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Saturday, August 4, 2007

Nifong/Mangum Hoax — August 3, 2007

Updated - today's items:

Gang of 88
Joseph W. Bellacosa, Newsday:
[former dean and a professor of law at St. John's University School of Law, and a former judge of the New York State Court of Appeals.]
Duke faculty should be shunned by students [see comments]-- Eighty-eight members of the Duke faculty publicly promulgated a dreadful letter, enflaming a premature and prejudicial atmosphere against their own students. Yet, their conduct is largely shielded from accountability. Equally troublesome, their ironically and suddenly protective university masters executed a confidential settlement to further immunize the Duke cabal from civil liability exposure.

The 88 are thus granted a kind of institutional immunity, a corruption of process all by itself because it sidesteps a day of public reckoning.

But although the group can't technically be charged with crimes - though abandoning your young and endangering youth sure do come close to real definable crimes - there are ways these professors can be held accountable. The identities of the 88 professors should be posted in significant ways and places, including in the media and on the Internet, so that they may be known for what they have done...

These 88 would thus be professionally disenfranchised, and as they look out at empty rooms and seats, that lesson would be felt and take hold...

John in Carolina:
Letter to AJR Editor re: Hoax --
Dear Editor Smolkin:

I blog as John in Carolina and post often concerning media coverage of the Duke Hoax.

There’s no mention in Justice Delayed that the Raleigh News & Observer’s March 24, 2006 story which “broke” the Duke lacrosse case referred seven times to Crystal Mangum as “the victim” or with the possessive “victim’s” without once using a qualifier such as “alleged” or “reported.”

Why didn’t you mention that? ...
John in Carolina:
Duke lacrosse bathroom questions ( A repost) -- I'm reposting now for two reasons: 1) to try to generate interest in finally forceing news organizations to give the public a good, full look at that bathroom; and 2) because I just read another statement by President Brodhead about how tough it was to figure out back then Nifong was lying about what happened.

The bathroom questions post makes clear how easy it was to realize the players and there families were victims of a vicious hoax followed by a frame-up. As my parents would have said, "All you need to know that is a little common sense." ...
Michael Gaynor:
Duke case: Confirming the truth -- Thanks be to God, the underlying documentation was not "lost" and the truth finally prevailed in the Duke case, albeit not as quickly as we (and many others) wanted and some things apparently fell between the cracks

At Brad Bannon's request, I included the full text of the two emails he sent to me on May 8, 2007 in my article titled "Duke case: It starts with respecting sources," posted on August 2, 2007. Mr. Bannon graciously emailed me his thanks.

To refute ignorant statements and suggestions , I am setting forth an email I sent today to Eileen Cornacchia, Collin Finnerty's aunt, and her gracious reply...
Michael Gaynor:
Duke case: It starts with respecting sources -- Sources establish the parameters; when their need for confidentiality is clear, it's useless to expect them to do more and it is dishonorable to violate their parameters; and if their parameters and confidentiality are not respected and it becomes known, others do not risk becoming sources.

My pointing out that Brad Bannon "discovered" in November of 2006 what I fortuitously had learned and reported thrice, starting with a June 20, 2006 article, suggests that communication between the blogosphere and the defense was far from perfect. It came as news to many that I had reported the presence of multiple male DNA much earlier and reaction has ranged from surprise that it apparently was not appreciated and suspicion that the defense had not been flawless to distress and even denial that I had written what I had written...
KC Johnson:
Week in Review -- A prominent name from the lacrosse case has joined Michael Vick’s defense team. Butch Williams was the subject of a nicely done profile this week by the N&O’s Anne Blythe...

Writing in the L.A. Times, Gregory Rodriguez used the Ward Churchill case to ask some difficult questions about the nature of the contemporary academy...

CUNY law professor Victor Goode contends that the real question of the case is: “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?” ...

Duke donation figures for the 2006-2007 fiscal year are now available: the total rose 11 percent to more than $380 million. Around half of that increase came from a boosted donation from the Duke Endowment.
Goldie Blumenstyk, Chronicle of Higher Education:
Bad News Isn't Necessarily So Bad -- Duke University has had its share of negative publicity in the past year and a half, but it hasn’t seemed to put much of a dent in the university’s fund raising.

The institution has just reported a record-breaking year for donations, with gifts totaling more than $380-million for the 2007 fiscal year. The gift total is about 11 percent higher than the nearly $342-million the university raised the previous year, which was then a record.

A good portion of the increase came from a larger-than-usual gift from the Duke Endowment, a charitable trust based in Charlotte, N.C., that was created by the university’s founder, James B. Duke. The endowment gave nearly $75-million, substantially more than $53.6-million it gave the previous year.

Peter Vaughn, a university spokesman, said some of the endowment’s donation was in fulfillment of a pledge it had made several years ago, to support financial aid...