The side of truth is being carried well by the defense attorneys and many commentators..... I have only one small 'correction', one thing that isn't being said. What makes Nifong's fraud so destructive is NOT that he is assuming the defendants guilty and forcing them to prove their innocence. There's nothing wrong with that assumption. As I've said 634567853 times here, "innocent until proven guilty" is not in the Constitution, and the direction of the assumption really doesn't matter. In fact we do start by assuming guilt; that's what an arrest does.
What distinguishes a tyranny from a decent justice system is not the assumption. In a tyranny, the evidence doesn't matter at all. Whatever the authorities SAY is truth becomes the truth. And that's what we have here. Assuming these boys to be guilty would be just fine, if the system responded to the evidence by deciding them innocent. But Nifong has operated AGAINST all the evidence, for his own purposes. (One tantalizing comment by the defense attorney hints that Nifong's motives may be more complicated than vote-seeking.)
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Zooming out for a wider view: It's clear that our entire court system no longer works. Jury trials developed over the centuries as a way to reach important decisions with credibility and broad-based respect, given a near-total lack of physical evidence.
The latter condition no longer holds true. Since the advent of DNA, we can include or exclude potential suspects with 100% certainty. For any case where physical evidence is relevant, we no longer need the 'social certification' that a jury formerly provided. And for any presumed violation of law where physical evidence is not relevant, we should seriously ask whether the law itself is proper. A 'crime' that cannot
be determined by physical evidence is by definition a thought-crime, and a nominally free society shouldn't be prosecuting thought-crimes.