Sunday, May 28, 2006

Stuart Taylor on Duke Lacrosse

Stuart Taylor is former Wahington Post reporter and columnist and is now a writer for National Journal, an old establishment publication. So this isn't a talk-show-host rant:

Nifong and a certain Durham police officer should themselves be under criminal investigation, in my view, for what looks like possible intimidation of a disinterested defense witness, a cabbie who had been transporting one defendant at the time of the alleged rape.

Am I prejudging the case myself? Yes, in that I have not yet seen all of the evidence. And yes, in that there could be an innocent explanation for the recent arrest of the cabbie by rape-case investigators under a two-and-half-year-old, apparently frivolous shoplifting warrant.

But when a petty-tyrant prosecutor has perverted and prolonged the legal process without disclosing his supposed evidence, and when academics and journalists have joined in smearing presumptively innocent young men as racist, sexist brutes—in the face of much contrary evidence—it's not too early to offer tentative judgments.


How likely is it that the more than 40 kids described by Kimel and the Coleman report could have maintained an airtight cover-up since March 14 of a gang rape in a small, crowded house, with not one heeding pleas by parents and lawyers to protect himself by fingering any guilty parties?