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Friday, May 26, 2006

Duke Lacrosse Scandal: Step by step, inch by inch

"Niagara Falls! Slowly I turn, step by step, inch by inch...
- Harry Moses Howard (Moe), The Three Stooges

Slowly the wheels of justice turn. Step by step, inch by inch, the defense attorneys for the Duke lacrosse players are prying the truth out of Mike Nifong, the Durham district attorney's office, and Durham city officials.

The News & Observer - Rape case lawyers want ID information:
Lawyers representing an indicted Duke University lacrosse player say they want to know how a woman who says she was raped at a party described her attackers.

Lawyers representing Collin Finnerty, 19, of Garden City, N.Y., say they found no document that contains the woman's description of the three men who she says raped her at a March 13 lacrosse team party. On April 4, the woman identified three men during a photographic lineup, but the lawyers are looking for descriptions the woman gave to police without the use of photographs.

Durham attorney Alex Charns wrote "Diary of an Exploding Judge." Now he wants an investigation of the exploding scandal of why the Durham police and CrimeStoppers were distributing posters implying all of the Duke lacrosse team committed a crime.

Duke Lacrosse Team Wanted Poster - Please come forward The Herald-Sun - Lacrosse case complaint filed by attorney:
Constitutional lawyer Alex Charns says a police poster unfairly sullied the names of 46 Duke University lacrosse players, implying all were guilty of raping an exotic dancer before the district attorney announced he had sufficient evidence to indict only three.

Charns, representing one of the unindicted players, has requested a police internal investigation in connection with the poster that declared the alleged victim "was sodomized, raped, assaulted and robbed. This horrific crime sent shock waves throughout our community."

Charns said he believed the poster, which offered cash rewards for assistance in solving the case, was displayed around the Duke campus and adjoining neighborhoods.

According to Charns, the poster "impugned the entire lacrosse team."

Mr. Charns' email to City Manager Patrick Baker said:
"how is it that our police force offered to pay money to anonymous witnesses in order to solve a crime that it claimed to know for a fact had occurred? What happened to investigating a crime before a blanket accusation of guilt is made? Wasn't it 'Alice in Wonderland' in which the verdict came before the trial, and the accuser acted as jury and jury?"

The News & Observer, Alex Charns, 43 players, certified as not guilty:
...the Durham police crime posters pasted around town accusing the guys of covering up a known, not alleged, gang rape and sodomy? The police department, instead of apologizing, has offered only silence.

Neither have the sports pundits apologized after blaming the "helmet sport" gang mentality for the "code of silence" and maligning all who play lacrosse, hockey and football.

A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes - Mark Twain.

That's exactly what has happened in Durham. A lie about being raped has traveled around the world. It wasn't even a very good lie that a drunken sex-worker, Crystal Gail Mangum, first spun the morning of March 14th. It took her several attempts to make up a story that would work. Like a fiction writer going through several drafts. A story that would become a "Greek tragedy" that so many people wanted to believe.

VOANews. com - Race, Class Clash in Durham:

Fitz Brundage
, a history professor at the nearby University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He says it's hard to separate class from race in a city like Durham, where there have been deep-seated divisions between black and white residents going back generations. "From my vantage point, it strikes me that this affair has almost become a Greek tragedy…sort of the perfect storm of southern history, identity, all coming together in curious ways."

Police Report: Alleged Victim Changed Story [abc11tv.com, May 26, 2006]

Duke Lacrosse Rape Timeline [TJN]

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