Michael Biesecker & Joseph Neff, News & Observer:
DA's investigator was rebuked — A client in filed a complaint against the former private detective - Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong's chief investigator in the Duke lacrosse case was reprimanded in 1997 by the state commission that licenses private detectives. After an appeal of the board's decision was unsuccessful the following year, Linwood E. Wilson allowed his investigator's license to expire -- ending a 16-year career as a private eye that was marked by repeated complaints and at least seven formal inquiries into his conduct...
Defense attorneys for the players are openly skeptical of a Dec. 21 interview Wilson conducted with the escort service dancer at the center of the case. According to Wilson's report, the accuser changed her account of who assaulted her, how and when -- contradicting all her previous statements, records of calls to her cell phone, 911 records and time-stamped photos from the party.
The woman also said she could no longer testify that she was raped, forcing Nifong to drop that charge against the defendants. Wilson's handwritten notes and the typed report are the only accounts of his one-on-one interview with the woman in December. In a court filing, defense lawyers called the new story an implausible "do-over" that attempts to fill holes in the prosecution case...
discussion:Jeff Barker, Baltimore Sun:
LieStoppers forum: Linwood Wilson's PI career .. has had 7 inquiries into bad behavior!
KC Johnson (see comments): Wilson's Ethical Lapses
FreeRepublic: DA's investigator was rebuked — I wouldn't be too swift with the priase for the N&O. Wilson is not a member of a protected class. He's fair game. Mangum, however, is protected, can do no wrong, and certainly doesn't deserve to have her past or present behaviors delved into.
Duke case reveals distrust of legal system — Some of accuser's fellow N.C. Central students believe her story, others uncertain, but many doubt that trial would uncover truth — Seventeen North Carolina Central University undergraduates in a communications class were asked to think like a jury: Raise your hand if you believe the accuser in the Duke lacrosse sexual assault case fabricated her story.
The students in the cramped cinderblock classroom looked at each other and at the reporter posing the issue. Not a single hand was raised.
Students at the historically black state university, where the accuser is enrolled, mostly support the 28-year-old student, mother and exotic dancer whose allegations against three former Duke lacrosse players have been widely discredited in court and the media...
Prof. William Anderson said he wondered whether North Carolina Central students expressing faith in the accuser had succumbed to "peer pressure."
comment: This Baltimore-Sun story is just plain sad.Emily Bazelon, Slate.com:
TalkLeft: Duke case reveals distrust of legal system — This is scary stuff, and the underlying racism is truly worrisome.
TalkLeft: Was the AV actually going to classes at NCCU at the time of her allegation?
Prosecutor Protector — The ethics charges against District Attorney Mike Nifong are a rarity. - What should happen to Mike Nifong? Nothing good, according to just about everyone who has weighed in on the fate of the North Carolina district attorney. Responding to the fallout from the poorly supported rape charges Nifong filed last spring against three former Duke lacrosse players, Gov. Mike Easley recently called the district attorney his "poorest appointment." The North Carolina State Bar has brought new ethics charges against Nifong, accusing him of withholding DNA evidence that could have exonerated the defendants and then denying that he knew about it...
The latest chapter of the Nifong saga is thus the exception to a long-standing rule: Prosecutors are rarely punished for breaking the rules designed to ensure that defendants get a fair trial...
Robinson O. Everett, law professor at the Duke University School of Law
letter to Herald-Sun, On DNA evidence, did Nifong break the law? — I have recently been reading newspaper articles about the ethics charges brought against District Attorney Mike Nifong by the "North Carolina Bar Association." These articles obviously err in one respect -- the complaint was filed by the North Carolina State Bar, which is a state-established regulatory organization to which all North Carolina attorneys must belong, and not by the "North Carolina Bar Association," a voluntary professional association in which membership is not required in order for someone to engage in the practice of law...
My concern is with the application of North Carolina Rule of Evidence 412. Like its counterpart, Federal Rule of Evidence 412, this rule creates a "rape shield" in prosecutions for rape and other sexual offenses. The North Carolina Rule states that the alleged victim of a rape shall not be compelled to reveal her sexual history and that evidence shall not be received at trial concerning sexual activity by the victim other than that on which the criminal charge against the defendant is based...
Friends of Duke University:
Duke Faculty For Truth And Justice, Who are Asking for Due Process — Listed in the table below are the names of Duke faculty who:
- Publicly expressed their opinions on the lacrosse case and asked for truth, justice and fairness.
- Did not express their views publicly but who stand in solidarity with the views expressed by others such as Professors Coleman, Baldwin and Gustafson.
Jon Ham, JohnLocke.org/Right Angles blog:
Thanks, Coaches K — Forty-six Duke profs sign on to Duke Faculty for Truth and Justice. Sadly, not one from my old grad school department (Political Science) is on the list. It’s mostly economics profs, computer science profs and hard science profs. But kudos to the two Coach Ks: Krzyzewski and Kimel. Basketball Coach Mike Krzyzewski and women’s lacrosse Coach Kerstin Kimel are on the list. Kimel has been a staunch backer of fairness and due process from the start. Nice to see Coach K join the group.
The Zook Files — The Paula Zahn race panel from a few weeks back continues to spark controversy. First,
We won’t see a trial, she [Zook] reasons, “because of the media speculation.” If only the N&O and 60 Minutes had remained silent, and allowed Nifong to lurch forward, North Carolina justice would be a better place. t would be interesting to see just what approach to journalism they teach in the “History of Consciousness” program. Zook’s framework doesn’t seem to reflect the traditional view of a free press that challenges those in power.
Mary C. Curtis - Opinion, Bradenton Herald:
Duke story got ahead of the facts — The meeting tonight is billed as "A Duke Conversation: Making a Difference." Charlotte is the seventh stop on a 12-city tour -- for alumni, faculty, students and parents -- to highlight Duke's contributions to communities at home and abroad. A professor and two students are on the program, led by President Richard Brodhead.
I will attend, not as a journalist, but as a parent of a son who graduated in 2005, a time when few had heard of Duke lacrosse....The woman in question, a student and mother, has had everything but her name exposed. Without knowing her, I realized that the picture being painted was a caricature...
comment: The false accuser and her many evil lies recieves another free pass. The lacrosse players do not get a free pass for underage drinking and hiring strippers. The dubious allegation of "yelling racist slurs" is also heaped on by Ms. Curtis. Lies do travel half way around the world before the truth can put its shoes on.Tim Grieve, Salon.com:
related: LieStoppers forum - Should I go to a "Conversation" with Brodhead?
Edwards campaign fires bloggers — The right-wing blogosphere has gotten its scalps -- John Edwards has fired the two controversial bloggers he recently hired to do liberal blogger outreach, Salon has learned.
The bloggers, Amanda Marcotte, formerly of Pandagon, and Melissa McEwan, of Shakespeare's Sister, had come under fire from right-wing bloggers for statements they had previously made on their respective blogs. A statement by the Catholic League's Bill Donohue, which called Marcotte and McEwan "anti-Catholic vulgar trash-talking bigots," and an accompanying article on the controversy in the New York Times this morning, put extra pressure on the campaign.
discussion:Liz at Friends of Duke University:
LieStoppers forum: Edwards campaign fires bloggers
KC Johnson (see comments): Marcotte Out?
TalkLeft: Edwards campaign fires bloggers
Jack Ford at Duke Law — Court TV Anchor Jack Ford gave a historic view of media coverage of high profile cases, beginning with the trial of the century, the Lindburgh baby kidnapping. He said because a movietone camera was sneaked onto the balcony of the Flemington, NJ courtroom and when discovered was banned from the courtroom, it set a precedent for decades of no camera in the courtroom, only sketch artists...
As to the lacrosse case, he felt there was instantaneous judgment making. "The entire lacrosse culture was indicted." He found the notion of indicting an entire culture was troubling. He told the audience that his son is a lacrosse player at Yale and the " overarching indictment" of the sport bothered him...He said the media indicted the kids and did a disservice to the public to stamp "guilty" or "not guilty. " ...
Court TV Anchor Jack Ford to Discuss Media Coverage of Duke Lacrosse Case on Feb. 7 (2/2) — Jack Ford, a senior anchor on Court TV, will discuss the media’s coverage of the ongoing Duke lacrosse case and other high-profile cases on Wednesday, Feb. 7, at Duke Law School.