Monday, January 21, 2008

Postscript: Reflections on the Responses

Some thoughts on the responses of Durham, Durham officials, and DNA Security:

1.) Civil lawsuits are no substitute for a federal criminal inquiry.

This was a case in which at least five people—Mike Nifong, Mark Gottlieb, Tara Levicy, Linwood Wilson, and Dr. Brian Meehan—appeared to conspire to use the tools of the state to manufacture evidence for a crime that never occurred. It’s difficult to imagine a more serious abuse of a local government’s authority.

Yet the Department of Justice rejected the request of AG Roy Cooper for a joint federal/state criminal investigation into the matter, and it appears that the state lacks the power to launch an investigation on its own.

It’s possible, of course, that the civil lawsuit will yield depositions and, ultimately, testimony that will expose the full extent of misconduct that occurred in this case. But, as the various responses revealed, most of the defendants (Nifong is the exception here) might be able to get some or even all of the claims against them dismissed on procedural grounds.

2.) The City of Durham still appears to believe that its handling of the lacrosse case was proper, and that no reforms are needed in its law enforcement practices.

It’s worth remembering that the recent court filings weren’t the city’s first official responses to the lacrosse case. That came in May, when then-City Manager Patrick Baker and then-Police Chief Steven Chalmers released a 12-page report describing as “typical” the DPD’s performance in the case.

In that report, the duo defended the April 4 lineup—the only evidence used to indict Reade Seligmann and Collin Finnerty—as wholly proper, even though it violated DPD procedure in virtually every respect. The suggestion: the DPD didn’t have to follow its own procedures; and, perhaps, regularly violates them.

Baker and Chalmers preposterously blamed defense attorneys for the DPD’s participation in the indictment of demonstrably innocent people. They defended the DPD’s decision not to ask Crystal Mangum about the myriad contradictions in her multiple stories. And they offered contradictory recollections on whether Durham Police officials had allowed Mike Nifong to usurp control of the police investigation.

At the time, the Baker/Chalmers report attracted widespread ridicule, even from the “hear-no-evil/see-no-evil” Herald-Sun editorial page. Yet the report, in many ways, provided the template for the city’s official response to the players’ civil suit.

Much like the Baker/Chalmers report, the city’s official response was contradictory on Nifong’s role in supervising the investigation. On the one hand, the city’s response deemed it “nonsensical” to claim that Nifong directed the investigation. On the other hand, the city’s response consistently asserted that Nifong and Nifong alone deserved all blame for decisions made in the case—including, presumably, the decisions to run the flawed April 4 lineup, not to ask Mangum about the myriad inconsistencies in her stories, and to ignore exculpatory evidence in the case. Just like Baker and Chalmers, the city’s attorneys never addressed the contradictions inherent in their position.

3.) The grand jury—considered by the framers as an opportunity for the people to check the power of an abusive state—now functions as an enabler of governmental abuse.

The 25 rape cases before the lacrosse case handled by the DPD and Mike Nifong’s office had one thing in common: in each of the 25, the police had arrested the suspect as soon as the DPD believed it had enough evidence to make a charge.

In the lacrosse case, however, a different approach was followed: even though police had all the “evidence” they ever would possess against Reade Seligmann and Collin Finnerty on April 4, 2006, they made no arrest. Instead, the DPD and Nifong waited nearly two weeks, until the next meeting of the grand jury—at which Gottlieb, by his own admission, gave false testimony, suggesting that Mangum had told consistent stories from the time she first encountered Tara Levicy on March 14, 2006.

It wasn’t hard to figure out what motivated Nifong and the DPD: under a quirk in North Carolina law, a defendant who’s arrested before a grand jury indictment is entitled to a probable cause hearing. A defendant who’s first indicted by the grand jury has no such right. So, in this case, the grand jury was used to eliminate the only real legal check on Nifong’s ability to secure an indictment.

The responses by both Durham and several individual members of the DPD revealed the continuing harm of the grand jury system. Each cited case law to suggest that a grand jury indictment provides a near-absolute defense against a 4th amendment civil claim. The fact that Mark Gottlieb—by his own admission—gave false testimony to the grand jury might provide an opening to the falsely accused players. But it’s ironic, to put it mildly, that for a second time in this case, the grand jury could function as enabler of a massive violation of civil liberties.

4.) The responses feature breathtaking descriptions of “normal” law enforcement work.

DSI attorney Robert King appeared to assert that DNA Security was not obligated to produce a report that adhered either to its own company protocols or North Carolina state law regarding DNA tests resulting from an NTO. He equated the lacrosse players suing DSI for not following the law or its own protocols as merely a complaint that the plaintiffs “do not like the way that the report was written.”

Cpl. David Addison went on what could be called a defamation spree, spewing demonstrably false information about the case through his capacity as DPD public spokesperson. How did his attorney describe this conduct? As demonstrating Addison’s “duty to the public to serve and protect it.”

Linwood Wilson’s response conceded that the former investigator took “actions might have lead to a deprivation of a constitutional right or [were] otherwise illegal.”

In its response, the city of Durham maintained that “its officials’ and police officers’ conduct was consistent with federal and state law and was motivated by the belief that any serious crime reported by a resident of the City should be thoroughly investigated without bias in favor of or against any person on the basis of race, gender, or socioeconomic status.”

Is it “consistent with federal and state law” to: (1) run photo ID processes that violate the department’s own standards; (2) have at least one of the city’s officers give false testimony to the grand jury; (3) conduct a rape investigation in which the medical officer who performed the rape exam (Julie Manly) was never interviewed by the police; (4) seek a non-testimonial order against people that police officers didn’t even know were at the scene of the “crime”; (5) wait more than three weeks before obtaining the official statement from the “victim”; (6) produce a months-after-the-fact police memorandum contradicting all other police reports and seemingly designed to fill in existing holes in the case?

Does the city of Durham understand “federal and state law”? Its response suggests not.


mac said...

Of course the Sitty of dDuhh did what it usually does - it's located in the State of North Korealina, a state that now apparently uses Grand Juries like mobs were once used to drag black men out of jail.

The fact that there will be nothing done - ever - about Judge Stephens courtroom, where NBPP members openly threatened the lives of the young men, is a clear indication that nothing has changed, except the color and status of the victims, and the fact that the hoaxers and enablers and Klan of 88 in this case are brazen enough to have attempted the lynching in the light of day and under the glare of the national media.

As I wrote in another post, the templates made in this case are grooved deep, and as "Nifong" is now a word self-smeared in offal and infamy, as is the number "88." The Sitty of dDuhh is now held in low esteem - and even embarrasment - by people who once thought it could recover from its historical wrongs. It has not recovered. It is the Sitty of perpetual "Something Happened."

Even college sports have been influenced by events at Duke, the grandmother of dDuhh, as students' expectations of privacy are much more carefully guarded at other Universities, so that even their reasons for withdrawal from a program are no longer considered public information. It is likely that professors and administrators at other universities will hesitate before they line up to violate the rights of those young men and women whose lives they are supposed to be improving (unless they somehow believe, Torquemada-like, that humiliating and tormenting people under their control is a worthy goal, as the ends justify the means.)

Durham needs to clean up, to sanitize, to scour itself in scalding water, not to defend itself. What it did was indefensible, from the investigators to the city manager to the press. While other municipalities will likely learn from the Sitty of dDuhh's example, it and its co-conspirators will remain as the only participants who will not have learned a thing from the experience.

Sad. Really, truly sad.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, KC, for your updates and thoughtful commentary. I regularly read several metropolitan newspapers in the northeastern United States. Those papers barely report on the civil cases. One has to search the web or follow Durham in Wonderland links to learn of developments.

The following is purely anecdotal, of course (God Help Me, Wahneema Lubiano - but at least I am not speaking on behalf of several departments at Duke): I enjoyed having the chance to chat with several Dukies on a visit back to campus February 11-14. Some seemed to have little interest in the ongoing events regarding the case. Others were hopeful that the civil cases would uncover further truths that have been hidden. One remark that I found fascinating was that "there is nothing whatsoever that can be done about professors who blur the line between politics and teaching".

I suppose he was insightful -- and right.

Observer said...

It would appear from the responses that despite our constitutional protections, the justice system actually nurtures and protects deeply dishonest and criminal behavior in law enforcement in a number of ways. And unless you are a "protected class" do not expect the DOJ to rouse itself on behalf of your civil rights.

I am marveling that the GJ is supposed to act as a brake on abuses in law enforcement and break the chain of responsibility for police officers when they overreach, but the police may withhold exculpatory evidence (like DNA results) from the GJ. How is that withholding not a form of perjury?

Also, the idea that constitutional protections only obtain during and post trial is most disturbing. That seems to me a virtual license to abuse, intimidate, and harass the long, of course, as any charges are dropped before trial.

The fact that Sgt. Gottlieb was transferred and not fired or put on permanent desk duty after his documented behavior towards Duke students--NOT TO MENTION the fact he is still ON the police force even now --also highlights the reality that police abuse is, apparently, the sanctioned "norm" least for Durham.

Durm said...

I believe that Durham believes that there is nothing wrong with the DPD and their procedures because they are clearly written and established.

The act of not following the rules established by the city of Durham, DPD et al. does not in any way suggest that the rules are wrong. Therefore Durm dont need to set up new ruls to foller caus they alreday gotem written in black and white.

So, according to what is written already, they don't need to change anything. However, the rest of the world believes that they should follow the rules, not just claim to follow the rules.

I would not mind my tax dollars contributing to building a fence around durham to keep all that corruption in and everyone else out.

Jamie said...

So Addison's defamation spree (a nice, very appropriate description) was described by his lawyer as demonstrating Addison’s “duty to the public to serve and protect it.”

That's almost precisely the line Nifong took. In every thing he did, even when in his righteous zeal he went a tad too far, he was merely serving and safeguarding the public.

Such claims make perfect sense, of course, if for the public one substitutes something like "baying pack of snarling, race-crazed wolves".

no justice, no peace said...

"The time is always right to do what is right" - MLK, Jr.

One might argue that many in Durham and within Duke have moved away from the teachings of MLK...assuming they ever bought-in in the first place.

bill anderson said...

This was a magnificent job, one of your best. We get a sense of the absolute arrogance that Durham, Nifong, and the others must have had when this case was being prosecuted. They KNOW that nothing will happen to them. They KNOW that they are above the law, and that no legal authority will challenge them.

Thus, we can expect the police and prosecutors there actually be to even more bold in promoting wrong and injustice. Now that they have been told in no uncertain terms that they are entirely immune, they will continue to do what is wrong.

Of course, there will be many enablers along the way. There is the Duke faculty, Duke administration, Hurled-Scum, and the black ministers. No doubt, Ronald Stephens will be returned to office, along with Kenneth Titus. We already saw that the most popular politician in Durham is the person, Diane Cattoti, who continued to insist that this rape case was legitimate.

Thus, I can say that Durham, North Carolina, and the United States are beyond hope. Those who actually stand up for justice are few, and we are shouted down by the others. I really see no possibility of change in Durham; if they pay no penalty for wrongdoing, they will continue to do it. It's that simple

wdprice said...

Thanks KC...what will determine if the case goes forward or not? Will it be the decision of a circuit judge interpreting state laws. What is the status or quality of state laws on the subject?

Michael said...

It seems like a rather maddening result so far. There must be something to keep people there amidst the crime and incompetence.

Will the DJIA drop 1,000 points tomorrow morning? Should be interesting. If we do slide into a recession, the competition for students will get more heated. Especially those from the Northeast with the savings set aside to fund college educations.

Gary Packwood said...

Observer 1/21/2008 ~~ 9:41 AM said...
...I am marveling that the GJ is supposed to act as a brake on abuses in law enforcement and break the chain of responsibility for police officers when they overreach, but the police may withhold exculpatory evidence (like DNA results) from the GJ. How is that withholding not a form of perjury?
It almost seems as if the members of the grand jury are the only people in Durham who actually witnessed a crime being committed. And they were in the jury room when it happened.

Who will be the first member of that panel to write the article or the book that will result in systemic change to the criminal justice system in Durham, NC, USA?

Lets encourage those grand jury members to come forward and make a difference.

RighteousThug said...

"...and it appears that the state lacks the political willpower to launch an investigation on its own."

There, fixed it for you. ;>)

Anonymous said...

KC> Thanks for the wrap up as usual. I think Bill Anderson is right on and Michael,Duke had over 20,000 applicants this year for the the freshman class, the dow drop has no effect on college admissions. I find it amazing that people would consider sending their children to Durham. I believe the system is corrupt there, that the guys will not get a win. I hope they are really moving on with their lives and that this is side bar to it. The people of Durham should be ashamed and pay for what they allowed Mike Nifong to control and drive. We know they aren't ashamed and did nothing in the beginning to question and demand the truth. There is no way around that civil rights were violated because of the color of the skin of the innocent young men.Also because they were supposedly rich as they went to Duke. I pray for them and their families, to find personal peace.We have all learned to be skeptical of the police,the administration of Duke University and those in power. They are just human beings sometimes more interested in their own fate than the fate of those they are suppose to be taking care of.True there are many African Americans in jail who should be free, that doesn't make it less wrong that this injustice was acted upon these Caucasian men. The mention of their financial status is really frustrating, I didn't know the law is different if you are poor or middle class. The media has alot to answer to for perpetuating many of these bias,scandalous ideas and not reporting on the facts. Nothing will happen to those most guilty as KC has noted in his book.
I have a male college student, I'm glad he isn't in Durham.

Michael said...

re: 8:01

We haven't had the long periods of economic malaise or recession that I remember when growing up. Monetary policy in the 1990s and 2000s was very loose and we always had a big injection to keep the economy humming.

In the past, one would expect secular bull markets such as the one from 1982 to 2000 followed by a secular bear market for 18 years. The bear market after 2000 only lasted a few years.

We've had huge price increases in precious metals and energy and the tamping down of the markets may be something that is intentional to hit speculators or maybe it's just some wringing out of excesses. I noticed that the dollar was rising last night, perhaps people in a flight to safety.

The middle-class does count. Eventually.

Anonymous said...

So in a nutshell, is the case just going to be obstructed and just F-F-Fade Away????

Anonymous said...

The lack of accountability in universities and public institutions produces pretty much what it always has: corruption, peevish disdain for the rights of others and arrogance.

Citizens of all colors, incomes and outlooks must insist on real accountability, not advisory committees.

The insulated universities treat students as fungible guinea pigs, to be indocrinated, tormented and even retaliated against for social causes.

No one who cares about their kids should send them to Duke. Alumni ought to be loudly demanding reforms of the most basic kind.

If parents and alumni are too afraid of jepordizing the chances of future admissions for their kids, shame on them. And shame on Duke and other universities that sit preening on such a midieval construct. An edifice of shame protected by fear. Like an old company town where workers stayed silent for fear of causing a son or daughter to lose a job.

The defense lawyers were there to offset the cops and Nifong, although they just barely were able to do so. But the lawyers acted: the Bar weighed in: Nifong is ruined and disgraced. Where are the supposedly self-policing academics? (other than the author of this blog?)

Duke has tried to buy its way out of the sordid mess without changing at all. They and other universities ought to be the target of serious reforms imposed from the outside. And in the long run, reform there is more important than anywhere else.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone else heard about the recent uptick in violence against Duke students? A graduate student was murdered in his off campus apartment just last week. The situation has become so bad that President Broadhead has sent a letter out to parents regarding the situation. Has the DPD decided to lay down?

Steven Horwitz said...

Thought folks might be interested in this N&O piece on the new Dean of Undergraduate Education, Steve Nowicki. This seems like a very good step forward.

See here.

Michael said...

re: 1:45 PM

I think that there is an uptick in crime, including violent crime due to the downturn in the economy. I see it locally in the form of bank robberies, armed robberies and petty theft. There is more stress in families too. It reminds me of the housing and mortage problems in New England in the 1980s. Durham seems to have an amplified version of this for obvious reasons.

I think that many universities in big cities have housing and security issues. There are, of course, ways to improve security on campus but off-campus can be harder.

There's a big discussion on the murder at Liestoppers.

Anonymous said...

Gooslee was the dumbest and Wendy the meanest - Did they get theirs?

miramar said...

As noted above, a graduate student in the Pratt School of Engineering was murdered in his off campus apartment last week. Where are the potbangers now that a real crime has been committed?

Observer said...


It's not F-F-F-fading away, yet, and it may not be resolved for some time. We just don't quite know at this point. It would take a very long time for anyone who is not familiar with the arguments and cases cited in the briefs to research the issues on their own and pick out the particular flaws in the arguments. So, we'll probably just have to wait and see how the court responds. I believe the defense has some weaknesses in its arguments, but there are several points I am not clear on...which, of course, is one reason why this case is in the courts and not in settlement talks, at least not yet. And even after the court rules, there may be opportunities for appeal...could take a while...

drew said...

I’m not a lawyer, and I don’t play one on TV. I do know something about insurance claims processes, however, and I think that many of the parties in the lawsuit will have their actions affected by their desire to have somebody else (the insurers) pay the tab. Consider first the three groups of defendants:

(1) the governmental agencies – most governments have very large (by most standards) self-insured retentions in their insurance, which means that they can direct the defense in the suit, up to a point. Once the suit gets messy enough to suggest that the insurers’ money is legitimately at risk, they (the insurers) will step in and actively direct the defense. They’ll use the “hammer clause” to force the governmental agencies to reach a settlement, or else the governmental agencies will be compelled to “go it alone” without the economic protection provided by the insurers. The city in particular will fold like a cheap suitcase and reach an abrupt settlement with all the plaintiffs; however, not until a prolonged period of legalistic foreplay has been completed.

(2) the individual defendants – these are people who were acting not in some sort of official or employment capacity, and who cannot rely on any indemnities from either their employers or sponsoring organizations. Most will have either homeowners’ or tenants’ insurance as their only means of defense. The insurers in these cases (who are far closer to playing with their own money than in either of the other two groups of defendants) will throw their insureds under the bus in a heartbeat, and reach far smaller, but quicker, settlements in exchange for dismissals from the “big” suit.

(3) The University and affiliated parties – here’s where things might get real interesting. I presume that the University has some insurance; however, with retentions of loss that are significant. We should also bear in mind that I suspect that the University has already tapped into their insurers, partially providing funding for their settlements with Coach Pressler and the four previously-settled students. Since the insurers have already paid out some dough, I would expect them to be reluctant to “double down” on a questionable defense in a highly-public case. The insurers will invoke the “hammer clause” and threaten to withhold all insurance proceeds unless the insurer can run the case. In Duke’s less than infinite wisdom, I think the University will elect to go it alone. They will wait until at least after the governmental settlements are reached to actually find themselves at the critical crossroads – do we fight, or do we settle? If the University’s actions to date in this mess are any indication, they’ll fight – and lose. The administration will then blame the entire financial fiasco on a runaway jury, or a demonically-possessed (or non-PC) judge. They’ll wear this fig leaf for a real short time (see “The End Result” below).

THE END RESULT – the city and other governmental agencies will find themselves hamstrung – the citizens will never let them pass a tax increase to fund the damages, yet the damages to the plaintiffs will be siphoned off the top of all tax revenues before the governments actually get to use them. Thus, the citizens will pay through reduced or frozen levels of services from the local government. They voted these clowns into office, and they’re the ones who are going to eat the crow at the end. I would also expect that the governments involved will see some serious oversight on their procedures and operations (these cost the court nothing in the judgment, and look real good to the larger general public). Not looking good for the residents of the Triangle in North Carolina.

The Individual defendants will escape with their skins intact, and think that they’ve whistled past the graveyard. However, they will always show up in a search of court records as settling defendants in a significant civil suit, and will find insurance renewals and credit ratings to be affected as well. It doesn’t matter much – they’ll probably think that they’re the victims in this entire sordid mess anyway.

And the University? Not a pretty sight – Duke will end up paying out significant chunks of change for which it will likely have little or no insurance. The Board of Trustees will finally reap the seeds that they sowed when they gave Brodhead a vote of confidence in the middle stages of the affair. Unfortunately the BOT’s own hubris will not permit them to realize that they blew it early on. There will rather quickly be a “new” BOT, who will have the benefit of no skin in the game, and the times they will be a-changin’. Look to see Brodhead run out of town rather quickly, as well as some rather public changes to the employment status of the more vocal members of the G88.

Plaintiffs’ counsel will start to talk about the value of the Duke “franchise) (that’s not the BBall team, but the endowment), and how the court will need to “send a message” to the University. The final tab will be an amount that would curl even Donald Trump’s hair (if that’s possible at all…), and the University will then finally be able to put this situation behind them. The Plaintiffs’ lawyers will get a significant payday, as will the plaintiffs. Oh, and did I mention all the other players who will file similar “me too” suits in the near future?

Coach Pressler will get to adjust the amount of his settlement upwards, and by a large amount. Unfortunately, many in the current University administration are still stuck on stupid, and can’t shut up when the time is best. The Coach held up his end of the bargain, but the University didn’t - now he gets a chance at a new bargain, which he richly (pun only partially intended) deserves.

The G88 folks will try to litigate tenure issues, but the new BOT will fight them aggressively – it’s the only way the Board can save the University in the long run. After about a dozen or so of the G88 have been shown the exits, the remainder will learn the hard way that there are responsibilities that go along with privilege. Most of the remainder will be gone shortly, since they will find that playing their “victim” status will be easier on other campuses than at Duke. In the end, the students will end up paying.

It’ll all take about 5 years’ time (from now) to get to these points. I hope than anyone reading this prognostication will have forgotten my musings at the time, unless of course everything that I have foreseen actually comes to pass.

Anonymous said...

T-T-Thank you Observer.

QA said...

I really enjoyed Drew's most insightful 1/23/08 12:47 PM post and believe the final outcomes will be close to Drew's prognosticated ones.

As indicated in my comments on KC's "Various Items" thread, I believe that discovery poses Duke/DUMC’s greatest threat [ possible Hospital Accreditation consequences, expensive 3rd Party Health Insurance consequences if the failed oversight of its trainees in this case is discovered to be internally widespread, as has expensively injured at least one Ivy League Medical Center] .

If [God forbid!] I were running the Duke/DUMC defence my overriding consideration would be Discovery-Prevention backed-up by its-only-an-isolated-occurrence spin.

If discovery cannot be sufficiently limited, I believe settlement will be the cheaper choice in direct $$$ and damage to reputation.

Gary Packwood said...

Drew 01/23/2008 ~~ 12:47 PM said...

...And the University? Not a pretty sight – Duke will end up paying out significant chunks of change for which it will likely have little or no insurance. The Board of Trustees will finally reap the seeds that they sowed when they gave Brodhead a vote of confidence in the middle stages of the affair. Unfortunately the BOT’s own hubris will not permit them to realize that they blew it early on.
Good summary. Important information. Thank You.

Do you expect members of the Duke University Board of Trustees to be held individually responsible for their lack of and negligent fiduciary oversight?

drew said...

re: Gary Packwood's question at 11:15pm on 1/23:

I'm not sure who would be the party (parties) eligible to sue the individual BOT members for lack of fiduciary oversight. I don't think any members of the public would have direct damages surricient to warrant a day in court. In fact, the only party that would have been damaged by the BOT's members' actions would be the University itself - thus, you would have the BOT suing itself individually.

I suppose this could come to pass once a "new" BOT is in place (i.e., the "new" Board suing the "old" Board members individually), but I wouldn't hold out too much hope of being able to go the tag sale at Bob Steel's house when the sheriff confiscates the toaster oven and hot tub.

I would suspect it far more likely that the threat of an individual suit over fiduciary and management transgressions would be the wedge used to get the current BOT members to go away quietly; thereby permitting the seating of a "new" BOT. Absent some sort of hammer over the current BOT, they would be unlikely to resign en masse -- it would be better from a group perspective to just ride it out and wait until the dust finally settles.

traveler said...

“Lying under oath is one of the worst sins a lawyer can commit “

Seems like I heard this song before…except the press is digging for the answers. Kilpatrick is a Democrat, a rising star, he could have settled the case for $100,000 but opted for $9- million, Michigan is in a one state recession, this story would be unbelievable ….but the beat goes on, and on…..What I did for love…..
“Detroit: Mayor Kilpatrick, chief of staff lied under oath, text messages show
Romantic exchanges undercut denials

Kilpatrick, a lawyer, could also face discipline if the state Attorney Discipline Board finds he lied in court.

Lying under oath is one of the worst sins a lawyer can commit -- akin to stealing a client's money, legal experts said.

"It's literally the equivalent of the death penalty for a law license,"…. Commission, which investigates lawyers.

Kilpatrick could have settled that case two years ago for $100,000 -- but he rejected the mediators' recommendation.

Because they were sued in their roles as city officials, Kilpatrick and Beatty did not personally have to pay the costs from the $9-million legal fight.

Anonymous said...

"Unfortunately the BOT’s own hubris will not permit them to realize that they blew it early on."

Oh, they realize it; they will not, however, admit it.

traveler said...

Several posters have asked where was the Duke Law School? One of the frontline legal cases of our time, right in their lap, and no questions??

In the article below, Siskind seems to infer, liberal lawyers questioning another liberal’s actions, Get Real!
Lawrence J. Siskind asks, “Where was Chemerinsky?”
Maybe Irvine Will Learn
By Lawrence J. Siskind

While Chemerinsky taught at Duke, three members of the school's lacrosse team were accused of sexually assaulting a stripper.

.... faculty, known as the "Group of 88," published an advertisement presuming the players' guilt and portraying their "crime" as an expression of racial and gender oppression.

[Where was law school professor Chemerinsky while the controversy raged?]

Did he speak out for the rights of the accused? Did he challenge his fellow faculty members on the Group of 88 by reminding them that even privileged white males are entitled to the presumption of innocence?

There is no public record of his taking such a politically incorrect position.

traveler said...

FIRE represents Brandeis University faculty member.

This is an interesting case. A few months ago FIRE brought the University of Florida’s administration to their knees, and now Brandeis has felt the weight of their scrutiny. "The Provost Statement, January 29, 2008," seemed to me as more typical Brodhead-like doublespeak.
Ethnic sensitivities threaten academic freedom
by Joe Murray
January 28, 2008
The Bulletin

...."The University will not tolerate inappropriate, racial and discriminatory conduct by members of its faculty. He was also threatened with termination and informed a monitor would be placed in his class.”

"Punishing him for actually criticizing the use of what is often considered an ethnic slur shows a mindless application of ‘sensitivity at all costs' at the expense of freedom of expression"