Sunday, April 23, 2006

Everyone's a juror

Ann Althouse links to a great piece by Dahlia Lithwick in the Washington Post on the Duke rape case. On the off chance that one of my eleven readers does not look at Althouse, I thought I'd share the link.

Lithwick argues that we take cases like this and view them through the lenses of our presuppositions.

The same thing happened after the Kobe Bryant accusations surfaced. People made instant judgments -- based on their own experiences, or what they read in the paper, or what they simply knew to be true. People far from that resort in Colorado knew for certain that Bryant's accuser was a liar and a tramp. Women who had never heard of Bryant knew absolutely that he was a rapist.

Often, we express our uninformed opinion in service of some political point:

As with Simpson, Bryant and Jackson, this is becoming an inkblot test: We look to the facts to confirm our preexisting suspicions about what happens between men and women, rich people and poor people, black people and white people.

I've got a suggestion. When folks are accused of crimes, why don't we all just shut up until we know what we're talking about?

1 comment:

jp said...

Sounds like a good idea to me.