In any case, Evan Thomas and Susannah Meadows write a fair article about what is known so far.
June 29, 2006 issue - The order had come, signed by a judge, requiring that the Duke lacrosse team give DNA samples. The prosecutor was trying to identify the three players who had allegedly raped an exotic dancer at the house rented by three of the team's co-captains on the night of March 13-14. All 47 players had gathered in a classroom near the lacrosse field to hear their lawyer, Bob Ekstrand, tell them what they needed to do. Ekstrand was about to tell the players that they could appeal the order as "overbroad," too sweeping in its scope, when the players got up and started heading for their cars to drive downtown to the police station. (The team's one black player was not required to go; the accuser, who is black, claimed her attackers were white.)
Ekstrand was struck to see how little hesitation the players showed. After all, if the DNA of any one of those men matched DNA found on the accuser's body, it could ruin his life: disgrace followed by many years in prison. But there was no talk of hiring individual lawyers or stalling for time; the players seemed to want to get on with it. "I was watching to see if anyone hung back," Ekstrand told NEWSWEEK. No one did.
It is possible, almost three months later, that the players are maintaining a conspiracy of silence. But it seems highly unlikely. Rather, court documents in the case increasingly suggest that Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong had very little evidence upon which to indict three players for rape. Indeed, the available evidence is so thin or contradictory that it seems fair to ask what Nifong could have been thinking when he confidently told reporters that there was "no doubt" in his mind that the woman had been raped at the party held by the lacrosse team.
The media coverage of the case has been enormous. NEWSWEEK put the mug shots of two of the players—Reade Seligmann, 20, and Collin Finnerty, 19—on its cover the week after they were indicted. Some early accounts raised doubts about the guilt of the players, but the story more typically played as a morality tale of pampered jocks gone wild. Lately, as more evidence from police or medical reports have been filed or cited in court documents by defense lawyers, the national and local media have been raising questions about Nifong's conduct of the case and his motivations
click on the link to read the whole article...
What is omitted is most of the racial bigotry and tensions, on campus and off, that have suffused this case. For more on that, and to find out what real experts in race baiting have said, read here.