Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Quote of the day -- just to remind us what the presumed innocent accused of rape face

Excerpt from an NPR broadcast, April 12, 2006: 

MADELEINE BRAND, host: And I'm Madeleine Brand. How do you prosecute a rape case when there is no DNA evidence? That's the task ahead for the DA in Durham, North Carolina. He's pursuing charges against members of the Duke University lacrosse team. A woman says she was raped at a lacrosse team party, but there is no DNA linking the suspects. Laurie Levenson is a former federal prosecutor. She now teaches at Loyola Law School here in Los Angeles. Welcome to the program.
. . . .
BRAND: Laurie, you said earlier that rape cases are more difficult to prosecute than you think. Can you flesh that out? Why is that?

Prof. LEVENSON: Oh, they're very difficult to prosecute, because frankly, even though we think that we've advanced to a time of equality, you know, jurors are still very suspicious of the victim. Especially when you have a victim like this, who comes from her background, pointing the finger at these college athletes, and the ideas that they are the heroes of their university. So when you go to trial, a lot of people are suspicious of the victim. It's hard to give her the credibility she needs for the prosecution to win the case.

Editor's note: ". . . a victim like this."  Thank you, professor, for prejudging the case and assuming the false accuser was the "victim" -- based, it seems, on the gender of the accused.  I know nothing about her other than what I see in the story, but THIS is what we allow to teach our sons? And to GRADE them?  Wow!