Liberally Conservative

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free....... ~Ronald Reagan~

Sunday, April 23, 2006

More Bull from Durham...Duke Lined-Up

Sorry, was the Duke lacrosse team in a lineup or lined-up? We have already discussed the "race card" issue and a lack of "due process."
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Next up, a lineup that is so one-sided it will probably not be admitted into evidence, and if it is, will be thrown out of court based on lack of merit.
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A 15-page document shown to Darla Miles of WTVD, an ABC-owned station in Durham, N.C., described how the alleged rape victim, a 27-year-old exotic dancer and mother of two, identified three lacrosse players as those who she said attacked her the night of March 13. After being shown the pictures in a sequence of PowerPoint slides, the document adds, the woman said she could identify the two players indicted April 17 with 100 percent certainty. She picked out Reade Seligmann as the attacker who forced her to perform oral sex and Collin Finnerty as the second man to rape and sodomize her. She said she also could identify with 90 percent certainty the first man who raped and sodomized her. This attacker has not been arrested as of today, though District Attorney Mike Nifong said at the beginning of the week that he was looking to make a third arrest. However, an eyewitness identification expert believes the police lineup procedure was flawed because no non-lacrosse players were included. Gary Wells, president of the American Psychology-Law Society, described it as "a multiple-choice test without any wrong answers." By including "fillers," or non-suspects, in a police lineup, an accuser has to pick past the filler to choose people who actually might have committed the crime. "Without fillers as a control, the process has no internal credibility check," Wells said. David Rudolf, a North Carolina defense lawyer who has been an adjunct professor at Duke and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, believes the procedures may be problematic to the point of being inadmissible in court. "I have significant doubt that this will be admitted in court," he said, "and no doubt defense will challenge it vigorously." The issue, Rudolf explains, is that due process prohibits evidence from lineups that are unnecessarily suggestive and conducive to mistaken identity. "When you take the only suspect group and put it in front of the victim," Rudolf says, "by definition you're suggesting it was one of the 46 people in that group."
This method for a "lineup" is using the "power of suggestion" and obviously flawed by it's prejudice. The DA appears to be telling the alledged victim, "we're with you, just pick out a couple of faces, we'll do the rest."
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It's not surprising that Josh Marquis, a prosecutor and board member of the National District Attorneys Association, "Someone identifying someone with 100 percent is very powerful piece of evidence in court — though like all eyewitness testimony it has to be tested by a jury."
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Prosecuters don't mind putting in the "fix" on a case as long as they get a conviction? Forget evidence, forget due process, forget credible witnesses. As long as the alledged victim points out faces from one particular group, it's ok! Forget credibility. Is this what is meant by "Blind Justice?"

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