Friday, September 22, 2006

Survey vs. Bias

I've tried hard to avoid posting about the Duke lacrosse players rape case. There just isn't much for me to say - I have no idea what actually happened so there really isn't much to comment on.

Except for the survey.

According to the defense attorneys, the DA has prejudiced the case against the players. That was their excuse for commissioning a poll of the Durham area. Imagine the surprise of the DA's wife when she got called by the survey. Imagine her further surprise when the first question was
if the prosecutor in a community took on a sensational case right before a primary/election, do you think such a case would be handled for political gain?
Imagine the surprise of the pollster when the DA's wife informed her that she was, in fact, the DA's wife. Imagine the surprise of, well, all of us when the pollster agreed to continue asking questions of the DA's wife. Like
If you heard that two strippers were hired to perform for some men and one was saying she was locked into the bathroom and the other one was not there; and one said she was raped and the other contradicted her statement, one time saying she did not think anything happened, then later changed her story; and that the rape victim had changed her story several times; and then you learned that she had said she was raped at another time and nothing happened with that charge, would you be likely to believe a rape occurred?
The questions listed above were written down by the DA's wife and attested to under oath - the lawyers refused to provide the questions when asked.

I really don't like lawyers in general although I do recognize their necessity. But these guys seem pretty despicable to me.


At 8:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's unbelievable.

Because I work for a media company (people like me are supposed to be screened out of a lot of polls), I routinely have to disqualify myself from telephone surveys/polls, although I'll occasionally wait to do so during political polls (answering all questions "don't know" or "no opinion" until I've heard all the questions, just to make sure it's a real poll and not a push poll that we'd need to report on).

It's difficult to think this poll was commissioned for any reason other than to taint the potential jury pool and get the trial moved, presumably to a more rural (i.e., whiter) county.


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