:
Oh, and in the spirit of complete markets, perhaps someday universities will give anti-awards, e.g.,

The Quaker T. Garblethwaite Dis-Service Award will be presented to a select number of graduating students whose contributions to the Duke and larger communities have significantly diminished University life. Students whose efforts demonstrate a lack of understanding of the responsibilities of effective university, communal and global citizenship are eligible for this award.

This year there'll be a lot of competition...
1.31.2007 2:13pm
cfw (mail):
Jim, you seem emotionally too invested. As one who has worked for and against rape charges in various cases, it seems to me that emotional over-investment is an occupational hazard for lawyers involved with prosecuting rape charges.

What we should take away from the debacle is that rape charges require sober reflection by folks like Nifong, without a lot of ranting and raving from the spectators about what is or is not "stirring" about the case or circumstances.

There were Duke student voting drives to get Nifong voted out of office (or at least voted on by more than 1000 or so of the Duke undergrads). In my view, the organizers of those drives should get the public service award.

Arm-banding is a nice gesture, though really just another sort of emotional prejudgment.

What is to be encouraged is registering Duke voters who can have a proper impact on who gets elected to serve as DA, yes?
1.31.2007 5:04pm
Andy Freeman (mail):
> My points of contention are one; that is it the right-side of the bi-polity which has distorted the exercising of the constitutional right to counsel as an finger of guilt, unless of course, it is them or theirs under indictment.

So therefore it's okay if we trash some white kids who play a "helmet sport" to show our sensitivity towards and solidarity with left-wing causes. They've probably got money, so we'll advocate castration.

Why? Because we're tolerant and concerned about constitutional rights, except when we're getting back at the man.
1.31.2007 10:53pm
Greg (www):
If the women's team knew that the DNA had exonerated the men's team, shouldn't they have disclosed this to the defense team? We know that Nifong and Meehan conspired to withhold the most exonerating evidence in the May 12th report. Was the women's team part of this conspiracy? Should we be seeking to have them disbarred, or dis-crossed, or whatever you do to lacrosse players?
2.1.2007 7:35am
Disenfranchised Jets Fan (mail):
"If the women's team knew that the DNA had exonerated the men's team, shouldn't they have disclosed this to the defense team? We know that Nifong and Meehan conspired to withhold the most exonerating evidence in the May 12th report. Was the women's team part of this conspiracy? Should we be seeking to have them disbarred, or dis-crossed, or whatever you do to lacrosse players?"

What on heaven's earth are you blabberbing about son?

Just checked your website, now I understand (cukoo! cukoo!)
2.1.2007 9:35am
a knight (mail) (www):
Mr. Nieporent, I am assuming you are responding to my stated distaste for the Brogan decision. I probably should reread it before musing about specifics, but generally, my comprehension and memory from past reading is sound. Feel free to flog me if I misstate facts.

As I recall Brogan was no martyr, and was a long term Union representative that the FBI had discovered in a unrelated bust of a business that Brogan's Union had a contractual labour relationship with, financial records that was compelling evidence of 3 different occasions Brogan had bribes during contract negotiations. It seems that a big problem in the FBI Agents' minds was that in two of these crimes, the statute of limitations had already expired. I don't think that personal beliefs regarding the propriety of statute of limitations is germane here, all that needs to be stated is that by the rule of law, these past actions were no longer a proper subject of a criminal ivestigation, and potential trial. After a successful conviction, I feel the subject would be proper used in sentencing and/or parole board hearing, btw.

FBI Agents, knowing full well that two bribes could not be construed lawfully as crime, and after identifying themselves, simply asked outright a rhetorical question which they already, because of the previously acquired evidence in their possession knew the answer too. I recall the fact was established at Brogan's original trial that his negative answer was short, possibly monosyllabic, and upon being informed by the FBI that they were already aware that his answerer had been false, Brogan immediately became quiet and in meditative contemplation of his navel asserted the Fifth. Brogan was tried and fairly convicted for the one count of bribery, and he was also tried and convicted on two more felonies for lying to a state agent who was officially engaged in an investigation, and was appealing those two felonies.

I belive that since two of the incidents of bribery were no longer prosecutable, and it was already established factually Brogan had engaged in these past acts, that the false answer to the FBI's question should not have been construed as falling under the hammer of extra criminal statute; lying in answers given to a Federal agent's queries during an official investigation. The actions' criminality had been mooted with age, and there was no proper intent of investigation from the question, since the truthful answer was already ascertained. Don't misunderstand me, for all I care about Brogan, a fitting punishment could easily have been worked out justly with a very short term served chained in the alley behind the Union Hall. My offense is that the Federal Officers created a condition to tack on the extra felonies they believed he should be convicted for, but rule of law held otherwise. They had him dead to right on the chargeable offense, there was no proper cause for the sting operation. Instead it was Law Enforcement officials, who conspired with malice and forethought, in an action with intent to violate legislative enactments under the colour of authority which flowed naturally from their employment. Although a minor distortion in this instance, it still is a reason for everybody, in any investigation, even if not a target of the investigation, to think hard about requesting legal advocacy before agreeing to be interviewed. I am not paranoid, and do not believe there is a significant likelihood of American law enforcement officers engaging in this egregious action, when interviewing anyone they do not believe is guilty of a serious crime, but on the other side, the potential for experiencing extremely negative effects from felony conviction if it were to happen, need to be considered. The Brogan decision was, at least in my mind, counter-productive to a goal of justice in society, because it offered a glimpse of an unlikely, but real potential cost from an individual's honourable fulfillment of civic duty, and offering aid in a State investigation of crime.

I again state, we need to restrain our beast. The reasons are as strong today, as they were at th the time of our country's creation. A system that has within its core modules hardwired processes of duplicitous definitions for an acts criminality, which tilt in favoritism to agents of the state, along with an inherent multiplicity of due process' applicability predicated only upon citizenship, can never be just. A people who believe that their rights originated as grants from a magnanimous state will never be free. An America which in arrogant naivete, continues playing the three monkey strategy, refusing to comprehend the damage done in our name; An America which does not leash and muzzle our leviathan that in our understandable feelings of vengefulness from the indignity and horror of September 11, 2001, we set free as mad wolf to predate upon this Earth will never know peace.

Are my fellow country persons really willing to sell our birthright for the for an illusionary tiny mound of beans; a false sense security felt when attired in our government provided padded chains?

I am aware that my rhetoric is oft pompous and comes off as hyperbole. It is without question far better than when I stood in dissent to this contemporary tyranny a few years ago. I am just a paleogeek old enough to have, once upon a time in a reality far far away, coded with punch cards. I am also old enough to have had the fortune of winning a lottery no one wanted to win, and because of that, have experienced a preponderance of futility, have existed in an environment in which there was no action which would further, all being, whether active or passive continued on within a darkness that was ever always descending, which only led to undeserved deaths of ours, our allies, our enemies, and a stalwart peasantry, chained to their meagre earthly possessions in the midst of fighting. Throughout it all I maintained my will to retain honour, and left upon duty's end with it intact.

As improbable as many seem to believe, I am sincere, at times am even capable of arguing effectively. I am also an intransigent American son who will never concede, as I am defending our Dreamtime, which is under mortal attack, and am entrenched upon the high ground in liberty's defense. There will be no retreat, no negotiation. In a future where truth and justice are not at least an iconic representation of the American Way; in which there is not even an illusion of believing in truth and justice for all; America will have ceased to be.

I will to be free, in an America that clearly understands we are without a doubt, better than the rest, and will continue on for the rest of my life. It would disgust me to live amongst a country of cowards who equivocated mightily in the face of adversity. Thus speaks duty to honour and presents the rectitude of my intentions.
2.1.2007 10:54am
veteran:
a knight,

regarding last post, very appropriate and on the money.


it is sad, regardless of the financial position of the three accused, that their financial where with all has been all that has allowed them any ability to seek jusice.

this issue has been an interesting read and food for thought. it is, most certainly, emotionally charged.


for some reason Camus' "The Stranger" keeps coming to mind, can't really put a finger on what or why. inversion perhaps.
2.1.2007 6:22pm