THURSDAY, JULY 05, 2007
INNOCENT: Brodhead didn't even whisper
Last spring when the Duke students who played on the Men’s lacrosse team came under fire by much of the media and many at Duke after which three were picked by the disgraced Mike Nifong for indictment and trial, Duke President Richard Brodhead acted in ways that even many of his defenders say were inept, and his critics say were shameful.
Brodhead excuses himself for what he did and didn’t do by telling people it was a “confusing time” in which“[t]he facts kept changing. Every day we learned new things that no one knew the day before.”
Well, last April 19,  the day after Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann were arrested, hand-cuffed and taken to the county jail, and nine months before Brodhead could ever bring himself to say anything critical of the disgraced Nifong, well-known defense attorney Roy Black wasn’t confused.
USA Today columnist Jon Saraceno reported:
Black told me Tuesday that the prosecution of the Duke players is "beyond difficult." An attorney for one of the accused told reporters his client wasn't even at the party at the time of the alleged rape.
"It almost reaches the level of absurdity," Black said. "I think it's driven more by local politics, race and class. How often do you see prosecutors give 30 press conferences before charges are filed?
Based upon what we know, the lack of physical evidence (beyond a hospital exam that cited injury consistent with rape), corroboration and conclusive DNA argue against a strong case here.
What you have here is her word, one certainly subject to serious credibility questions."
Now why couldn’t Brodhead have figured that out and at least have whispered it in the ears of people like Durham Herald Sun editor Bob Ashley, Duke Professor Peter Wood and Raleigh News & Observer columnist Ruth Sheehan?