The Corner

Duke, Innocence and the Criminal Justice System

Over at Fox News Radley Balko connects the dots:

The same week the Duke players were exonerated, another man was cleared of rape charges as well. James Giles was convicted in 1982 or raping a woman in Dallas County, Texas. Giles served 10 years in prison and a 14 as a registered sex offender. He lost his marriage and contact with much of his family and couldn’t travel 10 miles outside his home without first obtaining permission. He was cleared by DNA evidence, with the help of the fantastic organization, the Innocence Project. Giles isn’t alone. He’s the 12th man in Dallas County to be exonerated by DNA evidence. There are more than 400 others there waiting for DNA tests, and even the district attorney there believes a large percentage of them may be innocent…If there’s one positive that might come out of the Duke imbroglio, it’s that the unusual demographics of the parties involved and alliances it spawned may mean some much-needed new scrutiny of the criminal justice system, and win welcome new advocates for reform.

Here’s one modest proposal. The rush to condemn the accused lacrosse players by so many members of faculty has left Duke, a once-distinguished institution with a reputation already on the tatty side, thoroughly disgraced. Rather than throw more money down that particular rathole, its alumni should consider giving instead to the Innocence Project, an organization that actually does, you know, some good.

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