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Friday, April 27, 2007

Nifong/Mangum Hoax — April 27, 2007

Updated - today's items prior to Cooper report:

"Justice does not help those who slumber but helps only those who are vigilant." -- Mahatma Gandhi
Editorial, News & Observer:
Just the facts -- Durham police showed a troubling lack of independence in the Duke lacrosse case. How did it happen? And is it fixed? -- Obscured in the hubbub following the dropped charges in the Duke lacrosse case has been the disappointing role played by the Durham Police Department. The department's own procedures were swept off the table by a district attorney determined to prosecute what seemed to be a shaky case from the start.

Because the alleged incident occurred during a party off campus, in a house rented by members of the team, officers with the Durham police, not Duke University's own police force, investigated after exotic dancer Crystal Gail Mangum claimed she had been raped by three Duke lacrosse players. Early in the investigation the department followed a suggestion by the DA, Mike Nifong, to abandon its photo identification policy.

The policy requires five "filler" photos -- of people not linked with the case -- for each photo of a suspect. Nifong said Mangum should be asked to identify the attackers from 46 photos that included only members of the lacrosse team.

As The N&O's Joseph Neff reported recently in his thorough retrospective on the case, a detective discussed the unusual lineup procedure with his supervisors. Inexcusably, no one objected. The policy also says that an officer unconnected to a case should conduct photo lineups, to avoid the risk of an officer familiar with a suspect influencing which photo is fingered. But Sgt. Mark D. Gottlieb, lead investigator in the Duke case, presented the photos to Mangum...
Steven W. Chalmers - Durham PD Chief from Jan. 31, 2002 to presentLieStoppers blog:
N&O Calls For Accounting of DPD Lapses -- In an editorial today, the News & Observer shines the spotlight onto the Durham Police Department's role in the Nifong/Mangum Hoax. Questioning the role of the DPD in enabling the Hoax, the N&O demands a voluntary accounting of the department's professional lapses by Chief Steve Chalmers. While the N&O fails to cite the DPD/Crimestoppers "horrific crime" flyer, the DPD's false public statements that fueled the 911 Hoax, and the Wall of Silence Hoax, the editorial does question the corrupt lineup lottery, Sgt. Mark Gottlieb's homegrown notes, and the department's acquiescence to Nifong's "pressures."

comment: The News & Observer criticises the Durham PD, but only mentions Durham PD Chief Steve Chalmers by name at the very end of the editorial. Chief Steve Chalmers is made of Teflon. Violent crime rates have increased in Durham and Chalmers has been AWOL from the biggest case in Durham history, but no one in Durham gets too upset about his performance.

FreeRepublic: Just the facts
LS forum: Business As Usual - Police Misconduct
John in Carolina:
Let’s flip “Nifong & the Copier” -- With all of the above and more for him to consider, why did [ADA David] Saacks, if we’re to believe the N&O story, decide, in effect: “Nah, I’ll say nothing to Mike. He can read about the NTO in the papers or discover it at his copier?”

One of Collin Finnerty’s attorneys, Michael Cornacchia, has asked that a special prosecutor and/or investigative grand jury examine the actions of many people who may well be innocent of any crime but who were somehow involved in actions connected to the frame-up.

Among those whose actions Cornacchia says should be investigated are “members of Mr. Nifong’s office.”

As far as I’m concerned, that needs to happen...
Triangle Business Journal (San Antonio, TX):
Poll: 73% say Duke players innocent -- An overwhelming majority of participants in the latest weekly Triangle Business Journal poll believed the Duke lacrosse players accused of assaulting a dancer at a team party were not guilty. From April 18-24, our readers were asked, "What are your thoughts on the Duke lacrosse case?"

Out of 611 total responses, approximately 73.5 percent, or 449 respondents, chose the response that read "I always thought it was a weak case and that the players were not guilty."

More than 17 percent, or about 104 voters, said that even if the players were guilty of something, the case was "too botched to proceed."

Another 5.6 percent, or 34 participants, indicated they never knew who to believe, compared to 19 respondents, or about 3.1 percent, who thought the players were guilty.

Five voters, or less than 1 percent, said they have not been following the case...
Forum topic(s) of note:
ABC11-TV/WTVD forum:
Important Note -- It is WTVD's policy not to identify victims or alleged victims of sexual assaults. -- Any attempt to post the Duke accuser's name or any other information that could identify her will result in the immediate banning of the offender on the first offense.
WTVD: Crystal_Gail_Mangum is a lying prostitute...
[topic was listed as "*******_Gail_****** is a lying prostitute," but was changed Friday 4/27 pm]
WTVD: WTVD....explain yourself is all
LS forum: ABC 11 Local News, 11:00 pm Friday (4/27) -- ABC11 at 11:00 pm had a report on the AG's report. They would not use Crystal's name and they had her face blacked out in a video. More PC allegiance even at this point!
William L. Anderson:
Duke, the New York Times, and the American Political Culture -- Today, the New York Times no longer is the standard-bearer of newspaper journalism; instead, it carries the standard of modern leftist political culture, and nowhere did that become more apparent than in its coverage of the infamous Duke Lacrosse Non-Rape, Non-Kidnapping, and Non-Sexual Assault Case. Like its saturation coverage of the story that it created – the refusal of Augusta National, home of golf’s Master’s Tournament, to admit women as members – the Times contributed numerous articles and columns to this story, and managed to become the "gold standard" for biased and inaccurate coverage. . .

Perhaps it would be too much to ask of reporters from the New York Times and columnists like Harvey Araton, Selena Roberts, and John Feinstein to do even basic research before publishing stories. Indeed, they take the other approach, that they are above having to do research like other people who may have to get their hands a bit grubby before firing away in print. The tip-off here is that they rarely return emails to anyone who criticizes them, and their "we are untouchable" attitudes define their work. . .

Matt and John DanowskiGoDuke.com:
Danowski Family Honored With Two ACC Lacrosse Awards -- Duke head coach John Danowski and senior captain Matt Danowski headline the ACC Men's Lacrosse annual awards by garnering the league's Coach and Player of the Year awards, respectively. Released on Thursday by the conference office, the award winners and all-conference team are voted on by the league's four head coaches...

Four Blue Devils -- Danowski, Casey Carroll, Zack Greer and Nick O'Hara -- were named to the 11-member All-ACC squad. Carroll, a native of Baldwin, N.Y., has recovered from an ACL injury suffered in 2006 to lead a Duke defense that ranks eighth in the country in scoring defense. Greer, a product of Whitby, Ontario, Canada, picks up his second all-conference citation and currently leads the ACC in goals scored with 40 while O'Hara, a Orchard Park, N.Y., native, is on pace to lead the Blue Devils in ground balls for the third consecutive season and is a key part of Duke's defensive unit that paces the league in man-down efficiency...
Gary Lambrecht, Baltimore-Sun:
Duke's strange journey back is extra special to father, son -- Danowskis reunite, look to share title -- This is how a father and a son come full circle. This is how a father and a son part ways when it's time, only to have a nightmare pull them back together for one special year, before life inevitably will split them up again.

After all these months of playing mentor and counselor to a program in need of a healing hand and a rock-solid teacher, Duke lacrosse coach John Danowski appreciates the surreal nature of it all.

It was only about five years ago, while he was working on a two-decade run as one of the game's more successful, respected coaches at Hofstra, that Danowski was telling his teenage son, Matt - destined to become an elite, Division I attackman - to get out of Long Island.

Don't feel obligated to come to Hofstra to help your old man win games, he told his boy. You owe me nothing. Get out on your own and find out who you are. Earn a prized degree from a prestigious school. Kick some butt in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Help Duke win a national title. . .
After Year in Spotlight, Duke Lacrosse Team Ready for ACC Tournament -- After more than a year of being in the spotlight and a canceled season, the Duke men's lacrosse team is hoping for a big win this weekend.

The school is hosting the ACC lacrosse tournament, starting Friday. Duke first-year coach John Danowski said the players have stayed focused on the positive, despite the negative publicity of the past year.
Thomas Stinson, Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Duke team scarred but healing after rape odyssey -- In 67 years of trying, Duke University has never won a national lacrosse championship.

Nor in those 67 years has the team had to play the same opponent —- public opinion —- day after day. This could be the year that changes.

It has been 16 days since North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper announced the state had dropped the 13-month-old sexual assault case against three Blue Devils lacrosse players. This was the team Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong had infamously labeled "hooligans." Now that the charges are gone, just who are these young men?

"I believe at this point people have their perceptions about us," senior attackman Peter Lamade said. "I'm sure some have changed. But the ones who haven't changed, I don't think will change. There's not very much you can do there."

Except play. Ranked No. 2 in the country as it enters the ACC tournament tonight, Duke (11-2) hasn't lost in more than five weeks and is hoping the conference playoff slingshots the program into next month's NCAA tournament..
KC Johnson
Assessing the Post -- the tone of the Post’s approach to the case came from its opinion pieces. Five different Post columnists published about the case, yet all five said essentially the same thing: the accused players were horrible people, probably racists, and were receiving special treatment because they were privileged...

The Post five: Eugene Robinson, Lynne Duke, Marc Fisher, Andrew Cohen, and John Feinstein

[Bill] Anderson concludes that Feinstein’s observations contained “little more truth than a story from Pravda in the heady days of the former Soviet Union.” As has usually occurred in the case, Anderson is on target. And the Post should be ashamed for offering such extreme, consistently one-sided, commentary on the case. . .
Kenneth Moton, News 14 Carolina:
AG to release Duke lacrosse report Friday -- It's being called an unprecedented report. Friday, North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper is expected to release a list of findings and accuser contradictions in the Duke lacrosse case.

It all led to the dismissal of the remaining charges against the accused players.

“I think the timeline of the facts is going to be as important as the facts themselves,” said Raleigh attorney and former prosecutor Kieran Shanahan.

After Cooper labeled Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong a rogue prosecutor, Shanahan says Cooper's report could put the embattled prosecutor in more hot water.

“I think it's going to be important to the defense of Mike Nifong and interest of the public what did this prosecutor know and when did he know it,” said Shanahan.
LS forum: Cooper's Report
comment: Following in the tradition of the recently deceased DukeObsrvr blog a new Duke insider blog has started. It is very salacious, but if you are a Duke parent this is a must read.
The Truth About Duke blog:
Welcome, Class of 2011 to the "wonderful" world of Duke University...
Fraternities -- Alright, innocent little boys, you are about to engage on an experience unlike any other. You too will have the choice to rush fraternities in the spring semester. You will be horrified and disgusted at the tasks in which you have to perform when you finally decide on which fraternity to join. Pledging is a bitch...

Kappa Sig is probably the biggest stoner frat, and causes irreversible liver damage to its pledges.

Delta Tau Delta (DTD):
DTD is also climbing the social ladder from last year. They have a very eclectic group of guys, all of which know how to party. DTD loves the liquor, but also indulges in weed, coke and sometimes meth. When it comes to pledging, these guys are closer than any other group on campus. DTD is also known as "Dudes Touching Dudes", and for good reason...

Sororities -- Alright, girls, Come 2nd semester, you will all have the "chance of a lifetime" to rush for a sorority. You must rush all of them, and then they will "mutually" eliminate you. Here is a basic summary of all of the sororities on Duke campus. We use "Duke campus" loosely, since sororities don't have housing, otherwise it would be considered a "brothel". But that's beside the point.

First we'll start off with the "core four". The core four are considered to be the best sororities on campus. However, it's more like the "core three" now. If you want to get into one of these sororities, get your ass-kissing chapstick ready...

Kappas are such sweet Southern belles. But seriously, they're bitches. They're jealous that they couldn't into Pi Phi or Tridelt, so they try to steal all their men...

Basic Duke Terminology -- Dearest little Dukies, We herein bestow you with the basic terminology you need to know to survive on Duke's social-climbing campus. These are essential to understand before one attempts any sort of partying/clubbing/socializing at Duke...

Shooters: the sh**tiest, most redneck, disgusting club on the face of the earth, that you cannot help but go to almost every single weekend.

Cosmic Cantina: the nastiest, dirtiest Mexican restaurant with the worst food you'll possibly ever eat. Unless, that is, you are drunk, in which case Cosmic seems like the best idea EVER. Expect to feel sick afterwards (and be harrassed by hobos the entire time you are there.)

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