Innocent is such a strong word. The Duke lacrosse team was already under double-secret probation for Animal House activities like underage drinking before the incident. While there are no James Hogans, Isaac Arhins, Walter Grays or Tim Bonners amongst these chuckleheads it is becoming more evident that the accused are not guilty of the crimes in which they are charged. And at the moment it is not against the law to be a chucklehead.
This column is a pretty good summary of how we got here. The most recent news is that the North Carolina Bar Association is filing ethics charges against DA Nilfong and it is apparent that after all charges are dropped and he gets sued by the chuckleheads Mr. Nilfong will be amongst the unemployed.
The case is now unraveling so rapidly as to be ridiculed on "Saturday Night Live." Mr. Nifong is on his way to being disbarred, unless North Carolina's legal establishment wants to be held up to national scorn. He faces lawsuits and at least a remote risk of federal criminal investigation. As for Durham's black leaders, and many in the media, and much of Duke's faculty, history will mark them down as enablers of abusive, dishonest law enforcement tactics. They will share responsibility for the continued use of such tactics, mainly against black people, after the Duke lacrosse players' innocence has become manifest to all serious people and the spotlight has moved on.