Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Duke/Nifong Hoax: Day #316

Updated - today's items:

Nifong Attorneys: DA Didn't Intentionally Violate Ethics Rules (with video) Attorneys for Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong tell the North Carolina State Bar he did not intentionally violate ethics rules when prosecuting the Duke lacrosse case.

It was part of a 48-page written response filed Wednesday to ethics complaints levied by the State Bar against Nifong in the nearly yearlong high-profile case.

The embattled prosecutor had no comment Wednesday afternoon and referred all questions to his lawyers.

WRAL: Nifong Response to State Bar Complaint (48 pages)
Lara Setrakian, ABC News Law & Justice Unit:
Duke DA Answers Critics: Denies Unethical Conduct, Wants Some Charges Dropped Durham County DA Mike Nifong Files a Formal Response to Bar Association Charges of Misconduct Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong has filed his response to allegations by the North Carolina Bar Association that he acted unethically in his handling of the Duke lacrosse team case.

In the document, released Wednesday afternoon, Nifong systematically denied all the charges against him and struck back, calling for many of them to be dismissed...

When it comes to his interviews with local and national media outlets, Nifong's attorneys argued that if the prosecutor was guilty of anything, it was inexperience. Finding himself in the middle of the Duke lacrosse case while running a primary election campaign for district attorney, Nifong was a political novice with no experience handling high-profile national cases.

He didn't realize, lawyers argued, that the Duke lacrosse case would become a press spectacle. Once the media's intense interest in the case became clear, they said, he stopped giving interviews and restricted his comments to printed releases and a handful of candidate forums...

Nifong Says He Didn't Intentionally Break Rules
Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong did make many of the comments deemed by the state bar to be misleading and inflammatory, his attorneys admitted in a 50-page motion that responds to the bar's complaint point-by-point.

But they denied that Nifong intentionally withheld DNA evidence from defense attorneys -- the most serious of the ethics charges faced by the veteran prosecutor....
KC Johnson:
Cliff's Notes of Nifong Response Nifong has now provided the fourth different explanation of why he did not turn over the exculpatory DNA material to the defense. First, he stated in court that he had not heard of the issue until Dec. 13, when the defense filed a motion on the question. Second, he stated in a press conference on Dec. 15 that he had not turned the information over for privacy reasons. Third, he stated in a NYT article that he had not turned the information over because of his excessive workload. Now, he says he didn't turn the information over because he didn't have to...

LieStoppers forum: Nifong responds, Not intentional
Free Republic: Lawyers: Duke Lacrosse DA Heeded Ethics
TalkLeft: Nifong Response to State Bar Complaint

Anne Blythe & Benjamin Niolett, News & Observer:
Nifong says he's innocent — In the response, the lawyers said Nifong handed over 1,844 pages of evidence to the defense on Oct. 27. After a thorough review of those documents, defense lawyers argued that a report by a private DNA lab in Burlington did not include evidence favorable to the defendants.

Nifong's attorneys said that "at a reasonable time prior to trial, the Duke defendants knew of the existence of the 'potentially exculpatory evidence.'"

In response to the first Bar charges, Nifong's lawyers wrote that he made most of his early comments about the case before specific defendants had been charged with a crime and that he was only trying to reassure the public that the police were investigating the case and could benefit from help from the public....
Nifong's answer to Bar due today — Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong faces a deadline today with the North Carolina State Bar to respond to accusations of ethical violations.

The bar, which regulates and licenses lawyers, has charged Nifong with violating ethics rules in his handling of the Duke lacrosse case...

Follow the sperm!

New Motion Reveals Continued Misconduct and Defiance — As attorneys for Defendant Nifong finalized his formal written response to the charges filed against him by the State Bar, the Hoax defense team has filed a new motion demonstrating that the District Attorney and co-conspirator Dr. Brian Meehan, lab director of DNA Securtity Inc., continued to withhold evidence after both claimed in December that the defendants “have every word of" the private labs DNA “report AND the additional results of tests.” According to the latest discovery motion, evidence and information that Defendant Nifong is charged by the Bar with never providing remains, in part, withheld...
Lauren Pearle, ABC News:
Duke Lacrosse Defendants Claim More DNA Evidence Withheld — On the eve of Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong's response to ethics charges filed against him, the defendants in the Duke lacrosse sexual assault case are accusing the prosecution of continuing to withhold evidence that could exonerate their clients.

This accusation follows the stunning revelation late last year that DNA tests by a private lab found genetic material from several males on the accuser's body and clothes, but none from any of the defendants. This information was allegedly withheld by the prosecution, which was then headed by Nifong.

DNA Information Possibly Withheld

In papers filed today, attorneys for the three lacrosse players charged — Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty and David Evans — say they are "still in the dark" about the DNA evidence, even after prosecutors provided them an "amended report" of DNA findings on Jan. 9. They say there is even more evidence of DNA from other men found on the accuser's body and clothes that was not previously shared with the defense. Specifically, defendants say that another rectal swab of the woman who filed the charges against them revealed the presence of DNA from at least two males that did not match the defendants. "If the information we had in December was explosive, then this is doubly explosive," defense attorney Wade Smith told ABC News...

John Stevenson, Herald-Sun:
Duke lacrosse lawyers still seek DNA evidence — Defense lawyers found out what they needed to know only through a laborious data analysis of their own, they contend.

Noelle Talley, spokeswoman for the state Department of Justice, which encompasses the Attorney General's Office, noted only that the new motion was aimed at Nifong rather than her agency. She said a "full and fair review" of the lacrosse case was continuing at the Attorney General's Office...
LieStoppers forum: Defense Files Motion in Duke Lax Case
TalkLeft: Duke lacrosse lawyers still seek DNA evidence

Linwood Wilson Zak Kazzaz, Duke Chronicle:
Defense questions lax investigator — Lawyers challenge Wilson's tactics, interview findings...Defense attorneys are now calling into question the tactics and experience of a lead investigator in the Duke lacrosse case.

Linwood Wilson, the only current full-time investigator for Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong, has drawn criticism from lawyers who challenge Wilson's investigative methods and his pivotal interview with the alleged victim.

Joe Cheshire-defense attorney for indicted men's lacrosse player David Evans, Trinity '06-said the information Wilson retrieved from interviews with witnesses has a pattern of contradicting the information provided in previous statements. Several defense lawyers said new information obtained by Wilson in interviews often paralleled the direction sought by Nifong in the case...

Scapegoatology 101, Part 1 of 4 — Scapegoatology 101: Introduction to the Art and Science of Scapegoating - our goal with respect to the scapegoating process itself is to have everyone giving horror-filled looks at your chosen scapegoat – not at you. You want everyone condemning the scapegoat – not you. You are placing all offenses on the scapegoat – nowhere else, and above all else, not upon yourself. After all, if everyone’s looking at the scapegoat’s transgressions, they certainly won’t be paying any attention at all to what you are doing, let alone worrying about your ultimate goals as a scapegoater or the hidden agenda you are trying to further. And, for you as the scapegoater, that’s a good thing!

Eric Ferreri and Jane Stancill, News & Observer:
Duke grapples with 'culture of excess' — After months of turmoil surrounding the lacrosse case, Duke University will now struggle with the question of how, and whether, it can change its social climate. A campus committee Tuesday made 28 recommendations to encourage diversity, strike a proper balance in athletics and change what some at Duke have called a "culture of excess."

The panel took a critical view of many aspects of Duke's social life. Housing policies allow fraternities and other groups to live together and occupy large chunks of space, resulting in cliquish, racially segregated dorms that unfairly favor male students. Students too often drink to get drunk, the report said, leading to bad behavior, impaired health and lost weekends.

The committee suggested ways to shift the atmosphere away from drinking and toward a more inclusive academic community...
KC Johnson:
More on the CCI — Having gone through the full report of the Campus Culture Initiative, it’s easy to see why it received such a tepid reception from President Brodhead...

Over the past 10 months, most Group of 88 members have made clear their belief that the Faculty Handbook provisions requiring Duke professors to treat all students with respect do not apply to them. The idea that all Duke students should be forced to take a class from a Group of 88 professor or a handful of the Group’s ideological allies in the name of “improving campus culture” is Orwellian.

Duke Chronicle:
The CCI Report
Amid buzz, Duke unveils bold report

LieStoppers forum: N&O Front Page, Like Flies to Sh*t

John in Carolina:
Prof. Wood, Attention Seeker — A Duke Professor has come forward into the media glare surrounding an exotic dancer’s charge she was raped at a party hosted by 3 members of the university’s lacrosse team...

It’s sad that a professor would take common student behaviors evidenced two years ago, and package and label them in a way he must have known would get him media attention...
Duke history professor Peter Wood, in front of the Duke lacrosse practice field
IndyWeek (6/28/06):
Sympathy for the Devils? —Who are these would-be warriors who carry big sticks?

An ominous assessment came from Peter Wood of Duke's history department, a former lacrosse player and coach whose opinions have been much sought by the national press.

"A few years ago, a new kind of student began to show up at Duke," recalls Wood, who's had two of the three rape defendants in his classes. "Cynical, arrogant, callous, dismissive--you could almost say openly hostile. They weren't all athletes, by any means. But some of the first ones I noticed were lacrosse players." In 2004, Wood sent a letter to his dean, warning of an ugly minority that had grown "beyond the 'few bad apples' stage" and complaining that coaches were ignoring classroom schedules and fostering disrespect for academics.

The graybeard soliloquy--"What's wrong with the young people today?"--was a comic cliche in the age of Aristophanes. Careless explorers of the generation gap tend to stumble and wound themselves. But Wood's testimony supports grave misgivings about the demographic group that includes both the Durham dancer and the athletes she accuses...

comment: Prof. Peter Wood never one to pass on a nice photo opportunity for himself and a chance to spew his venom. Damn those young "cynical, arrogant, callous, dismissive" lacrosse players. They will have hell to pay. Thank you, Prof. Wood for all your kind support for the three falsely accussed Duke lacrosse players, two of whom took classes with you.

retired NC journalist Bob Wilson, John in Carolina:
Nifong must go! Now! — For a hoax with more distortion than a house of mirrors, the Duke lacrosse case probably stands without equal in modern legal history.

Not since the Scottsboro Boys frame-up in the early 1930s has prosecutorial misconduct been so brazenly evident as it is in District Attorney Mike Nifong's attempt to convict three Duke University students, first of rape, and when those charges evaporated, of sexual assault and kidnapping.

Now the case is in the hands of the North Carolina attorney general's office, and if justice lives in this state, there it will die.

But Nifong's record of malfeasance will not die. On Tuesday, more evidence pointing to his misconduct surfaced in a defense motion stating that the players' lawyers still hadn't received results of 11 of 22 DNA samples taken almost a year ago from the false accuser, Crystal Gail Mangum...
Duke Lacrosse Redeems Itself, College Sports In General — As we may have mentioned, this weekend we journeyed to No'th Cackalack as guests of the illustrious, happily moneyed Duke University. Between Skoal, sweet tea, and other firsts (hotel staff calling us "mister"), we took in the first Duke lacrosse game since The Business...

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Duke/Nifong Hoax: Day #315

Updated - today's items: ...

Joseph Neff & Anne Blythe, News & Observer:
Defense waits for DNA test results — Defense lawyers in the Duke lacrosse case still have not received all the DNA test material in the case, according to a motion filed today.

A private laboratory, DNA Security of Burlington, has provided only some of the underlying data in the case, said the motion, which comes a month after the N.C. State Bar charged Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong with withholding DNA evidence favorable to the defense...

The lawyers discovered the laboratory had found DNA from at least four unidentified men in samples from the accuser's body and clothing. The DNA did not match that of any of the lacrosse players...

"The defendants are still in the dark," the motion said. "The statistical likelihood is that such data will show that there was even more exculpatory, unidentified male DNA discovered by DNA Security in the rape kit extractions that had, by Jan. 12, 2007, still had not been reported to the Defendants by Mr. Nifong and Dr. Meehan in any way."...

N&O: Addendum to Motion to Compel Discovery: Expert D.N.A. Analysis [.pdf, 7 pages]
from page 3 of motion: DNA Security discovered the DNA of at least two males in the accuser's rectum that did not match the Defendants, their lacrosse teammates, or anyone else who provided a reference DNA sample.
KC Johnson: Latest Bombshell Motion — Mike Nifong obtained the indictments of three people on a charge of rape, in which the accuser’s then-present version (her April 6 statement) claimed that the crime had included anal rape. Even if North Carolina did not possess an Open Discovery law (which required turning over of all material to the defense), and even if North Carolina law did not require turning over of all test results obtained from a non-testimonial order to the defense, how would it not be exculpatory to have “discovered the DNA of at least two males in the accuser’s rectum that did not match the Defendants, their lacrosse teammates, or anyone else who provided a reference DNA sample”? ...

John in Carolina: New DNA’s not laxers'. Now what? — I think if the Feds come in and put the pressure on Meehan, he'll reveal quite a bit and his testimony will likely send Nifong to prison.
ex-prosecutor comment: As for prosecutorial misconduct, this case occupies a universe unto itself. In all other cases of which I am aware, the prosecutor committed unlawful acts of a particular type, such as blistering defendants prior to the trial, to prejudice potential jurors, or hide evidence which was exculpatory or even proof of actual innocence. However, Mr. Nifong's misconduct goes from A to Z, some of which nobody else ever even thought of, as far as I know...
LieStoppers: Defense Files Motion in Duke Lax Case
FreeRepublic: More Motions Filed in Duke Lax Case
TalkLeft: More Motions Filed in Duke Lax Case

Shae Crisson, ABC11-TV/WTVD:
More Motions Filed in Duke LAX Case (with Wade Smith interview video) — Attorneys for three former Duke lacrosse players have accused Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong of withholding evidence, including more DNA. Now the defense wants all DNA test results from when the case was originally in the D.A.'s office.

If the information was had December was explosive, then this is doublely explosive," said Wade Smith, defense attorney... "This is not on the watch of the North Carolina attorney general, it's on the watch of Mr. Nifong...

Elizabeth Dunbar, WRAL:
Duke Faculty Committee Releases Report on Campus Culture — From raising admissions standards to changing the rules for campus housing, a committee charged with evaluating Duke University's campus culture released a set of recommendations Tuesday that, if implemented, could dramatically change the school's undergraduate experience.

But university officials hesitated to commit to any of the proposals offered by the "Campus Culture Initiative," formed last year after rape allegations involving Duke's lacrosse team led the school to cancel the team's season.

"I don't think any of the recommendations should be considered anything but starting points for conversations," Provost Peter Lange said...
Statement by President Richard H. Brodhead on Release of CCI Report — The important thing now is to have the conversation the Report is meant to launch. None of its recommendations is a “done deal.” Nor should any of its suggestions be off the table. This is a time for vigorous debate, which is a healthy thing in a university. The core values the report advocates are the promotion of active, independent thinking and education through engagement with those who think differently from ourselves. We will have a chance to build these strengths as we discuss how best to move forward...

KC Johnson: CCI: DOA? — The full report of the Campus Culture Initiative is now out. President Brodhead’s reaction was, to put it mildly, less than enthusiastic.

LieStoppers: CCI Report released by Duke

Letter by Pete Klein, Durham, Herald-Sun:
Pot-bangers were MIA — Saturday was a beautiful day to watch a lacrosse game. It was great to see so many people at Koskinen Stadium to support the Duke lacrosse team. I am happy for the players and coaches on a great performance.

While sitting in the bleachers with my 11-year-old son watching the media scurry about the field, I couldn't help but wonder where were the protestors? Were they banging pots outside President Richard Brodhead's house to protest how poorly he handled the situation? Were they at Joe Alleva's house protesting his lack of courage and concern for his own job by not standing up for one of his most successful and loyal coaches who was under fire from a knee-jerk administration? Were they organizing a petition to censure the group of professors who publicly condemned their own students? Or maybe they were outside of District Attorney Mike Nifong's house protesting abuse of prosecutoral power? Who knows?...

comment: So ESPN's Bomani Jones, who believes: "without question, I’d say that Duke is a white supremacist institution," wants to kick some more dirt on the Duke lacrosse team. If he wants to kick dirt on someone, why not start with a professional athlete behaving very badly like Adam "Pacman" Jones? Every sports pundit in the business has weighed in on that story except Mr. Jones. Mr. Jones on his "Real talk blog,"and his ESPN Page 2 column, seems to have ignored the most talked about sports story of the last week? Huh? Are they related?

update: Bomani posted a very brief bit on "Pacman" Jones shortly after this comment was written. Bomani barely lays a glove on "Pacman" Jones, just says he brought shame on the NFL. No mention of the Pacman video where is he is allegedly seen punching out a stripper and biting a bouncer. Underage lacrosse drinking - shame on you. Beating women, assault and involvement in a shooting that left one person paralyzed - equal shame on you too Packman, but let's not go into details. Bomani won't call "Pacman" a thug. More double standards and hypocrisy.

Bomani Jones, ESPN:
Duke lacrosse celebrated for wrong reasons — "Around here, we believe the guys [former players Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty and Dave Evans] are innocent," Antonacci said, "and that [last] season should not have been canceled."
“Perhaps that's true, but that's no reason to celebrate the team. After all, none of the three players charged with crimes surrounding a March 9 [sic], 2006, house party are still on the team.” ...
Joan Foster, LieStoppers: Overkill — Today I read the Bomani Jones article for ESPN. I felt an old familiar reaction. Is it just me, or are we on overkill here? ENOUGH about the stripper party and underage drinking! Spare me one more description of this "racist" team! To paraphrase Shakespeare ( are you out there President Brodhead?) whatever happened was a grievous fault and grievously have these boys PAID for it.

ESPN's Jones Mocks Celebration of Return of Lacrosse to Duke — For nearly a year, the three randomly indicted players and their teammates have been assailed repeatedly by many Hoax apologists and enablers, not only for the crime that did not occur at the party last March 13, but also for everything and anything else that could be used to smear them individually and collectively. As a team, their names and faces appeared on vigilante wanted posters. As a team, they were paraded before waiting media as they complied with an overreaching non-testimonial DNA order, believing DA Nifong's false promise that the testing would allow them to demonstrate their innocence. As a team, they were reviled and protested against by certain Duke faculty and students, despite their innocence. As a team, they’ve incurred legal expenses totaling millions of dollars to defend themselves against a crime that never occurred. As a team, they fled the campus when the new Black Panther Party visited with a threat to conduct their own investigation. As a team, their season was precipitously cancelled. Most importantly, however, as a team they have shared their trust in truth, and their hope for justice...

Misrepresentation of petty misbehavior by some will continue to be used to smear them all.

Dr. Melissa Clouthier:
Duke (non) Rape Case not over — You know, this acknowledgment that the lacrosse players are innocent, but they are still white, privileged, thuggish jerks is maddening. Bomani Jones illustrates how massaging the facts can leave the perception that the lacrosse players got away with something and deserved the suspended season and everything else they all got...

KC Johnson:
The Group of 88's Imagined Reality — In their increasingly desperate attempt to redeem their reputations, the Group of 88 has succeeded only in digging themselves a bigger hole. The latest example came in an article published yesterday in Diverse, in which Group members rationalized their actions in a way that appeared detached from reality.

Reporter Christina Asquith’s scrupulously fair article featured quotes from four Group members (Wahneema Lubiano, Karla Holloway, Mark Anthony Neal, and William Chafe) but did not cover up the arts and sciences faculty’s performance from last spring...

I’m not sure which option is more frightening: that a tenured Duke professor would intentionally mislead a reporter; or that a tenured Duke professor [Chafe, Neal, Lubiano] would make a statement that appears to have no basis in reality...
comment: How can Duke University sit back and let faculty like this have their way?

One footnote regarding the infamous "Group Gang of 88" and their follow-up re-grouping the, "Concerned Duke Faculty," who posted the "Open Letter to the Duke Community" back on January 16th. Many writers have been referring to this group as consisting of "87" members, but the TJN count finds the "Concerned Duke Faculty" has 89 names listed?

Jane Stancill's News & Observer article, "Duke post seeks to defuse '88' ad," dated January 17th, is where the number "87" first appeared to originate.
Dozens of Duke professors have posted "an open letter to the Duke community" on the Web, explaining an ad last spring that has been widely criticized as a condemnation of lacrosse players.

The new letter, signed by 87 faculty and posted at, refuses to apologize for the ad and reiterates concerns about issues of race and sexual violence on the Duke campus. It says the so-called "Group of 88" ad published in the Chronicle last April has been grossly misinterpreted. That ad has been a subject of heated debate on blogs, and its signers have received angry and sometimes racist e-mail messages.
Is it possible that Duke faculty members are still signing up to jump on-board this crash-and-burn bandwagon? Some more research is needed.

Meg Bourdillon of the Duke Chronicle in her article, "Faculty letter aims to clarify '88' ad," dated Jan. 18th, said:
A group of approximately 90 faculty members calling themselves "Concerned Duke Faculty" posted an open letter addressed to the University community online Tuesday...By yesterday afternoon, 90 professors and lecturing fellows appeared on the list of signatories to which the letter links. Of them, 64 were among the 88 signers of the ad printed in April.
Here is the current list of "Concerned" Duke Faculty:
  1. Stan Abe
  2. Benjamin Albers
  3. Anne Allison
  4. Srinivas Aravamudan
  5. Lee Baker
  6. Sarah Beckwith
  7. Paul Berliner
  8. Tolly Boatwright
  9. Eduardo Bonilla-Silva
  10. Jack Bookman
  11. Matt Brim
  12. Bill Chafe
  13. Leo Ching
  14. Elizabeth Clark
  15. Rom Coles
  16. Michaeline A. Crichlow
  17. Kim Curtis
  18. Roberto Dainotto
  19. Leslie Damasceno
  20. Ariel Dorfman
  21. Laura Edwards
  22. Grant Farred
  23. Jeffrey Forbes
  24. Mary M. Fulkerson
  25. Erin Gayton
  26. Jehanne Gheith
  27. Margaret Greer
  28. Michael Hardt
  29. Erik Harms
  30. Joe Harris
  31. Kerry Haynie
  32. Karla Holloway
  33. Bayo Holsey
  34. Mary Hovsepian
  35. Sherman James
  36. Alice Kaplan
  37. Keval Khalsa
  38. Ranjana Khanna
  39. Fred Klaits
  40. Claudia Koonz
  41. Robert Korstad
  42. Pedro Lasch
  43. Caroline Light
  44. Marcy Litle
  45. Ralph Litzinger
  46. Michele Longino
  47. Wahneema Lubiano
  48. Anne-Maria Makhulu
  49. Tamera Marko
  50. Paula McClain
  51. Louise Meintjes
  52. Sean Metzger
  53. Walter Mignolo
  54. Alberto Moreiras
  55. Cary Moskovitz
  56. Mark Anthony Neal
  57. David Need
  58. Diane Nelson
  59. Jocelyn Olcott
  60. Charles Payne
  61. Charlie Piot
  62. Ronen Plesser
  63. Maureen Quilligan
  64. Jan Radway
  65. Tom Rankin
  66. Marcia Rego
  67. William Reichert
  68. Deb Reisinger
  69. Alex Rosenberg
  70. Marc Schachter
  71. Stephanie Sieburth
  72. Laurie Shannon
  73. Pete Sigal
  74. Irene Silverblatt
  75. Joshua Socolar
  76. Kristin Solli
  77. Helen Solterer
  78. Fiona Somerset
  79. Roxanne Springer
  80. Rebecca Stein
  81. Kenneth Surin
  82. Susan Thorne
  83. John Transue
  84. Maurice Wallace
  85. Priscilla Wald
  86. Kathryn Whetten
  87. Robyn Wiegman
  88. David Wong
  89. Tomiko Yoda

Michael Gaynor:
Duke case: Academic credentials can be deceiving - The Duke Six's [John Aldrich, Peter Burian, William Chafe, Kerry Haynie, Fred Nijhout, Wendy Wood ] guest column is dated February 23, 2007 and entitled "Moving forward at Duke." It includes a very selective statement of facts worthy of Durham County District Attorney Michael B. Nifong leading a Durham grand jury to indict innocent persons.

Instead of attempting to make amends, the Duke Six overlook what is enormously important, focus on minor problems and try to "move forward." ...How myopic are the Duke Six?

Instead of addressing the "related issues" (like the framing of Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty and David Evans, aka the Duke Three, for first-degree felonies by a politically opportunistic prosecutor who pandered to black voters who wanted a prosecution regardless of the actual facts and the failure of Duke University's administration and many of its faculty members to stand up for the presumption of innocence and the due process and equal protection rights of the Duke Three), the Duke Six focused on racial epithets at the party...

The Duke "Gang of 88" Rehab Tour Continues

The Duke faculty - 'Group of 88' continue their rehab tour

Monday, February 26, 2007

Duke/Nifong Hoax: Day #314

Updated - today's items:

Accuser in Duke Lacrosse Case Speaks With New Prosecutors — The new prosecutors in the Duke lacrosse case appear to be making progress in their assessment of the evidence.

Special prosecutors Jim Coman and Mary Winstead took over last month after Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong removed himself from the case. Sources told WRAL the accuser in the case has been interviewed by the new prosecutors in the case.

Nifong didn't question the accuser until nearly nine months after she accused three former lacrosse players of assaulting her...

LieStoppers forum: SP talk to Crystal
TalkLeft: SP interviews AV
FreeRepublic: Accuser in Duke Lacrosse Case Speaks With New Prosecutors

Bob Frantz, San Francisco Examiner:
From the throne: Edicts for the sports kingdom - When I am King, the Duke lacrosse team shall be advanced to the NCAA finals post-haste, where they shall be led by the falsely accused Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann — on the same day their lying accuser is being led to prison for her perjury.
comment: Thanks Bob!

Christina Asquith,
Duke’s Devil of A MessDid the Group of 88 rush to judgment, and in doing so act out the exact prejudices they aim to combat?
comment: Yes!
... groups defending the players, which include Duke alumni, students, professors, and a Brooklyn college professor who runs the popular blog Durham in Wonderland, say the lacrosse players are the victims.

Jason Trumpbour, a Duke alumnus and spokesman for Friends of Duke, a group formed last year to defend the lacrosse players, calls Chafe’s comment “ridiculous.”

“This isn’t about ideology,” Trumpbour says. “What we’re criticizing them of doing is prejudging the guilt of the lacrosse players and using the players’ troubles to call attention to their own social issues.”...

“They hooked their cause on a fraudulent case,” says Dr. K.C. Johnson, who runs Durham in Wonderland, the blog that has closely followed the case almost from the beginning. “They gambled with their ad that the lacrosse case would illustrate what they saw as broader problems at Duke, but they gambled wrong, and they’ve been unwilling to admit that. And by refusing to condemn Mike Nifong, by refusing to apologize for their rush to judgment, they’ve lost credibility.” ...

Stephen Miller, Duke Chronicle:
Racial hypocrisy — Protesters [last year] swarmed our campus and the city streets, they screamed vulgar condemnations, they tarred the whole team as complicit in a stonewall cover-up, they put up wanted posters, banged pots and pans. They cried out for justice and vengeance, demanded suspensions, expulsions and incarcerations. Worst of all, as they feverishly disregarded due process, they helped create an atmosphere of hysteria and madness which could only serve to embolden an unhinged district attorney who had the power to breathe life into the fantasies of the growing mob.

But when a black man was recently accused of raping a white Duke student at a party hosted by members of a black Duke fraternity, suddenly these great defenders of virtue fell silent.

There have been no protesters, no signs, no one chanting and screaming in front of the house where at least one member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. live demanding they "come forward" with what they know. No one is demanding President Brodhead take action or that we cure a sexist and racist campus culture in response to these accusations. No professors are running ads that convey guilt or claiming, as they did before, to know the alleged crime was racially motivated...
KC Johnson: More from Stephen Miller
TalkLeft: Racial hypocrisy

KC Johnson:
Chafe's Embarrassment — Just when it appears the Group of 88 and their allies among the arts and sciences faculty cannot embarrass themselves further, another episode appears. The latest? A Friday article in the Chronicle, calling for Duke to “move forward”—but with two important caveats: (1) The institution should act as if that the facts involving the lacrosse team’s behavior are unchanged from March 31; and (2) How the arts and sciences faculty responded to the lacrosse case should, at all costs, remain unexamined.

Six professors penned the article. The sextet included:
  • Group of 88 stalwart and civil rights historian William Chafe, who wrote on March 31 that the whites who lynched Emmett Till (even as he misidentified the year of the lynching) provided an appropriate context through which to interpret the actions of the lacrosse players;
  • Clarifying professor Kerry Haynie, whose own record of responding to faculty critics of the Group of 88 is, to put it mildly, less than pristine;
  • Biology professor Fred Nijhout, co-author of a sophomoric spoof of Paul Haagen’s common-sense proposal for a faculty athletics associates program...
Chafe, et al.—mimicking the “Listening to Lubiano” approach of the Group of 88’s statement—choose the all-too-familiar pattern of Duke professors using anonymous quotes from alleged Duke students to make their points...

Viewed as the third step in the Group of 88’s Rehab Tour, the Chafe, et al., article is as unimpressive as the “clarifying” statement or the “shut up and teach” forum. “Moving forward,” the ostensible demand of Chafe, et. al., will be possible only when those professors whose behavior violated tenets of professional integrity acknowledge their misconduct.
comment: Another excellent, insightful, critque of the disgraceful "Gang of 88" and their apologists, by Prof. KC Johnson.

One historical footnote regarding the Emmett Till case, which The Johnsville News first covered back in May of 2004, Till's murder was much more brutal than what the word "lynching" might generally imply:
In August 1955, Till, a 14-year-old African-American boy from Chicago who was in Mississippi visiting relatives, allegedly whistled at the wife of a white man, Roy Bryant. Four days later, Bryant and his half-brother, J. W. Milam, yanked Emmett from his bed in the dead of night, threw him in the back of their truck, and beat him beyond recognition with a Colt .45 before tying a metal fan to his neck, shooting him, and throwing his body in a river....

Emmett Till open casket50,000 people viewed the open casket funeral of Emmett Tills. His mother wanted the world to see what had happened to her son in Mississippi. The mutilated body of Emmett Till ...

Wikipedia: the only way that Till was recognized was by the ring on his finger that was his dad's before he had died....
comment: It was absolutely inflammatory and prejudicial for a noted "historian," like Prof. Chafe, to use the Emmett Till case to "put into context what occurred in Durham" at the Duke lacrosse party. An apology is needed!

Reason, Hope, and Courage — I wanted to call attention to another excellent post by Duke University Professor Michael Gustafson at his Blog of Convenience. Throughout the Hoax, Professor Gustafson has often been a voice of reason, a source of hope, and an example of courage. His latest post exemplifies that description, as he responds to the false dilemma promoted by six fellow Duke professors in a guest column for The Chronicle...

La Shawn Barber:
Nifong Hits the Circuit; Unusual Leftist Recommendations — The Duke “sexual offense” case saga is still ongoing, with something new happening every day. At most, I blog about the case once every week or two, and even then, only when inspired to write more than a few sentences...

Through no one’s fault but his own, Mike Nifong’s career and reputation are as good as ruined. Not only are his colleagues calling for his head and politicians demanding a federal investigation, appeals court judges are citing him as an example of prosecutorial misconduct in their court rulings...
comment: Thank you La Shawn for the recognition.

John in Carolina:
The Chronicle’s “rape scandal” — On Friday, Feb. 23, Duke’s student newspaper, The Chronicle, ran an editorial that began:
This Saturday, the Duke men's lacrosse team will retake the field and play for the first time since the advent of the now-notorious (sic) rape scandal.
I decided to send the following electronic letter to The Chronicle’s editor-in-chief, Ryan McCartney.... ”Notorious rape scandal?” Really? What “notorious rape scandal?”
comment: Bingo! As has been said many time before, regarding other various Durham newspaper editorials: don't they read their own paper? The rape charges were dropped back on December 22nd.

Nate Freeman, Duke Chronicle:
Lax season faces off before 6,000-plus fans — After spending the past 11 months on the bench while the lacrosse case captured national attention, the men's lacrosse team returned to the field Saturday, drawing about 6,485 supporters. Playing for the first time since the cancellation of last year's season, the Blue Devils delivered a 17-11 victory over Dartmouth before an enthusiastic crowd.

"It was a great crowd, a beautiful afternoon, and it was great to have the team playing again," President Richard Brodhead wrote in an e-mail.

Larry Moneta, vice president for student affairs, said prior to the game he did not foresee protesters using the event to voice opposition to the lacrosse team's return to the field. "I didn't expect any protesters and I didn't see any," Moneta said. "I just saw a crowd of students thrilled to be there to support the team."

Administrators took steps prior to faceoff to curb displays of disruptive fan behavior in the area near Koskinen Stadium, anticipating students' intentions to tailgate...

John Taddei, Duke Chronicle:
Duke returns to the field with 2 victories — As the Blue Devils walked off the field following their season opener Saturday, not a single player failed to flash a grin.

After 10 months of controversy, it was the first time in a long time Duke has had something to smile about.

"The longer you're away, the sweeter it is coming back," midfielder Bo Carrington said...

John Saraceno, USA Today:
Duke lacrosse case has no winners — Duke's forsaken lacrosse program celebrated its revival Saturday. For players, parents and administrators, the resumption of some semblance of normalcy with the season opener at home was a welcomed respite. With the Blue Devils team awash in scarlet-letter scandal for much of the last year, victory (Duke defeated Dartmouth 17-11) seemed to matter less than the triumph of willpower and self-preservation.

"Today was all about us," the Associated Press quoted midfielder Dan Oppedisano. "It's about your teammates, your coaches and your families."

A psychological group hug and feeling of vindication are understandable. Unfortunately, the infamous case of the "Duke Three" — where race, class and politics converged when a trio of white student-athletes were accused of raping a black woman — is far from completed...

But the worst perpetrator of all might be the man whose office has the obligation to be fair and impartial. If anyone looks guilty of something serious in all of this, it is Mike Nifong, the taunting state prosecutor...

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Duke/Niifong Hoax: Day #313

Updated - today's items:
Greer & Payton Help No. 6 Blue Devils Past No. 12 Denver, 13-9Zack Greer posted two goals and three assists and Sam Payton won 11-of-12 face-offs and added two goals as sixth-ranked Duke defeated 12th-ranked Denver, 13-9, on a rainy Sunday afternoon in Durham, N.C.

The Blue Devils improve to 2-0 while the Pioneers fall to 1-2.

"This was a really tough weekend from the standpoint that we played two good teams," Duke head coach John Danowski said. "I'm really proud of the way we responded today after such an emotional day yesterday. We got goals from a lot of different people all weekend long, and we needed that to be successful." ...

LieStoppers forum: Duke vs. Denver, Live Thread
LieStoppers forum: Duke Beats Denver in Downpour 13-9, smaller crowd no less enthusiastic (pictures)

Edward G. Robinson III, News & Observer:
Duke lax rejoices in return — A 17-11 season-opening victory over Dartmouth is only part of the story for the Blue Devils and their fans - Somewhere there is a box score written in tiny type revealing details of Duke's 17-11 men's lacrosse victory over Dartmouth on Saturday afternoon. It will show the Blue Devils now own a 1-0 record.

But nowhere in that statistical account of the game will you find information to help place those details in proper perspective, to explain why one victory in front of a packed crowd of 6,485 at Koskinen Stadium meant so much more.

Nothing in that box score can explain why Duke students uncharacteristically chose to tailgate before the game, why they wore newly purchased lacrosse jerseys, why they stood and cheered for long stretches to watch the home team. Nothing in that box score can explain why a national audience, tuning in on ESPNU, would be so intrigued with this season-opening game...
ESPN: Photo Gallery - Dartmouth game

Mike McCusker: Welcome Back

Joan Foster, LieStoppers:
6..13...45 — 6..13...45 ...The crowd roared with the band!And YOUR team took the field againWith Brodhead smiling in the stands...

Brett Friedlander, Fayetteville Observer:
At long last, Duke lacrosse is back — The moment had finally arrived. After nearly a year away from the game, it was time to play lacrosse again.

In the Duke locker room at the far end of Koskinen Stadium, the walls vibrated with the sound of loud music as the Blue Devils worked themselves into a frenzy. Then, an unfamiliar face showed up at the door telling everyone to relax. Because the first game of an ESPNU televised doubleheader was running late, Duke’s game would be delayed by 20 minutes. Predictably, the news didn’t go over well.

That is, until new coach John Danowski brought some tension-breaking perspective to his team. “We’ve waited this long,” he said with his heavy Long Island accent. “What’s a few more minutes?” ...

Christian Red, NY Daily News:
After the scandal — Duke lacrosse starts over - Jimmy Buffett, the singer and muse synonymous with the never-ending fiesta, blares over the practice field adjacent to Koskinen Stadium as the Duke men's lacrosse team concludes its two-plus hour practice.
"Better days are in the cards, I can feel it
Feel it in the changing winds, feel it when I fly
So talk to me, I'll listen to your story
I've been around enough to know that there's more than meets the eye . . ."
As the refrain for this Buffett ballad, "Love and Luck", kicks in - "Everybody needs a little good luck charm . . ." - Bo Carrington, a junior midfielder, performs an impromptu jig before joining the main huddle at one end of the field...
There is no nonsense so errant that it cannot be made the creed of the vast majority by adequate governmental action. - Bertrand Russell

Letter by William L. Anderson to Sports Illustrated:
S.I. Disinformation — In yet another example of the disinformation that Sports Illustrated has produced on the so-called Duke Lacrosse Case, S.L. Price worries that the ever-changing stories of the accuser in this case "could well override any evidence." I would ask the simple question: What evidence? The prosecutor, Michael B. Nifong, promised Judge Ronald Stephens in seeking a DNA court order that the DNA definitely would identify the alleged rapists. Once it became clear that there was no inculpatory DNA evidence, Nifong immediately declared that DNA was irrelevant to the case...

So, yes, there is "evidence" in this case. However, all of it is exculpatory. Unfortunately, from the start, SI has sought to present a "politically correct" case and has tried to make this look like a legitimate rape case instead of the wrongful prosecution that it has become. Furthermore, you failed to point out that Irving Joyner was designated as the person by the local NAACP to "monitor" the case. Joyner earlier all but called for a local jury to ignore any exculpatory evidence and convict on all charges no matter what actually was presented.

The coverage by SI from the start is this case has been nothing short of dishonest and shameful. Your latest piece continues the dishonesty that has been your publication's trademark in this case. Perhaps you might want to try again and actually write about what happened, not what you wish had happened.
S.L. Price, Sports Illustrated: The Season After

Prof. Michael GustafsonMichael Gustafson, Duke engr. professor, Blog of Convenience:
Juxtapositional Fallacies — The first part of my critique involves the first four paragraphs of a guest column written by six Duke faculty members - Professors Aldrich, Burian, Chafe, Nijhout, and Wood and Associate Professor Haynie. The column begins "The time has come to move forward." The first paragraph ends with, "Now is the time to turn what has been a time of crisis into an opportunity for constructive change -- to help make Duke a model of mutual respect and caring."

The next three paragraphs then look backward, excoriating the lacrosse team and its party, followed by two paragraphs about unrelated events - one where a stripper had insults hurled towards her by a fraternity and one where a woman declared that, "We are all guilty...because we have never called into account those people who have engaged in date rape or sexual assault."

Six highly respected, very established Duke faculty from five different departments wrote this column. People whose careers have been marked by excellence in research in their fields - for that is what earns a person tenure here - wrote this. For that reason alone, if not others, it is important to look at this work...

... these six distinguished faculty members, in telling us we should "move forward," skip all that. I have no choice but to believe that moving forward, to these six faculty members, means take the story DA Nifong chose to tell and then fast-forward to now as if nothing else had happened. I have no choice but to believe that these faculty members, in seeing that the reality of the situation in no way plays into the assumptions of white, male, athlete privilege that our (blessedly former) colleague Houston Baker championed want us to base our thoughts and actions on the narrative created in the first two weeks rather than the realities discovered over the past eleven months...
LieStoppers forum: They were no angels, but these are false dichotomies

John Stevenson, Herald-Sun:
Nifong named in courts' rulings — Internet bloggers and cable television pundits have long attacked Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong over his handling of the Duke lacrosse sex-offense case. But Nifong only recently came under scrutiny from some of the loftiest legal sectors in the land.

Early this month, he was adversely mentioned in rulings from two out of 12 U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal, with one judge alluding to him as a prosecutor "run amok" because of the felony indictments he obtained from a grand jury last year against three Duke lacrosse players. Lawyers view the development as highly significant, since federal appellate courts are at the pinnacle of American jurisprudence, falling immediately below the U.S. Supreme Court in the overall scheme of things.

"I am not aware of any other case from the circuit courts that single out a prosecutor by name to exemplify prosecutorial misconduct," veteran attorney Bill Thomas said Friday. "It is an extremely unusual circumstance. I have never seen it done before in my career of more than 25 years."
LieStoppers: John Stevenson, Blog Hooligan? — In noting that the infamy of Defendant Nifong’s misconduct has become so well accepted that it has been noted on multiple occasions by multiple US Circuit Court judges, Mr. Stevenson helps to build local awareness of the extent of disrepute the disgraced District Attorney has brought to his office, to Durham and to the entire criminal justice system...

John in Carolina:
Addison Series #3 – “Not my poster” — For general background on the Addison Series posts see “The Cpl. Addison Series.” Cpl. David Addison is a veteran Durham police officer whose regular assignment is Coordinator for Durham CrimeStoppers, described as an independent nonprofit organization...

Addison, acting as Coordinator for Durham CS, produced and distributed on March 28, 2006, the text of a CS “Wanted” poster. That text then appeared in poster form under a DPD header. The “Wanted” poster circulated for 13 days before Russ directed that it be substantially changed the day the public would learn the DNA testing at the state lab had come back negative...
KC Johnson:
Common Hypocrisy — A discerning reader notes that Common’s own repertoire appears to contradict his denunciation of the lacrosse players. The video for “Testify” is available at Common’s official site. The song is about a woman who accuses her husband of committing a crime that she actually committed—charges that fool the media, the prosecutor, and ultimately the jury...The double standards evident in the lacrosse case never cease to amaze.

KC Johnson:
Sunday Wrap-up — In the Wonderland that is Durham, public information officers seem to practice disinformation instead. A case in point is DPD spokesperson Kammie Michael. She reached her high point in the lacrosse case on March 28, when she definitively stated, in writing, that Kim Roberts was not the first 911 caller. In fact, Roberts told the responding officers on March 14 that she had made the call, and she reiterated the point in her March 22 statement.

So, two options exist: (a) Michael was lying; (b) Michael is incompetent, and gave the press wrong information because she didn’t know how to find accurate material....
John Branston, Memphis Flyer:
"Waltz" Prosecutor DiScenza Defends Press, Grand Jurors, and Feds — Tim DiScenza, the federal government's trial attorney in the Tennessee Waltz cases in Memphis, stuck up for the fairness of the press and prosecutors Friday in response to a scathing critique by an author who's writing a book about the Duke lacrosse scandal.

While the comments of DiScenza and state prosecutor Amy Weirich were general in nature, they contrasted starkly with the views of guest speaker Stuart Taylor Jr., the headliner at the Rhodes Institute on the Profession of Law. About 100 people, most of them lawyers fulfilling a continuing education requirement, attended the event. Taylor is legal affairs columnist for the National Journal and a contributing editor for Newsweek. His topic was "The Duke Lacrosse Case and What It Says About Our Criminal Justice Process, Academics, and News Media."

What it says, he suggested, is mostly bad: Durham N.C. prosecutor Mike Nifong made an "outrageous rush to judgment," most of the media botched the story because of their political correctness and general shadiness, and Duke professors and administrators were spineless and all too eager to join Nifong�s side...

letter by Bill Cloud, Chapel Hill, to News & Observer:
Filling in the blanks — Regarding Public Editor Ted Vaden's Feb. 18 column "Suspects, identifications and the paper":

When it comes to describing people sought by police, newspapers shouldn't let readers assume race. That's what The N&O did with its raceless description of the man accused of raping a Duke student at an off-campus party. Once I saw he was wearing a do-rag, I knew he was black.

Of course, I could have been wrong. Not every person who wears such a head covering is black. (Do-rag is a slang term that shouldn't have appeared in print.) And not everyone with blond hair is white...

Certainly weigh the social value of giving a description. But when you decide it's meaningful, give the person's race. Don't leave it to readers to fill in the blank. They will, sometimes wrongly.

Nifong by the Moonlight Ball Cancelled - The Organizers for D.A.M.N. Appreciation Week regretfully announced that their final event of the week honoring District Attorney Mike Nifong, "Nifong by Moonlight Ball", was cancelled due to poor tickets sales...

D.A.M.N. Appreciation Week Scandals! - Organizers of D.A.M.N. week were forced to admit that DNA results from Judge Stephens DNA Derby are missing and presumed lost. The details of what happen to the swabs taken by Nurse Levity are still sketchy at this time. When contacted by this reporter Nurse Levity swears she personally gave the swabs to Dr. Meehan after the event and saw him drive off with them in a Carolina Ale House cooler.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Duke/Nifong Hoax: Day #312

Updated - today's items:

Dave Evans - 6 defense , Collin Finnerty - 13 attack , Reade Seligmann - 45 midfieldAaron Beard, AP/Fox News:
Duke University Lacrosse Team Makes Triumphant Return to Playing FieldA season lost. Three players indicted for rape. Nearly a year of criticism for everyone associated with Duke lacrosse. But on this day, none of that seemed to matter.

Playing their first game in 11 months, the Blue Devils opened the 2007 season Saturday with a 17-11 win against Dartmouth in front of a huge crowd cheering their every move.

It was a triumphant return for the Blue Devils, whose season was canceled last spring amid the rape allegations that touched off a debate on sports, race, class and privilege at the elite private university. And it was clear this game was more than a game, from the steady stream of students who poured into Koskinen Stadium on a sunny February afternoon to the throng of reporters covering the event...

Before the game, the Blue Devils wore black warmup jerseys bearing either No. 6, 13 or 45 — the numbers of charged players David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann...

crowd at Dartmouth gamerelated:
Greer's Six Guide No. 6 Duke Past Dartmouth, 17-11 — Junior attackman Zack Greer scored six goals and Duke overcame an early 3-1 deficit as the sixth-ranked Blue Devils defeated Dartmouth, 17-11, in men's lacrosse action on Saturday afternoon as 6,485 fans looked on at sun-soaked Koskinen Stadium. The game marked the season-opener for both squads...
Duke 17, Dartmouth 11 (game scorecard)

Mike Keegan, Inside Lacrosse:
Durham bound — You know you’re early for a game when……the girl at the stadium gate tells you the media passes haven’t arrived yet.…you get to watch the staff set up the press box.…the sprinklers on the field are on. Yep, it’s 11 a.m. and I just got here, three hours before game time...

ESPN: Duke lacrosse triumphant in 2007 debut - with video
WRAL: Duke Lacrosse Team Wins First Match After Suspension - with video

LieStoppers forum: DUKE BEATS DARTMOUTH 17-11
LieStoppers forum: Fox News Live, Live from Duke
KC Johnson: Lacrosse Wins First Game Back
FreeRepublic: Duke lacrosse makes triumphant return to field (Beats Dartmouth 17-11)

Edward G. Robinson III, News & Observer:
Duke lacrosse looks to focus on team, not scandalA new season, attitude begins today against Dartmouth — Casual conversations about the Duke men's lacrosse team today might involve the game, although it is unlikely.

Yet as the Blue Devils host their first game of the season today, talk is likely to focus on the scandal that has swept this program and the city of Durham into the national spotlight. The Blue Devils host Dartmouth at 2 p.m. at Koskinen Stadium, a game that will be nationally televised on ESPNU.

Yet conversations will likely be placed in the context of how this program will respond after its 2006 season was suspended when rape allegations were brought against three of its players after an escort service dancer said she was sexually assaulted at a lacrosse team party last March...
Jack Daly, Herald-Sun:
Spectacle again as Devils start season The Blue Devils nonetheless will bring some of that past into the present. Different Duke units -- defenders, midfielders, attack players -- will wear the numbers of the accused players on their warm-ups. The team helmets will also have two decals: one for Jimmy Regan, a former player who died serving in Iraq, and another for a division the team is sponsoring in Iraq...

Eric Tucker, AP/News & Observer:
Pressler happy leading Bryant — The last time Mike Pressler prepared for a lacrosse season, his Duke team was among the nation's best. But after an escort service dancer accused three lacrosse players of sexually assaulting her at a March team party, Duke canceled its season, and Pressler resigned. He feared he'd never coach again.

"Nine, 10 months ago, there's no way I thought I'd be sitting here doing this again," Pressler told reporters Friday at Bryant University, the northern Rhode Island school that hired him as lacrosse coach.

"There was a time during the summer where I thought my career was over." ...

KC Johnson:
Admissions and the Trustees' Dilemma — A few days ago in the Q+A post, I included a couple of questions from people suggesting that the case would negatively affect admissions. In response, I noted that the Trustees should have become more involved in ensuring a fair education environment for all students...

the Trustees should have stepped in. With institutional leverage that Brodhead does not possess, they could have made clear that all who engaged in misconduct will be held accountable—even if only through a letter in the file or some form of professional wrist-slapping—to a standard that Duke, as an institution, will not tolerate faculty who disrespect the school's own students...

JC WatttsJulius Caesar "JC" Watts, Pahrump Valley Times:
When justice isn't served — Earlier this year, we witnessed a similar affront to justice when North Carolina district attorney Mike Nifong resigned from the Duke University lacrosse rape case in the midst of accusations that he had failed to disclose pertinent evidence.

Nifong had claimed throughout the proceedings that he had provided the defense with all available evidence. Nifong now faces sanctions from the North Carolina state bar because he had no concern that the withheld evidence would almost shatter innocent lives.

It wouldn't take long to scan the judicial archives of recent years and uncover many similar scenarios at both the state and federal levels...
JC Watts and The Nifong Cite — As D.A.M.N. Appreciation Week draws to a close in Durham, we find another reminder of the nearly universal acceptance of the disrepute brought to the justice system by District Attorney Mike Nifong and his hijacking of the hoax.

In his twice monthly column for the Pahrump Valley Times, JC Watts , former chairman of the Republican Conference of the U.S. House, where he served as an Oklahoma representative from 1995 to 2002, employs the Nifong cite by using Nifong’s scandal as an example of “government judicial shenanigans” to firm up his dual arguments that injustice occurred in the case of former Border Patrol agent David Sipe and that public servants who cheat must be held accountable...

Forum topics of note:
Cash Michaels, TalkLeft
TALES OF CHESHIRE — Admittedly, the only thing this post has to do with the Duke case is its connection to probably the most prominent Duke Three attorney, Joseph Cheshire.

Of course, attorney Cheshire assures us, without a doubt, that no crimes (beyond underage drinking) occurred the night of March 13, 2006 at the Duke lacrosse team party, but if any indeed did, the Duke Three are completely innocent. Cheshire says this with confidence because, as best as we can tell, the authorities are hard pressed, so far, to prove the case.

But what would he say if it were the other way around, and authorities had more than enough evidence, in addition to grand jury testimony, proving that serious felonies were indeed committed by his client? Well wonder no more! ...

LieStoppers: Limbo: How low will Cash go?, The idiot speaks — When was the last time Cash actually did any - you know, reporting? Seems he's resigned himself to throwing idiocy up on messageboards and seeing what falls off into a column. Silly person...

LieStoppers: Ending the Embarrassment of Cash, NBC17 continues to use him on "At Issue"

Betsy Newmark, Betsy's Page:
The other rape at Duke — As a mother of one Duke graduate and another daughter who is there now, this aspect of the case also struck me. Though I must say that neither girl has encountered anything like this sort of bias in their classes. They've either been lucky or have made better course selections.

Also, as a teacher, I fully agree with KC. No teacher should start trashing his or her students in public like this. It's not quite the rules of doctors in respect to their patients, but to me it's part of an unwritten contract...
Bob Sikes, Getting Paid to Watch blog:
The Continuing Story at Duke and the Shame of the Group of 88 — Readers here know that I’ve touched on this subject somewhat and my points have concerned the behavior of Duke’s notorious Group of 88, a portion of its faculty which publically condemned the Duke Lacrosse Team with a broad brush. My own belief it is unethical for someone who is a teacher of students should not be making such judgements public, let alone acting upon them in a manner which advances a personal social or political agenda...

Michael Gaynor:
Unlike the 88, will Professor Johnson apologize? — Yet another admiring anonymous commenter was so disappointed as to call for the Professor to do what the Group of 88 won't - apologize:

"I was deeply saddened to read your seemingly throw-away reference to Justice Clarence Thomas in characterizing Joyner's current perspective on prosecutorial actions. I've loved reading your blog over the past months and you seem to be a straight shooter. In that regard, I feel you owe Justice Thomas an apology or, in the alternative, your readers a complete cite of cases where the type of conduct engaged in by Nifong meets with Justice Thomas' approval from a constitutional basis."

In those are the only choices, an apology should be forthcoming. Justice Thomas is an honorable person and no honorable person approves of Nifong's egregious misconduct.

The next anonymous commenter asked the obvious question: "Where is the evidence that Clarence Thomas supports prosecutorial misconduct?"...
KC Johnson:
Joyner's Jurisprudence (see comments) — Joyner’s personal preferences on criminal justice issues actually resemble the positions of not the national NAACP but of Clarence Thomas...

... comment: "tough crowd"

J. Matt Barber, Canadian Free Press:
Hate Bloggers, Death Threats and Apologies Abound (2/19) — Last week, Concerned Women for America (CWA) broke the news about an apparent threat to the life of pro-family advocate Peter LaBarbera made by a commenter on lesbian activist Pam Spaulding's anti-Christian site Pam's House Blend.

Spaulding is an information technology manager with Duke University Press, and her employer appears quite proud of its blustering left-wing blogger. Duke Press has even publicly praised and promoted her blog activities, calling them a "mixture of snappy prose, funny postings and serious commentary." So, just for fun, let's see if we can't yuck it up a bit with Duke University. Let's take a look at some of Spaulding's "snappy" and "funny" musings:

On her blog -- among other things -- Spaulding regularly mocks both Christ and Christians by sarcastically referring to Jesus as "jeebus." She refers to Christians as both the "Am Taliban" (for American Taliban) and "bible beaters." She's doctored photos of the pope, dressing him in drag and women's makeup, apparently implying that he's a cross-dressing closet homosexual. Spaulding has likened a well-respected black New Jersey pastor to cult leader and mass murderer Jim Jones, and she has managed to ridicule both Christmas and pro-lifers in one fell swoop with a post titled, "Oh Fetus tree, Oh Fetus tree."...

Friday, February 23, 2007

Duke/Nifong Hoax: Day #311

Updated - today's items:

Meg Bourdillon, Duke Chronicle:
Lax team set to face offCampus preps for event, tailgate - At the men's lacrosse season opener Saturday, there will probably be thousands of fans cheering-but not many chugging beers. Several students said they plan to grill and participate in informal tailgating in the parking lot near Koskinen Stadium prior to the game, and the pep band will start playing about an hour before face-off.

"It's going to be just like a basketball game," said senior Daron Gunn, co-treasurer of the pep band, about the band's performance before and during the game. "It's just great to support fellow Duke students in everything that they do."

Enthusiasm for the game has sprung from both the student body and the local community. By Thursday evening, a Facebook event marking the game had more than 1,000 confirmed attendees, about half of whom were Duke students...

John Taddei, Duke Chronicle:
Blue Devils ready for season ahead — For the third straight year, Duke opens its season with the expectation of competing in the Final Four on Memorial Day Weekend. Dreaming of Duke's first national title is something the Blue Devils have done since falling one goal short of the title to Johns Hopkins in 2005 and holding the No. 2 ranking in 2006 before their season was cut short after eight games. The same expectations are still there for Duke, ranked sixth in the Inside Lacrosse Men's Division I Media Poll. But this year, the specter of the program's first championship holds an entirely new significance...

Neil Best, Newsday:
ESPNU, CSTV growing pains — There's a really big event tomorrow in lacrosse, a national story that will spotlight the unofficial pastime of your favorite island. Dartmouth vs. Duke, the Blue Devils' first game since, well, you know. It also is arguably the biggest event in the two-year history of ESPNU, the college sports-focused entry from the Bristol-based sect bent on world domination. There's a problem, though: Relatively few of you can see it...

Editorial, Duke Chronicle:
Playing by the rules of the game — The game against Dartmouth promises to be a major campus event, and one of the first times people on all sides of the issue-including students, professors, Durham residents and the media-will come together...

It is important to note that no value judgment can or should be placed on individuals' decisions to attend or skip the game. If you go, so be it; if you don't, so be it. For those who do plan to attend, however, it is important that the rules of the game be respectability and responsibility.

Administrators have asked students not to use the parking lots directly surrounding Duke's lacrosse field in order to avoid any undue media attention or massive tailgate celebrations. The decision to move pre-game rituals away from the stadium is a good one and certainly merited...

Patrick Stevens, The Washington Times:
Piecing It Back Together — Tony McDevitt was looking around Duke's school store just before Christmas, trying like so many others to finish up some holiday shopping.
It was an ordinary trip. But then an employee spotted McDevitt's Duke lacrosse sweatpants, a sure sign the defenseman was a member of the once-embattled team that had its season short-circuited by rape accusations last spring.

There were no cursive glances, no awkward exchanges. Instead, the most apparent thing was just how much support the Blue Devils enjoy nearly a year after enduring a tumultuous investigation.

"We're all out of your T-shirts," the storekeeper said. Consider it just another step in Duke's lacrosse saga, which included a midseason suspension of the program, a coaching change and more attention for the team than anyone in the tight-knit sport could have fathomed. It has led up to tomorrow's season opener against Dartmouth, in what is expected to attract perhaps the largest crowd in 6,500-seat Koskinen Stadium's history. The spotlight, so searing last year, is again on the Blue Devils. And Duke lacrosse is moving on...

AP/News & Observer:
Duke makes appeal to lacrosse fans — The Duke's men's lacrosse team will play its first game of the season at 2 p.m. Saturday against Dartmouth, and university officials are asking students to be on their best behavior.

"We expect the game to attract considerable attention from reporters, both local and national," Larry Moneta, vice president for student affairs, wrote in an e-mail to students Tuesday. "Given this reality, it's important that we demonstrate outstanding sportsmanship and appropriate fan behavior."

Moneta said the Duke athletics department "has requested that no signs be brought into Koskinen Stadium. Paint your faces but leave your posters and other signage at home." There is no admission charge to the game...

Quint Kessenich, Inside Lacrosse:
Return of the Devils — Saturday at Duke will be the most scrutinized regular season college lacrosse game ever. The entire sports nation will be on notice. This game transcends the sport. It’s the rebirth of Duke lacrosse, and it promises to be an event of unusual magnitude.

I was down in Durham on Monday and will return on Friday for practice and meetings before our ESPNU telecast on Saturday at 2 p.m. I can smell the anticipation building.... Welcome back Duke.
Greg Beaton, Chronicle blog: Once again a media frenzy — Never before has the first men’s lacrosse game of the year been such a huge event. Today, head coach Matt Danowski and his son, the team’s star attackman, held a press conference in the media room in Cameron Indoor Stadium.

There were about half a dozen broadcast journalists with cameras in two, as well as a handful of print journalists. Particularly notable in the press room was veteran New York Times columnist George Vecsey. It’s not unusual to see a well-known columnist or media personality in Durham for a basketball game, but this was certainly something new to lacrosse.

LieStoppers forum: Who's going to the game on Sat?

John Aldrich, professor of political science;
Peter Burian, professor of classical studies;
William Chafe, professor of history; [Group of 88 Member]
Kerry Haynie, associate professor of political science; [Concerned Faculty Member]
Fred Nijhout, professor of biology;
Wendy Wood, professor of psychology

column in Duke Chronicle:
Moving forward at Duke — The time has come to move forward. The primary issue is how we live as a community at Duke-how we behave toward each other, the values we espouse, the rules we pledge to uphold in our interactions. Now is the time to turn what has been a time of crisis into an opportunity for constructive change-to help make Duke a model of mutual respect and caring.

Whatever happened at the lacrosse party last spring, three facts remain undisputed: racial epithets were used; a Duke student group hired two female strippers for the entertainment of young men; and underage drinking was encouraged. In the ensuing months, we have heard our students grapple with these and related issues that reflect patterns of behavior found, not only on our campus, but-according to colleagues elsewhere-at our peer institutions as well.

The comments of one Duke student illustrate the larger problem. "I went to a fraternity party on campus last fall," a first-year woman disclosed, "and was shocked to see a stripper there, and hear insulting remarks made about her." After listening to numerous such comments, it is clear that the hiring of such dancers for organized parties is no anomaly at Duke.

"We are all guilty," another woman student declared, "because we have never called to account those people who have engaged in date rape or sexual assault." Stories of racism (often indirect) are frequent, as are those of women being treated as sexual objects, or of gay students being denigrated. These stories from our students expose a reality many of us had previously ignored. It is time to create a different kind of campus culture...
Duke Chronice: comments - I am absolutely shocked that, after all the uproar that the "listening" ad has caused, such a distinguished historian as William Chafe would sign another letter (i) relying primarily on anonymous quotes; (ii) declaring we know certain things are true--racial slurs, strippers, and drinking--but ignoring other things we know are true--unethical conduct by the prosecutor and no evidence of the alleged crime that started this uproar; (iii) completely denying any responsibility or misjudgment in signing the "listening ad"; but (iv) writing now that "We are all guilty...because we have never called to account those people who have engaged in date rape or sexual assault."

When did it become acceptable to use unsourced anonymous quotes from random people to prove a point? Would this be acceptable in a student paper? What happened to our beloved University that repeated private and public denials by the lacrosse team supplemented by polygraphs count for less in the minds of certain professors than "a first-year woman disclosed" and "another woman declared"? ...

LieStoppers: Leftist Professors Strike Again on Sexism, Racism, Athletic "Double Standards" Attacked - The "[Listending Statement] ad" is re-written, again!

...After reading it, my immediate thought was that they should have titled it "Rather Entrenched" as opposed to "Moving On."

Duke Chronicle:
CCI cites 6 areas for improvement - Committee report recommends elimination of sections, suggests changes to social life, athletics, admissions — According to a copy of the CCI report obtained by The Chronicle, the committee has proposed a number of recommendations, varying in scale, to improve the undergraduate experience in six major areas: curriculum and experiential learning; faculty-student interaction; residential life, social life and dining; alcohol; athletics; and admissions...

KC Johnson:
No Surprises from the CCI — In perhaps the least surprising development at Duke of the past year, the Campus Culture Initiative, whose leadership was dominated by extremist critics of the lacrosse team, has produced a report recommending the agenda of . . . extremist critics of the lacrosse team. (The Chronicle obtained a copy.)...

Duke Chronicle: comments - Why is not surprising that this group thinks it should be mandatory to take one of their sex/race/gender classes? After all, now that the entire world knows what fools they are, who would voluntarily pay money for one of their classes?

LieStoppers forum: Duke Campus Culture Initiative, The Culture War is Launched

The Providence Journal - membership req :
Truth be known, Bryant did get a good man — Mike Pressler sat in his small office yesterday afternoon at Bryant University, talking about how happy he was to be coaching lacrosse again.

A year ago at this time, Pressler was sitting on top of the world as coach of the Duke lacrosse team. He had one of the best teams in the country, at one of the best schools in the country, and it seemed things were about to get even better.

“We were very, very excited about the 2006 season, in so many ways,” he said. “I had almost all my players back from a 17-3 team that had led the nation in scoring and lost in the national championship game by one goal, to Johns Hopkins...

Herald Sun:
Paper picks up awards — The Herald-Sun has won seven N.C. Press Association awards for outstanding work in 2006, including coverage of the Duke lacrosse case, sports and photography. The awards were presented Thursday night at the association's annual winter institute in Raleigh. The awards included:

-- Second place in general news reporting for coverage of the Duke lacrosse case.
"I'm proud to work with some truly outstanding writers, editors and photographers at The Herald-Sun, and to see their work honored by their professional peers -- especially on some of the biggest stories of the past year -- is gratifying, " said Herald-Sun editor Bob Ashley.

comment: Bob Ashley is raking in the hardware. After picking up the prestigious Johnsville News award: Best Director/Editor of an organ of misinformation and lies in support of an evil corrupt D.A. and his hoax; he adds to his trophy case -
KC Johnson:
We're #2! (of 2) — “Second place [of two newspapers] in general news reporting for coverage of the Duke lacrosse case.”
COMMON VS. DUKE LACROSSE PLAYERS: Rapper may run into static during April gig due to past statements. — A freestyle rhyme spat by rapper Common at Emory University last year may come back to haunt him during a scheduled visit to the campus of Duke University in April.

During his concert at Emory, the Chicago M.C. dissed the white Duke University Lacrosse players who were accused of raping a black exotic dancer. At the time, the case was a constant presence in the news and revelations about the accuser’s credibility had yet to surface...

YouTube: Common's Freestyle at Emory University

The Chronicle Blogger: Complete Coverage: Common Controversy

KC Johnson:
The Piot Principle — Academic freedom rests on a basic principle that professors’ specialized training renders them qualified to have control over academic matters—such as evaluating scholarship, making new hires, setting up curricula. It’s hard for the media, or the general public, to challenge the evaluation of academics about the quality of a professor’s scholarship, or the appropriateness of personnel decisions.

The lacrosse case, however, has shone a light into the thinking of an outspoken minority of the arts and sciences faculty at one of the nation’s finest institutions—on an issue where the media and the public are perfectly capable of evaluating academics’ opinions. And the academics’ performance has not been impressive...
KC Johnson:
Comments Policy — have activated the moderate comments section of the blogger software. All comments will need to be cleared through me before posting...

related: LieStoppers forum - KC Johnson's Blog, Is there really a problem?

Protecting Our Innocents — we would like to bring your attention to a recent post by our dear friend Kathleen Eckelt at Forensic Talk...

- humor
LieStoppers: Big Sweep for the Men!
LieStoppers: Live Update From Platinum Club Gala

Michael Gaynor:
Don't link Justice Thomas to Nifong, Professor Johnson — Robert K.C. Johnson, liberal, lifelong Democrat voter, Obama supporter, blogger extraordinaire and Brooklyn College history professor, has learned much from the Duke case as well as taught much. But he has much more to learn, if he thinks of United States Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas as part of the problem that manifested itself in the deplorable political prosecution that became known as the Duke case and conservatives as unconcerned about protecting civil liberties...

In time, the step-by-step back down by the prosecution in the Duke case will be complete. But will the political and social environment conducive to a scandal like the prosecution of the Duke case (the prosecution was the scandal, there was no rape or sexual assault) continue? If it does, it won't be Justice Thomas' fault. He has set the right example and should not be insulted by being grouped with Mr. Nifong.

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