Strauss-Kahn dismissal is right thing to do

Sometimes, the “system” does work.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. moved this week to drop all charges pending against Dominique Strauss-Kahn (“DSK” for short) arising out of his arrest May 14th on charges of allegedly sexually assaulting a hotel maid at the Sofitel Hotel. The trial judge granted the prosecutor’s request, but the formal dismissal was stayed temporarily because the maid’s attorney, Kenneth P. Thompson, angered by the District Attorney’s decision, had simultaneously filed a motion to have a special prosecutor appointed in Vance’s stead. That specious motion was then quickly denied.

In this case, the prosecutor is right and the defense attorney is wrong.

A prosecutor has a clear duty not to prosecute a case simply because an alleged victim and his or her attorney want to see a case prosecuted. A local district attorney – just as a United States Attorney – has a legal and ethical duty to prosecute cases based on his or her professional opinion that each and every element of the offense(s) charged can be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. If the prosecutor does not believe the evidence sustains that burden, then no matter how much he may want to prosecute the defendant, or no matter how much pressure is brought to bear on his office to do so – ethically he cannot proceed to prosecute.

Thus it is with DSK. The salacious charges against the former IMF chief appeared strong initially, when the only evidence was the maid’s initial and unverified story. Many observers, including conservative bloggers and commentators, were quick to conclude DSK must have violently attacked Nafissatou Diallo, because she said so and because she appeared a sympathetic victim and he a rich and powerful Frenchman.

Those initial appearances, however, quickly faded in the light of significant inconsistencies in the maid’s recounting of events, and once her full background – replete with even more inconsistencies – was revealed to Vance.

Diallo’s lawyer then made a shameful effort to inject race and politics into the equation, in a desperate ploy to force Vance to proceed with the prosecution notwithstanding the weakened evidence.

For the sake of his reputation and that of prosecutors everywhere, Vance resisted such craven attempts to override his professional duty.

In this instance, the judicial system and those who participate in it – at least Cy Vance, DSK’s lawyers, and the presiding judge – worked. However, Diallo and her lawyers appear committed to using every trick they can conjure up (including the race card), to milk the situation for everything they can squeeze out of it. It is a virtual certainty also, that she and her attorneys will find at least some gold in the pot at the end of her tarnished rainbow.

By Bob Barr – the Barr Code

41 comments Add your comment

Gerard

August 24th, 2011
5:23 am

As much as Cyrus Vance Jr. has been criticized, I think his office handled this case exceptionally well. Contrast the measured, thorough investigation-and right conclusion-here with the farcical political persecution Mike NiFong and the Durham DA’s office tried to inflict upon the innocent Duke lacrosse players.

Something else this case illustrates is the glaring need for us to start enforcing immigration laws, which have been completely abandoned in the name of political correctness and political expediency.

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Justicecome

August 24th, 2011
6:24 am

Ms Diallo is indeed the one who will benefit from that pathetic case indeed. Even if she loses the civil suit she’ll find a ghost writer to make a book for her and will get some cash -much more than by laundering some petty crook money.
D. Strauss-Kahn has been, as one of his socialist friends put it yesterday, ‘robbed of his future’.
There are rumours that he’s going to sue Ms Diallo to get damages. Not that he’s going to get much from her but it’s only fair that he should do so.
Unfortunately she is unlikely to be expelled from the US for lying under oath to the immigration services because that wouldn’t be politically correct. She’ll still be able to get advantages from the country, including low rent housing, until she cashes in on the affair.

Jimmy62

August 24th, 2011
7:35 am

Oh please, how has D. Strauss-Kahn’s future been taken? The dude was already very wealthy and will have no problem getting more money for himself from taxpayers of various countries. His reputation in Europe is unsullied (if anything, he’s a hero for standing up to the Americans), and most Americans have never heard of the guy and couldn’t care less about him one way or the other. Anyone feeling sorry for this known womanizer has some messed-up priorities.

Personally I think he did do this deed, but I agree they couldn’t really prosecute with current circumstances.

furious_styles

August 24th, 2011
8:51 am

It was likely the right way to handle it, its just too bad that this wouldn’t play out the same for the “average joe”.

LeeH1

August 24th, 2011
8:51 am

There was evidence of a sexual encounter, although no evidence of force. DSK cannot be convicted, based on he said/she said. In any confrontation where there is no supporting evidence, the benefit goes to the defendent.

That being said, DSK did state that he had an encounter, and that he paid for it. It seems like in that case, he can be tried for paying for prostitution, a misdemeanor.

The accuser’s statement was torn to shreds by lawyers and investigators hired by DSK, who “aided” the police in their investigations. Surprisingly, DSK’s account has never been released, examined for inconsistences, or allowed to be seen by the public. That is the advantage of being a multi-millionaire. No one has even begun to hazard how much DSK paid for the investigations. But it is a lot, for sure.

JF McNamara

August 24th, 2011
8:53 am

Only in America. There is no evidence in the Casey Anthony case, she gets off and becomes public enemy number 1. There is no evidence in the DSK case, and people come out defending DSK. Interesting.

TELL THE REAL TRUTH FOR ONCE.

August 24th, 2011
8:55 am

Send him home. Hes wanted there for rape!

caslosgvv

August 24th, 2011
8:59 am

We will never know what actually happened between DSK and the maid. She obviously is a skilled liar and probably saw him as a rich, easy mark in a Country obsessed with “civil rights”. And, one way or another, she probably will gain some money out of this. If I were him, I would get on the first plane to France and never come back here again since the judical state of affairs in America is a mess and shows no signs of getting any better.

killerj

August 24th, 2011
9:05 am

Ethic,s is a slight of hand,depends on what side of the track,s your on for the almighty dollar.Go Tea Party.

MrLiberty

August 24th, 2011
9:15 am

Now the investigation needs to begin into the role of the US government and the NYC DA’s office in their conspiracy with the French government (Sarkozy) to destroy the election opportunities of the one man who seriously threatened the re-election of Sarkozy. Even the French government knew about the impending arrest before it ever happened. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time the US and the French conspired to undermine the democratic will of the people of a country – can you say Vietnam?

JEWELL ROLLEN

August 24th, 2011
9:15 am

DSK MUST HAVE SOME KINDA RAP TO TALK A WOMAN INTO CONSENSUAL SEX IN 9 MINUTES!!!

Tigers Woody

August 24th, 2011
9:16 am

Although he did not commit a crime here, there were reports of physical evidence (think Clinton/Lewinsky) that some hany panky took place. Many stories subsequently arose from females about physically & sexually abusive encounters with DSk. Maybe he needs to learn to keep his trousers on unless he is with his wife. Otherwise, he may wake up one morning to his wife chasing him with a 9 iron.

markie mark

August 24th, 2011
9:19 am

dang Mr Liberty….see black helicopters very much??

Miriam

August 24th, 2011
9:21 am

Well Carlos… Since the charges were dropped and he was treated fairly under our system, why don’t you enlighten us with your brilliance on how the judicial system is a mess and not getting better. We have all put our soap operas and daytime shows on pause and anxiously await your genius.

nelson

August 24th, 2011
9:35 am

I see DSK as a very big fish that the authorities were feaRFUL OF MOVING FORWARD.Let us face it, he was president of the international monetary fund and with the enormous infuence, the Judge, U.S Attoney wanted to let him off the hook. Now where does that put the Constitution? I know that all are to be acted fairly toward under the law. However, with a background as a womanizer, the law should have pressed forward and went for a confession, or AT THE VERY Least, have him take a polygraph, if he refused he is guilty.
I am going to study this and see where it should have gone which is court.

Eidos

August 24th, 2011
9:58 am

Well, the system did not exactly work. In this case the defendant had gobs of money and was very prominent. The way the system works, is that prosecutors will often behave better when they are up against a resourceful opponent who can produce evidence of an accuser’s flaws through their own investigation.

I have been surprised at how many have declared this case an example of the justice system working properly when in fact, it is business as usual.

For those defendants without such resources, the typical, routine scenarios include the following:

–Evidence of an accuser fabricating a charge are presented to prosecutors, who respond by threatening to increase the charges. This is meant to cause the defendant to take a plea bargain and shut up about it. The press never writes anything about it.

–Evidence of an accuser’s fabrications are suppressed. Defendants without many resources often never find out about suppressed evidence or can not get the press to write it up. Their lawyers often ignore it, believe it or not. When you are paying a lawyer $5,000 – $10,000 for a trial like that, they often blow off investigations and are remarkably incompetent. Many of them do literally nothing to prepare for trial. For those who do discover and act on suppressed evidence, it often just becomes an issue for the jury to decide. This is just incredibly typical. The exceptions we hear about are brought about by resourceful, educated people who have what it takes — and it takes a major mobilization and persistance — to bring it out. Case in point – the Duke Lacrosse case. The misconduct wasn’t unusual, in fact, it was conventional operating procedures, the press exposure to it was the exception. And without a ton of press exposure, and pressure from powerful people, the prosecutor in that case would never, ever have dealt with disciplinary action against his license, even with press exposure.

Joan Smith argued in the Independent UK today that rape victims in the US have to have flawless pasts to get justice. She cites a book by Joanna Bourke, a British professor to support this.

to quote: ‘Bourke makes a similar point in her book: “Jurors, defence counsel and judges not only expect a much higher level of resistance than required by law, they also require a greater degree of consistency in rape testimonies than they require from victims of other violent crimes.”‘

I would like to know how Bourke accessed the information necessary to conclude that rape victims testimony must be more consistent in order for prosecutors to press charges.

In my experience, rape charges that are suspicious are commonly brought. I have seen convictions where there was ample reasonable doubt that was eschewed by a jury madly sympathetic to law enforcement. Reasonable doubt can be and is ignored by juries at times.

Smith portrays the victim in the Strauss Kahn case as having lied in the past about other things, which is a mis-characterization. She lied about other things and she lied about this rape. She was recorded in phone conversations with her incarcerated friend about how she was going to exploit the situation, how she had it all under control and knew what she was doing.

So, this is not an example of a rape victim failing to get justice because she wasn’t perfect. This is a case of a rape case falling apart when it is discovered the victim is a con-artist who thought she had landed her biggest fish yet.

I am disenchanted with those who are using this as a feminist cause celebre and I am equally disenchanted with those pointing to this case as an example of the system working when it is a routine symptom of the system’s flaws.

I am no fan of Strauss Kahn and the sexual norms prevalent in his circles.

But these are the typical responses I have observed and reviewed in my years observing trials, arrests, the evidence in prosecutions, and prosecutor misconduct.

It has to be remembered that prosecutor misconduct is rampant, that there is conventional practice throughout the US that isn’t officially sanctioned but is absolutely conventional, accepted practice. Laws protecting prosecutors opened the door to this and it has become the standard approach, without a doubt. What has happened here is totally exceptional. Smith is simply wrong about rape charges in the U.S.

UGA 1999

August 24th, 2011
10:33 am

JF……you are comparing a child killer to DSK? There WAS evidence again Casey Anthony just not enough to convict.

Hillbilly D

August 24th, 2011
10:49 am

Haven’t followed this closely and don’t know all the ends and outs of it but from what I do know of it, neither party comes out looking very good.

SaveOurRepublic

August 24th, 2011
11:01 am

As previously mentioned, DSK must have ran afoul of his Central Banking Cartel ma$ters to have even been charged. If not, the “victim” would have been quickly paid off or neutralized (ala JFK…for his signing of Exec Order # 11110).

MrLiberty

August 24th, 2011
11:06 am

markie mark – DSK gets framed, Sarkozy suddenly has no serious competitor for his job. DSK resigns from the IMF and a high ranking French woman takes the job at the IMF. Is there anything else flying besides black helicopters?? What part of an obvious conspiracy are you not seeing?? Additionally DSK had become very critical of how the US was manipulating the dollar supply and was very critical of the actions of the Federal Reserve. You don’t have to be a conspiracy theorist to put 2 and 2 together.

JF McNamara

August 24th, 2011
11:38 am

UGA 1999,

In that case, There WAS evidence in the DSK case, just not enough to convict hence no trial. The only difference between the cases is that prosecutor took Anthony to trial.

There’s evidence of contact and a video of him chasing the woman down the hall. There are also accusations from other women establishing a pattern of behavior.

My point is that the treatment of the two people has been completely different. Perhaps Nancy Grace didn’t have time to convict DSK in the media, maybe its something else. Who knows?

Jefferson

August 24th, 2011
11:41 am

Money talks, bs walks.

law school flunkie

August 24th, 2011
12:48 pm

Bob said If the prosecutor does not believe the evidence sustains that burden, then no matter how much he may want to prosecute the defendant, or no matter how much pressure is brought to bear on his office to do so – ethically he cannot proceed to prosecute.

So why the rush to indict him in the first place?. Seems to me that they should have waited to review evidence more in depth and see if it would sustain such scrutiny, before presenting it to the grand jury.

UGA 1999

August 24th, 2011
1:03 pm

JF….not a correct statement. Casey Anthony had enough evidence to go to trial (Not to convict). DSK didnt even have enough evidence to go to trial. BIG DIFFERENCE.

FairWitness

August 24th, 2011
1:04 pm

re: Justicecome

August 24th, 2011
6:24 am
“There are rumours that he’s going to sue Ms Diallo to get damages. Not that he’s going to get much from her but it’s only fair that he should do so.”.

Forget about DSK suing Ms. Diallo. Get ready for the law suit he will likely file against the city of NY for malicious prosecution, or something along those lines. He appears to be a really arrogant man, and will want reimbursement for the money spent while being required to stay in the USA, and of course he will want compensation for the NY DA’s office “ruining” his future success in politics and his “good name” plus “costing” him his job at the IMF. All of this to show the people in the USA that you don’t mess with a person of his status. Personally, I hope he leaves the United States and never returns.. The NY DA really had no choice but to drop the charges under the circumstances, but that in no way exonerates DSK.

caslosgvv

August 24th, 2011
3:12 pm

Miriam

Well, let’s see. Casey Anthony is finally tried after spending three years awaiting trial. She’s aquitted and then told she must come back and serve probation. That’s after she had gotten a letter in prison telling her she does not have to come back. Meanwhile, three men in Memphis are released after 19 years for a murder conviction of three 7 year-old boys. Seems at the original trial there was no real edivence. And, of course, lets not forget “wrongful death” trials. You can be tried and aquited for murder. Then, the family of the slain can sue you for wrongful death. The evidence, the witnesses, etc. will all be the same. But it won’t be double jeprardy because The Supreme Court ruled it a civil matter. Yeah, sure. And, finally, about every three months men are released from death row after being cleared by DNA. All this is just for openers. Too bad theres no more space. You can either go back to your soap operas now or just go back to sleep.

JF McNamara

August 24th, 2011
3:25 pm

UGA 1999,

Actually, you are incorrect. Going to trial does not reflect on the amount of evidence in either case. It reflects upon the prosecutors willingness to go to trial with the available data. There could be MORE evidence against DSK, but a more prudent prosecutor.

The bottom line is that neither got convicted, yet you are still apparently angry at Casey Anthony but not DSK.

Hillbilly D

August 24th, 2011
5:13 pm

And, of course, lets not forget “wrongful death” trials. You can be tried and aquitted for murder. Then, the family of the slain can sue you for wrongful death. The evidence, the witnesses, etc. will all be the same.

That smacks of double jeopardy to me, too, but what do I know? Even though I thought O J was guilty as the day is long, I didn’t like the wrongful death trial. It set a dangerous precedent, which has flourished since then, in my opinion. If you don’t get the verdict you want to begin with, just keep dragging people into court until you bankrupt them.

Miriam

August 24th, 2011
5:24 pm

Very good Carlos…for sure we are impressed with your genius. You left out OJ…I am surprised at you…but the system worked there didn’t it? Maybe you can tell the 2 American hikers in Iran that just got sentenced to 7 years in prison how broken our justice system is. I’m sure they’ll feel better.

TruthBe

August 24th, 2011
6:02 pm

This guy is a scumbag and a prevert. Not to mention he is a card carring communist.

Gerald West

August 24th, 2011
6:07 pm

Right, Bob! This time the judicial “system” worked: the prosecution did not proceed with a case in which the charge could not be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. More usual, I fear, is the case where the prosecution proceeds to trial in the hope that the jury will be persuaded to convict, despite credible evidence, because the defendant is shown to be a bad or arrogant person.

There is another matter that needs attending to: the NYC police custom of parading before the media a disheveled, sleep-deprived, humiliated person, who has been accused but not heard or tried. I suggest a heavy fine and a light prison sentence for the perpetrators.

Lisa

August 24th, 2011
9:24 pm

“Surprisingly, DSK’s account has never been released, examined for inconsistences, or allowed to be seen by the public. That is the advantage of being a multi-millionaire.” —No, that is the advantage of everyone in the USA. It’s called the Fifth Amendment. Look it up!

“That being said, DSK did state that he had an encounter, and that he paid for it. It seems like in that case, he can be tried for paying for prostitution, a misdemeanor.” —He has made no statement about the case at all. His attorneys have stated the same thing from the start: Any encounter would have been consensual. They said nothing about any payment.

“There’s evidence of contact and a video of him chasing the woman down the hall.” —Um, hotel suites don’t have video surveillance cameras, they’re PRIVATE. The incident occurred IN HIS SUITE. You are talking out of your *ss. There is no such video. Total nonsense.

Shabaluguata

August 24th, 2011
10:12 pm

The Guinea pig lied on her immigration application about a prior alleged rape, among other lies, so she’s in the United States illegally. I’d like to know when they plan to deport her lying ass back to Africa.

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Steven G. Poyzer

August 29th, 2011
7:18 pm

Money doesn’t just talk it screams, bullies and corrupts!