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Sunday, April 15, 2007

Sunday School: How many ways can you spell INNOCENT?

Updated - today's items:

Dave Evans, Collin Finnerty, & Reade Seligmann at April 11 press conference60 Minutes, CBS News:
The Duke Case: Innocent -- Lesley Stahl Speaks To The Exonerated Players And The State A.G. --

"We had heard that he might say, as we refer to it now, as the "i" word – innocent. But when he first said there's insufficient evidence to go forward, we were saying, 'Oh my God,'" remembers David Evans.

"Because he didn’t say it right away," Stahl remarks.

"He didn’t say it, and then all of a sudden, there’s this crescendo, and you can see where he was going with his speech," Evans explains.

"I never heard 'innocent' because everyone in the room jumped up and starting cheering," Evans adds, referring to the moment State Attorney General Cooper made the announcement that all remaining charges had been dropped.

"We were waiting for it from the very beginning. And the moment he did it, I completely broke down. I don’t even remember who I ended up hugging. Everyone was jumping up and down and we knew then that was when we got our lives back," Reade Seligmann said to Stahl.

"I feel, you know, weight off my shoulders, feel a lot better. Everything, you know, it still hasn’t sunk in completely but I think I just try to remind myself that it’s over," Collin Finnerty says...

The case rested entirely on the word of the accuser, Crystal Mangum, despite the fact that she changed her account of the attack more than a dozen times.

Roy Cooper on 60 MinutesAttorney General Cooper says he's appalled that Nifong didn’t challenge her about that. "We can't see where she was ever asked the tough questions," he says.

"Ever?" Stahl asks.

"That specifically contradicted things that she was saying. And when our investigators and attorneys started interviewing her again, new stories came out that had never been told before that did not fit with the evidence. So we went in and tried to get all of it rectified, and the way it turned out it was much worse than we thought," Cooper explains.

Asked if Mangum just lied, Cooper says, "The people who talked with her, and these are trained investigators who have been around for a long time, a number of them said to me, 'I've never seen anything like this.'"

One of the things that stunned them was that the accuser came up with a new wild and vivid version of her central allegation in the case, the alleged attack in the bathroom. Here’s what she said happened:

"She was suspended in mid-air and was being assaulted by all three of them in the bathroom. And I've been in that bathroom. And it was very difficult for me to see how that could have occurred. And then we got another new story," Cooper tells Stahl.

"Well, wait. Because it was so small or…" Stahl asks.

"It was a small bathroom. Yes. And you would've had to have four people in there in different positions that she was describing to us being attacked," Cooper says.

"Including up in the air?" Stahl asks.

"Including being suspended in mid-air. It was just difficult for any of us to see how that could have occurred," the attorney general says...

WRAL: N.C.’s Top Prosecutor ‘Offended’ by Nifong’s Behavior

LieStoppers forum: 60 Min on Sunday 4/15, reminder 7pm
Lisa Keys, NY Post:
VICTIMS OF A WITCH HUNT -- Many Tormenors in Duke Students' Year of Smear -- By March 24, although the victim had not been able to identify any of her accusers and it had been revealed that she'd made a false claim of rape as a teenager, Nifong ordered DNA swabs from the 46 white lacrosse players.

On April 10, it was revealed that no DNA matches had been made with the players. But then:

* On April 15, the Rev. Jesse Jackson and his Rainbow/PUSH Coalition stepped in, offering to pay Mangum's college tuition. "Our organization is committed . . . to provide for her the scholarship money to finish school so she will never again have to stoop that low to survive," he told The Associated Press.

* Al Sharpton told Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly on April 19 - the day after the first two players were charged - "This girl has basically had a character charged in the media. There is a lot of racism that's in the air. Having said that, I commend a lot of the blacks and whites who stood vigil and came together in that community to stand up for this girl. So I think in the midst of this, there is some good."

He added, "What I don't accept is for people to act like this young lady, no matter what her profession - and I think people need to know she is a mother, a divorced mother of two and a student - that we ought to be putting her on trial rather than these two that are getting indicted."

* On May 2, the New Black Panther Party came to town and marched to the house where the alleged rape took place. Wearing fatigues and black berets, group leader Malik Zulu Shabazz shouted: "How do you find the two defendants in the case?"

The crowd replied: "Guilty! ...

Neither Sharpton nor the leaders of the New Black Panthers have spoken about the case since the men were exonerated. Jackson said: "We just hope this traumatic experience for all involved ends with the minimum amount of damage."
comment: The NY Post calls out a coven of Duke witches led by Al and Jesse.

Joe Neff, News & Observer:
A case starts to unravel -- District Attorney Mike Nifong brusquely rejects defense lawyers' overtures and an offer to share information. The emerging evidence does not support his certainty -- During the first half of April 2006, lawyers for Duke lacrosse players often sat around a large table in Bill Thomas' second-floor conference room, a stone's throw from the Durham County courthouse. Conversation invariably turned to which players would be indicted. "We guessed it would be the three residents of the house," Thomas said. "But we really had no clue. None."

The lawyers thought District Attorney Mike Nifong was unpredictable. Stunned by his public statements, which grew more strident, defense lawyer Joseph B. Cheshire V tried to talk with the prosecutor.Cheshire didn't know that Nifong harbored a visceral dislike for him; all four of Cheshire's namesakes were lawyers, and Nifong often referred to Cheshire sneeringly as "Joseph Blount Cheshire the Fifth."

Cheshire wasn't prepared for the prosecutor's response to his request to talk, which Nifong's paralegal dictated to Cheshire's paralegal: Nifong "is not going to talk with any attorneys while there have been no charges filed, and ... if Joe Cheshire feels that his client should be charged, then he should tell the police department."

Behind the bluster was a crumbling case...
LieStoppers forum: N&O Series - Part 2
KC Johnson: Neff: Nifong knew Mangum
NBC17 - At Issue: Donna Martinez, KC Johnson, Cash Michaels, Irving Joyner & Kieran ShanahanLieStoppers:
Video: KC Johnson on NBC-17 At Issue -- Today's At Issue on NBC-17 featured Professor KC Johnson alongside hoax enablers Cash Michaels and NAACP case monitor Professor Irving Joyner. Former federal prosecutor, Kieran Shanahan, and regular guest Donna Martinez joined the panel hosted by NBC-17's Verna Collins. Click here to watch the 4/15/2007 episode of At Issue.

TalkLeft: Cash KC, Joyner on 11
LS forum: Michael Keaton's Phony Diplomacy
LS forum: KC Johnson on At Issue

30 Pieces of Silver -- In the end, the truth was uninspiringly simple - mentally impaired sex worker meets a corrupt, politicking prosecutor and mayhem ensues. Several million dollars, a stolen year, defamed reputations, and one divided community later...and that was IT.

Stunning in its simplicity, isn't it?

The Hoax's preeminent news reporter, Joe Neff, ended yesterday's excellent article with what might be the only rational explanation we may ever have from Defendant Nifong for this debacle:
"I'm getting a million dollars of free advertisements."
Opinion, KC Johnson, ABC News:
Exonerated Ex-Duke Players Don't Deserve Scorn -- Media's Harsh Treatment of Cleared Ex-Defendants Is Cold Hearted at Best and Shameless at Worst -- Last week, in an all-but-unprecedented event in American legal history, North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper publicly dismissed all charges against three former Duke lacrosse players. He cited not insufficient evidence, but instead their absolute innocence. --

The reaction from some major news organizations to this announcement was startling. While not challenging Cooper's actions, the Boston Globe labeled Evans, Seligmann and Finnerty "louts." ESPN.com columnist Dan Shanoff called them "douchebags." The Washington Post clucked that the three players "were not paragons of virtue," and that "some of the players — though not necessarily the three accused students — made racially derogatory remarks to the accuser and the other dancer who accompanied her." (Actually, the second dancer, Kim Roberts, unequivocally stated that Evans said nothing derogatory to her, while Seligmann and Finnerty both proved they had left the party well before the racially charged argument occurred.)

"Nightline" co-host Terry Moran told people not to "feel sorry for the Dukies," noting that "they are very differently situated in life from, say, the young women of the Rutgers University women's basketball team," and, "there are many, many cases of prosecutorial misconduct across our country every year."

Such comments are cold-hearted at best and shameless at worst...
LieStoppers forum: KC Johnson Attacks Critics of LAX Players
Kyle-Anne Shiver, American Thinker:
When Women Cry Wolf About Rape -- Now that the Duke "rape" case has been brought to its conclusion and the falsely-accused young men have been thoroughly exonerated, it is time for us - especially us women -- to come down hard on the woman who cried "Wolf" and those who enabled her. They caused a whole lot more damage than the little boy in the fairytale.

Certainly these young men and their families deserve all of the solace and restitution that we can offer them. Their suffering has been genuine and substantial. And the female accuser is not the only one bearing blame for that. Mr. Nifong has disgraced his profession and the good people of his jurisdiction...
Ray Gronberg, Herald-Sun
Brodhead defends Duke handling of case -- Duke University administrators tried to handle the fallout from the lacrosse case as honorably as they knew how and, with the charges now dismissed, hope the school can put the controversy behind it, Duke President Richard Brodhead said Saturday in a speech to alumni.

"There will be time to look back, and time for us all to figure out what lessons can be learned from all of this," Brodhead told members of 10 classes who were on campus for Duke's annual reunions weekend. "But I also do think it also time for us to look each other in the eye and say we have suffered this story for a year, and now let us figure out how to move on to a constructive future."
John in Carolina: Questions For Two Profs

KC Johnson: Sunday Roundup
Forum topic(s) of note:
LieStoppers: Blog and Media Roundup, Sunday 04/15/07