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May 26, 2006

Duke women stand by their men:: In a show of support, members of the Duke's women's lacrosse team wrote the numbers of the three Duke men's lacrosse players accused of rape on wristbands they wore during warmups for their NCAA semifinal game on Friday night.

posted by donnnnychris to other at 06:46 PM - 21 comments

good for the women of duke. innocent until proven guilty is my understanding of the american judicial system. loyalty is a wonderful thing, and lacking in todays society far too often. it is important to stand with your brothers.

posted by tommytrump at 07:53 PM on May 26

loyalty is a wonderful thing Loyalty to what? Their university? Their sport? Their race? Their class? Of course they can wear whatever they want to on their wristbands, socks, get a tattoo for all I care. But I don't see what's so noble about it.

posted by Amateur at 08:40 PM on May 26

innocent until proven guilty is my understanding of the american judicial system. ...except, tommytrump, the law has a number of constructs that defy ordinary logic, and "innocent until proven guilty" is one of them. The accused either is, or isn't; he doesn't start out as innocent and become guilty when proof is rendered. To refrain from judgment,which is what I think you are favoring here, is to refrain from judgment either way, to presume neither one -- unless you have specific knowledge one way or the other. As it is, it's a bit of an ambiguous statement -- and "No excuses - no regrets" is certainly open to interpretation. What do you suppose they meant by that?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:43 PM on May 26

Interesting that the (mostly white) women's lacrosse team was allowed to speak out but the women's (mostly not white) basketball team was warned at the time the incident occured to be silent. At least according to the couple of minutes of (SpoFi favorite) Stephen A. Smith on his ESPN2 show tonight (that I heard white scanning the program guide).

posted by billsaysthis at 11:08 PM on May 26

bill: Do you recall if it was up to the individual coaches or the AD? If it was the former, it could easily be a case of, "we don't need that drama," and Smith was race-baiting. Former case he might have an issue.

posted by jmd82 at 12:09 AM on May 27

actually, lil brown bat..."presumed" innocent is exactly and precisely what the system calls for.

posted by vito90 at 11:16 AM on May 27

Smith didn't say other than "the university" told them they weren't allowed to speak publicly.

posted by billsaysthis at 11:38 AM on May 27

The presumption of innocence also requires no rush to judgement, as LBB points out. By making a partisan stand, the women's lacrosse team are not 'noble', even if the accused are found not guilty. And they have the potential to look very stupid if the verdict goes the other way.

posted by owlhouse at 05:32 PM on May 27

The presumption of innocence also requires no rush to judgement, as LBB points out. Actually, my point was slightly different. The presumption of innocence is something that the judicial system is required to do in criminal cases, because in the not-quite-earthly-logic of the law there are two states, "guilty" and "not guilty", and the law must err on the side of the latter. But the Duke women's lacrosse team is not the judicial system, and a statement (actual or implied) by the judicial system doesn't necessarily mean the same as what it does when made by an individual. When the judicial system says, "We presume they're innocent," that means, "We haven't (yet) seen proof that they're guilty, " not, "We have seen evidence that they are innocent." When an individual (or a group, in this case) states that they believe someone to be innocent, that is exactly what it means. It is a judgment, and unless they were there and have evidence to support this, it is an unsupported judgment.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 05:54 PM on May 27

Flawed case from the start. Gutless Nifong would not and for some reason still will not back down for fear of political reprisal from his black constituency. He misreads the community however. They see the weakness in the case. Though he has NO case he is willing to drag these kids through the dirt for another few months and 10s of thousands in legal fees. Hopefully it's taught my teens something. When they are in college and someone hires a stripper; stay with the group, don't find yourself alone with the young "lady" and keep your phone cam running!

posted by mikemora at 08:30 PM on May 27

Why are these strippers always considered prostitutes or whores? This may seem like a silly question at first, however I have been to a few bachelor parties in my day, and I have seen my share of strippers/dancers or what have you. In each case, none of them had sex with any of the party goers. Now I'm not offering that this never happens, but I am offering that the stripper/dancer that usually does go the extra mile is in fact a prostitute to begin with. That said, did these guys basically higher a prostitute? And if they did, is it not safe to assume that at least 1 of the guys who leased her services for the evening expected to have sex with her? Or on the other hand, was she just a stripper/dancer there to offer a good ole' jump out of a big cake routine? The safest thing to do in cases like this is to wait for facts before you begin to form an opinion or take sides in the matter. You may just end up buying into a BS story or even worse, end up saying you support rapists. 1 thing is certain, if the team in question here was an NFL or NBA team, I don't think their cheerleaders would be sporting any gear with the accused numbers on it.

posted by Bishop at 05:59 AM on May 28

Why are stripper considered whores, is that a joke? But I would not say they are automatically prostitutes. I think its fine to have an opinion either way. But hands down, if they did it, they should pay. If she's lying, her food stamp card will not be able to compensate the damages done the players' reputation. Bishop, good point on the example, like the cheerleaders were not saying Kobe was innocent, but I remember some guys saying they thought he was.

posted by T$PORT4lawschool at 10:49 AM on May 28

Bishop: 1 thing is certain, if the team in question here was an NFL or NBA team, I don't think their cheerleaders would be sporting any gear with the accused numbers on it. We're talking about the women's lacrosse team here, not cheerleaders. FYI. T$toomanyletters: I think its fine to have an opinion either way. Okay, but if you want to do so, don't go around calling yourself impartial or preaching about how others should avoid a "rush to judgment" -- because a judgment is exactly what you are making.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 12:29 PM on May 28

what's wrong with making a judgement based on the information we have? somewhat sanctimonious of you to say we shouldn't be doing that lbb?

posted by tommytrump at 12:54 PM on May 28

If she's lying, her food stamp card will not be able to compensate the damages done the players' reputation. Am I the only one that thinks this is racist?

posted by bperk at 06:26 PM on May 28

No bperk you're not!

posted by Folkways at 06:53 PM on May 28

tommytrump, lbb didn't say you couldn't make the judgement -- only that you can't claim moral superiority over those who have made the opposite judgement. Either you're reserving judgement until all the facts are known, or you're not. Some people are claiming that we must assume that the victim is a liar, because the Dukies haven't been proven guilty in a court of law. bperk -- I'll give T$ the benefit of the doubt and assume that he would have made the same comment if the stripper in question was poor and white. Or poor and latina. Or poor and native American. Just as long as she was poor, you understand.

posted by Amateur at 08:09 PM on May 28

When the judicial system says, "We presume they're innocent," that means, "We haven't (yet) seen proof that they're guilty, " not, "We have seen evidence that they are innocent." When an individual (or a group, in this case) states that they believe someone to be innocent, that is exactly what it means. It is a judgment, and unless they were there and have evidence to support this, it is an unsupported judgment. Agreed, LBB. I was trying to summarise the point. Interestingly, Scottish law includes a verdict of 'not proven'. Which might suit the more 'earthly' logic of real life. Aye, those canny wee Scots. However, there are value judgements across all of this. Massive Generalisation Number 457 says that moralists and conservatives tend to view 'not guilty' verdicts as 'they just didn't have enough evidence'. However I've seen enough police fit-ups plus media racism and other prejudice... Remember, if you stand by when innocents are arrested and gaoled, you're not neutral, you're taking the side of the oppressor. I thought I'd throw that in to see what bites.

posted by owlhouse at 10:21 PM on May 28

Sh*t, I've just realised that now it sounds like I'm on the side of the women's lacrosse team. I'm not. They're idiots. The US judicial system is structured to protect the Duke students, not to provide justice for the alleged rape victims. Just so you know I'm not supporting the oppressor here. I blame LBB for confusing me with her faultless logic :-).

posted by owlhouse at 10:26 PM on May 28

LBB, I understand we're not talking about cheerleaders, but there was no womens NFL team to compare to. Perhaps I should have used a WNBA counterpart of an NBA team. Either way I think I made my point. The food stamp comment is questionable. If there is the slightest possiblity that it was racially motivated, it should be removed. I'll give T$ the benefit of the doubt and assume that he would have made the same comment if the stripper in question was poor and white. Or poor and latina. Or poor and native American. Just as long as she was poor, you understand Bullshit, do you have any idea how much money some stripper/dancers make? If it was a racially based comment, I wonder if he is man enough to admit it. what's wrong with making a judgement based on the information we have You would form an opinion about a possible rapist based on some watered-down information you gathered from TV and the internet? How do you determine credibility, by the way the victim/accused looks? Or by their profession? So the white collar (enron CEO type) is always assumed innocent, and the guy with the baggy pants and gold chain is always assumed guilty? I guess that's why the African American stripper couldn't possibly be a victim, because it has already been determined that she definitely collects food stamps, and it's common knowledge that all the less fortunate people in this country are lazy good for nothing liars, right?

posted by Bishop at 04:36 AM on May 29

I don't know why some people are so excited to give the Dukies the benefit of the doubt and not the stripper. I mean, if I can come from the same zero knowledge launching pad for a moment - I've seen strippers and I've remember the lacrosse team. Those strippers were okay, that lacrosse team was a bunch of assholes. I have little sympathy for the poor reputation of 19-year old underage drinkers who hire adult entertainment.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 07:57 AM on May 29

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