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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Nifong/Mangum Hoax — August 14, 2007

Urban Dictionary: 1.'woe-is-me'ing

(v.) The act of feeling sorry for yourself for no particular reason, save for the fact you have nothing to keep your mind off your past.

Yeah I was down at the coffee house, 'woe-is-me'ing with my friends.
Updated — today's items:

Joe Neff, News & Observer:
Nifong decrys State Bar's "unfairness" -- Former Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong ended his legal career last week when he mailed in his law license along with a note decrying "the fundamental unfairness" of how he was treated by the N.C. State Bar.

The bitterness in Nifong's letter, dated Aug. 7, is in stark contrast with his statements in June, when the bar's Disciplinary Hearing Commission ordered him stripped him of his law license for intentionally and repeatedly lying and cheating during his prosecution of the Duke lacrosse case.

Near the end of the June hearing, Nifong said through his lawyer that the State Bar had treated him fairly and that he would not appeal the verdict.

"I've talked with Mr. Nifong," David Freedman told the disciplinary panel. "He has told me that he believes this has been a fair and full hearing of the facts, that he believes disbarment is the appropriate punishment in this case." ...
KC Johnson: Nifong Accuses Bar of "Fundamental Unfairness"
LS forum: Nifong: State Bar Unfair...
Fark: Nifong complains about "the fundamental unfairness" of bar...
Durham's Acting DA: Office's Image Is Biggest Hurdle -- The public automatically associates Mike Nifong and his handling of the Duke lacrosse case with the district attorney's office – and that perception is the biggest issue with the office, Durham's interim head prosecutor said Tuesday.

"We've had to deal with it in a couple of cases when we were selecting juries," former Superior Court Judge Jim Hardin said. "I mean, it's on everyone's mind. It still is, to some degree."

But having reviewed policies and cases in which the toppled prosecutor was involved, Hardin said he has been pleased with what he has seen in the two months since Gov. Mike Easley appointed him to "take stock of the office, the personnel and its practices." ...
LS forum: Hardin: DA Office Just Fine Except for Image
Judge Wade Barber (right) is welcomed at the Legal Aid NC-Pittsboro Office, Feb 1, 2006Matt Dees, News & Observer:
Lacrosse committee members still studying file -- It likely will be several weeks if not more before the panel appointed to scrutinize the police department's handling of the Duke lacrosse case will meet again.

Wade Barber, the former Superior Court judge and district attorney who is serving as the panel's counsel, is still poring through the massive case file.

The 12-member panel won't meet again until that review is complete and Barber has formulated questions for the panel based on his research.Reached today, Barber wouldn't hazard a guess about how much longer it could take him and his law partner Jeremy Falcone to complete their probe.Asked if it could be within a month, he said, "I don't know."...
KC Johnson: Whichard Committee Update -- The delay, of course, eliminates any excuse the committee might have for not being thorough in its conclusions.

LS forum: Lacrosse committee members still studying file, "I don't want...to rush to judgement..."
Forum topic(s) of note:
LS forum: Mystery of Adam, Need to account for that one -- Yet, her fixing on the name Adam is very, very hard to account for. There is only one Adam on the team. From the lists given by the captains of who was at the party, it appears that he did not attend (though they made a mistake with Reade, so could have been mistaken about him, too.), but still most likely he didn't attend. He was a sophomore, so linking his name with the names of three captains is odd indeed.

But the name Adam made it into her story by the time she was recounting her crazy tale to Levicy, so where did it come from? It's not that common a name, it's not a jock-sounding name. But bingo, it is a team member's name, making four out of four. Adam doesn’t fit with the theory of names being overheard at the party, or players introducing themselves to the dancers. Adam doesn’t fit with theory of lacrosse literature in the bathroom since he wasn’t a prominent player like Bret Thompson, Matt Zash, and Matt Danowski...
Ronald HodgeJohn in Carolina:
What Did DPD’s Hodge Say? -- While researching the Duke Hoax case I looked at an MSNBC report of the April 11, 2006 forum held at NC Central University during which Mike Nifong announced he would continue to prosecute the case despite DNA evidence from the state crime lab which the public had just learned was negative for all the lacrosse players tested.

Here’s the story’s ninth paragraph:

"I don't think we would be here if it wasn't (a strong case)," Maj. Ron Hodge, the assistant (sic) chief of the Durham Police Department, said after the forum. (Hodge is deputy chief. The parenthetical "a strong case" is in the MSNBC story. – JinC ).
I wasn’t aware Hodge had spoken to a news organization at that time, much less that he said publicly something MSNBC reported amounted to asserting the police had “a strong case” as of April 11, 2006.

That’s just the opposite of what NC Attorney General Roy Cooper told the public exactly one year to the day later ...
John in Carolina:
Responding to Comments – 8/13/07
KC Johnson:
  • The Times: "Dangerous to Our Health"? -- Times executive editor Joseph Lelyveld: “When it comes to accuracy issues, tolerance and the larger view can be dangerous to our health.”However, Lelyveld's standards do not appear to have been applied to the Times' coverage of the Duke Lacrosse case. In particular, reporter Duff Wilson's August 25, 2006 Page 1 flagship article contains several major, uncorrected errors...
  • Nifong in Law Reviews -- The “Nifong effect,” obviously, will long outlast the lacrosse case. The N&O recently reported how Nifong’s behavior had affected the state legislature’s consideration of criminal justice legislation in this session. In February, Nifong was cited by different federal courts (in United States of America v. Humberto Fidel Regaldo Cuellar and Billy Slagle v. Margaret Bagley) as an example of a prosecutor run amok. And Nifong has begun to appear in law reviews, with at least five published articles discussing various aspects of the case...
  • The Furies -- In several recent comment threads, Group of 88 members and/or their sympathizers have suggested that non-specialists even describing the work of Group members (something that, after all, requires only reading comprehension skills) is unacceptable and contrary to academic practice...
Neo Neocon blog:
Let’s not sully that narrative with anything as picayune as facts -- I just love the following statement by Evan Thomas, Newsweek editor, concerning his periodical’s reporting of the Duke rape case: The narrative was right, but the facts were wrong.

Thomas actually was one of the writers who wrote early on that there was some doubt about the lacrosse students’ guilt. But, unfortunately, that didn’t stop him or his magazine from pushing a different “narrative,” one that made an assumption of a heady and titillating mix of rape and racism.

Thomas’s words about narrative vs. facts would be laughable—a sort of Onion-like parody—if they weren’t meant so seriously, and if they didn’t represent a perversion of what journalism is meant to be about....
Michael Gaynor:
Duke case: Tawana Brawley Two -- I enjoyed John Leo's latest article on the Duke case, especially its title, "Brawley case of the South," having titled my article posted on May 24, 2006 "My email on Tawana Two (aka the Duke 'rape' case.'" That article may have been the first article to associate the Tawana Brawley and Duke cases, but I remember it because an emailer challenged me "to take 'the rape' out of that night, and see if [I could] see evidence of another crime" and I replied, "I don't see that. But, whatever the truth is, it should come out."

I did not have a copy of co-captain David Evans' written statement then, but my attitude then was the same as it is now: "whatever the truth is, it should come out." Be not blind to facts or in denial.

During the afternoon of May 24, 2006, I received my first email from a relative of a player. It stated in part: "Your article on the Duke case is wonderful. As a family member of one of the accused, I can tell you how much we appreciate it when intelligent people take the time to assess the situation and write about it fairly as we feel you have done." ...
Brian EttkinBrian Ettkin, Albany Times-Union:
Going Postal [see reader mail] --

Mr. Ettkin,

I wanted to thank you for your comments today regarding the Duke Lacrosse case. I’m the dad of a Duke Lax player and I’ve read a lot of press during the last year on the topic. Many people made the assumptions that you did and given the firestorm at the time, even I find it understandable. However, not many have been courageous enough to admit their misjudgment, and to use their column to right the wrong. So I really appreciate you column today.

The power of the press remains huge and so your words today are very meaningful.

Thank you!
George Jennison


That’s nice of you to say, George, but this wasn’t an act of courage. The courageous thing would’ve been to offer a measured opinion. Measured opinions, unfortunately, were in short supply at the time.

I appreciate that in your August 9, 2007 column you have admitted to making mistakes regarding judgment of the Duke lacrosse players who, of course, have been completely exonerated of the charges brought by rogue prosecutor Mike Nifong.

However, it is troubling that you tell your readers “I was wrong for drawing the conclusion that I did from these facts” and do not tell your readers that the alleged “facts” themselves have been shown to be false, manufactured as part of Nifong’s frame. Specifically, you refer several times to the players’ “standing behind team sports’ code of silence”, to their “declining to tell police what happened”, to their “invoking a code of silence”, to their “lack of cooperation with

You apologize for “speciously inferr[ing] guilt” from the players’ lack of cooperation but you do not tell your readers what is now public knowledge, that the players cooperated with police from the very beginning, and all the later claims about a “blue wall of silence” were yet more attempts of Nifong to demonize the players before the world...

Antaeus Feldspar