Sunday, November 30, 2008

Crime & Punishment

The Chronicle reports that Michael Burch was recently arrested on charges of rape. Burch is the same man arrested for rape after a February 2007 party at a house rented by members of Duke’s predominately African-American Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity. The Chronicle reminded us that “police had found marijuana, cocaine and Oxycontin in the house” at which the February 2007 party was held. Burch, who is not a Duke student, is African-American; his February 2007 accuser, who was a Duke student, is white. Neither the Chronicle nor the N&O revealed the race of Burch’s second accuser.

After his February 2007 arrest, Burch was held on a $50,000 bond. It was hard to miss the disparity between this figure and the amount ex-Nifong boss and current Durham judge Ronald Stephens assigned to the falsely accused lacrosse players—$400,000, with a requirement for posting the entire amount in cash, rather than (as Burch received) a 10% bond. The father of Burch’s accuser certainly noticed how Durham Justice operates:

We feel eschewed because the Duke lacrosse players had to post $400,000 and this individual had to post $50,000. From a racial aspect, on the outside looking in, [it seems they thought] ‘four white kids from the North let’s make it $400,000 and for a black guy let’s make it $50,000.’ A crime is a crime.

Of course, the Burch case revealed not only the double standards in Durham Justice but in Duke Justice. The clarifying faculty told us that the Group of 88 had—based only the version of events presented by Mike Nifong and Sgt. Mark Gottlieb—proclaimed that something “happened” to Crystal Mangum, had thanked protesters who carried a “castrate” banner, and had promised to continue their crusade “regardless of what the police say or the court decides” because of “the atmosphere that allows sexism, racism, and sexual violence to be so prevalent on campus.”

Certainly, then, we should have expected a cacophony of protest from the Group targeted at Burch—given that his alleged victim was a student at the University from which the Group members draw their salaries. And yet the Group’s sound was silence.

Burch’s second arrest? Again, not a peep. I’ll be checking the pages of the Chronicle for another Wahneema Lubiano-organized ad, but I’m not betting on it. Could the Group members have become latter-day civil libertarians?

As for the University? In the Burch I case, Larry Moneta appeared to shift the blame to the accusing Duke student, commenting that the situation was “part of the reality of collegiate life and of experimentation and some of the consequences of students not necessarily always being in the right place at the right time.” (Imagine if Moneta had issued a statement early in the lacrosse case seeming to blame Crystal Mangum.) Neither Moneta nor anyone else from Duke has issued a statement in Burch II; it’s unclear if Moneta still maintains his selective blame-the-accuser approach.

The house rented by the fraternity members had four students; Moneta told the N&O that Duke had moved the quartet to temporary campus housing, because “we wanted them to be able to concentrate on their classes.” That’s the same Moneta who, in the lacrosse case, told two Duke students whose house was besieged by a mob of potbangers that they should call the Durham Police for assistance, since he couldn’t do anything.

By the way: Burch will come to trial sometime in 2009, so his case will be handled by a D.A.’s office under the leadership of newly elected D.A. Tracey Cline. That’s the same Cline who issued misleading or outright false statements about her role in the office’s lacrosse case misconduct, and was scheduled to assist Nifong in the prosecution of the bogus charges. How reassuring.


One Spook said...

KC writes:

"Burch’s second arrest? Again, not a peep. "

If I read the Chronicle correctly, the latest Burch arrest is his third arrest.

Reporter Shuchi Parikh writes that, "Burch also faces charges of first-degree sexual offense and felony aiding and abetting, for crimes which allegedly occurred June 21,"

One wonders why if Burch was free on bond for the original rape arrest in Feburary 2007 why his bond was not revoked after the June 21 arrest for another first degree sexual offense.

It is also noteworthy that the reporter refers to the accuser in the February incident as "the victim" on three occasions. Apparently the institutional memory of The Chronicle is fairly short.

And reporter Parikh's final sentence is rather mindless as well; "Durham Assistant District Attorney Janice Paul, who is representing the student [the accuser], was unavailable for comment.

Of course the District Attorney represents the People of North Carolina. The student reporter can be forgiven, but aren't there any adults teaching Duke students?

One Spook

Anonymous said...

As far as I can tell (google), as of Nov. 30, the Herald Sun has yet to report on this second arrest at all.

This is the same paper that, according to the Change of Venue Motion, published over 295 articles, editorials, and letters about the lax case in a six month period.

After the "60 Minutes" broadcast, it said, "We still haven't heard why an assault couldn't have happened during those [five to ten minute] gaps . . Does Durham really want a prosecutor who won't stand up for an alleged victim, even if she ranks near the bottom of society?"

And in November, the paper editorialized, "it would be better for the players to have an opportunity to PROVE THEIR INNOCENCE at trial."

I guess we can figure which case the HS really wanted to keep the people of Durham informed about...

BillyB said...

Are you saying that race is only an issue if making it an issue is favorable to the racists? (strike that)

Are you saying that race is an issue only if making it an issue furthers the political agenda of the agrieved race? (strike that)

Are you saying that race is an issue only if the historically agrieved race is the victim? (strike that)

Are you saying that the black leadership at Duke are a bunch of hypocrites and that the Duke administration is a bunch of yellow bellied cowards that won't stand up to them?

yea,,,that's tha ticket (in my best Jon Lovitz voice)

Anonymous said...

We are truly living in a racist and sexist culture. As Orwell would say: "Some animals are more equal than others."

The biggest problem is that I don't see a way out of this mess. It looks completely log-jammed with the perceived victim class at the helm protected by political correctness and a brainwashed public.

Debrah said...

This bit of news is not shocking, but the way Duke and the media have handled the coverage is the real story, obviously.

It's clear that the justice system in Durham is an institutionally racist one, but as this post illustrates, no one speaks out for this alleged victim and no one is on her side because she is a white woman accusing a black suspect.

None of us should rest until the vast differences between this case and the lacrosse case are driven home to the public.

I missed this story. Totally.

From skimming the N&O, I remember the photograph of this alleged rapist; however, it was so downplayed I didn't bother to even read the story because I just thought-----"another crime in Durham".

This really makes me very angry.

Debrah said...

One story on Burch in the N&O.

Second story on Burch in the N&O.

But no longwinded "teaching moments" from Timothy Tyson. No lectures about this alleged victim being "somebody's daughter, and somebody's sister, and somebody's mother--(no evidence that this girl has been stupid enough to birth multiple babies without a father to help support them)--, and somebody's sweetheart"......

No antebellum blues from the overwrought Allan Gurganus. I suppose a melodramatic tale of how "Kunta Kinte" or "Mandingo" went bad at a party around the Duke campus held no fascination for the emotional and excitable Gurganus.

And no sensationalized front page coverage with a mugshot of Burch and a one-sided "victim's tale" from N&O's editor Linda Williams.

No, the coverage of this one very subdued.

Debrah said...

How the Duke professor and Gang of 88 apologist, the zany "reharmonizer", can persist in defending scoundrels.......

and obsessively going after KC is really quite......


It also provides a great example of the mindset in Durham and how they approach the concept of justice.

Anonymous said...

It's posts like these that cause me to get annoyed with this site.

Bail is regularly linked to a defendant's ability to pay. The purpose of bail is to ensure the defendant appears at the trial. More money will be needed to encourage a rich defendant to appear when compared with a poor defendant.

Additionally, bail is typically larger in a high profile case like the Duke case.

I'm the biggest supporter of the Duke lacrosse players and the most critical of the Group of 88. However, when you assume every decision is a conspiracy then your logic is no better than that of the Group of 88's.

Anonymous said...

Duke's conservative student group (if such exist) should organize a potbanger event, show Burch's picture and demand the end of the rape culture against Duke students. They should also publicly invite G88, Al Sharpton and other professional racists to the event.

Anonymous said...

For how long was Burch sought for the second rape allegation before he was apprehended?

Was there a WANTED POSTER put out for him?

(Recall : there was a Wanted Poster for the lax team, whose whereabouts were NOT unknown and whom the DPD could contact at any time. Ergo, there was purpose to that Wanted Poster other than to stir animosity. And no purpose to its being printed in a newspaper, either.)

Was there a Poster put out by the DPD for Burch?

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the Group of 88, Monetta, Broadhead, and the Duke trustees are OK if the white female Duke student is raped. Afterall, there is no Meta Narrative to tell and for some reason I bet the Group of 88 as well as the Black Durham community believes that this is some type of "poetic justice". Twisted - but this group seemed to support the idea that the LAX players should have been prosecuted even if they didn't commit rape.

My bet is that you will find no one standing in Duke Chapel on Sunday supporting this young women. Nor will one faculty member open his or her mouth publicly in support of this women. So it appears there are two types of faculty at Duke - Liars or Cowards.

I respectfully hope that the Duke Professors and Administration prove me wrong.

Anonymous said...

I guess we should not be too surprised that this crime would allegedly happen if it takes 23 months for a rapist to go to trial in Durham (February 2007-January 2009).

The current bail of $1.85 million seems like a CYA action.

I just hope that the Duke student has been able to get her life back together at her new school.

Debrah said...

I've been reminded in a personal e-mail that Stuart and KC covered Burch's first arrest in UPI on (page 341) thusly:

"Sometimes, in the course of human events, something happens that lays bare the hypocrisy of a whole swath of people the way a big wind strips dead leaves from a tree in late autumn."

My G/d! I'm reminded by this---if I really need to be--why I adore KC and Stuart's writing.

Another book on this case MUST be written.

kcjohnson9 said...

To the 10.34:

You correctly note, "Bail is regularly linked to a defendant's ability to pay. The purpose of bail is to ensure the defendant appears at the trial. More money will be needed to encourage a rich defendant to appear when compared with a poor defendant."

Yet in the lacrosse case, while Stephens imposed a spectacularly high bail, he didn't require that the defendants turn over their passports--an obvious move "to ensure the defendant appears at the trial," and something routinely done in such criminal cases, high or low profile. The move suggested that Stephens' primary goal in setting the bail was a political one--sending a message that he agreed with Nifong's expressed judgment that the case was one of the worst "crimes" in recent Durham history.

Many months later, of course, once the political benefit from the high bail was gone, the bail was reduced to a reasonable $100,000.

Dan Weber said...

After his February 2007 arrest, Burch was held on a $50,000 bond. It was hard to miss the disparity between this figure and the amount ex-Nifong boss and current Durham judge Ronald Stephens assigned to the falsely accused lacrosse players—$400,000

A bond isn't based (just) on the crime. It's also based on the defendant. It's designed to be punitive enough to make the person actually show up in court, yet not a hardship for them to offer.

This is why Seligmann's bond was reduced to $100,000. His family had modest means.

Debrah said...

"It's posts like these that cause me to get annoyed with this site."

Try not to allow that annoyance to contaminate what's left of your holiday weekend.

"Bail is regularly linked to a defendant's ability to pay. The purpose of bail is to ensure the defendant appears at the trial."

Well, things didn't quite work out so well in this instance, did they?

Perhaps bail should be set by checking into the background of the suspect as well.

You can't tell me that the amount of bail is always derived from the way you say.

That's BS.

In this case, any DA working in Durham would have a riot at his door if he had treated this obvious serial suspect (Burch) the way Reade, Collin, and David were treated.

As a result, another woman was likely raped.

Stop trying to dress-up the law profession.

kcjohnson9 said...

To the 4.41:

The bail for all three of the falsely accused players--not just Seligmann--was reduced to $100,000, after the political benefits of the high bail had passed.

Gary Packwood said...

Burch was arrested for rape after a 2007 party at a house owned by a Duke Alumnus who is a resident of Oklahoma and which was rented by members of Duke's predominately African-American Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity which was not an approved Duke fraternity in 2007.

There is much more to learn about these crimes; Michael Burch; others arrested in the house that evening and the source of those drugs.

Anonymous said...

Is Burch a Communist?

Debrah said...

Why doesn't some aggressive reporter camp outside Brodhead's office---and I mean really camp out there, making a big scene for local news---and keep demanding an answer as to why this Burch case, which is the result of a Duke fraternity party, is being handled so differently than two years ago on Buchanan Blvd.

Then go to the John Hope Franklin building where Wahneema and the other Chia pets are located and do the same thing.

I haven't seen anything about this case in the news except the bland and sanitized versions we see from the aforementioned articles.

Are newspaper reporters simply resigned to the fact that their bosses will not cover some stories honestly?

Like the Durham City Council woman, Cora Cole-McFadden, who threw her power around and has yet to be held accountable.

Very little was reported on this woman. Only a few letters sent to the editors.

The area news outlets aren't doing their jobs on this Burch case.

Anonymous said...

How many times does this have to happen before it even happens once. Where are the Group88 racists and fools to discuss this horrid matter. Where are the femininst for that matter, and where are the Take Back the Night bigots who are off somewhere drooling into their socks? Perhaps Burch is a Duke student after all participating in a study of Durham hypocrisy. Neither he nor Moneta nor Mangan give a rat's rear end about Duke or Durham and the group of people living in Durham who do not know right from wrong. What frauds all these people are.

Anonymous said...

A potential new professor for Duke ... or Vanderbilt or Cornell or, well, pretty much any "prestigious" university!

At a recent meeting of the Carlton University Student Association, Donnie Northup, a senior, moved for the association to cease giving to a cystic-fibrosis charity on the grounds that the disease “has been recently revealed to only affect white people, and primarily men.”

Readers of the above-cited url should scroll down to Comment #5 where Northup says of the controversy:"Hey to all the haters – You are all bigots! Until you know what it’s like to suffer discrimination, you do not deserve to speak. White people get all of the best medical attention and certainly if there were a couple of dollars more to be spent on medicine that helps minorities, I won’t lose sleep over it."

Of course, it turns out that cystic-fibrosis does not "only affect white people" nor "primarily men". But we have learned through the Lacrosse Hoax that fidelity to facts is no requirement for ivory tower employment and may be a inhibitor. Look at "Dukie of the Year" and future filmmaker Tim Tyson.

The reason I bring this story to the attention of the Sunshine Band is that among the other commentaries on the event was this editorial in the Ottawa Citizen entitled "The Marriage of Evil and Stupidity at Carleton University". While the whole editorial is worth reading, I wanted to quote a few passages I found particularly profound:

“Political correctness has numbed [students’] brains. How has it done so? By instilling indifference to truth in their souls.
“Evil and stupidity reinforce one another….
What have evil and stupidity in common? Once again: indifference to truth. The very western ideal of liberal education was to cultivate the truth-loving mind. Far from contenting itself with slogans, and Pavlovian responses to questions of the day, that mind should be seeking the truth behind appearances. This is a moral quest, requiring such disciplines as courage, to confront the malice that is implicit in every kind of lie -- including the unknowing malice in unknowing lies.
“How many letters I have received, from students in Carleton and other universities, who tell me their experience of higher education is nothing like this; who say they are surrounded by students, professors, administrators, and course materials that consistently subvert the ideals of liberal education.


Anonymous said...

I think thst the high level of bail set for the Duke students exposed another element of fantasy or false belief in this case-that all white students at Duke are rich and also that resentment of this, were it indeed a fact, justifies extreme punishment. These are core beliefs that many people seem to hold. Off with their heads, so to speak...

Anonymous said...

Here is the portion of N.C.Gen. Stat. 15A-534 listing the factors a judge must consider in setting a bond:

c) In determining which conditions of release to impose, the judicial official must, on the basis of available information, take into account the nature and circumstances of the offense charged; the weight of the evidence against the defendant; the defendant's family ties, employment, financial resources, character, and mental condition; whether the defendant is intoxicated to such a degree that he would be endangered by being released without supervision; the length of his residence in the community; his record of convictions; his history of flight to avoid prosecution or failure to appear at court proceedings; and any other evidence relevant to the issue of pretrial release.

Ken Duke

Anonymous said...

The people who lead Duke just lost it, or perhaps never had it to begin with . . . moral courage.

Anonymous said...

I wonder why Moneta was not fired or at least disciplined for his comments after the first Burch arrest. However, given that Moneta never makes a statement that is devoid of political content, perhaps it is not surprising as to what he said.

Anonymous said...

A previous posting on Wednesday, January 17, 2007, discussed sexual misconduct on the Duke campus as almost a non-event. In one year, the posting stated that there were five reports of sexual misconduct on campus of which three, I believe, were sent to trial. Burch has created forty percent of that pattern of sexual depravity by himself, and has by virtue of politics and agenda been allowed to become what is for all intents and purposes . . . a . . . serial rapitst.

One Spook said...

KC writes:

"it’s unclear if Moneta still maintains his selective blame-the-accuser approach.

One thing about Moneta is clear --- his smarminess knows no bounds.

On pp. 390 -391 of Until Proven Innocent KC and Stuart quote Penn Professor and F.I.R.E. co-founder Alan Kors who dealt with Moneta in the famous "Water Buffalo Incident" at Penn. Kors, in a letter to a Duke publication written shortly after Moneta was hired by Duke, said of Moneta, "If Strom Thurmond had become President of Penn, Larry Moneta would have had a Southern accent by day's end."

And later, in 2003, when speaking at Duke, Kors added another observation about Moneta, saying, "I wondered who would possibly hire him?"

Only in the Wonderland that is Duke could such a cretin as Moneta even survive.

One Spook

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous @ 10:34 --

When you write that "[b]ail is regularly linked to a defendant's ability to pay," why don't you also explain exactly what Reade's net worth was at the time of the bond hearing? He was over the age of 18 at the time.

I have actually stood next to clients during hundreds of bond hearings, and nobody at any time has ever inquired into the depth of the pocketbook of an adult client's parents or grandparents. Your argument is nonsense.


There are currently 604 inmates incarcerated in the Durham County jail. A cursory inspection found the following bail amounts:

$25k -- Carrying a Concealed Weapon

$250k -- 8 total offenses, including Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon, Assault by Pointing a Weapon, Assault of a Government Employee, etc....

$100k -- Possession of a Weapon of Mass Destruction

$350k -- Murder

That's going alphabetically and not even making it to the "C's." I did get to see that Mr. Burch is still quite safely incarcerated.


Your argument rings hollow. As K.C. has pointed out, Judge Stephens, if he was really concerned about a "flight" risk, would have confiscated their passports. Moreover, Stephens was well aware that Nifong chose to wait to indict the defendants rather than arrest them immediately. Therefore, he knew that Nifong felt they weren't much of a flight risk or a risk to the safety of the commmunity. How did Stephens know? He sealed the indictments of Reade and Collin himself.

P.S. Please don't cite the "defendant's family ties" language from the statute quoted by Mr. Duke. It deals with geography, not finances. I have argued many times to a judge that my client is supporting a wife and children who live within the county. (Ergo, he is less likely to skip town). Now get your weak **** outta here. MOO! Gregory