Skip to comments.Book review: 'The Price of Silence' only tells one side of Duke lacrosse scandal (DukeLax)
Posted on 04/20/2014 12:10:32 PM PDT by abb
The Duke lacrosse case was a spectacular scandal a cause célèbre that had the country abuzz about race, class and gender. Three wealthy Duke students, all of them white, were charged with raping a poor black woman during a spring break party at a scruffy rental house in Durham.
Then the whole mess imploded in real time, in the national media, due to prosecutorial misconduct.
North Carolina, of all places in America, was perhaps the most fertile soil for a case that ended with the state attorney general declaring the three players innocent and state regulators disbarring the prosecutor, Mike Nifong.
In the years before Nifong became a synonym for railroading, North Carolina had witnessed several death-penalty cases in which prosecutors had withheld exculpatory evidence. The legislature responded with an open file discovery law requiring prosecutors to share their entire file. In two cases, the N.C. State Bar had botched disciplinary proceedings against the prosecutors. The resulting uproar led to serious changes in how the bar conducted high-profile discipline cases.
In the lacrosse case, Nifong faced the very defense lawyers who opened the prosecution files and forced changes at the bar.
You wont find this history in The Price of Silence. Instead, author William D. Cohan opts for an apology for Nifong and, by extension, prosecutors who hide evidence and lie to judges.
The 653-page book mostly rehashes previous reporting. What is new is Nifong speaking for the first time about the case. Nifong makes remarkable claims that the author clearly sympathetic, if not besotted fails to challenge or test.
Nifong claims the prosecutor who took over the case was sandbagged when the attorney general later declared the players innocent; Cohan could have proven that claim false had he tried to interview the prosecutor, garrulous and blunt-speaking Jim Coman, who was adamant about declaring the players innocent.
Nifong claims hes pretty sure he never told told his campaign manager that the national headlines were millions of dollars of free advertisement. Cohan never contacted the campaign manager, the very accessible Jackie Brown.
Nifong claims the State Bars disciplinary committee chairman concluded he was guilty before Nifong ever testified. Cohan never tried to talk with Lane Williamson, the chairman.
Nifong claimed the judge who jailed him for a day had told friends beforehand that he planned on convicting Nifong of contempt of court. Cohan made no attempt to interview Judge W. Osmond Smith.
These would be pathetic mistakes for a daily newspaper story. For an author spending months or years on a book, its a revealing choice to avoid interviews that contradict the revisionist narrative: that Nifong is the victim.
Cohan declares the charge that Nifong withheld exculpatory evidence a red herring. Lets review that. Nifong repeatedly told judges he had produced all the DNA evidence. He hadnt: He and a lab director conspired not to report rape kit test results showing that the accuser had DNA from four unknown men. The tests were sensitive enough to register a wisp of DNA from the lab director, and yet the rape kit produced not a single particle of DNA from those accused of a brutal gang rape.
Under a judges order, Nifong produced 1,800 pages of laboratory hieroglyphics. One lawyer had the sitzfleisch to decode the hieroglyphics and discover the unreported test results. Under oath, the lab director confessed to the conspiracy to hide test results.
Nifongs most extraordinary claim: The lacrosse team is to blame for the scandal by exercising their constitutional right to legal counsel before giving DNA samples to the police. This is a frightening claim from a former district attorney, a position with more power over individuals than virtually any other public office.
Joseph Neff covered the Duke lacrosse case for The News & Observer.
Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/04/19/3794091/book-review-the-price-of-silence.html?sp=/99/100/&ihp=1#storylink=cpy
Absolutely incredible. Excuse me, but I have to run in to see my cardiologist. I think the big one is coming.
Revisionist history. Some people evidently didn’t like
the fact that the PC narrative wasn’t true, so they
tried to run it by us again...(and Dreyfus really spied for the Kaiser, too; and Hitler was a rabbi before he became Fuhrer...)
Joe Neff has covered the hoax thoroughly and honorably since Sring, 2006.
joe Neff is one of the greatest reporters on this generation...he exposed the scum at DUKE...from its CEO former Goldman Salesman and Duke Chairman Bubba Steele, (who worked for mayor Bloomberg) from the board members like GATES, the idea of the Black Faculty Group of 88 attacking players on the basis of their race is sickening...
someone got the Bloomberg ex duke idiot who wrote this useless book to try to rewrite history...I would be happy to throw up on Duke and its cast of cretans
There was an earlier book called “It’s Not About the Truth”, though I don’t recall the author.
It recounts that when the Durham cops searched the house they found a roll of money totaling around $400 bucks, which they pocketed as evidence. That’s the only reference I heard about the money.
If you factor that it doesn’t take much to understand what happened: Crystal forgot to get the cash, later realized she didn’t have it, decided she’d been cheated, and cried “rape.”
It was written by Don Yaeger and Mike Pressler, who was the coach of the lacrosse team during this ordeal.
Sick, sick, sick, that someone, anyone, wants to tell more lies about this case. Can the players sue for defamation or libel or slander or something? This has got to stop.
This guy’s next book should be about how Richard Jewell is guilty.
Thanks. Wasn't Louis Freeh the shameless dirtbag in that one?