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Saturday, September 2, 2006

Duke Case: Nifong's Burden of Proof

updated: Sept. 3, 2006

The previous post stirred up some more thoughts regarding DA Mike Nifong's tactical prosecution of the Duke lacrosse case.

The fact that his investigators completely bought into Ms. Mangum's story regarding being lured back into the house has put him in an interesting position. Specificially regarding this section of three March affidavits filed by Det. Himan:

After the two women exited the residence and got into a vehicle, they were approached by one of the suspects. He apologized and requested they go back inside and continue to dance.
Nifong must now prove in court that this man is one of the three indicted players: Evans, Finnerty, or Seligmann. As previously discussed it's hard to imagine that he is one of them. If Nifong can not show that he indicted the "car man" his case looks like it is in even more serious trouble (if that is possible).

Mike Nifong is on the horns of a dilemma - two options, neither of which is acceptable. Because if that man is not Evans, Finnerty, or Seligmann it means one of two things:
  • He is allowing a key co-conspirator to escape justice. This so called "man who went to the car" orchestrated the chain of events that resulted in the brutal gang rape. Why isn't he being brought to justice too?

  • or...He is impeaching the credibility of Ms. Mangum by saying the her earlier statements regarding this event are not to be believed or her story has changed and this is not a material matter anymore.

What will Nifong do?

If you believe Nifong is pursuing a just case you should then be outraged that he is not prosecuting every possible perpetrator if he goes with the first choice.

One strategy to minimize the importance of being invited back into the house is to try and establish a large time gap between the invitation to return to the house and when Ms. Mangum is jumped and pulled into the bathroom. This case has always been portrayed with Ms. Mangum getting jumped immediately after she walks back in the house. The only problem with this strategy is there is really no time to spare.

If this person is identified before the trial it could be major turning point (hint hint main stream media). More thoughts on this matter will probably come up.

Beating a dead "No Names Please" Duke case to death again and again [TJN, Sep. 1, 2006]

Duke Lacrosse Case [TJN Archives]

update: Sept 3, 2006

One of the sharp-eyed followers (imho) of this case at TalkLeft notes that back in March when all the Duke players were still suspects and had lawyered-up, James Butch Williams, attorney for co-captain Daniel Flannery was interviewed by Dan Abrams. They said this:
ABRAMS: What about the allegation that she left the house, that they then came back into the house, were convinced to come back, et cetera?

WILLIAMS: OK. That I'm not going to comment on, because that didn't have anything to do with the second part of what may have occurred in the alleged attack.

Mr. Williams certainly sounds like he is trying to separate the first part, about someone going out to the car and convincing the dancers to return to the house from, the second part, the alleged gang rape. They are two unrelated incidents in his opinion. That position would be completey understandable if his client, Dan Flannery, was the man who went out to the car and apologized to the dancers. At the time Dan Flannery was a lead suspect in in the investigation.

It's ironic, but Mike Nifong may be making this exact same argument at the trial. Perhaps he should hire Mr. Williams as a consultant.

It feels a little silly to be speculating if Dan Flannery is the man who went to the car and apologized to the two dancers. Hundreds of people in news organizations have probably read through the 1850+ pages of discovery information released by Mike Nifong. Everyone and his mother it now seems has access to that information. So they all know who it was who went out to the car and apologized.

These people in the know probably just laugh and say these bloggers and people following the case on the message boards are clueless. Did the whole complexion of this case change months ago? Are pikers like The Johnsville News just now figuring that out?

'The Abrams Report' for March 31, 2006 [MSNBC]

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