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Friday, September 21, 2007

Duke Case — Calling out the Nifong Hoax Enablers

Today's items - updated:

KC Johnson (guest blogging) / The Volokh Conspiracy:
Nifong's Enablers -- For those who believed the lacrosse case was over, the past two weeks brought news on two fronts. First, Brendan Sullivan and Barry Scheck, on behalf of the three falsely accused players and their families, presented representatives of the City of Durham with the outlines of a devastating potential lawsuit against the city, former DA Mike Nifong, several police officers, and other individual defendants. The initial demands: $30 million, plus a wide array of procedural reforms, unless the city caves in and settles.

Second, after acting DA Jim Hardin urged a state criminal investigation of Nifong and others, reports surfaced that Justice Department investigators had arrived in the Triangle to look into the case.

Meanwhile, we have learned, Duke, its administrators, and its extremist professors are not out of the legal woods yet either. The University settled months ago with the three falsely accused players. But now a high-powered legal team representing most of the other 44 members of the 2006 lacrosse team is exploring a possible lawsuit. The grounds would include mistreating the entire team, including misleading smears of the players by Duke President Richard Brodhead and dozens of professors. [...]

discussion:
LS forum: more Duke lawsuits?
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LieStoppers blog:
Stuart Taylor appearance on Book TV - CSPAN2 -- Stuart Taylor Jr will be appearing on Book TV this weekend. It is his appearance before the CATO Institute. Be sure to inform your friends. [...]
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Hoax enabler wants credit?

John DrescherJohn Drescher / Editor's blog / News & Observer:
Newsweek stretches on Duke lacrosse -- In July 2006, I wrote Newsweek Managing Editor Jon Meacham (he’s now the editor) to complain that a Newsweek article on the Duke lacrosse case was based on an N&O story but did not give us credit. Newsweek’s “Tale of the Tape” in its June 26, 2006, issue was a warmed-over version of our June 15, 2006, article about how some statements from DA Mike Nifong did not match the documents in his files. To its credit, Newsweek ran a correction acknowledging The N&O as a source for the article.

In its Sept. 10 issue, Newsweek takes credit for being “the first major publication to pick apart the prosecution’s case, in an article on June 29, 2006.” That’s a stretch. Newsweek apparently doesn’t consider The N&O a major publication because there was little in that late June package that had not already been in The N&O. Their package included the previously mentioned “Tale of the Tape” sidebar as well as the main piece, “Doubts about Duke.” At that point, The N&O had published a half-dozen articles showing problems with the prosecution’s case. [...]
discussion:
John in Carolina:
N&O Lashes Out at Newsweek -- Dear Editor Drescher:
[...] You say:
Newsweek can beat its chest all it wants to and claim it “was the first major publication to pick apart the prosecution’s case.” A more accurate description would be it was the first national publication to read The N&O’s coverage, re-write it and pass it off as original reporting.
As I said in a JinC Sept. 2 post, Newsweeks' Thomas Shouldn't Cluck , that I didn’t want to get into trying to decide which was the “first major publication to pick apart the prosecution case.”

What I know for sure is that both Newsweek and the N&O were very late in doing that.

You were both well behind journalists such as La Shawn Barber, Thomas Sowell and Stuart Taylor, and blogs and bloggers such as KC Johnson, Lead and Gold, RealClearPolitics, and The Johnsville News, to name just a few of many. [...]

But, Editor Drescher, you’re right the N&O did have many “firsts” concerning important aspects of what was then called “the Duke lacrosse rape scandal.” [...]
LS forum:
John-In-Carolina Dissects News & Observer Coverage, N&0 Attacks Newsweek
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KC Johnson: most outrageous quotes of the case . . .
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Michael Gaynor:
Duke case: Duke's contemptible Covington caper -- Why would "Dean Sue" bring in Wes Covington to "help" the members of the 2005-2006 Duke University Men's Lacrosse Team in their time of need?

When Duke wanted someone to "facilitate" interaction between the Durham Police Department and the members of the 2005-2006 Duke University Men's Lacrosse Team, Dean Sue Wasiolek turned to her friend Wes Covington.

Amazingly, "Dean Sue" is herself an attorney which makes her advice even more irresponsible, if that's possible.

In Until Proven Innocent, co-authors Stuart Taylor, Jr. and KC Johnson described Wes as "the Duke administration's would-be fixer."

Thanks be to God, the scholar-athletes survived. [...]
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Forum topics of note:
LS forum:
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Elliott Wolf / Duke Chronicle:
Dude, where're my rights? (Part Po-Po) -- Duke took quite a bit of flak during the past year because it failed to stand up for its students' due-process rights.

It seems someone was asleep at the wheel, as the University (through the Office of Judicial Affairs) may now be actively undermining those rights through its own policies and practices. [...]

The government is not allowed to break the law in the course of enforcing it, and the Constitution was carefully crafted to ensure that government officials have no incentive to do so. This is America.

Except, apparently, in the case of Duke students. Officers know that any one of us can be punished even if they fail to afford us our most basic of constitutional rights. The judicial code has never required that students be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, and the other two of the aforementioned protections were expunged from the code. [...]
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