Sunday, September 30, 2007

Duke President, Richard Brodhead, Apologizes To Lacrosse Players

Richard Brodhead apologizes over lacrosse csse Jane Stancill & Anne Blythe / News & Observer:
Duke leader apologizes in lacrosse case -- Duke University President Richard Brodhead apologized Saturday for the school's lack of full support for the three lacrosse players falsely accused last year of raping an escort service dancer.

It was Brodhead's first public apology for the university's handling of the case, which drew worldwide media attention.

Brodhead said his own biggest regret was "our failure to reach out to the lacrosse players and their families in this time of extraordinary peril. Given the complexities of this case, getting the communication right would never have been easy. But the fact is that we did not get it right, causing the families to feel abandoned when they were most in need of support. This was a mistake. I take responsibility for it, and I apologize."

He added that some faculty made statements that were "ill-judged and divisive" and Duke should have done more to underscore that these were the beliefs of individuals, not the university as a whole.

And, he said, by deferring to the criminal justice system and "not repeating the need for the presumption of innocence equally vigorously at all key moments, we may have helped create the impression that the university did not care about its students. This was not the case, and I regret it as well." [...]

Duke President Shares Lessons Learned, Regrets About Lacrosse Case --
“First and foremost, I regret our failure to reach out to the lacrosse players and their families in this time of extraordinary peril,” Richard H. Brodhead said Saturday.
Duke Chronicle: Brodhead apologizes to lax players, families
WRAL: Duke President Issues Apology in Lacrosse Case
AP / Fox News: Duke University President Apologizes to Lacrosse Players
Herald Sun: Brodhead apologizes to lacrosse players
Washington Times: An apology in Durham
AP / NY Times: Duke’s President Apologizes Over Lacrosse Case
comment: The AP/NY Times article was on the bottom of page 30 next to the obituaries.

KC Johnson: More Times Whitewashing -- Perhaps the Times decided it needed to change Beard's words, since they contradicted the paper's own, widely discredited, reporting on the case?
LieStoppers blog:
Bon Voyage Revisited -- In response to Duke President Brodhead's apology we are re-running Joan Foster's post of 17 Sept 2006. We should all review what he did before we accept his apology. [...]

Brodhead's Apology [+ Video Clip]

John in Carolina:
Brodhead’s Latest Failure -- what Brodhead’s saying now is sly, if not disingenuous.[...]

Bob Parks / MensNewsDaily:
Duke's Brodhead Apologizes: Too Little Too Late -- The lawsuit brought about by the falsely-accused lacrosse players must be a good one. When was the last time we can remember a liberal apologizing for anything…?

LieStoppers forum: Brodhead apologizes, at last
FreeRepublic: Duke University President Apologizes to Lacrosse Players

KC Johnson: Brodhead Remarks: Full Text
Duke Basketball Report: Brodhead apologizes, admits "no support" was given to lax families
The following is the text of President Richard H. Brodhead’s prepared remarks for presentation at a Duke Law School conference on Sept. 29, 2007:
Brodhead gave a presentation/apology at the Duke School of Law conferenceThis conference is not just about the Duke lacrosse case. It is about a kind of event that has taken on a central place in American culture: the legal case that creates a national community of attention, the case the public consumes every “fact” of with an endless appetite for more. Cases like these typically combine scandal, celebrity, and highly combustible social issues, race and sex perhaps chief among them. And having become one of America’s principal forms of shared public life, these cases highlight crucial problems of our culture -- problems of achieving justice in a media-saturated society, problems of fundamental fairness to individuals, and problems in the way the American public is informed and misinformed about the world we live in.

The Duke community lived through a classic example of such a case. When a case like this is over, it’s tempting to think that the facts so clearly established at the end of the day must have been equally clear throughout the process. This was not the case. When the accusations were made, our students said emphatically that they were innocent. On the other hand, the district attorney made a series of public statements expressing absolute confidence that a crime had occurred and that the students were guilty of criminal charges. These starkly opposite versions of the truth created deep uncertainty about what had happened.

Added to this, the local and national media began weeks of highly sensational coverage, creating an air of instant, uncritical certainty that fed on itself in a remarkable way, with each day providing new “revelations” that became known around the world, confirming and re-confirming public assurance that an outrage had occurred.

Given the uncertainty at the heart of the case and given the tides of passionate prejudgment the DA’s comments and media accounts touched off, I staked out a position on behalf of the university that contained three principles. First, the type of crime that had been alleged had no place in our community. Second, the presumption of innocence is fundamental to our legal system, and our students were entitled to that presumption. And third, this whole matter had to be entrusted to the criminal justice system for its resolution.

As president, I had responsibility for the statements the university made and the actions the university took in a virtually unprecedented situation, and I take responsibility for them now. But I didn’t come here to retell the story or explain the logic of our acts. We are now in the aftermath of this extraordinary case, and the aftermath, we have to hope, is a time for learning. Having spent my life in the cause of teaching and learning, I am not at all unwilling to learn lessons of my own. I am happy for this chance to share some of those lessons.

First and foremost, I regret our failure to reach out to the lacrosse players and their families in this time of extraordinary peril. Given the complexities of the case, getting this communication right would never have been easy. But the fact is that we did not get it right, causing the families to feel abandoned when they most needed support. This was a mistake. I take responsibility for it, and I apologize.

Second, some of those who were quick to speak as if the charges were true were on this campus, and some faculty made statements that were ill-judged and divisive. They had the right to express their views. But the public as well as the accused students and their families could have thought that those were expressions of the university as a whole. They were not, and we could have done more to underscore that.

Third, I understand that by deferring to the criminal justice system to the extent we did and not repeating the need for the presumption of innocence equally vigorously at all the key moments, we may have helped create the impression that we did not care about our students. This was not the case, and I regret it as well.

Fourth, this episode has taught me a hard lesson about the criminal justice system and what it means to rely on it. Given the media circus and the public reactions it fed, I thought it essential to insist that the matter be resolved within the legal system, not in the court of public opinion. As far as it went, this was right. But what this case reminds us is that our justice system -- the best in the world -- is only as good as the men and women who administer it. In this case, it was an officer of this system itself who presented false allegations as true, suppressed contrary evidence, and subverted the process he was sworn to uphold.

Relying on the criminal justice system in this case proved to have serious limits. But for the university to strive to set the system to rights -- for instance, by attacking the District Attorney -- presented problems as well. For one thing, none of us can lightly speak as if the system itself is tainted because some of our own have been accused of a crime. I was also concerned that if Duke spoke out in an overly aggressive fashion, it would be perceived that a well-connected institution was improperly attempting to influence the judicial process, which could have caused the case to miscarry in a variety of ways. Finally, there was no legal recourse against the District Attorney, for me or anyone else. Under North Carolina laws, no one had authority to take an active case from a DA absent the DA’s own request, as finally happened in January.

Even with all that, Duke needed to be clear that it demanded fair treatment for its students. I took that for granted. If any doubted it, then I should have been more explicit, especially as evidence mounted that the prosecutor was not acting in accordance with the standards of his profession.

The larger problem for society is how to create and maintain the optimal balance between the independence of the legal system and protection of individuals from false prosecutions. If this state should ever again have a rogue prosecutor on the loose with no more remedies than were available last time around, the failure to have learned the lesson of the Duke lacrosse case would be intolerable. I do not want to create some instant legislative “solution” that opens the door for new injustices tomorrow. I recognize that it is not easy to get the checks and balances right when two such important interests are at stake. But it’s essential for all relevant parties to work to create these mechanisms, and I trust the current conference will contribute to this cause.

Closer to home, this case highlights challenges universities face when students are tied to serious criminal charges. This challenge has many aspects: how the university advises a student in these circumstances, how the university regulates the presence on campus of students charged with serious crimes, how the university interacts with parents, and many more. My colleagues in the Duke administration are going over all our procedures to see what we can learn from our experience. But these are complex questions, and they aren’t ones Duke can or should hope to solve on its own. To work through these difficulties and see that their lessons are learned not only here but around the country, we will be hosting a national conference of educators, lawyers and student affairs leaders to discuss best practices in this important field.

I’ll end with the deepest lesson this case taught me. When I think back through the whole complex history of this episode, the scariest thing, to me, is that actual human lives were at the mercy of so much instant moral certainty, before the facts had been established. If there’s one lesson the world should take from the Duke lacrosse case, it’s the danger of prejudgment and our need to defend against it at every turn. Given the power of this impulse and the forces that play to it in our culture, achieving this goal will not be easy. But it’s a fight where we all need do our part.

Much of me hopes the Duke lacrosse case will be forgotten someday. But if it is remembered, let’s hope it is remembered the right way: as a call to caution in a world where certainty and judgment come far too quickly.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Burma Blogger's Report — Sept. 29, 2007

Today's items - updated:

Jotman blog:

ko htike's prosaic collection blog:
Agam's Gecko blog:

Duke Case — Bilas Applies Full Court Press

Today's items - updated:

Jay BilasRay Gronberg, Herald-Sun: [reg. req.]
Jay Bilas calls for departures of Brodhead, Steel -- One of Duke University's most prominent alumni and former athletes has publicly called for the resignation or dismissal of the school's president and trustees chairman as penalty for their handling of the Duke lacrosse case.

Former basketball star Jay Bilas published his criticism of Duke President Richard Brodhead and Board of Trustees Chairman Robert Steel via a letter to the school's alumni magazine.

From the beginning of the lacrosse case last year, "President Brodhead abdicated his responsibility as Duke's leader to stand up for fairness and truth," wrote Bilas, who's now a commentator for EPSN and a private-practice attorney in Charlotte. "Instead, President Brodhead chose the path of political expediency."

Bilas faulted Brodhead for not speaking out last year against the procedural irregularities, lies and due-process violations that occurred as now-disgraced former District Attorney Mike Nifong was prosecuting three lacrosse players on false charges of rape.

If accountability required former lacrosse coach Mike Pressler to lose his job, it should also apply to the president, and to Steel and any other trustees "that acted in lockstep" with Brodhead, Bilas said.

The letter, though not printed in the latest issue of Duke Magazine, did appear on the publication's Web site this week.

In an interview with The Herald-Sun, Bilas said he submitted the letter to the magazine June 10, a few weeks after relaying his views to Steel. He also warned Brodhead about it during a one-on-one meeting with the president Aug. 27. [...]

LieStoppers blog:
Prominent Duke Alumni speaks out against Brodhead -- One of Duke's most prominent alumni has spoken out against the leadership of President Brodhead. Jay Bilas is a Duke Basketball legend and his career post his playing days has continued to live up to his star status when he played on Duke's 1986 National Championship Basketball Team.

Duke Basketball Report:
Belatedly, The Herald-Sun Reads Bilas’s Letter
Ray Gronberg, The Herald-Sun
Duke discussion signals lingering vulnerability -- Even with the experience of the Duke lacrosse case close at hand, a Friday panel discussion at Duke University suggested that campus leaders, lawyers, coaches and other officials would have trouble handling a similar crisis.

The discussion -- part of a two-day symposium on the lacrosse case organized by Duke's law school -- indi-cated that the key problem remains balancing a university administration's need for information with the need to keep it out of the middle of police investigations.

Campus officials who start doing their own fact-finding and interviews in such situations risk exposing themselves to charges of obstructing justice, becoming witnesses against students and undermining students' constitutional rights, lawyers on the panel agreed.

"You don't want to be in a position here where you do any investigation at all because the minute something goes wrong, it's become an obstruction problem, it's become a cover-up," said Lawrence McMichael, a Duke-trained attorney who's now a Philadelphia-based litigator. "It's just not going to look good. I'd stay out of it, from an institutional standpoint." [...]
KC Johnson:
  • Judges Panel
  • N&O: Brodhead Apologizes
  • Beard Article
  • Public Interest Panel

  • Brodhead Remarks -- [General: this was a powerful and emotional address, one that touched on several important points in an impressive fashion. Especially well-considered were the president's comments about Duke's handling of the issues of standing up for due process and ensuring that some "ill-judged" faculty remarks weren't constructed as speaking on behalf of the University.]
News & Observer:
Duke still trying to stave off lawsuit -- Duke University officials confirmed this week that they have been talking for months with attorneys for current and former lacrosse players -- other than the three who were charged with rape -- to try stave off a lawsuit.

It was not clear what would form the basis of a suit by players who did not face criminal charges. Duke officials would not discuss details of the claims. [...]
John in Carolina: Duke Suits & N&O’s “not clear”
Michael Gaynor:
Duke case: Pastor Davis warns the three -- If Pastor Davis advised Rodney King to seek no more than an apology and warned him that if he sought money he would be remembered as a shameless opportunist without consideration for taxpayers, I missed it.

God have mercy!

Durham, North Carolina's Frederick A. Davis, pastor of First Calvary Baptist Church, is very displeased with the planned lawsuit by the wronged Duke Three — David Evans, Reade Seligmann and Collin Finnerty against Durham. [...]

Friday, September 28, 2007

Burma Pro-Democracy Demonstrations: Bloggers Report

Updated - Bloggers report on situation in Burma:

Jotman blog [Live-Blogging the situation in Burma from Bangkok]:
Burma Round-up for September 28: More than 100 dead protestors? -- Friday was by all accounts less deadly than Thursday; protests appear to have been widely suppressed. Not only did fewer protestors take to the streets, the Internet was taken down. Tragically, original estimates of Thursday's death toll -- notably the Burmese government's report that nine had died -- now appear too low by several orders of magnitude according to the British Prime Minister and other sources.

Here are some observations that strike me as significant, taken from the most recently published accounts: [...]

Agam / Agam's Gecko blog:
BURMESE PLEAD FOR HELP AS THE SHUTTERS CLOSE -- Wth the deadly state violence continuing in Burma and internet communications severed, that country's long suffering people desperately need outside help. This illegitimate regime (itself the very definition of illegitimate regimes) has no friends left after a stinging rebuke from its co-members in ASEAN, and China now starting to come around in a cooperative effort with Japan to influence the worsening situation.

UN envoy Ibrahim Gambari is set to fly into Burma later today from Bangkok amid hints that the regime might be looking for a way out of their mess. [...]
Thit Sar Force [Burmese] / YouTube:


Michelle Malkin /Hot Air:
Video: Japanese journalist shot in Burma --


ko htike / ko htike's prosaci colllection blog:
This is what i got from my mail -- Below is an actual of what had happen yesterday on 27/9/07.

I am a Singaporean working in Myanmar for the past 11 years. I was on my way to office( near Thuwana area) at around 4 to 4.30pm when the riot police block the road near "Super one, ILBC area". I stop my car with my wife and walk out. suddenly riot police and soldiers drove the truck around the corner and start firing shots at the crowd. we quickly ran to the side and squat down near the wall.

The soldiers came down and start to shoot at us. I was shot twice but i did not know what hit me. My both leg were bruised. the soldiers and police kicked us and the rest of the crowds into the drain and shouted that they would kill us if we look at them.

We were forced to stay in the drain for 15 mins and gather by the into a group.
A commander came and gather his troops and drove off to Tamwe direction.
After that ,i looked at my injures and and found injures on my left and right legs.
My wife found the "40mm riot control munnition" empty cartridge that the soldiers shoot at me.

I would like the embassy and media to know the actions of this army.
We are just ordinary citizen going to work and they just shot at us for no reason.
Imagine what they would do to the protesters!

I would like the Singapore government would make a strong stand against this violence crack down on the monks and people.

attached is the photo of my injures .
I have been attended by a private doctor on my injures.
The doctor said i was very lucky that the shot missed the groin area.

Injuries to random worker in Burma

Injuries inflicted by police to random worker in Burma

ko htike / ko htike's prosaci colllection blog:
so, who is making violent.



InfoWorld / Internet link raises visibility of Myanmar protests
Pajamas Media / Monks and Bloggers
NPR: The NPR News Blog / Myanmar Shuts Down Internet Access
DQ Blog / lesenswertes heute(zur Lage in Burma) - 28.09.07 / Bloggers become Burma's last lifeline
via Baldo
Bloggers in Burma keep world informed during military crackdown

Duke Case — Sept. 28, 2007

Today's items - updated:

Paul MirengoffPaul Mirengoff / Power Line blog:
A perfect storm of disgrace [see comments] -- Yesterday, Stuart Taylor spoke to the Washington, D.C. chapter of the Federalist Society about the Duke lacrosse "rape" case. In my view, Taylor is probably the pre-eminent reporter of legal/political matters, an enterprise to which he brings to bear great intelligence, strong knowledge of the law, and stubborn fair-mindedness.

Along with K.C. Johnson, he has written Until Proven Innocent, Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case. Today, he provided an overview of this wretched affair which, in essence, was the product of three rotten forces -- a corrupt prosecutor, a rotten academic institution, and the liberal MSM. [...]

The academic institution, Duke University, contains two sets of villains -- (1) the 88 faculty members (about one-fourth of the arts and sciences faculty) who, without regard to the evidence, publicly adjudged as guilty the three accused Duke students, the entire Duke lacrosse team, and white America in general and (2) university president Richard Brodhead, who "enabled" this rabid portion of the faculty and did nothing to defend Duke's students even as their innocence became clear. [...]

When the rape charges arose, Brodhead's options were to appease Duke's leftist faculty or to grant Duke students the presumption of innocence. The faculty made it clear to Brodhead that he could not do both. [...]

As Taylor said yesterday, prosecutorial abuse looks like it may be a major problem in this country, so it's too bad that Sharpton and his ilk forfeited an opportunity to form a coalition with moderates and conservatives to combat it. [...]

aldo / Protein Wisdom blog:
Lessons From The Duke Rape Case
Editorial / Duke Chronicle:
The Academic, Athletic Non-Divide --
It's taken its time, but Duke now seems to have answered the question everyone's batted around since the lacrosse case first broke in Spring 2006: Should the University continue to strive to be tops in both academics and athletics?

From the looks of it, Duke is committed to keep its distinctive identity and maintain the current trajectory-a decision for which it deserves praise.

The sentiment was subtly expressed in a draft of a new mission statement for Duke Athletics released by President Richard Brodhead late last week.

Unlike the current mission statement, Brodhead's draft places a greater emphasis on the ability of athletics to build community and the importance of the creation of athletic and recreational opportunities for the greater good of all Duke students.

But in order to understand the changes made by Brodhead, it is important to understand the context of the new draft.

Obviously, the lacrosse scandal sparked serious concerns about the role of a Division I sports program at a top-tier university. And in the wake of last spring's Campus Culture Initiative report, it was clear that the issue of athletics at Duke needed to be addressed. [...]
KC Johnson [live blogging Court of Public Opinion Conf.] :
Michael Weiner letter / Duke Chronicle:
State of Judicial Affairs is Outrageous --
While catching up with on-campus news, I just read a couple of Elliott Wolf's recent columns and was absolutely outraged by the current state of the Office of Judicial Affairs.

This code is a disgrace, and an affront not only to students but to their parents and all alumni. Is it not enough that the current president in Washington and his cronies trample on our Constitutional rights? Now we see (again) that Duke's administration cares not at all about students' rights, but is ready to side with a Durham Police Department that has repeatedly proven to be not merely untrustworthy but outright corrupt.

I encourage all undergrads, "guilty" or not of any behavior that the administration might not like, to stand up for their Constitutional rights and their rights as members of the community. Write to Dean Sue, Dean Bryan, President Brodhead, Vice President Moneta and anyone else who might conceivably listen. And if that doesn't work, begin protests outside the Allen Building.

While freedom from prison may not be at stake, your access to a Duke education (and any diminishment of that which disciplinary action implies) is, and these tactics are, truly, a "social disaster."

Michael Weiner
Trinity '91
Forum topic(s) of note:

This interview is 5 months old, but it's a good one that was missed here.

CBS News /
Eye To Eye: The Seligmanns On The Duke Case (CBS News)

LisStoppers forum: The Seligmans Speak Out, First interview
They do not get it in Durham, NC. You have to wonder about a state that celebrates the hanging of prisoners and honors those who do the hanging.

Letter to Herald-Sun:
No lacrosse settlement

I am disappointed, but not surprised, at the families of the lacrosse players and their lawyers. My surprise is not at their right to file a lawsuit, but their rationale. Whatever these poor little young men could have felt by being accused of a crime that didn't pan out to be true surely could not be worth $30 million. What a mockery of justice if these individuals and their attorneys are granted resources from people who did nothing to them but will be sure to be angry at them for the pain this lawsuit will cause.

"Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." (Romans 12:21). If they think we will remember them as innocent, what do they think we will remember them as after this lawsuit?

I ask every justice-conscious person to rise up against this possible settlement. Our community doesn't need this. I don't believe these proclaimed innocent boys, as so described by a want-to-be governor, a going-out-the-door governor and a Duke-influenced State Bar, should receive financial compensation.

The players need an apology from the person who made the initial charge and one from the university, which already has given them a few dollars to help them on their way.

A word of warning to players and lawyers: If you don't drop this settlement request, your names will never cease to be remembered, and you will continue to mask the image of Duke as a school for the privileged and a "plantation" where the rich get richer.

Michael Gaynor:
John in Carolina:
Duke 'in Discussions' With Unindicted Lacrosse Players -- Duke University said Wednesday it hopes to reach a fair resolution with unindicted members of its 2006 men's lacrosse team who are reportedly considering filing a lawsuit. [...]

Duke has already settled with at least five parties. In June, Duke settled with all three men, but the terms were never disclosed.

The university also reached a financial settlement with former lacrosse coach Mike Pressler, who was forced to resign shortly after the rape allegations surfaced. Terms of that agreement were not disclosed either.

And in May, it settled a suit filed by one of the undindicted players who claimed he received a failing grade in a class because he was a member of the lacrosse team.
KC Johnson: Post; Settlement Talks?

North Carolina Landmark: The Tory Oak — Hang'em High

Today prisoners of war are protected by the Geneva Conventions. During the Revolutionary War prisoners were not treated according to modern standards. One primary difference during the Revolution was that the care and supplies for captives were expected to be provided by their own army, their government, or private resources. Consequently many prisoners were mistreated and starved to death.

There were also prisoner exchanges, 'parole' and side changing. Parole would allow prisoners to be freed in exchange for a promise not to resume fighting. Prisoners in some cases were also allowed to change sides and enlist in the opposing army. A big difference from modern conventions.

However, one North Carolina Revolutionary War hero, Col. Benjamin Cleveland, treated his prisoners in a much more brutal way. He used a large oak tree behind the local courthouse to hang some of them. The tree became known as the famous Tory Oak in Wilkesboro, North Carolina:

Probably the most historic tree in North Carolina was the Tory Oak, which grew for possibly three centuries in what is now the town of Wilkesboro. It was a vivid reminder of the stirring days of the Revolutionary period. The exact age of this famous old tree will never be known.

The Tory Oak - Wilkesboro, NCThe Tory, occasionally referred to as the Cleveland Oak, assisted in the struggle for independence when Col. Ben Cleveland, a leader in the plight for freedom is western North Carolina, used its spreading limbs to hang at least five Tories.

In the fall of 1779, two marauding Tories plundered the Lincoln County home of George Wilfong, a Whig, and brazenly using the man's clothes line to lead off his horses. Wilfong and some others pursued the thieves and regained his horses, but the thieves escaped and headed south toward the British Lines. Before reaching safety, they were apprehended by Ben Cleveland's scouts and brought to the Wilkes County courthouse. Here, Cleveland summarily administered his justice, using Wilfong's clothes line to hang the loyalist from the limbs of the Tory Oak.

The enraged British forces sent a Captain Riddle and two men, named Reeves and Goss, to capture Cleveland. They nearly accomplished this aim, but instead found themselves taken prisoner, shortly after which they too were dangling from the beckoning branches of the Tory Oak. [...]

If this old tree had possessed the power of speech articulation, what thrilling stories it could have told - stories of a struggling people growing into their new-found freedom, of daring, of valor, and of devotion to a cause.
You can understand why Col. Ben Cleveland became known as the "Terror of the Tories."

So in North Carolina for hundreds of years they have celebrated the murder of prisoners of war and honored Col. Benjamin Cleveland as a hero. Unless the accounts are missing something, it all sounds a little cold blooded.

Not a tear for the three men who had the audacity to try and capture a man, who hung two of their comrades. But, ended up hanging from Tory Oak themselves.

Cleveland County, North Carolina is named in honor of Col. Benjamin "Terror of the Tories" Cleveland. Cleveland, Tennessee is also named after Col. Cleveland.

Let the victor write history and the vanquished be forgotten.
Statue of Benjamin Cleveland Benjamin Cleveland obelisk at Madison Community, South Carolina Benjamin Cleveland

Colonel Benjamin Cleveland monuments
Tennessee Society of the Sons of the American Revolution
Colonel Benjamin Cleveland Chapter

Saga of a Southern Loyalist: William Riddle

Wilkesboro Chamber of Commerce /
The Tory Oak

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Duke Case — Drivel, Yes / Powerful Criticism, No

Today's items - updated:

Anne Blythe / News & Observer:
Duke, lacrosse players in talks over suit -- Duke University officials confirmed this week that they have been talking for months with lawyers for current and former lacrosse players — other than the three who were charged with rape — to try stave off a lawsuit.

It was not clear what would form the basis of a suit by players who did not face criminal charges. Duke officials would not discuss details of the claims.

"Duke University has been in discussions with representatives of the families for many months and is happy to continue discussions with their new representatives," John Burness, senior vice president for public affairs and government relations, said in a statement. "We hope to reach a fair resolution that will allow the families and the university to move forward." [...]


Michael T. Cornacchia / The New York Law Journal:
Besting a Rogue Prosecutor -- For the better part of my 30 year legal career, I served with pride as a federal and state prosecutor and, more recently, as chief investigative counsel for the Volcker U.N. Oil-for-Food investigation. As such, I hold the practice of law as a prosecutor in the highest regard, believing that most prosecutors act in good faith and try to do "the right thing." Nothing in my training and experience, therefore, prepared me for the depth and pervasiveness of the misconduct I witnessed on the part of Durham County, N.C., District Attorney Michael Nifong while I was a member of the defense team for one of the accused, Collin Finnerty, in the so-called Duke lacrosse case.

Calling him "a rogue prosecutor," the North Carolina attorney general charged Mr. Nifong with securing indictments of three "innocent" young men for crimes that had not occurred; the state bar disbarred him for gross ethics violations; and he was jailed for lying to the court in order to conceal exculpatory evidence. How bad was Mr. Nifong's misconduct? A few examples will best answer the question. [...]
LS forum: Michael Cornacchia on the Duke Case, Finnerty Lawyer's Article
Ted Van Dyk book review / Seattle Post-Intelligencer:
Nifong example raises good questions -- To Nifong: To exploit social stereotypes in order to pursue and compound an injustice against the falsely accused.

When future generations of prosecutors gather around campfires, the Saga of Mike Nifong no doubt will be a frequently told tale.

"Until Proven Innocent," subtitled "Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case," by legal scholars and commentators Stuart Taylor Jr. and KC Johnson, relates in detail how Nifong, a politically ambitious Durham, N.C., prosecuting attorney, rose and fell after charging three white Duke University lacrosse team members with raping an African-American stripper.

Nifong undertook stunningly unethical conduct, which included, among other things, withholding evidence from defense attorneys that he knew would clear their clients. His grandstanding in a heavily black constituency brought him victory in his electoral campaign. Only later did the truth come out and his disgrace ensue. [...]
Duke Chronicle:
KC Johnson:
  • Nechyba Honored

  • On the Schedule -- I will be speaking on the book Saturday evening at Durham's Regulator Bookshop. (I'll be giving a different talk than the one I delivered at Duke a few weeks back.) Event starts at 7pm.

  • A Tale of Two Letters [see comments]-- Yet Duke Magazine considered it more important for alums to read Lubiano’s after-the-fact rationalizations than hear the powerful dissent of Jay Bilas.


  • Indy Endorsements
  • Neff Blog
comment: So the Jay Bilas letter was not published in Duke Magazine? His letter only appeared in the online forum. Instead, G88 member Wahneema Lubiano's drivel was published and sent to all Duke alums. Wow! Yesterday's post has been corrected. This is jaw dropping crappola.
LieStoppers blog:
John in Carolina:
More Fallout Possible from Duke LAX Case [+video 1:47] -- There could be more financial fallout stemming from the Duke Lacrosse case. Eyewitness News has learned Duke University is facing yet another potential lawsuit. [...]
Victoria "burn baby, burn" Peterson is gaining political strength in Durham? Sheesh.

Ray Gronberg / Herald-Sun:
PAC's backing seen boost to Peterson's candidacy -- Political activists say City Council candidate Victoria Peterson's endorsement from the Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People may help her survive an Oct. 9 primary that will reduce the 10-candidate field to six.

The committee's endorsement earlier this month was the first of the election season for Peterson. It was also the first for fellow challenger Farad Ali, who also got a spot on the group's ticket.

Local activists had thought the committee likely to support Ali because the only other black candidate who's secured a major endorsement, David Harris, has crossed swords at least a couple of times with Lavonia Allison, the Durham Committee's chairwoman. Harris earlier secured the backing of the People's Alliance, a liberal group.

But the Durham Committee's endorsement of Peterson -- who's run for local office several times and never previously secured backing from a major political action committee -- was a surprise to many.

On the other hand, one local observer who often writes on Durham politics says it wasn't a huge surprise because of the Durham Committee's recent history.

"The culture of the Durham Committee is to stand in defiance against the status quo -- let's attack the City Council, let's attack the school board," said Carl Kenney, a local minister and sometime critic of the group. "Victoria has been on that same page." [...]

Living Smart, Green, Buzzed and Jacked — 9/27/07

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Duke Case — Removing the Cancer / Suing Duke

Today's items — updated:

Scott Michels / ABC News:
Duke Lacrosse Players, Families Consider Lawsuit Against University -- 'Majority' of the Players Have Hired a Lawyer and May Sue Duke -- A group of current and former Duke University lacrosse players and their families may sue the school over its treatment of the team in the aftermath of the Duke rape scandal, some of the families and their lawyer told ABC News.

Charles Cooper, a prominent Washington, D.C., attorney, confirmed that "a large majority" of the players and their families have hired him to explore the possibility of suing the university. Cooper would not comment on the basis of any potential lawsuit or whether or when one might be filed.

But, several families who have retained Cooper, most of whom spoke only on the condition of anonymity, said that they expected a decision to be made soon and that a suit probably would be filed. They said they were angry about the way the university; its president, Richard Brodhead; and some of the faculty treated the entire team after a black woman accused several white players of raping her at a team party. [...]

LS forum:
ABC News Reports on Suit Against Duke University, Charles Cooper of DC is Attorney for LAX

KC Johnson: ABC on Lawsuit Possibility

Duke Lacrosse Players, Families Consider Lawsuit Against University
Forum topic(s) of note:
LS forum:
"False Light", a new cause of action? -- FALSE LIGHT is a legal tort similar to DEFAMATION, and is described by Wikipedia as follows:

One who gives publicity to a matter concerning another that places the other before the public in a false light is subject to liability for invasion of privacy, [...]
KC Johnson:
Jay Bilascomment: Glad to see that Prof. Johnson is winding things down at Durham-in-Wonderland. The Jay Bilas letter in Duke Magazine [amazingly the letter was only published in the online forum] is a big blow to Brodhead and Steel's "let's move on" campaign. Bilas said:
From the beginning, President Brodhead abdicated his responsibility as Duke’s leader to stand up for fairness and truth. Instead, President Brodhead chose the path of political expediency. He failed to effectively counter factually inaccurate and inappropriate statements about Duke and its students, failed to forcefully speak out against procedural irregularities, and failed to take appropriate action in response to repeated attacks upon the due process rights of Duke’s students. That is unacceptable...

President Brodhead should resign or be dismissed...

the resignation of Mr. Steel and any board members that acted in lock step with President Brodhead are also appropriate.
Duke Magazine / Forum -- Lacrosse: The Latest Round -- See other letters including one from G88 member, Wahneema Lubiano.

What does Duke gain by keeping Brodhead in place? Is the Brodhead academic cancer incurable? Forget Brodhead's guilt presuming rhetoric in March and April 2006. As one DIW commenter said, his months and months of "silence ate like cancer at justice, honor and hope."
LS forum:
Jay Bilas, Calls for Brodhead (and Steel) to resign

Duke Basketball Report:
Bilas in Duke Magazine
LS forum: Mr. Ofuscation's Latest product

Emmy for Duke Lacrosse Story

CBS News:
Four Emmys For 60 Minutes --

  • Best Report In A News Magazine
  • The Duke Rape Case
    Correspondent Ed Bradley
    Executive Producer Jeff Fager
    Executive Editor Patti Hassler
    Senior Broadcast Producer Michael Whitney
    Senior Producer Michael Radutzky
    Producer Tanya Simon
    Kristin Butler / Duke Chronicle:
    The Neverending Story [see comments] -- If you thought the $30-million lawsuit against Durham was the end of the lacrosse litigation, think again. According to blogger KC Johnson, "Duke, its administrators, and its extremist professors are not out of the legal woods yet.... A high-powered legal team representing most of the other 44 members of the 2006 lacrosse team is exploring a possible lawsuit."

    Johnson added that the grounds for such a suit could include "mistreating the entire team, including misleading smears of the players by Duke President Richard Brodhead and dozens of professors." In this scenario, attorneys would likely argue that those "misleading smears" were slanderous and asserting that Duke should be held liable for the actions of its employees.

    A more creative rationale could hold that participation on the 2006 team constituted a de facto contract to play for the University. Because Board of Trustees Chair Bob Steel admitted that negative publicity ended the team's season (Steel told The New Yorker he did it "to stop those pictures... it doesn't necessarily mean I think it was right"), attorneys might argue that this justification was not sufficient to legally void that contract. [...]
    John in Carolina:
    Letter to Herald-Sun; [reg. required]
    Durham residents are responsible for Nifong

    In her Sept. 22 letter, Cindy Wrenn stated, "They (the Duke three) should be suing Mike Nifong and the woman who falsely accused them of rape" and she also asserts, "They (Durham's citizens) had nothing to do with what happened." That is completely illogical.

    The citizens of Durham elected Mike Nifong as their DA last November, long after it was abundantly clear (multiple DNA results, solid alibi documentation, lie detractor examinations, non-corroborative testimony from the second "dancer," ever-changing accusations from the accuser, bogus photographic-array lineups, Nifong's outrageous prosecutorial misconduct, and so much more), that the lacrosse case was without merit and no criminal charges were warranted.

    This is not my opinion. It is the factual conclusion reached by North Carolina Attorney General Cooper and his professional, unbiased investigators. Durham's citizens had the opportunity to evaluate all this information and to deny Nifong election. They did not do so. Therefore, Durham's citizens are accountable for their miserable electoral decisions. Further, Durham's citizens are financial responsible for the criminal misdeeds of their police force and their prosecutor.

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