The more information that surfaces the more apparent it becomes to fair-minded observers that our lacrosse team was railroaded and that three of our fellow students are being put on trial not because of evidence but because of a DA's incompetence and malice.
Sadly, many in the community have shown that they are not fair minded but would rather hunt for witches than search for justice.
The bold malignance of the Durham County persecutor has been propelled by the chants and screams of the Duke-and-Durham-Left who sprang into action as soon as it became clear that the alleged victim's story could be used to propagate their destructive black-versus-white worldview. The DDL used the press, protests and any pulpit they could find to rush to judgment and find our peers guilty in advance of the facts.
With the trial scheduled for sometime in spring, and with as much ugliness ahead us as behind, we Duke students have to ask the question-what now?
As a student body, first and foremost, we must demand justice. Let us correct last year's record and ensure that no matter what developments ensue we do not allow our personal prejudices to overwhelm our ethical mandate to observe due process and protect the innocent.
In order to be effective advocates for justice we must be able to recognize when it has been perverted. Part of the job of a columnist is to assess the information available and then let the facts speak for themselves. In that vein, let me offer some highlights from a chilling summer expose published in Newsweek with new information further exposing the perversion of justice perpetrated by Nifong:
-Nifong went on television and tried to explain away the total absence of lacrosse DNA in the rape kit by saying a condom could have prevented the transference, but the accuser herself told the hospital examiners in her story that no condoms were used.
-Nifong was running around declaring that the examining nurse found symptoms consistent with sexual assault and that he had "no doubt," a rape occurred, but the actual rape exam indicated only that swelling was present which turns out "can be caused by normal sexual activity." (Earlier that week, the accuser had sex with two men and used a vibrator in a performance.)
-The accuser claimed she was strangled during the attack, but the examining nurse found no physical evidence of this. On the night in question, she was committed to a mental health facility and it was there that she claimed she was raped. When she was brought to the hospital, however, she changed her story and said she was only groped. She changed her account again later to say she was in fact raped, but it seems her different versions have the rape being perpetrated by two men, by 20 men, and of course now the three set to stand trial. She even claimed at one point that the other stripper assisted in the rape. Ten years ago she levied another rape charge which she said happened three years before, though her father claimed the charge was false and she didn't pursue the case.
-Reade Seligmann's alibi has him placing six phone calls to his girlfriend during the mere 15-minute window in which it appears the rape could have occurred, and then hopping in a cab to get some fast food. Seligmann's attorney tried to bring this exculpatory evidence to Nifong to stave off the indictment, but Nifong wouldn't hear of it.
-Regarding Nifong's accusation that the players stonewalled him and the police, it turns out the co-captains renting the house not only quickly agreed to come with the police to the station for questions, but they didn't even try to get a lawyer and offered to take a polygraph. And when the order came down for 46 players' DNA samples their attorney was in the midst of telling them how they could appeal it when the players suddenly left the meeting, got in their cars and drove to the police station to offer their DNA.
Now, take a breath and remind yourself that this isn't fiction. The madness is real and the stakes enormous. Lives, futures, hopes-all on the line.
As the story unfolds a national magnifying glass will continue to be held over our campus and as a student body we have a moral duty to act with dignity and to demand fair and just treatment for our peers-no slander, no abuse, no prejudice tolerated.
If a professor like Houston Baker continues to make unsubstantiated charges of racist assault, disgracing himself and dishonoring his school, don't stand for it. Write a letter to the editor, to the administration, to the professor him or herself. If you see reporters looking for an on site spot interview with a student, volunteer yourself and put the truth out there.
Encourage people to watch news shows like the "O'Reilly Factor" and "Hannity & Colmes," which offer an exceptionally fair and accurate view of the case.
And lastly, if you find yourself in the presence of a student who insists the lacrosse players are a bunch of racist criminals and that the players are guilty no matter what the evidence says-put them in their place.
If you don't, I will.
Stephen Miller is a Trinity senior. His column runs every other Monday.
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