Monday, October 08, 2007

Reflections on the Civil Suit

[This post is the first of several in the epilogue to the blog, which will appear weekly through the end of the month or November, tying up loose ends related to the case.]

The civil suit motion—more than 160 pages—makes for gripping reading. Since much of it summarizes the misconduct committed by Mike Nifong and his enablers in the Durham Police Department and at DNA Security, Inc., many portions should be familiar to readers of DIW. But the motion also makes several new points that are worth highlighting.

1) Dr. Brian Meehan has a boss, and his name is Richard Clark.

Depositions and testimony from the State Bar’s ethics hearing highlighted the previously obscure fact that Meehan was not the only DSI employee who attended the April 10, April 21, and May 12 meetings. On each occasion, Richard Clark, Meehan’s supervisor and owner of the lab, accompanied the doctor.

The civil suit filing makes clear that Clark is as complicit as Meehan in the lab director’s decision to enter into an intentional agreement with Mike Nifong to withhold exculpatory evidence, by producing a report that did not list all test results, in violation both of North Carolina law and of DSI’s internal protocols.

Even if Meehan were willing to sacrifice his integrity by joining Nifong’s scheme, why did Clark fail to exercise adequate supervision over his employee? Did Clark tell Meehan that he had to follow DSI protocols in producing the May 12 report? Why did Clark—who attended the May 12 meeting, and thus knew that Meehan produced an incomplete report—allow the report to be submitted in the first place? Why did Clark not order Meehan to produce a complete report when defense attorneys raised the issue in their December 13 motion?

Clark’s decision to purchase DSI from Meehan shortly before the lacrosse case erupted looks as if it will go down as a terribly costly investment.

2.) Last week’s “only-in-Durham” award went to . . . Beverly Thompson.

In the N&O, Matt Dees and Joe Neff quoted Thompson giving the city’s spin on the filing: “We understand that the complaint asserts claims against the city and its employees that appear to be based on untested and unproven legal theories.” Dees and Neff dryly continued that the spokesperson added “that she couldn't elaborate on what theories those might be.” [emphasis added]

Only in Durham could a city spokesperson contend that the City Council rejected a settlement on grounds that the city itself either couldn’t or wouldn’t publicly explain. This unwillingness to offer a public explanation for the government’s decision renders hollow a few of the councilors’ recent demagoguery about their great concerns for the interests of Durham taxpayers.

Moreover, Thompson’s assertion is absurd on its face. Many things might be said about the civil suit motion, but it clearly isn’t based on untested or unproved legal theories. Section 1983 filings are the norm in civil suits dealing with police misconduct.

3.) Early failures of leadership are proving costly now.

An astute observer of the case has described the response to events of Durham’s police and political leadership as “La, la, la, la—I can’t hear you.”

Over and over again, when faced with evidence of wrongdoing by Durham police officers or by Mike Nifong, the city’s political and police leadership either looked the other way or (in the case of comments by Patrick Baker, Steve Chalmers, and Lt. Mike Ripberger with the April 4, 2006 lineup) rationalized the wrongdoing.

This behavior was the easiest short-term course—it allowed the DPD and the Durham political leadership to avoid confronting Nifong. Such reticence also ensured that the DPD wouldn’t be a target of the “take-it-to-trial” mantra of Bob Ashley, the NAACP, and anti-lacrosse extremists such as Orin Starn.

But the city’s decision to allow wrongdoers to go unpunished (and, indeed, to go after the one officer who got the case right from the start, Sgt. John Shelton) has exposed it to the civil suit claim that Police Department officials failed to exercise effective supervision.

The lesson: short-term benefits can often lead to long-term harm.

4.) How did Gottlieb get the case?

The civil suit motion focuses on one unexplained aspect of the case: how and under what circumstances did Sgt. Mark Gottlieb—a figure that DPD officials knew had an animus against Duke students—assume control of the investigation? And, having assumed control of the inquiry, why wasn’t Gottlieb effectively supervised, to prevent his known biases from coloring the investigation?

5.) Which of the proposed remedies does the Durham leadership oppose . . . and why?

For instance, given the acknowledged conduct in the lacrosse case, can the city credibly oppose the demand for a court order to ensure that “all eyewitness identification arrays, lineups, and similar procedures conducted by the Durham Police Department, whether formal or informal, and/or of suspects or ‘witnesses,’ conform to the provisions of General Order No. 4077 and be recorded by videotape”?

Or, given the acknowledged conduct in the lacrosse case, can the city credibly oppose the demand for a court order that the Durham Police Department provide proper remedial training to all personnel on “the appropriate chain of command in criminal investigations”; or “the issuance of public statements relating to an open investigation”; or “the conduct of eyewitness identification procedures”; or “the standards for police reports, investigator’s notes, and other reports of investigations, including the timely and truthful preparation of such documents”; or “the standards for probable cause”?

6.) What’s Durham’s defense?

The “la, la, la, la” strategy has one other serious problem: it severely limits the ability of the city’s attorneys to mount an effective defense.

The city, of course, can’t admit that the investigative procedures followed in the lacrosse case are customary for Durham. Yet how else will the city’s attorneys explain away the failure to discipline obvious wrongdoers (such as Addison and Gottlieb) or the acquiescence of the DPD leadership in Nifong’s seizing control of the police investigation?

And, from the other extreme, the city can’t rationalize the errors by admitting that the lacrosse case was an extraordinary one—featuring misconduct of the type never before seen in Durham—since if it does so, such a concession would make another element the plaintiffs’ case.

What approach will Durham select? Perhaps the Beverly Thompson one—mounting a defense on a secret theory that can’t be revealed to the court.


Anonymous said...

How in the world did Clark's name not come out before this?

Anonymous said...

Looks like the KC
book missed the boat

Anonymous said...

You say "The city, of course, can’t admit that the investigative procedures followed in the lacrosse case are customary for Durham."

However, the city's initial whitewash report (and some public comments) have in fact repeatedly claimed that some of the obviously, absurdly wrong things (such as the lineup) were normal and proper. Truly it is Wonderland...

Anonymous said...

what impact did the mobs of students at the campus and house have on the disposition of the police...what was discussed with duke univ security staff

redcybra said...

I noticed that too about Gottlieb.

B. Jones. On or about March 15, 2006, Jones concluded that there was no evidence to proceed with a criminal investigation and that the file would be closed.
81. At that point, however, Durham Police did not close the investigation, but instead reassigned the investigation to Defendant Mark Gottlieb.

So, who did the reassigning? And who was involved in this decision?

Anonymous said...

I am particularly fond of and will truly miss your clever closers.

"(M)ounting a defense on a secret theory that can't be revealed to the court." Indeed.

Anonymous said...

3:00 -- Maybe. This turns into a gift that keeps on giving. Inasmuch as a lot of this simply could not be made up by a sane person, to ask for a full reckoning at any point would exceed even KC's superhuman powers. As he is pulled away, later truth will need to flow from elsewhere. JiC appears to have been moving to take up slack, but be warned: He's less tolerant of ignorant trolls than KC has been.

-- no, not that Glenn

mac said...

"Secret theory."
Yup: looks like Grant is back in town, with his "secrets."

Maybe the City of Duhh will claim that a "secret racism" is behind the case against it?

Don't laugh.

Anonymous said...

"la, la, la, la," strategy--only you, KC. First time I've laughed all weekend. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

KC missed the boat. You've got to be kidding. Without KC, justice in Duhmb would still be at the train station, er police station. KC stopped the railroad.

Anonymous said...

People have speculated that Duke would offer to help Durham pay the settlement, if only Durham would take the hit and shut up.
Durham is either acting on principle--whatever that may be--and refusing to settle, or Duke didn't offer to pony up.
In the latter case, the results of a trial, bad as they will almost certainly be, didn't look as bad as accepting the requirements of the plaintiffs.
Why that may be the case is a puzzlement.

Anonymous said...


I am looking forward to reading your sequel to UPI. Please, include a section on your upcoming HBO movie version based on UPI.

DIW is the gift that keeps on giving.

Anonymous said...

I suppose in Wonderland, responsibility for one's actions would be considered "untested and unproven legal theories." Sadly, we see this abdication of responsibility more and more today. It's part of the wonderful, new PC world!

wayne fontes said...

The plaintiff's lawyers will have a field day asking questions comparing Durham's SOP's to what happened in the Lax case.

How many NTOs as broad as the lacrosse case have you obtained?

How often do you erase tapes of police radio traffic before they are scheduled to be erased?

Do your spokesmen typically issue statements that they were certain a crime was committed on the basis of accusations only?

How many indictments for rape cases have been obtained using the grand jury system in the last five years?

These would be tough questions to answer.

DaveW said...

I just read through the causes of action again. In the other thread the lawsuit is described as breathtaking in scope and brilliantly drafted. I agree.

There are 22 causes of action. Several of them appear to me to be problematic - I say that as a non-lawyer but one who has served on federal juries 3 times.

The supervisory causes look hard to prove or even demonstrate to me. And the conspiracy counts will be impossible to prove without someone involved coming over from the dark side.

But that's where the lawsuit really shines IMO. It is so broad and so threatening it is sure to result in Himan and a few others dropping to their knees to beg to be dropped from the suit. If I were anyone named in that suit I'd be scared to death - and I wouldn't have anything like the ability to defend myself properly. Many named therein will be in a similar boat (Meehan, anyone?). Does anyone think Meehan wants to spend the rest of his life on skid-row for this fiasco?

DSI will cease to exist as a company - or end up belonging to the plaintiffs. All of the named individuals are facing a life similar to OJ Simpson, constantly fleeing the sheriff's seizure orders. They'll lose their homes and face bankruptcy.

The consequences are so severe that I'm guessing they won't just get a couple of flips, I think there will be a race among the side players to be first to flip.

Anonymous said...

Durham, please allow me to introduce you to Messrs. "Rock" and "Hard Place."

Anonymous said...

Sorry to have missed this so please tell us -- when exactly did Orin Starn come out in favor of having the city go to trial -- or is this yet another one of your "ALE" fantasies?

Anonymous said...

I put this on a Liestoppers comment forum. I apologize if I seem pretentious but I think the irony is just too intense.

After the first round of DNA testing showed no evidence of a rape, Mike Nifong appeared before a forum at NCCU and assured the crowd his presence there meant the case was not going away. Right now I would bet he is sincerely wishing the case had gone away.

gak said...

Could somebody please clarify a point for me. Back in December when the Brad Bannon DNA discovery was made and Meehan was questioned in court, did Meehan actually say that he entered into a conspiricy to withhold the DNA evidence? I never did get this part exactly.


Anonymous said...

Inre; "...Looks like the KC
book missed the boat

In some ways this statement is accurate. The book should have taken a much deeper look at all of the Klan of 88 and others within the academy.

In fact an entire book should be written to further expose the frauds and their egregious behavior. The biggest story may be the complete disregard for our constitution by the tenured professors and the abosolute contempt they show for those who subsidize their existence.

Given the short response time needed to sign the Listening Statement it is reasonable to assume that with more time the list of those in agreement would have been much larger. The additional signatories of the clarifying statement, the subsequent comments/writings of non-signatories, and the most recent letter by Dr. Coleman all further expose the depth of totalitarian oppressiveness within the Duke academy.

Are there only two to three faculty members and administrators who are on the side of honesty, truth, and justice?

Anonymous said...

KC, you are assuming the cities defense lawyers will read the 160 pages of lawsuit. So far the Durham city officials and those representing them have shown no sign of intelligence what so ever. They do have that mentality of if I claim to have not seen it, then it doesn't exist. So I think the attorneys for the Duke 3, who are probably the best in the business will shred the DPD, Nifong, and all the city officials to bits. I want to see Tara Levicy on the stand, and Gottleib and Nifong answer some extruciating questions where they have no out. To jail with the lot of them.

Anonymous said...

8:24 AM

The comments in this posting are at the heart of the Duke lacrosse matter. The so-called academy is or has become an oppressive state within a state adverse to anything that smacks of political diversity or diversity of thought. It does resemble a closed totalitarian system that lacks fundamental respect for others including threatening other faculty members with violence and loss of status and descriptions of race if certain positions are not accepted by all. Lots of luck figuring out what is going on in the world anywhere when you lack such understanding of your own college and community or are such hyprocritical posers of disinformation and such transparent lies about others.

mg_moore said...

In the interest of full disclosure;

I have been an active reader and sometime commentator since the start.

I have started KC's book and so far pretty darned good.


The righteous indignation has turned into an attempt to deliver some sort of holy wrath upon the durham community.

There is a simple legal theory that supports the City of Durham's refusal to accept the settlement condition and that legal theory is that the Plantiffs are crazy as hell.

The wrongs, while egregious, don't support a pattern of systemic abuse or consiracy to deny a class of people their rights.

I think that KCs closeness to this topic has , in the end, dulled his otherwise excellent powers of objective analysis.

Sorry KC. I do think you have a lot to be proud of but your tone has taken a petty note as of late and it does not become you.

Anonymous said...

The city of Durham does not care as a majority of its citizens are on welfare or in the smallest tax bracket.

As a wealthy taxpayer in the city of Durham, wouldnt I be a little upset that after a settlement or verdict is paid in excess of 30 million that my tax burden just increases proportionately to my income? The ironic thing is that its the rich paying the rich for the actions of the poor who have no responsibility or penatlies for their actions.

For those who argue that the rich have so many options or chances in life over the poor, even if true, its hardly a trade for acheiving this trhough hard work while the poor can do anything they want and dont lose anything.

I think the city of Durham is going to be facing some more civil complaints from some of its citizens after the verdict comes back and its citizens who pay taxes are left with the bill.

Anonymous said...

Anyone reading the lawsuit get the impression Group of 88 members will be called to testify or give depositions?

Anonymous said...

7:44 AM

Orin, we interrupt your regularly scheduled racist, classist, sexist lying diatribe for this announcement;

The revolution WILL be televised.

kcjohnson9 said...

To the 9.02:

You may very well be correct that the City of Durham has nothing to worry about in the pending suit--that, to use your words, Barry Scheck and Brendan Sullivan are "crazy as hell."

That, however, wasn't the issue in my post. The issue was the refusal of the Durham spokesperson to identify the reasons why the City Council chose to contest rather than settle the suit. Her claim, as you know, was that the Council concluded that the suit was based on untested legal theories--but she then refused to reveal the theories, thereby robbing Durham citizens of the opportunity to evaluate the merits of the Council's decision before the November elections.

Anonymous said...

I am a Durham resident. My garbage was not picked up last Friday, and remains in front of my house on Monday morning.
Will I need to get used to this?

Anonymous said...

Just finished UPI and will puchase 4 more copies for family.SOmething you might want to peruse is "Beyond This Place",a 1950's(or so) novel by AJ Cronin ,a British physician and author.The prosecutor in the case of the wrongfully convicted man is a Sir Matthew Sprott.He with holds evidence ,inflames passions of the populace uses police as bullies,etc to prevent losing cases.As the wrongfully convicted man's son exposes his methods,Sprott's wife asks how he could have done these things.He replies,"I'm a prosecutor.I'ts my job to send people to prison.""No,it's not,"she replies."It's your job to see justice is done."
I doubt Cy will ever read the book.But she should.

Anonymous said...

An honest journalist -- or a blogger aspiring to some minimum level of credibility -- would correct mistakes. Where oh where are the corrections re Starn? Cite SOMETHING to support this latest smear. Cite SOMETHING that shows an anti lacrosse bias. Cite A SHRED that reveals "extremism"? I mean, apart from the lunatic fringe you seem to cultivate.

Anonymous said...

Theres a thread at the comment blog for WRAL (

that includes comments of a "law proffessor"( elcid89). He suggests this is going to be a very difficult case to win. He says, in part:

"It's not enough to simply say "civil rights." The statute requires specific delineation of rights violated and the sourcing of their grant under law. Implied rights are not a basis for action, and negligent acts by state actors do not of themselves establish deprivation for purposes of the Due Process clause. If they're planning to predicate an entire case on the basis of denial of due process when the burden of proof is vast and the defendants are subject to varied grants of immunity, they are putting quite a few eggs in one basket. It's a weak case." and,

"The weight of the law leans towards their side of this complaint, for one. For another, agreeing to settle opens the door to a flood of specious suits in the future. For a third, Nifong was not employed by the City of Durham, therefore they bear zero liability for any of his actions, which are also protected under qualified immunity.Beyond even that, punitive damages against municipalities are specifically barred. They're immune from punitive damages even if they lose this case.

Why would they agree to pay?

In short, they have no reason in the world to settle."

Anonymous said...

You are not the only one who has noticed KCs tone, a bit petty, a bit braggadocio, a bit over the top. He's lost major academic credibility, so the effort is to try to create blog credibility. Well,if that's his audience of choice, so be it. I guess we all need some place where people 'know our name'

Anonymous said...

The decision to defend the law suit was a political decision, made by officials of the city who answer to the electorate.

One look at the composition of the city council can provide many with a hypothesis as to why the decision was made.

I'd posit that these folks couldn't care less about legal theories and the merits of the claim. What they care about is their own power base and the benefits that accrue to them from the political process.

To have voted to settle the claim at this point would have been a non-starter for anyone who had aspirations of further political office or monetary business rewards flowing from political connections or even a continued easy life in Durham.

Anonymous said...

“The man who knows the truth and has the opportunity to tell it, but who nonetheless refuses to, is among the most shameful of all creatures. God forbid that we should ever become so lax as that.” —Theodore Roosevelt

“There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily.” —George Washington

The Klan of 88 and their abettors would want to offer an alternative view that deserves equal consideration?

Make no mistake that the foundation of this hoax is based upon the race/gender/class fraud that is being taught.

Anonymous said...

The structure and wording of the suit indicate that Sullivan/Scheck are trying to minimize the race issue. Evidently, they foresee a substantial African-American component on any likely jury.

Absent is Mangum; also, specific mention of a lot of black city officials by name. There are a few police members inlcuded, but the majority of the conspiracy allegations pertain to actions committed by white members of the hoax: Nifong, two cops, and Meehan and Meehan's boss.

Although Mayor Bell and city manager contributed greatly to the noxious black-vs-white climate that propelled this forward, exploring it is impossible to do without creating a conflict in court itself.

Bell and Baker met with mere DPD underlings. Imagine if a US president brought in DoJ line prosecutors and investigators in order to prod them into quick action on a specific criminal case.

Anonymous said...

I don't intend this post to criticize religions or religious people, but to make an objective observation. I live in North Carolina, have lived in Virginia previously, and have noticed people in both States seem to make a big thing of being "church people." I've even had a neighbor accuse me of being a tool of the devil because I haven't been born again (I told him I did it right the first time and didn't need to repeat.). I also notice a lot of the people in Durham who kept the frame going did it from pulpits or, like L. Wilson--Mikey's little (?) buddy--are the "sing out the praises-type" churchies. Now it occurs to me that when the Attorney General and the Bar Association and the NC Courts made very clear statements that the rape-kidnap charges were false, a person calling himself a practicing Christian would have fallen to his knees and begged forgiveness for bearing false witness. Well guess what? We haven't seen much testifyin' from these folks who always make sure we see them with their most sanctimonious look, preferably going to services to praise the Lord. To see this daily hypocrisy is enough to make me nauseous; to know that these Philistines were willing to send three innocent young men to prison--probably to death--for a crime that never happened, makes me wish there actually WERE a deity who would smack these little twits upside the head.

Debrah said...

"I think that KCs closeness to this topic has , in the end, dulled his otherwise excellent powers of objective analysis.

Sorry KC. I do think you have a lot to be proud of but your tone has taken a petty note as of late and it does not become you."

Like many, you take a very shortsighted view.

You would have never known about KC's perceptive powers if not for his taking on this case and the Gang of well as writing a book about it.

KC is a tenured professor.

Now he is the author of a book about a travesty now known to the world.

His huge impact on things is underscored by the way some in the academy are now trying to attack him.

KC has no worries. Any elite university in the country would scoop him up tomorrow, but his real mission now should be the continuation of trying to save our universities.....from themselves.

He's off to a great start....and many more books.

Now.....if I can just pull him a little more to the right....just a little.


kcjohnson9 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kcjohnson9 said...

To the 10.08:

"He's lost major academic credibility."

Indeed. Perhaps that's why, last week, I was notified that I have received the 2007 Hardeman Prize, awarded to the author of the year's best book on Congress. (My academic specialty, for those who don't know, is the history of Congress.)

That said, I have no doubt that among the Group of 88, I have lost "major academic credibility." I can live with such a loss.

To the 7.44, 9.52:

Welcome back, Orin/Mrs. Starn. I'd urge you to reread the final paragraph of the latest Starn op-ed. In it, you/your spouse expressed doubt as to the wisdom of Durham matching the settlement demands. Alas, for the city the only option to matching the settlement demand was going to trial. Perhaps you/your spouse was unaware of this outcome when you/your spouse wrote the op-ed. If so, I'd urge you/your spouse to publish a correction in the H-S.

Anonymous said...

10:08 AM

"Well,if that's his audience of choice, so be it. I guess we all need some place where people 'know our name'"

Sam, Carla, Norm, Cliff, Woodie and Coach!!! Were you thinking of Diane, perhaps?

Cheers to you too.

DaveW said...

Why would these rather bland news item type posts about the lawsuit draw out so much venom from the Nifong enabler crowd?

I don't get it.

Anonymous said...


Congratulations on the Hardeman prize!

Anonymous said...


This blog entry is about the Civil Suit Motion that has been filed.

As a reader, I really don't care what you think about Professor Johnson's tone but I would like to hear your opinion or thoughts on the suit.

Have you read the civil suit motion in its entirety? How do you evaluate the merits? How do you think the City of Durham will defend itself? Do you think Durham has any liability? Do you wonder exactly how Gottlieb was assigned the case?

Your reasoned response to the discussion is welcome.

Debrah said...

Ivory Tower decay

redcybra said...

I have received the 2007 Hardeman Prize

Congratulations, KC!

MikeZPurdue said...

Maybe it will work much better to get David Clark
on the stand, since Meehan is very good at going
on and on without actually saying anything
meaningful or understandable. One queston I have
is whether Meehan obfuscates on purpose, to cover
his obstruction of justice behavior, or is that truly
his natural tendency.

Anonymous said...

Since this has a "Duke connection", I thought I would mention it here.

Convicted felon and disbarred attorney Lynne Stewart is scheduled to be on a panel discussing "legal ethics" at Hofstra University. I wrote them a letter asking, "If Stewart is o.k., why not invite Mike Nifong?"

The Duke connection is that Duke law professor Michael Tigar represented Stewart (pro bono?) in her terrorism trial, and he is also one of the speakers at the Hofstra law school event.

Anonymous said...

To the 9:54: If you think Nifong's qualified immunity is going to be an effective liability shield for his actions in this case, then you obviously haven't read the applicable case law (or else you've read it without comprehending it).

Debrah said...

None of us should be surprised when we read the declasse comments by Starn and the Mrs.--(as they both lurk and troll).

Both are so far down on the academic ladder from KC's well-earned perch that I'm sure the envy is killing them.

Add to that, his popularity and command of even more of a following as a result of his book which vividly illuminates the fraudulent squalor in which urchins like Starn and the Mrs. wallow every day of their lives.

Oh, man...does reality bite at the Starn abode!

Better create another diversion, little Orin. Go explore a creek bed......or the both of you can evade arrest again as you break the law.

That was hilarious...since you were so interested in the concept of obeying the law when the Trinity Park jug wine-drinking commandos were going after the lacrosse players.

What hypocritical dolts.


Anonymous said...

The reason for the city NOT to settle ought to be obvious. As these people have said any number of times, when there's a contentious community issue, there needs to be a full trial so that the defendants have the opportunity to prove themselves innocent...

Anonymous said...

"Mounting a defense on a secret theory that can't be revealed.." Sounds like the "substantial physical evidence for the rape that can't be revealed until trial" that was cited by Durham officials as they tried to garner public support via the MSM last year. Such tactics often work when a corrupt prosecutor is bluffing innocent defendants into plea bargains. They also work with unethical public officials like the Duke administration that fold with political pressure exerted through the MSM. Durham oficials, however, picked the wrong families to try to intimidate. Like Nifong and Duke, they will learn this lesson the hard way.

And, yes, they did "pick" them. This was a willful hoax.

Anonymous said...

"You are not the only one who has noticed KCs tone, a bit petty, a bit braggadocio, a bit over the top. He's lost major academic credibility, so the effort is to try to create blog credibility. Well,if that's his audience of choice, so be it. I guess we all need some place where people 'know our name'"


Anonymous internet poster

More passive-aggressive non-factual, evidence-less crap from an envious hater with no courage. You see a lot of this in Durham and among the Gang of 88. MOO! Gregory

Gary Packwood said...

When the city spokesperson talks about 'untested and unproven legal theories', she is talking directly to low income voters in the community or those who do not read...and who just love ...the untested and unproven theory ....phrase.

Such folks see that as a clever way to be dismissive towards those who bring bad news!

You suppose that is actually going to work in Durham?

I try and call them out by asking if they are referring to theories such as the 'theory' of gravity.

Debrah said...

I went over to check out JinC yesterday, and little Orin's reply to John is something for the record the category:

Little academic weasel sticks his tongue out...again!

Just compare him to someone like KC. He's older than KC, yet he behaves like a clown.

Anonymous said...

Re: Anonymous's (9:22 A.M.) concern that his garbage had not been collected at home by Durham on time.
There are Durham sites where garbage collection is proceeding on schedule due to massive document shredding: Brodhead's and Moneta's and Burness's and Dean Sue's offices as well as the Durham city police/ state's attorneys offices. Take your trash there for dumster pick-up!Best--Professor of ethics

Anonymous said...

10:08 strikes me as another erstwhile Duke faculty member who does not like seeing some members of the faculty portrayed in the correct light. It would seem that K.C.'s academic credibility has increased, and now he has some extra pocket change with the publication of UPI.

But, just think, K.C. What is Duke University Press had published UPI? Think of the millions you would have made!

Oh, sorry. I forgot, DUP (or maybe to call it "DUPE") is the house organ of the leftist faculty members at Duke who use it dishonestly to say they have "published," so they can get tenure. Once upon a time, that would have been recognized as academic fraud, but I guess the G88 are beyond even that now.

W. R. Chambers said...

"Mounting a defense on a secret theory that can't be revealed.."

Perhaps Durham considers its response to the civil suit to be part of the war on terror and will ask that the case be heard by a military commission.

Anonymous said...

12:19 says "When the city spokesperson talks about 'untested and unproven legal theories', she is talking directly to low income voters "

Not really. IMO, she is referring to the fact that this whole case hinges on what role Nifong was acting in and what latitude the Middle District affords him in considering qualified immunity for any actions falling outside the scope of Imbler (previous ruling acknowledging immunity). That is what she means by "untested and unproven" . They are going to protest that Nifong was not in "charge of" the DPD investigation and that is certainly arguable. To suggest this thing is a slam dunk for the plaintiffs is ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

Re: 12:50

Is not the shredding of documents which might pertain to a lawsuit illegal, and prove even worse for the shredding person if they are found out???

Anonymous said...

Re DNA (In)Securities, Dr. Meehan had claimed that it was common practice for them to include all results in their report but disregarded this practice in the Duke Lacrosse case. This would suggest that they had SOP documents, but why they would abandon this even in the presence of the owner, who, you would think, would be sensitive to litigation issues that could arise from such deviation, I just don't know. Then again, maybe they didn't have SOP documents. Regardless, they were careless and deserve the quagmire in which they find themselves.

As a Durham resident, the city should just acknowledge the mistakes made and abide by the demands. I know this would probably mean higher taxes, but what else is new? I'd rather pay higher taxes than compromise my civil rights and liberties. If they can do this to wealthy, white people (which I'm not), then they can do this to anyone.

W. R. Chambers said...

In addition to the legal risks posed by the lawsuit - whatever those risks may or may not be - Durham, and to a lesser extent Duke, runs a reputational risk. Fairly or not, during the course of the trial public perceptions of the powers that be in Durham will develop and will define Durham in the public consciousness - fairly or not. For the sake of the residents of Durham, including Duke, one hopes the coverage of the case is fair and balanced.

Anonymous said...

Inre: KC, "...(My academic specialty, for those who don't know, is the history of Congress.)..."

One is reminded of the show about dirty jobs...

Who in their right mind would choose to move around the cess pools of Congress and academia?

It just proves the point that there is real value hidden in doing dirty work that others refuse.

Congratulations K.C.

You may want to keep a shelf open for future awards...

Anonymous said...

Inre: Deborah "...jug wine-drinking commandos..."

They probably read romance novels and attempt to complete the T.V. Guide crossword puzzle as well.

Too damn funny...

Anonymous said...

KC --

I think the deal-breaker in the lawsuit might have been item iii:

"iii. provides the Monitor with the authority to hire, fire, and promote all Durham Police officials, including the Chief of Police;"

All the other demands seem to be very narrowly tailored to reflect the actual wrongdoing in the case -- i.e., the DPD improperly let Nifong take over the investigation so item xi enjoins them from doing so; the DPD made their false identifications by calling their lineup a search for "witnesses" so item v orders that even searches for "witnesses" must also comply with General Order No. 4077. Item iii, however, stands out among the rest as far broader in scope, and definitely not narrowly tailored to remedy a specifically demonstrated ill. (Note: I'm not saying that it wouldn't take power that broad to remedy the root causes of the Hoax, but no municipality would hand over a power that broad without trying to find some less drastic but equally effective remedy.)

Anonymous said...

KC, My question: how do you know that certain posts come from the Starn household?

After all, there are thousands of people in Durham capable of mimicking Starn's views in both content and quality without exertion. Using poker terms, what is the specific "tell" that gives these "donkeys" away?

Debrah said...

TO 12:58 PM--

Great post!


Thanks for detailing this point once again for the fora readers, Bill Anderson.

Gary Packwood said...

Anonymous 1:46 said...

...KC --
...I think the deal-breaker in the lawsuit might have been item iii:
..."iii. provides the Monitor with the authority to hire, fire, and promote all Durham Police officials, including the Chief of Police;" municipality would hand over a power that broad without trying to find some less drastic but equally effective remedy.)
The documents you are talking about are living documents although many people start to take leave of their minds when they think about negotiation and compromise that leads to change.

Item iii will be discussed in an environment of Interest Based Problem Solving (google search) and the final product of that negotiation should meet the 'interest' of both sides.

Organizational change is not about black/white take aim and fire...verbal and literary violence unless Durham does not wish to respond at all!

Anonymous said...

Re 2:20PM post, yeah, KC, how do you know it's the Starns? After all, haven't they stopped reading pseudo-objective blogs? lol Which probably means they read "objective" newspapers such as the New York Times, whose reporting on this case has been less than fair. To the Starns - read Aaron Beard's reporting instead. He'll show you how not to take statements out of context.

Anonymous said...

JLS says...,

1. Remember these are the plaintiff's allegations. Perhaps the claim Clark was at some meetings was a hook to included Clark and thus the entire assets of DSI in the law suit?

2. An uninformed local commission spokesperson who would have ever imagined it. Yes there are some allegations and legal theories that are not cut and dried in this suit. Certainly holding Durham responsible for the state of NC's DA because he gave advice on conducting the line up etc is one.

3. Actually, we want politicians to stay out of criminal investigations and prosecutions in general. Of course in this case the politicians might have demanded the DPD follow its proceedures, but this was an atypical situation, but I suspect this is why no Durham city officials were included in the filing.

4. I agree the Gottlieb situation is the strongest point against Durham and DPD. They knew or should have known his prior behavior.

5. Durham as other have said here likely balked at the monitor. They also as others have said likely balked at settling since their voting base does not want a settlement. [As an aside, Durham politicians think it is wonderful that more than half the city is on welfare or in the lowest tax bracket. That is who elects them. That is just like the mayor of New Orleans wanting to return it to its prior poverty status to maintain his career.]

6. Durham's defense is quite simple:

A. Mike Nifong is an agent of the state of NC NOT Durham. Mike Nifong did not take over the investigation but rather advised DPD on question of law as DAs normally do.

B. The DPD took legal advice on what was and was not legal like the line up from the DA's office AS PDs ALL OVER THE COUNTRY DO ALL THE TIME.

C. Thus Durham did nothing wrong. Durham legitimately followed the legal advice it was given and behaved correctly the entire case. Durham therefore has zero liability for any damages the defendants might have sustained.

I am not saying this defense will not work for Durham. But it might well, throwing the liability to NC and DSI whose agents, Nifong, Wilson and Meehan were the keys to any damages done to the plaintiffs. Clearly Gottlieb, those late notes of his and the actions against Shelton are the flies in the ointment for Durham

Jim in San Diego said...

Every first offer of settlement I have ever heard was negotiable. The players' demands were and are almost certainly negotiable.

If Durhams' attorneys actually recommended against a settlement because the theories of liability were "untried", that was a great disservice to their clients. Most likely, Durham received several layers of advice, one of which might have been SOME of the theories of liability are untried.

Selective listening by Durham officials none too sharp, and none to eager to do anything to rouse their essentially uninformed constituents, may have led to the claim that Durham reasonably refused the settlement because they could defeat the claims.

It is highly unlikely Durham will defeat all the claims. There are too many Bad Facts, known and unknown.

Therefore, Durham needed/still needs to be concerned about the raw costs of the litigation. Here, defense costs are likely to absorb most if not all the insurance, with nothing left to cover liability. And, if the plaintiffs prevail, they will be entitled to recover THEIR legal fees and costs from Durham.

The bottom line is their appears to be insufficient political will to face reality and settle the case. This should not be surprising.

Anonymous said...

I think it's pretty clear why Durham didn't settle. Most Liability Insurance Policies have a maximum payable as a judgement in court. Legal fees do not figure into the equation. If the insurance company is wise, it will pay the $5 mil and get out, otherwise, the insurance company, not Durham will have to pay the legal fees. Most Insurance policies allow the Insurance company to not defend or to defend based on the company's assessment of the case. It will be interesting to see if the Company pays out the $5 mil quickly.

Anonymous said...

JLS That is great - of course, Nifong was enployed by the state (Or county?) and not a Durham employee. As he was placed in the DA job by the Governor, the state is at fault because the city voted for him in good faith.

Anonymous said...

Didn't Gottlieb did have a heart attack? Could this be given as a reason for the late notes? Anyone Know?

Anonymous said...

It seems that some of the counts are incontestable. I wonder if Plaintiffs will move for partial Summary Judgement.

Anonymous said...


"Mike Nifong did not take over the investigation... "

I think that is an important issue. I suspect the legal team for the lax players will home in on this issue. Common sense tells me he did from Day 1.

"The DPD took legal advice on what was and was not legal"

I don't believe that will carry much weight. Its been 18 months and there have been no admissions of anything being done improperly. I expect the legal team to show that Durham DPD volunterialy turned over the investigation to Mike Nifong and followed every order, legal or otherwise.

Amazingly, to this day, they have never admitted doing anything wrong in railroading three innocent people.


Anonymous said...

2:20 PM:

Internet address capture. Most websites that you visit know who you are. Or more precisely, know the internet account that you're logged onto to browse websites, which is close to the same thing unless your dog is using it when you're out. (Possibly this accounts for some of the recent Starnes' comments on this blog.)

Think of your IP address as your "buy in" to play, post, or make purchases on your favorite websites.

Anonymous said...

anonymous 9:01-

The traditional description is "Islands of tyranny in a sea of freedom."

Anonymous said...

I told my 12-year-old to clean up her room. She told me that my demand was based on an "untested and unproven legal theory."

Jim in San Diego said...

At a minimum, Durham will be responsible for the behavior of their own police department. Otherwise, who is?

Liability issues supported by apparently Bad Facts:

1. Gottlieb's known history of hostility and mistreatment of Duke students, leading to his removal from the Trinity neighborhood (where the party took place). That police supervisors would assign this detective to this case, knowing of Gottlieb's past practices, creates liability. Then, Gottlieb's continuing misbehavior, in full view of his PD supervisors and Durham officials.

2. The PD, and therefore Durham, is probably responsible for the behavior of Corporal Addison. Otherwise, who is? The fact his supervisor told him ten days after the wanted poster was published to tone it down, and he did, shows he was always under PD supervision on this issue.

3. Niphong could not have conducted the bad lineup without PD participation. That the PD violated its own internal procedures without complaint creates liability. The PD should "just say no".

4. The investigation of Detective Shelton looks like retaliation for telling the truth. If so, retaliation by his supervisors for telling the truth about the complainant could create liability.

5. It remains to be seen what was said, and who knew what and when, at the meetings between Durham officials and the PD in the early weeks of the hoax. A good guess is that Durham officials were kept closely apprised of the goings on by their PD. This, plus authority to supervise, plus failure to supervise, leads to ratification and liability.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous wrote (without explanation, evidence, or reference to any standards)

"He's lost major academic

Given the postmodern, deconstructionist, PC gibberish that passes today for academic "credibility" -- and that, no doubt, KC's critic accepts as good "scholarship" -- I'd say that this is a compliment.

If one knows anything about the sorry state of the top liberal arts graduate programs, about incestuous hiring practices and career pressures in academia, then one should be amazed by the rare treasure that is KC Johnson.

This is not empty praise. I have been an academic in the liberal arts for twenty years -- the last ten at Duke. What KC possesses is what many academics lack: a passionate pursuit of the truth, an indefatigable desire for justice, a relentless dedication to objectivity and clarity. (I, for one, also appreciate his wit.) If those traits -- and his body of work on this case -- do *not* warrant "academic credibility," then there is no such thing.

Gary Hull, Ph.D.
Program on Values and Ethics
in the Marketplace
Duke University

Anonymous said...

I have it on very good authority that Starn cheats at golf.

Be careful Orin. People are talking about your legendary "sleight-of-hand". Watch out how you replace that ball after you pick up your ball mark. Geez, do you really need to move it 4 inches closer to the hole every time? Do you think no one notices?

Cheating at golf doesn't fit golf's meta-narrative.

Anonymous said...

"The income tax has made more liars of Americans than golf" -- Will Rogers.

"Affirmative Action has made more liars of college administrators than the income tax" -- R.R. Hamilton (with a hat tip to Michael Barone).

everett0011 said...

He knows it's the Starns because they are the only ones who can live in such a fantasy world.

He knows it's the Starns because they are so friggin' easy to bait. They follow the blogs with the fervor of the KGB under their hero Josef Stalin.

Ah, if only the Man of Steel would return. . . he'd get this KC, John in Carolina and other tormentors under control. And get control of information again. The people are far too stupid to be trused with it.

Anonymous said...

Does the complaint filed demonstrate any awareness of rape trauma? Ignorance of rape trauma is a necessary component in environments where victims are raped and are not supported afterward.

Please see comment by effer on 10/08/07 at 16:59 at

Quotes from aforementioned comment:

"Trouble remembering and giving a clear report? Yes. Mental diagnoses and drug use? Yes. Are these common signs of rape trauma? Yes.

Do predators deny or rationalize the effects of rape trauma on victims, blaming victims for being "crazy" and "drug-addled"? Yes. Do condoms block DNA? Yes. Can other objects be used to assault? Yes. Do predators tell victims things to confuse them during assaults? Yes. Do predators do extraordinary things during assaults so a report will sound incredible? Yes. Does rape disconnect victims from social bonds, so they crave re-connecting later? Yes. Can this desire to bond affect how they respond to questions? Yes.

These men have been declared innocent. Proof? Not found. This is not the same as proving the accusations were false. Victims commonly block out memories of a penis or other object. Being over-controlled from the inside, through stimulation of the nervous system -- which governs willpower, sense of self, memory, thought and emotion -- is often too terrifying to remember, at least clearly and consistently. Victims chronically block sensations from traveling up the nervous system to reach the mind. Who can be expected to observe clearly during all that? Many victims' minds leave their bodies."

Anonymous said...

AWESOME! Congratulations on the 2007 Hardeman Prize, K.C.

It just tickles me that the Gang - even stuck way down in that hole they've dug for themselves - will still be forced to listen to the statements of praise for your fine work.

Anonymous said...

Kudos to JLS and Jim in San Diego with their objective, unbiased commentary.
The suit will eventually be settled out of court fo less than the 30 million. Neither side wants this case to go to trial.

Anonymous said...

As I recall Dr. Meehan both admitted the agreement to withhold evidence and then claimed that any agreement was somehow just understood and not actually stated. His testimony was a bit confusing shall we say. Perhaps Mr. Clark will be able to shed some more light on this.

To mg_moore and 1:04,
The plaintiffs and their lawyers are not "crazy as hell." The case may not be a "slam dunk," but it is on very solid ground legally. I have not yet read the complaint, but all along as we followed the case there were a number of indications that Mr. Nifong had taken over the case and compromised his immunity. It was understood that the police were reporting directly to fact, there may be a memo or testimony to that effect. Also, Mr. Nifong hired Mr. Linwood Wilson privately to investigate the case completely apart from the police department. JLS, I am with Ken on this one.

To 4:03,
I do not believe Sgt. Gottlieb suffered a heart attack during the case. I do not recall that ever being offered as a reason for the failure to take notes nor for the 4 month delay in writing the notes from memory. A google search did not turn up any discussion of a heart attack. It did turn up the statement that Sgt. Gottlieb is the father of young twins with another child on the way--not the most likely heart attack candidate. Several people associated with the case suffered health problem during the progression of the case including defense attorney Kirk Osborn who died from a fatal heart attack. I feel fairly confident that if Sgt. Gottlieb had health problems that interfered his note taking...we would have heard about it. He did, however, run into a bit of an ugly racial incident while at a bar with fellow officers, if I remember correctly, but I believe that was after he had his notes together. You can look up that one.

Regarding Professor Coleman and his co-author's criticism published in the Chronicle of KC Johnson and Stuart Taylor...the criticism is very weak, and the supporting facts for Johnson and Taylor's position are quite strong and well documented. Damage control is surely of paramount importance at Duke right now. (In fact, after reading UPI, I could not imagine how Duke would ever really recover its reputation.) President Brodhead's apology was a start, and Professor Coleman's comments may make an impression on those who do not bother to examine the underlying facts. Unfortunately for Duke, though, the facts most likely to damage Duke's reputation permanently--with most parents at least--are the ads and statements the G88 published entirely of their own volition. Those ads and statements along with the growing understanding that the G88 have refused--repeatedly, now--to offer apologies for their ad, public comments, or the harm they caused--in addition to even more unfortunate recorded comments made well after Roy Cooper's complete exoneration of the former defendants--most likely will continue to haunt Duke. Professor Coleman and the Duke administration might have more success with damage control if they had focused their attention on the actual source of those published ads and comments rather than on those who highlight the fact they exist.

Also, I understand why Professor Coleman and the co-author of the report need to distance themselves from KC Johnson, Stuart Taylor, and those of us here who called Professor Coleman a hero--at least if the two men intend to continue teaching at Duke. I still maintain that Professor Coleman's meticulous care with his report on the LAX players and the interviews on 60 Minutes were heroic in the context of Duke/Durham at the time. His recent comments in the Chronicle obviously were not in the least heroic or even altogether sensible. Maybe Professor Coleman and his editorial co-signatory really believe that by teaching and grading papers, faculty members somehow prove their unbiased devotion to all their students, but for most of us, the recorded words and documented actions taken by the G88 and others against their own extremely vulnerable students without apology are too egregious to brush aside on the strength of Professor Coleman's statement to the Chronicle...or his reputation. Alas, I must retract my own statement made days ago that Professor Coleman should be on every college president's speed dial. Instead, college administrators and trustees should just read UPI and hand it out to the faculty. Surely, most people can handle things from there, and, if not, give the authors a call.

As for the comment on Mssrs. Johnson and Taylor's exaggerating the impact of Professor Coleman's report by describing it as a "stunning vindication" of the players in the Post...perhaps the report did not completely vindicate the players of any bad behavior ever, but it did make absolutely clear that while not completely above reproach, the players' behavior was rather typical for college students and they were certainly not the racist, sexist, violent thugs so many, [including fellow faculty] had claimed them to be. At the time, the report surely seemed not only like a "stunning vindication" of the team but somewhat of an indictment of those vindictive people who had portrayed the team as destructive, drunken, viciously racist, sexist hooligan bad boys more than capable of any imaginable bad act, including the rape of a poor defenseless, hard working woman. I believe Mssrs. Johnson and Taylor's understanding of the report as a "stunning vindication" is completely defensible, and it is duly noted that the report's authors take strong and public exception to that understanding.


Anonymous said...

What is this "civil suit motion" that is "more than 160 pages" that you speak of?

I am only aware of a civil complaint.

I second the "petty tone" comment. Undoubtedly, this blog was a tremendous source of information and did much to shed light to the public about this case. But, the commentary has become entirely one-sided and lacks objectivity (which is KC's right). It's much less fun to read now than it was months ago.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 10:08 AM said...
"You are not the only one who has noticed KCs tone, a bit petty, a bit braggadocio, a bit over the top. He's lost major academic credibility, so the effort is to try to create blog credibility. Well,if that's his audience of choice, so be it. I guess we all need some place where people 'know our name'"

Actually, I would put to you that his true academic credibility is growing beyond your wildest imagination. A revolution is at heard it here first. Perhaps you have failed to notice the credentials, wisdom, and on target thoughts of many on these comment streams over the several months that this blog has existed. Some of us are disenfranchised but still in the business academics, some are would be academics, and some (like myself) are people who left academe in disgust. What is happening is that the "Academy In Real Space" (i.e. what you call "top tier university's") are busy putting on AIRS...(chuckling to myself on that one), while others of us who actually engage in critical thought and pondering the higher meanings of the world around us are in fact creating a new academe in cyber space that will eventually become the real bed of original thought and improvement of the collective understanding of reality. The reason this will happen is that blogs, online pubs, and comment boards remove personality and, to a great degree, politics from the equation. So go, dinosaurs, and eat vegetation and each other as those of us who are evolving mammals slip beneath your radar screen, and create a new world where we burn the remnants of your carcasses to light our worlds and take us where we want to go.

(For the record, this started out as a much shorter and less philosophic post, but evolved as I typed.)


DaveW said...

Re DNA (In)Securities, Dr. Meehan had claimed that it was common practice for them to include all results in their report but disregarded this practice in the Duke Lacrosse case. This would suggest that they had SOP documents, but why they would abandon this even in the presence of the owner, who, you would think, would be sensitive to litigation issues that could arise from such deviation, I just don't know.

Because the owner had his eye on the county business (Ca-Ching!) rather than potential liability and business owners are typically entrepreneurs not lawyers.

There's no reason to expect that the owner had any experience with the legal intricacies of what was proper. After all, the Durham county DA was sitting right there in his office telling him what to do. It doesn't get much more authoritative than that - not in a normal business setting anyway. I'm sure he was thrilled to be positioning his company to get more business from the county.

In fact, I would be willing to bet that Nifong was playing that card.

Anonymous said...

Coleman's letter helps KC's case. Disturbed by criticism of the Duke faculty, Coleman helped pen a letter that used a weak quibble to attack KC's "bias", and then lamely defended the 2006 actions of a portion of the faculty that spectacularly rushed to judgement against their own customers.

Compare that letter to KC's response to it. Compare the use of facts; compare the quality of reasoning. One can only conclude that, indeed, Duke employs people with inferior abilities.

To Professors Coleman, Starn, and other KC critics: seize the day. Having spotted a gap in Professor Johnson's scholarship, shine a light on your own. The definitive history of the lacrosse hoax demands to be written. Go multi-disciplinary to the max, and go for it.

However, I have one recommendation: for those who blew your first teaching moment about race, class, and gender in a non-rape case, don't blow your second attempt constructing your tome around the pre-existing relationship dynamics between the lacrosse team and their Trinity Park neighbors. It is a rather petty factor in a case that is nationally notorious for immense issues of justice. Bringing it up in paragraphs labelled "More importantly..." or "Firstly..." will turn off any serious potential audience.

I'll be watching for the progress on your effort.

Anonymous said...

Is anyone really shocked that this case wont settle until some smart people are brought in to defend the case. The City of Durham is run by a bunch of angry blacks who need to preach racism and hatred of white people to stay in power. They dont care about the financials of anything in the city. Its all about their power. The black citizens dont care where money will or will not come from to pay to a bunch of rich white kids they already hate because most of them already get government handouts or are in the minimum tax base and their financial situation does not change no matter how much gets paid to the kids. The leadership of Durham knows this and definance and racism keeps them in power.

Anonymous said...


Is there evidence of a phloating phallus? Did this alleged phallus bonk someone on their head, while in its most erect state? Did this phallus momentarily blind its prey? Inquiring minds surely want to know!

Oh, btw... DNA tests are able to detect condom debris.

Try again.

Anonymous said...

8:19 PM

Do victims usually go pole dancing 3 days after being brutally gang raped with or without a penis? Do feminist misandrysts demand that men be stripped of due process and have to "prove their innocense" against every specious and indefensible accusation, even when they are made by drug and alchohol addled street hookers with a documented record of mental illness and false accusations ? Must the word of 43 college men be disbelieved while the continuously changing word of said prostitute is treated like (ever changing) gospel?

8:19, you need serious therapy. Your hatred is showing (like a badly sized slip)

Anonymous said...

Inre: Observer at 11:19 p.m....

Well said.

Anonymous said...

Inre: 1:30 a.m. "...But, the commentary has become entirely one-sided and lacks objectivity..."

So you're suggesting something happened and the Klan of 88 are objective?

Anonymous said...

JLS says....,

1. anon 10:28 and observer I offerred NO opionion whether or not Durham would prevail with that defense. I only pointed it out because to me it seems obvious that that will be at least part and probably a major part of Durham's defense. BTW, Wilson was hired by Nifong, meaning he worked for the state of NC like Nifong rather than for Durham, so your point on Nifong hiring and assigning an investigator to the case weakens the case against Durham.

2. I too expect the case to be eventually settled too. I suspect Durham is much less worried about the dollar amount than what else there is to be discovered.

3. Jim in San Diego The one thing I think you are missing particularly about the lineup is that DAs regularly all over the country advise the police about whether this or that evidence will be admissible in court. Nifong perhaps gave DPD bad legal advice about the line up, we will never really know because that February suppression hearing never took place, but calling at PD relying on legal advice from its DA actionable is a bit iffy to me.

4. inorout Sorry but the lawsuit is about the duties that the defendants had towards the plaintiffs. Mangum is neither a defendant nor a plaintiff in this lawsuit. Perhaps if she feels she was wronged, she could sue Durham, NC and some of the same individuals? The three former Duke students were able to get attorneys who place a very high value on their time to take the case probably on contingency. I wonder if any similarly high time valued attorneys would take a suit by Mangum?

Anonymous said...

To inorout: I am a survivor of rape. Your comments are (to borrow a phrase from Kim) "A CROCK". Our minds don't leave our bodies--and we fully remember exactly WHAT violated us. It's patently obvious you've never had this experience so by all means sit down and shut up while you still look only mildly retarded. Crystal Mangum has destroyed EVERY gain rape survivors have made in the last 30 years with her vicious lies about Reade, Collin and Dave. Because of HER women who really HAVE been raped won't be believed. The world will remember CGM--the lazy drug addled girl who wanted her own address on Easy Street and thought she could get it by making FALSE claims of rape-- and they will always wonder if that is the story in rapes going forward.

Anonymous said...

Awesome comments, Dr. Hull! Thank you for speaking out in favor of KC Johnson's academic credibility. I'm sure you'll pay the price on campus for your comments--but you're a brave and ethical man and an esteemed educator. I'd be honored if one day my children were taught by the likes of you and KC Johnson.

Anonymous said...

sulax88@1:39AM expressed my own reactions to anonymous @10:08 AM perfectly. 10:08 said:

He's [i.e., KC] lost major academic credibility.

And while KC's reply (@ 11 AM was the appropriate one for a professor in academia– pointing out that he'd just received another academic award, the Hardeman prize, which 10:08 probably has never heard of (talk about blind-sided!)– the rest of us are free to point out that "academic credibility," as 10:08 undoubtedly understands it, has sunk to the oxymoronic depths of "journalistic credibility" and (pace, KC) "congressional oversight." Outside of the hard sciences and some isolated hold-outs in the liberal arts, it's become synonymous with PC groupthink, shallow scholarship, intellectual dishonesty, and atrocious grammar– hardly a distinction for which to be recognized outside of an insular clique that survives only by the patronizing tolerance of institutions that demand far less than the best.

In time the marketplace will determine which ones survive (buh-bye, Antioch), while the internet will deliver a superior education at a fraction of their cost. What will accelerate the trend is recognition by the business world and (always 20 years behind the curve) government that cyber-educated hires are actually more motivated, better-informed, and much more critical thinkers than their ivy-covered counterparts.

To borrow sulax88's "dinosaur" metaphor-- and 10:08's sneer at "blog credibility" is breathtakingly antediluvian-- the meteor has already struck, and the old academic model is doomed. Today's "academic credibility" is tomorrow's phrenology, mesmerism, and flat-earth geography. As for "blog credibility," if a student wanted to learn the facts about the Duke lacross case (just the facts, never mind thoughtful analysis, informed opinion, and enlightening discussion), where would she go? The New York Times? the G88? Or the blogs: Liestoppers, John in Carolina, and Durham in Wonderland. QED.

everett0011 said...

Without doubt, the most desperate and ill-considered charge being leveled at KC is the ridiculous assertion that he has lost academic credibility.

KC is a historian whose specialty is the US legislative branch. He publishes frequently in high-visibility, high-prestige professional journals. He wins major academic awards. With regularity. He is a star, and is star is still rising.

When all is said and done, his greatest achievement might well be the DIW blog. Never before has there been such a detailed, meticulous, contemporaneous dissection of such egregious public misconduct.

DIW is itself a major historic event. KC has shown us the way to fight back. Never again can public officials be confident that their misdeeds will remain hidden from public view.

Sam George
Alumnus, James E. Coleman, Jr., School of Law
Duke Univ

(Meanwhile, we are still waiting for Wahmeena's yearly quota of a half-page of scholarship).

Anonymous said...

For those of you who might be interested, I thought that I would pass along a couple of links for Durham blogs that are discussing the Duke Lacrosse fiasco. These are not blogs dedicated to the case -- the issue has come up a few times, but they're in no way focused on the case -- but they do offer interesting and informed opinions about the case from the perspective of a couple of Durham residents. They are residents invested enough in the community to blog on its attempt at renaissance, and need to be understood as such, but they are useful:

Bull City Rising One
Bull City Rising Two

The Bull in Full


Anonymous said...

Anon at 10:28 says:

Kudos to JLS and Jim in San Diego with their objective, unbiased commentary.
The suit will eventually be settled out of court for(corrected) less than the 30 million. Neither side wants this case to go to trial.

Would you like to make book on whether or not it is settled for less than $30M?

Also, can you please explain why the plaintiffs do not want this case to go to trial? I can understand that the city has a lot to hide, but I suspect that the plaintiffs main goal is to force the city to reveal many of the things they want to hide.

Perhaps you are simply trying to declare moral equivalence between the three innocent lacrosse players and the foul and nefarious deeds of the DPD and the city.

Debrah said...

Professor Hull is, indeed, a prince among so many dull and self-serving urchins at Duke.

What a super post!

Anonymous said...

I'm sure you'll [Dr. Hull] pay the price on campus for your comments--but you're a brave and ethical man and an esteemed educator.

In the modern American academy replace "but" with "because."

Anonymous said...

I have now read through the suit twice. It sure reads to me like the tie to the city of Durham is well founded.

Many paragraphs point out instances where Durham officials and cognizant Durham supervisory bodies legally responsible for oversight failed their responsibilities, and failed despite having knowledge or through gross negligence not having knowledge of the actions of Durham police officers and Nifong.

Those instances seem clear enough by themselves, and the later statements in Durham documents that all was done properly are simply own goals for the LAX case.

Anonymous said...


Congratulations on the award.

As this blog winds down to its end; I have a question for you that has been nagging at me. Though I went onto law school, I was a political science major in college (yes, the faculty was populated with Marxists). When I read your CV, there appears to be some overlap between your chosen specialty in the history of Congress and subjects taught by my college professors in the poli sci dept. Did you ever consider joining the poli sci dept? Do you teach any poli sci courses? I recall reading (not sure where) that your assessment of the poli sci dept at BC is that it is extremely left of center; if you do not teach any poli sci courses, is the leftward leanings of the dept the reason? Or, is there no relationship between the poli sci and history departments at BC? I ask because if I were a current student majoring in poli sci, I think I would want to learn about the history of Congress from a historian rather than a poli sci professor and I suspect some BC students would think likewise.

I know you're trying to end this blog, but I would be really interested, and appreciative, of a response.

Many thanks.
Thank you.

Anonymous said...

KC also wrote that Ann Burgess was going to testify about Levicy's "fatally flawed" opinion. I do not think she could testify on her speculation and come to a conclusion that would be allowed in court.

Anonymous said...

JLS says....,

re: anon 2:34

I clicked on your two links. The first one was a poster who does not understand that the outcry associated with the Durham miscarriage of justice is different than other miscarriages of justice because THE ONE IN DURHAM WAS INTENTIONAL. Miscarriages of justice are unfortuante, INTENTIONAL miscarriages of justice need to be so painful to the city they do not happen again EVER.

The second was leftist pscho-babble about diversity but only skin deep diversity not diversity of ideas. I know news for the posters and commentors patting themselves on the back, the Durham they live in is among the LEAST diverse areas of the country.

Anonymous said...

Another tempest in a teapot in Academe....

Let's see how the metanarrative is exploited in *this* situation.

Wonder if this teacher is Wahneema's sister? ::::thinking::::

Anonymous said...

To 3:14,
The reason that neither party wants this to go to trial is because ANY jury is a crapshoot.
Just look at OJ amd Robert Blake. Those were criminal cases, but it came happen in civil cases also.

A few people have mentioned on this blog that even a federal jury(Depending on it's makeup) may not be real sympathetic to the plight of 3 rich white guys from out of town, no matter what the evidence reveals.

Don't get me wrong, I think DPD and the PA's Office screwed up big time, but I'm not sure a member of a jury (who might make 40-50K a year) may want to give the boys 10 million each.

There are tremendous legal costs involved on BOTH sides without any guarantee of recouping those costs if the case goes to the jury.

The City of Durham and more importantly the city's insurance carrier, is not just gonna roll over and pay the boys 30 million dollars without some semblance of a fight.

I am not an attorney, but I've been involved in litigation with cities many times. Rarely do these cases ever go to trial, and normally they are settled for less than the amount asked for.

Unlike some people on this blog who want to nuke the City of Durham, in my opinion, JLS and Jim in San Diego, provide excellent commentary and objective analysis. You have to remember in civil case it's rarely about justice, it becomes a business decision.

Anonymous said...

No Justice, No Peace.

I'm at a loss. My post said, in part: "But, the commentary has become entirely one-sided and lacks objectivity."

Yet, you responded with: "So you're suggesting something happened and the Klan of 88 are objective?"

I fail to see the connection between the two. Because a person believes the blog commentary is one-sided recently, he must also believe that "something happened"??? That's completely incongruous to me.

Of course, you ignored the sentence preceding "but..." which was: "Undoubtedly, this blog was a tremendous source of information and did much to shed light to the public about this case." To the extent it wasn't clear to you, my post wasn't (either explicitly or suggestively) referring to whether "something happened" or whether the "Klan of 88 are objective."

Anonymous said...

KC> an example of the power of your work, today on The View, Whoopi Goldberg called on Al Sharpton to apologize to the Duke lacrosse players: to say he was wrong and sorry for the harm caused by his actions! I hope the majority of decent people keep standing up, bringing both sides to common ground of decency and pursuit of the truth. It's amazing to learn of this.

One Spook said...

JLS @ 11:56 AM writes:

"JLS says....,

1. anon 10:28 and observer I offerred NO opionion whether or not Durham would prevail with that defense."

JLS ... you have stated that you are not an attorney. Accordingly, please do us all a favor and refrain from offering any legal "opionion" whatsoever.

Jim in San Diego, Gregory, and other attorneys who comment here have offered some excellent legal observations. You have stated that you're a retired economics professor. Stick to that. I don't see the lawyers here offering "opionions" on economics.

Thank you.

One Spook

Anonymous said...

The Hardeman Prize is a big deal, a very big deal indeed. For the unitiated, the judges of this prize are erudite and gimlet-eyed. A brief perusal of the previous winners is a stunning litany a scholarship, wit, and insight.

To borrow a story that Congressional scholars will know...

In the 1948 campaign for the Presidency, Harry S Truman had to do what no other Democratic Presidential nominee had ever done-campaign actively in Texas. He had to do so because he was the first to deliver a strong and uncomprimisng civil rights program-long before JFK or LBJ's visions.

In the bright sunny summer, Truman and the Governor, Buford Jester (you can't make up names like these), came to the hometown of Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn-Bonner, Texas. It was decided that the local populace would assemble at Rayburn's home and have an opportunity to great the President, who stood in Rayburn's parlor, a surreptious bourbon at hand in the desk next to him. Truman was more than oblingly, saying "Bring in the customers!" as the old former haberdasher referred to the voters of Bonner.

The Secret Service would have one of it-Out of the Question! they said. Rayburn would have none of that-"I know every man, woman, and child out there and I can vouch for every one of them!" Rayburn won the day and the crowd began their singe-file parade to see the President. Finally, Rayburn, who was watching the crowd move through his parlor, cried out, "Shut the door, Jester, they're coming through twice!"

A great congressional story, in my view...

But I do have sense that the shrill crowd criticizing KC is "coming through twice" with recycled, tired, and ill-considered criticisms.


Anonymous said...

9:29 - please see my comment by on behavior of people who've been given a date rape drug if it gets posted tomorrow at:

Yes, some victims respond to sexual abuse by acting out sexually. Advocating for rape victims and awareness of rape trauma does not mean hating men. False reports are not common, but rape is often difficult to prove, especially if victim shows behavior consistent with date rape drugs. Here, we have an example of a case not proven, where the woman is called a "false accuser" as though people know what happened in that bathroom. At best, it's "evidence not found to support accusation." "Declared innocent" is different than "actually innocent" in a country where innocence is presumed unless guilt can be proven. You don't me, although you seem to have in mind a certain image of a woman.

JLS, 11:56 -

The lawsuit claims the police should have acted differently because they should have known the accuser's account of rape could not be considered reliable. So, there is talk about the accuser on multiple pages of the suit. My point: if the police know that rape victims often have trouble reporting clearly, but often improve with time and support, this helps defend them against some claims in the suit.

12:37 -
Raped women have different experiences. Some have psychotic breaks. How can you claim to know who has been raped? How can you know what someone's experience is like if they've been slipped a drug? Are all rapes the same? Are all traumas the same? Do all abusers do the same things? Why are repressed memories widely acknowledged if all victims can always remember exactly what happened? I don't deny your experience. Why deny anyone's experience?

Anonymous said...

12:37 - Please understand that I support rape survivors. Rape is so horrible, I cannot describe it. I know survivors are very afraid they won't be believed. I know many people often do not believe them. I know rapists often have extreme ways of terrorizing them. I have done a great deal of research on rape trauma, including with counselors of rape survivors.

Being raped without being slipped a drug is different than a drug-assisted rape. Some drugs block out memory. Mangum exhibited drugged behavior that night. Attorney General Cooper's report did not mention what other reports did: that reports said men at the party gave her a drink. I will post the information I posted at the lawsuit-demands blog here, because it is important that those of us who support rape survivors know about it:

Behavior of people given drugs for rape is described here:

Quotes: "Today’s drugs may at some point render a victim unconscious, but even worse, at least initially... the victim may appear to participate or may even appear to be the aggressor early on in the attack."

"not only is a victim disinhibited... she most likely truly will not even remember such conduct."

"many victims whose stories had remained untold out of fear and confusion or whose stories were told but disbelieved and ignored by the system. Worse yet are those whose stories were simply mishandled."

"waking up with little idea of what has taken place... leaves one confused, dazed and hesitant to run to the police."

Mangum did not mention rape to the officer, when he found her. Her stated memories represented very confused thoughts.

Anonymous said...

I read the complaint last night. It certainly pares the thing right down to the bone. And the bones look solid, even elegant, in their stark simplicity. I doubt it will be lost on the jury--if the case does not settle--that the conduct of the criminal investigation against the plaintiffs is something the country cannot tolerate, and strong, even extreme, measures are absolutely essential to protect citizens from its recurrence in some other form. Otherwise, it will be clear to those who pay attention that gross violations of the constitutional protections we as a country "guarantee" any defendant in any criminal case are acceptable, or at least not really actionable, so long as the defendant ultimately is not convicted. Furthermore, a number of the defendants in this civil case should be charged in a federal criminal case as many here have commented. If we do not see a very significant settlement for the plaintiffs if the case settles, a very meaningful award to the plaintiffs if the case goes to trial, or criminal convictions if the US Attorney finally moves on a criminal case...God help us all.


Anonymous said...

Whoopie Goldberg( who I adore) calls for Al to apologize, nineteen months after the event and is a hero. Brodhead, who apologizes one month before her, is a bum. How does this work, folks? Should we not be striving to be fair? That is one of the things that seperates us from the 88.
Many of the groupthink posters are gone - they were also part of the rabid mob. This should be about debate and not insults to the posters.

Anonymous said...

I don't remember anyone calling Whoopi a hero. I do detect a lot of people who, like myself, were very pleasantly surprised.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 10/10/07 3:37 PM ironically said both:
groupthink posters ... rabid mob
This should be about debate and not insults to the posters.

Anonymous said...

Whoopie Goldberg( who I adore) calls for Al to apologize, nineteen months after the event and is a hero. Brodhead, who apologizes one month before her, is a bum. How does this work, folks? Should we not be striving to be fair?
Dear me. Brodhead is still the president of Duke. He, unlike Whoopi Goldberg, is responsible for speaking on Duke's behalf. Where Duke is concerned, Brodhead is held to a higher standard than a comedian.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 3:50

"Mangum did not mention rape to the officer, when he found her. Her stated memories represented very confused thoughts."

Indeed. I gather she was unaware of all the other men who's DNA was later identified. Perhaps they gave her date rape drugs too?


Anonymous said...

Why are repressed memories widely acknowledged if all victims can always remember exactly what happened?

Widely acknowledged? As what, pure hokum that has framed innocent people before responsible attorneys outside of your bizarro world brought some sanity to the cases on appeal. Read this closely: Real rape victims don't need lunatics like you making idiotic hypotheses about what happened to them. Go back to your coven of co-morons and try to construct an imaginary world where you're normal and everybody else is crazy.

Anonymous said...

10/10 3:37 concludes:

Many of the groupthink posters are gone - they were also part of the rabid mob. This should be about debate and not insults to the posters.

Whaaa....? Calling commenters "groupthink posters" and "part of the rabid mob" is about debate, and not insults to the posters?

The two sentences kinda remind me of that old logic paradox:


Anonymous said...

Is Haynie a Communist?

Anonymous said...

Whoopi is wrong in that Sharpton had little to do with the lacrosse case. She took some heat over her comments on Michael Vick,IMO and she is trying to get brownie points on this one, IMO. It will not work as she has little credibility with the black community and this is because of her infamous appearance in blackface with her then boyfriend Ted Danson at a Hollywood event in which they told racial demeaning sexual jokes. She also was fired from hosting the Oscars. If you all think that something said by this latter day Aunt Thomasina is significant, go ahead but it actually means little,IMO.

Anonymous said...

The prosecution of the lacrosse players over the course of a full year was "one of the most chilling episodes of premeditated police, prosecutorial, and scientific
misconduct in modern American history." {snip} Book review by Thomas Sowell

The corruption still exists, and nothing has changed accept for name changes on the DA's door. The mayor, governor, police chief and every other official still runs full steam ahead. There has yet to be a Federal Investigation, and should involve numerous inditements. Firing Nifong and giving him one day of jail is pathetic.

Thank God there are some of us who are not intimidated, and will continue to speak out and fight for justice.
Rhonda Fleming
Cleveland, Ohio
Sister of Durham murder victim, whose case remains unsolved

Anonymous said...


You do not seem familiar with the facts of this case. In fact, a large body of evidence shows that the former defendants WERE completely innocent. That is why most of us have followed this case with fervor. Ms. Mangum had a long history of acting crazy and addled in the way you described. Her friends at the strip club where she worked made that clear. Toxicology tests on her hair did not show any evidence of a date rape drug. And then there is the fairly significant matter that ultimately there was no evidence of a rape or assault of any kind. Time stamped photos, fellow dancer Kim Pittman, the medical report, DNA tests, first responders all indicate that nothing at all untoward happened to Ms. Mangum. As Roy Cooper made very plain this was not simply a case where there was not enough evidence to move forward to trial, this was a case where the evidence indicated the former defendants were completely innocent. Had it been otherwise, Mr. Cooper would have dropped the case without a declaration of innocence.

The fact that other defendants in other rape cases have used date rape drugs or claimed the alleged victim was crazy or addled is irrelevant to this case where the facts are well established. We are well beyond speculation here...come join us.


Anonymous said...

2:17 --

"It will not work as she has little credibility with the black community and this is because of her infamous appearance in blackface with her then boyfriend Ted Danson at a Hollywood event in which they told racial demeaning sexual jokes."

Not just any "Hollywood event", dear -- a Friars Club roast. If you don't understand what a roast is then you're too uneducated to talk about the incident and if you decided not to mention that it was a roast then you're too dishonest. Oh, and as far as "racial demeaning sexual jokes", since Whoopi was the star/target of the roast, she's actually in a very good position to distinguish between jokes that actually went too far and those that would only have been out of line outside the context of a roast.

Anonymous said...

InOrOut said:

"I don't deny your experience. Why deny anyone's experience?"

But that's exactly what you're doing, isn't it? You're denying the players' experience of being falsely accused for a crime that they didn't commit. Why are you denying their experience?

See, there are two different meanings of the word "experience" -- one is the reality of one's passage through the world, and one is what one thinks that reality was. If we are talking about the latter, then, sure, why deny anyone's experience? Why deny the experience of the psychotic patient perched on the mental institution's roof that if he chants the magic charm "Idaho, Idaho, Idaho" the three moon goddesses will grant him the power of flight and he will fly to the Vatican City and meet with the Pope (not Benedict, but Pius XII, who faked his death to hide from the Illuminati)? Why deny the experience of the cultist that the Exalted Master who comes from a dimension above our own has shown The Way and must be right when he says that ingesting massive amounts of phenobarbital and cutting off your air supply is the way to rendezvous with the alien spaceship trailing Comet Hale-Bopp?

If, however, one means "experience" in the sense of real experiences, they can and should be denied when the evidence shows that they are not real. The debunked doctrine of "recovered memories", by the way, is a notorious source of "experiences" that are not and frequently could never have been real.

Anonymous said...

IMO> There is no defense for CGM. She lied and tried to get away with it. This whole event as some posters have stated has done great harm to rape victims of the future. All the extreme writings and doctrine created by feminists that paint all men as animals just waiting to rape women have contributed to the present use of rape accusations by woman when non occured. You reap what you sow> credibility is sorely lost when woman cry wolf too many times. I'm truly sorry for any woman who has endured a real rape. It is a crime which should be punished. But because of the extreme hatred for men behind much of the feminist position, I believe the standard of proof should be stringent, the so-called "victim" should be identified, not sheilded as the media now does. If there is truth to the accusations, it should be provable beyond a reasonable doubt. The accused becomes the vicitm too often.This case will help innocent men in the future> it will give people pause and make them question the accuser. The three lax guys were the victims. I don't feel sorry for CGM at all.She may need help, but she knew what she was doing when she tried to use a rape allegation as a tool to get rich.There is no defense for her selfish actions.If Nifong hadn't been stopped by the excellent defense team, CGM would have gladly pursued her lies in a court room and the three would be facing jail today. If feminists truly cared about women's rights, you should care when a woman tries to trample the rights of others be they other women or innocent men. You want justice for all, correct?

Anonymous said...

Important read here:

Basically, a respected blogger finds huge problems with the case but thinks it'll settle "given how egregious some of the conduct described was."

I'd be curious to see KC's response.

John said...

The Nifong immunity issue in the LAX players’ suit may well head to the Supreme Court because as of 2005 there is a conflict among the circuits on the extent of the immunity available to prosecutors for acts performed outside of the strict litigation advocacy function.

In Buckley v. Fitzsimmons, 509 U.S. 259, 268–69 (1993) only qualified immunity was available to a prosecutor who conspired with police to fabricate evidence during the preliminary investigation of a highly publicized rape and murder. As the Court concluded, “[The defendants’] mission at that time was entirely investigative in character. A prosecutor neither is, nor should consider himself to be, an advocate before he has probable cause to have anyone arrested.”

The Court rejected the contention that a prosecutor may shield his investigative misconduct by presenting fabricated evidence to a grand jury or introducing it at trial because “every prosecutor might then shield himself from liability for any constitutional wrong against innocent citizens by ensuring that they go to trial.”
The Court acknowledged that even after probable cause is met, the prosecutor is not necessarily entitled to absolute immunity.

As the Court explained, “Even after that determination . . . a prosecutor may engage in ‘police investigative work’ that is entitled to only qualified immunity.”

This would seem like a pretty clear Buckley v. Fitzsimmons case because as UPI points out, Nifong took over the police investigation when it was about to be dropped.

But it is still not clear whether absolute or only qualified immunity applies when a prosecutor introduces tainted evidence (as Nifong likely did at the Grand Jury) which previously been procured during the investigatory phase of the prosecution.

The Third Circuit has held that absolute immunity applies, while the Second and Ninth Circuits have held that only qualified immunity applies. North Carolina is in the 4th Circuit, a pretty conservative court. I don’t know if the 4th Circuit has a rule on the question.

Quoted in many places from a good article by Margaret Z. Johns, Reconsidering Absolute Prosecutorial Immunity BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY LAW REVIEW (2005).