Tuesday, August 08, 2006

New Feature: Our Collective Voice

Date: Tue, 8 Aug 2006 10:26:05 -0400


Subject: Fwd: Duke LAX questions


Your blog is fabulous. I wanted to pass on two things. First KC Johnson has a great new post on the implications of the date change on the Soucie memo. Second, attached below is a copy of my "question" to Neff at the News & Observer raising similar questions. Keep up the great work!

---------- Forwarded message ----------From: xxxx xxxxxx <>

Date: Aug 7, 2006 6:05 PM
Subject: Duke LAX questions

To: jneff@newsobserver.com

Dear Mr. Neff:

Thank for your reporting on the Duke lacrosse case and thank you for your willingness to take questions. Your article this past Sunday was outstanding and the most comprehensive discussion of the case that I have seen to date.

I would like to ask about the implications of the date change on the note from Officer Soucie regarding District Attorney Mike Nifong's request. If the correct date of that note is now April 4th, and not April 17th, what is the implication of the note "Relayed information to DA Mike Nifong Reference DNA Securities prices for YSTR tests"? Does this note not suggest that Mr. Nifong had received results of the first DNA tests and had inquired about additional tests by April 4th? Were they not originally supposed to be back before that time?

I note that the Duke Chronicle on March 27th quoted a police department spokesperson as saying the results of the tests would be known by "Monday." I assume the spokesperson meant the following Monday, April 3rd.


In addition, on March 27th and 28th WRAL and NBC17 both reported that the results would be back by "next week."


In fact, Nifong himself said that the results would be back "next week" on Wednesday March 29th on MSNBC's "The Abrams Report."


Does an early receipt of the negative results explain Mr. Nifong's complete reversal from "The DNA evidence requested will immediately rule out any innocent persons" in the March 23 rd affidavit and his statement to the News & Observer that "By next week, we'll know precisely who was involved," to his statement on March 30th "How does DNA exonerate you? It's either a match or there's not a match... If the only thing that we ever have in this case is DNA, then we wouldn't have a case"?

Similarly, doesn't the April 4th lineup procedure suggest that Mr. Nifong already knew the first round of DNA tests were negative? If he had positive matches, why would he need a line-up ID?
If in fact Mr. Nifong had the DNA results, what is the justification for waiting until April 10th to turn them over to the defense attorneys?

It strikes me that the week from April 3rd to April 10th was extremely important. On April 4th, the alleged victim identified the three players now facing charges. On April 5th Officer Himan finally received the SANE report from the hospital—the same report previously described in March 23 rd and March 27th affidavits as already "obtained by subpoena." Also, on April 5th the court unsealed the warrant containing the full text of Ryan McFayden's e-mail. This caused the lacrosse season to be canceled, the coach to be fired, and Duke's president to set up 5 separate commissions to study the issues raised. On April 6th 88 faculty members signed an ad in Duke's newspaper declaring the situation a "social disaster." Also on April 6th the police apparently obtained the written statement from the alleged victim and her driver, the later containing a mysterious correction about the date of sexual relations between the two.
Wouldn't this course of events have been dramatically different if the DNA results were timely disclosed to the defense attorneys?

Thank you again for your excellent reporting and your willingness to consider these questions.


Alexandria, VA


NDLax84 said...

Eagerly awaiting publication of Mr. Neff's response...and his surely forthcoming N&O follow-up. If only to stick it to Ted and Melanie. Doncha just love a disgruntled and talented investigative reporter?

NDLax84 said...

Spawned of the collective voices in my head:Buh Dum Bump!