Friday, April 27, 2007

AG Roy Cooper’s report

I’ve just read the Summary of Conclusions report NC Attorney General Roy Cooper’s office released today on the Duke Hoax and frame-up.

For those of you who’ve followed the case, most of the report will be “familiar territory.”

There are some new items though, including that Crystal Mangum arrived at an April 4 meeting with the special prosecutors stoned. What's more, she admitted to the SPs she'd ingested Ambien, methadone, Paxil and amitriptyline.

Imagine Mnagum’s degree of drug dependency that she shows up stoned at the Special Prosecutor’s office.

I hope Durham County Department of Social Services will examine whether she’s fit to be mothering three children, including an infant. She seems as unfit for that task as Nifong is to be DA.

The report demonstrated how hard it is to find any grounds on which Nifong could have pushed ahead for indictments if he'd followed the law.

The report makes it easy to see where there’s a case, IMO, to prosecute Nifong for malicious prosecution.

The AG’s report really “puts the wood” to Nifong’s Chief Investigator Linwood Wilson. It all but says he met with Mangum in December and fabricated a report.

Here’s how KC Johnson summarized that part of the report:

At his December 21, "no-witnesses" meeting with Mangum, Linwood Wilson admitted that he showed her the April 4 lineup photos again, this time using the players' real names.

The SP's concluded: "Showing the accusing witness these photographs which were the subject of a pending motion to suppress, along with her use of the proper names of those charged, provided the defense additional grounds to argue that the out of court and in court identification should be suppressed which would have effectively ended the case."
Wilson needs an attorney.

The report makes clear the charges were “a thing based on nothing” and restates what Cooper said on April 11: Evans, Finnerty and Seligmann are innocent.

Cooper’s report is a good step on a long road.

What we need now is a special prosecutor and an investigative grand jury examining the who, why and how “a thing based on nothing” led to felony indictments of three innocent men; the withholding of exculpatory evidence; and repeated false statements by public officials and sworn officers; statements which sought to convince the public that investigative travesties and a frame-up were really “Justice in Durham.”

If justice seekers are looking for a song to sing today, I suggest, “We’ve only just begun.”

Besides KC Johnson, The Johnsville News and Liestoppers are weighing in. Both link to the AG’s report (pdf).

I’ll be back tonight on this story.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

John, great piece! I could not have said it better myself.

By the way, I love Karen Carpenter too.

A friend

Professor said...

Earth To Brodhead: Call for Nifong's resignation to protect Duke students,dummy!

Duke should also consider publicly calling for the resignation of Nifong to protect its students, argues Banzhaf. Here we have a rogue prosecutor who, if he didn't have a clear animus against Duke students before, certainly has reason to have an even stronger one now. Since he argues
to this day in his disciplinary proceeding that many of his acts did not constitute either a violation of ethics or of law, he is even more likely to repeat this sorry performance if another complaint against one or more Duke students is received.

"A DA with a clear grudge against Duke, who probably would like nothing better than to try to vindicate himself in the eyes of many of the voters by bringing a successful criminal proceeding against one or more Duke students, and who has shown a willingness to violate their legal and constitutional rights if necessary to do so, is a clear and present danger to every student on the Duke campus, and a risk that Duke can ignore only at its peril," says Banzhaf.

"Many feel that Duke let its students down terribly in this situation, but its excuse is that they did not have the facts at the time to know how wrongful the charges and Nigong's conduct was. Now that they have the facts -- from both the North Carolina Attorney General and the North Carolina Bar Assocation -- it remains to be seen if they will refuse to stand behind their students again by not even attempting to both sue Nifong and remove him from office. Nifong hurt Duke and all its
students, and Duke is in a unique position to take effective action if it has the courage to do so."

PROFESSOR JOHN F. BANZHAF III
Professor of Public Interest Law
George Washington University Law School

Anonymous said...

Would current Duke students have a case for a class-action lawsuit against Durham police for singling out Duke students and discriminating against them?

DukeEgr93 said...

Outgoing (in both senses) Duke Student Government President Elliott Wolf did write a letter to Associate Dean for Judicial Affairs Stephen Bryan pointing out that UJB's use of illegally obtained "evidence" - in this case the ALE raids that were tossed out of court over a year ago - emboldens the DPD to harass Duke students.

Anonymous said...

Who's going to protect Duke students against Duke administrators, let alone Mik Nifong?

Anonymous said...

Do you think there will be an investigation? Where are the big guys like the judges in this report. One thing I really don/t understan is hhow Wilson could be doing all this stuff and he is not even a Cop. The AG does not mention that fact but call his the chief investigator.