Updated - today's (Jan 12th) items: [prior to recusal announcement]
News & Observer:
Nifong meets with accuser — Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong met in his office Thursday with the accuser in the Duke lacrosse case. Defense lawyers had served a subpoena on the woman addressed at Nifong's office. She was in the office Thursday and personally received the document, the subpoena said.
Meanwhile, ABC News and CNN were reporting late this afternoon that Nifong had asked to be taken off the controversial case. ABC, citing an unidentified source close to the investigation, said Nifong had asked the state attorney general's office to take over the case.
And Nifong also has hired a Winston-Salem lawyer who was critical of his early handling of the case during a national TV interview in April. David Freedman, one of a handful of North Carolina attorneys with a sizable practice defending lawyers battling State Bar complaints, said today that he regretted comments he made on MSNBC's "The Abrams Report."
Nifong Meets With Duke Lacrosse Accuser — Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong met with the accuser in the Duke lacrosse case for several hours at his office on Thursday, WRAL has learned. While there, Durham County sheriff's deputies served her with a subpoena ordering her to be in court to testify at a Feb. 5 hearing. The meeting was also on the same day defense attorneys filed a supplement to a previous motion asking a judge to toss out the photo lineup in which the accuser identified the three defendants -- David Evans, 23, Collin Finnerty, 20, and Reade Seligmann, 20. Judge Osmond Smith, who is assigned as the sole judge to the case, is expected to rule on the photo lineup at the February hearing...
discussion:Opinion - Barry Saunders, News & Observer:
LieStoppers: Nifong Meets with Precious, per WRAL
TalkLeft: Nifong meets/subpoenas Precious
Let's let a court decide — The drip, drip, drip of evidence coming from the defense, which appears to undermine the prosecution's case and cast doubt on the accuser's story, does make one question her truthfulness. The towel and also a newly revised -- and, for the prosecution, convenient -- timeline that fills holes left by the accuser's initial account make it hard for anyone who initially believed her to remain convinced.
That is why we have court systems. Accusers, even when they're strippers with possibly faulty memories, have a right to be heard -- once prosecutors ensure that the case deserves to be heard. So let it be heard....That's why we have courts.
flashback: Letting the local authorities and their courts protect the civil rights of citizens does not always work.LieStoppers:
David Perley Lowe — best remembered for his support of civil rights legislation, quoted by the Supreme Court in 1961 in Monroe v. Pape, discussing Congressional debate of the 1871 Civil Rights Act (Ku Klux Klan Act):
"While murder is stalking abroad in disguise, while whippings and lynchings and banishments have been visited upon unoffending American citizens, the local administrations have been found inadequate or unwilling to apply the proper corrective. Combinations, darker than the night [which] hides them, conspiracies, wicked as the worst felons could devise, have gone unwhipped of justice. Immunity is given to crime, and the records of the public tribunals are searched in vain for any evidence of effective redress."
Our Collective Voice - Lewis Cheek — HOW SHALL WE JUDGE IN DURHAM? - I have been involved in local politics since 1999. I have often said that Durham will never be the best that it can be until we overcome artificial racial issues. When I left the City Council, I suggestedthat our attitudes ought to conform to the theme of the Blood Song "It doesn’t matter what color youare as long as your blood is red."...
This isn’t just about judging the words and actions of the District Attorney. This is about judging the words and actions of every single person with any role in government who is in a position to affect your life.
How should we judge in Durham? The answer to that question is really not difficult. The real question, though, is will we ever learn how to judge in Durham? I hope so, but it won’t happen until we get beyond artificial racial issues and attitudes, demand fairness and justice for all and judge based upon the color of one’s blood rather than the color of one’s skin.
discussion:Joeseph Neff, News & Observer:
LieStoppers: LewisCheek Speaks Out — he lost [DA election] to Nifong based on exactly what he's writing about...artificial race issues. If only he had said this during the campaign, he would have won almost every Republican vote that went to Monk. Oh, well...
Duke attack story shifts — The accuser in the sexual assault case gives a new take; lawyers are incredulous - In her latest statement to investigators, the accuser in the Duke lacrosse case again changed her account of when she says she was sexually assaulted, who attacked her and how.
In a December interview with Nifong's chief investigator, the woman touches on problems with the case that have surfaced in news reports and court filings: flawed identification procedures, no DNA evidence, and conflicting descriptions of her attackers and what they did to her at a March 13 team party. The new account, however, contradicts the woman's cell phone records, time-stamped photographs of the party, 911 records and all her previous statements.
Duke law professor James Coleman..."These people are almost criminal. It's making a mockery of the system. It's like Nifong is mooning the system. It's contemptuous."
discussion:Jane Stancill, News & Observer:
LieStoppers forum: Duke Attack Story Shifts *Bombshell*, Neff Rocks the Hoax
LieStoppers forum: THAT WHITE TOWEL, News and Observer Side Bar — A white towel made its debut in the accuser's statement of Dec. 21...
Venom has aftereffects for Duke — The two top administrators at Duke University met with faculty behind closed doors Thursday to discuss free speech and the boundaries of civility in what has become a poisonous climate of blogs, hateful letters and racist e-mail.
The rare meeting came after a prominent African-American faculty member resigned in protest from her university committee assignments, including a Campus Culture Initiative that grew out of the lacrosse scandal. Karla Holloway, an English professor and former dean, said she could no longer work on the committees in good faith...
comment: Faking "racist" e-mail is trivial. Prof. Holloway sounds like a soul mate of Claremont Colleges (Los Angeles) psychology professor Kerri Dunn. Here we go again.News & Observer:
Kerri Dunn: this diversity advocate discovered her car vandalized with hate slogans on March 9, 2004. In response, classes were closed, on March 10th, and students staged demonstrations. A few days later, police discovered that Dunn vandalized the car herself. Instead of condemning Dunn, university officials framed the protests in a positive light as still having meaning given the context.
LieStoppers: * A Disturbing Trend ! *, Karla and Cash and a fake stash
- you can sign up for 50 e-mail accounts in an hour. So, in an average work day, you could sign up for 400 e-mail accounts. Now one of the 88 has picked up Cash's tactic and the N&O printed e-mails she gave them - e-mails used to paint Bloggers and supporters of the Players as Raging Racists!...
FreeRepublic: Duke Prof. Quits Committees in Protest
E-mail exchange between Patricia Dowd and Karla Holloway — The following e-mails were exchanged between Patricia Dowd, mother of Duke University Lacrosse player Kyle Dowd, and Duke faculty member Karla Holloway. The e-mail from Dowd questioned Holloway’s motives for speaking out about the lacrosse case in a September article in an online publication.
Holloway's son, who is central to the e-mail, was adopted at age 4 after he was abused in a series of foster homes. He also had mental illness. He was later convicted of the rape and stabbing of a Raleigh schoolteacher. He died in 1999, shot dead when he escaped from a prison work detail. Holloway has written about the events.
In an interview Thursday, Dowd asked that her e-mail be read and considered in its entirety. Begin forwarded message: November 6, 2006, Prof. Holloway, I am the mother of a Duke Lacrosse player...
discussion:Anne Blythe, News & Observer:
TalkLeft: E-mail exchange between Patricia Dowd and Karla Holloway
LieStoppers: * A Disturbing Trend ! *, Karla and Cash and a fake stash
Nifong hires Winston-Salem lawyer — District Attorney Mike Nifong has hired a Winston-Salem lawyer who was critical of his early handling of the Duke lacrosse case during a national TV interview in April. David Freedman, one of a handful of North Carolina attorneys with a sizable practice defending lawyers battling State Bar complaints, said today that he regretted comments he made on MSNBC's "The Abrams Report."
"My opinion was just based on media reports," Freedman said. "As an experienced trial lawyer, I should know better than to base my comments just on what I had read."
related: KC Johnson - A Lawyer for NifongNate Freeman, Duke Chronicle:
Experts: DA's case nearing 'implosion' — "The re-working of the claims appears to be inconsistent with the testimony of the victim and would arguably cast doubt on its credibility," law professor Paul Haagen said. "The witness is no longer prepared to testify, so [Nifong] stated in his papers that the state can't prove his case."
John in Carolina:
N&O editor stoops to slime — (1) A copy of a comment I recently made on the thread of this post at the Raleigh N&O’s Editors’ Blog; (2) A copy of a response the N&O’s executive editor for news, Melanie Sill, made on the same thread in response to my comment; (3) My response to Sill which I’ve just left further down on the thread. I think reading my comments and Sill’s response will give you a good idea of how each of us treats facts and how we treat you, our readers.
comment: The News & Observer just hopes that their act of hoax fire starting with their inflamatory March 25th article is quietly forgotten. It will not be forgotten until the full truth regarding their interview with Ms. Mangum is known.Timothy Lynch ,The Cato Institute blog:
It’s Not Just About Nifong, Part I — Nifong’s actions should be scrutinized and he should be held accountable for any wrongs he has committed. However, since this criminal case is receiving national attention, it is important that this matter be placed in its proper context. It would be a mistake for any observer to sigh and say, “It’s so unfortunate that these young men were unlucky enough to be (a) falsely accused and (b) find themselves in the jurisdiction of a ‘rogue’ prosecutor.” That’s only part of the picture. The case is not just about Nifong. The laws and policies that are in place too often allow miscarriages of justice to take place.
Today, I will examine the law concerning speedy trials in North Carolina...
discussion:John Stevenson, Herald-Sun:
TalkLeft: The Duke Players Case and N.C.'s Speedy Trial Rule - The libertarian think tank, the Cato Institute, has a column today on how the lax N.C. speedy trial rule is negatively affecting the players' rights.
Duke lacrosse defense drops bomb — The Duke lacrosse case took another wild twist Thursday when a defense motion revealed that the accuser again has changed her account of the alleged attack, and now says defendant Reade Seligmann did not engage in sex with her.
For the second time in three weeks, defense lawyers released statements from a Dec. 21 interview the woman gave District Attorney's Office investigator Linwood Wilson -- the same interview that late last month led to dismissal of first-degree rape charges against Seligmann and lacrosse teammates David Evans and Collin Finnerty...
District Attorney Mike Nifong had no comment Thursday. Neither did Wilson....
comment: If Nifong returns anyone's call it's one from Stevenson.KC Johnson:
LieStoppers: Herald-Sun Turns on their boy, Signals end for Nifong
TalkLeft: Herald-Sun Writing About "Bombs" Dropping on Nifong!
The Theater of the Absurd — The enormity of the attempted frame was exceeded only by its blatant nature. Less than a day after defense attorneys revealed the full story on which Nifong has now based his case, it’s worth considering some of the loose ends that the frame either failed to fit or ignored entirely...(1) “No Name” Finnerty...(2) What happened between 12.00 and around 12.50?...(3) What of the Photos and the Cell-phone Records?...(4) What of Jason Bissey?...(5) What Happened to the Shoe?...(6) Best of the Fray...(7) Nifong's Attorney...
Rae Evans, CBS 60 Minutes interview:Yesterday (1/11/07):
Parents Of Accused Also Speak Out About Case — When asked what they would say to Nifong if he were in the room, Rae Evans, the mother of indicted player David Evans, says, "I would say with a smile on my face, 'Mr. Nifong, you've picked on the wrong families … and you will pay every day for the rest of your life.'" ...
LieStoppers: Rae Evans Kick ASS award
Prof. John Banzhaf, Professor of Public Interest Law, GWU, via Friends of Duke University: Nifong to be Sued by Lacrosse Players — Mother Confirms Families' Intent to Sue DA. The mother of Dave Evans, one of the three lacrosse players accused of sex crimes, has confirmed the earlier-reported intent of the three defendants to sue Durham County DA Michael Nifong for the harm he has caused by violating the students' civil rights....
Ruth Sheehan, Ruth's blog - News & Observer:
"Mr. Nifong, you've picked on the wrong families..." - This update, courtesy of Prof. John Banzhaf...
La Shawn Barber:
Stripper-Accuser’s New Version of Gang-Rape Fantasy — Whaaaa?? The stripper-accuser now claims Reade Seligmann “did not commit any sex acts on her” but he watched. Oh, honey, get on your knees…and ask God to forgive you for this web of lies. And for being a stripper… As I wrote in an earlier post, unless they’d knocked me out cold, there’d be plenty of DNA evidence if three men tried to rape me, especially regarding a…certain “forced” act. The man’s blood…and tissue…would be all over me, all over the floor. The crime scene would look like something out a horror movie...
Déjà Vu All Over Again — It should come as no surprise to anyone who has followed the Hoax that today’s supplemental motion to suppress the photo identifications of the Hoax defendants reveals that pseudo-victim, Crystal Gail Mangum, has yet again drastically changed her story. It should also surprise no one that the latest re-re-re-invention of the Hoax appears tailored to weave itself around Reade Seligmann's alibi, while “explaining” away the exonerating DNA evidence, the inconsistencies in the photo identification transcript, the time-stamped photographs, contradictions in each of the accuser's prior statements, and more. While the latest rewriting of the evolving Hoax script should not surprise anyone, the enormity of the changes is very frightening....
LieStoppers: The Mystery of the Missing Shoe - Solved!
LieStoppers (humor): Durham's Most Wanted II
Mike McCusker, Crystal Mess:
Duff Wilson, NY Times:
Duke Accuser Contradicts Herself - In an interview last month with a district attorney’s investigator, the woman who has accused three Duke lacrosse players of sexual assault contradicted critical evidence and parts of her earlier accounts, dealing a new blow to a faltering case...
Trial Date Set for Nifong Ethics Complaint — A trial date is now set for the ethics complaint filed against Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong. The State Bar filed the complaint last month, saying Nifong might have engaged in deceptive behavior in the way he has handled a sexual assault case involving members of Duke Unviersity's lacrosse team. The bar takes issue with comments Nifong made early on in the case. Nifong's trial is set for May 11. He has hired Winston-Salem attorney David Freedman to defend him. Freedman has represented other attorneys in State Bar matters...
discussion:William L. Anderson:
LieStoppers: Nifong Hires An Attorney...
Duke’s Upcoming Liability, or Richard Brodhead Needs to Find a Good Lawyer — Even though the criminal case against the three Duke lacrosse players has not yet been deep-sixed, the lawsuits against Duke University have begun. The family of Kyle Dowd, a lacrosse player who was graduated last spring, filed against the university and a faculty member, Kim Curtis, claiming that Curtis failed Dowd in retaliation for his being on the lacrosse team.
Curtis, who is a visiting professor in Duke’s political science department, has a reputation for being a leftist ideologue, and was one of the 88 signers of the infamous "social disaster" advertisement in the Duke Chronicle that thanked the protesters who acted in the aftermath of the charges levied against the lacrosse players...
Gregory Kane, BlackAmericaWeb.com:
Commentary: Feeling Sorry for Those Poor, Falsely-Accused Duke Lacrosse Players? Cry Me a River (1/10/07) — Michael Nifong, the district attorney of Durham, N.C., recently dropped rape charges against the three white Duke University lacrosse players accused of raping a black North Carolina Central coed. As expected, the cadre of right-wing commentators defending the three have gone into overdrive. And, once again, I’m compelled to write about how I’m so not feeling any sympathy for these guys. I say again, they got off easy. Why do I day that? Four reasons: Calvin Crawford Johnson Jr. ...Think, in other words, what may have happened if Johnson had the benefits and advantages of those three Duke lacrosse players. They’re out on bail and will never do time. Compared to Johnson, they’ve gotten off damned easy. Those who continue to defend them can holla at me after they’ve done 16 years on a jive humble charge.
comment: Indeed, Kane's argument in a nutshell: "two wrongs make a right." Yes, payback is Pulitzer material.Ned Barnett, KnoxNews.com
TalkLeft: Two wrongs really do make a right
Rape case still clings to Duke lacrosse (1/10/07) — Lacrosse is a spring sport. Duke lacrosse is a year-round obsession. On Wednesday, Duke began the delicate task of trying to slide the season out from under the case. Three men's lacrosse players and their new coach met with the media at Cameron Indoor Stadium. They wanted to talk Duke lacrosse without DNA evidence, exotic dancers and Mike Nifong. They hoped to shift the focus from the trial that is expected to be scheduled for this spring to the trials of this spring's schedule. Practice starts on Jan. 27. The opener is Feb. 24 at home against Dartmouth. The players think the program, suspended last spring and once in danger of termination, will come back as a top-10 team again...
News 14 Carolina/AP:
Duke lacrosse players want more than just to return (1/10/07) — Forget all the talk about Duke's embattled lacrosse players being happy just to return to the field after their season was canceled amid rape allegations last spring. With a goal that once seemed so distant now only weeks away, the Blue Devils are talking like any other team hungry to win a national championship. And the focus seems to be more on returning the program to its lofty perch than dwelling on the criminal case against three teammates...
Kathleen Eckelt RN, FNE; Forensic Talk:
The Duke Lacrosse Had Only Seven Months Experience? Part II ( (1/8/07) — A few days ago, I took an informal poll from among the various professional list servs to which I belong. I asked for their personal feelings as to how much clinical time and experience (in their prosective fields) should be obtained before a person should be able to testify as an expert. I specifically asked if they would consider someone who is but a few months out of school to be experienced enough. Among the professionals who responded are nurses, criminal investigators, forensic scientists, private detectives, insurance investigators, fraud investigators, an arson investigator, and attorneys...