Broverman e-mailed me shortly after the article appeared, but Wednesday through Friday was unusually hectic, and I just have gotten through this week's e-mails today. I quote her response in full:
In order to avoid a misunderstanding, I would like clarify my my comments as quoted in Newsday today. I was contacted by the reporter initially to talk about DukeEngage. He then asked me for my opinion about the expected dropping of all charges against the students. I was unaware that this was about to happen. I made the mistake of trying to provide a nuanced commentary on the difficulty of prosecuting rape in general. Many cases, some of which are valid accusations, are dismissed for lack of evidence. I think all of us would also agree that "normal legal procedures" did not happen under Nifong's leadership! Do I want the students to be guilty? Of course not. Do I accept that there is not sufficient evidence to go forward? Sure. Do I wish the lack of evidence had been acknowledged last spring? Absolutely! Who doesn't? However, I still maintain that rape is hard to prosecute, and that IN GENERAL lack of evidence does not mean a crime was not committed. However, I did not mean to suggest that I thought these students should be prosecuted.
In science, if the data doesn't support the hypothesis, you drop or modify the hypothesis. However, if the data doesn't exist because the experiment didn't work, one can't conclude anything. Looking at how Nifong handled the case, "the experiment didn't work" and one can't conclude anything. Listening to AG Cooper this afternoon, I accept that the data does not support the hypothesis, which in real life means that charges should be dropped.