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Monday, April 30, 2007

Nifong/Mangum Hoax — April 30, 2007

Updated - today's items:

Lara Setrakian, ABC News Law & Justice Unit:
Duke Prosecutor Nifong Preps for His Own Trial -- Duke Lacrosse Prosecutor Could Face Suspended Law License or Permanent Disbarment -- The three Duke lacrosse players once charged with rape are off the hook. But the man who brought the case against them, Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong, faces a trial of his own in June.

The North Carolina Bar Association has charged Nifong with mishandling the Duke case, violating rules of ethical conduct by withholding evidence, lying to a judge and making inappropriate comments about the case to the press.

Even Nifong's friends expect the punishment to be severe -- anything from suspended his law license to permanent disbarment. Either way, Nifong would lose his seat as district attorney.

"Given the climate, the way the AG came out… I can't envision a scenario where he doesn't end up losing his license or having it suspended," said Bob Nauseef, a criminal defense lawyer in Durham. ...

Durham ADA Stormy Ellis: "I'm shocked that he has been tainted as a 'rogue prosecutor.' It scares me to think that one case can mar you for the rest of your life." ...

For now Nifong has no intention of leaving office, his lawyer told ABC News. But if he is found guilty at the June 12 hearing Nifong could be left with no choice other than to leave his seat. The entire trial including the sentencing phase is expected to last four days.

Until then, Nifong can only wait as the drumbeat for his removal keeps pounding...

ABC comment: Lee Harvery Oswald hadn't shot any presidents before that day in Dallas. And yet, we judge so much about him based on that one incident. How unfair. Mike Nifong's character assasination of the three falsely accused men, and by implication the whole team as aiders and abetters, is no better.
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DurhamNC.gov:
Durham City Manager to Provide Report Next Week Regarding Duke Lacrosse Investigation Durham, N.C. –- Following the release of the North Carolina Attorney General's report regarding the Duke Lacrosse Case "Summary of Conclusions," Durham City Manager Patrick Baker has asked the Police Department to review the steps it took to investigate the case. Baker plans to release a report based upon the review next week.

# # #
Good Things Are Happening In Durham
discussion:
KC Johnson: Baker: No Outside Inquiry
LS forum: (Patrick) Baker: No Outside Inquiry, Durham PD is gonna grade themselves...

related:
News & Observer: City delays report on lacrosse case
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Ken Ward, ABC11-TV/WTVD:
Durham Police Address Duke LAX Case -- Did police violate policy? -- The Durham Police Department is ready to defend its actions in the Duke Lacrosse case. ...

Millions were spent on the case, but in the end the lost credibility of the accuser, and questions about the way evidence was gathered led the attorney general to drop all charges. Now as DA Mike Nifong fights for his career, some are wondering about the role police played in the early days of the investigation...

Some of the issues that should be addressed in the report include the line-up. Some Duke students were concerned all along. Duke student, Jesse Silverman was one of those concerned students. "It doesn't seem like there was any possibility of them not choosing someone they thought they would want to press charges against. Because the only choices that were there were Duke Lacrosse players." ...
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Durham police conduct a photo lineup with Duke lacrosse accuser Crystal Mangum on April 4, 2006WRAL:
Durham Police to Release Report on Duke Lacrosse Investigation -- City leaders have asked the Durham Police Department to put together a report detailing how it conducted its investigation in the Duke lacrosse case...

City Manager Patrick Baker ordered the Police Chief Steven W. Chalmers to compile a report laying out how the department went about the investigation. The report is also expected to outline Nifong's role in the investigation and what impact that had on the case.

Durham City Council member Eugene Brown cautioned that the police department must be candid and honest about reporting on its own actions.

“I just think we have to be very careful and not have this report end up a word game or semantics, like was this really a lineup, a witness lineup, or what,” Brown said.

The report is expected to be released sometime next week. WRAL has made numerous requests for interviews with Chalmers concerning the lineup, Cooper’s report and the upcoming report from the department. Each request has been denied.
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Joan Foster, LieStoppers:
Sleeping with Snakes -- In Durham, although violent crime was up a stunning 32% in 2006, enormous resources were used to engage in a false prosecution of three Duke students. In Durham, gang violence is escalating out of control, but Durham police have been told to target Duke student partygoers. To add to the local atmosphere, Duke students can breathe in the pollution from the frequent waste dump fires (two in the last two years), drink the lead infused Durham tap water, and dodge the life threatening rock-droppers on the freeway.

Yes, all this, Duke parents, can be yours for around $45,000 a year!...

There is a Snake in the Prosecutor's Office in Durham. His name is Michael B. Nifong. Nifong, the 27 yr. assistant DA, "shed his skin" as soon as he was given the reins of power. Like all snakes, Nifong depended on his sense of smell, and he immediately smelled the race-pandering opportunity in the Hoax. He cannot shed his scales at this late date and ask a nation to forget or these families to forgive. City Manager Baker could have been Saint Patrick and acted to rid Durham of this poisonous snake. Instead, Baker currently seems to have chosen to play Cleopatra and clutch the venomous asp to his city's bosom. This is unacceptable to decent people everywhere. We need, Mr. Brodhead, to "await" NOTHING. We demand some leadership.

Indeed, the Durham power structure is stalling, hoping to keep Nifong coiled at their collective feet, ready to rise to their music and strike at their will. We understand now, that's how the game works. In the days ahead, we will see who is most invested in retaining Durham's Snake in the Prosecutor's Office. We must watch and listen carefully. The official cover-up is about to begin. The leadership of Durham and Duke must again be judged by what they DO and do Not do in the weeks ahead. It will be a road map pointing to who is guilty... and who is fork-tongued, and who is exceedingly, institutionally gutless.
discussion:
John in Carolina: INNOCENT: Three “Musts” at Liestoppers
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Phillip Woods, LieStoppers:
The Jilted Cheerleader -- For the duration of the Nifong/Mangum Hoax, Reverend John Fitzpatrick, president of the Durham Criminal Defense Lawyers Association and pastor of One Love Ministries, has been a loyal and vocal supporter of Durham County’s rogue District Attorney, Mike Nifong. The Attorney General’s Nifong/Mangum Hoax Summary of Conclusions appears to have finally brought some clarity to the once ardent Hoax apologist.

After standing by Defendant Nifong for a year while the rogue prosecutor tried to imprison innocent men, Fitzpatrick, the jilted cheerleader, expressed his disillusionment to the Herald Sun:
"It's kind of deflating to think he could prosecute someone when the evidence was so insurmountably lacking," lawyer John Fitzpatrick said of Nifong, who has declined comment…"I would love to hear why [Nifong] chose to proceed on this case," he said.
To understand the totality of Rev. Fitzpatrick’s turnaround, we’ve prepared a chronology of his encouragement, support, and apologies for Defendant Nifong and his hijacked Hoax.
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Reade Seligmann: volunteers & coachesKC Johnson:
Reade Seligmann Letter -- Dear Everyone,

I have been meaning to write to all of you for quite some time. I want to thank you for your relentless dedication to uncovering the truth and your unwavering commitment to defending the innocent. I also want you all to know how appreciative I am for your concern for our well being and for your diligent dissection of this case.

I have closely followed all of your commentary over the past year and I think that you are extraordinary individuals, not to mention incredibly clever. Tuning into the case-related blogs became a daily ritual for my family and me, especially my mother. Your posts, poems, and videos (thanks Tony S.) were so important to her that she had to learn how to operate the computer all by herself.

The encouragement and compassion we received from the blogs helped us get through some of our darkest times. We were able to seek comfort in the fact that there were people out there interested in hearing the truth—people who were not going to prejudge us because of where we lived, the schools we attended, and the sports that we played. Thankfully, there were people like you who knew better than to view this case through a racial and political lens and chose to focus on the facts, rather than engage in unfounded speculation, to arrive at a decision. You have all done a great thing not only for Collin, David and me, but for the integrity of our legal system.

While you have all worked so hard to help the three of us clear our names, I ask that you continue your pursuit of justice in other cases. Our case, while certainly an outrageous instance of an injustice, is just one small link on an entire chain of injustices that take place in our country everyday. You have all done a wonderful thing by drawing attention to the situation we have faced, but please don’t stop here. I know that with the support of my family and a great deal of hard work I will be able to restore my reputation and achieve the goals I have set for myself. However, I now know that it is my responsibility to use this experience to help those who will not have the chance to see the other side of their prison walls. . .

You have all done so much for our families and we can never truly express to you how thankful we are. Now is the time for you to put to use all of the same passion, thoughtfulness, and resolve you have demonstrated on our behalf and help others who are in much more helpless situations.
discusion:
LS forum: Letter from Reade Seligmann
------
Irving JoynerCash Michaels, Wilmington Journal:
Professor Joyner Says Lesson Learned About Duke Case... -- Despite the disappointment of some that charges have been dropped in the Duke lacrosse case, there are lessons to be learned for the African-American community, says North Carolina Central University School of Law Professor Irving Joyner.

“This case has been very instructive and groundbreaking in many respects,” he told The Wilmington Journal exclusively, shortly after NC State Attorney General Roy Cooper’s April 11 announcement that all remaining first-degree sexual assault and kidnapping charges were being dismissed against three white former Duke lacrosse players, accused of assaulting Crystal Gail Mangum, who was hired to dance during a drunken lacrosse team party last year.

“Over the years, I have come to realize that the people always get used and this is just another example. As this case progressed, I expected the defense to use the media to influence the public. They did a great job of using what they had to promote an outcry,” Joyner said, referring to how attorneys for defendants Collin Finnerty, Reade Seligmann and David Evans meticulously exploited discovery evidence turned over by the prosecution to prove in the press that there was no proof, not even DNA evidence, that the alleged crimes took place.

“What I did not anticipate was that they totally exposed the State’s case,” Prof. Joyner continued. “This total exposure was made possible because the State did not have a really strong case, and made its weaknesses more damning by its many missteps along the way.” . . .
discussion:
LS forum: Joyner and Cash rehash LAX lessons, Guess what? They were the victims..
TalkLeft: Professor Joyner Says Lessons Learned About Duke Case

comment: Prof. Joyner would choke on the truth if it came out of his mouth. The State had "NO" case.
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Forum topics of note:
TalkLeft: New Rules for Posters Here -- Two new rules and two old rules reaffirmed:

1. No poster (other than me) may begin more than one new thread a day.
2. Threads that are started to suggest the players have committed misconduct or the accuser was somehow believable will be removed.

The criminal case is over. The players are innocent. A great miscarriage of justice was done. There is no more to discuss on that point.

What remains to be discussed is the aftermath of the case, current news about the case, Nifong, etc...

LS forum: Tara Levicy II - Confirms Blunt Force Trauma, KC Has Major Post Planned for Wednesday -- On the issue of "blunt force trauma": in her conversations with defense attorneys, Levicy confirmed that the Gottlieb memo accurately reflected her 3-21 conversation with him.

Bring on the malicious prosecution suit against Levicy and DUMC.

DUMC, ground zero of the Hoax.
-------
Chelsea Allison & Nate Freeman, Duke Chronicle:
Profs stand by 'social disaster' ad -- One year and three innocent lacrosse players after 88 Duke faculty members endorsed an advertisement about a perceived "social disaster" on campus, some signatories now express relief that all charges against David Evans, Trinity '06, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann were dropped April 11.

Still, the ad's signers-dubbed the "Group of 88" by some media and bloggers-said they stand behind the general sentiment of the full-page ad, which was originally printed in The Chronicle April 6, 2006.

"I feel... a tremendous sense of relief," Jocelyn Olcott, assistant professor of history and women's studies and a signatory of the ad, wrote in an e-mail. "We have a lot of work to do to close the wounds that have opened up, but I hope that the healing can start now."

Several ad signatories said they were not surprised by North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper's decision.

"To me, it seemed like an anticlimax because the real turnaround came just before Christmas, because the whole trail of misconduct of [Durham District Attorney Mike] Nifong came to light," said Claudia Koonz, professor of history, who also signed the ad. "I don't know why it took six months."

The ad framed anonymous quotes from students responding to a perceived campus culture following the lacrosse party around the question, "What Does a Social Disaster Sound Like?"

"These students are shouting and whispering about what happened to this young woman and to themselves," the ad's introduction read.

Individual signers acknowledged that the ad's position could have been misconstrued, but added that they would still support its overall message. . .
comment: It figures.

discussion:
LS forum: "Group of 88" Stands by "Social Disaster" -- 88 liars Lying. Just who were the people loudest proclaiming guilt? Who was at 610 banging pots? It was the Grad Students & activists with ties to the 88.

Go read Houston Baker's letter to Lange. Bakers was the Leader of the 88.

KC Johnson: Chafe: Some in Group of 88 Presumed Guilt
-------
LieStoppers:
Durham City Manager Baker Approves of Corrupt Police Procedures, Again -- Following the exoneration of the Nifong/Mangum Hoax victims by North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper on April 11, Durham City Manager Patrick Baker expressed concern over Cooper's assertion that the identification procedures employed by the Durham Police Department were "faulty and unreliable." Stating that he looked forward to the Attorney General's anticipated report to help determine whether the procedures were inappropriate for use before the Grand Jury, Baker offered a review and promised accountability.

Now that the Attorney General has released his report which strongly condemned the identification procedures, it appears that City Manager Baker has decided against accountability. Holding true to form, the self declared "CEO of Durham" has backed away from responsibility and opted instead to defend the corrupt procedures used to mislead the Grand Jury into indicting innocent men in order to satisfy the demands of Defendant Nifong...
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GoDuke.com:
Duke Claims 2007 ACC Men’s Lacrosse Title With 12-9 Win Over Virginia -- Junior Zack Greer had three goals and three assists and senior Matt Danowski added three goals and an assist to lead Duke to a 12-9 win over Virginia on Sunday afternoon to claim the 2007 Atlantic Coast Conference Men’s Lacrosse Championship at Koskinen Stadium in Durham, N.C. The ACC title is the fourth overall (1995, 2001, 2002, 2007) for the Blue Devils and their first since 2002.

Duke, ranked No. 2 in the latest USILA poll, improves to 13-2 on the year with the win, while Virginia slips to 12-3 overall...
------
Edward Robinson, News & Observer:
Devils return to greatness -- Duke lacrosse works on building a new legacy by winning ACC title -- Solid on defense, the second-ranked Devils (13-2) erupted on offense, scoring seven goals in the third quarter, including five straight over a seven-minute period that secured a 10-7 lead that they would ride to the team's first conference championship since edging the Cavaliers (12-3) in the 2002 ACC title game.

Afterward, Duke lacrosse players hugged and hollered excitedly, although this victory, captured in front of 6,517 appreciative fans on a picture-perfect afternoon, lacked the emotional undertones others have had this season.
-------
John in Carolina:
N&O’s Hoax Rowback Editorial -- The Raleigh News & Observer was the first newspaper to frame the Duke lacrosse players in the public’s mind as a group made up of three white gang-rapists and their white teammates who were covering up for them.

The N&O also withheld for thirteen months excupatory news that would have stopped the frame-up. The N&O only released the critical information it had withheld after the NC Attorney General had declared David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann innocent.

The N&O has so far refused to explain why it withheld such critially important information as the false accuser's claim during an interview on March 24, 2006 that the second dancer was also raped at the party but didn’t report it for fear of losing her job.

Last Friday the N&O gave readers a big-time rowback editorial. ...
------
KC Johnson:
Sunday Roundup -- The incomparable Kristin Butler penned her final column of the year by noting, with sadness, that Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann won’t be returning to Duke—and by asking some hard questions: “Why should our wrongly accused classmates come back after everything they’ve been through? Can we say we have learned anything from their (and our) ordeal?” ...
-------
Craig Henry, Lead & Gold blog:
Duke lacrosse: Ten days in March -- Off the top of my head, I can think of a bunch of questions that need answers.

1. Why did the police lie about the Kroger's call? Why did they tell a judge in their applications for warrants that the accuser called 911 to report the rape?

2. Why did the police pretend that they did not know who made the first 911 call? (The one that claimed that a crowd was hurling racial slurs at passing motorists). Very early on DPD knew that the call was made by Kim. Yet they released it to the public and pretended that they did not know who made it.

3, Why did the police use list-servs and CrimeStoppers to solicit information from the public while they neglected to interview the neighbor, Bissey, until he contacted them? What kind of investigation were they running?

4. Why did the DPD tell Baker that the accuser never changed her story?

5. Why does the DPD permit investigators to dispense with notes and rely on their memory alone?

6. Why was the DPD so uninterested in Precious's cell phone?

7. Why did the DPD disregard Sgt. Shelton's assessment of Precious? He was on the scene and events have shown that he was correct. Yet, the DPD ignored him and bought into the hoax.
------
Jon Ham, JohnLocke.org/Right Angles blog:
Truthtelling” about Duke lacrosse -- In its story about the so-called National Day of Truthtelling march in Durham on Saturday The News & Observer’s reporter lapses into the language of the demonstrators. These two sentences might just as well come from the event’s organizers trying to spin their event as not at all about the Duke lacrosse case:

Though the Duke lacrosse case was on the minds of many throughout the day, participants tried to avoid defining the protest by that one case.

Oh, really? Then how does one explain this? (Emphasis added):

Durham resident and Duke doctoral student Alexis Pauline Gumbs read an open letter called “Wishful Thinking” addressed to the university’s black women. In it, Gumbs spoke of the pain shared by sexual violence victims, along with some specifics of the Duke case. “No camera waits to amplify your pain,” she said. “There is no law anywhere that depends on your silence.”

discussion:
LS forum: Next weekend's march through Durham, What is their plan?

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Nifong/Mangum Hoax — April 28, 2007

Updated - today's items:

Anne Blythe & Joe Neff, News & Observer:
Report depicts dazed accuser -- Mangum was not credible, AG found -- One year after the infamous Duke lacrosse party, special prosecutors were the first officials to question Crystal Gail Mangum about her conflicting stories about being gang-raped, according to a report released Friday by the state attorney general.

The prosecutors, Jim Coman and Mary Winstead, said they met a woman who showed up impaired on a cocktail of prescription drugs. She denied irrefutable facts and changed her story so often, even during a single interview, that the lawyers thought she was improvising.

District Attorney Mike Nifong bet his career on Mangum and the case that besmeared Durham, Duke University and its students, and, ultimately, the North Carolina justice system.

"The state's cases rested primarily on a witness whose recollection of the facts of the allegations was imprecise and contradictory," Attorney General Roy Cooper's 21-page report said. "The accusing witness attempted to avoid the contradictions by changing her story, contradicting previous stories or alleging the evidence had been fabricated." ...

'NO CREDIBLE EVIDENCE'

Special prosecutors, with assistance from the State Bureau of Investigation and the Durham police, spent more than 12 weeks reviewing the Duke lacrosse case files, interviewing witnesses, examining evidence and collecting information.

They reviewed 7,000 documents, 600 photographs, interviewed 47 people, including 17 members of the 2006 Duke lacrosse team, and met with District Attorney Mike Nifong, his chief investigator, Linwood Wilson, and accuser Crystal Gail Mangum.

REASONS CITED FOR DISMISSAL

  • The case had multiple and significant inconsistencies and contradictions, and no evidence to corroborate the accuser's version of events.
  • No DNA evidence confirmed her stories.
  • No medical evidence confirmed her stories.
  • No other witness confirmed her stories.
  • The accuser's accounts changed significantly. Even in the face of facts that contradicted her stories, the accuser was unwilling to acknowledge that she might be mistaken about the identification of the defendants.

THE CONCLUSION

"Rape and sexual assault victims often have some inconsistencies in their accounts of a traumatic event, [but] in this case, the inconsistencies were so significant and so contrary to the evidence that the State had no credible evidence that an attack occurred in that house that night.

"Based on the significant inconsistencies between the evidence and the various accounts given by the accusing witness, the Attorney General and his prosecutors determined that the three individuals were innocent of the criminal charges and dismissed the cases April 11, 2007."

Durham City Council member Thomas Stith said officials need answers about Nifong's role and whether he wielded undue influence over police.

"It's time for the district attorney to remove himself, to step down, so we can move forward as a community," Stith said.
discussion:
FreeRepublic: Report depicts dazed accuser [Duke LAX Rape Hoax]
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Duff Wilson, NY Times:
‘Credibility Issues’ Undid Duke Case, Report Says -- The report barely mentioned Michael B. Nifong, the Durham County district attorney whom Mr. Cooper described on April 11 as a “rogue prosecutor” who had rushed to judgment. Mr. Nifong is facing ethics charges that are scheduled to be heard in June and could result in disbarment.

Mr. Nifong’s office said he would decline comment on the report “until all proceedings involving those cases have been completed.” Mr. Cooper declined interview requests.

Joseph B. Cheshire and Brad Bannon, two of the lawyers for the former students, said in a statement that they were pleased that the report said “there simply was no physical or sexual assault whatsoever.”

In an indirect reference to Mr. Nifong, the report said the attorney general’s review of the case was the first time the accuser had been asked formally about inconsistencies in her account. Mr. Nifong has acknowledged that he never questioned the accuser about the details of the case. He had said he simply believed her, based on police reports and a nurse’s account, and wanted to put her before a jury.
related:
KC Johnson: Wilson and the Prosecutors
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John in Carolina:
INNOCENT: Duke Still Falling Short -- Duke’s statement is simple and seems straightforward. But I have some thoughts and questions about one part of it. It’s this sentence:
“We now await the N.C. State Bar’s review of the charges against Mr. Nifong for his conduct in this case.”
Since January Brodhead has been telling alums and everyone else: “I’m one of Nifong’s biggest critics.” Duke’s “ We now await …” sentence fits nicely with Brodhead’s demand the Nifong account for his actions....
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David Zucchino, LA Times:
Duke lacrosse case was riddled with holes, report says -- The prosecutor did not challenge the accuser about her changing versions of what happened at a team party, North Carolina's attorney general reports.
------
Anne Blythe & Joe Neff, News & Observer:
Team party turned sour early -- Five of the 21 pages of the attorney general's report are devoted to a narrative of how the lacrosse team party unfolded March 13-14, 2006.

The narrative amounts to the definitive official account of the party at 610 N. Buchanan Blvd. Here's a condensed version. Not all the participants were named in the report, but they have been clearly identified in investigative documents:

Co-captain Dan Flannery called an escort service March 13, gave a fake name and booked two white dancers for a bachelor party. A first dancer, Kim Roberts, arrived on time, shortly after 11 p.m....

The women left again just before 12:30, and Zash locked the back door. Roberts went to her car, and Mangum banged on the back door, trying to get inside. A player videotaped her in the back yard, stumbling and talking disjointedly and telling one player, "I'm a cop." A photo showed her lying on the back porch. Flannery helped her to Roberts' car.

As they were leaving, Roberts yelled a sexual and racial insult at players across the street on Duke's East Campus. One or more responded with racial epithets. Roberts drove off with Mangum.

comment: The Johnsville News put together the first Duke Lacrosse Rape Timeline on April 21, 2006, and updated it last year. It was very close to the official incident timeline that the AG documented in the report. The timeline's problems of time and space for the prosecution convinced close followers of this case last spring that no crime occurred. The initial "30 minute" rape story from Ms. Mangum never held up then and things just got worse every day for this year-long Nifong/Mangum hoax. Amazing.
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Duke Basketball Report:
A.G.’s Lax Report Released -- The mystery here is, as it has been: why did Mike Nifong do this? Was it just for a pension?

Given the magnitude of the crime committed here - and in our opinion, even if Nifong is never charged, using an unstable woman to frame three innocent men is at least a moral crime - one has to wonder about his other cases. Which seems more likely to you - that he would start cheating on a high-profile case like this? Or that this is part of a pattern? We have no idea, but it’s a disturbing yet important question to ask.

What takes our breath away is the arrogance of it, the idea that the D.A. could just so blatantly spin a case out of nothing.

In fact, given the magnitude of what has transpired, we’d really urge attorneys, or law students, or journalists (which rules out just about anyone from the Herald-Sun) to pore over the records of the office for the last decade or so to see if anyone else was hung out to dry. Our hunch is that what happened in the lacrosse case didn’t happen in a vacuum.
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Durham City Manager Patrick BakerMatt Dees, News & Observer:
The lineups that weren't? -- City leader says photo arrays didn't qualify; report coming -- One flaw in the Duke lacrosse case pointed out by the attorney general's report Friday was that the lineup in which accuser Crystal Gail Mangum identified players as rapists was "of questionable validity." Durham police violated their own policy by not interspersing photos of nonsuspects.

On Friday, City Manager Patrick Baker, who oversees the Police Department, offered an explanation: None of the three photo arrays Mangum viewed technically were lineups.

The photos were intended as much for Mangum to identify witnesses as to identify suspects, Baker said. That doesn't qualify as a lineup, he said.

Baker promised a report next week from Police Chief Steve Chalmers with fuller explanations of that and other issues raised in the Friday report.

The report, Baker said, "will at least explain the basis for why I didn't believe and still don't believe we were conducting a lineup at the time."

City Council member Thomas Stith was skeptical, given that the photos resulted in indictments.

"You can call it what you want, but that's what it ended up being," Stith said.
discussion:
LS forum: Patrick Baker in full cover up mode -- Patrick Baker, laughably, claims the lineups weren't lineups.
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KC Johnson:
Summarizing the Report -- As TalkLeft’s Jeralyn Merritt observed, the attorney general’s report made clear that the lacrosse case was a “hoax” — perpetrated by a mentally unstable accusing witness, an unscrupulous district attorney, and a few other key figures willing to compromise their professional ethics to keep the fraud alive...

All told, a devastating report for Nifong and his law enforcement enablers—and yet a document that in no way prejudices his right to a fair hearing before the state bar, since it skirted the two primary issues for which he faces ethics charges.
------
Richard Dietsch, Sports Illustrated:
April Media Power Rankings -- Praise for bloggers Johnson and Milano; Imus fallout -- K.C. Johnson, blogger: Arguably, the most important media figure in the Duke lacrosse case, Johnson's Durham-in-Wonderland blog provided exhausting, meticulous and obsessive daily coverage. It was a remarkable bit of citizen journalism, and upon the dismissal of all charges, one of the accused players, Collin Finnerty, cited Johnson for "his diligent work exposing the truth every day." He and Stuart Taylor Jr., a legal columnist for the National Journal who deserves equal acclaim, are a writing a book on the case. . .
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Forum topics of note:
LS forum: CGM on Video, "I'm a cop"

LS forum: Former Duke BOT head resigns DC job, caught in call girl scandal

Nifong/Mangum Hoax — The Racist Rape Cheese is Gone

rape cheese is gone

Friday, April 27, 2007

Nifong/Mangum Hoax — The Cooper Report

Updated - today's items about Cooper report:

North Carolina Attorney General's Office - Summary of ConclusionsWRAL:
Attorney General's Office Releases Findings in Duke Lacrosse Case -- Special prosecutors found no credible evidence that an exotic dancer was attacked by three former Duke lacrosse players and that her testimony would have been contradicted by evidence in the case from numerous sources, according to a report released Friday by the North Carolina Attorney General's Office.

"The reinvestigation led to the conclusion that there was no credible evidence to support the allegation that the crimes occurred. The new investigation revealed additional weaknesses in the State's case based on the case files that had already been developed," the report said...

Among other key findings, special prosecutors, appointed to the case after Nifong recused himself in January, Mangum's testimony would have been contradicted by significantly different version of events she told, a questionable photo lineup in which she identified the three defendants and that her credibility would have been suspected based on previous encounters with law enforcement, her medical history and inconsistencies within her statements.

more to come....

sources:
News & Observer: Report summing up Duke lacrosse investigation by the state Attorney General's office [21 pages, pdf]
WRAL[read the report]: AG Cooper's "Summary of Conclustions" [21 pages, flash]
NC DOJ: Office of AG -- Summary of Conclusions [21 pages, pdf]

Crystal Gail Mangum mugshot 2004The Smoking Gun:
Final Duke Rape Report Issued -- One portion of Cooper's report addresses "credibility issues" on the part of adult dancer Crystal Mangum, who leveled rape charges against the three Duke students. In another section of the document, Cooper describes recent interviews with an erratic Mangum during which she made several new claims that were contradicted by "photographic, documentary, and testimonial evidence." Additionally, during an April 4 meeting with investigators, Mangum (pictured in the above mug shot) "demonstrated unsteady gait, slurred speech" and other mannerisms consistent with her behavior on the night of the purported assault. The report notes that prosecutors confirmed that prior to her meeting with investigators, Mangum took several prescription drugs, including methadone; the sedative Ambien; and Paxil, an antidepressant. (21 pages)

more:
John F. Burness, Duke senior vice president, Duke.edu:
Statement by John F. Burness on Summary of Conclusions by N.C. Attorney General's Office -- We welcome this report as we welcomed the Attorney General’s announcement on April 11. “We now await the N.C. State Bar’s review of the charges against Mr. Nifong for his conduct in this case.”
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Prof. John Banzhaf, Geo. Wash. Univ./FODU:
AG Report Strengthens Case for Nifong Disbarrment and Liability -- Duke Univ. Urged to Seek His Dismissal and Hold Him Liable
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Anne Blythe & Joe Neff, News & Observer:
AG releases lacrosse report -- The report highlights missteps in the early investigation and provides details that led Cooper to sharply criticize Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong as a rogue prosecutor.

The Attorney General's staff interviewed the accuser, Crystal Gail Mangum, several times. They were the first investigators to probe the numerous inconsistencies in her prior statements.

"In meetings with the special prosecutors, the accusing witness, when recounting the events of that night, changed her story on so many important issues as to give the impression she was improvising as the interviews progressed, even when she was faced with irrefutable evidence that what she was saying was not credible," the report said.

"The accusing witness attempted to avoid the contradictions by changing her story, contradicting previous stories or alleging the evidence was fabricated." . . .
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Joseph Mallia, Newsday:
AG: Accuser's claims exonerated Duke players -- John F. Burness, senior vice president for public affairs and government relations at Duke University, said: "We welcome this report as we welcomed the attorney general's announcement on April 11. We now await the N.C. state bar's review of the charges against Mr. Nifong for his conduct in this case."

Nifong could not be reached Friday.

Among other evidence, the report found the accuser made seven new allegations in her interviews during the past few months, each contradicted by "verified and credible photographic, documentary and testimonial evidence."

They included a claim that she was not with the other dancer when a 911 call was made, that the two women left together at 11:50 p.m., and that two of the players threw her onto the back porch after the alleged assault.
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John in Carolina:
AG Roy Cooper's Report -- Imagine Mnagum’s degree of drug dependency that she shows up stoned at the Special Prosecutor’s office.

I hope Durham County Department of Social Services will examine whether she’s fit to be mothering three children, including an infant. She seems as unfit for that task as Nifong is to be DA...
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discussion:
LieStoppers forum: Coopers Report on Nifong/Mangum Hoax

KC Johnson: [see comments] AG Report -- The conclusions of SANE nurse-in-training Tara Levicy that Mangum exhibited symptoms consistent with a rape were based entirely on Levicy's subjective observations, rather than any medical evidence at all.

LieStoppers blog: Nifong/Mangum Hoax Report

FreeRepublic: Attorney General's Report: Summary of Conclusions (RE: Faux Duke "Rape" Case)
FreeRepublic: AG: Accuser's Claims Exonerated Duke Players (CGM Insisted "I'm a Cop," While Babbling Incoherently)

TalkLeft: AG Cooper's Summary of Conclusions

CourtTV forum: Breaking News A.G. Duke Hoax Report Out Today
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Nifong/Mangum Hoax — April 27, 2007

Updated - today's items prior to Cooper report:

"Justice does not help those who slumber but helps only those who are vigilant." -- Mahatma Gandhi
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Editorial, News & Observer:
Just the facts -- Durham police showed a troubling lack of independence in the Duke lacrosse case. How did it happen? And is it fixed? -- Obscured in the hubbub following the dropped charges in the Duke lacrosse case has been the disappointing role played by the Durham Police Department. The department's own procedures were swept off the table by a district attorney determined to prosecute what seemed to be a shaky case from the start.

Because the alleged incident occurred during a party off campus, in a house rented by members of the team, officers with the Durham police, not Duke University's own police force, investigated after exotic dancer Crystal Gail Mangum claimed she had been raped by three Duke lacrosse players. Early in the investigation the department followed a suggestion by the DA, Mike Nifong, to abandon its photo identification policy.

The policy requires five "filler" photos -- of people not linked with the case -- for each photo of a suspect. Nifong said Mangum should be asked to identify the attackers from 46 photos that included only members of the lacrosse team.

As The N&O's Joseph Neff reported recently in his thorough retrospective on the case, a detective discussed the unusual lineup procedure with his supervisors. Inexcusably, no one objected. The policy also says that an officer unconnected to a case should conduct photo lineups, to avoid the risk of an officer familiar with a suspect influencing which photo is fingered. But Sgt. Mark D. Gottlieb, lead investigator in the Duke case, presented the photos to Mangum...
discussion:
Steven W. Chalmers - Durham PD Chief from Jan. 31, 2002 to presentLieStoppers blog:
N&O Calls For Accounting of DPD Lapses -- In an editorial today, the News & Observer shines the spotlight onto the Durham Police Department's role in the Nifong/Mangum Hoax. Questioning the role of the DPD in enabling the Hoax, the N&O demands a voluntary accounting of the department's professional lapses by Chief Steve Chalmers. While the N&O fails to cite the DPD/Crimestoppers "horrific crime" flyer, the DPD's false public statements that fueled the 911 Hoax, and the Wall of Silence Hoax, the editorial does question the corrupt lineup lottery, Sgt. Mark Gottlieb's homegrown notes, and the department's acquiescence to Nifong's "pressures."

comment: The News & Observer criticises the Durham PD, but only mentions Durham PD Chief Steve Chalmers by name at the very end of the editorial. Chief Steve Chalmers is made of Teflon. Violent crime rates have increased in Durham and Chalmers has been AWOL from the biggest case in Durham history, but no one in Durham gets too upset about his performance.

related:
FreeRepublic: Just the facts
LS forum: Business As Usual - Police Misconduct
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John in Carolina:
Let’s flip “Nifong & the Copier” -- With all of the above and more for him to consider, why did [ADA David] Saacks, if we’re to believe the N&O story, decide, in effect: “Nah, I’ll say nothing to Mike. He can read about the NTO in the papers or discover it at his copier?”

One of Collin Finnerty’s attorneys, Michael Cornacchia, has asked that a special prosecutor and/or investigative grand jury examine the actions of many people who may well be innocent of any crime but who were somehow involved in actions connected to the frame-up.

Among those whose actions Cornacchia says should be investigated are “members of Mr. Nifong’s office.”

As far as I’m concerned, that needs to happen...
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Triangle Business Journal (San Antonio, TX):
Poll: 73% say Duke players innocent -- An overwhelming majority of participants in the latest weekly Triangle Business Journal poll believed the Duke lacrosse players accused of assaulting a dancer at a team party were not guilty. From April 18-24, our readers were asked, "What are your thoughts on the Duke lacrosse case?"

Out of 611 total responses, approximately 73.5 percent, or 449 respondents, chose the response that read "I always thought it was a weak case and that the players were not guilty."

More than 17 percent, or about 104 voters, said that even if the players were guilty of something, the case was "too botched to proceed."

Another 5.6 percent, or 34 participants, indicated they never knew who to believe, compared to 19 respondents, or about 3.1 percent, who thought the players were guilty.

Five voters, or less than 1 percent, said they have not been following the case...
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Forum topic(s) of note:
ABC11-TV/WTVD forum:
Important Note -- It is WTVD's policy not to identify victims or alleged victims of sexual assaults. -- Any attempt to post the Duke accuser's name or any other information that could identify her will result in the immediate banning of the offender on the first offense.
related:
WTVD: Crystal_Gail_Mangum is a lying prostitute...
[topic was listed as "*******_Gail_****** is a lying prostitute," but was changed Friday 4/27 pm]
WTVD: WTVD....explain yourself is all
LS forum: ABC 11 Local News, 11:00 pm Friday (4/27) -- ABC11 at 11:00 pm had a report on the AG's report. They would not use Crystal's name and they had her face blacked out in a video. More PC allegiance even at this point!
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William L. Anderson:
Duke, the New York Times, and the American Political Culture -- Today, the New York Times no longer is the standard-bearer of newspaper journalism; instead, it carries the standard of modern leftist political culture, and nowhere did that become more apparent than in its coverage of the infamous Duke Lacrosse Non-Rape, Non-Kidnapping, and Non-Sexual Assault Case. Like its saturation coverage of the story that it created – the refusal of Augusta National, home of golf’s Master’s Tournament, to admit women as members – the Times contributed numerous articles and columns to this story, and managed to become the "gold standard" for biased and inaccurate coverage. . .

Perhaps it would be too much to ask of reporters from the New York Times and columnists like Harvey Araton, Selena Roberts, and John Feinstein to do even basic research before publishing stories. Indeed, they take the other approach, that they are above having to do research like other people who may have to get their hands a bit grubby before firing away in print. The tip-off here is that they rarely return emails to anyone who criticizes them, and their "we are untouchable" attitudes define their work. . .
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Matt and John DanowskiGoDuke.com:
Danowski Family Honored With Two ACC Lacrosse Awards -- Duke head coach John Danowski and senior captain Matt Danowski headline the ACC Men's Lacrosse annual awards by garnering the league's Coach and Player of the Year awards, respectively. Released on Thursday by the conference office, the award winners and all-conference team are voted on by the league's four head coaches...

Four Blue Devils -- Danowski, Casey Carroll, Zack Greer and Nick O'Hara -- were named to the 11-member All-ACC squad. Carroll, a native of Baldwin, N.Y., has recovered from an ACL injury suffered in 2006 to lead a Duke defense that ranks eighth in the country in scoring defense. Greer, a product of Whitby, Ontario, Canada, picks up his second all-conference citation and currently leads the ACC in goals scored with 40 while O'Hara, a Orchard Park, N.Y., native, is on pace to lead the Blue Devils in ground balls for the third consecutive season and is a key part of Duke's defensive unit that paces the league in man-down efficiency...
related:
Gary Lambrecht, Baltimore-Sun:
Duke's strange journey back is extra special to father, son -- Danowskis reunite, look to share title -- This is how a father and a son come full circle. This is how a father and a son part ways when it's time, only to have a nightmare pull them back together for one special year, before life inevitably will split them up again.

After all these months of playing mentor and counselor to a program in need of a healing hand and a rock-solid teacher, Duke lacrosse coach John Danowski appreciates the surreal nature of it all.

It was only about five years ago, while he was working on a two-decade run as one of the game's more successful, respected coaches at Hofstra, that Danowski was telling his teenage son, Matt - destined to become an elite, Division I attackman - to get out of Long Island.

Don't feel obligated to come to Hofstra to help your old man win games, he told his boy. You owe me nothing. Get out on your own and find out who you are. Earn a prized degree from a prestigious school. Kick some butt in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Help Duke win a national title. . .
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WRAL:
After Year in Spotlight, Duke Lacrosse Team Ready for ACC Tournament -- After more than a year of being in the spotlight and a canceled season, the Duke men's lacrosse team is hoping for a big win this weekend.

The school is hosting the ACC lacrosse tournament, starting Friday. Duke first-year coach John Danowski said the players have stayed focused on the positive, despite the negative publicity of the past year.
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Thomas Stinson, Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Duke team scarred but healing after rape odyssey -- In 67 years of trying, Duke University has never won a national lacrosse championship.

Nor in those 67 years has the team had to play the same opponent —- public opinion —- day after day. This could be the year that changes.

It has been 16 days since North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper announced the state had dropped the 13-month-old sexual assault case against three Blue Devils lacrosse players. This was the team Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong had infamously labeled "hooligans." Now that the charges are gone, just who are these young men?

"I believe at this point people have their perceptions about us," senior attackman Peter Lamade said. "I'm sure some have changed. But the ones who haven't changed, I don't think will change. There's not very much you can do there."

Except play. Ranked No. 2 in the country as it enters the ACC tournament tonight, Duke (11-2) hasn't lost in more than five weeks and is hoping the conference playoff slingshots the program into next month's NCAA tournament..
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KC Johnson
Assessing the Post -- the tone of the Post’s approach to the case came from its opinion pieces. Five different Post columnists published about the case, yet all five said essentially the same thing: the accused players were horrible people, probably racists, and were receiving special treatment because they were privileged...

The Post five: Eugene Robinson, Lynne Duke, Marc Fisher, Andrew Cohen, and John Feinstein

[Bill] Anderson concludes that Feinstein’s observations contained “little more truth than a story from Pravda in the heady days of the former Soviet Union.” As has usually occurred in the case, Anderson is on target. And the Post should be ashamed for offering such extreme, consistently one-sided, commentary on the case. . .
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Kenneth Moton, News 14 Carolina:
AG to release Duke lacrosse report Friday -- It's being called an unprecedented report. Friday, North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper is expected to release a list of findings and accuser contradictions in the Duke lacrosse case.

It all led to the dismissal of the remaining charges against the accused players.

“I think the timeline of the facts is going to be as important as the facts themselves,” said Raleigh attorney and former prosecutor Kieran Shanahan.

After Cooper labeled Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong a rogue prosecutor, Shanahan says Cooper's report could put the embattled prosecutor in more hot water.

“I think it's going to be important to the defense of Mike Nifong and interest of the public what did this prosecutor know and when did he know it,” said Shanahan.
discussion:
LS forum: Cooper's Report
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comment: Following in the tradition of the recently deceased DukeObsrvr blog a new Duke insider blog has started. It is very salacious, but if you are a Duke parent this is a must read.
The Truth About Duke blog:
Welcome, Class of 2011 to the "wonderful" world of Duke University...
Fraternities -- Alright, innocent little boys, you are about to engage on an experience unlike any other. You too will have the choice to rush fraternities in the spring semester. You will be horrified and disgusted at the tasks in which you have to perform when you finally decide on which fraternity to join. Pledging is a bitch...

Kappa Sig is probably the biggest stoner frat, and causes irreversible liver damage to its pledges.

Delta Tau Delta (DTD):
DTD is also climbing the social ladder from last year. They have a very eclectic group of guys, all of which know how to party. DTD loves the liquor, but also indulges in weed, coke and sometimes meth. When it comes to pledging, these guys are closer than any other group on campus. DTD is also known as "Dudes Touching Dudes", and for good reason...

Sororities -- Alright, girls, Come 2nd semester, you will all have the "chance of a lifetime" to rush for a sorority. You must rush all of them, and then they will "mutually" eliminate you. Here is a basic summary of all of the sororities on Duke campus. We use "Duke campus" loosely, since sororities don't have housing, otherwise it would be considered a "brothel". But that's beside the point.

First we'll start off with the "core four". The core four are considered to be the best sororities on campus. However, it's more like the "core three" now. If you want to get into one of these sororities, get your ass-kissing chapstick ready...

Kappas are such sweet Southern belles. But seriously, they're bitches. They're jealous that they couldn't into Pi Phi or Tridelt, so they try to steal all their men...

Basic Duke Terminology -- Dearest little Dukies, We herein bestow you with the basic terminology you need to know to survive on Duke's social-climbing campus. These are essential to understand before one attempts any sort of partying/clubbing/socializing at Duke...

Shooters: the sh**tiest, most redneck, disgusting club on the face of the earth, that you cannot help but go to almost every single weekend.

Cosmic Cantina: the nastiest, dirtiest Mexican restaurant with the worst food you'll possibly ever eat. Unless, that is, you are drunk, in which case Cosmic seems like the best idea EVER. Expect to feel sick afterwards (and be harrassed by hobos the entire time you are there.)

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Nifong/Mangum Hoax — April 26, 2007

Updated - today's items:

R. Stephanie Good, rstephaniegood.com:
Works in Progress -- I have been working on a book with Nader Baydoun, Esq. about the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case which chronicles the Durham, North Carolina's disgraceful handling of the false allegations of rape brought against David Evans, Collin Finnerty, and Reade Seligmann.

The book, due out shortly, is entitled:

"A Rush To Injustice: How Power, Prejudice, Racism, and a Tidal Wave of Political Correctness Overshadowed Truth and Justice in the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case." ...

UPCOMING BOOK EXPOSES INCREDIBLE INJUSTICE OF THE DUKE LACROSSE RAPE CASE

Prosecutors are endowed with the responsibility to seek justice, and how they choose to use their power is what defines who they are and what their office stands for.

But in the case of a woman who claimed to have been raped by members of the Duke Lacrosse team last year, District Attorney Michael Nifong has used his power for his own personal gain. He wielded it to build a house of cards that has begun crashing down around him, destroying the lives of everyone in his path.

This gripping tale of injustice and malfeasance is told in a soon to be published book, A Rush To Injustice June 12, 2007/ Thomas Nelson)...

related:
Joshua Chase, AHN:
Duke Rape Case Book To Be Published June 12 -- Publisher Thomas Nelson, Inc. announced Thursday it wouldn't be able to move up the release date for a book about the Duke Lacrosse rape case.

On Wednesday, the publisher announced it would release "A Rush To Injustice..." on June 5. Those plans fell through, however, and the release date moved back to June 12.

"A Rush To Justice" is written by Nader Baydoun and R. Stephanie Good. Baydoun, a trial attorney, "exposes the political pandering of the district attorney, his neglect of crucial evidence, the way in which he stacked the case against the innocent suspects, and how he tenaciously believed unreliable victim testimony - all to ensure his reelection," the publisher said in a statement.

The book will come out the same day as "It's Not About The Truth," a book written by Duke lacrosse coach Mike Pressler.
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Christopher Chantrill, American Thinker:
Democrats and the Politics of Fear -- Ordinary Americans were puzzled by the Durham accusations, and rightly so. If you go to the website reporting the annual National Crime Victimization Survey, as many people do, you can look up the rape statistics in "Table 42: Personal Crimes of Violence 2005: Percent distribution of single offender victimizations, based on race of victims, by type of crime and perceived race of offender."

Under "Rape/Sexual assaults" the survey reports 111,490 rape/assaults in 2005 in which a white was the victim. The "perceived race" of the offender was reported as white in 44.5 percent of cases, black in 33.6 percent of cases, "other" in 19.6 percent of cases.

Where the victim of rape was black, in 36,620 cases, things were rather different. The "perceived race" of the offender was reported as black in 100.0 percent of cases. White offenders? "0.0*" percent.

The asterisk means that the sample included ten or fewer reports. The federal crime statistics show that white-on-black rape was almost non-existent in the United States of America in 2005. This is about as extraordinary as the fact that ninety percent of blacks vote for Democrats.

In the United States today remarkable strides have been made in the reduction of age-old hatreds and enmities. The average American is a remarkably tolerant and inclusive person...
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Rev. Luke Travers & Reade SeligmannVidya Padmanabhan, Daily Record (NJ):
Delbarton honors grad after Duke charges fall -- Headmaster: He gave an example of how to handle pressures -- The Delbarton School has awarded a special honor to Reade Seligmann, an alumnus who was one of three Duke University lacrosse team members cleared of rape charges after a year-long legal ordeal.

Seligmann, who graduated from the school in 2004, was presented with the Delbarton Medal during a visit to his alma mater on Tuesday, school officials said Wednesday.

The medal usually is given out at the school's graduation ceremony to high-achieving students, and is rarely awarded in other cases, according to school officials.

Before presenting him with the medal, the Rev. Luke Travers, Delbarton's headmaster, said that the school had supported Seligmann during his year-long legal battle, and lauded his "courage, nobility, integrity and charity."

Travers told Seligmann: "You gave us a model of how to handle the pressures that we all experience," according to the school Web site...
discussion:
KC Johnson: Seligmann Receives Delbarton Medal
LS forum: Seligmann receives medal

related:
USA Today: Alma mater honors cleared Duke lacrosse player
AP/N&O: Alma mater honors cleared Duke player
JinC: INNOCENT: Seligmann honored
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Richard Hart, Indy Week:
No escape -- We are all so ready to put the lacrosse tragedy behind us...

There's the party culture and latent racism on campus the case revealed. Go back and read Fiona Morgan's transcript of a conversation between African-American students in our March 29, 2006, issue, just days after the accusations went public ("Not your video ho"). That story became a basis for the absurdly maligned ad in the Duke Chronicle signed by 88 faculty members concerned about those campus issues.

There's the student arrogance and exaltation of sports addressed by Hal Crowther in June in "Sympathy for the Devils?"

And there's the sad case of stripper and N.C. Central student Crystal Gale Mangum. Though there's no evidence of rape, she's still a victim.

Finally, there's what happened at 610 Buchanan Blvd. the night of March 13, 2006; the drinking, the strip show and the racial taunts are what set this saga in motion. The lacrosse players must take responsibility for that.
Indy comment: This is the single, most pathetic piece of revisionism I have ever seen... [ditto]

discussion:
Jon Ham, JohnLocke.org/Right Angles blog:
Unable to let the Duke lacrosse case go -- I guess it should be no surprise that the socialist-leaning Independent Weekly sees all sorts of exploitation of the oppressed by the ruling class in the Duke case, even after it’s over and the so-called oppressed person has been shown to be the scoundrel. Still, as Richard Hart says in a column in the current issue, “Though there’s no evidence of rape, she’s still a victim.” Perhaps if Hart would take off his blinders and quit thinking of the false accuser as “a mom from the black school across town” he would see her for what she really is: an unfortunate sex worker with psychological problems who saw an opportunity for a scam. ..
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Lax Magazine:
Carolina Seeks Upset of No. 2 Duke in Friday's ACC Semifinals -- No. 9 Tar Heels Meet No. 2 Blue Devils Friday in ACC Tournament: The No. 9-ranked University of North Carolina men's lacrosse team will seek its first win in Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament play since 1996 Friday night when the Tar Heels meet No. 2-ranked Duke at 8:30 p.m. at Koskinen Stadium in Durham, N.C...
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Gregory Kane, BlackAmericaWeb.com:
Commentary: Still Whining About Those Accused Duke Students? You’ll Stop After Learning About Darryl Hunt -- Those BlackAmericaWeb.com readers who have either cable or satellite and get HBO can get all the gory details tonight at 8 p.m., when the documentary “The Trials of Darryl Hunt” debuts. The film should be required viewing, especially for those folks still whining about what a raw deal the three Duke lacrosse players who were falsely charged with rape got...

Is any of this sounding at all familiar? It should.

In the Duke case Mike Nifong, the district attorney of Durham, N.C., was accused of prosecutorial misconduct that smells disturbingly like what Tisdale did, except that there have been howls for Nifong’s professional scalp -- and rightly so. Nifong should be disbarred and banned from practicing law anywhere in the country, although I get the uneasy feeling he’ll soon be practicing law in my home state of Maryland.

Was Tisdale charged with prosecutorial misconduct? Has he been disbarred in North Carolina? Oh, puhleeze. Tisdale is now a defense attorney in Winston-Salem. The subject of his disbarment hasn’t even been broached.

When Nifong tried to railroad three innocent men into prison, it’s a safe bet he was reading from the Book of Tisdale, who sent an innocent man to prison for 19 years and tried to suborn perjury to send another one there...
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Barry Saunders, News & Observer:
Justice blunted? Darryl Hunt qualifies, too -- Remember that righteous outrage that had some of y'all wanting to storm the Bastille and overthrow the legal system when you thought a scalp-hunting prosecutor might send three innocent Duke lacrosse players to prison for sexual assault?

I hope you have a little bit of that outrage left over for what happened to Darryl Hunt.If you think what Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong is accused of doing in the lacrosse players case was wrong -- hiding or withholding evidence, proceeding with a case for political gain -- wait till you get a look at the prosecutors and cops who sent Hunt to prison for two decades for a rape and murder they must've known he didn't commit.

You can get that look at them tonight when HBO airs the award-winning documentary "The Trials of Darryl Hunt." ...
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LieStoppers:
CLE and Attorney C -- The National Advocacy Center (NAC), located at the University of South Carolina, is operated by the Department of Justice, Executive Office for United States Attorneys...

As part of its Continuing Legal Education (CLE) program, the Office of Legal Education has a Videotape Lending Library of tapes which are available for CLE credits in all states, except Delaware. Included in the OLE library is a two hour ethics training video entitled “Ethics Show with Mike Levy.”...

Had attorneys Dudley Witt, David Freedman, and Mike Nifong viewed this training session prior to the hearing, they might have saved themselves some public embarrassment caused by their "medieval" argument. Other relevant portions of the ethics seminar would have served Defendant Nifong well had he viewed them prior to March 2006:
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KC Johnson:
If the Herald-Sun Had an Ombudsman . . . -- . . . His name would be Adam Eaglin. In yesterday’s Chronicle, Eaglin provided what almost certainly will be the definitive published review of the Herald-Sun’s coverage. From the paper’s slanted editorials to its ignoring news to its factual errors, Eaglin’s article reviews the Herald-Sun’s sorry performance.

But, of course, the Herald-Sun doesn’t have an ombudsman. And so, as Eaglin discovered, the person reviewing the work of news editor Bob Ashley, columnist Bob Ashley, and co-editorial page editor Bob Ashley is . . . Bob Ashley. Ashley’s verdict on Ashley? Critical self-reflection doesn’t seem to be a desired attribute at the Herald-Sun...

Eaglin: "I hope the Herald-Sun can realize what everyone else seems to see—the Herald-Sun is setting.”
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John in Carolina:
Countering hate -- I salute Ammons for speaking out the way he did and Ham for noting it in his post.

Their actions are typical of both men as I know them.

I wish Chancellor Ammons wasn’t leaving NCCU and Durham to assume the presidency of his alma mater, Florida A&M, but I wish Ammons well and thank him for his leadership here, especially during the last year. As for Jon Ham, I'm glad he's staying in Durham.
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John in Carolina:
Nifong & The Copier: Be Careful -- On April 14, 2007, Raleigh News & Observer reporter Joseph Neff began a five part series on Nifong & the Duke Hoax case ... Neff cites two people as sources for his report Nifong only learned about the nontestimonial court order (NTO) on 3/23/06 when he discovered it at his office copier....

that means [ADA David] Saacks went ahead and got the NTO order without ever discussing it and the hugely troubled and hugely politically significant “Duke gang-rape” case with Nifong, who was then in a hotly contested primary race for the Democratic nomination for DA.

Did Saacks go ahead without saying anything to Nifong? Did Nifong really know nothing about the case until he made his “Holy crap” “copier discovery?"

Color me very skeptical of what Joe Neff reports.

There’s one thing we can all be sure about: It’s greatly to both Saacks' and Nifong’s advantage to be able to say they never spoke about the NTO before 3/23/06.
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Roderick T. Beaman, American Chronicle:
TRIPLE LACROSSED JUSTICE - The Dukes & Durham -- As Andrew Napolitano alluded to on The O’Reilly Factor the evening the charges were dropped, prosecutors are protected by the doctrine of sovereign immunity. This means that unless they can be shown to have gone, with impunity, far beyond the scope of their duties, they are immune from liability for their actions. This is a burden of proof that few citizens have the resources to prove.

Nifong is being thrown to the wolves, as he should be. He pandered to the very basest instincts of the black community and fanned the flames of racial conflict that will take years to resolve. Interviews with two black students, one male and one female, at North Carolina Central University (NCCU) after the announcements, showed that there is a residuum of resentment against the system that Nifong catered to and made far worse than it would have been had he simply stated that the incident was under investigation and gone where the facts led rather than insisting that a crime had occurred long after the evidence said otherwise.

Michael Nifong is a thug with a legal degree working for the biggest gangster operations in the world, government. He has abused the power of his office far beyond even what The Hive of Government can defend and just like the Mafia, when someone brings unwanted attention to the organization, he has to go...
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Clarence Page, Baltimore-Sun:
200 reasons to test DNA -- In a statistic that is both gratifying and horrifying, an Army veteran from Chicago is the 200th person to be exonerated by DNA evidence, according to the Innocence Project, a nonprofit New York-based legal clinic...

Rape cases often involve DNA evidence, and they accounted for 123 of the 200 exonerations.

Rape is a crime that also reveals the most evidence of racial bias. Only 12 percent of sexual assaults are between a victim of one race and an assailant of another, according to Justice Department statistics, yet 64 percent of the 200 exonerated convicts were black males convicted of raping white females. "The most endangered person to be in America is a black man accused of raping a white woman," Mr. Scheck told me in a telephone interview.

Of course, such stereotypes can cut both ways, as revealed in the exoneration of three former Duke University lacrosse players of a rape that apparently never happened. Major media and many of the rest of us, including me, found it all too easy to believe the overzealous prosecutor's scenario of privileged white college boys taking criminal advantage of a poor black woman who was working her way through college as a stripper.
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Jamie Floyd, CourtTV News blog:
Innocence Project Gala -- Also in attendance, the three young men recently cleared in the so-called Duke Rape Scandal. We now know these boys are innocent and, although something may have happened to the young woman who made the charges that night, it didn't involve the three men charged. Now, thanks to the bungling of the prosecutor in the case, we will never know what happened, if anything did. Any crime that may have been committed will never be charged.

As David Evans, one of the three, noted quietly, the room buzzing with excitement all around us, their story could have been one of hard-won exoneration after years in prison; instead it is the story of three young men with the resources to fight back, to match the state measure for measure, to put the prosecution to its proof. Their case exposes in the mainstream what the rest of us already know about how the system works -- too often, it doesn't.

But last night, a time for celebration -- even though 200 people were wrongly convicted only to be cleared years later by the miracle of science; even though we honored a group that has lost a collective 2500 years of their lives; even though many have yet to receive an apology, let alone complensation from the states that wrongfully sent them to prison. It was a night of celebration because these men are free.

Now we must figure out why they went to prison in the first place. And fix it.
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LieStoppers:
Welcome to MikeNifongDA.com [MikeNifongDA.com is for sale] -- Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong's campaign website, mikenifongda.com, has been revised. Once used to tout his campaign for DA, the site, registered in January of 2006, now offers advertisements for ethics training, election services, criminal defense attorneys and more...
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LieStoppers:
Truthtelling in Durham -- There will be a National Day of "Truthtelling" in Durham, North Carolina, this Saturday. No, I am not making this up. When I first read this, I thought perhaps the Feds would be descending en masse, surrounding City Hall and the Courthouse, and letting no one leave until the extent of the corruption and criminal wrong-doing in both places was fully exposed. Apparently, that is not the case ... or not yet anyway. The National Day of Truthtelling, according to a quick look at some of the sponsoring participants on their website, appears to be just another feel-good/flex-flaccid-muscle day for the usual suspects: your friendly neighborhood Marxists, your Professional Victims, a few women who never got over not being invited to Prom, and some guys whose Mommys make them bang pots instead of play ball...
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John Feinstein (Duke graduate/sports columnist), Washington Post:
Time for Some Perspective (April 16, 2007) -- Imus and Duke are neither horrific nor tragic. Just disturbing. In the Duke case, the arguing broke down the same way as it did in the Imus case. Right from the beginning, it was the (largely white) right-wing media screaming that the Duke players were victims and the left-wing media saying that this was a case or rich, arrogant kids out of control. This time, both sides were correct.

The Duke players were victims of a prosecutor, Mike Nifong, who was either overzealous or incompetent or both. They were also the victims of their school's leadership, which completely ignored an escalating situation, then threw the entire team right under the wheels of the bus in order to save itself. The flip side though is that these were not innocents. This was not a case of one party gone awry, this was a case of a group of out-of-control kids getting themselves into a very bad situation -- probably at least in part because some of them were screaming racial epithets at the two strippers they had hired for the evening.

This wasn't just boys being boys. This was a team about whom a Duke administrator had written a report two years earlier describing them (the lacrosse team) as, "a train wreck waiting to happen." Tallman Trask, the university vice president who was handed that report, did nothing with it. He informed Joe Alleva, the athletic director, that it existed and Alleva did not so much as ask to see it. And yet neither one of them has been fired in the wake of all this. Only Mike Pressler, the coach, who according to Duke's own report was the one adult on campus who took some action after the report, was fired.

President Richard Brodhead wasn't wrong to suspend the team's season after the initial reports came out. If nothing else it sent a message that accusations of rape would not be taken lightly, even if Alleva's initial response, "this is an unfortunate incident," was laughably stupid. But once all 46 players had been DNA-tested and no DNA from any of them showed up on the accuser's body, Brodhead should have allowed the season to continue. At that point the burden should have fallen on Nifong -- who probably should be disbarred given his behavior -- and not on the players since at that moment Nifong had produced zero evidence of their guilt. He never did produce any evidence at all which is why the charges had to be dropped...

The larger point is this: the white guys aren't always right and neither are the black guys. In the Duke case, the truth clearly lies in the middle: no one on either side covered themselves with any glory...
discussion:
LieStoppers forum: I was wondering what Duke grad John Feinstein was, saying these days. Not wondering anymore -- There was no rape. There was no assault. There is no "middle".
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Jim Romenesko, Poynter.org:
No locker-room hack -- From DAVID BOARDMAN, executive editor, Seattle Times: I am not a student of the Duke lacrosse case, nor do I have any desire to dip even a toe into the muck surrounding it. But I cannot abide seeing the reputation of one of the finest reporters I know, Duff Wilson of The New York Times, be ravaged.

Particularly misplaced is the characterization of Mr. Wilson as an incompetent locker-room hack who was in over his head and needed rescue from a "more serious" reporter. Yes, David Barstow is a world-class journalist -- and so is Duff Wilson.
discussion:
LieStoppers forum: No locker-room hack
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Richard Owen in Rome, TimesOnline:
Grandmothers arrested over satanic sex abuse at school -- Three women teachers were among six people arrested yesterday accused of sedating and sexually abusing children as young as 3 at a school near Rome.

The teachers — two of whom are grandmothers who had taught at the school and at Sunday school for decades — are said to have part in the repeated abuse of 15 children aged 3 and 5 for a year, filming them in sexual acts with satanic overtones at the teachers’ homes and in a wood...
TimesOnline comment: I am instantly reminded of the book "Michelle Remembers." It was a total hoax that set off a period in America known as The Satanic Panic, where every parent was certain that Satanists lurked around every corner, and one could always count on torrid tales of Satanic rituals on Sally Jesse Raphael or Geraldo.

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