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Monday, July 2, 2007

Nifong/Mangum Hoax — July 2, 2007 — Nifong is Out

Updated — today's items:

Joe Cheshire with client, Dave Evans, May 15, 2006WRAL:
Cheshire Named President of NC Academy of Trial Lawyers -- One of the defense lawyers in the Duke lacrosse rape case has taken over as president of the North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers.
Joseph Cheshire became the organization's 33rd president, the group said Monday. He was selected during the annual convention in Sunset Beach two weeks ago.

Cheshire was one of two attorneys who represented Dave Evans, one of three Duke lacrosse players who was falsely accused of rape last year. Cheshire is a fifth-generation lawyer who graduated from Wake Forest School of Law. He has practiced criminal law since 1973, and is a founding partner at the Raleigh law firm Cheshire Parker Schneider and Vitale.

The 4,000-member academy provides information and assistance to lawyers across the state.

KC Johnson: Honor for Cheshire

Duff Wilson - Nifong EnablerLieStoppers blog:
Duff Wilson and the Creedmoor Accusation -- In his August attempt to breathe life into the slowly dying Hoax, the New York Times’ Duff Wilson presented the homegrown notes of Sgt. Mark Gottlieb as if they were grounded in fact, rather than conveniently composed to fill the gaping holes in the framing of innocent men for crimes that never occurred...

it is difficult to accept that the Times treated any pro-Nifong/Mangum Hoax material, new or otherwise, skeptically. The publication of the exhibits entered into evidence at Mike Nifong’s State Bar ethics trial reveals that Duff Wilson not only treated his new material without skepticism but also presented, without question or skepticism, a contradictory tale of a previous accusation spun by Crystal Mangum, who along with Linwood Wilson may be the only Hoax witnesses less credible than the Durham Police Department’s designated Duke Hunter - Sgt. Mark Gottlieb...
Judge Orlando F. HudsonNews & Observer:
Hearing terminated after Nifong resigns -- Mike Nifong today submitted his resignation as Durham district attorney effective immediately, just as a judge was scheduled to consider removing him.

Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson, who previously suspended the disbarred prosecutor, resumed a hearing today on a citizen's petition to remove Nifong from office. But Hudson terminated the proceeding based on Nifong's letter of resignation.

"It is my belief that the purposes of the removal statute have been accomplished," Hudson said.
Betty LawrenceNifong did not attend today's hearing.

Betty Tenn Lawrence, a lawyer for a Durham resident whose petition initiated the removal proceeding, argued that Hudson should order Nifong's removal from office, despite his resignation. She said Nifong should be permanently removed to keep him from running again.

But Hudson said the chances of Nifong returning to the district attorney's office were nil. "I do not think he will ever be elected for any position in the United States of America," Hudson said. "Mr. Nifong is absolutely unelectable." ...
LS forum: Nifong hearing up -- DW - Hudson showed absolute contempt for Beth's attorney. Not the least bit impartial.

Wish Beth could take this case to the Court of Appeals and have a little egg thrown on Hudson's face. If the truth were known, Hudson did not even understand the attorney's reasoning nor the cases she cited. He showed no interest in reviewing the cases. His mind was made up before the court convened. This folks is how justice is carried out in Durham Cty. This would have been the same court to have tried Reade, Collin and Dave. A court of monkeys, run by monkeys, for monkeys!

KC Johnson: Nifong's Reign Formally Ends
Jon Ham: Nifong anti-climax -- Hudson: “Mr. Nifong is absolutely unelectable.” I hope that’s true, but this is Durham.

Nifong resignation letter to Gov. Easley, July 2, 2007Nifong resignation letter to Governor Easley, click to enlarge
Nifong listens as rules violations are being announced during his NC State Bar trial in Raleigh on Sat., June 16, 2007Lara Setrakian, ABC News:
Nifong Is Out -- Lawyer for disgraced former prosecutor submits Nifong's resignation. -- It's official: Mike Nifong is no longer the Durham County district attorney.
The embattled former prosecutor submitted a resignation letter this morning, effective today...
Nifong's dismissal was "a sigh of relief," said former North Carolina Attorney General Rufus Edmisten, echoing the views of many of the state's lawyers as the tortuous legal saga has dragged on. "People need to get back to normal now." ...
By being disbarred, Nifong lost not just his law license, but his livelihood. Unable to practice law, it's unclear what kind of work, if any, Nifong will do next. But Nifong has said he expects the words "Duke lacrosse" will follow him wherever he goes.

"I will go to my grave being associated with this case," said Nifong. "That's OK. … I took the responsibility on myself."
Nifong letter to Judge Hudson, July 2, 2007Nifong letter to Judge Hudson, click to enlarge
Robert ZaytounNBC17:
Nifong Submits Immediate Resignation [+video]-- Even resigning, Mike Nifong still signed his name as District Attorney in the letter.
The letter wasn't enough for Durham resident Beth Brewer.

She filed a complaint asking judge Orlando Hudson to immediately boot Nifong from office.

"You don't just leave it up to a defendant to submit his resignation and terminate the proceedings at will, that there is strong public interest in seeing the proceedings go on," Said Betty Lawrence, Brewer's attorney.

Judge Hudson decided an immediate resignation was good enough, saying Nifong's name is forever tarnished.
Beth BrewerAaron Beard, AP/ABC News:
Nifong Resigns, Effective Immediately -- Betty Lawrence, an attorney for the Durham resident [Beth Brewer] who filed a petition in February asking Hudson to remove Nifong, pressed the judge to do so in spite of the revised resignation. Without such an order, she said, Nifong could potentially get his law license back and again run for office.
It was a suggestion Hudson dismissed without much of a discussion.
"Woe be it to the people of Durham County if they're fooled again," Hudson said, adding later, "I do not think he will be elected for any position in the United States again." ...
Nifong finally goneNews & Observer:
One way or another, Nifong out today -- Mike Nifong is almost certain to be out of his job as Durham district attorney today, whether by resignation or removal.
Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson, who suspended the disbarred prosecutor, is scheduled to resume a hearing at 11 a.m. today on a citizen's petition to remove Nifong from office.
Nifong, however, has said he will submit his resignation to Gov. Mike Easley, effective today.
Hudson referred to the absence of suspense last week, when the removal proceeding originally was scheduled. "There is no defense for Mr. Nifong to these proceedings. So you don't have to guess how this is going to turn out," Hudson said then..

Nifong Expected to Submit Resignation Monday -- After nearly three decades in the Durham County district attorney's office, disbarred prosecutor Mike Nifong is expected to turn in his resignation Monday.
Nifong did not show up for a June 28 hearing to consider his removal as Durham County District Attorney. Special prosecutor Robert Zaytoun said Nifong knew about the hearing, but he was out of state.
  • 11 a.m. Watch removal hearing LIVE on WRAL.com and WRAL NewsChannel.
Zaytoun also said Nifong told him that he would turn in his immediate resignation Monday. Judge Orlando Hudson continued the removal hearing until 11 a.m. Monday, pending Nifong's resignation...
LieStoppers blog:
Permanent Removal vs. Resignation -- Taking Judge Hudson at his word, we can only hope that this morning he will "head off things that will be a tremendous problem" by permanently removing Nifong from office thereby disqualifying the rogue prosecutor from holding the office of District Attorney in the future. And while "the public is not going to understand that," we know that Judge Hudson doesn't "expect everybody in the public to be a lawyer and to understand the legal issues." After all, "that’s what [Hudson's] supposed to know. That’s what [Hudson's] supposed to do.”
Kathleen Eckelt RN, FNE; Forensics Talk:
Anne Ream Responds to: When Will The Slurs Stop? -- Ms. Ream is neither a forensic nurse nor a forensic expert. She is neither trained nor qualified in this field.

So, I would rather not be insulted by the suggestion that I've never taken care of strippers, or that I have no compassion for them. I have treated patients from all walks of life and every single patient gets the utmost compassion, respect and support. I don’t ask them what they do. It has no bearing on what I do.

That does not mean, however, that we believe everyone who walks through this door. Nor does that mean that we believe every one accused is guilty. There is no need to show compassion to someone who is a proven liar. My compassion is saved for the real victims who deserve it.

The sad part is, that Ms. ream, and others like her, obviously don't understand the harm they are doing to all true victims everywhere.

She says her desire is only to address the moral issues involved in this case. Whose morals?

Which is worse, doing some drinking at a college party, or deliberately lying and framing innocent persons for something they didn't do, inflaming an entire community with racist accusations, and being the initial cause of people losing their careers (not to say that some didn't deserve it)? ...

LieStoppers forum: Kathleen Eckelt - Response from Anne Ream


Charles Rector, OMGN.com:
Anne K. Ream on the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case -- One of the very best opinion pieces written about the Duke University Lacrosse Team Rape Case was by Anne K. Ream that originally appeared in the June 17th Chicago Tribune and was reprinted on the Sexual Assault Training & Investigations (SATI) website. In it Ream pointed out some inconvenient facts..
Ream goes on to point out how the phrase “boys will be boys” has been used to justify even the most barbaric of crimes committed by “student”-athletes against females. Ream also notes the real problem with the way that the news media has reported on rape for years and years: “It is underreporting, not false reporting, that poses the greatest risk to our families and our communities.”
Let’s hope that voices like Ream’s are heard and their concerns acted upon.
Michael GaynorMichael Gaynor:
Duke case: Follow money, discover all, do justice -- To those who asked me why I suspected a hoax: (1) I followed Tawana Brawley One closely; (2) the sensational yarn that became a political lifeline, albeit temporarily, for a prosecutor about to lose his job, a nightmare for lacrosse players and their families and a dream come true for the political correctness extremists in the media and academia, was a devilish way for an ex-convict stripper mother of out-of-wedlock children to try to achieve fame and fortune but virtually impossible to be true; (3) the players said there was NO sex instead of claiming consensual sex; (4) players offered to take polygraph tests and the prosecutor declined their offer; (5) players gave DNA samples and their DNA test results were favorable; and (6) the first two players indicted were sophomores who had graduated from elite Catholic prep schools and definitely not the type to kidnap, rape or sexually assault. (In fact, there was not a kidnapper, rapist or sexual assaulter on the whole team of 47.)...
KC Johnson:
More Royalist Than the King -- Brodhead’s adamant refusal to apologize for the Group of 88’s ad—and, moreover, his publicly deeming it either an innocuous statement of faculty support for Duke students or a professorial tribute to the race/class/gender trinity—is, remarkably, a more extreme position than that taken even by several members of the Group.
In short, at least three original signatories [of the 'Listening Statement'] have, in their own words:
  • conceded that the ad harmed the lacrosse players;
  • termed the ad as part of a rush to judgment;
  • apologized for having signed the ad.
In this respect, Brodhead has consistently adopted a more extreme position on the ad than even some of its own signatories...
Forum topic(s) of note:
TalkLeft: 25 Reasons Why You Should Not Feel Sorry For Mike Nifong

TalkLeft: The Latest Evidence: Civil Suit Implications

LieStoppers: Best Video Of The Hoax, Vote Your Favorite For the 2007 Fonger

Letters to (Alabama) Anniston-Star:
Duke case not racial
Re "Legacy of a sordid case" (Editorial, June 19):
Forgive me for adding that one element of prosecutor Mike Nifong’s charade was that the defendants were completely non-politically correct. If the Ku Klux Klan had threatened the lives of three defendants inside a courtroom, held rallies and marches through town and met privately with the district attorney, the FBI would have arrived in Durham within milliseconds.

The lacrosse players were stereotypes of everything those with an agenda hate. Wasn’t Reade Seligmann’s father raised by a black family? Didn’t the Finnertys build a hospital in Africa? You’d never know it from the coverage. No politician or religious figure would step forward to defend them, even though it was obvious by mid-April of 2006 (from DNA) that they were innocent.

Another year passed. David Evans’ grandfather died from heart failure and his father developed a case of Type 1 diabetes — both almost certainly stress-related.Seligmann’s mother collapsed from a nervous breakdown. If there is such a thing as “white privilege,” this is it.

In the end, the players were found innocent only because they were innocent, not because of their color or their money. The last two commodities only increased the measure of their suffering.

Randolph Parrish
Scottsdale, Ariz.
Letters to News & Observer:

Teachable moment

Since the Duke lacrosse team episode began it received national attention, for it had all the elements made for cable news coverage. Now, if there could be one silver lining, perhaps it would be that each of us will spend less time focused on District Attorney Mike Nifong, and more on ourselves. How how many of us don't have preconceived opinions of others, which often direct us to incorrect conclusions?
The Duke case is a microcosm of our society as a whole and would be an excellent basis for a class to be taught at all North Carolina high schools. Imagine the value of disabling our biases with a thoughtful understanding of others, rather than the molded ones we develop from the earliest age. Also, perhaps such a class should be mandatory for the "gang of 88," the educated Duke faculty who apparently had preconceived biases of their own.

Lastly, I hope we have reached the end. I don't know Nifong, but believe he has already paid a huge price, his career and the personal impact on his family. Anything more would do little good, except to pacify the public.

Anthony Bruno
Cary, NC
The accuser

Many people agree that Mike Nifong should have been prosecuted. But what about the prosecution of the person who is ultimately responsible for ruining the lives of the three innocent Duke students, Crystal Gail Mangum?
Are her actions justified or ignored because of her race, lack of education, socioeconomic class? If so, our justice system is in far worse condition than I realized. If Mangum is so disturbed that she would be classified as legally insane, and therefore unable to stand trial, then let's get on with the process of declaring her as such. Otherwise, I am confident that if her behavior is not punished, she will continue to ruin the lives of many others in the future, including her own.

Dianne S. Mathewson
Holly Springs, NC
Letters to Tennessean/rctimes.com
Duke players didn't deserve their ordeal

To the Editor:
Incredibly, letter writer Thomas Weber still considers the "privileged" Duke lacrosse players guilty — not of rape, but of choosing "c" He added that "nor was it accidental that the dancers were African-American" ("Duke players started horrible chain of events," June 28). Mr. Weber should get his facts straight.
First of all, not all of the lacrosse players were white; one was African-American. Secondly, and more importantly, one of the charged players, David Evans, explained in a Newsweek article, "That he and the other captains had requested white dancers, but that a black woman and a Hispanic woman had shown up. No one seemed to care."
I suggest that Mr. Weber read it. Durham, N.C.'s district attorney, Mike Nifong, was disbarred for his illegal and unprofessional conduct in this case. No one deserves what these young men and their families unjustly went through.

Ron Manley
Brentwood 37027

letter by Thomas Weber:
Duke players started horrible chain of events
Letters to Herald-Sun:
We were right

In his June 27 letter, "Beyond lacrosse case, questions still remain," Cesar Clark displays an incredible lack of intellect when attempting to discuss the listening statement released by the group of 88. I can appreciate that he may have strong feelings toward racism, but if he sees no problem with a letter that references an alleged crime and also thanks protesters who were terrifying the wrongly accused, and does not believe that the timing of the letter could cause serious damage to the due process rights of the accused, then he is in need of a transfer of common sense.

Nobody is arguing that racism does not exist, we are only saying that the actions of actual Duke professors were akin to putting gas on an already raging fire. It is all about the timing of the statement and the Salem witch-trial like atmosphere that existed at that time. Those of us who had the intellectual ability to separate this case from the overall issues of race, were ultimately proven correct in the end as it turned into a simple hoax with the DA being disbarred.

New York

LS forum: My letter was published in the Herald Sun Today

Familiar formula

Money + Power = Respect (to some degree).

The money that was lavishly exhausted on the lacrosse defense represents old money spent strategically: One portion went to legal expenses while the other went into a public relations campaign. According to ESPN, Bob Bennett, an ex-Clinton lawyer, headed the external public relations campaign for the accused. Duke University followed suit retaining their external public relations firm, Burson-Marsteller, whose clientele include McDonald's, BP, and Cisco.

Further, with the lynching of Mike Nifong there are still questions outstanding. His methods were clearly reprehensible. Yet could it be that he knew something we refuse to recognize -- the negative equity of African-American women in the presence of white men of privilege? Was he attempting to employ the same tactics in reverse frequently used to demonize black rapists?

Why is it that the accused in this matter were allowed to surrender under the cover of darkness, completely prepared for the "perp walk," as opposed to being apprehended and drug into jail like the folk from lower castes of this country we see on "Cops?" Was Nifong attempting to beat the Joe Cheshire defense squad to the punch of media deflection and misdirection as they vehemently inundated the press by painting the accuser as the stereotypical black jezebel?

Rush Limbaugh called the woman a "ho" but still has a job.

Cheshire and others are riding the horse of justice. I wonder whether they plan on doing any pro-bono work for others in jail who have been wrongfully accused?

Julianne Malveaux, president of Bennett College for Women."GANG OF 88" SYMPATHIZER
(Greensboro, NC) News-Record:
A passion for people --A conversation with the new president of Bennett College -- Economist. Politician. Commentator. College president. Julianne Malveaux is accustomed to embracing new roles. "My mama says I remind her of a snake. I shed my skin every 10 or 12 years," says the 53-year-old Malveaux...

Like her predecessor, Johnnetta B. Cole, Bennett College's new president has a national profile. Called by Cornel West "the most iconoclastic public intellectual in the country," Malveaux has hosted talk radio programs, been a frequent guest on TV commentary shows and written op-ed columns carried by newspapers nationwide. She even has her own TV show, "The Malveaux Report," under development for PBS. Yet, unlike Cole, Malveaux is known for controversy. The latest incident happened in April when on National Public Radio she said that the Duke lacrosse players were undeserving of an apology (except from then-Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong), even after all charges against them in the sexual-assault case had been dropped....

Q. As you're making your transition from being a commentator to being a college president, there was a bump in the road with the comments about the Duke lacrosse case you made in a radio roundtable. Do you have any regrets about that?

A. I made those comments before I was president of Bennett College for Women, and I'm not going to talk about them any more.

Q. There was some response here. We had a number of letters to the editor and there were comments on the local blogs here, and those comments did introduce you to the people of Greensboro who didn't know much about you.

A. I would have preferred that your paper had not taken the position of running as many letters as it did. ... I do respect people's rights to the dialogue. I have been part of dialogue many, many times on both sides. ... I think it was a little mean-spirited ... to run [some of the letters] over commencement weekend. At the same time, it's done. Let's put a period on it. I'm finished with it. I'm moving on. My job right now is to make sure that I create the best educational experience for the women who are coming to Bennett College for Women, and that's what I'll do...
LS forum comment by Carolyn: she's a true Gang of 88! She can dish it out but she can't take it. She can say anything to anybody - but no one can say anything back...

KC Johnson:
Malveaux: "No Comment" -- Exactly what were the letters that so upset Malveaux? There were four of them (hardly an excessive total), reprinted below...

as Beth Brewer noted, “That someone in Malveaux’s position would speak with such authority about a topic that she obviously has no knowledge of is just very sad.” That, now, Malveaux would refuse either to defend or apologize for her statements is even sadder.

Letters to Greensboro News-Record [see comments for each letter]
Malveaux should review facts before she speaks by Beth Brewer, Durham
Malveaux's statements show her to be divisive by Jim Turnage, Greensboro
New Bennett president a mean-spirited leftist by Al Myrick, Greensboro
Malveaux's statement ignores rape case facts by Mary E. Johnson, Greensboro
Ray Gronberg, Herald-Sun:
Whichard wants a lawyer on committee -- The retired state Supreme Court justice leading an investigation of the Durham Police Department's handling of the Duke lacrosse case wants a lawyer to staff his committee so it doesn't have to rely on aid from city administrators.

Lacrosse committee Chairman Willis Whichard is handling the hiring search himself, said Assistant City Attorney Kim Grantham.

He wants someone with a criminal-law background and may seek recommendations from his fellow lawyers.

Meanwhile, administrators have identified $50,000 in Durham's new budget that the City Council can use to pay for the committee's work.

They had intended to use the money to pay a lobbyist to push the city's legislative agenda, but now are holding off until they know how much money Whichard needs...

The full 12-member committee hasn't met yet, and it now appears the first session won't occur until the week of July 9...

City officials are waiting for orders to provide documents to the committee. The Police Department's records on the case are "in order and ready to go" on demand, officials say...
LS forum: Whither Whichard, Durham's latest crash dummy?

LieStoppers blog:
DPD records "in order and ready to go" [cartoon]

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