"And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God"
-- Micah 6:8

"The duty of the prosecutor is to seek justice, not merely to convict."
-- American Bar Association Standard 3-1.2(c)

"There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia."
--Pope Benedict XVI, June 2004

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Rape, Race, the Right, and the Radicals

It's entertaining to watch the Duke stripper/rape case unfold. It's turning some advocates around 180 degrees from their usual positions.

On the one hand we have the pundits claiming that without DNA tying the players to the victim, rape cannot be proven. The supporters of the college kids, who are wealthy whites, would usually be expected to give the state some leeway, and exercize some patience in allowing the DA to make his case in court. But no, when their own kids or their alma mater's sports heroes are accused, "if the glove don't fit, we must acquit" and no DNA means no case. As a BBC commentator put it: "Lacrosse team members and their parents, athletes past and present and various right-wing commentators in the US media hint darkly that the woman was either lying or had been assaulted before she came to the party." (here, by the way, is a good summary of some problems with the case, and some problems with some defense evidence).

Never mind that one can still conspire to abduct and rape, and one can be present, aiding and abetting those crimes, without leaving a drop of genetic evidence behind. So the lack of a DNA match, while significant, is hardly dispositive. The rape exam apparently showed forcible intercourse, after all. And while it is true that the accuser and especially her co-stripper and witness seem to have some credibility hurdles to leap, the DA presumably has more evidence before him than the commentariat. So we wait and see what develops at trial.

On the other hand, so-called "civil rights activists, African studies professors, feminists, black community leaders and a lot of the stalwarts of the left that you find on any American campus have all lined up behind the victim and her claims," notes the BBC commentator. One has to wonder if Bishop John Bennet, who said in a protest march, "why would any community that has any kind of sense allow persons accused of rape, freelance and walk the streets as if nothing has happened," would take the same view if the accuser were a credibility-challenged white victim and the suspects were black men.

Meanwhile, the liberal blogosphere has wasted no time convicting the accused before the trial even starts: "A group of young wealthy White men felt that it was ok to assault this woman, raping her and yelling racial slurs at her. This should be blowing up in the blogosphere folks. This is also one of those 'if this had happen to a White woman would we have already heard about it' stories." (never mind that Google gives over 2 million hits for "duke+rape+race").

It's sad we've come to this. Conservatives should know better than to trash a purported victim before the facts are all in; and it should not matter that these are privileged white kids. If they did it, they deserve prison. Period. Even if they did not rape the woman, they should be punished for excessive, underage drinking and having a stripper perform. Not the kind of activity real conservatives think deserving of defense.

Liberals for their part should know better than to "rush to judgment," right? Whatever happened to the sacred presumption of innocence they piously invoke whenever one of their favorite victim-class members is charged with a crime? It's truly scary to think that many of these same liberals want to criminalize "hate speech"... this attitude of guilty until proven innocent makes them look more like Robespierre than Thurgood Marshall or Earl Warren.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Tom,

You raise an interesting point, and I am inclined to agree with you, despite the fact that I think that you are a bit of a nut. Of course nobody should rush to judgment, but most of your blog posts are rushes to judgment. Some may be motivated by your (legitimate) position as a prosecutor, which I don’t begrudged, and some may be motivated by your desire to put as many people of certain social characteristics in jail because you think society would be better off without a certain “type” of person, regardless of their actions.

I should note that the ranting of non-lawyers can’t be taken seriously. This goes for commentators on Fox, the professors you mentioned, and everyone else you complain about. They don’t really think about the issues, nor are the capable of doing so. Instead, they just recite the same trite political quotations, which are based largely on the social class they want to identify with. The result is that there are some bizarre “flip-flopping.” Most of it is from lay people, and since lay people don’t matter, their quotes don’t matter.

I am not sure if underage drinking is punishable by jail time in North Carolina. In many states it civil in nature. Hiring a stripper might not be illegal per se in Raleigh, as I believe that the statutes concentrate on the presence of people under 21 where people are exposing themselves in public. But, however, I should note that under Raleigh’s laws (which, as a real American you should have read, that is why I am not providing the citation to you), the stripper might be equally guilty, and it is her that should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. Is that what you are advocating? But, if we punish these strippers are we also going to punish the numerous sorostitutes that show their breasts. Should they be doing jail time? Or merely paying a fine for each flash?

At your school, GMU, flashing is quite common, and I wonder how much time the girls should be doing for the harm that they have done to the commonwealth and American, and whether the victims will get to make victim impact statements.

Whatever the case, it is entertaining to see what a somewhat typical rape scenario looks like unfolding under the microscope of publicity.

If you faltered for one post in your duties as an American, and didn’t read applicable law, let me know and I will post them. But, it is very important to never opine on a legal issue without doing the research.

pattypoo said...

"At your school, GMU, flashing is quite common"

Well we are all begging you to stop. Filthy naked pseudo lawyers!

Anonymous said...

Who is we? You didn't explain why you were disagreeing with Tom.

kateri said...

Tom might have different opinions from you and me, but I don't recall that he's ever been dismissive and lowered the level of discourse as you have, Anonymous.

When you say things like, "They don’t really think about the issues, nor are the capable of doing so. Instead, they just recite the same trite political quotations, which are based largely on the social class they want to identify with," you betray a contempt for people that invalidates any point you're making.

You are simply not worth listening to.

pattypoo said...

ouch---smacked hard in the face! Anon should be feeling that for a week!

Anonymous said...

Kate, This is all very ironic, since I agreed with Tom and you listened to me. Unfortunately, I think that Tom does get sucked into a political vortex a little too often. In the US people should not conflate law with politics.

patty poo said...

Who is "Kate"?

Anonymous said...

I have been watching for some time, and I seem to get the general pattern.

Tom: I am so right, and someone should be in jail. Liberals are bad.

Faith: Oh Tom real smart

Anon: Tom not smart, here is why. Non-lawyers are not with talking to.

Faith: Anon is stupid

Other anon: You go girl

Faith: Ooh... talk to the hand.

Faithmy said...

I didnt even post on this thread.