Tuesday, January 16, 2007

An excellent column on the Duke Lacrosse Scandal

Dorothy Rabinowitz, author of the excellent book No Crueler Tyrannies, has written a timely column at the Duke lacrosse scandal and hoax. If you think wrongful prosecution of non-existent sex crimes is a just a Duke or North Carolina problem, you should read her piece. Two excerpts:

[Durham D. A.] Nifong is no anomaly--merely a product of the political times, a prosecutor who has absorbed all the clues about the sanctified status now accorded charges involving rape, child sex-abuse and accusations of racism. Which has in turn ensured their transformation into weapons of unequalled power. Like others before him, the DA quickly grasped the career possibilities open to him with such a case and proceeded accordingly . . .

Law officers who regularly violated requirements of due process in their effort to obtain a conviction, they grasped the special advantage that was theirs: that for a prosecutor dealing with molestation, and wearing the mantle of avenger, there was no such thing as excess, no limits to what could be said of the accused.

And apparently there may be no limits to punishing those accused and rightly or wrongly convicted of sex crimes either. In Texas and other states, opportunistic politicians like Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst are pushing for the death penalty for child molesters.

I wonder if they would have to be buried over 2500 feet from where children congregate and have to be monitored after death . . . with their families paying for the monitoring, of course.

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