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Thursday, April 5, 2007

Duke/Nifong/Cooper+82 days Hoax

Updated - today's items:

Jason Trumpbour, spokesperson, Friends of Duke Univ.:
Odds and EndsIndoctrinate U — I want to call everyone’s attention to a new documentary that is particularly relevant to the academic freedom issues we are pursuing. It is called Indoctrinate U and it looks at how students and faculty are censored or sanctioned by universities for expressing their views or for their group affiliations...

John in Carolina’s Original Reporting — I hope that everyone has been following our friend John in Carolina’s reports of his investigations into the misinformation spread by spokespersons for the Durham Police Department and the origins of the defamatory wanted poster issued by department...

The Attorney General’s Dilemma — When the Special Prosecutors took over the case, I preached patience. I expressed the hope that by doing an honest, thorough and diligent review of the case, they could demonstrate to the public how criminal cases are supposed to be handled...

I must say I am getting a little worried by the present delay. I know that there remains a political dimension to the case and there are still certain groups attempting to influence the process...

The Truth by Patricia Dowd — As the one year anniversary of the Durham/Duke Hoax approaches, I reflect on the past year with the hope of finding the answer to one question that plagues me daily; When did the truth cease to matter? ...

related:
InsideDigitalMedia: Jason Trumpbour: Impact of blogs (audio)

D. Martyn Lloyd-Morgan, Liberty Sphere blog:
To AG Cooper: Where's the Beef? — One anonymous source reported to The Liberty Sphere that at first they were willing to give the accuser the benefit of the doubt despite her dubious reputation. That source stated, 'But now it has become very clear that she is living up to her soiled reputation, confirming that not only is her credibility shot to bits but that she herself doesn't appear to even know what to believe about the events of that night.'

Even more questions have surfaced in the African-American community concerning Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong. Community leaders in Durham are beginning to openly question the motives and credibility of Nifong and coming to the stark realization that they have been duped by an opportunist looking for an easy ticket to the D.A.'s office. Not only that, but Nifong has set back race relations in Durham by at least a decade by playing up to the race baiters by bringing false charges against three innocent students.

Astute observers of race relations realize that every time someone is falsely accused, whether they be white or black, not only does the criminal justice system suffer but those who perpetuate the public displays of race baiting in these situations do more harm than good to the very cause they purport to promote.

Bitter emotions have been left in the wake of this gargantuan scandal. It will take literally years for Durham to heal from the carnage created by a rogue, opportunist District Attorney and his enablers in the community...

OurHeartsWorld.com closes down - April 4, 2007OurHeartsWorld blog:
GOODBYE, BE BLESSED, AND GOOD LUCK! — FROM THE ADMINISTRATOR:
OurHeartsWorld.com, the website sponsored by a coalition of community groups across North Carolina, is no more.

When it was launched on Mother’s Day (May 14) of last year, the goal of the website was to defend the right of the accuser in the controversial Duke lacrosse alleged sexual assault case to have her day in court.

The woman, a Black exotic dancer, was hired by the Duke lacrosse team to perform at a wild, off-campus party on the night of March 13, 2006. She alleges that she was beaten, kicked, strangled, raped, sodomized and robbed.

Evidence turned over to the defense attorneys representing three players who were ultimately indicted for three first-degree felonies reportedly failed to confirm her allegations. The case was finally turned over to the NC State Attorney’s General’s Office for a final, pending determination on whether there’s any evidence at all to justify going forward with a prosecution...

All the website has said is let her tell her story, then let the courts decide after hearing all other admissible evidence.

But, as you know, the case has taken several dramatic turns.

In December 2006 it was revealed that the accuser could not substantiate her rape accusations, so those charges against the three defendants were dropped.

We immediately reflected that change on the website, dropping all administrative reference to an alleged rape, and informing visitors to the site that depending on what happened to the remaining first-degree sexual abuse and kidnapping charges, the website would soon be phasing out.

Of course, the allegations against Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong per his handling of the investigation and exculpatory DNA evidence was also a factor in our growing weariness about the integrity of the case.

And just recently, word that the accuser is not cooperating with the special prosecutors of the State Attorney General’s Office has also concerned us.

If the essence of our support for her was ensuring her right to tell her story, but she isn’t doing it, then the reasons for continuing that support are fewer and fewer.

We have consulted with the co-sponsors of the website, and they agree with our assessment that the time has come to pull the plug.

We are proud of this website and what it represented to our community. It served as a positive outreach vehicle, a place where African-Americans could express their support for a young woman that all of us believed had been dehumanized and violated, thouigh we may have ben lied to.

Still, we offer no apologies for supporting someone that law enforcement assured us had been violated.

But we also offer no apologies for demanding a cease to “trial by media,” and that a fair and just legal process proceed, a process that would once and for all, determine whether a crime was indeed committed or not.

If not, then this whole episode is certainly a tragedy that should never be repeated.

No one should be falsely accused, or prosecuted. If the facts determined that there was no case there, then certainly it this episode was a travesty.

But at the same time, those who demand justice must always comport themselves in a just fashion, or else their advocacy is meaningless. Duke Three supporters have yet to learn that.

Indeed, some will never learn, because they don’t want to.

For the record, the website was also a public service. It never, EVER raised one penny for the accuser because no legal effort was ever mounted to do so for her or her family, to the best of our knowledge.

So thank you for your visit during these last days. Go through the archives and re-read some of the inspiring messages.

Pay particular attention to messages from sister survivors who reached out to the accuser. Many of them shared their touching stories of struggle with us.

We will never forget them.

We want to thank the many, many people and groups that supported the website and its cause. We want to thank our partners, The NCNAACP, the Triangle Urban League, and The Carolinian, Wilmington Journal and Carolina Times newspapers. We want to especially thank the organizations that help counsel the victims of rape, incest and sexual abuse. Their services are needed more than you know.

So for now we say goodbye to OurHeartsWorld, and GOD bless.

You served your purpose well.

The Coalition of the Concerned & C
related:
KC Johnnson:
Pulling the Plug — Yesterday, the last of the pro-accuser websites, ourheartsworld.com, closed down. The site was co-sponsored by three Black newspapers, the state NAACP, and the Triangle Urban League—in effect, the African-American leadership of North Carolina.

The sponsorship was more than nominal. The site featured a May 28 message to the accuser from Al McSurely, head of the state NAACP’s Legal Redress Committee, promising, “After you finish your undergraduate studies, I will be glad to help you get into law school, where all of the legal education you are now getting can be put to use helping other sisters whose rights have been violated by lying people.”...

LieStoppers:
Supporters Abandon The Hoax — Citing a “growing weariness about the integrity of the case,” the administrator of Our Hearts World, a website which had enthusiastically supported Crystal Mangum and Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong for the past nine months of their Hoax, announced yesterday that it's support had wavered and the site had been taken down. The timely decision, made in concurrence with the North Carolina NAACP, the Triangle Urban League, and the three black newspapers that had sponsored the website, signals clearly that support for the dying Hoax no longer exists among even its most ardent supporters. Other factors cited by the administrator in pulling its supportive message include: the accuser’s inability to substantiate her accusations, her refusal to cooperate with the new prosecutors who replaced Defendant Nifong, and the mountain of evidence that failed to confirm her claims...
discussion:
LieStoppers forum: Goodbye OurHeartsWorld.com
TalkLeft: OurHeartsWorld gone!

Karla Holloway, Duke Chronicle:
Producing difference — Our University's interest in minority and women students and faculty is to be commended. There is much we can do to develop a campus culture in which the historic exclusions and biases of race, sexuality and gender do not hold sway. Nevertheless, institutionally produced difference is not one of the ways to mitigate the effects of exclusionary habits of history...
discussion:
LieStoppers forum: Holloway recants racial grouping?
other Duke Chronicle articles:
Friends recall Sanders' smile
Junior's drug trial set for June
Wolf criticizes Duke's stance on evidentiary use

Michael Gaynor:
Duke case: Framing as evidence of innocence — Those who want a Duke case trial eventually will be disappointed while the ordeal drags on a bit longer to the consternation of many who abhor prosecutorial abuse and/or prosecutorial excuse..

The Duke case is heading for post-Easter dismissal, when co-prosecutor Mary Winstead is expected to be back from vacation.

The North Carolina Attorney General's office is trying to make its investigation look especially thorough this Holy Week.

Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty and David Evans (aka the Duke Three) never should have been indicted, of course, and they and their families and friends are anxiously awaiting dismissal of the remaining charges instead of looking forward to a trial.

I have explained why the case is not even trial-worthy, and should be dismissed, upon defense motion, as a matter of law, but there would have been a silver lining in case of trial.

Since the law treats fleeing as evidence of guilt, it's only fair that the law treat framing as evidence that there is insufficient evidence to prove guilt...
Michael Gaynor:
NYT disgrace: for Duke hoaxer, support; for actual victims, no space — The New York Times' motto is "All the news that's fit to print." But The New York Times really chooses what news to report in accordance with its biased agenda as "higher truth" trumps objectivity.

The phony gang rape story that became the Duke case fit perfectly into that agenda. The accuser (crystal Gail Mangum) was not telling the truth, the accused (Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty and David Evans) were not guilty of the charges against them and the prosecutor (Durham County, North Carolina District Attorney Michael B. Nifong) was pursuing the case anyway as the way to win a Democrat primary, shamelessly playing the race card, making grossly improper public statements and concealing highly significant exculpatory evidence, but The New York Times wanted the story of race, sex, class and violence to be true (and probably figured it might help turn some red states blue).

But, for the Channon Christian/Chris Newsom case, The New York Times does not have a place. THAT is yet another disgrace. Americans should know about the Channon Christian/Chris Newsom case, even if they don't live in or near Knoxville, Tennessee...
LieStoppers:
The Award for Consistently Getting It Wrong Goes To... [cartoon] —Durham Snooze Room

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