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January 04, 2007

Duke Invites Two Lacrosse Players Back

Excerpts from the AP (for what it's worth):

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- For Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann, being invited to return to Duke University represents vindication.

The university barred the two lacrosse players from class last semester while they faced charges of raping a stripper at a team party.

...

"As circumstances have evolved in this extraordinary case, we have attempted to balance recognition of the gravity of legal charges with the presumption of your innocence," Moneta said in a letter to Seligmann and Finnerty dated Tuesday.

"Now with the approach of a new term, we believe that circumstances warrant that we strike this balance differently. At this point, continued extension of the administrative leave would do unwarranted harm to your educational progress."

In other words, the university is admitting they were wrong for kicking the young men out without actually saying the words "we were wrong." In this country, you are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty. Due to the racial and economic nature of the case (white men attending a prestigious university vs. black woman attending a less prestigious state school), Duke University jumped on the race-baiting bandwagon driven by DA Mike Nifong and practically had a "guilty" verdict signed before a trial had even begun. Now that Nifong's case is falling apart (conveniently after his re-election), Duke officials must be realizing they too have egg on their faces.

Neither Finnerty nor Seligmann have decided if they'll return. Frankly, I hope they don't. One, there will always be those fellow students and professors who believe they are guilty, and they will be pariahs no matter what. Two, why should they go running back to the institution that didn't support them when they needed it most just to assuage feelings of guilt on the part of school administrators?

I'm not in favor of foolish litigation. However, considering how the reputations of these young men have suffered, I certainly hope they are considering some nice, juicy lawsuits.

For excellent insight on this case, read The Real Issue at Duke parts one and two by Thomas Sowell.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 08:42 AM | Comments (16) | TrackBack (0) | Judges & Law
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