Duke Lacrosse Case

Topics: 2006 Duke University lacrosse case, Mike Nifong, Duke University Pages: 12 (3933 words) Published: February 10, 2013
The Duke Lacrosse Team and the Prosecutor

Table of Contents
Abstract...........................................................................................................................................4

Introduction………………………………………………………………………………………5

Impact on Stakeholders……………………………………………………………………….5-8

Outcome and Fairness of Punishment………………………………………………………8-10

Discussion……………………………………………………………………………………10-13

Conclusion………………………………………………………………………………………14

References……………………………………………………………………………………15-16


Abstract
The Duke Lacrosse team and the prosecutor were involved in a racially driven rape case at Duke University in Durham, NC in 2006. The focus of the investigation by the District Attorney was to convict three of the members of the team with first-degree sexual offense, kidnapping, and the rape of an African American female stripper. The purpose of this paper, is to explain where the judicial responsibility of a prosecutor failed, how race can play a major factor in how a case is being handled and how justice was served by the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office. By the end of this paper, the reader will have a better understanding of the series of events that took place in the Duke Lacrosse rape case and how the three white males had everyone against them until their names were cleared of all charges.


Introduction

The Duke University lacrosse rape case in 2006 impacted the prestigious institution of learning that is known for academics and athletics. This turn of events for a nationally ranked team shocked the community and the nation. When three Caucasian members of the team Colin Finnerty, Reade Seligmann, and David Evans were charged with rape, kidnapping, and sexual offense on an African American stripper, this became a racially biased case. The district attorney Mike Nifong jumped to conclusions to convict these members of the lacrosse team and some feel that his decision was politically driven since he was in a tight race to be re-elected and need the black vote. The problem to be investigated is how this affected the integrity of the university, what the prosecutions intentions were, and what was the outcome of this nationally recognized case. Impact on Stakeholders

Duke University is a prestigious institution of higher learning that is highly recognized for its academic standards and rich tradition of athletics. The stakeholders of the university were shocked as these allegations of misconduct by members of its nationally ranked lacrosse team swept media outlets all around the country. At the time of this incident, the Duke Lacrosse team was ranked the second best team in the nation with high hopes of bringing home a national championship (Wilson & Glater, 2006). University stakeholders from sponsors to the students were impacted by these accusations caused by the hiring of two strippers to perform at a house party by members of the lacrosse team.

Incidents like this can cause supporters to stop donations and ruin the integrity that the university has worked hard to maintain. According to Kim, Parks, and Wertz (2010), “Primary stakeholders include employees, investors, customers, other resource suppliers, community residents, and the natural environment which is essential to the success of a corporation” (p.216). Just like a corporation, Duke University is a business that provides an environment of higher education and it takes these stakeholders to keep the institution running. The lacrosse rape case caused attention to anyone involved with the university. As the story received extensive media coverage and legal arguments were being made on both sides, Duke University’s reputation was put to the test and a public relations strategy was needed (Fortunate, 2008). As a native of North Carolina, residing in Raleigh about 20 miles from Durham, this was a major topic for an extended period...

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Fortunato, J. (2008). Restoring a reputation: The Duke University lacrosse scandal. Public Relations Review, 34(2), 116-123. doi: 10.1016/j.pubrev.2008.03.006
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Franklin, T. (2010). Community influence on prosecutorial dismissals: A multilevel analysis of case and county level factors. Journal of Criminal Justice, 38(4), 693-701. doi: 10.1016/j.jcrimjus.2010.04.043
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Wilson, D., & Barstow, D. (2007). All Charges dropped in Duke Case. Retrieved from
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Wilson, D., & Glater, J. (2006). Files from Duke rape case give details but no answers. Retrieved from http://today.duke.edu/showcase/mmedia/pdf/nytimes825.pdf
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