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Friday, May 4, 2007

Nifong/Mangum Hoax — May 4, 2007

Updated - today's items:

Anne Blythe, News & Observer:
Bill would let DAs sit on some records -- They say key law in Duke case too strict -- North Carolina prosecutors hope to roll back parts of the 2004 law that helped defense lawyers show the innocence of the three men charged in the Duke lacrosse case.

A bill proposed in the legislature would give district attorneys and their staffs greater leeway to withhold details from some interviews with witnesses and investigators. If the interviews were considered legal strategy talks -- or "work product" in lawyer jargon -- then notes taken from the meetings might not have to be shared with the defense.

Defense lawyers are fighting the proposal, saying the changes would turn the clock back to a time when many prosecutors routinely sat on information that could help an accused person prove his innocence.

The N.C. Conference of District Attorneys is pushing for the amendment not quite three years after the law took effect requiring prosecutors to open their entire case files to defendants. A series of wrongful convictions sparked the October 2004 "open discovery law."
Jon Ham, Right Angles blog: More redacted Democrats -- A “bill proposed in the legislature” would overturn the very laws that allowed Durham DA Mike Nifong’s shenanigans in the Duke lacrosse case to be uncovered. My first reaction to reading this is probably the same as most N&O readers: Who would do such an unwise thing? I scanned the story word by word and there is nary a mention of a bill sponsor. Naturally, this meant that these embarrassing bills were sponsored by Democrats.

Googling a bit, I found that, sure enough, it was two Democrats who proposed rolling back the law requiring full disclosure of evidence by prosecutors...

Drudge Report: NC: The Nifong Protection Act -- Now Cooney, the defense attorney for Duke lacrosse player Reade Seligmann, is watching some in the state legislature try to strip away the state law that kept three Duke students who were innocent of the charges against them from being convicted of crimes they didn't commit.

"I call them the 'Let's Legitimize What Mike Nifong Did,' acts," Cooney says of the parallel state house and senate bills that could once again block defendants and their attorneys from accessing prosecutor's files -- and evidence of their innocence contained within them...

LS forum: NC Prosecutors Strike Back!
FreeRepublic: Bill would let [North Carolina] DAs sit on some records [Nifong Protection Act]
TalkLeft: Nifong Protection Act
Joe Guzzardi, vdare.com:
View From Lodi, CA: No Apology In Duke Case—New York Times Marches On -- The New York Times’ public editor, Byron Calame, posed two fascinating questions in his April 22nd column Revisiting The Times's Coverage of the Duke Rape Case.

In response to what Calame referred to as “a flood of critical e-mails,” he questioned whether, as readers demanded, the newspaper should write a public apology to the three Duke lacrosse players falsely accused of rape and whether it should also reveal the name of their accuser.

These questions, prompted by offended readers, strike at the heart of journalism’s woes today.

And Calame’s non-response may, in part at least, explain the dire state of the newspaper industry.

Boiled down to its minimum, here is what the NYT is running away from: in a 5,700-word Page 1 article on August 25, 2006 entitled Files From Duke Rape Case Give Details But No Answers, lead reporter Duff Wilson and Jonathan Glater concluded that upon reflection there existed “…a body of evidence to support his [then-District Attorney Michael B. Nifong] decision to take the matter to a jury.” ...
PG, de Novo blog:
Skepticism in the Face of Rape -- Things I know after the sexual assault charges against the Duke lacrosse players have been dropped:

1) I am glad that I did not try to write about such a complicated case while it was going on.

2) Suspending students who have been charged with a violent felony is appropriate, though their tuition should be refunded if they don't get credit for the semester in which their suspension occurs.

3) Why I don't feel bad about castigating the accuser, and am frustrated by those who insist she has the true story: We need to maintain the still-tenuous default that someone who brings a complaint of sexual assault to law enforcement will be believed at least as much as someone who brings a complaint of non-sexual assault. The assumption people now are making about the Duke case, that this was a false complaint and no sexual assault occurred, really does hurt the maintenance of that default. The default is what gives many rape survivors the strength to go through a grueling criminal justice process; at least at the beginning, they could say to a cop, "He raped me," and be believed, even if ultimately they're brought to tears at cross-examination and they watch the rapist walk free after a not guilty verdict.

While I disapprove of the DA's handling of the case, I cannot disapprove of a norm in which survivors walk into police stations and are treated sympathetically rather than skeptically...
Tera Levicy - SANE nurse Duke University Medical CenterKC Johnson:
Levicy and Linwood -- The lacrosse case suffered from what could be called the “recovered memory” approach to law enforcement. In July, Sgt. Mark Gottlieb produced a “straight-from-memory” report—undated, unsigned, typed—that conveniently filled several holes then existing in Mike Nifong’s case. Yet Gottlieb’s memory-recovery skills paled in comparison to those of Tara Levicy. On January 10, 2007, Levicy managed to remember a variety of critical details about what Crystal Mangum allegedly told her on March 14, 2006, details that hadn’t appeared in the SANE nurse’s report. All these details bolstered the beleaguered position of D.A. Mike Nifong.

Following her June 9 (unmemorialized, apparently by either side) meeting with Nifong and her SANE supervisor, Levicy was eclipsed for several months by other Nifong enablers, chiefly Linwood Wilson and Brian Meehan. Yet as Nifong’s case collapsed following the dismissal of the rape charge on December 22, he and Wilson returned to Levicy for assistance...
comment: This third in a series of KC Johnson articles about SANE nurse Tara Levicy's role in enabling this hoax is the most devastating. How can this women keep her job as a certified SANE nurse at Duke University Medical Center after helping to railroad three innocent men? She is a co-conspirator along with Mike Nifong, Linwood Wilson, and the Durham police department.

Does SANE now stand for "Shameless Anti-male Nurse Enabler?" Is there any professional organization that can administratively revoke the SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) designation that she now has? This is a huge black eye for the profession. Does anyone in Durham care about truth, professionalism, and integrity?

KC Johnson (Part 1): The Levicy Exam
KC Johnson (Part 2): Levicy and Law Enforcement

LS: KC on Levicy IV, Just when you thought it couldn't get worse
LS: Levicy and the DPD, From KC Johnson
LS: Tara Levicy III - The Levicy Exam", KC Johnson's First of a Two Parter
LS: Tara Levicy Schnitker...
LS: Dr. Julie Manly, not a gynecologist
LS: Tara's Picture
source for Levicy photo LTC8K6: wildmed.com- Wilderness Medical Associates

TalkLeft: K.C. takes on Tara's role in the Hoax
Reginald Leamon Robinson, Prof. of Law at Howard University,
Co-Created Realities and Human Potential blog:
Believe in White Racism and Attract Bad Things -- As I read Joe R. Hicks’ “Drop the Race Card” (Outlook, April 15, 2007), I thought he’d hit the right note, especially as a reformed race-baiting adherent of “orthodox civil rights view” that silently argued against blacks thinking for themselves. With greater sobriety, Hicks realized that civil rights pundits (like well-paid “leaders” like Jackson and Sharpton) were lobbing about the race card liberally and wrongfully. Although he’d stopped drinking the toxic brew called “black victims,” his article lacked something.

First I liked Hick’s sobriety. Now free to think for himself, Hicks impliedly asked if pundits like Rev. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton were really different from the self-interested politics of Nifong...

Hicks’ sobriety avoids new analytical depths. If pundits like Jackson and Sharpton are effectively exploiting blacks for their personal gain as he and Glaude would argue, then are they encouraging blacks to use their considerable emotional energy to believe in white racism and black victimization so that they can draw bad things to them, all of which confirms that America hates them, and that so they need pundits like Jackson and Sharpton? Are they promoting fear? ...
David, EphBlog:
Brawley Redux -- Did you catch Professor Grant Farred's lecture on Monday? (Background here.) Tell us what happened. A reader sent in these notes on the talk. Accurate description or brutal parody of incoherent po-mo rambling? You make the call! I liked:

“The event of Tawana Brawley is unforgettable (…) while it may slip for a while, when it it is reawakened, it does so with full remembrance.”

“There is in concatenation the recognition that the worst can happen at every turn.”

I lean toward parody since no knowledgeable person believes that Tawana Brawley was anything other than a hoax. Does Farred support Brawley's version of events? Perhaps. The Record ought to interview him and find out...
LS forum: Farred's Non-Silent Racism, Williams Lecture Notes
Duke Basketball Report:
Nifong’s Legacy -- Mike Nifong has a few not-so-great legacies. The first is that he’s been verbed. The fate of his surname is not as bad as Captain Lynch’s, but for the foreseeable future, when you say someone’s been Nifonged, people will know exactly what you mean...
John in Carolina:
Latest H-S and N&O circulation numbers -- How about the two daily newspapers which circulate in the Duke/Durham area where the Duke Hoax, first called “the Duke lacrosse rape scandal,” has played out for the last thirteen months? How’d they do?

The Durham Herald Sun’s circulation dropped 17.1% (Sunday) and 17.6%(M-F).

The Raleigh News & Observer’s circulation dropped 0.4% (Sunday) and 0.5% (M-F)...
Michael Gaynor:
Duke case: Duke University as a big loser -- The 2006-2007 Duke University Men's Lacrosse Team is having a great season and may win the national championship, but Duke University is a big loser as a result of the way it reacted to the bogus gang rape claim made against members of the 2005-2006 team.

Reade Seligmann and Collin Finnerty will not be returning to Duke. Duke's losses. The fact that Michael B. Nifong is still the Durham County, North Carolina District Attorney made that a very wise decision, but I'm sure they don't forget how they were treated with derision, undeserved derision, and abandoned by the Duke administration. Duke would be better with Reade and Collin and without President Richard Brodhead.

Duke's notorious Group of 88 included ONE who repented. The rest are shameless.

There is good news, however...
AP/Wilmington Star:
Pressler criticizes Duke officials in new book on lacrosse case -- After showing initial support for the lacrosse team amid rape allegations against three players, Duke University officials caved in to pressure, former coach Mike Pressler says in a book that goes on sale next month.

Pressler resigned under fire last spring on the same day university President Richard Brodhead canceled the season - a move the book contends helped harden public opinion that the woman's allegations were true...

Duke spokesman John Burness said university officials did not succumb to pressure and made decisions at the time based on what they believed was in the best interest of everyone involved.

"We were relying on the legal system to ultimately get to the truth, and that's what ultimately happened with the attorney general's actions," Burness said...
LieStoppers blog:
Alleva: It’s not about the truth anymore

Duke Basketball Report:
Pressler’s Revenge?

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