"... these three individuals [David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann,] are innocent of these charges."
North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper, Apr. 11, 2007
News from Duke’s student newspaper, The Chronicle:
A six-page internal report on the Durham Police Department's conduct during the lacrosse case has left some calling for an external investigation. …Commentary from JinC: Some people reading Cheshire’s statement may be saying: “What else is new? I’ve been saying that for months.”
"I would not be surprised if [an independent investigation] would uncover conduct that was criminal in nature as it relates to obstruction of justice and creation of evidence," Joe Cheshire, an attorney for Evans, wrote in an e-mail. …
Yes, haven’t we all. But only one of us could possibly be Joe Cheshire, one of North Carolina’s most experienced and best criminal defense and appellate attorneys, and certainly its best known.
When in reference to the Durham Police investigation, Cheshire says publicly and in a written document that he “would not be surprised if [an independent investigation] would uncover conduct that was would not be criminal in nature as it relates to obstruction of justice and creation of evidence,” what he’s really saying it he feels very sure it will.
At this point, with his client David Evans out of legal jeopardy and actually declared innocent along with Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann, Cheshire can only hurt his reputation if he makes such serious charges and they’re not sustained.
Cheshire will also damage his working relationships with honest law enforcement personnel (there are many) if they view him as irresponsibly throwing charges at crime investigators and police.
Cheshire knows all of that, and he doesn’t want to hurt his reputation and working relationships he’s worked very hard to build. He's also a fair person who doesn't cheap-shot.
So we can be very confident Cheshire feels sure criminal acts were committed by members of the Nifong/DPD “team;” and that it can and will be proven to the public beyond a reasonable doubt that the Nifong/DPD “team” committed those crimes.
That, to me, makes The Chronicle’s Cheshire news item hugely important.
What do you think?
The Chronicle story is here.