Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Public response to injustice against Crystal Mangum
I am not alone in my view that the prosecution and persecution of Crystal Gail Mangum is nothing more than a vendetta by the state and the mainstream media because of her role as a victim and accuser in the Duke Lacrosse case of March 2006. Although many people share my view that Mangum is a victim of vindictiveness spawned ultimately by the actions of the Carpetbagger Duke Lacrosse defendants’ families, few of them are willing to publicly express it.
Many people keep their feelings about this case bundled up inside because they lack the will to do anything to rectify the failings of the state’s justice system. Others remain quiet because they lack the courage to take a righteous stand against an unpopular position. This is understandable after witnessing the brutalization of former Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong by the state and the media for his actions in doing the right thing in prosecuting the Duke Lacrosse case. Courageously prosecuting the Duke case in the true sense as a “minister of justice,” he butted heads with the Powers-That-Be who demanded that the charges against the student/athlete/partygoers be dropped. As a result, the state went through extraordinary means to make an example of Mr. Nifong… something which they did very well, as is evidenced by the fact that there is little if any movement to go against the Powers’ will by offering support to Ms. Mangum.
I have not tallied the members of the Committee on Justice for Mike Nifong on the issue, but I am sure that the majority, if not all, would be supportive of Ms. Mangum and demand that the murder and larceny charges she now face be dismissed. Those who should take a stand on her behalf and who are not are the politicians who represent Durham and its residents… Senator Floyd McKissick, Representatives Larry Hall and Mickey Michaux, and Congressman David Price. They have all remained idle and silent when it comes to the unjust treatment she has sustained… languishing in jail now for more than 450 days on bogus charges based on a flawed and fraudulent autopsy report. Unfortunately, civil rights organizations such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) have been quiet as dormice when it comes to Crystal Mangum’s case.
The Christian clergy preach to their flock on Sunday about acting Christ-like in the pursuit of their daily lives, yet even the ministers steer clear when it comes Crystal Mangum’s case. Do they really believe that if the Man from Nazareth was roaming the planet today and made a stop in the Triangle Area that He would be mum and say nothing about the immoral and un-Christian-like treatment of Ms. Mangum? I can envision Him now raising a ruckus like he did amongst the lenders with high interest rates (equivalent to bankers back in the day).
However, there is a man who has the courage to speak out and the desire to do something to see that justice is served. His name is Riccardo Darnell Jones, and he was moved to speak out about the injustice he perceived in the charges against Crystal Mangum. Mr. Jones accurately determined that the Durham prosecution team had discarded its role as “minister of justice” in an attempt to seek vengeance against Mangum because of her actions in the Duke Lacrosse case… the prosecution going to extremes in an attempt to saddle her with a lengthy imprisonment… life without parole if possible.
Mr. Jones drafted a motion on May 26, 2011, which was filed in Crystal Mangum’s criminal folder on June 3, 2011. Not an elected politician, not a man of the cloth, and not an employee of a civil rights organization, Mr. Jones is a man who believes in justice and is willing to fight for it for others. The irony is that Riccardo Darnell Jones is incarcerated at Central Prison in Raleigh, but yet he is doing more to serve the interests of Lady Justice than the politicians, civil rights activists, ministers, and most so-called law-abiding citizens. He is deserving of our gratitude.
To view the motion by Riccardo Darnell Jones that is on file in Crystal Mangum’s file click the link below: