Police

Manhattan D.A. Cyrus Vance Accountable for DSK Debacle

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With a name like Cyrus Vance, he's gotta be bad.

By now you have heard that former International Monetary Fund head Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who was arrested in connection with the alleged May 14 sexual assault of a Sofitel employee in New York City, has been released from house arrest.

The release follows a public expression of doubt in the credibility of Strauss-Kahn's accuser by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. But when he indicted Strauss-Kahn on May 19, Vance indicated the case was supported by more than the testimony of the alleged victim: 

Today my office filed an indictment against defendant Dominique Strauss-Kahn, following allegations of sexual assault in a Manhattan hotel. This case began with the prompt reporting of the attack by the victim to members of the hotel staff and then to the New York City Police Department. 

Supporting evidence has been collected by both the NYPD and the Manhattan District Attorney's Office.

Based on the grand jury's determination that the evidence supports the commission of non-consensual, forced sexual acts, the defendant was indicted on all the charges presented to the grand jury, including criminal sexual act in the first degree, a class B violent felony; and attempted rape in the first degree, a class C violent felony. 

During the course of this criminal process, this defendant, under the supervision of an independent and experienced judge, will receive all of the protections available in our justice system, to ensure a fair trial. 

Reason noted Strauss-Kahn's arrest at the time. 

Sure, Linda Fairstein allowed actual Central Park jogger rapist Matias Reyes to remain free and committing other crimes for years. But she looks fabulous.

Presumption of innocence is serious business, and the penumbral right not to have your reputation ruined by crusading prosecutors is also somewhat serious. If I were presuming DSK's guilt, I would say that the supposed credibility problems with the accuser (which include association with a marijuana dealer, lying on an asylum application, and discussing the gold-digging possibilities after the alleged assault) do not bear on her allegation about the incidents of May 14. That allegation, backed up by physical evidence, was considered persuasive enough to her co-workers, her employers and police officers. 

The Manhattan D.A.'s office, which once applauded itself for helping reverse our nation's formerly cavalier attitude toward rape allegations, is not generally in the business of presuming innocence. Former D.A. Bob Morgenthau established the sex crimes unit that afforded former prosecutor Linda Fairstein an opportunity to become a celebrity crimefighter and bestselling author. It also gave Fairstein rein to win wrongful convictions in 1990 against five minors in the Central Park Jogger case, an error which she has never, as far as I know, acknowledged. (She publicly opposed the vacating of the convictions in 2002.) 

Where job performance is concerned, however, presumption of innocence is not a factor. Anybody named after Secretary of State Cyrus Vance has clear loser genes and should probably not have been elected to the D.A. position in the first place. But a snafu like this one should be grounds for termination.

An unnamed source tells The New York Times the case is "a mess, a mess on both sides." It's not. It's only a mess on the prosecution side. The best you can say of Vance is that he may have walked back a misbegotten case against a big politician from another country. Even that would require an expression of no confidence in the police, multiple witnesses after the fact, and a plaintiff whose personal record may not be good but whose credibility on the incident at hand has not been impeached. And even after all that, Vance would be left with having destroyed the reputation and career of an innocent man. 

Update: The details from the prosecutors' letter also include some issues related to the May 14 incident, most notably that the maid apparently cleaned another room before reporting her attack. (Not sure why this fact — which, unlike the issues around the complainant's past behavior or the reported delay in translating the phone call with the pot dealer, seems pretty straightforward — took so long to come to light.) More on Vance and the collapse of the case from the NYT's Michael Powell. (Shouldn't that guy be running the FCC or making films with Emeric Pressburger?)

NEXT: Caged Warmth

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  1. A recap is in order.

    https://reason.com/blog/2011/05…..ss-kahn-ar

    1. Dang, I was just reading that thread and you come off more butthurt than a Puerto Rican maid.

      Fuck it. That commie french fuck would have any of us peons in a fucking labor camp if he had the power to, and wouldn’t think twice about. String him up for the lulz.

      1. Actually, I was the one calling the lynch mob a lynch mob. And I was right.

      2. Don’t respond to passive aggressive pussies, dude. Why waste your time?

  2. like it may have been a frame-up, let’s see some pictures of the chambermaid….

    1. Electrotorture is always appropriate for parking ticket fuckers.

    2. FORCE CONTINUUM!

  3. What a bummer! We have been so busy blaming the French for their moral corruption and patting ourselves on the back cause only in the US the honor of a poor African chambermaid violated by a rich powerful man can be defended… And now this.

    1. Crap! Reality sucks!

  4. GREAT ARTICLE. THE TRUTH ! Vance is an idiot , like his father before him.

  5. A single unknown source said it, it must be true!

    1. How dare you blame the anonymous victim!

  6. Yet another routine day for American justice – another man charged for a “sex crime” without any real evidence.

    I propose that we go back to the “cavalier” days when people accused of sex crimes were presumed innocent until proven guilty and reasonable doubt actually meant something.

    1. What the hell is wrong with you? This is a libertarian site. Ideology trumps justice.

      1. WTF? Libertarianism is primarily about justice – the just treatment of individuals and respect for individual freedom/rights.

        1. In principle, yes, but in practice? Take a look at the original story and thread, then get back to me about libertarian justice as envisioned by the peanut gallery here.

          https://reason.com/blog/2011/05…..ss-kahn-ar

          1. (The prison-rape fantasies are particularly charming.)

            1. Hey asswad, are you really so stupid as to believe that everyone who posts here is a card carrying Libertarian?

              BTW, You won’t find any comments on that thread from this libertarian, So, suck my balls.

              1. Nice handle.

                are you really so stupid as to believe that everyone who posts here is a card carrying Libertarian?

                Nope. But many of those who profess to be just that were calling for Strauss-Kahn’s prison rape, among other niceties. Saying you’re a libertarian doesn’t make you one. That’s my point. And I didn’t have to insult you or tell you to suck my balls to make it.

                1. “And I didn’t have to insult you or tell you to suck my balls to make it.”

                  You, sir, have no balls.

          2. I don’t think speculation in a blog comments section equates to a libertarian view of justice. As jurors, most of us here, if anything, would be more likely to formulate a defendant-freeing reasonable doubt than your average state-lover.

            Incidentally, I have no duty to presume anyone is innocent. Like that mother who is accused of killing her daughter. I think she did it.

            1. Incidentally, I have no duty to presume anyone is innocent.

              Correct. An honest man, not being privy to all the facts of the case, may remain neutral. But the overwhelming, knee-jerk response to Strauss-Kahn’s arrest was that of a lynch mob. True libertarians (and there were a few) argued for the principle of due process. Most of the others were gathering rope and spewing disgusting revenge fantasies. What made it truly revolting was that their reactions were based wholly on Strauss-Kahn’s politics and profession. If a well known libertarian had been arrested under similar circumstances, the usual venomous diatribes against law enforcement would have been the day’s theme.

              1. What made it truly revolting was that their reactions were based wholly on Strauss-Kahn’s politics and profession.

                I remember some of DSK’s supporters suggesting that it was precisely his politics that made him immune to being paraded in front of a judge “like any other”.

                If a well known libertarian had been arrested under similar circumstances, the usual venomous diatribes against law enforcement would have been the day’s theme.

                Had DSK been tasered after a no-knock raid and had his dog shot, we’d have been very suspicious about the allegations.

              2. Rather than being an indictment against libertarianism, I think all of that actually reinforces libertarian ideals of justice, because even someone who is extremely anti-state can sometimes fall into the trap of approving the use of the state apparatus to punish opponents.

                It’s a reminder for us to not become self-righteous and remain vigilant that we do not get caught up in the black hole that is statism.

                1. Rather than being an indictment against libertarianism…

                  You’re right. I’m indicting mob-mentality thugs and anarchists who pretend to be libertarians.

                  1. But you can’t hold a whole blog responsible for the behavior of a few, sick twisted individuals. For if you do, then shouldn’t we blame the whole blogging system? And if the whole blogging system is guilty, then isn’t this an indictment of our communication systems in general? I put it to you, sir – isn’t this an indictment of our entire American society? Well, you can do whatever you want to us, but we’re not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America.

                    1. Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?

              3. It should also be noted that you’re reading this blogpost on Reason.

                You didn’t bring it here from Daily Kos. What, Cavanaugh gets no love?

                1. Oooh, anonypussy really has some sand in his vagina today. Hey buddy, you have a personal stake in this issue?

                  1. Episiarch|7.1.11 @ 2:14PM|#
                    Don’t respond to passive aggressive pussies, dude. Why waste your time?

                    I thought you were going to ignore me, Pissy? “Do as I say, not as I do,” eh boy? Run along. You embarrass yourself.

                    1. I was talking to Paul, you fucking moron. The threads don’t show direct response hierarchies, genius. So who raped you?

                    2. Keep digging, Pissy. It’s funny.

                    3. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

                      By the way, that response is to DSK, just in case some moron can’t understand exactly which post I’m responding to.

                    4. It would be easier on all of us if you just made sense, Pissy.

                    5. Wow, “Pissy” is catching on about as well as “fetch” did in Mean Girls.

  7. CNN, citing text from the court proceeding, is now reporting prosecutors say the alleged victim’s initial statement that she waited in the hallway until DSK departed his room and got on the elevator before reporting the attack to her supervisors — which she repeated during several different interviews — was not true.

    Apparently, prosecutors have evidence showing that after leaving DSK’s room she, in fact, cleaned one other room, then returned to DSK’s room after he departed and partially cleaned it before reporting the attack.

    Clearly, this calls into question her claims of being fearful following a brutal sexual assault.

    1. Apparently, prosecutors have evidence showing that after leaving DSK’s room she, in fact, cleaned one other room, then returned to DSK’s room after he departed and partially cleaned it before reporting the attack.

      So she’s the Anita Hill of New York maids.

  8. My hands are clean (on this thread)

    Na! Na!

    Now is DS-K going to pull a Polanski or wait for the fix to truly be “in”.

  9. I don’t understand why the title states the DA is “accountable.” DA’s have immense power and absolute immunity. They can recklessly ruin somebody’s life (as in this case) with impunity. If there was any actual accountability, the DA would not only be fired but also be jailed for criminal behavior in this case.

    I also have to wonder what kind of imbeciles/jackasses made up the Grand Jury. How do they recommend indictments when there is no real evidence?

  10. An unnamed source tells The New York Times the case is “a mess, a mess on both sides.”

    Barring attempted bribery, I don’t see why the defense would be considered a “mess”.

  11. “this thread” = the old one linked by anono-douche

  12. DA’s use grand juries w weak evidence

    1. True dat.

  13. Just saw something about Gaddafi threatening to attack Europe if NATO keeps it up. Lovely.

    1. ProL, if he could’ve, don’t you think he would’ve by now? I mean, what’s he waiting for? I thought he didn’t have his old terror links when his ex gov’t officials starting talking trash to him from exile, around the beginning of this whole mess. IMHO, no way they do that if he still has the apparatus from Lockerbie around to punish them.

      On the DSK thing: per Mark above, the fact that she cleaned a room and then returned to DSK’s room and cleaned it, for me is the most damning reason to not believe her. The rest of it—lying on her asylum application, some incidental tax fraud, calling some hood about how she could make a buck from the case: while going to her credibility for telling the truth generally, I don’t find that helpful in determining whether she was lying in this particular instance. I’d lie too, to get out of a shithole like Guinea, and if we’re going to go after everyone in the hotel industry who misstated their income, you won’t have a hotel industry afterwards.

      But having your first story to the cops be so much at ends with what you actually did…that does gives me reasonable doubt. I wonder what really happened in that room?

      1. No telling for sure, but I suppose threatening it first–either way–makes some sense.

    2. Then Obama would definitely have to go to Congress for approval, right?

      1. no since it remains kinetic libyan action

  14. Obviously this case was a circus, but I don’t think it’s as bad as some believe.

    When a hotel maid accuses a relatively powerful man of rape, what are you gonna do? I mean, I assume they have some sort of legal obligation to detain him. There was evidence of sex.

    DSK is too high-profile to keep this sort of things under wraps, so it’s not like the DA had to go out of his way to ruin his reputation.

    And, for what it’s worth, it looks like it was the DA’s office that did the investigating here. So it’s not like they looked the other way when presented with exculpatory evidence; they actually did their jobs and went and found it. That’s worth at least one cheer.

    1. Don’t you mean “jeer” not cheer? Well before it became evident that the chambermaid is a pathological liar, I was almost certainly clear that there was no hard evidence against this guy or even that a crime occurred. This was probably apparent within the first 24 hours. So no it is NOT appropriate to take away somebody’s freedom on mere accusations. Otherwise, our rights/freedoms are essentially nonexistent.

        1. Damnit you gotta wake up early on this board. Well played, sir.

    2. When a hotel maid accuses a relatively powerful man of rape, what are you gonna do? I mean, I assume they have some sort of legal obligation to detain him. There was evidence of sex.

      Of course they do.

      But unfortunately, high profile cases beget high profile prosecutors making high profile noise. Duke Lacross, anyone?

      I always imagine some of these prosecutors going home at night and asking their wives who they think should play them when they make a movie about the case.

  15. Gaddafi threatening to attack Europe if NATO keeps it up.

    This completely validates NATO’s pre-emptive strike.

  16. Is Ghadaffy going to issue sticks of dynamite to all the refugees crossing the Mediterranean?

    1. no, cause they’ve been drugged by aQ remember?

  17. People like DSK are almost always going to get away with it – whatever it is – he could of strangled a 3 yo to death on live TV and some prosecutor kerfuffle would come along to ensure he got away with a slap on the wrist. I’d be shocked if DSK does any time for this even if he is guilty.

  18. So she was a prostitute after all, who would have thunked.

  19. I think “Cy Vance for Nyet” would be a more appropriate alt-text.

  20. Sarkozy crony Lagarde gets DSK’s IMF job. Lagarde has questionable financial dealings in the past. Lagarde served with big law firm in Obama’s Chicagoland. Nah, the dots don’t connect…

    1. She doesn’t even have a degree in economics/finance, she’s some labor lawyer.

    2. Not to go all conspiracy here but he’s cleared a couple of days after his replacement is named?

  21. Government fucking shit up again.

    I guess the right people aren’t in charge yet?

    1. There are no right people.

      1. No,no. I’m sure in the next election we’ll get it right this time. And then the world will be fixed forever!

      2. Pro Libertate|7.1.11 @ 3:23PM|#
        There are no right people.

        If by “right” you mean human beings who are infallible, you are correct, but then, such individuals would not be human. An honest human making an honest mistake is not the moral equal of a dishonest man with treacherous motives.

        1. Better to make the system work so that fallible humans can’t do too much damage. One of the best reasons to have a limited government.

          1. This is crazy talk!

            1. Apparently so, by modern standards.

  22. The woman made a credible allegation based on what they knew at the time. Kahn did have sex with her. The fact is that in any jurisdiction in the country if a woman you have sex with accuses you of rape, you are going to be arrested and charged with rape. The guy was an obvious flight risk and was leaving the country. Given what they knew at the time, I don’t see where they had any choice but to arrest him. Now that it has turned out this woman has credibility issues and they can’t make the case, they are rightfully dropping the case.

    This is how the system is supposed to work. The only real bitch here is that if Kahn had been an average person, he would still be rotting at Reikers Island and the prosecution would have covered up all of the credibility issues of the accused or got some hack judge to deny the defense the chance to cross examin her on them.

    There are a lot of innocent victims of the justice system. Kahn is not one of them.

  23. And Vance didn’t destroy Kahn’s career. Kahn destroyed his own career. I am sorry but if you are so stupid and craven that you stop to bang the hotel maid before leaving town even though you are married and know that you have a million enemies that would love to take you down or extort you, I have no sympathy for you when the tryst blows up in your face. And if anyone besides Kahn ruined Kahn’s career, it is the dirtbag maid (assuming she is lying) who lied to the police. What were the police supposed to do, get out the truth wand and immediately know she was lying?

    1. What were the police supposed to do, get out the truth wand and immediately know she was lying?
      Well yes, that’s there fucking job isn’t it? How about if I accuse you of theft. Would you like the police to arrest you on my word alone? Maybe I told them an item that would be in your house and they determined “aha, that’s evidence of your guilt!” and threw you in jail

      1. They only need probable cause to arrest. And yes, if you accuse me of theft, I am probably going to be arrested. Just because I am arrested doesn’t mean I am guilty or will be convicted. But yes, you can be arrested and charged on the word of one person alone. Thus it has been for about a thousand years. And as it should be. Being arrested is not the same as being convicted. The former only requires probable cause that you committed the crime not proof beyond reasonable doubt.

  24. Kahn did have sex with her.

    How do you know?

    There are a lot of innocent victims of the justice system. Kahn is not one of them

    How do you know that Kahn is not one of them?

    1. I thought there was physical evidence of the sex, though I can’t remember where I read that.

    2. He admitted to the police he had sex with her but claimed it was consensual. And Kahn is not an innocent victim because they dropped the case before trial. The innocent victims are the ones rotting in jail for things they didn’t do.

      1. He admitted to the police he had sex with her

        Oh, OK. Don’t remember that.

  25. And lastly, how can you compare a case where the charges are dropped before trial to a case where someone is wrongfully convicted and spends years in prison? The two cases are no where near comparable wrongs. I am okay with saying that police and prosecutors will sometimes mistakenly charge someone with a crime as long as they drop the charges and admit they are wrong.

    But hey, lets fry every prosecutor who ever charges the wrong guy. That creates a real great incentive structure doesn’t it?

    1. It might even make so they can’t admit a mistake, even after it’s proven 12 years later.

    2. But hey, lets fry every prosecutor who ever charges the wrong guy. That creates a real great incentive structure doesn’t it?
      Actually I think that’s damn great idea. I’ve been advocating that for a while. I think prosecutors should not be absolutely immune as they are now. Their punishment should not be as great as that of a wrongful conviction, but there should be restitution by the DA and city, perhaps a hefty fine and/or legal penalties.

      It would certainly make work to reform the system to actually be about justice as opposed to people filling certain roles or just doing their jobs

      1. Great. But then don’t bitch when prosecutors never drop charges and go balls to the wall every time. That will be a great system dipshit.

        1. It most certainly will be a better system that what we have now. If do go balls to the walls, then their punishment for being wrong will be all that much greater. That alone will be enough to deter most of the cavalier attitudes we have with most DAs now.

  26. What is wrong with discussing getting money from someone who assaulted you after he has supposedly assaulted you. Isn’t that what lawsuits are all about? If she had discussed this before the assault then I can see that it hurts her story but after the assault it just means she was pissed off and want her pound of flesh from the guy who is supposed to have attacked her.

    And when did the fact that someone has friends who are criminals mean that you cannot make charges of rape against someone. Just because her boyfriend is a drug dealer does not mean she could not have been raped.

    1. It’s pointless to speculate. That’s why reasonable Americans cherish the concept of due process and don’t join lynch mobs.

    2. Well, like I said in the other thread, let’s say this wasn’t a case about rape. Let’s say this was some woman who said she slipped in the produce section at a supermarket.

      And the day after she claims she slipped, she’s taped on the phone with her petty criminal grifter boyfriend (who’s currently incarcerated) talking about the best way to make money off the fact that she slipped.

      Do you think to yourself, “You know what? I bet she planned this whole thing to make money”?

      Or do you think to yourself, “You know what? I bet she’s just a really honest person telling a true story who happens to have criminal hustler associates”?

      1. There’s also this detail:

        That man, the investigators learned, had been arrested on charges of possessing 400 pounds of marijuana. He is among a number of individuals who made multiple cash deposits, totaling around $100,000, into the woman’s bank account over the last two years. The deposits were made in Arizona, Georgia, New York and Pennsylvania.

        The investigators also learned that she was paying hundreds of dollars every month in phone charges to five companies. The woman had insisted she had only one phone and said she knew nothing about the deposits except that they were made by a man she described as her fianc? and his friends.

        1. If she’s making money off of the drug trade, why is she working as a hotel chambermaid ?

  27. If I were presuming DSK’s guilt, I would say that the supposed credibility problems with the accuser (which include association with a marijuana dealer, lying on an asylum application, and discussing the gold-digging possibilities after the alleged assault) do not bear on her allegation about the incidents of May 14. That allegation, backed up by physical evidence, was considered persuasive enough to her co-workers, her employers and police officers.

    They do not. Several points:

    1) She’s a poor black woman living in New York. What are the chances that she *doesn’t* know any marijuana dealers?

    2) All sorts of people lie on immigration applications and everyone knows it. The entire immigration system is practically set up so that you HAVE TO. it is so well known that the US immigration is a Kafkaesque nightmare that several films have been made about it.

    3) The woman initially did not want to press charges because she was afraid of losing her job. That is consistent with cleaning the next room immediately after the incident. She was afraid of losing her job, she cleaned the next room and then came back to clean Kahn’s room, and was still shaken when hotel staff found her at that point.

    1. #3 is a just-so story that MAYBE works if that’s the statement she gives to the police.

      But when her statement over and over is “I came right downstairs” and then the camera exposes that that’s not true, you don’t get to improvise #3 on the fly. She had the chance to tell that story (if it’s true) and didn’t take it.

      1. Actually, she didn’t come right downstairs. The hotel staff found her in the hallway, saw that she was upset and shaken, and asked her what had happened.

  28. RIVERSIDE (CBS) ? Is the state of California about to go “South”?

    Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Stone apparently thinks so, after proposing that the county lead a campaign for as many as 13 Southern California counties to secede from the state.

    Stone said in a statement late Thursday that Riverside, Imperial, San Diego, Orange, San Bernardino, Kings, Kern, Fresno, Tulare, Inyo, Madera, Mariposa and Mono counties should form the new state of South California.

    The creation of the new state would allow officials to focus on securing borders, balancing budgets, improving schools and creating a vibrant economy, he said.

    “Our taxes are too high, our schools don’t educate our children well enough, unions and other special interests have more clout in the Legislature than the general public,” Stone said in his statement.

    http://losangeles.cbslocal.com…..alifornia/

    1. That’s a great idea that’s been floated in the past. California is too big to operate effectively.

  29. Nice Powell-Pressburger crack! 🙂

    1. DSK can star in the new version of Peeping Tom.

  30. Yet nobody is actually saying that he didn’t do it, just that the alleged victim has some skeletons in her closet. Prosecutors win rape convictions all the time with victims who have all sorts of credibility issues, such as their own criminal convictions, drug habits, prostitution convictions, etc.

    In my opinion, DSK and his camp simply threw huge investigatory resources at smearing her and scared the shit out of the DA with the results of their investigation.

    1. I’d keep my maids away from him, just to be safe.

    2. The “revelations” were from the prosecutor’s investigations.

  31. Here’s the letter sent by the prosecution to his lawyers:

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com…..le2083747/

    1. A “highlight”:

      Additionally, in two separate interviews with assistant district attorneys assigned to the case, the complainant stated that she had been the victim of a gang rape in the past in her native country and provided details of the attack. During both of these interviews, the victim cried and appeared to be markedly distraught when recounting the incident. In subsequent interviews, she admitted that the gang rape had never occurred. Instead, she stated that she had lied about its occurrence and fabricated the details, and that this false incident was part of the narrative that she had been directed to memorize as part of her asylum application process. Presently, the complainant states that she would testify that she was raped in the past in her native country but in an incident different than the one that she described during initial interviews.

  32. My investigations are based on the prosecutor’s investigations which were likely based on teh defense’s investigations.

  33. soooo….

    If one rapes women with shady pasts he will not be prosecuted.

    Good to know.

    1. Future Rapist,

      Just make sure to rape someone who admits to investigators that she’s made a false claim of rape in the past. Just wander over to the Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, look over the old asylum applications, and see if there are any hot chicks who claim to have been gang-raped in their home countries. Then decide if the claim is false, then go and rape the chick – you can use a big hotel, because you know in advance there will be no witnesses.

      Simplicity itself!

  34. Gopnik’s piece in the New Yorker was pretty good:

    http://www.newyorker.com/onlin…..stice.html

    As to its political effects in France; well, nationalism remains the strongest force in French politics, as it does in our own. Throughout the affair, I used to ask friends, puzzled by the French reluctance to instantly join in the damnation of D.S.K., to try a small thought experiment: imagine that Sarah Palin, on holiday in Paris shortly before announcing for the Presidency, was arrested for shoplifting from a store on the Rue St. Honore, then marched around in handcuffs and imprisoned in the Sant?. Even her harshest critics in America would say that while that she was known to covet lots of nice things?”Wasilla hillbillies looting Nieman Marcus” and all that?no one ever thought she would steal. Then imagine that the French papers and television had kept up a steady diet of mockery and abuse, wildly generalizing about the American illness of greed and acquisitiveness, describing America as a country where theft was always smiled on so long as the thief was sufficiently powerful?just look at Wall Street, etc. And then imagine that all the charges were dropped after her accuser turns out to have a long history of deceit. Ask yourself, in all honesty: What would her admirers say after her release?

    1. Even her harshest critics in America would say that while that she was known to covet lots of nice things?”Wasilla hillbillies looting Nieman Marcus” and all that?no one ever thought she would steal.

      Never undersestimate the hatred of Sarah Palin.

      1. Fair point, she brings out the insanity from many different groups.

    2. Good thought experiment – but I think grrizzly is on to something – her foes would say that while there’s smoke there’s fire, and that she is at the very least the *kind* of person of whom such an accusation could be believed, and even if it turns out to be a false charge, they will find some way of saying Palin didn’t respond properly, etc.

  35. Just another example of overzealous US prosecutors and the media including Reason being their lapdogs. This case stunk from the beginning. Have you still not published the name of the false accuser Nafissatou Diallo. Only in America the so called land of the free does the media name and shame a man accused of a crime but withhold the name of the accuser. The opposite of a civilized country where individuals have rights and accusations must be made in public.

  36. Only in America the so called land of the free does the media name and shame a man accused of a crime but withhold the name of the accuser

    Yup. Guilty till proven innocent. And if he’s a political enemy, all the better.

  37. As a 25 year veteran defense attorney practicing in the criminal courts of New York City, I cannot hide my joy that Mr. Vance’s tenure and office are being exposed as inept, unethical, and a joke. I equally enjoyed reading his disingenuous defenses in today’s New York Times. Here they are and why they do not hold water.

    Mr. Vance claims that: “The cases you don’t read about,” he added, “define what the job of a D.A. really is.” This is true and it is part of the problem. The ineptitude and rush to judgment in this case only revealed itself because the city and the press have been following it so closely, and because Mr. Strauss-Kahn could afford to hire an outstanding criminal defense team and some of the best investigators in the country. In thousands of other cases where the defendant is indigent and represented by a second year attorney with legal aid and no investigators, “you don’t read about” the Manhattan DA’s prosecutorial misconduct. You simply do not get the kind of thorough and timely disclosure that Mr. Strauss-Kahn received. You just end up with a poor minority kid pleading guilty because he hopes to cut his losses. Thank you, Mr. Vance, for acknowledging this.

    Mr. Vance claims: “The office handles 110,000 cases a year, he noted. “I think the tough part of this job, the tough part of running an office this big,” he said, “is to try to do the best job possible representing the interests of victims and defendants over the course of the huge volume of cases that we are responsible for.” This is a red herring. Bob Morgenthau had a greater case load in a far more dangerous city than the one Mr. Vance inherited, yet he didn’t seem to suffer from this kind of incompetence and publicity-grabbing that inevitably leads to this kind of bad arrest.

    The article states: “Mr. Vance said he made no apologies for exerting more control over prosecutors. “To be frank, some discretion may have been taken away from them,” he said, adding that closer monitoring was important for fair prosecutorial practices.” This is pure politics and a break with Bob Morgenthau’s long tradition of deferring to his line assistants. Closer monitoring is important for political purposes, not prosecutorial ones. This practice has had a qualitative effect on his younger assistants, who don’t seem to understand their basic function is just dispositions, rather than following a script on a canned (and unreasonable) offer to defendants. If you noticed at Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s arraignment, Mr. Vance’s number one guy, Chief Assistant Daniel Alonso, was awkwardly hoovering over the assistant district attorney arraigning the case. This speaks to the unusual level of political interference at the top. This is a practice Mr. Vance picked up from that Republican hack in Staten Island, District Attorney Daniel Donovan, who plays politics with prosecutions and gives his line assistants no discretion in handling cases. Staten Island, however, is statistically, politically, and generally irrelevant. Mr. Vance, however, has no such defense. He is the District Attorney of a real borough and he is playing politics with people’s lives.

    Mr. Strauss-Kahn may be a heel and a skeeve but he is obviously no rapist. In a rush for headlines Mr. Vance’s office ignored the doubts that any reasonable prosecutor would have had about this alleged victim and he ordered a hasty arrest. That is prosecutorial misconduct. Whether Mr. Vance likes it or not, he doesn’t only represent victims, he represents the accused. He did not have the courage to drop the charges, but that’s coming soon enough. A lot of good it does now for Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s family and political future.

    1. Well put. Thanks.

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