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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Duke/Nifong Hoax: Day #288

Updated - today's items:

NY Post: DNA & Double Standards (NY Times) by KC JohnsonOpinion - KC Johnson, NY Post:
DNA & Double Standards — READERS who followed The New York Times' coverage of the Duke lacrosse case probably experienced whiplash after reading the Monday Times editorial that hailed "modern DNA testing" for "steadily uncovering a dark history of justice denied."

The editorial mentioned two specific examples. The first came in Dallas, where a prisoner spent 18 years in jail, convicted of rape "based solely on faulty testimony of a witness." A DNA test that Texas prosecutors had fought to block then proved his innocence. The Times also praised North Carolina's innocence commission, which has urged police to vet non-credible witnesses more aggressively. Powerful recommendations. Yet time and again over the past 10 months, Times reporters and columnists have acted just like the Texas prosecutors the paper's editorialists condemn...

Given its performance on the lacrosse case, the Times lacks the credibility to lecture anyone on the power of DNA evidence.

Benjamin Niolet, News & Observer:
Duke lawyers get time to sift — New prosecutors have until May - The new prosecutors in the Duke University lacrosse case have until May to prepare for court. Special prosecutors from the state Attorney General's Office met Tuesday with lawyers representing three former lacrosse players who are accused of sexually assaulting an escort service dancer at a team party.

The defense had planned next week to challenge in court key parts of the case brought by Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong. Earlier this month, Nifong asked to be removed from the case in the wake of an ethics complaint filed against him by the N.C. State Bar. The state attorney general assigned veteran prosecutors Jim Coman and Mary Winstead to the case....After the two-hour meeting, defense attorneys said they were pleased with the prosecutors. They described the session as a business meeting -- a far cry from the days when Nifong refused to sit with the lawyers...

Rob Copeland, Duke Chronicle:
Defense: chance case will be settled before May date — The hearing is now planned for May 7, more than three months after the initial Feb. 5 date at which the alleged victim was expected to appear.

Jim Cooney, a defense attorney for indicted player Reade Seligmann, said he was not surprised by the delay. "The two special prosecutors just got six boxes of stuff about a week ago.... I want to give them a chance to read up on the file and to make a good-faith effort to read what they need to read and to interview the witnesses," Cooney said, adding that there is a significant chance the prosecution will decide to drop the charges before May.

AP/CBS News:
Duke Lacrosse Hearing Postponed — Legal experts have said without the woman's photo identifications, prosecutors would probably have to dismiss the charges...

KC Johnson: Meeting Reaction

Marcella Chester, abyss2hope blog: Duke Lacrosse Hearing Postponed
— I consider this good news for justice since the extra time will allow fresh investigators time to evaluate all of the evidence. True justice can't only consider the needs of the defendants, it must also consider the needs of victims and the impact legal actions have on the general population. For anyone confused about why a case with "no evidence" hasn't yet been dropped, read this op ed by Wendy Murphy.

comment: Citing Wendy Murphy is the last refuge of the potbanger. Murphy believes "the victim, like any human being, deserves her day in court." The "victim" does not deserve a day court. An alleged victim is entitled to an impartial investigation. The 6th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects the rights of the accused:
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.
Subverting the civil rights of citizens for "the greater good" is promoting a greater evil.

FreeRepublic: Hearing Postponed in Duke lacrosse case
LieStoppers forum: Defense and AG Walking a Fine Line, Risk Giving Accusations Credibility
LieStoppers: Feb 5 hearing is OFF — delay: good or bad?
Good: There is no case, there is nothing nefarious about the seeming delay...

Bad: Going through the posts in this thread the frustration felt by most was palpable. I share that frustration. It's absolutely unneccessary for additional months to be required by the special prosecutors. I believe, as do many others, that there is something under the surface here. Some reason to drag this all out. One gets the feeling that someone is trying to run out the clock....

BTW, the prosecutor does not file a "motion to dismiss" in North Carolina. The prosecutor can dismiss on his own "with the stroke of a pen" by a simple form. See here is the way it is done — Dismissal of rape charge against David Evans.

Dismissal of rape charge against David Evans
comment: Looking forward to the day we learn that three of these forms have been filed with the court, dismissing all remaining charges against Dave Evans, Collin Finnerty, and Reade Seligmann.
John in Carolina:
Fairness demands she be named — After today I'll name the False Accuser in posts and allow her name to be used on the threads. In this post I tell you why I'm doing that...

Even when news organizations strive to be fair and honest, "anonymity for the accuser, public exposure for the accused" is unfair to the accused, as Duke Law professor James Coleman and many others have said. Those arguing for anonymity for accusers rely on a "greater good" argument: without anonymity victims of sex crimes will be reluctant to come forward. As a result, criminals will go unpunished and be free to repeat their crimes.

All in all, I come down on the side of granting anonymity. But anonymity is not a right; it's a privilege that should never be abused. In the Duke Hoax case, the accuser and much of media have repeatedly and grossly abused the anonymity privilege...

Jonathan D. Jones, News-Record (Greensboro, NC):
You’ve gotta believe me, judge, I got 'Nifonged’ — Ask local prosecutors about an upcoming case and there's a good chance you'll hear a similar refrain. "I don't want to be a Nifong." It's half-hearted. And half-serious.

The reference is to Durham's embattled district attorney, Mike Nifong, who is facing ethics charges from the state bar that stem in part from his comments to reporters about the Duke lacrosse case. The phenomenon raises the question: Is Nifong's legacy going to be his name as euphemism? ...

Wendy McElroy, FoxNews:
Continuing to Defame the 'Duke 3' as Rapists — Every day it becomes clearer: the three Duke University students accused of kidnapping and sexual assault are innocent. The rape charge against them has been dropped, but no one expects District Attorney Nifong, Duke University or the hang-'em-without-a-trial contingent in the media to apologize. In decency, however, the accusers could be expected to stop defaming the 'Duke 3' as rapists.

On Jan. 9, the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, a prominent agency in this field, posted "Talking Points: Duke University Lacrosse Team Rape Case" on its web site The post occurred 18 days after the rape charges had been dropped. In short, there was and is no racase for the "talking points" to address...

Mike Tennant, LewRockwell.com
Duke Lacrosse Legal Defense Fund — Having read Bill Anderson's post mentioning the $3 million (and rising) cost of the legal defense of the innocent Duke lacrosse players, I was curious as to whether a legal defense fund had been set up for them. A little Googling turned up this.

I checked with Bill, and he verified that the fund is legitimate. In fact, he says he is "in touch with the person setting it up, and FODU is above board. It is run by an attorney in Maryland -- but it is still honest!!"

Letter by Craig Andrews (Duke '65), Duke Chronicle:
Brodhead's response inexcusable, damaging (1/30) — I believe President Brodhead failed miserably to rise to the challenges this situation presented. His actions (and those of many of his colleagues within the Duke community) have done immense damage to this great university. Instead of cautioning those rushing to condemn, instead of staunchly maintaining the great principles of justice and constitutional law that are among the most fundamental bases of our national ethos, he raced to posture to the crowd noise.

Whatever the ultimate outcome of the case against the young men, the President's actions were unworthy of his office. Dr. Brodhead, posturing amid the political extremists around him, is himself the greater problem. His action was the one that was anti-intellectual and unprincipled. His action was the one that cannot be tolerated within the halls of a great university. His was the action of a coward not fit to lead a great institution of learning.

He should resign as president. He should do so today.

Stefanie Williams, DiamondBackOnline.com (Univ. of Maryland):
Through the mud and back — I've thought long and hard about how to write a decent article about the infamous Duke Lacrosse Sex Scandal. I spent a lot of time considering my angles: Should I write about racism? Should I write about sexual abuse? Should I write about stereotypes? Finally, after a while, I decided to focus on the positives instead of the negatives and talk about what I know best: the sport...

For weeks after the initial accusations, I was asked about our own team and about the guys I knew on Duke's team by students, parents and even a columnist for The (Duke) Chronicle. People seemed to be expecting me to say I was sexually assaulted, insulted, treated poorly or that the guys I went to high school with were "bad kids" growing up. People were surprised when I told them that I considered our own team my big brothers, and that if anything, they were the people I enjoyed being around most. Again and again I explained that all the stereotypes, the rude comments and the insults were simply not true. However, none of the positive things I had to say about our team or the Duke team made it into the article the columnist for The Chronicle had written...

KC Johnson:
Facile Assumptions — In the Wake Forest , VUU, and USC cases, each side conceded that some form of intercourse occurred—the only question revolved around consent. In each case, a white woman claimed sexual assault against black or Hispanic football players.Yet in none of these cases did the D.A. throw the entire football team in jail. Or engage in race-baiting rhetoric. Or pander to the white community. In fact, in all three cases, the D.A. did his job and conducted an impartial investigation. And in none of these cases did the students' own professors engage in a rush-to-judgment public denunciation.

Michael Gaynor:
Shouldn't mothers demonstrate against injustice? — Date: February 4, 2007, Time: 11 AM, Congregation Place: Durham County Courthouse, 201 East Main Street, Durham, North Carolina, Event: Concerned Mothers Walk of Support

Purpose: To support (1) "David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann who are innocent"; (2) "the Evans, Finnerty and Seligmann families"; (3) "Coach Mike Pressler and his family" and (4) "the Men and Women Lacrosse Teams at Duke University." Welcomed: Homemade signs of support...

Forum Topics of note:
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