Press Release No. 5
Date: December 23, 2006
Subject: Duke University President Richard Brodhead criticizes Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong
Jason Trumpbour, Spokesperson
Tel: (443) 834-3666
President Brodhead’s statement
Yesterday, Duke University President Richard Brodhead issued a brief statement in response to the news that Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong had moved to dismiss rape charges against Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty and David Evans in the lacrosse case. Nifong’s action left in place equally serious charges of sexual offense. The full text of President Brodhead’s statement is as follows:
- I am greatly relieved for the students and their families that the most serious of the charges has been dropped. Given the certainty with which the district attorney made his many public statements regarding the rape allegation, his decision today to drop that charge must call into question the validity of the remaining charges.
The district attorney should now put this case in the hands of an independent party, who can restore confidence in the fairness of the process. Further, Mr. Nifong has an obligation to explain to all of us his conduct in this matter.
Source: Statement from Duke President Brodhead Regarding Dropping of Rape Charges
Friends of Duke University enthusiastically welcomes President Brodhead’s statement. This brief statement, brief enough to be reproduced in its entirety above, says a great deal. President Brodhead:
While we have been critical of President Brodhead and the Duke administration, it was never because we doubted President Brodhead’s ability to rise to the occasion even in the face of the unique challenges presented by the lacrosse case. We are glad to see our faith in President Brodhead has not been misplaced.
The Friends of Duke University has repeatedly emphasized that we in the Duke community are not each other’s enemies and that our real enemy is Nifong. Now that we seem to agree on the way forward, we can all work together to achieve the thing that we all want: justice for three innocent members of the Duke family.
President Brodhead’s words are a beginning and not an end point. His bold words must be matched by equally bold deeds in the coming weeks. He must also continue to speak out and do so forcefully. Nevertheless, President Brodhead’s statement gives us every optimism to believe that he will do both.
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Friends of Duke University