Remember all those people who used the “wait and see” line with the Duke rape case? How they argued that us man-hatin’ feminists should wait for conclusive evidence? Well, now that the defense lawyer for the lacrosse players is doing his job and advocating for his clients by telling the press that the first round of DNA tests “conclusively” proves that the players are innocent, those same folks are jumping in with their conclusions: The “boys” are innocent. The woman is a liar. This is just like the Tawana Brawley case. Etc etc.
Except, you know, there’s that whole “conclusiveness” issue.
But District Attorney Mike Nifong, who has said he is “convinced” a rape occurred, immediately downplayed the significance of the test results and held open the possibility of charges being filed.
“There are no new developments and when there are new developments, we’ll schedule a press conference,” Nifong said in one interview.
Asked again later, he added: “The investigation is proceeding and I expect to have all the information I need within a week.”
A Durham police spokeswoman, in response to a series of questions about how the test results could affect the investigation, said only, “The Police Department is still actively investigating this case.”
Meanwhile, a lawyer close to the case, who declined to be identified, said the DNA tests returned Monday afternoon from the State Bureau of Investigation crime lab were not all-inclusive. Another lab also is analyzing the DNA samples and those results are not available yet, the lawyer said.
But he’s the prosecutor, right? Not exactly a neutral source. Let’s ask someone else:
But UNC law professor Rich Rosen said the test results don’t entirely clarify the situation.
“There’s certainly no way this helps the prosecution,” Rosen said. “It’s clear that if I’m a defense attorney, this is a good result. Whether it’s a definitive result or not, we’ll have to wait and see.”
Funny words, those.
There’s obviously a lot we don’t know. This obviously is not good for the prosecution, and I’m not posting this to make the point that there’s no way that these men are innocent. A more comprehensive follow-up post about all the issues this raises will be coming in the next day or so (taxes call, I’m in class, and my little brain can only do so much at once).
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