I attended a panel today at the Southeastern Association of Law Schools on the Duke Lacrosse Controversy. On the panel was KC Johnson, author of a href=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0312369123?ie=UTF8tag=wwwviolentkicomlinkCode=as2camp=1789creative=9325creativeASIN=0312369123″Until span style=”font-style:italic;”Proven Innocent: Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case/span/aimg src=”http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=wwwviolentkicoml=as2o=1a=0312369123″ width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”" style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” / who wrote the popular a href=”http://durhamwonderland.blogspot.com/”Durham-in-Wonderland blog /athat played such an important role in reporting the real facts as they came up in the case. I asked Johnson after the panel how he got interested in the rape case and why he blogged about it. His reponse was that the a href=”http://z10.invisionfree.com/FODU_Open_Board/index.php?s=0ebdf4a0b04224405ba64fa7eb5a25d5showtopic=4st=0#entry2429674″ Duke group of 88,/a the professors who took out an ad that accused the lacrosse players of being guilty without evidence seemed so unfair and the facts of the case didn’t add up and he felt compelled to do something about it. And that he did.br /br /The panel as a whole was impressive as James Coleman from Duke, Angela Davis from American University, Michael Gerhardt of the University of North Carolina and Lyrissa Lidsky from the University of Florida were all there to discuss the role of the media, the inappropriate use of power by prosecutor Mike Nifong, and the lessons we can learn from them. br /br /Professor Davis, author of a href=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0195177363?ie=UTF8tag=wwwviolentkicomlinkCode=as2camp=1789creative=9325creativeASIN=0195177363″emArbitrary Justice: The Power of the American Prosecutor,/em/aimg src=”http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=wwwviolentkicoml=as2o=1a=0195177363″ width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”" style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” / pointed out that many poor people, particularly minorities are prosecuted unfairly without any justice, while Johnson pointed out that the Duke lacrosse students were prosecuted embecause/em they were seen as privileged and white. Lidsky discussed how the MSM pushed the case into a media frenzy and Professor Gerhardt stated that Nifong was “intoxicated by the media” and opined that the trial should not have been made public but would have been better off tried by a jury. Professor Coleman stated that “one of the most extraordinary things that happened in the case was KC’s blog. It was accurate and well-sourced.” Overall, the panel was terrific and reminded me that there are many fair-minded professionals out there who believe in justice even when it is not popular. Thank goodness.
July 30, 2008 - 6:42 pm