I’ve used Dorothy Rabinowitz’s book, No Crueler Tyrannies: Accusation, False Witness, and Other Terrors of Our Times, for courses that I teach in legal history. An expansion of her Pulitzer Prize-winning commentary on the horrific justice associated with child care sexual assault hoaxes of the late 1980s and early 1990s, the work also has provided intellectual guidance for me in writing this blog.
Rabinowitz’s book shows that others, in a different corner of the American judicial system, involving different, but also preposterous, allegations of sexual assault, have confronted the kind of Kafkaesque form of justice that Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty, and Dave Evans have faced since April.
In today’s Wall Street Journal, Rabinowitz explains the connection, in a brilliant column that appropriately rebukes the Group of 88, Richard Brodhead, the New York Times, and especially Mike Nifong. Here’s the link.
Your final link takes me to back to Amazon. Can't wait to read her piece...
Maybe someone can post it on the liestoppers board?
Dorothy Rabinowitz is worth taking out an online subscription to The Wall Street Journal. Her work on the earlier sex hoax cases was superlative. Professor Johnson is worthy of mentioning in the same breath. Expect to see more of the professor's pieces in the WSJ editorial/op-ed pages.
Here's the link, y'all:
The Michael Nifong Scandal
Ann Coulter has a scathing column on the 'rape':
Stripper Lied ... White Boys Fried
Sorry--fixed the link!
"Maybe someone can post it on the liestoppers board?"
abb & Photios have also been notified for today's Media Roundup.
An example of a DA that made his political career on the Amiraults is Scott Harshbarger: Harshbarger and the Amirault Case
Here's another link on what politicians did: Fells Acres day-care Ritual Abuse case and the Boston press
If you need a hint, they did nothing. I grew up with this case and looking at it again, am a bit taken aback buy the similarities in the response from the media and government officials.
Bill Clinton should have pardoned this family. Rabinowitz is right, the Duke 3 are in a better position. But both cases are terribly terrible.
One big difference in the cases is the availability of the internet and the presence of bloggers.
Liberty lives on the blogs!
We have a winner.
I think this Rabinovitz article is the legitimate winner of the Johnsville competition of the first hoax in the headline in the MSM.
Not a news article, per se, but close enough.
What does she win?
I just read Dorothy Rabinowitz's article.
I'm speechless. It's frightening and horrifying and painful to realize. Yes, I do believe Reade, Dave and Collin are definitely better off due to the freedom the internet offers. It's now harder to hide the truth and easier to seek it.
I am going to have to get a copy of that book. My inital interest in the case was based on my interest in the process by which an accusation I believed to be false was NOT stopped cold by our legal system. If things worked as they are supposed to (and assuming ethical prosecutors and LE), a false accusation should have been easy to ferret out. I have no legal knowledge to speak of, but I love history, and false accusation was such a powerful tool with which to decimate lives or careers....all it required was the support of others with compatible motives - usually greed or power. Sad to think that our justice system could be so corrupted that the false accusation is once again empowered as a tool (for securing pensions or votes) or weapon (for politcal gain or financial leverage). I wrote to the N&O back in late April/early May in response to Lynn Duke's piece -
Do we really want to live in a world where character, integrity and past actions are irrelevant? Where DNA, photos, witnesses, bank receipts, etc. do not outweigh a single finger pointing at you? The real story here is malicious prosecution. The day we set a legal precedent and allow an accusation to stand simply because of the accuser’s race/economic status/gender is the day we can stop worrying about terrorists entering the country to attack us. We will have armed the ones already here.
My main concern, of course, is that the three lacrosse players are cleared, but it has been great to see a harsh spotlight turned on agenda-driven hatemongers, identity politics, abuses of the legal system, etc. Is the reason some politicians, academics and MSM seem to resent bloggers because they shine a light under the table, impinge on their podium and expose their inadequacy and bias?
Isn't it about time to seriously discuss rape-shield laws, and why there is not a sui generis sex-crime felony statute for our false accusers?
Strong evidence can be marshalled supporting a belief that those legal travesties collectively known as the Day Care Abuse Cases of the 80's and 90's would not have had as great a shelf life had the world of bloggers existed.
Probably alot of my interest in this case arose out of Ms. Rabinowitz's articles in the WSJ. She did such a job exposing those cases that anyone who read her articles had to become more skeptical of the government. Thanks for the link Prof. Johnson.
If I were the players, such stories would do nothing be strengthen my resolve to see Nifong and the 'accuser' sent to prison for their crimes.
Glad I had a subscription to the WSJ.com.
Being a teen and unconcerned about such matters, I did really learn about those childcare travesties until the mid to late 90's when I saw a movie HBO did about the McMartin trials called 'Indictment'. Peoples whole lives ripped apart and ruined, on the most incredible and fantastical accusations imaginable. Only given credence because the accusers were children. 'Children would never lie about such things would they?' Some people still believe some of those idiotic charges.
Its funny I never picked up the parallel. An accuser here makes claims, though not as ludiricious, are still outrageous and fantasy. And not backed up by a shred of evidence. Yet still, the case progressed for similar reasons. DA abusing his position, accuser given credence due to status not credibility.
What baffles me about this case is the sadistic nature of Mike Nifong.
After foolishly painting himself in a corner with his response to the media firestorm (which he was completely unprepared for), he made a calculated decision that it was better to destroy these 3 student's lives versus having to swallow your pride, admit that you were wrong and possibly lose an election.
How on earth does he sleep at night knowing what's he's doing to people he ABSOLUTELY KNOWS to be innocent?
Rabinowitz also did a good job of exposing Janet Reno's role in similar cases in Florida when she was a prosecutor. In fact, it was her relentless prosecution of individuals for crimes they never committed that caught Hillary Clinton's eye, and she declared that Reno was "good on children's issues." So, Reno became the attorney general of the United States because she engaged in false and malicious prosecutions. Now, that is frightening.
(Reno did not waste time in office. A little more than a month after being sworn in, she touched off the biggest domestic government-caused massacre in this country in the 20th Century.)
In the Amirault case, a person who was widely quoted in the press as supporting the prosecution was -- Wendy Murphy. If the lie is big enough, Murphy will believe it and try to convince everyone else it is true.
Rabinowitz received the Pulitzer Prize for her editorial page articles on these cases. She also had a great piece in Harper's on the Kelly Michaels case in New Jersey.
In all cases mentioned, we see government prosecutors, police, and social workers lying and out of control. And an adoring press.
We saw such things here, and all I can say is that I am very thankful for the blogosphere and the K.C. Johnsons of the world! (Along with the others.)
These child abuse cases horrified me, since the children's claims were so outrageous as to be patently implausible. And there was little if any physical evidence to support their claims. I remember the prevailing sentiment at the time was that "children never lie." As the mother of four children, I can assure you that is not true.
When I discuss the Duke Lacrosse case with my female friends, I often come across the same sentiment. "You always have to believe the woman." The sexist bias behind this statement, that (unlike men) women never lie, women have no hidden agenda or ulterior motives, astounds me.
Props to Dorothy Rabinowiz, just a great writer, and the WSJ. Continuing great job on the blog KC. If the blogs had been around during this daycare abuse "hysteria" perhaps some of these ruined lives could have been saved.
PS I would be so happy if I could officially be designated as a "Blog Hooligan." For a 54 mother of 4, it has been a long time since anyone called me something so flattering. Maybe I can get a Harley or something to complete the Hooligan identity. I draw the line at tattoos though.
While many times I find the WSJ editorials too conservative, the paper itself gives the best and most unbiased news coverage.
The amazing thing to me is that the State of North Carolina continues to treat this as a real-live criminal case. My hope is that Osmond Smith actually does what is right, but so far he seems to be just another arm of the prosecution.
I had confidence in him early on, but I guess judges are so in love with prosecutors that they will believe about anything prosecutors say -- even when prosecutors openly lie to them. So far, Smith does not seem inclined to do anything but swallow Nifong's crap and call it filet mignon. I hope to be proven wrong, but so far I have lost all confidence in him.
"How on earth does he sleep at night knowing what's he's doing to people he ABSOLUTELY KNOWS to be innocent?"
Anybody who holds the same government job for 27 years is a soulless parasite. Any young attorney who stays in the DA's office for more than a couple of years -- to get some experience and develop some contacts prior to entering private practice -- is intellectually deficient. Don't try to apply your own ethical and moral standards to somebody like Nifong; the template doesn't fit. Nifong is Durham County DA for one reason: it was a reward for being former DA Jim Hardin's faithful punk for many years. There's no merit or accomplishment involved.
I was wondering how long we would have to wait to see Dorothy Rabinowitz hammer this vile subhuman into the dirt. Nice wake-up present this morning.
Fantastic article. I have been wondering for months why Dorothy Rabinowitz had not weighed in on the Duke case. Where has she been? We needed her.
It is extremely sobering that Mr. Harshbarger, and other false prosecutors, have suffered no ramifications for their misdeeds. In fact, their careers seem to have been propelled by their grievous wrongs. I do not believe Mr. Nifong will be so lucky--thanks to the accuser, who is just uncoachable, and Mr. Meehan, who, surprisingly, was not coached.
Thanks again to KC Johnson and the other blogs for their critical role in finding and revealing the facts, proclaiming them tirelessly (daily), and disseminating them broadly (worldwide).
7:06 is from Observer.
Wow. This article hits the mark like few others I have seen. Thanks KC for the link to the article and for mentioning her book. I will be getting a copy asap. She obviously knows the template of this disaster and has clearly marked the evil in this case.
I would humbly add to her list the false accusations of domestic violence that are routinely used in court to insure women retain custody of their children. It is the exact same dynamic. Same horrible consequences, same arrogance, same shame to the innocent victims whose lives are crushed. Who is recommending this strategy to the divorcing women? The family court lawyers. Unreal.
I'm reminded of the book "Shakedown" about Jesse Jackson's m.o.
Race and gender studies is another form of the same...
By the way, Professor Johnson, I cannot begin to express how inspirational your efforts have been in exposing and detailing these events.
It is very ironic that the WSJ published an op-ed a few weeks ago trashing blogs.
This is the most sobering piece I have yet read, and there have been many. Beyond the heartache I feel for these three impressive young men, I am outraged that our system of "justice" has been so corrupted that this can happen over and over with few seeming to really care until it hits home. The problem is not limited to NC. The problem is systemic and is, in my opinion, the single greatest threat to the strength and integrity of our country. It is true that if there is not justice for everyone, there is justice for no one.
This WSJ article is powerful. I think she misses an opportunity, however, to mention the fact that the blogs have carried this story, laid bare the many facts that have turned the tide. Thank you, all of you, who have done the research, raised the issiues and asked the right questions.
I am a Duke mother. My son is a junior, like Collin and Reade. I have taken this abuse of these boys very personally. But I do not want to forget once the charges are dropped. They and their families have been harmed in egregious ways, perhaps irreparably, while many in postions of authority who could have entered the arena to help, either did nothing (the governor, the NC attorny general, the DOJ,senators (Burr and Dole), congressional representatives other than Jones, to name a few) or, perhaps worse, piled on doing even more harm in rushing to judgment or failing to come to their defense as it became clear that the charges were false.
Forgive the rant.
I'm just pissed.
And I am committed to these families. I spoke to the Governor's office twice, the NC AG office twice, the DOJ three times, Both NC senators offices twice, had a 30 minute conversation with the head of the NC bar, an even longer conversation with Bob Ashley, contacted NPR to do an hour on this and talked to our local newspaper editor. (His paper did call for Nifong's removal). I refuse to be silent.
There is still no justice in this sorry mess.
Stay engaged until the innocent are exonerated and the guilty are held to account.
Then be vigilant. You are a powerful force for good.
There was a guy on death row for a crime he did not commit--Kirk Bloodworth. The prosecutor who put him there apologized. We are a country of 300 million people, and it is a fact of life that some people are going to be screwed like that.
Of course, honest mistakes happen. Mistakes like Harshbarger's, Reno's or Nifong's are the embodiment of evil. I really do not think that Nifong really intends to put these guys away. I cannot believe that. He has to know that they didn't do anything. But giving him that benefit of the doubt does not absolve him. He has treated three human beings who did him no wrong in a horrible manner. Personally, I think Nifong ought to spend the rest of his life in jail.
Check out Twaddlefree's take on Rabinowitz' article on Liestoppers.
It is a great article. One thing to note, however, is that these sentiments are equally applicable to black and hispanic defendants in a number of cases, a point well made by K.C. Most prominently, all you need to do is call someone a "gangbanger" and it is okay to get snitch or weak evidence and put them away.
It is this point that is, I think irrationally, driving the anger in a segment of the African American community. There was a recent letter to the Charlotte Observer saying, what's the big deal, it happens to blacks defendants all the time if they are innocent they are cleared. The editor for the H-S said much the same thing. Why are so many people upset over this case, some think, when it is an inherent part of the legal system. One reason that I really like this blog, and Bill Andersen's comments also, is that it does not lose sight of this point.
But this point also relates to Lifong. What is happening here is standard operating procedure for some prosecutors. Nifong can live with himself because this is how he does business. Using this technique, he has surely prosecuted many bad guys and guilty people and almost as surely forced plea bargains out of many innocent people.
So, the lesson is that Raboniwitz is highlighting a larger trend that impacts all races and different types of crimes that become "despised crimes" whether rape, molestation, or gang crimes.
What has Osmond Smith done or failed to do that made you lose faith in him? He seemed to let the defense lawyers go after Meehan full bore (which seemed to surprise Nifong). He also let the defense see CGM's medical records. Has he ruled against the defense on any motion?
I believe the only reason the defense lawyers are attempting to have the remaining charges dropped is not because they believe in the innocence of the accused, but because they fear facing Mr. Nifong mano a mano in the courtroom.
guy in durham,
You said, "anybody who holds the same government job for 27 years is a soulless parasite." That kind of stereotyping puts even the Group of 88 to shame.
Thank you for alerting us to the excellent op-ed piece.
I will now read Rabinowitz's book.
"It is this point that is, I think irrationally, driving the anger in a segment of the African American community. There was a recent letter to the Charlotte Observer saying, what's the big deal, it happens to blacks defendants all the time if they are innocent they are cleared. "
An attitude very much in evidence here as well - Black Media Web: Feeling Sorry for Those Poor, Falsely-Accused Duke Lacrosse Players? Cry Me a River
"guy in durham,
You said, "anybody who holds the same government job for 27 years is a soulless parasite." That kind of stereotyping puts even the Group of 88 to shame."
Sorry, Mr. Nifong, didn't realize you were reading this blog. No offense intended to your or your fellow parasit...er, "public servants."
I wrote the 8:40 post and that is exactly what I mean. What is this guy's point: we shouldnn'tbe upset until the Duke players suffer as much as the black guy. He certainly can't be saying that what happened to the black defendant was good. Note that DNA freed his guy. So, would it be okay if the DNA results came in and his guy served sixteen years anyway. Or is he saying that if only his guy was released early, then it would be okay for the Duke players to be releaseed earlier. It just does not make any sense.
Just do the thought experiment we have all done. If a black man was arrested tommorow in Charlotte for a rape and DNA cleared him and the prosecutor proceeded anyway, and KC wrote a post that said "Cry Me A River" the white guys had to go another year so until this black guy does I dont give rats a---, he would be pilloried and rightly so. it is just openly racist. If they were black, would he then be upset.
This is besides all the deliberate distortions. Not only "conservative" commentators but liberals as well.
"I believe the only reason the defense lawyers are attempting to have the remaining charges dropped is not because they believe in the innocence of the accused, but because they fear facing Mr. Nifong mano a mano in the courtroom. "
Well, if the point of meeting him in a courtroom is to engage in a wrestling match, then perhaps they have reason to fear. Nifong does appear to be rabid.
If the point is rather to conduct legal action, then the only thing they have to fear are more machinations designed to deny three men any portion of justice.
Mano a mano. You heard it here first folks. The trolls believe that this is a rite of passage, not a trial.
To 7:45 AM:
Great comments. Your actions are wonderful and I can guarantee you they are helpful. One reason this case is falling apart is because people like you will not be silenced.
To 8:49 AM:
There is no reason at all to permit this case to go on. None. Nifong was caught lying in court, yet I have not seen any action by the judge. My sense is that judges are so enamored by the prosecution that they are going to do whatever prosecutors want. Nifong wants this to go to trial, so I guess Smith will let it go to trial.
After watching North Carolina judges in action these past two decades, I will say that I have no confidence in ANY judge from that state. My hope is that Smith will prove me to be wrong, but from what I see, he is just another enabler for another corrupt prosecutor.
Yes, he did permit the cross-examining of Brian Meehan, but did nothing afterwards. A judge who will permit a prosecutor to openly lie to him, and then does absolutely nothing about it is a judge who apparently worships the ground that Nifong walks upon.
(8:50 AM - ...the defense lawyers ... fear facing Mr. Nifong mano a mano in the courtroom.)
Almost wet my pants, too.
You are joking, right?
If that writer had done a little more research on the case, she'd see that what she wrote wasn't true about the media supporting the Duke 3 in the beginning.
Technology (DNA) freed him. The technology to bring attention to his case wasn't around at the time of his trial - similar to the Amirault case.
That article should state that the Duke 3 case will help all falsely accused by giving DA's a little pause for the damage that they can unfairly cause. Sad to say, that for some, that pause will be very short as some no doubt don't care about people that get in their way.
One other thing about MA - it is well known for its corrupt politicians. You would think that an enlightened and educated populace could spot a hoax. But preconceived notions are a powerful force that shows that emotions can frequently triumph over reason.
We are the most powerful country in the world...300 million people strong...the most prosperous...the best national defense...supposedly the best 'system' of government in the world. We win major wars...we protect people all over the world from dictators and tyrants....
Yet we can't stop a little twerp-backwoods DA, from illegally persecuting three fine young men.
Kind of embarrasing, don't you
(Too bad this didn't happen in Iraq...the President and Condi would be rushing to the boy's aid in seconds flat!!)
I say again, has Judge Osmond Smith ruled against the defense on any motion?
If the defense lawyers file a motion, if they then ask for a hearing on the motion, and if Smith then makes an inappropriate ruling, you will have a valid complaint. This may have already happened, but I do not know of it. I think our anger about this whole mess is starting to make us engage in the same kind of stereotyping and generalizing that we see in the Gang of 88 and other race/class/gender nutjobs.
OUCH! A Rabinowitz/Coulter tag team Smackdown on the same day. Better put some ice that, Mike.
I remember TV news-magazine shows doing segments on these child sex-abuse hoaxes and thoroughly debunking them by demonstrating things like the power of suggestion (suggest to even a young child often enough that he was molested and he'll eventually be able to manufacture details). Yet, when they interviewed the prosecutors in those cases, they remained absolutely convinced in the guilt of those they prosecuted. That's one of the reasons I've wondered if, perhaps, Nifong might actually believe the charges.
What's the old adage? When you're a hammer, everything looks like a nail? Well, when you're a DA, everyone looks like a crook.
It is not precisely true that (as you say) "we can't stop a little twerp-backwoods DA, from illegally persecuting three fine young men."
Nifong is being stopped, just not fast enough for most of us. The problem seems to be inadequacies in NC's laws. NC needs a speedy-trial statute that would have let the defense lawyers move this case along faster if they so desired. NC also needs a law that requires the recording of grand jury testimony and possibly a law that gives potential defendants the right to appear before any grand jury that proposes to indict them.
So the idea is that because there was an injustice in the case mentioned these particular boys should pay for it.
No point in going into the lack of merit of that concept.
I can say that my view of minorities and interest in their welfare has gone down as a result of this and other similar statements.
If the goal is to get even minorities are going to have it tough. Maybe I will be on a jury one day.
"History, sacred and profane, and the common experience of mankind teach us that women of the character shown in this case are prone for selfish reasons to make false accusations both of rape and insult upon the slightest provocation, or even without provocation for ulterior purposes."
--Excerpt from the opinion of Alabama Circuit Judge James E. Horton, June 22, 1933.
You help make my point exactly...where are the laws that protect us from people like Nifong...where are the feds...the NC AG...all the folks that are 'supposed' to protect these guys from this kind of illegal prosecution? Getting some laws changed down the road will not help the current situation for the Duke boys.
As far as I can tell, the boys still face some pretty stiff charges. Who would want to go to trial when you see what has happened the MA case?
The fact that these boys remain indicted for some serious crimes, shows that we have some serious problems with DA's in this country. I would like to say that we have the best judicial system in the world...but I am not so sure anymore.
[I can say that my view of minorities and interest in their welfare has gone down as a result of this and other similar statements.]
You've seen the reaction of the vocal minorities in a publication that appears to get readership on controversy or outrageous statements. I can only hope that this is a minority position of minorities.
All people of reason, regardless of your political persuasion, color or class should be outraged over this case. If you aren't, then don't complain when it happens to you or your family or friends or relatives.
RP and IQ commenters,
I used to be very interested in this subject when my children were young. You have probably heard of Lewis Terman's work in intelligence testing. If you google "Terman's kids and IQ" you will find some fascinating information on the subject of how gifted IQ plays out in life. Dr. Terman played an important role in developing the precursor to the IQ tests currently in use. He launched a longitudinal study on the subject following the lives of high IQ children that has spanned decades, and valuable information contiues to be gleaned from this work. What I have taken away from my superficial familiarity with his work is that IQ plays an important but far from dispositive role in life outcomes. It did not prove as reliable in predicting lifetime achievement as Dr. Terman expected. Energy, ambition, and personal priorities (what we might consider cultural factors) figured in heavily as well. And IQ above a certain level seemed not so important at all, as I recall, in life outcomes.
RP, this case would be much improved without the influence of the "Studies" departments at Duke, but those departments were spawned by past injustices that also cried out for redress. We really need a better balance of interests. Time to recalibrate.
Oh, and thank you for asking, darling daughter did get into her two EA schools. She still has several more applications to submit, though. She is in the thick of it. Vandy is still on the list (application has been submitted), so whoever is encouraging Prof. Holloway to relocate there, please stop!!! Vanderbilt has more than enough to deal with in Mr. Baker.
Kemp, you are terrific, and now I have to go and write the NC Bar.
By Joseph Neff, Staff Writer
In her latest statement to investigators, the accuser in the Duke lacrosse rape case changed her account again about when the alleged gang rape occurred, who attacked her and how.
Defense attorneys filed the statement in court today, arguing that it was more evidence that the woman is an unreliable witness.
The woman adjusted the timing of the assault to earlier in the evening, a time point preceding the well-documented alibi of one accused player, Reade Seligmann. The defense, however, introduced yet more alibi evidence for the Seligmann: he was on the cell phone with his girlfriend during the height of the attack as the accuser now times it.
The new version of the events comes from a Dec. 21 interview by Linwood Wilson, chief investigator for Durham District Attorney Mike NIfong. The statement marked the first time anyone from the District Attorney's office discussed the case with the woman since charges were filed in April. The interview came less than a week after a private laboratory director testified that he and Nifong agreed not to report DNA evidence favorable to the three accused players.
It was the Dec. 21 interview that prompted Nifong to drop rape charges the following day against the three players after the woman said she was no longer certain that the men had vaginally assaulted her with their penises.
The three players, Seligmann, David Evans and Collin Finnerty, have called the accusations lies and said they are innocent.
The statement layers new and contradictory accounts over the woman's previous statements:
* In her latest statement she said the attack ended at midnight.
In previous accounts, the woman said the gang-rape ended shortly before she left in the car driven by Kim Roberts, the second dancer. Roberts called 911 as she was driving away at 12:53 a.m., according to police records. This new account leaves 50 minutes unaccounted between the end of the rape and the departure from the party.
The new statement runs contrary to time stamped photos of the party, which show the two women dancing between 12:00 and 12:04 a.m. in the living room of the house at 610 N. Buchanan Blvd.
* In the latest statement, the woman says she arrived at the party at 11:20 p.m. on March 13 and that the rape began at 11:40 p.m. Her cell phone records show that she was on phone with her father and others up to one minute before the rape allegedly started.
* The woman now said her alleged assailants used multiple names.
In previous accounts, she said she was assaulted by three men named "Adam", "Brett" and "Matt." She has given conflicting descriptions of the three men and contradictory accounts of how they assaulted her.
In the Dec. 21 interview, she said for the first time that the players used multiple names. "Dan, Adam and Brett was used by Dave Evans," Wilson wrote. "Adam and Matt was also used by Reade Seligmann. She does not remember a name being used for Collin Finnerty or if he was called by a name."
* The accuser has changed her description of Evans. On April 4, she viewed a photograph of Evans and said it looked like one of her assailants, except that the assailant had a moustache. In the Dec. 21 statement, the woman said the assailant had a five o'clock shadow, not a moustache. Evans has a visible five o'clock shadow in the photograph.
* In her recent statement, the woman said that Evans stood in front of her and made her perform sex on him. In past statements, she said that Seligmann did this.
Nifong could not be reached immediately for comment Thursday.
Wow...how do you defend yourself against a moving target???
JLS 2:41AM Probably alot of my interest in this case arose out of Ms. Rabinowitz's articles in the WSJ. She did such a job exposing those cases that anyone who read her articles had to become more skeptical of the government.
Same with me. Rabinowitz is a curious one. Her writing tastes are eclectic, never know what she will be looking at, but when she does, you have not only a bulldog, but an incisive bulldog. One of the best pure writers in the business, and her acidic, rapier wit is drier than most deserts.
Just a great read. When I noticed her Fells Acres articles, I was hooked...and realizing I missed a few, had to go look them up at the library.
Her book is outstanding. It should be a standard text in most colleges. KC Johnson has great taste using it.
When the Duke Rape Case broke, I thought it was hysteria and over reaction and that it would blow over when the stripper's BS story fell apart and thought the DNA results would end the affair. When it went on anyways to indictments, I had a sinking feeling about another Fells Acres happening.
The good news is not only did Rabinowitz's work get people freed - her great focus on the intellectual arguments behind the 20th Massachusetts witchcraft trial and those in other states caused significant changes in law and wrecked the school of psychology that claimed that children never lied, and the truth would come from "facilitating psychologists" that would "recover memories" using anatomically correct dolls, recreating the molestation in role play games, and similar idiocy. Her meticulous analysis of law and how it was abused by ambitious DAs, subject to influence by the mob of "victim families" and stacked against accused molesters led to real changes in expert testimony and fairly well ended the recovered memories and "children never lie" camps in academia.
KC Johnson is right to devote time to the Gang of 88, Brodhead's staff, and the other sort of intellectuals who have enabled the injustices of the Duke Rape Case. Rather than do the lazy thing, the media and Hollywood always fall back into and the public all but demands -- complex culural and societal forces do not need to be understood or fixed as long as you can create the Arch-Villain, the single evildoing bad guy IT ALL RESTS on.
It never is that way. Not with bin Laden, not with Hitler, Kenny Boy, Brownie, not Bush McHitlerburton, not Harshburger, not NIfong.
If KC Johnson does follow in Rabinowitz's big footsteps, his book will focus on the enablers, the academics, the role of post-mod critical theory, PC rules with emphasis equal to Bad Guy Nifong. And show have the press that always claims to be a check on government was used like a little bitch by Houston Baker, Wendy Murphy, NAACP lychers, professional activists.
Reade has so much alibi evidence that they'll need to move the rape back a week or two.
"You've seen the reaction of the vocal minorities in a publication that appears to get readership on controversy or outrageous statements. I can only hope that this is a minority position of minorities."
I would hope so too, but it does not seem to have played out that way, as evidenced by the Nov. 2 Durham vote... even after many of the facts were out in the open.
It would be great if there was a book for younger kids showing them the damage that a false accuser can do. We have The Boy That Cried Wolf but somehow I don't think that the book is on popular reading lists.
Young kids can get caught up in causes making them vulnerable to the manipulation of the public that we see in this case.
After reading Joe Neff's latest story, I just did not know whether to laugh or cry. The DA's office continues to make up new stories in order to try to work around the exculpatory evidence.
Since there is no transcript from the grand jury proceedings, we do not know which theory the prosecution used to indict the three young men. However, we can bet that the newest piece of crap from the DA's office does not match the piece of crap that the grand jury swallowed last April.
Is Judge Smith going to eat this latest morsel of nonsense, too? Will the Herald-Sun breathlessly announce, along with the NAACP, that this is the "magic bullet" of the case.
Or, is this the "Magic Bullshit"? I report, you decide.
Link to the new Neff article 10:05 posted:
Accuser changes story in lacrosse case
Sounds like defendant Nifong is trying to beef up his kidnapping charge. Do you think Linwood went in w/ a list of 'talking points' for Crystal?
Crystal...If you're out there help me out here...
You were violently assaulted for roughly 30 minutes and yet you hung around the house for nearly an hour afterwards?
10:19 Bill Anderson:
"The DA's office continues to make up new stories in order to try to work around the exculpatory evidence."
This shows that defendant Nifong, Linwood, and Crystal are (or were) all too willing to continue this farce. Bear in mind that this took place on Dec 21, they were probably just looking for a fallback position.
How to prove that? Time to get Nifong's Bill of Particulars.
[I would hope so too, but it does not seem to have played out that way, as evidenced by the Nov. 2 Durham vote... even after many of the facts were out in the open.]
Durham isn't the whole US....
Additional thoughts on the "fear" of defense attorneys to try this case. Remember the jury pool in Durham County? In the light of recent developments it might be difficult for Nifong (or his replacement) to obtain a conviction but what about the danger of a MISTRIAL? It takes but one prejudiced juror to create the false assumption that there is some substance to this case, make Nifong's day, and damage further three innocent young men! There is no legal justification for this case going to trial and the motives of those who argue simply to remove Nifong before the trial are, in at least some cases, because of their own prior mistatements/misaconduct highly suspect.
I applaud her article on her conclusions and tone, but she makes a couple of factual errors which undermine her.
"seven months into this affair, the university president did find an opportunity to mention the accused students' right to a presumption of innocence"
Brodhead's mantra of the presumption of innocent started at least as early as the March 25th or 28th news conference.
"Soon after news broke of the Duke athletes' alleged brutish sex crimes against a black woman, the administration undertook a well-publicized campaign targeting the entire lacrosse team for offensive behavior."
It was a PR campaign of disassociation, not targeting. Rabinowitz avoids mention of the release of McFayden's email, which eventually proved to be a red herring, but which was a shock to everyone paying attention to the case and caused the panicked actions on April 5th. We should be grateful that Brodhead formed the committees so that Coleman's report could give credence to the players' good character. The administration can be credibly criticized for abandoning the team but not for attacking them.
I do agree though, that the "whatever they did was bad enough" comment is virtually indefensible.
You folk must be up with the birds. Kc, of course, never sleeps. Its 9:02AM PST and already 66 comments on this post. I always believed in American justice but this is insane. So sad.
Is it great we have democratic party in power now watching football and takingcare of ethics?
"Freezer" Jefferson, Alcee Hastings, Nifong, Sandy "socks" Berger, Janet Reno, Jesse Jackson..
Nifong for Congress in 2008!
Rabinowitz should be encouraged to 'name and shame' for us the 'Nifongs' behind these earlier scandals, now that the public is freshly aware of the nature of their depravity.
Dorothy is brillant. She, like Ann Coulter show what excellent writing is all about. We have seen many bloggers whose writing is far superior to what passes on the MSM
Rabinowitz is my new hero. It's so refreshing to see someone with some intelligence.
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