Monday, April 21, 2008

Hate Crime Charge Dropped Against Cooney

You may recall that I suggested last October that the hate crime charge leveled against the son of a former high ranking Bush Administration official looked like another Duke lacrosse injustice. Not long after I first suggested that, it became apparent the prosecution's case against Phillip Cooney, a Georgetown University sophomore, was falling apart. My suspicions have now been confirmed by the U.S. Attorney's decision to drop all charges against Cooney. The victim used Cooney's Facebook profile and photo to identify him as a suspect after he said a classmate allegedly overheard Cooney discussing the assault. The victim later identified Cooney in a police lineup and Cooney was charged, even though the classmate told police he never told the victim Cooney had discussed the assault. Where does Cooney go to get his reputation back now?

2 comments:

Gonzaga06 said...

Great job following this injustice. Although you've got the facts a bit wrong. Follow me on this one; it gets very farfetched.

One of the complainants friend's overheard a classmate (not Cooney) talking about police activity on campus that weekend. Complainant and friend go to Facebook of classmate overheard. Complainant says "that's not the guy, but he must be friends with him." So they view his "friends" on Facebook network. They come to Cooney's profile and that's how they ID him.

Sidenote - the classmate overheard speaking was the only person interviewed by police, and he denied knowing anything about an assault or speaking about one.

Randolph said...

Good.

It only took six months of living through hell for Cooney to get released from the threat of a trial before a hostile jury in DC.

Can we expect a demonstration now on the Georgetown campus in favor of the presumption of innocence, and against false accusations?

With attendance by professors from the English and Philosophy departments?