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Thursday, April 20, 2006

Duke Rape Case: Emotional & Legal Fire Storm

updated: April 27, 2006

Duke Lacrosse Rape CaseThe alleged Duke lacrosse rape case has stirred up a hornet's nest of issues, passions, and controversy. It has become a swirling black hole that is pulling everyone from TV pundits to Joe six-pack on his Barca Lounger into the abyss of debating every aspect of how justice and the legal system should operate when the 'old' rules have warped in the age of the Internet.


  1. Number 1, of course, who do you believe the accuser or the lacrosse players?

  2. Second big question: Should the accuser's identity be made public?

  3. Big related issue: Do Blacks receive equal justice in this country?

  4. Is the DA, Mike Nifong, prosecuting this case to further his political career?

  5. Do small scratches on the lacrosse players, but no DNA under the accuser's fingernails prove anything?

  6. Is the accuser, who is reportedly seen demurely smiling in photos taken from 12:30:12 a.m. to 12:30:47 a.m. on the morning of the alleged rape suffering the after effects of a date rape drug? Or not?

  7. Has the alleged victim's credibility been damaged in light of recent information? The alleged victim identified her assailants as "Adam, Matt and Bret" in her original statement to police. Three weeks later she photo ID's Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann. Also, the woman has a record, which includes a DWI, a misdemeanor eluding arrest charge, and three license suspensions.

  8. Do you call the lady involved the "accuser," the "alleged victim," or simply the rape victim? Is she an exotic dancer, a stripper, a sex worker, or should she be referred to as a Black student/mother/daughter/woman/human?

  9. etc, etc.
For now focus on question number two. Should the accuser's identity be made public?

MSNBC Question of the Day:
Duke Suspects Identified: Should the accuser also be named? - with 11067 responses
  • Yes 56%

  • No 44%
Duke Rape Case: accuser shield laws -
Tucker Carlson of MSNBC has a personal stake in wanting the removal of rape victim shield laws.

On the April 18 edition of The Situation with Tucker Carlson, he argued vigorously against Susan Filan, a former prosecutor, that the name of alleged victim in the Duke lacrosse rape case should be made public information.

Mr. Carlson also admitted that he had been falsely accused of rape 3 years ago. Charges were never brought against him because he and the alleged victim, a viewer who apparently suffers from mental illness, had never met and no evidence existed to support the claim. It was interesting to note that he hired the same attorney hired by a group of Duke supporters when that accusation came in.
Geneva Overholser at the Christian Science Monitor:
In the crime of rape, it is time we named the accuser as well as the accused.
From the Court TV message board:
What do we know about the AV(alleged victim)?
1. Her age
2. Where she goes to school
3. That she is the divorced mother of two children, and
4. How she supports herself.

What do we know about the two guys who have been indicted?
1. Their ages
2. Where they go, or went, to school
3. That they are both single
4. Mommy and Daddy support them. PLUS
5. We know their full names
6. What they look like
7. Their parent's names
8. Their parent's occupations
9. What their parent's home's look like
10. The assesed value of their parent's homes
11. The median income of families where their parents live
12. The names of the Catholic prep schools they each attended
13. The tuition at those prep schools

Somehow it doesn't quite seem fair to make this much info known to the whole country about two kids who are presumed to be innocent when we can't even put a name or face on their accuser.
Administrator note today from Court TV message board:
Any poster who uses the alleged victim's name will be immediately banned. CTV does not permit the use of the name as none of the media are at this time.
WRAL:
Duke Rape Case Brings Up Longtime Dilemma: Report Victims' ID? --
Should the identities of people who say they were raped be made known in media reports?

It is an ethical dilemma that has been going on long before an exotic dancer reported to police last month that she was raped by three members of Duke University's men's lacrosse team...

But with each story about the case, the woman who says she was raped is not identified.

"The circumstances here have evolved such that to be even-handed, the accuser and the accused should be treated as equitably as possible," said media attorney Hugh Stevens.

Stevens, who has nearly 30 years of experience in media law, believes it is time the accuser's name be made public.

"That's just a fundamental fairness to me," he said,
Dan Stover at the NAW blog wonders, Should accuser be "outed?"
If the identity of any high-profile rape accuser were to become known, she would be immediately under the microscope, and her past, including her sex life, would be known by the nation. Without the shield of anonymity, many rapes would be unreported for the sole reason that the would-be accuser doesn't want to be dragged through the mud.
Wendy McElroy asks, Should the Duke Lacrosse accuser be named?
I've known the accuser's name for some while now. Should I post it to the BB? If not, why not? I must admit to having some mixed feelings about posting her identity...for at least two reasons. 1) I vastly prefer that neither party rather than both parties be identified; 2) there is a frightening fringe to the men's movement that I believe is capable of violence against her. Nevertheless, it seems patently unfair for the young men to be paraded like pariahs while their accuser is shielded by privacy, especially since her stories seem to continue to flow.

So...would you post her name if you were me?
sources:
'The Abrams Report' for April 14 [MSNBC]
Descriptions Of Time-Stamped Photos Of Duke Lacrosse Party [wral.com]
Duke Confirms Durham Police Searched Two Dorm Rooms [wral.com, April 19, 2006]

related:
Duke Rape Accuser: Victim or Victimizer? [theconservativevoice.com, Apr. 20, 2006]

updated:
Duke Lacrosse Rape Case: Identifying the Accuser Debate [TJN, May 15, 2006]
Duke Rape Accuser: Crystal Gail Mangum [TJN, Apr. 21, 2006]
Who Robbed Crystal Gail Mangum? [TJN, Apr. 27, 2006]
Duke Lacrosse Rape Timeline [TJN, Apr. 26, 2006]
Duke Lawyer seeks Mangum's Records [TJN, Apr. 24, 2006]

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