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Monday, June 11, 2007

Nifong/Mangum Hoax — June 11, 2007

Updated — today's items:

Mike Pressler interviewed by WRALWRAL:
Ex-Coach Discusses Duke Lacrosse Case [+video] -- Asked what he would say to Nifong if he saw him, Pressler responded, "What goes around comes around. Judgment day is coming, and you're going to get what you deserve."

Pressler said the journey over the past year has been interesting. He wrote in his book about speaking at a lacrosse camp last summer when Nifong's nephew approached him.

"His comment to me was, 'Everyone sees my last name and associates me with all the wrongdoing to the Duke players. Any advice?' Then I said, 'Now you know what it's like to be wrongly accused,'" he said.

He said he's no longer bitter or angry and wants to move on with his life. But it's clear that he feels let down by Duke.

"An apology to the players, especially the indicted boys and all their parents, plus to the former coach and family, would go a long way," he said...
News & Observer front page- April 6, 2006ESPN [video]: Sunday Conversation: Mike Pressler

Duke Basketball Report: Sunday Conversation - Mike Pressler

Friends of Duke Univ.: Pressler Book Signing -- Coach Pressler will be signing books from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the Lax Hut on 4161 Merrick Road in Massapequa, Long Island, on Friday, June 15th. Matt Zash, one of the co-captains of the Duke Mens Lacrosse Team in 2006, is a part-owner of the Lax Hut...

LS forum: Pressler Book #32 on Amazon Non-Fiction List
TalkLeft: Pages 88-89 -- Read all about the video, starring Sister Survivor and the local Rap Team. . . Even the Platinum Club couldn't stomach her. . .
Duke's Class of 2011 Will Be Its Most Selective, Diverse -- And Larger Than Expected
-- More applicants than expected have said “yes” to Duke University’s offer of admission for the Class of 2011.

Students Christoph Guttentag, the dean of undergraduate admissions, expected the percentage of students accepting offers of admission, or “yield,” to increase slightly this year from less than 41 percent in 2006.

The actual increase –- to about 42 percent -- was greater than predicted. Instead of totaling 1,665, the Class of 2011 is now expected to include between 1,687 and 1,710 students...

DBR: Impact of LAX case on admissions -- The fact that Duke had its lowest "admit percentage" in history but still received an unexpectedly high percentage of acceptances is especially positive news...

Based on these results, I remain optimistic that the number of applicants, which dropped only slightly this year, will resume its upward trend in the future, and that the unfortunate events of the past year will not have any significant long-term adverse impact in this regard.
Editorial, Herald-Sun:
A big week ahead for Mike Nifong -- This week promises to be a big one for District Attorney Mike Nifong, who on Tuesday will go before the N.C. State Bar to answer to charges that he grossly mishandled the Duke lacrosse case. Nifong faces the possibility of being disbarred for the role he played in the controversial case, which ended with state Attorney General Roy Cooper stepping in to declare three lacrosse players innocent of rape.

That conclusion is one that many Nifong critics believe could have been reached many months ago had Nifong played by the rules. And it is that widely held belief that now has Nifong's long legal career hanging in the balance. The veteran attorney is accused of making unethical statements to the media about the case, withholding DNA evidence favorable to the three defendants and lying about it. . .

"There can be no faith in our justice system with a district attorney who, in a very public case, conspires to withhold exculpatory evidence and repeatedly makes misrepresentations and false statements to the court and opposing counsel," Brewer said in a sworn affidavit four months ago.

It is true that Nifong deserves his day in court, so to speak, as all legal avenues are pursued, just as was true for those charged in what turned out to be the utterly false rape case. But the state attorney general's blunt condemnation of Nifong's conduct and the acrimony surrounding his mishandling of this case suggests we would be better served, regardless of the outcome of the legal battles ahead, if Nifong were to step aside and let us move on.
LS forum: Herald Sun asks Nifong to step aside, This mornings HS editorial
LS blog: Snooze Room seeks Divorce from Nifong

KC Johnson: Forthcoming -- Perhaps trying to smooth the way for a Nifong resignation to cover its own shameful editorial record, the Herald-Sun calls for the embattled DA to resign.
Police Benevolence President Supports Durham Police in Editorial -- The President of the Triangle Chapter Police Benevolence Association came to the defense of the Durham Police Department Sunday.

In reference to the Duke lacrosse case, David Addison issued an editorial in a local paper under the headline “Abusive leaders.”

In the editorial, Addison voiced his displeasure with the Durham City Council's call for an independent review of the department's handling of the investigation.

City Councilman Eugene Brown said he was “shocked and disappointed by the letter.”

“Our job as a city council is to try to get to the truth, as painful as that may be,” Brown said. “I’m usually in support of what PBA supports. But in my judgment, this was definitely overboard and I was shocked.”
John in Carolina:
INNOCENT: The Addison Opportunity (Post 2) -- Addison’s letter did two good things. First, it gave the public an example of the “reasoning” of those such as Nifong supporter and City Councilwoman Diane Catotti, who have opposed an independent investigation.

And, second, it gave justice seekers a chance to respond...
John in Carolina:
INNOCENT: Three "Great Paragraphs" -- Duke’s student newspaper, The Chronicle, published a letter from G. Holman King, “a proud lacrosse grandparent,” ...

Momtothree at Liestoppers recently posted, “How the Duke Rape Hoax Became the Duke Racial Epithets Crime-of-the-Century Hoax (and Remains So Today),” ...

And in Professor William (Bill) Anderson’s just published open letter to Duke lacrosse parents...
Michael Gaynor:
Duke case: Richard Brodhead's earlier Van de Velde fiasco -- Professor Hershel Parker is the author of the definitive biography on Herman Melvile and a man who readily understands what the members of the 2005-2006 Duke University Men's Lacrosse Team were put through in significant part because then (and still) Duke University President Richard Brodhead put his faith in false accuser Crystal Gail Mangum and rogue prosecutor Michael B. Nifong, abandoned the players in their time of need in order to promote the political correctness agenda at their expense and announced at the annual meeting of the Durham Chamber of Commerce on April 20, 2006, "If our students did what is alleged it is appalling to the worst degree. If they didn't do it, whatever they did was bad enough" (even though it had been publicly announced on April 10, 2006 that initial DNA tests failed to connect any of the players to the false accuser and Mr. Brodhead knew or should have known that Ms. Mangum's credibility was, at best, doubtful...
William L. Anderson:
An Open Letter to the Duke Lacrosse Families -- You simply will have to live with that fact, as hard as it is. Many people committed real crimes against your sons, including Nifong, a number of police officers, the "rape nurse" at DUMC, and others. I do not mean bad acts; I mean crimes for which there should be prison terms, and lengthy ones at that. At the present time, no authoritative body from the State of North Carolina or the U.S. Attorney’s office in Greensboro has shown even a passing interest in investigating and prosecuting these harmful violations of the law – and violations of outright human decency. That alone is an injustice, but apparently it is an injustice with which you must live...
KC Johnson:
On the Bookshelf -- Two books on the case will be officially released tomorrow. It’s Not About the Truth, co-authored by Don Yaeger and former coach Mike Pressler, offers a behind-the-scenes look at how everything that’s happened since last March affected Pressler, his family, and the senior class he had recruited to Duke. The book also provides background on the Duke lacrosse program, Durham, Crystal Mangum, Mike Nifong, and a summary of the case...

A Rush to Injustice, co-authored by Nader Beydoun and R. Stephanie Good, has a few revelations, although it’s more of a personal memoir about how a Duke graduate came to view with distaste the actions of his university...

Yaeger also obtained an interview with H.P. (“Fats”) Thomas, the former security manager at Mangum’s strip club. Thomas described Mangum as “more of a hooker than a stripper. She was stripping as advertising for hooking.” If that portrayal sounds familiar, it should: it corroborates Kim Roberts’ March 22, 2006 statement that Mangum wanted to return to the lacrosse house to make more money.

“This girl,” said Thomas, “is a professional streetwalker from Raleigh. She would do things for twenty, thirty, forty dollars.” Given her emotional instability, she was a ticking time bomb: “That could’ve been any one of us. These boys just ended up with the wrong stripper. Forget white or black for a minute. That could’ve been any one of us.” ...
LS forum: "It's Not About The Truth", Yaeger and Pressler's book

Craig Henry, Lead & Gold blog: Duke lacrosse: The books start coming -- I’ve only skimmed the surface of all the new information this book offers. There is much more. In fact, I could blog for a month just on the new perspectives made possible by Yaeger’s reporting. Any one who was interested in this case will want to read it. Every Duke parent and alum should read it.
KC Johnson:
Blame the Police -- But there is one group mentioned as a scapegoat in both elements of the Nifong defense--the Durham Police Department. (This Nifong strategy makes the DPD's defense of Nifong in the Baker/Chalmers report all the more inexplicable.) ...
Kenneth Moton, News 14:
Nifong faces Commission on Tuesday -- Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong will defend his actions taken during the Duke Lacrosse case to three members of the State Bar Disciplinary Hearing Commission on Tuesday, where his practice of the law, character and motives will all be brought into question.

“In terms of his professional career, it’s the most important day of his life,” said former prosecutor Kieran Shanahan.

That’s because Nifong is facing anything from a written warning to disbarment on Tuesday, as he is being accused of withholding evidence, lying in court, and making prejudicial pre-trial statements to the media.

“Any person I’ve ever represented before the state bar generally faces it with some apprehension anxiously because it involved their ability to continue to practice law,” said David Freedman, Nifong’s attorney. “I believe this day has needed to come so that the evidence can come out about the case and about his handling of the case, and he wants people to know he has been a career prosecutor and serve the people of Durham to the best of his ability.”

As many people get ready for this case, those involved in the legal system in North Carolina say the DA has had a big impact. It’s called the Nifong effect.

“A prosecutor pulled a Nifong, or this is Nifongish, in the legal culture I hear it in courtrooms all the time,” said Shanahan...
North Country Gazette:
Nifong’s Duke Case Ethics Trial Opens Tuesday -- One of the most egregious cases of prosecutorial misconduct in the nation has been exposed in what has become known as the “Duke Case”, a case in which three white lacrosse players from North Carolina’s Duke University were accused of raping an African-American stripper at a team party in March 2006. . .

There’s also the possibility that Nifong could face disciplinary action from the judge in the case, Superior Court Judge W. Osmond Smith who could scold him, disbar him or jail him for contempt of court.

Lame opinions from "Sports" bloggers who don't know the facts:
Leave the Man Alone blog:
The Never Ending Apology To Duke Lacrosse -- I'm not sure the accused Duke lacrosse players even deserve an apology. ... Reasonable people can differ on this point. But my gut feeling is that something happened. ...Maybe the accused Duke lacrosse players were wronged. It's possible they weren't. But I'm sick of hearing about it. And amidst all the mea culpas, the real lesson might be lost. If you want a date a Black girl, ignore your BET fantasies and just find a nice girl on campus.
The Sports Curmudgeon blog:
Perspective On LeBron James … Please -- I think the Duke University President and the Duke Faculty Senate should stand up and publicly apologize for their rush to judgment in the matter. They all made some pretty rash statements and issued some draconian edicts last year - - and most of them came to naught. I think an apology would be in order.

I won’t hold my breath until I hear an apology from “The Reverends” – Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. Turns out they were misguided in their remarks and actions too – and that’s being really polite.

Former Durham NC prosecutor, Mike Nifong, won’t be apologizing any time soon since he has to be busy preparing to defend himself in proceedings that could get him disbarred.

AND the entire Duke lacrosse team needs to apologize for their anti-social behaviors on that fateful evening last year and for perpetuating the image of themselves as helpless victims in all of this. Had they not scheduled that drunken party with the added debauchery of hiring a stripper to show up late in the evening, none of this would have happened in the first place. They need to tell the world that they are sorry for consuming so much of the world’s attention on account of their boorish behavior.

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