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Dorothy Rabinowitz has a
very sharply worded column
about the behavior of Mike Nifong posted on the
Wall Street Journal's site. She makes a broader connection to
prosecutorial misconduct which is something we've talked about here too, though
not nearly as well.

The Anglo-American legal tradition is surely not perfect, as her article
suggests. Nonetheless, the presumption of innocence and placing the burden of
proof on the state is a noble idea and one which we'd hope everyone would accept
as proper and just.

Earlier this year, Duke's Karla Holloway said this about the case:
“Justice inevitably has an attendant social construction. And this parallelism
means that despite what may be our desire, the seriousness of the matter cannot
be finally or fully adjudicated in the courts.”

After Reade Seligmann and Colin Finnerty were invited back to school, she
resigned her position as race subgroup chair of the Campus Cultural Initiative,
saying this: “The decision by the university to
readmit the students, especially just before a critical judicial decision on the
case, is a clear use of corporate power, and a breach, I think, of ethical
citizenship. I could no longer work in good faith with this breach of common

When she said the "seriousness of the matter cannot be finally or fully
adjudicated in the courts," we were tempted to ask what alternative she
proposed to the burden of proof being placed upon the state. It's still a
good question.

According to Diverse Magazine (linked below), "...[i]n
her resignation letter, Holloway criticized the Duke administration for not
coming to her defense, as attacks in the form of blogs and letters to the
university newspaper have mounted in recent months.

public support [the administration] has extended to these students has been
absent in regard to faculty who have been under constant and often vicious

We're not sure what the university - or anyone else - can do about
constitutionally protected free speech, whether it's on a blog or in a newspaper
or wherever. If those are the attacks to which she refers, they're
certainly not as severe as what the lacrosse players have endured, from protest
signs calling for genital mutilation (Castrate!), to the New Black Panthers
calling out death threats, for a crime which, increasingly, it looks as if they did not commit.