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Thursday, May 10, 2007

Nifong/Mangum Hoax — May 10, 2007

Updated - today's items:

Tamara Gibbs, ABC11-TV/WTVD:
City to Release Report About Duke Lacrosse Investigation [+video]-- Defense attorney wants third party to investigate -- A defense attorney for one of the former lacrosse players, who has been cleared of all charges, told Eyewitness News someone needs to examine how Durham police conducted the investigation.

Friday the Durham police chief and the city manager will release a report that should detail the process.

One of the things that may be revealed in the report is who was in charge of the investigation.

Defense attorney Jim Cooney said there's evidence showing the department had a breakdown in its chain of command with D.A. Mike Nifong calling the shots.

"In this case, it's fairly clear that after Mr. Nifong took over, the only investigation done was the investigation that Mr. Nifong told them to do," said Cooney. "Every other lead was let go." ...

Craig Henry, Lead & Gold blog:
Duke lacrosse: Can the MSM look into the mirror? -- By the time Stuart Taylor's column appeared (1 May 2006), there was enough information on the table to see that something was wrong. All an enterprising reporter had to do was look, think, and start connecting the dots. The outline of the real story was becoming visible.

This is not 20/20 hindsight. Taylor did it. Bloggers did it. The MSM did not. Was it laziness, devotion to an agenda, limited intelligence, or stubbornness? Take your pick, mix and match, it does not matter. There is no explanation that does not put the press in a bad light.

It was at this point that much of the press pulled away. Many of those who stayed on the story kept trying to carry water for Nifong. Only a few hardy souls like Ed Bradley did good work...
Tonawanda-News (NY):
GUEST EDITORIAL: Duke rape case is lesson to lawyers and reporters -- When this sordid episode began, Nifong was the head cheerleader of a throng eager to perform a legal lynching and imprison the young men for a very long time, despite almost immediate questions being raised about the veracity of the charges made against them.

The lessons here should be obvious. The media herd in the early 21st century is far too eager to fill air time on shouting-head television and space on tabloidesque front pages. In the early weeks, at least, Nifong found an eager, gullible audience among supposedly professionally skeptical reporters.

The Duke University administration behaved almost as dishonorably as Nifong. Instead of insisting upon due process, the lacrosse team was fatuously disbanded, the coach fired and the players suspended. Surely, the university should have taken a more balanced approach in keeping with a jurisprudential presumption of innocence.
Dan Sernoffsky, Lebanon Daily News (PA):
Hate-crimes laws would limit freedoms -- It’s hard to say where it really started. Maybe in was 20 years ago or so, when Al Campanis, who was then the general manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, said that blacks “may not have some of the necessities to be, let’s say, a field manager, or perhaps a general manager ...” of a Major League baseball team.

That Al Campanis was not a racist and had, in fact, at one point in his playing career roomed with Jackie Robinson, the man who broke the color barrier in Major League baseball, seemed to make no difference. His comments were deemed racist, and he was forced to resign...

following the blatant travesty of the Duke lacrosse rape case, why weren’t men like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton required to resign from their positions as Campanis, Snyder and Rocker were, for their verbal attacks on the three young men who spent a year under the cloud of the false charges before they were completely exonerated?

For whatever lofty, or pernicious, purposes “hate-crime” laws are proposed or enacted, they are, by their very nature, the ultimate “hate crimes” themselves. Because they target only those who disagree with the political bent of framers of the legislation, “hate-crimes” laws engender hate for those outside whatever political class the framers deign to recognize.

The problem with the freedom of speech is that sometimes the speech is offensive to others. By attempting to throttle that offensive speech, the politically correct are well on the way to throttling that freedom, and that is what “hate-crimes” legislation is all about.
Joan Foster, LieStoppers:
Buh-bye, Nancy --
Nancy, Nancy, hit the road!
We're truly thrilled to see you go!
Your histrionics made you "famous"
Lack of preparation made you... shameless.
Your bias was unblurred by facts.
A pontificating battleaxe...
John in Carolina:
INNOCENT: Letter to Prof. Chafe -- Dear Professor Chafe...

Many students, parents, alums and, as you know, some of your colleagues find it hard to understand why, thirteen months after the fact, a person of your caliber who many of us recall as one of the University’s most respected leaders, has yet to recognize that the Apr. 6 statement was, at the least, a communications disaster that’s done much harm to innocent individuals and Duke University.

In closing, I want to again express my regard for your willingness to enter into this discussion.
Duke lacrosse going for national championshipDavid Schoetz, ABC/ESPN:
Duke Lacrosse Sings Redemption Song -- From a Season Canceled in 2006 to a National Championship Run in 2007 -- Hooligans. Elitists. Chauvinists. Bigots.


With brush strokes that broad, it would be easy for members of the Duke men's lacrosse team to carry a chip on their jerseys when post-season play begins Saturday — a national championship tournament they enter as the No. 1 seed, a first-time achievement in the nearly 70-year history of the school's lacrosse program.

But the 41 members of the 2007 Duke lacrosse team aren't focused on revenge. Instead, they're eager to establish a new reputation as Division I national champions...

LS forum: Wonderful Duke article in ABC News site
Patrick Stevens, Washington Times:
A revival, led by father and son -- Well after their season was shattered, their veteran coach was forced from his job and their faces were plastered all over incessant cable talk shows, the Duke lacrosse team tried to consider its future. Would they be back on the field in 2007? Could they overcome a rape investigation-turned-witch hunt into a crime they knew never occurred? Would things ever revert to the relative anonymity they had enjoyed? And who could possibly lead them if the program were ever reinstated? The last one was easy. Players' thoughts easily meandered to the father of one of their own, a man with more than two decades of Division I coaching experience and a far more intimate knowledge of the crucible he would face than any other potential candidate.

Hundreds of miles away from the center of Duke maelstrom, that man — John Danowski — was just finishing an emotional spring. As the coach at Hofstra, he led the Pride to a No. 2 ranking and a trip to the NCAA quarterfinals. As a Duke lacrosse parent, he watched his son Matt and all of his Duke teammates stand trial in the court of public opinion.

John Danowski couldn't help but get caught up in discussions about the case's legal ramifications. But during one of these talks, he was floored by the suggestion of Larry Lamade, the father of Duke midfielder Peter Lamade.

"He said 'There's only one guy these kids could really play for,' and I said 'Who's that?' and he said 'You,' " Danowski recalled late last month. "I remember really being 'Whoa,' taking a step back and saying 'Wow, thank you.' "His hiring wouldn't come for two more months, and even then he made sure to secure a blessing from Matt, who said he would be perfect for the job. But now, a year after the lost season, father and son have led the Blue Devils to a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament and a first-round date with Providence on Saturday...
Amy Moritz, Buffalo News:
Duke enters tourney as No. 1 seed -- Orchard Park’s Nick O’Hara is star midfielder -- It was a difficult junior season for the Orchard Park native, who along with his Duke teammates endured a scandal and the loss of most of the 2006 season...
Anne Blythe, News & Observer:
Bail set for woman in Durham killing -- The Greensboro resident is accused of murder in an NCCU graduate student's death -- The attorney for the Greensboro woman charged with fatally shooting an N.C. Central University graduate student in January described the case against his client as weak on Wednesday.

Duane Bryant, a lawyer from High Point, was in Durham County Superior Court to ask that bail be set for Shannon Elizabeth Crawley.

Judge Orlando Hudson set bail at $175,000 as the family of the accused and the victim watched the proceedings. . .

David Saacks, chief assistant district attorney, told Hudson, the county's chief resident Superior Court judge, that investigators had cell phone records showing that Crawley's cell phone had been used within a mile of the shooting scene. . .
LS forum/LTC86 comment: Hudson sets bail of murderer much lower than the LAX 3. Saacks reveals that DPD knows how to tell where a cell phone is located when a call is made.
Providence Journal (reg. required):
Book on Duke lacrosse case chronicles sad state of today’s society -- Maybe the most telling moment in the fiasco that was the Duke lacrosse case? The one moment that, in retrospect, seemed to sum it all up?

That came on the morning of April 5, 2006, roughly three weeks after the news first broke that an African-American woman was claiming that she had been sexually assaulted and raped by three Duke lacrosse players in a house near the campus.

This from It’s Not About The Truth, a new book written by Don Yaeger and Mike Pressler, the former Duke coach who now coaches lacrosse at Bryant, about his meeting with Duke athletic director Joe Alleva. Alleva had just told him that the situation had gotten out of hand, and that the rest of the season was going to be canceled, even though no charges had been brought against the players at the time.

“Alleva looked right at me and made the statement I’ll never forget as long as I live,” Pressler says in the book. “It’s not about the truth anymore. It’s about the integrity of the university, it’s about the faculty, the city, the NAACP, the protesters, the other interest groups.”

Ah, America in the new millennium. Where everyone leads with their agenda.

To say the book is a fascinating read is an understatement.

If nothing else it’s an examination of race, sex, and class in today’s America, all told against a backdrop of one of the most prestigious colleges in the country, which just happens to sit in a city with significant racial problems. Most of all, it’s an examination of how these forces combined in the spring of 2006 to create what the authors call “the perfect storm,” the accusation by a woman hired to strip at a house party by a group of Duke lacrosse players that she had been sexually assaulted and raped by three of the players. Welcome to the kind of story that went out across the country like a neon sign flashing in the middle of the night...
Peter St. Onge, Charlotte Observer/N&O:
2 mothers, 2 sons, a shared trauma -- Duke defendant's mom reaches out -- One month before he was declared innocent in the Duke lacrosse rape case, Collin Finnerty came to the breakfast table of his family's Long Island home. "You have to read this," he said to his mother, Mary Ellen.

He pointed her to the family computer, where she found stories about Eric Volz, a 27-year-old American imprisoned for murder in Nicaragua.

She read about the shaky case against Volz, about prosecutors ignoring evidence that cast doubt on his guilt. She thought instantly about the young man's mother. The fear. The powerlessness. She wanted to reach out. "I knew," she said.

Like Mary Ellen Finnerty, Maggie Anthony is a decorator. The start of 2007 brought promise of exciting projects, but Anthony could focus only on her son's February trial 1,600 miles away. Volz, worried about local anger toward him, urged his mother to stay in Nashville...

After that first conversation, [Mary Ellen] Finnerty contacted journalists she met from her son's case to tell them about Eric Volz. "It was frustrating that Eric's case wasn't getting the same press," she said. Perhaps in part from that assistance, the story has gained national attention, led by frequent updates on CNN.

A three-judge panel will hear Volz's appeal at an undetermined date. The U.S. Embassy in Nicaragua is monitoring the case, said Consul General Marc Meznar. "We are afraid the judge's decision was influenced by sentiment on the street," he said.

Anthony said, "We're just waiting."...
LieStoppers blog:
Nifonged in Nicaragua: "I think about her every day" -- A touching article by Peter St. Onge in today's Charlotte Observer details the recently forged bond between Mary Ellen Finnerty, the mother of Collin Finnerty, and Maggie Anthony, the mother of Eric Volz...

LieStoppers 2 [more coverage of Eric Volz injustice]
KC Johnson:
Twelve (and One) Questions for the Trustees -- This weekend, Duke’s 37-member Board of Trustees descends upon Durham for its quarterly meeting. Some questions that the Trustees might want to consider:

. . . Faculty . . . Administration . . . Security and Public Safety . . . General . . .

Will the Board create a truth and reconciliation commission, composed of outside experts and internal figures of integrity, to conduct a thorough, top-to-bottom review of how the University responded to the case—not for the purposes of assigning blame, but instead to pave the way for the healing process to begin?
LS forum: 12 Questions for the BOT
Rinaldo Del Gallo, III, Esq., AmericanDaily.com:
Some Lessons Not Learned by the Duke False Allegations of Rape Case -- I received an interesting e-mail about a David Usher article. The site was called “Opednew.com” Mr. Usher writes a somewhat provocative title, “The Feminist Klan Exposed,” but basically writes about the Duke rush to judgment, allegations of rape being automatically believed or at the very least being presumed true, the failure of Duke University to make an apology, discussions of a “culture of rape” (which are somehow not rank “misandry,”), and is critical of a “women’s rights” culture that somehow includes the right to not cross-examine a putative rape victim about her motives because “that is putting the women on trial.” So you basically get the point - David writes article saying that some accusations of rape are true, some are false, and only extremist believe all such accusations are true or nearly all such accusations are true.

There are clearly some good points made in the blogs (very intermittent). But it is an insight on how people are thinking. Folks, we don’t just make this stuff up.

Actual thoughts by people who wrote included:
  1. The stripper that made the false accusation was still the victim.
  2. Mr. Usher is a misogynist because he is concerned about the over the top elements of the women’s rights movement.
  3. It was hysterical for Mr. Usher to write about the hysterical approach taken to the Duke Lacrosse Team.
  4. The kids were to blame for being falsely accused because they were drinking.
  5. Most importantly: There was almost a complete absence, save for about two people, about lessons to be learned from the Duke case, and a repetition of the same old hackneyed shibboleths about men’s domination over women.
Jacob Leonhardt & Andrew Sawmiller, SpinalColumnOnline(MI):
The Gail Goestenkors Interview [former Duke women's basketball coach] --

SCN: The Duke Lacrosse case is finally over. That case struck an uncomfortable note when the issues of race and gender were brought out. What was it like being on campus and part of the athletic department during this high-profile case? What were your first thoughts when the situation arose? How did the campus deal with the situation and what could you tell students who were concerned at the time?

Goestenkors: It was really tough because at the time that it first came out, we were involved in the NCAA tournament and making our run to the Final Four and championship game, so we were experiencing such a high and so many positives, but at our press conferences, invariably, somebody would ask about the lacrosse case. We weren't even on campus and we certainly didn't have any of the facts. Nobody had them at the time. It was a time for us when we felt like we should be celebrating but there was a dark cloud over our school. Nobody knew for sure what the truth was, so it was a tough time for our school. We did a lot of soul searching as an administration and group of coaches to find out if we were doing all we could to ensure our players were doing the right things, doing the things they were supposed to do and determining how much control a coach has over their team. So, there were a lot of questions swirling around the university and all of us coaches and student-athletes, as well. I think it was tough because people were jumping to conclusions so quickly. It was on every major media outlet and basically they were presumed guilty. Now, it has come full circle, and it shows the power of the media and it shows, I think, our society's excitement over the controversial situations, sometimes to the point where we don't take the time to get all of our facts straight before we jump to conclusions.

I was shocked at first by what potentially happened. I think it actually pulled our campus together. We felt and feel so strongly about Duke and what it stands for. So many people were anxious to tear Duke's reputation down very quickly. I think it caused the community to really pull together.

I think society sometimes puts athletes on a pedestal, which they should never do in the first place. When the same people put athletes on a pedestal they are sometimes almost anxious to see them fall off.
Newsome/Christian Murder -- OK, so let's create a level playing field here. I have not even heard of this on CBS, ABC, NBC or any of the cable news services, even FOX NEWS. OR in any of the Newsrags or other publications. Read this and weep.

Bet you $20 you did not hear this on the national news.

The animals pictured below car-jacked, then raped Christopher Newsom, cut off his penis, then set him on fire and fatally shot him several times while they forced his girlfriend, Channon Christian, to watch. An even more cruel fate awaited her!

Channon Christian, was beaten and gang-raped in many ways for four days by all of them, while they took turns urinating on her. Then they cut off her breast and put chemicals in her mouth ... and then murdered her.

'alleged' killers------
Andy Sternberg, LAist Rants blog:
Get Out of Our Life, Nancy Grace -- The Good News: Nancy Grace will no longer be on Court TV, at least not until she finally gets to sit in the defendant's seat herself.

The Bad News: The diminutive Southern blond rabble-rouser will continue her work as a nightly nuisance on the one-time news channel known as CNN Headline News.

In her career as a talking head taking on all kinds of imagined and otherwise biased and inaccurately portrayed wrongdoers, Nancy Grace has become one of cable TV's top menaces to society....

Grace makes us sick on so many levels, by somehow being even more disgusting than the alleged crimes and criminals she denounces and metastasizes...
Daily diversion: TPC Sawgrass' (in)famous signature hole, the "Island Green" [tourney starts today]

Google: satellite view
Wikipedia: The "Island" Green

The 17th hole at Sawgrass

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