Dec. 31, 2012
Anticipating Attorney General Roy Cooper’s 2007 statement dismissing charges against the lacrosse defendants, Duke law professor Paul Haagen said,
“The critical thing could be the wording. It could simply say the state can no longer prove its case, which would be a very harmful outcome for the community, (or it) could provide a full accounting of why the case should never have been brought.”
As it turned out, Cooper – elbowed along by the Duke students’ phalanx of top-shelf lawyers – chose the road less traveled by prosecutorial bitter-enders such as H. P. Williams, Nancy Lamb and Bill Hart:
“In the rush to condemn, a community and a state lost the ability to see clearly…. I think a lot of people owe a lot of apologies to a lot of people.”
Cooper’s words were appropriate to end the case of the lacrosse defendants – and they would be just as appropriate to end the case of the Edenton Seven.