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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Nifong/Mangum Hoax — July 31, 2007

Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes.
— Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900)
Updated - today's items:

Atlanta NAACP head Dr. R.L. WhiteESPN:
NAACP Calls for Restraint in Vick Case [Video]
KC Johnson: Kudos to Jay Crawford: Atlanta NAACP Speaks Up -- Atlanta NAACP head R.L. White has admitted his North Carolina counterparts erred in their rush to judgment about the lacrosse case...

LieStoppers blog:
Atlanta NAACP Leader Dr. R. L. White admits the NC NAACP made a mistake in the Duke Lacrosse Case. -- Dr. White, to his great credit, admitted: “... and we have not always been right in cases. We are not going to make a mistake again. We want to say we made a mistake in that case.”

We applaud Dr. White for his candor. We again urge the North Carolina NAACP to remove the 82 false & inflammatory charges, now that NC Attorney General Roy Cooper and former DA Mike Nifong have both publicly admitted the three falsely accused young men were totally innocent...

TalkLeft: NAACP Atlanta President: "We were wrong on that case." -- They were wrong in the Duke case and I'm glad to hear, at least the NAACP Atlanta President admit that. I wish he'd call up the NC chapter and have a talk with them...
News & Observer:
Lacrosse committee chairman meets Durham officials -- The chairman of the committee investigating the Durham Police Department's handling of the Duke lacrosse case met with Durham city and police officials today.

Willis P. Whichard said Durham police representatives have begun preparing responses to issues raised by the Duke lacrosse defense attorneys at the last committee meeting. The lacrosse attorneys had 13 topic areas and questions at the July 20 meeting that they wanted addressed.

The biggest question coming out of that first meeting was "Where was Chief Steve Chalmers when [former Durham District Attorney] Mike Nifong took over the investigation?" ...

Whichard and Wade Barber,the committee's attorney, will prepare additional questions after examining documents from the case.

"We want to be as thorough in our review as possible, and the best use of everyone's time would be to use information that it already in the public domain to formulate questions for which answers are still needed," Whichard said in a statement...
LS forum: Whichard Meets w/City Officials to Plan Next Steps
Forum topic of note:
LS forum:
Brad Bannon Posts On DNA Discovery

KC Johnson:
Cooney & Bannon on DNA -- [Brad] Bannon offered some additional insights:
There were several evidentiary items that had unidentified male DNA, the existence of which had been reported by either the SBI lab or DNA Security or both: the while towel found outside Bathroom A, the material swabbed from the floor in Bathroom B, and, of course, the fake fingernail mixture. Procedurally, under our law, we never had a forum to question the police or Nifong or the Durham Police Department about the post-indictment acquisition of DNA reference samples, though it is something we would have certainly explored at trial, and I imagine it is something the Whichard Commission may explore when studying the investigation.

Regarding comments critical of the defense or anything I have said, I would first echo what Jim said: we’re grown-ups, we’re fans of open debate, and we’re certainly used to being attacked and having our work criticized as criminal defense lawyers. Second, I distinguish beween legitimate inquiries or criticism of our strategy or actions and unsupported attacks on our honesty. I personally think most of the questions & comments here fall into the former category, but a few approach the latter. For instance, there has not been an “evolving” explanation of our approach to the DNA. That suggestion takes a shot at our honesty, is wrong, and is unsupported by the record...
Michael Gaynor:
Duke case: "Eric" tries to educate a credentialed feminut -- It was a "compulsory" party, so underclassmen who considered themselves team players came to what co-captain and host David Evans called "my party" in the list of attendees he gave to the police and, I am told, "many of them had NO idea that strippers were even hired until they were asked for money."

Andrea Lavigne's recent post on the Feminism/Radical Feminism blog is titled "The Duke Lacrosse Team and Their White Male Supremacy Ritual" and subtitled "The Duke Lacrosse Team and Their Supremacy Ritual." There is no explanation as to the need for a title and a subtitle or why they are the same but for the addition of "White Male" to the title, but the fundamental problem with the article itself seems obvious: Ms. Lavigne is in denial...

Ms. Lavigne's article is one more example of the damage generated by Ms. Mangum and Mr. Nifong. The truth is that it suddenly became in the interest of Mr. Nifong, the political correct extremists and the feminuts to demonize the members of the 2005-2006 Duke University Men's Lacrosse Team. So they did..
KC Johnson:
Nifong Backers: "We're Afraid of Smith" -- In Sunday’s Herald-Sun, former Nifong acolyte John Stevenson carried water for the disgraced ex-DA one last time, penning an article in which various Nifong defenders floated ways to change procedure so the disbarred Nifong could avoid jail time.

A judge’s power in contempt procedures—which can be civil or criminal, depending on the type of conduct and the severity of the offense—is almost absolute. That might be a bad thing. Perhaps due process would best be served for the trial judge to step aside and allow another judge to decide the matter. This approach, of course, would create its own problems: in contempt cases, judges would become prosecutors, or perhaps witnesses...

Durham defense attorney John Fitzpatrick demanded that Smith recuse himself...

Fred Battaglia likewise wants Smith off the case...

it was nothing short of extraordinary to see a defendant’s backers launch a public campaign to oust the judge in the defendant’s case. Neither Stevenson nor Bob Ashley appear to have seen anything wrong with such conduct.
When prosecutors are corrupt, our democracy pays a stiff price -- Abuse of power is the one thing that can cause a democracy to fail. People elect their leaders and expect them to do what's right. When they don't it can be hard to remove them or diminish their influence. When that abuse of power is in the court system, it becomes even more troubling and scary.

That's why the saga of Mike Nifong has been so disturbing. The district attorney in Durham, N.C., was an out-of-control, politically ambitious, opportunistic prosecutor who took the story of an alleged gang-rape victim last year and ran with it...

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