Monday, September 28, 2009

More from Yale & Hofstra

Writing at cbsnews.com, legal analyst Andrew Cohen expressed concern about the legal impact of the massive publicity in the Yale murder case. Taking note of the breathless reporting from “anonymous” sources, Cohen noted that “it’s no wonder that [defendant Raymond] Clark’s attorneys now are talking about opening a legal ethics case into the way prosecutors and the police have trampled upon Clark’s fair trial rights, and his constitutionally-protected presumption of innocence.”

Cohen is absolutely correct in his concern. Of course, what Clark has encountered paled in comparison to what the falsely accused Duke students received. The New Haven district attorney didn’t (to my knowledge) give 50-70 interviews to the local, state, and national reporters—as the disbarred Mike Nifong did. Clark’s mugshot didn’t appear on the cover of Newsweek (and with a headline prominently featuring the word “lies”)—as Reade Seligmann’s and Collin Finnerty’s did. And, of course, a crime actually occurred in the New Haven case—whereas Duke featured only constantly shifting and mutually contradictory allegations of a crime.

Given that the publicity orchestrated by Nifong and almost gleefully amplified by the media was even more intense than what Clark has been subjected to, some might assume that Cohen was, at the least, equally outspoken in his criticism of how the Duke case publicity trampled upon the players’ fair trial rights, and their constitutionally protected presumption of innocence.

Cohen was outspoken in the Duke case, of course, but concerns with due process or “legal ethics” did not figure high in the commentator’s analysis.

Indeed, in a late June 2006 washingtonpost.com column, Cohen preposterously claimed that the media had rushed to the “defense” of the Duke defendants. (So that was why two editors of the Times apologized for their biased coverage!) Ignoring that Newsweek cover, most of the first few weeks of the case, and everything published in the Times or broadcast on Nancy Grace, Cohen maintained “there is no balanced coverage in the Duke case. There is just one defense-themed story after another.” He demanded for Mike Nifong and Nifong’s Durham supporters “the privilege of seeing the case unfold at trial the way it is supposed to.”

What explains the imbalance—to borrow a word—in Cohen’s analysis? His assertion that the lacrosse players benefited from “race and money.” Clark, on the other hand, while white does not appear to have upper-class or upper-middle-class parents. And so, to cbs.com’s “chief legal analyst,” the pre-trial coverage of his case is a threat to due process, while Nifong’s massive misconduct and the mainstream media’s rush to judgment appeared of no concern.

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In Slate, Emily Bazelon made the following observation: “The Hofstra University gang rape that wasn’t is the sped-up version of the Duke lacrosse rape. In the Duke scenario, a woman who’d been brought in to dance at a lacrosse party said she was the victim of a brutal 30-minute gang rape in the bathroom by three lacrosse players. Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong got caught up in prosecuting the charges and defending the false accuser to the point of professional insanity."

That strikes me as an awfully generous description of Nifong’s motivations, in that it ignores the conclusion of the State Bar’s ethics panel that “self-interest” formed the basis of Nifong’s actions. And, of course, in the lacrosse case, no contact of any kind occurred, unlike in the Hofstra case.

Bazelon further observes, “The weird lesson for men who have group sex in bathrooms: Film it on your cell phone. Five minutes of video of the sex, which one of the men gave the cops, apparently persuaded the 18-year-old to take back her original story. At another moment, such a video might have gotten the guys in trouble for making porn and for sexting. But this time, it seems to have saved them.”

That certainly is a lesson applicable for Duke students: as I have noted before, videotaping sexual encounters appears to be the only way to guard against the filing of false sexual assault charges under Duke’s new policy, whose procedures are tilted blatantly in favor of the accuser.

Finally, something that the Nifong-rationalizing Andrew Cohen might want to take note of: the main reason that “the Hofstra University gang rape that wasn’t is the sped-up version of the Duke lacrosse rape” is that the Nassau County DA’s office was willing to look at the exculpatory evidence that the suspects possessed.

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In response to the filing of false sexual assault charges by one of his institution’s students, Hofstra president Stuart Rabinowitz issued a statement, in which he asserted:

We will redouble our educational efforts and try to increase awareness among students, faculty, and staff of any potential signs of danger or dangerous behavior, and the need to pass that information on to Public Safety so that it can be adequately and appropriately addressed . . . I will be appointing a Presidential Task Force under the direction of the Vice President for Student Affairs and the Vice President for Facilities and Operations and consisting of representatives from students, faculty and administrators, to undertake a review of all aspects of security, including operations, communications, programs, policies and procedures to insure that we are taking every possible precaution to maintain a secure and safe campus. In addition, we will once again be seeking to utilize the services of an outside consultant to conduct a security audit and make recommendations as to best practices and possible enhancements to our program.

Again: the issue in this case was a Hofstra student making up a false rape claim. How would a security audit address that issue—will Hofstra security officers increase campus patrols, on the lookout for women who make false rape claims in their midst?

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One last item: the Nassau County DA's office has announced that it will not file charges against the rape false accuser, Danmell Ndonye. The reason, according to the New York Post: "Prosecutors defended not bringing charges against Ndonye, saying that if they did, she would have faced only mental-health treatment and community service because of her age and lack of a criminal record."

This was about as obvious a case of filing false charges as possible: a videotape showed that Ndonye had lied, and Ndonye admitted that she had lied. Yet even in this sort of case, where Ndonye's word and Ndonye's word alone could have sent innocent people to jail for decades, the maximum punishment she could have received was a slap on the wrist. To, again, borrow Andrew Cohen's phrasing, there's something out of balance in this sort of arrangement.

41 comments:

W. R. Chambers said...

It's as if political correctness has the power to extort.

Anonymous said...

"Prosecutors defended not bringing charges against Ndonye, saying that if they did, she would have faced only mental-health treatment and community service because of her age and lack of a criminal record."

That quote brings up a few issues, that the penalty for making a false police report (and risking sending an innocent person/s to jail) is way too low. The second issue is that they should have still charged her to punish her and as a deterrent to others. And lastly, it sounds like she may benefit from some mental-health treatment.

Scott.

jim2 said...

One of the other explanations offered (per a different news story) was that criminal legal action against the false accuser might make other false accusers more reluctant to recant.

No one addressed the possibility that the refusal to take criminal legal actions against the false accuser might embolden future false accusations.

Anonymous said...

I find the need to interpret any and every college crime through the lens of Duke LAX more than a bit peculiar.

halides1 said...

KC,

We are all agreed that Andrew Cohen's stance on the DL case was seriously in error. However, he deserves praise for his stand in the Raymond Clark indictment (one of the commenters calls the column asinine). Possibly Mr. Cohen learned something from the DL case, though sadly I cannot say that the same was true for everyone.

Chris

KC Johnson said...

To Chris:

Agree completely on the praise for Cohen's current column. And the issue is a serious one--not only Clark, but also the "Craig's List Killer" a few months back in Boston--the saturation coverage undermines the presumption of innocence.

The coverage also is difficult for everyone in law enforcement to ignore. Recall the excitement at the start of the lacrosse case of Ben Himan that he was going to be mentioned in the New York Times.

jim2 said...

KC -

Have you seen:

http://reason.com/news/show/136358.html

Anonymous said...

The frightening thing is how EASY it is to make a false accusation, and have it taken seriously, with resultant arrests and even convictions.

Doesn't that disturb any of our civil libertarians, academics, or university presidents?

DiW Veteran Poster said...

I see that Polanski has been arrested.

Anonymous said...

Is Rabinovitz a Communist?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 10:06 said...

"I find the need to interpret any and every college crime through the lens of Duke LAX more than a bit peculiar."

Get on board. EVERYONE is doing it. And that's thanks to people like you who attempted to lynch innocent students and then denied what happened! EVERYONE from the Duke President to the Durham Mayor to lower-level Duke and Durham Administration officials, to Duke professors, to NCCU and Duke students, to the local and national media, to the Durham police department and state's attorney's office, to the idiotic bloggers who stoked the flames of race and class. You are all responsible, and you are now paying the price.

Keep it up, fool.

Anonymous said...

To the 5:40pm.

OK, so this is the blog for ridiculous hyperbole. Now it all makes sense.

No Justice, No Peace said...

Inre; Is Rabinowitz a Communist?

Don't know but when language such as, "redouble efforts", "increase awareness", "potential signs of danger", "dangerous behavior", "adequately and appropriately addressed", "review of all aspects of security", "insure we are taking every possible precaution", "security audit", and my favorite, "best practices" is used by a PC academic and president of a university, one might wonder how those terms are defined.

As Paul Johnson points out in "Modern Times", it wasn't too long ago totaliarians modified meaning to justify doing some very, very bad things and consolidate power. They chose to intentionally mask meaning by using terms such as, "special treatment", "resettlement", "the general line", "sending east", and "sovereign acts beyond the reach of the judiciary".

"...beyond the reach of the judiciary" is interestingly similar to describe the Hofstra and Duke situations wouldn't you agree?

As interesting is why Rabinowitz, presumably a professional communicator given his status as president, uses so many fuzzy terms in such a short paragraph responding to an incident that screams for clear language.

Maybe it would be more appropriate to ask him, "Sir, WTF do you mean to say?" As KC points out what does any of that have to do with false allegations?

Clarity might keep him from being confused as a Communist.

No Justice, No Peace said...

Is ______ a communist, leads us to other questions.

Is Roman Polanski a rapist? One wonders how the Duke faculty and administration would answer that question?

There's not been any to-do over the Duke faculty member who recently tried to pimp one of his underage male sons for sex with another male.

What does the faculty have to say about consensual sex when minors are involved? What about non-consensual sex like when the child is drugged or so young as to defy belief?

Not a peep from the Duke professionals who have so much to say about so many things. None of this, "what he did was bad enough" talk, why is that?

Why is it the radicals like the Duke Klan of 88, communists, fascists, and Nazis live for fuzzy language and ignores facts?

William L. Anderson said...

Cohen sure did not seem to notice when Mike Nifong was giving dozens of interviews and also refusing even to look at exculpatory evidence. Do leaks from police and prosecutors bother him? They sure did not bother Cohen in the Duke case.

I don't think that Cohen suddenly has learned about things like presumption of innocence or the need for police and prosecutors to obey the law. No, the racial and social aspects of this case do not warrant the same kind of approach that the demographics of the Duke case did.

Furthermore, the Duke case got its legs not only from Nifong's actions, but the insistence on the "progressives" in American education, law, and the media that the case had to be defined by race and class and nothing else.

Don't worry; if the "progressives" ever truly have their way with the U.S. legal system, we won't have to worry about things like evidence. Every judge will be the second coming of Roland Friesler, and the courts will look something akin to the classrooms of Karla Holloway and Orin Starn.

gwallan said...

"Prosecutors defended not bringing charges against Ndonye, saying that if they did, she would have faced only mental-health treatment and community service because of her age and lack of a criminal record."

Of course.

In an act of sexual impropriety any woman MUST be viewed as a victim. Even if they are the perpetrator.

Debrah said...

"We are all agreed that Andrew Cohen's stance on the DL case was seriously in error. However, he deserves praise for his stand in the Raymond Clark indictment (one of the commenters calls the column asinine). Possibly Mr. Cohen learned something from the DL case, though sadly I cannot say that the same was true for everyone."

***********************************

You're right Chris; however, I'm not sad about it.

Just impatient and bored with such people.

Mr. Cohen will get no bouquet of flowers from me just for covering this latest case professionally and doing his job.

I have no doubt at all that were the same race/class/gender dynamics in play as they were in the Lacrosse Hoax, many would be covering it in much the same way as before.

The most egregious players for the last three years will not back down from their original stance. To do that would be to admit their reason for existing is over.

Who said it?

I can't quite recall.

Was it Oscar Wilde?

Or some other wit who said.....

"There comes a time in everyone's life when their existence is over."

Of course, this refers to people who have ceased contributing anything positive to life, but who merely hang around.

Shades of the Gang of 88, their mascots, and their janissaries conquering...

Gayle Miller said...

I'm from Cleveland and was 10 years old when Marilyn Shepherd was murdered. I well remember all the events of that case and was actually a working newsperson at the time of trial #2. So my question is - whatever happened to the idea of minimal pre-trial publicity (the hook upon which Shepherd got his second trial - for all the good that did him). F. Lee Bailey got him a new trial on the basis of prosecution by press. Was Durham any different? Is Yale any different? Do the Brits have it right?

James said...

Rice , the prosecutor / judge / jury is running for re-election this year .

She claims that her opponent " doesn't understand how modern prosecution works " .

That would be : men go to jail and false accusers say " i'm sorry " and work at the soup kitchen .

But only if there is a video .

Anonymous said...

More velvet racism from the PC crowd! You'd swat at a wasp or a bee and try to crush a mosquito. But a gnat or smaller isn't worth the effort. The justice system is treating Danmell Ndonye and Crystal Mangum as something below the common gnat even after they have caused thousands and millions of dollars of damage respectively.

The justice system has a means for dealing with crazy. In fact, for many people, unfortunately, that is the only way they can get treated. But Mangum and Ndonye were implicitly deemed not to be worth the effort.

That's the lack of discipline that leads to the deaths of 30+ students in the Chicago school system. A lack of discipline from authority figures (parents, teachers, school administrators, extended family, justice system) and a lack of discipline applied to the students.

It's time to give up the PC and treat everyone equally. Expect children to behave and discipline them if they don't. And if someone says, "Boys will be boys," or "Girls will be girls," look them squarely in the eye and say, "Not here. Not now. Not on my watch."

Debrah said...

Duke sees shift in campus crime

The new Clery Security Report, which the federal government requires all universities to file each year by Oct. 1, shows a marked decrease in the number of burglaries on the main campus in 2008 -- from 65 the previous year to 51. Also down were robberies, from 7 to 2, and motor vehicle thefts, down from 19 to 7.

Aggravated assaults, however, rose to 6 from 3 in 2007 while forcible sex offenses were the same -- 5 for both years.

Anonymous said...

Two comments, slightly OT:

First, Robert K. Steel has his bio upon his website (robertksteel.com)

He devotes all of one sentence to his years at Duke; and the list of books which reference him omits UPI (both telling omissions IMHO).

Second, Diva, you need to write a book. We can expect a plethora of works from Nifong, Burness, Brodhead, Tyson, and others in the future, and they shouldn't have the bookshelves left to themselves. You needn't recount the whole lax case, but this is an example where another opinion is needed (to balance out what future researchers will have to work with).

Gary Packwood said...

Gayle Miller 9/29/09 :: 9:24 AM said,

...So my question is - whatever happened to the idea of minimal pre-trial publicity (the hook upon which Shepherd got his second trial - for all the good that did him).
::
Good question which passed through my mind also when I first learned of the Duke lacrosse rape hoax.

People forget that Doctor Sam spent ten years in prison before he was released and there is a Supreme Court case that speaks to your question.

Sheppard v. Maxwell, 384 U.S. 333 (1966),

http://supreme.justia.com/us/384/333/

When I learned of the writings and words of the G88 at Duke, I could visualize a repeat of Doc Sam's court challenge for Dave, Collin and Reade while they sat wasting way in a North Carolina prison.

I have never believed the press had a hook on the lacrosse rape hoax case without the words of the G88 who were after all, teacher of young people, at DUKE!
::
GP

Topher said...

"Prosecutors defended not bringing charges against Ndonye, saying that if they did, she would have faced only mental-health treatment and community service because of her age and lack of a criminal record."

Wait a minute...so they say she won't face a serious punishment because of her lack of criminal record. So their answer is...to allow her to not have a criminal record, ensuring that the next time she does this she'll get the first-offender treatment?

Anonymous said...

Hello K.C.,

Speaking of unethical prosecutors, you might want to check out another prosecutor and his name is Eddie Jordan. He was a onetime former New Orleans-Parish County D.A. who got himself in lawsuit for firing all 43 white employees and replaced them entirely with African Americans.

If you think Tracey Cline is corrupt by playing favorisms with her employees, I think E.J. is 43 times worst!

I got most of the infos from wikipedia and other sites, just let you know.

Anonymous said...

Good call, Topher! Besides not giving Ndonye a record, thereby failing to ratchet up any punishment for her "second" offense, the city is basically saying that we believe this person is crazy, she has a history of doing crazy things, but she's going to be put out, untreated and crazy, onto the streets.

On top of all that, what kind of deterent effect is there for false accusers? Better that 10 false accusers go unpunished than one real victim not speak up? I would think that you'd want to limit and prevent false accusations to help the real victims. Otherwise, people will question the legitimacy of a real victim based on the fact that she'd face no consequences if she is lying.

With all the statistics flying about regarding the percentages of black males in prison, it would be a great study project to find out the race and socio-economic status of false accusers who face punishment versus those who don't.

******************

Professor Johnson raises an important question about whether Duke males should videotape their sexual encounters. THIS IS NOT A LEGAL OPINION, but here is some information:

North Carolina is a "one-party consent" state. North Carolina makes it a crime to intercept or record any oral communication unless one party to the conversation consents. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 15A-287. Thus, in North Carolina, you may record a conversation or phone call if you are a party to the conversation or you get permission from one party to the conversation in advance.

Note that there are 37 one-party consent states, but there are 12 states that require the consent of all parties. These states include California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Washington.

There is a federal law which makes it a crime to secretly capture photo or video images of people in places and situations in which they have an expectation of privacy, such as bathrooms, dressing rooms, locker rooms, hotel rooms and tanning salons. I would expect that "beds" and the "act of sex" would also fall within this zone of privacy.

The bottom line appears to be this: Use your cellphone to record the audio but NOT the video in North Carolina and in any of the other 37 one-party consent states. Don't use your video recorder ANYWHERE. MOO! Gregory

No Justice, No Peace said...

Education? Let's spend gobs more money and forget to measure the results...

A sobering chart that compares federal spending to reading, math and science scores for 17 year olds since 1970.

Someone please remind me, what does the NEA provide...besides votes?

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous at 8:52

It is abundantly clear that Bobby Steel's twisted version of history is defined by his desire to create a personal image as a "sqeeky clean" leader of great institutions. On his personal website and in the same self-serving bio you reference, Steel also describes how he served as Chairman of Wachovia Corporation.

Actually,Steel helped Wachovia commit organizational suicide, but he writes about his executive efforts as Chairman of one of the five largest banks in America thusly, "led Wachovia to a business-saving merger with Wells Fargo".

In fact, Steel did absolutely nothing to try to save Wachovia as a business. The record is clear that, shortly after he was named Chairman and Wachovia's stock plummeted,, Steel bought a million shares of Wachovia for pennies a share He then spent all of his waking hours trying to sell Wachovia.

Steel succeeded, and he realized a handsome profit on his investment as a bottom-feeder without the slightest concern for the vast mnajority of Wachovia's shareholders who lost their life savings due to Steel's "business-saving merger".

Steel has manipulated some into thinking he is brilliant, but his two most recent "leadership" roles(Duke and Wachovia) could be case studies in how to use ego and narcicism in trying to maintain your personal imageand make millions while ruining the image of the enterprise you serve.

Duke 1965 said...

8:24,

I'm certainly not a fan of Robert Steel, but there's no way he brought Wachovia down. Wachovia was clearly on the rocks before he became CEO, and he was in fact brought in only to sell the carcass, not revive it. He did exactly what he was brought in to do. None of this of course excuses his "protect the brand no matter who gets hurt" attitude while at Duke.

Anonymous said...

Op-ed from Newsday on the importance of prosecuting Danmell Ndonye;

http://www.newsday.com/opinion/oped/editorial-danmell-ndonye-should-have-been-charged-1.1490381

Anonymous said...

Surprise, surprise, surprise. The City of Durham Police Department has distinguished itself once again. Seems no one approved the overtime hours turned in by some of Duirham's finest, and there are questions as to whether the work was even performed. In a cursory review, one police officer billed Durham and was paid for almost 80 unauthorized hours per week in addition to her regular work schedule. That "special" brand of integrity cost Durham over $5,000 per month for one officer. The grand total Durham taxpayers are out for fraudulent hours reported is yet to be calculated.

Now the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) will step in to try to get to the bottom of another "mess" in the Durham Police Department.

Best of all , the officer who got caught cheating has NOT been suspended.

Another verse, same song!

Alan Furman said...

Is Polanski a Communist?

Anonymous said...

Oops! I wrote too soon in my comment on "The Times, the Post, and Hofstra" (Wed. Sep. 23) when I said at least the District Attorney is prosecuting the false accuser. Once again, the true criminal is getting off (almost) scot-free. The only negative thing happening to her is that she has been named in this and other blogs.

We must make false accusations, especially of sexual assaults, a felony like perjury. Leaving this crime as a misdemeanor is not working.

Gus W.

Anonymous said...

Duke 1965

Your explanation of Bobby Steel's role at Wachovia makes me think you have been drinking the same Steel prepared coolade that he serrved up while Chairman at Duke. Nonetheless, let's assume you are correct that Steel was brought in to sell the carcass of Wachovia. Can you explain why Steel felt it necessary to blatantly lie to the public, Wachovia shareholders and Wachovia employees by telling them that his job was to turn around, and,thus, save Wachovia? Further,it was odd, if not unethical, for one, who is supposedly doing nothing but trying to sell the bank, to announce publicly that he is buying one million shares "to show his confidence" in the future of Wachovia. Can you explain Steel's tactic of buying a million shares of Wachovia and then demanding a sale price from Wells Fargo that made himself millions?

Both Steel's public prevarication and his manipulation, via bottom-feeding the stock, again demonstrate his lack of integrity.

Steel claimed at both Duke and Wachovia that he was simply doing what was best for each institution. There are some who view Steel's "leadership" during the LAX mess as appropriate.I find thius viewpoint to be similar to your viewpoint that Steel was simply"doing what he was told to do" at Wachovia.

No Justice, No Peace said...

Duke 1965, most would suggest you are being too kind regarding Steel's scorched earth. Though Mr. Steele didn't create the problem with Wachovia, his remarks on CNBC might be considered especially problematic.

CNBC EXCLUSIVE: CNBC TRANSCRIPT: CNBC'S JIM CRAMER INTERVIEWS WACHOVIA PRESIDENT & CEO ROBERT STEEL ON "MAD MONEY W/JIM CRAMER" TONIGHT

CNBC'S "MAD MONEY W/JIM CRAMER"

Steel: "..But I think it's really about...Transparency...Complete disclosure.

"...transparency will generate enough confidence so people will buy and sell the assets ...going forward..."

CRAMER: ...Meredith Whitney... said that you're using wildly optimistic assumptions...

Mr. STEEL:...Our strategy was to give you all the data so you could make your own model. We tell you what we're doing...

...We can create more capital ourselves that way...

...we feel like we can work through this, and that's the strategy...

...We should be the best person at the world at understanding this type of asset

...We have lots of flexibility to figure out how to do this

...We have lots of choices...

...10 billion is residential related, and they're problematic. ..."

How much did that $10 billion turn into within days of that interview?

Was he transparent with Wachovia shareholders?

How much was he off and how quickly was he proven wrong? Days? Weeks?

Why was he even on CNBC?

Were Steele or Brodhead transparent about the performance of the value of the Duke endowment?

Has he been transparent with the Duke community and others during the rape hoax?

What do you suppose Citi thinks of Mr. Steel after he dumped their deal for Wells Fargo?

Debrah said...

TO (3:36 PM)--

DPD article from the N&O.

Debrah said...

Joe Neff has been covering the Gell case.

The settlement for the wrongful conviction will provide him just under $8,000/month for life.

Gell is a criminal with a rap sheet, unlike Reade, Collin, and David; however, that does not mitigate the deliberate damage done to him by SBI's Dwight Ransome.

This Ransome guy eclipses Mike Nifong with his open lack of remorse.

It's clear that he's either willfully incompetent or insane.

And apparently still on the job.

inman said...

KC:

I know this is way off topic, but I thought I'd report it anyway. Publish it if you believe it appropriate.

To wit:

I had the pleasure of meeting Dick Broadhead yesterday. I was at Duke after the Duke/Virginia Tech game enjoying an after-game tailgate. A friend noticed Broadhead walking down the path and pointed him out to me. I had been drinking, but nonetheless, immediately got up and walked up to him, extending my hand. He extended his hand as well. I took his in mine … both of mine … and said:

"Hi. My name is Thomas Inman. I graduated from Duke in 1974. I will never forgive you for the manner in which you handled the Duke Lacrosse scandal." (I believe that's an exact quote.)

I don't recall him uttering a word but the lady with him (who I was later told was his wife) immediately stated that it was "history" and that I didn't know what I was talking about. I had no interest in an argument or speaking further, so I turned and walked away.

In retrospect, I am stunned that Broadhead failed to defend his own honor and that those around him (e.g. his wife) think that "history" is an appropriate characterization of the Lacrosse Burning and of that singular set of events. Yes, the facts are certainly historical, as are those of just moments ago. But to leap to the concept of “history,” in defense of Broadhead's words and actions at the time, belies a failure to understand the timeless nature of the lessons (that should have been) learned.

As to whether or not I know what I'm talking about, I refer anyone to the letter I wrote to the Duke Chronicle published on March 30, 2006 as well as subsequent commentary which, for better or worse, is memorialized on the internet. I'll let the record speak for itself. I will however point out that my evaluation of the events (as memorialized on 3/30/06) preceded the rather shabby and boneheaded responses of Broadhead and the obsequious 88.

A couple of other points: (A) Friends who witnessed my interaction with Broadhead, without exception, said that it represented what they felt, too. (B) The concept of a “presumption of innocence” should and does transcend “history.”

No Justice, No Peace said...

Inman, many thanks for your effort to introduce yourself to Dick Brodhead. Of sorts, you were a proxy for many others.

The following are quotes which I came across this morning. They transcend the ages.

This last one is especially of interest given his lack of a response. The second is appropriate given the lack of disclosure regarding the Duke endowment loses.

No man has a good enough memory to make a successful liar. ~Abraham Lincoln

A half truth is a whole lie. ~Yiddish Proverb

Those who think it is permissible to tell white lies soon grow color-blind. ~Austin O'Malley

The least initial deviation from the truth is multiplied later a thousandfold. ~Aristotle

Who lies for you will lie against you. ~Bosnian Proverb

The most dangerous untruths are truths moderately distorted. ~Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

With lies you may get ahead in the world – but you can never go back. ~Russian proverb

Always tell the truth. If you can't always tell the truth, don't lie. ~Author Unknown

halides1 said...

I was probably being overly generous with respect to Andrew Cohen in my earlier remarks. If I had a mind to do so, I could defend his statement that we “haven't had the privilege of seeing the case unfold at trial the way it is supposed to.” He might be saying that evidence from either side deserves to be treated tentatively until it is vetted at a trial. If so, it is a fair point.

Based on my reading of several of his essays, he is well informed and tends toward defending civil liberties. Yet his DL column criticizes perp walks, while not mentioning them specifically with respect to Mr. Finnerty or Mr. Seligmann. Moreover, there were grounds to criticize Mr. Nifong without making pronouncements about guilt or innocence, which he also largely failed to do. Moreover, he continued to criticize the defense while defending the gag order on his blog. Mr. Cohen’s lapses in these areas are less easily excused than columnists with less legal knowledge and sophistication.

Mr. Cohen’s blog was only a little better in April 2007. Some of his comments are not far from the Boston Globe/Terry Moran end of the spectrum. The only evidence that he learned something was his praise of David Evans’ post-exoneration statement, in which Mr. Evans said that he was mindful that poor defendants might not have fared so well.

Chris

halides1 said...

With respect to cell phones, there is another example of an exoneration using one. This case involved the alleged arson of a stable, and a false confession by Frank Esposito, who was then 17 years old. I am impressed by the zealousness of his attorneys:

http://gritsforbreakfast.blogspot.com/2008/07/recording-police-interrogations-makes.html

Chris