Not Guilty, Not Innocent

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. The Wrongfully Accused

This whole thing stunk from the beginning, truth be told. From the imagery of a bunch of college boys whooping it up with a couple strippers to the ugly undertones of privilege, class and race that emminated from whatever-the-hell happened in that house.

From this armchair lawyer’s perspective. it always seemed as if finding anyone guilty of a crime would be a long-shot at best. There was just too much tension, drama and rhgetoric and not enough hard evidence – or at least none that I could see.

The recent decision to drop all charges against the three young men charged in the case was inevitable. I feel for the same that was done to their lives and hope they somehow grow from it.

I feel the very same way about the other victim, the woman who made the original allegations. There are too many women out there like her, particularly in our community. Women with too few choices. Women desperate and in need.

I hope she, too, finds, peace.

As for district attorney Mike Nifong, I have no such empathy.

The injustices he perpetrated against everyone involved – for his own apparent gain – are unconscionable.  Yeah, he was in a bad place – between angry mobs on both sides.I’m sure there were days when he knew he could not win. But he let it go too far and, in the end, everyone involved was sentenced to a lifetime changed by his deeds.

 He apologized to the three men he accused. He should apologize to the young woman, too.

Only one person had the power to stop this madness when it should have been, and he didn’t.

This I know: While there was no crime committed here, no one involved – from the accused and the accuser, their families, Duke, the local community or those among of who covered this mess – is innocent, either. The saga should us much about ourselves. And I hope we all grow from it.

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. Nifong

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.


7 thoughts on “Not Guilty, Not Innocent

  1. wyclefdoug says:

    re: I hope she, too, finds, peace.

    No. Screw her. She caused this mess, she should deal with all repercussions.

    re: Only one person had the power to stop this madness when it should have been, and he didn’t.

    No. Again, screw that girl. She should have never started making up fairy tales and ruining people’s lives. If her’s is ruined as a result, good for her.

  2. Juan says:

    I’m more upset, as is the NC State Bar about the Da’s public announcments on the case than him brining charges. That’s bad stuff…

    It sounds like he had probable cause, meaning he had enouhg facts to com forward and rpess charges. As some of the circumstances changed, and the case became weaker, the DA drops charges. This happens all the time. Not appalling at all.

    I would not apologize for bringing charge and trying to exact justice. I would apologize for makingpublic statements about a case that I was actively involved in.

    I don’t blame her. She might have reasonably thought she was raped and wasn’t. This happens. She might have been (1) under the influence, (2) delusional or (3) might have mental illeness.

  3. I wasn’t there, so I don’t know either way. But I’m very interested in how people are portrayed. I listened as commentators, lawyers on the side of the Duke men, termed them ‘boys”, as though they were ten years old and not grown adults. And the woman was the “accuser”, a harsh term that is used specifically to take away any sympathy. Whether there were any facts on any side which could have proved the case either way, I’ll be interested in watching whether or not an eighteen year old black man gets the innocent “boy” treatment, or is considered to be a less sympathetic man.

  4. Juan says:

    Hmm… that’s an interesting take, Lawrence.

    The terms used to describe folks definitely paints a picture for the reader/viewer, for certain.

  5. gzino says:

    Well said, Roy. My take:

    + Nifong – turned a legal issue into a political issue; put himself first; abused the system; harmed many many (direct and indirect) people in the process. Your word – unconscionable – is perfect.

    + Duke players – bad things happen when you’re doing things you shouldn’t be doing. Didn’t “deserve” what they got, but can’t call them innocent either.

    + Accuser – sympathy for her situation, but does not justify her actions. Makes you applaud that much more those that are in her situation, but don’t resort to these actions; those people should be celebrated.

  6. wyclefdoug says:

    In reference to Lawerence’s comment, that’s just called being a good lawyer. They know exactly what word is coming out of their mouth, and they know how it portrays people.
    And the “accuser”, well you’re damn right, she should get no sympathy. If I were a lawyer, I’d use that word too. But since I’m not, I think I’d go with “lying sack of shit”. I think that sums up her character a little more concisely.

  7. Libby Hodges says:

    I do not believe these jerks are innocent at all. I think they did not have enough evidence to convict them. I wish all these white people would have gotten outraged and upset about Emmett Till being murdered for supposedly talking to a white woman. These jerks could have easily raped the victim with a foreign object or used condoms. My gut tells me these jerks are not innocent at all. There rich white parents probably got together and paid off the victim.

    These guys will rape again. Maybe next time it will be a white woman: that way it will be easier to convict.


    Libby Hodges

    P.S. I do not feel sorry for them considering how many black man actually did get convicted of crimes they did not commit or even worsed were lynched by whites such as Emmett Till was. Where was the Whites outcry for justice in when Emmett Till was killed?

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