12 April 2007

First, The Hanging, Then The Trial

In a move that was surely a surprise to no one that was paying attention, North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper dismissed all charges against the Duke Three. What was surprising is how he did it.

In an announcement to the press this afternoon, Roy Cooper said there was "insufficient evidence to proceed on any of the charges." No surprise there. But what he said afterwards certainly raised eyebrows.

"We believe that these cases were the result of a tragic rush to accuse and a failure to verify serious allegations. Based on the significant inconsistencies between the evidence and the various accounts given by the accusing witness, we believe these three individuals are innocent of these charges."

Pay attention to the last 10 words of the above statement. "...we believe these three individuals are innocent of these charges." Not simply "insufficient evidence to proceed", but "we believe these three individuals are innocent of these charges."

I can't remember any case before this where the accused was not only released due to insufficient evidence to proceed but was also declared INNOCENT of all charges. At the same time, Mr. Cooper catapulted Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong deep under the bus.

Mr. Nifong surely faces serious times ahead in his ethics case in front of the Bar Association, and the statements from the North Carolina Attorney General certainly didn't help.

"I think a lot of people owe a lot of apologies to other people. I think that those people ought to consider doing that," Mr. Cooper said during the question and answer period following his statement. He went on to say that he thought it was appropriate that the North Carolina Bar Association was investigating the matter, but would not say if North Carolina would cover Mr. Nifong's legal bills or if any civil charges were expected.

It's good that these three young men have now been cleared of any wrongdoing, but that is simply not enough now. The woman that made the charges must be destroyed absolutely, along with the DA that pursued the charges for his own political gain. Otherwise the cloud will hang over them for the rest of their lives.

Added to that, the Duke University professors that signed the condemning statement owe at least an apology.

Race hustlers Jackson and Sharpton owe an apology in front of news cameras.

Durham Police owe an apology for the lineup and other procedural errors, and the officers and detectives that engaged in these questionable practices need to be fired.

Duke University's dean needs to offer an apology for statements he made, and compensation needs to be paid to the lacrosse coach that lost his job.

The entire city and county of Durham owes these men and their coach an apology for the way they were shunned and treated by the community, including the flyers that were posted on public streets and death threats that were made to the entire team.

The media owes an apology for the three ring circus they turned Durham into.

I wouldn't hold my breath though. And neither should Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty, and David Evans.

Duke doesn't deserve to have them look blue.

AP photo, North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper


John Deck said...

Once again your perceptions are right on the mark,but don`t hold your breath esspecially from the likes of Sharpton or Jackson..but I would like to compare this incident to thatOf the Rutger Basketball ladies team to that of Duke Male LaCrosse Squad.My guess is That there will not be press conferences admonishing what the nation put the Duke Squad through or leaders of the civil rights moving in to pony up on behalf of the nation to apologize for what these young men were accused of.I hope that they will seek the only recourse they have available to them-Legal Action-I want to see Nifong get tossed under the same train that he tried railroad the three codefendants on. I won`t hold my Breath.

Larry said...

I don't think you would look good blue either.
Thanks for dropping by Dex!