Wednesday, April 11, 2007

INNOCENT

NC Attorney General Roy Cooper said it: “Innocent!”

And look at all Cooper added: “no credible evidence,” the false accuser’s statements “could not be rectified,” “no DNA,” “no other witness” confirmed what she said, “she contradicted herself.”

More: “Durham DA pushed ahead unchecked,” “statements were made publicly that turned out to be not true,” “rogue prosecutor.”

And this: Cooper said he didn’t know if Chrystal Mangum has “ever told the same story twice.”

I don’t think anyone who’s followed the case knows whether she’s ever told the same story twice. Trying to keep track of the stories Mangum has told is almost as hard as keeping count of the number of false statements Nifong’s made.

Yes, Nifong will be disbarred. I think criminal charges will be brought against him too. And I think Cooper does too.

If you’re the state Attorney General you don’t call a DA “rogue” unless your pretty sure sometime down the road he’ll face trial.

I listened to the talking heads on Fox. I think they have it wrong about law suits. Sure, law suits are usually tough to succeed at but there are a lot of differences with this case.

I doubt the Fox talking heads, for instance, know in any detail about the Durham Crimestoppers’ poster.

Police are not supposed to tell the community a citizen is a criminal unless there’s very, very strong evidence for that. Cooper made clear today what most of you have known: there never was credible evidence anyone on the Duke lacrosse team had committed what Durham Police Cpl. and Crimestoppers Coordinator David Addison called “this horrific crime.”

Attorneys in Durham tell me the players have a very strong case for civil suits against Durham Police, Durham Crimestoppers and Durham City. The suits will be for both slander (Addison’s spoken statements to media accusing the players of committing crimes) and libel (the printed Crimestoppers poster on a Durham Police header and very likely the CS emails sent to media)

There are other causes for action in suits.

Where was Nifong’s staff? The last I heard about Nifong staff was a few weeks ago. The staff was honoring him at some sort of appreciation luncheon.

I’ll ask a Nifong staff related question: Is it possible the NC State Bar needs to look at the actions of some of Nifong’s Assistant DAs?

What about the Durham Police investigators who helped Nifong with the frame-up? Who will take a look at what they did?

We’re still in the early stages of this Hoax case.

Message to Collin Finnerty, David Evans, Reade Seligmann, their teammates, families, Coach Pressler and his family: You showed tremendous strength, courage and class. I’m very happy for you all and so is every decent person in America today.

Message to the Duke Women’s lacrosse team and its coaches: Thank you. At a time when so many at Duke failed to be fair or to do their duty, you stepped up and said just what needed to be said: INNOCENT.

More later.

18 comments:

Former intramural laxer said...

John - I've been following your blog since the beginning of this case, when I had my doubts about the credibility of something as simple as anyone tying up a bathroom for more than a minute or two at a college beer party with urgent bladders lined up outside the door. Your relentless pressure has no doubt saved these young men and their loved ones from many more months to years of continued anguish. You're a credit to all that's right about America.

Ex-prosecutor said...

Having seen a lot of prosecutors over the years,
many of them unfair and determined to obtain a conviction, I agree with General Cooper's comments that Mr. Nifong is a rogue, even among aggressive prosecutors. What sets him apart is his imaginative perversion of the criminal process. His bag of dirty tricks contains some, such as the cooked lineup, that I never saw or imagined. If this had been a made-for-tv movie, I would have thought it to be ridiculous because, in my experience no prosecutor would be so ruthless and inventive.

What the future holds for him I can imagine. It will be costly,
financially and, hopefully, emotionally for he deserves it.

This case would make for a fascinating law school survey course, for it pulls together criminal law and prosecutor, prosecutorial ethics, and civil rights civil suits and, perhaps, criminal prosecutons.

Anonymous said...

"rogue" not "rouge"

Anonymous said...

It be Precious Panties, Johnny!

I's gonnas rites mak ah bok and gets mah a face transplant

I 1 uggly ho

Precious Panties

Gary Packwood said...

Duke Needs a Legal Defense Fund

Only Shakespeare could have conjured up a plot whereby dozens of faculty members apparently formed an informal and shadowy organization to harass white male athletes on the campus and then their group publishes an on-line letter of condemnation of three white male students who were charged with a crime that appeared to be a hoax from the beginning.

Most of these professors were on Duke's payroll and associated with the various Anger Studies department on campus.

Now the students have been found innocent by the Attorney General of the State of North Carolina and all charges have been dismissed.

The parents of the three students would like for Duke to pay their legal bills associated with defending their sons.

Duke is concerned about spending dollars for purposes that are not clearly directed to the mission of the university.

Creating a hostile environment on campus is an expensive proposition, Duke!

Forming that legal defense fund to back up such hostile environmental harassment on campus is going to be a hard sell to donors... or the IRS, I would think.

Just thinking about the words one would need to use for selling a legal defense fund idea... is mind numbing.

Where is Shakespeare when you need him?

HumboldtBlue said...

"Creating a hostile environment on campus is an expensive proposition, Duke!"

Hmm, I wonder if the Gang of 88 have violated not only the campus speech codes they most certainly pushed through, but also how they're going to defend themselves when those very words "hostile environment" show up in civil litigation.

JWM said...

Former Intra Laxer,

Thank you very much for your nice words.

I don't know if you had it in mind but one of my first Duke lacrosse posts was "Bathroom Talk," which basically said how wildly improbable it was that three men would take a woman into of all rooms a bathroom to rape her; and that they would all engage in a life and death struggle for 30 minutes; after which they would all walk out with no broken skulls or other bones, no severe cuts, etc.

Wild story, huh?

Ex-prosecutor,

I always appreciate your comments.

In the next few days I'm going to include “If this had been a made-for-tv movie, I would have thought it to be ridiculous ..." in a post.

Post theme: if you were trying to pass off a hoax, would you try one as wildly improbable as this one?

I don't think anyone in the DPD or Nifong ever believed the Hoax; and I don't think many at the N&O believed it even as they were pumping life into the Hoax.

But lots of people at Duke sincerely believed in the Hoax for months.

Would you have ever predicted that a major university in the United States would be the place where the Hoax got the loudest and most enthusistic support?

Not me, but it happened.

Anon,

Thank you for the spelling correction. The errors are fixed.

Thanks to all three of you,

John

Anonymous said...

My take on lawsuits: the very strongest case against Dook is Coach Pressler's. The Duke3 have a 50:50 chance of getting a settlement out of Dook, but Nifong and City/county of Durham had better settle out of court because they are in deep doo-doo legally. State of NC is a long shot. No matter what happens, we can all take a great amount of pleasure in knowing that Nifong's life will be made incredibly miserable from now on. Even if he doesn't have a pot to piss in, he'll be in and out of court and paying legal fees until he is finally planted in some Potters' Field somewhere. I pray his life is long and every day is horrible. Rotten bastard!

Anonymous said...

Well, Nifong's exit strategy out of public office into a lucrative private career is probably "not gonna happen" now.

Good.

-AC

Anonymous said...

Justice not quite served...

The accuser commited serious crime and almost ruined lives of several innocent people. (Certainly did cause incredible distress to them for well over a year). Charges must be brought against her.

Letting this go only guarantees that others will try to emulate her - and some probably will even succeed in their lies.

Anonymous said...

The AG pretty much explained - implicitly - why the accuser is immune to reprecussions. It appears that she is not entirely compos mentis and therefore cannot be held responsible for her actions.

Indeed, this is a further indictment of Nifong, who would have had this information - sealed records, etc. - available to him. Had he had any interest in justice, he would have assigned minimal or no veracity to the uncorroborated accusation of this sad, poor woman-child.

don t. said...

John,

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for a job well done. At least part of the job. When the feckless stumblebum and his 88 mindless minions go, the job will be complete.

Trinity60

bill anderson said...

Thank you, John. This is a great day for justice, as we often lose these battles. And kudos to Roy Cooper. And to you. Especially you.

And can you believe what the N&O actually withheld from its original story? So, they demanded:

1. We believe Crystal when she said she was raped; and
2. We don't believe Crystal when she says Kim was raped.

This is Little Rascals all over again. The N&O should be ashamed, and Melanie Sill be fired.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to John in Carolina and a few other blogs, as well as an excellent defense team, justice is on the way. Cooper deserves praise for his conclusion; still, he remained silent for many months when he must have known Nifong was a reckless, out-of-control prosecutor.

If some at the N&O disagreed with Sill, Khanna, Blythe, etc., will they speak out, or at least provide JinC with some off-the-record comments and insights.

Anonymous said...

Fox is concerned that they will be sued with the vicious comments made by Kimberly Guilfoil. She was subdued today. She needs to be sued and Bernie and Ted. So does Geraldo - he of the "racing each other to the police station to cop a plea." Where is John Boulton???

Anonymous said...

There is a marked difference between the way these young men handled the prospect of being railroaded into 30 year prison sentences and the way a grown man handled being called out by his peers.

Anonymous said...

I am thrilled to have heard "innocent" shocked to because all the "experts" on FOX were saying, no way would the AG say that word, funny. Congratulations to all three families and I hope they remember that those phony liberal studies idiots at all the elite colleges were the ones helping to keep this travesty going. They should get back to teaching at colleges and get away from the feeling aspect of society and then perhaps we can have some intelligent people we can listen to speaking from universities.

danvers said...

The travesty that is the lacrosse scandal should generate another new word to add to the lexicon:

Duke (v)(dewk); to ~; ~ed; - spelling with a capital "D": To betray, sell out, undermine,seek to destroy; someone or some principle that you are sworn/legally obligated to protect.

Example: Duke President Brodhead Duked Duke University, Duke students, Duke alumni and specifically the Duke Lacrosse team members.