Creating a Culture of Innocence: Lessons from Hofstra and Duke

Today I blog at Huffington Post about the false rape allegations against five men on the Hofstra campus and contrast the case to the charges against Duke lacrosse players in 2006. An excerpt:

“Both accusations turned out to be false. Both cases were eventually dismissed. The Hofstra defendants spent three nights in jail before prosecutors dismissed charges. The Duke defendants spent nearly a year under indictment and reportedly millions of dollars in legal fees before charges were dismissed.

“Why the difference? The apparent credibility of the accusers? The relative strength of the exculpatory evidence? I doubt it. The difference between three days and twelve months lived under the long shadow of accusation was simply luck of the draw. The Hofstra defendants drew one set of prosecutors, and the Duke defendants got Mike Nifong.”

I should disclose that I am on the faculty of Hofstra Law School, but have no personal knowledge of any of the people involved. Instead, I write about the case from the perspective of a former prosecutor and argue that prosecutors should create a culture of innocence. Read the complete piece here. I’m still earning Huffington Post’s love, so I hope you’ll take the time to click on the story, become a fan of my blogs for them, or post a comment in response.

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