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Friday, October 27, 2006

Duke Case: OUTRAGE

updated 10:31 pm:

OUTRAGE: 'Duke Lacrosse' Prosecutor Yet to Interview Rape Accuser 'About Facts...The Drudge Report's stamp of "OUTRAGE" on this story sums up the reaction to DA Mike Nifong's admission that he had yet to interview the alleged victim, Crystal Gail Mangum, regarding the facts of the Duke lacrosse case. Nifong said:

"I've had conversations with (the accuser) about how she's doing. I've had conversations with (the accuser) about her seeing her kids," Mike Nifong said. "I haven't talked with her about the facts of that night. ... We're not at that stage yet."
At today's court hearing, Nifong made this admission in response to a defense request for any statements the woman has made about the case.
"I understand the answer may not be the answer they want but it's the true answer. That's all I can give them," the prosecutor said after the hourlong hearing.
This confirms the stunning revelation made by the News & Observer in an October 1st story, Benjamin Niolet reported:
Although Nifong has never heard the woman tell her story, he believes her.
When will Nifong reach the stage of talking to Ms. Mangum about her allegations, the day after the election? And is that when he drops the case, after the election? Mike Nifong has no shame.

Wow, and KC Johnson was blogging in almost real time from the court hearing and, of course, offered the best insights:
Nifong opened the hearing by complaining about the October 11 letter from Cheshire, and said that the N&O received copy of letter before he did. The Cheshire letter noted that Nifong claimed to have interviewed the accuser, and the only time this could have occurred was on April 11. Nifong asserted that the Cheshire letter deals with matters already dealt with. He said he hasn’t responded previously, but wants to provide historical context...

Nifong, speaking, he said, as a man of "integrity," asserted that on April 11 (days after she was pole dancing, according to 60 Minutes, the accuser was too traumatized for any "meaningful discussion"; "no matter how many times they ask the question, that will still be the answer."


When Nifong took over as lead investigator, [defense attorney Brad] Bannon noted, “he put himself in the position of being a factual investigator in this case.” In that position, he had meetings with witnesses. Bannon asked: what has the accuser said to Mr. Nifong, and when did she say it?

Nifong’s response: he, as the DA and lead investigator of the case, has only spoken to the accuser on one item relating to the facts of the case—whether or not she used the drug ecstasy.

Bannon, with reason, remarked that this claim “stretched credulity.”
Dan Abrams of MSNBC made a comment way back in the spring that he had never seen a criminal case before get progressively weaker and weaker every day like this Duke lacrosse case. The continuous unraveling of Nifong's illegitimate prosecution has been going on since the day, April 18th, when Reade Seligmann and Collin Finnerty were arrested. Can anyone think of anotherhigh-profile case in the history of the American criminal justice system that has continually weakened and produced ever diminishing evidence for over six months, like this one, and still gone to trial?

It is an outrage.


WRAL.com report on hearing - "Nifong Never Talked With Accuser On Details Of Duke Rape Case"
Key points:
1) Nifong claims he has not discussed facts of case with accuser
2) Nifong appointed lead investigator on March 24
3) Detail of SBI DNA turned over
4) No new hearong until Dec. 15 (so much for speedy justice)
via LieStoppers discussion.

Later: Nifong's comment: "I've had conversations with (the accuser) about her seeing her kids," has caused some confusion.
> What does that mean, "her seeing her kids"?
Does she not have custody of her kids?

>> I wondered about that too. I thought her kids were with her but it sounds like they might not be. Obviously they aren't with her parents. It almost sounds like she has to make arrangements to see them.
even later: The TalkLeft forum had this report:
> Joe Cheshire just told local reporters that information on the accuser will be coming out soon and did not elaborate further.
And some wild speculation:
>> Wow, I cannot imagine an attoney worth his salt putting himself out there unless it is a done deal.

It goes to credibility. Nifong has been inconsistent with his statements to the public.

So far, the Defense Attorneys have been on the mark.

Wonder if she is still dating Matt?
Wonder what Jariel is up to?
Wonder if Brian Taylor is still driving the daughter of an NCCU bigwig.
Wonder if Willie Drewery is still pimping? He was her boss at the time of the party.
Wonder if her ex is staying out of trouble?
Wonder if any of them have offered info to the Defense Attorneys?
Wonder what happened to the rumor of the trickbook with some recognizable names?

So many questions.
Ditto the questions.

ACLU Panel Discussion - KC Johnson (left)still later: Blogger KC Johnson (left) was part of a three-person panel about the lacrosse case hosted by Duke ACLU on Thursday night. The Duke Chronicle reported on the panel discussion:
Sparked by a question from the audience, the panelists spoke about the ethics of Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong's handling of the case. Johnson criticized the judicial system of North Carolina, calling for a reform in the accountability of district attorneys.

"In North Carolina, the only person policing a rogue DA is the rogue DA himself," he said.

Miller said that the actions of Nifong are impeding on the rights of the accused lacrosse players. "You have an intellectual cancer where political agendas are more important than due process," he explained.
LB at FreeRepublic.com covered the ACLU panel and provided a summary.

OUTRAGE: 'Duke Lacrosse' Prosecutor Yet to Interview Rape Accuser 'About Facts of that Night'... [AP breitbart.com, Oct. 27, 2006]
Stretching Credulity [KC Johnson, Oct. 27, 2006]
Duke Case: Cheshire Letter to Nifong [TJN. Oct. 11, 2006]
Nifong Never Talked With Accuser On Details Of Duke Rape Case [WRAL.com, Oct. 27, 2006]
ACLU panel criticizes Nifong, faculty response [DukeChronicle, Oct. 27, 2006]