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Thoughts on the Duke Lacrosse case

By Scott Tibbs, September 25, 2006

Wendy McElroy had another excellent column on the Duke Lacrosse "rape" case last week. At this point, the case has become a farce. It is clear that no "rape" took place, yet prosecutor Mike Nifong continues to press forward because he thinks this will benefit him politically. Unfortunately, this farce will wind up destroying the lives of a few young men who committed no crime.

This case, like the case of the Indiana University student who fabricated two rape charges earlier this month, shows that sometimes women do lie about rape.

I firmly believe that Nifong needs to be behind bars. He abused his power for personal gain and deserves nothing but contempt.

Wendy McElroy has done this nation a great service by keeping this issue in front of the public. This issue, however, goes beyond the obvious benefit of reminding people about an injustice perpetrated by a thoroughly corrupt prosecutor. Our criminal justice system is founded on the principles that the accused have rights and are innocent until proven guilty. Those principles were tested by Tawana Brawley's fabricated allegations of "rape" and are being tested again now. Are we going to have limits on government, or are we going to allow corrupt government officials to persecute innocent people for vindictiveness or personal gain, or both?

This is an important question today, because of the "war on crime" we have been fighting for the last few decades. We need to be careful that, in our zeal to keep criminals off the street, that we safeguard civil liberties and do not allow the government to engage in flagrant abuse of power. The War on Terror adds an extra layer of challenges as we seek to protect our national security while guarding civil liberties.

While no crime was committed and no "rape" took place, no one in this case is "innocent". By all accounts, the men of the lacrosse team were a bunch of pigs that night. As Ann Coulter pointed out months ago, this whole situation could have been avoided had the men never brought a stripper to their party to begin with.