The website OurHeartsworld.com, dedicated to the alleged victim in the lacrosse case, called it a life Wednesday. In spite of mounting evidence of serious problems with the case and the prosecutor, the site continued to push for conviction. Postings to the sites message board, according to KC Johnson, all but died after the first 60 Minutes broadcast.
However, they are promising World Exclusive news on Thursday, so apparently it's not quite done yet.
|"No, no, Sherman, Ed Bradley did an amazing and important job, but he built his case on the hard work of bloggers who insisted on airing the problems in the case when it wasn't very popular."|
Speaking of 60 Minutes, the Ed Bradley piece just mentioned won a Peabody Award. The Peabody site says that "A '60 Minutes' team led by correspondent Ed Bradley delved into the allegations of rape against Duke University lacrosse players and stopped a prosecutorial rush to judgment in its tracks."
Although the piece had an enormous impact, this is not entirely true. Sites like Johnson's and others consistently kept the problems in the case before the public. We can all but guarantee you that the folks at 60 Minutes followed Durham In Wonderland closely before their report was planned.
In another bit of fallout from the case, the Senate approved a bill which would allow the governor to declare a judgeship or district attorney's post vacant if the officeholder has been disbarred.
All the website has said is let her tell her story, then let the courts decide after hearing all other admissible evidence.
But, as you know, the case has taken several dramatic turns.
In December 2006 it was revealed that the accuser could not substantiate her rape accusations, so those charges against the three defendants were dropped.
We immediately reflected that change on the website, dropping all administrative reference to an alleged rape, and informing visitors to the site that depending on what happened to the remaining first-degree sexual abuse and kidnapping charges, the website would soon be phasing out.
Of course, the allegations against Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong per his handling of the investigation and exculpatory DNA evidence was also a factor in our growing weariness about the integrity of the case.
And just recently, word that the accuser is not cooperating with the special prosecutors of the State Attorney Generalâs Office has also concerned us.
If the essence of our support for her was ensuring her right to tell her story, but she isnât doing it, then the reasons for continuing that support are fewer and fewer.
We have consulted with the co-sponsors of the website, and they agree with our assessment that the time has come to pull the plug.