Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Mangum Trial Continues [with updates]

[Update, Thurs., 11.58am: One of my classes has an exam this afternoon, and so I will be off-line most of the afternoon; Matthew Milliken is back in court, and you can follow his twitter feed.]

[Update, Thurs., 10.17am: The Mangum case has gone to the jury. And here's a remarkable update from the twitter feed of H-S reporter Matthew Milliken, who covered the trial yesterday: "Jackie Wagstaff [a race-baiting former school board member, and outspoken Nifong supporter] overheard during recess: 'They are not understanding the nature of the black household.' Not sure if she's referring to [the racially-mixed] jury." Only in Durham could we get the insinuation that a mother burning clothes in a room near to where her children were sleeping is part of the "nature of the black household."]

[Update, Wed., 9.40am: The N&O reports: "In a videotaped interrogation shown to the jury Tuesday morning, Crystal Mangum confessed to smashing her boyfriend Milton Walker’s windshield with a vacuum cleaner, slashing his tires and setting his clothes on fire because she says he punched her in the face repeatedly." Mangum's attorney tried and failed to get the confession excluded from evidence, on grounds that at the time, the false accuser "was medicated after a spinal tap for headache treatment and hadn’t gotten much sleep the previous two nights."]

The first week of the Crystal Mangum trial (on charges of arson, injury to personal property, contributing to the delinquency of her three children, and resisting arrest) has concluded in Durham. The trial raises one obvious question: namely, what criteria the North Carolina children’s services department possibly could have used to keep Mangum’s three children in the same house with her, given that the record of the lacrosse case proved that she either was a monster, willing to lie and send innocent people to jail for decades, or a person so mentally disturbed that she believed her lies. It’s perfectly clear from the record of the trial that the children were not well-served by remaining in Mangum’s custody.

A few items:

(1) A courtroom observer passes on news that upon her arrest, Mangum (falsely) told officers that she was pregnant. She also, of course, lied to the officers about her identity.

(2) Mangum’s intriguing defense amounts to a version of entrapment: (a) that police officers, having received a desperate 911 call from one of Mangum’s children, should have trusted the assurances of this mentally imbalanced woman that everything was OK, and not entered the premises; and (b) that, having been arrested, Mangum had no obligation to inform police officers that she had set clothes on fire in the bathroom, even as her three children were in a nearby room.

(3) For those desiring a peek inside the pro-Mangum fantasy world, Steve Matherly is attending the trial. In a recent post, the People’s Alliance “activist” has taken a break from defending Mangum, and instead has launched into the character attacks on the lacrosse players that were so common from figures like Cathy Davidson and her Group of 88 comrades. Matherly made the mindboggling claim that the role of the lacrosse players in the lacrosse case is comparable to “the racist riots of the 1920s and 30s.”

Yes, because as any student of U.S. history knows, in the 1920s and 1930s, local prosecutors throughout the South were—like Mike Nifong in the lacrosse case—willing to violate myriad ethical procedures in order to imprison innocent white people, despite baseless charges from a local African-American woman.


Gary Packwood said...

At least we know now that for everyone except Children’s Services and Steve Matherly, it is understood that Crystal (bless her heart) is consistent.

She lies with abandon.

And I can't help but wonder how much | Gender | Race | Privilege | Kool Aid the Group of 88 fed to Matherly and Crystal.

Will it wear off eventually?

Robert Zimmerman said...

No, Matherly is not writing about the "role of the lacrosse players," as you claim, he's writing about the role of the general public, or in his words, "the rabid, frothing-at-the-mouth, demonizing of Crystal by nearly the entire white population of Durham, North Carolina, and the entire country."

He starts, in fact, by assuming "for the sake of argument that Crystal is guilty of falsely accusing those Lacrosse guys" and proceeds to explain why "the exact same actions by a white woman would not elicit such scorn and attacks as have been visited upon her." I take the comparison that you single out as suggesting that she was lynched in the court of public opinion.

Did you see the part where he wrote "I know that I will be misquoted and misunderstood for saying all this" and decide it was your job to make an honest man out of him? Or is he just not an easy enough target for you?

kcjohnson9 said...

It's always nice to see Prof. Zimmerman straining to defend the Duke and Durham status quo.

Matherly's post, of course, is linked. In the section from which I quoted, Matherly specifically referenced the behavior of the lacrosse players. That followed up on other posts by Matherly in which he bizarrely claimed that word of the lacrosse players' innocence had come only from their defense attorneys (the Durham professional left appears to believe that the state Att'y General is actually a criminal defense attorney).

As to Matherly's argument being that Ms. Mangum was "lynched" in the court of public opinion rather than--as he said--the situation was comparable to "the racist riots of the 1920s and 1930s":

As I pointed out in the post, I'm unaware of any racially charged event, anywhere in the South, in the 1920s and 1930s in which the local prosecutor had violated myriad ethical guidelines to prop up a case filed by a local African-American woman who made wild criminal allegations against white men; nor am I aware any racially charged event, anywhere in the South, in the 1920s and 1930s in which significant elements of the local white establishment--such as, in this case, Bob Ashley's Herald-Sun and many members of the Group of 88--bent over backwards to give the benefit of the doubt to an African-American woman who made wild criminal allegations against white men.

Perhaps in future posts, Matherly will highlight these apparently lost-to-history events from the 1920s and 1930s South as he elaborates on his historical analogy.

Robert Zimmerman said...

There is no reference to the behavior of the lacrosse players in the section you quoted. If you mean "the N word," he's claiming that's an element that missing from the lacrosse case. Meaning, I guess, that the word wasn't thrown around in public and the press.

There is no attack on the lacrosse players in Matherly's piece. It's a very simple point and has nothing to do with how good or valid or insghtful his argument is. You're saying it's ok to misrepresent someone as long as you link to the original? Or he's so contemptible that you can say whatever you want about him?

skwilli said...

I'm betting that an intellectual "throw-down" concerning History with Prof. Zimmerman would not last long. Only Crystal and the "88" would bother to purchase the Pay-Per-View. I'll just look for the Boxscore in the morning paper.

Anonymous said...

KC, where is the link that you refer to?


Anonymous said...

From reading your blog, it appears that the prosecution has waived its right to impeach Mangum based upon her lies in the Mangum False Rape Scandal. That raises some flags for me. Conflict of interest is one such flag.

Why didn't the prosecutor's office call in the North Carolina AG to prosecute the case if they were going to be hamstrung because of a conflict of interest? The reason for the agreement is patently obvious: To prevent further harm to Durham's position vis-a-vis the civil lawsuits.

Diligence and the requirement of zealous advocacy are raised flags. What better impeachment is there than on-the-cover-of-Newsweek-type impeachable materials? That's like Custer deciding on leaving the Gatling Guns behind as he made his way to Little Big Horn.


This is what I think is behind Professor Zimmerman's post. He is the ultimate passive-aggressive. In your preceeding post, you lambasted Davidson but good. Instead of getting you back in that post, he chose this one.

I hope at least one enterprising reader of D-i-W sends this material to his or her Senator for use in grilling the nominee or refusing to vote on her. If you are being nominated to be any part of the National Council of Humanities, don't you have to first be humane?


I think we need Professor Zimmerman and the rest of the Mag-symps to shave their heads and sit cross-legged on the corner outside the courthouse, chanting stuff. Now that would be fun! These are my opinions only. MOO! Gregory

kcjohnson9 said...

To the 1.27:

Yes, the prosecution has waived the right to impeach Mangum's credibility. That isn't surprising, given that the prosecutor reports to current Durham DA (and darling of the People's Alliance/Durham professional Left) Tracey Cline, who was going to serve as second chair to Nifong if the lacrosse case had gone to trial. Impeaching Mangum's credibility by using the lacrosse case, in this respect, would also be impeaching the credibility of Durham's current "minister of justice."

To the 6.22:

My apologies; I thought I had linked to Matherly's peculiar insinuation that the AG was a defense attorney. It's here.

To Prof. Zimmerman:

I am pleased to see that you are no longer denying that Matherly's post referenced the lacrosse players' behavior. I don't recall stating that Matherly is "contemptible," as you claim. I do believe, as the post explains and for reasons my first comment reiterates, that Matherly is historically ignorant. Perhaps you disagree.

RighteousThug said...

Good work, KC.

So, Matherly solicits input from his 'public', but is there an email address posted anywhere? it doesn't appear that he has cleared any comments to his numerous Mangum Trial posts.

His phone # appears to be 919-286-5707.

Panacea said...

Are you guys still at it? You'll be trying to gossip about Durham and Duke when you're drawing social security and the lacrosse players are grandparents.
Don't any of you have lives? The Duke case is over and not anyone at Duke is affected by your pitiful attempt to keep the case alive.

Anonymous said...

With every day of the Mangum trial the Group of 88 looks more pathetic. That is why you need facts and logic, not just metanarrative, on your side.

If the civil cases go to trial, it will only get worse for the 88 and Duke. First, you get Federal Court, and you just know that some of the juiciest facts will come out about Duke and the 88.

Anonymous said...

P.S. I know that you have a right to remain silent after you have been arrested. However, it doesn't seem possible that Mangum moved all the clothing into the bathroom, lit the fire, and closed the bathroom door AFTER SHE HAD BEEN ARRESTED.

Thus, there was a time-frame during which she could have protected her children-instead of herself-before the right to remain silent started.

Anonymous said...

Have you seen Wendy Murphy's latest about how bogus rape charges hurt women?

Locomotive Breath said...

In an unrelated case, Wendy Murphy is at it again. This time she's apparently become aware of the Presumption of Innocence.

Julian Assange is the worst kind of person and deserves to be in jail for what he's already admitted to doing which is wholly unrelated to why he's in jail. For Wendy, who probably supports what Assange did, it all depends on WHO is accused.

kcjohnson9 said...

To the 7.06:

Thanks for the kind words.

You appear to be affected by matters enough not only to continue to read the blog but to take the time to comment.

Anonymous said...

"... not anyone at Duke is affected by your pitiful attempt to keep the case alive."

Maybe not. But the players and their families are still affected. Do you think
"Duke lacrosse team 2006" looks good on a resume? (A year's worth of vilification doesn't wash away in a day.) The Duke Case is over when the public understands the players, like the Scottsboro boys, were victims and not perpetrators.

skwilli said...

Touche, KC, Touche. hee hee (My life is rich and diverse and relatively free from ideological academic bias, by the way, Panacea).

RighteousThug said...

Panacea @ 7:06 - The Duke case is over and not anyone at Duke is affected...

Wrong on both counts, Panacea.

The 3 'Duke' civil lawsuits are still in progress, and Duke has paid tens million$ defending themselves in 2 of them.

Panacea said...

KC I happen to live here, unlike most of the people who still care to comment. I'm just curious why you cover some parts of the case and ignore others.
This is your blog and you can do anything you want but you should be able to post something other than about Mangum. How much longer are you going to beat that dead horse?
If you hadn't gone along with the corrupt NC Democrats you'd have called for her prosecution long ago. Who cares now? You always did pick and choose according to your views and you live in Brooklyn and Maine!
Does it help anything to re post what the N&O has on their website? There were many more heinous things that happened at Duke that you didn't cover.
The case is over but you keep rehashing what we all know and it will never change anything. It just reminds everyone how OVER the case is. Some people at Liestoppers are also caught in time back to 2006.

kcjohnson9 said...

To the 4.59:

"This is your blog and you can do anything you want but you should be able to post something other than about Mangum."

Of the 2010 posts, a grand total of seven have been about Mangum. Thirty-six have been about "something other than about Mangum." I'm sorry that you missed those posts--I'd urge refreshing your browser.

Given that the false accuser was charged with a crime that could lead to serious jail time--and given that the office of "minister of justice" Cline is effectively now saying that the woman for whom Cline was willing to join Mike Nifong at trial has no credibility--the item seems newsworthy.

"I'm just curious why you cover some parts of the case and ignore others."

See above: this blog has had more than 1400 posts. The blog certainly can be criticized, but I rather doubt that a claim that the blog has ignored parts of the case is one that most people would find persuasive.

"Who cares now?"

Obviously, you do, or you wouldn't be repeatedly commenting.

"There were many more heinous things that happened at Duke that you didn't cover."

My email address is I'm always eager for tips, and, certainly, if there have been instances of malfeasance at Duke that are related to the themes or the actors of the case, please pass them along.

"The case is over but you keep rehashing what we all know and it will never change anything. It just reminds everyone how OVER the case is."

Since, you suggest, you have access to sources on the ground, are you suggesting at as the case is "OVER," Duke and Durham have decided to settle civil suits? I'd urge you go to the N&O with your info.--I suspect it would be front-page news.

Joey said...

Panacea : I'd say, like the Scotsboro Boys, the Duke rape hoax is now part of history. Certainly a huge part of legal history. And the main story of Durham history.

Anonymous said...

oh, what a wonderful gift at the season! Thank you, Panacea, for your posts. I haven't laughed so hard in months.

And, thank you KC, for, once again,exposing the rank stupidity of those at Duke who want to cover their eyes and ears and pretend these social and personal atrocities against the Lax players never occurred.

Still trying to catch Panacea's logic that one should only comment on matters that occur within geographic proximity to where one lives. If correct, Panacea's logic restricts most human interaction including his posts.

Matthew E. Milliken said...

Just to be fair to Ms. Wagstaff, I heard her comment clearly but out of context. I don't know who she meant by "they" and I don't know what exactly about "the black household" she felt they did not understand. I thought the comment worth recording on Twitter despite my incomplete comprehension because it conveys the fact that people are coming at this trial and the issues surrounding it from such different perspectives.

Anonymous said...

About the only thing on Panacea's Blog is a link to "Durham in Wonderland".

Anonymous said...

To Panacea

I only check here occasionally now but during the persecution-of-the-boys phase this blog was (and remains) the best source of info

I also stop by because it is always so well written with impeccable logic, reasoning and source citations

But the most important reason is that the fascinating legal case against Duke is far from over and the shocking corruption revealed in the justice system and the utter lack of accountability by the meta-faculty and the news media continue to appall.

RighteousThug said...

Matthew E. Milliken - thank you for your coverage of the trial; your twiiter updates were grat.

because it conveys the fact that people are coming at this trial and the issues surrounding it from such different perspectives

That's a politic way of saying that Wagstaff played the race card (as is her wont). She tosses the race card like a ninja throws a shuriken.

Anonymous said...

Judge Beaty, federal judge in North Carolina, has 149 dismissal motions which he has been sitting on for more than 19 months. The civil case is not moving if and when he acts professionally.