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Saturday, June 30, 2007

Nifong/Mangum Hoax — June 30, 2007

Updated — today's items:

Kathleen Eckelt RN, FNEKathleen Eckelt RN, FNE; Forensics Talk:
Duke Lacrosse: Will The Slurs Never Stop? Anne K. Ream Opinion Piece -- The opinion piece above, by Ms. Ream, posted on the SATI (Sexual Assault Training Institute) website, is absolutely outrageous!

When are the undeserved slurs of these innocent players going to stop?

These three Lacrosse players were determined by the NC Attorney General to be, not just Not Guilty, but totally, completely, absolutely, without question, INNOCENT!

In my opinion, what this woman is doing, and others like her, is reprehensible. These young men, who have shown nothing but class and dignity this past year, standing strong in the face of a racist community, out for blood, have enough to do to try to repair the extreme harm that was done to them.

They don't need this kind of vindictive, hateful trash being strewn about on the web.

And I'm surprised that it's even printed on, what is supposed to be, a professional website. Is that supposed to imply that all of us who are involved in treating victims of sexual assault agree with this woman? Well, I can tell you right now, we don't.

Further more, I can tell you that among my colleagues and I, who have discussed this quite frequently, we not only disagree, but are down right disgusted by this whole fiasco...

Anne K. Ream, Chicago Tribune:
[republished at (Sexual Assault Training & Investigations) MySATI.com]
The Duke Lacrosse Case: Cheers can't drown out painful truths -- Public brawl over rape allegations reminds us of the price women sometimes must pay for being heard -- We may never know everything that occurred on the night of March 13, 2006, when the Duke lacrosse players threw a team party at an off-campus house. But what we do know is troubling enough...

LS forum: The Duke Lacrosse Case: Cheers can't drown out pain
Tom Ehrich, IndyStar.com:
We can't ignore lessons of Duke lacrosse case -- I'm not talking about simply closing the book on a rogue DA, breathing a sigh of relief and moving on. Instead, we need to dig deeply into the broader and deeper meanings of these events.

We all have a stake in this learning. The Duke case is more than local drama. It is a high-profile look at an epidemic of accountability-denial...

On the Sunday after rape allegations were revealed, I watched female students express outrage at the way women are treated at Duke, neighbors express outrage at the way hard-partying undergraduates tarnish their neighborhoods, and others express outrage at a jock culture soaked in beer and privilege.

Duke needs to be taking that outrage seriously. It doesn't go away with Nifong's removal. If the women were correct in describing a high incidence of sexual assault by male students, then Duke has a huge ethical issue, not to mention potential exposure to crippling lawsuits.

Moving drunken students out of the tony neighborhood where the notorious lacrosse team party occurred doesn't address the problem of out-of-control drinking or the growing perception of Duke as a party school...
LS forum: Most evil piece of punditry of the hoax, from a minister to boot
KC Johnson: The Bitter-Enders
Jeff Barker, Baltimore Sun:
5 weigh return to Duke lacrosse -- NCAA has extended seniors' eligibility -- Five of the 12 Duke men's lacrosse seniors, including national Player of the Year Matt Danowski and co-captain Ed Douglas from Baltimore, are seriously considering returning to the university and taking advantage of an NCAA-approved extra year of eligibility, according to players and team officials.

The return of those players would preserve a wealth of talent and experience on a team that lost the national title game, 12-11, to Johns Hopkins on May 28.

The waiver, which Virginia coach Dom Starsia has said gives Duke an unfair advantage, was granted May 30 to make up for Duke's 2006 season, which was cut short after now-discredited rape allegations were lodged against three players. There has been speculation since then in the media and at other schools about which players might return.

Duke said it is premature to announce who is returning because some of the players haven't been accepted by graduate programs. Officials didn't dispute that Danowski, Douglas, highly touted defenseman Tony McDevitt and two others have looked into going back...
Christine Rivet, (Waterloo, Canada) TheRecord.com:
Player stronger after Duke experience -- Zack Greer has become a world-weary veteran whose life experience belies his 21 years.

Last year, his Duke University Blue Devils were embroiled in a scandal that involved three other field lacrosse players falsely accused of raping an exotic dancer...

But Greer, the lone Canadian on Duke's field lacrosse team, endured -- as have his teammates, none of whom transferred to other schools while the Blue Devils' future hung in the balance.

"We grew so much stronger as a family through this. We are a lot stronger and a lot bigger now that it's all over," said Greer before his Whitby Warriors handed the Kitchener-Waterloo Braves an 8-7 defeat in Jr. A Ontario Lacrosse Association play last night.

Greer, a Whitby native, plans to return to the Div. I school in Durham, N.C., for his senior year in September and another shot at a national title...
“He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” (John 8:7)
Mike Ruffins, Devotion.com:
One Christian's View Of Mike Nifong's Fall From Glory -- Most of you already know I live in Durham, North Carolina. In fact, I work right across the street from the Durham County Courthouse and have personally witnessed much of what you have read about with regards to Mike Nifong – the recently disbarred former Durham District Attorney who by his own admission got what he deserved for his role in the Duke Lacrosse case.

First and foremost, the Bible warns us that we will reap what we sow, and Mr. Nifong certainly received just punishment for the prosecutorial misconduct he displayed with regards to the indictment and subsequent investigation of the three Duke Lacrosse players. He has no excuses.

But what troubles me most about the Nifong issue is the “piling on” that I now see. The families say they want to move forward, but are thinking about suing Mr. Nifong. That will certainly not put this whole tragedy behind them. What’s more, lawyers representing the players now want to see Nifong tried for criminal misconduct. One lawyer for the players even said, “Some people will take this as being mean-spirited and kicking somebody when they’re down.” He’s right on that point...
“And if ye will not be reformed by me by these things, but will walk contrary unto me; / Then will I also walk contrary unto you, and will punish you yet seven times for your sins.” — Leviticus 26:23

We are a nation of laws and Nifong should be prosecuted for every law he broke. No more, no less.
Forum topic(s) of note:
NY Post frontpage April 12, 2007LS forum: Crystal's Handwritten Statement 4/06

TJN: Crystal Gail Mangum — Handwritten Statement — April 6, 2006

comment: Crystal Mangum is so confused that she starts her handwritten statement by saying the incident started on May 13th, instead of March 13th. It goes downhill from there.

In her statement of about 938 words Ms. Mangum never uses the word "rape" or "assault." She uses only about 311 words (33%) to describe the alleged crime. She uses the word "sex" three times. She never describes feeling any pain from the attack. She uses no words to describe any emotion. For example, she was never scared or fearful. She uses the word "crying" two times when talking about how the two women reacted. She mentions a 4th attacker "Dan," one time. Dan's "crime" was completely ignored. It was a very transparent fabrication. This statement will become a mandatory training-aid in criminal investigator classrooms.

LS forum: Tara Levicy's Interview Jan 10, 2007 -- Ms. Levicy stated her SANE Certification became effective on March 2, 2006 but did not arrive in her mail until 3/14/2006. She wasn't aware of it until she got home from work on 3/14/2006. Ms. Levicy stated it was the policy of Duke Medical Center that only Resident Doctors or SANE Nurses collect evidence in Sexual Assault cases...

LS forum: Creedmoor Notes -- An Interview with Crystal by [Investigator Ben] Himan where she tells about running away from home and hiding at Floyd Taylor's. Having sex for money apparently with the money going to Floyd. Selling drugs...

LS forum: Zash's Statement to Police 3/16
LS forum: Evan's Statement to Police 3/16
LS forum: Flannery's Statement 3/16
KC Johnson:
Brodhead Wins a Sheldon -- Last week, in the New York Sun, commentator John Leo awarded President Brodhead the 2007 “Sheldon.” As Leo noted, “The award is named for Sheldon ‘Water Buffalo’ Hackney, the former president of the University of Pennsylvania and the Babe Ruth of modern Sheldonism,” and is given to the president who showed the least courage in the previous academic year.

Brodhead’s first public appearance after the arrests of Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann was enough to nominate him for the award: he informed the Durham Chamber of Commerce, “If our students did what is alleged, it is appalling to the worst degree. If they didn’t do it, whatever they did is bad enough.” No Duke official has ever retracted the statement...
FreeRepublic: Duke president Broadhead's Role in the Non-Rape Scandal
Letters to Herald-Sun:
A double standard

I think Rodney Turner [Letters, June 28] got only a portion of what I was trying to say in my summary of the Duke lacrosse case [Letters, June 21].

I am not "seething with jealousy and envy" at how the case turned out. As a matter of fact, I felt that too much of the case was played out in public by Mike Nifong and then later the defense attorneys. I agree that Nifong should go. I agree the players should not be charged with rape. So what the heck more does he want me to say?

Unlike Turner, I believe this case illustrates a class system in America. I'm not a "left-wing nut" who hates capitalism, but I am always disappointed whenever it's obvious that the only people who get to play are the ones who are able to pay. Is that the intent of our Constitution and Bill of Rights? Is that why we send our men and women to war? So that money can determine justice?

These boys misbehaved in having their wild parties, and this series of unfortunate events is the result. I think it would be a nice gesture if these young men would apologize to their parents, the Duke community and the good citizens of Durham for their costly shenanigans.

Tony Madejczyk
Focus on Nifong misses other important issues

The unfortunate focus on Mike Nifong in the lacrosse imbroglio has only hidden the important issues that remain part of the Duke legacy. We still have not resolved the racial conflicts that emerged over this scandal, nor the issue of sexual exploitation of women, nor how the criminal justice system is held captive by wealth and power, nor how academic priorities are subverted by a dominant athletic culture.

It may be true that these players were declared innocent, but their actions that fateful night were not those of Boy Scouts. While they are not paragons of virtue, they are a likable lot, intelligent, talented and on the whole well meaning. But like the rest of us, they are capable of making mistakes, uttering misogynist and racial slurs and making fools of themselves. They are far from heroic.

But let us not forget that a university is a learning environment. Our chief responsibility is to guide youth towards responsible and moral citizenship. The glee expressed in the demise of Nifong has not advanced this goal. There is work to be done at Duke University. The lacrosse case presents an opportunity to promote better and more ethical leadership.

Let us hear the players, parents, athletic department, university leadership and defense lawyers embrace compassion, forgiveness, and leadership toward making this a better world. We all have a role, and using Nifong as a whipping boy only avoids or delays a realization of our true responsibilities.

[Duke Education professor, "Gang of 88" sympathizer]

discussion of DiBona letter:
Michael Gustafson, Duke Engr. professor: Closing the Möbius
What matters to us?

Where are our values and priorities, my fellow citizens? What does the outpouring of letters to the editor about Mike Nifong and the Duke lacrosse case say about us collectively?

The Nifong/lacrosse matter seems to have generated more letters to the editor in the last year than issues of war and peace, crime, the environment, health care, education, poverty, government services and other current major issues combined.

To me, this is a sad commentary on what matters to us.

Bryan R. Lemons, PoliceChiefMagazine.org:
(Branch Chief, Legal Div., Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, Glynco, GA)
Civil Liability for False Affidavits -- “Reasonable minds frequently may differ on the question whether a particular affidavit establishes probable cause” and “great deference” is to be given to magistrate’s determination of the matter.1 However, a plaintiff may challenge the presumption of validity afforded a warrant where the issuing judge was misled by information contained in the affidavit that the affiant either (1) knew was false or (2) would have known was false had he not recklessly disregarded the truth. The purpose of this column is to discuss the liability that a law enforcement officer may incur in such situations under 42 U.S.C. 1983, which is one of the primary federal statutes under which lawsuits are filed against state and local law enforcement officers.2 ...
John in Carolina:
N&O “boots” questions -- the News & Observer promulgated the deliberate falsehood that the players hadn’t cooperated with police while suppressing the news they had.

And as much as I deplore most of the NY Times’ Hoax reporting, it wasn’t the NY Times that withheld for thirteen months the exculpatory news the N&O learned in the Mangum/Khanna interview, was it?

“Not true” is not a Stop sign for Sill and the other people who control what “news” the N&O reports; it’s not even a caution light.

I believe the N&O hasn’t given us the “anonymous tip” or any other false explanation for how Khanna got to Mangum because:
1) the N&O was, in the lingo of journalists, “fed a tip;”

2) the tip came from someone very close to the case, such as someone in the DA’s office or on the DPD “investigation team;”

3) that someone undoubtedly assured Mangum she could speak “to the lady from the N&O” without any worry that the “N&O lady” would do anything to upset the case, especially the hopes Mangum had then for a “big settlement” from those rich, white Duke boys;

4) and that the N&O knows the someone who fed it the tip is likely at some time in the not too distant future to testify in a case, criminal or civil, in which the someone will explain how Khanna and the N&O really didn't need to do any "boots on the street hustle."
The complicity involving the N&O and someone(s) on the “Nifong/DPD investigative team” may be much more extensive than what I’ve suggested here...
comment: Thousands of dead journalism professors would turn over in their graves if they read and knew the backstory for the N&O's hoax starting "Dancer gives details of ordeal" article.
Rashida Rawls, (FL) Ocala.com:
Other owed apologies in Duke case -- Despite the disbarment of former Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong and Duke University's financial settlement with the families of the university lacrosse team members who were falsely accused of raping a woman, some believe there are others who took sides in the dispute who should apologize.

Some readers wondered why the Rev. Al Sharpton and the Rev. Jesse Jackson, who spoke out on behalf of the woman who made the false accusations, have not spoken up since the case unraveled.

Should they be held accountable for the Duke students' humiliation, as well? Or were they just trying to bring attention to what they thought was an injustice? ...
Nancy Cook, NPR.org:
Ex-Coach Writes Book on Duke Lacrosse Case [audio]-- All Things Considered, June 29, 2007 · Mike Pressler was dumped as Duke's lacrosse coach when rape charges were filed against three of his players.

The players eventually were declared not guilty, and the prosecutor who pursued the case has been disbarred.

As for Pressler, the notorious case cost him dearly. His team's season was canceled, and he lost one of the most prestigious jobs in the sport.

Now, coaching at Bryant University in Rhode Island, Pressler has written a book about his experiences.
Rusty Jacobs, NPR.com:
Lacrosse Case a Learning Tool for Lawyers [audio] -- All Things Considered, June 29, 2007 · Lawyers in North Carolina are trying to learn some lessons from the botched prosecution of three Duke lacrosse players who were falsely accused of sexually assaulting an exotic dancer.

This week, some lawyers attended a professional development panel to understand how the rush to judgment happened and what they can do to prevent something similar from happening in the future...

Dennis Draughon, editorialcartoonists.com:
Extreme Makeover: Downtown Durham --

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