Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Leadership, Not Leakers

“Leadership,” stated Katharine Bartlett, dean of the Duke Law School, is “a critical value” among her institution’s faculty. An article in yesterday’s Herald-Sun, however, suggests otherwise. On Friday, a packed hearing room learned that Mike Nifong and DNA Security Lab Director Brian Meehan entered into an agreement to intentionally withhold exculpatory evidence. Meehan violated his own company’s protocols, while Meehan and Nifong agreed to ignore the requirements of North Carolina state law and the Supreme Court’s Brady decision.

Surely, it would seem, the D.A.’s own witness testifying that Nifong joined him in a conspiracy to prevent turning over exculpatory evidence would create outrage among a faculty committed to the values that Bartlett articulated. Duke Law professor James Coleman, heretofore Nifong’s most eloquent and influential critic, understood the matter: “I tell you,” he said, “the more you hear about [Nifong’s] missteps, the more you have to question whether it’s purely a matter of incompetence or worse.”

Beyond Coleman, however, Friday’s revelations triggered an effort to assist Nifong’s wounded cause. An unknown figure—either a law professor or an affiliate who teaches a course at the Law School—leaked to the Herald-Sun e-mails showing that at least four members of the Duke Law faculty, in writing, opposed signing a statement criticizing Nifong’s prosecutorial misconduct.

One of the quartet, visiting professor Michael Tigar, cavalierly dismissed efforts to assemble such a statement: he pronounced himself “at an age where I get to pick my clients and causes.” (There’s a line for the “Our Faculty Cares” section of Duke’s next fundraising drive.) Apparently unaware of Rule 3.6(c) of the Rules of Professional Conduct—which states that “a lawyer may make a statement that a reasonable lawyer would believe is required to protect a client from the substantial undue prejudicial effect of recent publicity not initiated by the lawyer or the lawyer’s client”—Tigar suggested that Nifong’s procedurally improper public statements were balanced by the procedurally proper activities of advocates for the accused players, who he detected as having had “fingerprints on some of the media coverage.”

A second—and highly surprising—refusal came from civil liberties advocate Erwin Chemerinsky. The Duke Law professor, who had criticized Nifong’s behavior in this post, was quoted by the Herald-Sun as saying that “there has been prosecutorial misconduct in the handling of the Duke lacrosse” case. But, according to the H-S,
the professor that reporter Ray Gronberg gleefully described as “a well-known constitutional-law scholar” doubted that the petition accurately claimed that the students’ due process rights had been violated.

Trina Jones, meanwhile, pronounced herself “troubled by any attempt to have Duke faculty use our institutional affiliation to leverage either side in what is an ongoing criminal case.” Jones, however, issued no similar critique of the Group of 88, who on April 6 used their institutional affiliation to assert unequivocally that something “happened” to the accuser, while saying “thank you” to protesters who had branded the lacrosse players rapists. I e-mailed Jones to ask if, in light of the remarks attributed to her by the H-S, she would publicly urge Group of 88 members to retract their signatures. She did not reply.

The final objector? Karla Holloway—the same professor who previously had opined, “Justice inevitably has an attendant social construction. And this parallelism means that despite what may be our desire, the seriousness of the matter cannot be finally or fully adjudicated in the courts.” Though a member of the English Department and African-American Studies program, Holloway—fantastically—teaches a course in the Law School called “Language of Constitutional Law.”

According to the H-S, Holloway contended that signing a petition criticizing Nifong would imply “that Duke students should not be held to the standards of legal conduct.” The purpose of the petition, of course, was to suggest that Duke students should be held to standards of legal conduct—standards that cannot operate if the prosecutor habitually violates ethical canons.

---------

While Holloway did her best to blunt the effect of Coleman’s remarks, three thousand miles away, a law professor with impeccable liberal credentials maintained, in light of Friday’s revelations, that “this is not the way the system is supposed to operate.”

Susan Estrich previously had published what I consider the single best column on the case: she outdid herself in an essay published last night. As she notes of Nifong’s decision to withhold exculpatory DNA evidence,

You can’t come across the smoking gun covered with fingerprints on it—come across it because you have the power of the state to collect all the evidence—and then decide to ignore it because they don’t match the fingerprints of the guy you’re prosecuting for the crime. You certainly can’t file the report from the lab for your eyes only.

“What is going on in the prosecutors’ office in Durham,” Estrich lamented, “is disturbing in ways that go beyond the ugly allegations that started this case.” She contended, correctly, that Nifong “has clearly lost sight of his mission, and with it the last remnants of any ethical compass.”

Earlier problems included “unduly suggestive” identification procedures and a rush to indict “that turned appropriate timing of an investigation on its head.” But for Estrich, “Withholding exculpatory evidence moves the impropriety to a whole new level. This is not simply best practices, but basic constitutional criminal law.”

To Estrich, “If ever a prosecutor had shown himself to be no longer capable of exercising the sort of judgment required of him to be fair, it would be this prosecutor in this case.” She concluded by demanding Nifong’s removal as a prosecutor—since “this appears, increasingly, to be an extreme case of lawlessness by the prosecutors if not the defendants.”

---------

Who is the Law School Leaker? There’s no way to know, though obviously the Leaker desperately wanted to create the impression that Law School professors aren’t particularly troubled by Nifong’s conduct.

In the event, the Law School Leaker has accomplished his/her goal. Acting as a body, Duke’s law faculty could have joined Estrich and Coleman in responding to Friday’s revelations by showing “leadership,” demanding that their local prosecutor respect basic ethical requirements. Instead, the Leaker’s actions have created the impression that Coleman’s colleagues consider him an outlier in his strong critique of Nifong’s misconduct.

At this stage, in short, the Duke Law faculty needs more leadership and fewer leakers.

[Update, 10.12am: Several commenters have noted, correctly, that while the H-S quotes Tigar, Jones, and Holloway in their reasons for refusing to sign the petition, reporter Ray Gronberg only summarizes Chemerinsky's alleged rationale. Given the H-S pattern of pro-Nifong distortions, anything said in the article about Chemerinsky needs to be taken with a grain of salt. Hopefully, he will pen a letter to the editor to clarify the situation.]

109 comments:

Anonymous said...

KC, I cannot thank you enough for the light you have shone on all aspects of this hoax. Your work is truly brilliant.

Tonight, I am very thankful that my daughter chose Virginia Law over Duke. Even four law professors with such flawed thinking and gutlessness is too many. And to think that old Karla the Incomprehensible is putting forth her tripe with the Law School's blessing! What a waste of the students' time and money.

GPrestonian said...

Though a member of the English Department and African-American Studies program, Holloway—fantastically—teaches a course in the Law School called “Language of Constitutional Law.”

There are no words...

Anonymous said...

Chicago writes:

Another great piece KC.

Speaking of leaders, Broadhead's statement yesterday pretty much implied he wants to see this thing go to trial. Duke needs a good house cleaning.

bill anderson said...

God help these people. Is there no place at Duke University for simple decency? Does the law school believe that a prosecutor who acts as a law unto himself somehow deserves their support?

If anyone has been deluded about Duke University and its attitude toward its students, be deluded no more. Durham and Duke deserve each other.

GPrestonian said...

"Who is the Law School Leaker? There’s no way to know, though obviously the Leaker desperately wanted to create the impression that Law School professors aren’t particularly troubled by Nifong’s conduct."

Their collective silence (with the obvious & welcomed exception of Prof Coleman) would suggest that it's more than an 'impression', KC.

psych said...

KC, It's amazing to me that Duke is supposed to be a preeminent school in so many fields. The law school, the medical school, general studies etc.

Well KC the blog you are putting out should not be the only one. Why doesn't any department at Duke have a similar one. Why aren't law professors putting out opinions that are enhanced by their legal expertise. Why at Duke University Hospital is the SANE exam done by a SANE nurse in training who feels comfortable giving information to the police rather than it being done by the person who is supervising her.

I'll tell you why. Duke faculty and professors are overated. The university has gotten its excellent reputation due to its students. Once they stop coming it will be a mediocre institution.

Anonymous said...

Holloway teaches a course in the law school. Unbelievable. Why would anyone want to attend this law school except to take a course from Professor Coleman.

Anonymous said...

Check out a piece by the former H-S editorial page editor on John in Carolina's blog.

don t. said...

My wife, a graduate of Duke Nursing, belongs on the Law School faculty. Over the 40 plus years we have been married, she has mastered the non sequitur. The rationale of the law professors is nothing short of mind boggling. I think the whole place has gone stark raving mad!!!! What the hell has happened to my school???

I have already written some pithy responses to requests from the school for money. I will spend time this week sending the address of this blog (with links) to every Duke person I know and suggest that they contribute to the legal defense fund instead of Duke. I will remove Duke from my will in January and am in the process of changing the beneficiary of a life insurance policy. I will not send them another cent until brodhead and his ilk are gone.

This is so embarrassing.

Anonymous said...

Only a smaller number of applications and a drop in donations will affect how the Brodhead administration acts.

Anonymous said...

It's a great idea to contribute to a defense fund instead of Duke. The mother of un-indicted player said the families of three defendants are spending 80,000$ a month. I don't think Reade's family has this kind of money, they had to borrow money for bail.

Anonymous said...

This is a total embarrassment for Duke!! They refuse to stand up for the constitutional rights of their own students. It's unbelievable.

At USC, Prof. Estrich teaches respect for the law and proper procedures. I know from his comments that Prof. Coleman also feels this way. But isn't there ANYONE else on the Duke Law faculty that is willing to stand up for these basic principles?

Chemerinsky used to be at USC Law. He should give Prof. Estrich a call ASAP.

GPrestonian said...

KC, who's to say that it wasn't Bob Eckstrand who gave the emails to the H-S? The article reads as though the comments were replies to his request that the faculty sign his petition.

HMan said...

Many of us said a long time ago that Nifongs refusal to listen to gold plated evidence that one of the accused (Seligman) could not have been a perp was highly suggestive that he did not believe that a crime had occurred at all.
Now, we see clearly that there were a number of actual DNA contributions all over and into the AVs noughty bits. There were also a number of guys at that party who were not LX. team members and so were not tested during the first round. Did Nifongo think to test them? After all, he was stridently insisting that a vile form of rape had occurred.
Did he mean it? Did he even try to test the group of potential perps when the first round came up blank?
The dimensions of this proscecutorial crime are mapped out much better by what was NOT done than by the various sins of commision.

Anonymous said...

Michael Tigar is old enough to pick only the causes he wants. This fiasco could use someone with his years of experience. He sounds like he is just too comfortable to be troubled. What a bother it is to speak out for young people. I hope I never get that old. Maybe it's time for him to retire?
Chemerinsky stangely has doubts if due process was violated. I'm not a lawyer, but I know that the process of a DA and a test lab willfully withholding evidence is wrong.
Ms. Jones is just looking out for Duke; much like Broadhead. She only has the best interests of the Duke comminity at heart. With friends like her and Broadhead, Duke doesn't need any enemies.
OMG, that Holloway woman has reappeared. I knew she couldn't write, but now it seems she can't read either. I am not under the impression that the petition suggested that Duke students not be held to legal standards. I thought it wanted the DA to held to legal standards.

European Dukie said...

It's a bit unfair to knock Duke Law faculty for not signing a petition when we don't know its text.
Chemerinsky, for one, is a good man and has already publicly criticized the prosecution. He's neither "gutless" nor a "flawed thinker."

Duke Law is a great school (and choosing to go to UVa in preference was nuts); but what Ms. Holloway can teach anyone about "The Language of Constitutional Law" (or, for that matter, the language of anything) beats me.

Anonymous said...

For some reason Johnson neglects to mention that at least 20 faculty members have signed the petition as of early November. He also mischaracterized what the law professors said in the article. Johnson, in addition, "forgets" to mention that "Ekstrand -- a Duke alumnus who's represented unindicted lacrosse players and several Duke students caught up in the Police Department's fall 2005 crackdown on off-campus misbehavior -- didn't criticize the professors who rejected his first recruiting attempts and added that the effort "touched off an excellent discussion amongst the faculty on a number of levels."
Read the article yourself. Johnson's agenda is to harm Duke. He forwards the agenda with calculated dishonesty and by stoking the anger of some alums using lies and distortions.

Anonymous said...

A Brodhead troll.

Anonymous said...

"The dimensions of this proscecutorial crime
are mapped out much better by what was
NOT done than by the various sins of commision."

Well, the DA as done a fine job of leading
everybody on a wild goose chase for the
past nine months. Ya'll may need to turn
around and head back to 610 NB on the
night of March 13th, and start over. Go back
earlier and it gets better.

Anonymous said...

Choosing to go to a top ten law school in Charlottesville with no Karla Holloway instead of an inferior one that offers courses from Karla Holloway and is located in Durham is nuts?

Learned Hand said...

duke law is an excellent place to attend. regardless of some of the professors' takes on this mess, it is certainly a great place to learn and decide for oneself how to think and analyze the law.

Dean Barlett had it right - the fact that some professors don't agree only shows that the inquiry is still open to interpretation. I personally do not believe so, but some do. This is the beauty of our system - especially taught in a legal environment.

My peers at the law school understand completely - although some of their teachers do not. Dean Bartlett has done an excellent job of prodding the students to think and analyze.

No where here is any indication that the students or faculty believe Nifraud to be telling the truth or to be supporting the cause of justice, but it is a great vessel for learning - sad as that may be.

Virginia law is a wonderful school, but so is Duke. Learning is living - and the fact that this is going on so close in proximity is only going to better our future leaders/lawyers of tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

KC, please stop writing that Nifong has violated Brady. Since the trial has not yet happened, Nifong has not done so. That fact doesn't exonerate Nifong, but we should strive to be accurate. Moreover, your 3.6(c) reference seems misplaced. A lawyer is under no obligation to say a word about a pending matter. Yes, Tigar is flippant and cavalier, but he has no obligation to speak on the Duke 3's behalf.

Basically what we have here is a maintenance of a charge long past the point where any reasonable person would think that it has an iota of credence. It is cruel, and it is almost certainly a violation of the civil rights of the Duke 3.

Hopefully, in the end, justice will happen, and Nifong will be incarcerated, or at a minimum, financially ruined. He is a disgrace to the legal profession.

The alleged victim also deserves opprobrium and imprisonment. Maybe the two can share a cell.

Anonymous said...

UVa's law school has always been superior to Duke's, as its ratings reflect. 12:14's daughter made the right choice.

Anonymous said...

Brodhead's comments make me sick to my stomach. He has the power to do so much more, and he does nothing.

Anonymous said...

At this point I think Brodhead's only chance of survival is a conviction. I think they should ship him off to Hofstra! He hung himself trying to be PC. Nice job ruining a great institution.

Anonymous said...

Is anyone surprised that the Herald Sun has yet another Nifong-supporting editorial, urging a trial. The most outrageous line states that Nifong did not engage in prosecutorial misconduct with regard to the DNA testing--he simply did not hand it over to the defense! When is this completely idiotic enabling going to end????????????

Anonymous said...

Susan Estrich is right on the money. Meanwhile, IF a rape actually ocurred, the real rapists are sitting back and enjoying the circus. Why haven't those who have the power to dismiss Nifong and this case done so yet? I think someone is witholding evidence that Nifong is mentally ill.

Anonymous said...

The HS opion piece does even contain the authors name.

http://www.heraldsun.com/opinion/hsedits/56-800699.cfm

Anonymous said...

While I have agreed with virtually every post, I think that this post is unfair to at least two of the Professors who refused to sign. Professor Chemerinskly has spoken openly and without doublespeak about his feelings on the case. He prides himself on precision and everything he has said has been well thought out. That he chooses not to sign a petition that someone else drafted is hardly something he should be chastized for.

As for Tigar, he said he was willing to attack prosecutorial discretion generally just not as to this case. Again,he has not done or said anything to support Nifong and he can decline to sign a petition without being a bad guy.


Jones, by contrast, is offering a reason that is not persuaisive. Faculty members weigh in all the time on public events and perhaps they have a general obligation to do so, if they are truly source of knowledge. Jones is not saying she would rather not sign this petition, but that weighing in on an ongoing legal matter is somehow improper. This is ridiculous on many levels, not the least of which is that law schools run clinics on many subjects and faculty members write articles and make speeches about the legal system.

Holloway is not a real law professor so who cares.

Anonymous said...

The group of 88 fools.
The law school.
I think the people of Duke are not as smart as they present.
Nice veneer...rotting underneath.
The inmates are in charge.

Anonymous said...

I take the criticsm of the Duke law faculty to be valid. Professor Coleman hasn't been a cheerleader for the defense, he has merely illuminated the significant flaws in Nifong's case. Other law faculty have surely deconstructed the State's case in similar fashion. Therefore we can only conclude the Duke law faculty's reticence to speak out reflects their rather obvious superciliousness.

bill anderson said...

You should read the Herald-Sun today if you want to get a sense of what Stalin's propaganda machine must have been like. The news section is bad, but the editorial page is worse.

Read the editorial that still demands a trial, as well as the first letter to the editor. (Yes, the H-S does not have control over who writes, but the tone still fits the H-S theme of the players being rapists.)

This is what happens when people decide to give up their integrity. We see it on the Duke law faculty, the Gang of 88 (which probably had no integrity, anyway) and, of course, the Duke Administration.

The people who have been demonized the most -- the players -- seem to be the ONLY people who from the start have been telling the truth.

Anonymous said...

It wouldn't surprise me if "prof" Holloway is leaky...

Anonymous said...

and added that the effort "touched off an excellent discussion amongst the faculty on a number of levels."
To 1:52am
Your statment above proves the point. They "discuss" while innocent students and their families suffer.
Quality place you have there.

Anonymous said...

"Only a smaller number of applications and a drop in donations will affect how the Brodhead administration acts."

-Yah, he'll start up a few more committees - he is a clueless tool for the politically correct.

we should send him "Leadership for Dummies" -

Anonymous said...

I would give consideration to Chemerinsky's view on whether there has been a due process violation. He has spoken out in the past against Nifong's actions and he should be able to speak for himself and not be hammered for not signing another person's legal conclusions. He should no more sign onto something than the signers of the "Listening Statement" should have if they disagreed with even a portion of the text. This petition combined a number of topics including the no tolerance policy of the police towards Duke students. There is really no etitlement under the law to get the benefit of police discretion --they can use it when they wish. If they ticket out of state drivers more than in state drivers there is really nothing you can do if you broke the law. The whole idea of it combined with the handling of this case bothers people not so much because of the policy itself but because it could so easily become a stepping stone to harassing Duke students and violating their rights. There is no question that more profs ought to speak out against what is going on here but let's not slam them if they want to do it in their own words.

Anonymous said...

To Bill A:

Has anyone done an analysis of how often the race of the defendants was referred to in the quotations in the change of venue motion. It seemed overwhelming that the word "white" was used to justify virtually any outrage.

Anonymous said...

KC...IMO you may have unfairly characterized Chemerinsky's position. Chermerinsky's actual quote in H-S: "Though 'there has been prosecutorial misconduct in the handling of the Duke lacrosse' case, the petition failed to explain why the Duke administration was at fault or what due-process violations had occurred, and didn't elaborate on the alleged Durham Police Department targeting of students."
The H-S went on to say that he "voiced doubts about whether the petition's claims were fair or accurate." This last statement was not a direct quote of Chemerinsky, but it was the H-S interpretation of his comments.

I think it is unfair to characterize Chemerinsky's position by quoting this last statement--the H-S's assessment of his position. We all know how inaccurate the H-S has been in their coverage. My reading of the words actually quoted by the H-S is much different--I would interpret Chemerinsky as saying the petition wasn't specific enough on certain issues, (including the role of the duke admin)....NOT that he questioned whether the violations had in fact occurred.

bill anderson said...

I sent the following letter via email to Greg Childress at the Herald-Sun (who most likely was the author of that perfectly dreadful editorial today):


Mr. Childress,

After reading your editorial this morning (and I'll bet you were the one who wrote it), I am flabbergasted. In other words, even after all that, you are trying to tell us that there is merit in CGM's claims? That she lied about everything else, Nifong has not been telling the truth, exculpatory DNA evidence (or its real lack) exists, yet we have a legitimate "rape" case here?

I can only think that your piece reflects the sentiment of the local black leadership, or at least what I have read on their website (Our Hearts World) and in your own paper. Are you prepared to contact the Innocence Project and demand Darryl Hunt be thrown back in prison? After all, there were "eyewitness" accusations, but because there was NO DNA belonging to him on the victim, that was enough not only for exoneration, but also for a governor's pardon.

Yet, we see something similar here and you are trying to tell us that in this case, the lack of DNA really does not matter. If it mattered in the Hunt case, and all of the cases in which lack of DNA meant that other wrongfully-convicted black (and some white) males were exonerated, why does not NOT matter in this case?

Do you understand that if the evidence is ignored and you and the black ministers and the Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People and the NAACP get their cherished conviction -- and it is upheld -- you literally are signing a death warrant for other innocent black men elsewhere? Are you in Durham so racist and hateful that you would condemn future people just so you can convict these people from Duke?

As an adoptive father of two young black boys, I am telling you that you are putting their own future in danger, for you are making the prospect of wrongful accusations and convictions more likely by your insistence that somehow CGM -- who has told lie after lie and has a terrible reputation in the black community -- has turned into a credible witness simply via her accusations?

The only explanation I can find here is that Durham is a hopelessly racist place, and that in all things, racism always trumps truth. Can you tell me that you are any better than Scottsboro in 1931? After all, a white woman claimed rape, and despite medical evidence to the contrary (and I guarantee you that Victorial Price would NOT have been carrying the DNA of any of the Scottsboro Boys had there been DNA testing then), that she still had credible claims?

The Scottsboro Boys case is seen as a massive example of injustice in U.S. courts. It seems to me that you are trying to do one better. God help you.

GPrestonian said...

1:52am Aonon, et al:

To be fair, bear in mind that the H-S article at the link that KC provided may well have changed significantly after he made his post. The H-S has a habit of doing that, but not indicating when or if the article has been updated.

Anonymous said...

To 1:52 AM: I very much agree with your statements regarding the calculated dishonesty and distortions on this website. This entire blog is really nothing but one gigantic spin machine the sole function of which is to further the agenda of the LAX players and their supporters. This agenda includes not only helping the players to dig themselves out of the mess they created through their own irresponsible behavior but also trashing anyone and everyone who has had the temerity not to leap forward in their defense. This obviously includes Brodhead, whom Professor Johnson and Bill Anderson and others have spent months trying to demonize, but now also apparently includes Erwin Chemerinsky. Chemerinsky is one of the leading constitutional law scholars in the nation, and if he thinks it is not appropriate for a member of the Duke law faculty to sign this petition, you can bet your bottom dollar there are good reasons for his position, notwithstanding the spin that KC and the other LAX team apologists are trying to put on this issue.

huesofblue said...

I can't fault the law professors for not signing this petition. I think it would be irresponsible for a law professor to condemn another lawyer for ethical misconduct without very carefully examining the facts and law surrounding the issue. And as the group of 88 has vividly shown, it pays to consider the repercussions that can follow from a professor signing a public petition. If the group of 88 had shown similar restraint we'd probably think more of Duke today.

I also think the professor's point about defense spin is fair. We see where only listening to one side got the group of 88. People on this blog have followed the case very closely for months. Most Duke law professors probably haven't. I'd expect a law professor to do his or her diligence and not take everything in petition at face value.

Jack Straw said...

I have read a whole lot of news and blogs about this case, but have never seen Chermerinsky's name in print. Not to suggest he hasn't spoken about it, but he hasn't tried very hard to make his substantial voice heard, unlike Prof. Coleman.

Chermerinsky is not obligated to speak out for anyone, of course. But at some point Duke needs to demonstrate that it has some fight left in it and speak out strongly for students who were obviously used as a political tool by Nifong (not least of all because its own faculty performed so horribly at the outset in helping whip up the fervor).

How is it possible that the entire women's lacrosse team, James Coleman, one Duke chemistry professor, and the cast of Saturday Night Live have shown a stronger moral compass and sense of justice than Brodhead, Bartlett, or the rest of Duke faculty?

Horribly embarrassed for my school.

Anonymous said...

In the end, this thing might be the best thing that has ever happened to Duke. That is if the Alumni association will take charge of what is an obvious need for radical surgery and rid this school of the cancer that is killing it. It will take a large committed group with the financial resources to stay the course to accomplish this, but it can be done. This could then become a shining example of a fine institution of higher education. Duke University deserves better than what it has now. Alums, you need to take it back.

Anonymous said...

Leadership is effective and can still mend this…
Brodhead can demonstrate his lasting leadership by leaving Durham and leading others like his Group of 88 to do the same. It’s not an issue of academic license, it’s simply recognition of their academic and personal laziness.

The City of Durham with the assistance of the feds can demonstrate leadership by correcting the apparent in-house short circuiting of justice with the DPD, mayor’s office, courts and the DA’s office. The news of late of such tight city relationships has the appearance that they have studied the lobbying work of “Jack Abramof”. One wonders if even he would be impressed.

The race to indict clearly overtook responsibility and leadership.

Both Duke and Durham will rebuild (after the lawsuits), but how can the current “leaders” be capable to lead the growth?

Anonymous said...

bill anderson said...

I sent the following letter via email to Greg Childress at the Herald-Sun (who most likely was the author of that perfectly dreadful editorial today):

**************************
I have said for a long time that there are a certain group of people that have been "hoping against hope" that a rape actually occurred. The H-S editorial further confirms that. How else can you explain the continuing support of the hoax with all the evidence against it? It is a sad, sick group of people that actually prefer that the CGM was gang raped.

KC Johnson said...

Couple of quick responses:

Re Chemerinsky: It's entirely possible that the H-S mischaracterized his position. (We all know the H-S record in this regard . . .) If it did, though, I hope he'll follow up with a letter to the editor.

As far as I know, the only time he's spoken out about the case came in response to a question from me.

On the 20 other possible signatories: the article, I believe, mixes two things up here. The other signatories, from what I've been told, involve a petition that originated among other faculties at Duke. These 20 are not, I've been told from a source not on the law faculty, law professors.

To the 2.48: I wasn't saying that Tigar was under an obligation as a lawyer to speak out. I was saying that by linking Nifong's (procedurally improper) statements with the (procedurally acceptable) actions of the defense, he made a troubling comparison. 3.6(c) was specifically modified in the last round of rules revisions by the NC bar to cover a case just like this one, to allow the defense to respond once a prosecutor has violated 3.6(c)'s terms.

On Tigar's point about being willing to sign a petition denouncing general prosecutorial abuse throughout NC: in some ways, that position is more disturbing than that offered by Holloway and Jones. At least they're open: they don't want the faculty to do anything that could weaken Nifong. The implication of Tigar's remarks is that Nifong's misconduct is comparable to that of NC prosecutors in general--a statement for which no evidence exists.

To huesofblue:

I agree on the need for care in professors signing petitions. The non-signing, however, does conflict with the claim of "leadership" outlined by Dean Bartlett.

Moreover--with the exception of Chemerinsky, whose reasons for not signing are merely summarized by the H-S, and therefore could very well have been distorted, the reasons offered by the other three for not signing seem--to put it bluntly--to raise concerns.

Anonymous said...

to 9:27

You are spinning not the posters. If you read the posts, you can see that a number of people jumped to Chemerinsky's defense for precisely the reasons you stated. Moreover, if he is the guide to what has happened, he has said that there is prosecutorial misconduct.

And the focus on the lacrosse team just misses the point. In virtually every case of wrongful conviction, not all but virtually all, the wrongly accused is a disfavored member of society. Traditionally, it has been poor minority, particularly African-American males, who have been wrongly accused. In many cases, the defendant is a bad person by traditional standards, prior criminal acts, poorly educated, and so forth, and those character flaws have served as a justification for railroading the individual through the system.

Are you really suggesting that the wrongdoing of the prosecutor here, wrongdoing specifically identified by Chemerinsky is of more or less significance depending on how many beers the lacrosse players had to drunk, what tree if any the urinated on, and so forth.

Further, is his wrongdong more eggregrious with regard to Reade Seligmann, who has an unblemished record, is obviouly totally innocent, and had nothing to do with the party but less important to Dave Evans, who set up the party.


I guess I am mystified by this hostility. I am a Duke grad, an attorney, and I know full well that Duke students can be criminals, as with students on any campus. I also know that students on all campuses nowadays (and in the past) drink a lot of beer and do stupid and perhaps outrageous things. In my career, I have volunteered my time to defend people I think have been wrongly accused, all of whom, coincidentally, have been persons of color.

I post on this board because any reasonable person with a background in the legal system knows that what we have unfolding infront of us is a travesty. The defense spin is not spin, but properly supported signed motions. The prosecution does not even bother to file a written response, and has never offered any explanation for the various obvious transgressions.


Not every issue has two sides, although many do. In this case, one side is supported by facts, the law and common sense. The other is full of hateful racist rage. Which side are you on?

KC Johnson said...

In response to the correct point made by several commenters, I posted an update to the post noting that Chemerinsky's reasons for not signing were merely summarized; and given the H-S record of distortion, it's entirely possible he was mischaracterized. The position, nonetheless, has been published by the local paper, and I'm hoping he'll send a letter to the editor clarifying.

Cedarford said...

The damage to Duke's image with students applying there and parents willingness to send someone there may be stated as the effect of several cumulative negatives.

1. Increased awareness that Duke is situated in a troubled, economically depressed, high crime, racially divided town.

2. That Duke has encouraged town police to single out and go after Duke students and criminally prosecute for minor offenses related to partying.

3. That Duke will not protest if town police come on campus w/o notifying Duke police, enter dorms w/o warrant, and attempt to intimidate info out of students - even those represented by counsel.

4. An antipathy towards Duke students, especially white ones, exists in the community and community leadership.

5. That within Duke, there exists an element of senior faculty staff holding the same antipathy for "students of privilege", especially white males. And on any trouble, that fairly large number of faculty will side with the Duke-haters in town and denounce students, assume guilt, and call for their maximum punishment.

6. That the law school staff will remain largely silent, afraid to speak out, as a miscarriage of justice ensnaring their school's charges unfolds.

7. That the President of the school will attend local rallies calling for Duke students punishment rather than meet with them - fire coaches, and ban from school anyone under serious charges - even if no evidence exists.

That's a lot of negatives that have hit Duke since April. With the very high prices, all the trouble - Duke might not be the highly desired location it was just a year ago to students or parents - better alternatives may well exist.

Parents expect that those who take in their young adults far from home for huge money in return for the "university experience and an elite degree if the student works hard" --will do their best to help them succeed and will have their back in case of trouble.

Imaging how parents would feel if they had an 18-year old kid about to join the military and heard that if their 18 year old goes overseas that the US military senior officers now encouraged foreign police to be aggressive with GIs, senior officers signed statements denouncing any soldier accused of a crime, and remained silent as some of their troops were clearly being railroaded.

That would affect US military recruiting rather badly, I'd say.

In their arrogance, Duke's Brodhead and his staff have forgotten their #1 "customers" are not Nifong, black local leadership, or Duke faculty....but the students. The have forgot that the "stakeholders" are not Duke staff, but the alumni and current student's paying parents that pay the salaries and add endowment.

Anonymous said...

To 9:27am
The "agenda" of the LAX team...how about "not guilty"?
Do you feel the same about the BB team...which had the same kind of party but with a different whore?
To much money, indifference paraded as abstraction and thoughtfulness.
The motto of duke should be "give us our 40k and stfu"

duke09parent said...

It is natural for people who are interested in a cause to study up on it and read all the current information available. That gives superior knowledge for those supporters of the cause. It is also natural to criticize anyone who does not jump on the cause's bandwagon because those of us who have the greater knowledge can't quite understand why everyone of reasonable mind does not also jump on.

While I would like more Duke faculty, law school or otherwise, to jump on our bandwagon, I will not critcize or judge harshly those who have not chosen to do so. I do have hostility towards those who chose in the public forum to convict the players in absence (or now in the face of) evidence, and have not now seen the error of their ways to apologize.

bill anderson said...

To 9:27 AM:

You say the LAX players "created" this "mess." Yes, they did what many other students at Duke have done (and adults in Durham, as well).

Yet, this "mess" exists not because of the lacrosse players, but because of lies told by people in authority. In other words, you seem to believe that Nifong bears no responsibility here. Did the LAX players MAKE him lie to a judge? Thid the LAX players MAKE him eviscerate the various codes of conduct of his profession?

Did the LAX players make Brodhead create "talking points" that say nothing about the conduct of the Duke faculty or of Nifong?

You see, while I have no time for parties with strippers, I have even less time for dishonest adults, and especially dishonest adults whose actions have real consequences.

The young men in question have told the truth when they were pressed to do so. What about Nifong? What about the Gang of 88?

By the way, I have said NOTHING about Chemerinsky. Please point out one sentence I have written that identifies him by name or position. Please.

As for Brodhead, I have not demonized him; I have criticized him. You know something? When a man takes a very high-paying administrative position at an elite university, I would expect at least something other than "let a trial prove the players innocent" nonsense. Trials do not PROVE INNOCENCE. They prove guilt -- or at least are SUPPOSED to prove guilt. (Sorry for the caps. I don't know how to convert html text to italics or bold.)

So, please, lay off this demonization nonsense. The only people who have been demonized in Durham have been Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty, and David Evans.

Have you read the attorney's motion for change of venue? Have you read the various quotations, death threats, and the like? And then you go off about my criticisms of Brodhead?

When has Brodhead said ANYTHING about the demonization of these young men? Yes, they had some beer and strippers, but they did nothing to deserve what has occurred, and THAT is the issue.

If you cannot see the difference, then I pity you.

HMan said...

To 9:27
I too am puzzled why you persist in saying the LAX guys brought this on themselves. It has been absurd for some time now and only got more so with recent revelations of extreme proscecutorial misconduct. Or are you implying that the LAX guys forced the DA to cheat on the evidence by not actually touching the accuser in any way?? Because (apparently) she MUST be vindicated, no matter what? I mean, what is driving all of this?
What does come accross in your comments is that you are simply terrified of the larger community you inhabit. Perhaps you have forgotten what it is like to be able to have a reasoned discussion in public about controversial subjects. With you, it is like you have to keep saying absurdities, no matter how transparent, because that is a way to keep from getting beaten up. That is how so many in Duke/Durham sound to me.
You guys have a big problem if you hope to attract smart kids with lots of other choices.

Anonymous said...

RE HS editorial, the one good point that is made in this white wash of an editorial is that the Judge now has the pivotal role in this proceeding. Either the Judge accepts the HS's position that the actions by the DA are just buisness as usual in the court system of Durham and NC and allows the miscarriage of justice to proceed or the Judge imposes a remedy. When we remember the Scottsboro case what do we recall? The courage and leadership of the judge in that case certainly draws
our praise for duty understood and done, selflessly. What will this Judge do? The world wonders.

Zimri said...

Bill Anderson,

Anon 9:27 AM had written:
"This obviously includes Brodhead, whom Professor Johnson and Bill Anderson and others have spent months trying to demonize, but now also apparently includes Erwin Chemerinsky."

You then asked, "By the way, I have said NOTHING about Chemerinsky. Please point out one sentence I have written that identifies him by name or position. Please."

Allow me to help -

bill anderson said... [12:20 AM]
God help these people. Is there no place at Duke University for simple decency? Does the law school believe that a prosecutor who acts as a law unto himself somehow deserves their support?

bill anderson said... [8:19 AM]
We see it on the Duke law faculty, ...

Begging your pardon, you DID identify Chemerinsky by position.

Anon pointed out that you were tarring the whole law faculty, which in this context would have to start with Chemerinsky, for the actions of two of his colleagues (plus Holloway, interloping from elsewhere).

You can definitely blame Tigar and Jones, and blame the law-school administration for allowing Holloway near their charges. But I advise following KCH's example, and reserving judgement on the law school faculty until Chemerinsky has had his chance to confront what the Herald-Sun attributed to him.

duke09parent said...

This is a little premature since KC does not address this yet, but as bad as today's H/S editorial is calling for continuing the judicial process, I see some backtracking.

“One serious problem for Nifong is his inexplicable use of a lineup in which the accuser was asked to choose the assailants from a group of photos that included only lacrosse players. That flawed process led her to identify the three players who are now indicted. Such a fundamental misstep may well come back to haunt Nifong.”

H/S as editorial policy now recognizes the id's as flawed. That's progress.

“And as we learned in court Friday, the director of a DNA lab in Burlington at first withheld results ...."
“The defense is trying to imply a conspiracy existed between Nifong and lab director Brian Meehan to keep the results secret. But those alleging prosecutorial misconduct have to deal with a simple fact -- Nifong did turn over the data. Defense lawyers' only real complaint is that they had to fight to get it.”

It is more than an implication, the evidence I read said so explicitly. And just because the cheaters got caught doesn't mean there shouldn't be a penalty against those cheaters. But at least H/S seems to recognize that withholding the results WAS cheating.

“Yes, there is information that may cast doubt on whether a crime was committed. But is it enough to outweigh the accusation? That's for the courts to decide. There have also been instances of, at a minimum, prosecutorial sloppiness. But are they enough to toss the case?

That's for a judge to decide, as part of the judicial process, which should be allowed to work.”

Fair minded people who have looked at the evidence produced would answer both those questions with a "YES". But at least H/S recognizes in print that there is doubtful evidence.

Besides, supporters of the defendants don't want an extra-judicial remedy. We DO want the judge to decide -- to decide that the only remedy for the evident prosecutorial misconduct is to disallow the use of the photo id's, to preclude in-court id's because they are inevitably tainted by the bad photo array, and to dismiss the case both for lack of identification of alleged attackers and for gross prosecutorial misconduct in the conspiracy to hide exculpatory evidence.

Anonymous said...

How can anyone even consider forking out a dime for the H-S? Honestly, the National Equirer is more credible. How can they recommend abusing the boys' civil and constituional rights (by opining that this needs to go to trial despite lack of evidence) while at the same time crowing about the (media's) right to free speech? Seems the H-S believes constitution should only apply to certain folks...

How do they justify their position that these boys must go through hell for over a year, just to satisfy some perceived need for racial equality in the Durham courts?

The H-S needs to stick to reporting on Lochness sightings and alien abductions.

Maybe when the Feds come in to shut down Nifong, they do the same to the H-S.

bill anderson said...

I like 09's optimism. Me, I have been in a slow burn for months, and when I read the H-S editorial, it is like an "Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?" kind of editorial.

Yes, the editorial documents massive abuses, lies, exculpatory evidence, but then basically tries to tell us that CGM's accusations are credible. This is a "give me a break" comment.

In other words, the H-S wants us to believe that there still is a legitimate case here. If that is not Nifong-enabling, I don't know what is.

As for my comments on the law faculty via Zimri, he is right, and I should have been more careful. But I still stand by my criticisms of Brodhead and the Gang of 88.

Anonymous said...

I gather that KC has made a tactical decision to back off on Chemerinsky given the support that has surfaced for him on this page, though I am sure he will continue to trash everyone else under the sun in order to deflect criticism from the LAX players.

Anonymous said...

Chicago writes:

Just another day in North Carolina. Below is from WRAL

HAWTHORNE, Fla. — A North Carolina woman was arrested after complaining to a police officer that the crack cocaine she had just purchased wasn't very good, authorities said.

Eloise D. Reaves, 50, approached the Putnam County sheriff's deputy at a convenience store Friday, telling him that another man had sold her "bad crack" that contained wax and cocaine.

She pulled an alleged crack rock out of her mouth and placed it on the deputy's car for inspection, the Palatka Daily News reported for Tuesday editions.

The deputy told Reaves that she would be arrested if the crack tested positive for cocaine.

She was charged with possession of cocaine and bonded out for $1,504

Anonymous said...

Everyone should look at the third response to Jason T's response to Brodhead.

It's right on the money.

texasyank said...

Re Holloway:

Speaking as an English professor at a two-year college in Texas, I can attest to this:

Ask an English teacher to talk about Keats, and what you (mostly) hear is brilliance.

Ask an English teacher to talk about an issue of the day, and what you (mostly) hear sounds like the ravings of a drunk at the corner bar.

Anonymous said...

Chicago writes:

Any one suspect Nifong may drop the charges on Christmas Day or something, a day in which almost no one pays attention to the media outlets as their is little to report regarding business, news etc? Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

I will leave this to the historians to confirm, but I believe that never has a university treated its students as badly as Duke has treated the three indicted lacrosse players. This includes the administration, trustees and most of the faculty. Duke's actions, and inactions, have contributed to the blatant violation of the players' civil rights and helped create a lynch mob mentality last Spring which placed the lacrosse players in physical danger on and off campus.

In light of the numerous examples of egregious prosecutorial misconduct, the best support Duke has to offer is a statement by the President that the students are presumed to be innocent under the law. What a sad commentary on the the moral compass of a once highly respected university. I have spoken to many people about Duke's actions and virtually all of them say that they would not send their child to Duke.And it's not because the lacrosse players, as well as other student groups, hosted a stripper party. Rather it is because of 1) Duke's abandonment of its students who have been unjustly victimized by a rogue DA 2)the unfair targeting of Duke students by Durham authorities which Duke has supported or at least condone 3)the racial tensions in Durham which seem to be getting worse and which endanger Duke students and 4)the exposure of certain Duke faculty members whose qualifications, motives and genuine concern for their students appear very questionable.

Do you hear that sound? It's the sound of Duke sliding down in the rankings of colleges and universities. There are a number of measures to assess the performance of the president of a university. One relevant measure would be the university's rankings at the beginning and end of his term. How will this President fare under this measure ?

Had Duke strongly supported the lacrosse players early on , I firmly believe this mess would have been over by now. Of course, we don't know this for sure. But what we do know is that , in any event, Duke should have done the right thing and stood up for the just treatment of its students. Had Duke done that, its reputation would have been enhanced. People would have been using words like loyalty, pride and courage instead of abandonment,shame and cowardice.

This incident will forever be a big part of Duke's history. Unfortunately,because of the behavior of the adminstration, trustees and most faculty, it's a chapter that proud Duke alumni will not remember with pride.

Jack Straw said...

to 9:27 and 11:17,

The reason I have been so interested in this case is because I saw my school's reputation slandered and abused by a malicious hack of a local prosecutor. The only thing worse than Nifong's bullying stubborness has been my school's cowardice in responding. In spite of media distortion and Nifong lies, it is obvious to everyone now that no rape occurred. For school administrators and people on the ground close to the facts to refuse to confront Nifong and his abuse of power for so long is a demonstration of institutional cowardice and has allowed the incredible damage to the school's name and reputation to continue for nine months, in my personal opinion. Only this week, in the face of overwhelming evidence, has Brodhead issued remarks that show the faintest glimpse of a spine.

KC Johnson, on the other hand, with no ties to Duke, has relentlessly done more to expose the lies and unethical behavior of this abusive prosecution than anyone else out there, in the face of relentless media lies, attacks, or dismissal. Through his gathering of facts and evidence, he has brought publicity and attention to the fact that the entire prosecution was politically motivated.

If Johnson has an axe to grind with Brodhead or Chemerinsky who have done, well, nothing, to protect or stand up for the victims of a political prosecution while he has worked tirelessly, I give him a lot of latitude.

So 9:27, for you to jump into this board and accuse him of spin and hype is offensive and extremely antagonizing. However, rather than respond with heat, I will simply write that Johnson has been an enormous friend of Duke for the last nine months, even as he castigates members of the institution who should have been more responsible.

sincerely,
Jack Straw
T'94

Anonymous said...

What created the lynch mob mentality last spring and placed the lacrosse players in physical danger was the Ryan McFadyen email about killing and skinning strippers, which hit like a nuclear bomb and exponentially increased the tensions in Durham regarding the LAX case. Also, I believe that Duke has something in the neighborhood of 1200 faculty members, 88 of whom signed the statement in The Chronicle criticizing the players. Would you please explain how you get to the conclusion that MOST of the faculty have treated the players in an unacceptable fashion.

duke09parent said...

11:29's "Duke should have done the right thing and stood up for the just treatment of its students. Had Duke done that, its reputation would have been enhanced. People would have been using words like loyalty, pride and courage instead of abandonment,shame and cowardice."

I agree with that thought completely, and I am one who could have forgiven the early bumbling of Duke administrators had they turned around once the 2nd DNA results, limited as they were, were released in May.

Bill, regarding the H/S editorial of today -- I don't think they have turned into princes. Oh no, they are still toads. I just thought it was notable that even the toads recognize some of the abuses in print.

bill anderson said...

I second Jack Straw's comments.

Without being in K.C.'s extremely intelligent head, I can tell you what has motivated him, other than a basic sense of justice and right and wrong.

It also has been the response of the Duke faculty, or, specifically, the Gang of 88. Those of us in teaching positions are in positions of trust, and these values are universal. When the Gang of 88 broke trust, and when the Duke Administration broke trust, they violated what we hold to be universal standards.

I am glad K.C. has chosen to be invoved -- at great cost to himself. Neither he nor I are persons of means, and neither one of us has made a penny from this. But there are times when people need to speak out. This is one of them.

Brandi from the UK said...

11:17 AM - all I can say to you is "wow". ps- Love that you are always 'anonymous', as much as you may disagree with KC and the others, at least they have the courage to stand up for something they believe in- AND say who they are.

Anonymous said...

from a non-lawyer: To quote UNC law professor Joe Kennedy: "I think the best course of action, at this moment, is for Mike Nifong to remove himself from the case or for him to be removed." Source: WRAL.com (print and video available under local news last night)

Anonymous said...

Am I the only one who finds Brodhead's press release Monday duplicitous? Either you're for due process and for protecting your students or you're for protecting your own derriere. As to the Duke faculty not having adequate time to study the issues in Nifong's case, please inform the rest of us what other legal event has usurped this one in 2006 in terms of media coverage and proximity to Duke's future?

bill anderson said...

To 11:41 AM:

Give it up. McFayden's email, as bad as it was (quoted from a book on Duke's reading list), did not cause Nifong to lie.

The email was released in April, long after the campus had exploded and the lynch mobs formed. So, get your timeline straight.

Yes, there are 1,200 faculty members at Duke, yet they were cowed by the Gang of 88. Futhermore, look at the so-called campus initiatives which are dominated by the 88.

If you don't know about the timelines and other aspects of this case, then ask questions, and don't post ex cathedra comments on this board.

Anonymous said...

Chicago writes:

Broadhead's statement pushes for a trial because he WANTS this thing to go to trial.

If this case does not go to trial, then he looks VERY bad!

Anonymous said...

Duke is overrated, and Brodhead has no clothes ...Pathetic institutional breakdown.

GPrestonian said...

11:19 Anon

Everyone should look at the third response to Jason T's response to Brodhead.


Got a link, or other indication as to what you're talking about? LS, but where?

duke09parent said...

The McFadyn gross email only explains the Duke administration's wild overreaction on April 5, when the email was publicized. That's the day Pressler's resignation was forced and the rest of the lacrosse season was cancelled.

Later information, including the Coleman commitee's report, showed that 1) that the email was a parody of a book on some courses' reading lists, also turned into a major motion picture, and that McFadyn's summary suspension was found unfair and lifted, 2)that the lacrosse team was not "out of control" but had bad behaviors not much worse than other teams and good behaviors better than most, 3) that Pressler was trying to control some of the drinking behavior but wasn't told of some of it by other Duke administrators who knew of the minor violations, and 4) contrary to many early reports, the lacrosse team and captains HAD cooperated with police, far beyond what they were required to do.

All of this is pretty old news, but bears repeating occasionally for those who haven't followed the case closely.

Anonymous said...

from a non-lawyer:
On www.lincolntribune.com, Congressman Jones again requested the USAG to continue his inquiry into the misconduct of Nifong, with the caveat that new evidence has emerged that Nifong withheld exculpatory evidence in the Friday hearing. It was posted at 1042 EST.

Anonymous said...

suggest everyone write to the Pulitzer committee on behalf of KC Johnson (yes, u can get Ps for blogs)--1 cavil re Estrich--believe she took Precious's side early on--on deadline, so can't verify

11:29 & 10:21--great posts--those letters should be combined and sent to the Board of Trustees

re 11:19 I wrote the 3d post in response to Jason T's "Brodhead's Response". Here it is:

Jason,

Your letter to Brodhead is not strong enough.

By "other concerns," I assume you're alluding to the academic welfare class at Duke euphemistically referred to as the Group of 88. It's the 3d round and--believe me--Brodhead's wobbly: Why not knock him out? Why didn't you ask him what he plans to do with these pseudo-academic thugs? It's a legitimate question.

IMO, Brodhead's an incompetent bitch: Why not address future letters to the Board of Trustees? Brodhead has categorically demonstrated time and again that he's an inert coward, so shouldn't our strategy now be to get him fired? He violated THE MOST IMPORTANT OBLIGATION of a college president--protecting the rights and dignity of his charges (see in loco parentis) from the scum that are otherwise referred to as "DA" and "Professor."

This makes me want to puke.

Let's get rid of this bastard.

Jim Clyne

Anonymous said...

to 11:41. If you read my post carefully, I said that Duke's actions, and inactions, helped create the lynch mob mentality. The Group of 88's " actions" by their race based public statement condemning the lax players and supporting the distribution of the" wanted posters" around campus ; most of the other faculty's " inactions" by remaining silent and not speaking up for their students and against the terrible rush to judgment. Duke's administration allowed these vigilante tactics to happen and, to this day, as far as I know,has not publicly criticized the 88 professors for issuing this inflammatory statement. There are numerous documented actions and inactions(not all of which are public) by Duke which placed the lax players in harms way, both from the standpoints of their legal rights and physical well being. By the way,I agree that the President's latest statements seem to support a trial. Presumably Duke feels this will be its only chance to justify its reprehensible treatment of its students.

Jeff Z said...

There is a deeper, far more troubling problem with Duke than the legal matters. These lacrosse players are students of the school. It is Duke's responsibility to take care of them as well as it can--not lie for them, or shield them from the legal consequences of their actions, but to make sure that they are treated fairly and correctly.

Undergraduates are not children, of course, but they are not full adults, either, especially if they are under 21. Any institution: educational, military, religious, etc, that accepts young people has a responsibility to them. The passivity, mendaciousness, and indifference of the Duke administration is disgusting, but the behavior of its faculty is appalling. They simply do not have the qualities required to serve in their positions.

Any parent and student who is considering Duke had better realize that the school feels no responsiblity for them and will be perfectly happy to sacrifice their interests to its. If Duke is willing to allow, contribute, and even encourage three obviously innocent students having their lives destroyed because ... because ... because it has somehow calculated that it is more to its advantage to let them hang, what makes you think the school is going to give any consideration to its students when it comes to less momentous matters?

Anonymous said...

Brodhead has his nuts in a vise.

If he says too much the Gang of 88 will castrate him, but if he says too little he could end up as the president who destroyed Duke.

Anonymous said...

1:18--add your post to the others i referenced

well done, indeed

jc

Anonymous said...

1:27--agree, but this is not about nuts or vises

IT'S ABOUT LEADERSHIP

Brodhead is a dead man walking

If it turns out he's not, you're a fool to support Duke in any way--especially by sending your children there

jc

Anonymous said...

Chemerinsky used to be at USC Law and he was never shy about speaking out regarding civil liberties and due process violations while he was out here. Now suddenly he has nothing to say. I have to ask myself why. Who knows, maybe it's something in Durham's water.

Anonymous said...

re law school rankings:

according to US News, Univ of Virginia is ranked 8th, Duke 11th

Prediction: Ratings for all schools at Duke will decline

Not only will smart students be repulsed, but smart parents will refuse to pay the gate

And smart faculty? Forget about it!

Why not annex Duke to NCCU?

Anonymous said...

I concur with 12:29, who stated: The university has gotten its excellent reputation due to its students. Once they stop coming it will be a mediocre institution.

Currently Duke is ranked up there with the Ivies as the place to go for the elite white male student with high GPA's and SAT's (even higher than Brown, etc) These students are in fact a very valued commodity among elite schools. The admissions offices recognize very well that the elite female applicants shadow the elite males. Notice that all the Ivies have roughly a mix of 50-50 male to female, with very high grades and test scores.

There are already indications that the early admissions quality of applicants has dropped off for Duke, with the number of out of state male students off by more than a third. This is an extremely bad portent of things to come. I can see Duke quickly dropping to the level of Boston U, where the quality of applicant is significantly less than Duke is currently, and the boy-girl mix is 40-60. (they have recently instituted a reverse affirmative action to get more boys in)

A school that is, or rather percieved to be, hostile to white males is going to be no better than a second rate school. Most colleges have a PC problem, but the Ivy leagues at least try to keep the overt hostility to their students under check. Duke is gonna have to live with the consequences of their new rep for a long time, in my opinion.

bill anderson said...

I have been making this point for a while regarding Duke's admissions future. There are a number of trouble spots for Duke:

1. By permitting the Gang of 88 to be front-and-center and to take charge of "campus initiatives," the administration was de facto giving credence to the group's claims;
2. The main target of the hatefest was white males from upper-middle-class and upper-class families;
3. These groups constitute much of what one would call the "paying customers" of Duke's $40+K tuition, and these students and families can take their business elsewhere.

While Duke desperately tries to blame ALL of this on the LAX players, it was the faculty and administration at Duke that has done it. The administration created and stuck to its talking points.

As for the faculty, only a tiny handful of faculty members outside the Gang of 88 spoke up, and immediately they were the targets of a hatefest. Other faculty members who were against the Gang were too cowed and too frightened to speak up to this privileged group.

I'll also predict that the Gang will be further strengthened in the future. They smelled both blood and cowardice, and they will gain even more power and influence at Duke.

Obviously, this is going to be a real problem for Duke, and the only way that the university can be able to recruit those "paying" students will be to take very public steps of firing Brodhead and others, and issuing a public apology to the three indicted young men, as well as to the other members of the LAX team.

However, I can assure you that such a move would meet huge amounts of resistance, so I doubt that the people at Duke will do what is necessary. Thus, we will have the death of a thousand cuts.

To make matters worse, this is going to make Duke-Durham relations even more tenuous. All of us know that once this criminal case is concluded, there will be death threats from the Durham community against Duke students, and I would predict that criminal assaults against Duke students by locals will increase.

In fact, the people of Durham likely will go out of their way to make Duke students unwelcome and unsafe. If the charges are dropped or the players acquitted, the people of Durham will transfer their rage to Duke, and it will not be pretty.

Moreover, there is going to be litigation following this, as well as the continuing saga of Michael Nifong. To paraphrase Nifong in April, this case will not go away, not matter how much Duke will want it to be that way.

Anonymous said...

Bill, you say that after the LAX case is concluded, there will be death threats against Duke students from "the Durham community" and that "the people of Durham" will likely go out of their way to make Duke students feel unwelcome and unsafe. So I guess everyone in Durham is a black racist who hates white guys, right? Also, would you please provide us with some evidence to back up your repeated statements that the entire faculty of Duke has been cowed by the group of 88 who supposedly constitute the privileged group at Duke. I cannot imagine where you came up with that idea because I know for a fact that many members of the group of 88 were not even tenured professors. Some of them were just instructors in the writing program. I guess I do not understand how full tenured professors could be intimidated by assistant professors or instructors in the writing program. Or maybe those full tenured professors just honestly believe that this affair should be handled by the criminal justice system, which would explain why they did not sign the statement in The Chronicle or make any other public statements about the case.

Anonymous said...

To 2:33 PM: I really loved your statement that all of the brilliant young women at Duke and other comparable schools are just following the "elite white male" students. I wonder if any of the ladies in the audience would like to give us their reactions to that statement. I think you and Larry Summers would be a good team.

duke09parent said...

I confess I am a bit nervous about my son being out and about Durham in the months after this is over. He is probably going abroad for the Fall semester, though, and any security problems made worse by this case should have dissipated by then. Some parts of Durham aren't all that safe for students already, by the way.

Most of Durham will still be hospitable to Duke students. It's the lunatic fringe I worry about.

The 20% drop in early admissions applications is significant. A little of the drop might be attributable to the growing disfavor of the process, but to me it means a lot of people aren't automatically in love with the place. The overall application numbers will be a better indicator. There might be many kids who might have applied early who will still apply but want to look at others and also want more time to see how the case plays out. I'll be watching the percentage change in applications, compared to similar schools, to see what impact the case is making on prospective students.

We've heard one account of the women's soccer team having trouble recruiting. I wonder if other "minor" sports (i.e. not basketball and not football) are having the same trouble.

bill anderson said...

I will try to answer the 3:29 PM post as best I can:

"Bill, you say that after the LAX case is concluded, there will be death threats against Duke students from "the Durham community" and that "the people of Durham" will likely go out of their way to make Duke students feel unwelcome and unsafe. So I guess everyone in Durham is a black racist who hates white guys, right?"

In the aftermath of the first wave of accusations, there WERE death threats against Duke students from the black community. Also, local ministers and activists welcomed the New Black Panthers to Durham, and these people uttered death threats against Reade Seligmann. In fact, in Stephens' courtroom, one of them yelled a death threat to Seligmann, and the judge did not have him removed.

(Remember, Nifong met with the NBP to give them information on the case, and all of us know how truthful Mikey is.)

Where did I say that ALL BLACKS in Durham are white-hating racists? It only takes a few, but the organizations such as the NAACP and the black churches clearly have taken a "the three accused ARE guilty" approach.

If the judge throws out the charges, or the young men are acquitted, do you think that Durhamites are going to stay quiet? You KNOW there will be some violence or at least threatened violence. I wish it were not true, but you and I already have seen what has occurred.

"Also, would you please provide us with some evidence to back up your repeated statements that the entire faculty of Duke has been cowed by the group of 88 who supposedly constitute the privileged group at Duke."

I have received personal emails from Duke professors who agree with our point of view, but have not spoken out. Look, the untenured professors in AAS and other such race/gender/class studies areas are nearly untouchable. They are not held to the same standards of scholarship as professors in other disciplines, something K.C. has pointed out many times.

Look at what happened to one person who used "tarred and feathered" in an article. Immediately, he was branded a racist and he backtracked quickly, even though "tarred and feathered" is NOT a racist term.

I work on a college campus, and I know what happens to faculty members who are branded "sexist" or "racist" or "homophobic." Life becomes much more difficult for them. Now, if people in, say, engineering did not have to worry at all about what the AAS people say and do, then that would be one thing.

However, issues of tenure are decided not just by one's college, but also the entire university. Believe me, the AAS people have inordinate amounts of power at places like Duke.

Remember when Larry Summers was run out of Harvard? It was the Arts and Sciences faculty that ran him out, not the faculties of other colleges. Summers had a lot of support elsewhere, but the arts and sciences crowd rules.

Your next statement:
"Or maybe those full tenured professors just honestly believe that this affair should be handled by the criminal justice system, which would explain why they did not sign the statement in The Chronicle or make any other public statements about the case."

I hate to tell you this, but my writing and K.C.'s writing, and all of the blogs exist precisely BECAUSE the criminal "justice" system of North Carolina has been handling this case.

Are you saying that Nifong is doing what is right? Do you have confidence in him? Are you aware of the many wrongful convictions in the NC system?

For you to express all of this confidence in the system is mind-blowing. We are speaking out because the system has been a juggernaut of illegality.

I am proud to be speaking out on this case and on other cases. If we were to just stand by quietly and "let the system work," as you put it, I suspect these young men would be facing a Durham jury that would convict them without a second thought. The publicity that the blogs have created has been the difference in making this another railroad job, and forcing Nifong's wrongdoing into the open.

Now, if wrongdoing is fine with you, then, to quote Nifong when confronted with exculpatory evidence about Reade Seligmann, you and I have nothing to talk about.

Anonymous said...

to 3:41

I didnt say "all of the brilliant young women at Duke" . I'm sure there are many who could care less if Duke was all female, or 62-38 female, which is pretty much the average freshman college class in the country. (Or haven't you noticed?)

The fact is, many heterosexual females don't like the idea of outnumbering the male population 2 to 1. As I mentioned, Boston U has instituted a (not so) clandestine policy of admitting male students at a faster rate than females, in order to address the inbalance there.

Like it or not, all the Ivy League and the "best of the best" schools enroll roughly at 50-50 male to female. If Duke wants to emulate the "average" college and enroll mostly women, than I think they should maintain their current policy of allowing their leftist tenured proffessors publicy emasculate a group of "criminally innocent" male athletes, and sitting there neutrally while an out of control State prosecutor persecutes them

Anonymous said...

Irony, thy name is The Herald-Sun. So, the one law professor doesn't think their affiliation with Duke should be used to leverage one side or the other.

Yet, that's exactly what has happened by virtue of this leak. The H-S presented that quote in an article that left the impression that the Duke Law faculty support Nifong.

So will she write to correct the record and clear up that she neither supports nor opposes prosecutorial misconduct? Time will tell.

theman said...

The Duke88 are right they see the big pic. They know these guys are guilty of something and belong in jail.

Anonymous said...

Bill, I found your explanation of how the full tenured professors of Duke could be intimidated by the assistant professors and writing instructors who make up most of the group of 88 to be very unconvincing. I think the tenured faculty and administrators of Duke simply believe that the accusations against the players should be resolved by the criminal justice system without interference by Duke. This does not mean that they are weak or spineless or being intimidated by the group of 88. It simply means that they do not agree with the position that you and KC and some of the anonymous posters on this website have taken on this issue. Also, despite some comments by you and KC and others to the contrary, there is no evidence to support the idea that this situation would have been handled differently at Harvard, Yale, Princeton, or any other elite university. Alan Dershowitz is a member of the faculty of Harvard Law School and a very brilliant and outspoken defender of civil rights, but to the best of my knowledge, he has not made any public statements about this case, even though he could easily have done so if he thought it was appropriate, nor has any other member of the faculties of HYP made any public statements about the case. Of course, we could always bring in Donna Shalala to run Duke as you and some others have suggested, but given her radical feminist views, I doubt that she would make any loud public statements of support for the players either.

Anonymous said...

Does any one think this would be happening if these students were black

Anonymous said...

if brodhead isn't fired, it's the beginning of the end for duke

TO ALL POSTERS: please do not use the euphemism "Group of 88"--

they're the stupidest people on campus (the SPCs)

thank you very much

Anonymous said...

it's a dirty little secret, but black studies has the stupidest professors and students at Duke

I'd guess most black studies professors have IQs in the 89-99 range, while the affirmative action students sport an amazing 90-95

HMan said...

To 5:53
Let me try to understand. Are you asserting or implying that Nifongs behaviour in this case should be placidly regarded as "the system working?" I don't get it. Do you accept the legitimacy of this prosecution or not? If Nifongian methods are your natural idiom as well, then we have nothing more to talk about. If, on the other hand, you have some sort of moral compass and therefore are repelled by repeated lie-ing by the authorities and blatant, illegal covering up of crucial evidence, why not say so? Out loud where Duke/Durham can hear?
As for other elite schools, I seriously doubt that many of them would supinely tolerate a nakedly corrupt prosecution of some of their kids even if they were white males. For one thing, they would be similarly damaged if they did.
As for gender balance on campus. After 20 years of assiduous redesigning of the education gulag to favor the girls at guys expense the desired and planned for result has come to pass - too few guys with high-school credentials equal to the womens.
If most college women are lesbian seperatists, everything is fine. But if they aren't then who do they date? The janitor? There remains something about having 2 X chromosomes that inspires a desire to "date up". In many settings, the math is starkly against elite women.
Have you ever wondered what is behind he "hook-up" culture of college dating these days? Maybe, just maybe, it is the critical shortage of guys that the women really want. So they compete for them rather drastically by dressing like girls-gone-wild and having sex before the first date.
So much for feminists insight into human nature.

bill anderson said...

If that guy really believes that "the system works," then he needs to contact me so I don't have to use eBay to sell the Brooklyn Bridge. I can sell it to him.

Unless you have taught college, you have no idea what the PC crowd can do. These are not people constrained by right and wrong, and if one tries to buck them, one is called racist, sexist, and homophobic.

To most professors, this is the kiss of death, since to be attacked this way means no more promotions, raises, and the like.

But if anyone thinks the "system works," after this fraud has cost millions of dollars and ruined the lives of many people, then I sure as hell would hate to see a system that does NOT work.

I'm not answering any more of the guy's questions or comments. Nuff said. I'll let theman do it. He has a better sense of humor than do I at this moment.

Jakki said...

I agree with theman, the duke88 know what is going on. This is a frameup for the rape victim, she was raped.

Anonymous said...

To 6:56 PM:

The dry cleaners called and said your white sheet is ready to be picked up.

Anonymous said...

10:20

as long as it's 100% cotton

what does "quality cotton sheets" have to do with stupid blacks at elite campuses?

see, that's the bitch, buddy boy

i asked a good question, and you will name call, knowing that a spade is a spade, to coin a phrase

Concerned Texan said...

The closer I look at Duke, the more disappointed I become. My biggest fear, however is that it does not stand alone in its lack of leadership, or perhaps more correctly stated, its lack of courage. Duke has its good apples and its rotten apples. Unfortunately, we only hear (with few exceptions) from the rotten ones. The good guys are afraid to take their white hats out of the closet, fearing they might become a target of the more vocal and organized special interest groups. To them I say, "Stand up and be counted. Each of us has only so many opportunities in our lifetimes to be heros, this is yours!!" Sad that in this day and age, doing what is right qualifies you as a hero. For God sake, wake up. Duke and Durham, you are a laughing stock. You know it. Everyone watching, knows it and generations to come will know it. Bad reputations aren't easily lost, but doing what is right is a good place to start.

30yearProf said...

I'm a top 10% graduate of Duke Law School. I don't contribute to it.

The problem at the law School is, IMHO, a very bad case of political correctness.

anotherfac said...

An unknown figure—either a law professor or an affiliate who teaches a course at the Law School—leaked to the Herald-Sun e-mails showing that at least four members of the Duke Law faculty, in writing, opposed signing a statement criticizing Nifong’s prosecutorial misconduct.

The arithmetical implication is that about 50 Law School faculty did not oppose signing the statement.

Anonymous said...

I think everyone posting here would do well by themselves to check out www.dictionary.com's definition of "generalization."

Let's stop trying to judge entire departments based on individual action, or whole communities based on ten people.

As a current Duke student who applied to Duke Law, I can honestly say that I am proud to identify myself with the Duke community due partly to the fact that it is not homogenous, that people are able and unafraid to express their opinions--but due mostly to the fact that this place is still a special, sacred haven for intellectual pursuit, despite the media hailstorm.

Let's cool it with the stereotypes and accusations. Isn't that what has fueled this fire from the beginning?

Scott said...

I am a Duke Law alumnus, and this post makes me ashamed of it. That faculty would oppose criticizing Mr. Nifong's obvious prosecutorial misconduct in this case is, to put it mildly, reprehensible. I previously refused to donate to Duke over their decision regarding letting certain speakers in, but this one is cementing my resolve that Duke University and Law School will not recieve a dime from me.