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Friday, April 13, 2007

Duke Case: Truth Marches On

Updated - today's items:

Nifong's Motion to Dismiss State Bar Charge Denied -- The North Carolina State Bar's disciplinary committee denied Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong's request to dismiss one of three Bar charges, which alleges he withheld DNA evidence in the Duke lacrosse case.

The decision by the three-member panel came shortly after an hour-long hearing, at which committee chairman F. Lane Williamson repeatedly challenged the arguments made by Nifong's attorneys.

"I just don't see where this gets you on your argument to dismiss," Williamson said...

Benjamin Niolet, Anne Blythe and Matt Dees; News & Observer:
Bar won't drop key Nifong charges -- Members of a disciplinary panel of the N.C. State Bar today refused to drop the most serious charge against Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong — that he withheld crucial DNA evidence favorable to Duke University lacrosse players accused of rape...
Duke Chronicle: Bar panel refuses to dismiss key charge against Nifong
Aaron Beard, AP/WRAL:
Nifong's Attorneys to Argue for Dismissal of Ethics Charges

LieStoppers blog: Nifong Motion Denied
KC Johnson blogging from hearing:
Decision - denied motion to dismiss
Update So far -- Nifong has started his tic of blinking rapidly
Hearing Begins
In the Hearing Room

Marquis Clarifies -- I have received an e-mail from Josh Marquis of the National District Attorneys' Association--who wanted to make clear to me that Norm Early no longer has any connection with the National District Attorneys' Association, and that no comments he made on the Duke lacrosse case in any way reflected the position of the organization...
LieStopers forum: Today's Bar Hearing....
more coverage of hearing:
Nifong Goes Before State Bar -- Durham County's embattled district attorney is expected to appear before the North Carolina State Bar's Disciplinary Hearing Commission Friday afternoon to dispute claims he withheld evidence in the Duke lacrosse case.

Watch the hearing live on WRAL.com beginning at 4 p.m...

Benjamin Niolet, Anne Blythe and Matt Dees; News & Observer:
Bar hearing today on Nifong's defense -- A day after apologizing to three wrongly accused former Duke University lacrosse players, District Attorney Mike Nifong is scheduled to appear this afternoon before a State Bar panel to seek dismissal of the most serious ethics charge against him.

The hearing, before the Disciplinary Hearing Committee, is set for 4 p.m. today. His lawyers are expected to ask the panel to dismiss a charge that he withheld DNA evidence favorable to the lacrosse players and lied about it to court and Bar officials.

Nifong's lawyers argue that the charge should be dropped because defense lawyers for the players received a DNA report and the underlying data well in a timely manner. Lawyers for the State Bar refute that contention....
Crystal Gail Mangum - the false accuser has a long history of psychological problemsNews & Observer:
Cooper says accuser wasn't credible -- Attorney General Roy Cooper told "60 Minutes" that the accuser in the lacrosse case gave investigators irrational answers and described a rape that simply could not have occurred.

Cooper said at a news conference Wednesday that the woman was not a credible witness and that other evidence contradicted her story. He promised to release details of the investigation next week. However, he gave the CBS News magazine an interview for a Sunday broadcast in which he discussed some of his investigators' findings. Cooper could not be reached Thursday night.

The attorney general told interviewer Lesley Stahl that when investigators talked to the accuser, Crystal Gail Mangum, she appeared to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, according to a CBS News release. She gave new versions of her allegations, including one that Cooper said seemed impossible...
FreeRepublic: (NC Att Gen) Cooper says accuser wasn't credible
LieStoppers: Cooper interviewed by 60 Minutes, BIG BIG BIG
TalkLeft: Cooper to be on 60 Minutes
Cooper to Appear on '60 Minutes' -- CBS is offering a teaser of this Sunday's '60 Minutes' interview with new hero of the Hoax, North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper.
In his first interview since declaring three former Duke University lacrosse players innocent of all charges stemming from a rape accusation, North Carolina’s attorney general says he was offended by the behavior of the Durham district attorney who pursued the case for nearly a year. Attorney General Roy A. Cooper also reveals new evidentiary details on why the young men were declared innocent, in an exclusive interview with 60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl to be broadcast this Sunday, April 15, at 7 p.m. ET/PT...

Among the new stories the accuser told was a fantastic account of the rape in which she contradicts the account she gave Nifong that led to him dropping rape charges back in December. “She was suspended in mid air and was being assaulted by all three of them in the bathroom,” Cooper recalls the accuser saying. “And I’ve been in that bathroom and it was very difficult for me to see how that could have occurred.” Cooper’s investigators were shocked by the situation. “A number of them said to me, ‘I’ve never seen anything like this.’ It was amazing how she could continue to tell different stories.” ...

The accuser has a history of mental illness and Cooper and his staff viewed her medical file; he refuses to reveal its contents, but says he believes the woman is getting help....
Joseph Kennedy (assoc. prof UNC Law), Slate:
Prosecuting the Prosecutor -- Did the DA in the Duke lacrosse case commit a crime? -- When does a prosecution itself become a crime? It is well understood that prosecutors enjoy broad immunity from civil suit for their actions as prosecutors. That immunity, however, does not protect them from criminal liability. North Carolina District Attorney Mike Nifong faces possible disbarment for allegedly violating the rules of legal ethics in the Duke lacrosse case. A number of members of Congress have asked the Department of Justice to investigate his conduct, and the North Carolina attorney general has not ruled out criminal charges. Should Nifong face prosecution for his handling of the case? ...

The prosecutor's obligation to disclose evidence suggesting innocence protects innocence. Prosecutors should know that when they deliberately thwart that protection, they do so at their own great peril.
KC Johnson: Mike Nifong, Criminal?
Crystal Gail Mangum at rigged April 4, 2006 Durham PD lineupCraig Jarvis, News & Observer:
Mangum's life: conflict, contradictions -- Accuser struggled with mental illness, alcohol -- Crystal Gail Mangum insists she was sexually assaulted at a Duke lacrosse team party, even though the state attorney general dropped all charges this week because of a lack of evidence and her conflicting versions.

Mangum isn't offering an explanation. She continues to avoid reporters as she has in the year since she first claimed she was raped by three athletes. Even the people who know her only obscure the picture with their own contradictions about who she is.

But interviews and records obtained by The News & Observer make this much clear: The 28-year-old woman has struggled with poverty, alcohol abuse and psychological instability. In recent years she turned to therapists for help with bipolar disorder and other mental problems and took anti-psychotic medication.

As N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper said at Wednesday's news conference, the special prosecutors and State Bureau of Investigation agents who interviewed her concluded that "she may actually believe the many different stories that she has been telling."

Her emotional problems surfaced as a teenager....

Then in 2002 came a night of bizarre behavior that would be repeated in the coming years, including at the lacrosse party. That night in 2002, she appeared coherent one moment and falling-down intoxicated the next. She had been performing at a Durham strip club late on a Thursday night, and while fondling a customer who was a taxi driver she slipped his keys out of his pocket, according to a Durham County Sheriff's Office report....

records indicate that she had a long history of psychological problems, including being diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and that she named two anti-psychotic drugs that she had been prescribed. People with bipolar disorder experience swings in behavior.
comment: Good Lord! Why wasn't this article published in April 2006 instead of April 2007?

LieStoppers: Mangum's life: conflict, contradictions, Struggled with mental illness, alchohol
FreeRepublic: Mangum's life: conflict, contradictions
Editorial, Duke Chronicle:
In search of closure -- It's no secret that Duke did not handle the events of the past year as well as it certainly could have. From a weak voice in the press to a lack of transparency, the administration failed to step in when its actions could have potentially defused an incendiary situation in its early stages...

There are other members of the Duke community, however, from whom we have not heard, and from whom we must hear before we take those necessary healing steps ahead. These are the voices of the range of individuals, from students to professors to community members, who responded to last year's allegations not with moderation, as the administration did and for which it was nonetheless heavily criticized, but with extreme, inflammatory and unfounded statements on everything from the guilt of the accused to blanket commentary on the bigotry of the student body.

Examples of such statements abound. From the English Department (Professor Houston Baker), to the Literature Department (Grant Farred), to the Cultural Anthropology Department (Orin Starn), to the Department of African and African-American Studies (Wahneema Lubiano and Mark Anthony Neal), among others, professors have made comments that did little to enhance the dialogue when it needed direction...

Nor are we necessarily asking for an apology-but by refusing to clarify or simply discuss some of the wildest claims thrown about in the heat of the moment but certainly not forgotten now at its resolution, these individuals risk playing a part in fostering the very same environment in which scandal and distrust developed in the first place...
discussion: Duke Chron. comments
Joe Volpe, Lettter, Duke Chronicle:
Irony of the 88 [see comments] -- In the wake of all the lacrosse drama, one issue that has come to light but has not been resolved fully is the batch of disgraceful comments made by the now-renowned "Group of 88" faculty members. I find a lot of irony in what they said, their reactions to responses to what they said and their actions...

I find it ironic that they claim that their purpose was to initiate a dialogue to spur cultural change, yet they are not interested in continuing dialogue, trying to explain what they meant or even apologizing for the apparent vast misunderstanding that they claim must have happened.
Editorial, Herald-Sun:
Closer to closure in emotional case -- Attorney General Roy Cooper didn't mince words Wednesday when he described his investigation into the Duke lacrosse case.

"We believe these three individuals are innocent of these charges," he said...

We have questioned Nifong's actions throughout this case, including a stacked photo lineup using only pictures of lacrosse players, when standard procedure is to include unrelated faces as a control. Nifong is also facing ethics charges from the State Bar for statements he made to the media when the case first broke and for withholding DNA evidence beneficial to the defendants.

But Cooper's simple statement cut to the heart of prosecutorial misconduct. Nifong, he said, pressed on with the case without a credible witness or credible evidence. To hear that about a prosecutor with 28 years of experience was shocking.

It is bound to raise questions about what other cases have been pursued improperly by the Durham DA's office. How many defendants without the resources to hire energetic attorneys have been sent quietly off to prison?

Nifong has been seriously damaged by his own actions, by the charges from the State Bar and now from Cooper's report. His problems could cause ripples through other cases being handled by the Durham DA's office. As a result, we think it will be impossible for Nifong to continue as Durham district attorney.

It's time for him to resign.
LieStoppers: Snooze Room Capitulates, Demands Nifong's Resignation -- In a shocking reversal, the Durham Herald Sun has rescinded its support of Durham County District County Mike Nifong. With a pointed editorial, its first substantial public criticism of the rogue prosecutor, the Snooze Room evicts Nifong from the bunker with a resounding call for him to resign immediately...

KC Johnson: Herald-Sun: Nifong Must Go
John Podhoretz, National Review:
Terry Moran and the Duke Three -- Terry Moran of ABC News has written a blog item entitled "Don't Feel Too Sorry for the Dukies." As a compendium of fashionable attitudes toward the Duke case, it is incomparable. It's instructive to go through it to examine those attitudes and why they are so noxious...
LieStoppers: Unbelievable cr*p from Terry Moran, They're so privileged

Jeremy Weidenhof, LoneStarTimes.com: Duking It Out -- If this snide idiocy is not enough, Mr. Moran’s sneer leaps off the page with more...The odious, preening self-righteousness is stomach-turning...
Bart Jones, Newsday:
No chance to tell his side -- In first interview since he was cleared, former Duke lacrosse player says cops, DA never tried to talk to him -- Collin Finnerty never got the chance to tell his side of the story to Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong, the DA's prosecutors or the Durham police, Finnerty said yesterday in his first interview since being absolved of all charges in the Duke lacrosse rape case.

They never asked for it, he said.... He added, "No one knows the true timeline. It's something that we've been waiting to get out there."

"That's one of the frustrating things. To not be able to tell your side of the story is kind of tough, especially for a full year," the lanky 20-year-old Chaminade graduate said in the lobby of a $450-a-night hotel near Raleigh, where he and his family stayed this week. "We still haven't really told our story."

Finnerty said that after he left the party he bought some food, went back to his campus dorm, and then called one of his sisters on his cell phone. He said records back up his account...
LieStoppers: Collin's Alibi Finally Revealed, "Alibi" for a Non-Rape/ Assault

comment: The restaurant where Collin Finnerty went to get some food (and had a receipt) when he left the lacrosse party was probably the Cosmic Cantina.
Kathleen Parker, RealClearPolitics:
America's Pimp 'n' Ho Culture Gets Real -- In the Duke case, we will succumb to suffocation, I suspect, if we hold our breath waiting for Sharpton and Jackson to apologize for feeding the racist frenzy that condemned those three young men whose lives were nearly ruined by innuendo, lies, an out-of-control prosecutor and a complicit media.

We will also collapse onto the fainting couch waiting for an apology from Duke's "Group of 88'' -- the coalition of arts and science faculty who took out a full-page ad in the Duke newspaper commending students who demonstrated and distributed a "wanted'' poster of the lacrosse team. The 88 also promised to "turn up the volume'' on the administration in dealing with the crimes of these "farm animals,'' as English and Afro-American Studies professor Houston Baker described the lacrosse players in an e-mail to the mother of a team member...

But the man behind the curtain orchestrating this travesty of justice was Nifong. In the rap vernacular that brought down Imus, he pimped the accuser, using an apparently troubled young woman for his own political gain in his re-election bid, instead of sending her home where she belonged...
Editorial, (Harrisonburg, VA) Daily News Record:
The Duke Case -- There were a number of legal and moral outrages in this case. The original prosecutor, Mike Nifong...Eighty-eight members of the Duke faculty...

The three young men face huge legal bills and will have the stain of false accusation with them forever. The 88 faculty professors face no sanction for their behavior at all. Perhaps that’s a case of multicultural privilege.
Rosemary Roberts, (Greensboro, NC) News-Record:
Duke case errors will haut all involved -- Wade Smith, a Raleigh attorney and one of the three defense lawyers, was asked by CNN this week if he were in a celebratory mood.

"You can't celebrate," he replied, "because it's a train wreck." He is right, because wreckage litters the landscape.

First, there are the young men and their families who will always be scarred.

There is Mike Nifong, who was described by the state attorney general as "a rogue prosecutor" and who faces ethical charges from the N.C. Bar.

There are the media who didn't cover themselves with glory but hovered over the case like a pack of frenzied vultures.

And finally there is the North Carolina judicial system whose integrity and credibility have suffered grievous injury that will need years to repair.
Robin Givhan, Washington Post:
In the Eye of a Storm, Beacons of Composure -- Rutgers, Duke Students Acquit Themselves Well...
Mike Lopresti, (Morris County, NJ) Daily Record:
Lessons must be learned from misery at Duke -- The message here is how quickly mass media can turn into mass accusations. And how, in a culture that so often displays seething partisanship by race and class and political leaning, human beings can swiftly be borrowed as tools for a cause...
Alex Charns Email to the Media -- Dear members of the media:

Last spring you or your news organization received an e-mail with the attached Duke Lacrosse Wanted Poster or an e-mail with the same text about "This horrific crime."

Has Cpl. Addison, CrimeStoppers, the Durham Police Department or city of Durham officials apologized to the 46 exonerated Duke Lacrosse players? If so, I haven't heard them...

I'm still waiting for Cit Manager Patrick Baker's response to my request last year to make public the Durham police review, if any, of the DPD's Duke Lacrosse Wanted Poster. I've copied Mr. Baker and the members of city council with this e-mail hoping to finally get a reply...
KC Johnson: Charns: More Apologies Needed
John in Carolina: Attorney: Where Are Apologies?
Forum topic(s) of note:
LieStoppers: Blog Hooligan Mail: A Great Day, A thank you to all from a LAX mom

LieStoppers: Duke's Big Lie, Nifong followed Duke's Lead -- Nifong is being justly roasted for his role in persuing this fraudulent prosecution of David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann. Many news stories are asking why he acted as he did.

One simple answer is that Nifong, like all crooks, saw his opportunity and he took it. The lynch mob, led by Duke's radical faculty, was in the street before he took any public role in the case. He needed an issue to win the election, so he jumped on the bandwagon.

In explaining its handling of this situation, Duke has repeatedly lied about the chronology of events, claiming that it acted as it did because of Nifong's stated certainty that a rape had occurred. The latest passing incarnation of this lie was in Robert Steel's recent letter to the Duke community...

LieStoppers: Blog and Media Roundup, Friday 04/13/07

Digg.com: Duke Lacrosse Case Charges to Be Dropped - see comments and perspective of digg users regarding the case
Moezeldin ElmostafaPeter Whoriskey, Washington Post:
Cabbie Is Hailed By Some as Hero In Duke Case -- Immigrant Was Briefly Jailed After Providing Player's Alibi -- Long before the case against three Duke University lacrosse players collapsed in public, a soft-spoken Sudanese immigrant knew that something wasn't quite right.

When asked, he told the truth: One of the players had been in his cab that night -- and nowhere near the house where a sexual assault allegedly occurred.

But as soon as Moezeldin Elmostafa, 39, a Durham cabbie, became known as a key alibi witness, his attorney says, Elmostafa fell victim to Durham District Attorney Michael B. Nifong's rough-and-tumble tactics.

He was arrested.

"I was afraid," he recalled at his attorney's office Thursday during a break from driving. "I'd never been in handcuffs, I'd never been in the back of a police car, but there they were taking me away. . . . In Sudan, when you are arrested, it might be months before you see the sun again." ...
FreeRepublic: Cabbie Is Hailed By Some as Hero In Duke Case. Immigrant Was Jailed [by Nifong]
John in Carolina:
Joan Foster & Cash Michaels -- Reading what I have of [Cash} Michaels’ Hoax coverage has been painful. As Joan makes clear,with the passing of time he sank lower and lower.

Michaels, like Nifong, seemed determined to do things sensible people knew would hurt him in the end. Reading Michaels on the Hoax has been like watching one big Cash trashes Cash transaction. Sad.
Press Release, PR NewsWire:
Upcoming Book Exposes Incredible Injustice of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case -- Prosecutors are endowe with the responsibility to seek justice, and how they choose to use their power is what defines who they are and what their office stands for.

But in the case of a woman who claimed to have been raped by members of the Duke Lacrosse team last year, District Attorney Michael Nifong has used his power for his own personal gain. He wielded it to build a house of cards that has begun crashing down around him, destroying the lives of everyone in his path.

This gripping tale of injustice and malfeasance is told in a soon to be published book, A Rush to Injustice (June 12, 2007/ Thomas Nelson). Written by seasoned trial lawyer and Duke Alumnus Nader Baydoun with New York Times best selling author R. Stephanie Good, this legal thriller deconstructs one of the most widely publicized cases of 2006 and reveals the egregious missteps that led to a rush to judgment, and most disturbingly how one elected official twisted the legal system for his own personal gain...
AP/CBS News:
Ex-Duke Players Ponder D.A. Lawsuit -- Despite an apology from the prosecutor who pursued rape charges against their clients, the lawyers for three exonerated former Duke lacrosse players were weighing a lawsuit against him, and legal experts said their case could have merit.

Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong's issued a carefully worded apology to the players on Thursday, but it may not have been enough to prevent the former players from suing him.

So far, attorneys for David Evans, Reade Seligmann, and Collin Finnerty have not said whether they plan a civil action against Nifong. But they have not ruled it out....
YouTube: Nancy Grace gets ripped by Jon Stewart
LieStoppers: For all you Nancy Grace haters..., The Daily Show mocks her covereage

TalkLeft: John Stewart and the Daily Show -- Anyone happen to see John Stewart demolish Nancy Grace? OMG - That was great!!! "she's out raping puppies - what? - prove she isn't"

FreeRepublic: Daily Show rips Nancy Grace a new one!
Cousin Jackie or Jakki aka Clyde Lee YanceyInsideEdition:
Cousin of Duke Accuser Speaks Out -- In an exclusive interview with INSIDE EDITION, the cousin of the accuser of the three Duke lacrosse players spoke out after all the charges in the case have been dropped.

Jackie [also known as Clyde Yancey/Clyde Young], who asked us to only use her first name, is the cousin of Crystal Gail Mangum, the exotic dancer who told police she was raped by Collin Finnerty, Reade Seligmann and David Evans at a team party last March....

According to Jackie, Mangum is "devastated" that her name is now public, and said now she can't go anywhere without being talked about. "The boys say their families have been affected by this, but so has my family," Jackie said. "So has [Mangum's] children."

Asked if she feels sorry for the parents of the lacrosse players, Jackie said, "My heart goes out to anyone who has gone through this."

But Jackie says Mangum isn't unstable. "Someone with mental problems couldn't have gotten through the kind of scrutiny she went through," she said...
Prof. John Banzhaf, Geo. Wash. Univ., FODU:
Duke Might Sue -- or Remove -- DA Nifong -- To Protect Students, Prevent Reoccurrence

While many commentators are now openly suggesting that the former Duke lacrosse players should sue DA Michael Nifong -- a concept initially advanced and explained by public interest law professor John Banzhaf -- no one has yet suggested a possible law suit by Duke against Nifong for the serious harm he has caused the University. Cleared Duke Players Could Sue.

"Duke should consider bringing a legal action against Nifong for the injury his illegal acts caused the University, and should also consider calling for his resignation or ouster to protect its students," says Banzhaf, noting that Nifong might be liable under a variety of legal theories including defamation, false light, prima facie tort, and other actions....
David Kernodle, News 14 Carolian/Charlotte:
Easley comments on Duke case -- North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley weighed in on the Duke lacrosse case Thursday, one day after state Attorney General Roy Cooper dismissed the charges against the three players and called them “innocent.” ...

Gov. Easley appointed Nifong as district attorney in 2005. He says he doesn't regret that decision and wouldn't comment on whether Nifong should step down...
Easley Doesn't Regret his "Poorest Appointment" --

Flashback: January 22, 2007 -
News & Observer:
"Gov. Mike Easley said last month that picking Mike Nifong to be Durham's district attorney was the worst appointment of his career, and he said Nifong broke his promise not to run for the office. ..."
Michael Gaynor:
Duke case: The rape of justice -- Truth be told, the Duke case involved a rape. A gang rape. None of the members of the 2005-2006 Duke University Men's Lacrosse Team participated.

Cartoonist Robert Arial
is right: Lady Justice was raped and she knows who did it. The cartoon depicts Lady Justice identifying to a portly, perplexed policeman her assailant: Durham County, North Carolina District Attorney Michael B. Nifong, depicted as peeking out from behind a slightly ajar office door.

Of course, he did not act alone. He had enablers...
Rose McGowan on Duke kids: Eh, they were probably guilty of something -- Don’t wave it off because she’s eye candy or an actress or whatever. What you’re getting here is raw candor in all its ugliness. They look like frat boys — rich, white, “cookie cutter,” the cardinal sin to noisy nonconformists — and so they “stand” for all the rich white kids who’ve ever taken advantage of their privilege at another’s expense. In which case, if they had been convicted, well, that’s rough justice even if it’s a tough break for the not-so-guilty parties themselves. Terry Moran couldn’t have put it better himself.

Ace has already teased this out in a bunch of posts today, but note what’s happening here, completely transparently: She’s trying to salvage the storyline of the black victim and the white aggressor by imputing to them crimes they simply must have committed by virtue of their race and class....
FreeRepublic: Rose McGowan on Duke kids: Eh, they were probably guilty of something
Durham Mayor: 'We've Moved Forward' -- The Duke lacrosse case not only put the university under a national microscope, but the city of Durham as well. Now that the case is over, residents are trying to figure out how to move forward.

More than a year ago, the public call for justice in the Duke lacrosse case reached a fever pitch. Demonstrations depicted Durham as a hotbed of racial tension and class divisions. Durham Mayor Bill Bell said he wasn't surprised by the public outcry over the case...

At N.C. Central, where accuser Crystal Mangum was enrolled, students said the case served to unite their campus behind their fellow student. “We are still on her side,” said Montressa Johnson. “We supported her 100 percent. We were behind her.” Student Corey Dinkins said the case brought the community together even more...
Jon Ham, Right Angles blog/JohnLocke.org:
Time to investigate the Durham Police’s role -- So, what’s next? Seems to me the next avenue of inquiry, after Nifong is disbarred and possibly charged criminally, is to investigate the Durham Police Department. Every excess, every malfeasance, every bit of prosecutorial excess was assisted by members of the police department. Mayor Bill “Rose-Colored Glasses” Bell should turn his attention to his men in blue forthwith.

The depiction of Durham at the defense attorney’s press conference the other day was chilling...
Benjamin Niolet, Anne Blythe & Matt Dees; News & Observer:
Nifong apologizes and tries to explain -- The Durham DA says he hopes the case's dismissal helps serve as a remedy and that he should get credit for inviting a review -- District Attorney Mike Nifong on Thursday apologized to three wrongly accused former Duke University lacrosse players, but said also that he had lacked access to important evidence.

Nifong said state Attorney General Roy Cooper was able to review the case and dismiss it only because he asked Cooper to.

He issued his statement a day after Cooper called him a "rogue prosecutor" and a day before a hearing at the State Bar, which has accused Nifong of ethics violations that threaten his law license. Nifong's lawyers are seeking to have one of the most serious charges against him dismissed...
NY Post: Nifong apology is weak
Andrea Peyser, NY Post:
A 'My Bad' So Bad, It's Appalling -- THIS is the best he's got? Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong - facing possible disbarment, potential jail time, and certainly a featured spot in hell - yesterday summoned the chutzpah to issue a mush-mouthed apology to the three former Duke University lacrosse players he personally lynched.

"To the extent that I made judgments that ultimately proved to be incorrect," he started like a ninny, "I apologize to the three students that were wrongly accused."

With that, Nifong tried desperately to make himself into the passive victim of false information - and not the perpetrator of a yearlong "rape" hoax that, we all know, he personally orchestrated...
Lorena Mongelli & Todd Venezia, NY Post:
SORRY APOLOGY -- Duke Rape DA's Wimpy Note on Cleared Trio
USA Today:
Duke case DA's apology not accepted -- Colin Finnerty, told CBS' 60 Minutes:
It may be an apology, but it doesn’t make me feel any better. … It was his actions more than anybody’s that caused the harm.
Reade Seligmann's attorney, Jim Cooney, responded bitterly to the apology:
"You can accept an apology from someone who knows all the facts and simply makes an error," Cooney said. "If a person refuses to know all the facts and then makes a judgment, that's far worse — particularly when that judgment destroys lives."
Dave Evans' attorney, Joseph Cheshire, accused Nifong of engaging in "revisionist history."
It’s not an apology. It’s an excuse. It’s an attempt at an excuse. It’s not an acceptance of responsibility. It’s a self-serving attempt to excuse bad behavior.

Calculated Risk

MishTalk - Mike Shedlock

Paul Krugman - NY Times

The Big Picture - Barry Ritholtz

naked capitalism - Yves Smith

Pragmatic Capitalism

Washington's Blog

Safe Haven

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