True justice calls for dismissal
Upon further review … Wow.
If Kobe Bryant’s attorney Pamela Mackey didn’t blow up the rape case against her client entirely, she raised enough reasonable doubts Wednesday that Judge Fred Gannett ought to consider stopping the show right now.
The rules of judicial engagement practically dictate he send the case to trial, since a preliminary hearing requires a low, low standard of proof. True justice for all, however, suggests strongly that the charge against Bryant should be dismissed.
The dearth of physical evidence (which can be reasonably explained in ways other than rape), the fact no one besides Bryant and the young woman witnessed the incident that led to her accusations, and frankly the alleged victim’s ambivalent actions that night lead to real doubt there’s a case for a jury to weigh.
Bryant very well could have raped the young woman exactly as she described. But the prosecutors can’t merely suggest this possibility. They have to prove beyond reasonable doubt he in fact did this.
Who knows, maybe they will. Don’t forget that just a few days ago, Pamela Mackey was excoriated across the country for repeating the woman’s name in open court and dropping that first bombshell by way of a question about the alleged victim’s injuries actually coming from sex with other partners over three days before meeting Bryant.
We recall criticizing the defense in this space for putting their client through the ordeal with the prosecution’s story even more sensational than nearly all of those breathless accounts in the news and entertainment media these past months.
Boy were we wrong. Seems only the sometimes-arcane traditions of the court can keep the case going on to trial from here.
District Attorney Mark Hurlbert hastened to tell the press after the hearing that he remains confident in his case and that what prosecutors produced in this hearing was but a tiny, “sanitized” snippet of the evidence they have against Bryant.
The difficult part is that he’s shown his hand with the most important evidence – the injuries and DNA samples – and it is surprisingly weak. The mountain he presumably will pile on can only be a house of cards without an eyewitness to the event itself. The foundation is not only suspect, it looks slipshod.
The DA’s best hope has to lie in a perversion of rape shield law designed to protect alleged victims’ reputations from unwarranted attack. If what in real life would be relevant evidence about the injuries were rendered inadmissable at trial, it would be a shame indeed for the one provably dishonest party in this case to be “the people.”