The news broke early yesterday evening; There was no DNA match of any of the Duke lacrosse players with evidence collected from the accuser in the rape case. As one would expect, the lawyers for the players are claiming vindication, while the district attorney emphasized that the investigation is ongoing, though no charges have been filed.
The reaction has been relatively muted from the community, with some residents minimizing the importance of the evidence and some activist blogs, including Justice4twosisters remarking, somewhat sheepishly, "I don't feel a need to apologize for supporting someone who couldn't defend herself, and bringing light to a case, were the races reversed, surely would have been front-page news March 14, 2006. (And the team members in jail as we speak). And I will not. Those of you looking for it, sorry to disappoint you. This site was started to support this young lady, not nurture my ego."
It is perhaps instructive to remember what initially sparked so much outrage in the first place (and media outlets, like us, to print the Duke lacrosse player roster). When the district attorney — who still insists a rape occurred — asked for cooperation from the team as to what happened, the team closed ranks and gave no information or help. This was the district attorney, attempting to investigate an alleged crime, receiving no assistance from potential witnesses, either to refute or affirm allegations. Putting aside issues of class, race or anything else, that was the element of the story that tipped it from disgust to outrage. No matter what happened that night, even if it was nothing, that was what inspired the initial public reaction.
If no rape occurred, of course, this is something that should inspire joy rather than shame from those who protested on the Duke campus; a world in which one less rape occurs is better than one in which it did. The University continues to encourage patience with the investigation. We assume that everyone else, on every side, does the same.
Lawyers Claims DNA Tests Show Duke Players Innocent [The Herald Sun]
Statement From John F. Burness On Release Of DNA Samples [Duke.edu]