Updated - today's items:
Kathleen Eckelt RN, FNE; Forensic Talk:
Duke Lacrosse Accuser 's Psychiatric History - a 'Perfect Storm'? — I was not surprised to hear the Revelation on CBS' 60 Minutes last night that the accuser in the Duke lacrosse case has a long psychiatric history (bi-polar) and has been on Seroquel and Depakote.
From the beginning, in my posts and via private communications, I questioned whether this woman was on any psychotropic medications and whether or not she was having episodes of delusions. First of all, I'd like to clarify that I do not believe that just because someone has a history of psychiatric illness, any complaint they might make of sexual assault should just be tossed out the window. Just because someone has a mental illness doesn't mean they can't be raped. Sexual assault can happen to anyone of any race, age, occupation, or mental condition.
However, I also believe that any complaint of sexual assault should be thoroughly investigated, prior to charging a suspect(s). That should include investigating the back ground of the accuser as well, especially if they have an illness which might cause them to have personality or conduct disorders, delusions, or hallucinations...
discussion:Joe Neff, News & Observer:
LieStoppers: Crystal Bi-Polar ?, questions
TalkLeft: Symptoms of psychosis — It may come as a surprise to those who've read my posts over the last few months but mark me down as an alleged victim sympathizer....
Nifong conduct rebuked early — In the first weeks of the Duke lacrosse case, Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong continued to disparage lacrosse players in public after a defense attorney had put him on notice that he was violating ethical rules governing the conduct of lawyers. The N.C. State Bar has charged Nifong with making improper statements to the media. The Bar is likely to use the letter from defense attorney Joseph B. Cheshire V as evidence that Nifong had been warned he was crossing ethical boundaries early on.
"Your reported comments have greatly prejudiced any court proceedings that may arise," Cheshire wrote on March 30, three days after Nifong began making public statements about the case.
"I do not understand why you will reportedly speak to the media in such certain, condemning terms before all the evidence is in, but you will not have the courtesy to meet or even speak with a representative of someone you have publicly condemned, despite your knowledge of the presumption of innocence and your position as an officer of the court bound by the Rules of Professional Conduct related to pre-trial publicity."
The letter makes it more difficult for Nifong to argue that his remarks were off-the-cuff, said Thomas Metzloff, who teaches legal ethics at Duke Law School...
discussion:Duke Basketball Report:
LieStoppers forum: Cheshire Warned Nifong March 30 About Comments
FreeRepublic: Nifong conduct rebuked early (DukeLax DA was warned)
MSNBC: The Abrams Report,' - March 31, 2006 — Mike "The Durham Strangler" Nifong demontrates the choke hold used on Crystal Mangum to Dan Abrams of MSNBC for a national audience. Nifong also lied about knowing the identity of the 911 caller, Ms. Roberts.
comment: Ms. Mangum recanted the strangulation allegation in her most recent version of the incident given on December 21st to Investigator Linwood Wilson.
60 Minutes Eviscerates Nifong, Again — The previous 60 Minutes piece on the Duke lacrosse case was hard-hitting, but Sunday's was devastating to Mike Nifong and the case he built....For Duke, the episode was, to borrow a phrase, a social disaster. It wasn't any better for Durham or the state of North Carolina.
After the lacrosse case, the faked lead tests, the burning landfill, the various police shenanigans, Durham's reputation has taken a major hit. North Carolina's judicial system has had a harsh light shone on it, and what it's shown is not pretty: a prosecutor pursuing conviction at all costs and utterly disregarding any evidence contrary to his goal. The case has become a significant controversy in the state, with members of the legislature suggesting that the state take over supervision of prosecutors (currently the bar handles it). It may well be a wildcard election issue in the state in 2008, with no way to predict its impact....
as Professor James Coleman has made clear, if you can do what Nifong did to rich people, it’s ten times easier to do it to poor ones...
related:Michael Biesecker, News & Observer:
KC Johnson: DBR on 60 Minutes — DBR notes, correctly, that Brodhead is currently in a difficult position, because “no matter what he does, he’s going to offend various constituencies...
John in Carolina:
First take on 60 Minutes — What about Meehan? I thought: "A big, soft grapefruit; the feds will easily squeeze him." Some of what Meehan said tonight may have bothered fair-minded people because under Leslie Stahl's questioning he backed off somewhat from the obvious conspiracy statements he made in court. That didn't bother me. I think he's been counseled by his attorney. He's looking to cut a deal with the feds...
Players' parents rip into Nifong — The parents of the three Duke lacrosse players charged with sexually assaulting an escort service dancer appeared together on national television Sunday night, lashing out at District Attorney Mike Nifong and proclaiming their sons' innocence...
Ruth Sheehan - column, News & Observer:
Nifong made call too late — Here's something I was beginning to think I'd NEVER say about Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong: He did the right thing. By turning over the miserable Duke lacrosse case to the Attorney General's office for handling by a special prosecutor, he did the right thing. But he did so more than seven months later than he should have. And here's a stunner: He did it to save his own hide.
Let's review, in brief. Nifong used the case to win an election. He refused to meet defense attorneys, including one who appears to have solid proof that his client was elsewhere when the alleged assault (in the original version) took place. He appears to have tried to withhold evidence. And the first time his office met with the accuser was this month. (Producing a whole new version of events -- argh!)...
comment: So what is the excuse of the editorial board at the News & Observer? They haven't made a decent call on Nifong yet.KC Johnson:
Race, Racism, and the Case — Since March 14, race and racism have played a consistent, and sometimes depressingly noticeable, role in this case...Remember, again, what occurred in this case: a prosecutor deliberately exploited racial tensions, and profited politically from doing so. On this day, of all days, that record should outrage everyone.
LieStoppers: Race, Racism, and the Case, KC's Commentary
Aaron Beard, AP:
Mitch Albom, Detroit Free Press:
As Duke case falters, whom do you doubt? (1/14/07) — When are certain people involved with this Duke lacrosse team case going to use the word they seem to be consciously avoiding?
It's a word for someone who tells lies. And so far, the only thing certain in this case is that the accuser has told many of them. The biggest, of course, may be that she was raped. Now she says she can't be sure. As a result, rape charges against the three players were dropped, charges that have damaged their lives forever.
Yet no one calls her a liar.
She also insisted three particular players attacked her, players she identified from photos. But late last month she said one of them didn't actually participate -- the same guy she once said forced her to perform oral sex. Suddenly, nine months later, she remembers he didn't?
But she's not a liar? ...
Duke case may hurt prosecutor's career (1/14/07) — Forced by allegations of misconduct to recuse himself, the prosecutor who drove the Duke lacrosse sexual assault case could end up losing much more than the opportunity to try a case he still believes in. For Mike Nifong, the missteps of the past 10 months have the potential to end a career that started nearly three decades ago, when he signed up at the Durham County district attorney's office as an unpaid assistant.
"You don't easily recover from something like this," said James Coleman, a Duke University law professor and frequent Nifong critic. "That's what's so unfortunate about this. He had a career - a long career, a reputation of being an honest and fair prosecutor - and for some reason, his conduct in this case was inconsistent with that."
Forum topics of note:
LieStoppers: This case showed Durm to be a Great Place!, Double-Standard...
TalkLeft: Accuser told Nifong She Wants Case to Continue
FreeRepublic: Mike Nifong Becomes Moral Leper Even To Many DUmmiesrelated:
DemocraticUnderground: about the duke lacrosse case...they put themselves in this situation
TalkLeft: "The time is always right to do what is right" - MLK Jr