The Thing with the Duke Lacrosse Team

We just covered Immanuel Kant in philosophy class and the "Kingdom of Ends" "Act in such a way that you always treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, never simply as a means, but always at the same time as an end."

A very dear friend noted a couple of weeks ago that "every man in America is one false accusation away from having his life ruined." It seems that by merely making the accusation, a man can be convicted, without ever having been to trial. And it appears that the best evidence in this case is the accusation.

What is the end that this woman could gain?

- Photos have come to light. I haven't seen them, but I have read that 1) they are timed stamped, 2) time stamps can be altered, but in one of the photos there was a wrist with a watch that matches the time stamp. These photos show this woman showing up at the party already bruised and cut - already showing the signs of the alleged rape. The later photos show her under the influence of a recreational substance, smiling and looking through her purse.

- There is no claim of DNA evidence from the woman's body.

- There is a paper trail that causes difficulites for the woman's story and appears to create an alibi for at least one of the men.

- There is also information that she has been contacting lawyers and trying to find civil lawyers to possibly discuss suits in this case, or financial compensation for her.

What is the end that this woman hopes to find? and by what means? Are the men that she has accused the means, or the end?

Another person involved with all of this is Durham (N.C.) district attorney Mike Nifong. Mr. Nifong happens to be facing a May 2 primary and has been accused of pushing this case forward for political gain.

- Grand juries only hear the prosecutor's side of the story. Only the evidence that could convict, and none that could aquit is presented.

- The primary that Nifong faces is less than two weeks away - and right now he's looking like he's going "great guns" to protect the weak. Did he rush to the Grand Jury in order to make an announcement to prosecute just before the primary.

What is the end that Nifong hopes to find? and by what means? Are these men that he is prosecuting, and the woman that he prosecutes for - are the means, or the end?

I believe that when all is said and done, there will be enough "means" to go around. It doesn't sound very much like there is nobody who is innocent.

If every person in this story had treated the others as the end, and not a means, what would have happened?

If the woman had respected her own self, she may never have even shown up at the party. She might not have done a lot of things. If she had respected the men, there are also a few things she might not have done.

If Nifong had respected the woman, would he put her at risk of a false accusation? If Nifong had respected the men, would he have rushed to the Grand Jury?

If Nifong has a respect for justice, what should he be doing?

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3 thoughts on “The Thing with the Duke Lacrosse Team

  1. "...every man in America is one false accusation away from having his life ruined."

    Actually, the way I put it (or hoped to) was: "Every man in America is just one acusation away from spending the rest of his life in jail -- just becauase 'she' said so."

    This case takes the cake, as it's the first case I can recall where the DNA exculpated the accused, and they're being prosecuted anyway.

    DNA exoneration? ATM/bank records? Witness testimony? Impossible timelines? So what if it all proves them innocent?

    No matter... we got the testimony of a two-bit stripper who wasted at the time.... yeah, send 'em away for life -- just becauase 'she' said so.

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