Current Events: The Duke Lacrosse Indictment
Talkleft sums up my opinion pretty well:
So, two young men, accused but not convicted, have their faces and names plastered on television screens and in newspapers across the country, are required to post $400,000. secured bonds and get kicked out of school, based on allegations by an accuser who is allowed to retain her anonymity and her privacy.
This is like Alice in Wonderland. Sentence first, verdict afterwards.
Let’s get something straight: I think the people who would question the victim’s credibility based on the nature of her profession are seriously crossing the line. It’s prejudiced and inappropriate.
Let’s get something else straight: the same standard applies to people who think the entire Duke lacrosse team is a bunch of rapists because they get drunk and hire strippers. Hear that, Nancy Grace?
But unfortunately, in a case with national exposure like this, it ends up being a trial in the media — and a trial in which only the names of the accused must be made public amounts to a de facto abandonment of fair treatment. Will it affect the presupposition of innocence in a court of law? Perhaps not, but it definitely amounts to a public destruction of some lives but not others.
[Update 4/19/06: And if this trend continues, the “what exactly is the DA doing down there?” refrain will only grow….]