The Raleigh News & Observer reports under Anny Blythe’s byline concerning a judge's action to prevent evidence destruction.
Here's the story in full followed by my questions:
A judge has told authorities in Durham to preserve DNA samples taken last year from members of the Duke lacrosse team after a dancer claimed she had been raped at a team party.That’s the entire N&O story posted at newsobserver.com as of 9 PM Eastern on 11/14.
Superior Court Judge Ronald Stephens previously had ordered the destruction of the samples. But on Tuesday, Stephens put a stay on that order.
Stephens said he entered the stay in part because of a pending lawsuit filed by three players who were cleared of rape charges. The players are suing former District Attorney Mike Nifong, police and others who had pursued the charges against them.
Police took the DNA samples from all but one member of the lacrosse team in 2006, while the case was under investigation. In August, Stephens granted a request by a lawyer for one of the players, Bret Thompson, to have the samples destroyed.
Thompson was never charged in the case. Three other players did face charges, but they were dismissed in April by state Attorney General Roy Cooper, who declared them innocent victims of a prosecution gone awry.
Stephens order allowing destruction of the DNA evidence came before the three had filed their lawsuit. He said his stay would not prevent the destruction of the DNA evidence in the future. He also noted that Thompson had not been accused of any wrongdoing.
Does Judge Stephens know who currently has possession of the DNA samples?
Did he say anything about that when he signed the order?
When did Stephens enter his stay?
Is Stephens concerned that as part of the frame-up attempt some evidence was “manufactured?”
He knows much evidence in the case was ignored by those working the frame-up attempt?
Does Stephens recall he issued an order directing Durham Police to preserve radio conversations for the night of March 13/14?
Does Stephens recall Durham Police erased those conversations?
Did N&O reporter Anne Blythe ask Stephens, Mike Nifong’s long-time mentor and close friend, those questions?
Did Blythe ask Stephens any questions?
Does the N&O know who has the samples?
If it does, why didn’t it report that?
Or does the N&O not know who has possession of DNA samples?
Does the N&O know why Judge Stephens, Mike Nifong, DPD, Durham City Manager Patrick Baker, Durham Mayor Bill Bell and others haven’t wanted to learn whose DNA those samples identified once they found out the samples couldn’t be used to convict three innocent Duke students?
That's an important question, isn't it?
Whatever the reason, why aren’t the N&O and Blythe, co-author with Samiha Khanna of the N&O’s fraudulent and racially inflammatory March 24 and 25 stories which launched the public part of the attempted frame-up, telling us what they know concerning possession of the DNA samples?
Who's had possession of the samples since April 2006 when they went from the state crime lab to DSI Security; the lab whose director, Brian Meehan, later agreed with the disbarred Nifong to withhold exculpatory findings based on those samples?
If an attorney were to ask today about "chain of possession," what could Stephens, Nifong, Meehan and the N&O tell her?
All the questions I’m asking need to be answered.
A good newspaper would have done that already, or told readers why it hadn’t.