Thursday, August 18, 2011

Reginald Daye’s autopsy report is nothing more than a disgraceful shame…

LINK to flog:

The above flog is interactive to allow you to view documents at will.

Script for the flog is below.

Recently I examined two autopsy reports related to Reginald Daye, the early morning April 3, 2011 stabbing victim of Crystal Mangum… the Duke Lacrosse case victim and accuser. Documents included the Report of Investigation by Medical Examiner conducted on April 13, 2011 by someone whose signature I cannot decipher, and the Report of Autopsy Examination of April 14, 2011 performed by the Orange County medical examiner, Clay Nichols, M.D.

Beginning with the investigative report, it clearly shows that at the time of the stabbing he was intoxicated, as he had a blood alcohol level of 296 mg/dl. However, what I find highly curious is that of all media accounts I am aware of regarding the Daye stabbing and subsequent course of events, there was no mention of Daye’s drunken state. A prime example of media bias.

Supporting the intoxicated state of Daye is a passage from an article in the Newsweek’s “The Daily Beast.” It reads as follows: “A neighbor told The Daily Beast that Mangum and Daye had returned to Daye’s apartment after drinking at a cookout and began quarreling about money, eventually leading to the stabbing…”

Under Probable cause of death, the box “Pending” is checked. Lines are left blank where it states that death was “Due to...” No where is “stab wound” or “stabbing” indicated.

In the section “Manner of Death” the pending box is checked. Notice that the homicide box is not marked.

In the Medical History portion of the form, the box for smoking is checked, but notice that the one for alcoholism is left unmarked. It is my understanding from my sources that Reginald Daye was an alcoholic. He had a high blood alcohol level when medical personnel first obtained blood samples following the incident. Furthermore, I believe that the argument proceeding the stabbing had to do with Reginald Daye wanting to use money contributed by Crystal and intended to go towards rent, to purchase beer.

Under “Means of Death,” a sharp instrument is indicated as being utilized, however under description it reads only “knife per report.” There is no mention of what type of knife was used or the dimensions of the blade. My sources told me that a paring knife was used. However, the media again has elected to be as vague as possible by stating only that a kitchen knife had inflicted the damage. Had it been a butcher knife you can bet that the news reports would have said so… and not just said “kitchen knife.”

I looked below in the report’s “Narrative Summary of Circumstances Surrounding Death,” and not only was there no description of a knife, but there was no mention of a knife… the report reading “Mr. Daye… was reportedly stabbed in the flank at 3:15 am…”

The sections titled “Description of Body” and “Body Diagrams” were both left empty with a notice to “Defer to Orange County Medical Examiner.” Now, I do not know if this is standard procedure or not, but it strikes me as being baffling and quite curious.

The “Narrative Summary of Circumstances Surrounding Death” is where things really get mystifying. First it states that the incision wound is in the left 7th intercostals space of the chest… and that the CAT scan examination shows a laceration of the spleen and a small laceration at the superior pole of the left kidney. The exploratory laparotomy does not confirm any lesions to the left kidney or spleen… the only injury noted is to the splenic flexure of the colon.

The narrative of the operation Mr. Daye underwent states the following: “He underwent exploratory laparotomy, mobilization of splenic flexure, repair of splenic flexure lesion, and lysis of adhesions, and was admitted.” Notice that no where in this report is there any mention of a laceration to the left lower lobe of the lung. No mention of a perforation of the diaphragm. And no mention of an injury or repair to the fundus of the stomach.

Based on this report, what I believe the stab wound injuries to Reginald Daye consisted of is a laceration to the splenic flexure of the colon… period. The CT scan confirmed injury there, and the description of the operative procedures listed attention to the colon only. There was no mention of repair of a stomach laceration. There is no mention of repairs to the diaphragm, left kidney, left lung, or spleen.

You will also notice there is no mention of any lacerations, bruises or other lesions to the left upper extremity. This is in sync with media reports in which I did not find any mention of any defensive-type wounds to the left arm.

WRAL reported that Daye underwent surgery and was expected to make a full recovery. With Daye being at Duke Hospital, with its stellar reputation, I would expect nothing less. Newsweek commented that “a friend told ‘The Daily Beast’ on April 5 that he, Daye, was recovering.” This was one day before Reginald Daye unexpectedly went into cardiac arrest.

However, it appears that Daye’s problems began on the evening of Wednesday, the third post-op day, when the report implies that Daye vomited, and aspirated – vomitus entering his airway – which led to respiratory distress and his cardiac arrest.

Then, according to the report, after 20 minutes of CPR, his heart and lungs were functioning, but he was brain dead. So, on the evening August 6, 2011, Reginald Daye was in a deep coma, and remained in a coma for a week until he died the following Wednesday evening of April 13, 2011… and the media never mentioned it once. Remember, Daye was expected to make a full recovery.

There is no mention of how Daye died, but I have been told that he passed away after he was taken off life support.

This report is deficient in explaining what procedures Mr. Daye underwent, other than the emergency exploratory laparotomy. It is my understanding that he underwent some major procedures which may have contributed to his cardiac arrest.

Finally, on July 28, 2011, a reviewer lists “Stab wound to chest” as the cause of death. A vague and totally inadequate finding. There is no nexus between the stab wound and the cardiac arrest. The cardiac arrest which allegedly occurred on April 6th obviously contributed to his grave neurological condition. And, was he removed from life support?

As problematic as this report is, I believe it to be, by far, more accurate and reliable than the Report of Autopsy Examination which was conducted the following morning, on Thursday, April 14, 2011.

It lists the cause of death as “Complications of stab wound to chest.” However, it fails to list what any of those complications were, or how they were related to the stab wound.

Then, under diagnoses, the fantasy begins with the following entry:
“Stab wound to chest with: Perforation of left lower lung lobes; Perforation of diaphragm; Perforation of stomach; Perforation of colon; Perforation of left kidney; and Perforation of spleen (clinical).”

I’m assuming that a clinical perforation of the spleen is a phantom lesion that somehow produces a laceration within the organ without interrupting its capsule. Actually, I’ve never heard of such.

The paragraphs under “Injuries” I find most curious… especially involving the stab wound itself which the medical examiner described as “gaping.” I would hardly call an incision less than three quarters of an inch in length gaping, but if it were open, more than a quarter of an inch wide, then why was it not sutured closed at the time of surgery to prevent infection? Surgical intervention was well within time for primary closure… and if the wound was not closed at the time of the operation, it would have been well on its way to healing itself by granulation. There is no explanation I can see for the stab wound to be “gaping.”

It then claims that there are sutures on all of the following sites: left lower lung lobe, diaphragm, stomach, colon, and kidney. No mention of surgical intervention on the spleen.

Now if there were sutures to the left lower lung, would they have been performed by a thoracic surgeon, or would a trauma surgeon have been charged with its repair?

Regarding the stab wounds to the left arm, which first appear in this report, there is no mention as to the number of wounds. They are stated to run from the biceps to the wrist with 5 inches the greatest in length.

Under Internal Examination, the left lung does not mention any suture material, as stated was present earlier in the report. The tracheobronchial tree is described as having no abnormalities, which would contradict an aspiration. There is no sign of pulmonary embolism, either. These findings beg the question of what caused the cardiac arrest.

The Gastrointestinal System claims to show sutures in the fundus of the stomach and in the splenic flexure of the colon… sigmoid flexure being an obvious mistake.

The spleen does not show any signs of sutures or disruption of the organ’s capsule.

The left kidney supposedly shows signs of hemorrhage under the upper pole of the left kidney, which the medical examiner attributes to a stab wound… but there is no gross lesion observed on the organ’s capsule or any suturing. Also the adrenal gland which sits like a cap over the upper pole of the kidney is intact and normal in appearance.

The diaphragm is not specifically mentioned in this report… so there is no confirmation by report of the gross exam that sutures are present.

The examination of the brain exhibited no signs of pathology to help explain why Reginald Daye went into a comatose state. Most likely, the brain was deprived of oxygen for an extended time prior to the cardiac arrest, but the reason is unknown. Many people who are successfully resuscitated with CPR lasting twenty minute or longer, usually do not end up brain dead. The cause of his brain death is at the crux of his death, and I can find no nexus with the stab wound.

This leads to the “Summary and Interpretation.” The summary is inconclusive and there is no interpretation. The medical examiner explains that Reginald Daye sustained a single puncture laceration that penetrated a slew of organs in the thoracic and abdominal cavities, with hemorrhaging into them. It is evident that Daye did not die due to shock or blood loss. If there was a hemothorax, or bleeding into the chest cavity, or pneumothorax, air in the thoracic cavity, a chest tube would have been inserted. Repairs to lacerated organs should have put an end to the bleeding into the abdominal cavity. There is no mention as to why Daye was brain dead, why he went into cardiac arrest, which preceded which, and whether or not the patient was taken off life support. These questions are all the more baffling when it was reported post-operatively that he was expected to make a full recovery.

From the type of trauma he sustained, he should have made a full recovery. I believe that only the colon at the splenic flexure was penetrated by the stab wound, and that the Autopsy report embellished the injuries to make a better case for a death secondary to complications of the stab wound. The investigative report of April 13, 2011 is by far the more factual report.

The autopsy report of April 14, 2011 does nothing to shed light on why Reginald Daye died. The only thing that is obvious is that he did not die due to the stab wound he received… which penetrated his colon only.

The media, of course, is in cahoots with the police and prosecutors, and the medical examiner, Dr. Clay Nichols. This was evident from the very beginning when ABC-11 News stated that the warrants read that Mangum repeatedly stabbed her boyfriend. The online video of that news report titled: “Warrants: Mangum repeatedly stabbed boyfriend.” Posted the day following the incident, ABC-11 News went on to state that Daye was stabbed seven times. By misleading the public about the number of times Daye was stabbed, the ABC-11 was trying to make a self-defense scenario seem less likely.

The media also attempted to make the damage from the single stab wound seem more severe than it actually was. Whereas only the colon was penetrated by the knife, in my opinion based on the initial investigative report of April 13, 2011, the media wants the public to believe that six organs were penetrated… and to help do that, they refer to the diaphragm, which is nothing more than a very large muscle, as an organ. And the left kidney and spleen show no indication on gross examination that they were lacerated or repaired.

In short, the Autopsy report of April 14, 2011 is a sham, and does not even list any complications of the stab wound or surgery other than a cardiac arrest which mysteriously appeared and which, upon resuscitation left the patient brain dead… it is not even clear if Mr. Daye was brain dead prior to the cardiac arrest.

The media has done such a terrific job of sowing a culture of hatred against former District Attorney Mike Nifong, Crystal Mangum, and those who are considered by the Powers-That-Be to be on the wrong end of the Duke Lacrosse case, that I would not be surprised if a sinister hand at the hospital was responsible for the death of Reginald Daye. And although this is a very real possibility, the Durham Police never treated Mr. Daye’s death as a possible homicide. Instead the prosecutor was quick to upgrade the charge against Crystal Mangum to include first degree murder… months before the medical examiner even determined a cause of death.

Anatomically there are reasons to doubt the April 14, 2011 Report of Autopsy Examination. According to both reports, the stab wound would have been in the left seventh intercostal space… here. It is very likely that a puncture could have easily penetrated the colon and/or stomach. The April 13, 2011 investigative report well documents that the colon at the splenic flexure was injured.

However, the April 14th report states that the fundus of the stomach had a sutured lesion. This is fundamentally impossible as the fundus of the stomach, which is the part most superiorly positioned, is no where near the colon. Both organs could not be penetrated with a single stab wound.

The April 14th autopsy report is also flawed when it suggests that the knife traveled in a downward direction after penetrating the skin. Notice the position of the diaphragm… and the lungs are sitting atop them. In order to pierce the diaphragm and the lung from the 7th intercostal space, a knife would have to proceed in an upward direction.

The left kidney is located along the back wall of the abdominal cavity, and would require a strenuous thrust up to the hilt of a paring knife to possibly reach the left kidney, and I do not believe it could be reached without first going through the spleen.
And it could not be reached if the blade followed a downward course as determined by the medical examiner.

It is not only the discrepancies between the two reports that makes me doubt the April 14th report’s accuracy, but issues involving human anatomy. The April 14, 2011 autopsy report is nothing more than fiction designed to garner Crystal Mangum a first degree murder charge. The medical examiner is not at fault in the fabrication of this false report. Fault lies with the state and the media, working in conjunction with the Carpetbagger families of the Duke Lacrosse defendants in carrying out their vendetta against Mike Nifong, Crystal Mangum, and those whom they consider to be on the wrong end of the Duke Lacrosse case.

In the pursuit of justice, serious problems with reports by the medical examiners in the autopsy of Reginald Daye demands that the first degree murder charge against Crystal Mangum be dropped.

Monday, August 8, 2011

“Race played no role” in Governor’s denial of pardon for Daniels

Click Link below to view interactive flog:

Script of flog

On Friday, September 9, 2008, Erick Daniels, at 22 years of age was freed after more than seven years of incarceration after being convicted of a September 21, 2000 armed robbery. His road to freedom had begun in late 2004, when attorney Carlos Mahoney began to appeal Daniels’ conviction. Despite several unsuccessful appeals, including a setback in January 2007 when the state’s Court of Appeals denied his case, Mahoney was undaunted and persevered.

Then in September 2008, state prosecutors, knowing they had a pitifully weak case against Erick Daniels, offered an Alford plea deal… wherein he would deny involvement in the crime but acknowledge evidence existed for his conviction in exchange for his immediate release. Had he accepted the plea deal, Daniels would forever be branded a felon. With faith in his attorney, Daniels refused to accept the deal… he would take his chances with an appeals hearing in hopes of getting a new trial.

During two days of the hearing, in which attorney Mahoney dissected the prosecutors’ case against Daniels like a skilled surgeon, the evidence to support Daniels’ innocence was so substantial and overwhelming, that Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson took the initiative to dismiss the charges and proclaiming that Erick Daniels was innocent.

Judge Hudson specifically stated, “I would order a new trial if I were satisfied that this defendant committed this crime and the state could prove it. I have no confidence the defendant committed these charges.”

Lending support to Judge Hudson’s assessment was the fact that in 2003 Daniels submitted to a polygraph tests in which he denied robbing the victim, denied pointing a gun at the victim and denied being present when the robbery took place. According to polygraph examiner Steve Davenport, “It is my opinion there were no reactions indicative of deception to those relevant questions.”

Not only that, but a young man who fit the description of the armed perpetrator and had a history of committing armed robberies, had confessed to his attorney that he was responsible for the September 2000 armed robbery for which Daniels was convicted.

Shortly after Daniels was proclaimed innocent by the judge and released, Durham attorney Gladys Harris began filing a petition for a pardon of actual innocence on behalf of Erick Daniels. Such a pardon was a prerequisite for him to be able to receive financial compensation for his years of wrongful incarceration… as legislated at the North Carolina General Assembly.

In 2010, attorney Carlos Mahoney met with Eddie Speas, Will Polk, and Barry Jenkins, and he requested that Governor Perdue grant Daniels’ petition and issue a pardon of actual innocence. To assist the governor, Mahoney even provided a notebook containing pleadings and trial transcripts.

Apparently in February 2011, the North Carolina Office of Executive Clemency denied a pardon of actual innocence for Erick Daniels, but failed to notify him or his attorney. It was only in mid-April 2011 that Daniels accidentally uncovered the panel’s decision. An article titled, “Erick Daniels denied pardon,” in the April 20, 2011 edition of the “Independent Weekly” brought this to my attention, as all other mainstream media outlets ignored the story.

Erick Daniels’ petition for a pardon was not the only one presented to Governor Perdue… she also received one from Gregory Flynt Taylor.

I had been a staunch supporter of Gregory Taylor since 2009 when I first learned through the media of his questionable conviction for the murder of Jacquetta Thomas. Like many others, I admired and was in awe of Greg Taylor’s integrity, principles, courage and ethics. Rather than falsely implicate an African American man, who Greg knew to be innocent, at the urgings of prosecutor Tom Ford in the Thomas murder case, Greg refused, and as a result spent seventeen of his best years behind bars. He was facing life in prison.

Gregory Taylor, who was found innocent of the murder by a unanimous three panel judge during mid February 2010, immediately sought a pardon from the governor after his exoneration.

When a pardon for Taylor was not forthcoming in what I considered a timely manner, I hand delivered a letter to Governor Perdue on April 12, 2010. I questioned the delay in her response to his request for a pardon. No reply was forthcoming.

The following month, on May 21, 2010, I hand-delivered another letter to the Capitol building for the governor. Again, I received no response. However, shortly thereafter an official pardon was granted by Governor Perdue.

On June 1, 2011, a little over a month following the “Independent Weekly” article about Daniels’ petition for a pardon being denied, I hand-delivered a letter to the governor. I pointed out how Erick Daniels had been unjustly convicted, served seven years wrongly incarcerated, and how he, like Gregory Taylor, had been declared “innocent” by a judge or judges.

Finally, I asked the governor to explain why the Office of Executive Clemency denied Daniels’ request for a pardon. I did not hear from her office.

On July 13, 2011, roughly six weeks after the previous letter, I hand delivered another for the governor. In it, I praised her for granting the pardon to Gregory Taylor, although belatedly. Furthermore, I specifically expressed that I did not feel that because Erick Daniels is an African American that he should be disqualified from being given a pardon. I expressed to her that unless I received an explanation for the denial of Erick Daniels’ petition, I would conclude that the decision to deny his request for a pardon was racially based. To this letter, I did receive a reply from the Office of the Governor.

On July 27, 2011, I received a letter from the governor’s office dated July 26th. It was written by her general counsel Mark A. Davis. He vigorously denied that race played any role in Governor Bev Perdue’s decision to deny Erick Daniels a pardon… that it was based on results of their extensive investigation that failed to prove his innocence. Then he stated that “confidentiality concerns” prevented him from sharing details of this investigation with me.

I have many serious problems with Mr. Davis’s reply. First he suggested that the Governor’s Office conducted an extensive investigation. I don’t believe it. If they did, in fact, investigate Daniels’ case as he claimed, then it was an extravagant waste of taxpayer dollars.

Secondly, he averred that due to “confidentiality concerns” he was unable to share results of the investigation. The confidentiality concerns excuse is commonly used to obstruct and to make opaque and keep from the public information that is damaging to officials, be they in the corporate or governmental spheres. However, what I find most hypocritical is the illusion that Governor Bev Perdue places a high value on “transparency.”

Thirdly, and most importantly, the governor decided that the findings of their alleged investigation did not support Erick Daniels’s innocence. By such a statement it is inferred that she approached the Daniels’ case with a presumption of guilt… this, after Judge Hudson dropped the armed robbery charges against Daniels and proclaimed that he was innocent.

What the governor fails to understand is the basic concept found in Civics 101 called the separation of powers. The governor, like the attorney general, belongs to the executive branch of government. Judicial decisions are handed down by those belonging to the judicial branch of government. Proclamations of “innocent” or “guilt,” whether made by the governor or the attorney general, carry no legal weight.

Attorney General Roy Cooper’s April 11, 2007 promulgation in which he declared the three Duke Lacrosse defendants “innocent” is as invalid and irrelevant as Governor Perdue’s claim that Erick Daniels is “guilty” of armed robbery.

To summarize, the entire gist of the governor’s letter was that race played no role in the governor’s decision to deny Daniels’ request for a pardon of innocence, and that the secret extensive investigation they conducted contradicts the ruling of Judge Hudson… but they can’t divulge results of their investigation due to confidentiality concerns.

This letter from the Office of the Governor actually hurt my feelings as my intelligence was justifiably insulted. Mr. Davis’s letter profoundly failed to convince me that the denial of a pardon for Erick Daniels was not based on racism.

The onus remains on the governor to come up with another excuse for denying Daniels a pardon, or to do the right thing by reversing the February 2011 decision, and granting Erick Daniels a pardon of innocence.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

In response to the Unbelievers: the "Innocent Promulgation"

On July 31, 2011, a blog commenter with the moniker of Sid Owes Another Apology said...

I don't believe your claim about having received correspondence from Post it.

Your claim that ALL the media rely on Cooper's statement is almost certainly false. Many observers reached the conclusion that the defendants were innocent through a review of the evidence. As you know, much is publicly available.

Stop it with the straw man arguments. No one has claimed Cooper's statement had legal weight. Your use of straw man arguments is misleading. You owe yet another apology to your readers.”

This comment was in response to the previous blog in which I railed against the media for constantly misleading the public by stating that the Duke Lacrosse defendants were proclaimed “innocent.” This claim was obviously based on the infamous April 11, 2007 “Innocent Promulgation of Roy Cooper.” The A.G. made the unprecedented move of proclaiming the defendants innocent at the strong, arm-twisting urgings of Joseph B. Cheshire’s underling Brad Bannon. The clever defense attorney needed this admission in order to utilize Rae Evans’ decade-long past history as CBS News executive to its fullest.

Once Cooper publicly stated that the Duke defendants were innocent, the biased mainstream media took hold of it and ran with it. Everywhere you looked the media presented as fact that the Duke Lacrosse defendants had been proclaimed “innocent.” To many of the na├»ve, but trusting public, they took this to mean that they were “legally” found to be innocent. I repeatedly challenged the media about this purposely false misrepresentation, pointing to a statement made by former Campbell Law School professor Anthony Baker. He stated that only a jury or judge, in lieu of a jury, can make determinations of innocence or guilt. The opposition has failed to provide a legal source to support that an attorney general can do so.

Due to the hullabaloo I continued to raise about this subject, the media’s statements about the Duke boys’ alleged “innocence” has morphed. As I pointed out in my previous blog, WRAL, in one of their online articles attribute to reporter Erin Hartness, wrote that the Duke Lacrosse defendants were declared innocent by “state officials”… plural. In other words, it was trying to disguise the fact that the attorney general, from the executive branch of government made the proclamation. By using the plural, and suggesting that more than one person proclaimed them innocent, WRAL was trying to increase the credibility of the statement.

After confronting the station, I received a response from the news director. WRAL deserves kudus for replying to my e-mail and blog on the subject. The response I received supported my assertion in my previous blog that their statement of “innocence” was based on Cooper’s promulgation, and not upon declarations by “state officials” as stated in the article.

Blog commenter Sid Owes Another Apology doubted that I received any communication from WRAL and challenged me to post it. So, I will paste below the statement I received via e-mail on the matter:

“Gall, Rick to me, Aysu
show details Jul 17


Thank you for contacting WRAL and sharing your thoughts. When Attorney General Roy Cooper announced in a news conference that charges against the three lacrosse players were being dropped, he specifically said they were "innocent". That's the source of our reporting.

Rick Gall
NewsDirector WRAL News”

So, as the above e-mail clearly affirms, only one state official, who was from the executive branch of government, made the proclamation of “innocence”… a proclamation that carries no legal weight and is false and misleading.

Finally, in regards to statements I make, you can count on them being truthful. For me to present falsehoods in my blog would only take away from its credibility… and that is what this blog site is all about.