Thursday, December 28, 2006

The Duke Rape Case
Mike Rappaport

Stuart Taylor and KC Johnson recount the absurdity and outrageousness of the Duke Rape prosecution.  It is really quite shocking and many people should be very ashamed.  To this day, one sees defenders of the prosecution. 

Taylor and Johnson write:

It has been clear for many months that the rape claim is almost surely a lie. But not until the DA's dramatic dismissal last Friday of the rape (but not the sexual assault and kidnapping) charges did Mr. Nifong enablers such as the New York Times and Duke President Richard Brodhead begin distancing themselves from his oppression of three innocent young men. How can we be confident that the charges are false? Let us count the ways.

And then they detail the main problems with the case. 

One cannot really ponder this case without thinking about Tom Wolfe's books The Bonfire of the Vanities and I am Charlotte Simmons. Wolfe's two books on the lies that so often drive identity politics and the absurdities of both academic politics and out of control prosecutors tell you all you really need to know about this case.  It would be funny if it weren't so sad.

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Mike Rappaport


You'd need a spin-doctor of Jeffersonian proportions to explain this one away. Perhaps you need a leader of Washingtonian proportions to clean the stables?

Posted by: dearieme | Dec 28, 2006 8:22:54 AM

If Nifong comes out of this whith only losing his license he should consider himself lucky.

If the county comes out of the civl rights case for under $10 million, it should consider itself lucky.

I wonder if there is any way the accusseds could get at some of Duke's billion-plus dollar endowment based upon the faculty and administration's piling on.

Posted by: krm | Dec 28, 2006 10:49:16 AM

It may be that NiFong committed some gross prosecutorial misconduct in this case. However, just as I am willing to assume the players committed no crime and are just a bunch of immoral drunks, I am also willing to assume, until there is more information, that NiFong had good, legitimate reasons for filing the case as he did, and for amending the charges as he did and that he simply errored in his calculation of the strength of the case. That ain't no defense, its a whoa nellie.

Posted by: Timotheus... | Dec 29, 2006 1:33:23 PM

I predict a civil paw suit settlement totally $389,000,000 and Nifong will meet a nice hairy black man in jail to learn the true meaning of rape - and enjoy it.

Posted by: Marcella Chester | Dec 31, 2006 6:21:29 PM

The DA did one good thing. He brought the problem of false claims of rape to national attention.

Each time anyone would bring up the subject of false claims of rape. "victims' Advocate" always cripple or stifle conversation or debate by clouding the issue with the sufferrings of rape victims to over shadow the suffering of victims of false rape claim.

The premise of these "victim advocates" is that it's not okay to be raped, but it's okay to be falsely accused of rape to protect the possible 50% of rape accusers who are actually telling the truth.

• According to the FBI, one of every 12 claims of rape filed in the United States are later deemed 'unfounded,' meaning the case was closed because the alleged victim recanted or because investigators found no evidence of a crime.
• Howard County Police classified one out of every four rape allegations as unfounded in 1990-91.
• The National Association of Schoolmasters/Union of Women Teachers says around 600 teachers a year are falsely accused - a trebling since the 1989 Children's Act.
• Citing a recent USA Today article, discussing the miracle of DNA and FBI studies of sexual assault suspects, DNA testing exonerated about 30% to 35% of the more than 4,000 sexual assault suspects on whom the FBI had conducted DNA testing over the past three years.
• Purdue sociologist Eugene J. Kanin, in over 40% of the cases reviewed, the complainants eventually admitted that no rape had occurred (Archives of Sexual Behavior, Vol. 23, No. 1, 1994).
• 1985 the Air Force conducted a study of 556 rape accusations. Over 25% of the accusers admitted, either just before they took a lie detector test or after they had failed it, that no rape occurred.
• 1996 Department of Justice Report, of the roughly 10,000 sexual assault cases analyzed with DNA evidence over the previous seven years, 2,000 excluded the primary suspect, and another 2,000 were inconclusive.
• Linda Fairstein, who heads the New York County District Attorney's Sex Crimes Unit. Fairstein, the author of Sexual Violence: Our War Against Rape, says, "there are about 4,000 reports of rape each year in Manhattan. Of these, about 50% simply did not happen."
• Craig Silverman, a former Colorado prosecutor known for his zealous prosecution of rapists during his 16-year career, says that false rape accusations occur with "scary frequency." As a regular commentator on the Bryant trial for Denver's ABC affiliate, Silverman noted that "any honest veteran sex assault investigator will tell you that rape is one of the most falsely reported crimes." According to Silverman, a Denver sex-assault unit commander estimates that nearly 50% of all reported rape claims are false.

Posted by: Nice Guy | Jan 2, 2007 8:58:09 AM

Duke lacked courage

I have to agree with Gordon Grunte’s comments [Letters, Dec. 20] regarding how Duke University’s leadership handled the initial phase of the lacrosse story. My wife and I were upset with the lack of reason and courage exhibited by Duke’s leadership during that period and how they turned on and punished the entire team.
The only words of reason and support for these young men (the true victims) came from some of their fellow students. It was clear that many team members were guilty of bad judgment and poor behavior and that they probably violated team rules and Duke policies.

But regarding the rape charge—to anyone with an open mind and an understanding of our legal system, it should have been obvious that this case lacked merit and smacked of political opportunism. As one who loved the university even before I was fortunate enough to attend it (MBA,1981), I had always admired the tradition of Duke’s leadership and vision, as exhibited by leaders such as the late Terry Sanford.
This great university, its students, faculty, alumni, the Durham community and the great state of North Carolina need better leadership at Duke.


Where’s the Durham outcry on lacrosse case?

You are right, Mike Silver. I am also tired of hearing from so many people across this great nation about the lacrosse crime. I ask you, where is the local outcry of the crime committed in Durham? All crimes should have proper punishment, regardless of race, financial or political status.

Yes, a serious crime was committed here, but, not by three Duke lacrosse players. Far too quick judgment brought shame and much undue anguish on them, their families, their teammates, their coach, Duke University and the entire community of Durham. Shame on Mike Nifong and shame on all those who elected him to office. Shame on Duke for not giving more support from the beginning. Shame on The Herald-Sun for jumping in too early with judgment.

Allowing these remaining serious charges to go on and on continues to hurt all of us in Durham and beyond who care about honesty and justice. Unfortunately, the new dropped rape charge has done lasting damage to all actual rape victims for years to come. I ask again … where is the Durham outcry and sense of honor?


Resign and apologize

I stated a while back that regardless of any upcoming situations, Mike Nifong would eventually drop this insane case, after of course he secured his vote in November. Now that he has secured his position, along with some serious national heat he’s drawn upon himself, he’s decided to drop the charges. Now he claims it’s only because the woman has now stated she cannot say with certainty that she was raped.

If that was his true reasoning, then why wasn’t it dropped long ago when the former accuser had eight different stories? Point blank, Nifong used the race card among blacks to get his votes. The only real winner in this situation, despite being a single mom bearing yet another child, is the deranged individual herself, who will be receiving free education from no other than Jesse Jackson.

Dropping the case isn’t enough. Nifong should be forced to resign and apologize to the families he’s hurt. I cannot imagine how this man shows his face in public, without feeling like crawling under a rock.

Oh and if he’s reading, he might also want to drop those ridiculous kidnapping and sexual misconduct charges. Lord knows, it’s only going to cause him more embarrassment.


Nifong turns to Times

I had to laugh when I read that Mike Nifong gave a three-hour interview to The New York Times. Putting aside his numerous previous statements that he would save all commentary for the courtroom, let’s focus on who he turned to when he decided to deviate from his self-imposed strategy.

Will breaking his silence by turning to a big New York publication cost him the support of this paper’s editorial staff? After all, they have printed sympathetic story after sympathetic story on Nifong’s behalf and he doesn’t even repay them with the scoop of his first comments in months?

And what about all the letter writers angry that citizens outside of Durham have voiced opinions in this case? Now Nifong has himself encouraged further meddling from outsiders in a case that he had previously stated requires “a Durham solution.”


Stubborn and misguided

I was glad to see the rape charges dropped against the three Duke lacrosse players, I only wish the rest of the case had been dismissed as well. Mike Nifong has shamefully represented the office of the District Attorney and has ruined three young men’s lives in the process. He knew from the beginning that his case had no merit, yet to save his own butt for re-election, he chose to charge the three men with rape to save face for the election.

He is a disgrace to the law profession, and if he had any dignity left at all, he would do the right thing and step down from his office. If I were a citizen in Durham I would be ashamed that Nifong represents me as district attorney. I look forward to the day the rest of the charges are either dropped or the defense makes Nifong look like an idiot in court and the jury finds not guilty on the remaining charges. Maybe then he will realize what a tragic error he has made. But then again, seeing how incredibly stubborn and misguided Nifong is, I wouldn’t count on it.


Where is the state bar?

Mike Nifong is holding on tightly to the lesser charges only to save face and in the hopes that a gerrymandered jury will give him a conviction to justify his irresponsibility and criminality. Back in the 1990’s, United States District Judge Stanley Sporkin, having heard a series of savings and loan fraud cases, lamented, rhetorically and in hope, “Where were the lawyers?” It was his belief that lawyers for the fraudsters should have inserted themselves more aggressively into the process in an effort to mitigate the financial damage that was being wrought.

It is similarly fair now to ask “Where is the North Carolina State Bar Ethics Committee?” If a lawyer who happens to be a public official obstructs justice in violation of North Carolina law and in derogation of his oath of office, does that official have absolute immunity from ethical challenge—or is the North Carolina State Bar just another political player and race pimp? Such are the government structure of Durham County and the Duke administration, which was politically constrained to sacrifice a few white kids’ lives to mollify Rev. Al Sharpton and the other gods and demigods of racial intimidation.


Again, the left tries to define media coverage

W. Russell Robinson [Letters, Dec. 23] must be sleeping in class. As an “instructor of mass communications,” he must be asking a rhetorical question. “What is so newsworthy about this story?” I can’t believe he has to ask. Then again, the idea of mass

communications, that is propaganda, is the extreme left’s definition of the news media. As an instructor, does he promote the manipulation of news by the media to, as he writes “effectively [change] the relations along the divides of race, gender and class ...”? Is that a news media purpose?

Most of us in the uneducated multitudes somehow still think a “newspaper” does not have the responsibility or right to “effectively [govern] the daily course of our lives.”
Try reading the coverage in The Herald-Sun once without your myopic view—if only the poor were rich there would be no injustice. It takes me half a month to earn what the accuser gets paid for an hour of her “services.” You do the math.

The events have happened to real people, their lives are changed forever, rich or poor, righteous or evil, true or false.


Nifong must pay


I can not believe that District Attorney Mike Nifong is continuing to pursue the case against the Duke lacrosse players. Does he not realize yet that he has no case against them? This woman apparently lied and has been lying since the beginning. To those of us who are on the outside looking in, this case never had any merits. This woman has changed her story so many times. I don't think she even knows what she believes.

I applaud the citizens of Durham for demanding the firing of Mike Nifong. Maybe he should voluntarily step down. He should pray that he can find another job that pays well because he will most certainly be sued. He has ruined the lives of these young men and the former coach of the Duke lacrosse team.

I can tell you that being the mother of a 19-year-old son, I would sue him and the supposed victim for all they are worth and more. He and the supposed victim would pay dearly if they ruined my son's reputation.

Cindy Wrenn
Yorktown, Va.
January 3, 2007

Why we're interested


I don't live in North Carolina, but I've been keeping up with how the LAX3 have been portrayed in Durham. I've heard locals ask, "Why do outsiders find it so interesting?" "Why can't they leave us alone?"

As an outsider, I'd like to offer a few bits of insight: We don't know District Attorney Mike Nifong, but really don't trust him. We believe he was playing to the home crowd against the visiting undergrads and thought he could win an easy one. We see Duke University President Richard Brodhead in the same light as former Harvard University president Lawrence H. Summers who was let go a few years ago.

How so? Brodhead couldn't defend the LAX3 without offending the entrenched liberal feminists at Duke. And I'm sure my last statement raised the heckles of a number of the Duke faculty. If it did, then they need to work out their latent hostility instead of taking it out on a couple of lacrosse players.

M. Dunn
Palmyra, NY
January 3, 2007

Posted by: Nice Guy | Jan 3, 2007 11:01:17 AM