Like many of you, I have been following the Duke lacrosse rape case closely. It's an interesting case to follow, as there are so many fascinating dynamics. Every male can imagine himself being falsely accused of a crime, and yet every male also despises rapists. Conservatives tend to side with the men in acquaintance rape cases, where as liberals are ready to hang defendants based on the flimsiest evidence. What's most interesting to me about the Duke case, though, is how it's being tried in the media. And how that makes me feel about myself.
The prosecutor held some 70-or-so press conferences, essentially attempting to try to the case to the media. When it seemed that he had no physical evidence, and an unreliable complaining witness, he clammed up. Once the first round of DNA tests were conducted, the prosecutor claimed that he had more cards - but that he would be keeping those close to the vest.
For the past several weeks, then, the only team we've heard from is the defense lawyers. According to their recent report, a second round of DNA testing has cleared all members of the Duke lacrosse team.
Yet I'll be the first to tell you that anything a defense lawyer says about his case should be viewed skeptically. Defense lawyers are paid to advocate for their clients - a noble calling, to be sure, but a calling that leads to all sorts of fibs and bullshitting.
I would thus love nothing more than to hear from the prosecution. Is the defense team telling the truth? If so, what of the statement the prosecutor made claiming that DNA evidence would inculpate, or exculpate, the defendants?
There are good reasons for a prosecutor to remain mum about a pending case. Not the least of which is that the defendant's have the right to an impartial jury, and putting a media spotlight on the case media might deny them that right.
Yet Durham, N.C. voters have the right to know whether an elected prosecutor ignores evidence of guilt and innocence, instead charging people as a vote-buying scheme.
I suppose we'll have to wait until the trial starts before learning more. Something tells me, though, that the sound of silence we're hearing from the prosecutor comes from weakness, rather than a noble motivation to ensure that the defendants have a fair trial.
While thinking about the legal aspects of the Duke case, I feel guilty for wanting to learn more. I look down of people who view other peoples' problems as yet another reality-TV show. The drama of the courtroom involves real people suffering.
Whether the complaining witness is lying or not, she is a disturbed person suffering from serious mental problems. She likely views the world through glasses that show only shadows of demons. Imagine how terrified of the world she must feel. The defendants, if innocent, are likely as close to Hell as only someone whose family member has cancer, has been.
We should not gawk over courtroom cases like it's yet another tearful episode of Oprah Winfrey. Yet here I sit on a Friday night, looking for case details. Maybe it's a good thing I can't find them.