The astounding Wendy Murphy is at it again. In this morning’s edition of the Patriot-Ledger, a small paper in suburban Boston, the person who seemed to have no trouble spewing demonstrable falsehoods in the lacrosse case writes the following:
It’s hard to figure out what Murphy is talking about in this passage. The only item from the file never released was the roughly 1000 pages of Mangum’s psychological history. Will Murphy publicly call upon Mangum to release the file? After all, by the logic of her argument, doesn’t the public deserve to know whether Mangum heard voices ordering her to do things? Or claimed people conspired to kill her? Or why her doctors prescribed her anti-psychotic medication? But to my knowledge, Murphy has never demanded the release of this information—the only material from the case file that the court ordered “withheld from public view.”
For example, I’d like to see full disclosure of the file in the “Duke Lacrosse” rape case. The government spent a ton of public money investigating the charges. Ultimately, not only were the charges dropped, the prosecutor was disbarred for unethical behavior. But while selected portions of the files were released by the defense team, thousands of pages have been withheld from public view. Why?
The predominant sentiment is the defendants were falsely accused by a woman named Crystal Magnum and a rogue district attorney named Mike Nifong. The public has a right to see all the witness statements and unredacted DNA tests so we can understand how a seasoned prosecutor got it so wrong. The latest excuse is there are civil suits pending. But the law is clear that this is not a legitimate reason to withhold government documents from public view.
The adjunct law professor continues, “The latest excuse is there are civil suits pending. But the law is clear that this is not a legitimate reason to withhold government documents from public view.” The “latest excuse” from whom? Murphy doesn’t say.
Even more astonishingly, Murphy’s comments come in an editorial demanding sunlight about the Treasury Department’s management of the bailout--something that has nothing to do with the lacrosse case.
Murphy purports to be an attorney (echoing the Murphy logic, I say “purports” because she has never publicly posted her law license on her adjunct faculty website. To quote Murphy, “Why?”) This purported attorney presumably would know that Treasury Department documents are subject to filings under the Freedom of Information Act. And from subpoenas from congressional oversight.
Yet—as Murphy presumably knows, since she purports to be an attorney—FOIA doesn’t apply to state or local criminal investigations, regardless of whether “the government spent a ton of public money investigating the charges” or whether the government spent no money at all. Does Murphy believe that the law should be changed? I’m unaware of any demands from her that all case files involving all allegations of rape (including those from real victims) be publicly released. But perhaps Murphy has become a born-again civil libertarian.
Then again, I doubt it.