Tuesday, January 30, 2007

"Guilt" and "Innocence"

Regarding the Duke Lacrosse Rape case, Kathleen Bergin reminds us some pertinent facts that have dropped out of the media narrative as the legal case for rape begins to fall apart:
(1) that team members called the two women "niggers" and "bitches"; (2) one threatened to rape them with a broomstick; (3) another spoke of hiring strippers in an e-mail sent the same night that threatened to kill "the bitches" and cut off their skin while he ejaculated in his "Duke-issued spandex;" and (4) one shouted to the victim as she left the team's big house, "Hey bitch, thank your grandpa for my nice cotton shirt." These facts are undisputed and highlight the sick and wretched depravity of this racialized episode.

The prevailing wisdom at the moment is that, at the very least, there is not enough evidence to garner a conviction in the case. And it is quite possible that a rape did not occur here. If that is true, then the defendants should be found not guilty.

But, as Bergin points out, that determination does not make them "innocent." Innocent of a particular crime, sure. But not "innocent." I can be spared all the talk about how folks lives have been ruined here.


The probligo said...

I have always had a quiet regard for the Scottish Law verdict of "Not Proven", in addition to the "Guilty" and "Not Guilty".

From Wikipedia -

"In modern use, the not proven verdict is used when the jury does not believe the case has been proven against the defendant but is not sufficiently convinced of their innocence to bring in a "not guilty" verdict. A person receiving a not proven verdict is not fined or imprisoned, and is not subject to double jeopardy. The real effect of a not proven verdict is stigma for the acquitted person. The verdict can tarnish a person's reputation, as when socialite Madeleine Smith was charged with murder in nineteenth century Glasgow but acquitted with a not proven verdict"

Anonymous said...

What a slanted review of the incident. I guess it just slipped Kathleen Bergin's mind that that by that Kim Roberts started the racial slurs by calling one of the players a little dick white boy. I also must assume that she was so pressed for bandwidth that she didn't mention the email was a parody of American Physco which was assigned reading for the players. Could you point us to a link showing where the players threatened to rape the dancers with a broom stick?

Are you really telling us that the use of the N word is worse than filing false rape charges. Areview of the AV's past might have balanced this out a bit. This is her third false allegation the past ones were for attempted murder and not surprisingly a thre person gang rape. She currently has four open investigations with the Durham police department. She just had her third out of wedlock child and recieved a general discharge from the navy.

Anonymous said...

Nifong is toast. These guys are 'innocent' of the charges but possibly guilty of being little racist shitheads. Thankfully that is not a crime, yet.

absurd thought -
God of the Universe loves
prosecutors gone wild...