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Friday, January 19, 2007

Duke/Nifong Hoax: Day #276

Updated - today's items:

Barry SaundersBarry Saunders, News & Observer:
Coman may be no prize — Chill, homes. Before y'all start the victory dance over the fact that Mike Nifong is no longer prosecuting the Duke lacrosse sexual assault case, it's important to look at who is prosecuting it. Supporters of the Duke Three seemed on the verge of doing a celebratory Electric Slide in front of Duke Chapel upon hearing that Attorney General Roy Cooper had picked James Coman and Mary Winstead to take over the case. Pardon me, but isn't this the same Attorney General's Office that has overseen such judicial travesties as the Alan Gell case? In the Gell case, Coman was brought in as a special prosecutor and gamely argued the same case in 2004 as David Hoke and Debra Graves had at the initial murder trial in 1998. When Coman had to try the case by the rules, a constraint Hoke and Graves ignored, Gell went free...

discusssion:
LieStoppers forum: Coman Bad News?, N&O Columnist Raises Questions
Rev. William J. BarberAnne Blythe, News & Observer:
NAACP chief lauds Cooper — Barber says he appreciates AG's approach to Duke case - The leader of the state NAACP says he is heartened by State Attorney General Roy Cooper's promise to review Duke lacrosse case evidence "with blinders on" and to "go wherever the facts lead." The Rev. William J. Barber, president of the state conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, summoned reporters Thursday after receiving numerous requests from the national media for comment on District Attorney Mike Nifong's decision last week to hand off the case to special prosecutors. After applauding Cooper's pledge to approach the case with an unbiased eye, Barber added that special prosecutors "would not be turned aside by public opinion, by reports in the media where the judge or the courts have not spoken, that they would put blinders on."...
related:
Herald-Sun The Organ: NAACP lauds move to replace Nifong

discussion:
LieStoppers forum: NAACP's Barber Weighs In Again, End of "High Level of Public Scrutiny"
LieStoppers: Sinister Statement from McSurely
Jerry Seper, The Washington Times:
Justice inquiry demanded on Duke rape charges — Did a North Carolina prosecutor, members of his staff, Durham police and a DNA testing laboratory conspire to violate the civil rights of three Duke University lacrosse players in bringing high-profile rape charges against them? That is what Rep. Peter T. King, New York Republican and former chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, wants to know, calling on Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales this week to assign Justice Department attorneys and the FBI to find out.

KC Johnson:
Ashley: We Won't Apologize — A refusal to apologize appears to be in the air this week in Durham. First, the (rump) Group of 88 defiantly promised to continue their crusade even as the case they hoped to exploit has collapsed. Then, Bob Ashley offered an unapologetic defense for his work at the Herald-Sun. Much like the Group of 88, Ashley has expressed bafflement as to why his paper’s transparently pro-Nifong coverage was cited by the defense as one of four factors in the change of venue motion. In an interview with Editor and Publisher, Ashley reinvented the past by fantastically claiming that not only did the H-S offer fair and balanced coverage from the start, but it actively upheld the defendants' presumption of innocence....
related:
Letter by Kent Beuchert (Tampa, Fla.), Editor & Publisher:
Newspapers and the Duke Lacrosse Team — as I was reading the words of the local paper's editor [Bob Ashley], it seemed that all of Nifong's supporters are trying to shield one another, and one of their arguing points is that some charges are still pending against the accused, and the DA still believes in the case. If Nifong actually does still believe in his case, at least we know that one reason for his past behavior was exteme stupidity. The same can be said for that birdbrained editor. It's incredible that someone this gullible and naive is in charge of newspaper stories...
Letters to Herald-Sun:
Larry Smith, Durham: Racism at Duke — I write to urge your newspaper to take a deep look at the racism that has come to the surface regarding the Duke lacrosse case, in particular threats being directed toward many of the African-American professors at the university...

J. Troy, Ronkonkoma, NY: Nifong is dangerous — As a retired New York state police officer, I am troubled by the Duke lacrosse case. It makes me wonder what made the police and prosecutor think they could get away with such conduct. My opinion is that they have probably gotten away with such conduct in previous matters....

Lawrence McKamy, Topeka, KS: Brodhead, Nifong must go — To the previous letters calling for the resignations of District Attorney Mike Nifong and Duke University President Richard Brodhead, I would enthusiastically agree, and add a call for discipline against the 88 faculty members at Duke who, in their muddled political correctness, joined Nifong and his lynch mob in declaring the three young men guilty before even the facts of the case were known...

Cindy Wrenn, Yorktown, VA: Accuser, Nifong should apologize to LAX players — It is apparent to me that the accuser in the Duke LAX case is a compulsive liar. She has no idea what happened to her. She has changed her story so many times. All of us have lost count of how many times she has changed her story. I just cannot see how you can build a case on a victim who keeps changing her story...

Sue Roth, Durham: Impeach Nifong — Golly. What a concept. After dragging the Duke lacrosse players through the mud for months, District Attorney Mike Nifong finally decided to stop dragging his feet and interview the person who accused them...How do we get this guy impeached?
Forum topics of note:
TalkLeft: We Figured It Out But Why Did It Take Everyone Else So Long? — Well everything we predicted is finally coming together, things we predicted in May and June. Why did it take so long for the masses to figure everything out? Accuser is lying. DA is dishonest and should be investigated. Boys are innocent. Race baiting by accuser supporters. Most of us bloggers on Talk Left knew this (all of us on LieStoppers) but it took almost a year for everyone else to figure out the obvious. Why?

LieStoppers: Burness Responds to, Questions about Cash Michaels Piece — topic still going strong today...
Matthew Bastian, The Conservative Voice:
A Load of Bull in Durham — With the rape case against the Duke University lacrosse players unraveling faster than a Paris Hilton friendship, it’s amazing - and somewhat relieving - to see the seismic shift in approach from many involved....Two parties that have been reluctant to join the changing tide are District Attorney Mike Nifong and the so-called “Group of 88.” The “88” were a band of Duke faculty who took out an ad in April, a few weeks after the case went public, to bemoan the sexism and racism on Duke’s campus. The ad included a collage of quotes from the student body, followed by the faculty opinion...

At the very least, the faculty should understand that they injected a sense of racially charged hyperbole into a situation that didn’t need the extra dose of emotion. Instead, they smugly insist that we are simply misinterpreting their words - the same words that helped to convict three young men among their peers and in the court of public opinion. A fact to which the “Group of 88” appear to be shamefully oblivious.
Michael Gaynor:
Bitter-enders (1/18) — Having been asked either to retract their full-page ad published in The Chronicle [the independent Duke University student newspaper] last April or to acknowledge the consistently exculpatory evidence that has accumulated since then, the Group of 88 — or at least some of them — has finally taken the pulpit again. But not to retract even a syllable. Not to acknowledge dismissal of the rape charge. Not to assail the prosecutor who recused himself from the Duke case in disgrace as he faced a proceeding that may lead to his disbarment. Not to excoriate the twists and turns in the stripper's story. Not to say what the world knows — she lied [which even liberal feminist law professor/rape victim Susan Estrich finally said]....

Who among us would want his child taught by one of the 88? What would they learn? To hate, I suppose. To see racism behind every tree. But not to think. Not to reason. Not to be fair, or empathetic, or intellectually honest. And not to be colorblind. The Hoax has been exposed. The Duke case is collapsing in stages. But some never learn or admit that they were wrong....
Emily FriedmanEmily Friedman, The Badger Herald, The Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison:
Duke case exposes media's flaws, unfair legal system (1/17) — So why has the case gone on so long, given how flimsy the evidence is? Why did three young men have their lives ruined for what now seems to be an entirely unfounded, not to mention weak, case? And how did Mr. Nifong manage to stay on the case as long as he did, and why was the founding principle of our legal system -- a defendant is innocent until proven guilty -- so blatantly disregarded? The answers to these questions are numerous and frustrating. This cornerstone of our legal system was overtaken by the immense amount of attention paid to politics, class and race, and perhaps most worrisome, the excesses of tabloid journalism. It is naive to consider it a coincidence that Mr. Nifong was running for re-election for district attorney at the time the case cropped up and desperately needed the black vote...

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