Virtually buried among stories such as the gripping announcement of which financial lamprey is the father of Anna Nicole Smith’s baby, there are more important stories. Hidden underneath the flap over how Don Imus, a radio host relatively few people listen to, has seemingly managed to single-handedly offend anybody with a skin tone below “George Hamilton” on the pigmentation chart, bringing forth the self-designated African-American apology receptacle named Al Sharpton, there is actual news.

The important story of the charges being dropped in the Duke lacrosse rape case, though a step in the right direction, isn’t a victory — yet.

This has to be a relief to those who were wrongfully pursued for political and maybe even financial reasons by a rogue prosecutor seeking re-election and an accuser who has yet to answer for her attempts to ruin the lives of several people based on flat-out lies and vodka-goggled recollection.

Almost as soon as these allegations became public, District Attorney Mike Nifong’s “evidence” added up about as logically as the answers on Paris Hilton’s algebra exam, yet the case was still doggedly pursued. DNA testing found genetic material in the accuser’s body and underwear, but none of it was from any of the three defendants. I repeat: none of it was from any of the three men accused of the rape. This means the accuser was not with the accused, but rather other men — either that or she did a feet-first Slip-n-Slide through the men’s room at a packed football stadium.

Still, the case was doggedly pursued by a prosecutor with political motivations (sending innocent people to jail is apparently a good way to be reelected in some areas) and an accuser with either a really, really bad memory or a lust for what appeared to be an easy payday with the seemingly benign side-effect of sending innocent people to prison.

Every time we look at somebody who may be falsely accused and wrongly convicted, we should shudder and think, “There but for the grace of God.” This has been made into a racial case, as the accuser is black and the men she accused are the white children of mostly well-to-do parents, but it’s really about all of us, regardless of color. Things like this have happened before and must not be allowed to happen to anyone again.

If the accuser is allowed to run off and point more fingers, and Mike Nifong isn’t dealt with harshly as an example to those who abuse positions of power for political gain, there has still been a heinous crime committed here.

Think about it: Men faced many, many years in prison due to bogus charges and allegations that the prosecutor knew were false at worst, or quarter-truths at best, but all Mike Nifong appears to be guilty of is “ethics violations,” and the accuser is free to skip off and continue a life of inebriated lap-dancing?

It’s good news when the innocent don’t go to jail, but that’s offset when the guilty don’t either. Where there is a false accusation, there is a false accuser who should be punished under at least the same penalty that would have been handed those he and/or she falsely accused.

You can’t help but wonder how often this type of thing happens, and how often justice does not prevail. Maybe it would happen a little less if the accusers and their prosecutorial enablers knew if it was discovered they were pushing forward a bogus case for personal reasons, they would rot in prison. Perchance to dream.


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