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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Hoax is Dead: Evans, Finnerty, & Seligmann Are Innocent

Updated - today's items:

Roy Cooper delivers the truth. The Hoax is over. Nifong is a "rogue prosecutor." Crystal Gail Mangum is a mentally unbalanced liar. Let sweet justice shine!


NC AG Roy CooperBenjamin Niolet, News & Observer:
All lacrosse charges dropped — State Attorney General Roy Cooper said today he would dismiss sexual assault and kidnapping charges against three former Duke University lacrosse players, declaring them "innocent of these charges" and accusing Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong of overreaching.

Cooper said at a news conference at the RBC Center that he would drop the charges against David Evans, 24, of Bethesda, Md.; Collin Finnerty, 20, of Garden City, N.Y.; and Reade Seligmann, 21, of Essex Fells, N.J.

Cooper said the accuser -- Crystal Gail Mangum -- will face no charges. Mangum, 28, still maintains that she was assaulted.

"Our investigators who talked with her and the attorneys who talked with her over a period of time think that she may actually believe the many different stories that she has been telling," Cooper said. "They worked real hard with her. It doesn't make sense. You can't piece it together." ...
News & Observer stories:
Editor's note: Why we're naming the accuser
Lacrosse team wants to move forward
Players express relief at decision
Watch Roy Cooper, Joe Cheshire and the players speak - [video gallery]
Photo gallery: Looking back at the lacrosse case
Read a timeline of the case

more coverage:

WRAL: Duke Lacrosse Charges Dropped
Aaron Beard, AP/Baltimore-Sun: Charges against Duke lacrosse players dismissed
Roger Cossack, ESPN: Duke lacrosse case crumbled in early going

chron.com: Text of Cooper's statement
KC Johnson: Collin Finnerty Statement
KC Johnson: Reade Seligmann Statement
KC Johnson: Summary of Jim Cooney Statement
KC Johnson: Wade Smith Summary
KC Johnson: Cheshire Summary
AP/MSNBC: Timeline in Duke lacrosse investigation
--------

Samiha Khanna, McClatchy Newspapers/MrytleBeachOnline.com:
Accuser's own words helped seal fate of the case — Mangum, a mother of three children ages 6, 8 and 3 months, was enrolled last spring at N.C. Central University. On March 24, 11 days after the party, she granted a short interview with The News & Observer, her only media interview to date. Mangum made allegations of racism, claimed to have only a short history as a stripper, and said she believed the other woman hired to dance with her also had been assaulted.
discussion:
LS forum: N&O reporter reveals withheld interview, Mangums censored remarks from last year

comment: If the N&O had the integrity to published this critical detail last March 25th in their infamous "victim" story, "Dancer gives details of ordeal," the rush to judgement would have been slowed as people started questioning what planet Crytal Gail Mangum was from.
--------

Herald-Sun: Attorney general drops all charges in Duke lacrosse case - Both City Councilman Thomas Stith and law professor James Coleman said Nifong should resign, and agreed that Durham police have some explaining to do...
related:
LieStoppers: Durham City Councilman Thomas Stith Calls For Nifong To Resign

Andrew Cohen, legal analyst, CBS News:
No Excuses Now For Nifong In Duke Case — In the wake of Wednesday's report by North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper, it is clear beyond debate that Nifong handled the sexual assault case terribly — unprofessionally to an almost unbelievable degree. He did stupid things that should not have been done and did not do obvious things that should have been done. That's simply not good enough in any case — let alone a case with as much tinderbox potential as this one presented from the very beginning. Why he did it or how he thought he could ultimately get away with it is beyond me. If he is wondering today how and why he got himself into the professional mess he's in, he has no one to blame but himself.

Using remarkably blunt language, Cooper blasted Nifong over and over again during Wednesday's dramatic news conference. He called the district attorney a "rogue prosecutor" who proceeded with "bravado" rather than with "caution" in evaluating the case. He accused Nifong of jumping the gun in the case — "a tragic rush to accuse," he said — and of failing to verify the accusations with any sort of strong evidence. But Cooper went further. He didn't just declare that the young men could not be convicted beyond a reasonable doubt, Cooper said outright that the defendants were "truly innocent" and that "there was no credible evidence that an attack occurred in that house that night." In a matter of minutes, the Attorney General thus gutted the District Attorney like a fish...

Roy Cooper Press Conference Video

source: YouTube - Duke Lacrosse Victory - Complete Innocence!

Richard Brodhead, Duke.edu:
Statement from Duke President Richard H. Brodhead About the Attorney General Dropping Charges in Lacrosse Case — The following statement was issued by Duke President Richard H. Brodhead Wednesday afternoon —
I join with everyone who cares about justice in welcoming the North Carolina State Attorney General’s announcement that the remaining charges have been dropped against David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann. This announcement comes at the end of an extraordinarily painful year for the young men and their families. They have carried themselves with dignity through an ordeal of deep unfairness.

Let’s be clear about what was said today. The Attorney General did not dismiss the allegations on narrow, equivocal or legalistic ground. He determined our students to be innocent of the charges and said they were “the tragic result of a rush to accuse.” In short, he used the strongest language of vindication...

discussion:
LieStoppers blog: Richard ”Whatever they did was bad enough” Brodhead Statement

LS forum: The Worm speaketh, Brodhead's remarks


LieStoppers: Ding-Dong, The Hoax is Dead!
Which old Hoax? The Nifonged Hoax
Ding-Dong the Nifonged Hoax is dead
Wake up you sleepyhead
Rub your eyes, get out of bed
Wake up the Nifonged Hoax is dead
It’s gone where the goblins go
Below - below - below
Yo-ho, let's open up and sing and ring the bells out
Ding Dong' the merry-oh, sing it high, sing it low.
Let them know the Nifonged Hoax is dead! ...


La Shawn Barber:
All Charges Dropped in Duke Lacrosse Case - Players ‘Innocent’ Says AG — Nifong has no hope of saving his career.

Cooper says his office has considered charging the stripper-accuser, but decided that it’s “in the best interest of justice” not to charge her. I suspect he’s alluding to her psychological problems. Hinted that she may believe all her wild stories. He mentioned sealed records.

FOX News names the stripper-accuser. I chose to remove her name from this post. I’m still watching FOX. Shep Smith is going to have a stroke if he doesn’t calm down. I’m just as indignant, but relax, man. You’ll live longer...

KC Johnson:
The Cooper Statement — An astonishing statement from the state AG, a complete vindication of the players...The players are innocent--not victims of a case with insufficient evidence, but innocent...

John in Carolina:
INNOCENT - NC Attorney General Roy Cooper said it: “Innocent!” And look at all Cooper added: “no credible evidence,” the false accuser’s statements “could not be rectified,” “no DNA,” “no other witness” confirmed what she said, “she contradicted herself.”

More: “Durham DA pushed ahead unchecked,” “statements were made publicly that turned out to be not true,” “rogue prosecutor.” ..

Forum topics of note:
LS: Press Conference, GENERAL PUBLIC EXCLUDED
LS: Way to go, AG - Just about all we could hope for!

FreeRepublic: Prosecutor Drops Charges in Duke Case
FreeRepublic: LIVE THREAD: NC Attorney General Announcement


Crystal Gail MangumFox News:
Crystal Gail Mangum: Profile of the Duke Rape Accuser — Some of the details of the Duke University rape case may never be solved, but one thing is startlingly clear: Crystal Gail Mangum, the woman who accused three college lacrosse players of locking her in a bathroom and raping her, has had a very troubled life.

Mangum has been identified by name publicly several times, including by lawyers during press conferences on the case.

According to North Carolina Department of Corrections records, she was born on July 18, 1978, to a truck driver. She grew up the youngest of three children, not far from the house where she claimed she was assaulted in 2006. Durham is a slow-paced Southern town with equally large populations of black and white residents and a history of racial tensions — including those between a wealthy, predominantly white university community and its poorer black neighbors.

In 1993, when she was 14 years old, Mangum claimed to have been kidnapped by three men, driven to a house in Creedmoor, N.C., 15 miles away from Durham, and raped. She said one of the men was her boyfriend at the time, and was a physically and emotionally abusive man seven years older than she was. Creedmoor Police Chief Ted Pollard said Mangum filed a report on the incident in Aug. 18, 1996, three years after the rapes allegedly took place. The case, however, was not pursued, because the accuser backed away from the charges out of fear for her life, according to her relatives...
comment: This is the day we have been waiting for. It is very satisfying to see Fox News immediately publish a profile of the false accuser, Crystal Gail Mangum. She and her family are a pack of liars. TJN published the first profile of Ms. Mangum almost one year ago (April 21, 2006): Duke Rape Accuser: Crystal Gail Mangum

discussion:
LS forum: Fox has outed Crystal!, Name, history, all of it!
LS forum: CGM Finally Identified, FOX NEWS Shep Smith
LS forum: WRAL Identifies Crystal Gail Mangum, with picture at top of 5 o'clock news

comment: Shep Smith had a wonderful passionate rant following the press conference about this terrible injustice.

News & Observer:
Reactions to dismissal of the charges — Attorney General Roy Cooper's dismissal of sexual assault and kidnapping charges against three former Duke University lacrosse players ended a case that has affected many lives.

Here is what some people affected by the case said after Cooper made his announcement.

"No more media, no more talk. I'm happy to be relieved from everything." — Moezeldin Elmostafa, the cab driver who bolstered the alibi of Duke lacrosse player Reade Seligmann and was then arrested on a 3-year-old shoplifting warrant that ended in acquittal.

"I hope people who experience sexual violence in any form feel comfortable calling for help ... and know that each case is different, and they can seek help when they've been violated." — Margaret Barrett, executive director, Orange County Rape Crisis Center in Chapel Hill...

And from William J. Barber II, president of the North Carolina NAACP:

"If his office believes the state lacks sufficient evidence to convince a jury beyond a reasonable doubt that all the elements of each crime took place, then it is the state�s constitutional duty to dismiss the charges. ... Now, as we have repeatedly said, comes the hard part. How do we proceed toward the healing places in our communities and our hearts?"
discussion:
LS forum: NC NAACP Statement in N&O, evidence not enough to covict -- the state was under NO duty to declare them innocent, yet did. Barber conveniently ignores that..

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