Lady Justice may wear a blindfold, but criminal investigators are supposed to keep their eyes wide open.
That’s not always the case when the suspect is rich, powerful, famous or playing for the hometown football team.
The New York Times unleashed Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Walt Bogdanich on the Tallahassee police department’s investigation of a rape allegation against star Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston and the results are what you might expect.
The NYT “found that there was virtually no investigation at all, either by the police or the university.”
Winston, who will be a sophomore this upcoming season, is one of college football’s most famous and talented players. As a freshman he became the youngest Heisman Trophy ever and led the Seminoles to a national championship.
Winston’s fame may have affected investigators’ zeal during their investigation. The chief investigator in the rape case, who also does private security work for the Seminole Boosters, the primary financier of Florida State athletics, allegedly said testing the star quarterback’s DNA “might generate [unwanted] publicity.”
The New York Times story uncovers more disturbing facts:
Sexual assault charges were eventually dropped because prosecutors did not believe a trial would result in a conviction.
Florida Chief Assistant Attorney Georgia Cappleman told the Times, “I believe that Mr. Winston cannot be convicted. I don’t necessarily believe that he’s innocent.”
Winston’s Atlanta-based attorney, David Cornwell, told the Times, “We don’t need an investigation … to know that Jameis did not sexually assault this young lady.”
How about a third quote by a person who died thousands of years ago?
“Laws are like spider webs, which catch the little flies, but cannot hold the big ones,” the philosopher Anacharsis allegedly said circa 600 B.C.
I wonder why there are no statues of that guy outside U.S. courthouses?
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