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Should the Duke Accuser's Name be Published Now?

Tomorrow we will learn the names of the Duke lacrosse players accused of criminal activity in the alleged rape case.

Question: When their names are released, shouldn't the accuser's be as well? Charges are merely allegations, they are not proof. Why should the accused's name be public but not the accuser's?

If we want people to recognize that rape is a crime of violence, it is not about sex, and are serious about trying to remove the shame and stigma associated with rape, shouldn't we treat potential rape victims the same as stabbing and shooting victims -- whose names are routinely publicized?

The Duke accuser's name is on the internet. I've seen it. I'm not going to publish it or link to it tonight. I'd like to hear your thoughts. But this is like Kobe redux -- his name was dragged through the mud while the media refused to publish the accuser's name.

I think it's time for this double standard to end.

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  • I think that the accused names should be held private too. The accusers name should be held private to protect her from having to deal with what happened to her, and to keep her from fear of someone coming after her. But we should do the same for the accused.

    Would you just do that in rape cases or all cases? Does it solve the problem of perpetuating the stigma if we only withhold both names in rape cases? Should it be like in Aruba where people arrested for any offense are identified only by their initials?

    I am a black woman and I agree. Its disgusting how this is being turned into a race and class issue. How do we now what financial situation the Duke students are in. Jesse Jackson was asked that if he will pay her tuition even if this is a hoax and he wouldn't answer. THere are still blacks who believe that Tawana was raped. Release her name a photo and drag her throught the media slander the young boys have endured.

    I say withold both names, and when someone is found guilty then let the public know.. Anyway the accuser name and info is all over the internet, so people will know her, but maybe not her picture for a while...But they will get it. It seems to be an internet activist nature going tonight because the accused will be posted all over the TV tomorrow, so people feel they will do what is necessary to get her out there as much as they can. Trust me, by tomorrow everyone will know this womans name...

    I think I would lean towards keeping the all of the names secret in cases involving sex whether it is rape, pedophilia, and possibly even domestic violence. These are horrible crimes and after guilt has been found, it is in the public's interest to know the identities. But because they are such horrible crimes, even being accused can be a life-changing, horrible experience. Sex crimes lead to hysteria and over-reaction. And they can prey on the innocent too who for reasons of their own psychology, cannot or will not reveal important details. Famed actor Fatty Arbuckle was impotent, but could not admit this in public and so let himself have his career ruined when he was falsely accused of rape. In showing support for her husband, his wife was shot at as she entered the courtroom. When my wife decided to separate from me, she called 9/11 and accused me of domestic violence. It was a false accusation, but one commonly made in divorces. I gather that lawyers know to discount these accusations, though it doesn't stop them from bringing it up whenever it can help them. I had no history, and nothing ever came from that, but to this day, I do not know who has access to that report. Is that report why I am having trouble obtaining a secret clearance at work? I do not know. Prior to guilt being found, I think the Fifth Amendment rights of the accused (innocent until proven guilty) outweighs the public interest.

    Re: Should the Duke Accuser's Name be Published No (none / 0) (#6)
    by chew2 on Mon Apr 17, 2006 at 08:38:44 PM EST
    Why do I think that zabmom is a conservative white male? Criticizing Jesse and Tawana perhaps. Ah the resentments of white males.

    I respwect you. This is a valuable blog. But I feel I must say this: On some issues, you come a little too close to sounding like the mirror image of Nancy "Try'em and fry'em" Grace. Rape victims are treated differently than other victims for a reason, whether right or wrong. While some "accusers" (as you call them) may use the shield of anonymity to unjustly destroy the accused, many "victims" (as I would call them, would rather let the deed go unpunished than step into the glare of public exposure. Despite what you say, rape IS different than a stabbing. When you use the loaded word "accuser," instead of "victim" or "witness," what you are doing is similar to people who call abortion doctors "murderers". The truth is that the "accusers" are the police and the D.A.s - should they bring charges. Responsibility for discriminating between wrongful charges and real crimes should be laid at their feet - not the victim's. If you want to argue this point, perhaps you shoiuld present objective facts and figures to show that society on balance is better served by exposing the victims, not only to public scrutiny but also the ridicule of bloggers and character assasination in the media by zealous defense attorneys.

    Libby, I don't agree with the parallels you are drawing. Under US law, the accused are innocent until proven guilty. TL's position follows the law. Nancy Grace, on the other hand, as you obviously recognize, does not. She treats accused defendants as if they were guilty, just by virtue of having been accused. It is wrong to equate her position with TL's, because TL's is consistent with the law. Also in a case where someone makes an accusation that is not proven, you end up with someone being labelled the "accused" and tried. Why should the accuser merit different treatment? Relative to the particular person(s) accused, the accuser does not actually become a "victim" unless and until the accused defendant is found guilty. They may be a victim of something, that may have been caused by someone, but unless the accused confesses or is found guilty, calling their accuser a "victim" rather than "the accuser" is tantamount to prejudging the outcome of the trial. It is up to the police and DA to bring charges against the right people, and when the trial is over, we will know if they did that. Until then, we should treat both sides equally, and certainly not use language that runs contrary to the intent of the law (innocent until proven guilty). So either call them "accused" and "accuser", or use less judgmental terminology like "defendant" and "witness". But if you use "accused" and "victim", you are biasing your language unfairly in favor of one side, especially since the law actually takes the opposite view.

    Libby, the accurate term for the complaining witness in a rape case, which you call "victim" is "prosectutrix." I think "accuser" is an accurate term, since she is not a victim until a jury or court determines she has been raped. This is a valid issue in acquaintance rape cases. It may be much less so in stranger rape cases. As to being the "mirror image" of Nancy, I hope you mean it in the chemical sense as in isomers, where one rotates light to the left and one to the right. If you mean we have opposite points of view but I am just as strident for rights of the accused as she is for rights of victims. I can live with that.

    Re: Should the Duke Accuser's Name be Published No (none / 0) (#10)
    by Che's Lounge on Mon Apr 17, 2006 at 09:49:14 PM EST
    Kobe's accuser was white. These women are black. Let's see how long their names are kept confidential.

    As to being the "mirror image" of Nancy ... I am just as strident for rights of the accused as she is for rights of victims
    And then there's the unofficial TV ratings test: Does Jeralyn Merritt hold your attention whenever you see her on TV? Yes. Does Nance Grace make you lunge for the channel changer the moment she opens her mouth on TV? Yes. Mirror image it is!

    I think Cymro is making a valid point. This is the prosecutor's call, not the victim's. I'm not going to use "alleged" or other terms, you know who I mean, and my point is that the prosecutor makes the decisions about who to charge, whether to seal the indictments, how to play the media, etc. Focusing on law enforcement will do a lot more to change the way things are done than focusing on victims (I must say here, alleged victims, as focuing on real victims is certainly the right thing to do. That said, you are alleged until the trial is over). If one thinks that TalkLeft has been accurate about the prosecutor's conduct and methods up to this point, there is a very big reason for concern. That has nothing to do with the victim however, who at the very worst has lied and misrepresented a situation that a smart prosecutor would decide is not worth filing charges over. This works in the opposite direction of course, where prosecutors don't file charges when all evidence points to a crime, but the politics of the situation are different. I think TL is most likely correct in its analysis of this case, but I don't know. That said, I don't think it is smart or productive to reveal the name of the accuser. TL asked for input, that is my input, and I appreciate the fact that TL asked for input before doing something and then asking "so what do you think." Great blog, and comments.

    I hope you mean it in the chemical sense as in isomers, where one rotates light to the left and one to the right.
    Egads... must the whole world remind me that I'm terribly at inorganic chemistry?

    I'm also terribly at typing, it seems.

    Re: Should the Duke Accuser's Name be Published No (none / 0) (#16)
    by cpinva on Mon Apr 17, 2006 at 10:55:32 PM EST
    to be fair, neither should be made public, absent a finding of guilty by a jury, or a plea bargain by the accused. in the alternative, both accuser and accused's names should be made public. absolutely, sex crimes are totally different from all other crimes, murder included. an accused, but not convicted murderer doesn't have nearly the negative halo around him/her, as an accused rapist or pedophile does. convicted murderer's, upon release, if ever, aren't required to register on a murderer's list, each time they move. i could go on, but the point is made. either both, or neither. i lean towards neither.

    Re: Should the Duke Accuser's Name be Published No (none / 0) (#17)
    by BigTex on Mon Apr 17, 2006 at 11:12:50 PM EST
    The same standard should be applied to all parties. The rational behind not releasing the victim's name is that it is a taint for life. Either she was raped, and therefore is victim and shouldn't be victimized all over again, or she filed a false report. Either way she is tainted here on out. What people refuse to understand is that the same holds true for those named as accused. The charge of rape will stick in the minds of some. Look at the comments made in the earlier threads, many here have already convicted three, even though only 2 are being submitted to a GJ. Since the philosophy of taint holds for all parties, the treatment should be the same for all parties. As to what should the treatment be, that's a tough call. On balance though, reveal. The way society is currently situated, the accused will have their names drawn through the mud. The accuser shouldn't be able to hide behind a shield of anonimity in order to level charges. We have a tradition of right to confront our accusers. The stigma of rape is senseless. The victims don't bring rape upon themselves. There is no parallel stigma for people who are garden virety assaulted, or aggervated assault. No stigma for those who are robbed. No stigma for any other victim of crime. The stigma for a rape victim is an anomoly. The only way to begin to break the stigma is to air out the issue, and force people to see it in the light. Revealing a victim's name, espically a female victim's name goes against the notions of chivalry I hold, but to do so is better for all involved in the long run. It is going to be painful at first for those whose names are aired, espically for the true victims. But, the true victims are identified anyway, they don't successfully keep the secret. Word leaks out. Many people already know who the accuser is. The stigma is a prejudice. The more constructive course of action for the long run is to give the name and force society to face the prejudice.

    I like a lot the idea upthread about withholding the names of defendants unless/until they are convicted. The current TV culture of mug shots and perp walks makes a mockery of the presumption of innocence. Of course as chew2's post makes clear, the internet will make moot the issue of big media's biases, discretion, etc., if it hasn't already.

    Re: Should the Duke Accuser's Name be Published No (none / 0) (#19)
    by azbballfan on Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 12:28:36 AM EST
    None of the names should be officially released. This protects their "right" to privacy. Of course, people will find and post their identities on the internet. But at least they won't have to suffer the daily indignation of having TV cameras in their faces.

    TL writes:
    As to being the "mirror image" of Nancy, I hope you mean it in the chemical sense as in isomers, where one rotates light to the left and one to the right. If you mean we have opposite points of view but I am just as strident for rights of the accused as she is for rights of victims. I can live with that.
    Supporting the rights of the accused and supporting the arguments (or models) of the accused don't amount to the same thing. It is our duty as citizens, whether we are Nancy Grace or TL, to support the rights of our neighbors. We have no such duty to support their arguments. Cymro writes,
    "Under US law, the accused are innocent until proven guilty. TL's position follows the law."
    US law places no restraints on how we model the world outside the courtroom. The requirement that we presume our neighbors to be innocent applies to us when we become jurors responsible for other people's liberty interests. It does not apply to gossip columnists, like TL and NG. TL has spent very few words presuming the innocence of the accuser in this case, not because there is no supporting data for that position, but because her arguments derive first and foremost from a policy. If there were no better way to determine which party is right and which party is wrong in a given dispute than by flipping a coin, such a policy would mathematically qualify as ethical. But, of course, we do, so it does not.

    Sorry, That should have read,
    If WE HAD no better way to determine which party is right and which party is wrong in a given dispute than by flipping a coin, such a policy would mathematically qualify as ethical. But, of course, we do, so it does not.
    In a free society I would think an accused person's right to a public trial ought to trump an accuser's right to privacy, unfortunate though that clearly is for victims of violent crime. But it's hard to feel strongly about such a policy, when the results in the real world are the social equivalent of permitting a child to set fire to a puppy.

    Re: Should the Duke Accuser's Name be Published No (none / 0) (#22)
    by HK on Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 01:24:16 AM EST
    I agree in the main with what Tex says and the essence of what Jeralyn says about the stigma of one who is raped being an anomaly among victims of crime. A possible other example would be a person who had been beaten up because they were gay. The revealing of their name and the nature of the crime against them may bring with it a stigma for them. Another way in which a rape is different from other crimes is that it is often clear the act of sexual intercourse has taken place, but unclear whether it was consensual. This is especially true in cases in which it is alleged the victim was drugged. If a burglary has taken place, or a murder or a beating, it is pretty clear it was against the accuser's wishes. Therefore a 'not guilty' verdict in a rape case, although one I believe we must respect, may or may not mean the accuser was lying. I hope that if I was ever unfortunate enough to be raped, I would have the courage to make my identity known and speak out. But I don't think it is fair that we make that decision for other women. Isn't it better that these crimes are reported and those who commit them are caught than that we attempt to tackle the stigma for victims and in doing so reduce the amount of crimes that are reported? This stigma must be tackled in other ways, re-educating the public rather than forcing reluctant and vulnerable women to make a stand for what we believe. I have long thought that the identities of both the accuser and the accused should be kept secret until after the verdict. Trial by media for those who may be innocent of rape is unacceptable and is likely to have lasting consequences.

    Re: Should the Duke Accuser's Name be Published No (none / 0) (#23)
    by azbballfan on Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 01:36:34 AM EST
    "J Pierpont Flathead" Your story hits very close to home. Clearly my now ex-wife knew how to work the system to build a case of public opinion. Basically, for anyone interested, if you call the police and make an accusation of domestic violence, it will be recordered by the police despite what they find. In my case, the police openly apoligized to me for the police report they had to file. My ex wife was a part of a group of gals who relished in their ability to con guys out of money. I'm sure it happens both ways, but it happens.

    J Pierpont Flathead wrote:
    "Prior to guilt being found, I think the Fifth Amendment rights of the accused (innocent until proven guilty) outweighs the public interest."
    I would argue that an accused person's right to a public trial outweigh's society's interest in maintaining a private justice system.

    Jesurgislac , You wrote:
    Medical evidence has already determined she was raped and assaulted. What the jury or the court determines is not whether or not she was raped - it's who did it.
    In some societies,as I understand it, scientific evidence is not subject to aggressive debate at trial, but in this one, again, as I understand it, it is. So the question of whether the dancer was raped will, I believe, be a question that the jury will be allowed to consider.

    "Medical evidence has already determined she was raped and assaulted." No, medical evidence exists that indicates that it is possible she was raped and assaulted. It is also possible that she had rough sex. It is not possible to determine which.

    Jeralyn made her position clear on this case from the beginning. Good boys, bad accuser. I've come to the sad conclusion that it doesn't make sense to like or admire a person you don't know, people are terribly flawed and biased. I'm over the hope of finding an objective person on the internet. On the subject of identifying either the accused or the accuser, I don't think the founding fathers envisioned the level of media coverage, google, or any of the things that allow a person's name and life to be destroyed if charged. I think all parties should be unidentified until and if they are convicted. All parties including witnesses are entitiled to their privacy. Innocent accusers and the innocent accused are irreparably harmed by present media coverage. The benefits of knowing have been overriden by the harm that has been done. Of course it will never happen the media is too powerful now.

    Criticizing Jesse and Tawana perhaps. Ah the resentments of white males. I don't know about Jesse, but Tawana? What's not to criticize? She lied about a rape, and smeared a guy for life, all to avoid taking responsibility for not coming home on time.

    Two points: First, the accuser of rape is also stigmatized. Often there is some culpability - thye were drunk, they had bad judgement, they were at the wrong place, they said yes until they said no. In a case like this, where there was definitely a disagreement about what services were paid for, and anger and racist remarks, it is clearly a violent act. But in many case the accuser would not come forward without ananymity, at leasyt of a kind. Maybe when society sees rape as violence and not sex then the accuser should also be public. I am reminded that women who are raped in fundamentalist countries are often murdered for bringing shame on the family. Second, I will assume that speedy trial means something in rape cases. So the facts can come out in court quickly. Privacy might work nhere. But in white collar and political crimes where the investigation takes years and the trial more years it is not in the publics' interest to protect the accused: do we want to re-elect the corrupt or have someone who clearly who clearly hurt the security of the country continue to have clearances and power? I believe the rights of the defendant are important, but need to be balanced with rights of victims, especially stigmatized rape victims and the people who need information to be good constituents.

    Jesurgislac said:
    You didn't trash Harry Whittington...
    What? Man, the Bush/Cheney hatred runs so deep, it even makes an appearance here... wow. As far as releasing the name of the accuser, I believe it's appropriate. I see the merits of keeping both the accused and accusers identities private but often times that's not realistic in our world of 24-hour network news, blogs "out-breaking" each other and the like. I also tend to think that if you are going to levy charges against someone, whatever they are, you should have to stand behind them. I would tend to think this would have the effect of reducing false charges by removing the veil of anonymity. I'm hopeful that this case advances with propriety on both sides and justice is served. If it becomes apparent that these boys did what they are charged with, they should face the full force of the law.

    The defendant is called the "accused" because he is in fact the accused. It is hardly derogatory, inflammatory, or prejudicial to do so. It is just stating a truth. Cionveniently, the same word can be plural when there are multiple defendants. Calling the victim the "accuser" is NOT symmetry. Indeeed, it creates an illusion of symmetry where it does not exist (or only exists for a brief time until the investigators find other evidence). It trivializes and generalizes the crime of rape to a "he said, she said" dispute, with the government acting as an arbiter. You even reinforce that notion when you say, "treat both sides equally." I say, the victim isn't "the other side," the government is. If we were talking about a stabbing victim, we wouldn't say "accuser," would we? It would be obvious even without a trial that a stabbing did occur, that the injured person is most a victim of something she didn't ask for, the main remaining question being, "Who did it?" In a rape where the corroborating evidence is not publicly visible, if we make a habit of calling a rape victim the "accuser" it raises a presumption (until trial) that the rape didn't occur, or that what occured was consensual (not a crime), until proven otherwise. This is tantamount to a presumption of guilt (of lying) on the part of the victim -- going far beyond protecting the defendant's right to presumption of innocence. In a stabbing, public immediately sees the evidence of the crime of battery. It could be many days or weeks (even months) before the public sees the evidence of the crime of rape. In effect we put the victim on trial in the media. It may serve the interests of the accused and their defense attorneys to do that, but I doubt that it benefits society. I do not accuse TalkLeft of being vicious and hateful, like Nancy Grace. I understand and accept the natural biases of someone whose day-job is criminal defense attorney. But let's be careful here. The word "accuser" should stay in the realm of your opening and closing statements to the jury. Out here, in the public discourse, the term is loaded and prejudicial. You may well be able to make a case that society is better served by exposing the rape victim's identity, but please do so with facts, not loaded terminology. And let me say again: TalkLeft is a marvelous, well-written and informative blog - virtually all of the time. It is among my top six blogmarks.

    Re: Should the Duke Accuser's Name be Published No (none / 0) (#32)
    by swingvote on Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 07:10:51 AM EST
    Libby, It sounds like you are advocating that we immediately jump to the term "victim" whenever a rape is alleged, but does that not have the affect of presuming guilt on the part of the accused and forcing them to prove otherwise? I agree that there is a problem here, but it's not as if no one has ever been accused of a rape that did not occur, and minus any evience of a crime, what can we call the one making the accusation other than an accuser?

    I don't recall any false accusations of stabbing, so maybe you can enlighten me. In a rape where the corroborating evidence is not publicly visible, if we make a habit of calling a rape victim the "accuser" it raises a presumption (until trial) that the rape didn't occur, or that what occured was consensual (not a crime), until proven otherwise. This is tantamount to a presumption of guilt (of lying) on the part of the victim -- going far beyond protecting the defendant's right to presumption of innocence. No, it is tantamount to saying that this is a heinous crime and the corroborating evidence is not visible and can only be judged in court in the course of due process. It makes no judgment. You do. You shouldn't. Libby, it is odd that you call "accuser" the loaded word and say that "victim" is not the loaded word. When PB writes "US law places no restraints on how we model the world outside the courtroom. The requirement that we presume our neighbors to be innocent applies to us when we become jurors responsible for other people's liberty interests. It does not apply to gossip columnists, like TL and NG." I remember where I first heard PB's sentiments. From "John and Ken" the shock jocks in Los Angeles that performed all sorts of stunts in front of Scott Petersen's house. Take that argument to the extreme like John and Ken did, and it was okay for them to air on the radio 24x7 their statements about Petersen, put billboards up and camp out in front of the house with vans plastered with their prounouncement of guilt. Indeed by their reasoning and yours any TV anchor could drop the "alleged" when referring to any crime. It is only in court where we need to presume the defendant guilty, not in society. I don't think that way lies impartial juries, fair trials or due process. But I think it would go over big with Fox News.

    um...so i've been sitting back and reading your articles on this Duke fiassco and it is plain to see that you have made up your mind on their innocence...this is hardly political issue but you have made it about race politics. Unhappy lib here! you need to lay off this case b/c you are starting to look like a snake in the grass, nothing more than a racist wolf in sheeps clothing. I doubt you would be so adamant about this case if it was a white accuser...let this case play out in the court of law and not public opinion...so please STFU and get back to real politics.

    Re: Should the Duke Accuser's Name be Published No (none / 0) (#35)
    by Lora on Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 07:29:25 AM EST
    I'm thinking it's very hard for any of us to be objective about such a charged issue. TL, I do believe your sympathies lie with the accused, above and beyond any defense lawyer stance. I don't often see that here, but I think this time it's there. I think there may be personal reasons for it and it may be impossible to separate them out. It's been a recent and useful stance for supporters of women's rights to say that rape is not about sex, it's about power. Yes, it is about power, but I think it is going too far to say it's not about sex at all. It's extremely disturbing to consider the motives of rapists. To question that a crime has been committed in the face of solid evidence (For the sake of argument I'm going to assume that the hsopital personnel did their job correctly - a big assumption I know) generally seems to come up primarily in rape cases. This makes it a different sort of crime that does lend itself to blaming the victim (the term "victim" is generically used here). If most anyone with obvious recent injuries claimed to have been beaten up and robbed, few would question the accuser's statement (or can I say "victim" now?). But now the question is, did this woman with serious injuries claiming to have been raped and beaten up just consent to "rough sex?" What if she'd simply said she'd been attacked and robbed? Would her story have been given any more weight? Perhaps it would have. A victim (or alleged victim, which is a perfectly fine and P.C. description) is subject to a stigma and scrutiny that goes far beyond the victim of any other crime. My sense is if the accused are found innocent, they will be able to go on with their lives more easily than the accuser will, regardless of the outcome. However, team players may not be so easily forgiven for being part of a group that has expressed racism and violent attitudes toward certain women. Her name should be withheld a little longer, if there is to be any chance at all for a fair trial. It's said that a rape victim is raped twice; the second time is in going through the legal process. I'd say at least twice.

    Rape is a crime. Rapes occur in large numbers. I would guess that some minority of the cases are false accusations. It's a shame. Some people are falsely accused of robbery, murder, and other crimes. That's a shame, too. More other crimes, rapes often go unreported - because the victim doesn't want his/her personal suffering to become a public spectacle. Rape victims' identities are protected in order to ameliorate that issue, in the hope that rape-crimes do not go without justice. The question is: Does it serve a social good to catch and punish more rapists - and does that outweigh the cost that anonyminity may encourage false accusations? I would be more supportive of the idea of protecting the identity of the accused until the accumulation of evidence warrants indictment. I would also prefer that the government decline to indict and prosecute cases that boil down to little more than he-said-she-said.

    I think that what makes rape cases different is the issue of consent. When someone gets stabbed, no one wonders if maybe they wanted to be stabbed. But with rape, the big question usually is "did she want it?" So rape case defenses are all about trying to prove what a slut she is, they are always very ugly, and many rape victims feel it is akin to a second rape. That is why I would think it is a good idea to keep the name secret. Otherwise it is just a huge intimidation to come forward to know that your most personal, intimate life will be splashed all across the newspaper. What public good does it serve to publicize the name? Also, I am all for removing the stigma, but that is asking a lot of any one individual to bear the responsibility of being the trailblazer of stigma removal. Anyone who wants to can decide to publicize their name. I understand why Libby compared TL to Grace in this case: yes, TL has always stood up for the rights of the accused, as any good defense attorney (and US citizen) should. But unlike her writing on say, the Enron criminals, she doesn't just lay out the arguments the defense could use. She clearly, it what seems to go beyond objective analysis, believes the accused, and has animosity for the alleged victim. And this was from the very start, well before there were any hard facts out in the case. It is the loss of reasoned, rational analysis that reminds me of Ms. Grace. Speaking of which, has Grace talked about this case? I am curious if she is her normal anti-accused self, since sometimes people react a little different about rape cases, particularly ones with race/class issues.

    Re: Should the Duke Accuser's Name be Published No (none / 0) (#38)
    by swingvote on Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 07:54:36 AM EST
    Does it serve a social good to catch and punish more rapists - and does that outweigh the cost that anonyminity may encourage false accusations? That sounds like a textbook case of whether it better serves society to let 10 guilty men go free than to prosecute one innocent man. I think we would all prefer neither be the case, but life isn't that well organized Given that rape is in fact a difficult thing to determine after the fact based solely on physical evidence alone, such cases will almost always boil down to he-said/she-said affairs, and, as such, which is more important, to afford the accused the presumption of innocence until proven guilty, or to afford the person alleging rape the "comfort" of the term "victim". At the end of the day, to prove a rape case, the victim is going to have to stand up and identify the accused as the person who raped them in a courtroom, so there is no way to avoid identifying the "victim" if we are to grant the accused their right to face their accuser. Yes, this is a bad situation for the "victim", but it's a bad situation for the accused as well, especially if they are in fact innocent (ask Steven Pagones), and life is not always free of bad situations. There simply is no way around this problem.

    How does publishing the name of the accused, prior to a conviction, benefit society? What is the loss to society by waiting until after conviction prior to publishing the name of the accused?

    Wow, Lora, you wrote everything I was trying to say while I was writing my post. So why is TL being so weird about this case? Doesn't she have a college age son (probably at an elite university)? Maybe she just is really able to relate to the boys. I certainly know I feel bias toward the alleged victim in this case, and have tried to understand it. Partly it is being a woman, partly having been to college and had more than one incredibly unpleasant encounters with rich, frat boy types swaggering around with an appalling sense of entitlement, and women are just one more thing they are entitled to. Did that mean that these lacrosse players did anything? Of course not, but I gotta keep reminding myself that. I guess we can't get rid of our biases, but at least we can be honest about them. I would love to see a post by TL on why she is taking this case so personally and acknowledging what her bias is.

    I do think that false rape allegations are much higher than reported...The media gives the lower figure, but I have heard as high as 25%. That is 1 in 4. We have seen a great many cases of false rape just in the past year dropped. The case can be made that the false allegations number is higher, because the women who false accuse, never get prosecuted. In most cases the charges are dropped, and the no action is taken against the accuser. The feminist movement is hurting women worldwide. They play politics with every part of women(ie conscious, bodies), and now it is coming back to bite them. But it hurts other women badly. Right now we are seeing a case of the Aesop Fable of the Boy who Cried Wolf. Most women dont lie about rape. But some women do, and use it as way to get back at someone. That is why we should not be giving women a big stick to hit anyone they choose, when they feel like it. We should not be playing politics with things like rape. The only reason that we have laws like the Rape Shield is to inflate the rape numbers. Feminist wanted to redefine rape to belittle women as if a woman is not adult enough to consent or not consent. Now we have this thing called date rape. And it does no good at all. More hogwash, and politicizing and tryig to make rules as to how we are suppose to mate. Are these women crazy? I think all these laws surrounding women for rape belittle them and make them seem almost not mature enough to handle sex equally with men. They have grayed the area of consent and non-consent to the point that young kids dont know how to communicate with one another, and now they are drawing battle lines against one another. At some point women need to be accountable and responsible to their actions in sex as well as men do. If you play hard, then you expect to deal with the consequences of that. We mature men and women, need to stand up and fight against dividing men and women, and stop letting men and women who hate the opposite sex destroy our mating system. Any man who rapes a woman is not a man and does not deserve to be among the civil society in my opinion. Any woman who lies about rape, is no woman at all, and deserves to be punished for it harshly, maybe even equal to the crime that the accused should of gotten. I worry about my daughters generation, I worry aboout how boys treat girls, but even more i worry about how girls are treating themselves. Just my 2 cents.

    no i am not a white male. i am a 24 year old black woman with two kids and one on the way i am married and i knew a guy who was a "pimp" she probably got beat up by her pimp because she didn;t bring her money to him

    I would guess that some minority of the cases are false accusations. It's a shame. Some people are falsely accused of robbery, murder, and other crimes. That's a shame, too. It's far more than a shame. Depending on whose research you believe, anywhere from 2% to 98% of accusations are false, and the penalty for that, if tried, is often a misdemeanor and a fine. The 2% is undoubtably low, the 98% undoubtably high. God forbid the truth is in the middle at 50%. But what level of false accusations are you okay with? Here are some links you may wish to read. What If Kobe Bryant Has Been Falsely Accused? Why the Law of Acquaintance and Date Rape Should Seriously Penalize False Reports By JONNA M. SPILBOR Who says women never lie about Rape? The "believe the woman" zealotry promoted by Juanita Broaddrick's defenders is bad for feminism. BY CATHY YOUNG Eeva Sodhi Advocacy information: 1-in-4 of college women are raped annually Actual statistics: A review of Oklahoma University enrolment data and information supplied by campus police yielded the estimate that the annualized rape risk for 1996 freshmen women at OU was 1 chance in 476. [Source: Deflating the Date Rape Scare: A Look At Campus Police Records by Michael P. Wright, Scientific Social Research, Norman, Oklahoma] BJS report NCJ-151658 notes that there are 2 rapes or attempted rapes reported per 1,000 US citizens, which is 530,000 reports of rape per year. There are 15,000 rape convictions annually. Based on new DNA tests, a third of those convictions are now found to be false. Therefore, there are potentially 520,000 false rape allegations a year. Research Shows False Accusations Of Rape Common By Glenn Sacks (09/17/2004) That false allegations are a major problem has been confirmed by several prominent prosecutors, including Linda Fairstein, who heads the New York County District Attorney's Sex Crimes Unit. Fairstein, the author of "Sexual Violence: Our War Against Rape," says, "there are about 4,000 reports of rape each year in Manhattan. Of these, about half simply did not happen."

    zabmom: It's a shame that some people on here let the racism "present right under the surface" bubble over when someone of color doesn't conform to the worldview they would expect. To question your race and gender over a position you take is blatantly racist and deplorable. I'm sorry people are still blinded with racism, even when they are well-intentioned.

    My sense is if the accused are found innocent, they will be able to go on with their lives more easily than the accuser will, regardless of the outcome. I disagree that it is easier for the accussed found innocent to go on with their lives. One of the police officer in Tawana Brawley's case killed himself. How does it feel like to be punished for things that one does not do? How about the long period waiting for one's name to get cleared? One's life will be completely on halt. The best result is indeed that one is found innocent, but other people could always say that the person is charged of rape but not convicted, because his parents have a lot of money to get him a good lawyer.

    Re: Should the Duke Accuser's Name be Published No (none / 0) (#46)
    by BigTex on Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 08:43:13 AM EST
    But now the question is, did this woman with serious injuries claiming to have been raped and beaten up just consent to "rough sex?" What if she'd simply said she'd been attacked and robbed? Would her story have been given any more weight? Perhaps it would have.
    There are time stamped photos, which corresponding times on watches in the photos, show injuries before the alleges assault. Transfer that fact pattern over to a run of the mill assault, stabbing, etc. and the victim has a steep hill to climb to show that the injures complained of are not the same. It's possible that a rape occurred. It's possible that the injuries detected in the medical exam were new injureis. However, with preexisting injuries that leads to question of were there any new injuries inflicted at the party. The verbiage used has been along the lines of injuries consistent with sexual assault. The verbiage has not dealt with the time of the injuries. Unless there is more info out there I am not aware of, all the medical report does is establish there are injuries consistent with rape, not when the injuries took place. Under normal circumstances, injuries would be good evidence to cooberate the claim of rape. However, in the light of preexisting injuries the coorabative value of the injuries is minimal, unless there is some way to establish, medically, when they took place. Second point: why the attacks on TL herself? Most of those who are questioning her integrety on the issue usually agree with the positions she holds. TL is taking the position that the case is weak, and that the accused have the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. No harm in either of those positions. She hasn't said that the accusers weren't raped, only that the case is weak. That's a big distinction. Holding to a presumption of innocence isn't doing society a disfavor, it's taking the moral high road.

    Jeralyn has consistently taken the presumption that the rape victim is lying
    I'm of the above opinion (which I admit is probably a bit premature) and even I have not seen Jeralyn presume the accuser is lying. She has merely pointed out inconsistances where they are apparant and detailed what most rational readers would consider to be the weaker points of the prosecution's case - just like any good defense attorney would.

    Re: Should the Duke Accuser's Name be Published No (none / 0) (#48)
    by Jlvngstn on Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 09:16:23 AM EST
    Why is having the name of the accused published so important to so many people? So they can feel safe or so they can gossip and reconcile their own bad behavior by allowing for comparison with the accused? I know that this case has produced more dialog than the Libby case and it would seem to me that the Libby case has a far more profound effect on our society. Imagine a world where the accused are afforded the protection of anonymity until conviction or exoneration such as England. It would seem to me that there would be far more dialogue on significantly more pressing issues, but of course that will do nothing for those who thrive sitting in judgement. Not one person on this site knows for certain what happened that night, yet repeatedly I see people absolutely certain that the woman was raped. The accused are innocent until proven guilty, if that is too much for some of you to bear, ask your representatives to change the constitution. If it is too much for you to believe that there is a chance the story is false, send some money to the single mother and try to help her rebuild her life. I look forward to seeing the website for the accuser set up by those who blog here who are certain she was assaulted to assist her in therapy and getting on with her life. Or is it all just a bunch of grandstanding for the issue and not the accused?

    Re: Should the Duke Accuser's Name be Published No (none / 0) (#49)
    by chew2 on Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 09:19:53 AM EST
    Some interesting background about the alleged victim taken from a news report: She is a 27-year-old mother of two who married young, served in the Navy... The petite, soft-spoken woman is described by friends as a caring mother and a hard worker...she also is a serious student who recently received an A in a difficult course. The former husband said he was illiterate when he married the then-19-year-old woman. She taught him to read, he said, and was kind and patient during the process. After months of tutoring and many evenings spent paging through beginning-level books, he said, he was finally able to fill out his own job applications. "She never downed me for that," he said. "She loved me for who I was." Along the way, the woman became interested in another sailor, a man who would later father her children, the former husband said. The woman tried several jobs to support her children, including working in an assembly line for a computer company and various sales jobs, her former husband said. The father said he did not know that she had taken a job with an escort service until after she made the rape allegations. In an earlier interview, the woman said she thought he knew about the job. Upon learning that reports of her allegations had surfaced in the newspaper, she put a hand over her mouth and gasped. Tears welled in her eyes.

    Re: Should the Duke Accuser's Name be Published No (none / 0) (#50)
    by january on Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 09:29:07 AM EST
    I don't think anyone would deny that rape is a highly charged issue. Domestic violence is also, and to a lesser extent sexual harassment, and there is no question that laws should be on the books to acknowledge these issues as crimes and give victims some recourse. That said, it saddens me that some of my sisters have chosen to use accusations of sexual harassment, domestic violence, and rape as tools to achieve their own ends, whether they are true victims or not. And, Libby, in the case of rape, that's not a "shame," that's a crime. You've all seen this or experienced it, so you all know it happens. Such accusations are effective precisely because they will follow those accused for the rest of their lives, justified or not. My thoughts on the specific question asked here are that nobody should be tried in the media - accuser or accused. Absent anonymity for all parties, however, I'd just vote for equal treatment. If those accused get their names in the papers, so do the accusers.

    "Therefore, there are potentially 520,000 false rape allegations a year." Good grief. That is outrageously misworded and misleading. You should have put the word "potentially" in front of false, as in "potentially-false". But then your statement would be meaningless. Every rape allegation is "potentially false" until proven true. The idea that 1/3 to 1/2 of allegations might be untrue doesn't bother me either. It's the job of the police and prosecutor to sift out most of those untrue allegations, and job of the courts to sift out the rest. They should not prosecute every allegation. I am glad that the advent of DNA testing gives the criminal justice system a better tool with which to discriminate. Yes, false allegations are a problem -- but mainly to the extent that we allow mere "allegations" to become prosecutions. I am okay with rapists getting off because we can't find corroberating evidence. I am not okay with automatically subjecting most victims (the ones not horribly beaten or even killed) to a media trial on their veracity - and then letting the defense attorneys have their way with the victims again during the real trial. Let the first rape go unpunished rather than subjecting victims to two more gang rapes. Dealing with rape-crime is problematic for society. It always has been. But the solution is NOT to make rape into something akin (more or less) to a tort.

    Re: Should the Duke Accuser's Name be Published No (none / 0) (#52)
    by Peaches on Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 09:37:46 AM EST
    Or is it all just a bunch of grandstanding for the issue and not the accused?
    JVL, I think there are 2 issues that are being argued in these threads. In the actual case (the first issue), Jeralyn has been correct to point out the weaknesses in the case against the accused. I think most people will be surprised if a conviction is ever reached on any of the accused based on the evidence we have heard so far. The beyond a reasonable doubt threshold that a rape occurred is going to be difficult for the prosecution to argue and prove. Surrounding this are many larger arguments that this case throws light upon for our society as a whole including, but not restricted to: race, class, victims, innocence, false allegations,and gender. When arguing the evidence in the actual case, it is best to only deal with the actual events that happened and can be confirmed on that night. THus we focus on timelines, police reports, player interviews, medical reports, witnesses, and the personal bacgrounds of the accusers and the accused. In determining the guilt or innocence of the accused this is the proper protocol. However, all of this takes plae in the context of an unjust society that strives to attain, or at least--give the appearance of--justice. Thus we have arguments from both sides on issues like privilege, race, false accusations, rape statistics, etc. All of these issues are important for our society, but may have less importance for this individual case. I think most of the passionate statements on this thread are based in the second issue--which is the overall context of our society--and not on the merits of this case. This case just serves as a forum for hashing out these arguments--just as the OJ trial and Kobe trial once did.

    Supamike said...
    Now we have this thing called date rape. And it does no good at all. More hogwash, and politicizing and tryig to make rules as to how we are suppose to mate.
    So, are are of the opinion that there is no such thing as "date rape"?
    I worry about my daughters generation, I worry aboout how boys treat girls, but even more i worry about how girls are treating themselves.
    I worry that your daughters might not have been taught that "no, means no" and that "date rape" does, in fact, occur.

    Sorry, I should have previewed my post first. The first portion of my previuos post should read as follows... Supamike said...
    Now we have this thing called date rape. And it does no good at all. More hogwash, and politicizing and tryig to make rules as to how we are suppose to mate.
    So, are you of the opinion that there is no such thing as "date rape"?

    Yes, in our court system it is innocent until proven guilty. That doesn't stop us from speculating. Some people are SURE the boys are guilty, other people are SURE she is lying. If we are honest, no one knows, and we certainly don't have the facts of the case. But we can say, "I suspect that this is what happened." I definitely think TalkLeft has had a different tone about this issue, that is why she is getting attacked for it. Okay supamike, let's talk about those stats. First, I really hope you understand that most rapes go unreported. I have had two people in my life tell me about being raped, and neither of them reported it. One was raped by her husband, and is in an abusive marriage. The other was a teenage girl who was raped by the most popular boy in school in rural NC when she was drunk. Her friends blamed her for getting drunk, she knew she would be socially ostracized if she took on Mr. Popular. There are many, many reasons why people don't report rape. Most date rapes are her word against his. Based on how you hear people talking about this woman, would you report that knowing there was no way to get a conviction and your name would be dragged through the mud? So a very small percentage of rapes even are reported to the police. Now false reports - the stat that most frequently gets cited is that 20% of DNA tests in rape cases rule out the accused (I am not sure where that stat comes from, but I know I have heard it). This is of course 20% of reported rapes. Assume 1 in 4 rapes gets reported to the police. That would mean that for 20 actual rapes, there is one false report (5%). Another thing that effects "false reports" has to do with unintentionally falsely identifying suspects. People do this all the time in all crimes, and it might be particularly hard to get a good ID on someone while they are assaulting you (might not be thinking too clearly). So in stranger rape cases, false accusations are not always maliciously false accusations. I would also like to point out that you shouldn't assume that just because charges are dropped in a rape case it does not mean a rape hasn't occured. It could just as easily be that the case is unprovable or that the victim didn't want to put herself through the very painful process of a trial. Finally, I would like to add that you have no idea what it is like to be a woman and have the constant fear of rape in the back of your mind. Feminists have worked hard to try to make women feel they can come forward when they have been raped. It doesn't help unify men and women to live in a climate where people don't talk about rape. False accusations are a terrible crime. However, they are not equal in their awfulness to actual rape. It is offensive to equate them and think that they deserve equal punishment. At some point women need to be accountable and responsible to their actions in sex as well as men do. If you play hard, then you expect to deal with the consequences of that. What do you mean by that? Please explain yourself.

    Good grief. That is outrageously misworded and misleading. You should have put the word "potentially" in front of false, as in "potentially-false". Just to be clear, I didn't write that, that was part of Eeva Sodhi's essay. I think I had the right html too, but it was "corrected" my the blog software. I stumbled over that too, but if her figures are accurate, 530,000 *reported* rapes and only 15,000 convictions, 5,000 of those false too. I don't even know what to make of that. What happened in those other 520,000 "rapes"? They were reported by not prosecuted? 98% Really? The idea that 1/3 to 1/2 of allegations might be untrue doesn't bother me either. Similar (googalable) studies show that false allegations for other crimes is more like 1.6%. Why should rape have a false allegation rate any higher? It's the job of the police and prosecutor to sift out most of those untrue allegations, and job of the courts to sift out the rest. That sounds very expensive to the taxpayer, and terribly devastating to the falsely accused.

    Jesurgislac, I followed your link. I disagree with your conclusion. Have to go to work now....

    Re: Should the Duke Accuser's Name be Published No (none / 0) (#58)
    by ltgesq on Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 10:05:21 AM EST
    The idea that women never ever make false allegations against men is absolutely preposterous. I have just left court where a young woman has managed to get my client locked up over and over again based soley on her word that he had threatened or struck her. Time, and vigorous crossexamination have proven her to be a liar and fabricator. When women make these accusations, sexual or otherwise, there is very little tendency for the investigating officers to question any of the allegations. It is the "first story syndrome". When an officer hears the first version of an event, every succeeding version is per se untrue. It is the reason that people fight to get to the telephone to call 911, just so their version of the event becomes the "truth." As an aside, I find it unbelievable that she thought the father of her kids knew she was working as an escort. Bull.

    Re: Should the Duke Accuser's Name be Published No (none / 0) (#59)
    by Peaches on Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 10:27:32 AM EST
    We have their names

    Posted by Peaches April 18, 2006 11:27 AM We have their names And how have you benefited from that?

    Re: Should the Duke Accuser's Name be Published No (none / 0) (#61)
    by chew2 on Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 10:33:18 AM EST
    Ltgesq
    As an aside, I find it unbelievable that she thought the father of her kids knew she was working as an escort. Bull.
    I was referring to her father, not the father of her kids. She had only been working as an escort for a couple of months. You're raising a strawman, no one is claiming that woman never make false accusations. The factual issue is why would the specific lady in this specific case make a false accusation? What was her motive and how believable is it? Or could she have been impaired and mistaken?

    Re: Should the Duke Accuser's Name be Published No (none / 0) (#62)
    by Peaches on Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 10:38:37 AM EST
    And how have you benefited from that?
    I haven't. And how have you?

    Sigh, I haven't either. I am still hoping someone will explain to me how society benefits from release of these names at indictment in a way that it wouldn't have benefited from the release of the names after conviction.

    zabmom brings up an interesting point although this is probably not the right thread to discuss it, but, what if her injuries were inflicted by her pimp? What if she fears, literally, for her life if she "turns over" on him? fwiw, this is one of the best threads I've ever seen on TL. Kudos to all.

    Re: Should the Duke Accuser's Name be Published No (none / 0) (#65)
    by Jlvngstn on Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 11:26:08 AM EST
    Jer, how has releasing the accused names and photos provided any merit to this debate? Race, class, privilege etc. Tell me, how does publishing their names whilst they are still considered innocent help the underprivileged? This is such a ridiculous argument. Were you in the room? Because your definitive stance leads me to believe you were. Here is what I think. There are a lot of people that think these students were buttheads and they deserve to be tarred and feathered in the media, irrespective of their guilt/innocence relative to the assault charges. There are a lot of people, in fact most in this country, that love to gossip and compare themselves to the worst of society in order that they can feel better about themselves. Mostly though, there is a lot of BS relative to the sadness for the victim here. Why isn't there a fund set up for her kids college education by those on this site and the masses who feel she is being wrongly judged because of her profession? Why not DO something for this poor woman instead of wasting efforts bashing the men? If the men are guilty they will pay the price. If you believe the woman and are cognizant of the horrors of rape, than why not help this woman get through this? Take 150 bucks, build a website and solicit donations for her. Or is there something about setting up a fund for an escort/stripper that is making people not want to do so? Is there a reverse judgement on the other side of the issue, or is it all empty rhetoric? I have written my congressman several times trying to get someone to pay attention to the rights of the accused relative to media converage and will continue to do so.

    Re: Should the Duke Accuser's Name be Published No (none / 0) (#66)
    by chew2 on Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 11:39:23 AM EST
    SUO, Zapmom is just another woman hating white male, so I wouldn't take her suggestion seriously. Is there even a hint of a pimp in this situation? Pimps take all your money. She's going to school and supporting two kids with the help of her parents. Girls who work with escort agencies mostly don't have pimps. That's why they use agencies. She's only been doing this for a few months. Otherwise it appears that she was working regular jobs while going to school. SUO you've searched valiantly for a believable motive for her to make up this rape allegation. Keep trying. They're many more out there.

    PIMP you have got to be kidding me. You are watching too much TV. Pimps don't let their whores go to school. This woman has gone from an exotic dancer to a stripper to a whore to now a prostitute with a Pimp. Heaven help this racist country.

    Re: Should the Duke Accuser's Name be Published No (none / 0) (#68)
    by HK on Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 11:43:12 AM EST
    This thread has produced some of the most impassioned comments I've read yet on TL. It is interesting that generally people can't help but see rape as different to other crimes against a person. I have a friend who is a convicted rapist and murderer (I am female). The rape was the part of his crime I found most difficult to come to terms with. Very difficult, in fact. In addition, other (law-abiding) friends have judged me for being his friend because of the rape, not the murder. I wonder what it is about rape that we abhor it to such an extent. If a person is falsely accused of murder, do they continue to bear a stigma? And yet mud sticks in the case of those falsely accused of rape. If a man murders because he was 'driven' to it, we may feel that he is not so bad, but to suggest that a man may be 'driven' to rape is unthinkable. I'm sure there are men on who read this post who would admit they had it in themselves to take another life, but I bet few would say that they considered themselves capable - mentally and emotionally - of having sex with a woman against her will. I don't know the answers to any of this, I'm just throwing some thoughts out there. But I do know that for whatever reason rape is a crime that is viewed differently to others and maybe this needs more consideration.

    Re: Should the Duke Accuser's Name be Published No (none / 0) (#69)
    by Lora on Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 11:52:19 AM EST
    According to the FBI website, 94,635 forcible rapes were reported in 2004. Rape happens. Although I was unable to find this next stat on their website, a number of sources quote the FBI as stating that approximately 8% are false accusations as compared with 2% for other crimes. Therefore the vast majority of rape accusations are for rapes that did actually occur. While I don't deny that false accusations can lead to devastating consequences, as many as a third of rape victims suffer post-traumatic stress disorder which can lead to severe disability for years. They have also been known to commit suicide. And given the enormous scrutiny a rape accuser's lifestyle, character, sexual habits, and past receive, I think, whether true or false rape, that her recovery after trial may be as difficult or more difficult than that of an innocent suspect.

    Jade and chew2, fair enough, I guess I'll have to accept that you two know more about the inner workings of the escort/pimp business than I do.

    Re: Should the Duke Accuser's Name be Published No (none / 0) (#71)
    by Jlvngstn on Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 12:02:26 PM EST
    jer, should I dig up your old posts to make the point or will you do it for me? Tell me Jer, what have you done for her? It is a fair question, especially in light of the broader picture relative to race and class and judgment. I was not in the room, there either was an assualt or there wasn't. That is where I stand on the issue. A case can be made either way, I choose to let the judge and evidence play itself out. However, I would no sooner support the men in this situation by sending money for their defense than I would give any money to the alleged victim. Why not help her by setting up a fund so that she does not have to subject herself to dancing in the nude for horny drunk obnoxious men? You have been making value judgments all along and have been certain this woman was raped. I am simply challenging you to do something for her. Why should the NAACP be the only one helping out, are we so polarized that we believe it is better that they handle this? Or are we a nation of windbags that trumpets the plights of others in order that we can feel better about ourselves? The paths we choose in our lives not only determine where we will end up, but how we are judged by those around us. This woman is attending college, raising 2 kids and was stripping to get by. Sometimes easy money isn't so easy. Sometimes hiring a stripper and being an a**wipe can ruin your life. Sometimes people take sides and become very passionate on their keyboard, all the while they are doing nothing to really help....

    Zabmom is just another woman hating white male, so I wouldn't take her suggestion seriously. Chew2, while it is true that on the internet no one can tell if you are a dog, do you have any evidence for your claim? Doesn't your repeatedly making such a claim without evidence destroy your own arguments and your credibility? Isn't a claim, made repeatedly without evidence, that a self-described black female is really a white male both sexist and racist? Stop trolling.

    WTF! where is all this pimp/escort talk coming from...the news has never mentioned anything other than a stripper/exotic dancer...unless you equate strippers with prostitutes? Why don't those who have called her either of these names just pull out your white hoods now and start burning crosses on her lawn. WAKE THE F UP! You guys are making it in to another OJ case.

    Re: Should the Duke Accuser's Name be Published No (none / 0) (#74)
    by Jlvngstn on Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 12:10:36 PM EST
    Jer to recap:
    Posted by Jesurgislac April 1, 2006 06:08 AM Would anything actually convince you that two sleazy exotic dancers were telling the truth, and 46 fine upstanding young men are lying?
    Face it: until there is a reasonable arrest/conviction rate for rape, any man accused of rape can be assumed to be guilty. Until there is a reasonable arrest/conviction rate for rape, not being arrested, or not being acquitted, won't mean the man's not guilty of rape: it'll only mean that he's just another rapist who got away with it. To change that perception, change the arrest/conviction rates. Nothing else will do it.
    Posted by Jesurgislac April 2, 2006 03:37 PM Squeaky:I was surprised by TL's position I was only momentarily surprised. She's a criminal defense lawyer: trashing rape victims and insisting that rapists shall be perceived as fine upstanding young men is one of the things they have to do.
    JADE: Posted by sarcastic unnamed one April 7, 2006 01:28 PM The accuser had worked for an escort company for two months, doing one-on-one dates about three times a week. [snip] This was the first time she had been hired to dance provocatively for a group, she said. It was in the news, she was an escort, is it wrong to consider character and her employment as an escort in this case?

    tricky,
    The accuser had worked for an escort company for two months, doing one-on-one dates about three times a week. "It wasn't the greatest job," she said, her voice trailing off. But with two children, and a full class load at N.C. Central University, it paid well and fit her schedule.


    Oops, JL beat me to it...

    Re: Should the Duke Accuser's Name be Published No (none / 0) (#77)
    by chew2 on Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 12:18:01 PM EST
    Jade and chew2, fair enough, I guess I'll have to accept that you two know more about the inner workings of the escort/pimp business than I do.
    Yep. Thanks for the gracious concession. -)

    okay unnamed one what/where is your source for this information? Obviousily I'm not reading the same news as you...this is what I'm still reading, The woman -- a stripper -- told police that she was attacked March 13 by three white men at an off-campus party thrown by members of the lacrosse team." http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/story?id=1853904&page=1 and so should her past employement discredit her? does it shed light on a motive of crying rape? what? all it serves is to drag her reputation through the dirt and make her accussations less believable...

    tricky, here: This admission of hers, and all of your other questions, have been discussed over and over and over again here on TL over the past couple weeks. I don't have the energy to start in on them again. No offense intended, but maybe you could read the other threads to get caught up?

    That was using Tricky's comment as a starting point. One right Click, four left clicks, two quotation marks, and Firefox.

    Whoops, okay, okay, I take it back. It was using SUO's post as the starting point. I'll come in again.

    Re: Should the Duke Accuser's Name be Published No (none / 0) (#83)
    by Peaches on Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 12:53:16 PM EST
    jpf, I don't think Chew2 is trolling. I think he or she is making an accurate guess at Zabs identity. Zabs description of himself just wasn't believable. His characterizations are grossly naive on the pimp angle. You and others may want to believe a black woman may come to the lacrosse -players aide, and, in fact, there might be one or two of them out there. But, they had better be more credible than Zab who obviously is not a black mother of two and is more likely a white male as Chew2 asserts.

    Perhaps you and J Pierpont Flathead should be more concerned with the number of rapes that go unreported.... Thank you for your assurances on the impacts of actual rape. I had never heard that before. Let me assure you too, that the impacts of false allegations are devastating indeed, leading to the loss of friends and family, career devastation, financial ruin, and suicide. Assuming that false allegations of rape occur significantly more frequently than for other classes of crime, than why should I be any more or less concerned with the number of rapes that go unreported than with the number of false allegations of rape that are made? Why should society say that ruining ones life through rape is more or less horrible than the ruining of ones life through prosecution of a false allegation? In fact, it seems the prosecution of a false allegation is worse in that the former is an act of omission and the latter an act of comission. Is there any reason that my desire to bring down the number of false allegations of rape would conflict with my desire to both increase the amount of reports of actual rape, and bring down the incidents of actual rape itself? I believe these are all desirable goals and I do what I can to support all three. My concern is that if you try to increase the number of reports of actual rapes, but fail to consider how that might lead to an increase in the number of reports of false rape, than you will create a system with poor incentives. A system that ignores the reports of false rape. I worry that that is what we have, especially when I read the comments on this thread such as your own that cavalierly dismiss the impacts of false allegations.

    J Pierpont Flathead:
    "I remember where I first heard PB's sentiments. From "John and Ken" the shock jocks in Los Angeles that performed all sorts of stunts in front of Scott Petersen's house."
    I'm guessing that you've confused people who argue that the public has a right to information with my argument, which holds that an accused person has a right to a public trial. But I'm just guessing. You wrote:
    Indeed by their reasoning and yours any TV anchor could drop the "alleged" when referring to any crime. It is only in court where we need to presume the defendant guilty, not in society.
    Nothing I wrote actually suggests that the defammation laws need to be revamped in this country. Are you sure you are yet qualified to apply my reasoning to a problem? Your batting average is zero.

    deleted for posting false information. This is about the eighth time this commenter has posted false facts claiming a rape has been medically established, despite being informed that "consistent with" does not mean a rape occurred. She also does nothing but level personal insults. She is now banned and all of her comments are being deleted.

    I'm guessing that you've confused people who argue that the public has a right to information with my argument, which holds that an accused person has a right to a public trial. But I'm just guessing. I'm guessing perhaps you haven't considered where your argument leads to, and that perhaps you are not being as clear as you know you are. But in reading your arguments I confess I am forced to just guess as to what it may be you actually are trying to say. Can we leave out the insults?

    Re: Should the Duke Accuser's Name be Published No (none / 0) (#84)
    by Aaron on Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 03:55:44 PM EST
    First just let me congratulate most everyone commenting here on some seriously substantive debate going on in this thread. Obviously my criticisms of the discussions on this site are having an effect on the level of the discourse. No need to thank me.:) Lora Thanks you for your thoughtful comments and your rather insightful analysis specifically regarding TL's position, who seems to have picked a side, consciously or not, early in this investigation. I as well would be interested to know exactly what prompted her rather carefully positioning on this issue. Although I was tempted to think it was just the knee-jerk reaction of a defense lawyer, TL's bias does seem to be rather unfounded, and that is a bit surprising, and perhaps even a bit disappointing . Having known a number of women who were raped, some of whom produced a child as evidence, and given the number of reported rapes in this country which go on to be prosecuted in contrast to the number of reported rapes which aren't, I have to say that I tend to give the accuser the benefit of the doubt in these situations. [deleted for length] From an ethical standpoint I don't think anyone's identity should be revealed until the trial is concluded, but from a practical perspective that's pretty impossible to do in the modern world. Supamike I don't know about the numbers of false rapes which are reported, but I imagine they're vastly higher than the number of false rapes which actually wind up being prosecuted. Perhaps you and J Pierpont Flathead should be more concerned with the number of rapes that go unreported, I assure you those numbers are vast. Millions of rapists go completely unmolested by the legal system in America, realized that if you realize nothing else. [remainder deleted for length]

    Re: Should the Duke Accuser's Name be Published No (none / 0) (#89)
    by Aaron on Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 04:13:48 PM EST
    So what's happening here and now, I'm being deleted for length what kind of BS is that. If you're going to edit out sections of my writing at a whim, then just do it completely, don't play games with me. You're basically altering my words, creating the impression that I'm saying something I'm not, your edits are misrepresenting my position and I don't appreciate that at all, it's quite cheap and ultimately unacceptable, something not to be tolerated. Who else here gets edited out for length? Am I getting special treatment. Do you take other people's statements and alter them as well? Why not just ban me from the site altogether. At least that would be honest. Or better yet just ask me not to comment any longer.

    Re: Should the Duke Accuser's Name be Published No (none / 0) (#90)
    by Aaron on Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 04:16:49 PM EST
    Yeah, I'm waiting for a satisfactory answer on this one, but somehow I know I'm not going to get one. Can you say inexcusable, I imagine it's probably difficult for you.

    Re: Should the Duke Accuser's Name be Published No (none / 0) (#91)
    by Aaron on Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 04:42:36 PM EST
    Well if that's the way you're going to be, just let me tell you what I really think..... [Deleted because we personally disagree with your opinion] [Deleted because we find you personally annoying and are trying to discourage you from commenting] [Deleted because we have to pay for this space and find your endless rants a drain on our resources] [Deleted because we can, so there!]

    Re: Should the Duke Accuser's Name be Published No (none / 0) (#92)
    by BigTex on Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 05:26:44 PM EST
    Who else here gets edited out for length? Am I getting special treatment. Do you take other people's statements and alter them as well?
    I have been before. IIRC it was on a prior Duke rape thread at that. Bandwidth is expensive. TL is careful to leave in salient points when she edits for length.

    J Pierpont Flathead. You wrote:
    How does publishing the name of the accused, prior to a conviction, benefit society? What is the loss to society by waiting until after conviction prior to publishing the name of the accused?
    It was Jefferson's opinion that the first amendment was our means of shaming government officials to do the right thing for the people. That ability to shame is one of the more powerful tools in a citizen's arsenal. Why would we give ANY aspect of that power over to the courts. Living in a free society, where there are no "prior restraints on free speech" has some problems, but the underlying principle is rather glorious... A free person doesn't need the court's blessing to speak the truth. It's a simple principle, but not everyone gets it. I can think of no more noxious example of a prior restraint than the one you propose: A rape victim should not need the permission of a jury to shout out the name of the person who violated her from the highest treetop. The same with a falsely accused person. We have no business taping their mouths shut in advance on the grounds that we haven't given our blessing to their claim. You wrote:
    Can we leave out the insults?
    I'll do you one better. I'll stop commenting on your ideas. Sorry to have been short with you.

    I would decide to reply to all the post that think that we should be more focused on unreported rapes, and I personally do not feel that unreported rapes are that high. I think that feminist have proved that very thing for me over the last 25 or so years. They have done everything to bias the judicial system for women, to inflate the numbers of rapes, and they have failed. They did not get their numbers up like they thought they would. We have the Rape Shield laws, and what? Nothing! I think that if women want to be equal, then they should seek justice just like everyone else. If you are raped, then come forward and get your justice. That is how the system works, and we should not have special laws to accomodate women. That is pure discrimination against men. Again I tell our ladies out there to step up to the plate and be accountable and responsible to your CHOICES. Rape Shield Laws demean women, and make them seem childike and needing a boost to step forward and get their justice.

    Shhhhhhh... I just want to savor supamike's post.

    What benefit would there be to exposing the victim's name before trial? Not that I agree with this, but I think the reasoning is to discourage false accusations with the consequent harm to the reputations of innocent people. In practice I think that releasing the victim's name would lead to her being tried in the media by the defense attorneys, with the consequent harm to the reputation of an innocent victim. Of course, that would only be a warmup for what the defense attorneys already do to her during the trial. As I said before, the whole idea sets up a false equivalence between victim ("accuser") and the accused -- as if this were just a civil dispute. Even if that supposed equivalence were valid, the better way to achive parity is to allow the accused to remain anonynmous until indictment. I can certainly understand men's fears that tonight's dream date might have remnorse or get pissed off and turn into tomorrow's living nightmare. I don't have a good answer for that, other than my personal belief that there should never be an indictment much less conviction based only on an uncorroborated accusation. And a little fear may not be such a bad thing.

    supamike posted:
    I think that if women want to be equal, then they should seek justice just like everyone else. If you are raped, then come forward and get your justice. That is how the system works, and we should not have special laws to accomodate women. That is pure discrimination against men.
    Hey supa, Rape sheild laws apply to men who are raped as well.

    Comments closing now, they are about at 100. New thread is here.