Examing the Washington Post's Winston Article

The Washington Post's latest Jameis Winston article is not based in fact, but on myths.

The Washington Post has published an article with its response to Jameis Winston being cleared in his code of conduct hearing. The article claims that there was no verdict in the code of conduct hearing. This is false. Former Florid Supreme Court Justice Major B. Harding ruled that there was insufficient evidence to satisfy the burden of proof against Winston.

Here is the full letter that Justice Harding sent to Jameis Winston.

Myth One of the Article: Florida State chose Justice Harding

The article goes on to impugn the integrity of Justice Harding. The Post claims that Florida State chose Justice Harding to preside over the case. Again, this is factually incorrect. Jameis Winston and his accuser were given a choice of three former Florida Supreme Court Justices, none whom have ties to Florida State. Winston and his accuser were both able to eliminate one person. Justice Harding is whom both Winston and his accuser chose to keep. By implying that Florida State chose Justice Harding the author was attempting, albeit with more subtlety, to make the same connection that the accuser’s attorney, Baine Kerr, made. In fact, the integrity of the code of conduct hearing was initially defended by none other than the accuser’s attorneys.

Myth Two of the Article: Winston’s Accuser called the police the night of the alleged assault

The Post also claims that Winston’s accuser called the police on the night of the alleged assault. This is factually untrue. The accuser’s friend called the police, against the accuser’s will, after the accuser said she had been hit over the head and raped. The accuser later changed her story to that she was intoxicated. She changed her story another time alleging that she drugged.

Myth Three of the Article: Jameis Winston received preferential treatment

That the Tallahassee Police Department didn’t handle the case well is not debatable. What has not been established, however, is that the Tallahassee Police department gave Jameis Winston preferential treatment because he was a football player. For the first five weeks of the investigation, the Police Department did not know Winston’s identity. The accuser also listed her assailant as much smaller than what Jameis Winston is. Because of these details it would have been impossible for Winston to receive special treatment. Even with a much more thorough initial investigation, there was not much more evidence the Police would have been able to uncover. The one piece of evidence they may have been able to uncover is the alleged video that Chris Casher took. This video, if it existed, would almost certainly have been exculpatory for Winston, as his accuser’s story leaves no room for such a video.

What is also not debatable is the results of the toxicology report that refutes every account that the accuser has provided. The report stated that the accuser had no known drugs in her system, and that her blood alcohol level was within the legal limit. This is also ignored completely in the article, as is Justice Harding’s final paragraph where this evidence is not in keeping with the woman’s account.

Myth Four of the Article: The accuser was cooperative with law enforcement from the beginning.

The writer of the article, Sally Jenkins, finishes the article by ignoring the lack of cooperation from the accuser for the better part of a year, and condemning Jameis Winston for exercising his constitutional right to counsel. The accuser lied about the ownership of the shorts that she has been wearing, and was not cooperative with the Police Department as to whom the second semen sample on the shorts belonged to. The second semen sample came from her boyfriend.

The public may never know exactly what happened that night, but a previously well respected newspaper should know better than to print lies when facts are readily available in the State Attorney and Police reports.

You can find the full Washington Post article here

Jason Staples collaborated on this article.



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