(Thanks to Quasi, JSwift, Q.A. and Baldo for reviewing the manuscript and making suggestions.)
MONDAY JANUARY 1: USC Law Prof. Susan Estrich writes an opinion article for Fox News titled “Duke Prosecutor’s Fourth Victim:
“There are four victims of District Attorney Mike Nifong’s twisted tactics in the Duke Lacrosse case. The first three, of course, are the young men who never would have been charged with anything had Nifong adhered to the standard practices in his own office. With luck, they will ultimately be exonerated, and be able to move on with their lives, albeit after having endured a chapter in hell. The fourth victim is unlikely to be so lucky; she will not be exonerated at trial, and she will not be able to move on with her life. (…) The woman is a liar. That is the English translation of the latest round of maneuvers, in which the prosecution dismissed the rape charges because the woman could no longer say, as she once did, that she had intercourse with three men at the party. In other words, she lied when she said she did. (…) The defense attorneys will obliterate her, permanently painting her as the worst sort of nut and slut. We will not hate the boys, we will hate her. The defendants have no choice: their freedom depends on destroying her credibility. Mike Nifong does have a choice. He doesn’t have to build a case on someone who shouldn’t be carrying it. It’s his job to recognize that and act accordingly-- for her sake, and the community’s, as well as the defendants.”
Raleigh News & Observer (N&O) columnist Ruth Sheehan suggests “It’s Time to Drop Charges:”
“Every time I think the Duke lacrosse case cannot get any more excruciating to watch -- it does. There was a moment of hope right before Christmas, when we got word that Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong was dropping charges. Finally! I thought. Nifong has come to his senses and is putting us all out of our misery -- from the three men charged in the alleged sexual assault of a dancer at their stripper party to the alleged victim herself. But as it turned out, Nifong dropped only one of the charges in the case -- rape -- leaving the sexual assault and kidnapping charges to stand. These are charges, like rape, that could put the men behind bars for life. Nifong's explanation for dropping the rape charge only added to the excruciation factor: The accuser said she now cannot remember whether a penis was involved in the alleged attack. I cringe just typing the words. As the victim of a date rape more than 20 years ago myself, I can attest that there are some details you can train your mind to glance over. Whether a penis was involved is a detail one is unlikely to forget. What kind of dimwitted fools does Nifong believe us, and the potential jurors, to be? I ask this, of course, from some experience. I was one of the hopelessly naive who fell -- hard -- for Nifong's original depiction of the case.”
TUESDAY JANUARY 2: DA Mike Nifong is sworn in for his first four-year term early today in private. Nifong insists he did not intend to keep out the media or the public from the ceremony, but says he scheduled it for 8 a.m. so his staff could go to work afterward without dealing with the media. The building does not open to the public until 8:30 a.m. "This was not a media event. This was an event that is required for us to do our jobs," Nifong tells reporters later. "The message we're trying to send is: This is 2007. We're here to do our jobs. We're not here to help you guys sell newspapers or get press coverage."
African-American columnist Thomas Sowell writes an article in the National Review Online titled “Nifong’s Deliverance:”
“Nifong’s actions are inexplicable only if you assume that his purpose was to get at the truth about what actually happened at the party where the stripper claimed to have been raped. That assumption has never been made in this column. From day one, I have never believed that this case was about rape, about the Duke lacrosse players, or about the “exotic dancers” or strippers. District Attorney Nifong’s actions are perfectly consistent and logical from start to finish, once you see that this case is about Nifong’s own career.
(…) It was not a question of winning the case. It was a question of winning the election. As for the case, that was not scheduled to come to trial until a year later. If you cared about justice, you would want to go to trial much sooner, either to nail the Duke students if they were guilty or exonerate them if they were not. But nothing suggests that this was Nifong’s agenda. Now that so many of his misdeeds have been so widely publicized, Nifong’s agenda has to include keeping his job and avoiding disbarment or even being prosecuted himself."
WEDNESDAY JANUARY 3: Duke University invites indicted students Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann to return to Duke in good standing. “We have decided that the right and fair thing to do is to welcome back Reade Seligmann and Collin Finnerty to resume their studies at Duke for the spring semester," President Richard Brodhead says in a statement. Both were barred from the campus last semester while their case made its way through courts. The third defendant, David Evans, graduated in May. Brodhead in his statement notes that the validity of the remaining charges is in question. "Although the students still face serious charges and larger issues require Duke’s collective attention, the circumstances in this case have changed substantially, and it is appropriate that the students have an opportunity to continue their education," Brodhead says. But Kevin Finnerty tells WRAL that his son wants to get through the criminal process before returning to school. "I think we're going to need to focus on the serious charges that still exist, and we'll need to leave ourselves the flexibility once we get a successful resolution," he explains. Wade Smith, a lawyer representing Finnerty, says, "We're happy about this decision. We think it says good things about the direction of this investigation and good things about our client." Smith adds, . "We're not looking for apologies today. We're saying to Duke, 'You've done the right thing.'" Seligmann's attorney, James Cooney III, says that Seligmann and his parents are considering their options regarding Duke's offer. "We are also glad that Duke University has now made it clear that Reade is welcome to return to the university and look forward to the day that he can return to living a normal life and continuing his education as a full-time student," the Seligmann family says in a statement. The university could still punish Seligmann and Finnerty if they are convicted of any of the remaining charges, Vice President for Student Affairs Larry Moneta says in a memo to Brodhead recommending that the players be allowed to come back. Both Seligmann and Finnerty would be eligible to return to the lacrosse team, Duke spokesman Keith Lawrence states. “It’s a step forward, but because charges still exist, this remains a complex issue for the students and their families,” says John Danowski, Duke’s head lacrosse coach. Teammates seem to feel no ambiguity about their colleagues. “It's no secret how much we want them back. Not only are they good players, but we just miss them as great friends of ours,” explains Casey Carroll, a senior on the lacrosse team. "We're all ecstatic," assistant lacrosse coach Kevin Cassesse says. "I think it's a great statement from Brodhead and the university, and in my opinion, it was the right thing to do."
Metro Magazine publishes an article by Susan Swanson about her visit to the Finnerty home in New York where she interviews Collin and his parents Mary Ellen and Kevin:
“A statue of the Madonna and child stands near the landscaped entrance to the Finnerty home. The house itself is large and warmly decorated in muted shades of browns, greens and reds. No doubt it serves as a welcome retreat these days for the Finnertys’ five children. Collin is the middle child; his two older brothers live and work in New York City and his younger sisters are still at home. Mary Ellen is a tall woman who admits that her hair “gets a little blonder the older I get.” (…)
“What gets me so angry,” Mary Ellen told me, “is that I held this child in my arms; I protected him. He was a good kid in high school. He was never a curfew breaker — and I was the strictest mother in America, according to all of the kids. The boys always worked hard and their spending money they earned. It was never handed to them, despite all these articles that talk about spoiled rich kids.” (…)
“People think that I have the toughest time,” Collin said, “but it’s harder for my mom. It’s tough to see her deal with this day after day for something that never happened. I’ll be happy to see her sitting on a beach or some place, not having to think about this. When it’s over, I’ll be happy to see my whole family relieved, but especially for my mom. Right now I can’t contemplate a day without this going on. A perfect day for me would be just hanging out with my brothers. I could zone it out, not think about it for an hour … but at some point it always comes back around.”
Duke Prof. Karla Holloway objects to the invitation by Duke for Finnerty and Seligmann to return to campus. In a private e-mail to colleagues she repeats third-hand charges of racism against the lacrosse team. “I will share with you what I have not previously shared publicly,” Holloway writes. “It has colored this matter for me since last spring. It is legally hearsay, but nevertheless speaks volumes to what I think are the intricacies of the event that deserve a legal hearing.” Holloway then recalls how last spring, while she was in Duke VP John Burness’ office, she overheard him speaking with Duke Campus police by phone. “…[T]he Vice President took a call from the Duke Police, who had returned from a meeting with the Durham Police,” Holloway continues. “He repeated aloud what the person on the phone was telling him: “So you are telling me that when the boys opened the door and saw the dancers they said “Oh no, we’re not going to f—k a ‘n’ (expletive).’” The e-mail continues, “I cannot help but think that if I was privy to this, this statement had to have been shared with our administration. (…) So what does it mean to readmit students with an indictment for violent acts, without an internal investigation of our own regarding the event? I think it is a choice the institution has made. And it has led to my own that I cannot work in shared good faith at a time when principled conduct matters less than polls and parents’ pleas.”
In his Jan. 3 e-mail response, Vice Pres. Burness writes, “The comments you overheard in my office which were attributed to the Durham Police were as you described them. We both found them to be profoundly painful/disgusting. They clearly, if true, spoke volumes about the climate of the event, but I knew that it was not clear who had made them and I knew that conducting our own investigation would instantly be seen as compromising that of the Durham Police. That would play into the hands of those who assumed—-as many people in Durham did as the case first surfaced—Duke would use its power to influence the case and the process.” Burness continues, “ I also knew that the Durham Police didn’t clarify who apparently had said it and I made no assumption that the students who ultimately were indicted, did. But I also knew that [Duke President] Dick [Brodhead] had said from the start that independent of the criminal allegations, some inappropriate and dishonorable things had occurred that night and when the Police investigation was concluded, he committed that Duke would conduct its own review.”
THURSDAY JANUARY 4: WRAL reports that Crystal Mangum, the accuser in the Duke lacrosse case, gave birth to a girl at UNC Hospitals by a Caesarean section. No other details are available about the birth. The hospital issues a statement saying, "In response to ongoing media reports surrounding the Duke lacrosse case, we acknowledge that the focus of this attention is a patient here at UNC Hospitals. UNC Hospitals will not provide additional information or updates on this patient’s condition. The patient says it is her hope and expectation that her privacy will be respected."
Kyle Dowd, a former Duke lacrosse player, sues the university and a former instructor, alleging that she unfairly gave him a failing grade because he was a member of the team. Dowd graduated in May 2006, two months after Crystal Mangum claimed she was raped at a lacrosse team party. Dowd's lawsuit alleges that visiting professor Kim Curtis gave him an F in a politics and literature class that nearly prevented him from graduating, even though he had earned passing grades on his assignments to that point. Dowd and his parents, Patricia and Benjamin Dowd, are asking for $60,000 in punitive and compensatory damages. "I wanted to prevent such occurrences from happening to another student at Duke," Kyle Dowd tells WRAL."I didn't want to see another professor further their political agenda by maliciously hurting another student." According to the lawsuit, only one other person in the 40-student class, another lacrosse player, received an F. "Defendant Curtis engaged in extreme outrageous and unethical conduct ... due to personal bias and prejudice," the lawsuit says. According to the lawsuit, Curtis told Dowd he received a failing grade for participation because he had not attended class and because he made wrong statements in a paper without backing them up. The lawsuit claims Dowd missed six out of 30 classes — one an excused absence for a lacrosse match and the other five resulting because of the criminal investigation involving the lacrosse team. Each time Dowd had sent an e-mail to Curtis informing her about his absence. The lawsuit also states that Curtis, a visiting assistant professor at the time who specialized in political theory and feminist theory, signed an advertisement in The Duke Chronicle that sympathized with the alleged victim. It also states that Curtis sent an e-mail to students in her class letting them know that she was available to talk about "how this is affecting you, what we should do as a community, etc." Dowd appealed the grade, and the university changed it to a D, citing a calculation error. He and his parents ask in the lawsuit for the grade to be changed to a "P" for passing.
Eighteen members of the Duke Economics Department, including Chairman Roy Weintraub, send a letter to The Chronicle (which publishes it January 9):
“To the Editor:
We, the undersigned Economics Department faculty members at Duke University, are cognizant of the fact that, to date, the only collective signed statement by faculty members concerning the events of last March was an advertisement in the Duke University Chronicle subsequent to protests and a forum on March 29, 2006. We are aware too that the advertisement was cited as prejudicial to the defendants in the defense motion to change the venue of the trial involving the three Duke lacrosse team members. We regret that the Duke faculty is now seen as prejudiced against certain of its own students.
1) In light of recent events detailed in court proceedings, it appears that there were a number of irregular acts committed by members of the Durham law enforcement agencies and District Attorney’s Office. We join with President Brodhead in calling for an investigation of those acts, inimical to students at our university.
2) We welcome all members of the lacrosse team, and all student athletes, as we do all our students as fellow members of the Duke community, to the classes we teach and the activities we sponsor.”
Brooklyn College History Prof. KC Johnson in his “Durham-in-Wonderland” blog analyzes in detail the faulty April 4 identification procedure in which accuser Crystal Mangum identified four alleged attackers, He concludes: “Flawed procedures beget flawed results. Corrupted procedures beget corrupted results. Flawed, corrupted procedures beget flawed, corrupted results.”
FRIDAY JANUARY 5: Duke English Prof. Cathy Davidson writes an article in the N&O titled “In the Aftermath of A Social Disaster.” She rejects criticism of the April 6, 2006 “Listening” ad in The Chronicle. In the N&O article, Davidson, one of the “Group of 88,” is also the first to use the term “blog hooligans,” an appellation later adopted with pride by bloggers at LieStoppers and other sites.
“Last April I added my name to an ad published in the Duke Chronicle. The ad said that we faculty were listening to the anguish of students who felt demeaned by racist and sexist remarks swirling around in the media and on the campus quad in the aftermath of what happened on March 13 in the lacrosse house. (…) Like the other faculty members who signed the ad, I constantly receive e-mails asking me to rescind my signature. Some people write out of real misery for their children, Duke students who are distraught that their friends may have been falsely accused and unfairly treated. They believe professors have sided against the lacrosse players, and they are outraged. If we had written what they suppose, we would deserve their anger. But we didn't.
I empathize deeply with these parents and friends. I regret additional pain they felt when they heard about this ad. However, when I send them the actual ad, they are often surprised that it does not condemn the lacrosse players but focuses on larger campus and national concerns. I was touched, recently, when one mother concluded our thoughtful exchange by noting that she still didn't like the ad, but hoped that her daughter would have the opportunity to take a class with me someday.
On the other hand, most of my e-mail comes from right-wing "blog hooligans." These hateful, ranting and sometimes even threatening folks don't care about Duke or the lacrosse players. Their aim is to make academics and liberals look ridiculous and uncaring. They deliberately misrepresent the faculty and manipulate the feelings of those who care about the lacrosse players in order to foster their own demagogic political agenda. They contribute to the problem, not to the solution.”
Prof. KC Johnson deconstructs Davidson’s article in a blogpost “Apologia for a Disaster.” Several posters at LieStoppers criticize Davidson, including “Texas Mom,” who describes herself as “one of your ‘blog hooligans.’” “Texas Mom” writes in part:
I HAVE BEEN a single mother, a widow, with three small children, no life insurance, no health insurance, no visible means of support, and no education equipping me to enter the marketplace in my forties. (…) I did not turn to prostitution or stripping to support my children. Most women do not. Spare me the gratuitous "women as victims" garbage. (…) Crystal CHOSE to engage in behaviors that resulted in her separation from the Navy with a less than honorable discharge. Crystal CHOSE to have three children-- and, yes, that was a CHOICE, my generation fought for that right. Crystal CHOSE to work as a stripper and sex worker. This woman CHOSE to degrade herself-- it was not foisted upon her. Come down out of your ivory tower and talk to women who have raised children by themselves, we have lots of stories to tell about working hard at more than one job, about worrying about not having health insurance, about the humiliation of saying to a doctor, "How much will it cost; I can't afford it."
SATURDAY JANUARY 6: Newsweek’s Susannah Meadows writes an article “In Scandal’s Shadow” which gives a sympathetic portrait of Reade Seligmann. The article, made public today, is published in Newsweek’s January 15, 2007 issue:
Last April, Duke lacrosse star Reade Seligmann huddled with his dad at a Durham, N.C., law firm. A stripper hired to perform at a team party on March 13 claimed several players raped her. In a lineup, she'd identified three of them as her alleged assailants. Seligmann now awaited a call from the prosecutor that would tell him if he was one of the players she'd singled out. He felt certain he would be cleared. The call came. Reade, 20, was being indicted for first-degree rape, kidnapping and sexual offense. He had a strong alibi—cell-phone records would show he was busy calling his girlfriend at the time the alleged crime was taking place—but the D.A. declined to hear it. As he heard the news, Reade looked at his dad. It was the first time he'd ever seen his father cry. Then it hit him: how was he going to tell his mom? Kathy Seligmann was home in New Jersey with her three other boys. He dialed her number. "Mom," he said, "she picked me."
MONDAY JANUARY 8: Duke President Brodhead renews his call for DA Nifong to step aside from the sexual offense case against three former lacrosse players and give control to an independent party “who can restore confidence in the fairness of the process.” In an open letter as a new semester begins, Brodhead reviews recent events in the case and tries to explain the university’s responses since last March. Brodhead claims that from the early, “confusing” days of the case, the university has been guided by two principles: If true, the accusations were “grave and should be taken very seriously.” At the same time, “our students had to be presumed innocent until proven guilty through the legal process.” Now, he writes, in the wake of questions about Nifong’s handling of the case, the need for a fair legal process demands that he recuse himself. Early on, Brodhead recalls, Nifong said publicly that he was certain a rape had taken place. But on Dec. 22, Nifong dropped the rape charges, saying the accuser was no longer sure what had penetrated her. Given the certainty of the prosecutor’s early statements, Brodhead says the decision to drop the rape charges called the entire case into question. “We entrust our conflicts to the law to provide a path to a fair resolution,” Brodhead writes. “But to earn this faith from the public, those who work in the legal process must behave with elemental fairness and regard for the rights of those involved. We need and deserve for that faith to be restored.” KC Johnson criticizes Brodhead’s open letter in a blogpost “Brodhead’s Apologia,” as does blogger John-in-Carolina in a post titled “Brodhead Reveals Himself.”
MSNBC legal analyst Susan Filan becomes the first mainstream journalist to call Nifong’s case a hoax as she discusses the changes in Mangum’s stories, which other observers attribute to her inability to tell the truth rather than inability to remember, and the resulting changes in Nifong’s charges:
“I sincerely hope that we don’t have a situation here where the charges are designed to conform to the evidence, once her original story could not be corroborated by the forensic evidence. The real problem now is that the prosecution’s case has completely crumbled and appears to be a complete hoax. If the accuser cannot testify as to whether she was raped because she cannot remember, then the damage to her credibility is so severe it warrants all the charges being dropped.”
TUESDAY JANUARY 9: An assault conviction in Washington, D.C., against lacrosse defendant Collin Finnerty has been expunged, authorities say. Finnerty, 19, of Garden City, N.Y., was convicted in July of misdemeanor assault and sentenced to six months of probation in connection with an altercation with two bar patrons in November 2005. Judge John Bayly had agreed to dismiss the Washington assault charge once Finnerty completed his probation.
WEDNESDAY JANUARY 10: Durham Police Inv. Ben Himan and Linwood Wilson re-interview Tara Levicy, R.N., the SANE nurse- in- training who was present for Crystal Mangum’s SANE exam on March 14. Levicy confirms that she had indicated on two occasions that her findings were “consistent with a sexual assault.” Levicy says that in her view Mangum was not sure whether condoms were used because a victim can never be sure. She indicates that she was not surprised that DNA was not found. On the following day, she calls to revise her statement, conceding that another reason DNA is not found in an investigation is that the attack did not happen.
The judge presiding over the lacrosse case orders a paternity test on a child born January 4 to Crystal Mangum. The order by Superior Court Judge W. Osmond Smith III confirms reports that Mangum had a child at that time. At a December hearing, attorneys for three former Duke lacrosse players accused of sexually assaulting Mangum requested the paternity test to show the child was not fathered by the players. DA Nifong said at the time that the woman was pregnant but that he did not think the child was conceived through any activity at the lacrosse party. To make sure, Smith ordered that the test be performed and the results given to the defense once the woman's child was born. The order contains no specific information about the child.
WTVD interviews campaign consultant Jackie Brown who helped DA Nifong win the primary election but then teamed up with Lewis Cheek to campaign against Nifong. Brown now says, "I would like for him to recuse himself and to let another prosecutor come in and look at the case." She says the lacrosse case initially had very little to do with Nifong's DA race. "Some of his first words to me were that he really didn't want to do this-- meaning the campaign, but that he needed three years and some odd months for retirement." With money as the motivation, Brown dismisses the notion Nifong had used the Duke Lacrosse case to get elected before the May primary, saying he wasn't politically savvy enough at that time and that he wasn't even focused on the case. However, the media frenzy, the appearance of an opponent in the November election, and mounting public pressure, Brown says that's when everything changed. "I think by the time November got here, if he had come out and changed his mind and apologize then he probably wouldn't have gotten re-elected," Brown states. While critics speculate about whether the Durham lacrosse case will be dismissed, Brown says if she knows Nifong, that won't happen. "He's like a bulldog with a bone and you're not going to take it away from him." The N&O reports that Nifong describes his former campaign director in an interview as a woman more concerned with getting credit for good work than doing it. "There were actually several people who said to me they would not consider voting for me because she worked on my campaign," Nifong says. "Her biggest concern during the campaign seemed to be how she was billed in the campaign ads."
Duke Prof. Karla Holloway resigns her position as race subgroup chair of Duke’s Campus Culture Initiative, to protest President Brodhead’s decision to lift the suspensions of Reade Seligmann and Collin Finnerty. “The decision by the university to readmit the students, especially just before a critical judicial decision on the case, is a clear use of corporate power, and a breach, I think, of ethical citizenship,” she writes in a letter. “I could no longer work in good faith with this breach of common trust.”
THURSDAY JANUARY 11: DA Nifong meets privately at his office with accuser Crystal Mangum for several hours. He tells her at the meeting he will be removing himself from the alleged sexual assault case. While she was there, Durham County sheriff's deputies serve her with a subpoena ordering her to be in court to testify at a scheduled Feb. 5, 2007 hearing. In the past 10 months, Nifong claims has never talked with her about the facts of the case. In court hearings, he says that when he met with her for the first time in the spring of 2006, they talked about other matters because she seemed upset.
A trial date of May 11, 2007 is announced for the ethics complaints filed against DA Nifong. The North Carolina State Bar had filed the complaint in December, asserting Nifong might have engaged in deceptive behavior in the way he has handled the alleged sexual assault case involving three members of the lacrosse team. The bar takes issue with the many comments Nifong made to the press early on in the case. He has hired Winston-Salem attorney David Freedman to defend him. Freedman has represented other attorneys in State Bar matters. A three-member panel will decide guilt or innocence and then, if guilty, may impose a sentence ranging from a warning to disbarment.
Defense attorneys in the Duke lacrosse case file an important supplemental motion citing mounting evidence for their argument that Judge W. Osmond Smith III throw out accuser Crystal Mangum’s identification of the suspects. The motion asserts that Mangums’s statements and the prosecution theories of what happened on March 13-14 keep changing. For example: 1) The defense says Mangum on Dec. 21 told Linwood Wilson, an investigator for Nifong, that the reported attack happened between 11:35 p.m. and midnight on March 13. The defense says the new claim contradicts the accuser's own cellular phone records, which show an incoming call at 11:36 p.m. that lasted for three minutes. Records also show that Reade Seligmann received a call on his cell phone during that period, the defense says. Time-stamped photos and records of a 911 call made by the second dancer also indicate the women did not leave the party until shortly before 1 a.m., nearly an hour after the most recent account has the alleged attack ending. In an April written statement, the accuser said she and the second dancer left the party immediately after the alleged assault. 2) In her latest statement, according to the defense, Mangum says Seligmann did not commit any sex act on her. Although he was repeatedly urged to take part in the alleged attack, she recalls, he said he could not because he was “getting married.” Lawyers have said that while Seligmann has a girlfriend, he is not engaged or married. The documents point out that in an April interview with police, Mangum then cited Seligmann as the attacker who she says stood in front of her and forced her to perform a sexual act. "The accuser's most recent recollection of events demonstrates clearly that she cannot accurately recall and describe her attackers and that any identification made by her is necessarily unreliable," the defense filing states. 3) The defense also claims Mangum now says the attacker she identified as David Evans did not have a mustache after all. In an April photo lineup, she told detectives he did. On Dec. 21, according to the motion, the accuser said she did not mean a "real mustache" but something more like a "5-o'clock shadow." 4) In that same interview, Mangum also states she is no longer certain she had been penetrated vaginally by a penis, a necessary element of rape charges in North Carolina. That led DA Nifong to dismiss rape charges against Seligmann, Evans and Collin Finnerty. Today’s filing is a supplement to a previous defense motion asking a judge to toss out the photo lineup in which the accuser identified the three suspects. A hearing on the request is scheduled for Feb. 5, and experts have said that without the photo lineup, Nifong would probably have to drop the case.
Duke Provost Peter Lange talks to the Arts & Sciences Council about the events surrounding the lacrosse case and calls for more civility in face of “personal attacks” on faculty members.
“Meanwhile some of our faculty, primarily African-American but not only so, have been under repeated attacks in personal emails and in blogs. The primary precipitant – in the sense that the content offended those writing the blogs or sending the emails – was the advertisement signed by 88 of Duke’s faculty and printed in the Duke Chronicle. Subsequently, the connection to the advertisement often has become attenuated and the ad has become rhetorically transformed into and manipulated as a symbol of all that was thought to be extreme and bad about Duke faculty, and, in some cases, universities more generally. At the same time, the emails and blogs attacking what people wrote or said have sometimes been replaced by personal attacks, some of them directed at the faculty member’s scholarship or intellectual credentials, some viciously personal, still others openly threatening or racist. (…)
With the passing of time, the heat has not gone down. In the last weeks, faculty members have shared with me emails and blog material that is as merciless, distorted and vituperative as in the past. The cumulative damage of the months of attacks on some of our faculty and the distress of those who sympathize with them is exceeding the limits of prudence about provoking external reactions. It is the Provost’s job to defend the fundamental value and values of the faculty and at some point refraining from that defense because it might produce more of the same becomes itself imprudent.”
KC Johnson presents his own chronology of the lacrosse case from March 14 through April 30, 2006 in a “Durham-in-Wonderland” post.
JANUARY 12: Facing ethics charges that could lead to disbarment, DA Nifong recuses himself and asks the North Carolina attorney general's office to appoint a special prosecutor to take over the Duke lacrosse case. Noelle Talley, a spokeswoman for NC Attorney General Roy Cooper, confirms in an e-mail that Nifong has sent a letter to Cooper's office with the request. Nifong's attorney, David Freedman, insists his client is not running from a weak case and that Nifong is disappointed he won't be able to take it to trial. He says Nifong met with Crystal Mangum this week to tell her in person of his decision to recuse himself. "He feels, as a result of the accusations against him, that he would be a distraction and he wants to make sure the accuser receives a fair trial," Freedman tells The Associated Press. "He still believes in the case. He just believes his continued presence would hurt her." Under North Carolina law, only a district attorney can formally request a special prosecutor. Duke University issues a statement saying it hopes Nifong's recusal could "restore confidence in the fairness of the legal process … We hope this change will lead to a fair and speedy resolution of this case." Defense attorney Joe Cheshire says he welcomes an independent party's involvement in the case. "We're extremely happy that a prosecutor who does not have an agenda, who is fair and honest, will take a look at this case," Cheshire says. "And we believe that when that happens, they will dismiss this case."
CBS News announces the Duke lacrosse case will be the focus of another "60 Minutes" report on Sunday. Last October, correspondent Ed Bradley interviewed David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann, This time, the parents of the accused players will speak with correspondent Lesley Stahl. According to a CBS News release, Rae Evans says in the interview: "Mr. Nifong, you've picked on the wrong families. You've picked on the wrong family of the Duke lacrosse team. You've picked on the wrong family of Duke University. And you will pay every day for the rest of your life." Also, Dr. Brian Meehan is grilled on why he omitted exculpatory DNA evidence in his report.
SATURDAY JANUARY 13: NC Attorney General Roy Cooper announces at a news conference that Jim Coman, a former director of the State Bureau of Investigation and head of the attorney general's Special Prosecution Section, and Mary D. Winstead, a prosecutor in that division, will now oversee the Duke lacrosse case as special prosecutors. Coman has 22 years of experience in the Attorney General's office, and has prosecuted more than 250 criminal jury trials. Winstead is a former assistant district attorney for Durham and Wake counties and has 25 years of experience prosecuting cases across the state of North Carolina. “This is a review of all of the information and evidence that has been connected thus far. We will look to see if there are any things we need to reexamine,” Cooper tells reporters. "There is a lot that is there already, and it is incumbent on us to review all that.” Cooper states, “We’re taking a completely new, fresh look at this case. The path that these case travel will be lighted by the law and the evidence alone.”
In an article giving reaction to Nifong’s recusal, the N&O reports:
“Deputy Police Chief Ron Hodge said Nifong's stepping aside won't change the substance of the evidence collected by the department's detectives that a sexual assault occurred. Hodge said he thinks that the case will still go forward and that the remaining charges will be prosecuted. "I don't think it changes anything that we've done," Hodge said. "It just means that we'll have to deal with a different attorney."
SUNDAY JANUARY 14: The CBS television news magazine “60 Minutes” presents interviews with the parents of defendants Dave Evans, Reade Seligmann and Collin Finnerty. The parents direct their anger at DA Nifong. "Every mother of a son in this country should be scared to death that this was so easy to perpetrate," says Kathy Seligmann. Rae Evans says she believes Nifong's relentless pursuit of the three players was politically motivated. "This is about a man who chose to use a troubled young woman's story of fantastic lies to advance his own political career, which was crumbling," she says. "He needed something big. He needed that magic bullet and he shot it and he shot it right at our sons." The Finnertys and Seligmanns say an invitation for their sons to return to school is too little too late. They state it would be hard to send their children back to a place where the leaders did not support them. Also on the program, Dr. Brian Meehan, of DNA Security Inc., admits he made a mistake by not stating in his report that he found DNA on the accuser from other men who were not lacrosse players. "In retrospect, I know there was a better way, and I should have done a better job of relaying that information," he says. In addition, "60 Minutes," reports Crystal Mangum has a long psychiatric history and has been treated with Seroquel and Depakote.
The blogger John-in-Carolina demolishes some of the myths about the Duke case:
“It’s all Nifong’s fault. No one else is to blame. Certainly not me.”
“It was such a really, really confusing time. And the issues were so complex. Gee, who could have known?”
“It was really the players, their parents and attorneys’ fault”
MONDAY JANUARY 15: WRAL reports that DA Nifong, who has recused himself in the Duke lacrosse case, could face another complaint from the North Carolina State Bar. Last month, the bar filed an ethics complaint against Nifong for his pretrial comments regarding the case, asserting that his conduct was dishonest and deceitful. The committee that handles complaints meets again Thursday. The bar won't confirm or deny whether it is looking into another complaint, but some observers say Nifong broke other professional conduct rules by failing to turn over exculpatory evidence, which works to a defendant's benefit rather than a prosecutor's, to defense attorneys in a timely manner. The evidence in question is test results in which no DNA from any lacrosse player was found on the accuser but there was DNA from other men. After a December hearing, Nifong insisted he did nothing wrong. "There was no attempt to hide anything," he said, adding that defense attorneys only had to ask for the evidence.
The N&O’s Joe Neff reveals that defense attorney Joe Cheshire sent a letter to DA Nifong March 30 warning Nifong that his comments were prejudicing the case. "Your reported comments have greatly prejudiced any court proceedings that may arise," Cheshire wrote on March 30, three days after Nifong began making public statements about the case. "I do not understand why you will reportedly speak to the media in such certain, condemning terms before all the evidence is in, but you will not have the courtesy to meet or even speak with a representative of someone you have publicly condemned, despite your knowledge of the presumption of innocence and your position as an officer of the court bound by the Rules of Professional Conduct related to pre-trial publicity." The letter makes it more difficult for Nifong to argue that his remarks were off-the-cuff, says Thomas Metzloff, who teaches legal ethics at Duke Law School.
Kathleen Eckelt R.N. in her “Forensic Talk” blog analyzes the revelation on “60 Minutes” that Crystal Mangum has been diagnosed as bi-polar and has been on the potent psychiatric medications Seroquel and Depakote.
KC Johnson in a “Durham-in-Wonderland” blogpost discusses “Race, Racism, and the Case” in which he examines how race has been exploited to advance the prosecution of the defendants in the lacrosse case.
TUESDAY JANUARY 16: DA Nifong writes a second letter to the North Carolina State Bar Grievance Committee, answering the new ethics charges against him. The contents were summarized in the July, 2007 Findings of Facts of the State Bar:
“107. In his responses to the Grievance Committee, Nifong: (a) acknowledged that he had discussed with Dr. Meehan during meetings in April and May 2006 the results of all DSI's testing, including the existence of DNA from multiple unidentified males on the rape kit items; (b) denied that he had agreed with Dr. Meehan to exclude the potentially exculpatory DNA test results from DSI's report; (c) stated that he viewed the evidence of DNA from multiple unidentified males on the rape kit items as "non-inculpatory" rather than as "specifically exculpatory"; and (d) represented that the discussion and agreement with Dr. Meehan to limit the information in DSI's report was based on privacy concerns about releasing the names and DNA profiles of the lacrosse players and others providing known reference specimens.”
It is reported that the U.S. Department of Justice has rejected U.S. Representative Walter Jones’ request that the federal government investigate DA Nifong's actions in the Duke lacrosse case. His spokeswoman says Jones will continue trying to get officials to examine Nifong's conduct. Jones last month sent two letters to U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez asking him to investigate what Jones said he believed was prosecutorial misconduct by Nifong. Jones said in the letter that Nifong made prejudicial statements to the media and told Durham police to violate identification procedures. He also cited the fact that more than nine months had passed before Nifong spoke to the accuser in the case. U.S. Acting Assistant Attorney General Richard Hertling wrote to Jones last Thursday, saying the Justice Department wouldn't look into the matter. Hertling said the dismissal of the rape charge addressed some of Jones' concerns and that the North Carolina State Bar was examining Nifong's conduct. "Issues related to your concerns may well be raised in the local criminal case. Accordingly, based upon the information available at this time, it would be premature to initiate a federal investigation into this ongoing state criminal prosecution," Hertling wrote. Kathleen Joyce, Jones' press secretary, says that the congressman is continuing to press for a federal investigation. He has spoken with Hertling in recent days and plans to meet next week with director of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division. "It is Congressman Jones' position that, in light of Mr. Nifong's recusal from the case, there is no reason the Department of Justice should not initiate an investigation into whether Mr. Nifong's actions constitute prosecutorial misconduct and (have) denied the three Duke students their civil rights," Joyce says.
Dozens of Duke professors post "an open letter to the Duke community" on the web, explaining an ad last spring that has been widely criticized as a condemnation of lacrosse players. The new letter, signed by 87 faculty and posted at www.concerneddukefaculty.org, refuses to apologize for the April, 2006 “Listening” ad and reiterates concerns about issues of race and sexual violence on the Duke campus. It says the ad-- published in the The Chronicle April 6-- has been grossly misinterpreted. That ad has been a subject of heated debate on blogs and its signers have received angry e-mails. "The ad has been read as a comment on the alleged rape, the team party, or the specific students accused," the new letter says. "Worse, it has been read as rendering a judgment in the case....We reject all attempts to try the case outside the courts, and stand firmly by the principle of the presumption of innocence." The letter is signed by "concerned faculty," many of whom endorsed the original ad. The April ad entitled "What Does a Social Disaster Sound Like?" included anonymous statements by students talking about racism and sexism on the campus. The ad also thanked "protesters making collective noise." The letter this week backs off that a bit, saying, "We do not endorse every demonstration that took place at the time." In the online letter, concerned faculty say they won't apologize despite the fury. "There have been public calls to the authors to retract the ad or apologize for it, as well as calls for action against them and attacks on their character," the letter states. "We reject all of these. We think the ad's authors were right to give voice to the students quoted, whose suffering is real. We also acknowledge the pain that has been generated by what we believe is a misperception that the authors of the ad prejudged the rape case." KC Johnson publishes a critique of the new letter in a blogpost titled “The (Rump) Group of 88 Strikes Again” and LieStoppers also responds with an analysis “Adding Insult to Injury.”
WEDNESDAY JANUARY 17: U.S. Representative Peter King calls on the Justice Department to launch an investigation of the district attorney in the Duke lacrosse case. In a letter to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, King asks that the FBI begin an investigation into whether DA Nifong violated the rights of the three accused players. "I am deeply disappointed by your apparent decision to defer a decision whether to nvestigate Mr. Nifong's prosecution of this case," King writes. He asks that the FBI investigate whether the DA may have violated the defendants’ civil rights, including the right to due process under the law. The Justice Department did not immediately reply. Yesterday the DOJ rejected a similar request from North Carolina U.S. Rep. Walter Jones, also a Republican.
The Johnsville News blog analyzes the text of the “Listening” ad of April 6, 2006 in light of yesterday’s open letter signed by many of the same Duke faculty members. The blog suggests that some of the statements attributed to students in the original ad may have been falsified by the ad’s primary author Prof. Wahneema Lubiano.
Duke Prof. Orin Starn, a critic of college athletics and specifically the lacrosse team, writes an op-ed for the Herald-Sun titled “Fast, Loose and Mean in the Blogosphere.”
“The Duke lacrosse saga has played itself out as much on the internet as in the courtroom, newspapers, or university halls. I like youtubing Ronaldinho’s greatest goals and e-mailing to my friends as much as the next guy. But the lacrosse mess has put on display the more squalid, sometimes vicious side of the Internet. Only a click away lies a whole ugly galaxy of insults misinterpretations, and, at worst, sick racist hate. The virtual lacrosse world is Mad Max’s Thunderdome in Gigabytes and bandwidth: no rules apply, or at least not involving those horse-and-buggy or oh-so-yesterday ink age civility, accuracy, or accountability.”
MONDAY JANUARY 22: North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley tells law students in New York that DA Mike Nifong broke a promise when he ran for a full term after being appointed to fill a vacancy. "I almost un-appointed him when he decided to run," Gov. Mike Easley says in a speech to students at New York University. "I rate that as probably the poorest appointment that I've made," Easley says. The speech was not reported at the time, but The News & Observer later obtained a recording of the speech from NYU’s spokesman. Easley visits New York to speak about public service. He discusses Nifong after an audience member asks him about the Duke case. Easley, a former prosecutor and state attorney general, says Nifong has done a poor job, adding, "You don't need me to tell you that." Easley appointed Nifong as the Durham prosecutor in April 2005 after naming then-DA Jim Hardin to a judgeship. Easley says Nifong, one of Hardin's assistant, said he wouldn't run for the office. The governor also is critical of Nifong's early statements, in which he told national news media that the case involved a racially motivated assault by lacrosse players. "That's how all this mess got started," Easley says. "He challenged the defense lawyers by talking about the case, calling the kids 'hooligans.' “
The Chronicle’s Rob Copeland interviews Duke President Brodhead about the lacrosse case.
Excerpts (C = Copeland, B = Brodhead):
C: Do you have any regrets about your handling of the scandal?
B: My principal regret is that the situation ever arose. I wish the party hadn't taken place. If the party had taken place, I wish the accusations had never arisen. I certainly wish that the district attorney had not made the statements that gave everyone such a degree of certainty about the matter. Once the situation existed, it had to be dealt with. I'm really not immune to self-criticism in any way, I believe we've handled this as straightforwardly and honorably as we could have, given the extraordinary nature of the situation and the changing nature of the facts.
C: Do you stand by all of your previous actions? Would you have done anything differently?
B: Let me take you back. You're talking about a series of events that were announced on the fifth of April, when 46 players were said to be under investigation. Every member of the Duke, Durham and national community had heard repeated statements on the certainty that the rape had taken place.... Duke was not free to say, "give us another year until we know the facts for certain."
C: To be fair, you did fire the coach and cancel the season.
B: The first thing we announced was the suspension of the season. Everytime I came near that subject, starting with the first day, I said this was not a presumption of the guilt of the players. It was not a disciplinary measure.... Many people have said to me in retrospect, "When you suspended the sport, that was your judgment of guilt." I say to them, "You are misinformed." It was an inevitability given the situation we were in. But I've tried then and in every other possible occasion to separate those acts from any question of judgment of the team.
C: Then why fire men's lacrosse head coach Mike Pressler?
B: When the coach's resignation was announced on April 5, I tried to take great care to indicate that I was not fingering him as responsible for this. What I said was that given the history that we were in the middle of living through, if and when we started the replaying of lacrosse, it couldn't be on the same terms as in the past.
We needed to close one chapter and start a new chapter. Changing the coach was just one of the necessities that came along with that. There was no pleasure to be taken in any of these decisions, but I think they were inevitable and it's all very well 10 months later to look back and say, "You should have done things differently."
C: Knowing what you do now, would you still ask for coach Pressler's resignation?
B: If I were put in the same circumstances again, I would do exactly the same thing.
C: Why did you not hold Athletics Director Joe Alleva responsible for the team as well? Why not ask for the resignations of Larry Moneta, vice president for student affairs, or any of the other administrators who were previously aware of the lacrosse team's issues. Why stop at coach Pressler?
B: The party was a team event. It wasn't just a group of people, it was something convened by the captain of the team. The Pressler resignation was not my attempt to say that he was responsible for the situation. It was simply a resignation of the inevitability that given where we were, we would need to make some differences to go forward with lacrosse.
C: There are numerous documented instances of fraternities, sororities and other organizations holding parties with underage drinking and strippers. Why not go after them as well, or replace their advisors?
B: You said there are documented cases. I would say that to my knowledge, there are rumored cases. The difference between this and other cases is that this one came to our attention.... It's not my idea of how to run an undergraduate school to have dragnets and police officers to investigate people and trap them in bad behavior. (…)
C: Why didn't you call for Nifong to step down, or for a special prosecutor to replace him?
B: There is absolutely no provision in the state of North Carolina for a special prosecutor to be brought in, except at the request of the DA. Why didn't I join with the defense team and file motions with them? Because it was essential that we not
be seen as a partisan player in this, but that we uphold the process that looks out over all parties and renders justice at the last.
C: On "60 Minutes" last week, the parents of the accused students said they would not want to send their children back to Duke. In particular, they said, "Who would want to send their kids back to a University which did not support them?" Do you understand that sentiment?
B: I'm a parent, and if my child were an object of such allegations, I can't imagine how appalled I would be. One of the very difficult things this whole time has been people's desire for Duke to stand up for its students. At the press conference on the 25th of March, I looked into 40 cameras and said, "These are my students too." This whole situation is a human issue.
Joan Collins writes a highly-praised article “The Other Duke Lacrosse Moms” in which she interviews the mothers of lacrosse players Matt Zash, Michael Catalino, Ryan McFadyen , Dan and Chris Loftus, and William Wolcott. The article relates that Zash had to live out of his car after being forced to vacate the Buchanan St. house; the Catalinos had to tell Michael that if he was indicted they did not have the funds to bail him from jail; and that Brian Loftus (father of Dan and Chris) is a New York firemen who was a first responder on 9/11 and is not one of the stereotyped rich lacrosse families . The article concludes:
“The hoax has caused so much pain for all the families of the 47 players. At the same time, the mothers described even stronger bonds with their husbands and children. The moms look at their sons with pride and admiration as they try to carry on with their lives. This is the resilience of youth. They know the truth is that nothing happened that night. The mothers stand in unity with the Finnerty, Seligmann and Evans families that Collin, Reade and Dave were wrongly indicted on charges for which they are absolutely innocent. Only when this “eclipse of justice” finally ends can peace return to these mothers’ hearts.”
TUESDAY JANUARY 23: Frostburg State Economics Prof. William Anderson reveals in a blogpost “The Cost of the Lie: Duke, the Courts, and Hoaxes” that legal expenses for the three indicted former lacrosse players now exceeds $5 million.
Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly in a “Talking Points” commentary attacks the “Group of 88” for their failure to apologize for their April 6, 2006 statement. His producers “ambush” Duke Profs. Ronen Plesser and Lee Baker, as well as DA Nifong in his bathrobe with his dog Tillie.
WEDNESDAY JANUARY 24: The North Carolina State Bar files new and more serious ethics charges against DA Nifong, accusing him of withholding DNA evidence and misrepresenting the truth to the judge in the Duke lacrosse case. "It almost doesn't get any worse than lying to the judge in terms of ethical violations, but lying to the judge about information that suggests the defendant is innocent is even worse," University of North Carolina Law Prof. Joe Kennedy says. The State Bar revises the ethics complaint it filed in December, adding that Nifong allegedly withheld exculpatory evidence from defense attorneys and lied about it. Nifong received the amended complaint when he was already scheduled to appear in a hearing for the first charge, which alleges he violated ethics codes for pretrial comments he made early in the case. The State Bar cites findings from April 2006 that a second set of DNA tests excluded all of the lacrosse players as potential contributors. It also states that Nifong and Dr. Brian Meehan, the director of DNA Security, which conducted the tests, agreed to report to defense attorneys only positive DNA matches to samples from those who attended the lacrosse party. The complaint also states that they agreed to knowingly omit DNA matches to multiple other men found on the accuser. The defense had requested Nifong to hand over all the testing at least four different time. In court hearings, Nifong told defense attorneys and Judge Smith that he had released all of the evidence that would potentially benefit the defense. Nifong then did not hand over the complete evidence until October even though state law requires a prosecutor to hand over exculpatory information as quickly as possible. Nifong has no comment on the latest charges against him. "I'll do what I've been doing. Whatever I'll say, I'll say in the courtroom," he says leaving today’s hearing at the State Bar headquarters in Raleigh. At the hearing, he is granted an extension until Feb. 21 to make his official response to the State Bar's complaint. Nifong's May trial date is also postponed until June. If found guilty, he could be disbarred. Legal observers, however, say Nifong could face other troubles-- Judge Smith could find Nifong in contempt. Nifong could also be removed from office if someone were to file a complaint with the senior resident Superior Court judge and he finds the complaint valid. That judge, Orlando Hudson, told WRAL, however, that he has not received any complaints against Nifong.
The N&O profiles Linwood Wilson, Nifong’s investigator, whose career as a private investigator was marked by several ethics complaints: Twenty years ago he was investigated on suspicion of making false statements on the witness stand and setting up an illegal telephone tap, according to his file at the state agency that licenses private investigators. "I've worked for just about every domestic lawyer in Durham," Wilson says. "If these people feel I'm not a credible witness, I will sit on the stand all day long and say, 'Why did you hire me to work for your client?' Bring it on. My integrity stands for itself. I've never had anybody question my integrity." At 6-foot-4-inches tall, Wilson sings bass in the Spokesmen Quartet, a Southern gospel group. Married with two grown children, he was retired for seven years before being hired in December 2005 to help the DA track people accused of writing worthless checks.
The Johnsville News blog presents a picture album of the case with important visual documentation of events such as the “potbangers” protest at the Buchanan Street house.
John-in-Carolina analyzes the earliest coverage of the case in March, 2006 by the N&O. He charges the newspaper with biased reporting starting with its first report on March 24.
LieStoppers discusses the pernicious role of legal commentator Wendy Murphy in prolonging the lacrosse controversy: “As the Hoax nears death, Wendy Murphy desperately attempts to promote the fading fraud. Having proven repeatedly that truth is but a minor inconvenience, Murphy’s latest efforts demonstrate just how far she is willing to distort reality in order to advance her agenda. In an e-mail to supporters and a six page talking points memo published by the government funded National Sexual Violence Resource Center, Murphy appears to have found it necessary to contradict Defendant Nifong and the prosecution’s “evidence” and witnesses, including the false accuser herself, in order to continue to perpetuate the Hoax.”
THURSDAY JANUARY 25: Three law professors speaking at a Duke law school panel criticize the way DA Nifong has handled the case against three former lacrosse players. The three dissect the actions of Nifong over the past 10 months, and they conclude that he is a prosecutor headed for serious sanctions by the State Bar. "If everything's established, we're looking at a significant suspension," says Prof. Tom Metzloff. The bar's Disciplinary Hearing Commission will weigh the ethical and misconduct charges. Metzloff is joined on the panel by Duke Law Prof. James Coleman, a vocal critic of Nifong; Michael Tigar, an American University law professor; and Joseph Neff, an investigative reporter with the N&O. Coleman questions why Nifong and his investigators did not pursue DNA evidence found on the accuser from people not on the lacrosse team. If a sexual assault occurred, Coleman says, the evidence might lead to different suspects. Coleman reiterates his position that Nifong's early statements were racially inflammatory and appear to be for political gain. Tigar is critical of Nifong's pretrial publicity and says the prosecutor did a distinct disservice to people who want to bring complaints of wrongdoing. Some people, Tigar says, might be less likely to believe victims, and victims may be more afraid to come forward for fear their case would become a media magnet. Furthermore, Tigar says, Nifong should not have derided the players for invoking their Constitutional right to counsel -- a hallmark of the justice system.
FRIDAY JANUARY 26: The Duke men's lacrosse team opens practice, 10 months after its 2006 season was canceled. Matt Danowski, the son of Coach John Danowski, says the attention from the news media at practice was different from years past but not unexpected. ''If anything, we'll come out better and stronger from all this stuff, so I think we'll be fine,'' he says. Duke played for the national title in 2005 and was considered a favorite last year. But the season was canceled in April, 2006 after a stripper told police she was attacked at a team party. Rape charges were dropped in December against former players Dave Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann. They still face charges of sexual offense and kidnapping. John Danowski says he and his players discussed wearing the accused players' numbers on their helmets as a show of support, but that the team was looking forward to focusing on lacrosse. ''You know, one of the things I said to them today is you don't have to prove anything to anybody,'' he says. ''Just come out here and play.''
SATURDAY JANUARY 27: Kim Brummell, former co-chair of DA Nifong’s citizens’ committee, writes a letter to the Herald-Sun critical of Nifong’s handling of the case:
“Nifong owes the alleged victim, his supporters and all who voted for him a public apology for his missteps in this case. Chances are slim that will ever happen. The attorney general gives some a little hope that both sides will be able to present their case. But how much can you really do with a case riddled with bullet holes? Usually it's dead.”
SUNDAY JANUARY 28: Collin Finnerty is interviewed for a positive story in the New York Post titled “Duke Player’s Pain: Life on Hold.”
"I dream of being back on the lacrosse field with my friends one day, but I'm just not sure if that's going to happen," said [Collin Finnerty,] the Garden City, L.I., resident.
"I've worked my whole life for this, and now everything just seems to be on hold until this gets resolved."
One of three Duke lacrosse players charged with raping a stripper who has since changed part of her story, Finnerty, 20, says his entire life has been put on hold since the allegations rocked the prestigious university and polarized the nation. (…)
"My mom and dad were with me when we found out [that I had been indicted], and we all just cried and hugged each other for a long time. It was unbelievable," said Finnerty, who maintains his innocence. (…)
Finnerty says he sorely misses the camaraderie of the team, which had been favored to win the national title in 2006 before the scandal erupted last April and the university shut the team down for the season.
"I've been working out most every day in hopes of getting back on the lacrosse field at some point," Finnerty said. (…)
The Chaminade HS alum has been keeping busy by taking classes close to home, at Hofstra University, and volunteering at two children's charities. And he hasn't abandoned his love of athletics.
"Since leaving Duke, I was working full time in the summer for a sports-marketing company and played in a few summer lacrosse leagues," said Finnerty. But that doesn't compare to playing for Duke. "I always dreamed of playing in college, but being recruited by Duke was just totally unexpected," he said.
MONDAY JANUARY 29: Charlotte Allen discusses “Duke’s Tenured Vigilantes” in a major article in the Weekly Standard magazine:
Throughout the spring of 2006 and indeed well into the late summer, Nifong had the nearly unanimous backing of this country's (and especially Duke's) intellectual elite as he explored his lurid theories of sexual predation and racist stonewalling.
"They fed off each other," said Steven Baldwin, a Duke chemistry professor who finally broke his faculty colleagues' own wall of silence on October 24, publishing a letter in the Duke student newspaper, the Chronicle, denouncing his fellow professors for what he called their "shameful" treatment of Seligmann and Finnerty and rebuking the Duke administration for having "disowned its lacrosse-playing student athletes." (…)
"The faculty enabled Nifong," Baldwin said in an interview. "He could say, 'Here's a significant portion of the arts and sciences faculty who feel this way, so I can go after these kids because these faculty agree with me.' It was a mutual attitude."
Indeed, it was the Duke faculty that could be said to have cooked up the ambient language that came to clothe virtually all media descriptions of the assault case--that boilerplate about "race, gender, and class" (or maybe "race, gender, sexuality, and class") and "privileged white males" that you could not read a news story about the assault case without encountering, whether in the New York Times, the Washington Post, or Newsweek for example. The journalists channeled the academics.”
TUESDAY JANUARY 30: Court hearings for the Duke lacrosse case are postponed until May after defense attorneys meet with the judge and the new special prosecutors assigned to the case. Superior Court Judge W. Osmond Smith III delays a critical hearing, scheduled for Feb. 5, until May 7. During that hearing, the accuser is expected to testify, and defense attorneys are planning to ask Smith to throw out her photo identification of the defendants. The meeting today, which lasted two hours, is the first time the two sides have met to discuss the case. After the meeting, defense attorneys Joe Cheshire and Wade Smith say the discussion went well and that they look forward to working with the new prosecutors. "We are very excited to have professional prosecutors who are willing to sit down and engage us in conversation, who are willing to fairly look at the case," Cheshire says. "That's all we have asked for since the very beginning, so we are excited that we are engaged in the professional process." NC Attorney General Roy Cooper had appointed Mary Winstead and James Coman to the case after DA Nifong asked for a special prosecutor. Prosecutors decline to comment on the case, but AG Cooper says in a written statement that they would use the time until May to continue reviewing the matter. Some observers of the case are disappointed at the length of the delay.
EARLY JANUARY: Reade Seligmann and his father meet with Assistant U.S. Attorneys in New Jersey giving them information about the lacrosse case. They appeal to U.S. Attorney (now Governor) Chris Christie to intervene, asserting that the civil rights of Reade, Collin Finnerty and Dave Evans had been violated. Excerpts from an October, 2007 letter to the U.S. Justice Department by defense attorney Jim Cooney:
“As Mr. Christie is aware, in early January 2007, I directed Reade and his father to make a report concerning the circumstances of this false prosecution to the U.S. Attorney for New Jersey. At that time in the case, the central police report was found to have been prepared months after the events it purported to detail, was based on no contemporaneous notes of significance, and contained information that was flatly contradicted by other contemporaneous documents leading to a potential conclusion that parts of this report had been fabricated. (…) In January, and for several weeks and months thereafter, Reade and his father met with Assistant United States Attorneys and provided the Motions, transcripts and other pleadings that were part of the public record.”
SPECIFIC REFERENCES BY DATE
January 1: USC Law Professor Susan Estrich calls Mangum a “liar”
January 1: N&O’s Ruth Sheehan: “Drop charges”
January 2: Nifong sworn into office
January 2: Thomas Sowell on Nifong
January 3: Duke invites Finnerty, Seligmann to return to campus
January 3: Prof. Karla Holloway e-mail with racism charges against lacrosse team
January 3: Metro Magazine reports an interview with the Finnerty family at their home
January 4: WRAL reports Crystal Mangum gave birth to a baby girl
January 4: Former lacrosse player Kyle Dowd sues Duke University
January 4: KC Johnson on “The Only ‘Evidence’ Left
January 4: Duke Economics Department sends letter to Chronicle
January 5: Prof. Cathy Davidson rejects criticism of “Group of 88”
January 6: Newsweek’s Susannah Meadows on Reade Seligmann
January 7: Provost Peter Lange on “attacks” on Duke faculty
January 8: Brodhead calls on Nifong to recuse himself
January 8: MSNBC’s Susan Filan calls case a “hoax”
January 9: Finnerty assault conviction expunged
January 10: Paternity Test Ordered on Mangum’s child
January 10: Former Nifong campaign consultant Jackie Brown urges recusal
January 10: Prof. Karla Holloway resigns committee post
January 11: Nifong meets with Crystal Mangum in his office
January 11: May trial date set for Nifong ethics complaints
January 11: Defense lawyers file supplemental motion to toss identifications
January 11: Text of supplemental defense motion
January 11: Typewritten text of Inv. Linwood Wilson’s notes of interview with Mangum
January 11: KC Johnson’s chronology of the lacrosse case March 14-April 30, 2006
January 12: Nifong calls for special prosecutor, recuses himself
January 12: “60 Minutes” preview
January 13: NC Atty. Gen. Roy Cooper names Coman & Winstead special prosecutors
January 13: Deputy Police Chief Ron Hodge on Nifong recusal
January 14: “60 Minutes” interviews Evans, Finnerty, Seligmann parents
January 14: John-in-Carolina debunks myths about lacrosse case
January 15: New ethics complaint against Nifong possible
January 15: Cheshire’s March 30 warning letter to Nifong
January 15: Kathleen Eckelt R.N. on Mangum’s psychiatric history
January 15: KC Johnson on role of race in Duke lacrosse case
January 16 : Nifong writes letter to State Bar answering ethics complaints
January 16: U.S. Department of Justice refuses to investigate Nifong
January 16: Duke faculty letter refuses to apologize for “Listening” ad
January 17: Rep. Peter King calls for Justice Department investigation
January 17: The Johnsville News suggests “Listening Statement” ad quotes were falsified
January 17: Prof.Orrn Starn on “Fast, Loose and Mean in the Blogosphere”
January 22: NC Gov. Easley criticizes Nifong in New York speech
January 22: Chronicle interviews Brodhead
January 22: Joan Collins on “The Other Duke Lacrosse Moms”
January 22: Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly on Group of 88
January 23: Prof. Bill Anderson on costs, legal and other, of the case
January 24: State Bar files new, more serious ethics charges against Nifong
January 24: Text of Amended State Bar complaint against Nifong
January 24: Transcript of Nifong Bar hearing
January 24: N&O profiles Linwood Wilson
January 24: LieStoppers on legal commentator Wendy Murphy
January 24: The Johnsville News picture gallery of case
January 24: John-in-Carolina analyzes N& O coverage of lacrosse case
January 25: Duke Law School panel on lacrosse case
January 26: Duke men’s lacrosse team resumes practice
January 27: Kim Brummell calls on Nifong to apologize
January 28: New York Post interviews Collin Finnerty
January 29: Charlotte Allen on “Duke’s Tenured Vigilantes”
January 30: Judge Smith stays hearings until May
Early January: Reade Seligmann and his father contact New Jersey U.S. Attorney
http://s1.zetaboards.com/Liestoppers_meeting/topic/3946823/1/ (Post #6)
(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