Thursday, June 10, 2010

When it comes to injustice, Duke LAX case doesn’t even merit mention

In yesterday’s issue of the News & Observer, an article by staff writer Mandy Locke titled “Former Dix inmate sues SBI agents” tries to dredge up sympathy for the Duke Lacrosse defendants by making a comparison with the injustice Floyd Brown sustained. In what is essentially media blasphemy, she stretches to make a connection between the situations faced by Floyd Brown and the three Duke Lacrosse defendants. Floyd Brown is a mentally retarded man who was held for fourteen years without a trial by Anson County District Attorney Michael D. Parker. Per its customary PAPEN Policy (Protect All Prosecutors Except Nifong), the prosecutor’s name is never mentioned in the article. Mr. Brown was finally released from custody when a judge from outside of Anson County ruled that he was being held unlawfully. There was no “credible evidence” or any evidence linking Brown to a murder for which he was charged, but never tried. Brown’s fourteen years of confinement were made harder by Parker’s refusal of the staff’s request to allow Brown to have lunch with family, or a day trip to the fair. And after Brown was released, with arrangements made by state social workers for his placement in an assisted living facility, a vindictive Parker went out of his way to disrupt Brown’s disposition. Further arrangements for housing for Brown were made secretly to prevent the D.A. from continuing to maliciously interfere with housing plans. In addition, the charge against Brown by D.A. Parker was based solely on a written confession attributed to Brown that experts claimed he was too retarded to have made.

Contrast Floyd Brown’s situation with the three Duke Lacrosse defendants who did not spend one day in jail, received $7 million each in an out-of-court settlement with Duke University, enjoyed the benefit of being proclaimed “innocent” by Attorney General Roy Cooper during his April 11, 2007 “Innocent Promulgation,” were coddled by the biased media, and are suing the cash-strapped city of Durham for an additional $10 million each… in the words of their attorney “so nothing like this ever happens to anyone else.” Yet, they are claiming that they were denied due process. How? This claim is obviously a bluff, and the Carpetbagger families of the Duke Lacrosse defendants and their greedy attorneys were expecting the city to roll over just like Duke University. They have no intention of carrying out this lawsuit because they have no case.

The media should be ashamed to even mention the Duke Lacrosse case when it comes to injustice, especially with innocents such as Alan Gell who was falsely convicted of capital murder by Prosecutor David Hoke, and Darryl Hunt in Winston-Salem. These men mentioned in the article, along with others such as Erick Daniels, Gregory Taylor, and James Arthur Johnson are some of the true victims of North Carolina’s justice system, and they have all served excessively long unjust incarceration on convictions made without credible evidence.

One of the most recent victims of injustice is Crystal Mangum, the accuser in the Duke Lacrosse case. Durham Prosecutor Angela Garcia-Lamarca is trying to do her best to get a plea deal with Ms. Mangum, now that she is under electronic house arrest and not in an oppressive jail cell. Initially the prosecutor tried to have Ms. Mangum plead guilty to the arson charge and serve a two year jail sentence… as though that was a really great offer. The problem is that the prosecutors have no case against Ms. Mangum, and they know that they would be thoroughly embarrassed if they took their case to court. No credible evidence… nothing. The Mangum prosecution’s position is similar to that of Prosecutor Bill Wolfe’s in the James Arthur Johnson case, in which, to the relief of the prosecution, Johnson accepted an Alford plea on a flimsy charge to avoid the possibility of being returned to jail. The Mangum prosecution’s retaliatory motivation is similar to that of Alan Gell who currently in prison for charges brought as a vendetta against him after he filed lawsuits and complaints for his earlier false murder conviction. Prosecutor Garcia-Lamarca, Judges Claude Allen and Paul Ridgeway, and the Durham Police and Fire departments, along with the media, are all focused on punishing Crystal Mangum for her role in the Duke Lacrosse case. The charges for which she was arrested on February 17, 2010 were merely a means of imposing an indefinite sentence on Ms. Mangum without her being convicted of a crime.

Some media outlets have attempted to mitigate the suffering of Ms. Mangum by falsely reporting, shortly after her arrest, that she was under house arrest on a $250,000 bail. NBC-17 and Newsweek magazine both made the false claims although Ms. Mangum actually spent approximately 90 days at the Durham Detention Center, and is currently under house arrest after the posting of bond. Almost without exception, however, the media goes out of its way to give the Duke Lacrosse players (who attended the beer-guzzling stripper party with under-aged drinking and racial epithets) a positive and sympathetic look. But there is no way that Duke Lacrosse defendants comes close to enduring the hardship and suffering of Floyd Brown, Alan Gell, Crystal Mangum, and others.

However, what I don’t understand is why Floyd Brown’s attorneys are going after the investigators. Surely the SBI agents and sheriff’s deputies acted no more deliberately and in bad faith than lead prosecutor Michael Parker. It was Prosecutor Parker who was responsible for Floyd Brown being unlawfully held fourteen years, not the investigators. Maybe Brown’s attorneys are extending a professional courtesy to Prosecutor Parker by not filing a law suit against him. But, then, the North Carolina State Bar did not even feel motivated enough by the injustice against Brown to initiate its own complaint against Michael Parker. Whereas in the Duke Lacrosse case, the State Bar was quick to lob an ethics complaint against the Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong in order to force him off the case as the prosecutor.

Bottom line is that Floyd Brown deserves compensation for the atrocious injustices he suffered at the hands of Anson County Prosecutor Michael Parker… the defendants in the Duke Lacrosse case, on the other hand, do not even deserve mention.


Lance the Intern said...

Sid Harr : "Mr. Nifong was prosecuting in good faith to see that justice was done."

Nike Nifong: ""I agree with state Attorney General there is no credible evidence that [the players] ... committed any of the crimes of which they were indicted..."

Sid -- Should we believe Nifong or you?

Michael said...

Same old junk, Sidney. Just like my teenagers, when their conduct is called into question, try to say their peers' conduct is worse. "At least I'm not a drug addict..., etc. etc."

This is silly, sophomoric reasoning worthy of a middle-schooler, not a grown man. It's also reasoning by false analogy. In all these cases (including CGM's case), other than the LAX hoax, a crime ACTUALLY OCCURRED! Maybe the cops got the wrong guy, the prosecutors manufactured or hid evidence, or got the charges wrong. But in none of these cases of alleged "worse conduct" did the prosecutor manufacture a crime that didn't exist and that he or she knew full well didn't exist.

As for the press protecting "every prosecutor but Nifong," exactly how were they to protect someone who when out of his way to be notorious?

The real difference between how the LAX hoax was handled and how these other cases were handled is the vast notoriety that was generated by the Nifong media blitz. Even if the newspapers, the state bar, the old boy's network and all the rest wanted to cover for your "hero," he put himself so far out there that the normal "coverup/move on" mechanisms that they'd employ to save prosecutors from accountability just couldn't work. Too many eyeballs on the problem!

The rest of these prosecutors had the sense to duck down when their bad conduct was uncovered. Mikey left himself no out.

Anonymous said...

Did the lacrosse assholes
ever return the the money
they stole from Crystal's
purse in the bathroom?

Michael said...

No money was ever stolen from CGM by any LAX player.

Team captains discouraged fellow players from using "self help" to reimburse themselves for the loss they sustained when CGM was too messed up (or more likely, unwilling, because she realized that the LAX players weren't going to pay her for "tricks" afterwords) to dance for more than 2 minutes - a breach of contract.

The captains confiscated the money and turned it over to the DPD.

This, of course, was not the money CGM was worried about (a couple hundred dollars). Rather the struggling mother of two (at the time) who got a good grade in a "hard course" alleged that several THOUSAND dollars in cash were stolen from her by (drumroll, please) Kim Pittman/Roberts! But then, dear Anonymous, you really don't believe this part of CGM's testimony, do you?

Otherwise, you'd be asking the question differently: "Why didn't DPD follow up on the theft claim?" (And for that matter, why wasn't the theft claim part of the N&O's CGM interview article, even though that was mostly what CGM wanted to talk to the reporter about?) I think the answer is that they didn't believe this part of CGM's testimony, either. But then, DPD never really believed anything CGM said, did they?

kenhyderal said...

Michael said....................The captains confiscated the money and turned it over to the DPD.
.......................Did DPD then, subsequently, return it to Crystal?

Nifong Supporter said...

Michael said...
"No money was ever stolen from CGM by any LAX player."

Crystal Mangum was lured to the Duke Lacrosse Spring Break beer-guzzling stripper party under false pretenses. She contracted to perform for a small (four or five member) bachelor party, not an animal house bacchanal. Furthermore, use of degrading and dehumanizing language and gestures led to curtailment of the entertainment, no fault of Ms. Mangum. She deserved the money, and the Duke Lacrosse players had no right to take it from her.

kenhyderal asked an important question. What did the Durham Police Department do with the $800? Do you know? And what was your source as to the so-called captains giving the money to the Durham police?

Michael said...

Sidney, please spare us your moral outrage on the "degrading and dehumanizing language" as if it only came from one side of the exchange. This is a STRIPPER PARTY, for cryin' out loud! Kim asked the boys to take off their pants so she could play with them. (real nice! very sophisticated!) They refused (sensibly) and instead suggested sex toys. Kim said she didn't mind the exchange in the interview with Ed Bradley.

The whole story about how many guys would be there and whether that was misrepresented was made up by CGM and corroborated by exactly no one. The numbers of guys, to the extent it might have mattered to CGM (doubtful since she was an experienced stripper/hooker), has nothing to do with the short dance time. It was Kim, not CGM, who called off the dance after the "broom" comment was made.

Meanwhile, CGM was falling down drunk/stoned (confirmed with Kim in the Bradley interview). It is also debatable whether Kim called off the dance because (1) she really was concerned about the "broom" thing; (2) she couldn't continue because CGM was a mess; or (3) she saw no real money to be made and was engaging in a standard "take the money and run" scam which is relatively common in the stripper trade.

To the extent some guys tried to get their money back, the team captains stopped them because they were afraid the driver would come back and rough them up.

Until Proven Innocent contains a description of the police raid and the confiscation of the cash and CGM's phone.

Again, Sidney, your desire to know anything about this matter ceased when the facts turned against your preferred narrative. Every "fact" you assert has been disproven by subsequent investigation and testimony that you must have just stopped looking at or listening to. It's like arguing with the "frozen man" to read you parroting BS from the first couple days of media coverage.

Now, please, tell us how the DNA findings were not exculpatory. I answer all your questions, you just don't like the answers.

Michael said...

"kenhyderal asked an important question. What did the Durham Police Department do with the $800?"

Sidney, as you know I do not respond to the fraudulent poster kenhyderal. This individual is either a troll or a surrogate for someone on your "committee." Either way, the job of this sock puppet is to provoke with inane questions/comments that display blithe ignorance of the facts of the case and no desire to do the work to inform himself/herself about said facts.

You, however, are a real person, and I will respond to you - although you continue not to respond to me.

The $800 figure was what BOTH dancers made that evening. Kim never asserted that her $400 was either lost or stolen. As with all things, CGM, what happened to her $400 depends on which of her multiple stories you believe :

CGM claimed (at various times) that her money was:
i. not stolen;
ii. stolen by “Nikki”;
iii. stolen by one or several of “the attackers”;
iv. deposited into a nearby ATM account, as required by the escort Agency; or
v. left in the back seat of Officer Barfield’s patrol car.

She also claimed at one point that she was missing $2,000, not $400, which would have meant that the poor, hardworking single mom was walking around with thousands of dollars in cash.

The DPD confiscated some cash along with CGM's cell phone. Whether this cash was at one time in CGM's possession, or it was simply cash of the players who lived in 610 N. Buchanan, we don't know. We also don't know what DPD did with the cash, but it would have been sensible for DPD to retain all confiscated property until the civil suits have run their course.

kenhyderal said...

Nifong Supporter: Could you please confirm, to poster Michael, that I am neither a Member of the Justice for Nifong Committee or a surrogate for any member of that Group. You are the only person on the Committe I am familiar with. I'm not sure why he considers me "fraudulent" or a "troll" on this forum. I find many of his misogynist and hateful posts disturbing. Some of his words may even constitute hate speech.

Anonymous said...

Did the lacrosse assholes
tell the Duke president
they stole the the money
from Crystal's purse
in the bathroom?

Michael said...

Dearest anonymous,

Since only one of CGM's five stories about the money involve theft by the LAX players, why do you assume that this is the true one.

Wishful thinking?

kenhyderal said...

When did Crystal ever make the statement that her money had not been stolen?

Anonymous said...

@ Kenhyderal:

Go back to screwing camels in the deserts of Arabia - this is no place for trolls like you.

Anonymous said...

Did the lacrosse assholes
ever come forward and tell
anybody in the Duke and Durham
communities, it was THEY
who had ROBBED Crystal Mangum
of her money from the the purse
in the bathroom?

No, the lacrosse assholes
lawyered up and screamed,

"WE are Innocent ! ! !"

NOTHING Happened
in that bathroom ! !"

"We ordered white girls,
not Niggers ! !"

Michael said...

Thank you for that last irrational post. Time to take your meds, now.

More anonymous than anonymous said...

Anonymous @ 2:43...We have Sid making enough ridiculous claims without your worthless input. We get it -- you don't like the Duke LAX players. Now either provide PROOF for your claim or admit you have none.

Crime Really Does Pay said...

if you're the disbarred, disgraced and criminal ex Durham DA Mike Nifong.

The Charlotte Observer is reporting:


Former Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong, disbarred after misconduct in the Duke lacrosse case and held in contempt of court, gets [a pension of] $66,800.


Who's the carpetbagger now - Sidney?

Why do the citizens of Duh'm put up with this - Sidney?

How much did you say Crystal's bail deposit was - Sydney?

Nifong Supporter said...

To Michael, and whomever else it may concern:

kenhyderal is not a member of the Committee on Justice for Mike Nifong.

At least, not yet. Now that it has been mentioned, I will put forth an effort to actively recruit him. We're always looking for intelligent, courageous, and ethical individuals to join our group.

I will post the June 13, 2010 blog titled: "Million dollar bail... a case comparison - Part 9." Look forward to your comments. Also this coming week will be a blockbuster blog.

Anonymous said...

"Also this coming week will be a blockbuster blog."

You really are delusional.

Anonymous said...

As the Duke LAX carpetbagger said,

"Hey bitch, thank your grandpa for my nice cotton shirt! "

Michael said...

"In a few days, the Earth will shake..."

Cash Michaels 12/7/06 [Regarding the non-revelation of CGM's non-lacrosse pregnancy.]