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Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Nifong/Mangum Hoax — June 5, 2007

Updated — today's items:

Our Collective Voice: How the Duke Rape Hoax Became the Duke Racial Epithets Crime-of-the-Century Hoax (and Remains So Today) -- Yes, the racial epithets. We’ve heard so much about them. They’re always included in the story. - sometimes introduced by words such as “hurled”,” barked” or “screamed.” Most mainstream media commentators take it as a given that such things were said, even if they are not sure what things were said – except for the “thank your grandpa for my cotton shirt” comment reported by Jason Bissey. The epithets, whatever they are considered to be, have a prominent place in and give the only real weight to the litany of offenses – underage drinking, peeing in the bushes, hiring strippers, and giving a slightly modified version of your last name to an escort agency – that are cited to make sure everyone understands that the Duke lacrosse players were “no angels.” ...

Race and racial epithets have taken center stage at this point and the Hoax will never again be ‘only’ about rape.

LS forum: Momtothree steps out, Read

Craig Henry, Lead & Gold blog:
Duke lacrosse: Ten days on March (II) -- LieStoppers has a terrific piece of detective work on the crucial early days of the hoax....

The News and Observer also comes off poorly in the LieStoppers article which shows that they have lied repeatedly about the 24 March interview with Precious. Nor have they ever come clean about the contacts between their reporters and the DPD. LieStoppers dissects both points with great skill...
William L. Anderson:
In Praise of Ryan McFadyen -- While much of the hate fest that accompanied the Duke Non-Rape, Non-Kidnapping, Non-Sexual Assault case has subsided, the vilification of one Duke lacrosse player continues. Ryan McFadyen perhaps has received more bad press in this affair, with the possible exception of Durham District Attorney Michael B. Nifong.

I say "possible" because next week Nifong goes before the North Carolina State Bar for what most of us hope is the first of many trips to the legal woodshed. The fact that "Nifonging" has become a "verb" in legal parlance and his name has been cited by judges elsewhere in association with legal travesties is gratifying, but even Nifong, as evil as he has been, has not received the notoriety that McFadyen has been given – and continues to receive...

Having illegally obtained the McFadyen email, Nifong and the police had him come downtown for a "visit" on April 5 and presented the following choice: either be willing to testify that he saw the "attackers" in the bathroom with Mangum and turn state’s evidence on the rape charges, or the authorities would release the email. One has to understand what was happening. Nifong and the police were giving him the choice either of committing perjury or being humiliated publicly. ...

McFadyen, to his everlasting credit, told police and the prosecutor he would not lie for them. After all, there had been no rape, no kidnapping, no sexual assault, no "brutal" beating, nothing. He had seen nothing and would not testify to having seen that which did not happen. Unfortunately, because of the state of law in North Carolina, Ryan McFadyen paid a horrific price for showing integrity, something that anyone in authority in Durham or Duke University has yet to show, even more than a year after this affair began...
comment: LieStoppers & William Anderson reveal more layers of the Nifong/Mangum hoax. Vile racial epithets and the so-called McFadyen email "shocker" were just more lies that were woven into the fictional rape story.

LS forum: Praising Ryan McFadyen
TalkLeft: Blackmail of Ryan McFayden
TalkLeft: In Praise of Ryan McFadyen

Jon Ham, Right Angles blog:
Ron Stephens gets pulled in -- District Court Judge Ron Stephens has pretty much gotten a pass for his early involvement in the Duke lacrosse prosecution... Anderson writes..."Stephens, a judge who has sworn to uphold the law, ordered that an illegally-obtained email that had nothing to do with the case be released and publicized because the young man who wrote it was refusing to break the law (which Stephens had sworn to uphold) by lying under oath."

Craig Henry, Lead & Gold blog: Duke lacrosse: integrity and hyprocrisy
Brian MacPherson knows squadooshBrian MacPherson, St. Cloud Times:
MacPherson column: Don’t make Duke saga a story of victimhood -- Human nature is reactionary — quick to accuse, quick to acquit — but public opinion might never have swung so dramatically as it has in recent months in the Duke lacrosse fiasco.

From the moment the charges were filed, all 47 members of that team were spoiled brats with such a supremacy complex they were dangerous to society...

It’s almost enough to bring you to tears, the way these heroes persevered through a tidal wave of false accusation brought upon them through no fault of their own.

It’s a nice story — except that it’s almost as fabricated as the original rape charge.

We can all agree that the alleged sexual assault never took place and that an out-for-blood district attorney completely disregarded the justice system in his rush to convict.

But that doesn’t mean these were choir boys framed at the scene of someone else’s crime...

And one of the players receiving an extra year of eligibility for hardship endured is Ryan McFadyen, who wrote an e-mail to his teammates that provoked universal disgust upon its discovery ...
comment: Brian MacPherson shows he knows squadoosh about the real details of the Nifong/Mangum hoax. He throws "all 47 members" of the Duke lacrosse team into the tar pit, no exceptions. Wait, that must mean he is a sports reporter. Yes, and one from UNC to boot -- Brian MacPherson is a native of New Hampshire and a recent graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has covered St. Cloud State football and basketball for the Times since September of 2006, and his column appears every Monday. -- There is no axe grinding going on here is there?
John FeinsteinKC Johnson:
John Feinstein, and the Unbearable Lightness of America's Sportswriters -- Take the most famous sportswriter to comment on the case, John Feinstein—someone who, in a never-ending cascade of increasingly panned books and appearances on radio talk shows, has become one of those brands you can’t avoid no matter how much might want to.

On March 30, 2006, Feinstein admitted to Tony Kornheiser that “I don’t know that I know any more than you. I have not been talking to my sources and resources in Durham.” But he offered his advice anyway: the Duke administration should cancel the lacrosse season immediately and revoke the scholarships of every lacrosse player who would not speak with authorities...

Do they give Pulitzers for hypocrisy? If so, consider Feinstein a shoo-in.
Bob Sikes, Getting Paid to Watch blog:
Taking John Feinstein to task -- ...again over his opinions of the Duke hoax. KC Johnson also has some generalities about sports columnists which I have a tendency to agree with...
John Feinstein, Washington Post:
Admit Mistakes, Save the Embarrassment (June 4, 2007) -- At the end of last week's column about the Duke lacrosse team and the ongoing debacle within the school's athletic department I made the point that one of the biggest problems in our society today is people refusing to admit mistakes. Predictably, the reaction I got to the column from Duke people was that no one there has made any mistakes. Turns out, according to all of them, I was the one who made the mistake of thinking anyone at Duke might be mistaken.

I give them all points for being predictable...
Duke Basketball Report:
Call Me Feinstein -- The other day we talked about John Feinstein and his alienation from Duke. His unhappiness with the university has taken on almost Ahab-esque levels. But instead of losing his leg, fortunately, Feinstein, so far anyway, has lost only his judgment. Take his latest column. ...

Feinstein has offered no criticisms of the faculty, although a number of faculty members erred and did so egregiously in some ways). But while he ties it all together - the man is a gifted writer and we admire the clarity of his voice immensely - the desire to wound grows tiresome.

You get the feeling that even if the board of trustees sold the university to Feinstein for a dollar he’d just use it for bait and keep on fishing. The whale makes for a good hunt, but like Ahab, the hunt is turning on Feinstein, or at least on his better judgment and his reputation as an insightful columnist.
Editorial, News & Observer:
Nonpartisan prosecutors -- Voters won't be able to pin a party label on the donkey -- or the elephant -- if the state Senate succeeds in making district attorney elections nonpartisan. Senators voted recently in favor of a shift away from partisan elections for the state's 39 district attorneys.

At present, candidates for the local prosecutorial offices run as Democrats or Republicans (or, possibly, with a minor party affiliation). The field of candidates is narrowed in party primaries to the leading vote getter in each, and then it's on to the general election.

Making the office nonpartisan would put the D.A.'s in the same boat as judges. The top two primary finishers would fight it out in the general, unless one candidate won an outright majority in the primary.

The bill was sponsored by Democratic Sen. Dan Clodfelter of Charlotte, and the initial vote found Republicans solidly against it, perhaps because they view their party as having a perceived edge on law-and-order issues. It would be blind, however, to ignore the Mike Nifong factor...
Steven Marcus, Newsday:
Even doing right thing can sting -- Duke lacrosse coach John Danowski is trying to take the high road, though he's stung by criticism the university has received over the NCAA's decision to essentially give Duke a do-over for its self-imposed truncation of the 2006 season.

The NCAA last week restored a full season of eligibility to 33 Duke players from a program that was under heavy scrutiny after an accusation of rape against three players last year. Duke halted the 2006 season after eight games in a decision, the university said in its appeal to the NCAA, that was based on safety concerns for those in the program...

Danowski, then the Hofstra coach, felt the slings of incrimination back in Hempstead just because his son Matt played for Duke. "There were Web sites," John Danowski said, "where my name, my wife's name and our address were listed as targets. That was pretty scary. I had to have a police escort on and off the field at Hofstra for every game."

"Our first game this year, they had to clear the locker room and have bomb-sniffing dogs checking for explosives," Danowski said. "There were people in riot gear waiting in an office building [in case of a violent demonstration]. That was a reaction from last spring." ...

Interesting how those who felt the need to defend the image of lacrosse and Duke's entitlement to justice now question a fair-minded decision. "Short memories," Danowski said. And that's as critical as he would get...
Brianne Dopart, Herald-Sun:
Finalists for chief to field queries -- If Bull City residents have questions for the three men hoping to become Durham's next chief of police, tonight they'll get the chance to ask them.

Finalists Don Green, Jose Luis Lopez and Durham's deputy chief, Ron Hodge, will be on hand at a public forum from 7-8:30 p.m. at City Hall, 101 City Hall Plaza. Each of the three is hoping to replace retiring Chief Steve Chalmers.

City Council members Thomas Stith, Diane Catotti and Howard Clement said the finalists' approach to Durham's rising rate of violent crime and gang crime should be at the top of the list of questions posed to the candidates.

Stith said he wants to take a look at the practical experience of each of the three and leadership skills they've demonstrated in the past in taking the lead on the aforementioned issues.

Catotti wants to know more about the candidates' approach to community policing.

"Durham has a lot of citizen involvement in crime fighting as far as the [Partners Against Crime groups] and community neighborhood watches," she said. "Of course, I'd also want to know more about their experience and their perspective."

Catotti said she'd like to hear more about the candidates' experience working in culturally diverse areas, particularly in the Hispanic community...
John in Carolina:
INNOCENT: Hodge For Police Chief? -- Why did Baker pick Hodge as a finalist? Especially why did Baker pick Hodge when the public doesn’t have answers to the questions I’ve asked here?

News & Observer:
Public to meet Durham police chief finalists -- City Manager Patrick Baker chose the finalists as he seeks a replacement for Steven Chalmers, who is retiring from the chief's job. The three have been in Durham this week to meet with the City Council and community leaders and to take part in the public forum tonight.

The forum will be held in the City Council chambers on the first floor on City Hall. City officials have set aside time in advance of the forum for the finalists to take questions from news reporters.

Mayor Bill Bell has said that he is looking for a chief who is honest, will emphasize reducing violent crime and will create a plan to address other issues.

Demonstrators protest in front of the Santa Clara County District Attorney's office May 31stSung Kim, La voz De Anza:
RAPE CASE NOT OVER -- PROTESTERS AND ALLEGED VICTIM SPEAK OUT AGAINST DA DECISION -- Activist groups gathered at the Santa Clara county district attorney's office to protest District Attorney Dolores Carr's decision not to take the alleged rape of a 17-year-old girl to court.

Upset with the district attorney's decision to not file charges, women's rights advocacy groups including Democratic Activist for Women Now and Stop Family Violence organized the event on behalf of the alleged victim...

Katherine Redmond from the National Coalition Against Violent Athletes, also expressed her concerns about the way the case was handled. "She left out the most compelling parts of this case," said Redmond, about the district attorney. "I think that the public should be demanding some answers. The DA has a duty to the public to explain her position fully and explain why she presented half the evidence to the grand jury."

One of the speakers during the protest was Laura Casas Frier, a member of the De Anza College's board of trustees. Frier spoke as "a local citizen, and urged witnesses to come forward. "Please boys, you come forward and provide the DA with the additional witness statements. You know who you are," said Frier...

NCAVA.org (National Coalition Against Violent Athletes):
Game Stats --
  • A 3 year study shows that while male student-athletes comprise 3.3% of the population, they represent 19% of sexual assault perpetrators and 35% of domestic violence perpetrators. (Benedict/Crosset Study)
  • One in three college sexual assaults are committed by athletes. (Benedict/Crosset Study)
  • In the three years before 1998, an average of 1000 charges were brought against athletes each year. (Benedict/Crosset Study)
  • In 1995, while only 8.5% of the general population was charged with assault, 36.8% of athletes were charged with assault. (Benedict/Crosset Study)
  • The general population has a conviction rate of 80%. The conviction rate of an athlete is 38%. (Benedict/Crosset Study)
  • A new incident of athlete crime emerges once every two days - that does NOT include crimes that were unreported in the media. (NCAVA)
  • 84% of the public believes colleges should revoke the scholarship of a player convicted of a crime. (ESPN SportsZone Poll)
  • 83% of the public believes that college and pro athletes are committing more criminal acts now compared to 25 years ago. (ESPN SportsZone Poll)
comment: This Benedict-Crosset Study has been cited on the National Coalition Against Violent Athletes Web site and in a couple of articles related to the Duke case from last year. One article said the following about the study:
A prominent 1995 Northeastern University study that scrutinized judicial records at 10 colleges, commonly called the Benedict-Crosset study, showed that although male athletes comprise just over 3 percent of the student population, they committed 19 percent of sexual assaults and 35 percent of all domestic violence
An ABC News article tried to link the Nifong/Mangum hoax to the Benedict-Crosset Study. Too bad there was absolutely no linkage. The study does not appear online and so it can not be evaluated. It seems odd that the National Coalition Against Violent Athletes would not want to provide the full study online since they frequently cite it. In fact, the study seems like it provides the major underpinning for their existence.
Jake Tapper & Audrey Taylor, ABC News:
Is Jock Culture a Training Ground for Crime? (April 18, 2006) -- Studies Find College Athletes More Likely to Commit Sexual Assault -- A year before Duke University's lacrosse team became the center of scandal, administrators and the school's athletic director were warned that the players had demonstrated "boorish" behavior...

The Benedict-Crosset Study of sexual assaults at 30 major Division I universities over a three-year period in the 1990s concludes that "male college student athletes, compared to the rest of the male population, are responsible for a significantly higher percentage of sexual assaults reported to judicial affairs on the campuses of Division I institutions." ...
Note that the ABC News article said, "Studies Find College Athletes More Likely to Commit Sexual Assault." But, the article only cites one study: the 1995 Benedict-Crosset Study?
Nartey: Threat to Coach's Daughter Not A Threat Because It Wasn't Anonymous -- Before refusing further comment, he did explain why he [Chauncey Nartey] believed his emails should not have been considered "a threat." "The email I sent -- I sent two-- I sent them from my Duke email address," Nartey said, explaining his twisted logic. "I sent them with my name attached. It wasn't like any anonymous thing. I knew I was going to be attached to it, so it wasn't any sort of threat."

Nartey also admitted that it was "a mistake" to bring Pressler's daughter into the mix "just because I didn't think it would be so heavily misconstrued." He went on to say "it was a stupid thing to mention his daughter, in retrospect, but at the time I thought if somebody can't see why it's inappropriate to move forward with athletics in this sort of situation then perhaps that parallel could be drawn by incorporating someone near and dear to him. And again, foolish, but that the rationale was that was that you can draw the parallel."
LieStoppers blog: Can't Anybody Take A Joke? -- [cartoon]

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