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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Duke Case — Drivel, Yes / Powerful Criticism, No

Today's items - updated:

Anne Blythe / News & Observer:
Duke, lacrosse players in talks over suit -- Duke University officials confirmed this week that they have been talking for months with lawyers for current and former lacrosse players — other than the three who were charged with rape — to try stave off a lawsuit.

It was not clear what would form the basis of a suit by players who did not face criminal charges. Duke officials would not discuss details of the claims.

"Duke University has been in discussions with representatives of the families for many months and is happy to continue discussions with their new representatives," John Burness, senior vice president for public affairs and government relations, said in a statement. "We hope to reach a fair resolution that will allow the families and the university to move forward." [...]

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Michael T. Cornacchia / The New York Law Journal:
Besting a Rogue Prosecutor -- For the better part of my 30 year legal career, I served with pride as a federal and state prosecutor and, more recently, as chief investigative counsel for the Volcker U.N. Oil-for-Food investigation. As such, I hold the practice of law as a prosecutor in the highest regard, believing that most prosecutors act in good faith and try to do "the right thing." Nothing in my training and experience, therefore, prepared me for the depth and pervasiveness of the misconduct I witnessed on the part of Durham County, N.C., District Attorney Michael Nifong while I was a member of the defense team for one of the accused, Collin Finnerty, in the so-called Duke lacrosse case.

Calling him "a rogue prosecutor," the North Carolina attorney general charged Mr. Nifong with securing indictments of three "innocent" young men for crimes that had not occurred; the state bar disbarred him for gross ethics violations; and he was jailed for lying to the court in order to conceal exculpatory evidence. How bad was Mr. Nifong's misconduct? A few examples will best answer the question. [...]
discussion:
LS forum: Michael Cornacchia on the Duke Case, Finnerty Lawyer's Article
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Ted Van Dyk book review / Seattle Post-Intelligencer:
Nifong example raises good questions -- To Nifong: To exploit social stereotypes in order to pursue and compound an injustice against the falsely accused.

When future generations of prosecutors gather around campfires, the Saga of Mike Nifong no doubt will be a frequently told tale.

"Until Proven Innocent," subtitled "Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case," by legal scholars and commentators Stuart Taylor Jr. and KC Johnson, relates in detail how Nifong, a politically ambitious Durham, N.C., prosecuting attorney, rose and fell after charging three white Duke University lacrosse team members with raping an African-American stripper.

Nifong undertook stunningly unethical conduct, which included, among other things, withholding evidence from defense attorneys that he knew would clear their clients. His grandstanding in a heavily black constituency brought him victory in his electoral campaign. Only later did the truth come out and his disgrace ensue. [...]
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Duke Chronicle:
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KC Johnson:
  • Nechyba Honored

  • On the Schedule -- I will be speaking on the book Saturday evening at Durham's Regulator Bookshop. (I'll be giving a different talk than the one I delivered at Duke a few weeks back.) Event starts at 7pm.

  • A Tale of Two Letters [see comments]-- Yet Duke Magazine considered it more important for alums to read Lubiano’s after-the-fact rationalizations than hear the powerful dissent of Jay Bilas.

    Remarkable.

  • Indy Endorsements
  • Neff Blog
comment: So the Jay Bilas letter was not published in Duke Magazine? His letter only appeared in the online forum. Instead, G88 member Wahneema Lubiano's drivel was published and sent to all Duke alums. Wow! Yesterday's post has been corrected. This is jaw dropping crappola.
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LieStoppers blog:
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John in Carolina:
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ABC11-TV/WTVD:
More Fallout Possible from Duke LAX Case [+video 1:47] -- There could be more financial fallout stemming from the Duke Lacrosse case. Eyewitness News has learned Duke University is facing yet another potential lawsuit. [...]
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Victoria "burn baby, burn" Peterson is gaining political strength in Durham? Sheesh.

Ray Gronberg / Herald-Sun:
PAC's backing seen boost to Peterson's candidacy -- Political activists say City Council candidate Victoria Peterson's endorsement from the Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People may help her survive an Oct. 9 primary that will reduce the 10-candidate field to six.

The committee's endorsement earlier this month was the first of the election season for Peterson. It was also the first for fellow challenger Farad Ali, who also got a spot on the group's ticket.

Local activists had thought the committee likely to support Ali because the only other black candidate who's secured a major endorsement, David Harris, has crossed swords at least a couple of times with Lavonia Allison, the Durham Committee's chairwoman. Harris earlier secured the backing of the People's Alliance, a liberal group.

But the Durham Committee's endorsement of Peterson -- who's run for local office several times and never previously secured backing from a major political action committee -- was a surprise to many.

On the other hand, one local observer who often writes on Durham politics says it wasn't a huge surprise because of the Durham Committee's recent history.

"The culture of the Durham Committee is to stand in defiance against the status quo -- let's attack the City Council, let's attack the school board," said Carl Kenney, a local minister and sometime critic of the group. "Victoria has been on that same page." [...]

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