Wednesday afternoon I had to rummage through the garbage in order to find Tuesday’s edition of the News & Observer. Although I had been through Tuesday’s paper a day earlier, a friend told me of an article on Ms. Mangum that I had evidently missed. And sure enough, tucked away deep in the bowels of the second section on page 7 was an article titled, “Mangum faces arson charge.” Maybe I missed it because I was halfway expecting the article to be on the front page or second page of the “Triangle & Co.” section, and not hidden amongst the obituaries.
To recap what transpired on Monday, April 5, 2010, for the many who did not find the News & Observer article: the hearing for Ms. Mangum which was finally to be held regarding the alleged crimes for which she was charged two months earlier in February, was postponed because the assistant district attorney was sick. The public defender representing Ms. Mangum was expecting the hearing to take place the following day. However, late Monday afternoon, the prosecutors went before a Durham County grand jury which issued indictments against her on the following: first-degree arson, three counts of contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile, injury to personal property, and resisting a public officer.
It is of interest to note that even though police said she tried to kill her boyfriend and was charged at the time of her arrest with attempted first-degree murder, no such charge was sought by prosecutors from the grand jury. Miraculously, other charges which were heaped on Ms. Mangum on her arrest but were not considered by the grand jury included: three counts of misdemeanor child abuse, resisting arrest, identity theft, communicating threats, and assault and battery. Why, you might ask, were these charges not sought before the grand jury? Answer: Because the Durham police and prosecutors knew the charges were false and that they could not substantiate them. However, filing the bogus charges did accomplish its intent, which was to form the basis for obtaining an outrageously high bond which Ms. Mangum and her family could not afford. That would ensure that Ms. Mangum would spend a significantly long time in jail. In short, the bogus charges were filed against Ms. Mangum for punitive reasons only… to see that she received as much jail time as possible. There is no doubt in my mind that the prosecutors never seriously considered bringing charges before the grand jury other than the ones they eventually did bring against Ms. Mangum on Monday. In order for the judge to hand down a $1million bond, some serious charges, such as attempted first degree murder, needed to be in play.
Unfortunately, this unfair and inappropriate use of filing punitive charges against someone based on that person’s past acts, is unjust and unethical. Make no doubt about it, Ms. Mangum was excessively punished by Durham police, prosecutors, and judges because of her role in the Duke Lacrosse case. This is no secret… everyone knows it to be the truth, but no one, including those in the media or public officials, will speak openly about it. Attorneys licensed by the North Carolina State Bar are particularly reticent to speak about anything related to the Duke Lacrosse case, because they are terrified by that very same unregulated agency that has control over their licenses and livelihoods. I am sure that everyone connected to the legal travesty that has enveloped Ms. Mangum will deny, with a straight face, that Ms. Mangum’s treatment had anything to do with her past. This situation is not unlike the Las Vegas judge who sentenced O. J. Simpson to excessively long prison sentences when he was convicted in what was obviously a sting operation. She went on record and upfront stated that the sentence given to Mr. Simpson had absolutely nothing to do with the murder of his wife and her friend Ron Goldman. But everyone knows that it was nothing more than payback. And that is what Durham is engaged in with its actions against Ms. Mangum… nothing more than payback.
What is really idiotic is that the cash-strapped city of Durham, by going after Ms. Mangum because of her role in the Duke Lacrosse case, is feeding into the Carpetbagger Jihad Movement’s vendetta goals. And it is the very people behind this vengeful and avaricious movement who are seeking thirty million dollars from the city of Durham, and has already cost the city multi-millions of dollars in attorneys’ fees to defend itself (from them). Then the Carpetbagger families of the three Duke Lacrosse defendants have the unmitigated gall to tell the media that they are not seeking $10 million for each of their sons out of greed, but they are doing it to improve the city of Durham’s criminal justice system. How?... by diverting moneys from services and salaries of the Durham Police department to pay lawyers’ fees in defending the city against their extortionistic lawsuits? Well, the people are not buying that line of reasoning, no more than they believe that the Las Vegas judge sentenced O. J. Simpson solely on the merits of the particular incident for which he was charged, and not taking the unsolved murder of his wife and her friend into consideration. Nor are Tar Heelians buying the Carpetbaggers’ altruistic reasons for seeking a total of $30 million from Durham, anymore than they believe that the domestic violence charges and bail against Ms. Mangum are based solely on that case and not related to her role in the Duke Lacrosse case.
Unfortunately, the law in North Carolina is all too often used unjustly and punitively by police, prosecutors, and courts to exact revenge from individuals who are currently being charged and treated based upon past acts and not based upon merits alone of the case at hand. The Durham City and County should be ashamed of its involvement in the despicable, selective, and unjust actions against Ms. Mangum. Furthermore, it should be embarrassed for carrying out the Carpetbagger Jihad agenda… an agenda which starkly runs against the city’s own best interests.
As far as the media goes, I must at least give the News & Observer a few points for writing an article, even though it was very effectively concealed and not splashed over the front pages of the local section as was the news of Ms. Mangum’s arrest two months earlier. I was unaware of any of the other local mainstream media outlets that reported on Ms. Mangum’s arrest, doing a follow-up story about the grand jury indictment. This kind of reporting (picking and choosing which of the stories related to a case to promote and which ones to bury) is not uncommonly used by the biased media.
The N & O’s extreme bias is evident by the article’s final paragraph which reads: “Mangum never faced any charges for falsely accusing the three former Duke lacrosse players.” Now although I do not concede that the charges made by Ms. Mangum in the Duke Lacrosse case investigation were false, the article’s final statement suggests that individuals who make false statements are routinely charged for it. I believe that the News & Observer would be hard pressed to find an instance in North Carolina where an alleged rape victim was charged with making false accusations during the investigation of a criminal complaint.