Friday, November 10, 2006

Duke Rape Case: Nifong Wins Reelection Bid

News Day

The numbers of black votes shows Nifong "used this case to his advantage. Does he need the case anymore? I don't think so, [but] my guess is he won't drop it," [Kevin] Finnerty [father of Collin] said."He won, so he got what he was maneuvering for," he said. "But I think it's very telling that he couldn't even get a majority against someone who was not running and someone whose name was not on the ballot."


The Durham Chronicle, a campus newspaper, reported that some lacrosse players joined other students in an organized get-out-the-vote effort favoring Cheek.

I find this father's assessment of this election and of Nifong questionable at best. The theory that this case was prosecuted only for political reasons fits into the mythology that the defendants and their supporters want to put forth, but Nifong wasn't facing an uphill battle for re-election when this case was brought to the grand jury.

From what I've read, it's those who favor the defense who showed a much greater tendency to mix politics into a criminal investigation.

Herald Sun

[A] UNC expert in political behavior said Nifong didn't create racial tensions with his handling of a case that involved gang rape accusations by a black N.C. Central University woman against three white lacrosse players from Duke. "Rifts are rarely created," said sociology professor Andrew Perrin. "They're just exposed." The issue, he said, reveals something about the way Durham works and the relationship between Duke and Durham. "It's a problem in all kinds of places where you have elite universities in the midst of working class cities," he said. Perrin said the overwhelming support Nifong got in majority black districts -- he swept them all -- is likely a matter of roots.

"People see the news and they see the world very differently based on the experiences they've had," Perrin said. "The understanding for those who think the accuser is mostly a victim is that she has been railroaded and been given a pounding by the white community and the media," he said. "And [they think] the right thing to do is to support her and to take her accusation seriously."

This last part is what many of those who attack Nifong forget. The accusation needs to be taken seriously. This is also true if those accused are innocent. If Nifong lost and the charges were dropped many people would always suspect that the replacement caved into pressure from Duke students and alumni.

If justice is fairer to the "good" or respectable defendants than it is to the average defendant or the alleged victim, that isn't real justice.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 7:48 PM   0 comments links to this post


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