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Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Nifong/Mangum Hoax — May 8, 2007

Updated - today's items:

Tung Yin, The Yin Blog:
Don Yaeger's "It's Not About the Truth" -- I just finished reading Don Yaeger and Mike Pressler's It's Not About the Truth: The Untold Story of the Duke Lacrosse Case and the Lives It Shattered, and I'm kind of angry. You can't read this book without getting angry, just as you can't read KC Johnson's blog Durham-in-Wonderland without getting angry.

Of course, there are many different things one can angry about concerning the entire incident, but what Yaeger's and Pressler's book does effectively is concentrate and direct anger toward Durham D.A. Mike Nifong and Duke President Dick Brodhead...

I did not have an instinctive bias to take the side of the white, supposedly privileged players. That's why following the case and the apparently outrageous steps that Nifong took in leading the investigation and prosecuting/persecuting the players is so angering...

But back to Yaeger's book. One question is, if you have been a regular reader of KC Johnson's blog, is there anything in the book that you wouldn't have already come across? The answer is yes. Although Johnson has conducted some reporting of his own, the primary value of his blog lies in his careful, analytical dissection of the various defenses offered by Nifong and his enablers (such as the Gang of 88 -- the 88 faculty members who penned an ad that essentially passed judgment on the lacrosse players before any legal process had taken place). Yaeger interviewed a number of the key people in the case and provides interesting after-the-fact reflections, particularly some of the parents of the lacrosse players...

So this is a good read -- I did finish it in basically two sittings -- but I think it would have benefitted from a degree of editing to make it more neutral in tone.

comment: Sounds like the Yaeger/Pressler book is now available. Prof. Yin had a draft of the book, which will not be available until June 12th.

"The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis." -- Dante Alighierirelated:
LS forum: Families of Unindicted LAX Players Also Suffered, Emotional, Financial Drain on Families -- there were the threats from "drive by shooters", the Black Panthers, and their own professors-one who told the lacrosse players to sit on one side of the room so he could protect the rest of the class from the rapists-this happened. Then there were the rosters with their pictures on every car in the parking lot-on trees-on professors' desks. My son had to go through counseling when he came home from that hell hole. He will never be the same.

TalkLeft: Re: It's Not About the Truth: The Untold Story of the Duke Lacrosse Case
KC Johnson:
Feinstein's Flexible Standards -- Without citing any evidence, John Feinstein recently declared that Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty, and Dave Evans were “probably guilty of everything but rape.” He also falsely implied that the captains had never apologized for holding the party, misrepresented the findings of the Coleman Committee report, and fumed about the three players receiving support from “conservative white America.”...

But he did reveal the key to the case in that May article: if in 1998, Duke had chosen the candidate that John Feinstein had preferred for its vacant AD’s position, “this never would have gotten to this point.”

There are many lessons to be learned from this case. One of them, however, is not that Duke, or any other academic institution, should make a habit of listening to John (“I don’t think I’ve been proven wrong”) Feinstein.
Dr. Melissa Clouthier blog:
Duke Non-Rape: The Fall-Out Continues -- I predicted willful ignorance and continued blatantly false assertions against the Duke players because Leftists Are Never Wrong--Especially If They're In The Press. John Feinstein proves the point I made in the wake of the AG's announcement...

Duke Basketball Report: Feinsten is right
Kathleen <span class=Kathleen Eckelt RN, FNE; Forensic Talk:
Some SANE Clarifications -- After reading various posts and comments on line, I'd like to clarify some things about how a SANE unit runs, the evidence collection process, and the training of SANE/FNE's...

On our unit, as in many others, the patient is seen first by a detective, then cleared medically, before the nurse is paged to come to the hospital. In some hospitals, the patients still have to be seen by a physician in order to be medically cleared...

SANE Units . . . SANE Staffing . . . Signs of Infection vs. Semen . . . Culposcopy . . . SANE Training . . . IAFN Certification . . .
comment: An excellent FAQ (frequently asked questions) about SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners)

LS forum: Tara Levicy RN, Duke Medical Center, and SANE Exam, What Went Wrong-- A Summary
KC Johnson: Levicy part 1, part 2, part 3
TalkLeft: ...Tara's role in the Hoax
Forum topics of note:
LS forum: SANE Apology For Levicy's Behavior -- Kathleen: I apologize to the members of this Board, and the general public, and ask that you please not judge us, or our SANE programs, based on the actions of one who obviously doesn't know the meaning of the word, professionalism.

LS forum: Paternity Test Order Signed by Judge Smith, N&0 Report -- Tony S. -- Wonder why the Media was so prone to poke fun and guess who the Daddy is in the Anna Nicole Smith case, but I've never seen one media guess at who Crystal's baby's Daddy is? There wasn't even a discussion.

Greta brought in every potential father in Anna Nicole's case and interviewed them and discussed the possiblity ad-nauseam. Yet, Greta has Clakki on many times - and doesn't ask the obvious question (with the exception of the one show where she led with the possiblity one of the Players being the father of the Rape-baby!).

Some things are off-limits. Crystal mandates respect, evidently.

TalkLeft: They enablers still don't get it, do they? -- it seems to me the haters are still stuck on their hatred of the players ...

stuck on stupid..

The enablers, from where I sit, seem to be stuck on their feelings about the players (as exemplars) and haven't moved off this line of thought yet...
Prof. James E. Coleman Jr.Law.Duke.edu:
"A Wrongful Convictions Reality Case" -- Professor James Coleman discusses role of the state bar, attorney general, and Duke University in the Duke lacrosse case

View the Webcast of Professor Coleman's comments

But for two extraordinary circumstances that occurred in the Duke lacrosse case – the North Carolina State Bar’s filing of ethics charges against Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong and the attorney general’s investigation and exoneration of the accused students – a deeply flawed case almost certainly would have proceeded at least to trial, Professor James Coleman said during a panel discussion at the Law School on April 14. “I think at most you would have hoped was that [the students] had gone to trial and would have been acquitted, but it would have forever left open the question of whether they in fact were innocent. The attorney general’s extraordinary action this week, for most people, settled the question that the students were innocent and that it’s unlikely any crime occurred.”

Characterizing the case as a “wrongful convictions reality case” played out in real time, Coleman, who directs the Law School’s Wrongful Convictions Clinic, said that such cases turn on the tone set at the start of the case for the police and for prosecutors...

A webcast of the complete panel discussion, “Ethics Lessons Learned in the Duke Lacrosse Case,” can be viewed at http://www.law.duke.edu/webcast/. In addition to Coleman’s comments, Professor Thomas Metzloff, who teaches ethics at the Law School, reviews the ethics charges faced by prosecutor Nifong, Visiting Professor Michael Tigar, a renowned advocate and activist, discusses the management of high profile [cases], and Duke senior and Chronicle editor Seyward Darby, offers a perspective on media involvement in the case.
Webcast: Ethics Lessons Learned in the Duke Lacrosse Case [Real Video format]
LS blog: Duke Law Ethics Forum

KC Johnson: Law School Panel
Michael Gaynor:
Duke case: LieStoppers, yes; Brad Bannon, no -- I enthusiastically applaud LieStoppers' disturbing May 6, 2007 article entitled "NC DA's Push For Legalized Nifonging," NOT David Evans attorney Brad Bannon's much too favorable appraisal of North Carolina's legal system. With the Duke case finally dismissed and the North Carolina State Bar apparently targeting only Durham County, North Carolina District Attorney Michael B. Nifong, the redoubtable LieStoppers (lauded by America's top legal commentator, Stuart Taylor, Jr., for "an amazing performance of journalism on the fly") are still focused on fixing North Carolina's flawed criminal justice system and frustrating the current prosecutorial effort to permit the disclosure of some exculpatory evidence to be delayed, while Mr. Bannon is treating the Duke case as a local aberration instead of something symptomatic of significant underlying problems.

Thanks to North Carolina's open-file discovery law passed in 2004, a North Carolina prosecutor no longer can wait to hand over witness statements to the defense until the witnesses testify. That helped the defense to finally secure the dismissal of the bogus charges in the Duke case, but it was not enough: the world also had to be shown that exculpatory evidence had been concealed and it took until mid December of 2006 for the defense to do that...

North Carolina's criminal justice system needs major reform, not fine tuning.
Richard B. McNamara, Concord Monitor:
Duke defense lawyers deserve fuller tribute -- Now that the Duke lacrosse case has slipped from the front pages, it is worthwhile to consider what can be learned from it.

What occurred appears to be straightforward: A cynical prosecutor, hoping to win a contested election, brought charges against defendants whose race and status made them attractive targets. He obtained grand jury indictments with no evidence.

But the defense was able to show that the prosecution did not comply with legal and ethical rules. A trial judge found that the prosecutor suppressed evidence that showed the defendants' innocence. After taking over the case, the North Carolina attorney general declared that the defendants were innocent, and the prosecutor is now facing ethical charges.

The abuses that occurred could occur because of our adversary system of justice. Yet in the wake of the case, no one seriously claims that our system is flawed...

The Duke case reminds us of the role of lawyers in a free society.
John in Carolina:
INNOCENT: Prof Chafe Responds -- Readers Note: On May 4 I posted "An Invitation to Duke's Prof. Chafe." The post contained an email I sent to William H. Chafe ...

Chafe has responded. He included with his response the texts of the email The Chronicle sent him (Chafe’s overseas now) and his response to The Chronicle...
William H. ChafeDear John in Carolina:

I made a mistake in generalizing about “bloggers” in my comment to the Chronicle, and I apologize.

For many Duke faculty who have been concerned about the values expressed in our campus culture, the last months have seen an unremitting flood of e-mails from people who believe that we presumed the guilt of the lacrosse players accused of sexual assault a year ago. That is not the case, I believe, at least in the instance of those faculty members I know.

A significant number of the critical e-mails, often using the same “canned” paragraphs, simply denounced us, without addressing the primary content of the ad; many appear unfamiliar with the fact that most faculty who have expressed themselves are concerned primarily about how we treat each other on campus, the fact that date rape is common, and that many sexual assaults go unreported and unpunished. Some e-mails and phone calls have been vicious, racist and threatening. It was my error to generalize from these...

I made a mistake in my generalization. Maybe we can all start paying more attention to our respective statements, consider each other’s individuality and reject simple statements of condemnation for those who disagree with us. Then perhaps we can move forward.

For those who may be interested, appended to this e-mail is the full set of responses I had given to the Duke Chronicle reporter, only one line of which was used. The reporter’s questions are at the very bottom. (That’s now changed because as I explained I put the questions into the Q&A document. --- JinC)

Thank you.
Bill Chafe
Mark Rosenthal, HawaiiReporter.com
Prosecutor Bias Widespread in Abuse Cases, Report Finds -- Our nation’s system of prosecuting persons accused of domestic violence overrides due process and ignores the notion of “innocent until proven guilty,” according to a report released today. “Bias in the Judiciary: The Case of Domestic Violence” concludes that our legal system has gone too far in the prosecution of persons accused of sexual assault or domestic violence...

“In the Duke case, district attorney Michael Nifong was criticized for ignoring due process. But the problem is not limited to just one rogue prosecutor or one state,” notes RADAR spokesman David Heleniak, Esq. “Around the country, the concern for justice has been replaced with the concern for self-promotion and career advancement.” Our nation’s legal system has become so filled with questionable allegations of sexual assault and partner abuse that true victims have trouble getting the help they need, victim advocates say.

The RADAR report is available at: Bias-In-The-Judiciary [pdf]
Jac Coyne, LaxMagazine/CSTV:
Pressler Takes High Road...Again -- Despite snub, Bryant coach stressing the positives -- When Mike Pressler meets with his players on Monday afternoon at 3:15 p.m., the Bryant men's lacrosse coach will let them know both how proud he is of them, and how disappointed he is for them.

As the players walk out of the room undoubtedly still stinging from Sunday's announcement that the Bulldogs were not selected for the four-team NCAA Division II tournament, Pressler will tell them to hold their heads high as they face an unjust reality.

"We're not crying about it, we're not going to whine about it," said Pressler on Monday afternoon. "We'll take the disappointment and congratulate the other four teams, and move on to next year."

Anyone who follows lacrosse is not surprised by the response. Displaying dignity and devotion in the face of adversity is becoming a defining trait for Pressler...

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