Posted by SHG at 9/26/2009 6:53 AM
Simple Justice/A New York Criminal Defense Blog
The pending question from the Hofstra false gang-rape accusation was how Nassau County District Attorney would hide from her responsibilities. After all, Rice had worked hard on building a "tough as nails" prosecutor image, but busily courted the female vote, and there were deep concerns that prosecuting 18 year old Danmel Ndonye would "chill" true rape victims from coming forward.
I was talking to the Blind Guy about it the other day, and he predicted that she would bury it. And he was right. At about 5:00 o'clock in the afternoon on a Friday, the news broke. Rice would not prosecute.
The AP story in the New York Times says little more than that, including only the description that she was a "deeply troubled woman." Would that have been the way Rice described her had she not admitted to fabricating the story? Was she "deeply troubled" because she made this false accusation that put four innocent men in jail? By that definition, the same sympathy evoked from the description could be applied to a lot of people. Yet I doubt Rice would feel very sorry for most of them.
The Newsday story gives Kathleen Rice's brief explanation.
"There exists no perfect solution to this case, only our best attempt at holding her accountable while encouraging real victims to come forward and accusers to tell the truth, so that we can avoid incarcerating an innocent person for even one minute, Rice said in a statement Friday afternoon.
It's a well-designed statement, carefully crafted to make two wholly unrelated things appear connected. Allowing a woman who lied about a heinous crime being committed against her to avoid prosecution, causing four men who committed no crime to be arrested, smeared throughout the media, sit in jail and have their names perpetually tied to a gang rape, has no rational connection whatsoever to encouraging real victims to come forward. It does, however, have a strong connection to encouraging false accusations, since the conditions of counseling and community services offer little disincentive to not take the risk.
And notice the concern about "incarcerating an innocent person for even one minute?" But Rice never apologized to the four men that sat in jail for her role in blindly accepting the word of this "deeply troubled woman." She didn't even thank the criminal defense lawyers for the men who brought forth the proof that Ndonye was the criminal, not the boys, thus saving her from the destiny of Mike Nifong.
Timing is key to the success of this maneuver. By Monday, when people get back to paying attention to the news, this will be an old story. The Saturday paper is the least read paper of the week. Over the weekend, nobody will know. By Monday, nobody will care. Chances are good that something new will happen over the weekend, and if Rice has any luck at all, it will be a drunk driving death of a child. She's very strong on drunk driving deaths of children. They get prosecuted for murder, and she gets to rail about how she's tough on crime and saving us from the demon.
She's a shrewd one, that Kathleen Rice.