Although I have concentrated on other cases of injustice since the founding of the “Friends of Crystal Mangum” advocacy group, I feel compelled to comment on the obvious. There is no way that this so-called trial should be held in Durham, the cash-strapped city which is for all intents and purposes owned by Duke University. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has a better chance of getting a fair trial in a federal court in Washington, DC than Ms. Mangum has in Durham. In jury selection, having a residence in Durham, working in Durham, working for Duke University, having any relationship to Duke University should all be grounds for automatic dismissal for consideration.
Is it any wonder that jury selection took five days, and that defense and prosecution exhausted their peremptory challenges? Actually, I am shocked that Superior Court Judge Abraham Penn Jones even bothered to dismiss five potential jurors who admitted that bias might keep Mangum from getting a fair trial. At least they were being honest, and I would be more inclined to have one of them sit on the jury than a graduate from Duke University who states he had formed opinions about the Duke Lacrosse case but that he could put them aside and make an unbiased finding.
The prosecution’s case is totally screwed up, and one cannot ignore the bias inherent in the charges and prosecution which are selective and stem from Ms. Mangum’s involvement in the Duke Lacrosse case. For one thing, I don’t understand why Crystal Mangum’s attorney would even bother trying to suppress “evidence.” What evidence? This whole case brought by the authorities and prosecution is a complete waste of time, and is obviously done in concert with the Carpetbagger Jihad agenda… the same one that nearly got me arrested on the Duke University campus for being an openly known supporter of Mike Nifong.
Officer Hilary Thompson testified that Mangum lunged over her shoulder and threatened to stab Milton Walker, her ex-boyfriend… but she does not say with what… a knife, shears? How ridiculous is that? Thompson and her supervisor John Tyler then arrest Mangum for communicating threats, according to The News & Observer article… but that charge is dropped. The charge of attempted first degree murder (a charge used for the sole purpose of obtaining a million dollar bail against Mangum) is also dropped prior to going to trial. And although the police describe how badly Milton Walker is scratched and beat up, prosecutors drop the charge of assault against Mangum. That is a wise move on their part in light of the fact that the physical altercation was initiated when Walker first sucker punched Mangum in the face with his fist. Something which the police and the media continually keep hidden from the public.
So, what are the catastrophic charges against Mangum that warranted an initial million dollar bail, and prompted Durham Assistant District Attorney Mark McCullough to ask Judge Jones to sequester the jury for the duration of a trial expected to last a week?
They are as follows:
(1) first degree arson (for allegedly setting clothes in a bathtub on fire in the presence of police… and during which police made no attempt to extinguish the fire – keep in mind that the clothes are in the bathtub);
(2) three counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor (a convoluted charge related somehow to the so-called arson… attempting to explain how the charge is related to the arson would require a treatise);
(3) injury to personal property - media is extremely vague on this… burned clothing, alleged damages to the car… what? (Instead of using the word “damage” the prosecution uses the word “injury” to try and humanize inanimate objects for the purpose of making the charge seem more serious); and
(4) resisting an officer - for allegedly using a false first name when questioned by police.
For the above trifle, the Durham prosecutors have gone out of their way in wasting taxpayer money and time that could be spent on serious crime, to try and place Crystal Mangum behind bars for a lengthy period of time… again a further waste of taxpayer money. If the prosecutors were so concerned about Ms. Mangum's children they would not make it such a priority to take away the mother they love and put her behind bar in order to settle a score (the Duke Lacrosse case).
As weak as the case is against Ms. Mangum, because of the extreme bias that Crystal Mangum faces in Durham, the likelihood of a conviction is not beyond the bounds of possibility. However, the fact of the matter is, that Ms. Mangum, despite the outcome, cannot receive a fair trial in the city of Durham. Just like James Arthur Johnson could not receive a fair trial in the city of Wilson in the case related to Brittany Willis’s murder. That is probably why James Arthur Johnson made the Alford plea to a misprision of felony charge, even though he was innocent by its very definition of “not notifying authorities of his knowledge of a crime.” The judge in that instance, Milton Fitch, tightly controlled the case against Johnson, denying the defense motion for a change of venue from the racially divided town. It is unlikely that Honorable Abe Jones would have permitted a change of venue in the case against Crystal Mangum.
Whether or not Mangum’s attorney Mani Dexter filed a motion for a change of venue is unknown to me, but if I Mangum were my client, a change of venue would be my first line of defense.