Thursday, June 21, 2007

Judge Tjoflat's Perspective

The Honorable Gerald Bard Tjoflat, a judge with the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals and Duke Law alumnus (Class of 1957), recently addressed a group of law school alumni about the case—in highly perceptive remarks about both the case and the surrounding events.

The case itself, Tjoflat noted, “was a classic example of a racially-motivated mob mentality, stirred up by a demagogue who played the race card, drawing on the tensions, anxieties, and grievances that demagogues like to exploit for their own purposes. His purpose, of course, was to get elected.”

In this environment, the Bar saved the day, by taking the case out of Mike Nifong’s hands. Had it not intervened, Tjoflat predicted that the case would have ended in the following fashion:

On the day set for trial, the prosecutor announces to the court that the accuser refuses to testify; the adverse publicity she has had to endure is such that going forward would create an unacceptable risk to her mental and physical health. The prosecutor doesn't need to imply that defense counsel—meaning the defendants themselves—are to blame; the politically correct world draws that implication for him. He really wanted to proceed to trial—because, as he repeatedly stated in his pre-indictment press releases to the news media, he believed the accuser's story, a rape did occur—but he will go no further. He ends the prosecution with the entry of a nolle prosequi, and leaves the accused twisting in the wind.

Tjoflat found two cases comparable to the lacrosse affair—the Scottsboro Boys case, and the fictional tale of To Kill a Mockingbird. Both featured “racial unrest whether manifested openly or just lurking beneath the surface waiting to be unleashed as pure hatred,” which provided “a perfect setting for this sort of mob mentality.” Such problems are compounded by the election of judges, creating a timidity on the bench in which judges are reluctant to rein in prosecutors, no matter how egregious the behavior. In North Carolina, the situation is even worse, since the case management system and prosecutors’ control over the court calendar tilts power heavily away from the judge and toward the district attorney.

Tjoflat observed that Nifong’s behavior built off the established prosecutorial culture: “Prosecutors like Nifong—who had been in the Durham D.A.'s office for 27 years—don't do what he did unless they are absolutely confident that the court will give them free rein. This is especially true in a case, like the Lacrosse Case, in which the result will be reflected in the ballot box.” Nonetheless, Nifong’s conduct was extraordinary and clearly poisoned any Durham County jury pool; indeed, Tjoflat noted that he had been “on the bench for nearly 39 years and have never seen the like of it.”

In a perfect world, Tjoflat reasoned, Judges Stephens or Titus would have acted upon Kirk Osborn’s May 1 recusal motion. In his mind, “any judge reading the motion would have concluded (1) that Nifong had engaged in conduct that would surely result in discipline and (2) that Nifong was likely to suborn perjury or otherwise obstruct justice in order to obtain a conviction and thereby confirm his pre-indictment condemnation of the accused. In short, Nifong was operating under a clear conflict of interest. At the very least, it appeared that he was—sufficiently so that the court should have heard the motion. But the court never heard or ruled on the motion.” Why? Because Stephens and Titus were unlikely to challenge Nifong’s control of the court docket. (Defense counsel eventually withdrew the motion, for tactical reasons, after the case passed to Judge Smith.) Tjoflat also blasted the North Carolina courts for not stopping the case by scheduling a prompt hearing on suppressing the lineup, which everyone involved knew was unconstitutional. Again, he suspected, political concerns explained judges’ timidity.

Why did state DA’s ultimately abandon Nifong? Tjoflat doubts that altruism explained their actions. Instead, the December 15 hearing, with Meehan’s revelation of the conspiracy, “was too much for the N.C. Bar and the prosecutors around the state to tolerate.” Tjoflat surmised that “prosecutors, faced with a growing sentiment in the state legislature to establish a mechanism for monitoring prosecutorial conduct, got word to Nifong that he was now on his own. They had to maintain the status quo. The superior court belonged to them. After all, most of its judges were former prosecutors and, therefore, sympathetic to them. But, however they may have made their thoughts known to Nifong, he was not about to budge. He had one of his investigators re-interview the accuser," dropped the rape charge, but proceeded full steam ahead with the kidnapping and assault charges.” Only at that point, the North Carolina Conference of DA’s abandoned him, while courageous voices in the State Bar decided to press ahead with a grievance—by a vote, as we know now, of a mere one vote.

Nifong, Tjoflat understood, had his enablers, and the identity of some of these enablers should concern all Duke alumni. The Group of 88, the judge noted, “claim that their intent was not to prejudge the case, but rather to call attention to long-standing issues on campus. Countless editorial writers and commentators—both before and after the N. C. Attorney General declared the accused innocent—have emphatically disagreed. Regardless of their intent, however, by taking out an advertisement by broadcasting to the world their agenda, rather than initiating on-campus discussion in less public ways, ‘The Duke 88’ only fanned the flames of a fire that they certainly should have seen burning. Someone needs to educate them about the Bill of Rights on which they are quick to rely when advancing their own causes: the right to a fair trial is included there as well. Someone should ask them how they would have felt had they been subjected to the calumny being heaped upon the lacrosse players—and the accused—day in and day out.”

Tjoflat argued that the Duke Law faculty performed well in the case—an assessment with which I agree. He singled out two people. Jim Coleman was a courageous voice for due process at a time when the mob, in Durham and on campus, had presumed guilt. And Paul Haagen provided steady leadership of the Academic Council. (Imagine what would have occurred had Group of 88’er Paula McClain been Academic Council chair in spring 2006.)

What should Duke do now? Tjoflat offered three broad recommendations. First, “Our students need to know that what the N.C. Bar and the A.G. did was to administer some experimental medicine to a sick system. When the day comes that the Bar has to act as it did in this case, lawyers, law professors, editorial writers, politicians, and anyone else supposedly interested in the administration of criminal justice has to ask, ‘What is going on here? Why is our system malfunctioning?’ At the recent law alumni meeting, the faculty put on a program which focused on this case from an 'Ethics' point of view. If our law faculty doesn't expand its approach to the discussion of the Lacrosse Case to include the shortcomings of N.C.'s criminal justice system, the roles the blogosphere, talk radio, and cable news networks played in prompting the Bar to act as it did, the faculty will be shortchanging our students - and I say with regret - being a tad disingenuous." It is my sense that the faculty is interested in such matters: the Law School has planned a major conference on issues arising from the case (in which I'll be participating) for September 27 and 28.

Second, Brodhead and the Board of Trustees “need to apologize” for the Group of 88:

They need to tell the Duke community and beyond that 'The Duke 88' issued their statement at an inopportune time, and in so doing, disregarded the accused's right to a fundamentally fair proceeding. It is true that a college campus is a place for open debate, discussion, and disagreement, but there is a critical difference between using accusations like those made here as a jumping off point for on-campus classroom and private discussions, and making broad public statements likely to incite vitriol at a time when all the facts are not known and somber contemplation is called for. These professors need to be educated about the Bill of Rights and the requisites of a fair criminal proceeding. They also need to consider whether they can treat Duke's athletes, especially the lacrosse players, fairly and impartially. If there is the slightest doubt that they might not be able to do that, they should say so.

Third, Tjoflat urged reasonable voices—such as the attorneys on Duke Law School’s Board of Visitors—to remain engaged with the University and work for reform, rather than to express distaste with the Group’s behavior by abandoning the school. Much like Jim Coleman, he takes a fairly mild line toward President Brodhead’s behavior; he doesn’t mention Brodhead’s April 5 guilt-presuming statement or the president’s reaction to the arrests of Seligmann and Finnerty (“whatever they did was bad enough”), but says Brodhead’s options were limited.

Tjoflat’s analysis is candid and well-reasoned. Both North Carolina and Duke would be wise to follow it. But if—as seems increasingly likely—Brodhead maintains his determination not to apologize for the Group’s conduct but to continue to facilitate it, how should reasonable Duke alumni respond?


Anonymous said...

Does anyone seriously think Brodhead will apologize? He saw what the leftist professors did to the president of Harvard. It will take civil suits against the corrupt Durham police department and the city of Durham to get to the bottom of this case. Even then, it will take the civil rights division of the Justice Department to send the frame-up crowd to prison.

Anonymous said...

WOW One of the best articles I have read. Another brillant NC lawyer. Really appreciate his assessment of the whole event,

Anonymous said...

What an absolutely fantastic intellect. I hope that Judge Tjoflat stays on the bench for 50 more years.

Anonymous said...

JLS says...,

I am glad to see that Tjoflat recognized that the NC DAs acted in self interest when throwing Nifong over the side.

But alas Tjoflat seemed to miss a couple of points:

1. Tjoflat does not seem to understand that the case management system in Durham puts Judges at the mercy of the DA for the types of case they hear. That unbalances the legal system and means the judge is no longer a neutral aribitor.

2. Tjoflat does not seem to know that the NC Association of DAs did not "get word to" Nifong but publically called on him to resign in late December 2006.

But it is very good to hear that Duke Alums are thinking about how to reform Duke. That is a real step in the right direction.

Jamie said...

Tjoflat's comments are, of course, excellent -- with one exception: that Brodhead's options were limited.

Brodhead was dead wrong to do and say what he did, and to refuse to say and do what he did. He chose to slur the accused publicly, but he knew very well how to keep his mouth shut about the NBPP's actions. Was it the threat of race violence that limited him? Brodhead chose to slur the accused, but he didn't say one word to condemn the completely intolerable email to Pressler. Was it the apparent threat to Pressler's daughter that limited him? Brodhead slurred the accused, but he has excused(!) the 88's poisonous incitement: was it the threat of castration that limited him?

Brodhead's excuse for his reaction is that Nifong sounded so sure of himself, and who could know how things would turn out, and a lot of other tripe. It's all false. He unmistakably pandered to the agendists, and he doesn't seem to understand yet what was wrong about doing that.

It is false for Brodhead to imply that his critics, with the benefit of hindsight, wanted him to be a mind-reader. Even had incontrovertible evidence later appeared to confirm the LAX players' guilt, Brodhead's actions and inactions regarding the charges would have been inexcusable. The accused were innocent until proven guilty. Period. If Brodhead doesn't know this, and can't publicly acknowledge how far short he fell of meeting that simple standard of decency, he needs to step down.

The race-gender lobby appears to be so potent in Durham that "neutrality" for a Duke President means only rushing to judgment a little bit. It is simply disgusting.

Anonymous said...

Where has this bright light been? Thank you for posting his insights. I stated this on another thread, but it belongs here, too. The WSJ has a must read story on the op/ed page in the June 20, 2007 issue by John Steele Gordon entitled "Racial Role Reversal."


Anonymous said...

Excellent article.

Does this make Meehan one of the heroes of this fiasco? I think it does. Meehan made a serious mistake, and will undoubtedly pay for it with his career, and possibly in civil court. However, unlike the G88, he came clean and apologized, calling it (as I recall) the worst mistake of his career.

I know he may have had no choice but to come clean. But, in Judge Tjoflat's opinion, "Meehan’s revelation of the conspiracy, “was too much for the N.C. Bar and the prosecutors around the state to tolerate.”


Anonymous said...

broadrot hates the law...because he makes the law at duke,,,and burness is his enabler

he is a flat slimy coward

let the bar lead the way

Anonymous said...

"Brodhead maintains his determination not to apologize for the Group’s conduct but to continue to facilitate it, how should reasonable Duke alumni respond?"

With their $1 donations.

Anonymous said...

Eighty-eight cents donations to Duke would make a clearer statement than one dollar donations.

Anonymous said...

Where the Rt. Hon. said "On the day set for trial, the prosecutor announces to the court that the accuser refuses to testify" -

Last year around summer I'd have disagreed; I figured that Nifong was going to go all the way. And that December, even when Nifong dropped the rape charge, he left in the assault. That (and Nifong's general air of arrogance) tells me that Nifong would go as far as he could. I think that Nifong felt that he could get a something-happened conviction on assault from a Durham jury.

So I still disagree. Nifong still would have taken the assault charge to his hometown jury.

Otherwise, this judge has it right on the nail.

Anonymous said...

Is there any conclusion to be draw than that the only reason that the NC AG decleare the "accused" to be innocent was that WHITE AND MALE is not a viable political force and that BLACK AND FEMALE is what all political actions require?

Simply dropping the charges would have allowed no explanation other than that white male perpetrated violence upon a black female?

I want you to look at yourself if you agreed with the last two paragraphs. You are a racist. You are a bigot.

Anonymous said...

Brodhead met with the captains. They must have told him exactly the same story they told the DPD.

When the DPD and Nifong began making public statements with a different version of events as well as the non-cooperation of the players, Brodhead knew they were false.

Brodhead met with the team captains and acted on their admissions. Yet he claims his actions were predicated on the Nifong's credibility and position of authority.

He had to either believe the players or believe Nifong. He could not have believed them both.


Anonymous said...

Brodhead's options were not "limited."

Who would believe that the ones he chose were even possibilities?

People in development at Duke tell me they are having a major problem because of Brodhead -- not that development should run the university, but this tells us the depth of disgust that the alumni feel toward this weak leader. Anyone as careless as he was with the language should not teach high school English, much less lead a university that aspires to be world-class. He knew what he was saying.

The matter will not be closed until Brodhead leaves. The BOT will probably not boot him out (their choice, you know), but do not look for his contract to be renewed. By then, the donations will have completely dried up and they will have to face facts.

It made me perfectly ILL to read that the Duke Three agreed not to go after any Duke faculty and/or administration. But what does that condition tell you? Just that they knew they were liable.

Anonymous said...

I must agree with 1:18. I think this is an outstanding analysis, and have to ask, Judge Tjoflat, where were you when you were needed?

Maybe you thought that it wasn't safe to speak out until now, but I suspect, given the clarity of your arguments, that you have made them all along, but only now is it safe for others to give you a voice.

In any case, thank you for speaking so clearly.

Anonymous said...

One black huckster got away with her hoax. I suspect this one will too. One thing for certain, they'll both die poor and ignored.

Brawley and her mother were issued subpoenas to testify in front of the grand jury but refused to do so. This may have prompted Brawley and her family to move hastily to Virginia, taking with them a "defense fund" of $300,000 which had been contributed by well-wishers. There remains an outstanding warrant in New York against the two for ignoring the subpoena.

Brawley later converted to Islam [7] and changed her name to Maryam Muhammad. [8]

Pagones (victim) had also sued Brawley. She defaulted by not appearing at the trial, and the judge ordered her to pay him damages of $185,000. As of 2003, none of the award had been paid. [10]

Anonymous said...

Great point about the case management system JLS. It has basically neutered the Durham judges. Nifong has been around Durham for a long time. He learned from Hardin and Stevens how to control the judges. It was only a matter of time before one of them went so far they couldn't control the outrage. I think the NC system could be clean up if a few things happen. First start recording the grand jury proceedings. Next get rid of the court management system. And finally either get a speedy trial bill passed or force prosecutors and judges to read motion aloud in the court room.;)

Anonymous said...

Disagree with the judge. Given Duke's ridiculous coddling of black racists, it is to be expected that a G88 would materialize at an "opportune" time.

So the best way of preventing similar problems in the future--at Duke and elsewhere--is to eliminate affirmative action for students and faculty.

Paula McClain's cognitive abilities will better serve society at an inner-city high school.

The most "wonderland" aspect of this entire affair is the fact that stupid racists like McClain are being given academic welfare by their betters. That is disgusting.


Anonymous said...

A perfect way to make oneself heard as a Duke alum is to quit funding the irrationality and bigotry on campus by ceasing donations to the school. The tenure types and the career administrators (clowns like Burness and Moneta) don't seem to feel any responsibility for their actions.

Anonymous said...


You're right, of course; I hope your fellow alumni will heed your advice.

Anonymous said...

Some version of Judge Tjoflat's remarks should be published in a respected law journal. Public anger and awareness will fade. Decent people in the profession must be the change makers. Vince

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this great analysis -
I'm so concerned, as a young Duke alum, that Brodhead and others will not be held accountable for their serious problems and insults against people, Duke, and the law. Alumni on the outside can comment on blogs and send in 88 cent checks to Developement. But please tell me there is something going on behind the scenes, officially, that will expose him and others, that will defend and ultimately restore the name and legacy of Duke University. Maybe the other families will pursue Brodhead in court. An official review of the administration's performance could reveal the truth - but the Board seems to be in lock step with Brodhead, so would they ever have the courage to call for the review or would it be honest?

Anonymous said...

I disagree with the judge in that Nifong would have dropped the case just before the trial. Cooper did tell us Crystal wanted to proceed, and that Crystal was dissapointed that the case was not going to proceed.
So, how would Nifong be able to declare she did not want to testify?

Anonymous said...

"These professors need to be educated about the Bill of Rights and the requisites of a fair criminal proceeding. They also need to consider whether they can treat Duke's athletes, especially the lacrosse players, fairly and impartially." Outstanding!

I think Judge Tjoflat is absolutely right in saying that she would have never testified. Her father had stated that that her health would not permit it, and if Nifong had explained to her all the inconsistencies in her testimoney and how the attorneys would tear her to shreds, even a dimwit like CGM would have seen the light. Nifong was never interested in a trial, only in reelection. It is no coincidence that the trial was scheduled in the Spring of 2007, after he would have been elected and sworn in. Ending the prosecution would have been a PR disaster, but he was never going to run for office again so I am quite sure that was not a concern to him.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE the idea of an 88 cent contribution!!! I can't wait for my next solicitation!!

Anonymous said...

"The Honorable Gerald Bard Tjoflat ...recently addressed a group of law school alumni about the case..."

When was this address given? Was it before the hearing? Before the Duke settlement? As insightful and illuminating as the judge's thoughts are, I'm having trouble putting the judge's comments in perspective. With Duke's sans-apology settlement on Monday, I don't think Brodhead will ever issue an apology, and he will now use the undisclosed terms of the settlement as an excuse for not doing so.

Anonymous said...

"‘The Duke 88’ only fanned the flames of a fire that they certainly should have seen burning. Someone needs to educate them about the Bill of Rights .... Someone should ask them how they would have felt had they been subjected to the calumny being heaped upon the lacrosse players ... day in and day out ...."

We know how these pampered princesses (that description includes the male version of the 88 as well) would have felt. They've already demonstrated their low threshhold of pain by constant whining about receiving "hate filled" emails without having produced a single one as an example. I have no doubt they received some. There are some people likely to have communicated with them in that fashion. My response? "Emails? BFD!!!"

Their lives have never been on the line in this case. Put Lubiano, Holloway, McClain, Curtis, Baker, Farred, Neal or any of the others through that meat grinder, which they themselves contributed to, and they would have fallen apart like a piece of wet tissue paper.

Character counts. The lax players have it in spades. The 88? I haven't seen a spec of it yet and doubt I ever will.

Anonymous said...

It seems we're left with only two choices; the Gang-of-88 must go, or the Duke athletes must go; not just lacrosse, but every sport with a white majority.

Anonymous said...

Duke (read: Broadhed) will continue in denial and will have to dragged, kicking and screaming, to correct the many shortcomings this fiasco brought to light. The civil administrations of Durham City and County and the State of North Carolina will only change when criminal charges are brought by state and federal prosecutors. Moreover, the NC State Legislature must be forced to enact laws to better protect the citizens from people like Nifong and his enablers. The first order of business for the lawmakers in Raleigh is to write a law requiring Grand Juries to maintain full transcripts including video records of all their proceedings. I have already written to my state senator about this issue, but got an unsatisfactory response. I intend to keep at it. On another topic: I recommend Lane Williamson as interim DA; that should scare the bejeezus out of the rats in Durham!!

mac said...

Time to hear from some people:
Judge Stephens
Richard Brodhead
The 88

The words we should hear are:
we are sorry; we resign.

Anonymous said...

The question had to do with the response of reasonable alumni.
It is curious that the most appropriate and reasonable response would be to get Brodhead fired instantly.

BTW. I see that the United Methodist Church hierarchy has some influence with the BOT. The UMC is a liberal Protestant church, which means, whatever its pewdwellers think, its big shooters generally promote a set of 88-like metanrratives.

Anonymous said...

This is a good report. Thanks, KC.

It seeme to me that the real focus here should not be on the Group of 88, but rather on the legal system in North Carolina. As the speaker said, it was his understanding of the "system" that encouraged Nyfong to go as far as he did. I think many of the Group of 88--who appear to be anti-intellectual faculty bashers--would do well to concentrate more on the systemic problem. It has been noted before, but what if the LAX players in question had been black (as in the two other cases of mob justice the judge noted), would a lot of you have been so interested?

I hope so, but I think not.

Anonymous said...


I think many of those who attack the Group of 88...

Anonymous said...

Big Mac,

Maybe the Group of 88 aren't a monolith. Maybe some of them should apologize, but resign? Unlikely. If I'd been a member of such a group, given the mob mentality of some on this list, for example, I'd simply lie low. And not "sin" again.

Anonymous said...


7:28 has probably got it just about right. Good post.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of North Carolina law professors, where is Erving Joyner hiding these days?

His bias and NAACP representation actually helped everyone understand what was driving the situation in Durham during this time. His open minded "something must have happened" helped fan the ever smoldering flames.

Erving, Erving, where are you hiding?

mac said...

I once testified in a racial
discrimination suit - no full-time
black employees, and none in the
pipeline to be hired. (These
weren't great jobs, either.)

It cost me, both personally and
professionally. If I had to do
it over again, I'd do it
differently - but the sentiment
would have been the same.

So, you ask...

BTW, I am a conservative, white
male Christian. So much for some
stereotypes that have been haunting
these blogs.

Anonymous said...

Years ago Milton Friedman reminded us of the four ways to spend money:

1. Spend your own money on yourself.
2. Spend your own money on somebody else.
3. Spend somebody else's money on yourself.
4. Spend somebody else's money on somebody else.

As one moves from #1 to #4, money tends to be spent less efficiently--and often even irresponsibly. Government, and other non-profit organizations, have a lock on #4, though they've been known to loiter noticeably in the corridors of #3 as well.

It should be clear by now that Duke's "leadership" has been vindicating Friedman's portrayal of inefficient spending. By writing checks to circumscribe the damage it imposed on its own reputation, Duke acknowledges that it's often easier to spend someone else's money to pay off those one has harmed than to have acted properly in the first place. Several posters correctly predicted months ago that an institution craven enough to throw its own students into the maw of political correctness would not later defend itself to the death in justifying its own weakness. Neither the Board of Trustees nor the current administration harbors a Popeye about to reach for that can of spinach.

Here are a few more predictions:

1. Brodhead will be sent packing--but in a "nice" way. Watch for his accepting that "irresistible opportunity" to park at some other non-profit that was likely funded by men of character greater than any of its recent placeholders can even sniff at.

2. The herd of independent minds that is the Group of 88 will lie low for now. Some of the more fervent members of the group will eventually erupt again—but not to the applause they’ve been accustomed to. For at least the next few years, the Duke administration will quietly remind them that it has lost the checkbook. Sad to say, it will be pressure from the Board, not principle, that will drive the “new responsibility.”

3. The Board of Trustees itself will come under increasing scrutiny, mostly with regard to how its members are selected and how much say is given to alumni. Prominent alumni will not forever remain indifferent to the failure of the Board to protect the University’s reputation and resources. Recent successes by alums of peer schools such as Dartmouth have not gone unnoticed.

4. The hitherto “silent” majority among Duke’s faculty will become more outspoken in its opposition to political correctness on campus. Although Duke’s humanities and social-science departments will not in our lifetime become primary feeders of the American Enterprise Institute or the Hoover Institution, do expect the courageous examples set by Duke’s Steve Baldwin, Mike Gustafson, and James Coleman (none of whom, alas, resides in a humanities or social-sciences department) to embolden their like-minded colleagues (if any) in the fever swamps.

5. If any of these predictions blow up, I shall immediately remind my critics that the modern university has become the locus classicus of illogic and unreason. More than half a century ago, George Orwell proffered that the sillier or more irresponsible the idea or action, the more likely it had been gestated or nurtured in a university.

AMac said...

KC Johnson wrote:

"Tjoflat argued that the Duke Law faculty performed well in the case—an assessment with which I agree."

How many faculty are there at the law school?

How many had spoken publically about the Hoax by the time of Duff Wilson's pro-frame NYT article in August 2006? By the time the conspiracy to conceal DNA evidence was revealed in December? By the time A.G. Cooper declared innocence?

How many have remained silent to this day?

Professor Coleman can rightly look back on his actions wih pride. Perhaps Prof. Haagen as well.

Who else?

Anonymous said...

7:36B: Please tell what you know about the United Methodist Church and the BOT. I am aware that one of the signers of the original 88 statement (but not the follow-up "clarification") is a Divinity School teacher married to, I believe, the president of Duke Medical. What other cross-linkages are there to UMC? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Are your options limited in defense of the Constitution? The sort of reaction positied by Brodhead further inflamed the situation as did the Group88's bigoted behavior, and the same attitude that drove Nifong continues to drive this rump group of rogue acacemics. There will be no apology from them to the public at large or to the lacrosse team nor to the team's former coach as they know "something happened." Some of the worst of these people need to go.

Anonymous said...

KC -- please link to a fuller transcript/text of Tjoflat's talk. I can't find it through Google. Great to hear what he has to say. Thanks.

Anonymous said...


This is a good post, and it tells us something about the sheer dishonesty of Nifong's actions. But it also tells us that the system of justice in North Carolina OFFICIALLY has moved from the presumption of innocence to the presumption of guilt.

If the DA has docket power, then his (or her) power is close to being absolute. Nifong managed to control the system to the point where the evidence never was heard even in a preliminary setting in a court of law via a preliminary hearing.

In other words, Nifong was able to circumvent due process -- and do it with the force of law. THAT is what needs to change, period. If it does not, then Nifong simply is a sideshow, but Nifongism itself lives on in that state.

We have seen that we CANNOT depend simply on the good will of prosecutors. That is a recipe for the dishonesty which we have seen over the past year.

Anonymous said...

I am glad that at least Duke's law school plans to examine the case from a perspective other than how it fits into gang rape culture.

Anonymous said...

Bill Anderson and the others who are talking about the state rather than the university are moving in the right direction.

The real issue is the state. Duke couldn't have/wouldn't have behaved as it did had it not thought it could do so.

Anonymous said...

Hope Judges Stephens or Titus read his remarks.

Anonymous said...

Attn All NY Times Bashers

There is a QUINTESSENTIAL PC Times story today about "closing the racial learning gap" [here's a Polanski original: COUGH OUT LOUD (COL)]. It's all part of the metanarrative, kiddies.

Check it out. In education section, written by Jennifer Medina on Ron Fryer.


mac said...

I agree that the 88 are not a monolith.
And one of them apologized, so
perhaps there ought to be 87
resignations instead of 88.
Here's the rationale:

Brodhead should have stated, with
regard to the 88's statement:
"I condemn this rush to judgement,
this presumption of guilt with all
the power of my office. Any further
abrogation of the rights
of our students will result in
sanctions against any professor,
instructor or employee who dares
to cross this line."
(I guess someone, somewhere, likes
a timid President of a major

The 88s are adults, and should
know better than to sign stuff
before they've read it - (note
to unscrupulous hucksters: here
are some really good "marks.")
They may live in Wonderland,
but they have adult
responsibilities, and should
comport themselves as such.
They're supposed to be helping
students to grow up and to live
in an adult world: how is it that
they can't behave as adults?
Physician, heal thyself!

Judge Stephens should be sanctioned.
After he resigns.
A judge that allows taunting and
threats in his courtroom is no
friend of freedom, nor of the
Constitution. No one should
expect fair and impartial
ajducation from such a court.

Anonymous said...



I'd say you give Christianity a bad name. The Christianity I was raised wasn't racist or aggressive like you seem to be.

Anonymous said...

7:40 AM --

"... what if the LAX players in question had been black (as in the two other cases of mob justice the judge noted), would a lot of you have been so interested?

I hope so, but I think not."

That's the same as saying "if my aunt had balls, she'd be my uncle."

If the LAX players in question had been black, there would have been no frame-up by Mangum / Nifong, no media firestorm, and no 88. We have evidence of that by what transpired in the alleged rape of a white Duke student earlier this year by a black man. There was virtually nothing in the way of media coverage of and public reaction to this event and it would have been even less had the alleged victim been black.

A lot of people here are pissed off about the actions of Nifong / Mangum, the DPD, the media, and the 88 based on a complete sham, not that some white guys got accused of a crime.

Anonymous said...

I think we can get the donation point across and save the change. Instead of a check for 00.88 just take a big fat magic marker and write 88 over the face of the gimmie letter and send it back to them.

Anonymous said...

You are right on

duke parent 2004
What a powerful post---I couldn't agree with you more. If more parents made their feelings known, maybe administrations would quit pandering to radicals among their faculties. Unfortunately, too many of us sit back and wait for others to do our biding. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

on Hardin's appointment
Those of you who are not from NC should not consider Easley's appointment a step in the right direction. Remember we're putting Nifong's mentor (th fox) in charge of the DA's office and potentially Nifong's criminal case (the henhouse). Easley is the governor who, in "the still of the night", slipped into the treasury of the state and "borrowed" from the state employee's retirement fund to shore up his failed budget (or rather that of the legislature). He, like Nifong, came clean ONLY after his hand was caught squarely in the cookie jar. Good old boy politics is still alive and well in NC (unfortunately).

Anonymous said...

Kudos! My thoughts as well. The law faculty, as a faculty, was an embarrassment to the university throughout this mess. If ANY group of faculty members had an educational and moral obligation to speak as Nifong pissed all over the Constitution, it was the law faculty. Their silence spoke volumes. As for Prof. Coleman, he deserves credit for eventually speaking up and then sticking with it; although his commentary was clearly expressed in a much broader, politically correct context: if this type of prosecutorial misconduct can happen to three rich white Duke athletes, then how easy must it be for it to happen to poor black suspects and how often does it occur? As for Paul "helmet sport" Haagen, I laughed my ass off when I saw how KC and Tjoflat characterized his performance. Perhaps the University can introduce the "Chameleon of the Year Award". I nominate Mr. Helmet Sport! If the Law School is perceived as the voice of reason in the University community, we are far worse off than I could have ever imagined. All this ranting aside, I do agree with much of what Tjoflat had to say.

Anonymous said...

Brodhead's options were limited?


Perhaps his leadership ability (the ability to dictate to the situation) was limited, and that in turn limited his options (because the situation was dictated to him). The only explanation for his "options being limited" is his inability to quell the insurgency of the race/victim industry of publicly declaring guilt and actually thanking its followers for not exercising maturity, restraint and discretion.

Brodhead's options were limited? That is just laughable. 20 year old staff sergeants are leading their 18 year old peers through minefields of car bombs in the streets of Baghdad, but this man is incapable of telling people to shut the &*^% up and wait for the facts to come out? Thank you, you have just told me all I need to know about the caliber of the person in charge of the Adult Liberal Daycare Assylum in Durham.

It the BOT grows a pair and cans the Poet-Queen (P.S. the 0.88 cent checks are hilarious BTW; I went to UNC and I am going to write one to Dook), then I would like to nominate an E-5 who has yet to enroll in a bachelors program to take his place. Something tells me his (or her) options wouldn't be nearly as "limited."

Anonymous said...

I wonder if those on the law faculty whose expertise might have been in the area of constitutional law could have spoken up without jeopardy precisely because they are law faculty? Or not?

Anonymous said...

There is always the option to act with honor. That is an old-fashioned word, but maybe we need to dust it off. The President of Duke University is not an honorable man.

Anonymous said...

The 88 deserve a pass: for perhaps the first time in their adult (?) lives, their words had consequences. This is highly unusual for a group of people usually assigned to 2/3's empty lecture halls speaking to a captive audience about their personal political agendas. Most students, particularly in the humanities, are just doing their four years before they can go off to the business world or law school to do something useful with their lives. The 88 should be forgiven: they were new to relevance.

Anonymous said...


Your anti-intellectual screed reflects some of the problems with American society today. Learning something more than how to be a drone in the business world is a luxury sought by many parents who encourage their children to be exposed to the humanities.

You don't know who was a "captive" audience where or when. No one makes students take a particular class. Many students chose classes for reasons rather other than intellectual stimulus: fits their schedule, they consider the class easy, their friends are taking it, and on it goes.

Do you burn books, too?

Anonymous said...


It's hard to know what the accuser would have chosen to do, since as 7:01 rightly points out, AG Cooper said she wanted to proceed even after they pointed out to her the inconsistencies in her statements. But it's not hard at all to imagine that Nifong assumed she would not proceed--perhaps giving her credit for being more rational, or less mentally ill, than she really was.

And it seems likely that he also figured the identification would be thrown out at the suppression hearing, which would effectively end the case even if she wanted to go forward.

So the judge's assessment would be essentially right, even if not exactly right in the details--Nifong could "courageously" pursue a baseless case. posing as the noble defender of the helpless, on the assumption that he would never have to reveal how very baseless it was.

Anonymous said...


9:00 here: I suppose it would be a condition precedent that the people I am referring to be actual intellectuals, for my opposition to them to be anti-intellectual, wouldn't it? I am not referring to people of intellect; rather I am concerned about people who have fashionable politics (or skin color) who are taking up a spot on a faculty meant for someone of actual ability. If for one moment you had mistaken my condemnation of these imbeciles for disdain for true teacher, leaders and mentors, let me jump at the chance to correct your misunderstanding. The problem on campuses today, as was manifested on at least 88 instances in this case, is that there are so few people of actual intellect (and clearly, a lesser number of people with wisdom) in the Ivory Towers. The Econ Department, KC, and others are unfotunately the exception, rather than the rule. The 88 are not just an isolated, insular group: I submit that if they were so, they would a) probably keep to themselves, or b) face a harsh rebuke when their immaturity was exposed. If you have evidence of a or b, I would like to see it.

Anonymous said...

Can I just say something?

It seems to me that a lot of non-lawyers are all atitter over what are really mundane remarks by legal authorities.

Coleman, Williamson, Cooper, Tjoflat ... courageous? No. They did nothing but state the obvious -- a year late. If Cooper had stated the boys were innocent on April 11, 2006 or Tjoflat had made this speech on June 20, 2006, THEN there might be some grounds for giving them particular praise.

They are all at least a year short of deserving praise for "courage".

R.R. Hamilton

Gary Packwood said...

The Honorable Gerald Bard Tjoflat said...

...These professors need to be educated about the Bill of Rights and the requisites of a fair criminal proceeding.
I recommend that K.C. place a link to the Constitution of the United States on his front page and then welcome Duke University students to visit the Durham and Wonderland front page and download our constitution from the National Archives.

For those students who enroll in a course taught by a member of the Gang of 88, Duke alumni may wish to take a more proactive position and place a small advertisement in the Duke Chronicle alerting the students that they should visit Durham in Wonderland and download the Constitution of the United States as an antidote for the propaganda they will read and hear in the classroom.

Judge Tjoflat may be correct that the faculty needs education but I for one, suggest that such an effort be focused on the students since ...Duke should be all about educating their students...and not their faculty.

Anonymous said...


Was 9:00's post really a screed?

As for it being anti-intellectual, I presume you mean that it was not favorable to the self-ordained "intellectuals" with their PhD's in such lofty studies as "African American whatever". Such study is about as impressive as a PhD in accounting, or Pottery Making.

I actually agree with 9:00 and you, to the extent that most kids take classes for convenience of time, etc. to fill in the blanks on the liberal arts side of the ledger.

The reality is, however, that many different courses of study subject students to the personal rants and agendas of the faculty. Like most media outlets (print, radio, tv) they load the case in favor of their viewpoint, rather than offer a lesser biased overview, encouraging debate and critical thinking. This is, in my opinion, the point that makes many schools fairly worthless, other than punching the ticket with the sheepskin for the next school, or first job. From there, it's what you can DO, rather than GPA or the school's pedigree.

This thread is about what might have happened without adequate defense. No trial because it's too hard on the accuser, with the open question of guilt presumed against three innocents.

Nifong almost made it to that point, and his presumed goal of rebranding himself into a talking head, author, touring speaker, etc. for our PC world.

Anonymous said...


It's on page B-2 of the Metro Section. Even ex-president of Harvard, Larry Summers, is on board with Professor Fryer, and I quote from Professor Summers:

"Roland [Dr. Fryer] is an evidence-driven guy rather than prejudice, instinct, or tradition, and that's clearly what is needed now. So much of the research in education has been decades behind--it has consisted more of platitudes and rhetoric than serious rigor and challenges."

Isn't that what you've been hoping someone would say? We do need to try something new--and keep trying until we have more success with our system, don't we?


Anonymous said...

9:04 Your definition of "humanities" is remarkably broad and disingenuous.


Anonymous said...

"I disagree with the judge in that Nifong would have dropped the case just before the trial. Cooper did tell us Crystal wanted to proceed, and that Crystal was dissapointed that the case was not going to proceed.
So, how would Nifong be able to declare she did not want to testify? "

CGM was a stripper. If she saw herself as "an actress", she would have loved the chance to be on the stand, with a larger public audience. I'm extrapolating from the character Velma, in the movie "Chicago".

But I don't know CGM except what I've read here, so who knows.

Noone can know what an Individual Person would have done differently. Speculation there can be interesting, but it relatively meaningless for future prevention solutions.

We can only look at the STRUCTURE of the process to hope to prevent future abuse of the process. I really appreciate the comments, by Tjoflat and above, on the ethics review process and on the case assignment process (the case management system).

Anonymous said...

KC quoted: "Second, Brodhead and the Board of Trustees “need to apologize” for the Group of 88:"

I disagree. Those indicted accepted money as compensation. They= deserve nothing more. You can't have it both ways.

Anonymous said...

How do you pronounce "Tjoflat?"

Anonymous said...

Hopefully this talk by Tjoflat will shame the "nothing to see here, I don't want to hear about the DPD and ADA's, it ends with Nifong" posters here out of that position.

Tjoflat makes exactly the correct point. There is a reason Nifong thought he was going to get away with this. Nifong is a symptom, not the disease.

Anonymous said...

Where was Tjoflat when his statements would have mattered? Now he is just one of the 20/20 hindsight crowd.

Anonymous said...

9:39 -- there were a lot of people damaged as a result of the Gang of 88.

Anonymous said...

Judge Tjoflat is obviously a highly intelligent man. His keen observation, that subourning perjury would have the final result of placing Magnum on the stand, is correct. I also agree with his prediction of what Nifong would have done in the end by dropping the charges, admitting nothing, and leaving the players looking guilty as sin. I also note that any Federal Judge I have ever dealt with would have struck quickly and visciously upon observing what Nifong was up to, and NC should step back and think on this matter. Judge Tjoflat is also correct that elections of judges plays no small roll in this scenario in State courts, but at the same time, it is the normal citizen's only recourse to eject a political hack appointed by the powers that be. Federal Judges, on the other hand, must endure an extensive Congressional approval process that weeds out the weak-minded and generally ensures the high qualities of the Federal Judiciary. I don't think there is any doubt that the quality of the judiciary rises dramatically when one compares the federal system to that of the states.

I also note that this matter will be reviewed by the US District Court quite soon, and I can only hope Durham took notes on where the Federal judges, voiced to eloquently by Judge Tjoflat, sit on this issue in speaking with their insurance adjustors. They would be crazy to let this matter proceed through litigation.

On a final note, I find Judge Tjoflat's recommendation that the Group of 88 receive Bill of Rights sensitivity training absolutely hysterical. That is an ingenious point on his part, reveals the pure irony of the situation, and I commend him for it.


mac said...


Racist? Did you see my 7:46 post?

Guess not. I testified for the
black plaintiffs.

You may be from Durh?
Or you're Polanski?

Anonymous said...

9:45 - Tjoflat cannot ethically make commentary about an impending case. He can only speak his mind now that the matter if concluded. The Federal courts, and its judges, take federalism, and the rights of the States, very seriously. Such a comment during a live case would infringe heavily against the rights of the state to their own sovereignty as ensured within the Constitution.

The Bill of Rights cuts both ways, in other words.


Anonymous said...

Before Nifong recused himself, even NYT published that he told Mangum it was going to be very hard if she proceeded, and asked her if she wanted to proceed with special prosecutors. Mangum wanted to proceed.
Cooper confirmed Mangum was dissapointed special prosecutors were not going to proceed with the case. So, whatever gives anyone the idea Mangum would have refused to testify?

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:12.

An earlier post referred to the UMC Conference having the right to several spots on the BOT. If there is more to it, I'd like to know.
As an elder in another liberal Protestant church, PC(USA), I can state quite cheerfully, in a manner of speaking, that the metanarratives found in the 88ers are common with the hierarchs of liberal churches.

Anonymous said...

From a New Jersey lawyer. This is one of the very best of KC Johnson's many superb posts. I also am, for the most part, impressed with Judge Tjoflat's analysis. I take issue with two points. The first is that, especially in the wake of the Group of 88's "Listening Statement," Duke's law school faculty should have made a public statement concerning due process and the need to avoid prejudicing a potential jury pool against defendants. From what I can see, that was never done. I am not saying that the Law School should have "taken sides," but the faculty should have taken a stand on the obvious due process violations in the case. Indeed, it appears to me that some of the law faculty (like the Group of 88) may need a refresher course on the Bill of Rights. I agree with Judge Tjoflat that Pres. Broadhead's options were limited. However, there seems to be no evidence that he exercised any of them. It is becoming clearer now that Duke University personnel were aware from almost the beginning that it was likely that no rape/sexual assualt occurred. However, Pres. Broadhead's statements do not reflect the weakness of teh case, but rather a combination of damage control and political correctness. Moreover, he should have criticized the "Listening Statement." Merely criticizing the statement for its timing and defamatory effect would not constitute a violation of the signers' academic freedom or free speech rights. Academic freedom means that faculty will not be punished for disagreeing with the administration, not that the administration cannot disagree with them. Finally, it does not appear that Pres. Broadhead made any attempt to discretely and privately use the good will that Duke must have built up to provide the type of assistance he openly and publicly provided to a student who had actually violated Armenian law.

Anonymous said...

As a follow up to Richard Aubrey:

My understanding is that the Southern conferences of the UMC tend to be more conservative than those in other parts of the country. However, national governing body of the UMC appears to include a number of people that would have applauded the Group of 88's statement. Of more interest on the issue of the Methodist Church's potential influence on the moral climate at Duke, is a statement, attributed to Pres. Broadhead's immediate predecessor, Nannerl Keohane, to the effect that the time had come for Duke to sever itself from the Judeo-Christian tradition. Whether the attribution is fair or not, it appears that Duke is going the way of many other church-sponsored schools (including several like Vanderbilt and Boston U. that were initially sponsored by the (pre-UMC) Methodist Church) and putting as much distance as they can between them and their sponsoring religious tradition/denomination.

Anonymous said...


I looked for the post's definition of humanities. There wasn't one. So, how is that broad? It could equally be narrow.

Anonymous said...

If your kids at 18 aren't old enough to think for themselves and drop a class if they don't like it, then maybe they shouldn't be in university.

And, if you can't stand what you THINK your kids are being taught, why don't you move to Cuba, where the curriculumis dictated?

AMac said...

NJ Lawyer 10:04am said:

"I am not saying that the Law School should have 'taken sides,' but the faculty should have taken a stand on the obvious due process violations in the case."

Many readers will see the cognitive dissonance of this sentence--something that cuts to the heart of the Academy's dysfunction.

To "take a stand on the obvious due process violations in the case" was to "take sides"--specifically, to stand against the Group of 88.

Here's an unanswered question:

Why, as the Hoax dragged on, did so few Duke professors speak out publically on the side of Due Process and Justice?

Here's another one:

Why have so few professors spoken publically about their reasons for remaining silent? What explains this faculty Code of Omerta?

The role models were there: Baldwin, Coleman, Kimel, Gustafson. Something kept this trickle from turning into a torrent to overwhelm the illiberal 88-plus-87 "Thanks for the CASTRATE Banner" Rush to Judgement.

What was it?

Anonymous said...

9:04 inre: Intellectuals

“One thing that emerges from any case-by-case study of intellectuals is their scant regard for veracity. Anxious as they are to promote the redeeming, transcending Truth, the establishment of which they see as their mission on behalf of humanity, they have not much patience with the mundane, everyday truths represented by objective facts which get in the way of their arguments. These awkward minor truths get brushed aside, doctored, reversed or are even deliberately suppressed. The outstanding example of this tendency is Marx.” – Intellectuals, Paul Johnson

Any of the aforementioned behaviors look familiar?

Intellectuals of their own muddled worlds. $60k per year tuition to deliver the nonsense offends ones sensibilities...but that's just me.

Anonymous said...

I'm a reasonable Duke alumna and so is my husband. Brodhead has to go. His options were limited? They were limited to a choice of one: the presumption of innocence until guilt was proven in a court of law in front of a jury of peers. That was his only option. He failed and in his support of the gang of 88, he failed again. Compounding his errors was his waiting until the actual disbarment of the obviously criminal DA to make any kind of apology. An apology which fell far below taking any responsibility for his lack of making the correct choice and any showing any personal valor. Limited choices indeed. Coward.

Anonymous said...

I have a question for the lawyers who post here: do you think that commenting on the LAX case might have constituted a kind of "academic activism" that other posters condemn if it's not activism of which they approve? Could the law faculty have been trying to stay out of the cross fire?

I'm just wonderling.

Anonymous said...

Crowd attacks, kills man at Juneteenth festival
Man was passenger riding in vehicle that hit child during Texas observance

This is why Seligmann was scared. Notice that the poor man who was slaughtered by the "civil-rights celebrating" crowd was only the passenger and that this was not a "hit-and-run".

Anonymous said...

Only a few posters occasionally get the better of KC Johnson on this board. One of them is amac. Don't miss his comments at 8:09 AM. Penetrating and concise!

Anonymous said...

The value of the settlement from the perspective of Duke / Brodhead is that there will not be any examination of faculty through the discovery process in a civil lawsuit . Moreover , Brodhead gets to attribute his lack of comment to the release/ settlement agreement . Let's not hold our breath waiting for The 88 to be scolded . Duke bought ( in the settlement ) the right to remain silent . Hopefully , the settlement proceeds have funded a war chest for the civil rights type claims that the indicted and now exonerated may pursue . The 88 were cheerleaders , but probably not abettors to those acting under color of state law .
Only sustained pressure from all concerned will create and maintain the conditions the 88 wil perceive as punitive.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous asked at 10:50 AM,
I have a question for the lawyers who post here: do you think that commenting on the LAX case might have constituted a kind of "academic activism" that other posters condemn if it's not activism of which they approve? Could the law faculty have been trying to stay out of the cross fire?

My answer would be that there is no "hard and fast rule". Everything depends on the facts of the particular case. Depending on the facts, at times there may be a duty to speak out; at other times a duty not to speak. I think there should always be a bias in favor of believing one's students, as opposed to outsiders. In other words, absent compelling evidence of your students' guilt, you should tend to believe and support your students' vigorous protestations of innocence.

In the present case, where scores of your colleagues have acted in complete contravention of the guidelines I set forth above, I think there is a positive duty on behalf of other professors -- and especially law professors, to step forward and speak out to counter the voices of your colleagues that assume the guilt of the students.

This is from the "For What It's Worth" Department.

R.R. Hamilton

Anonymous said...

To attorneys and law profs who were watching the case and said nothing, they were wrong. It is an attorney's duty to comment on the behavior of another attorney if he or she believes it is unethical. As educators, there is a moral duty to help the public understand difficult concepts--thus when a DA is breaking ethical rules or behaving with indifference to the factual innocence of defendants, it is the responsibility of law profs to explain their positions to the media. Otherwise the media just assumes that nothing is wrong with the situation. You need these groups to speak out in an unbiased way---much as Prof. Coleman did throughout. It would have been even better of UNC profs had spoken out sooner as it would be less likely that the public would view comments as biased. The difference between "Listening Statement" and even more compellingly the individual inflamatory statements or certain profs is that the profs were making statments that could contribute to assumptions that the specific defendants were guilty. that is a very dangerous thing to do in any circumstance. Their comments frequently were generalizations about racist and sexist behavior--but no one had tyed these generalizations to the named defendants.

Anonymous said...

The Duke Law School faculty did almost nothing in the face of so many glaring criminal acts perpetrated by Nifong....right up until the end few "professionals" at Duke did and said almost nothing. Are we to believe that they couldn't comprehend his abuses?

Yet they teach every aspect of the law, imparting that wisdom to future legal eagles.

Coleman was the lone tepid voice...careful not to be too strident....always choosing his words very carefully.

Most didn't want to involve themselves in the hornet's nest that is Durham.

Tjoflat is very impressive and I hope there are many more out there like him than the brand of legal minds we have all witnessed these many months.


Anonymous said...


Richard Aubrey @ 7:36am and 10:01am
Anon @8:12am

Re: Duke Board of Trustees membership

Yes, there is more to it. Roughly two-thirds of the membership of the Board is chosen by two of the North Carolina conferences of the church.

See my post of 12:57am in On the Bookshelf, II thread for additional information.


Anonymous said...


Richard Aubrey @ 7:36am and 10:01am
Anon @8:12am

Re: Duke Board of Trustees membership

You should also read Kristin Butler's column on the topic of the Duke Board of Trustees. This column may be found at Kristen Butler in the Chronicle


Anonymous said...

IMO, what Brodhead revealed was his duplicity. He failed to support the presumption of innocence for the LAX players, even when the facts were not known (although, by meeting with the players/their families, etc., he could have concluded early on that there were serious doubts).

Instead, he made public statements critical of the players, coddled with bigots at Duke and at NCCU, dismissed the coach, and did nothing (still hasn't) to speak out against vilification of students by his own faculty.

Facts that ARE known are the actions of the 88, and the subsequent specific comments by Farrad (sp?), Houston Baker,, the grade retaliation, the Black Panther could go on and on. That he has not addressed those DOCUMENTED bigoted/racist behaviors is duplicitous. Either he stands on principle or he doesn't (he doesn't). The same with the Board of Trustees.

Contrast the above with his/faculty/BOT silence about the recent allegations of black on white rape. Where's the conversation, the culutural initiatives, NAACP, Black Panthers, J. Jackson, Sharpton, listening statement, the N&O, and whatever happened is bad enough now? They appear to be advocates for action based soley on resentment and stereotyping.

They are, indeed, a confederacy of like-minded, intellectually dishonest, duplicitous dunces.

Right is right and wrong is wrong, regardless of a person's race, sex, or socio-economic status. Alumni and other donors now have the only leverage.

Then there's the justice system. Thankfully, these famlies had resources. Those that don't have a definite disadvantage (regardless of color/sex).

This case (and KC's documentetaion) have been enlightening and troubling.

BTW - anybody read Kathleen Parker's intellegent column this morning about the case? She gives KC a nice shout-out, too.


Anonymous said...

make that "intelligent" :)

Anonymous said...

"As an elder in another liberal Protestant church, PC(USA)"

I love that name. It's so accurate!

Anonymous said...

Tjoflat is pronounced, I believe, Cho-flat.

He is not a North Carolina attorney. He was a Jacksonville, Florida attorney prior to selection for the judiciary. His position on the federal 11th Circuit Court of Appeals covers federal cases arising from the states of Florida, Georgia and Alabama.

Duke University has an interesting write-up of him at this link:

Judge Gerald Tjoflat

He has, in his comments cited in K.C.'s post, clearly been generous to President Brodhead. But he is on-point. North Carolina's criminal justice system has serious gaps in it. The law that may soon reach the Governor's desk will not come close to solving the problem.

Anonymous said...

It's not true that no one on the Duke Law School faculty other than Profs Coleman and Haagen took a public stand on the rape hoax.

....Karla Holloway is still listed as a member of the law school faculty.

Anonymous said...

Knowing Nifong had the judges in his pocket is true. Most of us were shocked to see Titus and Stephens ruling and words on Courtv. Although, I disagree with their mean and nasty commentators, the have shown us the system. Why in the world did these two judges let Courtv film the proceeding? They must be as delusional as Nifong.

Anonymous said...

We need a "Where are they Now" feature. AG Rud, Prof Robinson Everett, the Huff Press and all the other bad actors who helped crucify this team. Don't forget Bonami Jones.

Anonymous said...

Ralph Phelan.

Yeah. The easy confusion with CPUSA is just a coincidence.

Anonymous said...

"'s not hard at all to imagine that Nifong assumed she would not proceed--perhaps giving her credit for being more rational, or less mentally ill, than she really was. "

It is hard to imaging that Nifong and CGM would do anything BUT PROCEED.

In the malignant narcissist framework, the MN at the center of attention is a hero. Seems like Nifong would have no qualms about subjourning perjury since he himself had no moral compass for 'What is a Lie'. The mind is only full of the big picture; details, those pesky details (that we studious people call FACTS) are nuisances to be belittled.

I only read a bit on CGM. If she also had the hero complex, then she too would have been glad to take the stand and get a chance in the spotlight.

Bullies seem to have a sixth sense at recognizing each other, and can establish a hierarchy in an organization that keeps the honest integrity-based folks off-balance.

Anonymous said...

"The easy confusion with CPUSA is just a coincidence. "

Richard - considering how badly your church's leadership has gone off the rails, and comparing it with the performance of JPII and Benedict XVI, is it maybe time to reconsider whether Martin Luther really had the right idea? ;-)

Anonymous said...

No healthy system involving people can afford to disregard adequate checks and balances. Otherwise, sooner rather than later, it will fail - often in a dramatic manner. Legal systems, for example, absolutely must not "rely on the integrity of..."

In a state like NC and others where there is a one-Party political network from top to bottom, and where that network includes judges who are supported by the Party and elected by its constituents, there will always be a tendency for judicial decisions to be politically motivated. To believe otherwise would be naïve.

mac said...

Duke needs a Bill of Rights for
The Faculty and employees need to
sign it and agree to abide by it,
or risk termination.

Anonymous said...

Ralph. I listen to a Catholic radio station on the way home from work. I get about twenty minutes of apologetics and other info. Interesting.
Right or wrong, they at least have all the ends tied together.

Anonymous said...

...Cathy Davidson, in a January 8 e-mail: “I have had lawyers look at the original [Group] ad and ambiguity of the language could be made, in a court of law, to seem as if we are saying things against the lacrosse team.”

Yes, it's kind of like yelling fire in a crowded theater. There are consequences, the innocent get trampled.

The 88's will claim they weren't the instigators and bear no responsibility for yelling their second-hand accusations, but a competent lawyer will ask the jury if the yelling was reasonable, given the circumstances and position of the speaker(s). Would a reasonable person do the same... fan fires where none existed.


Anonymous said...

I have often seen the comparison of these events to the Scottsboro Boys Trial and the novel To Kill a Mockingbird. Both are applicable but I think the Trial & Lynching of Leo Frank is a much more accurate but frightening comparison.

Leo Frank was accused on flimsy and perjured evidence of the rape and murder of his 13 year old factory employee, Mary Phagan.

Race, class envy, poverty & privilege, bigotry, politically ambitious corrupt prosecutors, immoral yellow journalists, opportunistic activists looking to advance their agendas, crooked police - none of whom cared about the truth.

[Not a wikipedia fan but this is fairly accurate]

The parallels are eerie. Were it not for some great defense lawyers and some bloggers like KC the Lax Hoax could have slide along a similar path!

Anonymous said...

Two issues here: Several posters have taken the police department to task, yet there are several things we should know before making such pronouncements. Police agencies are completely at the mercy of prosecutors, who have broad powers to accept or reject any case they please. Officers can and do make solid arrests only to have prosecutors plea bargain their cases, dismiss them, or simply, over time so it won't be noticed, let them fall between the cracks. Should a prosecutor take an active dislike to an agency or an individual officer, there is nothing at all they can do to demand that the prosecutor do his duty, and in essence, a prosecutor can destroy an officer's career.

That said, it is clear that at least some of the officers here clearly informed Nifong about the difficulties inherent in this case early on, causing Nifong's "..we're &%$#ed" statement. Most police agencies have clear policies about photo lineups because the constitutional requirements are absolutely clear. The lineups in this case were clearly unconstitutional and even the rawest rookie cop would know that. Yet, if Nifong ordered such a lineup, the police had two choices. They could flatly refuse, and as we now know, Mr. Nifong was the type to take offense and hold grudges, or they could do as they were ordered, secure in the knowledge that at some point in the future (in this case, tragically, the distant future), a court would strike down such a blatantly prejudicial lineup. Still, wouldn't it be interesting to know exactly how the police dealt with this situation?

Regarding the university president, he indeed needs to issue an apology on behalf of the University. Just as he has negotiated a settlement on behalf of the 88 juveniles, he should take responsibility for corraling them and requiring that they start to work and play well with others. And what should the Duke alumni do? Make it clear, repeatedly, in no uncertain terms, that those endowment checks, indeed, that any kind of financial support, will immediately cease until proper public statements are made and until the 88 attack dogs on campus are brought to heel. Decency, propriety, honor, such terms are foreign to such people, but money, they understand.

Anonymous said...

Tjoflat is not only an appellate court judge, but he has also served in the past as chair of a Judicial Conference Committee (the Judicial Conference is the federal judiciary's executive arm). Only the most respected judges are appointed committee chairs. Here's hoping a man of his stature can help reform what's wrong at Duke.

Anonymous said...

rrhamilton said...
Can I just say something?

It seems to me that a lot of non-lawyers are all atitter over what are really mundane remarks by legal authorities.

Coleman, Williamson, Cooper, Tjoflat ... courageous? No. They did nothing but state the obvious -- a year late. If Cooper had stated the boys were innocent on April 11, 2006 or Tjoflat had made this speech on June 20, 2006, THEN there might be some grounds for giving them particular praise.

They are all at least a year short of deserving praise for "courage".

R.R. Hamilton

Jun 21, 2007 9:22:00 AM


Ive been waiting for someone to say this!! Absolutely true.

Anonymous said...

While it seems clear to me that Duke's president ought to make an apology to the LAXers on behalf of the university(if he can without risk of incuring law suits), I am not sure that the law faculty should be the target of so much criticism. This is particularly the case if they do not live in Durham.

If one doesn't agree with my position, then shouldn't all of the attorneys who live in Durham be the subject of criticism rather than just those who teach at Duke?

The blood lust many who post on this site demonstrate would make me think twice about saying or doing anything if I taught at Duke. Wouldn't want to get caught in the cross fire.

Anonymous said...

I commend to everyone the WSJ article of June 22, 2007 by Dorothy Rabonowitz, "A Tale of Two Prosecutors." I'm quote her because I couldn't say it any better:

"...It was in its searing way an eduational event, not just about prosecutorial ambition run amok, but about a university world....where faculty ideologues pursued their agenda unchecked and unabashed. Here was a nearly successful legal lynching, applauded by a significant chunk of the Duke faculty, proud to display their indifference to questions of guilt or innocence...."

I believe Duke patrons need to vote with their feet, and walk away from Duke, and its fund raisers and its Development Office, until President Broadhead publicly apologizes, and, dare it be said, that the leader of the G88 also apologize. I don't think I could ever, under any event, give Duke another $.

Anonymous said...

Tjoflat's 3 recommendations need to be distilled into a full page ad (similar to the one after the LAX national championship) and distributed nationally. Such an effort would bring much needed pressure for Brodhead to finally act like the University President, and not a frightened Poet-In-Residence. To date, Brodhead's performance has been weak and pitiful.