Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Duke Lacrosse Players Cleared

North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper announced today that all charges against Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty and David Evans were to be dropped and that no further judicial proceedings would t

The three were indicted last spring for raping, kidnapping and sexual offense against a stripper at a Lacrosse team party. Cooper described the three athletes as innocent victims of a "tragic rush to accuse".

Following Cooper's takeover of the case in January, an investigation into all charges and evidence presented in the case brought the attorney general to only one conclusion: "that no attack occurred." Cooper's takeover of the case was a result of complaints of misconduct against Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong. Ethics violation charges against Nifong could lead to disbarment for the district attorney.

Attorney General Cooper said, "There were many points in the case where caution would have served justice better than bravado." Cooper's statement also strongly condemned Nifong's actions as those of an over-zealous district attorney. Cooper also said, "I think a lot of people owe a lot of apologies."

The case heightened tensions between the working-class black population of Durham and the predominantly white affluent Duke University students. The accused were white and the accuser was a black student who attended nearby North Carolina Central University. The case also caught the attention of civil rights advocate Jesse Jackson, who, in an act of sympathy, publicly condemned the athletes and offered a scholarship to the woman as a show of support for her victicrat status. Currently no statement has been released from Mr. Jackson indicates that he intends to rescind his offer or if he intends to publicly apologize for his unfounded and defamatory statements against the three players.

Concerning the facts of the case: DNA evidence collected from the accuser was not a match to any of the players of the team, especially the three accused. One of the players had evidence in the form of an ATM receipt and time-stamped photographs to verify his alibi. The accuser also has a record of leveling rape charges in 1996 with no charges being filed. The accuser's story continued to change every time it was retold with variations being so widely varied that Attorney General Cooper called them "significant inconsistencies" beyond the reasonable variations often found in rape stories.

Matt Drudge of The Drudge Report, has posted a photograph and the name of the accuser, Crystal Gail Mangum on his website With the charges against the athlete dropped, the anonymity of Ms. Mangum is no longer protected. Nationally syndicated talk radio host Sean Hannity asked when charges of filing a false police report will be filed against Ms. Mangum. Currently, however, Attorney General Cooper has indicated that no charges will be brought against the accuser, citing that "she may actually believe" the stories she told and "it is in the best interest of justice not to bring charges."

This case showcases what can happen when over-zealous prosecutors are allowed to run unchecked. As a result, Cooper has called on the North Carolina state legislature to begin drafting legislation that would allow the North Carolina State Supreme Court to dismiss rogue district attorneys in the interests of justice.

Nifong is scheduled to appear before the North Carolina state bar in June regarding charges of prosecutorial misconduct. Cooper refused to offer an opinion on whether Nifong should be disbarred, citing it would not be fair to pass judgment before Nifong's appearance.

About the Writer

D. E. Carson is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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1 comments on Duke Lacrosse Players Cleared

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By D. E. Carson on April 12, 2007 at 01:19 am
"Would it be accurate to describe Ms. Crystal Gail Mangum as a 'nappy-headed ho'? 'Nappy, crack-headed ho'?" Well, Anonymous, I guess that depends on whether or not you happen to be Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson. Personally, I wouldn't call anyone a "nappy-headed ho" mainly because I have no idea what the hell it means. I guess I'm naive in that respect (I didn't even know about the term "cracker" being a slam against whites until last October). I assume that the term is meant in reference to someone's hair? The problem I have is wondering if the term means they look like they just got out of bed or if he was comparing hair to a texture of carpet. I guess it really doesn't matter what he meant by it. I have to agree with you about why Imus went to Sharpton. Imus insulted the Rutgers basketball team -- not Al Sharpton. It wasn't a blast at anybody but the team and therefore it is the team to whom Imus owes the apology.
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