Saturday, January 19, 2008

Various Items

In the Durham News, columnist Rob Waters made a passionate case for what appears to be a call to change federal civil rights law to prevent lawsuits against municipalities that abridge defendants’ civil rights. Wrote he, “The lacrosse players were never convicted, never did time. And they’re somehow entitled to millions? Silly me, just trying to be logical.”

This has been the most wide-open presidential contest in recent memory, with almost no major issue not finding support from at least one of the major candidates. Yet, to my knowledge, no candidate has embraced Waters’ apparent “logic” and called for this radical reform of federal civil rights law. Waters’ column today didn’t go into detail why he wants the law changed (I’m assuming that he wasn’t arguing that while the lacrosse players weren’t entitled to sue under the law, more “politically correct” victims of municipalities’ misconduct should be entitled to such lawsuits; such a position, of course, would be writing discrimination into federal civil rights statutes). But I hope Durham News readers will be watching for Waters’ forthcoming work on this topic. Perhaps he’ll launch a lobbying campaign asking Durham’s congressman, David Price, to lead the charge in reforming federal civil rights law along the lines that Waters’ “logic” demands.

For DIW readers in southern Maine, I’m back in the US briefly for our intersession period, and will be speaking on the book next Sunday at 2pm, at the Scarborough Public Library.

Finally, a reminder on comments policy: I try to be as tolerant as possible in clearing comments, including those with which I disagree. Yet it’s not my policy to clear comments that are demonstrably false. In the last two days, one anonymous commenter penned a remark citing an alleged quote by AG Roy Cooper that Tara Levicy’s rape kit exam cleared the lacrosse players. There was, however, no such quote by Cooper; and, indeed, the AG report’s only comment on Levicy dismissed her findings as “subjective.” A second anonymous commenter penned a remark stating that Levicy had testified under oath and been exonerated. Again, this statement was untrue.

Since both comments were demonstrably untrue, neither was cleared.

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

I like the way you handled the false Levicy comments. If you had cleared them, they would have been shot down, no doubt, but this was better.

As always, good job.

Anonymous said...

Rob Walters justs overlooks the lost year of their lives and their families suffering as well as the millions spent in legal fees.

Did the other people who cases are mention suffer as well? Yes, but none of that means that the players did not suffer financially, employment wise, education wise and emotionally over the course of the case.

Too bad Durham did not speak up as one and stop Nifong. Before the election it was know something was wrong with the case, but Durham its people, its courts, its police dept, its local papers and its religious and political leaders all helped Nifong keep it going.

Now they will be paying the "Nifong's Tax" for years to come.

Anonymous said...

Re: Rob Waters

The writer is from the N&O not the Durham paper, which is more surprising(or at least that is what his email says)

~the sequels and spinoffs would conclude faster if the "leaders" would take responsibility for their actions (or lack thereof) and get things resolved instead of trying to talk their way out of a mess that they helped create.

~many "leaders" could have stopped Nifong and this fiasco very early on if they had been doing their jobs correctly.

~just because a disturbed accuser started this mess, it does not mean the "leaders" had to let it get out of control.

~Logical - obviously you have not
been harassed, slandered and faced long hard prison time. I hope when your kids go to college and you "entrust" them and their education (and your dollars) to a university (supposedly a "prestigious one")they get better treatment than the Duke students, the 2006 men's lacrosse team, the women's lacrosse team and the Pressler family. Otherwise, "silly you" your logic might change dramatically.

Have you really educated yourself about this case?

Logically, it doesn't appear that you have.

Joey7777 said...

One day I just might be shocked when one surly Durham defender finally states "Well....maybe it WAS kind of sick for us to wave a 'Castrate' sign.....and everything else.."

Anonymous said...

I hate to burst any bubbles... but, "writing discrimination into federal civil rights statutes" was accomplished many, many years ago. And in fact, exists as we type.

Anonymous said...

I just stopped reading . . . my goodness . . . never did time . . . the whole wretched affair was time in purgatory that has taken on a life of its own. These kids will never get their reputations back. Ill informed and supposedly educated people and academicians are still talking the fraud that "Something must have happened!" The DukeGroup88 continues to be bought off and placated and promoted as if their behavior was somehow superior rather than less than stupid. The whole wretched municipality wallows in mediocrity and disrespect for the law, and yes, the civil rights of these young men was most assuredly violated not withstanding the stupidity of the violators.

Anonymous said...

KC - Per Lawyer Williamson - In this case, the lack of team DNA in the rape kit, coupled with DNA of others did prove lack of rape on the team part. Now, if the rape kit did not prove "No Rape", what did????? Manly with the assistance of Levicy did the rape exam and collected the materials.

W. R. Chambers said...

Off topic (with apologies):
Does DIW - especially KC Johnson's posts - constitute a new form of historiography?

It seems to me that Johnson has used his skills as an historian to (a) make evidence available for readers and (b) analyze that evidence to create an interpretation of historical (albeit recent) events that readers can check against the evidence.

In my view, through DIW Johnson is doing a type of history that is very much alive and connected to ascertainable facts.

KC Johnson said...

To the 11.29:

There was no one involved in the case named "Lawyer Williamson," although Lane Williamson was the chairman of the DHC panel that conducted the Nifong ethics hearing.

The general argument in your comment mirrors almost directly the response in the Gottlieb filing. Gottlieb's attorney claims that the sergeant's "investigation" uncovered the exculpatory evidence that helped discredit Mangum--the Johnson and Roberts statements, for instance, or the first and second photo lineups.

That, of course, ignores a rather significant fact: as the investigation was occurring, Gottlieb ignored this evidence, and instead testified to the grand jury that the charged players were guilty (and later produced a straight-from-memory notes designed to fill in gaps in the state's case).

As bizarre as this argument is, at least Gottlieb wrote his memo, or supervised the first two lineups, or supervised the Roberts and Johnson statements. In the case of the lack of DNA from the team in the rape kit, we know now (although DUMC did its best not to clarify this information for months) that the DNA swabs were done exclusively by Julie Manly, and that Tara Levicy, because she had no SANE certification, had nothing to do with that part of the examination.

What did she deal with? Providing a report, offering "subjective" interpretations of Mangum's pain level, and then taking Mangum's narrative. She offered guilt-presuming conclusions that weren't justified by that report three times (March 16, March 21, June 9); and she then radically changed what she claimed Mangum had said on Jan. 10.

No one involved in the case--the defense attorneys, Lane Williamson, the AG in his report--has claimed that Tara Levicy did anything to assist in the exoneration of the players. With the record outlined above, there's no possibility that anyone involved in the case could make such an assertion.

Anonymous said...

The SBI lab came out within two weeks stating "No DNA from the team." It was DUMC's job to "do" the Rape KIt. It was SBI's job to "test" the materials and announce the results. I agree completely - Levicy had little to do with the rape kit except the Checklist - so why criticize her for the Sexual Assualt Exam done by Dr Manly? This has always been much ado about nothing,

bill anderson said...

I sent to email to Waters (but I don't expect to hear from him). Here is the text of the email:

I read your article today, and it seems that the N&O now thinks the whole Duke affair was a big joke, a "no harm, no foul" situation. Perhaps you might want to talk to the people who were falsely accused. You might want to talk to David Evans and his wife, Rae, who both suffered serious health problems due to the stress, and to Dave, whose grandfather died prematurely, most likely due to the stress.

You might want to talk to Reade Seligmann and see what his family experienced. You might want to talk to the other players, who were subjected to the biggest hatefest ever seen on a college campus, and you might want to talk to some of the families that received death threats, not to mention the many death threats that the Presslers received. (It seems that the DPD, which did everything it could to frame people for something that did not happen, was not able to do any real investigations on the death threats.)

Never forget that it was the N&O that helped to jump start this frame by running an obviously false story (Dancer recalls....) and subsequently ran story after story vilifying every member of the lacrosse team.

But, silly me. It was all a big joke, har, har. Yes, after experiencing the but end of lies and false accusations and a fraudulent lineup, not to mention the humiliation of being arrested and having their mugs on the cover of Newsweek, which automatically branded them as rapists, you now expect those people who experienced it to sit back and enjoy the big laugh.

I do hope you never experience what these people experienced, but if you were to receive even a smidgen of it, I think you might have an understanding of why they are pursuing legal action.

Oh, one other thing. Many of the principals in this case from Nifong's office to the DPD still are insisting that Crystal was raped. Nifong's wife, Cy Gurney, and her friends still are spreading the fraud, despite the fact that not one of those young men even laid a hand on Mangum. Gottlieb in his deposition to the NC Bar still was trying to promote the hoax -- I guess to save his own behind. Yet, Durham is innocent as a newborn babe. Right.

So, go on and continue to vilify people who were the victims of real-live crimes (which the authorities even refuse to investigate). I guess journalists never are wrong. But don't expect them and their friends to sit back and say nothing.

William L. Anderson, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department of Economics
College of Business
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD 21532

Anonymous said...

KC - You are an intellegential giant and I am a gnat, but surely even you can see that this entire SANE thing was blown up by a few Nurses trying to make this sub speciality "something" when it is "nothing". From the get go, I have written that "staff nurses do not have the power assigned to them by Levicy distractors." Remember when Dr Manly (with twelve years of Doctoring was a Trainee?) THis would never have been an issue without the hysteria generated about the non existence SANE. Was and always will be a typical Rape Kit exam.

KC Johnson said...

To the 7.40/8.06:

Each and every one of the defense attorneys in the case would disagree with your analysis of Levicy. You are, of course, entitled to your opinion. But on the issue of evaluating Levicy's conduct, I'll side with Joe Cheshire, Jim Cooney, Brad Bannon, and Doug Kingsberry over an anonymous commenter.

mac said...

KC,
I agree with the 8:06 poster: he/she IS a gnat - (as self-described.)

I also agree with Bigas that you ARE a giant - (though I would say "intellectual," not Bigas' "intellegential.")

Other than that, I agree with you regarding Little Nurse Levity, and by inclusion, with Cheshire, Cooney, Bannon and Kingsbury.

Anonymous said...

It may be accurate to say that Levicy's significance SHOULD have been small. But you had Nifong, DPD, some folks at Duke and plenty of others who wanted the facts spun in the way that most tended to indicate "something happened". Because Levicy was eager to do this, she was heeded. She wound up being an important part of the frame.

hman said...

I am a Physician who has paid many dues working in busy Emergency Rooms and dealt with sexual assault and other serious criminal justice type cases. And no, what Levicy did was not trivial.
In all medical record keeping, but especially when a crime might be part of the picture, there are a few absolute rules that are taught from day one.
1. Write everything down as soon as you can, sign and date it, then never change or remove anything.
2. Subjective findings are to be kept apart from objective findings. In other words, what patients express about their condition is important but it is not to be muddled up with what you can observe of injury or other physical findings. So keep them seperated in your record keeping.
3. Never write down or memorialize your interpretations of events or data unless it is your job and responsibility to do so.
Levicy violated all of these tenets at one time or the other.
It is true, however, that as a not-yet-cerified SANE she should have been denied, by higher-ups, the opportunity to do all of the damage she did by running amock. Her superiors could have stepped in. The huge question is, "Where were her supervisors?, DUMC lawyers?, etc." Why was Levicy the defacto spokes-person for forensic nursing at DUMC?
First, she clearly wanted to be.
Second, Nifong and the DPD wanted her to be.
And the hoaxers did not trust Dr. Manley to play along.
Beyond that, I still do not get what happened at DUMC unless it was a case of mass PC induced herd-like psychosis.
But if Levicy had refrained from her malignant editoralizing of the SANE exam the herd would not have stampeded in the first place. And she could have stopped it multiple times.

Anonymous said...

KC,

Rob Waters makes it sound as if would GLADLY do 18 years in a maximum security prison for a lump sum payment of $360,000 on a crime he didn't commit. Its a great deal isn't it? That comes out to $1,660 a month. I'll gladly pay Mr. Waters $1,660 if he agrees to do the one month.

Maybe then he might have a new perspective of the 28 years Durham was trying to make the kids serve...on a crime that never happened.

Thanks for the great work KC.

Drew from Diego

hman said...

If I may allowed another shot at the Levicy question I should like to offer this analogy:
Suppose a Medical Student examined a patient in the ER who was claiming to have been beaten up. Along with the Resident Physician, they examine the patient and see no evidence of bruising or trauma. But the Student, who gets to write the note in the record, asserts that since the patient was crying and acting traumatized there was solid evidence of the crime of assault and battery and that he would be willing to help the cops with their prosecution of whomever they indicted. And the resident and staff Physicians, who had better knowledge and experience would thereafter be excluded from the process. And the school cheered it all along.
The water supply in Durham needs to be checked for mind-altering substances.

AMac said...

Here's a possible explanation of the oft-repeated assertion that "Tara Levicy’s rape kit exam cleared the lacrosse players."

Rape Kit samples were collected at DUMC on 3/14/06 from Crystal Mangum. Julie Manly MD and Tara Levicy RN performed the exam, and collected and logged the samples, entering them into the Chain of Custody. Thus, Levicy should be credited with:

(1) not spiking the Rape Kit samples with DNA from one or more of the lacrosse players, and

(2) not fouling up sample logging to the extent that the Chain of Custody was broken.


These claims are true--Levicy neither spiked the samples nor invalidated the Chain of Custody. Thus, any narrative of the Hoax/Frame that involved either action would perforce be at variance with the facts.

Unfortunately for Levicy's defenders, no theory of how the Hoax/Frame was perpetrated has suggested that Levicy did attempt to spike the Rape Kit samples, or did attempt to void the Chain of Custody.

Indeed, since Levicy is on record as having believed at the time that Mangum had been raped, neither action would have made any sense. Alas, those misdeeds that Levicy did appear to commit to create facts in support of her patient's version of events are consistent with Levicy's stated beliefs.

Anonymous said...

re: the 1/20/08 1:09 PM

As a colleague with comparable medical and legal experience I endorse your comments.

re: KC's 1/20/08 5:40 AM.

To amplify your comment re Levicy:

"...because she had no SANE certification..."

I would add that even if she did have such Certification, by itself, this would be irrelevant.

As you know Levicy alleged that her SANE Certificate had been issued before the Manly Examination, but she had not seen it. The existence of, or her physical possession of, such a certificate does NOT automatically authorize her performance of a SANE procedure.

DUMC operates under the quasi-judicial certification of the Joint Commission on Health Care Organizations [JCAHO].

Levicy's authorization ["Clinical Privilege"] to perform as a SANE would be contingent on the written specific approval of DUMC's Governing Body. [in a true emergency only the Medical Director of DUMC should have the authority to sign written TEMPORARY authorization of SANE privileges in a specific case and if such a temporary privilege had been exercised an immediate report and enquiry should then be instituted] There is no reason to believe any of this happened.

Furthermore, as a resident Dr. Manly is, by definition, a TRAINEE, her previous experience notwithstanding. Therefore her duties in the E.R. are performed under the DIRECT SUPERVISION of a designated Attending Physician, whose endorsing signature on Manly's records is a requirement of the JCAHO [and should be a requirement of DUMC's Policies & Procedures Documentation Manuals]. The Risk Management Group at DUMC, and its Legal Department, know this.

Therefore Manly's written reports should identify the supervising Attending Physician, contain that attending's signature, and explicit approval. If not there would be a clear procedural violation.

Discovery of the relevant documentation would most informative.

Finally to the 1/20/08 7:40 AM:

"...Levicy had little to do with the rape kit except the Checklist - so why criticize her for the Sexual Assualt Exam done by Dr Manly? This has always been much ado about nothing."

I was not aware that Levicy is criticized for "the Sexual Assualt Exam done by Dr Manly."

It is my understanding that Levicy is criticized for her misrepresentations of her role in that examination and for her description of its alleged findings. I agree with those criticisms.

This is by no means "much ado about nothing." as I assume the Duke & Durham defendants well know.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, it would seem that Durham can dish it out at any time they wish.

Durham destroyed 3 boys reputations by character assasination and lies, supported by the local police force, a willing and somewhat totally incompetent DA and his office goons. A lady of the night who could never lay in bed straight and others, only now to cry foul!

Unbelievable stuff.

Durham deserves everything it has coming and Nifong it would seem in the present sceme of things is going to take the rap!

Only in Durham?

mac said...

Anon 4:33

Not "only in Durham"...but almost.

The City's attitude has made it become a parody of itself, a comic book city. Even on a comic-book level, it's possible that not even Batman could clean up the Sitty of dDuhh. (Would it really take Ra's al Ghul? One wonders...)

Something is ALREADY in the water - (maybe only the lead) - or maybe al Ghul is secretly at work. They couldn't do worse. The current chief, giving a raise to Addison, is obviously no Sgt. Gordon (later Chief Gordon.) He's not even a G. Gordon Liddy.

The city is evidently already under a hallucinogenic trance of some sort, or the lead in the water has affected reasoning, judgement and perception. Does anyone manufacture top hats in dDuhh? Using mercury? Maybe the EPA should consider declaring dDuhh a Superfund site.

As long as dDhuhh stays in denial, it will remain a place worthy of ridicule.

Anonymous said...

Further to my 1/20/08 3:14 PM:

A clinical privilege is the authority, specifically granted to a health care worker, in writing, by the Governing Body of a Health Care Organization to INDEPENDENTLY perform a specified clinical diagnostic or therapeutic procedure.

Such privileges must be formally applied for, with supporting documentation and the written recomendations of Senior Health Care Supervisors.

A SANE procedure should be in that category.

Not only was Levicy NOT AUTHORIZED to perform as a SANE for Crystal Mangum, not only did she NOT perform as a SANE in that case, but I have seen no evidence that she ever was authorized to act as a SANE in any case whatsoever, anywhere.

Given her unprofessional conduct in the Mangum case it is difficult to believe that such privileges were ever even recommended, let alone ever granted.

If they were nevertheless granted then DUMC could have some explaining to do.

If the required documentary evidence of Attending Physician supervision of Dr. Manly does not exist then a JCAHO citation for Rule Violation could be issued following appropriate notification of the JCAHO.

Anonymous said...

Further to my 1/20/08 11:45 PM:

JCAHO, in full, is “ Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. ”

I should also add that the designated supervisor of a trainee must be a person with the clinical privilege to independently perform the procedure that is being supervised.

It is clear that at the time of Mangum’s SANE Procedure, on March 14th, 2006 , Levicy was not authorised to perform such procedure but she nevertheless prepared the corresponding report [ on pre-printed “SAER” forms ].

The filling out of this report was spread over a period of 22 days, during which revisions and annotations were added. The McFadyan et al. Complaint characterizes these amendments as falsifications.

Production of the report was delayed until April 5th, 2006.

It is my understanding that Levicy signed this report. A person who fills in a report form should sign it, but that is not the end of the matter. When a trainee signs a medical report the responsible supervisor must also sign and specifically approve the report before it becomes valid. In this case the examiner was Dr. Manly but her signature would not be enough because she was herself a trainee under supervision.

So what supervisor validated the SAER report? The attending physician responsible for supervising Dr. Manly? The SANE supervisor responsible for supervising Levicy, even though Levicy did not perform the procedure?

Was Levicy later granted the clinical privilege to perform a SANE procedure before she signed the SAER report of the procedure she never performed? Can a person who has been granted the clinical privilege to independently perform a procedure later validate a procedure that person never performed? I think not; I do not believe Levicy ever rose to be Dr. Manly’s supervisor!

I look forward to future discovery, but believe Duke will prefer to settle the lawsuit before such discovery further embarrasses it.

Anonymous said...

Your posts very clearly point out that

DUKE STUDENTS ARE NOT WHAT'S WRONG WITH DURHAM !!

Search for Meaning said...

I think Levicy’s actions were unprofessional. The only thing good I will say about her is if everyone else had behaved professionally and ethically her unsubstantiated opinions would not have been given any weight.

QA said...

As the recent anonymous endorser of "hman" I would further add that the DUMC repository of information relevant to this case, preferable both to "Risk Management" and the Legal Department is "Quality Assurance" [QA].

QA should work most closely with JCAHO and have the most power to collect clinical information re procedures, trainees, and their supervision.

Unfortunately their work-product is likely to be most jealously guarded.

I believe such discovery is likely to be a concern of the Duke Defendants so great that if they ever reach the point that it that relevant discovery can no longer be avoided they will Settle-Out-Of--Court, even bankrolling Durham's settlement needs in the process.

This could entail $$$ in the 8-digit, or even 9-digit range.

Ralph Phelan said...

Beyond that, I still do not get what happened at DUMC unless it was a case of mass PC induced herd-like psychosis.


How about "intimidation"? Nobody wanted to go up against the PC herd AND the university administration AND a corrupt police dapartment AND a corrupt prosecutor AND a corrupt judiciary AND a biased media ....