Friday, July 20, 2007

Cheshire Statement

Back from lunch, Joe Cheshire is addressing the Whichard committee.

Notes he has tried criminal cases in 85 NC counties. "A North Carolinian in my heart, a lawyer in my heart. I am enormously proud of being a North Carolinian, and I am enormously proud of being a lawyer."

Very proud of his record and the record of his family in its commitment to civil rights. Joseph Blount Cheshire, I and II were ministers who integrated their churches (in the pre- and post-Civil War eras). Cheshire III was an early lawyer for NAACP.

Praises "political courage" of Bell in setting up committee. "Really good things can come out of bad things"--opportunity to grow from mistakes.

Inquiry could benefit not only Durham but could aid justice throughout NC. Unquestioned that Nifong a "rogue prosecutor"--but hopefully justice will be stronger.

Real victims of sexual assault hurt by this case--set back their cause 5-10 years.

Certainly the defendants and their families were victims.

Other victims:
  • Duke University (though "they may have played some part in this");
  • law enforcement;
  • justice system in NC--need to ensure that all citizens have "faith and trust" that justice is being done;
  • community of Durham "victimized terribly"--just watch cable TV to find this out;
  • state of North Carolina--NC actually a forward-looking state. But "the Duke lacrosse case backed us up in the minds of a lot of people who want to think of us as a backwater place";
One other critical victim: race relations was a "huge victim" in this case--Mangum "knew the explosive capability of those words"--what effect it would have in Durham--took the city back 30 or 40 years. "Let me just be clear: Nifong pandered to race."

"All of the evidence is that in that house that night not one single slur was uttered" (despite, of course, what Duff Wilson and the NYT continue to maintain);

Two racial slurs: Roberts initiated, then one player uttered it back.

People who wanted to make it a racial case did so--national media, Nifong, others whose self-interest motivated by race-agenda.

Basic questions:

Mangum a "very ill young woman, but she is a false accuser." Believes that she "knowingly and willingly" made racial statements to make her story more believable.

"How is it possible that a person could give that many inconsistent statements and not have the DA interview them or not have a law enforcement officer go over the inconsistencies?" Has practiced law for 34 years in NC and has never seen anything like it. Most police officers don't like to charge innocent people.

"It doesn't take a rocket scientists to put mental health records together with multiple diverse statements" and figure out that Mangum was not credible.

Police didn't even try to get electronic records--no one in law enforcement tried to create timeline.

"At some point in time, you have to ask yourself why?" Bissey never interviewed, Mangum's employers never interviewed.

DNA--no way you could possibly have attacks as Mangum described and leave no DNA. Police several times heard there was no DNA, yet did nothing about it, didn't go back and recheck her story. Indeed, these officers "had to know" that Nifong was lying when he repeatedly told court that Dr. Meehan didn't tell law enforcement anything beyond what was in the report.


Anonymous said...

Duke University is a VICTIM!!!!????? I can't believe Cheshire just said that....

Anonymous said...

I think Cheshire needs to distinguish between "Duke University and its students" and "Duke Univesity's administration and certain activist professors and employees."

Anonymous said...

"Most police officers don't like to charge innocent people."

The rest work for the DPD.

Anonymous said...

You know...if Ken Lay and Jeffrey Skilling deserved to go to jail for the actions of their subordinates at ENRON, then by the exact same logic, senior members of DPD should be examined and/or indicted along with Gottlieb et al. For, at the end of the day, this abortion of justice occured on their watch.

Cheshire just stated that DPD's conduct could be "criminal conduct"....COOL

Anonymous said...

Cheshire seems to have a little difficulty distinguishing between victims and perpetrators.

Duke a victim?
Their students, and the fraction of their faculty that care about justice were. But some of the students, most of the faculty (many through silence when they allowed the 88 to speak for them, but allow it they did) and almost all of the administration were perpetrators.

Law enforcement a victim?
Looks more like one of the perpetrators to me.

NC "justice" system a victim?
Looks more like one of the perpetrators to me.

Community of Durham a victim?
The majority who voted to reelect Nifong were perpetrators.

State of NC?
Maybe. But if the rest of it is really that much better than Durham, why do they tolerate Durham?

Race relations?
If blacks are less happy than they were before this happened, they are their own victims. Whites got a nasty wakeup call.

Anonymous said...

The "something happened" is a long list of what didn't happen . . . in this heat of the night god-for-saken dump of a town and university . . . get down Peter Wood and pile it higher and deeper. It just doen't stop. Maybe if everyone in town stuck their finger up their butt on the count of three . . . there is an even chance the collective town couldn't do it.

Anonymous said...

Playing the race card has become an anticipated part of life in America. Double standards do exist but not in the way that many believe them to exist.
Caucasians tend to feel guilty for things that happened well before their time and to pander to race baiters because of this. It would seem that anyone with a modicum of intelligence could see right through this case no later than June of 2006. Those had difficulty seeing innocence were looking through lenses that were shaded accoring to racial bias and bigotry.
The major players in the DA's office (Nifong, Cline, et al) and DPD (these are too numerous to elaborate) deserve jail time. It is my hope that before Hardin has time to go in and "clean" things, a watchdog is appointed to keep watch over his shoulder. He started the fiasco in the DA's office. Maybe a look at the judiciary is in order as well.
Shame has been cast on the state of North Carolina. It has been a dark year indeed.

Anonymous said...

The woman who started it all should be in jail.

Why is everyone afraid to point a finger at Crystal Mangum?

Anonymous said...

I love Joe Cheshire, but he's been too generous to Bill Bell and others.

Perhaps as a courtesy before the Committee.

After all, after the entire roster of Durham officials sat on their behinds for a year and a half.....they could have just kept on sitting, I suppose.

Embarrassment, and the fact that Bill Bell is up for re-election, prompted his newfound call for justice.

Thomas Stith--Bell's mayoral challenger--was for Nifong's resignation a long time ago. Bell needs to look at least sane before Durham's white voters.


Anonymous said...

Joe Cheshire has made several public statements which seem to suggest that he thinks Mangum should be in jail....and that she's not mentally ill, just mean.

He told Larry King that she was a "nasty person with a meanness about her."

Joe knows what he's dealing with in Durham, and he also knows that the kind of racism his father and his grandfather helped fight against bears no resemblance to the brand of racism alive and well in the year 2007.


Anonymous said...

Future victims of real rapes, whose suffering will presumably amount to nothing more than increased scrutiny of their claims, get top billing over the three falsely-accused people he's representing? His clients, who really did suffer, in the 'here and now'?

It's as if our society simple has to see women as the main victims of everything, and always put men's pain second.

Anonymous said...

I still can't figure out what was in this for the DPD. What was their motive?

Brant Jones

Anonymous said...


The police work closely with the prostitutes. There is a money stream from drugs and other illicit activities, and a few corrupt officers, or a lot of them, do not want that particular rock flipped over.