Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Durham Justice System: A "State of Emergency"

A comprehensive late 2007 report on the Durham Police Department's handling of gang-related activity by Deborah Lamm Weisel and Buddy Howell:

Among its conclusions--none of which would surprise anyone who observed the DPD's performance from March 2006 through January 2007:

Durham has a long-standing reputation as a high-crime city with well-entrenched gangs. Further, the economic needs of Durham’s citizens are longterm and complex, and poverty is deeply rooted in an on-going discourse about race – a discourse that may become more divisive as the population continues to diversify . . .

Durham has a highly politicized environment. During this study, we saw extensive micromanagement of government agencies by elected officials – a political style more typical of very large mayoral cities in the U.S. . . .

A major finding in our assessment is the critical need to build public confidence in the justice system and its response to gangs. While our assessment was entirely detached from the Duke lacrosse scandal, we cannot discount its contribution to further deterioration in public confidence.

Given the backlog of prosecutions, Weisel and Howell and write, "The situation in Durham is egregious and tantamount to a state of emergency. We recommend that the City and County of Durham ask the Governor to provide immediate if temporary assistance in terms of judges, prosecutors, and other court personnel to redress the problem - particularly for gang-related offenders."

43 comments:

Debrah said...

H-S:


Opinions vary on anti-gang statute

By John Stevenson : The Herald-Sun
Mar 23, 2008

DURHAM -- When a local judge this month sent what he called an "S.O.S." request to Raleigh for a meaningful anti-gang law, he set off a rollicking debate about gangland mayhem in the Bull City.

Letter-to-the-editor writers and broadcast interviewees have been talking for two weeks about the extent of the problem and what should be done about it. Opinions run the gamut, with some wanting violent young gangsters locked up for life, while others believe an anti-gang law would be ethnically discriminatory.

Despite the renewed attention it is receiving, the topic is an old one.

The state Legislature has been toying with the idea of an anti-gang statute for at least five years. It is expected to come up again during a short lawmaking session that begins in May.

Assistant District Attorney Stormy Ellis, one of two gang prosecutors here, is supporting the initiative.

"We have been rallying for a substantial change in the law, one that will be effective," she said in an interview last week.

If Ellis had her way, the proposed statute would include extra punishment for various trademark gang activities, including random gunfire, drive-by shootings and intimidation of witnesses.

Such conduct is now illegal, but current punitive measures aren't tough enough to suit Ellis.

"We need to take a long look at harsher penalties for discharging a firearm in the city limits," she said. "Now, it's basically a mere infraction."

For someone to be convicted under the proposed anti-gang law, it would have to be demonstrated that any given crime was committed "in furtherance of a gang."

Ellis thinks it is an unnecessary provision that might hamstring her and other prosecutors.

"I would argue that anything done by a gang member is to show solidarity for the gang and pump the gang up," she said. "Once it is shown that someone is in a gang, it can be taken for granted that his crimes are in furtherance of a gang."

Ellis added that certain trademark gang weapons, such as machetes, would receive special attention if she were in the Legislature.

"Hispanic gangs are notorious for brandishing machetes," Ellis said.

Under current law, machetes fall into a broad category that encompasses all deadly weapons, including guns and knives.

State Rep. H.M. "Mickey" Michaux of Durham also is on the anti-gang bandwagon.

Five years ago, he filed a so-called "Street Gang and Terrorism Prevention Act" -- a measure that has yet to be passed.

The Michaux bill, patterned on a Georgia statute, would make people guilty of a separate felony if they violated the law as part of a "pattern of criminal gang activity." Such convicts could receive 10 additional years in prison, to begin at the end of any sentence imposed for the underlying offense.

In addition, money and property acquired through gang activity could be seized.

However, Michaux said the legal definition of a gang is tricky, something that has contributed to the slow progress of his bill and other anti-gang initiatives in the Legislature.

The generally accepted definition describes a gang as three or more people gathered together with "criminal intent."

"If you have three guys standing on a street corner, how do you know if they have criminal intent?" Michaux wondered aloud. "You can't read their minds."

John Fitzpatrick, president of the Durham Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, raised similar questions last week.

"Is a robbery committed because somebody wants money, or is it committed because somebody belongs to a gang?" he asked rhetorically.

"It makes little difference to the victim," Fitzpatrick said. "Juries could lose the whole point and get confused by things like this. They could easily spend more time figuring out whether a gang was involved than whether a robbery was actually committed."

But former Assistant District Attorney Freda Black, who is running for the job of Durham's chief prosecutor this year, thinks no one should be distracted by such hypothetical problems.

"Gang conduct could be made a separate felony that requires active [prison] time," she said. "If the Legislature really wanted to put some teeth into it, that's what they would do. No probation."

The way Black sees it, a tough new law might take some of the apparent thrill out of gang membership.

"In my experience, most of them are proud of it," said Black. "They'll shout it to the world that they belong to this or that gang. They'll show off their tattoos. They might stop if they knew that just being a member of a gang would get them active time."

Anonymous said...

It is/was in this environment that the superior intelectuals of Duke University offered their insight into the lacrosse situation . . . er, hoax . . . an old fashioned lynching. God help Durham and Duke.

mac said...

I stated an opinion on DIW long ago that it might be neccessary to sue the Sitty of Duhhh into bankruptcy reorganization, reducing it, temporarily, to a protectorate (a state or territory so protected) with control being given to an interested party with greater resources.

In other words, sink the ship, and then sail it again, minus the rats.

This is basically what had to be done in Washington, D.C. which was on the verge of collosal ruin under the mismanagement of Mayor Marion Barry. The problems mounted to the point where city government couldn't even pretend to protect its citizens - (eg hiring ex-cons as a result of improper or nonexistant vetting) - and it could not even fulfull the basic functions of school roof repairs and snow removal.

Duke University at one time served in such a capacity, as a strong ally to a city with historical problems, but now it seems that Duke's weak leadership under President Brodhead is, in contrast, submissive to the city, and functions mostly as Duhh's ATM.

The word "receivership" should be on the lips of anyone seriously wishing to help restore the City of Durham.

Anonymous said...

It was apparent that gangs ran the Durham justice system when Mike Nifong admitted (in public) that he could not protect a witness to a murder.

That statement by Nifong was both stupid and telling.

Anonymous said...

Half of the elected officials are felons, so I am 100% confident that nothing will change in Durham. This report will be swept under the rug. If the Lax case didn't change the DPD or the city, this report has no chance.

Anonymous said...

is not a discourse that becomes more divisive the goal of making a population more diversified?

Jhn1 said...

One of the most obvious questions then is,

With DPD doing the investigations, what confidence do you have that honest competent people as prosecutors, judges, and court staff would in significant manner alleviate the ongoing problems.

Garbage in --- garbage out.

river rat said...

"Durham's citizens ......poverty is deeply rooted in an on-going discourse about race."

Some will never learn, it isn't race - it's BEHAVIOR.

They are no longer OWED anything because they're black!

mac said...

Referring to the hiring of ex-cons in D.C. I forgot to mention that D.C. hired them as police officers.

I'm not sure the Sitty of Duhhh has fallen that low...
Unless 11:47 is right. Half the elected officials, felons? Is that right?

Anonymous said...

Yep, but instead of dealing with the real problems, Durham pursued the obviously bogus lax case in order to mollify the voters. There is no shortfall of delusion in that place.

Anonymous said...

Maybe targeting Duke students is safer.

Richard Aubrey

Debrah said...

This guy is feverish to explain that he had nothing to do with the lacrosse case.


H-S letter:

Garrell makes his case

As candidate for Durham District Attorney, I wholeheartedly agree with your recent editorial stating that all candidates must be willing to discuss the lacrosse case. Nothing I said in my announcement was intended to indicate otherwise. I stand ready, willing and able to answer all such questions.

To address some obvious questions now:

-- My focus as a prosecutor has been homicide, child abuse, armed robbery, and arson. For that reason, I had absolutely no involvement in the investigation or prosecution of the lacrosse case.

-- I never signed any document nor reviewed any document or discovery in the lacrosse case.

-- I was not involved in the laborious in-house task of preparing, collecting, arranging, copying, or reviewing the voluminous discovery prepared in the lacrosse case.

-- I never interviewed any potential witness in the lacrosse case.

I do not state all of the above in an effort to end the discussion of the lacrosse case. Certainly candidates seeking to become the next District Attorney must be prepared to address their own involvement in that case and how they would have behaved in the same situation.

What I would do in the future should be judged by what I have done in the past. When asked questions by the press about ongoing homicide cases or other serious crimes, my primary reaction has been to try my cases in the courtroom rather than in the press. In my 13 years in the District Attorney's Office, I have been candid and forthright with judges and the criminal defense bar. I encourage everyone to ask the judges and attorneys with whom I have worked about my reputation for candor and honesty.

I also ask you to judge me based upon the individuals who, having carefully examined the field of candidates, have endorsed my campaign for District Attorney. Christine Mumma, Executive Director of the NC Center on Actual Innocence, stated that "we need strong and honest leadership in our DA's office -- strong enough to convict the guilty, and honest and independent enough to recognize the innocent. I believe will provide that leadership."

It has been my privilege to serve the people of Durham over the last 13 years. Based upon my practices, based upon my total lack of involvement with the lacrosse case, and based upon the credentials of those who support me, I believe that I am uniquely qualified to serve as the next District Attorney of Durham County, and I ask the people of Durham to support me.

The writer is a candidate for district attorney. The length rule for letters was waived to allow a full response.

MITCHELL GARRELL
Durham
March 24, 2008

Gary Packwood said...

Weisel and Howell write,

..."The situation in Durham is egregious and tantamount to a state of emergency.
::
That 'one-liner' should result in new state and federal grant dollars for new safety service employees in Durham over the next three years with absolutely no way...to continue the employment of these people at the end of three years...without a local tax increase.

The Durham Police Chief will be given the job of managing a police force make up of 'hard money' personnel and 'soft money' personnel...with the 'soft money' people treated as undesirables.

Someone needs to work on the court system before they wreck the police department, IMHO.
::
GP

Debrah said...

This is the two-year anniversary.

On March 24, 2006 the Lacrosse Hoax began.

The nationwide feeding frenzy.

Anonymous said...

Intimidating witnesses . . . isn't that the behavior of DukeGroup88 in their pursuit of a lynching . . . who was the professor who admonished that her standing on the Duke campus would not amount to much if she didn't go along . . . people knew to be quiet . . . especially the Duke administration and the Board of Trustees and lesser sorts even to the law school . . . same thing . . . drive by shootings of reputations . . . it is amazing what can be lost in the face of a pot-banging mob some of whom are armed racist.

Anonymous said...

I'm disagree that more prison time is the answer to gangs. I read recently that this country already imprisons more people per capita than any other western country -- I think it's something like 1 in a 100. We're obviously doing something wrong, but I don't think putting more people in prison is the answer.

Ken Duke
Durham, NC

Debrah said...

H-S:


Duke lawyers ask judge to dismiss suit

By Ray Gronberg : The Herald-Sun
Mar 25, 2008

DURHAM -- Lawyers for Duke University have asked a judge to stay or dismiss a slander suit filed by attorneys for former men's lacrosse coach Mike Pressler against the school and top Duke spokesman John Burness.

They contend that Pressler has to go through the arbitration process Duke has set up for high-level employees who have disputes with the administration.

Duke's argument in its March 11 filing parallels the one its lawyers made against an earlier suit by Pressler that claimed the school breached the terms of the confidential settlement it reached with him following his ouster in April 2006.

Pressler in both cases has argued that the school allowed Burness to malign him in comments made last year to The Associated Press and a columnist from Newsday, a Long Island, N.Y.-based newspaper.

His lawyers withdrew the coach's breach-of-contract lawsuit earlier this year after Duke invoked the arbitration requirement. With a judge's permission, they re-filed the case as a slander claim.

One of the key differences between the suits is that Pressler's lawyers now maintain that the previous settlement essentially did away with the requirement that their client go through arbitration.

That's certain to be a major point of contention between the two sides, as Duke is arguing that the slander case still stems from the termination of Pressler's employment.

The terms of his contract at Duke required such disputes to go to arbitration and still govern both sides, they said.

Pressler was forced out in 2006, the height of the controversy triggered by an exotic dancer's false allegations that she'd been raped by three members of the 2005-06 lacrosse team. Technically he resigned, but neither side has ever tried to hide the fact he did so under pressure from the Duke administration.

The coach's lawyers likely will point out that Burness made his disputed comments to AP reporter Aaron Beard and Newsday columnist Steven Marcus long after Pressler had taken another coaching job.

He became the lacrosse coach at a Rhode Island school, Bryant University, in 2006, four months after leaving Duke. Burness' comments appeared in April and June of 2007.

Pressler claims Burness maligned him by implying to Marcus that he hadn't controlled his team, and by allegedly telling Beard there was a night-and-day difference between Pressler and his successor at Duke, coach John Danowski.

Duke's motion mostly avoided the particulars of Pressler's claim. But the school's lawyers did use a footnote to take issue with the former coach's claim that an alleged Burness comment to Marcus terming Danowski a "mensch" who "gets it" was slanderous.

"Mensch" is a Yiddish word meaning an admirable person.

"It is unclear how this statement is defamatory of -- or even relates to -- Coach Pressler," they said.

The two sides are scheduled to appear in court on April 16 to argue Duke's motion. If the judge who hears the case declines to stay or dismiss it, Duke wants another 20 days to respond to the specifics of Pressler's claim.

Debrah said...

After more than two weeks, the N&O editors blog post by editor Linda Williams is still active.

Many are still angry because of her lack of professionalism as she uses her personal agenda on the job with relish.

The Diva just left this one:

03/25/08 at 09:30

This is the disease that so many feel they have to play to.

Such a disruptive and destructive disease.

Good people are hurt in so many ways.

Goodwill is destroyed.

Well-meaning people and their views of others at a very young age are warped forever.

We all have seen how the very able and brilliant Barack Obama feels an obligation to give support to a hate-monger such as Jeremiah Wright......who is nothing more than a screamer in the mold of goofy David Duke.

Obama knows that he must play to the masses who will never evolve and become a part of the 21st century because he needs their votes.

Even after untold trillions have been funneled into the black community and even after every allowance and excuse possible have been made.......we still must endure such nuts as Wright and pretend they are normal people.

When white--or any other race or ethnicity--ministers say outrageous and ignorant things they are shunned by the mainstream.....as they certainly should be.

I personally don't understand why some must rely so heavily on religion in the first place.

Such artifice.

Every politician has to deal with less than respectable people on occasion in order to garner support from the various factions in this country.

However, making excuses for outrageous lies being perpetrated on uneducated and impressionable members of a church cannot stand.

Just as the N&O--the major newspaper of the Triangle, located in the capitol of the state--cannot be allowed to perpetrate lies and half-truths by a staff with a personal agenda.

And then........employ editorial pages (letters and op-ed editors)---Brigetta Wheeler and Allen Torrey--who, sheeplike, destroy any authentic editorial expression of truth to suit their own comfort zone and ideology.

This must all end.

The Triangle WILL have a fair and honest and balanced newspaper.

We will demand it.

Anonymous said...

It is interesting that Duke and its faculty and Durhan appear to be acting in the manner of a powerful gang rather than as educated people pursing "the truth" academic or otherwise . . . "da truth" about the lacrosse hoax or about themselves or about their own collective community . . . the truth about the lacrosse team has been established . . . innocent and they are decent, respecting people. They really are . . . .

Anonymous said...

Debrah,

Do you really think the N&O has the capacity to be a balanced newspaper? Notice I chose the easiest to obtain of the three: fair, honest, balanced.

Debrah said...

You have to read this one.

A commenter called "J Swift" has responded with over a hundred questions for editor John Drescher.

LOL!!!

Some very good questions.

marko said...

Eve Carson could turn out to be a victim (partially) of Durham incompetence:

The probation officer in charge of keeping track of Laurence Alvin Lovette never met with the teenager, according to Division of Corrections records.

Chalita M. Thomas, the Durham officer assigned to Lovette's case, went by his mother's home once in late February, according to the records, but he was not there at the time.

Then on the day Lovette was charged with murdering two Triangle college students -- UNC-Chapel Hill student body president Eve Carson and Duke University graduate student Abhijit Mahato --Thomas added a backdated account of missed meetings and phone calls into computer records.

The late entries, five of them in all, not only violate Division of Corrections record-keeping policies, they also offer a glimpse of an office in disarray and of an officer whose notes took on a more urgent tone in the aftermath of the charges.
...
Thomas, who was convicted of driving while impaired in March 2006, was charged with a second DWI offense in December.

Such offenses are supposed to be reported immediately to supervisors and an officer is to be put on administrative duty, Acree said.

Corrections officials had not determined late Tuesday why Thomas was not put on administrative duty until March 7, two days after Carson's death.

Anonymous said...

Ken Duke,

I would wager that Eve Carson's parents would disagree with you.

mac said...

Debrah (10:44 am,)

Thanks for the post on the candidate. Who can blame him for distancing himself? Besides, it's a good tactic!

I have relatives in the area, BTW: they aren't pleased with the Hoax, not one bit; they agree with the characterization of the city as the "Sitty of Duhh." There are lots of people who'd vote for anyone not complicit in the Hoax. "Lots" still may not be enough.

Liestoppers also has a most excellent thread, "Duke Professors and 610 Protests."

Anonymous said...

But at least Trinity Park is safe from rampaging lax player farm animals [irony alert]

TaterCon said...

A hand-wringing report on Durham's gangs cannot bring back Eve Carson,
UNC-CH's student body president, slain seven miles from Durham by two of its city's cretin loser youth population....

Debrah said...

H-S:


Police chief reorganizes department


BY RAY GRONBERG : The Herald-Sun
Mar 27, 2008

DURHAM -- Police Chief Jose Lopez has announced a reorganization of the Durham Police Department and promoted 24 employees, including a new deputy chief, the department's second highest rank.

As part of the reorganization, there will be two deputy chiefs. The new system will take effect April 7. Maj. Beverly Council was promoted to deputy chief, joining longtime Deputy Chief Ron Hodge at that rank.

Elected city officials said they didn't learn about the reorganization until Wednesday.

Council, a 27-year department veteran, will oversee a new Operations Command, which includes the North Operations Bureau, the South Operations Bureau and the Investigations Bureau.

The job puts her in command of all the department's patrol officers and detectives.

Council is now in charge of the department's Uniformed Patrol Bureau.

Hodge will be in charge of Operations Support Command, which oversees the Administrative Services Bureau. This bureau includes Records, Training, Recruiting, Crime Analysis, Information Technology and Fiscal Services.

Hodge lost his bid last year to succeed retiring Police Chief Steve Chalmers. Lopez, who came from Hartford, Conn., got the top job instead. Hodge's move will take him out of the chain of command for street cops and detectives.

A police spokeswoman said Lopez, Hodge and Council would not be available for comment Wednesday night.

The creation of the new Operations Command means changes for the department's patrol units.

Officers in districts 1, 2 and 5 --- East Durham, northern Durham and downtown -- will work for a new North Operations Bureau headed by Assistant Chief Jim Bjurstrom. He is now the major in charge of community services.

Officers in districts 3 and 4 -- southwestern and southern Durham -- will work for a new South Operations Bureau headed by Assistant Chief Lee Russ. He is now a major and the executive officer to the chief.

The operating districts each have a complement of detectives to work things like property crimes. But Maj. Steve Michaich will remain in charge of the department's Investigative Services Bureau, the office that houses Durham's homicide, fraud and major-crimes detectives, its SET teams and its gang units. He is also gaining the rank of assistant chief.

Wednesday's announcement also included a change of command in District 1, the patrol unit responsible for East Durham. Lt. Andy Miller is being promoted to captain and will take over the district from Capt. Delma Allen, who's moving to a training assignment.

Miller's assistant will be a new lieutenant, Walter Tate. Tate is now a sergeant and will replace current District 1 Lt. Howard Alexander.

Lopez and City Manager Patrick Baker are expected to brief elected officials on the changes at the City Council's next scheduled work session, on April 10.

"We'll be coming to council with a plan to address crime and particularly violent crime in our community," Baker said. "Part of Chief Lopez's task since he came down here was to assess the department and recommend some changes in time for the upcoming budget process. That's what we're doing."

Key elected officials only learned of the outlines of the plan on Wednesday.

"I hope it's not going to hurt, and I hope he has a rationale for doing it," Mayor Bill Bell said, referring to Lopez. "I would expect when he comes before the council at the work session he'll give more detail and discussion."

Councilman Mike Woodard said he hopes administrators start the briefing process even sooner than April 10.

"I want to talk to the manager and understand some of this now, particularly as relates to the reorganization into north and south and what that means for the future of [district] substations, because citizens are going to begin to ask questions."

Woodard's mention of substations referred to a plan Hodge floated in the fall of 2006 that suggested eliminating the district offices and replacing them with north and south precinct stations. Hodge's plan called for administrators and Michaich's detectives to stay at headquarters on West Chapel Hill Street.

Baker said the substations aren't going away, at least for now.

"But that's going to be a discussion, where folks need to be housed to handle law enforcement," he said, adding that elected officials would have to approve changes to the city's long-range construction plan if they wanted to do away with the substations.

Wednesday's news release came out two days before a scheduled promotion ceremony. The 7 p.m. event will occur Friday in City Hall's council chamber. Lopez will be the keynote speaker.

"I am very proud of this organization as we move forward. These officers and civilian employees are very deserving of their promotions and they will help lead the Police Department into the future," Wednesday's news release quoted Lopez as saying.

OTHER DPD PROMOTIONS

-- Lieutenant -- Former sergeants Morris C. Smith (new District 4 assistant commander) and Sgt. Walter F. Tate Jr. (new District 1 assistant commander).

-- Sergeant -- Former corporals Terry L. Hodge, Sheldon L. Perkins, Thomas M. Taylor and Patrice R. Vickers.

-- Corporal -- Former police officers Brian G. Bishop, Harry Bennett and Keith L. Johnson. Also, former investigators Richard D. Clayton, Reginald D. Fountain IV and Brian D. Schnee.

-- Master Officer -- Former police officers Terry Anderson and Aaron C. Ligo. Also, former investigators Henry J. Burwell, Samuel T. Simmons and Anthony Smith.

-- Crime Scene Specialist -- Former crime scene technician John M. Bradford and former identification technicians Donna Jackson, Cathy Lipsey and Rebecca Reid.

-- Senior Evidence Technician -- Ruth Brown (promotion was effective Jan. 12).

don t. said...

As my adult children are tired of hearing me say, I am checking out at the right time..or maybe five or ten years too late. Am I to understand that because 80% to 90% of violent crime is committed by blacks (mostly on other blacks), any law passed to more effectively control crime is discriminatory??? Absolutely incredible!! It then follows that in a population that is 100% black, all laws are discriminatory.

What a farce!!! Duke (brodhead and cronies) and Durham deserve each other.

trinity60

Debrah said...

H-S:


Duke cites high court ruling in bid vs. lacrosse players' publicity effort


By Ray Gronberg : The Herald-Sun
Mar 28, 2008

DURHAM -- Duke University's lawyers have fired another shot in their battle to limit a public-relations effort tied to the federal civil-rights lawsuit 38 members of the 2005-06 men's lacrosse team are pursuing against the school.

In their latest filing, submitted Tuesday, Duke's legal team contends that lawyers for the players have misread a key U.S. Supreme Court precedent and also say they have to watch what they say in their own filings.

The players have to honor the principle that "legal trials are not like elections, to be won through the use of the meeting hall, the radio and the newspaper," Duke's lawyers' said, quoting a 1941 Supreme Court ruling.

Duke is trying to get federal District Judge James Beaty Jr. to declare that lawyers for the players violated state and federal ethics rules earlier this year by using a news conference, news release and Web site to publicize the lawsuit.

The players' team is standing on its First Amendment rights and what it says is the continued need to counter the hostile comments Duke and city officials directed at members of the lacrosse team after a stripper falsely accused three players of rape.

But Duke's new filing noted that the key Supreme Court precedent on the issue, a 1991 case involving Nevada criminal-defense lawyer Dominick Gentile, established that regulators and judges have a lot of latitude to clamp down on out-of-court comment.

Gentile was appealing bar sanctions stemming from a news conference he held to denounce detectives who had charged a client of his with stealing cocaine and traveler's checks from a police-controlled safety deposit box.

A court majority led by Justice Anthony Kennedy agreed to toss out the sanctions on the ground that the specific rule the Nevada bar invoked was too vague.

But then-Chief Justice William Rehnquist was also able to assemble a majority to reiterate the already well-established "principle that attorneys' speech may be regulated to ensure the fairness of a pending proceeding," Duke's lawyers said.

Rehnquist's opinion spoke mainly of the need for regulation in criminal trials, but state and federal ethics rules also clearly apply to civil trials, as does the right to a fair trial, they said.

Lawyers for the players can't get around that by using their clients, a publicity agent or even the wording of their own filings, they said.

The focus on how the players' team is wording court documents came because their lawyers contend that in the disputed news conference, they merely repeated what they said in the actual lawsuit.

But the American Bar Association has said no lawyer "should use language in a pleading which, if publicized, would by its nature be likely to prejudice the public or the tribunal, except to the extent that it is essential to properly plead" the case, Duke's attorneys said.

Duke claims the players' publicity effort will prejudice prospective jurors. Beaty has scheduled a hearing on April 15 to hear arguments on the school's request. The hearing will occur in Winston-Salem.

Anonymous said...

Debrah said...

This is the two-year anniversary.

On March 24, 2006 the Lacrosse Hoax began.

The nationwide feeding frenzy.

3/24/08 12:05 PM


I note that two more important anniversaries are upcoming: April 6th, the date of the infamous ad of 88, and April 11th, the date of the AG's "innocent" announcement. If Duke does not intend to commemorate these anniversaries in some way, I would recommend that individual professors give their students the day off from classes. And any professors who fail to do so, students should boycott those classes. (I note that the respective anniversaries fall on Sunday and Friday; at a minimum, this year, professors should announce a class-free day for Friday.)

Btw, has Duke offered Jeremiah Wright an endowed professorship yet? He seems eminently suited for that university.

RRH

Debrah said...

TO 5:32 PM--

The N&O has the capacity.

They just do not have the natural inclination.

More honest coverage can be achieved by doing what some are doing now.

Discussing it openly without the usual nods toward PC talk.

If Linda Williams had not been blasted for her outrageous post--(one so insensitively posted before Eve Carson had yet been buried)--she and some others at the N&O would have concocted an entire week's spread of her "Whose tragedy gets more coverage?" bile.

The N&O should be made to understand that they will no longer get away with such embarrassing cowardice. Their continued dishonesty enables the scummy culture of Durham and the Duke Gang of 88 to continue course without accountability.

It's unseemly that they allow op-eds from the 88 so frequently.....as if they are "respectable intellectuals". We saw how easily KC made a fool of Karla Holloway for her recent column in the N&O. Why do their editors print such lazy crap?

So many low-grade occurrences in and around Durham and NCCU are glossed over.

We witnessed how cyber-slapping editor Williams for her behavior during the Lacrosse Hoax--complete with 24/7 front page dishonest reporting--cooled her jets.

And what did she do when confronted with the truth?

She comically tried to use "race".

Insanely projecting the subject matter onto critics that SHE had begun with her initial post.

LIS!

We're not dealing with very smart people here, unfortunately. They have to be led.

Debrah said...

Oh, yeah. Everyone needs to follow Robinson Everett's lead.

He's the molded Duke law professor who was making excuses for Mike Nifong for so long.

Definitely listen to this cretin.


H-S:

Judge backs DA hopeful Garrell

DURHAM -- District Attorney candidate Mitchell Garrell's campaign was endorsed Friday by Judge Robinson O. Everett, a Duke University law professor and former chief judge of the Court of Military Appeals.

"Having met Mitchell Garrell, I'm very impressed by his experience and his motivation; and as a result, I am convinced that he is the best choice available in the May 6th Democratic primary," Everett said.

Garrell said he was "pleased to receive the endorsement of an attorney as experienced and well respected as Judge Everett."

Garrell, an assistant Durham prosecutor for 13 years, is one of four candidates for district attorney this year. He obtained his law degree from the University of North Carolina in 1994.

Debrah said...

I hope everyone will be participating in Earth Hour.

Today, March 29th.....turn off the lights for one hour.

You might have noticed that the main Google page is dark.

And KC will be doing it as well because Tel Aviv is one of the world cities participating.

I hope KC is doing something very naughty in the dark!

JSwift said...

Debrah,

I have sent copies of those questions on several occasions to Mayor Bell, all of the members of the Durham City Council, Chief Lopez, all of the members of the Wichard Committee, Gov. Easley, AG Cooper, my Senators and Congressman and the US DOJ. I have received no responses.

While I apologize for the length of the posts, I thought it useful to demonstrate that virtually every aspect of the DPD investigation was deeply flawed. The investigation was already seriously off track before Nifong allegedly became involved on March 24.

The DPD failed to interview scores of witnesses prior to the indictments. They heard what they wanted from Crystal and Tara, neutralized Kim and Elmo and essentially ingnored almost everyone else.

There is no innocent explanation.

SULax 88 said...

Mac said -

Liestoppers also has a most excellent thread, "Duke Professors and 610 Protests."

That thread has several references to a "Duke professor" Faulkner Fox, who apparently was a ringleader in organizing the 610 protests.

A commenter on the Liestoppers thread noted...
"Fox is NOT a "Duke Professor". She is a "Visiting Instructor", academically the lowest of the lows, and certainly as such NOT on any regular rank at Duke."


Actually, it is worse than that. She took five years to get her BA at 'Haavad', then two years later entered a PhD program at Yale (and no, that isn't a redneck telling someone to speak up), finished an MA a year later and apparently never finished her PhD. She left to become the state director of a (in my humble opinion) very questionable 501(c)(3)/(4) organization devoted to an openly pro-choice political agenda. In 1994, she married and moved to Austin TX. She finished a M.F.A. in poetry from Vermont College in 1997 (I could not find a specific school "Vermont College"...perhaps she is referring to the distnace learning center "Vermont College of the Union Institute and University " which is part of a large network of such centers. She has taught in various "adjunct" and "visiting" positions since she was at Yale. In other words, she has less academic credentials than many high school teachers that I know.

Her list of speeches and performances reads like a leftist political manifesto review.

Truly unimpressive. This is the level of people we are dealing with.

Anonymous said...

RRH: Do you recall that our esteemed KC declared his membership in the group named "Historians For Barak Obama" ?

I just wonder how KC is reconciling the rabidly anti-semitic Wright and Farakhan with his own penchant for superior scholarship and commitment to truth.

Anonymous said...

http://www.heraldsun.com/state/6-937904.cfm

Report: Easley press office ordered e-mails deleted
Mar 29, 2008

RALEIGH, N.C. -- State government public information officers were instructed by Gov. Mike Easley's press office to delete e-mails to and from the governor's office, according to notes released Saturday by the governor's office.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reported Saturday that Andrew A. Vanore Jr., a lawyer who works for Easley, produced notes made by two public information officers. The notes showed that they and others were told at a meeting on May 29, 2007, to destroy e-mails. A third public information officer said he also recalled those instructions.

But Vanore said the notes don't mean what they say. He also said the instructions were not followed.

Easley's chief legal counsel, Reuben F. Young, has been vacationing with his family in China and could not be reached for comment. Deputy press secretary Seth Effron has been instructed by Vanore not to comment.

Questions about the way the Easley administration handles e-mails arose after publication of an N&O series, "Mental Disorder: The Failure of Reform." The series reported on an ill-conceived and poorly executed mental health reform plan on which the state has wasted at least $400 million.

Two days after the series ended, Easley ordered the Department of Health and Human Services to fire its public information officer, Debbie Crane. Later that day, Crane told The N&O that the governor's press office had directed that e-mails be deleted to bypass the state's public records law.

Young and Effron quickly denied that such instructions had been given.

Julia Jarema, public information officer at the Department of Crime Control and Public Safety, recorded this note for the meeting in question: "Public records request -- increasing careful of email delete emails to/from gov. office every day."

Diana Kees, public information officer at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, recorded this note: "emails - more & more public records requests (blogs?) be careful w/emails; delete emails to and from gov office every day."

Vanore said he did not know what the notes meant.

"It could be interpreted a number of different ways, and the only way to properly interpret it would be to talk to the individual who took the note," he said. But he said he had instructed all of the employees not to talk about that issue because the newspaper may file a lawsuit.

Vanore said the e-mail messages to and from the governor's press office were clear and irrefutable proof that there was no systematic intent to destroy e-mail.

Hugh Stevens, an attorney who represents The N&O, said the notes made by Jarema and Kees confirmed Crane's allegation.

"This sounds to me as though there was a concerted and willful attempt to evade the public records law by deleting the e-mails," he said. "I don't see how you can interpret it any other way."


Guess whose e-mails were deleted? OURS! I have had numerous people write to both Easley, and the Sheriff, for our case, and after being "blacklisted" from the county website and willingly negligent, here is more PROOF of the deliberate abuse of powers in public offices to purposely deny the public RIGHTS, and to perform MORE illegal and unconstitutional tactics to prevent being "OUTED!"

WE DEMAND JUSTICE NOW!

Rhonda Fleming
Durham SURVIVOR!

Anonymous said...

A BA from Harvard and a Masters from Yale, looks impressive to me. Even as a visiting professor, she is teaching at Duke and not East Texas U. I would also like to read what KC thinks about Obama, Wright and twenty years in the Church. Although, a month after this is exposed, Obama now state "I would have left the church had Wright not retired." Obama has won the states that will never be carried for the Denms - Hilary is carring the Dem states,

Anonymous said...

What ever her "title", she is taching at Duke. A BA from Harvard and an MA from Yale is VERY impressive. The five year plan for undergraduates is not unusal.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

RRH: Do you recall that our esteemed KC declared his membership in the group named "Historians For Barak Obama" ?

I just wonder how KC is reconciling the rabidly anti-semitic Wright and Farakhan with his own penchant for superior scholarship and commitment to truth.

3/30/08 12:35 AM


First, I am officially and unofficially neutral in this year's Presidential race. As for KC's endorsement of Obama, Obama's success has resulted in the greater exposure of his former pastor's "Black Liberation Theology" and the chance for people to confront it. So, there are good things to be gained if Obama wins.

Debrah said...

TO JSwift--

You must have spent many hours reading and then devising such a litany of questions.

Something that the N&O reporters should have done....although Joe Neff was someone who did a good job as the story progressed.

It's cliché to mention that the media are biased; however, this case stands out for the ages as an example of just how dangerous those biases can be.

Also, what really gets me hot is the silence from those N&O editors when some commenters ask them questions.

They assume such an arrogant perch.

The reason for, and the foundation of, that arrogance is difficult to comprehend.

I have been endlessly disappointed when experiencing what simpletons they are.

SULax 88 said...

Anonymous said -

"What ever her "title", she is taching at Duke. A BA from Harvard and an MA from Yale is VERY impressive. The five year plan for undergraduates is not unusal."


Spoken as only someone who has not been on the inside of academics can say it. A lack of a Doctorate (or equivalent) degree is a sign of a fatal flaw in most academic circles. The fact that one is teaching at Duke is not at all impressive given the company she has obvioulsy kept there. She would not be invited (or allowed) to apply for a faculty position at many institutions with her credentials. They have a ready supply of grad students with similar credentials who can teach for them, and I guarantee for a lot cheaper than she is asking. I for one, am not impressed with the undergrad degrees...I have numerous friends from the non-Ivy liberal arts school that I went
to who are much more accomplished than her. Besides inciting unethical and dishonest protests, what has she really accomplished in her time at Duke?

BTW...I do have a doctorate, and have worked on the faculty of a major research university, so I know of where I speak.

Anonymous said...

Duke is a major research University - actually, in the top ten in the country. Joining this protest (without evidence) was a terrible misjudgement but does not make her, Ms Marcus. Thought she had a PHD from Vermont U. In amy event, no matter how accomplished a Professor is from the non ivy schools Harvard and Yale is the top drawer.