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Friday, March 23, 2007

Duke/Nifong/Cooper+69 days Hoax

Updated - today's items:

WRAL:
New Prosecution Approaches Lacrosse Case Differently — Special prosecutors with the North Carolina Attorney General's Office have taken many steps in the Duke lacrosse sexual assault investigation that Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong never did in his nine-month handling of the case.

They have poured over the evidence -- nearly 6,000 pages of documents and dozens of interviews -- for two months now. And unlike Nifong and defense attorneys associated with case, James Coman and Mary Winstead have not spoken to the media, but have chosen to meet privately with defense attorneys.

When a decision on whether to proceed with the case will come is not publicly known, but some family members of the accused -- David Evans, Reade Seligmann and Collin Finnerty -- have told other media outlets they believe a decision could come sometime next week...

discussion:
LieStoppers forum: New Prosecution...
-----------
Megyn Kelly & Liza Porteus, Fox News:
Attorney General: No Decisions Yet Whether to Drop Duke Lacrosse Sex Assault Charges — Noelle Talley, a spokeswoman for Attorney General Roy Cooper, told FOX News that there are no plans to make any announcement on the case this week. But the announcement could come at any time, she said, and is at the discretion of the attorney general and the special prosecutors who took over the case from Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong...

"Our review of the case, including reviewing documents and conducting interviews, is continuing," Talley said. "[A] decision hasn't been made. ... We expect our review of the case to wrap up within the next few weeks and ... no announcements about the case by our office have been scheduled."

Meanwhile, the family of the woman accusing the players of sexual assault told FOX News that the accuser has been called to the special prosecutor's office. The accuser "just wants this to be over," family members said ....
related:
legal analyst Paul CaulfieldPaul Caulfield, Inside Lacrosse:
Breaking News? No surprise hereI said yesterday on the FOX News Channel program American Morning that the remaining charges in the Duke lacrosse case would be dropped “in the coming days.” ...

But an interesting phenomenon occurred yesterday due in part to my appearance with FOX’s Megyn Kelly and Bill Hemmer. I said that the criminal charges against David Evans, Colin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann were going to be dismissed “in the coming days.” But within the hour, FOX began a frenzied news cycle by broadcasting, slightly inaccurately, that I had information that charges would be dropped Friday...
----------
Gregory Beaton, Duke Chronicle:
Lax father: Charges to be dropped — The remaining charges against three former Duke men's lacrosse players are likely to be dropped soon, but there is no set date for such an announcement, parents of the indicted players said Thursday.

Citing information from Inside Lacrosse Magazine writer Paul Caulfield, Foxnews.com first reported Thursday morning that the sexual assault and kidnapping charges against Dave Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann would be dropped within "the next few days." Parents of the indicted players confirmed to The Chronicle the case was nearing its end but said it was not yet clear when it would formally happen.

"We don't exactly know what the day is," said Philip Seligmann, father of Reade. "All I can say as far as [the families] are concerned is it can't be soon enough. We've been waiting for that day for almost a year now." ...
discussion:
TalkLeft: Lax father: Charges to be dropped

[rumor du jour]
Durham Deep-throat (Kemp) - Well, here I sit in the Washington Duke, camera in hand waiting for the announcement. Guess I'll miss it. Tuesday is my guess. Monday they'll rehearse it.
----------
Jerry Seper, Washington Times:
Interview ordered in Duke rape case — The woman whose rape accusations led to charges against three Duke University lacrosse players was ordered yesterday to answer questions by special prosecutors for North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper, fueling speculation that the investigation may be wrapping up.

But Noelle Talley, spokeswoman for Mr. Cooper, told The Washington Times yesterday, "Our review of the case is continuing at this point, and no decision has been made. We don't expect to make an announcement about this case in the next few days." ...

discussion:

LieStoppers: Crystal called to SPs office!, according to Fox — Fox is reporting that CGM [Crystal Gail Mangum] has been called to the SPs office today [Thursday] for some kind of face-to-face conversation. I guess they really are going to tell her they're dropping the case?

TalkLeft: Interview Ordered for Accuser
----------
BriAnne Dopart, Herald-Sun:
AG's office denies lacrosse case is dead Despite a blogger's bold announcement to a national audience Thursday that special prosecutors might kill the Duke lacrosse case investigation today, the state Attorney General's Office said that is not true.

Justin Paul Caulfield told Fox News that sources including more than the defense attorneys told him, "There is no case here and they will be hearing a dismissal in the coming days." Caulfield, who writes as a legal analyst for Inside Lacrosse, an online magazine affiliate of ESPN, the sports multimedia organization, said the accuser was being summoned to the AG's Office on Thursday...

As Caulfield's contentions got picked up by bloggers and newspaper online editions across the country Thursday, the accuser's parents hinted that their daughter may welcome the charges being dropped.

"She had told me once before she was tired of it and she wished she could just get it over with," the accuser's father said, "She hates that she ever reported it."

While he still believes wholeheartedly his daughter was brutally raped and assaulted on the night of March 13, 2006 -- he recalls in vivid detail his daughter's swollen eyes and cut arms -- he said his daughter has at least once mentioned regrets about having ever made the accusations in the first place...

The accuser's father said he didn't understand why or how his daughter's case evolved into the media frenzy it became early last spring, but speculated that it was because, "Duke tried to cover it up." He has tried to follow the case, he said, but didn't understand why the rape charges were dropped and why the others might eventually be dropped...
discussion:
LieStoppers forum: Bill Anderson - The Hurled-Scum's latest outrage, Repeats the lies a year later — Dopart -- I guess following in the Khanna-Blythe tradition -- repeats something that simply was not true. The "swollen eyes and cut arms" quote truly is outrageous ...

related:
Jon Ham, Right Angles blog: Durham’s stenographer for lies — The Herald-Sun, called The Hurled-Scum on many blogs and forums that support the indicted Duke lacrosse players, showed why they have earned that moniker with a story this morning. In a story headlined “AG office denies lacrosse case is dead” the paper tries to counteract rumors of the past 48 hourse that the case against the lacrosse players is about to be dismissed. That’s par for the course, though, The Herald-Sun carrying water for the prosecution. What outraged many was this characterization of the accuser’s father’s view...

comment: 'Dope-Art' and the H-S also takes a nice shot at bloggers with the "Despite a blogger's bold announcement," lead-in sentence to this "piece." Justin Paul Caulfield is not just a "blogger," if he could even be considered that. Caulfield's website says:
In connection with his current practice, Paul became a national legal contributor on the Duke University criminal case where an African American college student and exotic dancer accused three white lacrosse players of raping and kidnapping her. He has appeared numerous times on national news programs including MSNBC's Scarborough Country and Rita Cosby, Live & Direct and FOX News Channel's Hannity & Colmes and has published a variety of legal articles on the same topic.
Facts never stood in the way of H-S 'journalism.' It turns out Caulfield just told Megyn Kelly of Fox News that the charges would be dropped "in the coming days," the exact quote Dope-Art cited. Fox screwed up and added the part that it might happen Friday.
----------
John Podhoretz, NY Post
Who Won't Pay — It seems that the trumped-up charges against three young men who played for the la crosse team at Duke University will be dismissed either today or sometime next week.

That will mostly end their ordeal, though they'll still have to deal with millions of dollars in legal fees (which, in the end, the city of Durham, N.C., will probably have to pick up).

The same can't be said of their false accuser - who is in a world of trouble, since you're not supposed to make false accusations to the authorities.

But her dire fate will seem positively sunny compared to that of Durham DA Mike Nifong - who is certain to be sued for defamation, likely to be disbarred and very possibly charged with an open-and-shut case of perjury that could land him in jail for a long time.

Yet some of the most disgraceful actors in this case will go unpunished.

I'm referring to a huge cohort of the professors at the top-flight university attended by the three unjustly accused men.

Some 88 of them - more than 10 percent of the entire Duke professoriat - engaged in a shocking rush to judgment in the weeks following the party where the accuser falsely alleged she had been raped.

They signed an ad declaring they were "turning up the volume at a moment when some of the most vulnerable among us are being asked to quiet down." ...
discussion:
LieStoppers forum: Podhoretz/NY Post article
FreeRepublic: They Found 88 Problems, and the Dancer Was Just One

related:
Jon Ham, Right Angles blog: Who will pay for Duke lacrosse fiasco? — I had breakfast with John Podhoretz a few months ago when he came to Durham to do a piece on the Duke lacrosse case (how’s that for name-dropping?). As we sat in the restaurant in the Marriott downtown (I still think of it as the Omni) he picked my brain about the case and the game of lacrosse...
-----------
KC Johnson:
More CrimeStoppers — I spoke yesterday with two members of the Durham CrimeStoppers board, Dean Sue Wasiolek and Dan Hill. They gave me details of the group’s monthly meeting, which was devoted solely to the issue of last spring’s “wanted” poster in the lacrosse case. (Dean Sue had asked that the issue be placed on the agenda.) Cpl. David Addison, the Durham Police liaison to the CS board, was out of town on a previously scheduled matter; Major Lee Russ briefed the board.

Russ reported the sequence of events as follows...

In June, John in Carolina reported that Russ had told him that the Durham Police played no role in the creation of the “wanted” poster. While it is true that the poster’s language came from an Addison CrimeStoppers e-mail, the production and distribution of the poster, Russ has now conceded, was undertaken by a Durham Police officer unconnected with CrimeStoppers.

My thanks both to Dan Hill and to Dean Sue for speaking with me about this material.

discussion:
LieStoppers forum: Durham PD liability for wanted poster, New info - they're toast
---------
Raymond Lee Parker sentenced to 40 years in prison for $173 robbery in 1980John Stevenson, Herald-Sun:
Nifong tries to keep armed robber in prison — District Attorney Mike Nifong argued Thursday that Durham's senior judge would be "going out on a limb" if he let a convicted armed robber out of prison after nearly 28 years -- more than double the time he could receive under North Carolina's current punishment scheme.

Nifong said the state's latest penalty scale, implemented in 1994, was not intended to be retroactive for people imprisoned earlier.

But defense lawyers Jerry Clayton and Freda Black contended Raymond Lee Parker should get the benefit of the current and less draconian law, particularly since he already has served more time than many murderers do.

Superior Court Judge Orlando F. Hudson took the arguments under consideration and said he would make a decision later...
related:
Anne Blythe, News & Observer:
He seeks freedom in $173 robbery — Black argued that Parker's sentence should be abandoned because state law has changed substantially since 1980, when a jury convicted her client of robbery with a dangerous weapon.

Nifong, who prosecuted the case, argued against release, saying putting aside the sentence would open the door for others to argue for changes, too. Hudson said he would review the arguments but did not announce when he would rule. There could be others in situations similar to Parker's.

According to Department of Correction records, as of Jan. 31 there were 60 people in North Carolina prisons with armed robbery as their most serious offense who have been incarcerated for more than 25 years. All were convicted before the 1981 "fair sentencing" law took effect.

The late Judge James H. Pou Bailey, a man with a reputation for tough sentencing, gave Parker 40 years to life March 13, 1980, for robbing Theda Heffner at gunpoint July 13, 1979.

No one hurt - No shots were fired, according to court documents, and no one was injured during the robbery...

discussion:
LieStoppers forum: 40 to life for $173, Nifonged

comment: Where is the North Carolina NAACP in this case?
--------
LieStoppers:
NC Senate Democrats Move on Nifong, Hudson — Three North Carolina State Senate Democrats have initiated legislation that would provide a procedure for the North Carolina State Bar to act on the §7A-66 affidavit filed in February. The affidavit seeking the removal of Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong from office was stalled indefinitely by Durham County Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson despite a statutory mandate requiring him to act within thirty days of the filing. The proposed legislation would remedy Hudson's delay by providing an immediate, although temporary, avenue for the protection of the public from a rogue District Attorney who is supported by a Judge willing to ignore the letter of the statute that was designed specifically to offer that protection....
----------
Dave Rahme, Post-Standard/syracuse.com:
A Search for Redemption — Sue Pressler took her daughters, Janet and Maggie, to the Duke-Cornell men's lacrosse game Tuesday evening in Durham, N.C. The girls high-fived the Blue Devils as they entered the field. Duke coach John Danowski gave Janet a hug.

Mom and daughters then settled in and watched the top-ranked Big Red edge No. 4 Duke 7-6 on a fourth-quarter goal by Skaneateles native Eric Pittard.

Some 680 miles away, while his wife and kids were cheering for the Blue Devils, Mike Pressler was savoring Division II Bryant College's 13-7 victory over Pace and was beginning to worry about top-ranked Le Moyne, which will come calling Saturday with its 63-game regular-season victory streak in tow...

Despite witheringpressure on and off campus to turn in the guilty parties, the entire team maintained its innocence. And Pressler stayed firmly in his players' corner, even as his family received threatening e-mails and phone calls...
----------
Michael Gaynor:
Comparing the Duke and Kobe cases — On March 21, 2007, Delores Williams posted a thoughtful article entitled "Is the Duke Case the Kobe Bryant in Reverse?"Great question!

Ms. Williams: "It is striking the similarities of the Duke Case and the Kobe Bryant case, just a reversal of the color of the alleged victim. Both cases are high profile because of the accused; with Duke as the Ivy League school, and Kobe Bryant as the star basketball player in Los Angeles. Let's take it one item at a time."

The colors of the alleged villains are reversed too; Duke, although an elite educational institution, is not part of the Ivy League; and, most importantly, there is an enormous difference: there WAS sex in the Kobe case and NO sex, or assault, or kidnapping, in the Duke case....

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