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NC Attorney General Says Duke Lacrosse Players Are Innocent, Announces All Charges Dropped

Hot Air has video of NC AG Roy Cooper's statement, which is pretty amazing actually. Not only did he say there was no case, but that the accused were "innocent." La Shawn Barber has a great post with lots of commentary and a good supply of relevant links.

Update: Just for fun, I decided to see what Al Sharpton had said in the past about the case. This transcript from his appearance on the O'Reilly show almost a year ago is an interesting read in light of recent events. Sharpton was actually pretty measured in most of his comments, but it is striking just how wrong he was, especially about Nifong.


Comments (23)

Sad to see that the prosecu... (Below threshold)
Shelby:

Sad to see that the prosecutor drug it out this far with no case. This falls right below OJ in my book

All this because a DA has a... (Below threshold)
Lee:

All this because a DA has a thing for nappy haired ho's

I predict those who convict... (Below threshold)
Carl:

I predict those who convicted the three players without a trial (Duke professors, New Black Panther Party, Malik Z. Shabazz, Jesse Jackson, etc.) will neither agree with the decision nor ever rescind their premature public convictions of the players.

Justice58 is on <a href="ht... (Below threshold)
Eric:

Justice58 is on this website even now prattling on about how "something" happened that night and that there is no justice for Black women in America.

In her warped mind they are still guilty.

Hope "Fitz-Fong" enjoys his... (Below threshold)
nikkolai:

Hope "Fitz-Fong" enjoys his coming time at the state prison. I bet some of the convicts he put there will be very glad to see him. Sometimes justice is sooooo sweet......

I guess they can just sit b... (Below threshold)

I guess they can just sit back and wait for the apologies to start rolling in...

Yeah, right.

I know it's not going to ha... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

I know it's not going to happen, but the accuser should be prosecuted for falsely accusing these three men of rape.

With DNA testing being applied to old cases it's been discovered that 30% of men convicted of rape are not guilty of the rape they were convicted for. Where's the outrage and public outcry for justice for these men? Would prosecuting women for false accusations have a chilling effect on reporting rape? It shouldn't, but it dang well would have a chilling effect on women pointing out men they really can't identify and that would be a victory for justice. Report rape and let the police find the perpetrators, but women should be real careful pointing out men they are not absolute sure were involved. Fingering a man who turns out to be innocent should have consequences beyond just saying sorry for ruining your life.

Above and beyond everything... (Below threshold)
monkeypunk:

Above and beyond everything these poor guys have been put through this last year, Duke should be ashamed of themselves. I can maybe understand banning these 4 guys from playing lacrosse last season even though I am naive enough to believe that people are innocent until proven guilty. But the whole team was banned? I've never understood that. Duke decided to try these kids before the trial that never happened.

I'm always upset when people sue over trivial things but these guys deserve a pay day. I hope they sue to get money to pay their legal fees, I hope they get money for damaging their careers and I hope they get money so that maybe the next time, someone will think twice about abusing the system.

And that Attorney General's got big balls. I like that guy.

Mac:In order for t... (Below threshold)
Proud Kaffir:

Mac:

In order for that to happen you have to prove that the accuser knew she was lieing. Since she has a history of mental disorders, she can claim that she believed the charges were true when she made them, whether they were real or not. Nifong though has a lot to answer for since he obviously had enough info to determine the charges were false, but proceeded to ruin lives nonetheless.

I expect the next story wil... (Below threshold)
John S:

I expect the next story will be the lacrosse coach lining up his 10-figure lawsuit.

The accuser won't be prosec... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

The accuser won't be prosecuted because she's bipolar, and likely psychotic. A life wasted which is, of course, sad. That she almost took others down with her is astounding.

I'm an NC lawyer, and I would bet good money the Bar is going to take Nifong's license, if only for 6 months to a year, and quite possibly longer. If that doesn't placate the Duke parents, then they may go to civil suit against Nifong. They may go that route anyway, but the boys also want some normalcy in life.

There could be criminal action from the AG, but I kinda doubt it. If Nifong can lose his license, the politicians will want to be done with this. They still have the large part of Durham wilfully ignorant of the facts who want the boys strung up on the nearest limb. Ironic, isn't it?

When will the checks to the... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

When will the checks to the players families start rolling in from Je$$ie, $harpton and the new black panther criminals? I guess about 10 million from each of them along with millions from Duke and the state should almost make the families financial condition right.

The racist right should be made to pay and pay big. Right up there with the Dufus Imus and his remarks. Imus will be fired and none of the rappers should be allowed to appear on any licensed media outlet, TV or Radio. Do we have a double standard or what? Banning them is now possible since the FCC is involved. Letters to the FCC, please.

Since the 'girls' have bacame such a big deal, isn't it time to give them a third grade test and see if they belong in college (on the taxpayers dollar) or is it all about basketball?

Is Jesse still going to pay... (Below threshold)
Jo:

Is Jesse still going to pay her tuition? lol.

I would pay mucho to be a f... (Below threshold)
Jo:

I would pay mucho to be a fly on the wall in all the Duke women's studies courses tomorrow. What in the world will they discuss?

Bwahahahahah...

MitchellDoes NC ha... (Below threshold)

Mitchell

Does NC have something akin to having a judge enter a directed verdict of innocent, or a factual finding of innocence?

That would be one of the first motions I'd hope the Duke 3 attorneys take.

One thing not yet clear is ... (Below threshold)
Robert the Original:

One thing not yet clear is the near certain complicity and malfeasance of the police and investigators. Does anyone know what will happen to them?

Another thing not talked about is the recasting of the woman's testimony last December.

A close look at that testimony has led many to conclude that it was an attempt to "fix" problems with the case and an obvious futher effort to frame the Duke players.

Of all the nasty things in this case, that one stands as the most diabolical. If this woman is indeed wacked, this type of testimony adaptation - coupled with dropping the rape charges - could only have been done with the help of the DA and the police.

Quite bad, that.

Has anyone asked Jesse Jack... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

Has anyone asked Jesse Jackson if he's started to make tuition payments for Crystal Mangum?

He did promise to do so- no matter what the outcome of the case.

Hmmmm?

Mitchell said, "I'm an NC l... (Below threshold)
Eric:

Mitchell said, "I'm an NC lawyer, and I would bet good money the Bar is going to take Nifong's license, if only for 6 months to a year, and quite possibly longer. If that doesn't placate the Duke parents, then they may go to civil suit against Nifong. They may go that route anyway, but the boys also want some normalcy in life."

"There could be criminal action from the AG, but I kinda doubt it. If Nifong can lose his license, the politicians will want to be done with this. They still have the large part of Durham wilfully ignorant of the facts who want the boys strung up on the nearest limb. Ironic, isn't it?"

Mitchell, I have to disagree with you on most of that. I think the State Bar is going to max out Nifong and totally disbar him. There is nothing to gain by giving him anything short of that, and a lot to lose by not doing so.

I may be naive and idealistic, but the criminal justice system in ths country depends on the public's faith that the police and prosecutors are not going to abuse their authority by throwing innocent people in prison.

Mike Nifong did just that, and has broken that faith. The NCAG has now thrown down the gauntlet and said that Nifong is a rogue prosecutor and has abused his authority.

The State Bar, assuming that they find him guilty, has to send a message to prosecutors everywhere that kind of behavior will not be tolerated. The State Bar also has to reassure the public as well and restore that faith.

All of the statements from the State Bar have a distinct tone of rage. Cooper left open the door for prosecutions after the Bar gets through with Nifong. I also still wouldn't rule out the Feds getting into the act.

I think this case has huge ramifications because of what Nifong tried to do. This case will be studied in law schools for years.

Eric, I hope for a permanen... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

Eric, I hope for a permanent disbarment like you do. I just don't know what they'll do based on prior cases--a lawyer here stole $80k and he's up for reinstatement in 3 or 5 years if he's been a good boy.

However, this is not the typical case due to the publicity. The Bar usually tries to give an offender an opening for a second chance, but in this case, you may be correct. He certainly couldn't win election as DA again, so he'd be limited in law practice to mischief he could do.

Darlene--the judge doesn't have a role in the dismissal. The prosecutor files a voluntary dismissal (meaning in his discretion) with prejudice (it won't come back). Having the Attorney General do that while pronouncing the players "innocent" accomplishes what you want.

Once the AG takes the dismissal, there is no case for a judge to rule on.

Eric, on the question of cr... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

Eric, on the question of criminal case agst. Neefong, I don't think they'll pursue one if he's disbarred and his personal and professional lives are destroyed.

For a lawyer, the nightmare Neef is going through is worse than just about anything you can go through.

Now, a nice civil suit against him to recover some damages would make sense, by the boys, if it doesn't interfere with a return to a normal life.

Of course, if Neef has his ... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

Of course, if Neef has his assets titled in his and his wife's names, then their protected, but the county and city may have some exposure.

"Eric, on the question of c... (Below threshold)
Eric:

"Eric, on the question of criminal case agst. Neefong, I don't think they'll pursue one if he's disbarred and his personal and professional lives are destroyed."

Sure you are probably right. But I get the feeling that you are going to be wrong. Cooper didn't rule it out yesterday. I think we need to see their final report. Cooper left the door open until after the State Bar and whatever evidence they bring out. That will be admissable.

Look to see if they start looking into his past convictions. I still think they are going to make a big example out him. I think that is going to extend to beyond the State Bar.

Proud Kaffir,You a... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Proud Kaffir,

You are right that this woman won't be prosecuted, but there's an important principle that should be applied in all future rape cases. If a woman is not competent to be prosecuted for false accusations then neither is she competent to be a witness. Without the alleged victim as a witness the case needs to be made on physical evidence and the testimony of others. The law should also shield the identities of the accused until there is an indictment. I know none of that would have helped much in this case other than to stop all the early grandstanding by promenade black leaders who are now proven wrong, but too proud to apologize.




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