Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The tandem bails of Crystal Mangum should be illegal

The lunacy of events which mark the travesty of justice against Duke Lacrosse accuser Crystal Mangum is highlighted by the unique tandem bail scenario which engulfs her. Bail is supposed to be a fiduciary means to insure that a suspect attends future court hearings on charges against him/her while being temporarily free pending a final verdict. In Ms. Mangum’s case, Judge Claude Allen ruled, as a condition of being released from the Durham County Detention Center on bond, that Ms. Mangum be placed under house arrest. This is unheard of! In other words, Judge Allen, when he reduced Ms. Mangum’s bail from one million dollars to $250,000, stated that in the event Ms. Mangum was to satisfy the bail, she would be released from jail, but still be placed under house arrest… she would still be in custody. This begs the question, should her attorney seek a bail hearing for her custody under house arrest, or is a second bail automatically denied? These are undoubtedly untested and troubling waters as nothing this ridiculous has ever been tried before. In the attempt to comply with the Carpetbagger Jihad agenda of inflicting as much suffering as possible on Ms. Mangum, Judge Allen stepped beyond the bounds of legality, decency, objectivity, and reason when he made the singular ruling pertaining to Ms. Mangum’s ability to satisfy her initial bail. Subsequent Judge Paul Ridgeway did not deem it necessary to correct this judicial blunder by his colleague, Allen.

The reason Judge Allen imposed the tandem bail condition against Ms. Mangum was to assure that she would remain in custody after the bail was lowered to $250,000. With the prosecutor’s inability to pursue the attempted first degree murder charge and other heaped-on charges against Ms. Mangum with a straight face, the million dollar bail had to be reduced, but the courts kept it high, with the intention that she would be unable to afford bond. Totally unsuspected by the prosecutors and courts was the thought that bail bondsmen would emerge like angels from the heavens and satisfy Ms. Mangum’s $100,000 bail pro bono… but that’s exactly what happened. The benevolent and generous owners of Hammond & Hammond Bailbondsmen, Inc., Mr. and Mrs. Lonnie Hammond made bond for Ms. Mangum, free of charge, after they became aware of Committee on Justice for Mike Nifong member Ed Clark’s attempt to raise funds to pay a bail bondsmen. Thanks to their humanitarian efforts, Crystal Mangum is no longer holed up in the detention center, but she is far from being free… she remains in custody at home under electronic monitoring. One hurdle has been cleared with her release from jail, but another has materialized in the form of house arrest… a second obstacle to her freedom and something which should not exist.

Judge Allen’s imposition of the backup house arrest scheme, gives credence to the premise that Ms. Mangum’s high bail, coupled with the molasses-like movement of the prosecution, is nothing more than a way to skirt the law by forcing Mangum to serve a sentence without being convicted of a crime. And the crime for which she is serving her current sentence has nothing to do with the charges for which she has been arrested… she is serving time for having the gall to accuse three Duke lacrosse boys (from families of wealth, status, and privilege) of sexually assaulting her.

The charges against Ms. Mangum are as flimsy and flaky as those conjured up by the North Carolina State Bar against former Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong in his disbarment hearing. In pursuing these unjustified charges in order to make Ms. Mangum serve an indeterminate sentence without being first convicted of a crime, the state’s police department, fire department, prosecutors and courts make themselves a laughing stock in the following ways: (1) the Durham Police Department for excessively charging and overcharging Ms. Mangum; (2) the Durham Police for allowing the burning clothes in the bathtub to cause smoke damage to the apartment, and calling the fire department instead of just turning on the faucet to put out the fire; (3) the Durham Fire Department for lugging a fire hose to the bathroom to extinguish the fire instead of turning on the faucet; (4) the questionable validity of vandalism charges to an automobile which was used by prosecutors to help secure a grand jury indictment for an injury to personal property charge; (5) the excessive bail set by Magistrate B. Wakil of $1 million; and (6) the attempt to make a case for first degree arson out of carefully executed controlled burn of clothing articles in a bathtub with running water readily available.

The charges currently pending against Mangum are so ridiculous that Prosecutor Angela Garcia-Lamarca has no intention of going to court to prosecute them. Her plan is to work with the public defender representing Ms. Mangum to accept a plea deal to a “lesser charge” in exchange for time served… and it is anybody’s guess how long the amount of time served by Ms. Mangum will be. Since the prosecution controls the docket, it may last for years. That is what happened in the James Arthur Johnson case, where Johnson was held for 39 months without a trial. In that case, prosecutor Bill Wolfe repeatedly and unsuccessfully tried to get Johnson to accept a plea deal, and when it came time for the trial to take place, Wilson District Attorney Howard S. Boney Jr. called for a special prosecutor (using the pretext of wanting Johnson to have a fair trial… the fact being that he had no case against Johnson).

The best course for prosecutors to follow in the fiasco surrounding Ms. Mangum’s arrest is to immediately dismiss all charges against Crystal Mangum, and close the file. Not to do so is a slap in the face of Lady Justice at taxpayer expense. Police, prosecutors and the courts should treat all suspects fairly and equally in order to serve all the people in North Carolina… they should not apply justice disparately to suspects and defendants in order to satisfy the demands of a few well-heeled privileged. To do so these public servants, prosecutors, and judges make a mockery of the state’s system of justice, and make the state’s justice system the laughing stock of the nation.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

Argumentum ad misericordiam, Sid. Did you vote for Tracey Cline during the last District Attorney election?

Anonymous said...

OFFS Sidney, why are you still bleating about CGM's harsh treatment, and her inability to make bail without the intervention (non-financial of course) of the CoJfMN? Everytime you post another entry, the violins go into overdrive.

Afterall, we're not talking about a destitute street-person here Sidney, we are talking about inter-aliaa hugely talented near genius (if we are to believe the hype).

Mangum is:

A Navy Veteran whose only crime was screwing a shipmate while married. She was a heroine of many a well fought bottle - apparently. What happened to her naval pension?

An Accomplished Stunt Driver whose exploits with stolen police cars have to be seen to be believed. They get paid big bucks.

A Talented Dancer and Stripper Surely all the $10 and $20 tips tucked into her nether regions were saved in her Wachovia account.

A World Class Hooker - unfortunately not of the golfing variety, although she and Tiger would have made a good pairing. Her caddy fees must have earned her (and others) vast sums of money - tax free of course.

An Intellectual She earned a degree in Criminal Justice from NCCU, and got an 'A' in a hard course. She was awarded a very handsome scholarship by Jesse Jackson, so no fees for her.
She is supposedly a Masters student in grad school somewhere studying another hard course. She must be earning a large ~S80 - $100K per annum from her work.

A Published Author Her mangum opus 'A Last Dance for Grace' was a huge bestseller (or at least sold widely among the Duke AAAS department - so there were at least 88 copies sold!). On the other hand , maybe they just circulated a copy? Her royalties must have been huge.

A Soughtafter After Dinner Speaker so she must charge fees in the range of ~$10 000 per session.

........

So why the pity fest for her Sidney? Enquiring minds want to know.

Michael said...

DNA, DNA, DNA!

The elephant is trumpeting.

Michael said...

Bail with house arrest? Nooo...that never, ever happens!

Absolutely unique. Only happened once in human history. Novel theory courtesy of the Carpetbaggers.

Ooops.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/s_682282.html

kenhyderal said...

Anonymous: Your attempts at sarcasm are rather pathetic "Nothing is more discouraging than unappreciated sarcasm”

Anonymous said...

And kenhyedral is still an ignorant troll, so fuck off Ken

Anonymous said...

Completely illogical. There is no "tandem bail" here, and conditions of house arrest after posting bail or so common that the news only reports it when it happens to celebrities (Roman Polansky, Rapper C-Murder, Shawty Red, etc)....
Really -- a simple GOOGLE search would have shown this.
I am interested, however, in the statement "Prosecutor Angela Garcia-Lamarca has no intention of going to court to prosecute them. Her plan is to work with the public defender representing Ms. Mangum to accept a plea deal to a “lesser charge” in exchange for time served". How are you aware of Angela Garcia-Lamarca's plans?

Michael said...

To Sidney:

Please respond to my lengthy comment yesterday on the DNA issue. The entire analysis has been laid out in detail. You've "promised" a response since January.

How could CGM have had oral sex (up through ejaculation) with one of her attackers, a "violation" she took pains to describe in detail and even AMEND her statement, after the fact, to include, and yet YSTR testing could not find any of the "attacker's" DNA on the oral swab, but WAS able to find DNA from (at least) two previous "encounters" with other males?

kenhyderal said...

Unidentified, non-team members present at the house party and not included in the "line-up"?

Anonymous said...

Kenhyderal -- Right...Ones that also happen to look JUST like (100%) Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty, and mostly like (90%)David Evans.

kenhyderal said...

It's being increasingly recognized how faulty "line-ups are" even when the victim feels they are 100% sure. See this paper http://www.law.northwestern.edu/academics/colloquium/Gary%20Wells/Gary%20Wells%202.pdf

Anonymous said...

Ken

Two non-players attended the party. Captains provided this information to DPD when interviewed on March 16. Names were not known by captains. Non-players were not included in NTO and in any of the line-ups. Non-players were identified and interviewed by DPD on March 28 and subsequently provided DNA samples. No matches. Ms. Mangum selected four of her three attackers in "line-up" on April 6. Non-players not included.

JSwift said...

Here, DNA testing has proven conclusively that the accuser is a liar. [Simply put, no one can possibly be confused or mistaken about whether a penis has ejaculated in one's mouth - particularly not a seasoned prostitute.] Rather, CGM lied. Once you prove the accuser lies, you end a criminal case. Period. Game over.

Michael,

I believe that you slightly overstate your conclusion.

First, the DNA testing has proven conclusively only that the accusation is false. It could not possibly have occurred as Ms. Mangum alleged. The graphic nature of the accusation eliminates the possibility that it was a simple mistake. There are, however, two possible explanations: (1) the accuser is a liar and (2) the accuser was impaired and does not remember what happened. In this case, given the accuser’s alleged mental health issues, I consider impairment to be a possibility. I agree that the most likely explanation is that she is a liar; her desire to avoid involuntary confinement at Durham Access provides a strong motive to lie.

Second, a criminal case does not necessarily end once an accusation is proven to be false, particularly if impairment is the cause. A criminal case cannot justifiably proceed unless there is other evidence not linked to the impaired accuser—substantial evidence—to support the accusation. In this case, there was virtually none.

Sidney will object that conclusive proof that one or more of the accusations in Ms. Mangum’s statement are false does not necessarily prove that all of the remaining statements are also false. He will also assert that a false accusation does not by itself prove that a sexual assault could not possibly have occurred. These are straw man arguments. Other accusations are not ignored, but require substantial verification. The inability of a suspect to prove that a crime could not possibly have occurred is not the standard that justifies a prosecution.

It is obvious that this specific accusation was false. It raises significant doubts about the accuracy of the rest of Ms. Mangum’s evidence (her statements and her “identifications”). Mr. Nifong and the DPD had only two options: (1) drop the case or (2) develop additional evidence through an extensive investigation.

Mr. Nifong and the DPD did neither.

In spite of a complete lack of credible evidence that a crime had even occurred, the DPD failed to conduct a bona fide investigation. They failed to interview relevant witnesses, examine evidence in their possession or known to exist, reconcile inconsistencies and make any attempt to determine which (if any) of Ms. Mangum’s inconsistent accusations were true. They studiously avoided evidence that possibly could prove allegations to be false. They violated departmental guidelines for lineups, public statements and maintaining a contemporaneous record of their activities. They simply obtained indictments.

One can explain this complete failure in only two ways: (1) Mr. Nifong and the DPD attempted to frame three men for a crime they believed had never occurred or (2) Mr. Nifong and DPD investigators and supervisors are utterly incompetent. Gross incompetence is not a persuasive explanation for the complete failure to investigate one of the most highly-publicized cases in Durham history.

At best, the DPD is either corrupt or grossly incompetent. A court appointed monitor is an appropriate response in either case.

Now that we have shown that this specific allegation (that one of the players ejaculated in her mouth and she spit it out) is demonstrably false, we can analyze other allegations from her statement. I selected this as the first to address because it is obviously false. I did not expect that Sidney would continue to defend it after almost five months.

Unidentified non-team Member said...

Kenhyderal -- That's an easy assumption to make. If you believe an assault occurred, but the DNA does not match the accused, it would seem rational to look for others at the party whose DNA does match.
Ask Sid why Nifong didn't do this. He had the DNA results as early as April 2006 and KNEW they didn't match the LAX players. Rather than look for a guilty party, he chose to hide this information and prosecute the 3 LAX players identified in the lineup.

Michael said...

JSwift:

"I did not expect that Sidney would continue to defend it after almost five months."

Is Sidney "defending it"? Where is his defense? You asked for one back in January and it seems to me he's avoided a response.

It is important for him to respond. As I understand his theory, the Meehan finding of DNA from other men in all three sexual orifices had no probative value. I believe that theory has been challenged adequately and deserves response. That theory is one of the "pillars" of Nifong's defense, for goodness sake!

CGM's testimony was the only evidence Nifong had to link any of the accused to the alleged "crime." Had she been put on the witness stand and asked about her prior statement in regards to the oral ejaculation and expectoration, she would have had only two choices: (1) affirm the statement; or (2) repudiate the statement. If she chose (1), she would have been absolutely impeached before the factfinder which would have rendered any subsequent identification testimony impossible to credit and would have supported judgement notwithstanding the verdict had jury nullification occurred. [I've never seen any prosecutor continue a criminal case where THE key fact witness is impeached on the stand. Even if they would want to, most judges have a way of convincing them to drop the case.] If she chose (2), it is possible that you are correct and the proceedings could have continued in some form or other. Of course, that would mean that she was telling the factfinder not only that she didn't remember correctly a point that would be difficult for any rational person to confuse, but also that her confusion came after a period of reflection and deliberation - because the original statement was offered as an AMENDMENT to prior statements. While it would not render further testimony impossible to credit, any honest factfinder would see this admission as fatal to the witness' credibility.

Lance the Intern said...

Hey all -- Where's Steven "White Man's DNA" Matherly? How can we have a discussion without his obvious expertise?

JSwift said...

Michael,

I phrased my comment poorly. Please accept my apology.

You are correct. Sidney has not "defended" Ms. Mangum's statement in any way; he merely ignores it. He continues to defend Mr. Nifong's use of Ms. Mangum as an accusing witness, but he has not responded to any of the facts that clearly impeach her credibility. He continues to chant the mantra: "Let a jury decide."

You suggest that this was offered as an "amendment" to "prior" statements. According to the DPD record, the April 6 written statement was the first written statement Ms. Mangum had provided (yes, I know, only 23 days after the alleged crime). The amendment relating to the ejaculation in her mouth was added immediately after she had written out the statement. For reasons the DPD has not disclosed, Ms. Mangum apparently was not asked to provide a statement when she met with the DPD on March 14, March 16, March 21 or April 4 (or at least none was provided in discovery). A March 28 telephone call between Inv. Himan and Ms. Mangum was not included in discovery; it was discovered in a timeline provided to the City Manger. It is unknown whether there were any undocumented meetings.

http://johnsville.blogspot.com/2007/06/crystal-gail-mangum-april-6-2006.html

My suggestion that Ms. Mangum's obviously false statement would not necessarily "end" the case was meant to imply only that the investigation could continue if Mr. Nifong for some reason "believed" her or wanted to attempt to corroborate any of the other accusations. The only way that he could justify seeking indictments and taking the case to trial was through additional evidence not directly linked to Ms. Mangum. If he failed to obtain this additional evidence, he would not have probable cause, and her testimony should never take place. Her obviously false statement increased the importance of a thorough investigation that could develop this additional evidence. I believe that we largely agree on this point.

The failure of the DPD to conduct a bona fide investigation in spite of the lack of credible evidence suggests that Mr. Nifong and the DPD did not believe her. They merely used her accusation as an excuse to indict three men for a crime they did not believe had occurred.

I call that a deliberate frame.

JSwift said...

Kenhyderal,

You commented on the risk of faulty identifications even when all protections are included in the process.

The April 4 line-up at which Ms. Mangum selected the defendants was deliberately flawed. Designed by Mr. Nifong after Ms. Mangum had failed to identify any of her alleged attackers in procedures on March 16 and March 21, the procedure violated numerous DPD guidelines.

Sidney does not believe that adhering to guidelines is important in the design of the procedure in this case.

There were no fillers. The procedure included photographs of all 46 white lacrosse players. DPD guidelines that require five fillers for each suspect were ignored. The black lacrosse player and the non-player attendees were not included.

Sidney does not believe the failure to use fillers is important in this case.

The procedure was conducted by Sgt. Gottlieb, one of the lead DPD investigators. Guidelines call for the use of an administrator not connected with the investigation. The use of an independent administrator is intended to avoid unintended or deliberate suggestions to the witness.

Sidney does not believe that the failure to use an independent administrator is important in this case.

Ms. Mangum was told at the beginning of the procedure that the photographs included were of people believed to be at the party. Guidelines prohibit the use of leading instructions.

Sidney does not believe that the use of leading instructions is important in this case.

Ms. Mangum had failed to identify any of her alleged attackers in procedures conducted on March 16 and March 21. Those procedures also failed to include fillers.

Sidney does not believe that Ms. Mangum’s failure to make earlier identifications is an important consideration in this case.

Ms. Mangum failed to provide credible descriptions of her attackers on March 16. The descriptions she provided matched none of the players.

Sidney does not believe that Ms. Mangum’s failure to provide credible identifications is an important consideration in this case.

Ms. Mangum selected four players as her three attackers. Sgt. Gottlieb did not follow up on the identification of the unindicted player.

Sidney does not believe that the selection of the extra attacker is an important consideration in this case.

(To be continued below)

JSwift said...

(Continuation of prior comment)

Ms. Mangum identified one of the defendants with 100% certainty on April 4. She had identified that player as an attendee with 70% certainty in an earlier procedure. She did not recall what he was doing at the earlier procedure.

Sidney does not believe that the sudden improvement in Ms. Mangum’s memory is an important consideration in this case.

Ms. Mangum identified one of the defendants with 90% certainty on April 4, noting that he had a mustache not shown in the picture. The defendant has shown that he did not have a mustache at the party. She had failed to recognize him at all in an earlier procedure.

Sidney does not believe that the sudden improvement in Ms. Mangum’s memory is an important consideration in this case. Sidney also does not believe that the misidentification of the mustache is an important consideration in this case.

Ms. Mangum identified one of the players with 100% certainty as a party attendee at both the April 4 procedure and one of the earlier procedures. That player did not attend the party. The DPD received evidence that he was with his girlfriend in another city that night.

Sidney does not believe that this identification error is an important consideration in this case.

There were other players that Ms. Mangum had recognized as attendees in earlier procedures that she failed to recognize on April 4. Similarly, there were players she recognized on April 4 that she had failed to recognize in earlier procedures.

Sidney does not believe that any of these inconsistencies are important considerations in this case.

Ms. Mangum remembered on April 4 how certain players had been dressed. She had not remembered some of these players at all in earlier procedures and had not remembered how anyone was dresses in the earlier procedures. All of the players whose attire she now remembered were included in photographs released by the defense to a local television station.

Sidney does not believe that this sudden improvement in Ms. Mangum’s memory is an important consideration in this case.

Ms. Mangum’s father announced in a television interview the night before the procedure that his daughter had identified her three attackers.

Sidney does not find this amazing prediction to be an interesting consideration in this case.

Ms. Mangum’s “identification” was literally the only evidence that implicated two of the defendants in the alleged crime.

Sidney has concluded that Ms. Mangum identified two of the defendants with 100% certainty and one with 90% certainty. He apparently believes that none of the problems with the procedure are important. Only a jury could decide whether Ms. Mangum’s identifications were credible. Mr. Nifong was required to proceed.

Michael said...

JSwift:

"Her obviously false statement increased the importance of a thorough investigation that could develop this additional evidence. I believe that we largely agree on this point."

Indeed we do.

As to the issue of CGM's "amendment" to her initial statement to reflect the expectoration of semen, IIRC, that statement was offered only after semen had been discovered by forensic teams on the floor of the bathroom. Obviously, CGM was not supposed to know this, and just as obviously, testing of that semen would have found CGM DNA in it if the circumstances has unfolded as she says they did. BUT, and this is and important but, CGM didn't know this at the time she made the statement.

The more logical analysis of this "addition," which she thought (or was coached to think) was important enough that she had to add it after she'd already recorded a statement, was that it is an example of CGM tailoring her statements to fit newly-developing findings in the investigation, similar to the whole "magic towel" issue.

That is, the cops find semen on a towel, all of sudden CGM was wiped off with a towel - which then should have contained her DNA, but she didn't know that. (By the way, why were folks "wiping her off" if the attack was done with condomed penises, or with a broomstick?) Then, the cops find semen on the floor, all of a sudden CGM remembers she spit some semen on the floor.

Is there a pattern here?

Michael said...

Sidney, while I'm enjoying my conversation here with JSwift (and I'm hoping JSwift is too), is suspect it's YOU that both of us would rather be having this conversation with.

You MUST have developed a theory on the DNA issue in the last several months. Please share!

Nifong Supporter said...

To Michael and JSwift:

The dialogue between you two is interesting, but my current interests are concentrated on the injustice Ms. Mangum is suffering at the hands of the state. As will be explained, in the blog which I am about to post, the state has no intention of taking the current charges to court, but plan on getting her to agree to a plea deal in exchange for time served... although the Powers-That-Be would have preferred that she spent more than three months behind bars for her unofficial conviction related to the Duke Lacrosse case.

You two continue to discuss DNA in ejaculated semen which has been spit out, if you wish. I'm moving forward to discuss really pertinent issues.

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