Duke non-Rape Case Revisited

La Shawn Barber has an interesting post about a panel discussion she attended regarding the Duke lacrosse non-rape case. Stuart Taylor, who has co-authored a book on the subject, was part of the panel.

Taylor said that it was “pretty darned obvious” to any reasonable reporter by mid-April that the Duke case was full of holes. He discussed the DNA and how Nifong himself said the DNA would tell the story, ruling out players while proving others were involved.

In March 2006, the lacrosse captains put out a statement through Duke, asserting that there was no rape, that they were innocent, and that the DNA would prove it, just as Nifong had said. We all know what happened after the results came back. There was no DNA match between any of the 46 white lacrosse players tested and the stripper who cried rape.

At this point, Taylor asked, why didn’t the media press Nifong about this? The prosecutor said the DNA results would exonerate the innocent, so why, in the absence of a match, did Nifong continue with this case and the national media ignore the lack of a DNA match? This is obviously a case that should be closely studied, but there are many, many other stories in which the media either rushes to judgment or just prints whatever one side says, with little, if any, serious questioning. What makes the Duke case unique is that it is one of the very rare instances when the truth finally comes to light with as much prominence as the original story. Too often allegations make the front pages, but when they are found to be questionable, or in some cases provably wrong, the retraction or correction might merit one or two lines buried in the back of the paper and to find a prominent correction on a television news broadcast is even rarer still..

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