"Well, that is a letter that we recently received, it's being evaluated at the (Department of Justice). I can't say anything -- anything beyond that." — US Attorney General Alberto GonzalesUpdated today's items:
John in Carolina:
A real editor for Durham — Today, anyone in Durham with at least a room temperature IQ can see what Ashley’s done with a once fine newspaper: TRAIN WRECK!...James Robert (Bob) Wilson (one of North Carolina’s most respected journalists) has agreed to start posting here....
Bob Wilson:John in Carolina:
The Durham Herald-Sun, where I served as editor of the editorial pages, is trashing the canons of responsible journalism.
Under editor Bob Ashley, The Herald Sun has become not only a shill for District Attorney Mike Nifong, but also a harsh voice for the Red Guards’-style “justice” preached by Duke University’s faculty Group of 88.
The Herald-Sun has conveniently disregarded, even disparaged, the bedrock principles and rights of English and American common law, including the principle that any one of us accused by the state is innocent until proved guilty.
In The Herald-Sun's twisted interpretation of the legal principles and individual rights most Americans still hold dear, three young men – David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann -- indicted following a sham investigation, must now prove their innocence in court...
In Ashley's H-S venue — Last Friday’s change of venue motion filed by defense attorneys cited as one reason they were asking a trial be moved out of Durham The Herald Sun’s coverage of the case which the attorneys noted has been grossly biased against the lacrosse players...
Doug Powers, WorldNetDaily.com:
Nifong's Law — As of this moment, we're still unsure of all the facts in the Duke "rape" case, but it's looking like the accused players could be getting railroaded to the point where, when this is over, District Attorney Mike Nifong might receive a lucrative job offer from Union Pacific. The prosecution's "evidence" seems to be adding up about as logically as the answers on Paris Hilton's algebra exam, yet the case is still being pursued. Every time we look at somebody who may be falsely accused and wrongly convicted, we should shudder and think, "There but for the grace of God," and investigate fully. This is an important case for all of us, as things like this have happened before and must not be allowed to happen to anyone again.
FreeRepublic: Time To Show DA Mike Nifong a Life Behind Bars
The Relevance of Nancy’s disGrace — This pattern of manipulative and false leaks from the prosecution is not something new nor has it been something difficult to recognize. We have seen it from the very first day of this Hoax...Nancy Grace was ripe to be ridiculed for her willing cooperation and facilitation of the hoax. She should not be the last member of the media skewered for their role in this fiasco. As shown in court on Friday, Nifong could not have accomplished this persecution on his own...
Change of Venue Motion and Another Ground — Why isn't Durham a suitable venue for a trial of Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty and David Evans in the Duke case? Motion on the pertinent facts:�" There exists within� Durham County among a significant percentage of residents so great a prejudice against the Defendants that they cannot obtain a fair and impartial trial and that a Jury selected from�[Durham] County will be unable to deliberate on the evidence presented in the courtroom, free from outside influence."
Another Durham "Gang Rape" — On April 10, 1989, a 21-year-old woman told police that she endured a horrific experience at the Woodcroft Shopping Center, in southern Durham at the intersection of NC 751 and NC 54. The May 26, 1989 Herald-Sun recounted the accuser’s harrowing ordeal...[DA] Thaxton actually decided to investigate whether the accuser’s story was credible, rather than maintaining that only a jury could decide the issue. He discovered that the accuser’s report to police contained what the prosecutor described as "numerous demonstrably false statements." Thaxton also uncovered “highly embarrassing” information about falsifications in the woman’s allegations. Therefore, the officer concluded that the "charges appear to be without substance." The prosecutor agreed. On May 25, 1989, all charges against the four men were dropped....
Lawyer urges petition signings — The lawyer, Bob Ekstrand, wrote Duke's law professors in early November to ask them to add their names to a petition that was also making the rounds among other segments of the university faculty....But Ekstrand's early-November push for signatures ran into resistance from some members of the law faculty.
forums:Mike Cotton letter to
LieStoppers: Duke Law Profs Back Nifong...
TalkLeft: Ekstrand urges petition signings
DA's case looks shaky - How much more evidence does our newly elected district attorney need to finally admit he mishandled and possibly violated the law in the Duke lacrosse case? A man who had everything to say before the evidence came in, now clams up when confronted with evidence that appears to clear the Duke players. Nifong says that he will "respond in court." It's a shame to all involved that our DA failed to follow proper procedure...
Update - Weekend items:
Nifong Probe Possible, U.S. Attorney General Says — The United States Attorney General suggested Sunday that his office might investigate the way District Attorney Mike Nifong has handled the Duke lacrosse rape case. In an interview with Fox News on Sunday, United States Attorney General Alberto Gonzales confirmed he received a letter asking for a federal probe into the investigation, in which an exotic dancer claims three lacrosse players raped her at a March 13 party. "Well, that is a letter that we recently received," Gonzales told Fox News' Brian Wilson. "It's being evaluated at the (Department of Justice). I can't say anything -- anything beyond that."
FreeRepublic - Probe PossibleLieStoppers:
LieStopppers - Probe Possible
TalkLeft - Probe Possible
KC Johnson: Gonzales' Remarks
The Nifong-Meehan Conspiracy — it appears the entire time [Nifong] only pretended to believe her as an excuse to capitalize on [the accuser's] false accusations for his own political benefit. If Nifong genuinely believed the accuser, his only recourse upon discovery of the existence of multiple unidentified DNA fragments that did not match the listed consensual partners, nor the initial suspects, would have been to pursue the actual sources of the DNA. Instead, he callously chose to indict politically expedient, yet provably innocent, young men. It is impossible to believe that an ethical prosecutor working as chief investigator of a real crime would make that same choice...
related: LieStoppers forum — A Cold-Blooded FrameBetsy Newmark, Betsy's Page:
How much longer should Mike Nifong be in power as Durham's District Attorney? — The hearing yesterday lifted the veil on what Mike Nifong has been doing all this time. The head of the Burlington DNA lab that did the private testing on DNA from the victim had to admit in court that he didn't present a full report of his finding that none of the lacrosse team's DNA was found on the victim while the DNA of several other unidentified men was found on and in her....That hearing is scheduled for the first week of February. Nifong intends to call the accuser as a witness even though Nifong says that her baby is due that week. I guess that will just be a convenient excuse to postpone the hearing.
he [Nifong] should be removed from all cases until he is either cleared or prosecuted himself.
related: John in Carolina — Newmark: Remove Nifong nowRegarding the next hearing being on Feb 5th (with a possible delay?), forum comment from July:
I thought General Sherman went through North Carolina in the spring of 1865 to insure that the US Constitution applied there, and that within a couple of years an amendment was adopted that in effect extends the protections of the Bill of Rights against federal abuses to protection against state abuses. I really don't see how it is possible for NC to adopt a system of "case management" under which cases get an hour of court time a month, so that the constitutional right to a speedy trial is systematically denied. Perhaps a lawyer can explain this to us.
Jeanette, Hang Right Politics:
Duke Lacrosse Players Were Set Up By DA — This case is a sham and should never have been brought in the first place. Mike Nifong should be disbarred for what he did and he and the city of Durham should be sued to recover the money paid by these men. I don’t know how they get their reputations back except for Nifong to say on a witness stand he lied and tried as hard as he could to make something of nothing and just happened to pick these three men to do so.
Nick Stevens, NC Sports Report:
There Is No Case — I cannot believe that this case is still active. Obviously, the arrogance of Nifong is going to prevent him from dropping the case, but why hasn't a judge thrown it out of court? IT IS TIME!...Why the citizens of Durham reelected Mike Nifong I will never know. But it is time for the Duke Lacrosse Case to be laid to rest, because there is no case.
FreeRepublic: Duke R*pe Case All Too Common - false rape allegation studies
John Stevenson, The Organ (aka Herald-Sun):
Venue change requests are rare — If defense attorneys in the Duke lacrosse rape case succeed in having the proceedings shifted to another county, it would be the first time in two decades a Durham criminal action has been moved. The last time was in the mid-1980s, when Barbara Stager of Durham was tried in Lee County for the fatal shooting of her husband, a high school baseball coach. Stager was found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to die. But after the state Supreme Court awarded her a new trial, the penalty was downgraded to life in prison with parole eligibility in 20 years...
Ellen, (New apolgists for Nifong)
Sean Hannity Continues His Inappropriate Activism On Behalf Of Duke Lacrosse Defendants - Megyn Kendall looked like she was about to jump up and down with excitement as she listed in nauseatingly explicit detail all the places the white guys’ DNA was not found on the accuser’s black body. Kendall’s advocacy for the defendants has been so strong that I have often wondered if she isn’t moonlighting on their behalf. In any event, I hope they send her a Christmas bonus. She has certainly earned it...In the middle of it all was a "step by step" video timeline. It began at the convenient-for-the-defendants’ time of 12:03 AM and left out the fact that the party and drinking had begun in the afternoon.
Comment: Does being anti-Fox News require that you also become anti-civil rights and blind to injustice? Is this just a perverse application of "the enemy of my enemy is my friend?"
Sunday Hearing Round-Up — forensic certification, flouting Open Discovery Law, Meehan's confession, unprofessional DA's office, Herald-Sun propoganda, former coach Mike Pressler, and at hearing Judge Osmond Smith "passed with flying colors."
Kathleen Eckelt RN, FNE; Forensics Talk:
Forensics Scientist Scorns Dr. Meehan's Behavior — This is no small matter for Dr. Meehan, or the private forensic lab industry. Dr. Meehan's conduct in this case has single-handedly demonstrated that privately funded and operated forensic labs are just as easily influenced by zealous prosecutors as their government lab counterparts. And to the question "Have you ever willfully conspired with the prosecution to conceal evidence that you to be exculpatory?" - he must forever answer yes, while under oath in future cases. For many in the forensic science community, this would be a career headshot."
NAACP, apologize! — NAACP: National Association for the Advancement of Colored People? Or, in North Carolina, Negroes Asserting A Canard Publicly? Canard: "a false or unfounded report or story, esp : a fabricated report." Like Crystal Gail Mangum's gang rape story. The North Carolina NAACP was right to demand that the story be investigated, but it was much too eager for the story to be true...
Prof. Michael Gustafson (Duke), Blog of Convenience:
da Vinci Code — And now - now it should be clear to all that we have created an environment, both within our walls and the community that hosts them, where it may well be impossible to have a jury of one's peers should this continue to trial. Who are the peers of "White Male Athlete Privilege"? Who will vote for "white innocence," if it means "black guilt"?
Ruth Sheehan, N&O Ruth's Metro Blog:
Definition of "cringe" — Webster's II offers the definition "to recoil." As in, to cringe at the sight of a woman going through photos of lacrosse team members, guided by a police detective — a process that led to charges of rape and other crimes. All of which appear, with every passing day and every new nugget of information, to be baseless.
Comment: Ruth, when will we see a new official News & Observer editorial condemning Nifong, this Duke injustice, and demanding that he be investigated?
William F. West, The Organ (H-S):
Finnerty's dad says 'there was a rush to indict' — Collin Finnerty's father, Kevin, wants to know "Where is the justice?" "There was a rush to indict," Kevin Finnerty said Friday afternoon. "There was a rush to judgment. There was a lack of a thorough assessment of evidence -- and I'm not happy about that." Kevin Finnerty made those comments moments after a pre-trial hearing in the Duke lacrosse rape case had concluded...Kevin Finnerty praised U.S. Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., who on Tuesday asked U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to have the Justice Department investigate District Attorney Mike Nifong for prosecutorial misconduct. "We wish other congressmen, senators, politicians would make the same requests" of Gonzales, Kevin Finnerty added...
Martyn Lloyd-Morgan, The Liberty Sphere:
Prosecutorial Misconduct in Durham — If the state of North Carolina buried its head in the sand over this case, then citizens in this fine state should take to the streets. This is a stain on the system from which emanates a rank stench of corruption. It needs to be corrected quickly.
Mike McCusker, Crystal Mess:
Exhuming McCarthy (A New American Tragedy In Three Acts) (humor) - Lightning splits the black sky outside the window of the cluttered office of DR. ALFONSE MEPHISTO-MEEHAN. Upon a workbench lining the back wall, strange colored liquids burble inside large beakers connected by coiled tubing....
Duke Offers Alleged Rape Victim's Baby Legacy Status — University president Richard H. Brodhead issued a statement yesterday, "with the full faith and backing of the university's board of trustees," guaranteeing legacy status to Baby Precious if any member of the Duke community is her father. "A great university sets an example for its students in bad times as well as good," said Mr. Brodhead"...
Saturday Night Live:
Nancy Grace Holiday Message — JumpCut
NANCY GRACE: "And to the Duke lacrosse players, congratulations. It looks like you won this round. What with your daddy's money, and your high-priced lawyers, and your NOT having done the things you were accused of"...
"That is why I am saddened by the recent news out of Durham, North Carolina where a brave, young woman, whose cause I have championed week after week on my show "Nancy Grace" appears to have been lying when she claims she was sexually assaulted by three members of the Duke Univesity lacrosse team. Although, thankfully, none of us will ever know her name. That heroic stripper needs our support and our prayers tonight.
Over the past few years, our society has shown much greater sensitivity and compassion in the way it treats victims of sexual assault and that's a good thing. But what about those whose claims of sexual assault are almost certainly false? Who's sticking up for them? Besides me and Durham County D.A. Mike Nifong, nobody."
LieStoppers forum: SNL Skit, Nancy GracelessLieStoppers humor:
TalkLeft: SNL skit
Lax.com: SNL Rips Nifong, Supports Duke Players — A question for Duke President Richard Broadhead: since the next hearing is Feb 5th, and therefore after Spring semester starts, are you really going to continue Finnerty's and Seligmann's exile from the team (and campus) until this is finally dismissed? Get a spine and a conscience.
Intercepted Holiday Greetings #2 — from Alex Rosenbery
SNL Does The Hoax
Intercepted Holiday Greetings #1 — Dear Group of 88
Jon Hand, JLF - Right Angles:
A song to Durham — How can Durham be so heartless? How can Durham be so cruel? ...
related: John in Carolina: "A Song for Durham"