As the blog winds down, I thought it might be worthwhile to recall the most outrageous quotes of the case.
The last three days’ posts featured #32 through #9; today’s takes the countdown from #8 through #1 on the list of most outrageous:
8) "I don’t think I’ve been proven wrong, because . . . I said, I think they’re probably guilty of everything but rape."
--“Journalist” John Feinstein, after the AG’s declaration of actual innocence, discussing Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty, and Dave Evans.
7) “By disclosing pieces of evidence favorable to the defendants, the defense has created an image of a case heading for the rocks. But an examination of the entire 1,850 pages of evidence gathered by the prosecution in the four months after the accusation yields a more ambiguous picture. It shows that while there are big weaknesses in Mr. Nifong’s case, there is also a body of evidence to support his decision to take the matter to a jury.
--Duff Wilson, New York Times, August 25, 2006. Attorney General Roy Cooper himself would later give the lie to these sentences, when he remarked that no credible evidence existed of any crime, much less sufficient evidence to take a case to a jury.
6) “DNA results can often be helpful, but, you know, I’ve been doing this for a long time, and most of the years I’ve been doing this, we didn’t have DNA. We had to deal with sexual assault cases the good old-fashioned way.”
--DA Mike Nifong, at the April 11, 2006 NCCU forum, dismissing the DNA results that his office a mere three weeks previously had promised would exonerate the innocent.
5) “Is this drive to register as putative, enfranchised citizens of the good city of Durham, this drive to impact the Durham political [process], driven by innocence, one wonders—the most widespread mobilization of the Duke campus since the campaign against Nike sweatshop labor. To vote against Mike Nifong. To make the oldest “X,” the sign of the white male franchise, itself overridden with the mark of privilege, oppression, slavery, racism, utter contempt for black and native bodies. [emphasis added] To make that sign in the history of this country, to extend into the presence the deeply troubled past, to make the “X”—whether it is acknowledged as such or not—against women and, more specifically, against black female bodies. All that, one presumes, all that written into the “X” to ensure that the secret is kept secret, that the secret is kept in-house, where it belongs.”
--Group of 88 stalwart Grant Farred, articulating the thesis of his Herald-Sun op-ed, in which he accused all Duke students who registered to vote in Durham of harboring a “secret racism.” Farred recently left Duke for a tenured, full professorship at Cornell. Stated English Department chair Molly Hite, author of Class Porn, “We are very enthusiastic about Professor Farred, whose work everyone in this department has long admired.”
4.) “I think something happened in that bathroom.”
--DA Mike Nifong, asked by Lane Williamson for his theory of the crime, June 2007
3.) “White innocence means black guilt. Men’s innocence means women’s guilt.”
--Group of 88 stalwart Karla Holloway, offering her insights on the lacrosse case. In the fall 2007 semester, Holloway is offering a class at Duke Law School.
2.) “If our students did what is alleged, it is appalling to the worst degree. If they didn’t do it, whatever they did is bad enough.”
--Richard Brodhead, April 20, 2006, to Durham Chamber of Commerce, in his first public appearance after the arrests of Reade Seligmann and Collin Finnerty. We know now “whatever” Finnerty and Seligmann did: they attended a party they played no role in organizing and they drank some beer.
1.) “I mean, if I were one of those [defense] attorneys, I wouldn’t really want to try a case against me either.”
--“Mike Nifong, following his primary victory, May 2006.
The statement speaks for itself.