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Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Duke/Nifong Hoax: Day #323

Updated - today's items:

Wilmington Journal graphic - 'Nifong made mistakes' - Yeah, rightCash "in the bag" Michaels, Wilmington Journal:
Duke Case: Nifong's Dilemma — To even the casual observer, it seems a sure bet that the remaining charges in the Duke lacrosse alleged sexual assault and kidnapping case will be dropped, as one source says, "any day now."

If that happens, both friend and foe alike will lay the blame squarely at the feet of embattled Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong.

His many enemies say the case was a lie and a hoax from the beginning, an opportunity to exploit allegations by a Black exotic dancer that she was sexually assaulted and kidnapped during a wild off-campus drunken Duke lacrosse team party almost a year ago, for the expressed purpose of winning an election.

The accuser maintains that she was indeed attacked, though admittedly, her story, according to published reports, has changed on numerous occasions. . .

LieStoppers forum: CASH MICHAELS *new*, DUKE CASE: NIFONG'S DILEMMA 3/7/2007
TalkLeft: Nifong's Dilemma- Wilm. Journal

Forum topics of note:

Cash Michaels is melting downTalkLeft: Cash Michaels - TALES OF WITT — [long]

William L. Anderson/LieStoppers: Cash Melting Down, All he wants is the "whole story" — I visited the TalkLeft board for a few minutes tonight on the urging of someone else and saw Cash melting down. He declared that all he wants is the "whole story" to be told "in a court of law, not 60 Minutes." Of course, what Cash wants is a Durham jury to hear the whole story, and then ignore the evidence and vote guilty.

Here is a guy who assured all his readers that there really was a "brutal rape," and that Reade, Collin, and Dave held this woman down for 30 minutes, beat her, called her all sorts of "n-word" things, and raped her. . .
LieStoppers: April 5 Motion and Order for Additional DNA Tests, 43 Non-Suspects Tested after "ID" Made — The motion is presented as if no ID's had been made and no individual suspects identified. Nifong claims, however, that after the [April 4th] ID session the case was one of Eyewitness Identification making the full results of the testing he sought at a cost of $22,000+ irrelevant other than results that would corroborate or refute the ID's....

Kathleen Eckelt RN, FNE; Forensic TalkKathleen Eckelt RN, FNE; Forensic Talk:
Retired NC GYN Physician Comments on Duke Lacrosse Sexual Assault Exam — I recently received an email from a retired NC GYN physician. Since then, we have been exchanging emails back and forth. He had some very interesting things to say about the exam of the Duke accuser. He kindly gave me permission to quote some of his comments. . .
"The only positive finding of interest was the vaginal wall edema. Frankly I do not know what that means."

"I have discussed it with my colleagues and they don't either. I am not sure I have seen vaginal wall edema as a single finding on a vaginal exam. The only vaginal wall edema I have seen is associated most often in post op exams in association with sutures places in bladder and rectocele reapirs. Also areas adjacent to CO2 laser removal of lesions. I frankly doubt there was edema. Since the nurse had only 7 months experience I doubt if she had done many normal pelvic exams, and I place little credibility in her comments. "

"I am disappointed that these exams are done by someone with so little training. They are so important. It appears there was not much oversight. I would think that it would be hard to cause edema of the vaginal wall with no vulva injury. I would think that if a sex worker was raped a well used vagina wouldn't show edema. Since she had two babies she would have a multiparous introitus(somewhat big especially since episiotomies are rarely done anymore) making injury less likely." . . .

"All I can say is that every aspect of this case is unreal. It is a nightmare for all involved." . . .

TalkLeft: Retired NC GYN comments . . .

State Bar's Amended Complaint and Nifong's Answer Merged - Part I — [1 - 181]

Improper Pretrial Public Statements and Misrepresentations
10. Beginning on or before March 27, 2006, Nifong made public comments and statements to the representatives of the news media about the Duke Lacrosse rape case.

10. Defendant admits that from March 27, 2006 until approximately April 3,2006, that he granted interviews to various news organizations, both print and television, about the "Duke lacrosse case". After April 3, 2006, the defendant attempted to limit comments about said case to arguments he made in open court, press releases issued from his office and responses to questions directed to him at public forums which he attended in Durham County. Furthermore, defendant may have made some comments about the case to local print media while discussing other matters. Defendant made the statements outlined in paragraphs 12 through 175 of the Amended Complaint at a time when there was an ongoing investigation . . . The statements made between March 27, 2006 and April 3, 2006, were made at a time when no individual suspects had been identified and were an effort by the defendant to reassure the community that the case was being actively investigated by the Durham Police Department in an effort to obtain assistance in receiving evidence and information necessary to further the criminal investigation. Defendant further admits that at the time he made said statements that he did not fully understand the extent of the national media interest in this particular investigation . . .
State Bar's Amended Complaint and Nifong's Answer Merged - Part II — [182 - 287]

Withholding or Failing to Provide Potentially Exculpatory DNA Evidence
212. The evidence and information referred to above in paragraphs 200-211 was potentially exculpatory of the Duke Defendants or other lacrosse player suspects in the investigation because it tended to negate the guilt of the accused (hereinafter referred to as "potentially exculpatory DNA test results" or "potentially exculpatory DNA evidence").

212. At the time that defendant met with Dr. Meehan, he was focused on the question of whether evidence had been discovered that corroborated the victim's photographic identification of the two indicted Duke lacrosse players as her assailants and whether there was any evidence to corroborate her near certain photographic identification of a third Duke lacrosse player as a third assailant. As such, as of the time of the meeting with Dr. Meehan as alleged in paragraph 212, his attention was not focused on whether trace DNA from individuals not members the Duke lacrosse team which was found on certain items tested would be material evidence which would affect the outcome of any subsequent trial. Defendant therefore denies that he made any conscious decision, . . . as a trial date had not yet been scheduled in this matter and he was still investigating the facts of his underlying case and had not focused on whether this information was exculpatory. . .
Barstow & Wilson, New York Times (Dec. 23, 2006): Charges of Rape Against 3 at Duke Are Dropped — in a three-hour interview on Thursday, Mr. Nifong said he would not hesitate to drop all the charges if the accuser expressed doubt about the identity of the men she has accused when she sees all three defendants at a pretrial hearing set for February. . .

On Thursday, Mr. Nifong acknowledged knowing about those test results before any players were indicted last spring. He also acknowledged that the results were relevant and “potentially exculpatory,” and he said he should have given the results to the defense before May 18, the day he signed a filing that said “the state is not aware of any additional material or information which may be exculpatory in nature.”

TJN: Case Documentation

No. 1 Duke Eases Past Saint Joseph's, 18-4 — Matt Danowski and Zack Greer combined for 10 goals and six assists to lead top-ranked Duke to an 18-4 victory over St. Joseph's in men's lacrosse action on Tuesday afternoon at Koskinen Stadium. The Blue Devils improve to 4-0 on the year while the Hawks fall to 0-4. . .

The seven goals for Greer match his career-best effort set against VMI on March 1, 2005. His nine total points against the Hawks are a career-high, bettering his previous mark of eight versus VMI (3/1/05) and Dartmouth in the 2007 season-opener. Greer now has 90 goals in 32 career games at Duke, standing just 10 tallies short of becoming the 11th player in school history to reach the 100-goal plateau. Danowski pushes his season totals to 13 goals and nine assists while moving into 10th place on Duke's all-time scoring chart with 182 points on 98 goals and 84 assists. He also ranks sixth on the school's career list for assists and 11th in goals.

Duke travels to San Diego, Calif., to participate in the annual First 4 event. The Blue Devils will meet Loyola on Saturday evening at 10:30 p.m. (ET) and the game will be televised live by CSTV.
LieStoppers forum: Duke vs. St. Joseph, Live feed (photos and recap)

GoDuke.com: No. 1 Duke Eases Past St. Joseph's, 18-4

Taylor Spragens, Duke Chronicle:
1 year later, 'disaster ad' still hot topic — Professors, students tackle issues around statement - Addressing questions raised in the Duke community in the aftermath of the lacrosse case, students and professors explored the question "Is This a Social Disaster?" at an open discussion Tuesday.

The dialogue, which was sponsored by the Center for Race Relations, made reference to a controversial advertisement placed in The Chronicle last April entitled "What Does a Social Disaster Sound Like?," along with the Facebook group, "The Real Social Disaster," which formed in response.

Michael Gustafson, assistant professor of the practice of electrical and computer engineering, began the conversation by questioning both the administration's response to the lacrosse scandal and the attacks on the "Group of 88" professors who signed the ad. . .

Prof. Michael GustafsonMichael Gustafson, Duke engr. professor, Blog of Convenience:
Lies, damn lies, and... — There was a letter to the editor in the Herald-Sun this week. I am reproducing it in full since the letters to the editor section gets refreshed. Also, the Herald-Sun's web site hasn't been up all the time. Here goes, originally from the opinions page:
Many Duke students are unprepared to do math

We find that a significant number of test takers -- eight out of 20 on the most recent exam -- get no more than 15 questions correct. Either a large number of Duke students cannot do middle school math or else they deliberately give wrong answers to get placed into easy courses. In either case, we should expect better. We should expect Duke students to do at least high school math and to enroll in courses that challenge them. . .
My first problem is what the Herald-Sun decided to call this letter. "Many Duke students..." in the particular case of this letter, apparently, equals eight. Eight students received below a 60% score on a test that, as described, should be within reach of entering Duke students. The Herald-Sun, however, probably took their cue from the conclusion Dr. Lavine drew . . .

Mike Preston, Baltimore-Sun:
It's time to put Duke lacrosse charges in perspective — It's nice to see Duke ranked No. 1 in college lacrosse again. It's great to see attackman Matt Danowski scoring goals, Zack Greer's magic stick-handling and defensemen Casey Carroll and Nick O'Hara running the field. Mike Pressler is no longer the Blue Devils' coach, but Duke has a classy replacement in John Danowski. . .

You can't condone the behavior of the players. It was far from appropriate, and there still might be convictions. But the guiltiest parties in this mess were the people who rushed to judgment on Duke's lacrosse program, including the school president who suspended their season. . .

And this week, they climbed back to the top of college lacrosse, a position they shouldn't have been forced to leave a year ago.
TalkLeft: It's Time to Put Duke Charges in Perspective- Baltimore Sun

KC Johnson:
Sanday's Structure — In a recent article at Inside Higher Ed, Penn anthropologist Peggy Reeves Sanday announced that she was going to place the “Duke case in perspective.” What “perspective,” precisely? “The eye-witness accounts of campus gang rape I present in Fraternity Gang Rape.” . . .

The lacrosse case, Sanday concludes, is clear-cut. “The debate shows a split between those who continue to blame the victim and those who are more likely to hold institutions and individuals responsible.” In other words, anyone who has concluded that the only crimes that occurred in this instance were committed by Mike Nifong is guilty of “continuing to blame the victim.” Evidence, it appears, carries no weight for Sanday. . .
KC Johnson:
Paula McClain: On Athletics — Duke’s Academic Council recently elected Group of 88 member Paula McClain as its new chairwoman. . .As Sports Law Blog tartly observed, “Apparently, Professor McClain--who is co-director of Duke's Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity, and Gender in the Social Sciences--believes that in the aftermath of the Duke lacrosse scandal, the University needs to distance itself from its sports teams, rather than embrace them.”

Brodhead: Mikey made me do it. Mikey told us it was a rape, Mikey told us anyone on the team could be the rapist.Barry W. Allen (Duke prof.), column, News & Observer:
A calm and resolute objectivity — The president of a great university must be many things, and in times of crisis or conflict he or she may become the lone personification of the institution and therefore a convenient target of opportunity. So it is with Richard Brodhead, president of Duke University.

By all accounts this is a man with a sure moral compass, disarming modesty and without a disingenuous bone in his body. He is also a respected scholar who refers to himself simply as an English teacher. At least one student has called him a "bashful poet." He is trusted and well-liked by those of us who know him.

But in the blogosphere and in the letters columns of many newspapers, Brodhead has been derided and vilified by some for alleged sins of commission, and by others for omissions, in connection with the socio-political phenomenon that the Duke Lacrosse Affair has become. . .

John in Carolina:
Chronicle editor doesn’t “understand” — I told [Duke Chronicle editor-in-chief Ryan McCartney] that while many last Spring, including DA Mike Nifong, had used the phrase “notorious rape scandal,” fair-minded people had always been reluctant to use it. I said that now even people like President Brodhead, who for nine months was one of Nifong’s chief enablers, won’t use the phrase. So why was The Chronicle using it? . . .

I’m not surprised to see the phrase embraced and used by the New Black Panthers and Group of 88 members. But I was surprised and bothered to see it in The Chronicle. . .
comment: John in Carolina is relentless in fighting distortions and falsehoods.

Sam H., Piedmont Publius/JohnLocke.org:
No Nifongs here — Despite changes instituted by the Winston-Salem Police Department to help ensure they have the right man, District Attorney Tom Keith realizes the shooting death of Sgt. Howard Plouff could be a racially-charged cased. So he’s asking for a gag order following comments by defense attorney Mark Rabil questionning whether or not the police department should be investigating the death of an officer. Both attorneys realize that media scrutiny is heightened following the constroversy (to say the least) surrounding the Duke lacrosse case:
When reached by phone last night, Keith declined to comment about the motion.

“I don’t want to talk to the media about anything,” he said….

Bill Bickel, AllInfoAboutCrime:
Lisa Nowak, Tara Grant, Robert Blake, Mike Nifong...Crimeweek — Last week, Durham (North Carolina) District Attorney Mike Nifong filed his response to ethics charges stemming from his overzealous prosecution of three former Duke University lacrosse players accused of sexually assaulting a woman at a party last March. A hearing is scheduled for June, and it can end with anything from exoneration to disbarment.

I’ve always thought Nifong was the most interesting part of this story, as his career steadily turned into a study of Greek tragedy: An ambitious politician, he was appointed to fill the job of a district attorney who’d been given a judgeship. The governor would later say (in hindsight) that Nifong was the worst appointment he’d ever made, and make the odd claim that he’d only appointed him because Nifiong had promised not to seek a full term of his own. . . Nifong saw the Duke case as his ticket to fame and greater political clout . . .

Victoria Ward, Kent State Univ./StaterOnline.com:
Former Duke lacrosse prosecutor Nifong stands up to N.C. Bar — Although Nifong's attorneys argue his statements were not intended to harm the accused, Metzloff said the State Bar does not have to prove intent because the Rules of Professional Conduct apply to what an attorney knows or reasonably should know.

Nifong's attorneys said the statements were intended to reassure the community that the case was being "actively investigated" and to serve legitimate law enforcement purposes with the intent of urging anyone with evidence to come forward.

"In a sense, he's sort of using that to justify statements that went way beyond that nice-sounding phrase," Metzloff said. Nifong also said that his comments were not addressed toward a specific accused -- a requirement of the State Bar rule.

"My argument would be that there was an accused, and the accused was the Duke lacrosse team -- a defined group of people, identifiable and defined by Nifong in having them all give DNA samples," Metzloff said. "There clearly was an accused in the sphere of the rule."

Don Surber, DailyMail.com:
Duke’s revenge — I realized the players were innocent last April when the DNA came back negative. Still the NC prosecutor Branded them for political reasons. It’s flat-out racist. The woman who made these outrageous charges should be named and prosecuted — along with Mike Nifong. . .

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