The first act in the Duke lacrosse case were the allegations and the resultant hue and cry and calls for conviction.
The second act was the unraveling of the case and the disbarment of prosecutor and DA Mike Nifong, as well as a civil lawsuit against him that is still going forward in the state of North Carolina, slowly but unsurely.
The third act is this:
A few days ago, Ms. Mangum [the accuser in the Duke rape case] was convicted of second-degree murder in the death of her boyfriend who died from wounds she inflicted with a kitchen knife. That hasn’t made too many headlines, but its is a sad, if ironically apt, coda to the whole sorry story…
The story of this tawdry melodrama at Duke deserved an entire book, and it got a very good one in Until Proven Innocent: Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case by KC Johnson, a professor of history at Brooklyn College, and the journalist Stuart Taylor. They show in horrifying detail how “many professors and, to a lesser extent, administrators at one of the nation’s finest universities chose to grind their radical political axes at the expense of both their own students’ well-being and the academy’s traditional fidelity to due process.”
Many of people suffered because of the Duke farce. But what of Professor Bakers and his preening, activist colleagues? What of the Group of 88? Only one member apologized. The rest issued a statement that categorically rejected all “public calls to the authors to retract the ad or apologize for it.”
And who is this Professor Baker, still engaged in molding young minds in academia (he seems to have made a lateral move to Vanderbilt in the ensuing years)?:
During the 2006 Duke University lacrosse case, Baker (among other members of the so-called “Group of 88″) published an open letter calling for Duke to dismiss the team and its players. Baker wrote that “white, male, athletic privilege” was responsible for the alleged rape. Baker suggested that the Duke administration was “sweeping things under the rug.” More generally, Baker’s letter criticized colleges and universities for the “blind-eyeing of male athletes, veritably given license to rape, maraud, deploy hate speech, and feel proud of themselves in the bargain.”
Duke Provost Peter Lange responded to Baker’s letter a few days later, criticizing Baker for prejudging the team based on their race and gender, citing this as a classic tactic of racism. Lange maintained that a rush to judgment would do little to remedy the deeper problems and that open letters such as Baker’s do little to further the cause of justice.
In 2007, charges against the players were dropped and the state’s Attorney General took the extraordinary step of declaring the students innocent. Following the exoneration of the players, one of the parents of a Duke lacrosse player emailed Baker and reported that he responded by writing that she was “quite sadly, mother of a ‘farm animal.’”
[NOTE: Many more details on Baker here.]