Illustration for article titled Is The Duke Effect Letting College Dudes Get Away With Rape?

One of the reasons we're newly ena-"more"-ed with More magazine is that it has stories that require us to think, like the Decmeber issue's profile of Dolores Carr, Silicon Valley's embattled district attorney. Delores has prosecuted a lot of rape cases in her life, but recently she decided not to go ahead in prosecuting a high profile case that was sort of like the Duke case, in that it involved college athletes gang-raping a girl, but sort of not like the Duke case, in that it actually happened — they know because there were three female eyewitnesses. Also, the alleged victim was sort of more sympathetic than the one in the Duke case, because she was only seventeen and had never tried to scam anyone before. Okay, so: why did Dolores not go ahead with the case? She's saying that she would be unable to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the victim was too drunk to consent to sex — because the victim was too drunk to remember anything. Sorta "Saudi" logic, right? Well, it gets more complicated.


The eyewitnesses — female college soccer players at the party, who saw the shit going down through a window and stormed in and took the kid to a hospital after the rape — were too far away to correctly identify who exactly was raping, and who was just watching. THROW THEM ALL IN JAIL, is what I say to that! But as we know from the heartwarming case of Jeffrey Marsalis, juries would not necessarily say the same thing. And as the National Law Journal recently pointed out, a "Duke effect" may be having a chilling effect on the prosecution of high-profile rape cases.


But I think it's more complicated than that: forcing a teenager to recall the events of a night she is probably very happy not remembering before a jury that might be thinking the little slut should have laid off the jungle juice is a tough thing to ask of any woman. A less tough thing to ask: do your jury duty.

(I am sooooo guilty of neglecting that last one.)

But yeah, what do you think? Bad feminist? Or chooser of battles?

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