Wednesday, December 4, 2013

History May Repeat Itself: Florida State's Jameis Winston Guilty Before Proven Innocent

It's the media's job to convince the reader and/or viewer of undeniable guilt before a sentence is given to a person of high profile.

In the case of Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston and the ongoing alleged sexual assault investigation; guilty before being charged is the acceptable thought.

History has the opportunity to rear it's ugly head yet again.

Former Dallas Cowboy wide receiver Michael Irvin and then teammate Erik Williams were charged with allegedly gang-raping Nina Shahravan back in 1996. Shahravan filed a report stating the men held a gun to her while videotaping the whole ordeal.

Shahravan was later arrested for fabricating the story and filing a false police report.

Popular media outlets annihilated Irvin and Williams for the accusations, and the two were proven guilty in the court of public opinion.

Few apologies were delivered.

In 2006, the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case made enormous headlines across the US when Crystal Mangum accused three of the players for raping her in the bathroom. Mangum was later found to be lying.

She's currently serving a 14-year prison sentence for murdering her boyfriend.

The boys were found guilty of everything before ever being put in front of a jury of their peers. The world had already decided their guilt and their sentence.

Apologies barely appeared.

Brian Banks, a highly sought after California football player, was exonerated of rape charges when his accuser admitted to lying. Banks spent five years in prison before he was acquitted.

The young man was incriminated, his life ruined by a blatant lie, and then made into a sympathetic figure.

Defeating the ugly public perception was the apology.

State Attorney William Meggs has completed his ongoing investigation and will announce whether Winston will be charged at 2PM EST on December 5th.