Monday, 10 April 2006

Everything I need to know I learned on the east-west bus

Here’s your conspiracy theory/rumor/gospel truth of what really went down at the party courtesy of LiveJournal; your mileage may vary:

Going home, I got on the bus to East campus and sat in the back, like I always do so I can be facing forward, and a young lady sat down next to me commenting, “maybe this isn’t the safest place on the bus.” I agreed and then told her about the rumor I’d heard saying the [bus] fire was arson, which was untrue, and then about the letter to the editor I read.

She replied that one of her friend’s boyfriend is on the team and he says only a few lacrosse players were at that party, that it was “mostly frat boys”, and none of the team had anything to do with the rape.

Link via here, which I found out because of an inbound link complaining about one of Igor’s comments. Gotta love Technorati.

It's not over until the fatheaded DA sings

The News & Observer reports that Righteous Townie DA Mike Nifong hasn’t quite thrown in the towel on making rape charges against the players at the party:

Nifong said the DNA results do not end anything.

“I’m not saying it’s over. If that’s what they expect, they will be sadly disappointed,” Nifong said at a candidate forum Monday night. “They can say anything they want, but I’m still in the middle of my investigation. … I believe a sexual assault took place.”

Neither Nifong nor the defense lawyers would release the results.

The Herald-Sun’s account indicates that Nifong may have some difficulty in making the case in the absence of DNA evidence:

Stan Goldman, who teaches criminal law, evidence and criminal procedure at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, said the DNA results don’t mean that Nifong can’t go forward with the case—but the test results make a successful prosecution much harder.

“Isn’t the absence of DNA evidence, given the way the victim has described the crime, in and of itself almost enough to raise a reasonable doubt?” he said. “That’s all the defense has to do.”

And, of course, people will continue to believe what they want to believe anyway…

On a related note, I sat down for an interview with freelance writer and Duke alum Dana Vachon, who’s working on a story for Salon (and possibly another story for Men’s Vogue) on the rape allegations, this evening at the Joyce; I think you’ll find his story quite interesting when it comes out, if the tidbits I heard this evening are any indication. As for what I had to say… we shall see.

Being a pundit means you never have to say you're sorry

Opinions are like assholes—everyone has one:

Wendy Murphy, a former Massachusetts prosecutor and adjunct professor at Boston’s New England School of Law who teaches a seminar on sexual violence, said releasing details of the photos was a sign that lawyers were worried the DNA testing would produce a match with some of the players.

“If the DNA isn’t going to match, they wouldn’t need to do this,” she said. “It’s almost comical that they think a photograph is proof positive that a rape didn’t happen. It’s not a smoking gun. It’s a muddying of the waters.”

Bad timing, it’s a wonderful thing.


Laura of Survival Theory reports, and the AP confirms, that the state crime lab has forwarded the results of the DNA tests in the Duke lacrosse rape case to the Durham County DA’s office, where “copies were being made Monday afternoon for defense attorneys.” And so the waiting game begins.

Update: The players’ attorneys released the DNA evidence this afternoon—no matches. One third of Craig Newmark’s predictions thus have become true.

The Chronicle’s account has some more details, for the morbidly curious; two players’ DNA was found in the bathroom, but it was their house and they shared the bathroom. Also from the account:

"No DNA material from any young man tested was present on the body of this complaining woman," lawyer Wade Smith said. "Not present in the body, not present on the surface of her body, belonginigs or materials she had on her, including her clothing."

There was no DNA of the alleged victim found in the bathroom of 610 N. Buchanan Blvd. residence, added Joe Cheshire, a lawyer representing senior captain Dave Evans and resident of the Buchanan house.

Duke under siege, day fifteen: we have a scapegoat, and his name is Alleva

Today’s Duke Chronicle editorial calls for the firing of AD Joe Alleva as a response to the culmination of scandals involving both the men’s lacrosse and baseball programs. They also go with the photos story, despite (again) not having seen the photos themselves, and report on a protest across from the 610 house by members of a local church, which explains why I saw a camera crew setting up there during my Sunday afternoon walk.

In not-entirely-unrelated news, one of Righteous Townie DA Mike Nifong’s opponents in the May 2 primary has been subpeonaed in an appeal of a decade-old murder case:

Former Assistant District Attorney Freda Black has been subpoenaed to explain in court today why she allegedly broke a promise to a murder suspect years ago, and also to answer allegations that she checked another homicide defendant out of the county jail, drove him around town and treated him to chicken and pizza.

The allegations are contained in court paperwork filed by convicted killer Gregory Wayne Bagley, who is serving a life prison sentence and now contends he deserves a new trial.

Bagley says he was convicted in 1994 not because he was guilty, but “due to devious, deceptive, malicious acts” and trickery by Black. He implies that her kindness toward the other homicide suspect, Alton Antonio Bell, was an attempt by Black to sweet-talk Bell into testifying against him.

Considering that Nifong will be lucky to get any votes in the primary at this point—the black community and the Righteous Townie set don’t think he’s done enough (going into hiding for the last week probably wasn’t the best election strategy), and the innocent-until-proven-guilty crowd thinks he’s a grandstanding fool—I guess we can just go ahead and give this thing to African-American attorney Keith Bishop. The winner of the primary is unopposed in the general election; you’ve gotta love the one party South.