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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:  December 11, 2007
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Duke Case: Confront Evil at Duke

The remedy is for the unindicted players to litigate their claims against Duke and thereby bring public attention to how Duke misbehaved, instead of waiting and hoping for Duke to pay to have complaints that should have been filed in court long ago not filed.

Duke University President Richard Brodhead put his faith in false accuser Crystal Gail Mangum and rogue prosecutor Michael B. Nifong, abandoned the players in their time of need in order to promote the political correctness agenda at their expense and announced at the annual meeting of the Durham Chamber of Commerce on April 20, 2006, "If our students did what is alleged it is appalling to the worst degree. If they didn't do it, whatever they did was bad enough" (even though it had been publicly announced on April 10, 2006 that initial DNA tests failed to connect any of the players to the false accuser and Mr. Brodhead knew or should have known that Ms. Mangum's credibility was, at best, doubtful).

Much later Duke University avoided litigation and the public scrutiny that comes with it by settling confidentially, first with the Dowds, then with the Duke Three. (The Dowds had filed a powerful, fact-filled complaint before agreeing to a confidential settlement. The Three did not expose and embarrass Duke and the people in charge there even to that extent, much less conduct discovery, including depositions that could have been devastating, and put a spotlight on the ugly truth at Duke by going to trial.)

DNA Security founder Dr. Brian Meehan never was reported to have said anything remotely as horrific, false and misleading as Duke President Richard Brodhead's infamous "whatever they did was bad enough" remark.

Irony: the man who reported that even the more sensitive DNA testing did not implicate Collin Finnerty or Reade Seligmann at all (the two who had been wrongly and wrongfully indicted when Mr. Brodhead uttered those wicked words) IS being sued for supposedly conspiring with Mr. Nifong.

Recently a Duke student emailed me to stop being so harsh on Duke and Mr. Brodhead (whom the Duke Three should have taken to court instead).

Duke student:

"I read your commentary often as it is fed to me through a Google News Alert for Duke University. Having been on campus as a Freshman when the scandal began, I feel the need to tell you that you are greatly off base in your commentary. It is easy to judge from afar, and I must say, you have missed the mark.

"First, you exaggerate the egregiousness of the administration's reactions to the accusations. Initially little evidence was public or available, and due to the delicateness of the situation, it was necessary to walk a fine line. If you are not aware, there is a great deal of 'town-gown' tension in Durham, and as a result of the scandal, even more racial tension. I can attest to this because in the weeks following the first news of the scandal I was at a party at which I was told by a police officer to leave immediately because of threats of drive-by-shootings against Duke students, was walking on a sidewalk when three black occupants of a car leaned out the window of their car to make forms of guns with their hands and pretend to shoot at me, and was stuck inside my fraternity house and forced to miss class because the New Black Panther party was holding a rally right outside (this house was right next to the infamous lacrosse house). In hindsight there is no question that the crisis could have been better handled, but I promise you at the time the way it was handled was in the best interest of all of us Duke students.

"Second, you underestimate President Brodhead. If you were on campus you would discover that a clear majority of students really like President Brodhead, and besides a small vocal faction of former students, and bloggers from New York, nobody wants to see him go. In his short tenure, he has done great things and will likely continue to do so.

"My last issue is a request. Please stop beating the dead horse. Members of my class have had to live with this issue for our entire college careers. It is all people want to talk about when we tell them we go to Duke, and it is all we ever get to read about Duke in the outside media. The case would be over if you and other bloggers of similar sentiment would let it be, so I am asking you nicely to please tone down your rhetoric. That said, do not do so on my word. I think you could learn a lot from a trip down to Duke."

I shared this email with a parent of an unindicted player.

That parent responded as follows:

"I wonder how this student would feel if he/she had been falsely accused of these serious crimes and was facing 30 years in prison. I wonder how the student would feel if Duke abandoned him/her to persecution by a rogue district attorney. I wonder how the student would feel if Duke professors publicly condemned him/her and harassed him/her in class, even unjustifiably giving him a failing grade. I wonder how this student would feel if nobody from Duke ever apologized, showed any remorse, or was disciplined for these actions.

"My son graduated from Duke in 2006 and was a member of the lacrosse team. Speaking personally, the period from March, 2006 to April 2007 was the worst 13 months of our lives. We are still affected by the aftershocks. And I know that the lives of the three indicted players and their families were completely turned upside down. I'm not ready to 'move on' until the people who caused this pain and suffering, including those at Duke, are held accountable.

"The actions/inactions of Duke officials and faculty greatly contributed to the terrible miscarriage of justice perpetrated against the lacrosse players. Duke officials, including Brodhead, knew very early on that the allegations against the players were completely false. Duke police reports indicated that the accuser was not credible. Duke Medical Center staff who examined the accuser knew that there were no indications that she was raped or assaulted. Their written reports confirmed this. Duke knew in early April, 2006 that the players' DNA test results were negative. And if this wasn't enough, the defense attorneys offered to provide Duke with their entire case files which clearly showed that the alleged crimes never occurred. Duke refused. Yet Duke officials, in particular President Brodhead, continued to show no support for his students' rights to due process as it became obvious that an unethical DA was railroading the lacrosse players.

"In addition to his harmful statements which clearly prejudiced the case against the players, Brodhead stated publicly that he looked forward to the players proving their innocence at trial. And according to Jason Trumpbour (Duke alumnus and spokesperson for the Friends of Duke University), Bob Steel, Chairman of Duke's Board, told Jason that he wanted to see the players go to trial. There is even a fair amount of evidence that strongly suggests that Durham authorities conspired with Duke officials, at some level, to deny the players' rights to due process, thereby enabling the hoax to continue.

"Regarding racial tensions in the community, these tensions were greatly heightened by hateful, race-based statements from Duke professors who led the rush to judgment against the players. Brodhead issued public statements which included racially inflammatory language and which created an impression that the players were guilty. Brodhead's actions/inactions helped confirm this impression.

"Brodhead demonstrated no leadership in the lacrosse incident as he caved to the pressure of Duke's hard left faculty and the media's hysterical reporting . Leadership qualities are best measured in difficult situations. Brodhead failed miserably as Duke's leader in the lacrosse incident. No university has ever treated a group of its students worse than Duke treated the lacrosse players. Brodhead's legacy will always be that he directed Duke's actions in achieving this shameful distinction. All the 'great things' that the student says Brodhead has done (what are they?) will not be enough to change this legacy.

"Duke's actions against the players were purposeful, harmful and in some cases evil. Mr. Gaynor's commentaries on this issue have been spot on. Visiting Duke and speaking with Brodhead, Steel, Burness, Moneta, the hard left faculty etc. will only make Mr. Gaynor more confident that his opinions are correct.

"As to the student's comments about the NBPP demonstrations: If this student was concerned, imagine the lacrosse players since the panthers' stated objective was to approach the players and try to get them to talk. Duke was going to allow this racist and dangerous group on campus until vehement protests from some lacrosse parents, including a threat to contact the KKK who may have staged a counter demonstration. And Duke never denounced the death threats that Reade received from some of the panthers inside and outside the Durham courtroom.

"Also, this student says that the crisis was handled in the best interests of the students, except of course the lacrosse players, who were facing real danger on and off campus. Duke never denounced the vile campus protests with the castrate signs and never expressed any concern for the players' safety.

"The more I read his comments, the angrier I get. Unfortunately his views may be representative of the majority of Duke's students."

If those are the views of the majority of Duke's students, then the political correctness brainwashing there is worse than ever.

The remedy is for the unindicted players to litigate their claims against Duke and thereby bring public attention to how Duke misbehaved, instead of waiting and hoping for Duke to pay to have complaints that should have been filed in court long ago not filed.

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.


Read other commentaries by Michael J. Gaynor.

Copyright 2007 by Michael J. Gaynor
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