Ruminations on the Duke Non-Rape Case

Even during the low-traffic days of late December, the folks on Al Gore’s Internet are abuzz about the latest details in the Duke lacrosse scandal. Unless you are compulsively following the Rosie O’Donnell vs. Donald Trump feud to the exclusion of all else, you undoubtedly know that Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong has officially dropped the rape charges against the three Duke lacrosse defendants. Whilst the other charges remain, this recent turn of events must be something of a relief to the three young men.

Naturally, many “webloggers” have delighted in the news. For months now, Mike Nifong’s case has fallen apart bit by bit, making the vituperative criticisms of the lacrosse team that inaugurated the media orgy seem downright ridiculous. Among the most prominent scoundrels, of course, are the odious Nancy Grace–who now has legal troubles of her own–and the feculent race-baiter Houston Baker, an academic buffoon who has successfully Mau-Maued his way to ivory tower prominence.

Any time one side of a controversy boasts Nancy Grace, Mike Nifong, and Houston Baker as its backers, you can be darned sure we’ll be supporting the other. Still, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” would be remiss if we failed to mention a point about the Duke lacrosse brouhaha that is far from a cause for celebration.

The fiasco has resonated with the public at large in part because it demonstrates the fatuous knee-jerk leftism of American academe. It was delicious to witness diehard opponents of George Bush’s purported trouncing of civil liberties angrily denying the presumption of innocence to the accused. Even so, we think it important to mention another point–one potentially less pleasant to conservatives.

From what we can determine, the Durham DA and the city’s police department colluded in nefarious ways to set up the three defendants. Although we can’t be sure of the extent of their misdeeds, we can be certain that they engaged in dubious and illegal conduct. This was discovered in part because of the media scrutiny on the case and the competence of the defendants’ highly paid attorneys.

And here’s the crux: These defendants are wealthy and can afford good representation, thereby protecting them from the sleazy tactics of Nifong and his accomplices. But what happens when a defendant without fancy lawyers gets similarly set up? We don’t mean to sound like raging lefties, but doesn’t the Duke lacrosse fiasco also send us worrying messages about the possibilities of pernicious prosecutorial practices against less fortunate defendants? One doesn’t have to spout nonsense about “the criminal injustice system” in order to find the DA’s and Durham police’s conduct troubling.

Those who clamored for the guillotine at the start of this brouhaha don’t deserve to make such points: Having been proven dead wrong in their earlier assessments, they should simply shut their mouths. But we think responsible folks should be concerned about the larger ramifications of the DA’s misdeeds.

(Note: The crack young staff normally “weblog” over at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” where they are currently preparing a plate of southern-fried crow for Nancy Grace.)

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