Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Metro: Cheshire, Bannon, Finnerty

This week, Metro Magazine published a wide-ranging interview with three key players from the lacrosse case: Joe Cheshire, Brad Bannon, and Kevin Finnerty.

Reporter Sharon Swanson astutely observed that the case “begs the question of how it was possible that a case without foundation could drag on for over a year in the country’s 10th most populous state—and in one of its most literate regions. Why couldn’t Nifong be stopped? And even more importantly, why would the North Carolina Conference of District Attorneys introduce legislation limiting Open File Discovery only one day after the Attorney General’s press conference?”

Swanson set the scene for the interview in Cheshire’s office, which is “wallpapered in green linen and the personal artifacts of a successful career and marriage.” She noted that Cheshire teased Bannon—“the intense, boyish-looking younger attorney”—about “his resemblance to actor George Clooney.” (This item came only days after Court TV commented on Bannon’s resemblance to Clark Kent . . .)

Swanson discovered that “for Cheshire and company, the Duke lacrosse case isn’t just about issues with the NC grand jury system or rogue prosecutors or tainted identification procedures—it is about the far more fundamental issue of open discovery.” The legal obligation, which dates only from 2004, was strongly championed by Cheshire and Bannon, and grew partly out of their work in the Alan Gell case, where prosecutors withheld vital exculpatory evidence. (The story was part of a typically impressive N&O series from Joe Neff.)

According to Cheshire, the previous law, which gave open-file discovery in death-penalty appeals, “gave a small window into prosecutor’s files, and it was shown dramatically that prosecutors in death penalty cases were not giving defense lawyers evidence that the clients were innocent, couldn’t have committed the crime, or that the crime happened in a way that would not have qualified for the death penalty . . . They were abrogating their responsibility to see that justice was done. DAs were putting winning ahead of justice.”

Cheshire continued: open discovery led to “a transparency in the system of justice, which is what you are supposed to have. It’s an important doctrine that the Duke case has finally shown to people: It is a prosecutor’s job to see that justice is done.” Imagine, indeed, the lacrosse case without Open Discovery. To take one prominent example, the unethical Nifong surely never would have turned over Det. Himan’s notes with Crystal Mangum’s conflicting descriptions.

Another critical point raised by Cheshire: “The playing field is still not level (even with the Open Discovery Law) because prosecutors still get to pick the judge they want to try a case in front of. It’s like Mike Krzyzewski or Roy Williams picking what officials they want and what day they want to play the game. We are the only state in the US that has DA calendaring. They have enormous power.” Nifong lost that power in the lacrosse case only by the anomaly of the case being declared an exceptional one, requiring it to pass to a single judge, from outside Durham County.

Cheshire and Bannon strongly criticized the state Conference of DA’s for trying to weaken the law in this past legislative session (the attempt was beaten back), though they praised some prosecutors in the state, such as Wake County DA Colon Willoughby.

Kevin Finnerty, meanwhile, raised another issue—the lack of grand jury transcripts. Bannon agreed, telling Swanson, “The grand jury system in this state is a joke. The day of the lacrosse indictments, there were 82 indictments in 96 minutes. And there is no duty to provide exculpatory evidence.”

We already know that Sgt. Mark Gottlieb gave the grand jury deceptive information—according to his testimony in the Bar deposition, he told the grand jury that, from the time she saw Tara Levicy on March 14, 2006, Crystal Mangum was consistent in the stories that she told. That statement was untrue.

On other matters: We’ll never know what Gottlieb might have told the grand jury about DNA evidence. Might he have told the grand jury, for instance, that there would be additional DNA tests to come back, tests that would ensure Reade Seligmann’s and Collin Finnerty’s guilt? We’ll also never know what Gottlieb might have told the grand jury about Kim Roberts. Might he have told the grand jury, for instance, that Roberts’ story backed up Mangum’s version of events—even though, in fact, Roberts’ statement to police contradicted Mangum’s in every respect? We'll also never know what Gottlieb might have told the grand jury about the April 4, 2006 lineup. Might he have told the grand jury, for instance, that the lineup was procedurally routine, with no mention of Mike Nifong ordering the police to confine the lineup to lacrosse players?

Meanwhile, despite the call of AG Roy Cooper, North Carolina continues to ignore the American Bar Association’s suggestion that all states have mechanisms for a superior body—either the state Supreme Court, the AG, or the governor—to remove rogue DA’s.

Kevin Finnerty also praised the leadership supplied recently by Mayor Bell: “We are not being judgmental on the people of Durham. My guess is that the majority of people in Durham are embarrassed by how the district attorney conducted himself and how the police continue to conduct themselves. This shouldn’t reflect poorly on the people of Durham, but it certainly reflects poorly on the leadership. For the mayor to stand up and ask for an objective review of what has gone on here, that is a great first start. Finally someone is stepping up and showing leadership, and it is long overdue.”

71 comments:

Anonymous said...

Note: "Page Auditorum"

http://events.duke.edu/facility/page.html

inman said...

One has to wonder if the laws of North Carolina are an artifact of the Jim Crow era, when those laws served as a means to deprive African Americans and others of their civil liberties. To vest such substantial power in the hands of a locally elected official, who could then twist and torment the system to corrupt whims, is clearly anethema to the Constitutional process evisioned by the Founding Fathers.

Surely there are conflicts of constitutional law(s) that require North Carolina to remedy its state legislative regime and judicial construct.

Although a limited Federal intervention in states' government is granted by the Consitution, surely the preeminence and defense of individual rights supercedes any prohibition on Federal intervention. National defense is surely one clear mandate of a common Federal structure. Defense of the individual at the mercy of local political agenda must surely be another.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

JLS says...,

Reporter Sharon Swanson astutely observed that the case “begs the question of how it was possible that a case without foundation could drag on for over a year in the country’s 10th most populous state—and in one of its most literate regions.

Gee Ms. Swanson how about bigotry among the elites the kind of bigotry implicit in your snooty description of "one of its most literate regions." Quit looking down your nose at the good people in the mountain region of NC. Quit looking down your nose at the good people of the military area in SE NC. Look hard at your literate area and look at it for what it is.

re: inman

One has to wonder if the laws of North Carolina are an artifact of the Jim Crow era,

As I remember, the answer is no. If I am correct in my memory the Durham case management system is a decade or two old and was developed to deal with a huge back load of cases. Unfortunately unbalanced neutrality of judges in NC.

Anonymous said...

KC Johnson,

Just wanted to take the time to thank you for all the hard work and hours you put into this blog. I've been reading this daily for about 8 months, and have found it informative and quite entertaining.

I believe you had a significant part to play in saving the lives of three college kids.

Give yourself a big pat on the back.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

what happened?

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

Wonderland has suffered an attack of the Blog Virus!

Anonymous said...

"Reporter Sharon Swanson astutely observed that the case 'begs the question of how it was possible that a case without foundation could drag on for over a year in the country’s 10th most populous state—and in one of its most literate regions'."

I fail to see the "astuteness" in a remark that (a) reveals its author's ignorance of the meaning of the English idiom "to beg the question", and (b) drips with snobbish condescension toward the citizens of North Carolina. And what possible difference would it make for the cause of justice if North Carolina were the second most populous state--or the forty-second?

Anonymous said...

Hey KC, I posted a question for you in a comments section below. I want to repeat it here, because I really hope you will give me a straight answer:

The question is: Why do you, after having blogged so diligently every detail of the Duke Lacrosse saga over the past year, ignore stories that concern the players efforts to gain a financial windfall from the case? This weekend, all the news wires and major papers were reporting about the players' $30 million demand -- that's $30 million for a case in which the accused were never brought to trial, never spent an hour in jail, and in which the unquestionable pattern of wrongful conduct had imploded in about 7 months. No one disputes that they are entitled to some money, but $30 million, on top of an undisclosed sum paid by Duke (another topic KC takes care to avoid in his daily postings) is greedy and grasping. Do you know how much they received from Duke? If so, will you report that on your blog? And will you make any attempt to report what other malicious prosecution plaintiffs have received in civil cases. I can tell you that it ain't anything close $10 million a piece, even if they spent time in prison. (Victims who are incarcerated for long periods of time can received multi-million dollar awards.)

sulax88 said...

I have sent the following e-mail to the publisher...
(KC...I apologize if this in any way causes any discomfit for you or Stuart, but I spoke from the heart and would stand by my comments without reservation.)


RE: Until Proven Innocent

I am writing to protest your poor showing in distributing this book. I had a hard time finding a copy in the Dallas/Fort Worth market. This could be blamed on poor ordering by the bookstores, but I find that a little disingenuous since this appears to be a national problem. It would seem that a book of this import would warrant a larger printing than 13,000, and that aggressive marketing would be appropriate. This does not appear to be happening. I would invite you to comment, as I am a regular reader of the blog written by KC Johnson and would be happy to relate to the others there your thoughts, as to why this book has been nationally hard to find when your website heralds..."St. Martin’s operates eight separate imprints and utilizes the resources of six unique sales divisions, ensuring maximum exposure for our authors in the wide variety of markets for books today." It would seem that you would be able to muster more support for one of the most important books of our time, on one of the most important legal cases of our time. This is not a book just for history or politics buffs...it is basic reading for anyone interested in the state of the experiment that is the United States of America, as it exists in the year 2007. I eagerly await your response and comments.

Antony D. Anderson, M.D.
Fort Worth TX

Gary Packwood said...

Anonymous 2:27 said...
...Hey KC, I posted a question for you in a comments section below. I want to repeat it here, because I really hope you will give me a straight answer:
...The question is: Why do you, after having blogged so diligently every detail of the Duke Lacrosse saga over the past year, ignore stories that concern the players efforts to gain a financial windfall from the case? This weekend, all the news wires and major papers were reporting about the players' $30 million demand -- that's $30 million for a case in which the accused were never brought to trial, never spent an hour in jail, and in which the unquestionable pattern of wrongful conduct had imploded in about 7 months. No one disputes that they are entitled to some money, but $30 million, on top of an undisclosed sum paid by Duke (another topic KC takes care to avoid in his daily postings) is greedy and grasping. Do you know how much they received from Duke? If so, will you report that on your blog? And will you make any attempt to report what other malicious prosecution plaintiffs have received in civil cases. I can tell you that it ain't anything close $10 million a piece, even if they spent time in prison. (Victims who are incarcerated for long periods of time can received multi-million dollar awards.)
::
Why so much concern about what is being asked for by the players?

Don't you imagine that Duke and Durham will never pay any amount greater than what they actually figure they owe?
::
GP

Anonymous said...

KC, it pains me to say this as a Duke alum, but I have some concerns for your safety at Page Auditorium tonight. After all that has taken place, this is an institution that has nevertheless continued to hire Gottlieb for crowd control at its events! I hope you have some large lacrosse players to watch your back tonight.

Finally, this is heartfelt thanks from someone who has watched you document the development of this travesty over the last many months. Some of my fondness for the Old North State has been restored by the AG’s inquiry and the DHC hearing and Lane Williamson. But I still consider myself fortunate to have got out of four years in Durham with a whole skin!

Good luck and bon voyage in your leave/sabbatical!

Diesel

AF said...

2:27
What price would you put on three young men having their reputations sullied before college graduation? What price would you put on a city rife with corruption? What price would you put on a judicial system in need of remedy?
Do you think changes for the better will come about without these lawsuits? Let's be realistic about these things. These lawsuits will not be necessary if those in power do not abuse that power for personal gain.
Durm needs to be cleaned up. The NC judicial system needs to be cleaned up. The American criminal justice system needs to be cleaned up. Congress needs to be cleaned up. For the life of me, I cannot understand why so many elected officials feel that their office means license to be above the law.
What would happen if elected officials put their pensions in jeopardy if found guilty of misusing their office? These pensions could go to retire local, state, or national debts!!

Anonymous said...

Is Gottlieb a Communist?

no justice, no peace said...

On January 9, 2008 Richard H. Brodhead, President, Duke University is conducting an online chat of “The Namesake” by Jhumpa Lahiri. Click on www.DukeReads.com to sign up, to order books, and to register for advance information on each of the monthly chats.

“…Awkwardness is Gogol's birthright. He grows up a bright American boy, goes to Yale, has pretty girlfriends, becomes a successful architect, but like many second-generation immigrants, he can never quite find his place in the world. There's a lovely section where he dates a wealthy, cultured young Manhattan woman who lives with her charming parents…

She has found, however, a circuitous escape: "At Brown, her rebellion had been academic ... she'd pursued a double major in French. Immersing herself in a third language, a third culture, had been her refuge--she approached French, unlike things American or Indian, without guilt, or misgiving, or expectation of any kind." Lahiri documents these quiet rebellions and random longings with great sensitivity.” - Amazon


“…A leap ahead to the '80s finds the teenage Gogol ashamed of his Indian heritage and his unusual name, which he sheds as he moves on to college at Yale and graduate school at Columbia, legally changing it to Nikhil. In one of the most telling chapters, Gogol moves into the home of a family of wealthy Manhattan WASPs and is initiated into a lifestyle idealized in Ralph Lauren ads. Here, Lahiri demonstrates her considerable powers of perception and her ability to convey the discomfort of feeling "other" in a world many would aspire to inhabit…” – Publishers Weekly

no justice, no peace said...

One wonders if Reade Seligmann considers his move to Brown an academic rebellion?

One wonders if Richard Brodhead has an overwhelming sense of guilt of all things American, like wealthy Manhattan WASPs living the life idealized of a Ralph Lauren model?

One wonders if the "other" is the new, fuzzy vaguery that will define the open-ended race/gender/class nonsense in 2007-08?

Anonymous said...

Following up on Antony Anderson's comment, I finally picked up a copy of the book at Barnes & Noble after making two trips to my local bookstore--they had ordered only one copy initially and seem to be having trouble replacing it. At B&N the book is not up front with the new releases but in the back under "Social Sciences-Law"--not an inappropriate spot, but difficult to find and odd given it was just released. I bought the only copy on the shelf...and considered myself lucky to have found it.

It cannot be emphasized enough that the "system" did not "work" in this case, except by total fluke--a little like Dorothy's spinning house landing on the Wicked Witch of the East. Every effort should be made to fix this problem in the North Carolina justice system, but politics being what they are and human nature being what it is, a sharp prod in the form of an expensive lawsuit could be a great boost to this corrective effort.

Some may perceive the families to be greedy. I perceive them to be using the surest means possible to focus Durham's (and the state's) attention to effect meaningful change. And as for those folks wrongfully incarcerated for years, I expect Barry Scheck or other lawyers would be happy to assist them in filing a lawsuit if the case for pervasive prosecutorial wrongdoing and police misconduct is as strong as the the one we have before us today.

Best of luck at Duke tonight, Professor Johnson. The ironies are almost too much.

Observer

KC Johnson said...

To the 2.27:

Thursday's post will deal with this issue.

Anonymous said...

Joe and Brad are correct, the NC justice system requires major changes to bring it into the 21st century. What continues to amaze me is the resistance to change exhibited by members of the legislature. I assume they have colleagues who are prosecutors and/or judges who have hoodwinked them into believing that defense attorneys are all liars and cheats. When you see the devious performance of lawyers like John Edwards, you can hardly blame people for not trusting defense attorneys, but the playing field must be leveled and the only way that can be done is to change state laws which enabled Nifong and his co-conspirators to nearly succeed in putting three completely innocent young men in prison for thirty years.

Anonymous said...

11:55

Inman

Your comments are an example of how everything must be put in terms of so-called black experience. Are you ignorant of anything and everything else? The white textile workers and mountain folk and poor farmers of eastern North Carolina are subject to the same abusive laws, and they too, as well as blacks, have been abused. Try to read your history and know something other than your own bigotry . . . it has something to do with "otheredness." At the end of the day, it is integrity of people charged with educating and carrying out law that makes law work to its civil purpose not the wealth or color of the individuals involved. Integrity and holding the objective center is the only hope and recourse the poor have. Decent men know no color or social class, and the use of "men" is the politically incorrect use of "men" meaning mankind. As an aside, a seeming lack of integrity of so many in this fiasco is interesting.

TaterCon said...

Got my copy on Saturday at a Border's in Raleigh, one of maybe a dozen in stock on the "new books" display at the front of the store....

I would gloat a little over the misfortune of the 2:53 AM doc from Fort Worth who can't find a copy -- but I'm too dang sleepy from not being able to put the book down last night!

sceptical said...

Re the threatened civil rights suit against Durham:

IT'S NOT ABOUT GREED, IT'S ABOUT THE TRUTH.

There has been no accountability for Gottlieb, Himan, Clayton, Addison, Hodge, Chalmers, Patrick Baker, Bill Bell etc. in the attempted frame-up of Evans, Finnerty and Seligmann.

The Baker/Chalmers report was a cover-up and there were grave doubts about the Whichard Commitee, whose chairman said before knowing the evidence that the illegal line-up was just an attempt to find witnesses. The suit threat has certainly gotten the attention of Durham's leadereship.

A civil suit would lead to depositions under oath of the key Durham partcipants in the attempted frame-up.

Thus, I hope there will not be a quick settlement. It's not about greed, it's about the truth.

sceptical

kbp said...

Thanks KC

"Kevin Finnerty also praised the leadership supplied recently by Mayor Bell: '...it certainly reflects poorly on the leadership. For the mayor to stand up and ask for an objective review of what has gone on here, that is a great first start. Finally someone is stepping up and showing leadership, and it is long overdue.'”

Leadership "finally" coming around, noted as "long overdue", is praise? I guess when addressing Bell's record in this case that might be considered as "praise", as nothing said about him can be any better than that.

I'll have to take that as a message I must read between the lines to understand it!

Anonymous said...

Re 2:27

My guess would be the three players are asking for more money than Durham would ever settle out of court for in order to force a civil trial and the full discovery that comes with it.

Ralph Phelan said...

"The day of the lacrosse indictments, there were 82 indictments in 96 minutes. And there is no duty to provide exculpatory evidence."

"On other matters: We’ll never know what Gottlieb might have told the grand jury about DNA evidence."

I would say "nothing":

Assume that
(1) In North Carolina (epecially Durham) the police, prosecution and judiciary appear to act as a single entity.

(2) That entity wanted this case to go forward.

(3) The middle of the pack is the best place to hide things.

(4) The judge gets to decide what questions get asked.

From (1) & (2) I'd conclude that:

(5) The last thing the judge or police wanted to do was indicate to the grand jurors that this case was in any way special.

From (3) and (4) I'd conclude that:

(6) The time devoted to this case would have been about average.

(7) I calculate that the average time per conviction was one minute and seventeen seconds.

Conclusion:
Gottlieb would have barely had enough time to give his name, give the names of the accused, and say "we've got a complaining witness" before they were already on to the next case.

Ralph Phelan said...

By the way, who was the judge running the grand jury, and what is known about his political/professional history and affiliations, in particular any connections to the Durham nest of vipers ^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H legal community.

Ralph Phelan said...

kbp said...
"Leadership "finally" coming around, noted as "long overdue", is praise?"

By Durham standards it is.

Gary Packwood said...

Anonymous 8:00 said...
...11:55
...Inman
...At the end of the day, it is integrity of people charged with educating and carrying out law that makes law work to its civil purpose not the wealth or color of the individuals involved. Integrity and holding the objective center is the only hope and recourse the poor have. Decent men know no color or social class, and the use of "men" is the politically incorrect use of "men" meaning mankind. As an aside, a seeming lack of integrity of so many in this fiasco is interesting.
::
Your frequent use of the term 'integrity' together with your personal attack on Inman suggests to me that you are presenting yourself and your friends as the only people who truly understand the fiasco known as the Duke lacrosse case.

You are a Royalists and you seek to define integrity and 'the objective center' for all of us, including the poor.

Inman's defense of individual rights is what worries all of you who seek so much power and influence and is central to the purpose of the lawsuits Durham is facing at the moment.

The good citizens of Durham must seize this opportunity to take back their town and their integrity as they celebrate individual rights and their power to toss out the Marxists and others who wish to control.

At the end of the day, it is the integrity of engaged citizens that counts.

Hopefully the threat of lawsuits will help the good people of Durham rediscover their individual rights including their right ...to vote.
::
GP

Anonymous said...

Hell, Gottlieb could have told the Grand Jury that he personally eyewitnessed the entire brutal gang-rape (of course Gottlieb would say he was helpless to prevent it, because Reade Seligmann had chained him to a wall), and he could never be held to account for his perjury, because -- it's all a secret, and anybody who talks about it is threatened with imprisonment.

And make no mistake, Gottlieb is a perjurer -- a habitual, constant perjurer. Turned loose in absolute secrecy, with a festering hatred for Duke students, he could have told incredibly despicable and incredible tall tales, and probably did -- but we will never know, under NC law.

How convenient.

Dan Weber said...

the case “begs the question of how it was possible that a case without foundation could drag on for over a year... and in one of its most literate regions.

Um, no, it raises the question.

One of our most literate regions, indeed.

:(

Nicole said...

I could not find the book at B&N, in North Haven,CT. The manager promised toi order it.

Anonymous said...

KC:

One short comment on a subject that you will soon, no doubt, address.

These attornies aren't here to settle.

Ken
Dallas

Anonymous said...

Sweetmick worriedly says: What do you mean, KC?...."As this blog winds down." You threatened us a while back after the AG declared the boys innocent, saying you were going to be posting during weekdays only. Thankfully, events prevented you from doing so. Don't you realize we are addicted to DIW and your comrades? I'm sure you have alot to say on other matters we want to learn more about. Besides, suppose Durham doesn't settle and we go to trial on federal civil rights violations; or there is a federal criminal investigation of the DA and police. You're not going anywhere. Besides, I'm too old to be thinking of getting a life after KC.

Anonymous said...

I don't mean to raise a difficult issue, but for Kevin Finnerty to say, “Collin is a gentle giant. He’s not a fighter; he’s never been in trouble his entire life. Obviously, that is not the way he’s been portrayed,” ignores the incident in Georgetown.

I don't question all the good things that have been said about Collin Finnerty, and I don't doubt that he has learned some valuable lessons from this experience.

But, he was involved in underage drinking in Georgetown, and, at the minimum, involved in some sort of verbal altercation outside the bar. He did end up in court and was initially convicted. I recall that the charge was later dismissed or at least cleared from his record after a probationary period.

Again, by all reports, Collin Finnerty is a fine young man, who, on at least one occasion, exercised some bad judgement and ended up in a court of law. That's not unheard of for young men. But it is incorrect to say that "he’s never been in trouble his entire life."

inman said...

Anonymous @ 8:00 AM said:

“Inman

Your comments are an example of how everything must be put in terms of so-called black experience. Are you ignorant of anything and everything else?”


This is evidently in response to the only statement I made that, in any way, could be construed as a reference to race:

“One has to wonder if the laws of North Carolina are an artifact of the Jim Crow era, when those laws served as a means to deprive African Americans and others of their civil liberties.”

Note the phrase “…African Americans and others…”. I did not limit my comment to your concept of the “so-called black experience,” but I do appreciate your putting definitive meaning the notion of others: “…white textile workers and mountain folk and poor farmers of eastern North Carolina…” And may I add that in an anthropologic construct, every American is an African American. Perhaps you vest too much meaning in certain words.

And I’d like to know how you make the intellectual leap to assert that I am a bigot. Maybe I am. But I think a better word such as misanthrope or elitist captures my views, but not bigotry. I hold most everyone among the great unwashed masses in equal contempt. But that does not affect my view that all should be treated equally under the Constitution, for the second their rights are abridged then all are in jeopardy…including me.

Also, thank you for your suggestion that I “…read [my] history…”. As a matter of fact, I was looking at some of that history yesterday. It involved the Mangum family of Virginia. I had recalled that another family name was “Travis” (Brittian Travis to be precise) and was particularly intrigued that CMG’s father was named Travis Mangum, as was an early NAACP leader in North Carolina.

Frankly, I don’t have to read my history because throughout my life, members of my family told me about my history –- American history. I was brought up to feel history … as a part of my being. Now, if you’d like me to read about someone else’s history, make a suggestion. And please don’t scold me about social class or decency or integrity or color. You have absolutely no idea how I conduct myself in social exchange. But, a single example, … when I go through a door, I hold it open for whoever follows, whether black, red, male, female, turbin-clad, jean-wearing, be-jeweled or bare. Your myopic view of the world, constrained by a self-serving conceptual framework and rhetoric is all too apparent; please, when you judge me, use facts – and if you have a question and need a fact, I will respond.

I regret that there are others who feel they must read and adopt someone else’s history to carve out an acceptable identity. It is sad that a homogenization of culture and the eradication of unique historical identity has become a part of political correctness.

Please, read again what I wrote and stop twisting the meaning to fit an agenda.

Anonymous said...

I can see your point (about the "windfall", not about KC). The guilty must pay, but yes, sometimes the victims "have enough". I have no problem with Durham being dinged for $30 million, but on top of the $30 million Duke already rumored to have paid,$60 million seems like a lot for the 3 Laxers. But that's our system.

Given that Crystal's false charges may lead to a chilling effect on the victims of REAL interracial rapes, I would like to see some of the money from Duke or Durham spent on, say, a Centre for the Study of Interracial Rape. Or maybe each April 11th, the anniversary of the AG's dismissal of the charges, Duke and Durham can sponsor teach-ins and other actitivies to acknowledge the suffering of REAL victims of interracial rape and to help women develop strategies to prevent interracial rape. Would you join in supporting this?

Anonymous said...

RE 2:27

You may recall that the young Lax victims in this fiasco expressed a desire to work towards correcting the system that had produced this damaging fiasco.

What will happen (has happened?) when a corrupt NC DA and DPD investigation goes after innocent people who do not have the resources of the Lax families, or the attention of third parties such as KC and others? The real beneficiaries of this mess will be persons at the lower end of the economic spectrum, because this case should result in systematic changes that will protect defendants without the resources to hire competent counsel.

Durham has sent very mixed messages regarding its inclination and/or ability to clean house. The whitewash Chalmers report was foolish. Sadly, it appears that a threat of significant financial consequences is required to get the attention of the Durhamites to make the needed changes.

-RD

Anonymous said...

2:27

Would you go through what those young men were put through for the many months they endured it for ten+ million dollars......night after night trying to sleep while knowing you may, though innocent, spend decades in prison, being vilified by having your photos and lies about you in national newspapers and magazines?

All this, not knowing the end result would be what it is today, vindication?

No, I didn't think you would.

Neither would I.

There is no amount of money that is enough to compensate for the persecution these young men and their families have endured.

And it is time for those who have blatantly thumbed their noses in the face of the laws of our land to pay up.

In doing so they may finally realize the extent of their misconduct.

And others who may be tempted to engage in the same dishonest, illegal tactics may be dissuaded from doing so as they witness the substantial monetary extraction from offending parties.

Richard Aubrey said...

The folks who voted for Nifong apparently thought railroading rich, white jocks was a spectator sport with free admission.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 2:27 said "No one disputes that they are entitled to some money, but $30 million, on top of an undisclosed sum paid by Duke (another topic KC takes care to avoid in his daily postings) is greedy and grasping."
Isn't that an issue for a jury to decide?

Ralph Phelan said...

"Durham has sent very mixed messages regarding its inclination and/or ability to clean house."

I disagree. There have been no signs of willingness, just pure stonewalling.

Anonymous said...

There is no amount of money to compensate Nurse Levicy for the harassment, she has endured either. I was pleased to see the back peddling done by K at Forensic Nurses in regard to this nurse. Encouraging a rabid mob is never good. I hope Levicy has a good lawyer for her law suit.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...
Joe and Brad are correct, the NC justice system requires major changes to bring it into the 21st century. What continues to amaze me is the resistance to change exhibited by members of the legislature. I assume they have colleagues who are prosecutors and/or judges who have hoodwinked them into believing that defense attorneys are all liars and cheats. When you see the devious performance of lawyers like John Edwards, you can hardly blame people for not trusting defense attorneys, but the playing field must be leveled and the only way that can be done is to change state laws which enabled Nifong and his co-conspirators to nearly succeed in putting three completely innocent young men in prison for thirty years.

9/11/07 7:31 AM


Joe and Brad will probably also agree with the legal maxim that "Great cases make bad law." What that means in this case is that the legislature is right not to rush in and change a bunch of laws just because of this one extraordinary case.

As for "leveling the playing field": Well, how about making "open discovery" into a "two-way street", forcing the defense to share what it knows with the DA? And how about that burden of proof? Instead of making it "beyond a reasonable doubt", why not a more balanced "preponderance of the evidence"?

Signed,
Someone who wants to be very careful before making changes in the law.

aka RRH

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
There is no amount of money to compensate Nurse Levicy for the harassment, she has endured either.


Don't forget what Mikey Nifey has had to endure -- no amount of money to compensate the poor man.

Anonymous said...

Ralph,

I'm giving the mayor credit for his reaction to the Chalmers report, and initiating the committee to investigate.

-RD

redcybra said...

Hi Nicole,

Maybe I got the only copy? I got one at B&N in North Haven on 9/4. Did the publisher really only print 13,000 copies for the initial run?

to 3:31,

What is "Forensic Nurses", and who has been harassing Tara Levicy?

Anonymous said...

There is no amount of money to compensate Nurse Levicy for the harassment, she has endured either.

There is no amount of contempt that can rightfully be placed on her falsifications and utter disregard of the clinical record. She was a useful idiot for Nifong with a feminist axe to grind.

She has no viable lawsuit.

Anonymous said...

3:07 PM - "greedy"? Let's suppose YOU were looking down the barrel of a 30 year prison sentence totally rigged against you by a rogue prosecutor?

How much money would you assign for compensation?

Nifong and the rogue cops were after all public employees. We sue corporate to force change when they have create dangerous products.

It's not about the money. Sometimes corrupt people and places only change when it hits them in their wallet.

Anonymous said...

redcybra said...
Did the publisher really only print 13,000 copies for the initial run?


I wondered about that as well -- 13,000 copies works out to an average of just 260 per state. That seems like a awfully small initial run for a book that got the kind of rollout that this one did. Also, my copy seems cheaply made.

RRH

Anonymous said...

To RRH

After seeing all that has gone on in this case, you want to shift more power to the prosecutor?

Would you want to be deprived of life or liberty because a jury finds it more likely than not you committed a crime? (That is the preponderance test).

The prosecutor already has the power and resources of the state to bring to bear against an accused. The duty of the prosecutor is to seek justice, but the prosecutor has the same power, whether he/she is seeking justice or seeking conviction.

IMHO, the evil done if the state fails to lock up a guilty person is less than the evil done if the state locks up an innocent person.

I know that guilty parties who are free are more likely to commit additional crimes, but at least it is a bad person commiting the crime, and not us (the democratic state).

-RD

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
To RRH

After seeing all that has gone on in this case, you want to shift more power to the prosecutor?


Sorry, I was trying to be ironic when I said, As for "leveling the playing field": Well, how about making "open discovery" into a "two-way street", forcing the defense to share what it knows with the DA? And how about that burden of proof? Instead of making it "beyond a reasonable doubt", why not a more balanced "preponderance of the evidence"?

RRH

Anonymous said...

RD also said...

IMHO, the evil done if the state fails to lock up a guilty person is less than the evil done if the state locks up an innocent person.


In my opinion it's a close call. Think about Ted Bundy and other serial killers who were let loose.

Anonymous said...

The question is: Why do you, after having blogged so diligently every detail of the Duke Lacrosse saga over the past year, ignore stories that concern the players efforts to gain a financial windfall from the case?

The city, police, and taxpayers of Durham deserve to be punished financially for voting corrupt clowns like Nifong into office.

Gary Packwood said...

Ralph Phelan 3:27 said...

..."Durham has sent very mixed messages regarding its inclination and/or ability to clean house."
...I disagree. There have been no signs of willingness, just pure stonewalling.
::
Stonewalling or just plain fear as they face their crime rate, use of federal funds, gangs, the city planning vacancy, drugs and especially ...the charge that Durham is a sanctuary city for illegal immigrants.

Any 'sanctuary' problem they may have with illegal immigrants selling drugs will dwarf the Duke lacrosse case and cause the feds to investigate whether the Duke lacrosse case was just a diversion.
::
GP

Michael said...

re: 4:52

[In my opinion it's a close call. Think about Ted Bundy and other serial killers who were let loose.]

How many of them are there compared to innocents that were locked up and later exonerated?

hman said...

The size of the financial pain that Durham is set to endure is only partly related to the scale of damage done to the 3 innocent accused. Of greater importance will be the fact that the elected leadership in that city were deeply involved in misdeeds that are crimes.
So, the question will come down to this: How much of the publics money will those leaders need to spend to make this go away? Seen from this perspective, the 30 million opening bid is not a joke. But even if the Leadership committs to such a payment they will have to explain it somehow. But they probably can avoid prosecution.

Anonymous said...

9/11/07 3:31 PM, can you please share with the rest of us what you're talking about? A link perhaps?

There is no amount of money to compensate Nurse Levicy for the harassment, she has endured either. I was pleased to see the back peddling done by K at Forensic Nurses in regard to this nurse. Encouraging a rabid mob is never good. I hope Levicy has a good lawyer for her law suit.

Anonymous said...

TO: 9/11/07 2:27 AM

There IS NO CASE like this in American history. None. Ever. Try naming one.

Would you want your son or grandson or brother to go through what these guys did for any amount of $$? Not for $10M, not for $100M.

The only way they can get part of their name back is by going down this road.

Your post is very, very silly.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
I don't mean to raise a difficult issue, but for Kevin Finnerty to say, “Collin is a gentle giant. He’s not a fighter; he’s never been in trouble his entire life. Obviously, that is not the way he’s been portrayed,” ignores the incident in Georgetown.

I don't question all the good things that have been said about Collin Finnerty, and I don't doubt that he has learned some valuable lessons from this experience.

But, he was involved in underage drinking in Georgetown, and, at the minimum, involved in some sort of verbal altercation outside the bar. He did end up in court and was initially convicted. I recall that the charge was later dismissed or at least cleared from his record after a probationary period.

Again, by all reports, Collin Finnerty is a fine young man, who, on at least one occasion, exercised some bad judgement and ended up in a court of law. That's not unheard of for young men. But it is incorrect to say that "he’s never been in trouble his entire life."

9/11/07 10:34 AM

======================================================================

Every day this happens somehwere in the US. Its very common in young men at the age of 19. When I hear the words "underage drinking" in regards to this case I know I am listening to a total idiot.

Are you saying, because these guys were not perfect saints, they deserved to go through this hell?

So, if one of these guys spit on the sidewalk, committed jawwalking, etc this makes them a bad guy?

Your thinking is stupid beyond belief. And you did mean to "raise this difficult issue".

And no, its not difficult for someone thinking clearly.

By the way, if all 3 were convicted murderers they would still be innocent in this case.

ALLIE

hman said...

A fundamental notion of the founders of this country (America) was that freedom was a non-trivial concern. And along this line, sending an innocent person to prison is an infinitely more serious matter than letting a guilty person walk.
If you are a real American, you would much rather deal with the occasional serial killer in your neighborhood than a law enforcement official who could not be stopped from ruining the lives of whomever he choosed.
I have said much about the 2nd Amendment. The truth is, I would rather not. It would seem rude, in a way, to do so and I am really trying to be polite.
But.. what it really meant was that elected officials are meant to be afraid of "the people" and not the other way around.

Anonymous said...

TO: 9/11/07 10:56 AM

Why not all rape? Can anybody guess how many woman (inclduing woman of color) were raped since this Duke case started?

Maybe, just maybe, if the PC/leftist types spent more energy on real rape instead of chasing innoncent people we would all be better off.

gwallan said...

Anonymous @3:31 PM said...
There is no amount of money to compensate Nurse Levicy for the harassment, she has endured either. I was pleased to see the back peddling done by K at Forensic Nurses in regard to this nurse. Encouraging a rabid mob is never good. I hope Levicy has a good lawyer for her law suit.

Womens Studies Tara. Vagina Monologues Tara! Nurse Tara!! SANE Tara!?! I bet when she was producing a play depicting the rape of a child as a "good rape" that she never thought it would come to this.

Tara has spent much of her life harassing an entire gender for the misdeeds of a few. It culminated in her demonstation of the danger of allowing ANY feminist anywhere near any of the processes related to the judicial system.

Tara, just as with the G88, has shown that she will not allow professionalism, morals or ethics to get in the way of her ideology.

Her ongoing involvement with the police after the night in question did not involve the specifics of this one case. Rather she was presenting to them generalised statements that mitigated inconsistencies in the accuser's stories. She involved herself voluntarily.

She has been quite adequately compensated for her performance.

Anonymous @4:08 PM said...
There is no amount of contempt that can rightfully be placed on her falsifications and utter disregard of the clinical record. She was a useful idiot for Nifong with a feminist axe to grind.
She has no viable lawsuit.


But she may need to defend against one.

Richard Aubrey said...

The problem with making discovery go both ways was illustrated by Nifong.
Upon finding, from the defense, that Seligman had an ironclad alibi, the cops hauled in Elmostafa and threatened him with a bogus prosescution if he didn't change the timeline.
IOW, the prosecution is frequently in a position to change what it presents as evidence to get around a legitimate alibi. The defense is not in a similar position.

Anonymous said...

Tara's ongoing involvement was two meeting - nine months apart (one in DUMC when the report was picked up) and a phone call. We shall see if there is "no viable lawsuit." There has been no lost of license, a new license and no civil suits.

Anonymous said...

11:05 Forensic Talk is linked right here on DIW.

Anonymous said...

Richard Aubrey said...
The problem with making discovery go both ways was illustrated by Nifong.
Upon finding, from the defense, that Seligman had an ironclad alibi, the cops hauled in Elmostafa and threatened him with a bogus prosescution if he didn't change the timeline.
IOW, the prosecution is frequently in a position to change what it presents as evidence to get around a legitimate alibi. The defense is not in a similar position.

9/12/07 11:23 AM


Officer Jones to witness: "So you were there at the time of the shooting?"

Witness: "Yes, I was officer. Say, is it true that you will turn over my name, address, and statements to the attorney for the accused?"

Officer Jones: "Why, yes, we are a most progressive jurisdiction and we want the accused to know everything we know. Now, you said you got a really good look at the gunman?"

Witness: "Ummmm...."

:::::

Meanwhile, at another lawyer's office:

The Accused to the lawyer: "Did they find the gun yet?"

Lawyer: "Nosireebob -- and under out "Open Discovery" rules, they'd have to tell me if they did, so that's one thing we don't have to worry about! Btw, I need to ask if you know some of these witnesses can be found. They seem to be confused about what they saw..."

M. Simon said...

Richard Aubrey said...

The folks who voted for Nifong apparently thought railroading rich, white jocks was a spectator sport with free admission.

9/11/07 2:42 PM


Admission is free. It is the exit fee that is the killer.

Anonymous said...

9/11/07 3:31 PM and/or 9/12/07 12:36 PM: Here's how you do it...

I just read the most curious thing.

That way the people watching at home can play along. Yay.

M. Simon said...

Suppose I gave you the following bet:

Roll the die. Pick any number you like.

If the number does not come up you get $30 million. If it does come up 30 years in jail.

Does that seem like a good bet?

Suppose I said you had to roll twice. First to see if you go to jail. Second to see if you collect the $30 mil. Wanna play?