Pop Culture Junkette

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Friday, December 22, 2006

In A Legal Interlude

Prosecutors in Durham appear to have dropped rape charges against the three Duke lacrosse players. Still pending, however, are kidnapping and sexual offense charges, which makes no sense to me. This prosecution has been one of the worst I have ever seen. When the late Ed Bradley and Duke Law Prof. James Coleman are strongly against the prosecution in a case such as this, the DA has big problems. And that the entire theory of the case involved trusting the complaining witness (whose credibility keeps getting less and less), I don't see how any charges can stick if the prosecution does not believe it can go forward with the rape counts.

This travesty appears to be reaching its denouement, and I imagine all charges will be dropped in the coming weeks or months. The only remaining questions will be: (1) can the Durham County DA Mike Nifong keep his job (he shouldn't) and (2) how will the 3 accused players be affected in the coming months and years. (I will leave aside criticizing the many who rushed to judgment and said truly absurd things about how to treat these individuals because of their race/social class/athletic status.) On the second question, I do not believe that "their lives have been ruined" as some have said. While what they have gone through is awful (assuming they are innocent as appears quite likely), I don't think they will have much trouble getting a job/getting on with their lives due to the sympathy they receive for having been railroaded. This is not an OJ situation where he may have been acquitted but virtually no one thinks he is innocent. And now back to your regularly scheduled programming.


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