Friday, September 07, 2007

Washington Post Op-Ed

Stuart Taylor and I have an op-ed in today's Washington Post:

One night in jail [for Mike Nifong]: So concludes the Duke lacrosse rape case -- rape fraud, as it turned out. The legacy of this incident should include hard thinking about the deep pathologies underlying the media sensationalism and the perversion of academic ideals that this fraud inspired.

Read the entire piece here.

47 comments:

Anonymous said...

Was Prof. Coleman "the only..."? Should we forget about Michael Gustafson, Stefen Baldwin, or even (the later-coming) Roy Weintraub?

Anonymous said...

2 points worth mentioning:

suppose these guys (and they are not of course) were racist, sexist drug addicted pigs---> if they are falsely charged with rape they are still innocent.

the other: I doubt these guys drank anymore than many similar men in and out of college--> so why is this still mentioned (ALCOHOL HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS CASE!!)

KC Johnson said...

"For months" the only. (Coleman first spoke out publicly on June 14, 2006.) All the others you mentioned also were among the heroes of the case.

Anonymous said...

Sept. '07 is developing into a sort of a bad month for 88 types. And today's only the seventh.

Oh, dear.

Bwahahahahahahahaha...

Couldn't be happening to a nicer and more deserving bunch of folks.

Today's sniping will exceed even yesterday, I suppose. Whine away 88ers - tell us how much it hurts.

Florida Gator said...

It would be nice to have a hyperlink associating the book "Until Proven Innocent: Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case", mentioned at the bottom of the article to the website about the book (untilproveninnocent.com). Too late?

Anonymous said...

Let us not forget the evil Marc Fischer, WP C-list columnist, who was a happy to pile on with the egregiously false and malicious, Wolves in Blazers story, and has never corrected or apologized for his filthy lies.

I hope they go after Fischer and all the others who opined so giddily and without even the slightest insight into the lives of these young men or the situation. sst

Anonymous said...

There is another article in the WP today indicating that the families are seeking $30M and asking that Durham spearhead changes in NC law.

Mike said...

Source: Duke Players Seek Money, Reforms

By MARTHA WAGGONER
The Associated Press
Friday, September 7, 2007; 2:57 AM

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Attorneys for the three players falsely accused in the Duke University lacrosse rape case are seeking a settlement of about $30 million and several changes to the state's legal process, a person close to the case said early Friday.

If the terms aren't met, the players' attorneys will file a civil rights lawsuit against the city of Durham early next month, said the source, who requested anonymity because not all of the details of the proposed settlement had been worked out.

During a discussion Wednesday with Durham officials, players' attorneys Brendan Sullivan and Barry Scheck, stressed that the money they are seeking _ about $10 million each for David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann over five years _ must be accompanied by the legal reforms, the source said.

On Thursday, City Attorney Henry Blinder and City Manager Patrick Baker briefed elected officials on the settlement discussions, according to The Herald-Sun of Durham, which first reported on the settlement demands. The city has a $5 million liability insurance policy with a $500,000 deductible, the paper reported.

In addition to the money, the attorneys are seeking the creation of ombudsman positions to review complaints of misconduct about North Carolina district attorneys, the source said. They also want Durham city officials to lead the lobbying for any legal changes that would require action by the state's General Assembly.

The three players were charged with raping a woman hired to strip at an off-campus party thrown by the lacrosse team in March 2006, but the case was thrown out and the players declared innocent after it became clear that the evidence the case was built on was pitifully weak.

The Durham County district attorney who brought the charges, Mike Nifong, was scheduled to report to jail at 9 a.m. Friday to serve a 24-hour sentence after being found in contempt last week for lying to the court.

Superior Court Judge W. Osmond Smith III ruled that Nifong, who was disbarred for committing more than two dozen violations of the state's rules of professional conduct, "willfully made false statements" to the court last September when he insisted he had given defense attorneys all results from a critical DNA test.

The omitted data contained test results showing that DNA of multiple men, none of whom were lacrosse players, was found on the accuser. A defense attorney eventually deciphered the omitted information amid nearly 2,000 pages of test data.
© 2007 The Associated Press

Kilgore said...

Great op-ed KC. Presents the basics of the case and the problems involved in a thoughtful manner. Good summary for those of us who have followed this but a very good introduction for most of the Post readers who haven't had the benefit of following this blog. This will help our cause greatly and will also help your book! Congrats!

redcybra said...

Woah! More details on the lax players' case against Durham in today's WaPo:

Source: Duke Players Seek Money, Reforms

By MARTHA WAGGONER
The Associated Press
Friday, September 7, 2007; 2:57 AM

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Attorneys for the three players falsely accused in the Duke University lacrosse rape case are seeking a settlement of about $30 million and several changes to the state's legal process, a person close to the case said early Friday.

If the terms aren't met, the players' attorneys will file a civil rights lawsuit against the city of Durham early next month, said the source, who requested anonymity because not all of the details of the proposed settlement had been worked out.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/09/07/AR2007090700215.html?tid=informbox

Anonymous said...

For those of us who have grown to literally despise the smug, PC-laden "world" of Durham, the most recent news about their journey into financial insolvency just delights. My only small regret is that $10M per strikes me as a bit low. That said, it just reflects the Lax 3's generosity of spirit.

"Show. No. Mercy."

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure I just heard Durham Taxpayers scream: "You know, we're fu**ed."

redcybra said...

$10 mil per person isn't even considered much of a lottery prize anymore. After taxes (unless it's all considered "pain and suffering") and expenses, it'll be a nice nest egg for each of them. It's clear that the changes to the legal system are the heart of the lawsuit. Frankly, since not everyone will read UPI (their loss), I would love to see the lawsuit go forward and the details of what the DPD and Nifong's office did be splashed all over the media. People aren't really aware of the whole picture, and the fact that what happened to Reade, Dave and Collin could happen to them.

Anonymous said...

Given that Brodhead waxes so very eloquent about his desire to improve "town-gown" relations, I'm wondering how a $30M hit to Durham's taxpayers will "advance" those relations. Once the Bull City's taxpayers begin to digest and get their collective head around the massive financial liability coming their direction, maybe they'll begin to "re-think" their priors about "all things Duke."

To help Durham's taxpayers' "re-frame" or "reconceptualize" their sentiments about Duke (and what Duke helped do to them), maybe someone could re-run the list of the G-88, along with Brodhead's picture. That will help "focus the mind."

Anyone hear whether Duke will open its wallet (read: endowment--once again) to help out its "neighbor"?

miramar said...

Very good article, KC. I am glad that you are using the case as a wake up call regarding PC run amok in many of our finest universities. I can only hope that administrators and alumni are listening.

The irony of all this is that when I dropped my daughter off at Duke a couple of weeks ago, I couldn't help but notice major expansion projects in the law school and the business school, which shows where most universities are placing their emphasis (and their money). At a time when the humanities need to preserve their place in the academy, some professors are doing everything in their power to ensure that intelligent and sensible people take classes elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

"$10 mil per person isn't even considered much of a lottery prize anymore"

It'll be enough to get the ball rolling. There were 46 lacrosse players so there is significant litigation to come. Also, I believe it is expected that some type of criminal investigation will be initiated.

The request for an oversight mechanism is good but not realistic. The whole community sat by (or participated) while this went down. How do you really fix that?

Ken
Dallas

DukeEgr93 said...

12:25 - Professor Coleman was absolutely the first, and for too long a time only, faculty member to publicly speak about the abuses of due process. Professor Baldwin spoke publicly early too - his April 17th letter in support of Mike Pressler also noted that no one knew what actually happened at the party. But it was Professor Coleman alone among the faculty who spoke directly about the various ways student rights were trampled until quite a bit later.

I certainly appreciate the sentiment of your words, but a lesson is lost if we forget how few took action in the darkest days.

Ralph Phelan said...

"All the others you mentioned also were among the heroes of the case."

Please. Let's not cheapen the3 language. Heroism is "above and beyond the call of duty." Performing to minimum standards is not "heroism" even if you are almost the only one doing it.

redcybra said...

After the great review in the WSJ, and the op-ed and article in WaPo today, the phone lines to Duke must be burning up. We should be seeing letters from Burness (or maybe even Brodhead) in "rebuttal" pretty soon.

Anonymous said...

Duke and Durham are in this together... Durham needs to become a college town (like Cambridge)

Duke needs to open it's wallet and eliminate some professors. And, Durham needs to give to Duke.

For example, what's the big deal with Duke making Anderson a private street? The street would look better and Durham would save street costs.

miramar said...

KC, I think that some people in Durham need to buy your book. According to an article on wral.com, Nifong reported to jail this morning, where a Durham-only moment took place:

"With a crowd of supporters by his side, some carrying signs reading 'We Believe in Your Integrity,' Nifong along with his wife and son, marched into the Durham County Jail shortly before 8:45 a.m."

We believe in your integrity? Do they also believe in the Easter bunny?

http://www.wral.com/news/local/story/1787086/

Debrah said...

Good article in the WP.

Great that it appears on Mikey's big day in the slammer.

Every...and I mean every major publication has covered the book and each has lavished high praise.

Such Diva madness!

Orson Buggeigh said...

Excellent Op-Ed piece, gentlemen! Thank you for putting the problems in academia into simple, easy to understand English: The race / class /gender driven agenda is not compatible with liberal education. Period. Keep up the good work.

For Mr. Broadhead, his apologists on the staff at Duke and the G-88: Do one honorable thing in your lives. Apologize to the lacrosse players and the Duke community, and resign. Today would be a good time for it. You, not the college students, are the problem in the academy.

Ralph Phelan said...

Mike $6:44:

If it was me some of the reform requests would be a lot more specific:

* Fire Himan by the end of the month and we knock off $100,000. Our discount offer will decrease by 10%/month.
* Fire Gottlieb and we knock off $500,000. Our discount offer will decrease by 15%/month.

[...]

* Fire Baker and we knock off $3,000,000. Our discount offer will decrease by 10%/week.

It would be interesting to see how the city's elected officials weighed the interests of the voters & taxpeyers versus the interests of city employees.
It would be even more interesting to watch how the voters react.

AMac said...

"DukeEgr93" (comment at 8:58am) is the handle of Duke Asst. Prof. of Engineering Michael Gustafson. He wrote often and eloquently about the unfolding Hoax/Frame, and was the subject of a post on this blog last November.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed the clipping of your op-ed piece from the Washington Post today, KC. Of course, I enjoyed the Thernstrom review in the Wall Street Journal yesterday even more since I am a subscriber to the latter.

The two events are not unconnected. It so happened that after being a WaPO subscriber for 20 years their coverage of the lacrosse case, as typified by the “Wolves in Blazers” article, led me to cancel my subscription and switch to the WSJ.

By the way, seeing Nifong head to jail this morning made me wonder whether there will be any follow-up to the Finnerty case in Washington. It looked to me at the time that there was close collaboration between the prosecutor in Washington and Durham’s now disgraced DA.

Diesel

Anonymous said...

Ken, Believe me it was not the whole community of Durham who was part of this bulls**t. As a native of Durham, I've followed DIW for sanity from the beginning. Nifong would not have been elected, even given the mindless blacks and pot-banging idiots, had Monks not spoiled the election. As a taxpayer in Durham, we've been f**ked for the past 30 years. I'm very glad to at least have a worthwhile cause for being f**ked over. The LAXers deserve every penny of many civil suits. I hope Durham or Duke never stops paying for this horrible disgrace.

Anonymous said...

From KC and Stewart's excellent WaPo Op-Ed:

"This shameful conduct was rooted in a broader trend toward subordinating facts and evidence to faith-based ideological posturing. Worse, the ascendant ideology, especially in academia, is an obsession with the fantasy that oppression of minorities and women by 'privileged' white men remains rampant in America. Its crude stereotyping of white men, especially athletes, resembles old-fashioned racism and sexism."

It was this kind of [Faux] Liberalism which prompted me to vote for Bush/against "Liberalism" in 2000.

[I don't want to divert from the very important Duke LAX example, but can't resist noting that some of the same features apply to the Anthropogenic Global Warming hysteria running rather rampant currently, especially its - the ipcc's - completely anti-scientific procedural and methodological underpinnings.]

J.P.

mac said...

I'm hoping that the young men get their settlement, agreeing not to file charges, but that the rest of the players sue afterward.

More than that, I'm hoping Mr. Elmostafa will find a nice retirement check in his account, somewhere in the neighborbood of 3-5 million.

Duke 85 said...

We've already heard from Mary Biddle Duke Trent Semans concerning her faith in Brodhead. Imagine the endowment is still behind the creep--hopefully he'll get a clue and get out on his own.

Anonymous said...

mac said...
I'm hoping that the young men get their settlement, agreeing not to file charges, but that the rest of the players sue afterward.

More than that, I'm hoping Mr. Elmostafa will find a nice retirement check in his account, somewhere in the neighborbood of 3-5 million.

9/7/07 12:06 PM


Given the equities of the situation, I would say Mr. Elmostafa's settlement would be closer to $300-$500,000 than $3-$5 million. Sorry, mac, but while he was certainly and egregiously wronged, he just didn't suffer all that much. As I recall, the DA just resurrected an old warrant but the case was quickly dismissed -- Am I wrong?

RRH

mac said...

RRH 12:29,
You're right, but the gravity of the offense against justice (not against his person) is nearly as grave: suborning perjury, witness-tampering, unlawful prosecution, intimidation...

No doubt he didn't suffer as much as the accused, but the crimes against him add up to a lot more than a half mil. Besides, he deserves more, if only because he stood up and spoke the truth, while many others would have joined the conspiracy.

gak said...

I am pleased to see Mike made The Smoking Gun mug shot area. He's under TSG faves

Anonymous said...

KC-

I searched your blog (if I did it correctly) for "Joe Scarborough" and "right-wing blowheard." Nothing for Scarborough and your Nov 28 "Proportionality" blog for right-wing blowhard (?).

What was Scarborough's role - don't recall it being dicussed? Thanks,

Ed

Anonymous said...

Maybe Professor Gustafson "DukeEgr93" can address the meme that it was unpopular to speak out about the case at Duke over the past year. Did he feel pressured by the G88 not to say anything?

Anonymous said...

Thanks as usual KC for keeping us up to snuff on things.
I am glad the families have the courage and fortitude to pursue all avenues and people involved in the horrible affair. Keep going until no one is left standing who deserves to have the light of day and some legal and financial pain sent their way.

Anonymous said...

The comment thread at the WaPo is rather disheartening. The "they're no choirboys" refrain is still being sung. Amazing.

Anonymous said...

AMac said...

"DukeEgr93" (comment at 8:58am) is the handle of Duke Asst. Prof. of Engineering Michael Gustafson. He wrote often and eloquently about the unfolding Hoax/Frame, and was the subject of a post on this blog last November.
------------------------------------
... which makes his 8:58 post both modest and telling. Gustafson has been consistently sound.

Anonymous said...

regarding the $30M settlement offer, keep in mind that its ESPN reporting this. they had some of the worst coverage of this whole affair and are simply not credible.

remember that it was an ESPN "source" who saw Precious all bruised and battered at the hospital.

$10M per plaintiff does seem very, very low for what these guys could be getting. sure, part of the deal might be vengeance against the bad actors (in the form of jail time and/or loss of jobs), but that would still mean you offer to drop a $200M suit down to $100M .

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't believe any numbers or information the main stream media presents about any of the deliberations going on. I just hope the families make everyone involved miserable for the rest of their lives. That is the only justice left to them, alot of people have moved on and don't care about what does or doesn't change at Duke or in Durham.

Nifong's hat trick said...

Why isn't Crystal Mangum in the cell next to Nifong? I don't understand why she has not been punished for her "fantastic lies". Will the heroes be there for her next victims?

Legal Eagle said...

One objection regarding the Washington Post editorial; "... illustrates the need for reforms to restrain rogue prosecutors."

Nifong is not a "rogue," he's quite typical, one among thousands of prosecutors who lie, cheat, and frame everyday. It's a proud tradition among prosecutors as so aptly reflected by CNN's Nancy Grace.

So ask yourself, is CNN a "rogue," Brodhead a "rogue," Durham a "rogue," or 88 professors a "rogues gallery"? Hardly.

Sorry, move along, there's no rogues here.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, KC. I can only hope that your blog has had one-tenth as much impact on others as it has had on me. You've revealed a story much bigger than the one about Michael Nifong.

I hope that you continue to teach us all.

Cedarford said...

The op-ed was pretty good. I was surprised to see Joe Scarborough described as a right wing blowhard on the wrong side to the Duke case.

My memory of Scarborough was he was an early skeptic. I remember him talking about how unlikely it was that 25-30 college students, with no meeting, would somehow decide on a coverup conspiracy that could net them all felony charges and years in jail. And Crystal's extensive criminal record and false rape claims - with a "can you believe this shit!!" smirk on his face....

I don't know what your beef is. Did "Joe in the Morning", which replaced Imus, blow off booking you guys for your book promotion?

KC Johnson said...

To the 1.11am:

I'm not sure if you read the book, but we make a similar description of Scarborough in the book--which, of course, went to press in late June, well before any "booking for book promotion" occurred.

DukeEgr93 said...

from 2:15 "Maybe Professor Gustafson "DukeEgr93" can address the meme that it was unpopular to speak out about the case at Duke over the past year. Did he feel pressured by the G88 not to say anything?"

I certainly felt no pressures either way, not that my experience can be extrapolated too far. I've had some e-mail and face-to-face exchanges - all collegial - with some of the folks who wrote/signed both the Listening ad and the Concerned ad and served on a committee with same. Dr. H. Baker never replied to my e-mails, but Drs. L. Baker, Lubiano, Holloway, and Allison all did. I don't think I tried to contact anyone else, at least in this context.

I have had some e-mails from the "outside" - some thinking I was a "group" member and some not - that ranged from mildly annoying to outright despicable. There have been some in the administration that have thoughtfully and completely responded to any queries/rants I have made - even the ridiculous ones - and to name a few, I would include Provost Lange, Vice Provost Thompson, Vice Provost Simon, Vice President Moneta, and (alas for us but happily for Hopkins, former) Dean Johnson.

As an aside to all - I have a student who is thinking about working to get a walk-on spot on the lacrosse team - whatever positive thoughts you can spare in his direction will, I'm sure, be appreciated.

Debrah said...

"I've had some e-mail and face-to-face exchanges - all collegial - with some of the folks who wrote/signed both the Listening ad and the Concerned ad and served on a committee with same. Dr. H. Baker never replied to my e-mails, but Drs. L. Baker, Lubiano, Holloway, and Allison all did. I don't think I tried to contact anyone else, at least in this context."

Do make this an illustrious feature of your upcoming holiday card display:

How to make friends and influence people.