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Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Nifong/Mangum Hoax — August 1, 2007

You can fool too many of the people too much of the time.
— James Thurber (1894 - 1961
Updated - today's items:

News & Observer:
Durham police prepare responses in lacrosse case -- The chairman of the committee investigating the Durham Police Department's handling of the Duke lacrosse case met with Durham city and police officials Tuesday.

Willis Whichard said Durham police representatives have begun preparing responses to issues raised by the Duke lacrosse defense lawyers at the previous committee meeting. The lawyers had 13 topic areas and questions at the July 20 meeting that they wanted addressed.

The biggest question coming out of that meeting was "Where was Chief Steve Chalmers when [former Durham District Attorney] Mike Nifong took over the investigation?"

The 12-member panel was asked by the Durham City Council to do a third-party inquiry into the Police Department's handling of the lacrosse case after Chalmers' report failed to answer all questions. The panel is made up of lawyers, law enforcement officers and a victim's advocate.

Whichard and Wade Barber,the committee's attorney, will prepare additional questions after examining documents from the case...

Ray Gronberg, Herald-Sun (registration required):
Lacrosse panel may expand questions -- The judges leading a review of the Durham Police Department's role in the Duke lacrosse case told city officials Tuesday that their investigation may look into more than just the 13 complaints defense attorneys detailed last month.

A panel chaired by former N.C. Supreme Court Justice Willis Whichard "will prepare additional questions, with input from committee members," for police to address when they eventually give investigators their side of the story, city officials said in a news release issued shortly after Whichard met with City Manager Patrick Baker.

The meeting -- also attended by, among others, City Attorney Henry Blinder, Deputy Police Chief Ron Hodge and a lawyer for the two detectives who did most of the legwork in the case -- was supposed to focus on how Whichard's committee will obtain the Police Department's side of the story.

Participants didn't settle anything, but Blinder said afterward that it's clear "there will certainly be city employees coming to speak to the committee," and the thinking so far is "that there will be several folks from the Police Department" in attendance to offer information.

Departing Police Chief Steve Chalmers appears likely to be one of them. Baker said he expects Chalmers -- who's scheduled to be replaced on Sept. 1 by incoming Chief Jose Lopez -- to make the department's formal presentation...
City officials have sought to heap blame on Nifong, but Evans' lawyer, Joe Cheshire, told the committee it looked like the department knowingly "Pontius Pilated" a weak case by soughing it off on a DA and detectives who were out of their league....

It wasn't clear, as of Tuesday, whether [Mark] Gottlieb and [Ben] Himan will actually testify before the committee. Baker deflected a question on that, saying it's "probably premature at this stage to talk about" it given that Whichard and Barber haven't compiled a witness list.

The detectives' lawyer, Bill Hill, said late last week that he'd urge the judges to review the documents first.

Asked whether he'd object to his clients testifying, Hill noted that they haven't been asked to yet and added that he'd "have to see how it plays out" and what the panel wants.

But he said there's been no consideration of invoking the detectives' Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination...


LS forum: Tricky Whicky, Baker says too soon Gottlieb and Himan
LS forum: Whichard Meets w/City Officials to Plan Next Steps
TalkLeft: (Whichard Whitewash Committee) Chair meets behind closed doors
KC Johnson:
The Lacrosse Case According to the JBHE -- The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education was founded ten years ago because of distress that “on issues of race, the political pendulum has swung to the right. Whites, and in many cases blacks, are turning away from government solutions to the advancement of African Americans in our colleges and universities...

Given the high profile of the case, how could a journal that describes itself as focused on events in higher education—which is supposed to seek the truth—ignore Cooper’s declaration of innocence and so blatantly misrepresent the events of the party?
Michael Gaynor:
Duke case: Serendipity saved the Duke Three? -- We who supported the persecuted players from the start are not a homogenous group. Fortunately, Brad Bannon realized what he had, whether he expected to or not, and made the right use of it. That was needed to bring down Mr. Nifong and show as many as possible that the political correctness extremists, feminuts and race hustlers were so terribly wrong...

Mr. Bannon and I obviously view the significance of the Duke case a bit differently.

Mr. Bannon had said that he would like to shout from the mountain tops, "I am not going to let the view of North Carolina's criminal justice system to America be [the Duke] case." My view: ""I am disappointed that Mr. Bannon is lauding the North Carolina criminal justice system and treating the Duke case as a bump on the road of steady progress (without a word as to how hard some of that progress was to obtain...

Mr. Bannon testified, in essence, that he believed former Durham County, District Attorney Michael B. Nifong was too honorable to conceal exculpatory evidence, and he found something that he did not expect: evidence of multiple male DNA that saved the day...
Victor Goode, AlterNet.org:
Victor Goode is professor of Law at CUNY School of Law.
What If the Duke Lacrosse Players Were Black? -- The ghosts of the Duke University rape case continue to haunt the press and Mike Nifong, the ex-county prosecutor who charged three white lacrosse players with raping a Black exotic dancer last year.

In his aggressive attempt to jail those "hooligans hiding behind a wall of silence," Nifong withheld key evidence from the defense. Last week, a judge began hearing arguments to decide if Nifong is in criminal violation. Thursday, Nifong issued a public apology in court for falsely accusing the men.

Could it be, though, that Nifong's real offense is not misconduct, but rather treating three middle class white defendants as if they were poor and Black? ...