|UPDATED CHRONOLOGY OF THE DUKE LACROSSE CASE: APRIL 1-15, 2007; "Innocent" Declaration Marks the End of the Beginning|
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UPDATED CHRONOLOGY OF DUKE LACROSSE CASE: APRIL 1-15, 2007
(This is the final segment in a series of chronologies about the Crystal Mangum/ Mike Nifong rape hoax and attempted frame-up of the 2006 Duke lacrosse team. When I began researching and writing the first part in early 2009 I had no idea this project would consume nearly four years. I have decided to conclude the chronology after the “innocent” declaration by Atty. Gen. Roy Cooper in April 2007. While there have been many subsequent events, most notably Nifong’s trial and disbarment and the ongoing civil lawsuits, that day marked the end of the beginning of the Duke Lacrosse Case saga.)
(Throughout the last four years, I have been fortunate to have an informal board of reviewers who have looked at the final drafts to make additions, corrections, and suggestions. I would like to thank bloggers Quasi, Baldo, JSwift, Q.A, and Payback for reviewing some or all of the chronologies. I do plan to update the entire series in the future after any access we have to depositions, and after any trials in the civil lawsuits. There are still many unanswered questions)
MONDAY APRIL 2: An article in Newsday quotes prominent North Carolina African-American politician Floyd McKissick, Jr. as being critical of Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong, whom he supported in the past. McKissick is chairman of the ruling Durham Democratic Party.
"The African-American community of Durham wants fairness, and the view is that if Mr. Nifong was not fair in this case, what's he going to be like in other cases?" said Floyd McKissick, a prominent African-American lawyer who is chairman of the Durham Democratic Party and a Duke Law School graduate. McKissick supported the DA for re-election, but has become increasingly concerned about allegations that Nifong misused his office in the case.
Brooklyn College Prof. KC Johnson in his blog “Durham-in-Wonderland” analyzes the role that Judge Ronald Stephen played in prolonging and inflaming the case against former Duke lacrosse players Dave Evans, Reade Seligmann, and Collin Finnerty:
“One of the two people who recommended Mike Nifong to Governor Easley, Judge Ron Stephens appeared at six critical junctures in the lacrosse case. At each stage, he made decisions that appeared questionable at the time, dubious in retrospect, and deeply troubling when viewed in totality.”
TUESDAY APRIL 3: The North Carolina State Bar announces that a hearing on a motion to dismiss ethics charges against DA Nifong will be held on April 13, 2007. Nifong’s attorneys are trying to get charges dropped. Nifong is scheduled to stand trial before the State Bar on June 12.
Blogger John-in-Carolina writes an open letter to Duke Vice President Larry Moneta about the “Wanted” and “Vigilante” posters which appeared on the Duke campus in March 2006 following the revelation of Crystal Mangum’s accusations, later proved false, that she had been raped at a lacrosse team party. Moneta was at a March 26, 2006 meeting with lacrosse parents where a request was made to remove players’ photos from the goduke.com website. These photos were later used in the posters. John in Carolina asks when the photos were removed, and if Duke knows who pulled them for the posters.
WEDNESDAY APRIL 4: The CBS television program “60 Minutes” today receives a prestigious Peabody Award for its broadcast on the Duke lacrosse case. The Peabody website states: “A "60 Minutes" team led by correspondent Ed Bradley delved into the allegations of rape against Duke University lacrosse players and stopped a prosecutorial rush to judgment in its tracks.”
In an AP story titled “Once-Eventful Duke Lacrosse Case has Become A Waiting Game,” Aaron Beard reveals that the special prosecutors in the case are continuing interviews of witnesses and are scheduled to meet with accuser Crystal Mangum.
“Cooper's spokeswoman, Noelle Talley, said Wednesday the state's review is ongoing.
"Our attorneys are conducting additional interviews this week, including meeting with the accuser," she said...”
The North Carolina Senate unanimously approves a bill to make it easier to remove DAs or judges who have been disbarred. The governor would declare a judgeship or district attorney's post vacant when the judicial official is disbarred or suspended from practicing law, if the measure is enacted. The legislation was filed in response to the case of a District Court judge who lost his law license. But the bill could also affect DA Nifong if he is suspended or disbarred. The measure, which now goes to the House for consideration, would apply only after the judicial officer's appeals before the State Bar have been exhausted. Once the position is declared vacant, the governor could appoint a replacement.
In an blogpost, Prof. William Anderson writes an open letter to North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper: “You have had nearly three months, and I hear that the basic legwork is over. All that is left for you to do is to face the cameras and face the music. This will be your moment. You have a choice: you can lie, or you can tell the truth. I will urge you in no uncertain terms: tell the truth. You will not regret it.” Anderson urges Cooper to drop the charges, apologize to the three former lacrosse players, and investigate the actions of DA Nifong and Judge Ronald Stephens.
FRIDAY APRIL 6: On the first anniversary of the publication of the so-called “Listening Statement” ad in the Duke Chronicle signed by 88 Duke faculty members, KC Johnson writes in a blogpost titled “Continued Group of 88 Mysteries” that a number of questions about the controversial ad remain unanswered. These include whether it was paid out of departmental funds and whether the departments listed as signatories actually voted to do so. Blogger John-in-Carolina also explores questions about the funding of the ad.
DA Nifong’s lawyer David Freedman appears on NBC’s “Today” show and is interviewed by host Matt Lauer. “I believe if he [Nifong] handled it again, he would not make all the statements that he did,” Freedman tells Lauer. The lawyer also says Nifong would deal with the DNA evidence differently. He denies that Nifong pursued the case to pander to Durham’s African-American community, whose votes helped elect him DA last May. “We steadfastly deny that. At no time did he do those things to pander to the community,” Freedman claims, adding that Nifong had worked 29 years as an assistant in the DA’s office and had been appointed to the DA post. The state Attorney General’s office has taken over the investigation and is expected to rule soon on whether to continue the case. Freedman asserts that Nifong “has no interest at this point” in what the attorney general decides. “He has no personal interest. He’s very professional,” Freedman says of his client. “Whatever the attorney general’s office does with the case he’s fine with. He trusts their judgment. “
SATURDAY APRIL 7: Duke junior attackman Zack Greer scores three of his game-high six goals during a 5-1 Duke run midway through the game and the Blue Devil lacrosse team holds off a late-game rally by Johns Hopkins to earn an 11-9 win in Baltimore. The win is the fourth straight for Duke, which improves to 9-2. Hopkins drops its third straight and falls to 4-4.
SUNDAY APRIL 8: Duke lacrosse players Bo Carrington and Steve Schoeffel speak out in interviews for an article in the Charlottesville Daily Progress. They talk “about the experience of becoming villains in the eyes of their peers - and many people across the country - as well as traveling the long journey back to the lacrosse field and a return to something close to normalcy.” The players both call for an apology from Duke for how the team and their former coach, Mike Pressler, was treated by the University:
“For Carrington and Schoeffel, a true happy ending would include more than just a national championship. The two players still feel burned by school officials, who have not apologized to the team for the way things were handled last spring. "It's something that we've asked for," Schoeffel said of an apology from the Duke administration. "It's not like we've been waiting for them and we've been passive. We've actually asked and said: 'This is something you can do for us. We would appreciate this and it would go far for us.'" The Blue Devils have heard nothing but silence. [Duke Vice President John] Burness said the administration has no plans to issue an apology. "We're sensitive to the fact that [Carrington and Schoeffel] and others believe that an apology is appropriate," Burness said. "That has not yet been determined to be the position of the university."”
Duke Engineering Prof. Michael Gustafson comments in his blog that lacrosse players such as Bo Carrington were personally vilified on campus in Spring 2006 because their photos were available on a Duke website even after the players requested the photos be removed, and then on a “Wanted” poster derived from them:
“Bo Carrington's experience above, along with the experiences of other members on the team, go to show that the university, through its not having taken down the GoDuke.com pictures in a timely manner after receiving a request to do so, and through its not actively removing the "Vigilante" posters from campus, and allegedly through there being university employees who distributed materials that led to an unsafe and hostile environment for some of our students (for example, handing out various posters and chant sheets, or creating an address list of the lacrosse families, or sending a message to an open forum that a particular student should be discredited if at all possible), did not fulfill its obligations to those students.”
MONDAY APRIL 9: A column written by Steven Marcus for Newsday quotes Duke VP John Burness refusing to apologize to the lacrosse team members: "We're expecting that there's probably going to be civil suits from folks trying to get money out of us, that comes with the turf." Burness said there is a segment of the population that has asked him if Duke will apologize to the players if their legal problems disappear. "I said," Burness replied, "for what?"
TUESDAY APRIL 10: Numerous news organizations state that sexual assault charges again fomer Duke lacrosse players Evans, Finnerty, and Seligmann will soon be dropped. Lara Setrakian of ABC News reports that sources in the NC Attorney General’s office say that all charges will be dropped against the three and that there will be an announcement tomorrow. According to Jerralyn Merritt of the Talk Left blog: “Tomorrow appears to be the day the North Carolina Attorney General's office will announce its decision on whether to drop or proceed with sexual assault charges against the three former Duke lacrosse players. Smart money says the case will be dismissed. Two of the defendants, Reade Seligman and Collin Finnerty traveled to Durham today, and the press is swarming around. “
WRAL reports that one of the three accused former Duke players arrives at Raleigh-Durham International Airport this afternoon. Reade Seligmann and his family arrive just after 3 p.m. on a flight from Newark, N.J. They have no comment. Defense attorney Wade Smith tells WRAL that the families of all three suspects—Seligmann, Collin Finnerty and David Evans—have remained hopeful and are cautiously optimistic that charges could be dropped. Evans and Finnerty are also expected to arrive soon in Raleigh. National network news crews, including CBS News, are converging on Raleigh today in anticipation of a development. "If and when the attorney general's office makes an announcement, Raleigh-Durham will be ground zero for national news media," CBS News correspondent Byron Pitts notes. The N&O later confirms that all three have come to Raleigh for the expected announcement tomorrow.
The Associated Press reports today that Kevin Finnerty says in an earlier interview that it has not gotten any easier for his family in the year since his son Collin was accused of sexually assaulting a stripper. They know Collin could face a long prison sentence if convicted -- a prospect they consider unthinkable. But there is little they can do now but wait for state prosecutors, who took over the case earlier this year from DA Nifong, to decide whether to drop the charges or bring their 20-year-old son and his teammates to trial. "We've never been through anything like this," Kevin Finnerty says in a telephone interview from his home in Garden City, N.Y. "This is our son's life at stake, and it's just not over until it's over. I would say that we know that we have the truth on our side and from the outset we've felt the truth will prevail.” Finnerty adds, "The waiting process is wearing us down emotionally. We take comfort in the fact that these prosecutors are searching for the truth. And that's different from how we felt before their involvement." In the past year, Collin Finnerty has worked as a volunteer with children who lost family in the terrorist attacks of September 11 while also taking courses at Hofstra University. He is currently working as a volunteer assistant lacrosse coach at his alma mater, Chaminade High School.
Prof. KC Johnson updates his case narrative which summarizes events in the lacrosse case from October, 2006 (his first summary) to the present.
WEDNESDAY APRIL 11: State prosecutors today dismiss all charges against the three defendants in the Duke lacrosse sexual assault case, and North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper declares the three former students “innocent.” "There is insufficient evidence to proceed on any of the charges," Cooper says at a news conference that attracts national media attention. "The result is these cases are over." The announcement marks the end of the 13-month criminal case launched against Evans, Finnerty and Seligmann after Crystal Mangum alleged she was gang-raped for 30 minutes during an off-campus party in the early-morning hours of March 14, 2006. Although sexual assault victims often provide varying accounts of a traumatic experience, Cooper says, the statements made by Mangum varied too much and there was no other evidence to support her story of an assault. "The inconsistencies were so significant and so contrary to the evidence that we have no credible evidence that an attack occurred at that house on that night," Cooper says, adding that the photo identification lineup was flawed and no DNA evidence linked the players to the women. Cooper calls the pursuit of the case "a tragic rush to accuse and a failure to verify serious allegations." Without naming DA Nifong, he comes down against "overreaching prosecutors" and calls for a law that would allow the state Supreme Court to remove a district attorney from a case whenever such a move would assist the pursuit of justice. "There were many points in this case where caution would have served justice better than bravado," Cooper asserts. "In the rush to condemn, a community and a state lost the ability to see clearly. Regardless of the reasons that this case was pushed forward, the result was wrong." Mangum likely still believes the sexual assault allegation and wanted to proceed with the case, Cooper states. He says criminal charges wouldn't be pursued against her. "Our investigators, who talked with her over a period of time, think that she may actually believe the many different stories that she has been telling," Cooper says. "And in reviewing the whole history -- there are records under seal that I'm not going to talk about … -- we decided it's in the best interest of the justice system not to bring charges." (See video in References)
Finnerty, Seligmann and Evans watch Cooper's news conference with their families and attorneys at a downtown Raleigh hotel. When the decision to drop the charges is announced and Cooper states they are “innocent,” there is an audible gasp in the room, and the players and their families begin to sob. "Don't expect us to be happy," defense attorney Joseph Cheshire states later. "We're angry, very angry. But we're relieved." Cheshire says the players were needlessly berated and ridiculed for months. "These men were, are and always will be innocent," he says. "They have been mistreated as badly as any group of people I have ever seen." Later the three and their attorneys hold a press conference at which friends applaud, dozens of teammates cheer, and their parents look on with pride. However, the three former lacrosse players insist there is nothing to celebrate, and they lash out at both DA Nifong and reporters who asserted they were guilty. "For everyone who chose to speak out against us before any of the facts were known, I truly hope that you are never put in a position where you have to experience the same pain and heartache that you have caused our families," states Seligmann. "It's been 395 days since this nightmare began, and now it's finally come to closure," Evans says. "We're just as innocent today as we were back then." "This entire experience has opened my eyes up to a tragic world of injustice I never knew existed," Seligmann explains. "If police officers and a district attorney can systematically railroad us with absolutely no evidence whatsoever, I can't imagine what they would do to people do not have the resources to defend themselves.” All three former defendants call for change in the state's legal system, specifically a checks and balance system for district attorneys and in favor of recording of grand jury hearings. (See videos and texts of statements by Evans, Finnerty and Seligmann in References)
Thirty-eight of 41 members of the 2007 men's lacrosse team and all 31 women's players attend the press conference held by the formerly accused and their attorneys. In a show of solidarity for their friends and former teammates, the Blue Devils stood at the rear of a gaggle of reporters and television cameras. "This isn't a day to gloat or celebrate, it's much more one of relief," co-captain Ed Douglas tells the Chronicle earlier. "It's more of a sign in recognition that, finally, this has passed us." Sitting on a bus as they travelled to the former defendants' press conference in Raleigh, the members of the men's and women's teams listened intently to Cooper's address over the radio. "When everyone was listening, it was kind of just like shoulders back and a deep breath like, 'Finally, finally, it happened,'" Matt Danowski relates. "We thought it should have been over Day One, but there were so many curveballs and so much going on that you never knew if it was actually going to happen.... Finally there's some completion to it."
Numerous officials issue comments today following the dismissal of charges in the Duke lacrosse case. Mike Pressler, who under pressure resigned his position as coach of the Duke team last year when the charges were filed and who now coaches at Bryant University, says, "Today is the celebration of the two words we’ve attached our lives to for almost 13 months – the truth. It is the same truth today as it was a year ago. Our story has not changed and today’s announcement is long, long overdue." At Duke, President Richard Brodhead issues a statement saying, "I join with everyone who cares about justice in welcoming the North Carolina State Attorney General’s announcement that the remaining charges have been dropped." He claims, “From the outset, I have been careful to note that these students were entitled to the presumption of innocence, and I looked to the legal system to determine the merit of the charges." Duke, he says, "won’t be afraid to go back and learn what we can from this difficult experience." From the state NAACP offices, President William J. Barber II issues a statement saying, "We respect the integrity of the Attorney General’s investigation and supported the involvement of special prosecutors. If his office believes the state lacks sufficient evidence to convince a jury beyond a reasonable doubt that all the elements of each crime took place, then it is the State’s constitutional duty to dismiss the charges. We trust that the SBI has left no stone unturned in the investigation of this case."
Robert Steel, chairman of the Duke Board of Trustees, issues an important statement emphasizing that President Brodhead’s actions in the lacrosse case had the support of the Trustees. He reiterates Duke’s strategy of deferring to the legal system, even when it became apparent that normal legal procedures had not been followed.
“Much as we wish that these three young men, their teammates and their families -- and indeed the whole community of people who love Duke -- could have been spared the agony of the past year, we believe that it was essential for the University to defer to the criminal justice system. As imperfect and flawed as it may be, it is that process that brings us today to this resolution.
Throughout the past year President Richard Brodhead consulted regularly with the Trustees and has had our continuing support. He made considered and thoughtful decisions in a volatile and uncertain situation. Each step of the way, the board agreed with the principles that he established and the actions he took. As we look back -- and with the benefit of what we now know -- there is no question that there are some things that might have been done differently. However, anyone critical of President Brodhead should be similarly critical of the entire board.”
THURSDAY APRIL 12: DA Nifong issues a statement “apologizing” to the three lacrosse players declared innocent by Atty. Gen. Cooper but not admitting he had done anything wrong. ''To the extent that I made judgments that ultimately proved to be incorrect, I apologize to the three students that were wrongly accused,'' Nifong writes in a three-paragraph statement. ''I also understand that when someone has been wrongly accused, the harm caused by the accusations might not be immediately undone merely by dismissing them,'' Nifong states. ''It is my sincere desire that the actions of Attorney General Cooper will serve to remedy any remaining injury that has resulted from these cases.'' The apology is rebuffed by lawyers for the former students, whose families are seeking Nifong's ouster and considering suing him for damages. The NC State Bar has formally accused Nifong of numerous ethical violations. ''I still haven't heard him admit he did anything wrong,'' says James P. Cooney III, a lawyer for Seligmann. ''I think the most concrete way he could apologize to everybody is to resign his office.'' Nifong says he supported the dismissal of the sexual offense and kidnapping charges based on new evidence the attorney general had gathered in a three-month review. He objects to being called ''rogue'' and ''unchecked.'' He also takes credit for having turned over the case for review by the attorney general. ''If I did not want to subject either that investigation or my own performance to such scrutiny -- if, in other words, I had anything to hide -- I could have simply dismissed the cases myself,'' he writes. Blogger KC Johnson analyzes what he calls the “false apology.”
North Carolina U.S.Congressman Walter Jones renews his call for a federal investigation into DA Nifong and the way he handled the lacrosse case. Jones in December asked the U.S. Department of Justice to review the case, saying Nifong made prejudicial statements to the media and told police to violate identification procedures. The Justice Department declined to intervene, saying it was more appropriate to allow the case to play out. Federal attorneys also note that Nifong already faces ethics charges from the North Carolina State Bar. "“In light of North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper’s dismissal of all criminal charges against the three men, it is clear that this matter now cries out for oversight," Jones writes in an April 11 letter to the Justice Department. “I again urge you to launch a federal investigation to review Mr. Nifong’s conduct to determine if it constitutes prosecutorial misconduct and has denied these students their civil rights as U.S. citizens under federal law.” Jones states that at least eight other members of Congress also have called for a federal investigation of Nifong.
An analysis of the lacrosse case by the N&O’s Samiha Khanna asserts that it was accuser Crystal Mangum’s inconsistency and contradictions in her own statements that brought the case against the former Duke lacrosse players to an end yesterday:
“But her words, leaked slowly over the past year, also helped seal the fate of the case dismissed Wednesday by the office of state Attorney General Roy Cooper. "No DNA confirms the accuser's story," Cooper said at a news conference. "No other witness confirms her story. Other evidence contradicts her story. She contradicts herself." Since she leveled her accusations, Mangum, 28, has given at least six documented versions of what happened. She won't face charges of filing a false police report, Cooper said. "Our investigators ... think that she may actually believe the many different stories that she has been telling," he said. (…) Through her statements during the past year, Mangum has contradicted herself and at times, misrepresented her past. The wavering recollections, embellishments and muddied timelines provided by Mangum undermined her credibility. Piece by piece the criminal case that Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong built against the players -- Collin Finnerty, Dave Evans and Reade Seligmann -- collapsed.”
The Duke Chronicle calls for DA Nifong to be disbarred based on his actions in the lacrosse case.
“Nifong has lacked both ethical professionalism and competency in prosecuting this case and has done irreparable harm to his credibility. As a result, he is certainly unable to act as a chief legal official in Durham. Moreover, his track record demonstrates that Nifong has not and will not be able to fairly practice the law in the future. While we think the proper and full investigation of his conduct should proceed, we also believe that the outcome of that investigation is clear. Given his actions during the past year and the commentary of his peers in the profession, Mike Nifong can no longer be Durham's district attorney and should be disbarred.”
ABC’s Terry Moran writes a blogpost “Don’t Feel Too Sorry for the Dukies.”
“They got special treatment in the justice system–both negative and positive. The conduct of the lacrosse team of which they were members was not admirable on the night of the incident, to say the least. And there are so many other victims of prosecutorial misconduct in this country who never get the high-priced legal representation and the high-profile, high-minded vindication that it strikes me as just a bit unseemly to heap praise and sympathy on these particular men. So as we rightly cover the vindication of these young men and focus on the genuine ordeal they have endured, let us also remember a few other things: They were part of a team that collected $800 to purchase the time of two strippers. Their team specifically requested at least one white stripper. During the incident, racial epithets were hurled at the strippers. Collin Finnerty was charged with assault in Washington, DC, in 2005. The young men were able to retain a battery of top-flight attorneys, investigators and media strategists.”
FRIDAY APRIL 13: After a public hearing attended by DA Nifong and his attorney, the North Carolina State Bar denies a motion by Nifong to drop ethics charges against him for his actions in the Duke lacrosse case. The hearing concerns one of three charges against Nifong—that he had withheld DNA evidence exonerating the three indicted players. The Disciplinary Hearing Committee chaired by F. Lane Williamson hears arguments by Nifong attorney Dudley Witt and State Bar prosecutor Katherine Jean. After the one-hour hearing, Williamson and the other two committee members deny the motion to dismiss.
An N&O article by Craig Jarvis outlines accuser Crystal Mangum’s past emotional and social difficulties.
“The 28-year-old woman has struggled with poverty, alcohol abuse and psychological instability. In recent years she turned to therapists for help with bipolar disorder and other mental problems and took anti-psychotic medication (…) In the past year Crystal Mangum has disappeared into the shadows. In the beginning, authorities put her up in a safe house -- a sprawling townhouse complex on Chapel Hill Street -- but she has reportedly stayed in several friends' and relatives' homes in the Triangle since then. She has dropped out of NCCU. She is living off welfare and child-support payments but probably hasn't been dancing because she was pregnant most of the past year. Her mother says a lawyer may have helped her out with money to live on.”
George Washington University Law Prof. John Banzhaf suggests Duke University should consider suing DA Mile Nifong as a consequence of his actions in the Duke lacrosse case and also should call for Nifong’s resignation. "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.
The Durham Herald-Sun, which long was a supporter of DA Nifong, switches its position and calls on him to resign in an editorial today.
“But Cooper's simple statement cut to the heart of prosecutorial misconduct. Nifong, he said, pressed on with the case without a credible witness or credible evidence. To hear that about a prosecutor with 28 years of experience was shocking. It is bound to raise questions about what other cases have been pursued improperly by the Durham DA's office. How many defendants without the resources to hire energetic attorneys have been sent quietly off to prison? Nifong has been seriously damaged by his own actions, by the charges from the State Bar and now from Cooper's report. His problems could cause ripples through other cases being handled by the Durham DA's office. As a result, we think it will be impossible for Nifong to continue as Durham district attorney.
It's time for him to resign.”
SATURDAY APRIL 14: The N&O publishes the first installment of a major five-part series by investigative reporter Joe Neff summarizing the Duke lacrosse case. The first article, which describes DA Nifong’s background and mode of operation, reveals:
“Mike Nifong found out about the case that now threatens his career March 23, 2006, when he stopped by the office copier and found a court order demanding DNA samples from 46 Duke lacrosse players. An escort service dancer told police that three men at a team party had dragged her into a bathroom and raped her anally, vaginally and orally for 30 minutes, according to the order. The Durham district attorney's reaction, he later told lawyer Jim Cooney: "Holy crap, what is going on?"The next day, Nifong told Durham police he was taking over (…)
When Nifong called [political campaign organizer Jackie] Brown in the fall of 2005, looking for a campaign manager, Brown had never heard of the prosecutor. This was unusual for an insider who's well-connected with Durham's political organizations. Brown agreed to meet him for lunch Jan. 2, 2006, at the downtown Marriott near the courthouse. Nifong showed up with his wife, Cy Gurney. As the women ate Caesar salads and Nifong tended to a steak sandwich, Gurney did most of the talking. Brown was struck by the first words out of Nifong's mouth."He said, 'I really don't want this job; I was the last one on the list. I just need three years and seven months for retirement. You won't have to worry about running another campaign for me.' "Brown was taken aback: Did Nifong, then 55, really want to go through the hassle of a campaign? "He said, 'I know nothing about politics. That's why I need you to be campaign manager.' "
In an analysis on April 19, after the conclusion of the series, KC Johnson lists 20 new revelations from Neff’s reporting.
President Brodhead says in a speech to alumni during reunion weekend that Duke administrators tried to handle the fallout from the lacrosse case as honorably as they . could. Brodhead states, "But I also do think it also time for us to look each other in the eye and say we have suffered this story for a year, and now let us figure out how to move on to a constructive future." The president's speech in Page Auditorium includes a question-and-answer session that saw graduates press Brodhead to say what administrators had learned from the lacrosse incident -- and to say that some of the school's problems could have been avoided had Duke officials more forcefully advocated for the presumption of innocence. Brodhead praises Cooper for choosing to announce the dismissal of the charges Wednesday with "absolutely the most unambiguous language to say that there never had been a case to be made in this case." He also joins the attorney general in saying that Nifong had led people astray by lying about the facts of the case. "As we look back we now know something that was not so clear then, which was how much of the certainty had derived from the statements of the district attorney, starting in the earliest days of that story, who really did speak without any hesitation or reservation about the certainty that the crime in question had taken place," Brodhead says. "Later, we all learned to have many doubts about that, but at the time people don't usually have such doubts about district attorneys, so we were off to the races.” He claims that, "We had to respond to a situation of great emotional intensity, great uncertainty. I always took care on every occasion to make clear that no act we did was intended as a judgment of the students or of the guilt of the students." Brodhead defended his decision to cancel the lacrosse team's 2006 season. "If you were in Durham last April, in a time which every TV show in America, every newspaper in America had really played this up to the heights of hysteria -- as I say, hysterical certainty -- it was just completely implausible to say we could continue to play lacrosse under those circumstances," he said. "It would have been physically dangerous for the members of our team to have done so. This was very, very well known to them at the time."
SUNDAY APRIL 15: The CBS television show “60 Minutes” features interviews with the three exonerated lacrosse players and NC Atty. Gen. Roy Cooper. According to the CBS summary of the broadcast:
"We had heard that he might say, as we refer to it now, as the "i" word – innocent. But when he first said there's insufficient evidence to go forward, we were saying, 'Oh my God,'" remembers David Evans."Because he didn't say it right away?" Stahl remarks.
"He didn't say it, and then all of a sudden, there's this crescendo, and you can see where he was going with his speech," Evans explains."I never heard 'innocent' because everyone in the room jumped up and starting cheering," Evans adds, referring to the moment State Attorney General Cooper made the announcement that all remaining charges had been dropped.
"We were waiting for it from the very beginning. And the moment he did it, I completely broke down. I don't even remember who I ended up hugging. Everyone was jumping up and down and we knew then that was when we got our lives back," Reade Seligmann said to Stahl. […]
"All of this was a tragedy because it should have been stopped somewhere along the line. Good prosecutors, we demand them to look hard at the facts, look hard at the law. We also demand them to change their minds if the facts so dictate," Cooper says. "Here, these contractions were clearly pointing to the fact that this attack did not occur. And it's disappointing and really outrageous that it was not stopped sooner." […]
But the attorney general also announced he would not press charges against her [Mangum] for filing false police reports. "Is the decision purely about her mental state or did you also take into account what this might do to this community which was already roiled in racial tension? Were you afraid that it would exacerbate more racial tension?" Stahl asks Cooper. "We did consider it. We did talk about it. But we think in the best interest of justice, that it was not the right thing to do," Cooper says.
The second of a five-part series by the N&O’s Joe Neff is published today. Titled “A case starts to unravel,” Neff lays out how DA Nifong refused contact with the lacrosse players’ lawyers and declined to examine exculpatory evidence after DNA results came back negative. Neff also notes the prior relationship between Nifong and accuser Crystal Mangum’s family:
“Nifong didn't tell [attorney Bill] Thomas that he knew Mangum and her family. In 1992, one of her uncles who owned a small grocery store in Durham was slain in a robbery. The case dragged on for three years, but finally the killer was tried and convicted. Nifong was the prosecutor, and the case earned him the Mangum family's confidence, which would have helped Crystal Mangum feel comfortable with Nifong in the Duke case, according to her mother, her brother and a family friend. "The whole family knew him and trusted him because of that case," said Delois Burnette, a minister who has known the Mangums for decades. "People had confidence in him that he would do us right because he had prosecuted that case."
Prof. KC Johnson writes about media scorn for the exonerated former lacrosse players in an opinion article for ABC News, for which he served as a consultant:
“ The reaction from some major news organizations to this [innocence] announcement was startling. While not challenging Cooper's actions, the Boston Globe labeled Evans, Seligmann and Finnerty "louts." Columnist Dan Shanoff called them "douchebags." The Washington Post clucked that the three players "were not paragons of virtue," and that "some of the players -- though not necessarily the three accused students -- made racially derogatory remarks to the accuser and the other dancer who accompanied her." (Actually, the second dancer, Kim Roberts, unequivocally stated that Evans said nothing derogatory to her, while Seligmann and Finnerty both proved they had left the party well before the racially charged argument occurred.) "Nightline" co-host Terry Moran told people not to "feel sorry for the Dukies," noting that "they are very differently situated in life from, say, the young women of the Rutgers University women's basketball team," and, "there are many, many cases of prosecutorial misconduct across our country every year." Such comments are cold-hearted at best and shameless at worst.”
Peter Applebome of the New York Times also explores hatred on the part of academics and others for the Duke lacrosse players:
“How did college kids with no shortage of character witnesses become such a free-fire zone for the correct thinkers in academia, the news media and the socially conscious left? Like l’affaire Imus in reverse, why did denouncing them remain fair game long after it was clear that the charges against them could not be true, and that even most of the misbehavior originally alleged about the team party was distorted or false? “That’s what I keep asking,” said Ed Abbot, the mayor of this village where the Seligmanns live, and a longtime friend of the family. “People had racial agendas, economic agendas, media-driven agendas, and who these boys were got totally lost. You feel like you’re in the middle of the forest screaming and no one can hear.”
Bishop John Bennett, a Durham preacher who voiced criticism of the handling of the Duke lacrosse investigation from the beginning, now says the system failed and the truth might never be known. Bennett had led in March, 2006 a vigil gathered for prayer and called for justice outside of the house where Crystal Mangum claimed she was sexually assaulted by three Duke lacrosse players. "One of the main reasons why we held a rally (was) because there was no due process,” says Bennett, who led several such vigils. At the time, Bennett criticized Durham police for not making an arrest when the allegations first surfaced. One year later, he says he still believes that was the biggest mistake in the case. “I do believe that something out of the ordinary did happen in that house,” he asserts. “I'm not saying it was rape. I'm not necessarily saying it was them.”
Lisa Keys of the New York Post reviews a list of whom she describes as the “tormentors” of the lacrosse players in an article titled “Victims of a Witch Hunt.”
The Raleigh News & Observer joins in the call for DA Nifong to resign in an editorial published today:
“Under the circumstances, Nifong ought to consider whether to remain in the office to which he was elected last fall for a four-year term. If the State Bar relieves him of his license, that obviously will become a moot point. But even if any disciplinary steps fall well short of that penalty, it's hard to see how the district attorney can continue to function effectively. His resignation now would serve the public interest.”
Edited by sceptical, Nov 18 2012, 03:51 PM.
|sceptical||Nov 18 2012, 03:18 PM Post #2|
April 2: McKissick criticizes Nifong
April 2: Role of Judge Ronald Stephens
April 3: John in Carolina about “Wanted” and “Vigilante” posters
April 4: “60 Minutes” wins Peabody award for coverage of case
April 6: 1st Anniversary of “Listening Statement” ad signed by 88 Duke faculty members
April 6: Nifong lawyer David Freedman defends him on NBC’s Today show
April 7: Duke lacrosse defeats Johns Hopkins
April 8: Lacrosse players Bo Carrington and Steve Schoeffel speak out in interviews
April 8: Prof. Mike Gustafson on Carrington & Schoeffel interviews
April 9: Newsday column quotes VP John Burness
April 10: Decision expected soon in lacrosse case
April 10: Reade Seligmann and family arrive at RDU Airport
April 10: AP interviews Kevin Finnerty
April 10, 11: KC Johnson’s Case Narrative
April 11: Atty. Gen. Cooper declares the Duke Three “innocent” and drops charges
April 11: Video of Cooper news conference
April 11: Video of former lacrosse players’ news conference
April 11: Texts of statements by Evans, Finnerty, Seligmann at news conference
April 11: Current lacrosse team members attend press conference
April 11: Reaction to dismissal of charges in Duke lacrosse case
April 11: Statement by Robert Steel, chairman of Duke Board of Trustees
April 12: Nifong apologizes to exonerated lacrosse players
April 12: Rep. Walter Jones renews call for federal investigation
April 12: N&0 analysis of Mangum’s contradictory statements
April 12: Duke Chronicle calls for Nifong disbarment
April 12: ABC’s Terry Moran criticizes lacrosse team
April 13: State Bar denies motion to dismiss ethics charge against Nifong
April 13: N&0 analysis of Mangum’s emotional and social difficulties
April 13: GWU Law Prof. John Banzhaf suggests Duke sue Nifong
April 13: Herald-Sun calls on DA Nifong to resign
April 14: Joe Neff’s investigation of Duke lacrosse case: Part 1 about DA Nifong
April 14: Duke President Brodhead addresses lacrosse case with alumni
April 15: “60 Minutes” interviews exonerated lacrosse players, NC attorney general
April 15: Joe Neff’s investigation of Duke lacrosse case: Nifong refuses exculpatory evidence
April 15: KC Johnson on media scorn for exonerated players
April 15: Peter Applebome of NewYork Times on hate for Duke lacrosse players
April 15: Bishop Bennett says system failed in lacrosse case
April 15: Lisa Keys of New York Post on “tormentors” of the lacrosse players
April 15: N&O calls on DA Nifong to resign
April 22: New York Times public editor on paper’s coverage of lacrosse case
(The Duke lacrosse case article indices in the Raleigh News & Observer and the Duke Chronicle have been taken down following website revisions. Articles can still be found using the search feature of the new websites.)
EVANS et al v. DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA, CITY OF et al
MCFADYEN et al v. DUKE UNIVERSITY et al
CARRINGTON et al v. DUKE UNIVERSITY et al
Duke University & Brodhead Statements
Duke University Archive of Media Coverage
Johnsville Blog Posts
KC Johnson’s Case Narrative
Chronology by Vance Holmes “Poetic Justice”
CBS News Chronology
Friends of Duke University Media Index
New York Times Article Index
INDEX OF CHRONOLOGIES
Updated Chronology of Duke Lacrosse Case
March, 2006: http://s1.zetaboards.com/Liestoppers_meeting/topic/1827748/1/
April, 2006: http://s1.zetaboards.com/Liestoppers_meeting/topic/1976244/1/
May, 2006: http://s1.zetaboards.com/Liestoppers_meeting/topic/2832366/1/
June, 2006: http://s1.zetaboards.com/Liestoppers_meeting/topic/3225687/1/#new
July, 2006: http://s1.zetaboards.com/Liestoppers_meeting/topic/3521836/1/#new
August, 2006: http://s1.zetaboards.com/Liestoppers_meeting/topic/3710704/1/#new
September, 2006: http://s1.zetaboards.com/Liestoppers_meeting/topic/3831060/1/#new
October, 2006: http://s1.zetaboards.com/Liestoppers_meeting/topic/3993889/1/#new
November, 2006: http://s1.zetaboards.com/Liestoppers_meeting/topic/4065500/1/#new
December, 2006: http://s1.zetaboards.com/Liestoppers_meeting/topic/4162309/1/#new
January, 2007: http://s1.zetaboards.com/Liestoppers_meeting/topic/4243432/2/#new
February, 2007: http://s1.zetaboards.com/Liestoppers_meeting/topic/4512633/1/#new
March, 2007: http://s1.zetaboards.com/Liestoppers_meeting/topic/4702968/1/#new
April 1-15, 2007: http://s1.zetaboards.com/Liestoppers_meeting/topic/5000347/1/#new
Edited by sceptical, Nov 18 2012, 03:37 PM.
|Quasimodo||Nov 18 2012, 03:54 PM Post #3|
Thanks for all the good work. These summaries become ever more valuable as time passes and info disappears from the Net.
And in the future, they will be invaluable for research.
I'm glad that somebody actually undertook to do this (the real work of an historian).
|Quasimodo||Nov 18 2012, 03:57 PM Post #4|
The university has still not apologized.
Durham has not apologized.
Like Scottsboro, it may take 75 years for these bodies to acknowledge their culpability.
But morally, they diminish their stature every day they pretend that they don't notice the elephant sitting in the corner of the room....
|Quasimodo||Nov 18 2012, 04:00 PM Post #5|
|Quasimodo||Nov 18 2012, 04:07 PM Post #6|
In fact, in most of the post-case commentary there seems to be one missing ingredient: the outrage on behalf of the innocent
Where there is compassion, it is for the false accuser.
That seems to be a major focus (not, where is the liar now and what does she have to say for herself?).
This is like feeling sorry for Victoria Price after the Scottsboro boys finally gained their freedom.
Where were the outraged calls for investigations and reforms?
Apparently the story didn't end the way the narrative would have required; and the "journalists" (so-called),
and certainly the agendistas, were disappointed...
|Quasimodo||Nov 18 2012, 04:11 PM Post #7|
I see this all the time as I research things--a lot has disappeared. This case was so long and involved so many people,
that it is very difficult to gather it into a straightforward narrative.
And it will be much more so for people in the future who didn't follow the case and for whom the names will be
That's where these summaries fill a very much-needed void.
|sceptical||Nov 19 2012, 09:51 PM Post #8|
There were several statements to remember made by some of the “bad guys” in the attempted frame-up during the April 1-15 , 2007 period of this Chronology:
Duke VP John Burness, with his typical poor timing two days before the “innocent” declaration, asks, “For what?” when queried whether Duke will apologize to the lacrosse players.
Robert Steel, chairman of the Duke BOT, makes a peculiar statement after the “innocent’ declaration which gives Duke President Dick Brodhead a figleaf for Brodhead’s spineless behavior during the case.
While many in the media deserved blame for unjustifiably dumping on the lacrosse players, one of the most sour notes came after the “innocent” declaration by ABC News’ Terry Moran.
Mike Nifong, the now disgraced and disbarred prosecutor who was the orchestrator of the frame-up, again showed how off-key he was by his tepid attempt at an “apology” to Evans, Finnerty and Seligman.
Finally, Dick Brodhead’s pusillanimous behavior in the case was highlighted by a speech and Q&A he did with alumni during reunion Weekend. Brodhead again blames Nifong and falsely states the degree to which he and Duke emphasized the presumption of innocence of the indicted players in their statements and actions.
While there were some men and women of honor in the lacrosse case, there were also many rogues who showed their true “character” or lack thereof in 2006-7. History will judge them as long as we keep the facts alive.
|Quasimodo||Nov 19 2012, 10:40 PM Post #9|
A quote worthy of remembrance...
|MikeZPU||Nov 19 2012, 11:43 PM Post #10|
Thanks once again so very much sceptical!
As with your other updated chronologies, the minute I saw it,
I immediately stopped what I was doing and read through it
What you've done in compiling these chronologies is critically important
as Quasi and other have pointed out here.
It is so disturbing that the man who is the President of one of the world's
most prestigious institutions of higher learning and scientific research
publicly admits that his own his assessment of the merits of the case and
his subsequent actions were largely influenced by newspapers and other
media outlets writing/speaking with such certainty about the guilt of the
falsely accused players early on.
Disturbing, sickening, maddening, ... all of that.
|sceptical||Nov 19 2012, 11:52 PM Post #11|
Even more than that, Brodhead actually met the lacrosse team captains-- and he believed Nifong and the media more than his own students.
Brodhead did not believe his own students, he did not support them, he did not criticize the wrong legal procedures used to try to frame them, and he did not adequately apologize to them when he was found to be wrong.
|MikeZPU||Nov 19 2012, 11:54 PM Post #12|
Several BIG problems with this idea: First, Nifong and Gottlieb had nothing without Levicy's
gross negligence. This case could have gone nowhere without Levicy's malicious
negligence and her complicity in breaking rules to give Gottlieb and Nifong what they wanted
to build a case of smoke and mirrors.
Without Levicy's initial statement to Himan over the phone that
"there were signs consistent with sexual assault," this case never gets off the ground.
When every subjective scientific test, and all other evidence, soundly refuted Mangum's claims,
they still had Levicy with the full backing of the Duke University Medical Center.
Besides Levicy, the only other so-called "evidence" that Gottlieb and Nifong had --
which Gottlieb admitted they used at the Grand Jury Hearing -- was the electronic
time card data that Duke illegally handed over to the DPD without a subpoena.
So, I understand where the GWU Law Professor was coming from but the fact is that what
he recommends is regrettably laughable.
Edited by MikeZPU, Nov 20 2012, 12:34 PM.
|Payback||Nov 20 2012, 10:26 AM Post #13|
"THE REAL WORK OF A REAL HISTORIAN."
Contrast the voice of the literary critic shouting into a room at the Melville Society meeting at the Modern Language Association in 1990: "THE FACTS DON'T MATTER." More on that in a forthcoming book. [I do love to use the word "forthcoming" in this forum!]
Sceptical and his fellow workers have built a bulwark against ignorance. Ignorance will still seem to prevail many times but the bulwark will survive.
People like sceptical and other hunters like maggief are national treasures.
|Bill Anderson||Nov 20 2012, 12:37 PM Post #14|
My children and I were at that game. (I remember that it was freezing cold.)
The students from Johns Hopkins started chanting, "No means no!" over and over again. I'm sure they knew the charges were a lie, but in today's Amerika, lies are much preferred over the truth, especially when they can be used in sports cheers.
|sceptical||Dec 4 2012, 04:35 PM Post #15|
Some of the most astute observations about the "innocent" declaration were made by the three indicted players themselves:
April 11: Texts of statements by Evans, Finnerty, Seligmann at news conference
Edited by sceptical, Dec 4 2012, 04:37 PM.
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