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"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." - John 8:32
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Author:  Michael J. Gaynor
Bio: Michael J. Gaynor
Date:  March 23, 2007
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Topic category:  Other/General

Duke Case:Diana Doesn't Get It

I have asserted that the Duke case is a Democrat scandal, because it is, and that you don't have to be conservative to appreciate that members of the 2005-2006 Duke University Men's Lacrosse Team were persecuted by the prosecution and the media, but it helps.

I have given full credit to liberals like MSNBC's Dan Abrams, lifelong Democrats like Brooklyn College History Professor (and Obama supporter) Robert K.C. Johnson and independent centrist (and Obama supporter) Stuart Taylor, Jr. for following the facts in the Duke case, and criticized the Bush Justice Department under Attorney General Alberto Gonzales for not investigating the deprivation of the due process and equal protection rights of the Duke Three--Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty and David Evans.

That said, it is obvious that (1) a Democrat by the name of Michael B. Nifong calculated that the way to save his job (and maximize his pension and massage his ego) was to play the race card, pose as the champion of innocent black women, prosecute the Duke Three on bogus, but heinous, charges, and pander, pander, pander; (2) his strategy succeeded, barely, in his three-way primary race with a white woman and a black man (much too tough for Mr. Nifong not to do unconscionable stuff); and (3) the North Carolina NAACP and the bulk of Durham County, North Carolina's black voters ended up embarrassing themselves by supporting a rogue prosecutor even after the late Ed Bradley of "60 Minutes" did a devastating expose.

Recently, Duke Basketball Report (""Lax: As The End Draws Near. More Questions Arise,"(March 20, 2007) and I ("Duke case: The end of Nifong's 'reign of terror' is in sight," March 21, 2007) upset emailer Diana, who vented in an email showing that naive idealism is not dead (presumably at Duke).

Diana: "I am writing this in the heat of the moment which I know I shouldn’t do but I have no time today other than now."

This from an impulsive person who judged the lacrosse players harshly, if not smartly.

Diana: "1) I resent that you and DBR has politicized this as much as Niflong did. This isn’t a right, left, Republican or Democratic issue, this is about Justice and by mentioning Left, Right  you make it into a political argument.  You  also try to quote history and get it wrong.  The Old Dixie-Crats are now the Republicans and the Republicans are Democrats in the South. So stop trying to make this into a political question."

Diana, The "Old Dixie-Crats" are mostly dead, I'm not trying to "make this into a political question" and neither is DBR.  Mr. Nifong chose to do that last year.  I said so, in "The deplorable Duke political prosecutions," dated May 23, 2006, pointing out what Mr. Nifong chose to do, for political and personal purposes, and that the powers that be in North Carolina and Durham are Democrats who failed to reign in a rogue prosecutor when they first should have.  That's NOT "politiciz[ing] this as much as Niflong did."  That's dealing with ugly reality.

 I didn't beginning by railing against the North Carolina Governor, Attorney General and State Bar.  In fact, in "Concerned Americans, let North Carolina hear from you!," posted on June 14, 2006 and linked to by DisbarNifong.com, I commented, "It wasn't obvious at the beginning," and urged all concerned Americans (not just conservatives or Republicans to write to the Governor, the Attorney General and the State Bar to "[l]et them know that knowingly prosecuting innocent people for political purposes is a no no (regardless of race, color, creed, national origin or sex).

Diana, prosecutorial abuse should not be "a right, left, Republican or Democratic issue."  It should be "about Justice."  But that should not mean that politicians who shrink from doing their duty should not be criticized for it or that THEIR playing politics should not be identified as such.

Take North Carolina's Governor, Michael Easley, Democrat and appointer of Mr. Nifong.  THIS year Mr. Easley finally got around to criticizing fellow Democrat Nifong and announcing that Mr. Nifong had misled him (if not lied to him), by saying he would NOT run for election.  One might think that Governor Easley might have shared that information with his fellow Democrats BEFORE the May 2, 2006 Durham County District Attorney Democrat primary annd all voters before Election Fay 2006, but he was silent as the Sphinx.

Take North Carolina's Attorney General, Roy Cooper, Democrat.  He waited and waited until Mr. Nifong asked to be replaced on the Duke case--AFTER North Carolina's other 99 District Attorneys publicly urged him to do so.

Each of these men should have done much more, sooner, and each of them is subject to criticism for their poor performance and suspicion that it was politically related.

DBR is not, and I am not, responsible for the scheduling of the primary or the general election in 2006 or even the Duke case being important to the voters.

Diana: "2) The man young [Chan Hall, then 22] that claimed that he wanted someone convicted, even if they didn’t do something wrong....  I have heard that same statement outso many white Republican's mouths in the past 30 years and before that it was white Democrats so please stop with the false shock and anger.  The young man was wrong, just like all the whites were wrong, the fact is racism is real and needs to be acknowledged before healing can take place."

You're right about racism's reality and the need for acknowledgement as a requirement for healing, but you confused genuine disappointment with "false shock and anger." Scapegoating is wrong, regardless of any attribute of the scapegoater. 

Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary defines racism as "a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race." Some blacks seek to define racism to exclude themselves as possible racists, but that is nonsense as well as not race neutral.  Sadly, the Duke case has exposed a problem with hate and racism illustrated by Chan Hall's notorious remark.

Diana: "3) Let the court work and stick with just the facts.  Duke over reacted and I’m sure they will pay for it.  The City of Durham didn’t react and I know they will pay for it.  Nifong over reached his power and he will pay for it.  As for the players?  Under age drinking, hiring a hooker to dance, and many other small crimes or bad judgments and they have paid for it."

WOW, Diana, you should have paid closer attention.  Duke took control (telling the players not to contact their parents) and then abandoned the players and the presumption of innocence, to the players' great detriment, and I hope Duke will pay for it.  I'm following the Dowd family case against Duke and 88er Kim Curtis, based on punitive grading, with special interest (maybe some good will come from the catastrophe that has been the Duke case, if professors learn that there might be a price to be paid for punitive grading).  The City of Durham and its police department, top officials and judges DID react: they supported and enabled Mr. Nifong.  Nifong did far worse that "overreach" and yes, he will pay for it big time.  It's easy to blithely defame the players, Diana, but you're long on defamation, short on facts and painting with much too broad a brush in the reverse of what is generally called whitewashing.   As I pointed out earlier, they are above average fellows: see "Putting that Duke lacrosse team party in context." dated March 14, 2006  Not all players engaged in underage drinking, most players have never been charged with even a "minor crime" and hiring even "a hooker" to dance was legal, albeit an exercise in very bad judgment.

Diana: "4) DBR and you should stop holding those boys up as great examples of human beings because they aren’t – they were drunk – they were disorderly and they put themselves into the bad situation.:

They did put themselves in a bad situation, but you refuse to treat the players as individuals and assume they were all drunk and disorderly.  Mr. Nifong, no friend of them, did not charge a single player with being drunk and only three with "disorderly" (and all of them are innocent).  Saying they were drunk and disorderly doesn't make it so, Diana.

Diana: "5) Duke Basketball Report is still one of my favorite websites.  I’m not going to leave in a huff. I have given money I didn’t have to give to keep DBR afloat – but I want to hear about the basketball team – about Kay Yow or how the Duke women are in the Sweet Sixteen,  not  a barrowed political argument in which all the “facts” come from Fox News.

Fox News has done much better than the average of the rest of the media in covering the Duke case, whether that pleases or displeases.  DBR is right to focus on the implications of the Duke case.

Diana: "6) Finally why in the world did you publish the name of AV?  I guess out of everything else you said that made me the most upset.  I could have over looked everything else because DBR was very careful not to publish the name...."

Diana, I don't favor such censorship as concealing the identity of an accuser, especially a false one, or an accused.  Let the facts come out.  In the Duke case, much has been learned about Crystal Gail Mangum's history that helped to expose the prosecution as a persecution and the charges as contemptible instead of correct.

Diana: "I just don’t have time to write more nor do I have the education to be aspersuasive as you guys."

READ MORE!   Try Liestoppers!  Or Bill Anderson.

Michael J. Gaynor

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Biography - Michael J. Gaynor

Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member.

Gaynor graduated magna cum laude, with Honors in Social Science, from Hofstra University's New College, and received his J.D. degree from St. John's Law School, where he won the American Jurisprudence Award in Evidence and served as an editor of the Law Review and the St. Thomas More Institute for Legal Research. He wrote on the Pentagon Papers case for the Review and obscenity law for The Catholic Lawyer and edited the Law Review's commentary on significant developments in New York law.

The day after graduating, Gaynor joined the Fulton firm, where he focused on litigation and corporate law. In 1997 Gaynor and Emily Bass formed Gaynor & Bass and then conducted a general legal practice, emphasizing litigation, and represented corporations, individuals and a New York City labor union. Notably, Gaynor & Bass prevailed in the Second Circuit in a seminal copyright infringement case, Tasini v. New York Times, against newspaper and magazine publishers and Lexis-Nexis. The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed, 7 to 2, holding that the copyrights of freelance writers had been infringed when their work was put online without permission or compensation.

Gaynor currently contributes regularly to www.MichNews.com, www.RenewAmerica.com, www.WebCommentary.com, www.PostChronicle.com and www.therealitycheck.org and has contributed to many other websites. He has written extensively on political and religious issues, notably the Terry Schiavo case, the Duke "no rape" case, ACORN and canon law, and appeared as a guest on television and radio. He was acknowledged in Until Proven Innocent, by Stuart Taylor and KC Johnson, and Culture of Corruption, by Michelle Malkin. He appeared on "Your World With Cavuto" to promote an eBay boycott that he initiated and "The World Over With Raymond Arroyo" (EWTN) to discuss the legal implications of the Schiavo case. On October 22, 2008, Gaynor was the first to report that The New York Times had killed an Obama/ACORN expose on which a Times reporter had been working with ACORN whistleblower Anita MonCrief.

Gaynor's email address is gaynormike@aol.com.


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