The trial of false accuser Crystal Mangum is underway in Duham; the serial fabricator stands charged with arson, injury to personal property, contributing to the delinquency of her three children, and resisting arrest.
A few items: (1) Prosecutors agreed that they wouldn’t bring up Mangum’s myriad lies in the lacrosse case to undermine the credibility of her tales regarding the criminal charges against her.
(2) In the seating of the jury, Mangum’s attorney seemed determined to use preemptive challenges against people tied to Duke, especially Duke students. I can see where Duke students wouldn’t be likely to ignore the evidence to bolster Mangum’s position, but I’m not sure about Duke employees or administrators. Certainly, the false accuser would have been incredibly lucky if one of the Group of 88 had somehow slipped through to the jury.
Reported the N&O, Mangum’s attorney asked the judge “to release the eighth juror interviewed because his family has strong ties to Duke and his wife, a university employee, sat on a committee charged with helping the campus deal with the lacrosse scandal.
The mentioned committee was presumably the Campus Culture Initiative—a body dominated by the Group of 88 and its allies. It would seem that this juror would be ideal for the false accuser.
(3) The pro-Mangum People’s Alliance activist Steve Matherly has a blog that gives the party line on the trial from Durham’s extreme left. Matherly has posts complaining about the prosecutor’s issuing preemptive challenge to jurors who seemed disinclined to value circumstantial evidence. But he spends most of his time playing the race card, offering conspiratorial rants about the media’s “racism” in its reporting on Mangum (this is the same “media” that included the Times and the Herald-Sun, which propped up Mangum’s bogus charges for months after it was clear they were false) and wildly demanding that Mangum’s defense attorney be allowed to question every white juror regarding what they “think about black folks.”
Intriguingly, Matherly claims that Mangum still possesses considerable “support” at North Carolina Central—which, if true, would be astonishing.
(4) And, one final point worth reiterating; Matherly is a minor player in the People’s Alliance. But Milo Pyne is a significant actor, co-chairing the PA’s PAC and serving as the group’s spokesperson. This is the man, again, who just announced his “sympathy” for Mike Nifong.
I’d be hard pressed to come up with any other case in which local liberal leaders publicly, and repeatedly, sided with the perpetrator of prosecutorial misconduct. In this respect, the actions of figures such as Matherly and Pyne cast an ugly light on the sincerity of “progressives” in Durham.