Sunday, March 13, 2016

Wait for the Facts

This is not remotely about frugal living.  Tonight on ESPN was their 30 for 30 documentary.  It was about the Duke Lacrosse case.  Living in Wake County we heard, lived and breathed this case for over a year.  It was constantly on tv, the radio.  Everywhere.

For those who don't know-the team had a party one night and paid 2 strippers to come to the house.  From there things went downhill.  One of the ladies claimed to have been sexually assaulted.  Immediately the press and news stations practically declared the players guilty.  I have to admit that I thought they were guilty too because of what I was reading and seeing on the media.  It seems that everyone turned against the team except their families.  The young men and their families went through hell.  The coach lost his job.

Well turns out that none of the DNA that was present on the victim was from any of the players.  The DNA was from other men.  This information was withheld from the reports that were submitted.  One of the defense lawyers immersed himself in learning all he could regarding DNA.  So when the prosecution presented their private expert he knew what to ask.  From watching the film clips of the cross examination you could tell the expert was clearly surprised that the attorney knew as much as he did.  This private expert admitted that the Durham Co prosecutor had agreed to withhold vital DNA evidence evidence.  From that point on the case against the team was lost.

This is just a brief synopsis.  So many people had their lives turned upside down from this case.  The so called "victim"?  She is serving time for 2nd degree murder for the death of her boyfriend.  The Durham Co prosecutor was disbarred and had to serve one day in prison for contempt.  One of the police officers  involved with the case resigned from the force and then later on committed suicide.  The three players were declared innocent by the State of North Carolina and now help with the Innocence Project.

You know we all make dumb decisions in life.  Having strippers to a party was a stupid decision and almost cost 3 young men their adult lives to be served in prison.

Now I try to wait until the facts are collected.  It is so easy to come to a conclusion watching the news.  This case taught a lot of people to not jump to conclusions until we know the facts.  These men had families that were wealthy.  They had the resources to hire attorneys.  But what about those folks who don't have that?  Gives you something to think about.


  1. Innocent until proven guilty, ALWAYS. I remember that case. I was sickened.

  2. Once something is reported by the media with a slant towards guilt, it is very difficult to change public perceptions. Throw in some extreme bias by the prosecution and purposeful withholding and you have a perfect storm. Of course in a trial sometimes it happens the other way also, where the defense attorney misdirects and manipulates the jury. I think it was Mark Twain who said (and I am paraphrasing) The only thing a jury decides is which side has the better lawyer. And if you can't afford a really good lawyer you are pretty much screwed.