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Monday, April 9, 2007

Duke/Nifong/Cooper+85 days Hoax

"It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can stop him from lynching me, and I think that's pretty important." — Martin Luther King Jr.
Updated - today's items:

Bo Carrington, midfielder, Duke lacrosseSean McLernon, The Daily Progress (Charlottesville, Va.):
Duke lacrosse players recount sex scandal — Bo Carrington wasn’t wearing anything that suggested he was a lacrosse player. Other than his 6-foot-4, 220-pound frame, the graduate of Charlottesville’s Covenant School looked like any other student walking across campus.

But on that March afternoon in 2006, Carrington was recognized. Not for who he is, but for what seemingly everyone on campus - and people across the whole country, for that matter - assumed him to be.

A group of his peers surrounded him and started shouting: “Tell the police what you know! Why are you protecting these rapists?” It was no organized protest - just a spontaneous demonstration triggered by nothing more than the midfielder’s presence. Two of his teammates had been charged with rape by a stripper hired for a party at a house leased by members of the squad. The campus was outraged and the entire team was being blamed for misconduct...
LieStoppers forum: Lacrosse Players Asked University to Apologize, Charlottesville Daily Progress Article
FreeRepublic: Duke lacrosse players recount sex scandal
TalkLeft: Two Duke Lacrosse Players Speak Out

KC Johnson:
Carrington, Schoeffel Speak Out — I interviewed Carrington for the book. He is a very impressive person—someone of high character who fits none of the stereotypes about the team, but also an unusually perceptive observer...

Michael Gustafson:
A Good Read — how is that he [Bo Carrington] was recognized, you might ask? I wonder if the infamous "Vigilante" poster had anything to do with it (ya think?). It goes to show in a small way just how dangerous that particular piece of propaganda was. It goes to show that the second paragraph of Cathy Davidson's guest column was, at best, written without a properly researched basis in the reality of the overall campus atmosphere and, at worst, with an ignorance or sense of avoidance of the situation that is inexcusable...

comment: How can you have a "sex scandal" when there was no sex involved? The scandal is the criminal actions of Mike Nifong and the behaviour of the hoax enablers.

Susan ExtrichSusan Estrich, Fox News:
Bush Gets Down and Dirty With Fox NominationBill O’Reilly was right.

Yes, I did type those words. Not about everything, but definitely about the Duke rape case.

Early on, O’Reilly wrote that all charges against the three defendants should simply be dismissed.

I went a little nuts. I’ve been a student of rape law for decades now, and I pulled out every trick to try to prove Bill wrong.

The problem was, I was relying on what the prosecutor said. I assumed that whatever axe he had to grind, he wasn’t lying about the evidence in the case, and that his office would never have indicted without some evidence that backed up her account. In short, I assumed he was doing his job.

The Fair Trial Initiative:
The Fair Trial Initiative mourns the loss of board member, colleague, and friend J. Kirk Osborn...

A mentor of FTI fellows since the program's inception in 2001, Kirk welcomed the fellows as integral members of his defense teams. He provided leadership, thoughtfully considered every contribution and suggestion, and responded with feedback, excitement, and energy. Kirk taught by example what it means to provide dynamic, caring, and innovative representation to those who need it most.

In 2005, Kirk joined FTI's Board of Directors. At the time of his death, he was serving as the Vice-Chair. Kirk had been selected by his colleagues to serve as the next chairman of our Board.

In memory of all he gave to FTI and to the larger capital defense community, we have decided to name our law fellowship program in his honor. The J. Kirk Osborn Fellows will continue Kirk's tradition of selfless and tireless lawyering...
LieStoppers blog:
J. Kirk Osborn Fellowship Program — The Fair Trial Initiative, a Durham based 501(c)(3) public charity devoted to assisting indigent defendants facing the death penalty, has named its groundbreaking fellowship program in honor of the memory of Hoax defense attorney, Kirk Osborn. The dedication of this effort to Osborn is particularly deserving for the man FTI recognized as a board member, colleague, friend, and mentor...

Forum topics of note:
LieStoppers: What Cooper Owes Us
TalkLeft: Cash Michaels - The Chan Hall Hoax
TalkLeft: Bob in Pacifica - Who hid Kim as thief?

KC Johnson:
Sunday News — Nifong's many explanations for withhold exculpatory DNA evidence, funding of the Group of 88’s “listening statement, Amanda Marcotte, City Manager Patrick Baker, University of Minnesota rape charges, Raymond Lee Parker case, and Karla Holloway.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Balitmore Sun:
Hopkins comes up short against Duke — Twenty-two days ago, the Johns Hopkins men's lacrosse team strolled into the Carrier Dome and tore through Syracuse with a 17-goal outburst.

The Blue Jays haven't felt well since. After today's 11-9 loss to visiting, No. 4 Duke, before 4,802 chilly spectators at Homewood Field, seventh-ranked Hopkins still is searching for its next victory.

Duke attackmen Zack Greer and Matt Danowski, perhaps the best, one-two scoring punch in Division I, were the main culprits in another frustrating outing for the Blue Jays.

Greer, a Canadian junior, kept getting open around the crease, and carved up the Hopkins man-to-man and matchup zone sets with a game-high six goals. Danowski, a senior Player of the Year candidate who was hounded by sophomore defenseman Michael Evans, used great dodging and passing to get four assists, all on goals by Greer...
GoDuke.com: Greer's Six Goals Guide No. 4 Duke Past No. 9 Johns Hopkins, 11-9
cstv.com: Greer, Duke Slide Past Johns Hopkins, 11-9
Duke Chronicle: Duke finally gets chance at revenge
Mike McCusker: D1 Weekend Roundup

LieStoppers forum: Duke vs. Johns Hopkins, Saturday LAX Showdown

John in Carolina:
88 Ad Questions But No Answers — A year after The Chronicle published as a full-page advertisement Duke faculty’s Group of 88’s inflammatory “listening statement,” disturbing questions about the ad’s funding and sponsorship remain unanswered.

No one at Duke or The Chronicle has explained how 15 academic departments and programs came to be listed on the ad along with the 88 individual faculty members who acknowledge they signed on to it.

Many faculty members in the 15 listed departments and programs say they took no part in their department or program’s ad listing. They weren’t even aware of the ad before it was published...

Why haven’t Duke and The Chronicle told us who paid for the ad and where the money came from?...
comment: Excellent questions. Will we all have to wait for a lawsuit to find out the answers?

Nifong Asks County for Funding — Earlier this week, Hoax enabler Samiha Khanna authored an article in the News and Observer that praised Durham County District Attorney/Defendant Michael Nifong for admirably beseeching Durham County Commissioners for continued funding of three additional assistant district attorneys for his office and five clerks for the Court...

Purposely or not, both Khanna’s article and Nifong’s boastful appeal failed to include two vital pieces of information for the commission's consideration. Neither provided figures showing the serious increase in outstanding felony cases over the last half of 2006 and the unusually high dismissal rates issuing from Nifong's office. Also, both ignored the fact that the NC Appropriations/Base Budget Committee is currently considering spending over $1.5 million to fund those same positions, plus six additional magistrates for Durham County, over the next two years. Instead, Khanna's article and Nifong’s pitch appeared to mislead its audience and prey on the fear that the State would ignore Durham County...

Michael Gaynor:
Duke case: Fairness requires publicizing the accuser too — As the complete dismissal of the deplorable Duke case comes closer in time to be a factor in Durham County, North Carolina District Attorney Michael B. Nifong's hearing next Friday on his motion to dismiss part of the ethics complaint against him filed by the North Carolina State Bar), it is particularly appropriate to ponder the lessons of the case, especially the ones the earlier supporters of the Hoax hope are not learned, such as the need to publicize the accuser as well as the accused and to make sure so-called rape shield laws do not exclude pertinent evidence as well as irrelevancies...

The media has a constitutional right to "make accusations into reality shows" and will exercise it as long as profits and/or agendas inspire it to do so.

That means fairness requires publicizing the accuser too.

Friday, April 6th:

April 6: Nifong attorney, David Freedman interviewed by Matt Lauer on Today ShowMike Celizic, NBC Today Show:
Duke rape case: DA had no ulterior motives (with video) — Mike Nifong, the Durham, N.C., prosecutor accused of ethics violations in his handling of the Duke lacrosse case, would probably do things differently if the allegations of rape and kidnapping came to him again.

“I believe if he handled it again, he would not make all the statements that he did,” Nifong’s attorney, David Freedman, told TODAY host Matt Lauer. The lawyer also said Nifong would handle the DNA evidence differently. He denied that Nifong pursued the case to pander to Durham’s African-American community, whose votes would help elect him as district attorney last May...
LS forum: Today Show NBC Duke rape case, DA had no ulterior motives says Freedman
KC Johnson: Today Does Nifong

Anne Blythe, News & Observer:
27 years for $173? Judge opens door for release — The county's top judge took a step Thursday toward giving freedom to an armed robber who has been behind bars longer than some people found guilty of murder.

Orlando F. Hudson Jr., senior resident Superior Court judge, issued an order vacating a judgment against Raymond Lee Parker. A new sentencing hearing is set for April 16.

Parker, 53, was convicted 27 years ago of robbing a woman of $173 at a bakery...

District Attorney Mike Nifong protested vacating the judgment, saying such an action would open the door for others to ask for similar relief. Nifong argued that state legislators did not write new sentencing laws to have a retroactive effect...
Bill To Allow Unqualified Judges and DAs To Remain In Office Passes NC Senate — The revised bill continues to provide for the immediate suspension of salary for a disbarred judge or district attorney. However, allowing an unqualified judge or district attorney to remain in office until all appeals are exhausted, some of which may be filed up to one year following disbarment and others which have no clear time limitation other than “reasonable,” renders the bill useless as to its initial intent. Effectively, the revised bill will now do little, if anything, to provide for timely removal and replacement of officials who cannot lawfully function in their elected roles.

Not surprisingly, State Senator Bob Atwater (D-Chatham, Durham, Lee), conveniently identified by the N&O as only representing Chatham County and not Durham, was pleased with the alteration that would conceivably allow a disbarred Mike Nifong to remain district attorney for his full term...
Michael Gaynor:
Duke case: Let's not minimize the political problem — There is a problem with political considerations impacting the criminal justice system and it is obvious in North Carolina, due to the Duke case. Let's not minimize it, much less pretend it does not exist.

Let's remember that ONE defense lawyer in the Duke case actually had the audacity to sign and file a motion to remove Mr. Nifong from the case: the late, great Kirk Osborn.

In North Carolinas district attorneys are elected and local defense lawyers have more than one case. In North Carolina Attorneys Generals are not only elected, but aspire to higher office. Example: North Carolina Governor Michael Easley previously was North Carolina Attorney General Michael Easley. It's the same elsewhere. Examples: Former President Clinton, Governor Spitzer of New York and Senator Liebermann of Connecticut were state attorneys general.

With that ominous Wilmington Journal editorial letting current North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper know that he was being watched closely by North Carolina's Black community (critical to him politically) and the Duke case defendants out on bail, any expectation of a quick dismissal of the remaining charges was wishful thinking.

Especially when dismissal is the precursor to civil suits.

KC Johnson:
Continued Group of 88 Mysteries — On the one-year anniversary of the Group of 88’s statement, two major mysteries about the ad remain...

(1) Who paid for the ad?

(2) Under what procedure did the ad obtain a formal endorsement from the following five Duke University departments...and nine academic programs...

KC Johnson:
Evaluating the Evaluators — Duke doesn’t publicize its student evaluation reports, but a student recently forwarded me evaluations of some Group of 88 members from the Duke Evals site. They make for interesting reading...

Tamara Gibbs, ABC 11-TV/WTVD:
Organization Shuts Down Accuser Support Site (video) — Ourheartsworld.com pulled the plug on its site that was founded in support of the Duke Lacrosse alleged rape victim. The site was co-sponsored several groups including the state NAACP, the Triangle Urban League and three black newspapers...

This week, the special prosecutors wrapped up a final round of interviews with key witnesses, including the accuser. A final decision and a public announcement remain to be made.

Ourheartsworld.com's organizers also said despite rumors, the group never raised money for the alleged victim.

Calculated Risk

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