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Monday, April 2, 2007

Duke/Nifong/Cooper+79 days Hoax

Updated - today's items:

The marvel of all history is the patience with which men and women submit to burdens unnecessarily laid upon them by their governments. — William H. Borah

Joseph Malllia, Newsday:
Duke DA backlash — Sitting on the stoop of his small wood-sided home, on a parcel of scrub pines carved from a former tobacco plantation, William Ragland, 76, said he wanted to see justice, and soon, in the Duke lacrosse case.

And that would mean putting on trial not the lacrosse players, but the district attorney who led the early prosecution of the case, said Ragland.

"I was shocked by how Mr. Nifong did the whole thing. It was a cover-up. He had evidence that these boys did not rape her," and improperly kept it secret, said Ragland...
LieStoppers blog:
Durham County Democratic Party Chairman Turns on Nifong — Durham County Democratic Party Chairman, Floyd McKissick Jr., a candidate in the March 9, 2007 special election to fill the vacant District 20 North Carolina State Senate seat, has taken a public stance against Nifong. In an interview with Newsday's Joseph Mallia, McKissick, whose call for straight party ticket voting was instrumental in Nifong's general election victory, questioned the District Attorney's fairness in the Hoax and other cases...
Ray Gronberg, Herald-Sun:
McKissick gets committee's nod — Former City Councilman Floyd McKissick Jr.'s bid for a state Senate seat got a boost Monday when he secured an endorsement from the Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People.

Durham Committee Chairwoman Lavonia Allison said her group opted to support McKissick because he's more capable than the other five candidates for the District 20 seat of taking office in the middle of a General Assembly session and making an immediate impact.

She said the gap in capabilities is so significant that it overcame the preference of many committee members for seeing a woman replace the late Sen. Jeanne Lucas...
KC Johnson: Nifong's Political Base Crumbles
LieStoppers forum: South Central Durham Residents Criticize Nifong, Newsday Story Notes Changes in Opinions
TalkLeft: African-Americans Take Nifong to Task
FreeRepublic: Duke DA Backlash

DD [Duke prof.(?)], Laxuality blog:
Things I Should Know About My Esteemed Colleagues [see comments] — I got an email almost a month ago that the Friends of Duke University (FODU) sent to Duke faculty, and it shook me out of my lacrosse-case apathy. The idea was that I might want to follow the lead of my colleagues in the Economics department and make the lacrosse team feels welcome in my class by signing this petition. I've gotten lacrosse-case email periodically over the past year and have skimmed it with mild interest before moving on. There was something odd about this one, though, so I followed the link...

In light of Johnson's attacks, what strikes me about the ad is how completely unconcerned it is with the lacrosse team, whether to call its members guilty or presume them innocent. The ad's implication that a rape actually occurred strikes me as careless, if not negligent. I'm also surprised that no effort was made to draw a line between demonstration and self-indulgent harassment, since it seems that line was crossed at times. I don't have a complete picture, by any means, and I'm happy for any help in connecting the dots.
update April 4, 20077:
The Laxuality blog seems to have magically disappeared from blogspot. Poof...

LieStoppers forum: Unidentified Duke Prof (?) Takes Swipe at LS, and others...

Joan Foster, LieStoppers:
Spring Break for Winstead and Coman?
So while the families drag through Easter.
Denied the relief we're praying for...
Winstead and Coman call "Bon Voyage!"
And boogie out the door.

NC AG Roy Cooper & special prosecutors James Coman and Mary D. Winstead rehersse press conference
Have patience awhile; slanders are not long-lived. Truth is the child of time; erelong she shall appear to vindicate thee. — Immanuel Kant

Judge Ronald L. Stephens - was he helping to hide exculpatory cell phone records?KC Johnson:
The Hon. Ronald L. Stephens — Among the most frightening aspects of this case is the realization of how few people were necessary to keep the fraud alive. Nothing could have occurred, of course, without a deeply unethical DA. But beyond Mike Nifong, the cast of characters was surprisingly small:
  • One investigator—first Sgt. Mark Gottlieb, then Linwood Wilson, both willing to trim the rules.
  • One SANE nurse-in-training—Tara Levicy, who preposterously argued that an exam showing only diffuse edema in the vaginal walls and no DNA matches was consistent with a violent 30-minute, condom-free gang rape.
  • One lab director—Dr. Brian Meehan, who was willing to enter into an agreement with his “client” to withhold exculpatory evidence.
And one judge...
LieStoppers forum: Conduct of Judge Ronald Stephens, Encouraging Nifong to lie?

DBR: Stephens - It’s also worth remembering that as Nifong’s predecessor as district attorney, he managed a highly controversial case of his own, the Michael Peterson murder trial.

LieStoppers forum: Durham Justice League, Partners with crime?Judge Ronnie Stephens seems obsessed with privacy rights of 3rd parties that may provided a phone for, or have called, the sex workers.

Duke84 comment: the whole cell phone business has always been curious to me. Nifong was at first evasive about having the phone, then claimed there was nothing of value on the phone, then gave up the phone and had to adapt his timelines to fit Crystal's calls and stories...give me a person's cell phone and I will give you the person. Her phone will indict her lifestyle, companions and connections. And that's why Nifong worked so diligently to hide it.

comment: Judge Ronald L. Stephens ("I won't fast-track the Duke rape case") & Nifong both played strange games with Crystal Mangum's cell phone records. What or who were they trying to protect?
The Johnsville News: Mangum's cell phone calls

Michael Gaynor:
Duke Case: My Apologies, Cash Michaels — Truth be told, Mr. Michaels' article was fair and balanced and The Amsterdam News apparently chose to make it UNfair and UNbalanced.

The Amsterdam News should apologize to Mr. Michaels too, and republish his article in unabridged form. (I'm not counting on it though.)

Tyneisha Bowens, workers.org:
N.C.-based coalition calls marchTo end rape culture - On March 13, 2006, a woman of color who is a mother, veteran, honor student and sex worker was raped and sodomized in Durham, N.C. The survivor was assaulted at a party thrown by members of the Duke University lacrosse team. She and another entertainer were hired to dance at the party and instead were subjected to sexual assault and racial slurs.

She reported the assault shortly after the incident. Instead of being believed and supported, this survivor was faced with accusations, blame and disbelief, like so many survivors before her. Communities were shaken by the event and the responses that followed. Frustrations built and the country was divided over details of the assault instead of being united to combat rape culture as a whole. Many of the accused perpetrators, who are white males, have since been welcomed back to Duke University and the lacrosse team. Some these men are seen as victims of false accusations and slander, taking the focus off of the survivor and the assault itself.

A little more than a year after the infamous Duke lacrosse rape case, a coalition of eight organizations in North Carolina are working together to create a world free from sexual violence and all other forms of oppression.
LieStoppers forum: Racism, Imperialism, and Capitalism cause RAPE!, There it is!

Andrew Gerst, Duke Chronicle:
Tailgate meets the real world — No one quite knew what to expect in a cold parking lot outside the McDonough Gymnasium at Georgetown last Saturday morning. The Duke men's lacrosse team was coming to town, and anticipation seeped through the air. Would it be like the Blue Zone again? Would it be all old people? Would there be alcohol at all?

The bad news, sort of, is that there were no giant panda suits, no superhero outfits, no Dean Sue walking around with bottles of water. No one dumped beer on their buddy's head, and it didn't look like anyone had to puke. My roommate and I, riding the subway in a Budweiser T-shirt and a wife-beater, were the only ones with giant aviator glasses, which we soon discarded.

The good news: It was a whole lot better than all that. And maybe some Saturday at Duke, they'll bring back good clean fun again...
David Friend blog:
Duke Men's Lacrosse Photos! — I finally got the chance to shoot some photos at 2 Duke Men's Lacrosse games this weekend, photos are here.
Forum topics of note:
This Day in the Hoax, One year ago today 4/2/2006

A Time for Patience?, Yes, Source Says In Response to Query

Give Us Your Theory on the FRAME, No drunk tank stories allowed

False Rape Claim in News- Article

LieStoppers blog:
Responding to Discovery RequestsAlice Neece Mine, Assistant Executive Director of the North Carolina State Bar, has written an interesting article on the ethics of complying with discovery requests. Ms. Mine, whose principal area of practice is professional ethics, is a member of the Durham County Bar Association and serves as State Bar Staff Counsel to both the Ethics Committee and Committee to Review the Rules of Professional Conduct. In consideration of the charges faced by Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong for conspiring to withhold evidence from the Hoax defendants, the appearance of Ms. Mine’s essay is both timely and telling.

In particular, Ms. Mine appears to indirectly address the question of whether Nifong’s conduct met the ethical test of “fairness.” The Bar's Assistant Exuctive Director also speaks to the clear line between narrowly interpreting discovery requests (a tack Nifong has not claimed to have taken) and speaking in Nifongese. Ms. Mine also appears to indirectly addresses the fragility of Nifong’s claim that he withheld evidence in the interests of protecting privacy by stating affirmatively that such reasoning, when legitmitate, would require the filing of a protective order and the outlining of what was being withheld in the interests of privacy...

Joan Foster & Baldo, LieStoppers:
Snooze Room News from the Triangle April 1, 2007 — In a shocking revelation, District Attorney Mike Nifong and Superior Court Judge Ronald Stephens have come out of the closet. Holding hands on the front steps of the Courthouse, the twosome admitted they were the couple Ms. Mangum and mechanical friend performed for prior to her Girl Scout cookie canvassing. They firmly denied, however, this had anything to do with the Hoax. The happy couple also announced that their commitment ceremony will be held today with Reverand Curtis E. Gatewood presiding and Cousin Clakki serving as both best man and bridesmaid....Happy April Fools Day!

Michael Gaynor:
Duke Case: Assigning Blame for Excruciating Endgame — The Duke case will be dismissed, sooner or later, one way or another, but not soon enough for any defendant or his siblings, father or mother. The prosecution simply does not have a case. Stalling, instead of admitting it, is a disgrace.

Do North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper and his special prosecutors in the Duke case, James Coman (a former director of the North Carolina Bureau of Investigation and head of the Attorney General's Special Prosecution Section) and Mary D. Winstead (a prosecutor in that section), want to admit that Durham County, North Carolina District Attorney Michael B. Nifong persecuted Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty and David Evans (aka the Duke Three)?


Are Mr. Coman and Ms. Winstead paragons of virtue renowned for upholding the highest ethical standards in the practice of law? Am I kidding?

Mike McCusker (CrystalMess) related in great detail the travesty of North Carolina justice known as the Gell case and Mr. Coman's involvement in it... "We're Watching You"...
KC Johnson:
Sunday Roundup — A few days ago, Liestoppers forums revealed that one of the students asked to speak at the panel seemed—like Neal—to be part of the problem, not part of the solution. Senior Dinushika Mohottige recalled that “throughout her undergraduate years, she facilitated and developed dozens of dialogues on identity and social-marker based oppression.”

Mohottige has a special role in the lacrosse case. She is, to my knowledge, the only person to publicly admit that, on March 29, 2006, she distributed the vigilante posters with the players’ photos around campus...
LieStoppers forum: The "Vigilante poster"--who's responsible, '06 poster with photos of 46 Laxers

Opinion, Winston-Salem Journal:
Bits and PiecesGoodbye, Nifong -- Senate Democrats are moving to give the governor the power to suspend a district attorney who faces a State Bar disciplinary hearing. Sen. Tony Rand, the majority leader, told The Durham Herald-Sun that it is “not exactly” a response to the situation that keeps Durham D.A. Mike Nifong in office despite the planned hearings on his behavior during the Duke lacrosse investigation.

Not exactly, that is, in that the bill doesn’t simply state that Nifong is out of a job as soon as Gov. Mike Easley signs this bill into law. That might take a few minutes more.
Craig, Lead & Gold blog:
12 Angry Men revisited — The American Thinker has an outstanding consideration of Sidney Lumet’s famous movie. As he says, it is agitprop, but it is also “it's also a terrific film...

Margolies Sees 12 Angry Men as “a precusor and contributor to liberal reforms of court procedure that transformed the justice system in the 1960s and beyond, accompanied by a vast increase in violent crime rates.” What struck me, however, is how the dishonest methods he criticizes in the movie now permeate our criminal justice system and the tabloid media....

There were plenty of echoes of Fonda’s methods in the defense of DA Nifong in the Duke lacrosse case. For months a cadre of ex-prosecutors like Georgia Goslee and Wendy Murphy made the same sort of suggestion as the evidence of innocence piled up.

“It’s possible they wore condoms.”

“It’s possible she was given a date rape drug.”

“It’s possible the cab driver was paid off.”

“It’s possible the lawyers lied in their motions.”

“It’s possible the nurse did not notice her injuries.”

“It’s possible that one of the lax players has flipped and cut a deal.”

“It’s possible the DA has held back his best evidence.”

Yadda yadda yadda...
March 29, 2006 - Post 1 — With the Hoax already in high gear, Wednesday, March 29, 2006, brought a continuation of the deceptions previously put in place. Defendant Nifong would press forward with his national and local media campaign, undeterred by the first cautions from defense attorneys. Meanwhile, Durham Police spokesperson Kammie Michael helpfully nudged the 911 Hoax along. Over at Duke, Houston Baker and Richard Brodhead made their first substantive appearances as Hoax enablers. The vigilante poster debuted locally, spreading nationwide before the day would end. And the insidious seeds of the infamous Listening Ad were sown, as open season on the Duke lacrosse players was declared...
LieStoppers forum: Conduct of Judge Ronald Stephens, Encouraging Nifong to lie?
Obama statement fuels debate — Last week, we broke the news that presidential candidate and Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) had lent his voice to the call made by Congressman Walter Jones (R-NC) for a federal inquiry into the Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong’s hijacking of the Hoax...

As expected, the Black Press answered the question of whether Obama was “black enough” with a resounding “NO” by taking the opportunity to undercut Obama’s presidential bid despite his recent endorsement from Jesse Jackson. Pinch hitting for regular contributor and Tawana Brawley enabler Alton Maddox, Cash Michaels declared...“Obama blasted for backing fed Duke case"...

Maddox found an alternative venue to spew his venom. Declaring Obama a “Wolf in sheep’s clothing”, Maddox turned to the Black Star News to publish his op-ed criticizing the first viable African American candidate for president...
letter by Dawkins (Arlington, VA), BlackStarNews.com:
Stop reporting erroneous second hand news — You are completing distorting the facts! Senator Obama did not write a letter to Attorney General Gonzalez demanding a federal probe of Durham District Attorney Michael Nifong.

In response to a constituent correspondence asking Mr. Obama's opinion of the case, the Senator responded that a probe would be a good idea to ascertain if and how Michael Nifong did anything deliberate or negligent to undermine the case--whether to the benefit of the accused or accuser.

Everyone, mostly African Americans, should be outraged by Nifong's conduct because as a result it will put yet another layer of scrutiny of Black women accusing white men of sexual assault!

Anne Blythe, News & Observer:
Durham neighbors hear less of Duke
— Rachel Weeks is a Duke University student who subscribes to the motto: Work hard, play well. The lacrosse team party last spring, with underage drinking, escort service dancers, rowdy behavior and racial slurs, might be what some people consider the Duke way of life.

But Weeks, a senior in the women's studies program, is on a mission to show otherwise, and she is following through in a near-campus neighborhood that until recently was a center for rowdy off-campus parties.

Since the infamous spring break bash on the edge of Duke's East Campus in March 2006, there is a different tenor in the Trinity Park neighborhood where Weeks and other students co-exist with year-round residents...
LieStoppers forum: Ann Blythe -N&O 3/31, More crap — Ann Blythe in today's N&O, specifically mentions the Duke Lacrosse Party, she cites underage drinking, escort service dancers, racial slurs, rowdiness, etc.

Now, 45 days or so ago - An African-Amercian Fraternity had a Party that was called into Police several times for Noise around 3:00 am. Underage drinking occured, and DRUGS and a GUN were reportedly seized. Police had also been called to that address for violence previously -- Yet Blythe and the N&O go after the players the N&O and Blythe had already victimized!

Blythe wrote the ridiculous Brian Taylor article and she co-authored some of the worst journalism ever done and really pushed the Hoax forward - at a critical time...

KC Johnson:
Remembering the Good, II — one figure is of towering significance: Jim Coleman. (If this point sounds familiar, it should.) In a period of maximum tension locally, when the Group of 88 and the potbangers were still riding high, he conducted a fair and impartial investigation of the lacrosse players. His conclusions showed the bad and the good—the team drank too much, but also the players were good students who treated athletic staff well, had a solid record of community service, and had a good relationship with the women’s team.

In the aftermath of the Coleman Committee report, only closed-minded ideologues could accept the caricature of the lacrosse players offered by Nifong, his media allies—the Herald-Sun and the New York Times—and his on-campus facilitators, the Group of 88...

Duke students... Faculty and Coaches... Political Figures ... Blogs/Websites... FODU...

Over the past 12 months, most of my posts have tended to be critical. Lots of people have betrayed their professions in how they handled this case, ranging from Nifong to the Group of 88 to journalists such as Duff Wilson. But it's worth remembering that--both on campus and off--lots of other people ensured that the overall story was not an exclusively negative one.
John in Carolina:
DUPD and “Vigilante” questions
Dear Director [Duke Univ. Police Director Robert] Dean:

This letter contains questions concerning DUPD and the false and inflammatory “Vigilante” poster which last spring circulated on campus, directly targeting and endangering Duke students on our Men’s lacrosse team, and also placing at greater risk students who could have been unintended victims of unstable individuals and hate groups incited by the poster to target white members of the lacrosse team.

You know that firsthand because of the work you and DUPD did last spring under very difficult circumstances to provide as safe an environment as possible for students and others on campus, even as vice president for student affairs Moneta was alerting students with a campus-wide email concerning their safety and President Brodhead was adding his name to full-page newspaper ads calling on the public to remain calm and let justice take its course...

gak, Thoughts on Life blog:
Its Getting Old Already
Dear Atorney General Cooper

My guess is that you are trying to figure out how to get out of this without further damage to the democratic party. It ain't happening. What you need to do is end it quickly and let the healing begin. I probably wouldn't be writing this except the camel's back broke today reading the blogs. 7 of the best years of my life were spent in Charlotte and Salisbury. What broke the camel's back was a line I saw in the comments of a blog. "The Banana Republic of North Criminila." ...

Patience has its limits. Take it too far, and it's cowardice. — George Jackson

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

Paper Economy

The Daily Reckoning - Australia