Thursday, April 12, 2007

Yesterday's Highlights

Some highlights from yesterday’s affair:

The press conference showed what anyone who has gotten to know the three targets of Mike Nifong’s misconduct or the defense team long ago recognized: the lawyers are extraordinarily talented, and the each of the players is impressive, but in different ways with different personalities.

Speaking to people after the remarks, most in attendance seemed impressed that Dave Evans, Collin Finnerty, and Reade Seligmann all used their addresses not only to give people a sense of their experiences over the past year and to thank those who have helped them through everything, but to recommend changes in the North Carolina judicial system to ensure that what happened to them can never occur to another innocent person.

Differing portions of the attorneys’ remarks stood out:

Joe Cheshire’s public recognition of Brad Bannon’s case-breaking performance;

Jim Cooney’s decision to call out the abysmal coverage from the Herald-Sun before a national TV audience;

Wade Smith’s hilarious response to a reporters’ question on whether Nifong would apologize (“I checked my cellphone” but saw no response);

Cooney’s blasting of a reporters’ question about whether the players asked for what happened in attending a spring break party (the reporter, Cooney suggested, had “lost an absolute sense of proportionality);

Cooney’s praise of the heroes of the case—people like Jim Coleman or Moez Elmostafa—and his listing as cowards a “number of people in Durham, some of whom teach for a living, who should have spoken up”;

Wade Smith’s lament that Kirk Osborn, the Seligmanns’ lead attorney from April through October, did not live to see the exoneration for which he had fought so hard;

Cheshire’s entire speech—in which he took to task Nifong in a devastating series of comments and denounced “hucksters” from the media (Nancy Grace?).

---------

As with the critical December 15 hearing, many members of the Duke men’s and women’s lacrosse teams were present. Each, in different ways, was vindicated by yesterday’s announcement.

For the men’s team: 46 college students were vilified by the media and many of the very people who taught them for behavior that is hardly out of the ordinary on most college campuses. An irony of this case: so much ink was spilled denouncing the men’s lacrosse players’ character—yet from March 25 until yesterday, they operated under the consistent glare of the media spotlight and demonstrated extraordinary character. They just as easily could have lashed out, or become surly, or grown apart. Instead, they worked from the inside to change the system by registering voters, and did nothing that would strengthen the voices of those in the media or the professoriate who had decided to exploit the case.

The women’s lacrosse team: in the 2006 Final Four, team members wore armbands sympathizing with the three targeted players. For this, they were roundly criticized by columnists from around the country, often in sexist language. To my knowledge, no one who attacked the women’s team—led by Harvey Araton of the New York Times—have apologized for having criticized the women’s players for doing just what they should have done: speaking truth to power.

Also in attendance, by the way, were Jackie Brown and Beth Brewer—the brains behind the Recall Nifong campaign and two of the true heroes of the case. Given all the work they put in to expose Nifong’s misconduct, a share of yesterday’s victory was theirs.

---------

Joe Neff provided an audio summary of the case from the N&O website. He listed three main turning points:

Mid-April to May 1: Osborn went forward with “some remarkable digital evidence that corroborated Reade Seligmann’s alibi.” Seligmann’s alibi “really galvanized public opinion” to look anew at the case.

2) The day that Dave Evans was indicted. “First look at one of these lacrosse players, and it was a powerful public performance.” It helped change public opinion—because it was the first time people got to see lacrosse players personally.

3) Dec. 15: the revelation by Dr. Brian Meehan, under oath, that he and Mike Nifong had entered into an agreement to withhold the exculpatory DNA evidence.

“Fundamentally, this case was of leads not followed, of tips not pursued, of questions not asked.” Neff says that he sees no evidence that the police, or Nifong, or Linwood Wilson ever asked the accuser hard questions.

What happens next? The case is over, but civil cases are likely to ensue. “I think the N&O will likely be reporting the case for years to come.”

Neff also is previewing a multi-part N&O series (five days’ worth of stories). Neff and the N&O team of reporters have done great work on this case in the past several months, and I’m looking forward to the series.

---------

Finally, a word about Roy Cooper. This case has featured an example of a prosecutor who corrupted the justice system and stoked race and class tensions in his hometown to further his political career.

Cooper could have taken the easy way out, delivering a milquetoast statement that dismissed the charges but did little else. Instead, he delivered a speech that will define his political career.

At an early stage of the case, Mike Nifong preposterously asserted that his favorite novels included To Kill a Mockingbird. Yesterday, Roy Cooper provided a reminder that the spirit of Atticus Finch remains alive.

64 comments:

GPrestonian said...

I thought for sure that you'd packed it in for the night, KC!

Now I gotta post this to the LS Roundup....

Jeff said...

Exactly who was it that asked the "Did the players bring it on themselves by attending a party" question? Sounded like either Michaels, or someone I once worked with

Anonymous said...

Thank you for that last paragraph. It's so good to see praise that doesn't include a cynical assessment of political advantage.

Leave that for another day.

Dianna

Anonymous said...

I am so very grateful for the substance and tone AG Cooper's statement yesterday. A bit of my faith has been restored in the NC justice system.

Dan said...

Nice to see you on Nightline tonight - I ordered 4 books on Ebay thru the WFUV Amazon.com link.

Does anyone know where the post-defense conference Q&A might be avaiable on video or transcript?

Anonymous said...

JLS says....,

Neff says that he sees no evidence that the police, or Nifong, or Linwood Wilson ever asked the accuser hard questions.

I know this guy did some solid reporting on this case, but he is not a serious person, if he believes he has any of the evidence about when Nifong met with Mangum and how hard Nifong personally and his investigators pressed her about details.

While Nifong surely knew he was stuck with this case to win his election, I would bet lots of money they had a "come to Jesus" meeting with Mangum when the DNA evidence came back from the state. Nifong had a rape described where Mangum should have had DNA all over her and "spat" some of it on the floor. I suspect there were plenty of sessions with Mangum and these session were purposefully not records.

If Neff can not figure out this stuff himself, he could look at the defense attorneys questions. They repeatedly asked for discovery on the known times Nifong was in the company of Mangum. And earth to Neff YOU ARE DEALING WITH A DA ALREADY CAUGHT ONCE HIDING EVIDENCE AND LYING TO THE COURT. There is no reason on earth to take his word that Mangum was not pressed on these issues.

When Nifong figured out she was lying what could do? He was stuck with this case. He could not dismiss the charges and win the election. The election mattered far more to him.

Anonymous said...

Got this email tonight. For those of you expecting the BOT to take action against Brodhead and the 88, it doesn't look likely at this point. It will probably take some lawsuits to get the BOT itchy enough to take action.

Dear Member of the Duke University Community,

I write to you on behalf of the Trustees of Duke University.

Today the North Carolina State Attorney General announced that all remaining
charges against David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann have been
dropped and should never have been brought. This announcement explicitly and
unequivocally establishes the innocence of David, Collin and Reade, who with
their families have suffered an unimaginable year of accusation and public
scrutiny. They deserve our respect for the honorable way they have conducted
themselves during this long legal ordeal that ends with their exoneration.

The Attorney General determined that there was no credible evidence to support
the charges that were brought, with so many statements of certainty, by the
Durham District Attorney last spring. Many have suffered from his actions,
these three students and their families most of all. The Attorney General's
investigation places responsibility for this miscarriage of justice with the
District Attorney, and we now look to the proceedings of the state bar to call
him to account before his peers.

Much as we wish that these three young men, their teammates and their families
and indeed the whole community of people who love Duke could have been spared
the agony of the past year, we believe that it was essential for the
University to defer to the criminal justice system. As imperfect and flawed as
it may be, it is that process that brings us today to this resolution.

Throughout the past year President Richard Brodhead consulted regularly with
the trustees and has had our continuing support. He made considered and
thoughtful decisions in a volatile and uncertain situation. Each step of the
way, the board agreed with the principles that he established and the actions
he took. As we look back and with the benefit of what we now know there is no
question that there are some things that might have been done differently.
However, anyone critical of President Brodhead should be similarly critical of
the entire board.

In closing, we express our relief for today's outcome and recognize the
character that our three students, their teammates and all of their families
have shown over the past year. Furthermore, we hope that the resolution of
this unfair, divisive and painful episode can serve to unite us all. There is
much to learn from the events that we have lived through, and we intend to put
this learning to use. Duke is a great university that steps up to challenges
and opportunities, and together we will use this moment to make our community
stronger.

Robert K. Steel, Chair, Duke University Board of Trustees

........Alum8284

Anonymous said...

All I can say is...what a great day!!

Anonymous said...

KC, you cannot be thanked enough for your tireless, thorough, and edifying coverage of this travesty. We need more professors (and journalists) like you.

Anonymous said...

Thank you K.C. I'm glad the players thanked you also.
The letter from the BOT tells me your work is no where near done.

Anonymous said...

look little man, joe neff was nothing short of spectactular as a investigative reporter...

in america YOU need multiple sources before you report...

not like the foreign news services or the DUKE ACADEMICS all of whose PHD thesis need to be questioned after the ZERO RESEARCH they did before they published and signed their manifesto..

these players were tough strong men and the duke community KNEW WHO THEY WERE...the trustees, the president, the academics were as silent as the holocaust

JOE was a hero..he reported facts..the herald defended linwood wilson as a PRO...JOE reported the facts and the truth as an example...no one else did ?

i hope JOE wins the pulizer and the POLK award and i hope his newspaper takes the time to get him the recognition he deserves

no man is an island, and without JOE and KC, the DUKE trustees would never be held accountable for the cowardice of their institution, their professors and their president..

Anonymous said...

JLS says....,

re: anon 2:01

I take it that you are not much of a sports fan? The old public "vote" of confidence is a sign that Brodhead is under serious pressure. The vote of confidence is often quickly followed by a resignation.

What will happen in this case it is hard to say. But a vote of confidence is NEVER to be taken at face value. And if Brodhead is an impediment to Duke fund raising, he will be gone. So this is an area Duke alums can have a real influence.

Anonymous said...

BTW - If you feel compelled to state your displeasure with the BOT backing Brodhead all the way, their names are available here:

http://www.duke.edu/web/ous/trusteesgood.htm

2006-2007

Mrs. Anne T. Bass
Fort Worth, TX

Mr. Bruce A. Karsh*
Los Angeles, CA

Dr. Uwe E. Reinhardt
Princeton, NJ

The Hon. Daniel Terry Blue, Jr.*
Raleigh, NC

Dr. Rebecca Trent Kirkland*
Houston, TX

Dr. Robert Coleman Richardson*
Ithaca, NY

Dr. Richard H. Brodhead*
Durham, NC

Mr. J. J. Kiser III
Pawleys Island, SC

Mr. David M. Rubenstein
Washington, DC

Dr. Paula Phillips Burger*
Baltimore, MD

Mrs. Carol Louise Anspach Kohn
Highland Park, IL

Dr. Robert S. Saunders
Durham, NC

Mrs. Paula Hannaway Crown
Chicago, IL

Ms. Kathryn A. Laidlaw
Boston, MA

Mr. Alan D. Schwartz
New York, NY

The Hon. Christine M. Durham
Salt Lake City, UT

Mr. John J. Mack
New York, NY

Rev. Charles M. Smith
Raleigh, NC

Mr. Frank E. Emory, Jr.*
Charlotte, NC

Dr. Ernest Mario*
Wilmington, NC

Mrs. Susan M. Stalnecker
Greenville, DE

Ms. Robin A. Ferracone
San Marino, CA

Bishop J. Lawrence McCleskey
Charlotte, NC

Mr. Robert King Steel, Chair*
New York, NY

Mr. David Gergen
Cambridge, MA

Mr. William P. Miller
Greensboro, NC

Mr. James L. Vincent
Weston, MA

Dr. Thomas M. Gorrie
Pennington, NJ

Ms. Nancy A. Nasher
Dallas, TX

Mr. Anthony Vitarelli
New Haven, CT

Mrs. Janet Hill
Great Falls, VA

Dr. Clarence G. Newsome
Raleigh, NC

Mr. Karl M. von der Heyden*
Vice Chair; New York, NY

Mr. Kenneth W. Hubbard
New York, NY

Mr. G. Richard Wagoner, Jr.*
Detroit, MI

Dr. Kimberly J. Jenkins*
Chapel Hill, NC

Dr. Lewis T. Williams
South San Francisco , CA

* Member of the Executive Committee

.....Alum8284

Anonymous said...

JLS,
I hope you are right, but I am planning to take the issue up with my local BOT member. Nothing to this point has made me purposefully direct my ire at the BOT, but this vote of confidence email has done the trick.


.....Alum8284

Anonymous said...

JLS says....,

re: 2:09

I guess your childish name calling was directed at me? I did not question Neff's reporting only his conclusion jumping. Neff CONCLUDED Nifong, Wilson, Gottlieb never pressed Mangum on her lies.

Since there is no evidence on this one way or the other, I would guess Neff jumped to this conclusion because he along with much of the media does not want to face the inescapable more logical conclusion that they did press Mangum and that Nifong long ago knew this case was a lie and pressed it only for political gain. This inescapable conclusion about Nifon is why we are here.

Anonymous said...

You've done a great service with this blog.

Anonymous said...

this isnt about fund raising its about moral backbone and moral justice.....its about the example that these dimwit trustees are setting for future students while demeaning the great duke alumni who built this great institution

..broadrot still has a letter from the board thats supporting and praising him and all the letter does is spread the rot to include the board that hired him..

there is still a total lack of accountability..and only the media can bring sunshine to this process

Anonymous said...

before you take joe on, id wait til the 5 part series details the background that seems to illude your intelligence...little men arent trustful and the label fits you...my vote is for joes judgement as a matter of moral judgement while yours is flawed in my opinion...

btw i knew youd react to being called little man with emotion rather than logic

Anonymous said...

Atticus Finch? Hah! you must be out of your mind. Cooper was at the hospital 3 times the day before his announcement because he knew this is fatal to his political career here in NC and he wanted to be governor. Hope it was worth it, Cooper, because you blew off the black vote and you will need it if you plan to run. Check out the local news; the black community is still not completely convinced and feel that this is just a case of money talking, not true justice.

Anonymous said...

KC says: "Neff says that he sees no evidence that the police, or Nifong, or Linwood Wilson ever asked the accuser hard questions."

It seems that none of us are asking hard questions of the peddlers of the meta-narrative.

I recall one of the best professors I had, Jack Zammito. He taught European Intellectual History at the Univ of Texas back about 1978.

Anyway, sometimes he and some of us students would gather for impromptu discussions of philosophy. At one of these, Prof. Zammito led out with the bromide that "America is anti-intellectual". I shot back that intellectuals were anti-American. He was startled by the retort, but being the honest Leftist that he was, he admitted that was true.

It's not Crystal; it's not Nifong; it's not even Brodhead. It's the whole meta-narrative about the myth of "white privilege" that we have to teach our children to confront.

clodilla said...

KC - thank you so much for your work on this case. You have no idea of the public service to the causes of justice and fairness you have rendered.

As a law school graduate, I'd like to put in my 2c about the comments on reforming the legal system, and how "lucky" these 3 innocent men were to be able to afford such excellent attorneys to work this case.

It is not enough to call for changes in the law to allow prosecutors to be removed.

It is not enough to push for the extension or preservation of open disclosure laws.

It is not enough to monitor the media for fair coverage of cases and the sanctity of the presumption of innocence.

There must be fundamental and systematic reform in many states' systems of public defense if we are to have any hope that the injustice visited upon these three young men will not be replicated.

Public defender's offices in many states are woefully underfunded. Many other states rely upon "volunteer" attorneys, appointed from the local community, who have no motivation or incentive to carry out even a perfunctory defense of their client. Such arrangements have resulted in lawyers who slept openly through their clients' trials, or were drunk during their clients' trials, some of whom were subsequently convicted and senteced to death.

The Supreme Court's recent, and growing, attention to the problems in capital punishment cases is just the beginning. In order for our legal system to truly function, and to thrive as an example of fairness to all, defendants must have a vigorous defense that is the equal, in funding and in passion, as the prosecution. Even a cursory perusal of the reprehensible history of many of the capital cases that have reached their level is enough to give one pause.

I knew several of my classmates who chose to enter service as public defenders. They were dedicated, enthusiastic young professionals, who knew they were entering a guild of the legal profession that yields little in the way of money or recognition, but is the true linchpin of the fundamental principles of our criminal justice system. If, as many of the figures in the Duke case mentioned today, defendants of lower incomes do not have access to top-quality representation, how can we all have any confidence that there are not innocent men and women in our prisons, or, gods forbid, on our death rows?

We should all take this case as a lesson, among many other lessons, to advocate for full staffing and funding of public defender offices in all of our home states. None of us are safe from misguided and malicious prosecution if we do not all work to ensure that any of us can have well-trained, well-funded, passionate public defenders who will represent us, who will defend us, who will *believe* us, when no one else will.

Anonymous said...

2:42-Remember, the Fong got 95% of the black vote in Durham and look where he's at. Cooper will do much better for himself to court the votes of ALL citizens of N.C. that value justice above political considerations. Don't worry yourself too much, I'm sure there will be some cheap race hustlers for you to vote for still.

Jay said...

KC, I've been following this case from Canada and I am deeply relieved that adult supervision has finally vindicated these three young men.

Your work has vindicated those of us who believe that a citizen, any citizen, can and will use the power of the internet to beat back the MSM frenzy with reporting, logic and insight.

When it comes time to write a real history of blogging, I've no doubt your coverage of this case will be the measure of a single, well informed, relentless citizens ability to change minds and influence events.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

KC,

It appears that your blog - (and
others, too, but especially yours)-
are the main source of REAL
information on this case that
people have been exposed to.

Otherwise, Americans have had
little credible information -
exposed as we have been to the
worst kind of reportage and
bizarre theory-mongering.
Attorney General Cooper did
a nice summary of DIW and
other blogs - even if
he kept insisting that he
wasn't using "outside sources"
to make his decision.

If anything, it proves the
veracity of Professor Johnson's
posts.


If Nancy Dis-Grace and
Wendy Murphy could be described
medically it would be a fine
analogy to see them as chronic
inflammation. That would be
a civil description.

(please note: I'm not inviting
other medical comparisons,
many of which could be
unprintable. Be nice, folks.)

That means that you - KC, and
Wendy McElroy and John and
Bill and all the others - are
the other equivalent: anti-
inflammatories!
The good kind, only causing
heart disease in cancerous,
chronic disease-processes like
Mike Nifong - (now called "No-
Fang.")

Sorry. Had to get that stuff
off my chest.

Congratulations, and let's hope
that the BOT of Duke perceives
the Duke President as something
more akin to Beavis' close friend,
the names and intellect being on
something of the same par.

As far as the 88 being as
untouchable as Ward Churchill?
Not a fair comparison: bad
as the Colo. Prof was, he
didn't attempt to railroad 3
innocent students into the North Carolina version of a Gulag.


Mac

Anonymous said...

WHY did Gov. Mike Easley appoint an interim district attorney, now characterized as a "rogue prosecutor", with the caveat that he not run for the position in the general election. Didn't trust him to run appointed him anyway?

Seems the Gov has gotten a free pass on this one since he provided the matches that created this firestorm.

Anonymous said...

Today was the moment that so many have prayed for -- there is a huge debt of gratitude owed to the many fine internet posters out there. The reality of the "tipping point" has never been more evident.

Today was simultaneously proud and humbling. God bless you all.

Anonymous said...

People - myself included - have
openly wondered why it has taken
so long to get to this point,
and I think the answer is clear:
the State of North Carolina is
close to the point where it can
legally remove Mr. NoFang from
office.

He surely can't operate NOW,
not after the hide-blistering
he got from State AG Cooper.

Mac

GS said...

Nifong is crazy to defend himself against the bar charges. There may well be civil rights charges brought against him and it would be nice to have him give sworn testimony to the bar. Makes a good starting point for the Fed and state investigators as well as civil lawsuit lawyers.

Nifong should just resign and hand in his law license and move to another state. At this point a criminal lawyer would/should tell Nifong not to give a sworn testimony to the bar. Criminal and civil rights investigations and lawsuits are coming down the pike.

Bakerman said...

High sounding, low performing:

"The North Carolina Actual Innocence Commission is nationally recognized as a model for effectiveness and reform. In response to recent exonerations and an increasing sense of the public’s dissatisfaction with the justice system, North Carolina Chief Justice I. Beverly Lake Jr. invited key representatives from the criminal justice system and legal academic community to meet and discuss issues relating to wrongful convictions in November 2002. The commission makes recommendations which reduce or eliminate the possibility of wrongful convictions. Composed of 30 members of the judiciary, law enforcement, defense, academic and victims’ rights communities (appointed by the Chief Justice), the commission meets every 6 to 8 weeks. While authorized to study individual exoneration cases, the commission has focused its work on studying the causes of wrongful convictions. In 2003, the commission issued recommendations for the improvement of eyewitness identification procedures in North Carolina and distributed those recommendations to all law enforcement officials." - see: http://www.innocenceproject.org/Content/415.php

A model? Incredible.

bill anderson said...

K.C.,

You have done very good work, and you really deserve all of the praise you are receiving, and I thank you for standing up for justice.

Now, on to the Fong roast on Friday!

Anonymous said...

Before the Duke/U of Denver men's lacrosse game at 12:00 p.m. on 25 February 2007, Robert Steele told the current parents " all the decisions that have been made over the past 11 months were made by me and the Board of Trustees don't blame Dick Brodhead". This meeting was called by Steele the day before the games that weekend< 23 February>, we as a parent group had requested meetings for 11 months with a flat no" Brodhead and I will not meet with you". The meeting was a vetting wall so to speak and nothing has come of it. I think they were taking the pulse of the current parents and did not realize how upset and disinchanted we are with Duke University"s handling of the previous 11 months "firestorm". Every statement, every non action, each and every item that came from Duke during the past 13 months is attributed to the Trustees of Duke University, NOT DICK BRODHEAD, he is a chess piece in the Game of Life being played by R. Steele .

joe sweet said...

I was absolutely blown away by Roy Cooper's statements yesterday in announcing in no uncertain terms, that the Duke 3 are innocent. He delivered brilliantly, with no hint of equivocation, with clear language spoken in a convincing, unemotional tone that for most of the sane world left no doubt about the complete innocence of Reade, Collin, and Dave.

Further, he left no doubt about Nifong's horrific part in this year-long ordeal, with an out of control media fanning the flames of racism in their relentless pursuit of ratings.

My one regret, is that the Imus flap, the current target of an out of control media and the race baiting team of "reverends" sharpton and jackson, diverted far too much attention from Cooper's historic announcement. In a sense, it was comical to spin the TV dial and see what news was being covered: Imus #1, Duke 3 #2, Anna Nicole Smith #3.

"When will they ever learn,
when will they ever learn?"

scott said...

Steel's statement said --

However, anyone critical of President Brodhead should be similarly critical of
the entire board.

OK, Mr. Steel, I agree with you. I think Brodhead and the entire BoD did a piss poor job in their response to Nifong's hoax.

And Duke personnel need to stop referring to Finnerty and Seligmann as "our students." You lost that privilege the day you kicked them to the curb.

Nifong's hat trick said...

Anon 2:42am

Cooper's honesty & morals certainly can be compared to that of Atticus Finch.
Securing the black vote and protecting his future political career did not play an integral part (as they shouldn't) in Cooper's decision to tell the truth.

KC is right, this decision will define Roy Cooper's political career and he will forever be known for his bravery in placing the truth above all else.
This is character, even if the black community of Durham doesn't care to notice it.

Anonymous said...

FYI, NBC's Today Show just showed the clip of the accuser at the police station without her face blurred, but as far as I could tell no one was yet willing to use her name.

Anonymous said...

Some observations:

Steele is positioning Duke
for arbitration; he in NO WAY
wants any part of a further
exposure/liability of the
University arising from the
escapades of the Crazy 88s,
and he doesn't want any more
negative publicity; he's
basically reassuring the
BOT that he's going to try to
quietly settle the matter -
(little late for that.)
If he wants to come clean,
he should emulate Cooper,
and stop negotiating as
if it means anything.

Another observation:

Compare the three INNOCENT
young men with Marcus Vick.


Mac

Anonymous said...

Roy Cooper certainly is the Atticus Finch/Judge Horton of this case. Mr. Brodhead and the Trustees have performed in a most Machiavellian manner with respect to the defendants (but good for Mr. Steel for acknowledging what we all have known--that President Broadhead's statements and actions have simply reflected the views of the Trustees). The spirit of Iago prevails at Duke with Mr. Brodhead and his professors putting "poison in the ear" of the world about the Duke defendants and to all appearances, sitting back to watch the destruction. Donors and applicants have rewarded this astonishingly sorry performance at Duke with "near record" applications and no apparent fundraising issues...which tells me that the moral rot runs deep indeed.

Observer

Locomotive Breath said...

Let us remember Robert Steel in the New Yorker over the summer...

When Brodhead cancelled the season, he had said that the moment was too serious to be playing games. What he meant, in part, was that Duke could not be seen to be playing games. From the start, Brodhead had been forced to navigate among several potentially hazardous interests—lacrosse parents who felt angry and abandoned by the school, dismayed alumni and donors, the agitated citizens of Durham, the clamoring press—while protecting what is known in the Allen Building as “the Duke brand.” On that fitful weekend in late March when the TV satellite trucks hit campus, the lacrosse team could be seen practicing for the Georgetown game, a scene that became an endless video loop suggesting institutional indifference. “We had to stop those pictures,” Bob Steel says. “It doesn’t mean that it’s fair, but we had to stop it. It doesn’t necessarily mean I think it was right—it just had to be done.”

http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2006/09/04/060904fa_fact?currentPage=1

For him to claim Duke behaved properly? For these two nearly invulnerable men to not stand up for what was right and instead to cave in to what was expedient?

P. Rich said...

"...speaking truth to power."

This is truly a nit, KC, but I am compelled to say that use of this trite slogan is very off-putting. Whenever it appears, I picture a small mob of Leftist idiots with plackards jumping up and down yelling "Hell no, we won't go." (Actually, I think the original context was some deep intellectual argument along the lines of "Bush is evil.").

My reaction to encountering this tired little bromide in a written piece is to stop reading and find better material. I made an exception today because I respect your work. Please lose the slogan, though. It lowers the level of discourse.

Anonymous said...

Sorry about the misspellings--more proofreading next time.

Observer

Locomotive Breath said...

“Fundamentally, this case was of leads not followed, of tips not pursued, of questions not asked.”

Good, Joe Neff's finally apologizing for the N&O's early pathetic performance.

Neff says that he sees no evidence that the police, or Nifong, or Linwood Wilson ever asked the accuser hard questions.

Ooops! It's all Nifong's fault.

Anonymous said...

re Cooper

giving the sociopath Precious Panties a walk was despicable

this guy is a typical politician

Polanski

Anonymous said...

6:51: we already know NC's Actual Innocence Commission is a joke. This became apparent when it was announced that the person chosen to head the Commission was a lawyer with a total of three years' experience -- three years working under the expert tutelage of that world-renowned defender of innocence, none other than Mike Nifong himself (whom the new Innocence Commission head, former ADA, actually praised as a great lawyer!).

Anonymous said...

1:48 am said:

While Nifong surely knew he was stuck with this case to win his election, I would bet lots of money they had a "come to Jesus" meeting with Mangum when the DNA evidence came back from the state.

On April 10, Nifong learned that the accuser's crevices were crawling with DNA, none of which belonged to a lacrosse player.

On April 11, he met with the accuser and claimed in open court that he didn't ask her any substantive quetions.

Which is worse. Nifong is lying or he isn't? If he asked her questions, he was arguably still proceeding in good faith, trying to find the truth. If he didn't, he already knew it was a hoax and had decided to frame Finnerty and Seligmann with the indictments a week later.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Roy Cooper. Your speech yesterday did define you to me as a man and public servant of NC and I will never forget it.

Anonymous said...

Polanski,

Cooper made it clear the accuser is a delusional mental patient--isn't that enough? She believed what she said--every version of it. Perhaps you have never seen a truly delusional person tell a story (or in this case many stories). I have, and I can see why Mr. Cooper does not want to charge her. Mr. Nifong should have figured out the accuser's condition and never charged the defendants. Instead, as we all know, he used her condition and her stories to further his own career.

Observer

Anonymous said...

KC -- thanks.

"Cooper could have taken the easy way out, delivering a milquetoast statement that dismissed the charges but did little else. Instead, he delivered a speech that will define his political career."

Just before Cooper began speaking a Fox reporter was going on and on about how and AG would not declare these men innocent. Cooper's first few sentences included the lines (paraphrased) "not enough evidence to proceed" -- the hair on the back of my neck went up. As he continued... I got goose bumps and shed tears -- that lasted forever.

There are a lot of heros in this case -- Roy Cooper should be added to that list. He stood for truth and justice when so many in this case didn't have the guts.

Thank you Roy Cooper -- and everyone else who has stood (for much longer) tall for the past year.

--jmoo

duke09parent said...

I was astonished to see film last night of KC typing at his computer. HE TYPES WITH TWO FINGERS! My God, how can he put out so much text without being a touch typist? (KC there are voice recognition products which can do word processing, or is that your secret?)

Anonymous said...

As a former Soviet prosecutor, yesterday was indeed a dark day. However, as I was watching the press conference, stewing in my impotence with the exploited classes, I heard something that raised my spirits. The skinny kid's attorney said that he was not at the party where nothing happened. Kamrades can you not see the beauty of such an admission? We can build an entire case around this double negative! Vive la revolution!!!!

Bakerman said...

RE: duke09parent said... "I was astonished to see film last night of KC typing at his computer. HE TYPES WITH TWO FINGERS!"

Imagine if he used all ten!

Interesting too, that many great [male] writers prefer the two-finger method.

don t. said...

KC,

I gotta tell you it made me feel really good, thrilled actually, to hear the boys give you credit for all you have done. Over the course of the past year, I wondered at times if we were not operating in a vacuum out here in the provinces.

GREAT, GREAT JOB, KC.

Trinity60

another.anon said...

[P. Rich said...
"...speaking truth to power."

This is truly a nit, KC, but I am compelled to say that use of this trite slogan is very off-putting. Whenever it appears, I picture a small mob of Leftist idiots with plackards jumping up and down yelling "Hell no, we won't go."]

Hmm... those nested quotes get ambiguous in a hurry.

P. Rich, I agree that as a rule the STTP phrase is just an excuse for cognition-free shouting, this was a great example of what it is *supposed* to mean. KC's use of it should shame the average demonstrator by comparison (probably won't, but should).

Was it Lileks who asked why STTP never means saying "Hey, Power, you did a great job today!"

Anonymous said...

I was surprised at how far Cooper went in his statement. I predicted he would use weasel words and he didn't - he spoke directly and said the boys were innocent. Good stuff, and I have never been so happy to be wrong.

That shows the value of predictions, eh?

Anonymous said...

anonymous8:12
Cooper soft played whether CGM is delusional.As a matter of fact delusional is a different description than demented(Medically).So,one can say Rosie O' Connell is delusional-but not demented.
For CGM to have a condition not to be able to remember or differentiate what was happening wold have been a psychotic episode.
Someone with a psychotic episode would never have been released from a hospital after a brief vag exam.Nor,for that matter,been examined by a NP in training.
This is a sop to a very troubled women whose life is miserable and being punished by her own life.
It's impossible fro one to know if the AG made a decision not to prosecute because of her ethnicity,but I think it was appropriate to do nothing.
And,yes,I'm a 'doc.
Corwin

Anonymous said...

I doubt seriously that CGM believed she was raped at the time she made the charge. Maybe after repeating her lies so many times she now believes them. So what? Many criminals fall into this category. She got pass because she is a woman, plain and simple.

The fact is she has a long history of criminal behavior. This was not an isolated incident. Not prosecuting her now virtually guarantees she will hurt someone in the future. For those who want her to go without punishment - what would you like to say to her future victims?

Scott66

jamil hussein said...

joe:
I was absolutely blown away by Roy Cooper's statements yesterday in announcing in no uncertain terms, that the Duke 3 are innocent.

It is a sad day when prosecutor doing his job is heralded as a hero. This is something he should have done months ago. Instead, he delayd it as much as possible, calculating the effects for his political career. In the end, he realized that the evidence is so blatant and black racists consists less than 50% (even if double voting) of NC voters. Now, New York al-Times can treat him a a hero (Nifong's political afflitiations haven't been mentioned by NYT). Expect front-page "reporting" about Cooper's campaing in coming months.

Anonymous said...

Cooper went above and beyond doing his job. He made a statement about the case and the crinminal justice system. He did the right thing.

Anonymous said...

This from the Harvard Mental Health Letter:

"What is a Delusion?
Although we often speak as though everyone can recognize a pathological delusion, there is no simple definition or identifying sign. In the glossary of the APA's diagnostic manual, a delusion is defined as a false personal belief based on an incorrect inference about external reality, rejected by others in one's own culture, that is firmly maintained in contradiction to the beliefs of others and despite obvious and irrefutable proof or evidence to the contrary."

Harvard Letter

I am not really sure whether the accuser is delusional, demented, or psychotic, but based on the above definition, "delusional" works well enough for me.

As to the problem of her next victim, I do not believe she will be able to create a hoax again. She has now surpassed Tawana Brawley in notoriety. Besides, the record of this false accusation will follow her for life, regardless of whether the State files charges.

Observer

Anonymous said...

As I was reading through the posting I got this really horrible thought -- what would happen if CGM were to actually be rapped?

Anonymous said...

Obviously, CGM will not be able to pull off another hoax to this extent. Maybe she will just go back to trying to run over people with cars. The fact of the matter is she is a violent liar and a danger to people who come into contact with her. She has, and no doubt will continue to, exhibited a lot of criminal behavior. Silly me I thought stopping people like this is what the criminal justice system is about. Anyone who does not think there will be future victims of CGM is naive.

joe sweet said...

jamil hussein said...
joe:
I was absolutely blown away by Roy Cooper's statements yesterday in announcing in no uncertain terms, that the Duke 3 are innocent.

"It is a sad day when prosecutor doing his job is heralded as a hero. This is something he should have done months ago. Instead, he delayd it as much as possible, calculating the effects for his political career."

Jamil:

My elation with the strength and tone of Cooper's comments came from very low expectations that he would deliver like he did. Like you, I understand that this case should have taken a week or so to dismiss, once the 'Fong turned it over to Cooper. The lengthy time frame was all about political positioning, getting the various "groups" on board, dropping trial balloons along the way, polishing the wording, letting time diminish emotions.

I also believe Cooper's decision not to charge False Accuser Mangum with anything was a key element of the political horsetrading that took place all these months behind closed doors. Was complete justice done? Not in my mind, but I would guess from the many reactions I've read that it was "sufficient justice" to please most of the crowd. In political races, that gets you elected.

Tomorrow is another milestone day in this horrid affair. The pendulum swing back to justice that many had predicted was coming, arrived yesterday with a vengeance. Let's hope it continues, and that Friday the 13th is a not so lucky day for the 'Fongz!

Anonymous said...

Joe Sweet,

Personally, I think it was
coordinated with Friday's events.
(We shall see, shan't we?)
I'm guessing that NoFang
will be turning in his
resignation on Friday.

Just a guess.

Mac

Anonymous said...

Roy Cooper did the right thing - and then tried to turn it into a political gain for himself. Anyone familiar with the Alan Gell case (google it if you're not) knows that Roy Cooper is not about justice unless he thinks it helps him.

Michelle from Madison said...

Nancy Grace is in absolute panic-mode Thursday August 9th, and has her defense attorneys trying to get one of the many lawsuits filed or yet to be filed against Grace thrown out of court. No official response by the court, but it is expected to respond sometime next week on Grace's teary-eyed cry for leniency. Perhaps Nancy should have thought about these problems before she may have incited a suicide against a non-convicted, non-stable, psychologically-distraught young mother of a missing young child.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,292767,00.html