As the blog winds down, I thought it might be worthwhile to recall the most outrageous quotes of the case. The countdown will culminate on Friday.
Yesterday’s post featured #32 through #25; today’s takes the countdown from #24 through #17 on the list of most outrageous:
24) “The season is over, but the paradox lives on in Duke’s lacrosse team, a group of privileged players of fine pedigree entangled in a night that threatens to belie their social standing as human beings. Something happened March 13, when a woman, hired to dance at a private party, alleged that three lacrosse players sexually assaulted her in a bathroom for 30 minutes . . . Players have been forced to give up their DNA, but to the dismay of investigators, none have come forward to reveal an eyewitness account.”
--Selena Roberts’ guilt-presuming New York Times column, March 31, 2006. She has never apologized for, or even acknowledged, her rush to judgment.
23) “The ad said that we faculty were listening to the anguish of students who felt demeaned by racist and sexist remarks swirling around in the media and on the campus quad in the aftermath of what happened on March 13 in the lacrosse house. The insults, at that time, were rampant. It was as if defending David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann necessitated reverting to pernicious stereotypes about African-Americans, especially poor black women.”
--Group of 88 member Cathy Davidson, January 5, 2007, imagining a world that never existed as she rationalized her decision to sign the rush-to-judgment statement.
22) “Somebody had an arm around her like this [demonstrating a chokehold], which she then had to struggle with in order to be able to breathe, and it was in the course of that struggle that the fingernails—the artificial fingernails broke off. Now as you can see from my arm, if I were wearing a shirt, a long-sleeved shirt or a Jacket of some sort, even if there were enough force used to press down, to break my skin through the clothing, there might not be any way that anything from my arm could get on to those fingernails.”
--Mike Nifong, on MSNBC, March 31, 2006, with the accompanying visual demonstration.
21) “I have a board in my office, it’s a, dry-erase board. And, for example, Investigator Himan would say, ‘I need to have someone look at different things, how we can get a hair analysis done.’ And I would put my name next to that. And then he’d say, ‘I need a background done for this person.’ I would assign someone to do that if he wasn’t going to do it. He’d say, ‘I need a court order to get e-mail records,’ put his name next to that, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. I had asked him and was under the impression that he was taking photographs of the board, and when we finished that we would clear it. That wasn’t done. And I apologize for that."
--Sgt. Mark Gottlieb, April 19, 2007, explaining how he could have produced a 32-page typewritten report with contemporaneous notes for only one afternoon in late April 2006.
20) “To suggest [the indicted players] were well-behaved: Hitler never beat his wife either. So what?”
--Adjunct law professor Wendy Murphy, MSNBC, June 5, 2006, dismissing the findings of the Coleman Committee report.
19) “When police officers arrived at the house with a search warrant on March 16, none of the players would cooperate with the investigation [sic] . . . The allegations of rape bring the students’ arrogant frat-boy culture to a whole new, sickening level. ‘Get a conscience, not a lawyer,’ read [potbangers’] signs waved in front of the house on Sunday. We agree that the alleged crime isn’t the only outrage. It’s also outrageous that not a single person who was in the house felt compelled to step forward and tell the truth about what happened [sic].”
--Herald-Sun, editorial, March 28, 2006. Much like Selena Roberts, the Bob Ashley-led paper managed to get major facts wrong and to celebrate the potbangers’ protests. And much like Roberts, Ashley has not only never acknowledged his rush to judgment but preposterously asserted that the paper's editorials always upheld the presumption of innocence.
18) One would wonder why one needs an attorney if one was not charged and had not done anything wrong.
--Mike Nifong, explaining his conception of due process to ESPN, March 31, 2006. It’s worth noting, for the record, that Nifong hired attorneys for both his ethics hearing and his criminal contempt trial.
17) “You know, I don’t want to hear any ifs, and, or buts. These kids have acted disgracefully, just by the fact that not one of them—I don’t want to hear about the code, among buddies and among teams. A crime was committed. There were witnesses to the crime. They need to come forward and say what they saw . . . They won’t, and that’s why I’m saying the hell with them—strip their scholarships.”
--“Journalist” John Feinstein, imagining himself in the role of the Duke president, lecturing the players, March 30, 2006.
Tomorrow: the countdown continues, with quotes #16 through #9.