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Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Duke/Nifong/Cooper+81 days Hoax

Updated - today's items:

Aaron Beard, AP/WRAL:
Once-Eventful Duke Lacrosse Case Has Become a Waiting Game — For a few weeks around the start of the year - as some criminal charges were dropped and ethics charges were filed against the prosecutor - it seemed as if the only silence in the Duke lacrosse case came when lawyers on all sides paused to take a breath.

But since the state's attorney general took over the charged case in January, daily developments have been replaced by a long stretch of behind-the-scenes work. Attorneys on both sides are saying little, if anything at all, turning a sexual assault case that dominated the headlines into a quiet wait for answers.

"There's no one on our side who is taking anything for granted or presuming anything," said defense attorney Wade Smith, who represents charged player Collin Finnerty. "We are hopeful that the attorney general would do what we know is the right thing...

Cooper's spokeswoman, Noelle Talley, said Wednesday the state's review is ongoing.

"Our attorneys are conducting additional interviews this week, including meeting with the accuser," she said...

LieStoppers forum: Once-eventful Duke Lacrosse Case, Has Become a waiting game
TalkLeft: "Additional interviews": What are they talking about?
TalkLeft: ...Waiting Game

North Carolina Senate Approves Changes to Removing Judges, DAs — The governor would declare a judgeship or district attorney's post vacant when the judicial official is disbarred or suspended from practicing law if a measure unanimously approved Wednesday in the Senate becomes law.

The legislation was filed in response to the case of a District Court judge who lost his law license. But the bill could also affect Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong if he is suspended or disbarred. The State Bar has charged Nifong with several ethics violations for his handling of the Duke lacrosse sexual assault case, which is now in the hands of state prosecutors.

The measure, which now goes to the House for consideration, would apply only after the judicial officer's appeals before the State Bar have been exhausted. Once the position is declared vacant, the governor could appoint a replacement. Under the current law, a disbarred official could remain in office, collecting a salary for the post...
66th Annual Peabody Awards Winners Announced — Thirty-five recipients of the 66th Annual Peabody Awards were announced today by the University of Georgia's Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. The winners, chosen by the Peabody Board as the best in electronic media for 2006, were named in a ceremony in the Peabody Gallery on the University of Georgia Campus. The latest Peabody recipients reflect the ever- broadening definition of electronic media and the international scope of the competition.

The awards will be presented June 4 at a luncheon at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. The celebrated sportscaster Bob Costas, host of HBO's "Costas Now," will be the master of ceremonies...

Ed Bradley & 60 Minutes: The Duke Rape Case CBS win Peabody awardCBS' "60 Minutes" won for "The Duke Rape Case," an Ed Bradley-led investigation of rape allegations against Duke University lacrosse players that stood widespread assumptions - and the prosecution's case - on their heads...
60 Minutes: The Duke Rape Case CBS

A "60 Minutes" team led by correspondent Ed Bradley delved into the allegations of rape against Duke University lacrosse players and stopped a prosecutorial rush to judgment in its tracks. CBS News
Univ. of Georgia/uga.edu: Complete List of 2006 Peabody Award Winners
LieStoppers: Peabody For Bradley

LieStoppers forum: '60 Minutes' Duke Segment Wins Peabody Award
KC Johnson: Well-Deserved Award

OurHeartsWorld blog:
World Exclusive News Is Coming! [rumor du jour] — From The Administrator:
On April 5, an important announcement will be made here at OurHeartsWorld.com that you won't want to miss! For all of you who have graciously supported us with your kind and sincere messages, we want to make sure you are especially informed.

So remember, tomorrow, Thursday, April 5, an exclusive announcement you'll only find here. DON'T MISS IT!!!

The Coalition of the Concerned
LieStoppers forum: Goodbye OurHeartsWorld.com
Joan Foster, LieStoppers:
Two for one — I've spent the past few days trying to get caught up on some commitments and promises I've neglected in my "real life." Yesterday, a colleague chided me, "Well, you certainly can no longer fall back on your "Duke Case Excuse"... that's been over since December!"

No, not really.

Unfortunately, the beat of Injustice in North Carolina goes on and on. It's almost background noise in our lives now. We wonder, "Will it ever end?" ....

William L. Anderson:
An Open Letter to Roy Cooper: Part II — A couple of weeks ago, I wrote an open letter to you. While I doubt you read it, I cannot say I gave you bad advice. In fact, it was good advice, and from what I can tell, at least you have decided not to take this Duke Lacrosse Non-Rape, Non-Kidnapping, and Non-Sexual Assault Case to trial. Instead, you are now planning how best to escape from this evil gift that Michael B. Nifong left you last January.

The question for you, then, is this: How do I best deep-six this case without alienating my various Democratic constituencies? Well, I am glad you asked that question, because I just happen to have an answer. Mr. Cooper, simply tell the truth.

If you remember, Pontius Pilate asked Jesus Christ, "What is truth?" Look, you do not have to be so philosophical here; you don’t have to define truth,but rather just the particular truth in this case, the unvarnished truth.

What is the truth here? It is simply this: the entire case was and is a hoax. There was no rape, no kidnapping, and no sexual assault. Crystal Gail Mangum made up the entire thing and Nifong was all too happy to take advantage of her lies. Furthermore, he managed to get a large portion of the black community in Durham worked up to a point where the only thing they wanted to know was who would be arrested and when...

Forum topic(s) of note:
comment: the Laxuality blog that was alleged written by an anonymous Duke professor has quickly disappeared from blogspot soon after it appeared. See:

LieStoppers: Unidentified Duke Prof (?)... ...[laxuality.blogspot.com] - Seems to have disappeared...

Adam Eaglin & Shreya Rao, Duke Chronicle:
Junior found dead in room — Junior Chris Sanders was found dead in his Kilgo Quadrangle dormitory room early Tuesday morning, University administrators said Tuesday afternoon. He was 20 years old.

Larry Moneta, vice president for student affairs, notified students in an e-mail that Sanders had passed away and that "initial indications" suggested that no foul play was involved.

A medical examiner was called in to investigate the cause of death, which was unknown as of Tuesday afternoon, said Sara-Jane Raines, executive officer for Duke University Police Department. She added that DUPD is the primary investigator in the case.

Dean of Students Sue Wasiolek said Sanders' room will be sealed off by police until the investigation has concluded...
News & Observer:
Duke junior found dead in dorm room — A Duke University junior was found dead in his dorm room early this morning, school officials say. Police do not think foul play was involved.

Chris Sanders, 20, of New Haven, Conn., was found in his Kilgo Quad room. He was a member of the swim team, Sigma Nu fraternity and the First-Year Advisory Council board...

LieStoppers forum: Duke Student found Dead, Sigma Nu

Stefanie Williams, (Univ. of Maryland) DiamondBackOnline.com:
Not a black and white issue
— I have a weird obsession with news. Not just plain old news, but stories that stick. People like Fred Phelps and Mike Nifong have basically driven my existence for the past year. But all my experience analyzing media over why or how they cover stories hasn't helped me accept why the mainstream media is completely overlooking one story in particular.

A Google News search of the names Channon Christian or Christopher Newsom would bring up few mainstream sources. Maybe you'll find a couple of blogs and local stories from Knoxville, but you won't find anything from Fox, CNN or MSNBC.

Trust me when I say this story is more newsworthy than the Natalie Holloway case, the Duke lacrosse scandal and Anna Nicole Smith combined. A young couple, students from the University of Tennessee, were victims of a carjacking and were kidnapped, raped, tortured and eventually murdered by five people. Descriptions of their deaths were so brutal that I had to read them several times to fully process the implications...

John Stevenson, Herald-Sun:
Grand jurors avoid penalty for interview — Durham's senior judge will not punish two grand jurors who spoke on national television about the Duke lacrosse case.

"I'm going to let it die," Superior Court Judge Orlando F. Hudson said.

Hudson said the grand jurors committed "no foul, no harm" when they talked with ABC News in February about felony indictments against three players accused of sexually assaulting an exotic dancer during an off-campus team party a year ago last month.

It was a far cry from Hudson's remarks when the situation first came to light.

"I think what the grand jurors did was clearly against the law of North Carolina," he said Feb. 7. "It's clearly a transgression of the law."

Had Hudson decided to seek punishment, the two grand jurors could have been fined as much as $500 each or jailed for up to 30 days, or both...
TalkLeft: Grand Jurors Avoid Penalty for Interview

KC Johnson:
The Early BirdAn equally consistent—and outrageous—defender of Nifong was a figure of considerably more heft. Norm Early served 13 years as Denver’s district attorney (1983-1996). He was the frontrunner in the 1991 Denver mayoral election before being upset by Wellington Webb. His name was floated as a possible Democratic candidate for the 1996 open-seat Senate election ultimately won by Republican Wayne Allard. And he was founder and first president of the National Black Prosecutors Association. Early is also media relations director and consultant for the National District Attorneys Association, an organization that serves as “the voice of America’s prosecutors and to support their efforts to protect the rights and safety of the people.” ...

Reflecting on Early’s performance one evening, Dan Abrams remarked, “I’m suddenly hearing prosecutors talking like defense attorneys on this program, that all of the evidence we do know about points away from guilt. And yet all the prosecutors can say is, well, maybe we don’t know everything, maybe there’s more.”

Maybe his comments on the lacrosse case demonstrated how Early prosecuted cases in Denver for 13 years as DA. If so, a lot of innocent people must be in Colorado jails.

LieStoppers forum: Norm Early: A Disgrace

John in Carolina:
GoDuke.com & “Vigilante” Questions — Larry Moneta, Ed.D., Vice President for Students Affairs, Duke University —
Dear Dr. Moneta:

I’m a Duke alum who blogs as John in Carolina. I’ve published often on aspects of the Hoax and frame-up, including the “Vigilante” poster.

Those who created and distributed the “Vigilante” poster perniciously targeted students who were members of Duke’s 2006 Men’s lacrosse team, as evidenced by the poster’s prominent display of the 43 face photos of lacrosse players which were pulled from GoDuke.com.

The “Vigilante” poster also placed at risk the safety of every other Duke student who might be an unintended victim of unstable individuals and hate groups incited by the poster and the praise its “activist” creator(s) and distributors received from many, including some in leadership positions at Duke...

Reade Seligmann: volunteers & coachesTamara Gibbs, ABC11-TV/WTVD:
Charged Duke LAX Player Volunteers, Coaches
— While the public anxiously awaits the outcome of the Duke Lacrosse case, major life decisions for the defendants and the accuser are on hold. Their future plans are only tentative. The hope of a normal life away from the media frenzy seems uncertain. Still, while they wait, they make the most of it.

Eyewitness News has learned Reade Seligmann spends at least two days a week helping out at a soup kitchen in his home state of New Jersey. According to its website, the center's volunteers help to serve warm meals to nearly 185 homeless and working poor people a day.

With a pending offer to join Brown University's lacrosse team, Seligmann, a former Duke lacrosse standout, also has returned to his athletic roots.

This spring, he's working as an assistant coach for the varsity lacrosse team at Delbarton, a college preparatory school. However, it's not the first time.

In addition to taking evening classes at a local community college, he walked the sidelines as a coach for Delbarton's middle school football team last fall...
TalkLeft: Charged Duke LAX Player Volunteers, Coaches
LieStoppers forum: What the Guys are Doing

John Stevenson, Herald-Sun:
District attorney's hearing set for April 13 — April 13 was set Tuesday as the date for District Attorney Mike Nifong to formally seek dismissal of N.C. State Bar charges that he mishandled the Duke lacrosse sex-offense case.

A hearing on Nifong's dismissal request will begin at 4 p.m. that day in the State Bar Building in Raleigh.

Nifong and his lawyer, David Freedman of Winston-Salem, are seeking to squelch charges that the district attorney made unethical media statements about the lacrosse case in its infancy last year, and also that he withheld DNA evidence favorable to three defendants and then lied about it.

Among the statements at issue, Nifong characterized some Duke lacrosse players as "hooligans" and suggested their alleged sexual assault against an exotic dancer in mid-March 2006 was racially motivated.

Nifong has denied in official paperwork that he did anything wrong, saying it was unintentional if he did...
LieStoppers comment: This is incorrect. The motion only seeks dismissal of charges related to the withholding of the DNA.

LieStoppers blog: Hearing Set for Defendant Nifong — Contrary to information reported by the Snooze Room and The Chronicle, the State Bar's Disciplinary Hearing Committee will not consider quashing charges related to Defendant Nifong’s “Frame the Dukies” media tour nor will a positive outcome for the defendant at this preliminary hearing end the Bar’s proceedings against Nifong...

N&O: State Bar schedules Nifong's hearing — District Attorney Mike Nifong will have an opportunity April 13 to tell an N.C. State Bar panel why he thinks part of the case against him should be dropped.

Duke Chronicle:
Nifong aims for dismissal of ethics case — The North Carolina State Bar scheduled a hearing Tuesday to consider a motion to dismiss ethics charges filed against Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong. The hearing is slated to take place April 13...