April 11, 2007

Duke Rape Charges Dropped

Rogue Prosecutor: Michael Nifong

Earlier today, North Carolina Attorney General Ray Cooper dropped sexual assault charges against three former students in the Duke Rape Case

The attorney general, Roy A. Cooper, said the players — Reade W. Seligmann, David F. Evans, and Collin Finnerty — had been wrongly accused by an “unchecked” and “overreaching” district attorney who had ignored contradictory evidence and instead relied on the stripper’s “faulty and unreliable” accusations.

“We believe that these cases were the result of a tragic rush to accuse and a failure to verify serious allegations,” Mr. Cooper said at a news conference.

“We have no credible evidence that an attack occurred,” he added.

The Attorney General had considered bringing charges against the accuser, one Crystal Gail Mangum. It's been noted that the woman has an interesting mental health history, which would have made a successful prosecution difficult.

Attorney General Cooper quite correctly referred to Michael B. Nifong, who brought the case as a “rogue prosecutor" who was "negligent". Nifong should be disbarred, then sent away in handcuffs. Unfortunately, its understood to be very hard to prosecute a prosecutor who engages in malicious prosecution.

I've been very disappointed in comments made by some bloggers over the past year. Last May, Modern Feminist opined "Duke University officials and local police enforcement have questioned the survivor's credibility since the beginning, a statement released yesterday confirms. This is not only a tragedy for the woman who survived the attack; this reflects more than poorly on both the Durham police and the Duke administration."

In April 2006, Amanda Marcotte, who briefly was the Head Blogger for the John Edwards campaign wrote an unintentionally hilarious post in Pandagon , saying "That might be because the rapists were making jokes about slavery and picking cotton to the victim, which is to say reminding her of their racial privilege by referencing the history that created it. But to Bobo, who thinks that middle Americans are morally superior by virtue of where they live and where they shop, has all of a sudden decided that identity politics should have no bearing on moral discussions".

Even Lindsay Beyerstein at Majikthise completely blew this one. Several comments from me are shown on this thread, exactly one year and a day ago today. You tell me was seeking the truth here, and who was rushing to judgement. After the DNA came up goose eggs, the "Duke Rape" posts stopped. But if any retraction was made, I didn't see it.

This has been a bitter case for many. For the young men concerned, for the people of Durham, of the South, of America. It has shown how evil and/or incompetent prosecutors can bring the full force of the state against entirely innocent persons. And it shows how otherwise decent people become enthusiastic members of a lynch mob.

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