Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Collin Finnerty Statement

First I would like to thank Roy Cooper and his office for their work over the past 3 months. Once they were involved I knew that fair and objective eyes were looking at the case, and I was confident that justice would prevail.

There are many other people I’d like to thank for their continuing support over the last year.

The three defense teams involved in this case demonstrated their great legal skills, their ability to work together and their commitment to exposing the truth.

My family and especially my parents. My mom and dad really showed their true love for each other and for their family as they held the 5 kids together through so much. I know my mom is probably feeling the best of anybody in this room and she definitely deserves it. My family has always stood behind me and they were there with unwavering support from the first minute this case arose. Although we went through many tough times, both emotionally and physically, I feel closer to them now then I have ever before. Definitely one of the best things to come from this experience.

My friends and my girlfriend always gave me a place to turn to when the pressure that goes along with being falsely accused was mounting.

Many students at Duke showed how much they believed in our innocence. Especially the guys and women’s lacrosse teams, the coaches, and the students for an Ethical Durham. And the many people in Durham who worked hard to ensure that this day would come.

The people at Chaminade High School have also been supporters from day one and I am proud to be one of their alumni.

KC Johnson for his diligent work exposing the truth every day.

I would like to thank all the supporters from across the entire country -- the hundreds of letters I received from strangers gave my family a boost of confidence that we three families did not stand alone in this fight.

Something important about these three families up here, the Seligmanns' the Evans' and the Finnerties', is that we have become one big family through all this. We have a bond that will last forever. It's been a very long and emotional year for me and for all of us.

At points it was very tough to see the light and even imagine a day without this weight on my shoulders. Knowing I had the truth on my side was really the most comforting thing of all throughout the past year. There were many up’s and down’s and points where it seemed like it would never end, but with the help of all our supporters each day seemed to get a little bit better. Today is that day we have all been waiting for.

I now look forward to a lot of things although I will not miss the constant attention from the media. I am excited to return to being a college student. I hope to return to the field again to play lacrosse and I can’t wait to return to a normal life on Long Island.

Although I have not been away at college over the past year I have learned a lot. I now understand in a way that I never did before that family and friends is what matters most.

I hope to use my experience to prevent this from ever happening to anyone again. There seemed to be some flaws in the legal system that should be addressed. For example, the fact that in North Carolina there are no recordings of what was said in the Grand Jury and also the need to establish checks and balances on the total power of the DA. In the future I will do everything I can to help others who face a situation similar to the one I had over the last year.

Finally I just would like to say thank you to everyone who supported me. This experience will be with me forever and I will never forget all those who stood right next to me throughout it all. The truth finally did prevail, as so many told me it would. Thank you.

17 comments:

Chicago said...

KC-You took out your own name, don't be so humble, you deserve credit. Collin thanked you specifically.

JFH said...

Hey, you missed the point of the speech where he thanks YOU!!!!

Anonymous said...

Finnerty just thank you KC for all your hard work (on Foxnews) -KFinn (Not his father)

Anonymous said...

Listening to these intelligent, well spoken young men speak about their horrible ordeal is such a stark contrast to the sickening lies and propaganda spewed out by Mike Nifong and his ilk.

NSC said...

I am watching his statement and I believe you left out the part where he thanked you, KC. Don't short-sell what you did for those young men. Good on ya.

Anonymous said...

YaY!! KC got mentioned!

Anonymous said...

KC gets his props!

Anonymous said...

Whoops Seligmann just thanked you as well!
-KFinn

Anonymous said...

KC Johnson gets props again! The rare Seligman - Finnerty combo! Way to go!

Ricardo said...

It was clear from the statements of these three young men that Read and Collin will never come back to Duke. I realize that we truly deserve it, but at the same time when you see them speak after everything that's happened, you also see what we have lost.

duke09parent said...

Unprecedented: Criminal defendants in a nationally covered case, once officially exonerated, publicly thank a heretofore obscure college professor several states away who was bugged about other college professors trashing their students, bugged enough to start writing an internet blog about the case.

Great work KC and well deserving of thanks among the other heroes of this case.

I was in tears several times during that conference. I had to close the door of my law office.

Anonymous said...

This day might not have happened without all the help from you, K.C.Johnson. I don't know you but I do feel you are being too modest. May God bless you for all that you did for these young men. You must feel so proud of them when you see them get in front of the press and speak so eloquently and know that you stood up for them all along.

Bakerman said...

Thanks to Professor KC Johnson , I just saw signs of the America I thought we had lost.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Finnerty really nailed one of the essential problems that this case exposed and must be fixed, not only in NC, but in many other states, the Grand Jury system. The GJ is supposed to serve as a check on overzealous DAs, but that did not happen here, and it seldom works in the way intended.

Anonymous said...

Collin Finnerty proves that
some of our youth still have
character, that they have
courage.

Can't speak for the rest of
you folks out there, but it's
hard to imagine being as stoic
as Mr. Finnerty and his teammates.
High-roaders, all.

What a contrast to the low-
roaders - we don't need to
gutter this up with their names -
and what a contrast between the
clear, clean investigative work
that KC (and other bloggers)
have provided with the sloppy,
indolent, shabby excuse for
journalism sliming out of their
PCs and typewriters.

This is one of the greatest
examples of contrasting pictures:
good vs. evil, hero vs. villain.

Mr. Finnerty: we respect you.


Mac

Anonymous said...

should have edited better:

"sloppy, indolent, shabby excuse
for journalism..."
from paid journalists and
reporters..."sliming out
of their PCs and typewriters..."
and onto the pages of the NY
Times and other places of ill-
repute.

Mac

Anonymous said...

Great message collin. i know your mother father, and other family memebers, along with the whole lacrosse community of DI lax was and is always behind you!