Today's items (the hoax marches on after rape charges are dropped):
Todd Venezia, Kieran Crowley; New York Post:
RAPE RAP KO'D — But DA will push Kidnap case - Rape charges were dropped against three Duke lacrosse players yesterday, but the Long Island dad of one of the men voiced outrage that the DA in the increasingly flimsy case is still pursuing other charges - which could get the trio more than 50 years behind bars. "It's a good step in the right direction," Kevin Finnerty, father of player Collin Finnerty, told The Post at his Garden City home. "But I don't trust this guy. This DA is not looking for the truth and for justice." ...
Finnerty's father told The Post that he was now going to a New York college, which he declined to name. "This is really tough on our family," he said.
Editorial, News & Observer:
Nifong's move — Dropping of the rape charges against three former Duke athletes doesn't help the credibility of the remaining case. - The accuser's new uncertainty also continues to point up problems with how Nifong has pursued this case. His first statements, made to television reporters with national audiences, included iron-clad assurances that a rape had occurred and that the defendants were guilty. Those statements about the men seemed to cross the line of prosecutorial propriety.
Then it turned out, as The News & Observer reported, that the D.A. had never interviewed the dancer about the events of that March evening, a puzzling fact given the certainty with which Nifong seemed to vouch for her truthfulness...
The accuser, if she can offer a coherent account and stand by it, deserves to have her allegations heard in court, but she too may have been ill-served by a D.A. who seems to have built his case on a shaky foundation. For example, problems with the lineup procedure could mean that key evidence, or what the prosecution regards as evidence, could not be introduced.
From here on out, Nifong needs to be fair and cold-eyed in evaluating evidence as it continues to come to light and in assessing the strength of his case. He properly is being watched, and his conduct will need to be examined by the N.C. State Bar if the case continues to break apart.
Comment: How many chances does the News & Observer want the false accuser to get, in order to make up a story that is half coherent? The News & Observer is offering a lame half-hearted condemnation of their DA, Mike Nifong, who has been caught in the act of committing a crime. What will it take for them to cut this bad guy loose? A pitiful editorial.David Barstow, Duff Wilson, New York Times:
LieStoppers forum: N&O Editorial 12/23 — Horrible editorial in view of the present posture of the case. Just terrible. The N&O is actually going in reverse. Shameful...
Charges of Rape Against 3 at Duke Are Abandoned — The Durham district attorney dropped rape charges against three former Duke lacrosse players on Friday, but he said he would continue to pursue kidnapping and sexual offense charges that carry equally stiff sentences.
Mr. Nifong declined interview requests Friday, but said in an e-mail message that his decision to dismiss the rape charges showed he was “willing to go in whatever direction the evidence takes me.” And in a three-hour interview on Thursday, Mr. Nifong said he would not hesitate to drop all the charges if the accuser expressed doubt about the identity of the men she has accused when she sees all three defendants at a pretrial hearing set for February.
“If she came in and said she could not identify her assailants, then we don’t have a case,” Mr. Nifong said. On the other hand, he continued, “If she says, yes, it’s them, or one or two of them, I have an obligation to put that to a jury.”
Comment: Nifong sits down with his most favored national hoax enabler, the New York Times, and spins his latest three-hour sequel of lies and deception. Nifong saying, "he was 'willing to go in whatever direction the evidence takes me," is so absurd that it's funny.related:
Jeralyn Merritt, TalkLeft (12/22):
DA Nifong: If Accuser Wavers on Identification, He'll Drop Case — Shorter version: If the accuser cannot with certainty identify the players she claims sexually assaulted her at the lineup hearing in February, he'll drop the case against those not identified....Nifong also had a weak explanation for not turning over the exculpatory DNA material...I don't think her in-court identification will be worth anything. Monks on the mountainside of Tibet could identify Seligman, Finnerty and Evans by now. Nifong is digging himself into a career grave.
TalkLeft forum: Nifong Interview: If Accuser Wavers on ID, He'll Drop the Case
Niolet, Neff; News & Observer:
Rape charges dropped, others remain — 'Not a spider web of evidence' against defendants, one of their lawyers says. Duke law professor James E. Coleman said Nifong should not have retreated to his office....'Sad mess'..."This is no way for a prosecutor who has accused three students of rape to dismiss the charges, especially the way he handled this case early on. It would have been appropriate for him to personally announce he was dismissing those charges for lack of evidence. This is a really sad mess this guy has created, and I think the quicker he gets out of the case the better it will be for all involved," Coleman said. "It looks like they're trying to salvage a case that's falling apart on them."
Matt Dees, News & Observer:John in Carolina:
Development heartens accused's backers — The accused still face felony charges, but many Duke lacrosse case observers see dropped rape charges as more proof that there's no proof. Duke University President Richard Brodhead on Friday called on Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong to clear the accused players completely. . .
The Rev. William J. Barber II, a Durham minister and president of the state NAACP, issued a statement Friday stressing that serious charges still remain. "Find the truth, face the truth," Barber said. "Try the case in the courts, not in the media."..
Jackie Brown, who served as Nifong's campaign director for the spring primary, only to jump ship to serve the campaign to recall Nifong before the November election, was more concise but just as condemning.
"He's dead," she said. "Put a fork in him, he's done.
BRODHEAD'S FAILED — Back on March 25 Duke’s President, Richard H. Brodhead, refused to meet with the parents of 46 students under investigation for multiple felonies, including gang rape. He hasn’t met with them since. He’s never said why. On May 18 racists outside and within the Durham County Courthouse shouted threats, including death threats, at Duke sophomore Reade Seligmann. Brodhead said nothing then and has said nothing since critical of racists threatening one of his students...What kind of university president remains silent for seven months about events like those of May 18? Brodhead’s failed Duke and Durham. He needs to move on. The sooner, the better.
Prosecutors Drop Duke Rape Counts — "At first when the dismissals started coming across the fax, we went, 'Thank you, Lord -- we finally have justice,' " said Evans's attorney, Joseph Cheshire. "And then we realized it was the dismissal of only one charge."...Meanwhile, a group of Duke alumni and supporters castigated university officials for not defending the lacrosse players more fervently...
Some sure, others question whether justice can be served - City Manager Patrick Baker says he is "convinced justice will prevail" in the wake of District Attorney Mike Nifong's surprise decision Friday to drop first-degree forcible rape charges against the three defendants in the Duke lacrosse rape case. Baker also defended the Durham Police Department's handling of it. "If at some point in the investigation [the accuser] said she was raped, and now she says she wasn't, I'm not sure that's the department's fault," he said. "I would be concerned if back in March she said she wasn't raped, and the police articulated that she was." Baker said it is up to prosecutors, judges and grand juries to screen allegations.
related - LieStoppers forum: H-S Patrick Baker Comments
Editorial, News-Record (Greensboro, NC):
Nifong begins retreat from Duke rape case — The "Duke lacrosse rape case" has received national media attention, created friction within the Durham community and damaged the image of a fine university. Now it's not a rape case at all. Nifong had no choice but to drop those charges, and he soon may have to give up the others. It's too bad he didn't handle this case more responsibly from the start.
Nifong's Sinking Ship — The depths to which Mike Nifong can sink can surprise even those who have watched his performance closely over the last nine months....With yesterday’s move, Nifong effectively impeached his only witness...By offering a new version of events 282 days after the party, Nifong argues for disbelieving the accuser’s on-tape descriptions of acts from the April 4 ID session....In short, whatever credibility the accuser retained has vanished.
related: LieStoppers — KC Johnson on GMA, 12/23/06Bryan Strickland, The Herald-Sun (via LieStoppers): Lacrosse coach: Dropped charges partial victory for players, families — Duke lacrosse coach John Danowski welcomed the news Friday that rape charges against three lacrosse players had been dropped. But he and the Blue Devils won't be satisfied until the players -- who still are accused of kidnapping and sexual offense charges -- are free to stand beside them on the playing field.
LieStoppers (humor): Retirement Planning, Christmas Spirit
Forum topics of note:
FreeRepublic: NBC's Alison Stewart: 'Could Someone Have Gotten To' Duke Accuser? — Granted, the coverage of the Duke rape matter on this morning's "Today" was heavily skeptical of the prosecutor's case. And yes, host Alison Stewart did preface her remark by suggesting that she "play devil's advocate here." Even so, it's hard to see any journalistic justification for a scurrilous suggestion Stewart made. Speaking with NBC legal analyst Susan Filan, Stewart said:LieStoppers: Nifong speaks, reported on MSNBC just now — He vows to go forward with the charges, until or unless the Accuser shows any doubt that these are the people who abused her.
"Why would she change her story at this point? She told doctors, nurses and police that she had been raped. Yet now she says she doesn't remember. Could someone have gotten to this woman?"
View video of Stewart's suggestion here. Filan didn't think so: "She's changed her story since the get-go. She's changed her story many, many, many times. We've never gotten a consistent version of 'the truth' from her, so it's not unexpected that it continues to change."
TalkLeft: How The Rape Dismissal Helps Nifong — What did Nifong do other than to lower his burden of proof by obviating the need to prove vaginal penetration by a penis...
Fox Turns the Duke Rape Case Into One of Race, Class Warfare and Impeachment — (300+ comments) Powell stepped in to offer a bit of sanity: "Every prosecutor has to take accusations like this seriously, they have to investigate it," and then Reagan wrapped the segment up: "Everyone overreacted here...punished the school because of an accusation and nobody's been found guilty of anything but simply by playing the race card...everybody lost their jobs and reputations. How do you get that back?"
NewsHoods Comment: Yes, it sounds like a lot of overreacting took place, including that of Duke University, I might add. However, instead of examining the societial pressures that influenced the actions of all the parties involved, Fox itself is seizing the opportunity and overreacting in order to drive yet more wedges between us all.
Mike McCusker, Crytsal Mess:
Oz, This Is Too Easy — (And it needn't wait until February 5th.) - You're not stupid, Oz. You know that Nifong's dismissal of the rape charges today, upon the non-reliability of the other liar, renders her "identifications," whose incredible nature had been surgically dissected previously in the defendants' joint motion, all the more unreliable. The evidence before the court is incontrovertible. There's no need for a hearing to be held. You must be personally affronted by Nifong's playing you for a fool...
Mike McCusker, Crytsal Mess:
Dan Abrams: Release Crystal's ENTIRE April 6 Statement — In light of today's shenanigans from the both 6th floor and the New York Times sports reporter cum enabler, it would be the height of journalistic irresponsibility not to release each and every word commended to writing by the false accuser, Crystal Gail Mangum, on April 6, 2006. Publish it in its entirety, now.
Comment: Absolutely. The main stream media have had Ms. Mangum's statement for months, and they should have released it. Why are we still waiting?MikeMcCusker, Crystal Mess:
And For My Next Trick... — My take is that Nifong is playing balls-to-the-wall No Limit Hold 'Em, all in, hoping to force a quid pro quo agreement from the defendants not to pursue civil claims against him and the County in exchange for dismissal of all charges.
Marc H. Rudov:
Man-Hating DA Nifong Surrenders — Well, the news is in: the man-hating district attorney from Durham, NC — Mike Nifong — has, at last, thrown in the towel on his wrongly pursued rape case against three lacrosse players from Duke University...
Note: It has been 249 days since Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann were falsely arrested and charged on April 18, 2006.