Thursday, April 12, 2007

Duke Lacrosse players are innocent?

Seems to me that "innocent" is the wrong word. For those (like me) who have forgotten the timeline, here's an article. The players had a keg party and hired two strippers. One of the strippers accused the players of rape. A year later, the charges get dropped.

Lesson 1: If you go to a keg party with strippers, there's a good chance you're going to get into some kind of trouble. Listen to your mother. "Innocent" doesn't describe anyone at the party. I wonder who was checking IDs at the party? Were all participants 21?

Lesson 2: If you decide to take your clothes off in front of a bunch of young men, you're not innocent either. You should expect that at some time or another, you're going to get into trouble. This doesn't make it ok, and rape is never acceptable, but you shouldn't be surprised. If it occurred, the instigators should be prosecuted, but don't be surprised. Listen to your father.

Lesson 3: If you're on a team with a bunch of people who party like those described in lesson #, you can expect to get into trouble by association, even if you didn't participate. Listen to your parents. The Lacrosse team lost out for the whole season, just because a few of them were not "innocent". Choose your friends wisely.

Lesson 4: If you're in charge of a group and the group does something bad, you can expect to get in trouble even if you aren't with them. Call this the Truman factor. The buck stops there. If you're the guy in charge, expect to lose your job if you can't pass on some degree of morality.

I'm ignoring the prosecuting team, not because they're innocent, but because they will be chastised in other places. But looking at the four groups above, it's hard to find anyone who is innocent.


David said...

The worst part about this case is the false claim of rape. Rape is already an underreported crime and any time a rape investigation falls apart like this it might keep real rape victims from coming forward because they might fear that they won't be believed.

Randy Barnett said...

That's true. I should add:
Lesson 5: Don't lie, you ruin your credibility and the credibility of others. Remember the boy who cried wolf? You'll be seen that way forevermore and (in this case) other women will be seen that way.

Imagine what would happen if this young lady is raped now. No one would ever believe her. This gets back to Lesson #2.