Good article from The Economist on the lessons from the Duke Lacrosse case. It concludes:
A striking number of professors were willing to trample all over legal process in their rush to declare the lacrosse players guilty before charge, let along trial. And they did so solely on the basis of the players’ race and gender. One professor, Houston Baker, denounced the lacrosse players as “young white, violent, drunken men veritably given licence to rape, maraud, deploy hate speech”. Duke’s politically-correct faculty thus produced a mirror image of the worst racism of the South in the 1950s, when people were pronounced guilty—and denied their legal rights—solely because they were black. While all this was going on Duke’s president, Richard Brodhead, did little, if anything, to defend the lacrosse players or to criticise the faculty for its lynch-mob mentality. A university that charges students over $40,000 per year essentially abandoned three of them to the bullying of an out-of-control prosecutor.
Some people have at least learned from the disaster at Duke. Mr Nifong has been sacked and stripped of his law licence. Last week he was sent to jail, though only for a day, for his numerous misdemeanours. The press has struggled to put the record straight—and several people have written their own mea culpas.
The only people who, it seems, have learned nothing from all this are Mr Nifong’s enablers in the Duke faculty. Even after it was clear that the athletes were innocent, 87 faculty members published a letter categorically rejecting calls to recant their condemnation. And one professor, proving that some academics are as far beyond parody as they are beneath contempt, offered a course called “Hooking up at Duke” that purported to illustrate what the lacrosse scandals tell us about “power, difference and raced, classed, gendered and sexed normativity in the US.