The case of three Duke lacrosse players who were wrongly accused of rape last year has been making headlines nationwide for months. But a column in New York Newsday today questions why the Duke case has sparked more outrage nationwide against overzealous prosecutors than the 203 wrongful convictions that have been overturned by DNA testing.
I don't want to minimize these young men's suffering over the last year, or to downplay the injustice that was done to them. But the public outcry over this case has a lot to do with the fact that these were three white guys from upper-middle-class families who got railroaded. And because they could afford first-rate, aggressive lawyers, in the end the criminal justice system worked for them.
Whatever humiliation and pain they suffered over being wrongly accused pales in comparison to what happens on a regular basis to countless other defendants, many of them black or Latino men, who are charged, convicted and spend long years in prison for crimes they didn't commit.
Read the full column here
. (Newsday, 06/18/07)
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