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Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Duke Case — Until Proven Innocent Released

Today's items — updated:

Until Proven InnocentGood Morning America / ABC News:
Read 'Until Proven Innocent' Here [+ video] -- Book Chronicles Duke Lacrosse Players' Prosecution -- "Until Proven Innocent" discusses the case and how it unfolded. It talks about how now-disgraced prosecutor Mike Nifong disregarded evidence of the boys' innocence and even offers remedies for prosecutorial abuse.

Read an excerpt of the book — Chapter 1:

[...] the emphasis on sports gave many Duke professors a sense of shame about their university. Especially those who were still infected with Ivy League envy even after Duke had soared to the fifth ranking for overall quality in the U.S. News & World Report annual college issue. These academics deeply resented what they perceived as Duke's bending of admissions standards and use of scholarship funds to build a championship-caliber lacrosse team. That the lacrosse players by and large compiled academic records indistinguishable from a typical group of fifty Duke nonathletes passed without notice from faculty members who resented their status.

Bending admissions and hiring standards and targeting scholarship money to attract more black and Hispanic students and professors was one thing. The Ivies and all other major universities did that, too. And most academics support racial and ethnic diversity (although not intellectual diversity) with the fervor of religious believers.

Bending admissions standards to build a lacrosse team was something else, especially since most team members were the kind of prosperous white boys whom many professors considered overrepresented already. [...]

KC Johnson / Durham-in-Wonderland [see comments] :

Stuart Taylor (left) and KC Johnson (rt) on Good Morning AmericaScott Whitlock / NewsBusters.org:
ABC Looks at Media Bias in Duke Rape Case; Ignores Example From Own Network -- A transcript of the September 4 segment, which aired at 8:40am, follows [...]

LS forum:
KC and Stuart Taylor on GMA Tuesday, "Good Morning America"
Pressler on Fox and Friends

John in Carolina:
Taylor/KC on GMA Today -- Here are three interview quotes [...]

Jason Trumpbour / Friends of Duke Univ.:
Its Out -- Be sure and get your copy. And then go and see KC Johnson speak at Duke on September 11, 2007. [...]

History News Network:
Things Noted Here and There -- our colleague, KC Johnson, appears with Stuart Taylor, his co-author of Until Proven Innocent: Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case, on ABC-TV's "Good Morning, America".

Rush to Judgment at Duke: A Scathing Indictment

Amazon.com [$17.79 + shipping] :
Until Proven Innocent: Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case
Johnsville News /case history:
La Shawn Barber:
Of Birthrights and Books -- I must give a big shout-out to Michael Gaynor, lawyer and columnist, for his shout-out to me and for “scolding” Stuart Taylor and KC Johnson for not mentioning me in their new book, Until Proven Innocent [...]

FYI, Stuart Taylor apologized for neglecting to mention me. I appreciated it, but I hope he’s not losing sleep.
Michael Gaynor:
Until Proven Innocent: It's about truth -- it's hard to believe that the Taylor/Johnson book on the Duke case will win a Pulitizer Prize. The book's subtitle alone, "Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case," is disqualifying with the crazed political correctness crowd who bear much responsiblility for the undeserved ordeal that was the Duke case, but still influence such awards. [...]
Evan Thomas Book Review / Newsweek:
A Rush to Judgment -- 'Until Proven Innocent' is harshly critical of the city and campus response to the Duke University rape case. -- Still, as unforgivingly portrayed in "Until Proven Innocent," Brodhead appears weak-kneed. In their vivid, at times chilling account, the authors are contemptuous of prosecutor Mike Nifong, whom the North Carolina legal establishment disbarred for his by now well-documented misconduct. (Nifong's lawyer, David Freedman, says "there are a number of people who testified at the state bar proceeding that [Nifong] was a very caring career prosecutor.") But their most biting scorn is aimed at the "academic McCarthyism" that they say has infected top-rated American universities like Duke. [...]

Nifong, the Durham D.A. (who was held in criminal contempt of court last week for lying to a judge while pursuing the case and sentenced to a day in jail), is depicted as a bully and blowhard. What the two men [Brodhead & Nifong] had in common was an almost willful disregard for the facts. [...]
John in Carolina:
Newsweek’s Thomas Shouldn’t Cluck -- But I will put a question to Thomas : Why did it take Newsweek so long to start picking apart Nifong’s case?

By June 29 many bloggers and journalists had been shredding Nifong's case for months, with Taylor and Johnson among the leading shredders. [...]
Anne Llewellyn Book Review, Duke Chronicle:
Nuanced Johnson/ Taylor book hits mark -- After thousands of articles, television spots, interviews and even two other books published earlier this summer, you might assume that everything to be said about the Duke lacrosse rape case has already been said.


Nevertheless, "Until Proven Innocent: Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case" provides new details gathered from scores of interviews with the defendants, their families, friends and members of the Duke administration, including President Richard Brodhead. [...]
Other items:

Editorial, Duke Chronicle:
Who cares about Mike Nifong? -- Late last week, Mike Nifong received yet another blow to his already-crumbled reputation. It has been, as we all know, a long time coming.

The ex-Durham district attorney was held in criminal contempt of court Friday and sentenced to one day in jail. After the past year and a half, few would question the judge's decision.

And frankly, most people on campus don't really care anymore.

Leading up to this most recent hearing, talk on campus focused much more on the approaching Tailgate festivities than the hearing of the all-too-familiar Nifong.

At the initial hearings held this past summer that determined whether or not Nifong would be able to practice law in the state of North Carolina, all of us tuned in, eagerly awaiting the public official's uncertain fate.

Students were clamoring for justice and calling for his removal, and media releases were relevant and interesting.

In the aftermath of his successful disbarment, however, the attention surrounding Nifong has waned, as the Duke community "gets over it" and looks forward to issues that don't always inevitably point back to the Duke lacrosse case and all that surrounded it.

But however tiring this period in Duke history seems, Nifong's sentence to a day in jail is an important symbol, albeit only a symbol. It illustrates the court's belief that Nifong's mishandling of the lacrosse case was deliberate and public enough to warrant actual jail time. [,,,]
John in Carolina:
Pick the Duke Prof -- Below are excerpts from two quite different statements which two African American scholars made last Spring in response to what was then called the “Duke lacrosse rape scandal.”

Your job is to pick which of the two scholars was a Duke Prof at the time the statements were made. [...]
John in Carolina:
“Durham's Silence Is Sickening” --
Employees of the Durham City Government: You know.

We know you know.

Whatever happened in the Courthouse and City Hall gone terribly bad, you know who was involved. Every one of you does.

And one of you needs to come forward and tell the public.

Do not be afraid of retribution from the insurance company. Do not be persuaded that somehow this "happened" to one or more "good guys."

Since what the lax team says is true -- that civil rights were denied, trampled on, hidden and buried -- the employees responsible are not "good."

This seems an elementary statement, I know. [...]

Every employee of the Durham Courthouse and City Hall knows who was involved.

Until the city employees come forward with that information, forfeiting a false rape prosecution isn't enough.
KC Johnson:
On Judge Smith -- In general, however, it’s hard to believe that this case would have ended as it did—correctly, and as a vindication for justice—without Osmond Smith as the judge. And his decision to sentence Nifong to jail—an “unprecedented” act, as Metzloff pointed out—shows that, until the end, Smith was most interested in upholding the integrity of the legal system.
Liestoppers forum: KC Johnson Praises the Potted Plant
KC Johnson:
Sunday Roundup -- [Ben] Himan worked to redeem himself. From all accounts, he performed professionally during the AG’s inquiry, vindicating the office’s decision to employ him as the only Durham police officer involved in Cooper’s handling of the case. Unlike Gottlieb, he provided an honest deposition to the State Bar.

Himan’s testimony before the Disciplinary Hearing Committee provided one of the high points of Nifong’s ethics trial [...]
LieStoppers: KC Johnson Praises Ben Himan
TalkLeft: Judging Himan -- I very much disagree with KC Johnson's revisionist characterization of Ben Himan. Himan's role in the early stages of the attempted frame-up are in no way made up by his work for the special prosecutors or by his self-serving testimony. This is the guy who was the sole source for the false indictment of Dave Evans and who was responsible for a lying application for the NTO. [...]
John in Carolina;
Attorney Alex Charns Interview -- Because of Durham Police misconduct during the Duke lacrosse investigation, Durham City faces the likelihood Duke students wronged by the police will bring legal actions against the city for damages inflicted on them.

Last Friday, I interviewed (emails) Alex Charns, a Durham attorney and one of North Carolina’s leading litigators in the areas of civil rights violations and police misconduct. [...]

Judith Ann Lummis - false accuserKathleen Eckelt, RN, FNE / Forensics Talk:
Woman In Phony Rape Case Heads To Jail -- Had Admitted Lying In Rape Case That Sent Innocent Man To Jail For Almost Two Years -- A woman whose lie about being raped kept an innocent man behind bars for almost two years is now in jail herself.

Armand Villasana, 54, was jailed for rape from 1998 until 2000, when his conviction was overturned based on DNA evidence. His accuser, Judith Lummis, admitted Aug. 7 that she made up the rape to cover up an extramarital affair. [...]
comment: Crystal Gail Mangum like Tawana Brawley gets to sail off into the sunset leaving a wake of destruction. Justitia Est Non Commodatum.