Move Over, Amy Bishop: It’s STILL All About Process


Shush…be quiet…listen carefully: those mewling sounds you hear ever so faintly are urgent cris du coeur on behalf of former University of Virginia student George Huguely from academics worried about his right to “due process” from the university.

This would be the same George Huguely who has withdrawn from the University of Virginia and therefore no longer subject to any of its processes, due or otherwise. The same George Huguely about whom the Charlottesville police report:

After waiving his rights under Miranda – the suspect, George Huguely – said that he was involved in an altercation with [ex-girlfriend Yeardley] Love and that during the course of the altercation he shook Love and her head repeatedly hit the wall. Huguely admitted that he kicked his right foot through the door that leads to Love’s bedroom. Huguely also said he took Love’s computer, which had emails on it, and hid it.

Of all the mewling, though, the cake-taker has got to be the inane essay “Virgina and Duke,” by one KC Johnson, self-identified as a “professor of history at Brooklyn College and author of Durham-in-Wonderland, a blog about the Duke lacrosse case.” Professor Johnson’s essay, which I take to be a shameless advertisement for his blog of somewhat limited appeal, is an exquisite example of what happens when a specialist in an arcane field attempts to comment on something outside the narrow focus of his expertise. So accustomed is he to seeing a teeny tiny scrap of the world through a glass eye, darkly, that when the big picture is revealed to him, he misses it entirely. A twenty-two-year-old woman was murdered by a drunken thug, who admitted his crime and his efforts to cover his tracks to police. Here’s what Professor Johnson, in the May 6 Inside Higher Ed, has to say:

No handbook exists for how a university should respond to the killing of a student, much less a killing in which the accused is another student. ….At Virginia, a crime obviously occurred, and according to police, Huguely confessed to forcibly entering Love’s room, shaking her, and “repeatedly” hitting her head against the wall. Huguely’s attorney hasn’t denied the police account, but has suggested that Love’s death was “not intended,” and thus, presumably, is manslaughter rather than murder.

….[S]hortly after the arrest, Virginia’s president, John Casteen, issued a statement that offered a tentative legal judgment — affirming that Love “appears now to have been murdered by another student.” And later that afternoon, Virginia’s executive vice president, Leonard Sandridge, appeared at a press conference with Charlottesville police chief Timothy Longo in which Longo, much more than Sandridge, upheld the presumption of innocence and reminded viewers that the facts were “alleged.” It’s rather striking when a police chief comes across as more sensitive to due process than a prominent administrator from one of the nation’s leading universities.

….[Casteen and Sandridge’s] initial responses to the Huguely case did indicate an indifference to the concept — perhaps unsurprising for senior administrators who operate in an academic environment in which due process is frequently honored in the abstract but not in practice.

Miss Love’s suffering, which must have been horrific, at the hands of George Huguely, pales in comparison to the injustice George Huguely has himself suffered by the callous disregard for his due process by “senior administrators.” News flash to Professor Johnson: Those senior administrators showed admirable restraint. Mr. Huguely is no longer a student at the University of Virginia. His due process will be meted out by the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Oh, and one more thing: He confessed.

Save your mewling about due process for an appeal to the tenure committee.

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2 thoughts on “Move Over, Amy Bishop: It’s STILL All About Process

  1. Miss:

    Is this KC Johnson the same same guy who invented KC Masterpiece Bar-B-Que sauce? Let me tell you, you can’t beat that sauce with a lacrosse stick, oops, sorry! But seriously, when the historians at Brooklyn College arn’t on the cutting edge of some important historical stuff they’re out there swinging away on behalf of the most put upon minority out there. The privileged, college lacrosse player. These poor guys have no safety net. They’re on their own. They’re victims, “it’s not my fault, I wasn’t there, my horse threw a shoe, my boat sank, my Aunt Sadie’s iron lung broke, it was really her fault”, etc.

    Thank god for perceptive, intelectual dudes like KC!

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