Thursday, November 02, 2006

Wilson and Stevenson Duke It Out

This case has featured some extraordinary newspaper reporting—chiefly that of Joseph Neff—but also two examples from the other end of the spectrum of journalistic quality. Duff Wilson’s one-sided early coverage, coupled with his widely ridiculed August article, rightfully has earned him a place alongside such Times embarrassments as Judith Miller, Jayson Blair, and Howell Raines’ crusade against The Masters. John Stevenson, meanwhile, has distinguished himself with a borderline fraudulent article on the DNA evidence and a string of puff pieces that were interchangeable with Nifong press releases on the campaign website.

Yesterday featured a rare daily double, as Wilson and Stevenson did their best to rescue Nifong from a string of devastating recent publicity. Wilson’s article examined the November election that his 6,000-word magnum opus didn’t even acknowledge existed. Of his 1108 words, Wilson devoted almost as much space to the candidacy of write-in spoiler Steve Monks (2 percent in the N&O poll) to that of Lewis Cheek (28 percent in the N&O poll); he closed with three paragraphs featuring local judges, politicians, and activist groups praising Nifong.

As Tom Maguire pointed out, Wilson also continued his habit of subtle spin for Nifong. The only people who have criticized the prosecutor, suggested the Times reporter, are “the defense and supporters of the lacrosse players.” I’m sure that characterization would surprise liberal attorney Jeralyn Merritt or Duke Law’s James Coleman, both of whom have based their high-profile critiques almost exclusively on procedural issues. No doubt Wilson’s editors would have balked had he described Nifong’s critics in language biased in the other direction—for instance, by writing that “the defense and opponents of prosecutorial misconduct” had spoken out against the prosecutor.

To his credit, however, Wilson actually described the April 4 photo array accurately, noting that an “array of photographs that led to the identification of the three defendants was not presented according to federal, state and local police guidelines for lineups.”

That admission alone would disqualify him from writing for the Herald-Sun, where John Stevenson performed some of his most creative work yesterday. “Addressing a witness-credibility issue that echoes the Duke lacrosse rape case,” Stevenson breathlessly informed readers, “the state Court of Appeals has upheld rape and sex-offense convictions against Anthony Michele Lofton of Durham.”

Stevenson’s piece, which wouldn’t even pass for a poorly argued op-ed at most college papers, may very well be the single most deceptive article published about the case since mid-April.

A casual reader could well assume that the Court of Appeals had just handed down a ruling that undermined the defense’s case. “As in the Lofton case,” Stevenson opined, “defense lawyers have made much of apparent inconsistencies and contradictions by the accuser in the Duke lacrosse case, in which three players are charged with raping and sodomizing an exotic dancer during an off-campus lacrosse party at 610 N. Buchanan Blvd. in mid-March.” But, the article ominously noted, “the appeals court . . . wrote in a unanimous opinion that, ‘Contradictions and discrepancies in the testimony or evidence are for the jury to resolve and cannot warrant dismissal.’”

As someone who has followed this case pretty closely, I can state with confidence that I have never once heard any defense attorney say anything remotely resembling the argument of Lofton’s brief—that an appeals court, as a matter of law, should overturn a conviction because the accuser gave inconsistent portrayals of events.

On the other hand, lacrosse case attorneys have argued, quite convincingly, that a case without physical evidence and with an accuser whose versions of events wasn’t even consistent on the number of attackers (sometimes zero, sometimes three, sometimes five, sometimes three with three accomplices pulling the second dancer away) never should have been brought.

What about the facts of the Lofton case? As Stevenson himself concedes, “Subsequent tests showed that semen on the victim’s shirt conclusively matched Lofton’s DNA.” The victim’s mother walked into the bedroom at the tail end of the assault. (Lofton was the victim’s stepfather.) The victim never claimed more than one person raped her, never required a procedurally flawed photo ID process to identify her alleged assailants.

The lacrosse case, on the other hand, has dozens of witnesses who contradict the accuser’s account, no DNA match between any of the players and the accuser’s samples, and a lineup that violated about every rule in the book.

It turns out that Stevenson didn’t even accurately describe the Lofton decision. In fact, Lofton based his appeal on two principal claims, neither of which Stevenson’s article mentioned. To quote the Court of Appeals decision (which I can only assume Stevenson didn’t read),

Defendant first contends that the trial court erred by failing to grant him a mistrial after a witness reported a statement by defendant during the State’s direct examination that had not been disclosed to defendant during pre-trial discovery . . . Defendant also argues that a sexual assault nurse who testified for the State was improperly allowed to testify to the victim’s credibility.

The court rejected both claims, and only then added, “We likewise find defendant’s remaining arguments [which included, among other items, his call for the appeals court to overturn the verdict on the basis of alleged inconsistencies in the victim’s statement] unpersuasive.”

This aspect of the decision was hardly pathbreaking constitutional law: the court merely turned to precedents such as State v. King, State v. Hyatt, and State v. Powell. In fact, I’m unaware of any state in the country that grants appeals courts the power to overturn jury decisions because of alleged inconsistencies in the accuser’s version of events.

In short, Stevenson blatantly mischaracterized the Lofton decision, and then suggested without foundation that important similarities existed between the Lofton and lacrosse cases. I invite readers to examine the Lofton decision, which I have posted in its entirety here.

One final item: the Lofton ruling came down on October 17: or 15 days before coverage of it appeared in the Herald-Sun. Does the paper normally publish inaccurate summaries of two-week-old cases that break no new law? Or does Editor Ashley reserve this practice for the week before the election?

[Update, 6.18am: Stevenson is still at it, in this mornings Herald-Sun, as Liestoppers points out. In the article, Stevenson claims to have uncovered an affidavit from the owner of the strip club at which the accuser danced casting doubts upon the 60 Minutes video. The owner asserts (the affidavit obviously was obtained from Nifongs office) that the accuser stopped dancing at the club as of late February.

One problem: While some might assume that the Durham papers chief court reporter would familiarize himself with all public documents relating to the case, Stevenson appears not to have read the statement of the person generally described as the accusers “driver.” The statement of the “driver,” given to police on April 6, shows that the “scoop” so celebrated this morning is, to put it bluntly, simply wrong:

Saturday, March 11, 2006
Once back in Durham we rode around for about half an hour, then we went to Forest Hill Park. We stayed there for about an hour or so. Then [the accuser] asked me if I would take her to Hillsborough. We got to Platinum around 11 or 12 where she went in and I remained in the car.

Sunday, March 12, 2006
Around 2 a.m. I go inside to find her, she asks if we can stay for about another hour. She then asks me if we can stay just one more hour. We leave at 4:30 when the club closes. She then tells me that she has a job at the Millennium Hotel. We get there at 5:15 a.m., where she goes in and I remain in the car. At about 6:15 a.m. she returns and I drive her back to her parent's home.

If North Carolina journalists had an ethics board, Stevenson's last two articles would constitute grounds for filing a complaint.

At the very least, the transparently heavy-handed coverage of the case is harming the Herald-Sun's circulation. In the last six months, according to an AP report out this morning, the paper has experienced the greatest decline of any of the state's largest newspapers, seeing its circulation plunge 7.3 percent daily and 10.5 percent on Sunday. (The N&O, by contrast, fell only 0.1%, well ahead of the national average.) People appear to have realized that if they want to get what amounts to Nifong press releases, they can go to the Nifong campaign website, for free.]


Anonymous said...

It's a shame there isn't any shame in Durham anymore.

Anonymous said...

Readers may be interested to know that John Stevenson ran a glorified journalistic shakedown scheme for many years.

In return for positive coverage of their clients (and themselves) in the Herald-Sun, Stevenson charged local lawyers a "subscription fee" for his private newsletter.

Nifong was among the most religious subscribers to this "publication".

And now little John is returning the favor.

Joe T. said...

Shame? What do you expect from the place with the highest crime rate (real crime) in all of North Carolina and the only thing that could get the protestors potbanging was a nonexistant rape?

Anonymous said...

Johnson, Why can't you report without distorting? Aren't the plain facts good enough? Wilson's article in the NYT was fairly straightforward. There was no perceivable bias. You claim "he closed with three paragraphs featuring local judges, politicians, and activist groups praising Nifong." There is only one person Wilson quotes in the last three paragraphs who praise Nifong. Why the hyperbole? Why not the simple truth. Your tendency to exaggerate and misrepresent is alienating many people who support the players but still want honest discussion.

Anonymous said...

KC, is anyone writing to Stevenson and the editor about this? Need a volunteer whose name hasn't been see before?


Anonymous said...

To Anonymous 2:33:

Perhaps you need to bone up on reading comprehension skills. KC has told it accurately.

But since you need it spelled out in layman's terms:

”Mr. Nifong has been under attack for months by the defense and supporters of the lacrosse players for aggressively pursuing a case…”

First, not everyone who questions the viability of the case and Nifong's handling of it is an "attacker." The use of this word is a manipulation intended to portray anyone against Nifong negatively, as in personal "attacks." The word should be "criticized."

Secondly, all who have criticized the handling of the case due to the obvious lack of evidence AND the manner in which it has been handled by Nifong are not automatically grouped into either the defense or "supporters of the lacrosse players." This is a deliberate attempt to make it appear that anyone who feels that three innocent boys have been indicted MUST be involved only with those defendants or DUKE. That is simply NOT the case. Check out Liestoppers for the most recent long list of legal minds who are "offended" by Nifong's lack of professionalism and ethics. TalkLeft is packed with attorneys and mere observers who care about justice, as is THIS blog and others (is Wilson not aware of the bloggers that have been so in the news lately?). Nifong has been increasingly criticized in print and television media, not only conservative venues...does Wilson bother to keep up with what the competition is reporting?

Funny how none of these are mentioned. KC gave two examples that are quite clear in addressing the subtle bias in this article's writing, but you apparently need more.

“The flaws and gaps in the evidence have mounted. No DNA from the defendants was found on the dancer. At least one of the accused appears to have a strong alibi. A second woman hired to strip at the party has said she saw no evidence of an attack. And the array of photographs that led to the identification of the three defendants was not presented according to federal, state and local police guidelines for lineups.”

Oh, no mention of the OTHER "flaws and gaps" such as the contradiction in the accounts of accuser and second stripper. Wilson mentions the second stripper saying she didn't see a rape, but leaves out that she has contradicted the accuser's accounts of that night????? That the accuser made the "put marks on me" remark???? AND the contradiction of the accuser's OWN accounts? The omission of this is blatant, especially since Sixty Minutes has publicly aired these discrepancies and the second dancer has been publicly interviewed twice very recently. These are MAJOR "flaws and gaps," and the writer of this article didn't even use the word "including" in his list, giving the impression that these are the ONLY problems Nifong has. Not having ANY credible witness, including the accuser? Oops, must have forgotten that.

"...accused of rape by a black woman hired to strip at a team party in March."


“The accusation against the players, by a student at predominantly black North Carolina Central University here…”

Oh please. A woman was hired to strip? A STUDENT? Ahem. She is at the very least the politically correct "exotic dancer." The writer cannot even bring himself to accurately describe the situation because it would cast the FA in negative light. Forgot about the pole dancing shown to the entire nation on Sixty Minutes? Wilson has depicted this as the boys hopping on over to NCCU to hire a "student" to come strip for them?

And you call this "fairly straightforward?" And no "perceivable bias?" You are the perfect example of how the NYT continues to survive with its distorted bias on a daily basis. You CAN'T SEE IT.

Golly, KC, didn't say the last three paragraphs "quoted" people supporting Nifong, but rather that "...he closed with three paragraphs featuring local judges, politicians, and activist groups praising Nifong."

Wilson clearly introduces those last three paragraphs with the statement, "Meanwhile, Mr. Nifong’s supporters are trying to cast him as an experienced prosecutor and a neophyte politician."

He then goes on to QUOTE Judge Ronald L. Stephens and former city Councilman Frank Hyman (that's TWO quotes, by the way). He also cites the endorsement of the Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People. If KC is to be faulted on any aspect of his review, it is that he used the plural, "judgeS" and "politicianS" and "activist groupS" instead of the singular when there is only one example of each of those in the article.

But still...please try to read a bit more carefully when you're planning an "attack."


The Dude said...

The article in question relates to an APPEAL ISSUE(S). Thus the accusser and witnesses have already testified AND have been cross examined in front of a jury.
Prof. KC is absolutely correct in his analysis.
The current Duke case involves no witnesses whatsoever. Nifong himself states he hasn't spoken to the accuser. He doesn't even have an inkling of the time frame of when this alleged crime was committed. This is being done to purposefully withhold the Defense from preparing themselves. When the accuser does give a "story" there will be numerous witnesses to contradict anything she says. She contradicts herself with her prior evidence and nifong with his prior statements. This is ALL MATERIAL AND RELEVANT and will be used at trial.

The other Lax persons are all witnesses. I wonder if Nifong happens to have any notes or statements from them. It seems not because all would be EXCULPABLE and should have been presented to the Grand Jury by Nifong.

As with all court matters the credibility of the accuser is relevant. How can any jury find anything she says credible when there is no evidence to back up anything she claims. Something has to be backed up by the evidence and I don't see anything at all has been established.

Did someone say the accuser and/or the second dancer has given two more statements recently? What are they and where are they posted?

These accused are financially ruined and scared for life by this clown(nifong). I don;t think they need to stretch anything to show damages. The question is proving their civil rights were violated. Nifong has given alot of the evidence against himself by singling out these 'white hooligans". Every press conference and everything he says in court is relevant. the only thing missing is the Grand Jury transcript. Nifong's clear bias was shown when he went to the GJ without the probable Cause hearing and 'before he had the accuser's version of what happened". Case closed.

The Dude said...

Did anyone come up with the paperwork for the DNA Warrant. there has to be some probable Cause let alone the prevailing theory of "Totality of the Evidence". I fail to see how a warrant was obtained for 40 plus people without some type of evidence of reasonable suspicion. perhaps the Judge is covering for Nifong and now Nifong is returning the favor. Another point for venue change.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

"Twaddlefree", "Dude" and Mr. Anderson - All excellent and accurate respnses. Mr. Anderson, your latest article, Why The Duke Hoax Continues, was also excellent.
Your analysis of why the case continues was right on the money, imo. The reasons you list also explain why this case drives any rational, justice seeking person crazy.

Anonymous said...

Mike Nifong Now Claiming Duke Lacrosse Players Raped Him


Anonymous said...

Just read the article - at this point, nothing Nifong said would surprise me! That article was funny - except for the fact that in reality three young men have their futures on the line because of this man.

Anonymous said...

The NY Times has lost all credibility by not checking facts, slanting their articles, and outright making things up to get sell newspapers. This is not journalism it is a rag paper with biased editorials and garbage. People with intelligence can see clear through the NY Times mask. The Herald-Sun is a joke of paper that doesn't even try to conceal the fact that they are sitting in Nifong's pocket. How many favors were curried for their pro-Nifong slant? Unfortunately the people of Durham have not been able to oust a joke of a DA and a paper that is as bad as porno.

Anonymous said...

I have discussed this case with one of the NC Bar Counselors, 32 lawyers that run the Bar. He could not be specific, but in previous talks he had told me that Nifungu was being "talked" about. Last night I pressed him for more, he said something will happen within 30 days. Hold on!!

Dan said...

Question for the NYTimes' Public Editor: How can Duff Wilson use a quote from Stephens and merely describe him as a 'local judge' and 'the district attorney before Nifong'- while leaving out that Stephens was previously the presiding magistrate over the initial indictments in this case?

Anonymous said...

With all the finger-pointing in all directions: Nifong is an idiot--Nifong is righteous--the accuser is lying--no she's not--the evidence has been tampered with--etc.--etc...Unfortuantely, Ive missed many of the reports to have a clear picture of what the real story is.

Is there anyone or any site that gives a full unbiased report--facts only--of all the evidence that Nifong has that he continues this prosecution? I've seen lots of defense evidence...but what about real evidence that Nifong has that this crime has been committed? Is that something he can keep to himself until the trial?

After seeing some of the news reports, blogs, and Ed Bradley, I have totally lost track of the facts and evidence against these boys. Can anyone help here?

Anonymous said...

The HS actually had a decent article on the case dated yesterday (11/01):

Defense attorney states: ""Fats tells a very credible story as far as I'm concerned," the attorney added. "And it will not just be Fats' word against that of the club owner. Many people will be available to corroborate his story."

Nifong surely must understand what he is up against. An affadavit by a business owner who is totally dependent on government approvals for his business legitimacy? An unsurprising "business decision." Perhaps if Nifong had interviewed a few people in this case, he wouldn't need to react to media releases.

Thanks, KC, for the supplemental info on the "driver" statements.

Perhaps Precious and Kim better be assuring that their tax returns are in order.


HMan said...

To 12:15
We here appreciate the obvious sincerity of your approach. We also sympathize with the dilemma that you are about to confront if you are serious about learning the details of this case. See, the actual facts are so much worse than
any of the un-iniated expects them to be that a period of adjustment is a required for their eyes to get used to this kind of darkness.
The DA has NO FACTS. NONE, ZIP, NADDA. He has a series of stories and accusations from the accuser, no two of which are the same. He has three identifications of LAX players but that was after blatantly rigging the process so that the accuser could not help but pick three guys even if she had never seen any of them before.
You must be thinking, "If that is really true, why is this case being allowed to continue??"
Welcome to the club.

HMan said...

To 12:15
As to sites that are supportive of the prosecution side of things: There used to be some. I am not aware of any that are active.
Nifong supporters have for some time now been saying little more than, "He MUST have something." Seen clearly, that is a prayer. Then decide for yourself if M. Nifong is worthy of any kind of faith.

Anonymous said...

No bias in Wilson's article?
How did Wilson describe judge Stephens?
Did Wilson say that Stephens was the one presiding over this case from the beginning until he rotated out? I think not. Don't you think that is a very important detail?
No bias? Get a clue.

TombZ said...

The NY Times loses subscribers, readers and influence everytime it prints an article with either direct or indirect political implications. They're like a deranged person who keeps cutting themselves or self-amputates body parts. They just can't help it.

Both The NY Times and the Herald Sun have a loyal base of hard-core fans. The Herald Sun is closer to reaching the bottom size of that fan base than the NY Times. The Herald Sun was never a great paper and has not so far to fall.

The NY Times is a lost resource. The good news is it has been replaced by thousands of alternate resources.

Anonymous said...

From 12:15

Thanks are correct...I simply cannot believe that these boys and their families lives can be literally turned up-side-down based only on one person's (w/ prior felony) multi-versioned statement. I do not say this in jest or with sarcasm. I serioulsy asked the question about evidence because every report I have seen seems to indicate that Nifong has not really provided much per discovery. I have to believe he has something really big, that he will not turn over--or perhaps will turn over just minutes before the trial. I have to believe that, or may faith in the justice system in this country (U.S)and the faith in those who must uphold this system is gone.

AMac said...

to anonymous 12:15pm / 2:12pm--

You can find links to most of the pro-prosecution material in KC Johnson's posts.

Duke faculty who joined the Group of 88 in the spring have published a number of essays that are hostile to the accused lacrosse players. They aren't particularly concerned with facts. William L. Anderson quotes extensively from Prof. Grant Farred's essay "Secret Racism Underlying Lacrosse Case" here.

The Herald-Sun newspaper is the prime source of newspaper reports that favor D.A. Nifong; follow the hyperlinks that KC Johnson provides.

Of reasonable people who concern themselves with facts, Wilmington Journal reporter Cash Michaels is probably the most skeptical of the accused assailants and most sympathetic to the alleged victim. His post-60 Minutes column is here.

Slim pickings, I know. Hope that helps.

Anonymous said...

Not only is K.C. correct, but I am ashamed to say that I went to high school with Tom Jolly, the NY Times sports editor. Jolly should know better, but he, too, has chosen to promote the Big Lie.

After reading Wilson's piece, I concur with K.C. that it was full of the little bias phrases that were used to shed doubt on the defense. The idea that the whole thing is being led by a bunch of lawyers just shilling for their clients is terribly misleading. The lawyers only are a small part of the legion of people who see this case for what it is: a lie.

William L. Anderson

8:36 AM

Anonymous said...

Thanks for another fabulous article, K.C.! It is amazing that John Stevenson of the Nifong-Sun would willfully ignore the truly relevant facts in North Carolina v. Lofton.

For example, there was only one rapist in Lofton, but there are three alleged "rapists" in the Duke Hoax. Yet, there was a DNA match in Lofton, and no DNA match in the Duke Hoax case. Seems kinda important to me. Yet, Stevenson chose not to emphasis this distinction.

Also, in Lofton, the one convicted rapist "wiped down" the victim after the rape, and DNA was still found! Could that be relevant to the Duke Hoax? D'oh!

Finally, in Lofton, there was a fact witness providing powerful testimony against the defendant. In the Duke Hoax, there are only fact witnesses who shred the prosecutions case.

I was naive to fail to comprehend how I was manipulated by the media before getting into this case. After reviewing actual police reports, witness statements, pleadings on file with the court, warrants and other items, the ability of the media, including the N.Y. Crimes and Nifong-Sun to dishonestly and without shame manipulate the public has become clear. I will be a more discerning reader in the future, and I will probably get the story on a blog. Thanks K.C.!

duke09parent said...

Stevenson's account of the Lofton case undoubtedly came from his source in Nifong's office. The source characterized the case for Stevenson and he was too lazy to go read the whole case himself. Or he really is that dishonest, but the lazy version and the fact that the slant given matches what he wants to report seems more likely to me.

Anonymous said...

From 12:15;
Thanks again to hman and amac...I guess I wanted to confirm that fact and see iff anyone had a conflicting thought on the subject. So far no one has disagreed with you. On the other hand you are forcing me to believe that our political system in the US could willingly destroy the lives of the boys and their families simply for one Democrat to protect another (NC Gov. and Nifong)...otherwise I would think tghe Gov or AG would have stepped in--very sick system.

As to Duff Wilson and Tom offense, but why is anyone taking them seriously? They are SPORTS writers... in NOT the real world. These guys write about the 'pressures' faced by the likes of A-Rod and Alan Iverson and Terrell Owens...all making about a zillion dollars a year...yeah, that's real pressure. They simply have no business writing about the real world!!

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous 4:00 PM:

I agree with you, but the "real world" often spills over into sports, especially with alleged crimes that involve the macho athlete image (Kobe comes to mind).

Additionally, Duke sports are a part of the social justice crowd's animosity. The number of pieces written about the unexplainable hatred shown for BB player Reddick is case in point. The Duke reputation that the rest of the world sees is through a sports lens. The "privileged" (but not always white as we see in basketball) moniker applies. Lacrosse is the privileged, preppy, white-boy sport and is the epitome of the RR's agenda.

Many sports writers love to hate Duke. This case gives them ammunition. Who cares if it is way beyond their cognitive and journalistic skills. Take every opportunity for a competitive advantage, right?


Anonymous said...

To the poster who wants to see objective evidence, The Smoking Gun website has many documents.

Do a search on "Duke rape" and you can wade through it all at your leisure.


Anonymous said...

To 12:15

I will echo what others have said, as you dig further into this matter, you see no evidence, nothing real that would point to the possible guilt of the Duke players. Instead what you find is a travesity, a travesity that has played upon a desire to have a clear cut morality play about the evil, rich, white males. However, it isn't true.

Unfortunately, I must admit when the story first broke my bias was to see the lacrosse players as the evil overbearing, hubris filled villians who of course commited the crime. But as time has progressed, it was evident fairly early on that there was no case and that the case continues to be exist merely to satisfy other agendas, be they Nifong's election, the frieghtening "social justice" theories that exist, or the failure of individuals to confront their own bias and realize this wasn't the scripted morality play they expected.

I still believe that it is likely that many of the lacrosse team members may have been boorish, stupid and immature. But that is so irrelevant to the larger picture. Keeping perspective does not dismiss such behavior, but does just that, keep it in perspective. The more dangerous larger issues are prosecutorial abuse and those who care not for truth but merely that which fits within their "social justice" agenda. Underlying the horror of this case is a type of tyranny - a tyranny of thought and ideas.

Anonymous said...

To anonymous 1:50 AM
Would love more info on the glorified journalistic shakedown scheme that John Stevenson ran for years.

Anonymous said...

I am amazed, I post a note that there is a VERY good chance Nifungu is going to get disciplined by the NC bar within 30 days and no one bats an eye? So December 2 when my post makes sense credit Kempermanx

huesofblue said...

I'll take a stab at presenting Nifong's case. As other's have pointed out, he doesn't have much. But he might have "something."

1. He has the accuser's testimony. Before the defense ever gets to say anything about how flawed the "procedures" of the line up were, Nifong gets to have the accuser tell the jury that she's 100% sure that reade and collin were the guys who raped her. At the end of the day, there's a LOT of exculpatory evidence in this case, so the jury will inevitably have to ask itself whether the accuser is a bald-faced liar who's willing to send three innocent strangers to jail or the victim who was too traumatized and intoxicated to remember all of the details of that terrible night. That question is really at the heart of the case. So her first impression is a big deal.

2. There's. medical evidence we haven't seen and expert testimony that'll surely accompany it. The part of the report we've seen says "diffuse endema of the vaginal walls" or something along those lines. But presumably there will also be pictures. If those pictures show severe swelling, and Nifong can blow them up to 10 by 20 and have a doctor with amazing qualificatins explain that it would take exceptional trauma to cause those injuries, he'll create a lot of skepticism in the minds of the jury before the defense gets to present its case.

Other than the inconclusive DNA match from the press-on nail fished out of bathroom trashcan of the guy it matches, I think I've presented the best-case senario of what Nifong might possibly have. Nifong may not be able to prove that the specific players are guilty, but if he can prove that someone raped the AV, he'll earn a conviction against the whole team in the court of public opinion, vindicate himself and the alleged victim, and might even get a jury to punish one or more of the accused for trashing her character and "covering up the crime."

Note: I think the players are innocent and don't think a rape occured. The descriptions of her hobbling and wincing her way through police interviews and doctors offices juxtaposed against video of her limberly swinging around a pole during the same period are hard to ignore. Paired with all the exculpatory evidence (not the least of which is DNA) the bald-face liar choice looks awfully appealing.

Anonymous said...

9:39 pm

Am very interested in the 10:47am post. I absolutely pray you are correct. Since North Carolina has done nothing to derail this freight train to date, it seems too much to hope for anymore. This case should never have even resulted in indictments yet 7 months later, we're still here.

Anonymous said...

To Kempermanx, 9:39 PM:

Many readers don't bother reading posts. They read the article, then post their comments. This format is not very conducive to discussion. Try posting on TalkLeft, opening a new thread, where more will see it and comment.

I will say, however, that I did not respond to it because my first thought was, "Why did the bar conveniently wait until AFTER the election to suddenly take action?"

The president of it might have a lot to do with that.

Unless the bar can kick Nifong out office, it's just way too little a LOT too late. And, it won't stop this case, the agenda, or the racist avengers who will see it to the bitter end.

My second take on it was that you did not want to give specifics. I prefer to have facts and a means of confirming them. This case and all that is happening is becoming a drain on my physical and emotional well-being (yes, believe it or not, I have feelings), and I can sense it with everyone who has been following the case with genuine concern at every level, from the individual toll this is taking on the defendants and their families, to the perversion and politicization of justice and the repercussions of that in our democratic society.

It seems that you are very interested in the attention you expected to get from such an announcement, seeing as you want to assure "credit" for exposing this nugget once it becomes public knowledge. I guess many of us are immune to the speculation and the utter lack of any moral outrage from so-called policing and governing organizations. I would love to hear a collective sigh of "Finally!" throughout the halls of bloggersville, but I have little hope that anyone in NC is giving up this case.


KC Johnson said...

I agree: I'd like to see the bar takes action, and I hope the tip is correct.

But I've grown cynical at the workings of the NC legal process over the last six months.

Anonymous said...

It's called Nifong Fatigue.

Anonymous said...

You will probably want to see Duff Wilson's latest piece, in which he reports that the Platinum Club owner has said his prior affidavit was incorrect and now confirms that the AV was performing at Platinum in late March.

Anonymous said...

The N.C. bar will do something in 30 days? What, not let him park in his assigned space for a week. Forget it. If they do anything, it will be to write a glowing campaign recomendation when he runs for judge.

Anonymous said...

The Platinum Club's owner has now:

1. Proven that FA's statement of the Duke party being her first "provocative" dance in front of a large group to be false. His affadavit on October 18th states she was employed with the club in December 2005.

2. The recanting of the affadavit adds dates to the initial one as reported by '60' and owner now states she was dancing March 24, 25 & 26. I suspect that dates prior to these will be confirmed soon. Obviously someone showed some proof to Mr. Owner.

3. The original affadavit was sworn on October 18th ( a fact conveniently omitted from the first news article), three days after '60' aired the incriminating video of FA dancing. Nifong -- the one who said he didn't watch the program -- thought he had things covered. New affadavit will be sworn today (Friday)

4. There is well-researched information on TalkLeft board on the Owner. Methinks he is a bit worried about the exposure and that he has reason to be.


duke09parent said...

Why would the DA need an affidavit from the club owner? It cannot be used at trial--it would have to be live testimony then. Perhaps it could be used in a pretrial motion to preclude the use of the tape at trial. I'm not sure if NC law would permit this testimony in affidavit form at such a motion. Or, which seems just as likely, it was obtained for the specific purpose of leaking it to the press.

Anonymous said...

I don't need lecturing on why I post what I know. I have more in this hunt that you have any clue. I pass on what I hear or have found out for all of us who are outraged about this. I quite frankly have no idea what your post is about. I give not a rats ass about anything but getting Nifungu out of office. You can not be a DA in NC if you do not have a law license. Is that clear? The Bar will not act before an election, which in itself would be unethical, that is trying to influence an election, why is that hard for you to understand? I have no clue if the teases I have heard will pan out, but they give me hope and I hope they will give you hope. That is the only reason I pass the information on. In a hopeless looking situation, this information was passed on to make it clear that NC lawyers are just as pissed off about Nigungu as we are. Is that clear?