Friday, April 21, 2006

Presumed Guilty at Duke

(Welcome visitors from Signifying Nothing)

Dallas Morning News columnist Mark Davis has a question for the “they’re guilty” folks:

What would be the reaction if I were to burst right out of the blocks today and say these Duke lacrosse players are innocent?

I could try to whip up sympathy for them as if I knew the charges were untrue, the indictments a joke, the whole thing a lie.

And then maybe I could suggest we hold rallies in support of them and maybe drum up cash for their future education.
Then what would happen? And what about Davis? What would he think of himself?

Davis answers:
(It) would not go over well. I would be guilty of a singularly obnoxious burst of presumptuousness.

I won't be doing any such thing, of course. But I will be asking why everyone gets a free pass for such presumptions on behalf of the accuser.

Since no one but the parties involved knows the truth, it is the height of irresponsibility for any of us to act as though we do.
The height of irresponsibility?

Be careful, Mr. Davis.

Duke has some privileged and highly compensated faculty who don't agree with you.

And neither do many Durham “activists” and those who make up what most MSM call “the community.”

Mind you, Mr. Davis, I don’t agree with such people.

I’m just warning you they’re loud, angry, self-righteous, and demanding “justice now.” That's a scary combination.

I support everything you say except this:
Note that I do not use the term "presumption of innocence." Only our court system must abide by that precept. …
Not true.

The Founders believed citizens’ rights devolve to us as citizens’ duties.

Can any of us have a right to presumption of innocence unless the rest, or at least most, of us respect and enforce that right?

Imagine a Durham or America dominated by people acting like those you confront in your column.

I hope people read your column. I’ve linked to it here.

Thank you.


Readers' Note: If you'd like to email Davis, his address is:


Anonymous said...

Well, we do know that there were large protests in favor of OJ.

And Rodney King.

And that loser terrorist prof in FL.

But that's different, I'm sure.


Fish said...

I've seen that so much over the last several decades. Our responsible reporting media will blast headlines across their paper or make it the primary and lead-in story on the television news shows, going into great detail about the arrest(s) and charges of anyone newsworthy. They will beat the story to death for weeks, or until a bigger story inserts itself in their consciousness.

But what happens if the allegations turn out to be false, or the person(s) innocent? If they're lucky they'll get a five second sound bite at the tail end of one broadcast news program at three a.m., or it will be a three line note buried on page 36 of the newspaper right under the ad for the porn bookstore.

Most of the public will never know that outcome, all they'll remember is the original shouting from the rooftop and will go on believing in the guilt of the accused.

straightarrow said...

I posted at Sill's blog again. However, trying to pin her to a position with facts is like trying to nail jello to a wall.