April 10, 2007

The Duke Lacrosse case...

To be dropped!

66 comments:

Bruce Hayden said...

Now, if there is any justice in the world, Mike Nifong will get himself disbarred.

I heard today that the LAX players had only been able to raise half of what they had already spent in legal fees. Unless they can find a way to clear this debt, their families will be paying for this for years.

Fen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fen said...

This will be a fun week to lurk around Marcotte's blog.

Adam L said...

Wow and it only came oh, about 11 months too late.

Steven said...

If there is any justice in the world, Mike Nifong will get himself behind bars. Malicious prosecution does at least as much damage as fraud or embezzlement.

JohnTaylor88 said...

This is all Don Imus's fault.

Eli Blake said...

I'm sure that these two young men will have a civil suit in the offing, and Nifong and his office may be targetted, at least as far as the law allows.

Bruce: See my last paragraph. Then throw in book deals and the talk show circuit. Now, I don't wish on anybody what they have gone through, but their lawyer bill, I doubt if they will have to worry about paying it.

Finding employment down the road in today's google-happy world, that might be a bit harder unless they change their names.

Steven:

The question is whether it was for reasons of malice, or whether it was done for reasons of last year's election cycle. Prosecutors are politicians too, and people want to see them prosecuting criminals and not dropping cases. To be honest, very rarely does anyone in America get a completely fair, objective trial in which factors like political calculations, media coverage and published statistics (along with the old fashioned themes of race, the defendant's ability to pay and who the victim is) don't enter into the calculus somewhere.

B said...

fen,

You are soooo Right.

This is the final straw for any thinking person, of whatever political stripe, to walk away from Marcotte, and force her to wither away in "expressing her inner hateful bitch self" land. Credibility gone, finding herself with no one but family and a few friends, she can begin to rebuild her pathetic excuse for a life.

The example of a disgraced Marcotte can be seen by young girls everywhere as an example of what happens when you get a mouthpiece and seek to destroy humanity rather than build it up.

The world is already starting to look a little better.

Theo Boehm said...

The civil proceedings should be very entertaining.

But the bigger question is, would you send your kid to Duke after this?

Kirk Parker said...

Bruce,

I think the fun for Nifong just begins with disbarment. I suspect there will be lawsuits galore, not to mention actual legal jeopardy

Fen said...

But the bigger question is, would you send your kid to Duke after this?

Has anything happened to all those professors who signed the letter assuming guilt until proven innocent? Are they even ashamed?

Ann Althouse said...

I don't like Marcotte (because of how hostile and unfair she's been to me), but I don't really read her blog. Could people who are being so hostile to her link to some of her posts about the Duke case that you think are so offensive?

Peter Palladas said...

One senses a neologism coming on:

'Nifong' - a really, really bad career move that could have been avoided if only you'd listened more to others.

'To nifong' - to open up a huge hole in the ground and then throw yourself in it.

'Nifonged' - forever saddled with the consequences of doing what seemed the right thing, but clearly wasn't and when you realised it wasn't you still kept going.

"Boy, Charlie's totally nifonged the whole Division on this one. Keep well out of the quarantine zone on this on guys."

JimM47 said...

peter, I suspect 'nifong' would more likely be verbed to mean "to engage in spurious prosecution for political reasons"

as in: The nominee was borked by allegations he had once nifonged, for, despite a thorough fisking of those allegations, attention was bogarted by his detractors.

Alan said...

Prof. Althouse,

What are the chances the soon-to-be-former defendants will be able to successfully sue someone (Nifong, Duke profs, etc.) in this case?

Mindsteps said...

Ann Althouse said...
I don't like Marcotte (because of how hostile and unfair she's been to me), but I don't really read her blog. Could people who are being so hostile to her link to some of her posts about the Duke case that you think are so offensive?

How come?

Hoosier Daddy said...

Has anything happened to all those professors who signed the letter assuming guilt until proven innocent? Are they even ashamed?

I doubt it, especially if they have tenure. Just think, had Imus been a college prof instead.....

Cedarford said...

Great news.

News Mike Nifong knew back a year ago when he conspired with a lab director, 2 law enforcement officers (Detective Himan, Sgt Gottlieb) to with hold exculpatory DNA evidence. Plus any ADAs that knew what Nifong was doing and didn't rat him out.

It's actually good for the lawsuits. It can be argued that all the 3 family's expenses after April 10th last year were created as a result of malicious prosecution by an officer of the State of North Carolina engaged in a conspiracy to violate Federal and State statutes on evidence, due process, and civil liberties.

Eli Blake - Finding employment down the road in today's google-happy world, that might be a bit harder unless they change their names.

I doubt it will affect their employment chances long term. People who are falsely accused and are completely vindicated and show good character along the way will not lack for good job offers. I would think a large sympathy factor is there - though I wouldn't recommend applying for a summer internship with the NAACP or other black racist outfits.

Also, employers have - on advice of lawyers - largely dropped the "have you ever been arrested??" for the "have you ever been convicted??", line of questioning candidates.

Pogo said...

What a terribly sad story.

It was a strange mix of a rush to judgement, Cultural Revolution show trials by Duke students and staff, the preference for truthiness over truth by a huge number of Duke faculty, and a Kafkaesque prosecution where everyone involved knew for at least a year that the allegations were entirely false, yet the case dragged on and on and on.

Tawana Brawley plus College professor leftism plus small town corruption. I am a bit surprised none of those young men were assaulted, given the atmosphere.

While these boys will ask "Where do I go to get my reputation back?" from Duke, the only answer will be a large cash settlement. What a disaster all around.

Pogo said...

Amanda Marcotte wrote (and later deleted) the following “analysis” of the case:

"I had to listen to how the poor dear lacrosse players at Duke are being persecuted just because they held someone down and fucked her against her will—not rape, of course, because the charges have been thrown out. Can’t a few white boys sexually assault a black woman anymore without people getting all wound up about it? So unfair."

Cedarford said...

Peter Pallidas -

Another one is Nifongery - which is sleazy backroom conspiracy to railroad innocent people.

Evidently drawing on skullduggery.

I like that one. Has a good ring to it.

Some HS and college students are taking a new spin "Nifong" in chat rooms and text message chains. Examples - "I'm sooo 'Fonged", replacing "I'm so F'd!" And - "Man, you got 'Fonged for sure."

Right now, other than being someone with a terminal disease, being locked up at the beginning of a long jail stint, the person now most totally 'Fong'd is DA Mikey himself..

Der Hahn said...

One senses a neologism coming on...

It's been a good couple of years for them.


Nifong'ed

(Ronnie) Earle'd

Fitz'ed

Al Maviva said...

Wow. Lunch, House, a few other notables, are surprisingly quiet today. Wonder what's up with that?

I'm looking forward to Seligman, Reade and Evans reporting to the Department of Good Reputations, which is where you go to get yours back after it has been permanently tarnished.

What's that? There's no place to go to get your good reputation back? Surely, you jest?

B said...

Ann,

the hostility to Marcotte is:

- because of her hateful and beyond immature writings, of which the Duke case is only an iceberg tip example, and

- this is obviously the most important part - because she was given the imprimatur of a serious Presidential campaign by a serious and very real Presidential candidate. Her influence became over-sized at that point; her capacity to wound way out of proportion to her talent or ability. You of course found this out. She wouldn't have had a thousandth of the supporters she had without the Edwards' stupidity.

Great evil deserves a fierce response.

Der Hahn said...

Is there any movement among the legal profession to propose reforms that might make these kinds of actions harder? What do you think about some of these possibilities....

Create state level 'Departments of Justice' to try crimes rather than using locally elected prosecutors.

Replace the Grand Jury system with an evidentiary review by a panel of judges before trial.

Reform the Grand Jury system to allow more adversarial information to be presented.

MadisonMan said...

pogo, Thanks for that link. Quite an interesting comment thread to read.

I would not send my kids to Duke. Any Big 10 school will give them a far superior education.

Oligonicella said...

Eli:
"The question is whether it was for reasons of malice, or whether it was done for reasons of last year's election cycle."

Prosecuting (persecuting) someone in order to get votes is malicious.

And, just to nit pick, can we stop calling men in their twenties boys? It's a whole lot like the left's continuous reference to our men and women in service as children. The lacrosse players displayed maturity and adult behavior far in excess of most of the others involved in this case.

AJD said...

Remarkable how these sexist jocks, who hired a stripper and hurled racist insults at her, have become such "victims." A curse on all their houses, if you have any sense of decency.

Pogo said...

Re: "...can we stop calling men in their twenties boys?"

It's partly our language which has few if any names for "young men" other than "young men", and when writing one cannot merely repeat that phrase without looking stupid, where "men" insuffiuciently describes them.

I see what you mean, but English offers few useful descriptors as alternatives.

P.S. AJD
Where have you been? "Sex workers" are liberated women empowered to profit in whatever arena they prefer, not vicitms. You gotta learn to keep up, man.

RogerA said...

ajd: you really should familiarize yourself with the case before you run your mouth. You know precisely it was the three men charged that engaged in that behavior? You might want to read the Durhaminwonderland blog for more detail of the case than you seem to exhibit here.

Andrea said...

AJD: Remarkable how these sexist jocks, who hired a stripper and hurled racist insults at her, have become such "victims." A curse on all their houses, if you have any sense of decency.

So because they are jerks (Oh, and how horrible of them to hire a stripper! Where are my smelling salts?), they weren't victimized? Also, it is my understanding that they hurled racist insults in response to the other strippers hurling or racist insults TO THEM. In other words, they didn't start with the insults, but they finished it.

peter hoh said...

Is pulling a Nifong anything like pulling a Biskupic?

Mark said...

What would be real justice would be if that stripper could be sued for falsely accusing them - because let's face it, that's what she did. She'd done it before, and she did it this time. And she is basically getting off scot-free for doing it, too. She has no legal fees to pay. Her name was largely kept secret. She used the legal system to persecute some white guys who offended her, and she suffers no consequences.

Nifong should be punished too, but let's not forget who made the phoney accusations in the first place.

MadisonMan said...

Is pulling a Nifong anything like pulling a Biskupic?

Biskupic's error was in pursuing the Thompson Case at a time when other US Attys were being fired for seemingly partisan reasons. I've read nothing credible that suggests the case was Political Gamesmanship directed by the Republican Party in DC. And absent the brouhaha over the eight fired attorneys, Biskupic's error surely wouldn't be national news.

Nifong's case, in contrast, would be national news regardless. It deals with Sex and Sports. What could be more American?

nick danger said...

Those boys should celebrate that their ordeal is finally over. Maybe they could have a big party. With a couple of half-barrels. And some strippers!

TMink said...

I look forward to Al (not so) Sharpton going on the Imus show to appologize for his racist rush to judgment. And Jesse Jackson will certainly withdraw his offer of paying the lying acuuser stripper's way through college.

Trey (not even thinking of holding his breath)

SGT Ted said...

Remarkable how these sexist jocks, who hired a stripper and hurled racist insults at her, have become such "victims." A curse on all their houses, if you have any sense of decency.

"You shouldn't have been wearing that short skirt and revealing top, honey."

Yea because everyone knows being obnoxious and hiring strippers is morally equivalent to falsley accusing multiple people of forcible rape.

As far as the alleged sexism goes, I'm not seeing it, other than its use as a convenient cheapshot slur at politically incorrect white male college athletes.

These guys were railroaded in the worst possible way and people keep on blaming the victims.

John said...

My guess is the fen will be disappointed by Marcotte's blog. I bet she doesn't say a word. People like her never admit they are wrong about anything no matter how obvious it is. She will just move on and pretend nothing ever happened. When confronted about it, she will play the victim card about how she was smeered by the right wing blogsphere for defending a poor black woman against rich racist white men. You never get any satisfaction from nuts like her.

Sloanasaurus said...

What would be real justice would be if that stripper could be sued for falsely accusing them - because let's face it, that's what she did.

I agree. Say what you want about Nifong, but the source of this travesty is the woman herself who falsely accused these players in order to get herself out of her own trouble. She should be prosecuted.

We need more companies and people to take actions against false accuasations like this. For example, Northwest should sue the six Imams for economic damages from their malicious intent to create a scene on the airplane. Northwest definately has a case.

John said...

If I were the stripper I would be hiring a publicist and hitting the talk show circuit and the college campus lecture circuit about my "ordeal". I don't care how big of a lying skank she is, all it takes in this day and age is a PC story and audacity. Truth is not an issue. I would bet dollars to doughnuts that the stripper could make a nice living for herself on the college lecture circuit talking about how she was victimized and the problems of racism and sexism on campus. The truth doesn't matter. The message does and she has a message that nitwits like Marcotte desparately want to hear.

David said...

The left-wing hippie professors at Duke 'rush to justice' University predictably blamed everyone else but themselves for their sins. They referenced the right-wing of the blogosphere for misunderstanding their nuanced position.

Seems the right is guilty of simply being 'right'. Apparently white guys should feel guilty for being born white and male, according to Marcotte, and spend their entire life atoning for that original sin.

The victocrats are in high dudgeon! On another note, when are we going to stop apologizing to the Revs Sharpton and Jackson for every perceived slight to blacks? Who died and left them in charge?

The Drill SGT said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Drill SGT said...

David,

This isn't completely a Left - Right thing. Yes, I think the PC, minority as the victim, Feminist groups did an instinctive jump on the bandwagon. And I don't know of any right wing folks on the Nifong side, but there were several on the Left that quickly read the case and bailed out. Susan Estrich is the best example

peter hoh said...

MadisonMan, not that I want to get into a nasty, partisan pissing match, but Nifong started this case with a person making false accusations. Did Biskupic rely on a witness who was making false accusations? It seems remarkable to me that the appeals court would order the defendent freed immediately after they heard arguments.

MadisonMan said...

Did Biskupic rely on a witness who was making false accusations?

Nothing I've read suggests that.

peter hoh said...

Then doesn't that suggest a level of excessive aggressiveness on Biskupic's part? Nifong may have withheld evidence from the defense for too long, but he didn't go to trial on evidence that was "beyond thin."

MadisonMan said...

Excessive aggressiveness or maybe just bad judgement, yes. I've had projects at work that should have been trashed that were instead pushed through to completion because they were 2/3rds done already anyway. I wonder if this case was something like that. It's a gift to know when to stop pursuing something.

My neighbor is an asst US Atty, but I've not talked to him about this since the overturn. Next neighborhood function I'll have to corner him.

Fitz said...

Wont here much about this. On to Don Imus. We want to talk about how racist and sexist everyone is, last month Duke Lacrosse got us there, this month Don Imus will.

Simple

Henry said...

Speaking of Don Imus, ESPN's AM Jump has a pretty good joke today:

Who Should Be Suspended Along With Imus, Jones And Henry

You have to get beyond the top 7 list to get to this:

Also Receiving Votes ... Mike Nifong: He should be suspended, but only after he's hit over and over with lacrosse sticks

stoqboy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
stoqboy said...

I believe Duke enjoyed record admissions applications this year. See businessweek.com.

Cedarford said...

(nappy-headed?)peter hoh said...
Then doesn't that suggest a level of excessive aggressiveness on Biskupic's part? Nifong may have withheld evidence from the defense for too long, but he didn't go to trial on evidence that was "beyond thin."


1. He didn't go to trial, he just indicted in front of a rubberstamp Grand Jury and ducked a probable cause hearing.

2. The testimony for indictment was provided by two cops directly working for Nifong who appear aware of the conspiracy to with hold DNA evidence and who may have lied to the jury on other details. He had no right to exclude the exculpatory DNA evidence right before he sought indictments. If the Defense had known they would have gone to court to demand a probable cause hearing once they had the hidden DNA results..The probable cause hearing would then have found the nurse trainee was unqualified to make official medical judgments, photo lineups were rigged, the accuser had told 9 different stories, that two solid alibis existed, that no one had inteviewed the accuser from the DA's office, the DNA excluded the suspects, and 40 some witnesses contradicted the accuser's story.

And by then, I believe the defense likely knew Ms. Mangum, (the accuser) was an active prostitute, was working as a stripper 2 days after her "traumatic experience", was a drug user,
had made false rape accusations before, had substantial criminal history, was booted from the Navy, and possibly had mental disorders.

In short, it all could have ended a year ago.

3. Nifong never interviewed the accuser.

4. Nifong refused to sit down with defense counsel and consider what defense lawyers call "complete alibis that two of the players (Seligmann and Finnerty) were no where near the house when the false accuser claims the rapes happened.

5. The only evidence he had was from an unqualified nurse who said slight vaginal swelling could have been caused by rape (among a half dozen other things - infection from poor hygiene, use of sex toys, frequent prostitution, frequent sexual activity with non-paying boyfriends, congenital condition, menstrual cycle)

6. His thin evidence, or basically non-existent evidence is why he had to railroad to advance his case, and why he is facing disbarrment, lawsuits. And possible jail time if the Bar and Special Prosecutor's Office conclude he engaged in RICO, conspiracy to violate the defendent's civil rights.

If you don't believe me, Hoh - wait to hear what the SP's say and what the Bar says on this sorryass.

Fen said...

Could people who are being so hostile to her link to some of her posts about the Duke case that you think are so offensive?

pogo did the honors. There was more filth she deleted. Its archived somewhere but, oh, well, I'm tired now and she's kind of weird.. Heh.

To be fair, she claims alot of her hate re the Lacrosse players was not deleted, it was lost during a server change.

Marcotte's a talented writer and fun to read, but I'm hostile towards her based on her routine demonization of people who don't share her politics. In almost every thread, she crafts the most grotesque caricatures and then burns them in effigy. She would have been quite cozy in Goebbels's lair.

his contempt for the human race in general and the Jews in particular, and his complete cynicism were an expression of his own intellectual self-hatred and inferiority complexes, his overwhelming need to destroy everything sacred and ignite the same feelings of rage, despair and hatred in his listeners.

Two of a kind.

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/goebbels.html

NSC said...

The charges weren't just dropped, the three young men were officially declared innocent. Nifong will be lucky if he doesn't go to jail.

Fen said...

/legal idiot here, pls bear with me:

Can the defendents sue Nifong [or City/State] to recover expenses?

Could a judge declare the case frivlous and reverse all expenses to the prosecution?

peter hoh said...

cedarford, if you think I'm playing apologist for Nifong, you are quite mistaken.

Revenant said...

Remarkable how these sexist jocks, who hired a stripper and hurled racist insults at her

Will you amoral leftist fuckwits please stop peddling those lies?

There is absolutely no evidence that the jocks (a) are sexists or (b) "hurled racist insults" at the stripper. So please, do us all a favor -- get cancer and die.

Eli Blake said...

Peter Palladias (5:37 AM):

'Nifonged' - forever saddled with the consequences of doing what seemed the right thing, but clearly wasn't and when you realised it wasn't you still kept going.

Like George Bush and Iraq, for example.

Bruce Hayden said...

Normally, Nifong would have pretty good immunity from civil suits. But he may have lost that through the violation of the young men's civil rights. If so, then he may be liable for suit.

However, the big money is in the government and the school. It should be interesting to see which, if either, ends up paying up. Again, the government usually has immunity from suit. However, this again may have been lost, as he was operating under color of law, knowing that he was violating their civil and constitutional rights.

Of course, I am not nearly an expert in this area of the law, and intend to stay that way.

Cedarford said...

peter hoh said...
cedarford, if you think I'm playing apologist for Nifong, you are quite mistaken.


I went back and re-read it.

You were being subtle and I missed it.

Sorry.

My bad.

AlaskaJack said...

Are white leftists going to use this as a "teaching moment"? Will they reflect on their deep-seated bigotry and racism that, in complete disregard of the evidence, they automatically direct towards any member of a non-minority who stands accused of a crime by a minority? Will they take out an ad in the NYT apologizing to the Duke lacrosse team and their coach? Will they call for the immediate firing of those eighty-eight Duke professors who called for the heads of three innocent young men? Don't hold your breath.

peter hoh said...

Thanks, Cedarford. My point was that both prosecutors seemed to have overstepped their bounds. I'm not going to get into which was worse. Both have been slapped down. As someone commented, a case with a sex angle gets a whole lot more attention.

The Drill SGT said...

Bruce,

I would expect everyone to be sued:

Nifong
Durham
False Victim
Himan
Gottlieb
The 3rd cop (Linwood?)
Crime Stoppers
The DPD PAO Corporal
Duke
Broadhead

Nifong would normally have absolute immunity as a DA in the performance of his duty. Police only have limited immunity. It gets murky in that Nifong announced that he was "taking over the police investigation" and apparently directed procedures (e.g. the lineup). Given the potential subornation of perjury (e.g the Grand Jury testimony by 2 detective who already knew that the 3 people headed for an indictment had no DNA at the scene) and the arguable conspiracy to withhold evidence and deprive folks of their civil rights in violation of State and Federal statute, he ought to be vulnerable.

It will be interesting to see which of the cops rolls first. Nifong could look like one of those Jim Croce songs afterward, you know: "lying on the floor, looking like a jigsaw with a couple of pieces gone"

Steven said...

Marcotte is a KGB political commissar with the misfortune to have been born in modern America instead of 1910s Russia. Too bad for her she won't have the opportunity to liquidate her class enemies.

Mike said...

Eli said: "The question is whether it was for reasons of malice, or whether it was done for reasons of last year's election cycle."

This is right up there with Nixon saying (in the Frost interview) Watergate wasn't all that bad. After all, it was done for political reasons, not criminal reasons.

monson said...

well, I guess one should stay clear of prostitutes. how can they sue anyone? They hired a druggie prostitute stripper, they served underage people, and one of their teammates wrote that horrid emai. Yea they got a very bad deal but they brought the trouble to themselves.