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Monday, June 4, 2007

Nifong/Mangum Hoax — June 4, 2007

Updated — today's items:

Robert Shibley, TheFire.org (Foundation for Individual Rights in Education):
Duke Student Government President Wants to Exclude Illegal Evidence -- With the exoneration of the accused Duke lacrosse players, many are now taking a hard look at the procedures that were used to drag them through over a year of utterly unjustified litigation. FIRE friend Professor KC Johnson has done an invaluable service to our society by chronicling the whole sad story of the case on his blog, Durham-in-Wonderland.

While the majority of the abuses came from the Durham Police and the office of Durham County Prosecutor Mike Nifong, many people—including Elliott Wolf, president of the Duke Student Government (DSG)—are upset with Duke’s handling of the case as well. In a March 29 memo sent to Stephen Bryan, Duke’s Associate Dean of Students and Director of Judicial Affairs, Wolf and the DSG take issue with the fact that Duke “will pursue judicial action against a student based on evidence collected by law enforcement officers that was illegally obtained or otherwise insufficient to serve as the basis for criminal prosecution.” The problems with this were made apparent by the Duke lacrosse case, in which Duke immediately “temporarily” suspended two of the accused students (the third was allowed to graduate because he was only a few days away)...
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Chauncey NarteyLieStoppers blog:
"WHAT IF JANET LYNN WERE NEXT???" -- Excerpt from "A Rush to Injustice" by Nader Baydoun and R. Stephanie Good:
As unnerving as McFayden's e-mail was, it didn't compare to the one that Coach Pressler received shortly thereafter. Apparently, the coach had been receiving numerous harassing e-mails in regard to the lacrosse incident. One such e-mail came from Duke student Chauncey Nartey. Several sources have confirmed that the e-mail was sent on March 27, 2006, at 2:01 p.m. The e-mail's subject read, "WHAT IF JANET LYNN WERE NEXT???" Janet is Coach Pressler's daughter's name. I was told that Pressler brought the e-mail to Vice President Moneta, and it was traced to Nartey, an African American student.

After what is assumed to have been an investigation into the matter, Pressler was told that the e-mail was not regarded as a threat. Thus, no action was taken, not in the form of punishment, that is. So, McFayden was suspended for sending an e-mail out to his friends as a joke, while Nartey send an e-mail that contained at least an implied threat to the lacrosse coach and was simply told not to do it again...

Here's the interesting twist in regard to the e-mail situation. Within a couple of weeks of Mangum's lacrosse allegations, Brodhead formed five committees to investigate the issues that arose out of it. One such committee was the Campus Cultural Initiative Steering Committee, and it was headed up by Larry Moneta...

you learn that one his [Moneta's] appointees to this Committee is Nartey, the student who sent the allegedly threatening e-mail out to Pressler, you have to question what is really going on in the administrative offices of Duke University.
discussion:
LS forum: Chauncey Nartey
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Joseph Mallia, Newsday:
Duke lax prosecutor facing ethics trial -- Mike Nifong is now a defendant.

And Collin Finnerty will be there to watch him face justice.

Internationally known as the rogue prosecutor who improperly pursued rape charges against Finnerty and two other Duke University lacrosse players, the Durham, N.C., district attorney is now listed on the North Carolina State Bar docket -- on a list of the accused.

Nifong's trial on ethics charges will begin at 10 a.m. next Tuesday, June 12, in the Court of Appeals Building in downtown Raleigh, the bar association's executive director, Thomas Lunsford, said in a Monday interview.

Nifong plans take the stand to testify in his own defense, Kevin Finnerty of Garden City, Collin's father, said Monday.

"That means he will have to go through cross-examination and that could produce some interesting testimony," Kevin Finnerty said...

The other two falsely accused players, Reade Seligmann, 21, of Essex Fells, N.J., and David Evans, 24, of Bethesda, Md., will also attend the trial along with their families, Kevin Finnerty said...
discussion:
TalkLeft: Duke lax prosecutor facing ethics trial
FreeRepublic: Duke lax prosecutor facing ethics trial
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John in Carolina:
INNOCENT: BRODHEAD IN PHILLY QUESTIONS -- Duke President Richard H. Brodhead will be massaging Philadelphia area alums, parents and others this Tuesday evening, June 5 ... question Brodhead’s inaction in the face of the events and invite him to explain his inactions...

“President Brodhead, since Reade Seligmann was the victim of threats, including death threats, on May 18 outside and within the Durham Courthouse you’ve made no public comments condemning those who threatened Seligmann or offering your support to him and his family. Why haven’t you done that?” ...

“Why did you refuse to meet with the lacrosse parents last spring?” ...
discussion:
LS forum: A Duke Conversation - June 5 - Philadelphia, Brodhead Dinner
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Jon Ham, Right Angles blog:
Eugene Brown asks the right questions about the DPD’s actions in the Duke lacrosse case -- Durham City Councilman Eugene Brown is asking the right questions regarding the handling of the Duke lacrosse case by the Durham Police Department. Blogger John in Carolina wraps it all up in a nice, neat package for you. After reading this you come away with the certain knowledge that several police officers and supervisors knew, absolutely knew, that no rape and assault had occurred, yet continued for months to say it had. John and Councilman Brown wonder why...

Let’s hope enough of Brown’s colleagues on the council are as concerned and interested. This doesn’t deserve they typical Durham whitewashing. Some head need to roll.
related:
Jon Ham, Right Angles blog: You get no respect... -- Still, after nearly 20 years working at The Herald-Sun and being entrusted by management to start The Chapel Hill Herald in 1988, you’d think the current editor [Bob Ashley] would be able to spell my name correctly...
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LieStoppers blog:
Durham City Council Takes One Step Forward and Two Steps Backward -- In a special meeting held on Friday, the Durham City Council approved Mayor Bill Bell’s proposal for a twelve member committee, comprised of law enforcement representatives, defense attorneys, and private citizens, to conduct a review of the police department’s participation in the Durham Hoax...

While the first five selections for the Durham Hoax Committee offer promise, the game plan for rounding out the committee has raised concerns...

While the race/gender quota and the inclusion of a rape counselor from an organization with a vested interest in the outcome of the investigation offer cause for concern, the City Council's indecision over granting subpoena power to the committee and apparent unwillingness to exercise their own lawful power of subpoena to compel testimony and production of records threaten to make the investigation an exercise in futility....
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LieStoppers:
Closing: The Sound of Lying -- [cartoon]
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Opinion shorts, News-Record (Greensboro, NC):
Score one for the NCAA -- The NCAA has granted Duke University's request for an extra year of eligibility for 33 players on its men's lacrosse team after much of last season was canceled following false rape allegations against three team members.

The athletics sanctioning organization correctly determined that the botched court proceedings shouldn't shorten the careers of student-athletes not even remotely involved in the case.

Even if the players don't take advantage of the opportunity for a fifth year of eligibility at Duke or elsewhere, they deserve the chance
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KC Johnson:
Overlooking Brad Ross -- When matters turned to the field and not the legacy of Mike Nifong’s misconduct, most of the media attention during Duke’s run to the national championship focused on the team’s two leading scorers, Matt Danowski and Zach Greer. But in both the semi-final win against Cornell and the one-goal loss to Johns Hopkins, junior midfielder Brad Ross stood out...

Ross also was a key figure in the lacrosse case. He was the only team member that Crystal Mangum twice remembered, with 100 percent certainty, seeing at the party. Indeed, in the April 4 “witness” lineup, Mangum even described what Ross was doing—standing outside, she said, chatting with Kim Roberts.

There was, of course, a small problem with Mangum’s recollection: Ross not only wasn’t at the party, he wasn’t even in Durham that evening. As Iowa State’s Gary Wells noted, the flawed identification of Ross placed Mangum “in the questionable category of eyewitnesses who [are] capable of being positive and wrong. That’s a red flag.” ...

discussion:
LieStoppers: Overlooking Brad Ross
TalkLeft: Brad Ross - gave DPD exculpatory evidence

Jon Ham: More ignominy for Nifong and the DPD -- One wonders whether Durham DA Mike Nifong would have sought an indictment of Ross if Mangum had fingered him as one of her alleged attackers, even though Nifong and the cops knew Ross was in Raleigh at the time of the party.

Sadly, probably so.

related: TJN: Identification Issues
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Michael Gaynor:
Duke still needs a new president -- In an article posted on July 3, 2006, I called upon Duke University President Richard Brodhead to resign and explained why...

My conclusion: "Mr. Brodhead is not as vile as Mr. Nifong, but he too is a villain who must go. Much good can come from the Duke case if it is fully appreciated for what it is and people resolve that it — and the acts that encouraged it to be a persecution instead of an investigation — not be repeated."

Time has confirmed all that.

Mr. Nifong is answering to the North Carolina State Bar, but Mr. Brodhead is unrepentant, unremoved and unhurried...
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Leonard Pitts Jr., MiamiHerald.com:
'Oppressed' whites? Give me a break -- It always amazes me when white people put on the victim hat...

It seems that in January, a young white couple, Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom, were victims of a brutal crime. They were carjacked, kidnapped and raped. Cleaning fluid was sprayed into Christian's mouth. She was stuffed in a trash can and apparently suffocated. Newsom was shot and set afire. His body was dumped. Five African Americans, one a woman, have been arrested.

The story made headlines around Knoxville. It was unnoticed nationally.

That has changed. A constellation of white supremacists and conservative bloggers has pushed the story into the national limelight as illustration of their argument that news media, constrained by political correctness, refuse to report black on white crime while pulling out all the stops when crime is white on black as in the Duke lacrosse debacle. Me, I would see their Duke case and raise them a Central Park jogger, but what do I know?

Anyway, bloggers like Michael Oliver have chastised the ''liberal, biased, Mainstream Media'' for missing the Knoxville story. He asked, ``Had the roles been reversed, would the media ignore such a horrific crime?'' ...
discussion:
Alex, Stuck On The Palmetto blog:
Leonard Pitts: Wrong -- I like Leonard Pitts columns and usually agree with him. But today he's monumentally wrong. He is railing against whites "putting on the victim hat" because of a horrific murder that happened in Knoxville and the scant attention it got from the media...

I don't know if it's Pitts snarky tone ("It seems"? "I'm obligated -- because I'm black --") or his kill-the-messenger approach that puts me off the most. First off, I don't see how the Duke case and the Central Park jogger case cancel each other -both were gross police and prosecutorial errors- unless seen as tit-for-tat in racial wars. Two wrongs don't make a right, as Pitts well knows...
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Robert J. Bliwise, Duke Magazine:
Blogging the Case -- The blogger behind "Durham in Wonderland" is KC Johnson, a history professor at Brooklyn College and the CUNY Graduate Center, who (with journalist Stuart Taylor of the National Journal and Newsweek) is writing a book on the case...several blogs that had been generated by, and continue to feed off, the case; among the most popular are "Liestoppers" and "John in Carolina,"...

As is clear from the avid, sometimes vituperative, lacrosse-inspired online conversation, the blogosphere doesn't just attract those tied to the interests of the institution. The lacrosse case is "almost custom-built for the Culture Wars," Rosen says, and professors perceived to be on the wrong side are tempting targets. "I would expect a lot of—shrillness would be a mild word for it. I would expect hysteria." If you're a tenured professor, he says, "that means you are armed to participate in debate more than just about anybody, with the exception of Supreme Court justices. I do, however, believe that you have to be smart about what you say. You have to think through what you are saying, in light of the cascading effects of the Internet. But if academics with tenure can't speak publicly to public controversies, who the hell can?"

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