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Saturday, May 19, 2007

Nifong/Mangum Hoax — May 19, 2007

Updated - today's items:

Blogger Choice Awards (registration required to vote):
The "Blogitzer"- Durhamwonderland.Blogspot.com -- This professor was out in front of every journalist in finding out what happened in the Duke Lacrosse Scandal.

This award will be presented to the blogger who demonstrates the best writing ability on his or her blog.

LS forum: DiW nominated for "Blogitzer" Award, ~Vote Now~

comment: vote #35 for DIW here.
Pete Thamel, New York Times:
Duke Lacrosse Is Focal Point Again; This Time for the Good -- Two seasons ago, when the Duke men’s lacrosse team reached the N.C.A.A. tournament championship game for the first time in the team’s history, its achievement went largely unnoticed.

The local newspapers in Raleigh and Durham, N.C., did not send reporters to Philadelphia to cover the game, a sign of the relevance of a program that did not charge admission to its regular-season games.

But in the two years since Duke lost that game to Johns Hopkins, the Blue Devils have become both famous and infamous...

The top-seeded Blue Devils (15-2), who returned 34 players from last year’s team, play North Carolina (10-5) today in Annapolis, Md., in the quarterfinals of the N.C.A.A. tournament. A victory would send them to Baltimore next weekend for lacrosse’s final four, the one time each year when the sport nudges its way onto the national stage...

As Duke’s team sits on the cusp of the nation’s consciousness because of its on-field exploits, a simple but complex question lingers: Will America root for Duke?
LS forum: Give Me a Break! NYT Quotes Shadee in LAX Article, Community Service Also Highlighted -- Shadee Malaklou, who graduated from Duke last weekend and was a columnist for the campus newspaper, The Chronicle, said she was uncomfortable with the potential of turning the Duke lacrosse players into heroes who had overcome adversity.

“Everyone thinks since the charges were dropped that they did nothing wrong,” said Malaklou, who majored in cultural anthropology and women’s studies. “They think college kids will be college kids and boys will be boys.”
Matt Dees, News & Observer:
Council to press for answers in lacrosse case -- Decision on outside probe of police department's role may come on Monday -- Will the city commission an independent study of the police department's handling of the Duke lacrosse case?

Will Chief Steven Chalmers, who has yet to speak publicly about the case, be called to answer questions from City Council members?

Will the council formally call for District Attorney Mike Nifong to resign?

These questions likely will get asked and perhaps answered at Monday's City Council meeting, 7 p.m. at City Hall. Many council members have expressed disappointment in Chalmers' report, released May 11.

"There's less here than meets the eye," council member Eugene Brown said.

City leaders said the report didn't adequately explain what role Nifong played in the investigation, whether he had his hands too firmly on the controls of a case that has derailed so spectacularly in front of a national audience...
Letter to Herald-Sun:
Duke should apologize --
I live in Maryland and maybe I, and the world, missed:

1) The 88 professors who signed a statement denouncing the students falsely accused of rape before the DNA was in signing a statement of apology.

2) The professors who took out a full page ad before the alleged victim had even been questioned by prosecutors denouncing the students taking out a full page ad of apology.

3) The students and others who protested and railed against the students before a shred of evidence was presented having an apology march.

All of the professors who rushed to judgment should be fired. Is this what is passing for people who are supposed to be teaching at a school renowned for rigorous academics? Should anyone's child be influenced by people who go with the popular view and not by what is right and moral?

Linda Dundrea
May 19, 2007
Cash Michaels, Wilmington Journal/ezboard.com:
ARE THE DURHAM MANAGER’S DAYS NUMBERED? -- Do Mayor Bill Bell and the Durham City Council have any confidence left in City Manager Patrick Baker, especially after a series of damaging fiascos, the latest being the Duke lacrosse case?

That remains to be seen, especially after the icy cold reception Bell and several council members gave an internal report issued by Baker last week, compiled by Durham Police Chief Steve Chalmers, supposedly explaining how DPD investigators botched the Duke case, resulting in three “innocent” white lacrosse players being falsely charged with the rape, assault and kidnapping of a Black exotic dancer.

The report admitted the DPD badly dropped the ball, especially when it came to the flawed April 4 police lineup photo array...

Attorneys were especially incensed when the report alleged that the 13-month old case was needlessly prolonged because the defense, which had been rebuffed by DA Nifong, never cooperated with DPD investigators in supplying leads and exculpatory evidence.

“If [Nifong] personally was not interested in anything the defense had, no purpose would have been served by going to the police,” Duke Law Prof. Coleman says. “A reasonable expectation would have been that the police would have used anything given to them (that the DA refused to see) to try to undermine the alibi or to manipulate the accuser's statement to take into account the evidence.”

“We saw that with the [police intimidation of the] taxi driver, with [DPD Investigator] Sgt. Gottlieb's typed ex post facto notes, and later with the December 2006 interview of the accuser by the DA's investigator.”

Prof. Joyner of NCCU agrees with Coleman, but adds there are special exceptions.

“As a general rule, the defense attorney does not give exculpatory evidence to the police or the prosecutor in order to prevent the State from undermining that evidence or abusing the defendant's witnesses,” Joyner said. “That general rule does not apply in those unusual cases where the defense counsel is so sure of the strength of the case, that there is no concern about the case being undermined.”

“I would also think that if additional information or evidence is offered to the police that they would add it into their investigation. A defense attorney cannot force the police to consider evidence and should not spend a lot of time in an attempt to get them to do so.

“Typically, it is not the role of the police to prove that the person is innocent,” Prof. Joyner added, “…although it would make sense for them to better investigate many of the cases to which they are assigned.”...

As manager of the city, Baker has also had some successes. But the tremendous negative profile cast on Durham as a result of the Duke case, and his subsequent failure to give the City Council satisfactory answers as to why the DPD failed, may be the last straw for Mayor Bell and company.
TalkLeft: New Wilmjourn Article - Should City Mgr. Baker Be Dumped
KC Johnson:
The Dowd Case in Perspective -- The Dowd suit settlement has received a good bit of attention, including a high-level critique in the Chronicle and some scurrilous criticism from a few others. I thought it might be useful to put the case in some perspective.

In general, grade retaliation lawsuits are extremely difficult to win...

All that said, the Dowd suit was about as strong a grade retaliation suit as could be imagined...

Though the parties’ statement explicitly said that Duke admitted no legal liability, the exclusion of Curtis’ name and the fact that Duke settled at all certainly contained an implicit message. But the Chronicle’s call for transparency by Duke is compelling: few acts violate academic integrity more severely than grade retaliation. The Chronicle is correct that the University has an obligation to ensure that all of its professors grade students fairly—and the facts in the public domain raise grave doubts about Curtis in this regard...
Forum topic(s) of note:
Duke Chronicle:
The McFadyen e-mail: Brodhead's Profile in Cowardice.
John in Carolina:
The Chronicle: Hacked or What? -- I'm reading online Duke’s student newspaper, The Chronicle, and I come to: BRODHEAD NAMED AMBASSADOR TO ZIMBABWE BY BUSH

Wow! I hadn’t heard about that...
Duke Chronicle forum: BRODHEAD NAMED AMBASSADOR TO ZIMBABWE BY BUSH -- When asked about the seizure of white owned land by Mugabe's thugs, Brodhead intoned," what goes around comes around and I'm certain it was, somehow, all our fault."…

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