Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Duke Lacrosse Scandal: Where is the Tipping Point?

James E. Coleman, Jr. - Professor of the Practice of LawThe News & Observer reports - Duke prof: Rape case needs new prosecutor:

A prominent Duke University law professor says District Attorney Mike Nifong should ask the state attorney general for a special prosecutor to handle the rape case against the three lacrosse players.

James Coleman, the Duke law professor who led the university's investigation of the lacrosse program, says evidence presented by defense lawyers has made him question whether District Attorney Mike Nifong is too personally invested in the case.

"I don't think he's showing detached judgment," Coleman said Monday. "I personally have no confidence in him."

However, Professor Coleman fails to connect all the dots in this case.
Coleman stressed that the appointment of a special prosecutor would not be the end of the case against the accused.

The NY Times is tipping - Prosecutor's Silence on Duke Rape Case Leaves Public With Plenty of Questions:
The result is a growing perception of a case in trouble. Increasingly, the onus is on the district attorney. People in Durham are asking what Mr. Nifong is up to, whether his prosecution was influenced by politics — he was in the midst of a campaign when the case began — and what other evidence he might have.

William L. Anderson, Ph.D., teaches economics at Frostburg State University William L. Anderson at LewRockwell.com writes - Duke Lacrosse: A 'Meaning' in Search of a Scandal:
I would like to be able to say that the revelations by defense attorneys are enough to sink the case, and if anyone in authority in North Carolina actually were interested in justice, that would be the case. However, as I have previously written, North Carolina is a state where prosecutors rule and the rights of defendants are systematically crushed. One can hope, but I have no confidence in the State of North Carolina to do what is right.

Michael J. Gaynor at The Conservative Voice writes - D.A. Nifong: Dissing Dr. King's Dream in Durham:
"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character." Dr. Martin Luther King so declared in describing a dream that all good people want to be realized. A glorious dream that is being mocked by a shameless, opportunistic Southern white male Democrat named Michael Nifong. A man who not only has been pandering to the black voters he needs to be elected (which plenty of politicians do), but also perverting the criminal justice system and undermining public confidence in the administration of justice by pursuing personal and political agendas instead of justice, as he swore to do.

Lawyer Lewis Cheek says he has been recruited to run against Mike Nifong. The News & Observer reports - Nifong may yet face challenger:
A Durham lawyer and county commissioner is considering a write-in election campaign to try and unseat District Attorney Mike Nifong, the prosecutor overseeing the investigation of a rape accusation involving three members of the Duke University lacrosse team...In an interview Sunday, Commissioner Lewis Cheek said he has been recruited to challenge Nifong.

"I am looking at it," Cheek said, "and ... it means I'm seriously thinking about it. I need to look at it from every angle and think about what is the right thing to do."

Slicing the case into small pieces

Gene Byrd at The National Ledger, on June 12th wrote, The Duke Rape Case: DA Mike Nifong Suffering 'Death by a Thousand Cuts':
The prosecutor of the Duke rape case, Mike Nifong is suffering 'death by a thousand cuts,' according to a lawyer that once represented the woman that is bringing the charges. The men from Duke University were slammed in the media early by the rape case prosecutor but now Nifong has decided to let the defense do all the talking.

And they are winning in the battle for public opinion.

The Johnsville News, on May 20, 2006 - Duke Lacrosse Rape Case: Dying the Death of a Thousand Cuts:
The prosecution's case grows weaker and weaker with every passing day. Every day and every new report about the details surrounding the Duke case supports the innocence of Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty, and David Evans.

This is the exact opposite of how a normal criminal case proceeds. It looks like Mike Nifong will not stop this injustice. The case will have to die the death of a thousand cuts.

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