Earlier this evening, yours truly watched a one-hour special broadcast on the 4-letter sports network. It was called "Fantastic Lies".
It's now been a decade since one of the most egregious and sinister miscarriages of justice was foisted upon innocent young men. This would be the Duke lacrosse team/rape allegations back in 2007.
After a party, and what college jocks don't party?, a young lady (and I use that term loosely) came forward with accusations that she had been sexually assaulted by some of the lacrosse players.
Enter one Mike Nifong, the prosecutor. He was running for election, but trailing in the polls, and this was a golden opportunity to sway many of the masses. After all, the guys accused were rich, privileged white boys, while the poor "victim" was a down-trodden African-American woman.
And oh boy, the media everywhere couldn't wait to jump on the bandwagon. Throw in the usual race-baiters flying in to stir the pot, legions of knee-jerk arm-chair prosecutors across the land, mix well, and we had a regular situation on our hands here.
Crucify them, became the rallying cry. How DARE they?
Thing is, it turned out to all be based on a series of fantastic lies indeed. Nifong himself would later be found to having not only withheld relevant evidence of innocence, but also having played fast and loose with what little he had. In other words, distorting it in favor of guilt. In particular, DNA testing.
It's no secret that prosecutors typically use a "state" DNA lab that will return findings in their favor. But this time these results were double checked by an impartial source and found to be seriously flawed. There was none -- ZERO -- evidence any of these boys had had their way with the "victim", much less against her wishes.
However, yon victim, being an admitted "erotic dancer" (see call girl, lady of the evening/prostitute), WAS found to have over TEN male samples of DNA either in or on her left by "unknowns" when she was examined. Well gee, how could that have happened? Busy girl.
Along the way, one notorious talking head, a militant feminist former prosecutor that by her own DNA seems to think every man must be guilty of SOMETHING, had the utter gall to conclude these boys were guilty because, gosh darn it, they found some of their DNA on a bath towel in the bathroom. Evidently, it never occurred to her that taking a shower and drying oneself off with a bath towel, hence leaving DNA evidence, is a far cry from sexual assault. But she looked straight in the camera and declared it to be so. Hang em high. The truly scary part was -- a lot of people bought into such nonsense.
Thankfully, the lacrosse players had the means to retain highly qualified defense counsel. Many citizens in the same situation would not have this luxury. They would be swept under the deluge of outcry from the ignorant and racist, convicted, and sent off to a dungeon somewhere for a very long time.
Also along the way, the detective sergeant in charge of taking the victim's statement and matching up the identities of her "assailants" to people in the real world did a very curious, and corrupt thing as well. Her descriptions didn't match any of the boys that stood accused. Yet when the sergeant's report was filed -- presto -- he had rewritten it to match them entirely.
Eventually, objective and non-biased minds got involved, probed deeper, and the whole thing was exposed as the fraud it had been since the beginning. The lacrosse players had done NOTHING wrong.
Yet their lives had been ruined for over a year going through the torture chamber that had been fabricated against them. A once destroyed reputation is a tough thing to fully restore even when one has been fully vindicated. There will always be the idiots that cling to the "must be guilty of SOMETHING" mantra.
So OK, the always innocent players reached an out-of-court settlement with Duke for having suspended them in the first place. A few bucks to ease the pain couldn't hurt, but the university should have known better than to jump to such a wild conclusion in the first place. Don't they have a reputable law school there? Well then. One would think they would give their own the same presumption of innocence until proven guilty that has been the bedrock (though recently much abused) of the American jurisprudence system since the founding fathers laid it out there centuries ago. Hello?
Mike Nifong would win his election but quickly be hauled before the bar/courts on charges of gross misconduct while the prosecutor on this case. He would not only have to resign in shame, but also be subsequently disbarred from ever practicing law again.
One apologist stated there can be no harsher punishment for a lawyer than being disbarred. This is total BS of course. For having done what he did to those innocent kids, Nifong should have been prosecuted himself to the fullest extent of the law, convicted of multiple felonies that he obviously committed, and imprisoned for decades -- just like he wanted to do to the boys he wrongfully prosecuted. Taking away his bar card was nothing more than a slap on the wrist given the evil he tried to perpetuate on innocent folks in the name of politics and furthering his career.
The detective sergeant, once eventually outed for the crooked cop he was, would commit suicide the following year. Good riddance.
The original accuser, one Crystal Mangum, would eventually find herself front and center in another high profile case. Apparently, she murdered her boyfriend. For that little escapade, Ms. Mangum is rightfully currently serving an 18-20 year prison sentence.
But she was never held to account for the atrocities she put those boys through. And that was wrong. She should have been jacked up on all manner of charges. Filing false police reports. Perjury. Libel, slander, etc., and ground under the so-called wheels of justice herself.
Even more apologists came forward and said the poor dear had mental issues, and was perhaps "unstable". So it couldn't be her fault, right? Bull. She was looking for a huge paycheck through a web of fantastic lies she originated in the first place. Throw those white boys away and give me a pile of money. Does that sound like the ravings of a crazy person? Who'd kidding who here?
Some of the reporters that should have known better before jumping on the guilty bandwagon eventually apologized with another column. Saying "I'm sorry" with a wink and a smile for what their parts were in this atrocity wasn't nearly good enough. They should have been immediately terminated from their places of employment and black-balled across the industry -- just like what they tried to do to those always innocent lacrosse players. If one chooses to play high-stakes games with the life reputations of others on mere speculation, they should be willing to pay the same price themselves if proven wrong.
The race baiters will never apologize to anybody for any of their obvious tactics. They quickly faded back into the woodwork once this sham of a case blew up, but no doubt will be on hand stirring the pot at the very next opportunity. And sure enough, in the ensuing decade, they've remained true to form all the while. If you want to slam dunk people for being menaces to society, this probably isn't a bad place to start.