Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Duke/Nifong Hoax: Day #288

Updated - today's items:

NY Post: DNA & Double Standards (NY Times) by KC JohnsonOpinion - KC Johnson, NY Post:
DNA & Double Standards — READERS who followed The New York Times' coverage of the Duke lacrosse case probably experienced whiplash after reading the Monday Times editorial that hailed "modern DNA testing" for "steadily uncovering a dark history of justice denied."

The editorial mentioned two specific examples. The first came in Dallas, where a prisoner spent 18 years in jail, convicted of rape "based solely on faulty testimony of a witness." A DNA test that Texas prosecutors had fought to block then proved his innocence. The Times also praised North Carolina's innocence commission, which has urged police to vet non-credible witnesses more aggressively. Powerful recommendations. Yet time and again over the past 10 months, Times reporters and columnists have acted just like the Texas prosecutors the paper's editorialists condemn...

Given its performance on the lacrosse case, the Times lacks the credibility to lecture anyone on the power of DNA evidence.

Benjamin Niolet, News & Observer:
Duke lawyers get time to sift — New prosecutors have until May - The new prosecutors in the Duke University lacrosse case have until May to prepare for court. Special prosecutors from the state Attorney General's Office met Tuesday with lawyers representing three former lacrosse players who are accused of sexually assaulting an escort service dancer at a team party.

The defense had planned next week to challenge in court key parts of the case brought by Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong. Earlier this month, Nifong asked to be removed from the case in the wake of an ethics complaint filed against him by the N.C. State Bar. The state attorney general assigned veteran prosecutors Jim Coman and Mary Winstead to the case....After the two-hour meeting, defense attorneys said they were pleased with the prosecutors. They described the session as a business meeting -- a far cry from the days when Nifong refused to sit with the lawyers...

Rob Copeland, Duke Chronicle:
Defense: chance case will be settled before May date — The hearing is now planned for May 7, more than three months after the initial Feb. 5 date at which the alleged victim was expected to appear.

Jim Cooney, a defense attorney for indicted player Reade Seligmann, said he was not surprised by the delay. "The two special prosecutors just got six boxes of stuff about a week ago.... I want to give them a chance to read up on the file and to make a good-faith effort to read what they need to read and to interview the witnesses," Cooney said, adding that there is a significant chance the prosecution will decide to drop the charges before May.

AP/CBS News:
Duke Lacrosse Hearing Postponed — Legal experts have said without the woman's photo identifications, prosecutors would probably have to dismiss the charges...

KC Johnson: Meeting Reaction

Marcella Chester, abyss2hope blog: Duke Lacrosse Hearing Postponed
— I consider this good news for justice since the extra time will allow fresh investigators time to evaluate all of the evidence. True justice can't only consider the needs of the defendants, it must also consider the needs of victims and the impact legal actions have on the general population. For anyone confused about why a case with "no evidence" hasn't yet been dropped, read this op ed by Wendy Murphy.

comment: Citing Wendy Murphy is the last refuge of the potbanger. Murphy believes "the victim, like any human being, deserves her day in court." The "victim" does not deserve a day court. An alleged victim is entitled to an impartial investigation. The 6th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects the rights of the accused:
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.
Subverting the civil rights of citizens for "the greater good" is promoting a greater evil.

FreeRepublic: Hearing Postponed in Duke lacrosse case
LieStoppers forum: Defense and AG Walking a Fine Line, Risk Giving Accusations Credibility
LieStoppers: Feb 5 hearing is OFF — delay: good or bad?
Good: There is no case, there is nothing nefarious about the seeming delay...

Bad: Going through the posts in this thread the frustration felt by most was palpable. I share that frustration. It's absolutely unneccessary for additional months to be required by the special prosecutors. I believe, as do many others, that there is something under the surface here. Some reason to drag this all out. One gets the feeling that someone is trying to run out the clock....

BTW, the prosecutor does not file a "motion to dismiss" in North Carolina. The prosecutor can dismiss on his own "with the stroke of a pen" by a simple form. See here is the way it is done — Dismissal of rape charge against David Evans.

Dismissal of rape charge against David Evans
comment: Looking forward to the day we learn that three of these forms have been filed with the court, dismissing all remaining charges against Dave Evans, Collin Finnerty, and Reade Seligmann.
John in Carolina:
Fairness demands she be named — After today I'll name the False Accuser in posts and allow her name to be used on the threads. In this post I tell you why I'm doing that...

Even when news organizations strive to be fair and honest, "anonymity for the accuser, public exposure for the accused" is unfair to the accused, as Duke Law professor James Coleman and many others have said. Those arguing for anonymity for accusers rely on a "greater good" argument: without anonymity victims of sex crimes will be reluctant to come forward. As a result, criminals will go unpunished and be free to repeat their crimes.

All in all, I come down on the side of granting anonymity. But anonymity is not a right; it's a privilege that should never be abused. In the Duke Hoax case, the accuser and much of media have repeatedly and grossly abused the anonymity privilege...

Jonathan D. Jones, News-Record (Greensboro, NC):
You’ve gotta believe me, judge, I got 'Nifonged’ — Ask local prosecutors about an upcoming case and there's a good chance you'll hear a similar refrain. "I don't want to be a Nifong." It's half-hearted. And half-serious.

The reference is to Durham's embattled district attorney, Mike Nifong, who is facing ethics charges from the state bar that stem in part from his comments to reporters about the Duke lacrosse case. The phenomenon raises the question: Is Nifong's legacy going to be his name as euphemism? ...

Wendy McElroy, FoxNews:
Continuing to Defame the 'Duke 3' as Rapists — Every day it becomes clearer: the three Duke University students accused of kidnapping and sexual assault are innocent. The rape charge against them has been dropped, but no one expects District Attorney Nifong, Duke University or the hang-'em-without-a-trial contingent in the media to apologize. In decency, however, the accusers could be expected to stop defaming the 'Duke 3' as rapists.

On Jan. 9, the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, a prominent agency in this field, posted "Talking Points: Duke University Lacrosse Team Rape Case" on its web site The post occurred 18 days after the rape charges had been dropped. In short, there was and is no racase for the "talking points" to address...

Mike Tennant,
Duke Lacrosse Legal Defense Fund — Having read Bill Anderson's post mentioning the $3 million (and rising) cost of the legal defense of the innocent Duke lacrosse players, I was curious as to whether a legal defense fund had been set up for them. A little Googling turned up this.

I checked with Bill, and he verified that the fund is legitimate. In fact, he says he is "in touch with the person setting it up, and FODU is above board. It is run by an attorney in Maryland -- but it is still honest!!"

Letter by Craig Andrews (Duke '65), Duke Chronicle:
Brodhead's response inexcusable, damaging (1/30) — I believe President Brodhead failed miserably to rise to the challenges this situation presented. His actions (and those of many of his colleagues within the Duke community) have done immense damage to this great university. Instead of cautioning those rushing to condemn, instead of staunchly maintaining the great principles of justice and constitutional law that are among the most fundamental bases of our national ethos, he raced to posture to the crowd noise.

Whatever the ultimate outcome of the case against the young men, the President's actions were unworthy of his office. Dr. Brodhead, posturing amid the political extremists around him, is himself the greater problem. His action was the one that was anti-intellectual and unprincipled. His action was the one that cannot be tolerated within the halls of a great university. His was the action of a coward not fit to lead a great institution of learning.

He should resign as president. He should do so today.

Stefanie Williams, (Univ. of Maryland):
Through the mud and back — I've thought long and hard about how to write a decent article about the infamous Duke Lacrosse Sex Scandal. I spent a lot of time considering my angles: Should I write about racism? Should I write about sexual abuse? Should I write about stereotypes? Finally, after a while, I decided to focus on the positives instead of the negatives and talk about what I know best: the sport...

For weeks after the initial accusations, I was asked about our own team and about the guys I knew on Duke's team by students, parents and even a columnist for The (Duke) Chronicle. People seemed to be expecting me to say I was sexually assaulted, insulted, treated poorly or that the guys I went to high school with were "bad kids" growing up. People were surprised when I told them that I considered our own team my big brothers, and that if anything, they were the people I enjoyed being around most. Again and again I explained that all the stereotypes, the rude comments and the insults were simply not true. However, none of the positive things I had to say about our team or the Duke team made it into the article the columnist for The Chronicle had written...

KC Johnson:
Facile Assumptions — In the Wake Forest , VUU, and USC cases, each side conceded that some form of intercourse occurred—the only question revolved around consent. In each case, a white woman claimed sexual assault against black or Hispanic football players.Yet in none of these cases did the D.A. throw the entire football team in jail. Or engage in race-baiting rhetoric. Or pander to the white community. In fact, in all three cases, the D.A. did his job and conducted an impartial investigation. And in none of these cases did the students' own professors engage in a rush-to-judgment public denunciation.

Michael Gaynor:
Shouldn't mothers demonstrate against injustice? — Date: February 4, 2007, Time: 11 AM, Congregation Place: Durham County Courthouse, 201 East Main Street, Durham, North Carolina, Event: Concerned Mothers Walk of Support

Purpose: To support (1) "David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann who are innocent"; (2) "the Evans, Finnerty and Seligmann families"; (3) "Coach Mike Pressler and his family" and (4) "the Men and Women Lacrosse Teams at Duke University." Welcomed: Homemade signs of support...

Forum Topics of note:
LieStoppers: This is Jakki ! ID revealed, ?
related: YouTube video - Jackie ONight

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Duke/Nifong Hoax: Day #287

Updated - today's items:

Duke Lacrosse Hearings Stayed Until May 7 — Feb. 5 court hearing for the Duke lacrosse case was postponed Tuesday after defense attorneys met with the new prosecutors assigned to the case. The state Attorney General's Office appointed two special prosecutors -- Mary Winstead and James Coman -- to take over for Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong more than two weeks ago after allegations involving ethical misconduct.

All court hearings involving the Duke lacrosse case have been stayed until May 7.

Tuesday's meeting, which lasted two hours, was the first time the two sides have met to discuss the case. After the meeting, defense attorneys Joe Cheshire and Wade Smith said the discussion went well and that they look forward to working with the new prosecutors...

LieStoppers forum: Feb 5 hearing is OFF
Thomas Sowell,
The Larger Tragedy — It has now become more and more obvious, even to some people who initially believed the "rape" charges against Duke University students, that there was never a speck of evidence to support the charges and a growing amount of evidence to the contrary.

However reprehensible District Attorney Nifong's words and actions have been throughout this case, it would be a serious mistake to see in this tawdry episode just the vileness of one man

The larger tragedy is what this case revealed about the degeneration of our times and the hollowness of so many people in "responsible" positions in the media, in academia, and among those blacks so consumed by racial resentments and thirst for revenge that they are prepared to lash out at individuals who have done nothing to them and are guilty of no crime against anybody.

Other “Misplaced” Commentary About the Merits of DNA Evidence — Yesterday, KC Johnson noted a remarkable editorial in, of all places, the New York Times, extolling the virtues of DNA evidence...No one following Nifong's Hoax can disagree with a call for “serious reforms of the criminal justice system.” It would be foolish to believe that Mike Nifong is an isolated rogue prosecutor, who just this one time managed to abuse the system for his own reasons. Many commentators over the past many months have pointed to the Innocence Project as an organization that has uncovered numerous wrongful convictions and gallantly worked to free the falsely imprisoned. Indeed, their record is impressive, and the stories of those they have helped are simply shocking and heartbreaking.

Those of us supporting the players often cite the Innocence Project as evidence that we recognize the injustices that have occurred to others. Others cite the Innocence Project as proof that other injustices have occurred without the attention given to the lacrosse players, thereby questioning the motives of those who seek justice in this case...

Duke Basketball Report:
Auction for Association for Truth and Fairness — UNC at Duke 4 seats (2/7) - We have a very special auction to announce: four tickets for the UNC game (2/7), all together. The tickets are section 15, row h, seats 6,8,10, 12. These are near center court. There aren’t too many seats which are better than these. On top of everything else, you’ll see the action on the bench. The proceeds of the sale of these tickets will benefit ATAF, the Association for Truth and Fairness...
KC Johnson:
Duke Basketball Report Auction for ATAF — Sounds like a good idea to me.

John in Carolina:
Carolina-Duke tix auction for ATAF — Here’s an opportunity to do good and enjoy a Carolina-Duke basketball game in Cameron, the greatest b'ball setting in America.
KC Johnson:
Praising Stephen Miller — While their statement claimed to be “listening” to Duke students, the Group of 88 has shown little regard for what their school’s students think about the lacrosse case...

Miller went on from this column to defend due process and the players’ presumption of innocence in several national media appearances over the spring. In contrast to Davidson’s claim of a vast-right wing conspiracy to use the ad to “make academics and liberals look ridiculous and uncaring,” I discovered the statement by “listening” to Duke students....

note: It has been 287 days since Reade Seligmann and Collin Finnerty were wrongly arrested on April 18, 2006

Monday, January 29, 2007

Duke/Nifong Hoax: Day #286

Updated - today's items:

Editorial, NY Times:
The True State of C.S.I. Justice — Modern DNA testing is steadily uncovering a dark history of justice denied. More than 190 DNA exonerations in 18 years show ever more alarming patterns of citizens, wrongly convicted, suffering in prison. Consider the eight felons finally exonerated through DNA challenges in New York State in just the last 13 months. Or the 12 people who had to fight long and hard to prove their innocence in Dallas County, Tex., alone in the past five years. New York and Texas are, in fact, the leading states in yielding these hard-fought exonerations. This is hardly a credit to their justice systems since the victories are won by dedicated pro bono lawyers, not by state monitors charged with finding injustice.

It’s clearly time for these grim showcase states to join the half-dozen pioneering states that have created what are termed innocence commissions...

KC Johnson: The Times: DNA Exonerates (Except When It Doesn't) - this is the same paper where columnists Selena Roberts and Harvey Araton published columns dripping with a presumption of guilt based solely on the version of events presented by one witness—just the type of person the editorial notes North Carolina’s innocence commission demands be vetted “more carefully.” ...

The Innocence Project (see latest news) Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University — The Innocence Project is hiring.
Kathleen Eckelt RN, FNE; Forensic TalkKathleen Eckelt RN, FNE; Forensic Talk:
Question and Answer With Attorney Jim Cooney on Duke Case — I couldn't agree more! I too am afraid that this case has set back victim's rights. One of the things that has concerned me so much about this case, aside from the apparent injustice against innocent young men, is that it is hurting the true victims of rape.

Because of my criticisms of this case, those reading my blog may be under the mistaken impression that I am overly critical of rape victims in general. Not so. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. I wouldn't be working in this field if I felt that way. It is for all true victims, both of rape and of injustice, that I speak out. I admit though that I can be quite critical of those who would deliberately file false charges, thereby hurting the credibility of all the true rape victims. I'm afraid that the notoriety of this case is going to cause true rape victims, in the near future, to be reluctant to come forward, for fear of not being believed.

And it is the Cash Michael's, Victoria Peterson's, Wendy Murphy's, and yes, the Jesse Jackson's of this world who apparently fail to see that by enabling any false accuser - black or white - by means of their extremely vocal or high profile status, in order to push their own particular agenda, they are spitting in the face of all those truly in need....
related: Charlotte-Observer: Jim Cooney interview
January 29th — Arlington, VA. On Monday the Robert Taft Club will discuss the Duke Lacrosse Non-Rape Case and Its Meaning. Featured speakers will be William Anderson, Richard Spencer, Robert Stacy McCain and Nicholas Stix. Location: Sala Thai Restaurant, 2300 Wilson Blvd., (corner of Clarendon & Adams, near the Court House station on the Metrorail Orange line.) Time: 7:30pm (dinner at 6:30pm). Contact Marcus Epstein, (757 375-0179.

Steven MillerSteven Miller, Duke Chronicle:
A portrait of radicalism — While there are many good, decent and commendable professors on our campus, there are also a number of professors that are unethical, unbalanced and out of control. The lacrosse scandal has made this shameful reality all too apparent. And it is students who pay the price for their radical behavior.

Consider the case of Kyle Dowd, a Duke lacrosse player who graduated last year with an above-average GPA. Last spring, his professor, Kim Curtis, signed the abominable "social disaster" ad, which pointed the finger of guilt at the lacrosse team, praised the protesters who rushed to judgment and slandered our student body as racist.

It seems Curtis, however, did not limit herself to merely using words to unleash her contempt at the lacrosse team and to issue her warped brand of justice. No, it seems she decided to give Dowd an F in her course simply because he was a member of the lacrosse team...
FreeRepublic: A Portrait of Radicalism
LieStoppers: A Portrait of Radicalism, Steven Miller
Dr. William J. BarberRev. Dr. William H. Barber Guest Preacher at Duke Chapel, Sunday Jan. 28th, Webcast Archive

John in Carolina:
Race and Rev. Barber’s sermon — When he said he would speak about bad choices, I knew he would not speak about Kim's bad choice to strip in front of strangers or Crystal's bad choice to use a sex toy on herself for money but the bad choices of the Duke players for hiring strippers...

John in Carolina:
Rev. Barber at Duke Chapel — Barber only focused on the black women as victims of the slurs; and he directed his censure only at the white players. Such discriminations are expected nowadays from NAACP leaders and others like them, but such discriminations have no basis in Christian theology....

KC Johnson:
Barber, Wells, and the Sins of Denial — NAACP, Rev. William Barber, was invited to preach at yesterday’s Duke Chapel Sunday service by the man he described as his “good friend,” Duke Chaplain Sam Wells....Wells’ disturbing record on the lacrosse affair began with his April 2 sermon...Barber, alas, seems reluctant to apply his desired “theology of truth” to his own organization’s statements. Instead, the NAACP head tailored his remarks to fit the organization’s new talking points—namely, that any dismissal of the case would be based on prosecutors caving in to public opinion rather than acting on the merits...

Duke Lacrosse Update: Crimes and Torts committed by Duke Lacrosse Team Players on 3/13 and 3/14[The NAACP continues to publish lies on its website]
> The sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE) found the "victim had signs, symptoms and injuries consistent with being raped and sexually assaulted vaginally and anally." The SANE also said the injuries and the victim’s behavior were consistent with a traumatic experience. Theresa Arico, the SANE coordinator at Duke Hospital said "there was a certain amount of blunt force trauma present to create injury" and that the injuries the victim suffered were "consistent with the story she told." The ER doctor on duty that night also has reported that Ms. M. suffered trauma consistent with her story.
In Herald Sun article (4/1/06)...nurse Arico speaks generically about what a SANE nurse might say in a report....sexual assault nurse examiners do not render an opinion on whether a rape has occurred
> Ms. M.’s account of the rape included an accusation that Ms. Roberts had urged her to have sex with her and with the men, and that Ms. M. was taken into the bathroom and raped anally, vaginally and orally, and the three men used racial and sexual slurs during the assault. The serial killer in American Psycho followed a similar pattern with his female victims...

comment: The rape charges were dropped, but the NAACP still publishes these accusations without correction or update.
LieStoppers forum: Barber Live Broadcast, in progress

Letter by Charles Littleton (Atlanta), Herald-Sun:
'Old South' mentality — As a Duke alum, proud not only of the university but also the economic progress of the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area, I am embarrassed for all of you who are subjected to "old South" political tricks and mentalities. To take the word of a stripper with a criminal record and create a globally covered media event just to get into office deserves more than an investigation of the Durham prosecutor, it deserves a public apology by the Durham government to Duke and the students wrongfully accused.

I live in Atlanta, where the "old South" mentality is gone. Race baiting politicians would be looked upon as civic embarrassments. Durham needs to become as sophisticated as its world renowned Duke University. Otherwise, we have some land here in Georgia that Duke might be interested in.

Forum topics of note:
LieStoppers: TalkLeft shuts down for the week..., She doesn't trust her posters
TalkLeft: Forum Announcement — I (Jeralyn Merritt) am leaving for Washington in the morning to cover the Scooter Libby trial for the week...Should I close the forum for a week until I get back? Should I allow you all to go wild...
comment: release the hounds
LieStoppers: Brodhead booed, At Sheldon Williams ceremony — I just listened to Joe Alleva introduce Richard Brodhead at the Duke game and a huge round of boos cascaded from the stands. Brodhead then went on to retire Williams' No. 23 jersey...
Editorial - Duke Chronicle:
Alums: Don't stop donating to Duke — In the recent Chronicle article "Has lax case changed alum support, giving?" (Jan. 26), some Duke alumni expressed a desire to no longer donate to the University, citing the faculty reaction to and the administration's management of the aftermath of charges brought against three men's lacrosse players.

These graduates are misguided in their thinking, placing too much emphasis on an incident, rather than on Duke as an institution, and potentially hurting the rest of the University because of it...By focusing attention on this single case, these alumni miss the many good, indeed, excellent things that have happened at Duke recently and that are in the works for the future...

John Taddei, Duke Chronicle:
Danowski, Blue Devils kick off '07 campaign — Nearly 300 days after its 2006 season was cut short, Duke could not wait one more to officially start its 2007 campaign when it took the field Friday. "We were actually going to start tomorrow, but we were all jumping out of our skin," head coach John Danowski said. The Blue Devils practiced for the first time this spring on a sunny afternoon that seemed an apropos setting for a team that has developed a truer appreciation for the little things-practicing, playing and simply having a season on the horizon.

"We've been looking forward to this opportunity for a while," senior co-captain Ed Douglas said. "I think there's a heightened sense of urgency from the guys knowing we've had something like this taken away. You respect and value the opportunity a little more." ...

Updated - yesterday's items (1/28):

NY Post: Duke Player's Pain: Life is on HoldFrank Ryan, NY Post:
Duke Player's Pain: Life is on Hold — As the Duke lacrosse team held its first practice of the 2007 season Friday, Collin Finnerty was 500 miles away, wishing he was there - and uncertain he ever will be again.

"I dream of being back on the lacrosse field with my friends one day, but I'm just not sure if that's going to happen," said the Garden City, L.I., resident. "I've worked my whole life for this, and now everything just seems to be on hold until this gets resolved."

Collin Finnerty & girlfriendOne of three Duke lacrosse players charged with raping a stripper who has since changed part of her story, Finnerty, 20, says his entire life has been put on hold since the allegations rocked the prestigious university and polarized the nation...

Finnerty, who first picked up a lacrosse stick at age 5, said those closest to him had never doubted his story.

"Having the truth on our side has made all the difference to us as we just try to get through this," he said. ..."I was always proud to be a member of the Duke team," he said. "I really love those guys."
LieStoppers forum: NY Post Interview With Collin Finnerty
Ted Vaden, News & Observer:
Tricky issue: naming sex case accusers — Should The News & Observer name the accuser in the Duke lacrosse case? Not now, certainly. Several readers have said the withdrawal last month of rape charges against the three players removed the need for protection of the accuser that the paper has provided so far. But serious charges of sexual offense and kidnapping remain, and until those charges are tried or dismissed The N&O's policy on sex crimes -- that it does not identify complainants without their consent -- pertains.

But the readers' inquiries do raise several interesting questions. What happens if the Duke case is dismissed or the players are judged innocent? Then would the paper name the accuser?And a more fundamental question: Why does the paper even have a policy against naming sex crime complainants? Is it fair to name the accused and not the accuser? The Duke case has thrown a spotlight on these issues, and the N&O newsroom is revisiting its policy in that light... I welcome your views. The Public Editor can be reached at or by calling (919) 836-5700.

Stephen Littau,
Old Media vs. New Media — A rather interesting comment was posted in response to a minor point I made about the new media vs. the old media in a post I wrote entitled The Scales of Justice Need Rebalancing . I thought the comment raised some interesting questions that deserved to be answered in a post of its own as opposed to a response to the response on the original post.

My original point had to do with the MSM’s (the old media’s) incomplete, sloppy, and biased coverage of the so-called Duke Rape Case and how bloggers and talk radio (the new media) managed to turn the tide against the narrative the MSM was trying to establish. The MSM basically convicted the lacrosse players before they had their day in court. When it comes to accusations of rape or sexual assault, all too often the MSM automatically presumes that women never lie about these sorts of things, therefore; the men who are accused of the act are guilty. Very few in the MSM were even open to the possibility that Crystal Magnum (the stripper who accused the lacrosse players) was lying...

Durham's 'AWOL' PD Chief - Steve ChalmersRay Gronberg, Herald-Sun:
Chief's absences raising concern (1/27) — Police Chief Steve Chalmers' absences from duty in the past year have the City Council grumbling, but most members say they're relying on Durham's city manager to monitor the situation and make sure the department runs smoothly.

The chief was out of the office for an extended time last spring coping with a family illness, and apparently missed time again in December. In December, he had his top assistant, Deputy Chief Ron Hodge, deliver two key reports to the council, one documenting an increase in violent crime and the other on the Durham Police Department's long-range facilities needs. That delegation of the chief's public role -- coupled with City Manager Patrick Baker's parallel announcement that he hoped to have a replacement for Chalmers hired and in place by mid-August, more than four months before the incumbent's scheduled retirement -- has prompted considerable behind-the-scenes speculation about the department's day-to-day management...

KC Johnson:
Sunday Roundup (see comments) — the city attorney’s office refused a H-S request to release how much time away from the office [Chalmers] spent in 2006. That move doesn’t inspire much confidence, either....Good commentary in college newspapers...The “clarifying” faculty’s missive proved to be one of the worst p.r. moves of the entire case....Linwood Wilson...Duke graduate on Professor Laurie Shannon...Victoria Peterson..."during the rally, Ms. Peterson was advocating burning down the house at 610 N. Buchanan" ...
Michael Biesecker, Bull's eye blog, News & Observer:
Daddy Sang Bass (1/24) — Those interested in learning more about the singing career of Linwood E. Wilson, the chief investigator for Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong, can access the website for his group, The Spokesmen Quartet....

Court TV forum: Burnin' Down the House - Peterson was advocating burning down the house...
Carlos Campos, Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Eyewitness guidelines urged after man free — Proof positive: Legislation likely to push state standards for conducting suspect lineups and other ID methods. - Willie O. "Pete" Williams' recent release after more than 21 years in prison on a wrongful rape conviction has put a face on an issue once again before the Georgia Legislature: faulty eyewitness identifications.

Williams, 44, was picked out of a photo lineup by a victim who testified in court that she was "120" percent certain he was the man who raped her. But DNA evidence later proved he was not guilty of the crime. All six of the men whose convictions have been thrown out by DNA evidence in Georgia were prosecuted based on eyewitness testimony, said Aimee Maxwell, executive director of the Georgia Innocence Project, which investigates allegations of wrongful convictions...

Michael Gaynor:
A Reverend Revving Up Rioters? (1/26) — The Duke case is Tawana Brawley Two, that is, a hoax based on a lie by a young black woman supported by agenda-driven activists, even including persons who claim to be men of God. Reverend Curtis E. Gatewood is second vice president of the North Carolina NAACP Conference of Branches.Reverend Gatewood has a website (

Sharpton stands by Brawley's story. In May 2002, when the Associated Press asked whether he would apologize to Pagones, Sharpton replied: 'Apologize for what? For believing a young lady?'...It sure looks like the hoax helpers in Tawana Two will stick to the Big Lie too.

Yolanda Carrington: writer, political activist, African Amer. woman, radical feminist, Marxist, African Amer. nationalistYolanda Carrington (feminist/Marxist),
Prosecuting an Ideology: Reflections on the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case (1/12) — In discussing the Duke rape case, there are key assumptions that people in US society take for granted, and these assumptions must be examined and challenged. Simply put, most people’s understanding of sexual violence is shaped by rape culture, the dominant ideology that frames the public narrative about rape and violence against women. The main aspects of rape culture in its US context are...White male power is a key component of the rape question...

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Duke/Nifong Hoax: Day #284

Updated - today's items:

Lettter by Kim Brummell (Oxford, NC), Herald-Sun:
Nifong owes accuser, community an apology — How many people still have faith in the justice system? There are probably not too many, given all the major blows dealt to the Duke lacrosse case over the past several months. The ability of the people involved in making laws, carrying them out and imposing punishment, have many citizens leery....The chance that the alleged victim in the lacrosse case will be able to exercise her freedom of speech and tell her version of events in a courtroom, is very doubtful. If the State Attorney General's Office dismisses the case, vindication won't be decided in a court of law like it should.

Nifong owes the alleged victim, his supporters and all who voted for him a public apology for his missteps in this case. Chances are slim that will ever happen.

The attorney general gives some a little hope that both sides will be able to present their case. But how much can you really do with a case riddled with bullet holes? Usually it's dead.

KC Johnson:
Citizens' Committee Co-Chair to Nifong: Apologize — Kim Brummell, Mike Nifong's former citizens' committee co-chair, penned a scathing letter in today's H-S....

LieStoppers forum: Nifong's Co-Chair Calls For Him to Apologize, Kim Brummell in Herald-Sun

Friends of Duke Univ.: Brummell — she is saying there was a crime; she and all the supporters of the accused were right but that Nifong bungled up the case, so nothing may come of it. Classic! This is what we expected these types to say when it is all said and done...
James P. Cooney, IIIGary L. Wright, McClatchy Newspapers/San Jose Mercury News:
Question and answer with attorney Jim Cooney on Duke case — Charlotte lawyer Jim Cooney is handling the highest-profile case of his career: defending one of three Duke lacrosse players charged with sexually assaulting an exotic dancer hired to perform as a stripper at a team party last March.

Do you think we'll ever know what happened during the team party on March 13, 2006?

I feel very confident that we know what happened. I am also confident that there are certain people who will never believe the facts of this case because it does not fit their view of the case or their personal agendas. The simple truth, as the facts show, is that there was no rape, no sex offense and no kidnapping.

What do you make of the tensions of race and gender that this case has exposed in Durham?

I think many of these tensions pre-existed this case. Perhaps one of the great tragedies of this case is that the African American community in Durham has historically been one of the most vibrant, prosperous and successful communities in this state, even during the height of segregation. The success and resiliency of that community has been lost in the media frenzy surrounding this case. Regrettably, these cases were hijacked by individuals who had an agenda that had nothing to do with Durham, these defendants or justice...

Cooney interview also published in Charlotte-Observer:
Duke case lawyer: Try to imagine the pain - Defender for 1 of the accused players talks about impact on family...
FreeRepublic: Try to imagine the pain
John in Carolina:
Even better now — Last September I posted: “Duke lacrosse: Lots of good posts.” I said a few words about and linked to posts by the usual suspects – Durham-in-Wonderland, Johnsville News and Liestoppers. I did the same with posts by Bill Anderson (It’s the classic “Duke’s Reichstag Fire."), Mike Gaynor, and Melanie Sill at the Editors’ Blog who was attempting to explain away the N&O's inadequate reporting on DPD Sgt. Mark Gottlieb's very troubling treatment of Duke students. I re-read those posts this morning. The passing of time has left them better now than in September....

Sylvia Adcock, Washington Post:
New Prosecution Team Takes on Duke Case — Lawyers Examine Evidence Amid Media Glare — Six boxes and two file folders were transferred to the state attorney general's office near Capital Square here last week, and with them comes a shift in a case that has transfixed the nation. The boxes and files contain the sum total of evidence against three former Duke University lacrosse players charged with sexually assaulting an escort service dancer at an off-campus team party last spring. In the recent months, the actions of the previous prosecutor, Durham District Attorney Michael B. Nifong, have taken center stage. But now that Nifong has asked to be relieved while he faced charges from the North Carolina Bar Association, including withholding evidence from defense lawyers, the focus of the case shifts to state Attorney General Roy Cooper and the two prosecutors he has chosen to evaluate the evidence...

Ned Barnett, News & Observer:
Lacrosse returns to Duke Nearly a year after the Duke men's lacrosse season was cut short amid a maelstrom of sordid accusations and national publicity, the team emerged Friday for the first practice of a new season. It was, in most ways, a normal start. Players raced through drills, filling the air with balls and shouts on a sunny January day that hinted at the spring to come. But there were signs that no Duke season -- lacrosse or otherwise -- had ever started like the one that opened Friday afternoon. From the sidelines, a gaggle of television cameras and reporters watched. Players were animated, but self-conscious. The two team captains were designated to speak to the media."There's more media attention. That's a given," co-captain Ed Douglas said of the changes this season...
Guy Loranger, Herald-Sun:
Duke lacrosse team gears up — The Blue Devils, who won an NCAA record 17 games and reached the NCAA title match in 2005, return six preseason All-Americans and 34 lettermen from a team that went 6-2 in 2006 before Duke President Richard Brodhead suspended the season. They are No. 4 in Lacrosse Magazine's preseason rankings.

Danowski said he was impressed by his team's offseason performance, saying that 88 percent of the squad posted a grade-point average of 3.0 or better and that the team performed a combined 515 hours of community service....
William L. Anderson:
The Trials of the Edenton Seven, or How Joseph Goebbels Became the Standard for North Carolina Justice — While the Duke non-rape, non-kidnapping, and non-sexual assault case continues to dominate the "justice" system of the State of North Carolina, it hardly is the first wrongful prosecution to have happened there. Given that charges almost certainly will be dropped against Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty, and David Evans, the results will not be as tragic as they have been for other people there who not only have been wrongfully prosecuted, but also wrongfully convicted and imprisoned...

Joseph Goebbels, who was the Minister for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda for the National Socialist regime under Adolph Hitler....actually developed his techniques from what Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf, in which Hitler declared that the bigger the lie, the more credibility it would have...

KC Johnson:
Friends of Duke Petition — Friends of Duke has started a petition endorsing the Economics Department’s open letter backing President Brodhead’s demand for an examination of Mike Nifong’s conduct and welcoming all students, including student-athletes, into their classes.More than 600 people have signed the petition to date. Here are some of the most thoughtful comments...

Forum topics of note:
LieStoppers: John Feinstein On Jim Rome Show, A Disaster Waiting To Happen? - Duke alum and author John Feinstein was on as a guest yesterday and spoke about the LAX case....To paraphrase a quote of his on the entire Hoax: "There are no good guys in this situation."

LieStoppers: Genarlow Wilson's Story, Injustice in Georgia?
TalkLeft: Cash Michaels - the story and cause of Genarlow Wilson
Yesterday (1/26):

Duke Lacrosse Team Returns to Practice Field (video) — Lacrosse returned to the Duke University campus Friday, as the men's team opened practice for the 2007 season after its last season was canceled amid a sexual assault investigation.

Duke President Richard Brodhead ended the nationally ranked team's season last April, following disclosure that a lacrosse player sent an e-mail in which he threatened to kill and mutilate strippers...

The lacrosse team opens its season at home Feb. 24 against Dartmouth College.
AP /Fayetteville-Observer:
Duke lacrosse players open practice for 2007 season — John Danowski said Friday he and his players briefly discussed wearing the accused players' numbers on their helmets in a show of support. He said players are looking forward to focusing on lacrosse. "You know, one of the things I said to them today is you don't have to prove anything to anybody. Just come out here and play," he said...
Older items:

Alton H. Maddox, Jr.Opinion - Alton H. Maddox Jr.
New York Amsterdam News:
150 Years after Dred Scott (1/25) — Three Duke University lacrosse players will be able to walk away from charges of kidnapping and sexual abuse of a Black female because white politicians used their clout to interfere with the administration of justice in a state prosecution.

The suspects include three members of Congress Walter B. Jones, Peter King and Carolyn McCarthy. These members of Congress claim that Durham District Attorney Michael Nifong is violating the civil rights of three white, privileged students. Is this naked racism and an abuse of power? They fail to claim, however, that Nifong abused the grand jury.

Nifong has had to relieve himself of his prosecutorial duties to defend a disciplinary complaint made by the North Carolina State Bar while the Congressional Black Caucus has buried its head in the sand. Given the fact that prosecutorial discretion is not reviewable and prosecutors enjoy qualified immunity, these ethics charges are suspect....Disciplinary charges are routinely conducted in kangaroo proceedings. Nifong is in an uphill fight.
comment: The good news is that Nifong is not accused of abusing the grand jury system (yet). The bad news - Nifong will face a "kangaroo" proceeding. Things don't look good. Will Mr. Maddox or any of Nifong's supporters start a defense fund for Mike Nifong and contribute their own money?

AllahPundit, blog: Disbarred, disgraced, race-baiting moron defends Nifong — I wanted the headline to be “…defends other disbarred, disgraced, race-baiting moron,” but we’ll have to wait until the disciplinary hearing to see about that first part.It’s Alton Maddox, co-perpetrator with Al Sharpton of the Tawana Brawley rape hoax that temporarily poisoned race relations in New York City and around the country...

Kelly McBrideKelly McBride, (school for journalists):
Duke Lacrosse Case: Should We Name the Accuser? (1/24) — As events continue to unfold in the Duke Lacrosse case, newsrooms are struggling with a recurring dilemma -- whether to name or not name the accuser.As the criminal case against the Duke lacrosse players falters, a number of journalists are asking if, or when, their newsrooms should publish or broadcast the name of the woman at the center of the story.

Although several Web sites have named the woman, to date no mainstream publications have done so. It has helped some journalists to envision a continuum of circumstances involving news stories about sexual assault allegations. In doing so, journalists become familiar with the justifications for naming and not naming, as well as the possible impact on certain stakeholders in the audience.

The following scenarios include a variety of circumstances that could lead journalists to different decisions. As with all challenges of ethical decision-making, the naming question is best addressed by considering three main principles:
  • reporting the truth as fully as possible
  • remaining independent
  • minimizing harm
comment: Ms. Mangum's identification was revealed in court documents that are public information. Wikipedia the internet encyclopedia started a bio page for her back in June. What is the final straw that will allow the MSM to finally identify her?

TJN: Verifying the Identification of Crystal Gail Mangum
TJN: Identifying the Accuser Debate — The Johnsville News identified the alleged victim of the Duke Lacrosse Rape case on April 21, 2006. Her name is Crystal Gail Mangum. No "reputable" news organization has identified her to date....
Jeff Taylor,
Situation Normal, All Nifonged Up
(1/24) — The other shoe -- a rather large hob-nailed boot, in fact -- has fallen on Durham DA Mike Nifong in the form of additional North Carolina State Bar charges. A complaint filed this morning charges that Nifong withheld DNA evidence from the defense and then lied about it in court. A more serious charge is hard to imagine.

At the same time, Nifong's personal fix-it man in the Duke lacrosse rape case, investigator/gospel singer Linwood Wilson -- the TV movie is so gonna rock -- has to be wondering what this all means for him....The upshot is we've moved squarely into the realm of a conspiracy to hijack the criminal justice system and use it against three innocent men. It is great that the State Bar has finally moved itself to act against one of its own. However, actual justice may demand that criminal charges be filed shortly after the remaining charges against the lacrosse players are dropped by the special prosecutor...

AP/WBIR-TV, Knoxville, TN:
Woman to be charged after making false rape claims (1/19) — Authorities in Connecticut plan to file charges against a white woman who admitted making up a story about being raped by a black man in a Hartford park. Police initially said they would not prosecute the woman. But after black leaders complained that she had perpetuated a dangerous stereotype, police changed their mind. An arrest warrant has been issued for the woman on charges of making a false report. That is a misdemeanor that carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison...
LieStoppers forum: Arrest Warrant for Woman over False Rape, after pressure from black leaders

Friday, January 26, 2007

Duke/Nifong Hoax: Day #283

Updated - today's items:

Anne Blythe, News & Observer:
Professors say Nifong mishandled Duke case — This was not a crowd in which you would expect to find an ardent supporter of District Attorney Mike Nifong. It was Duke University, after all, the school attended by the three former lacrosse players charged in the sexual assault case that has stirred torrents of criticism. Three law professors on a Duke panel Thursday afternoon dissected the actions of Nifong over the past 10 months, and they concluded that he is a prosecutor headed for serious sanctions by the State Bar.

"If everything's established, we're looking at a significant suspension," said Tom Metzloff, a Duke law professor who also serves on the bar's ethics committee, which had nothing to do with the charges brought against Nifong...The Duke panel discussion, held at lunchtime Thursday in a law school auditorium, explored the role of the prosecutor and media...

comment: It is ironic that Anne Blythe wrote this story, because she helped write two terrible N&O articles (Mar 24th, Mar 25th) that helped start this hoax.

Duke Chronicle, Andrew Beach: Law Panel Decries Nifong's Conduct
KC Johnson: Duke Law School Panel

FreeRepublic: Professors say Nifong mishandled Duke lacrosse case — Where were these people 6 months ago? I guess it's safe to kick the corpse, now...They must have received a closed-door briefing from Captain Obvious.
KC Johnson:
Power of the (College) Press (see comments) — Few people any longer are defending the print media’s coverage of the lacrosse case. In a recent edition of CNN’s Realiable Sources, CNN and Washington Post media correspondent Howard Kurtz termed the event an “absolutely awful performance by the media, pumping this into a big national melodrama.” Christine Brennan, a reporter for USA Today, agreed that it was “an awful performance, an embarrassing time, I think, for journalism . . . I think some people lost their minds in this story.”

One general exception to this pattern exists: the college media. The journalists of the Duke Chronicle have provided more, and better, investigating reporting on the case than every reporter in the country combined except for Joe Neff...
related: TJN - 10 Lessons From the Duke Rape Hoax (see below)
Mark GottliebKC Johnson:
Gottlieb Watch (see comments) — Duke basketball was at home tonight, and so police were directing traffic after the game. At an intersection on Erwin Road (on the fringe of campus), the officer with the orange cone was none other than Sgt. Mark Gottlieb. It seems his career has hit a dry spell.
related: LieStoppers - Keep it moving (cartoon)

Rob Copeland, Duke Chronicle:
Has lax case changed alum support, giving? — It's no secret that private schools depend on their alumni to bankroll the billion-dollar endowments necessary to sustain a modern university. And although it remains unclear what effect the lacrosse scandal has had on Duke's alumni relations, one thing is certain-there are strong opinions all around...
LieStoppers forum: Rob Copeland's Post from Last Night...
John F. Burness, Sr VP, Public Relations, Duke Univ., (subs only):
Duke President Urged Caution on Scandal — In "The Michael Nifong Scandal" (editorial page, January 11), Dorothy Rabinowitz raises compelling criticisms of how the Durham, N.C. district attorney has handled the prosecution of the three Duke University students. The commentary also criticized Duke President Richard Broadhead for not speaking to the fundamental principle of a presumption of innocence until some seven months after the incident. President Brodhead, in his first public statement in the days following the alleged incident, urged that the students must be presumed innocent until proven otherwise -- an assertion he has made clearly and repeatedly in numerous subsequent communications to faculty, students, alumni and others.

As he told "60 Minutes: in August, ". . . my view is that the DA's case will be on trial as much as our players will be on trial." His statements have been reported widely. His comment with "60 Minutes" is still on its website, just as many of his other statements remain available on Duke's Web site.

Walter B. JonesSteve Daniels, ABC11 TV/WTVD:
Congressman Pushes for Probe Against Nifong (1/25) — North Carolina Congressman Walter Jones is demanding an investigation of Durham D.A. Mike Nifong. Thursday Jones met with the U.S. attorney general's office in Washington. He said he has a new reason why he thinks the nation's top law enforcement office will launch an inquiry.

According to the Jones, there is no excuse for the attorney general not to initiate a civil rights investigation because the three lacrosse players had their civil and constitutional rights violated.

The Congressman delivered letters from nine members of congress who think now that Nifong has removed himself as prosecutor on the Duke lacrosse case, the U.S. Justice Department should take action against the D.A...

Brielle Schaeffer, The Daily Evergreen (Washington State Univ.):
Support victims by informing students — Schaeffer examines the negative biases that often deter women from reporting sexual assault incidents. - For many women, speaking out about sexual assault is stigmatized and painful, because they have to relive the emotional trauma they suffered while testifying to authorities. Across the nation, in North Carolina, the upsetting allegations of rape charges brought against three Duke University lacrosse players are being dropped.

There are a few key factors that compose the meaning of such a case in our society: race, sex and violence. Every generation has the hope for itself and the future – that things will get better and life improve for the children. The privileged, white male students of Duke make up a part of the next generation’s leaders. Apparently a racist, sexist and violent generation. Not only is this a case about hate crimes, it’s about class.

There are still many questions surrounding the actual events of that night. Some reporters worry about the reputations of the men involved in the case, speculating that their names will never be redeemed even if they are innocent. But they’re wealthy kids with powerful parents who can pay for the best attorneys and depend on nepotism to get them jobs after graduation. These guys will not be the first group to benefit because of their money.
comment: Distortions and misinformation stage left.

related: Prof. William L. Anderson - Letter to Evergreen — There are some things to keep in mind. First, and most important, there was no rape. Second, the writer basically convicts the accused anyway because they are “privileged, white male students of Duke.” There are things called due process and rule of law that apparently the staff of the Evergreen wishes to overlook...
Betsy Newmark, Betsy' Page blog:
Nifong hoist by his own petard — As you read through the amended complaint, you can read between the lines about how ticked off the Bar Grievance Committee is at Nifong's lies to the Court, the defense attorneys, and their own committee. I can't imagine that Nifong won't be disbarred after this. I wonder if he'll still get a pension once he has been disbarred. If I were in the Durham government, I'd want to quick pass a provision that would deny him any pension if he is disbarred. They can use that money for the legal expenses the county is going to have not only defending themselves from any suit that the lacrosse players might bring but also from those who had been convicted in prosecutions run by Mike Nifong and now will ask for new trials. Especially if there was any DNA evidence involved. How can anyone have any faith in any other prosecution that this man conducted now that it is so clear about how easily he corrupted the whole procedure in this case? ...
Tom Delay (former congressman), blog:
Blog Interview: Betsy Newmark — We recently conducted an interview with the well known conservative bloggers Betsy Newmark. Check out what she has to say!..

John in Carolina: A damn burst in Durham - Duke Mom Betsy Nemark says...
Kristin Collins, News & Observer:
Campus brawl brings FBI — Two more Guilford College football players were charged Thursday with beating a group of Palestinian students during a drunken weekend brawl, and the FBI is investigating whether a hate crime occurred on the small Quaker campus. Five members of the Greensboro school's football team now face charges of assault and racial intimidation...

The Sports Curmudgeon:
The Disgrace of the Duke Lacrosse Case — Mike Nifong is the District Attorney in Durham NC who has been "handling" the so-called Duke Lacrosse rape case. I'm sure you know that he's dropped the rape charges and that the alleged victim has changed her account of what happened that night several times...One thing I must say in Mr. Nifong's defense; he did stop short of accusing the three lacrosse players of the murder of Jimmy Hoffa, the disappearance of Judge Crater or harboring the fugitive, D. B. Cooper.

Kenneth Moton, News 14 Carolina:
Duke lacrosse scandal affects other programs — They were shockwaves felt around the world of lacrosse. It was the scandal of rape allegations involving the Duke University men's lacrosse team and a stripper that put a dark cloud over the game and its players.

“A lot of people started having negative opinions of lacrosse players in general,” said NC State men’s lacrosse club president Rick Pineda. He says players across the country leaned on each other for support and knew there was only one way to bounce back from the stereotypes and that’s emphasize the rules of conduct.

“Relay the importance of conduct, relay the importance of being well-behaved and representing not only ourselves but our university and the city of Raleigh,” said Pineda.

Michael Gaynor:
Duke case: Oh what a tangled web they weaved... — To: Potbangers, 88ers, NC NAACP, Wendy Murphy and their ilk (That is, those people who, the bogus Duke case, tried to milk)
Message: Below is the amended part of the ethics complaint.
What a false picture you folks tried so hard to paint.

Go ahead and read it. Mr. Nifong's now toast.
Yet the Duke Three, not he, you tried to roast...
Forum topics of note:
TalkLeft: Re: An attorney who represents himself has a fool for a client

LieStoppers: KARLA QUITS - AGAIN!, She's throwing a hissy fit - Karla Holloway quits another leadership post!

LieStoppers: Nifong Conflict of interest?, History of Nifong and the Mangums

Admin note: The Duke Basketball Report has redesigned their website - their new Duke lacrosse forum is here. Unfortunately they broke all their old links. Big ouch.
Older item:

Rony Camille, ABC News:
In the Shadow of Duke Lacrosse Case, Students Come Together (1/19) — First time event brings students together on Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday. The Duke University lacrosse case continues in the courtroom, 10 months after three Duke students were accused of attacking an exotic dancer attending the predominantly black North Carolina Central University.

But this week, students from both schools stepped away from this legal drama that has engulfed them. For the first time, they came together to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day with an act of community service. While packaging dry foods for developing countries they created a social opportunity for students from both schools. Nearly 600 students gathered in a North Carolina Central University gymnasium to feed the hungry, filling bags with items that included dehydrated vegetables, rice, chicken and soy. First time event brings students together on Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday. The Duke University lacrosse case continues in the courtroom, 10 months after three Duke students were accused of attacking an exotic dancer attending the predominantly black North Carolina Central University.

But this week, students from both schools stepped away from this legal drama that has engulfed them. For the first time, they came together to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day with an act of community service...

10 Lessons From the Duke Rape Hoax

  1. Never trust a 911 call. As one forum poster observed: "It is really amazing what Kim's fake 911 call created. A domino effect of staggering proportions."

    Do a Google search on bogus 911 calls and you will see there is a national epidemic of prank and bogus 911 calls. Due mostly to the proliferation of cell phone usage among teenagers. What is truly amazing is how a fake 911 call by Kim Roberts was used to brand the entire Duke men's lacrosse team as a gang of racists.

    Duke University President Richard Brodhead was cowered into issuing a press release in response to the fake 911 call. He apologized to the two anonymous (at that time) liars: "I am sorry the woman and her friend were subjected to such abuse."

  2. Never trust a prosecutor or district attorney who says he has a case. DA's are not all men of principle and integrity. The term "rogue prosecutor" has now been given eternal life by Mike Nifong. Police and prosecutors can both be corrupt and there is no guarantee of a safeguard to put a check on their misconduct. DA's are politicians first and prosecutors second. Mixing the criminal justice system and politics in the office of district attorney is a recipe for injustice.

  3. Never trust an alleged rape victim to be truthful or accurate in their accusations. Perhaps as many as 25 percent of all sexual assault allegations are false. Wendy McElroy adds, this "category of 'false accusations' does not distinguish between accusers who lie and those who are honestly mistaken. Nor does it indicate that a rape did not occur, merely that the specific accused is innocent."

    Support with your whole heart the presumption of innocence and Blackstone's formulation: "better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer."

  4. Never trust the main stream media (MSM) to cover a "news" story accurately. Papers and magazines are advertising vehicles with a biased editorial attitude and a corporate image to protect. Thomas Jefferson wrote, " Advertisements... contain the only truths to be relied on in a newspaper." That sounds about right, especially after witnessing first-hand how established papers like the New York Times, The Herald-Sun, and the News & Observer distorted the truth to suit their own world view. You have to agree with A. J. Liebling, who said, "people everywhere confuse what they read in newspapers with news."

  5. Never trust a cable television "news" show. This is covered under #4, but it needs to be emphasised. Cable news is to news as military music is to music. It is a distorted hamstrung version of the real thing. A parade of B.S. artists, crackpots, posers and liars, all pontificating about the Duke lacrosse case proved that cable news is as trustworthy as internet spam. An episode of American Chopper or Myth Busters will give you more honesty than a year of Nancy Grace and Greta Van Susteren combined.

  6. Never trust your school or university to protect you or lookout for you. A university is not a family. It is a business, and they seem to be under no obligation to protect the civil rights of their students. A university is a cold-blooded money making enterprise (non-profit just means they can't make an obscene profit) that will disown any student the moment that student is labeled a liability.

    Join a religious organization if you want or need a social safety net. After Dennis Rader, the infamous Wichita BTK (Bind, Torture, Kill) serial killer, was captured, basically red-handed, his church pastor issued a statement saying in part:
    Dennis is a member of Christ Lutheran Church... We are all concerned for Dennis Rader and his family. We lift up our prayers in support of all of them. The members of Christ Lutheran Church are in a state of shock and bewilderment about the turn of events that have unfolded this week..

    We lift up our prayers, support and compassion for the victims and family members involved with the BTK murders. We ask for care and compassion of the Wichita community as this congregation deals with this tragic and difficult situation.
    The pastor continued communicating with Rader and offered pastoral support during his trial and sentencing. The scary truth is that the convicted BTK serial killer received more support from his church than three innocent young men, Dave Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann got from Duke University or its faculty.

    Note: If you read all of Duke President Richard Brodhead's statements regarding the "hoax" you will see that he never used the names, first or last, of his three innocent students until Duke announced on Jan. 3rd that Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann could resume their studies. Brodhead never knew them.

  7. Never trust the NAACP. Do not use the words "NAACP" and "civil rights" in the same sentence. The NAACP is *not* a civil rights "watchdog" or a civil rights organization. It is a sour combination of a shrinking special interest group and dying fraternal organization. Just like the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks its best days are long past and it is probably dead and just doesn't know it yet.

  8. Never hire strippers. If you must break this rule, then never hire strippers sight unseen or without a written contract for their services. Never, never trust a stripper. As a minimum make sure strippers have chaperones or security. It also won't hurt to take a video of them from the moment they arrive until they leave. Never allow an intoxicated stripper you have hired to perform in your zip code. If they become intoxicated send them home in a taxi immediately. Best advice, just go to a club if you want adult entertainment.

  9. Never trust a grand jury. A grand jury is a prosecutor's private posse. A ham sandwich doesn't stand a chance.

  10. Never hide your face from a TV or news camera if you are innocent and caught up in an investigation or scandal. Smile, walk with a purpose, and say to the reporters: "I appreciated your interest and if you can give me your card I'll try and get back to you."
Bottom line: Never trust anyone
TJN: Duke/Nifong Hoax archives

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Duke/Nifong Hoax: Day #282

Updated - today's items:

Nifong reads additional complaints brought against him at The North Carolina State BarNews & analysis of amended State Bar complaint:

State Bar complaint: Nifong's actions constitute a "systematic abuse of prosecutorial discretion ... prejudicial to the administration of justice"

WRAL: Amended Bar Complaint, State Bar v. Michael B. Nifong - filed Jan 24th (33 pages)
N&O: Amended complaint against Nifong (PDF 1.4 MB)
Jim Avila & Lara Setrakian, ABC Law & Justice Unit:
Exclusive: The Prosecutor's Defense -- Lawyer for Ex-Duke Prosecutor Nifong Speaks Out — Mike Nifong, the embattled prosecutor once at the helm of the Duke lacrosse rape case, revealed little as he appeared in court Wednesday to face serious ethics charges by the North Carolina Bar. In an exclusive interview with "Good Morning America," though, Nifong's attorney said that his stone-face expression buried the true feelings of a man under siege.

"He's devastated. It's very upsetting to be attacked. … It's like he's public enemy No. 1," said David Freedman, Nifong's attorney. "Here's a man who's trying to do his job as an elected DA in Durham County. He's always held himself up as an ethical individual. … It's a bit of a surprise."

"Obviously he's feeling dejected because he's got these new charges against him. He feels as if the world is turning against him," Freedman said.
  • Would Still Bring the Charges Against the Duke Players
  • Nifong's written response to the ethics complaint will be filed by Feb. 23 and will contain more details about his defense, Freedman said.
LieStoppers forum: The Prosecutor's Defense, ABC News, Thurs., Jan 25th
TalkLeft: Lawyer for Ex-Duke Prosecutor Nifong Speaks Out
Joe Neff & Benjamin Niolett, News & Observer:
Nifong goes on the defense — When Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong took his seat at the N.C. State Bar defense table Wednesday, the role-reversal became complete: The hunter is now the hunted. Nifong was handed new, more serious ethics charges that accuse him of withholding favorable DNA evidence from defendants in the Duke lacrosse case and then repeatedly lying about it to judges and the state bar.

Wednesday's complaint heaped a new layer of legal troubles on Nifong, who was charged by the bar in December with making inflammatory public statements to reporters and misrepresenting the facts in the case. If prosecutors Katherine Jean and Douglas Brocker prevail, Nifong could face punishment ranging from a reprimand to losing his law license.

"Lying is really at the top of the list in terms of things lawyers just can't do. The whole thing is premised on integrity," said Joseph Kennedy, a UNC law professor. "And then lying about something as important as evidence suggesting innocence in a serious case, it just doesn't get any worse than that." ...
LieStoppers forum: "The hunter is now the hunted", I love this lead..
NY Post headline: NAIL IN D.A. COFFINAndy Soltis, NY Post:
NAIL IN D.A. COFFIN — The prosecutor in the Duke lacrosse case lied to the court and withheld evidence from the defense about the sensational rape charges, the North Carolina state bar charged yesterday....

Yesterday, the bar filed a much tougher, amended complaint, saying Nifong violated legal ethics when he learned last year that DNA tests would clear the suspects but decided not to tell the defense...he lied in court at least five times about having turned over all evidence that could benefit the defense, the bar said. It also said Nifong lied to bar investigators probing his handling of the case, which garnered national media coverage....

comment: The Johnsville News first called Mike Nifong a "Liar" in a headline on June 15th - Duke Lacrosse Scandal: Mike Nifong the Liar. Glad to see the MSM catching up. Now if they would just start using the word "Hoax" before Christmas.
Duff Wilson, NY Times:
More Ethics Charges Brought Against Official in Duke Case — The North Carolina State Bar filed a second, more serious round of ethics charges yesterday against the district attorney in Durham, N.C., accusing him of “systematic abuse of prosecutorial discretion” in the sexual assault case against three former members of the Duke University lacrosse team.

The bar complaint said the district attorney, Michael B. Nifong, had illegally withheld DNA evidence from defense lawyers and then intentionally misled the presiding judge and bar officials about doing so.

The new charges added to a previous ethics complaint accusing Mr. Nifong of making false and prejudicial remarks about the case to the news media. A three-member independent panel is expected to hear the matter against him this summer. Penalties could include disbarment...

Richard Fausset, LA Times:
Ex-prosecutor in assault probe is hit with more ethics allegations

Jerry Seper, The Washington Times:
Duke prosecutor's troubles mount

Victoria Ward, Duke Chronicle:
Nifong faces more ethics charges

KC Johnson:
Nifong's Legacy of Misconduct — These charges suggest that the Bar’s intent is to strip Nifong of his license...The amended report paints a picture of a prosecutor who has flagrantly violated multiple rules of professional conduct over a period of many months, and showed no indication that his behavior was going to let up in any way even as he turned the case over to the attorney general.
Dr. Melissa Clouthier blog: Mike Nifong Victim — Mike Nifong had no love of justice, law, fairness or equity as he brought this Duke case, justice for him will be more than he deserves. False mercy mocks justice.
State Bar Files Additional Charges against Defendant Nifong (1/24) — In painstaking detail, the amended complaint details Defendant Nifong’s pattern of deception that helped prolong the hijacked Hoax. Now totaling thirty-three pages, the revised complaint charges Nifong with violations of several Rules of Professional Conduct and North Carolina laws...Initially, Defendant Nifong was charged with violating four ethics rules. He now stands accused of repeatedly violating ten ethics rules, three NC general statues, the United States Constitution, and the June 22 Court order compelling discovery...
LieStoppers forum: Bar Adds Additional Charges against Nifong - still going strong...
TalkLeft: More Charges....
FreeRepublic: State Bar Amends complaint
Court TV: Lisa Bloom just said Nifong trial should be first
Nifong at State Bar hearing 1/24comment: On Wednesday, Mike Nifong had the look of a man who knew his professional goose was cooked. The cocky arrogance we have seen for the last ten months was gone. Mike Nifong did not say a word during his 30 minute State Bar hearing. His lawyers, David Freedman and Dudley Witt did all the talking. Now defendant Nifong is on the other side of the table watching his career go kaput and his legal expense meter go tic-toc. His two attorneys have their office in Winston-Salem. It is 108 miles or about a 1 hr 51 min. drive from the Winston-Salem office to the hearing at the State Bar (208 Fayetteville St, Raleigh). How much will Nifong's attorneys bill him for just their travel time on Wednesday?

Mr. Witt did most of the talking for Nifong. David Freedman traveled to Raleigh for the 30 minute conference to say about 45 words on behalf of client Nifong:
That's correct....Based upon the disclosuers, we have no objection to any members of the DHC hearing this....Would there be grounds, if one party said that and the other party decided they would object to that, to be heard on that? ...All right....No.
Of course, Freedman also talked to reporters. Nifong will pay very dearly for his hoax.

David Whitley, Orlando-Sentinal:
Ex-Duke coach is the fall guy in lacrosse scandal — Remember Mike Pressler? You probably don't. Anonymity comes with being a college lacrosse coach. Unless you happened to be the coach at You-Know-Where last spring. Pressler was at Duke, which meant he was partially to blame for one of the year's seamiest scandals. Unless, of course, the scandalmongers had it all wrong. The real scandal continued to unfold Wednesday as two new ethics charges were lodged against Durham, N.C., District Attorney Mike Nifong.

In the interest of fairness, we must assume Nifong's dog ate the DNA evidence. We also will assume that a meteorite hit the "exotic dancer" on the head, causing her to change her story 294 times....

KC Johnson:
Duke Law School Panel — Metzloff ...Coleman - His comments were succinct and brilliant...Neff - The coverage of this case, he noted, changed from a criminal case to investigation of someone else’s investigation; hidden agendas therefore played a more substantial role.... Tigar - He was a mesmerizing performer. He stated that the Nifong case will serve us well only if first step to addressing serious injustices in the system....

John in Carolina:
Five for every “thank you” list — Duke's 2006 Women’s Lacrosse team led by coach Kerstin Kimel had it right from day one: “Innocent.” ... National Journal columnist Stuart Taylor ... Professor James Coleman chaired a committee that produced a fair assessment of the team at the height of the witch hunt ... NY Times columnist David Brooks ... professor Robert KC Johnson has made extraordinarily effective use of the scholar's skills to expose the falsehoods...

Meadow, LieStoppers:
Only Race Matters: A Duke Woman Speaks About A Disturbing Aspect of the University’s Response to the Lacrosse Scandal — I am a woman who graduated with an English degree from Duke in the late 1990s. My all-time favorite course was Professor Laurie Shannon’s thought-provoking Shakespeare class. I was heartbroken to learn that Professor Shannon signed both the Group of 88’s “listening” ad and the Concerned Duke Faculty’s non-apology. ...As the facts of the case have fallen apart and the obvious fraud has been exposed for what it is, more attention has been directed in recent weeks to Duke’s response as an institution...

Letter by Wahneema Lubiano,"Gang of 88" member and author of 'listening' statement -
Duke Chronicle: Kleban's column misuses magazine quote — I write to correct the misrepresentation of my thoughts about the "listening ad" currently under discussion in The Chronicle. In Dave Kleban's recent column ("Time for understanding, not caricatures," Jan. 23) he continues a misrepresentation of my views from the source that he consulted: an article published in ESPN Magazine. Kleban quotes from that article without letting his readers know that he is not quoting "my" language. Instead, he simply repeats what the writer of that article asserted-that I "knew some would see the ad as a stake through the collective heart of the lacrosse team." I said no such thing. In the original article, the absence of quotation marks around those words that Kleban quotes indicate that the writer of that piece was imagining what I thought, not reporting what I actually said.

New Video - The Fugitive (humor)
Don't Answer the door (cartoon) - O'Reilly's Pajama Party

Mike McCusker, Crystal Mess:
What Really Happened in Durham (humor)

Editorial, Herald-Sun The Organ:
Needed changes to court calendar — The controversial Duke lacrosse case has undoubtedly caused District Attorney Mike Nifong many sleepless nights. Durham residents, those involved with the judicial system in particular, ought to be thankful it hasn't consumed his every waking hour. Even amid the circus of media attention surrounding the case, Nifong has somehow managed to concentrate on other matters, most notably a major revision of Durham's case management system. The revision, which is near completion and has the support of Durham's senior judge Orlando F. Hudson, would speed up felony trials by making more time for them on local court dockets....

Nifong deserves credit for seeing beyond the distraction of the Duke lacrosse case to tend to other important judicial business.
comment: The H-S is going to bat for Nifong until the bitter end.
Yesterday (1/24):

John in Carolina:
Mar. 24 - The N&O begins to frame — Ten months ago today, the Raleigh News & Observer "broke" the Hoax story. ("DNA tests ordered for Duke athletes. Lacrosse team reports to lab in rape inquiry," Mar. 24)...if you read the N&O's story and the rest of this post, you'll see the N&O was already on Mar. 24 telling readers the woman was "the victim" and framing the lacrosse players as her victimizers. The N&O would continue for weeks relantlessly and shamelessly framing the Duke lacrosse players.

When Nifong began speaking publicly about the case he knew he had only to recall and restate what the N&O was already telling the public and the rest of media.

The N&O is the largest and most influential news organization in the Duke/Durham area...

Jon Ham, Right Angles blog:
Freepers onto something? — Just as the Dan Rather hoax began unraveling when a Freeper named Buckhead first posted his suspicions (a Freeper, by the way, is someone who posts on the message board), a Freeper calling himself “maggief” has posted a string of news stories that indicate that Durham DA Mike Nifong knew some members of the Duke rape accuser’s family as early as 1995...

Thomas F. Liotti (attorney), editorial, (NY):
A lesson for Duke — When news of the Duke lacrosse team story broke last spring, my wife, Wendy, was at an alumni reunion in Durham, N.C. We know the Finnertys of Garden City, and their son, Collin, was among those falsely accused of rape. We offered our assistance, knowing Collin to be an outstanding student-athlete. The university's response to the controversy was disturbing. The accused were suspended, a resignation was demanded of the coach, and the lacrosse team's season was terminated...

The prosecutor should be removed from office, disbarred and sued. The president of Duke should resign and be sued by those falsely accused.

Forum topics of note:
TalkLeft Alumni giving — Consider giving what you would have given to Duke to a legal defense fund for the falsely accused lacrosse players.

LieStoppers: Greta should RECUSE herself, The Rape of Girl 27
related: Sundance — The rape of 'Girl 27' hits the big screen

Prof. John F. Banzhaf, George Washington Univ. Law School/FODU:
2nd Nifong Complaint Charges Constitutional Violations — The second just-filed State Bar ethics complaint against Durham County DA Michael Nifong specifically alleges that his actions violated the U.S. Constitution. This is telling, says public interest law professor John Banzhaf, because it provides the basis for a law suit in federal court against Nifong under 42 U.S.C. 1983 for violating the constitutional rights of the three Duke lacrosse players in actions where he does not have the absolute immunity frequently accorded to prosecutors...

Jason Trumpbour, spokesperson, Friends of Duke Univ.:
Walk of Support - I want to call (more) attention to a very special event. It is the Walk of Support which is being organized by our friends Concerned Mothers for Duke Students. The event is on Sunday, February 4. Details can be found here: Walk of Support...

Rev. Curtis E. Gatewood, Oxford , NC,
COUNTERING CONSPIRACY TO DISRUPT JUSTICE IN DURHAM (1/24) — How dare the NC Bar Association join the lynching mobs in Durham who have verbally lynched and sought to politically assassinate DA Mike Nifong for seeking to prosecute three white Duke students accused of raping a black NCCU student. And, if we are to refer to the lady as a “stripper”, allow me to refer to the men as perverted “stripper patrons”.

The conspiracy to disrupt justice in this Durham case should be obvious. It is unprecedented that the alleged criminals and/or their defense team will be given the luxury of such a high-media platform to repetitiously proclaim their “innocence” and attack their prosecutor.

I estimate over 50% of the black men packed inside the Durham County jail also profess to be “innocent”. The difference is, the media will never allow their cases to be tried in the court of public opinion. Neither will you see any form of outrage when the DA says “they did it”. Consequently we find more black men inside NC Central Prison, than NC Central University...
related update: KC Johnson: More State NAACP Hypocrisy (1/26) — Rev. Curtis Gatewood served four terms as president of the Durham branch of the NAACP from 1994 until 2002, when he moved to Oxford, North Carolina. During that time, he distinguished himself with what the (pre-Bob Ashley) Herald-Sun termed “racist cant” on Durham issues and with extremist views on foreign policy. He urged black males serving in the Army to refuse to participate in the war in Afghanistan, bringing a rebuke from then-NAACP national president Kweisi Mfume...
Older items:

Christopher G. Adamo,
Nifong, Fitzgerald, and Earl: American Justice Defiled (1/17) — A pattern of abuse is spreading and escalating throughout America, at the hands of out of control public prosecutors, who are clearly pursuing their “duties” with no intention towards justice, but with personal and political agendas. As such, they undermine hope for justice to result from any situation....For the sake of the good people of this country, those who exploit the law as a weapon with which to bludgeon their fellow citizens ought not to be allowed to escape accountability...
discussion: Nifong, Fitzgerald, and Earl: American Justice Defiled
Daniel Schulman,
Plame Case: Fitzgerald is Getting Nifonged (1/17) — What do Patrick Fitzgerald and Mike Nifong share in common? Not much, beyond the fact that both are prosecutors who have pursued politically fraught cases. But don't tell that to Investor's Business Daily, which published an editorial today calling for "all the rogue prosecutors" to be reigned in....In lumping Fitzgerald with Nifong, whose case against the Duke lacrosse players appears at best deeply flawed and potentially politically motivated, Investor's Business Daily is only the latest to deploy this disingenuous bait and switch. Making a similar argument in an op-ed last summer, columnist Jack Kelly cast the Plame and Duke cases as part of the same cautionary tale. "This should remind us the greater threat to our civil liberties comes not from the measures the Bush administration has taken to protect us from terrorists, but from prosecutors who abuse their power for political purposes." More recently the columnist posed this question to his readers: "Is to 'fitzgerald' a synonym for to 'nifong?'"

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