Then, a black defendant whom everybody assumed was guilty of killing a white victim.
Now, two white defendants are in the dock for allegedly raping a black victim.
The lure of this trial will be irresistable to the media, and the spectacle is just beginning.
Money. Privilege. Sex. Violence. Race.
How could television not swoon.
Nothing good will come from this process, but the ratings will be high and the legion of under-employed trial commentators are already forming up.
There is a great deal of money to be made here.
I suspect the young journalists of the Duke Chronicle are fielding offers from the various cable channels. They shouldn’t sign any exclusive contracts yet. The bidding is just beginning. Wait for the call from Nancy Grace.
And when will Dominick Dunne arrive in Durham?
If the defendants are innocent of the crime, no matter how churlish their behavior, this will rank as one of the great miscarriages of justice.
If they are guilty, their counsel would serve them well to negotiate a plea as quickly as possible.
With a couple more weeks of this sort of scrutiny and wall-to-wall coverage, they will be branded forever as the “Duke defendants.”
UPDATE: I have suggested to Roger D. Fraley, a former prosecutor and superb writer, that he concentrate some of his gifts on this case.