Monday, April 23, 2007

A Conversation with Susan Pressler

Today, we are sharing with you another 'profile in courage' written by our friend Joan Collins. In her latest profile, Joan writes about a selfless and inspiring woman. A woman who not only stood by her husband and family and supported them through extraordinarily tough times but also stood by 46 other families, Duke lacrosse families, who were devastated by the events that unfolded at Duke a year ago. This woman is former Duke Lacrosse head coach Mike Pressler's wife, Susan Pressler. Thank you Joan, for talking with Mrs. Pressler and sharing your conversation with us.

In a book that will be published soon, there will be much more on the ordeal that Presslers along with 46 other lacrosse families went through between March 2006 and April 2007. To find out more or to purchase that book, use the link below.

It’s Not About the Truth: The Untold Story of the Duke Lacrosse Case and the Lives it Shattered by Don Yaeger and Mike Pressler

Profile in Courage
A Conversation with Susan Pressler

For some time now, several Duke Lacrosse mothers have spoken to me about Susan Pressler, wife of former Duke Lacrosse Coach, Mike Pressler. They described a woman who not only has supported her husband and children through difficult and painful times, but has continued to be an inspiration to them and their sons. Some of the words used to describe her were “amazing, “a rock”, and “the wind beneath Mike Pressler’s wings”. Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with Susan Pressler.

Susan and Mike Pressler met at Ohio Wesleyan University where she was a swim coach, while he was head lacrosse coach. Originally from Illinois, she is both strong and loving. For over 16 years, Susan Pressler stood beside her husband as they made their home in Durham. As head coach, Pressler built Duke Lacrosse into a highly regarded program. Pressler compiled a 153-82 record at Duke, winning the Atlantic Coast Conference championship three times, while leading his team to 10 NCAA tournament appearances as well as the Division I men's national championship game in 2005. Pressler was voted ACC Coach of the Year three times and also was honored as the U.S.I.L.A. National Coach of the Year in 2005. She worked with him in organizing the successful Duke Lacrosse Summer Camp.

The family immersed themselves in the Durham community. Their children were happy. Their two daughters, age 9 and 15, know of no home other than Durham. After her husband’s contract was renewed, they put a large addition on their Durham home, almost doubling its size, making it just the way they always wanted. They expected Durham would be their home for the next 20 years. Everything changed on April 5, 2006, when Mike Pressler lost his coaching job at Duke.

Sadly, Durham became a community Susan no longer recognized. After receiving threats and out of fear for their children’s safety, they sent their eldest daughter to live with friends in another city, while their youngest was sent out of state with family for a time.

Immediately after the players were indicted, she used a labeler to make handmade signs “Innocent #6- Innocent #13- Innocent #45” which she displays prominently on her license plate as she drives around Durham. She proudly wears a Duke Lacrosse wristband with the same inscription. Susan insists she will not remove the wristband, until Reade and Collin each score their first goal and she hears from Rae Evans that Dave is alright.

Although she is the mother of two daughters, Susan considers herself to have hundreds of sons. She spoke in a most loving, motherly way of Coach Pressler’s players, not just the recent team, but of all the players over the last 16 years of coaching at Duke. She estimates that about 200 players have passed through his program. “I am so grateful for the young men my husband has brought into our family. I love every kid,” said Susan. Her youngest daughter refers to the players as “Daddy’s Boys”. I would trust my girls with all 47 boys on the team,” Susan said. Parents of daughters understand what that means.

Several days before the Blue Devils played their first game of the season against Dartmouth, Susan Pressler addressed the team in the locker room, something she had never done before. She told them that Duke is not the administration or professors. She said, “Duke is the students. Once you wear that uniform you are always Duke.” She told the team the Pressler family never blamed them for what happened and that she loved them and they should feel proud again.

About Dave Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann she replied, “I am so proud of these three young men and how they handled themselves in the face of the most unbelievable adversity. As the ones picked, it would ultimately be them and their families that the world would focus on. No one would represent Duke Lacrosse with more class and dignity. After their innocence was announced to the world, they spoke at a press conference, their poise and presence could make every Duke alumni proud again. It showed anyone willing to see, that these are great kids from great families, who were falsely accused.”

Ask to comment on John Danowski as Coach of Duke Lacrosse, Susan responded, “Duke Lacrosse is a great program. We were a big part of building the Duke Lacrosse brand. It is difficult to see someone else in that position, but I am glad it is John Danowski. His purpose is pure. He loves it as we did and he loves the boys.”

In August of 2006 Bryant University in Smithfield, Rhode Island announced Mike Pressler would become their new head lacrosse coach. For the past 8 months Coach Pressler has been working at Bryant settling into his new position, while his family remained in Durham. In the next few weeks, Susan and her daughters will move to their new home in Rhode Island. For the Presslers, starting over will mean many changes. It means a new job, new community, new home, new schools and new friends. Her eldest daughter, a sophomore in high school, plays on a varsity volleyball team, Triangle, which has won 8 out of the last 9 state championships. Unfortunately, she must leave her team which means so much to her.

This past weekend at the Lone Star Classic National qualifier in Dallas, the Presslers eldest daughter, Janet, had a chance to meet some members of her new team, the Rhode Island Blast Volleyball. It was another glimpse for this teenager into what lies ahead. They were scheduled to play in the afternoon pool on court 38, the same court Janet’s Triangle 16-1 team played earlier that morning. Susan Wolcott, mother of a member of the Men’s Duke Lacrosse 2006 Team, was in the stands to cheer Janet and her team. For Susan Pressler, this represented the bridge between the Duke boys and the Bryant boys, which will forever be a part of the Pressler children’s lives.

On the same day back in Durham, younger daughter, Maggie, attended the Duke-Army Lacrosse game where Jimmy Regan, former Duke Lacrosse player and Army Ranger, recently killed in Iraq, was honored in a half time ceremony. Former Duke assistant Joe Albericci, and the Army Captains presented Regan’s parents and fiancé with a cadet sword. The Duke Captains presented his family with his framed No. 10 Duke Jersey. “Jimmy represented and lived the Ranger Creed, extraordinary but not surprising, for a Duke Lacrosse player. This is yet another reason for Duke Alumni to be proud of their lacrosse team again,” she said.

According to Susan, lacrosse in Rhode Island is at a stage similar to North Carolina when they first moved to Duke over 16 years ago. She described a Bryant University community that has been supportive and wonderful in welcoming them. The Bryant parents are excited that their children will have an opportunity to learn lacrosse from a man with the talent and expertise of Coach Pressler. The climate is much colder, so they will be practicing indoors a lot and shoveling snow, however the citizens of Smithfield have warm hearts to compensate for the colder temperatures.

During our conversations, I could not help but think of one of my mother’s favorite expressions, “When one door closes, another door opens.” I thought of all the New England boys who will benefit from another door that has opened.

Susan is optimistic about the future. Bryant has a student body of about 3,500 students. At Bryant’s first game of the season, there were 700 spectators, much more than attended Pressler’s first game at Duke years ago. In the stands were some of Pressler’s former players and their parents.

Susan is excited about Mike Pressler’s soon to be released book, “It’s Not About the Truth: The Untold Story of the Duke Lacrosse Case and the Lives it Shattered”, which he wrote with Don Yaeger. It was written to fulfill a promise Mike made to the 47 players that he would tell the world the truth at the appropriate time and venue.

Bryant opened the door for Coach Pressler. As they hold the door open for Susan Pressler and her daughters to enter, they will soon learn that the woman entering the door has a heart big enough to love each and every one of Bryant University’s sons.

“Optimism is the foundation of courage,” wrote Nicholas Murray Butler, former President of Columbia University. “My goal is to not let the events of this last year taint my children’s view of the world,” said Susan Pressler. She is a testament to finding the inner strength to recognize the open door in front of you, when one had closed unexpectedly.

One former member of the Duke lacrosse team wrote to me, “I am forever indebted to Mrs. Pressler for what she did for me and my friends”. Heroes inspire us. Susan is an inspiration for us all to rise above feelings of disappointment and watch for our own opening doors.

Susan Pressler is a true hero.

Joan Collins
Garden City, NY

Monday, April 16, 2007

Links to media

This page contains a list of selected articles on the Duke Lacrosse case. In the lower part of the page, several discussion boards and related websites are also listed.

To propose a new link, post it in the comments section below or send us an email. Be sure to include the exact web address. We will review all suggested links, and add as appropriate. This page is updated many times per day. To make sure you are viewing the latest, click on your Refresh button.

a. Recent Articles:
On Other Blogs Feb 6, KC Johnson
Brodhead, Chronicle Spin Same Take On Duke’s Giving Drop Feb 5, John in Carolina
Duke’s Donations Drop; The Chronicle’s The Same Feb 3, John in Carolina
January Events in the Case Feb 2, KC Johnson
Plaintiffs will question Nifong's press contact before Mar. 27, 2006 Feb 1, John in Carolina
Plaintiffs’ response to Nifong’s latest filing Feb 1, John in Carolina
Informed commentary re: likely Duke/Durham discovery Jan 30, John in Carolina
Who should worry about Duke/Durham discovery? Jan 28, John in Carolina
Tim Tyson, the Raleigh N&O & Whiteys’ Place Jan 27, John in Carolina
SEC Probes Whether Duke BOT Chair Misled Investors Jan 23, John in Carolina
More re: "Duke’s Chronicle Ignores Insurer's Charges" Jan 23, John in Carolina
Duke’s Chronicle Ignores Insurer’s Charges Jan 22, John in Carolina
Insurer: Duke’s “allegations … knowingly unfounded, malicious, frivolous, and in bad faith.” Jan 20, John in Carolina
Duke's $5M Defense? Jan 19, KC Johnson
“Until Proven Innocent” On Law Prof’s Top 5 List Jan 17, John in Carolina
Is Nifong Paying by the Line? Jan 16, KC Johnson
Two question for the N&O’s Saunders & Durham DA Cline Jan 16, John in Carolina
Seigel’s Orlando Sentinel Op-Ed Smeared Laxers Jan 13, John in Carolina
Keohane's "Root of the Problem" Jan 12, KC Johnson
Two Missing Guests at DA Cline's Swearing-in Jan 9, John in Carolina
Cline: Was Nifong Right? Jan 8, KC Johnson
Worst Duke Hoax/Frame-up Prediction So Far? Jan 8, John in Carolina
Duke Trustees Watching Larry King On Apr. 10, 2006 Jan 5, John in Carolina
Attorney Spilbor Proves Duke's Trustees Knew Jan 1, John in Carolina
December Events in the Case Dec 31, KC Johnson
Bill Anderson on the H-S; my response Dec 30, John in Carolina
Duke's Allison Haltom & the trustees Dec 29, John in Carolina
Dec 28, John in Carolina
  • Yes, Virginia, there is a Police Report
  • Durham PD & H-S’s big “present” to Duke laxers
    Raleigh N&O’s “gift” to the Duke laxers Dec 24, John in Carolina
    Alternate Realities Dec 22, KC Johnson
    Brodhead to faculty & staff: "Duke’s endowment … has declined" Dec 17, John in Carolina
    John in Carolina, Dec 16
  • Durham’s lax frame contributes to probation problems
  • Harvard, Duke & Yale report on their endowments
  • Duke’s endowment, budget reporting trails Harvard’s & Yale’s
    Despite Duke endowment's $1B hit, Steel & Brodhead "very, very" positive Dec 14, John in Carolina
    Durham's Vanishing Comma Dec 10, KC Johnson
    Take a quick Duke quiz Dec 9, John in Carolina
    Is the Raleigh News & Observer for sale? Dec 7, John in Carolina
    Raleigh N&O’s Pearl Harbor remembrances Dec 7, John in Carolina
    N&O again terms Nifong "fallen prosecutor" Dec 6, John in Carolina
    An interesting "conversation" re: Duke's National Union suit Dec 5, John in Carolina
    Suit against Nifong can go ahead Dec 5, Newsobserver
    Judge allows lawsuit against Nifong to proceed Dec 4, Herald Sun
    Duke lacrosse suit lawyers scoff at city immunity claim Dec 3, Herald Sun
    Atwater pleads not guilty to federal charges Dec 3, Herald Sun
    Duke filing against insurer in connection with lax suits Dec 2, John in Carolina
    Asking Questions Dec 1, KC Johnson
    Duke seeks insurance damage Dec 1, The Chronicle
    Crime & Punishment Nov 30, KC Johnson
    Duke As Plaintiff: Sues Its Insurance Company Nov 26, KC Johnson
    N&O’s “smoke and mirrors” can’t hide circulation losses Nov 26, John in Carolina
    N&O finally reports Gattis Street rape suspect’s latest arrest Nov 26, John in Carolina
    Duke sues insurer over lacrosse settlement Nov 25, Newsobserver
    Gattis rape suspect jailed this month Nov 25, The Chronicle
    N&O reporter’s falsehoods undermine editors’ “police report” claim Nov 25, John in Carolina
    Amazing Nov 24, KC Johnson
    What's Duke Research for? (Post 1) Nov 23, John in Carolina
    Making Duke Research a “must read” Nov 19, John in Carolina
    Odds & Ends Nov 17, KC Johnson
    City wins rounds in lacrosse suit cases Nov 15, Herald Sun
    Nifong’s Nov. ’06 election: a Duke role? Nov 14, John in Carolina
    Duke this Veteran’s Day Eve Nov 10, John in Carolina
    Durham: "State Law Can't Touch Us" Nov 10, KC Johnson
    Lawyers seek city lacrosse dismissals Nov 6, Herald Sun
    Book Review- The last Dance for grace Nov 6, The Chronicle
    You can be sure Mangum hasn't changed Nov 3, John in Carolina
    October Events in the Case Nov 3, KC Johnson
    Chronicle nabs ACP accolades Nov 3, The Chronicle
    Reality therapy for Mangum's handlers Nov 1, John in Carolina
    The Least Surprising Endorsement Oct 31, KC Johnson
    Mangum’s Last Dance swindle ignores Brodhead Oct 30, John in Carolina
    Moving on from Mangum Oct 29, The Chronicle
    Agent says memoir not defamatory Oct 29, The Chronicle
    Obama Judges & Duke lacrosse Oct 28, John in Carolina
    Lax father may pursue legal action Oct 27, The Chronicle
    Reflections on the Mangum Opus Oct 27, KC Johnson
    Mangum Takes on the Special Prosecutors Oct 25, KC Johnson
    Crystal's Many Enemies Oct 24, KC Johnson
    The Shird Preface Oct 24, KC Johnson
    Mangum maintains assault occurred Oct 24, The Chronicle
    Duke rape accuser sticks to her story Oct 24, Herald Sun
    Phil Seligmann statement on Crystal Mangum's claim of sexual assault Oct 23, WRAL
    What will the Duke false accuser say today? Oct 23, John in Carolina
    Publisher talks about Duke lacrosse accuser's memoir (video) Oct 23, WRAL
    Lacrosse party dancer still claims assault Oct 23, Newsobserver
    Duke lacrosse accuser to promote book Oct 22, WRAL
    Record turnout marks first day of general election early voting Oct 17, Herald Sun
    The blues just got tougher Oct 16, Newsobserver
    Amazing Oct 14, KC Johnson
    Did the Raleigh N&O fake “a police report?” Oct 13, John in Carolina
    Ekstrand Filings Oct 13, KC Johnson
    Raleigh N&O editor terms Ayers “wackily idealistic” Oct 12, John in Carolina
    NAACP's McSurely 's letter : So bad it was good Oct 9, John in Carolina
    Attorney McSurely Oct 8, KC Johnson
    Court orders restraint in Wachovia deal Oct 7, The Chronicle
    Mangum's Alternate Reality Oct 4, KC Johnson
    Board should be more transparent Oct 3, The Chronicle
    Duke honors faculty members Oct 3, Herald Sun
    Duke urged to preserve liberal education focus Oct 3, Herald Sun
    Policy may limit news on trustees Oct 2, The Chronicle
    Annual DUPD report shows few changes in crime Oct 1, The Chronicle
    NC's AG Cooper said "Innocent." And Sen. Dole said what? Sep 30, John in Carolina
    Nifong's attorney asks for reversal of bankruptcy judge ruling Sep 30, WRAL
    Cooper Ad Sep 30, KC Johnson
    The Chronicle, Sep 30
  • Board of Trustees closes door on media access
  • Markets tumble as bailout fails
    Chronicle ignored NC Gov candidate & prof Munger's debate participation Sep 29, John in Carolina
    September Events in the Case Sep 29, KC Johnson
    Duke stonewalls Sep 29, Herald Sun
    The Chronicle, Sep 29
  • News briefs
  • Bedeviled no more
    Durham's legal bills in Duke lacrosse case hit $1.2 million Sep 24, Newsobserver
    Trading places Sep 24, The Chronicle
    Matory to Duke Sep 24, KC Johnson
    Lacrosse suits so far cost city $729,350 Sep 23, Herald Sun
    Anniversary sees progress in Interim Sep 23, The Chronicle
    The Chronicle, Sep 22
  • New AAAS head to join Duke in July
  • Duke adds voting site to campus
    Group Members Discover Civil Liberties Sep 22, KC Johnson
    Durham conviction’s tossed. N&O ignores its Duke frame sames Sep 21, John in Carolina
    The Raleigh N&O without its mask (Post 2) Sep 17, John in Carolina
    Words To "Stand By" Sep 16, KC Johnson
    Attorneys respond to Nifong's bankruptcy appeal Sep 15, WRAL
    Tyson Hunkers Down Sep 15, KC Johnson
    Pressler to coach U.S. men's lacrosse team Sep 12, Newsobserver
    God damns independents Sep 10, The Chronicle
    Duke paper examines legacy trends Sep 9, The Chronicle
    New Case "Scholarship" Sep 8, KC Johnson
    Mammoth picks All-America Duke forward Danowski Sep 7,
    August Events in the Case Sep 5, KC Johnson
    Judicial affairs still cause was concern Sep 4, The Chronicle
    Nifong wants to auction guitars Sep 3, WRAL
    Cooper Response: Durham Filings Sep 2, KC Johnson
    Unindicted lacrosse players fight attempts to dismiss lawsuit Sep 1, WRAL
    Cooper Response: Duke's SANE Brief Aug 30, KC Johnson
    Athletes: Duke breached duty to fight charges Aug 30, Herald Sun
    Lacrosse suit given a new push Aug 30, Newsobserver
    Cooper Response to Duke Aug 29, KC Johnson
    Panel to focus on town-gown relations Aug 29, Herald Sun
    Players Oppose Defendants' Motions to Dismiss Aug 28,
    Duke students draw more complaints Aug 27, Herald Sun
    A Story of Two Mikes Aug 26, William L. Anderson
    The Chronicle’s Butler & Rickards are truth-seekers Aug 25, John in Carolina
    Q&A Regarding the Mangum Opus Aug 25, KC Johnson
    The Chronicle, Aug 25
  • Gold Devil
  • Mangum plans release of book locally in Oct.
  • Pro-Bono publico
  • Our alma mater dear
    My hopes for Duke (Post 1) Aug 24, John in Carolina
    Woman in lacrosse case writing book Aug 23, Herald Sun
    Local shops plan to stock lacrosse accuser's book Aug 23, Herald Sun
    Mangum's forthcoming book: First thoughts Aug 22, John in Carolina
    Duke lacrosse attorney hopes accuser admits she lied Aug 22, WRAL
    Raleigh N&O's different cuts for different folks Aug 22, John in Carolina
    The Chronicle, Aug 22
  • Lax case slows as attorneys wrangle over words, motions
  • From 8th to 80th: Duke’s rank varies by publication
  • University listed 80th best undergrad institution by ranking
  • Prez backs new debate on drinking
  • Alpha delt faces hazing complaint
    U.S. News: Duke ranked high on list Aug 22, Newsobserver
    Councilman opposes lowering drinking age Aug 22, Herald Sun
    The Mangum Opus Aug 22, KC Johnson
    Duke freshmen get Olympic welcome Aug 21, Herald Sun
    Bryant University Announces Contract Extension For Men's Lacrosse Coach Mike Pressler Aug 19, Bryant University Bulldogs
    College leaders: Drinking age should be 18 Aug 19, Herald Sun
    Thirty-Six Questions Aug 18, KC Johnson
    Reader rebukes Saunders, N&O Aug 16, John in Carolina
    Nifong seeks protection from lawsuit Aug 16, Herald Sun
    Nifong: "$34.99 Is My Final Offer" Aug 15, KC Johnson
    Lawyer: Nifong won't pay lacrosse players Aug 15, Newsobserver
    Brodhead & Steel's shrinking credibility (a repost) Aug 12, John in Carolina
    Airbrushing Aug 11, KC Johnson
    Brodhead helped Seligmann? Where’s the evidence? Aug 11, John in Carolina
    DA will pursue death penalty for Atwater Aug 11, Newsobserver
    Death penalty hearing today for UNC murder suspect Aug 11, WRAL
    McClatchy’s N&O’s unbelievable “credible” sources Aug 8, John in Carolina
    Brodhead, Brown, & the Seligmanns Aug 7, KC Johnson
    Seligmann unaware of Duke help Aug 7, Herald Sun
    Jim Cooney Representing Duke Aug 6, FODU by Jason Trumpbour
    The Raleigh N&O’s “early coverage” myth Aug 6, John in Carolina
    Herald Sun, August 6
  • Lacrosse lawyers push for city evidence
  • Duke helped lacrosse player transfer to Brown
  • Ex-lacrosse attorney now on Duke team
    Delaying Discovery Aug 5, KC Johnson
    Lawyer on Duke's side against Giuliani Aug 5, Newsobserver
    NY Times did not “lead” on the Duke lacrosse case Aug 4, John in Carolina
    July Events in the Case Aug 2, KC Johnson

    b. Archived Information
    Earlier articles 1 (May 2006 - August 2006)
    Earlier articles 2 (September 2006 -December 2006)
    Earlier articles 3 (January 2007 - October 2007)
    Earlier articles 4 (November 2007 - July 2008)
    Archived documents 1
    Archived documents 2
    Archived documents 3
    60 Minutes 1 Video - Ed Bradley (October 15, 2006)
    60 Minutes 2 Video - Lesley Stahl (January 14, 2007)
    60 Minutes 3 Video - Lesley Stahl (April 15, 2007)
    60 Minutes Outtakes
    Proceedings of April 11, 2007
  • David Evans Statement
  • Collin Finnerty Statement
  • Reade Seligmann Statement

    c. Blogs
    KC Johnson - Durham in Wonderland
    John in Carolina
    The Johnsville News
    William L. Anderson

    d. Discussion Boards
    The Chronicle Message Board
    Duke Community Forum
    Free Republic

    e. Other Information:
    Lacrosse case timeline The Johnsville News
    Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE)
    The Truth About False Confessions
    Forensics Talk
  • Jason Trumpbour's earlier posts

    This page contains the earlier (August 2006 to April 2007) comments of our spokesperson Jason Trumpbour on various aspects of the Duke Lacrosse case. His newer comments are found individually listed on the sidebar of this site under the heading Current Topics. To read the older comments captured here, please scroll down to the Comments section below.

    Links to Jason Trumpbour's lacrosse case related comments published elsewhere:
    Some Legal Insights on the Lax Situation #5 May 15, 2006 DBR
    When The Law Is An Ass June 7, 2006 DBR
    Duke president offers reply to criticism July 29, 2006 Newsobserver
    Duke Official: "Considerable Support" Offered to LAX Players October 25, 2006 TalkLeft
    Vote! November 2, 2006 Duke Chronicle
    Nifong Rejects Threats of Charges in Duke Case December 18, 2006 ABC11TV
    Group to Duke: Join bid for DA inquiry December 19, 2006 Herald Sun
    Criticism directed at Nifong and Duke December 20, 2006 Newsobserver
    Duke mobilizes to shield its image December 22, 2006 Newsobserver
    Nifong dismisses rape charges December 22, 2006 Herald Sun
    Some sure, others question whether justice can be served December 23, 2006 Herald Sun
    Rape decision turns up the heat December 23, 2006 Herald Sun
    Most Duke alumni support lacrosse players January 5, 2007 News14 Carolina
    Duke urged to 'look to future' January 9, 2007 Herald Sun
    Brodhead responds, calls for Nifong to step down January 10, 2007 Duke Chronicle
    Duke President Takes Fire over Lacrosse Case February 2, 2007 NPR
    Walk to support former players February 3, 2007 Herald Sun
    'Friends of Duke' go after professors Feb 9, 2007 Herald Sun
    Ad questions 'Concerned Duke Faculty' Feb 12, 2007 Duke Chronicle
    The Clarifiers: "No Comment" Feb 12, 2007 KC Johnson
    As lax legal fees rise, groups pitch in Feb 20, 2007 Duke Chronicle
    Duke’s Devil of A Mess Feb 26, 2007 Diverse
    Nifong Targets FODU! March 1, 2007 KC Johnson
    Nifong: Grassroots Groups Trying to Run Him out of Office March 2, 2007 WRAL
    WRAL Interview With Friends of Duke University Founder Jason Trumpbour (video)" March 2, 2007 WRAL
    Report divides Duke's campus March 4, 2007 Newsobserver
    Jason Trumpbour: Impact of blogs (audio) April 5, 2007 Inside Digital Media
    A Pulitzer Prize for Dave Winer? April 8, 2007 ZDNet

    From moderator

    From May 2006 to April 2007, we used this page as our permanent Front Page. As a result, it contains multiple posts by our moderator and spokesperson. In mid-April 2007 after the lacrosse case was dismissed, we stopped this practice and started creating new pages for each new post. We apologize for any confusion this format change may cause.

    Some of our spokesperson Jason Trumpbour's posts which were originally here were moved to a new page: J. Trumpbour’s earlier posts.

    Posted on April 16, 2007
    On this extremely tragic and sad day, our condolences and prayers are with the families of those who lost their lives at the Virginia Tech shootings in Blacksburg Virginia.

    Posted on April 15, 2007
    Media Alert: Don't forget to watch CBS's 60 Minutes tonight (7pm). Once again, Duke Lacrosse Case will be featured.

    Here are more details:
    1. Duke Players Talk To "60 Minutes."
    2. The Duke Case: Innocent

    At this important juncture, we urge all our friends to consider contributing to the legal defense fund: Association for Truth and Fairness.

    Posted on April 12, 2007
    Yesterday, we had a picture perfect ending in the Duke Lacrosse Case!

    It all started with the press conference held by the Attorney General Roy Coooper. That conference turned out to be everything we had hoped for and more. Thank you Attorney General Cooper for not being afraid to speak the truth and doing it so clearly and so loud.

    Later, we were treated by the defense team to a second press conference. In that event, there was a great deal on display. It was almost an event that one could only dream of or see in the movies, except this one was real. We were dazzled by each and every one of the defense attorneys; they were more than impressive. Then, we felt proud, very proud to hear from Dave Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann. They too were impressive and very deserving of this picture perfect ending.

    There is a lot to be said about the Duke Lacrosse case, but I will close by saying that April 11, 2007 will be a day to remember for many of us. Our warmest congratulations go to Dave Evans, Collin Finnerty, Reade Seligmann and their families. We witnessed first-hand their total vindication, and it was magnificently done. We wish them the best as they pick up the pieces of their lives and move on.

    Posted on April 11, 2007
    Breaking News: AG Roy Cooper: All charges against the lacrosse defendants are dismissed. The defendants are totally innocent of all the charges which were brought against them. Here are more news from media:

    1. Video of Defense Press Conference
    2. Video of AG Cooper's Press Conference
    3. Video of Mike Pressler's Press Conference

    1. Text of Cooper's statement
    2. Collin Finnerty Statement KC Johnson
    3. Reade Seligmann Statement KC Johnson
    4. Summary of Jim Cooney Statement KC Johnson
    5. Wade Smith Summary KC Johnson
    6. Cheshire Summary
    7. NC AG Cooper Sets Stage For Suing DA Nifong Professor John F. Banzhaf III
    8. INNOCENT John in Carolina
    9. Statement from Duke President Richard H. Brodhead About the Attorney General Dropping Charges in Lacrosse Case Duke University
    10. Reactions to Duke lacrosse case Newsobserver

    Various news outlets are reporting that charges against Duke Lacrosse Case defendants will be dropped today. We will list relevant news reports here, as they become available:

    1. Duke lacrosse charges to be dropped Newsday
    2. Duke charges expected to be dropped AP
    3. Coleman and Johnson led the way John in Carolina
    4. Duke Lacrosse Charges Will Be Dropped – ABC Professor John F. Banzhaf III
    5. Duke Lacrosse Case Charges to Be Dropped ABC News
    6. Decision in Duke Lacrosse Case Awaited AP
    7. Players in lacrosse case gather Newsobserver

    Posted on April 10, 2007
    Breaking News: A press conference is being scheduled in Raleigh, for tomorrow, by Attorney General Roy Cooper on the Duke lacrosse case. Duke lacrosse families have been seen arriving in Durham to attend the press conference. Here are more details:

    1. Duke Lacrosse Suspect Arrives in North Carolina WRAL
    2. Press Conference on Duke Lacrosse Case ABC News

    Posted on April 5, 2007
    Media Alert: Jason Trumpbour, FODU spokesperson, was interviewed by Phil Leigh of Inside Digital Media about the impact of blogs on the Duke lacrosse case and how blogs are changing the face of news reporting generally. A direct link to the audio interview is here: April 5 Interview.

    You will find today's post from Jason Trumpbour here: Odds and Ends.

    Posted on April 3, 2007
    It is with great sadness that we learned today the death of another Duke student, Christopher Sanders. Christopher was a junior at Duke. He was found dead in his dorm room this morning. His death is currently under investigation by Duke and Durham police departments. Christopher was from New Haven, Connecticut. He graduated from Notre Dame High School. Our deepest sympathies and condolences are with the Sanders family.

    Posted on March 25, 2007
    It is with great sadness and regret that we learned today the death of Mr. Kirk Osborn, one of the lacrosse case defense lawyers. Mr. Osborn suffered a massive heart attack last night and passed away early this morning. I would like to offer our heart felt condolences to Mr. Osborn’s family. Our prayers and best wishes are with the Osborn family and his friends and loved ones. Mr. Osborn will be greatly missed.

    Here are media reactions to Mr. Osborn's death:
    1. Early defender of Duke lacrosse players die
    2. J. Kirk Osborn, Attorney in Duke Lacrosse Case, Dies
    3. Noted lawyer J. Kirk Osborn dies
    4. Kirk Osborn

    Posted on March 22, 2007
    Fox News is reporting today that the remaining charges in the Duke lacrosse case may be dismissed as early as tomorrow. Report: All Charges Against Duke Lacrosse Players To Be Dropped Soon.

    However, Attorney General Roy Cooper's office is refuting that claim. Heightened Anticipation of Duke LAX Decision.

    Posted on March 14, 2007
    Today is the one year anniversary of the Duke Lacrosse Case. On this occasion and on behalf of every FODU friend and supporter I would like to pay tribute to Collin Finnerty, David Evans and Reade Seligmann.

    I want to remind Collin, David, Reade, their families, the rest of the Duke Lacrosse team members and their families that our commitment to this cause remains as strong as ever. We will continue to advocate justice and fairness for Collin, David and Reade and we will not rest until we get it. On this day, we want to renew our commitment to this cause and double our efforts to see justice delivered.

    Collin, David and Reade, unlike a year ago, today you are not alone! You have hundreds and thousands of supporters across the country wishing you well and patiently waiting for the day you will be exonerated of the false charges you are accused of. We are hoping that day will arrive soon. Our best wishes are with you. You are in our thoughts and in our prayers.

    Posted on March 3, 2007
    Here is the link to Jason Trumpbour's interview last night: WRAL Interview With Friends of Duke University Founder Jason Trumpbour (video)

    Posted on March 2, 2007
    Media Alert: Jason Trumpbour, FODU spokesperson, was interviewed by Julia Lewis from WRAL Channel 5 today and the footage will be shown on their evening news programs. It should also be available on their website tonight.

    Comments on Mike Nifong's Response to the NC State Bar
    by Jason Trumpbour, FODU spokesperson

    In case you missed it, Mike Nifong named me specifically as his chief tormenter and provided the URL for our site in a letter he sent to the State Bar. Click here for the Response letter. It is on the last page in the third paragraph. He states,

      A well-connected and well-financed (but not, I would suggest, well-intentioned) group of individuals—most of whom are neither in nor from North Carolina—have taken it upon themselves to ensure that this case never reaches trial. (And if this seems like paranoid delusion to you, perhaps you should check out websites such as former Duke Law School graduate and current Maryland attorney Jason Trumpbour’s, which has not only called for me to be investigated, removed from this case, and disbarred, but has also provided instructions on how to request such actions and to whom those requests should be sent.)
    First, this is not my site. I am one of six people who run FODU and my colleagues have contributed as much or more to our efforts as I have. Indeed, site really belongs to all of the many people who participate in our activities by writing letters, getting the word out and posting ideas on the discussion board. Second, I am truly flattered and surprised that Nifong singled us out as his principle critics, even ahead of the efforts of KC Johnson, LieStoppers and Ethical Durham. I have to say that I think LieStoppers was the first to post step by step instructions on how to file a grievance with the State Bar and we merely linked to them. It is truly rewarding, however, to know I, personally, am inside Nifong’s head.

    It is typical of Nifong's narcissism and grandiosity that he imagines himself confronted by giants. The reality is that we are a bunch of ordinary folks who had to shoulder the burden of speaking out against him ourselves because we got tossed out on our ear at Duke. Our group’s original purpose was to get Duke to speak out in defense of its students and they did not start doing that until late December. We are mostly funded out of our own pockets. We have no experience doing this sort of thing and we are figuring it out as we go along. If Nifong were to recognize these realities, it would be a bitter blow to him. He would then have to finally confront the reality that he is responsible for his own misfortunes. All we have done is shine a light on his actions and invite others to see for themselves the nature and extent of his misconduct.

    If you found this link thanks to the free publicity provided for us by Nifong, take a look around and decide for yourself our intentions. I hope the State Bar does as well. Also, look through some of the extensive resources we provide for understanding the lacrosse case. Finally, consider making a donation to the defense fund. The accused and their families have incurred ruinous expenses, $3 million and counting, in defending themselves against these false charges.

    Posted on February 25, 2007
    Congratulations to Duke's Men's Lacrosse team for winning the Dartmouth game yesterday. It was a great day for the team, their families and friends. The support expressed by Duke students was impressive as well. More on the day's events:

    1. Students show support for Duke lacrosse in opener ESPN
    2. 'A Relief For This to Be Over' Washington Post
    3. Photos from the game

    Posted on February 20, 2007
    I like to call your attention to an article published in The Chronicle today. The writer, Victoria Ward, describes the heavy financial burden placed on the families of the lacrosse players, especially those who remain under indictment, and the efforts of their friends to help raise funds to pay their legal costs. Below is the link for the Chronicle article along with a link to the ATAF website (the legal defense fund).

    As lax legal fees rise, groups pitch in

    Association for Truth and Fairness (ATAF)

    Posted on February 8, 2007
    Today we issued a press release covering our response to the Open Letter posted by “Concerned Faculty” at Duke University. You will find our press release here:

    Our response to the Open Letter posted by “Concerned Faculty” at Duke University

    Posted on February 5, 2007
    We want to thank everyone who participated in yesterday's Walk of Support. Most importantly, we want to thank the organizers who did an outstanding job in organizing it. It was a wonderful event; orderly and dignified as we had all hoped it would be. Here is some media coverage on the Walk.

    1. The Duke lacrosse support march Right Angles
    2. Walk For Support for Duke LAX Students WRAL
    3. Walkers stand behind defendants, lacrosse Newsobserver
    4. Marchers support former players Herald Sun

    Posted on February 3, 2007

    Questions and answers on the Walk of Support

    We hope you are all aware that a Walk of Support, organized by Concerned Duke Mothers and Duke Students for and Ethical Durham (DSED), is scheduled for 11am tomorrow morning. The purpose of the walk is to show support to Dave Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann, the three falsely accused defendants of the lacrosse case. Below is the latest update on the logistics of the Walk. We present the update in the form of questions and answers. If we missed answering some of your questions or concerns, please let us know. We will be glad to respond to those as well.

    1. Who is expected to participate in the Walk?
    Everyone is invited to attend. The event is organized by Concerned Duke Mothers, but attendance is in no way restricted to mothers. We urge all our friends, especially those who live in the area to make an effort to participate. A lot of planning went into the organization of this event and a good turn out is very desirable. If you can, please join the Walk!

    2. Where and when?
    The Walk of Support will consist of two routes – a regular route and a shorter, alternate one. You may choose either route based on your own preference. At the end of the walk, the two groups will come together and merge at Duke’s Koskinen Stadium.

    The first route (‘regular’ route) is from Durham County Judicial Building to Duke’s Koskinen Stadium. The Walk on this route will start at 11am. The length is estimated as two miles.

    The second route (‘alternate’ route, designed for those who may have difficulty walking the regular one) is from Duke’s Nasher Museum to the Koskinen Stadium. Nasher Museum is located at the corner of Anderson Street and Campus Drive. The Walk on this route will start at 11:15am. The length is estimated as half a mile.

    3. Is there a map of the two routes?
    Yes, here is link to such a map: Map of the Walk of support routes.

    4. Where to park and how to get to the Walk?
    If you are participating in the regular Walk, we recommend that you drive to Durham and park at Court House’s parking facility. At the end of the walk, there will be a shuttle bus to take you back to your car at that location. You may consider the parking recommendation for those walking the alternate route, see below, as well.

    If you are participating in the alternate Walk, we recommend that you park at Duke’s Bryan Center parking facility. Then, you may catch the shuttle bus that will be running between Duke campus and Durham Judicial Building between 10 am and 2pm and get to your destination and back.

    Do not park at the Koskinen Stadium parking lot. There is a Duke basketball game tomorrow at 2pm and that parking facility will not be available for our purposes. If you park there, you will run the risk of getting a parking ticket or being towed.

    5. Are there transportation tips?
    Yes, as mentioned above a shuttle bus will be running between Duke campus and Durham County Judicial Building between 10 and 2pm. There will be tents setup with a sign “Shuttle Here” on both ends of the bus route. This is how you will identify exactly where to catch the shuttle bus. Please approach those tents and ask about the next arrival or departure time of the bus.

    6. Does Duke know about the Walk?
    Yes, Duke University is aware of the walk. The University has kindly agreed to make Duke Policy available to direct traffic on campus for the duration of the walk. We expect the traffic situation to be very orderly.

    7. Does City of Durham know about the Walk?
    Yes, the necessary permission for such a gathering has been obtained by the organizers of the Walk.

    8. Signs and banners?
    We ask that you prepare and bring your own home made signs. Make sure your signs are respectful of the purpose of the Walk. The organizers of the walk emphasized how important it is that this Walk be carried out in the most orderly and dignified manner.

    9. Dress code?
    Dress comfortably. If you arrive early, you may be given Lacrosse t-shirts to wear. However, only 35-40 of those will be available, so do not count on getting one. It is especially important to wear comfortable walking shoes.

    10. Weather?
    The weather is looking good for tomorrow, as best we can tell.

    11. Latest information and announcements?
    In the event there are last minute announcements or updates on the Walk, you may consult the following thread on FODU’s discussion board. Concerned Mothers Walk – Updates and News.

    12. What can those planning to participate in the Walk do to help?
    The most important thing you can do is to come out and join the walk. If you can bring friends along that is a plus. Also, try to be as orderly, peaceful and respectful of your fellow participants (and others you may run into) as possible. Bring along thoughtful signs that express the objective of the Walk (i.e. our support of Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty and Dave Evans).

    13. What can those who are unable to attend the Walk do to help?
    Most importantly, make sure you have contacted all your friends who may be able to attend and urge them to do so. It is very important that the Walk is well attended. Aside from this, you may be able to help in two other ways.

    First, if you have not already done so, be sure to sign the following petition to show your support to Reade, Collin and Dave. Concerned Duke Alumni, Faculty and Friends .

    Second, whether you have already done it or not, you may consider contributing a small amount to the legal defense fund in lie of the Walk that you could not attend. This too is a good way to show your support to Reade, Collin and Dave on this special day. The lowest amount you can contribute to the defense fund through the ATAF website is $50. If that’s too high, you may send a check for a smaller amount (details available on the website). What matters is that you participate in some small way in the spirit of the day and show your support to this cause.

    Let us make the Walk of Support a successful event and a positive experience. Let us show our support to Reade, Collin and Dave. Good luck and thank you to all those who are participating in the Walk tomorrow.

    Where we stand with the legal case
    By Jason Trumpbour, FODU spokesperson

    I thought I would finally post some thoughts where we are in the case. I have not had anything to say about Mike Nifong’s decision to request a special prosecutor, not because it was not a momentous event, but because I was not sure what to make of it. Now that the case has been continued for three months, I am not sure what to make of that development either.

    Having the case out of Nifong’s hands is certainly very good news. For the first time in the case, there is the prospect of someone taking an honest look at the case file.

    However, we are no where near the end of the road. Keep in mind that Nifong did not give up the case because he wanted to finally put an end to this farce. If he did want to put an end to it, he could have simply found some pretext to dismiss the case as he did with the rape charges. He can evidently get the alleged victim to say whatever he needs her to say at any given moment. No, Nifong wants this case to continue for the same personal and partial reasons that have always motivated him. And he has a lot of local politicians and activists egging him on behind the scenes. In a rare moment of self awareness, he simply realized that he was no longer capable of doing the job himself. He knew that he was going to be recused from the case by the judge had he stayed on. The same conflicts of interest created by his bar troubles would probably prevent him from turning the case over to anyone else in his office so long as he remains there. Nifong left the case on Roy Cooper’s doorstep in hopes that Cooper would adopt it as his own. Pinned to the blanket was the alleged victim’s pronouncement that she wanted to continue with the case.

    The challenge ahead is to make sure that politics does not creep back into the picture. The alleged victim’s supporters have been trying to create support for the position that, despite the fact that the case has no merit, it must or should be taken to trial and given to a jury. And not just any jury. It has to be a Durham jury. There is no legal or moral principle that supports this position. Indeed, there is some very cynical reasoning behind it, the same cynical reasoning that Nifong employed. Nifong’s strategy from early on was to simply get in front of a Durham jury where he seemed to think he could get a conviction regardless of the evidence. From what attorneys in the area have told me, Nifong’s confidence, given his demagoguery, was not misplaced.

    My biggest worry is that attorney generals’ offices are not removed from political pressure themselves, far from it. When I worked in the Attorney General’s Office in my own state, there was often a lot of pressure on us to pursue lost causes through the appellate courts as a face saving measure for the local state’s attorneys’ offices when they made fatal mistakes. It looks like something similar may have happened in the Gell case. Jim Coman, who is one of the new prosecutors, took over that case as a special prosecutor after the original prosecutors withheld exculpatory evidence in a death penalty case. He decided to retry Gell despite the evidence of his innocence and later defended the conduct of the original prosecutors.

    Roy Cooper and his attorneys have a real opportunity to restore confidence in North Carolina’s legal system. Furthermore, in doing so, they have a real opportunity to educate the public about the proper role of prosecutors in our legal system and how the legal system is supposed to resolve criminal matters. They can do these things by scrupulously executing their duties and exercising their discretion according to the requirements of law. Where Nifong allowed political considerations to influence his actions, they can embrace the rule of law. Where Nifong, abdicated his duties, they can embrace them. Where Nifong mislead the public as to the appropriate legal standards and his proper role, they can be honest. The public there and all over the world will be following their every move. Let us hope that they seize this opportunity and make the most of it.

    I believe the best thing we can do now is let the new prosecutors have the space they need to do their job. Despite Nifong’s example, I still believe that public prosecutors are entitled to our confidence and should have it until there is reason to doubt them. However, we must make them aware that we are not going to go away and neither is the public scrutiny of the case until it is justly resolved.

    If you are going to the rally on Sunday, be positive. Support Reade, Collin and David. Show the world we are still concerned about justice and intend to see it done. Support the other lacrosse team members and Mike Presler. Encourage the Duke administration to continue all the way down the new path it chose in early January. Direct your frustration and anger where it truly belongs: at Nifong. Keep speaking out against him. He is off the lacrosse case, but still in office.

    However, reserve judgment on the new prosecutors and give them the chance to reach the right conclusion on their own. Have faith in the defense team to work with them and give them the proper input. Remember, the law and facts are on our side. The new prosecutors are not our enemies. Those people who would apply pressure to them to resolve the case in a partial manner in order to achieve some personal or political gain for themselves are. Those are the people we must be confronting and speaking out against in the weeks ahead whenever and wherever they appear.

    Posted on February 2, 2007
    Jason Trumpbour, FODU spokesperson, will be interviewed on National Public Radio (NPR) at 4pm this afternoon. The interview will be available later on NPR’s website as well. We will get that link to you, as soon as it becomes available.

    Here is the link for the NPR interview (click on Listen for the audio version): Duke President Takes Fire over Lacrosse Case

    Posted on January 31, 2007
    We issued an update on the logistics of the Concerned Duke Mothers Walk of Support scheduled for February 4. This is the first of a series of updates we expect to post. You may access those updates here.

    Posted on January 30, 2007
    Duke Basketball Report (DBR) website is holding an auction to help raise funds for the legal expenses of the lacrosse defendants. The proceeds of the auction will go to the Association for Truth and Fairness. KC Johnson has more on this: Duke Basketball Report Auction for ATAF.

    Posted on January 25, 2007
    Today, the LieStoppers blog has an outstanding article entitled "Only Race Matters: A Duke Woman Speaks About A Disturbing Aspect of the University’s Response to the Lacrosse Scandal." This article is an important contribution to the lacrosse debate; it raises a number of important issues. It is a must-read! Click here to read the article.

    Posted on January 24, 2007

    Walk of Support
    by Jason Trumpbour, FODU spokesperson

    I want to call (more) attention to a very special event. It is the Walk of Support which is being organized by our friends Concerned Mothers for Duke Students. The event is on Sunday, February 4. Details can be found here: Walk of Support.

    The purpose of the walk is to show support publicly for Reade, Collin and David, their families, the men’s and women’s lacrosse teams and Mike Pressler and his family. The march will start at the courthouse downtown and end at Koskinen Stadium. The event was originally intended to coincide with the next round of hearings, which are scheduled to start the next day. Now that the case has been taken over by the Attorney General’s Office, it is possible that those hearings may be postponed. However, the walk will proceed as scheduled.

    The walk is not meant to attack Duke, but rather to show support for all those who have suffered and are still suffering because of Mike Nifong’s malicious prosecution, especially Reade, Collin and David.

    The event is open to everyone. It is not just for concerned mothers. Concerned Mothers is hoping for a big turnout. Please plan on attending and bring a friend. The Attorney General’s Office taking over the case was indeed very good news, but Reade, Collin and David are not out of the woods yet and this is not the time for complacency. Certain groups are trying to pressure the Attorney General’s Office to take the case to trial regardless of its merits. For that reason, it would be great if local residents could join us as well. A show of support for due process by local voters would be invaluable.

    Posted on January 22, 2007
    1. Our friend Joan Collins added a new piece to her “Profile in courage” series. This time, she documents some memorable moments experienced by 5 Duke lacrosse mothers over the last 10 months. Joan describes it as an “article based on conversations with five courageous mothers willing to share how the hoax has affected them and their families.”

    We thank the mothers for sharing their experiences and Joan Collins for capturing and very capably documenting them. Here is Joan’s latest: Profiles in Courage: The Other Duke Lacrosse Moms.

    2. On behalf of Concerned Duke Mothers, we are pleased to announce a Walk of Support to be held in Durham on February 4th, at 11am. We urge all of our friends to attend the walk and show their support to Reade, Collin, and Dave. Details of the event are included here.

    Posted on January 20, 2007
    Today, there is a special post on KC Johnson’s blog Durham in Wonderland. In it, KC Johnson issues the following invitation to his readers:

      In addition to commenting, I invite readers to ask their own questions of the (rump) Group of 88 in the comment section. I'll be amending this post throughout the day to include the best additional questions in the main text.
    We urge everyone to read KC Johnson’s article, Ten--and More--Questions for the (Rump) Group of 88, and contribute to the list which will be compiled. You may post your questions directly on Durham in Wonderland.

    Posted on January 15, 2007
    Last night, 60 Minutes covered the Duke lacrosse case for a second time. We hope you had the opportunity to watch it. Similar to the first show, the analysis and reviews of this second installment have all been positive.

    Here are some links for more:
  • 60 Minutes Eviscerates Nifong, Again
  • DBR on 60 Minutes
  • Parents of Duke Lacrosse Players Express Anger at Durham DA
  • Players' parents rip into Nifong
  • Nifong made call too late

    Posted on January 12, 2007
    Newsflash: Nifong asks to be taken off Duke case.

    We are pleased to announce the release of a new website by the Association for Truth and Justice. This new site should greatly simplify the process for contributing to the "lacrosse legal defense fund." We encourage all our friends to visit the site and contribute to the fund. Also, be sure to let your friends know about the site. Here is the address: Association for Truth and Justice.

    Posted on January 10, 2007

    Treading water
    by Jason Trumpbour, FODU spokesperson

    President Brodhead published a long letter to the Duke community on Monday that explained in greater detail his actions over the last few weeks in calling for Nifong to be replaced and in allowing Reade and Collin to return to campus. We are happy that he continues to speak out against Nifong’s conduct. We also join his sentiments about restoring the fabric mutual respect and working together to make Duke as great as it can be.

    However, we are a little concerned about certain aspects of the letter. First, President Brodhead provides an account of the administrations handling of the case that is long on rationalization and justification, but short on facts. We have been inclined to avoid dwelling on the past, but we do want to be sure that the administration is learning and committed to learning from its mistakes. President Brodhead’s letter really does not show us that it is.

    Second, and more troubling is President Brodhead’s defense of the Group of 88. In the past, we have called for him to speak out against the prejudiced and prejudicial assertions made in the “Listening” ad. Instead, President Brodhead used the occasion of his letter to assert that the Group of 88 are victims of unfair public attacks and vicious e-mails and points his finger at the blogs. This is a grossly unfair and inaccurate description of the situation and it serves only to try to obfuscate the fact that there are legitimate concerns with the position taken by the Group of 88.

    Anyone who has taken a position one way or the other on the case has been the subject of vilification by extremists and has received hate mail. We have received our share. Why does President Brodhead feel the need to comment on incivility only as it applies to the Group of 88 and their particular viewpoint? As for the blogs, none of the ones that have been primarily following this case have been anything other than civil in condemning the rush to judgment and bigotry represented by the “Listening” ad. Indeed, a few days ago, we reached out to the Group of 88, asking supporters to politely write them and see if they would not join the administration in calling for due process for Reade Collin and David. Our thought was that finding something on which we could all agree would be a step toward the process of reconciliation that we want and that President Brodhead is now advocating as well. The response was underwhelming. Indeed, Houston Baker responded with the sort of e-mail that President Brodhead now condemns.

    Worse is President Brodhead’s attempt to equate the Group of 88’s situation with that of Reade, Collin, David and the rest of the lacrosse players. Please! The Group of 88 cannot possibly be characterized as victims for being asked to defend a position they have voluntarily chosen to take publicly. Nor can nasty e-mails be equated to the unfathomable anguish, hardships and vilification endured by the lacrosse players, especially when the Group of 88 itself contributed to that vilification.

    I believe that President Brodhead’s actions are speaking louder than his words at the moment and it is not time to panic. His condemnation of Nifong in the letter is receiving nationwide press coverage as we always knew it would. However, his words yesterday are a source of concern. They do not inspire a lot of confidence going forward because they do not demonstrate that the administration has learned much from the last ten months. One of the lessons it should have learned by now is that you cannot please everyone. Indeed, trying to please everyone usually results in pleasing no one. True leadership requires doing what is right regardless of the consequences.

    KC Johnson parses Brodhead’s letter in greater detail:
    Brodhead's Apologia January 8, 2007
    Conflicting Pressures January 10, 2007

    John in Carolina has his own take:
    Brodhead reveals himself January 8, 2007


    The 19 members of the Economics department who sent that remarkable letter to the Chronicle have shown us the way forward in terms of “making a fresh start,” promoting a “more constructive dialogue and a more charitable atmosphere” and all the other goals President Brodhead described in his letter. We liked it so much we have turned it into a petition. If you agree with the sentiments expressed in their letter go here and add your name: Petition.

    This petition also serves another purpose. We want to generate a list of supporters in the event we need to mobilize support for future projects. This is something we have avoided doing up until this point because we have been hoping that the need for our existence is only temporary. We still hope that that is still the case, but this is a good time to show the administration that we intend to see the lacrosse matter and all the issues it has generated through to their proper resolution and are not going anywhere until we do.

    The cause that should be uniting us right now

    This is a good time to remind everyone, the administration included, that while we quibble amongst ourselves, Nifong is still maliciously prosecuting Reade, Collin and David and has demonstrated that he will continue on his present course until someone intervenes to stop him.

    Bill Anderson has not forgotten. He informs me that with his latest article, The gloves are coming off. That’s the spirit! KC Johnson gets most of the attention as the foremost blogger on the case and rightly so. However, Bill has been writing extensively about the case from the very beginning and providing very thoughtful analysis of his own. In fact, back before FODU was created when I was a lone voice in the wilderness, he was the first person to contact me and talk about the case. His articles are necessary reading. A link to his archives is in Section B of our “Links to Media” page.

    Posted on January 7, 2007
    The letter below was sent to News and Observer by one of our friends. We print it with the author's permission.

    Letter to the Editor submitted to the News&Observer on January 6, 2007:

    I am writing in response to Cathy Davidson's viewpoint on what constitutes a "social disaster". Since the first news reports I have been following the Duke Lacrosse case with great interest and have been deeply disturbed by the response of both President Brodhead and the 88 faculty members who put their names to an ad in the Chronicle which in essence depicted Duke as a place of prejudice and intolerance.

    When you send your son or daughter to a university you expect them to be protected by the administration and the faculty. This has not happened at Duke University. Ms. Davidson states that "the lacrosse players were being elevated to the status of martyrs ". I think not. It is these young men who have had their names and faces splashed across the media, had their lives put on hold, lost careers that they had earned, not to mention the emotional and financial strain they and their families have been put through. Why doesn't this educator believe in the American justice system in which you are innocent until proven guilty. The social disaster is the one in which a university and a community allows three young men to be branded as rapists and have their lives torn apart before the facts are heard. The social disaster is that Cathy Davidson and other Duke faculty members who signed that ad still do not understand the harm they have done to the University itself and to society at large.

    The administration and many of the faculty owe an apology to these young men and their families. As an American of conscience this lacrosse story makes me cringe but not for the same reasons as cited by Ms. Davidson. This story has nothing to do with poverty or women's rights as Ms. Davidson would like us to believe. It has to do with a district attorney who wanted to win an election and was willing to use the race card to do it. It has to do with a university president who was willing to believe the worst of his students even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. It has to do with a community who bought into the lies and elected him.

    One of the happiest days of my life was the day that my son received his acceptance to Duke. He could have attended a number of other universities in the Northeast but his heart was set on going south and becoming one of the Cameron crazies. He spent four wonderful years at Duke and I believe his experiences there helped shape him into the fine young man that he is today. But sadly I do not believe that I would send him to Duke today. I believe that is why admissions are down at Duke. Mothers of young men look at Colin, Reade and David and think that it just as easily could be their sons.

    Diane Goldstein Block
    Chapel Hill

    Posted on January 5, 2007

    Latest developments
    by Jason Trumpbour, FODU spokesperson

    A lot has happened in the last two days, most of it extremely good news.

    By now, you have probably heard the good news that Reade and Collin have been reinstated. This is very positive move by the University on two levels. It sends an unequivocal message to the world that the University supports Reade, Collin and, by implication, David and does not find the charges against them credible. Also, because Reade and Collin’s reinstatement means a great deal not only to them and their families, but to all of the other lacrosse families, reinstating Reade and Collin shows the administration is reaching out to them and, hopefully, starting to mend fences.

    Another extremely positive development was a letter sent to the Chronicle yesterday and signed by seventeen faculty members in the Economics Department at Duke. It has not been published yet, but Professor Roy Weintraub was kind enough to send us a copy. The “Listening” ad created a great deal of concern about the attitudes of Duke faculty members toward their students. While we have had every reason to suspect that the Group of 88 were very much the tail wagging the dog and that the majority of Duke professors were neither prejudiced toward their students nor inclined to invite prejudice against them, the fact remained that, as of yesterday, few Duke faculty members had spoken up in support of due process for Reade, Collin and David. The letter sent by the Economics faculty members specifically cites correcting the impression created by the “Listening” ad about Duke faculty members as one of its purposes. It both joins President Brodhead’s call for due process and makes it clear that all students, including lacrosse players are welcome in their classes. Hopefully, seeing others speaking out will encourage more faculty members, including Group of 88 members, to do so.

    Unfortunately, yesterday also brought the news that Kyle Dowd, a former lacrosse player now graduated, and his family are suing the University and a professor whom they allege started giving Kyle failing grades in her course after the lacrosse story broke and that she ultimately tried to fail him for the entire course and prevent him from graduating. KC Johnson has the details: The Dowd Suit. This is not the only allegation of harassment by professors of lacrosse players in their classes, but it is the most extreme. It is also a situation the University has been aware for some time and it is unfortunate that things proceeded to the point where players are now forced to seek redress in the courts. We firmly support Kyle in his efforts.

    The University administration has unquestionably been moving in the right direction these past few days. This latter news simply serves to remind us that there is still some lingering fallout from the crisis that has yet to be addressed. Another issue is making sure that Duke students are treated fairly and lawfully by Durham Police. Duke has shown that it is now willing to confront the difficult issues generated by the case and do so in a spirit of goodwill. Let us hope that it will approach these remaining issues in the same manner and move to resolve them fairly and amicably and with an eye toward the future. FODU remains firmly committed to ensuring that the University does address them. A great university cannot tolerate unfair and improper treatment of any of its students for any reason by anyone on or off campus.

    In any event, the Economics Department faculty members have demonstrated to us that treatment of students such as that alleged in the Dowds’ complaint is very much the exception and not consistent with the values of Duke faculty members. Here is their letter:

      To the Editor:

      We, the undersigned Economics Department faculty members at Duke University , are cognizant of the fact that, to date, the only collective signed statement by faculty members concerning the events of last March was an advertisement in the Duke University Chronicle subsequent to protests and a forum on March 29, 2006. We are aware too that the advertisement was cited as prejudicial to the defendants in the defense motion to change the venue of the trial involving the three Duke lacrosse team members. We regret that the Duke faculty is now seen as prejudiced against certain of its own students.

      1) In light of recent events detailed in court proceedings, it appears that there were a number of irregular acts committed by members of the Durham law enforcement agencies and District Attorney’s Office. We join with President Brodhead in calling for an investigation of those acts, inimical to students at our university.

      2) We welcome all members of the lacrosse team, and all student athletes, as we do all our students as fellow members of the Duke community, to the classes we teach and the activities we sponsor.


      E. Roy Weintraub, Professor of Economics
      Atila Abdulkadiroglu, Associate Professor of Economics
      Charles M. Becker, Research Professor of Economics
      Tim Bollerslev, Juanita & Clifton Kreps Professor of Economics
      Vincent Conitzer, Assistant Professor of Computer Science & Economics
      Neil B. DeMarchi, Professor of Economics
      Bjorn Eraker, Assistant Professor of Economics
      Henry G. Grabowski, Professor of Economics
      Daniel A. Graham, Professor of Economics and Law
      Kevin D. Hoover, Professor of Economics and Philosophy
      Shakeeb Khan, Associate Professor of Economics
      Bahar Leventoglu, Assistant Professor of Economics and Political Science
      Thomas J. Nechyba, Fuchsberg-Levine Family Professor of Economics and Public Policy
      Pietro Peretto, Associate Professor of Economics
      Curtis R. Taylor, Professor of Economics
      Edward Tower , Professor of Economics
      Huseyin Yildirim, Assistant Professor of Economics
      Arie Beresteanu, Assistant Professor of Economics
      T. Dudley Wallace, James B. Duke Professor Emeritus of Economics
    Posted on January 3, 2007

    Breaking news: Duke To Reinstate Seligmann, Finnerty.

    Correspondence with Group of 88
    by Jason Trumpbour, FODU spokesperson

    A few days ago, I invited supporters to contact members of the Group of 88 and politely ask them to join the University in calling for due process for Reade, Collin and David and perhaps even reevaluate their own rush to judgment. The early returns are not encouraging.

    The mother of an unindicted lacrosse player sent an earnest and polite request for support to Houston Baker, one of the most vocal members of the group who has since moved to Vanderbilt. Baker responded by making a complete ass of himself. KC Johnson has the details. Baker: In his own words.

    Alex Rosenberg sent us a copy of a reply he gave to Jeff Chang, a lacrosse coach in California who saw our appeal and wrote to members of the Group of 88. Prof. Rosenberg asked us to post it as his general reply to all such correspondence. We are happy to do so along with Coach Chang’s original message.

    Professor Rosenberg accuses us of misreading the “We are listening” ad to which he and the other Group of 88 members subscribed. He disavows any intention of prejudging the criminal case and continues to insist, as he has elsewhere, that he was speaking out against loutishness, unlawful behavior, hiring strippers and underage drinking. Unfortunately, the ad does not make reference to any such concerns. It does, however, refer to “what happened to this young woman” and thanks the protesters “for not waiting and for making yourselves heard.” While Prof. Rosenberg rightly condemns the racist remarks made by a couple of players, his understanding of the genesis of those remarks is wrong. If we are mistaken about the meaning of the ad, other, more disinterested, commentators seem to be as well. Will Duke take a look at itself?

    To his credit, Prof. Rosenberg did vouch for the character of Reade, his erstwhile student, on a bulletin board a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, he has nothing to say about the wholesale violation of his rights and those of Collin and David.

    I received some criticism for asking our supporters to reach out to the Group of 88. Some have expressed a sentiment that members of the group deserve continued censure and it is hard to simply forgive and forget. We are committed not to forgetting the past, but learning from it and making Duke a better place going forward. The best way to do that is by encouraging the Group of 88 to live up to our best expectations for them rather than our worst and by looking for common ground with them. Also, there is yet a chance for them to make amends by speaking out at this critical time. Let us never forget that the one who has done the most damage to Duke and who has created the divisions within our community is Mike Nifong.

    The Group of 88 is not a monolithic body. The various members signed the “Listening” ad with different understandings and different motives. Houston Baker represents one extreme. Prof. Thomas Crowley has shown us that there are faculty members who are open minded and willing to reevaluate their public positions and also consider the impact of their statements. In return, the overwhelmingly positive response he received for his retraction should show the Group of 88 that they need not be afraid of our motives.

    KC Johnson has some thoughts of his own on what is at stake. The Absence of Self-Reflection.

    Here is Prof. Rosenberg’s correspondence:

    From: alex r
    Sent: Tuesday, January 2, 2007 10:29:14 AM
    Subject: a letter I would not mind your posting

    I am one of the 88 faculty members who signed the statement which so many of your readers have (willfully mis-)read. I attach below a reply I wrote to one of them. (As the original email is a private communication, I would have to secure the permission of its sender, Jeffrey Chang, to reproduce it as well). Instead of sending my reply to the others who have emailed me, I thought it would be more convenient to send it to you. It would certainly be responsible of any "Friend of Duke University" to share it more widely.

    Alex Rosenberg
    The R. Taylor Cole Professor of Philosophy

    Department of Philosophy
    Duke University
    Box 90743
    Durham, NC, 27708

    Tel: 919 660 3047
    Fax: 919 660 3060

    Coach Chang,

    I guess you just don't get it yet, but if you go back and reread the statement signed by the faculty members you are so eager to tar with David Horowitz's self promoting ($) McCarthyite brush, you would notice that the statement does not presume the students at the Lacrosse player's party guilty of rape, sexual assault, or kidnapping.

    I signed the statement in large measure to express my astonishment and anger that these wealthy, white, well educated future investment bankers (some of whom were my students) engaged in behavior contributing to a climate of loutishness, racism, and a general entitlement to flout the law, that they felt the need to purchase sexual titillation to go along with under-age illegal alcoholic consumption, and to emit racist abuse to express their disappointment in the performances for which they did not get their money's worth.

    Maybe you think that its just young people having fun, but I expect more of students with the intellectual and material advantages of Duke students. I am quite sure that you have the same problems on your campus, wherever it might be. I hope that if the problems spill over into your community in the same way, you will have the moral fiber to protest, as my colleagues have done.

    Meanwhile, surely we have better things to do, such as educating our students, instead of grandstanding on line.

    Alex Rosenberg

    Coach Jeff Chang wrote:

    Dear signatories of the Group of 88 listening statement,

    It should be obvious by now that the Duke Lacrosse Rape case, should now be know as the Nifong Non-Sexual Assault Hoax. The actions of the accuser, Crystal Gail Mangum, Durham District Attorney, Mike Nifong, and the Durham Police department should make all of you think that this case is a replay of the Tawana Brawley Hoax.

    A quick review of the case:
    1.) No DNA from any member of the team found ON or IN the accuser.
    2.) Five unknown DNA samples were found ON or IN her and her panties.
    3.) Reade has phone records, eyewitness testimony, ATM receipt, and restaurant receipt accounting for all his time during the time frame of the "attack".
    4.) Mike Nifong has at least one publicly release ethics violation charges leveled against him by the NC Bar for actions taken during the first few weeks of the hoax.
    5.) The North Carolina Conference of District Attorneys issued a public letter demanding that Nifong recuse himself from the case.

    A few questions for all of you:

    1.) What happened to the concept in American Jurisprudence, "Innocent until Proven Guilty".
    2.) Would your group release a similar statement in the athletes were black basketball players and the woman was a white?
    3.) Have any of you read the blog by KC Johnson, a professor of history at Brooklyn College and the CUNY Graduate Center?
    4.) Have you read any of the other blogs reporting and analyzing this hoax? John in Carolina, Liestoppers, and the Johnsville News?
    5.) Have any of you considered the damage to the School's reputation by the actions of yourselves and President Broadhead? Michael Skube, a former Pulitzer Prize winner and professor at Elon University , states in an L.A. Times op-ed that Duke’s “recovery from a rush to judgment” may be long and painful.
    6.) What actions will you, as a group or individuals, take to repair the damage to the School's reputation? For example, a 20% drop in early admission applications.
    7.) Are you worried about the reaction of alumni and donors? If they stop donating?
    8.) Can Duke's survive another scandal of poorly behaving/reactionary activist faculty which does not produce scholarly work? Remember Stanley Fish? Wahneema Lubiano's soon to be published (in 1997, 1999, or 2003, which was 45 months ago) "Like Being Mugged by a Metaphor" and Messing with the Machine?
    9.) Will the group release a new "listening" statement apologizing to David Evans, Reade Seligmann, and Collin Finnerty?

    I may be just an engineer, who went to a lowly state school in California. I am not an Ivy Leaguer, nor a Duke Alumni (self proclaimed as Ivy League of the South), but I was taught critical thinking, something that seems to be lacking from all of you. Many conservatives, like David Horowitz, have been complaining about the overwhelming liberal bias in academia for years and it is usually dismissed out of hand. But the actions of yourselves and the likes of Ward Churchill seem to be proving Horowitz right.

    As Spike Lee once said, "Do the Right Thing," and condemn DA Nifong and the accuser. Get your and academias credibility back!

    Thanks You,

    Jeff Chang

    A lacrosse fan from California.

    Posted on December 31, 2006
    Now that the University has come around, let us see if we can round up some lost sheep. Here is an e-mail address list for the Group of 88. We encourage supporters to write them and politely ask them if they will join the University in calling for due process for Reade, Collin and David and perhaps even reevaluate their own rush to judgment.

    It is too early to celebrate as Nifong is not yet defeated. However, it is not too early to start thinking about putting Duke back together and making sure it is put back together right. Finding common ground with the Group of 88 now would greatly help in both regards.

    Posted on December 28, 2006
    Mike Nifong’s hometown paper asks for his resignation. The Wilmington Star became the first newspaper today to ask for DA Nifong’s resignation. Here is more from KC Johnson:
  • Wilmington Star Demands Resignation
  • The Hammer Drops
  • The Complaint

    Posted on December 23, 2006

    Good news, Bad news
    by Jason Trumpbour

    First, the good news: President Brodhead issued a statement that, for the first time, directly and unequivocally criticized Mike Nifong.

      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.
    This is a very significant and welcome development. Here is a press release giving our response: Our response to President Brodhead’s statement.

    Some are expressing the notion that President Brodhead’s statement is too little, too late. I do not agree.

    It is not too little. President Brodhead’s statement unequivocally says all of the things we have been asking him to say from the beginning. I hope he will join in the call for the Department of Justice to investigate as well. The statement is a beginning and not an end and President Brodhead’s words must of course be matched with deeds. However, his speaking out is itself significant and will attract attention. President Brodhead’s voice is an important one. Indeed, the premise of our organization has been that his voice is more important than ours.

    It is certainly not too late. The case is at a critical juncture. Nifong is a wounded animal, but his desperation makes him dangerous. He is determined to go down fighting and yesterday’s events show that there is still no depth to which he will not sink in order to ruin the lives of three innocent young men. It has taken the efforts of so many people working together in so many different ways to bring us to this juncture. The bloggers, the Recall Nifong effort, the letter writers—each shined a light on Nifong’s misdeeds and allowed the public to see what was really going on. Now more than ever, we need all the help we can get and, with President Brodhead on board, our front is finally united. Let us hope he matches our vigor.

    Now the bad news: Mike Nifong’s decision to drop the rape charges against Reade, Colin and David is not what it seems. The media reported this decision as good news for the defense. It is not. Unfortunately, Reade, Colin and David are still in as much trouble as they were before, perhaps more.

    Here is why: North Carolina’s code seems to follow a variation of the modern system of categorizing sex crimes. It creates a unitary crime called “sexual offense” that includes just about every possible form of nonconsensual penetrative sexual contact and which is meant to replace an uneven patchwork of separate common law crimes. As with many states, North Carolina, nevertheless, maintains, as a separate crime, rape for nonconsensual penetration of the vagina with the penis even though this crime too could be folded into sexual offense as some other states do. The reason for maintaining rape as a separate crime is purely aesthetic: citizens find it grating when what used to be called rape is now called “sexual offense” and worry about whether it treated with the same seriousness. Under North Carolina’s scheme, the penalties for sexual offense and rape are exactly the same.

    Yesterday, Nifong announced that the alleged victim, in the latest of what are now too many different versions of her story to keep track of, is now claiming that, although she was penetrated by objects, she can no longer be certain that those objects were penises. (As the defense team pointed out at its press conference yesterday, that was the one thing about which she had previously been certain in all of her early statements.) Hence, Reade, Colin and David are still charged with first degree sexual offense and kidnapping and thus exposed to the exact same penalties as they were before.

    Nifong clearly did not drop the rape charges because he is seeking justice. Quite the opposite. Dropping the rape charges makes his case simpler. Now Nifong does not have to explain to the jury why there is no dna on the victim from a brutal three orifice assault. It is because his new theory is that the defendants, presumably wearing cleansuits, probed her with objects. I guess we can call this new theory the “alien abduction theory.” It is just as plausible too.

    Posted on December 22, 2006

    To the Evans, Finnerty and Seligmann families:

    Today, we share your joy and look forward for the dismissal of the remaining two charges soon.

    We are absolutely confident those charges are also false and cannot wait to see them dismissed at the soonest.

    You have handled these hard times graciously and won our hearts and admiration.

    We wish you a very happy holiday season.

    Good news! Rape charges against three Duke lacrosse players were dropped! This is certainly a step in the right direction. What a positive development during this special time of the year! Stay tuned for more news...

    Rape Charges Dropped in Duke Lacrosse Case December 22, WRAL

    Posted on December 19, 2006

    Another Press Release
    by Jason Trumpbour

    Our press release yesterday provoked a response from President Brodhead. Unfortunately, it was not the response we wanted: Statement by Duke President Brodhead.

    In reply to President Brodhead, we have issued another press release today. Sadly, as we make clear, President Brodhead’s statement is a lose/lose situation for everyone. It does nothing for Reade, Colin and David and, indeed, actually hurts their case by understating the gravity of Nifong’s misconduct. It does not help President Brodhead because it shows him to be a timid and ineffectual leader. It would have been better for everyone if President Brodhead had simply said nothing.

    Click here to read today’s press release.

    Posted on December 18, 2006

    Our Press Release
    by Jason Trumpbour

    Today, we have issued a press release in which we enthusiastically endorse Congressman Walter Jones’s call for an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice into Mike Nifong’s misconduct and ask the University to join this call.

    The administration’s silence was bad enough in the early days of the crisis when public opinion was unfavorable to Duke. The administration’s acquiescence in the many false characterizations of Duke and its students and its refusal to acknowledge the massive and systematic violation of the civil rights of Reade Seligmann, Colin Finnerty and David Evans as it unfolded was simply cowardly.

    However, the landscape has changed greatly since then. One prominent elected official has now spoken out. In response, the Attorney General indicated that he will give the matter due attention. The media turned out in full force on Friday to report on Nifong’s latest and possibly greatest atrocity. The tide of public opinion has turned as the rest of the nation learns more. Check out this Saturday Night Live skit: SNL Skit.

    What has Duke’s response to the events of last week been? According to the Associate Press: “. . . Friday, officials at Duke addressed the case for the first time in weeks, telling The Associated Press the university continues ‘to believe that the students should be considered innocent until proven otherwise.’” Hey, no kidding! Now, what about Nifong’s misconduct?

    Now that it is safe for the administration to speak out, what possible explanation is there for its continued refusal to do so?

    Click here to read our press release .

    Posted on December 14, 2006

    Now we are seeing some action!
    by Jason Trumpbour

    The past 24 hours have brought significant developments.

    Yesterday, Representative Walter Jones of North Carolina’s Third Congressional District released a copy of a letter he wrote to United States Attorney General Alberto Gonzales asking for an investigation into civil rights violations by Mike Nifong against Reade Seligmann, Colin Finnerty and David Evans. His letter is here: Letter to A.G. Gonzales.

    Today, the defense teams filed a motion to compel discovery which reveals even more evidence of the prosecutorial misconduct that moved Representative Jones to write his letter: Motion to Compel Discovery. Story: click here. Contained in that motion is evidence that Nifong tried to cheat on discovery. The private lab hired by Nifong never reported that it had found dna from numerous males in the rape kit samples taken from the vaginal area, anus and undergarments of the alleged victim. Nifong never turned this information over to the defense, opposed an earlier motion to compel discovery of the records containing this information and has yet to fully comply with that earlier motion. The information is particularly relevant as evidence because it contradicts statements made by the alleged victim and also provides an explanation for the “edema” inside her vagina. Of course it would also fundamentally undermine any argument that Nifong was planning to make that the accused could have committed a gang rape, ejaculated and not left any dna on the alleged victim. The motion also suggests that the private lab was complicit with Nifong in attempting to cheat on discovery. The lab’s owner is listed among the prosecution witnesses. If it is true that the lab owner aided Nifong in attempting to obstruct justice, Nifong would now have to decide if he still wants to call a key expert witness who might have to invoke his Fifth Amendment rights on the stand in response to cross examination. How much more screwed up can a prosecution case get?!

    These developments are on top of major articles within the last ten days by KC Johnson, Liestoppers and the News and Observer on the subject of Nifong’s ethical and criminal violations, all occasioned by the news that the state bar has apparently taken up the numerous complaints against Nifong.

    For me, the most frustrating thing about this case has been the lack of focus on Nifong’s misconduct. Yes, the subject has come up from time to time. However, the merits of Nifong’s conduct are almost inevitably collapsed back into the larger discussion of the merits of Nifong’s case against the accused. Nifong’s supporters do this deliberately. It allows them to deploy their dilatory tactic of arguing that we must wait for the trial before we can draw any conclusions. Yet, even if they were true that no conclusions can be drawn about the merits of the legal case, Nifong’s misconduct has been apparent for all to see. Indeed, much of it was televised. Live. There are objective standards for evaluating Nifong’s conduct. All one has to do is look at the relevant portions of the North Carolina Rules of Professional Conduct and compare the standards set forth there to what Nifong has done.

    The ethical issue is the one that first motivated me to get involved with the case. From the very beginning, when I watched Nifong call the players “hooligans” and state that he was certain a rape occurred, I knew that the lacrosse players, whether guilty or innocent (it was not clear at the time), were not getting due process of law and I started speaking out. That is how my FODU colleagues and I found each other.

    Now, finally, eight months later, people are starting to face the fact that these ethical violations are serious and that there is the real prospect that Nifong could actually loose his law license or worse for them. The past few days have been good ones for me as they should be for all of those who care about justice.

    Similarly, Jones’s letter must be gratifying for all of the friends who, from earliest days, have been writing letters of their own to the U.S. Department of Justice and elected officials around the state. Many thought that we were wasting our time and others simply stopped by the site to mock us. Now, finally, one elected official has chosen to take action and we can be sure that, whatever the Department of Justice does, it will not take his request lightly.

    All this took eight months to happen. However, better late than never!

    Posted on December 11, 2006
    Below are two related articles concerning one of the leaders of the 'Duke Group of 88' professors: Wahneema Lubiano.

    1. KC Johnson, Wahneema's World
    2. John in Carolina, Faculty "Honor," Puffery & Silence

    Posted on December 6, 2006
    1. Yesterday, Duke Pratt School of Engineering professor Michael Gustafson wrote a compelling essay on his website regarding Robert Steel's dual roles as chairman of the Duke Board of Trustees and undersecretary of the Treasury. Professor Gustafson's essay Pictures, and Thousands of Words is a must read.

    John in Carolina comments further on Professor Gustafson: Duke prof on Steel.

    2. A disturbing article appeared in the 'Media Meditations' section of the Chatham County Line last month shortly after the airing of the 60 Minutes show on the lacrosse case. The article, entitled "60 Minutes misses real Duke lacrosse story," was written by R.L. Taylor. Yesterday, Chatham County Line published a letter written to their editor in response to that article. We think both the original article and the subsequent response to it make interesting reading.

    3. Below printed is an email we received from a friend, several months ago. The message in this email remains as true today as when it was first written.
      Dear Friends,

      Good afternoon. As a former commercial litigator and white collar criminal defense attorney, I regularly worked in joint representation of multiple parties, on both plaintiff and defense sides. I have represented corporations and individuals, wealthy and not. And I assure you, legal costs are prohibitive for even the most basic legal work associated with a court case.

      I know from hard experience how extremely difficult it is to explain to individuals wrongly embroiled in litigation why they must find some way to come up with funds for effective representation. Houses are double and triple mortgaged. Savings depleted. Extended families and friends contribute. Litigation can and does change lives, financially and emotionally.

      That is why I am contributing to this common defense fund for Duke lacrosse players wrongly implicated in the court case in Durham. The criminal case will be resolved, as it should be, in a court of law. Nonetheless, individuals innocent of any wrongdoing must still find a way to pay for effective legal representation during that process. These costs will be enormous, and there are many individual students involved. I hope that my contribution will assist in bringing all relevant facts out, especially given the press coverage at the initial stages of this case.

      So I ask you to consider giving what you can and forwarding this email to as many like-minded individuals as you think appropriate.

    During this traditional month of giving and charity, I like to remind everyone who has not yet contributed to the “Lacrosse defense fund” to consider doing it. Even if you have contributed in the past, you may consider doing it again. More information on how to contribute can be found in Defense Fund.

    Posted on December 3, 2006
    I like to join John in Carolina in thanking Duke Professor Thomas Crowley for retracting his recent statements on the lacrosse case. Those statements were published in Herald Sun on November 14. After the publication of his comments, Professor Crowley received a lot of feedback from well informed individuals who have been following the lacrosse case closely. He soon realized that his statements were not based on facts and contained serious errors. Professor Crowley then did the honorable thing and retracted. Thank you professor Crowley, for doing the right thing! It is never easy to retract, but you showed us how to do it with class and with courage. John in Carolina has more on this Note to Prof Crowley.

    Posted on November 30, 2006

    More on The Herald-Sun

    In response to the previous post, an alert reader pointed out that the Herald-Sun has a new publisher, Geoff Moser, who has only been on the job for about six or seven weeks. In light of the papers plummeting circulation and the problems identified in the previous update, it might be a good idea for people to contact him and politely express their displeasure at the Herald-Sun’s slanted coverage of the lacrosse case and its pro-Nifong editorial policy. His e-mail address is

    Posted on November 19, 2006

    The Herald-Sun's Distorted Worldview
    By Jason Trumpbour

    Today, KC Johnson has a new piece up about the Herald-Sun: Sunday Items. After noting that the Herald-Sun’s circulation dropped 10 percent since its pro-Nifong campaign began, Johnson critiques a recent editorial by Editor Bob Ashley, in which Ashley seemingly disavows the pursuit of justice as a goal in resolving the lacrosse case. Instead, he argues that a trial should be held to “reassure” the public. Unspecified in Ashley’s column is precisely how the spectacle of a corrupt prosecutor soiling the hands of the courts with a malicious and false prosecution will reassure the public. Perhaps going through the pretense of a trial is meant to reassure the public about Nifong rather than the criminal justice system.

    On Friday, we received a message from Debrah Correll, a Chapel Hill resident who has a long history of writing op-ed pieces for the Herald-Sun. Her exchange with an editor at the Herald-Sun provides some insight into the true motives of the Herald-Sun in taking the position that it has. She has graciously allowed us to reproduce her message below despite her fears that doing so might adversely impact her ability to write for them in the future. She asked us to introduce her message with the following preference.

      I have had a long history of doing columns (freelance) on the Herald-Sun op-ed pages; however, the paper was bought a few years ago and a totally new staff was installed. I noticed right away that the balance was gone. Even their brilliant cartoonist John Cole was given a boot. I feel that the paper's editorial staff is in lock-step with Durham's "leaders" and we don't see the objective criticism that always existed in years past.

      Oddly, Greg Childress was the one I went to for balance because he was one of the few staff members who remained from the old paper. After they printed lengthy diatribes against the lacrosse team and Duke athletics in general in past months by people like Earl Holt---who lives in Baltimore!!!.....not even in the state of North Carolina---and Orin Starn, I submitted "LAX Players Fight For Justice". If not for Childress, it would not have gone to print. Ron Landfried has always voiced his strong support for the false accuser and told me that he didn't want to print my column. Childress OK'ed it, apparently.

      A column is always better than a letter-to-the-editor. The columns they choose to print more frquently tells you the position of the op-ed editors. A letter is easy to submit. Since a column offers the writer more credibility, op-ed staffers are parsimonious with their space......especially when the column's mission collides with their own.

      My column was finally printed on the same day, October 17, as their infamous "60 Minutes" editorial which read more like a flaming letter-to-the-editor than a professional overview of Ed Bradley's work. When some of us must go to such length to get the other side published as a column, it's unfortunate that the paper's own editorial staff feels free to print their own prejudice and personal opinions with such abandon.

      In the past, I thought that Ron Landfried (Herald-Sun's head editorial editor) was the only mega-supporter of Mike Nifong. Now I know that the entire editorial staff is against the lacrosse team and use their perches for that mission.

      People who are ostensibly in the business of giving informed objective opinions should not taint their profession with such deliberate and irrational animus......while muzzling others.

      I do not intend to stop offering my opinions to the paper.....and it is my belief that Herald-Sun publisher Geoff Moser is astute enough to make sure that I and others are not muzzled for illuminating this injustice.
    Here is Debrah Correll’s message:

      From: Debrah Correll
      Sent: Friday, November 17, 2006 3:26:29 PM
      Subject: FYI
      To Moderator for FODU fora:

      I started to post these comments on your FODU website; however, later thought it might be best to run this by you first. I'll leave whether this should be posted to you.

      Yesterday morning I had a shocking conversation with one of the guys on the editorial staff of the Herald-Sun. My initial reason for contacting him was to complain about the haphazard website they are running---many days the letters-to-the-editor are not posted. They are apparently in the midst of revamping the site and glitches still prevail.

      Well.....I brought up their October "60 Minutes" editorial again which was very petty and cast aspersions on the LAX players in a personal and most unprofessional way. I mentioned that it was not well-written and was unprofessional work coming from a newspaper editorial staff.

      I voiced my concern because they have openly and forcefully been aiding Mike Nifong at every turn. The reply that I received from Greg Childress was that countless black men have been falsely accused in the what's such a big deal about these lacrosse players?

      I was stunned. Do you know what this means?

      This employee of the Herald Sun who uses his perch to promote his personal opinions and agenda actually admitted that he felt it's OK for this to happen because there have been many black men from decades past who were falsely accused.

      By this time, I was angry and yelled at him.....asking him if he was a professional (?????)......and what any other case from decades past has to do with this one? I asked him if he considered himself to be a professional then how could he voice such an irrational excuse.

      Then he hung up.

      I later called the Herald-Sun publisher Geoff Moser and we had a very long talk. I don't wish to totally alienate myself so that I can get my opinions printed on occasion.....however, there is a MAJOR reason for this guy (Childress) to be fired.....or at least prohibited from commenting on this case in that paper.

      Astounding. This guy who writes for the Durham paper actually admitted what it is they are doing to the Duke LAX players.

      Debrah Correll
      Chapel Hill

    Posted on November 14, 2006
    Today, our friend, Joan Collins, tells us about her recent meeting with Collin Finnerty and Collin’s mother, Mary Ellen Finnerty, in her "Profile in Courage - My Meeting With The Finnertys." Joan was up close and personal with both of them and generously shares her experience with us. Joan’s letter is both poignant and informative.

    Joan Collins, thank you for sharing your meeting with Finnertys. We are grateful that you chose FODU to post this letter. Many of us have been following this case closely and care a great deal about Collin and his family. You opened a small window into their lives and gave us a glimpse of them, which few have been able to do. You have shown us the human costs of this injustice. We will read your letter with great interest and appreciation. Here is the link to Joan’s wonderful letter: My Meeting with the Finnertys.

    Posted on November 10, 2006

    Comments on Elections
    By Jason Trumpbour

    We are all disappointed at the results of the election. It did not work out the way we hoped, but it was a truly noble effort and we should not forget the substantial contributions of time, effort and resources that so many people contributed. We should recognize and applaud their efforts.

    Foremost, is Beth Brewer who stepped forward to organize Recall Nifong-Vote Cheek and, within a short period of time was able to offer serious opposition to Nifong. There were a number of structural difficulties to overcome: straight ticket voting, machine politics and a candidate who stated that he would not serve. In the end enough people voted against Nifong, and the Recall Nifong-Vote Cheek campaign would have succeeded had a spoiler candidate not split the vote.

    The organizers of DSED deserve special recognition as well. By educating and organizing students, they showed the world that Duke does support the three accused students despite the position the administration has taken.

    Many have expressed frustration at the people of Durham generally. That is grossly unfair. First, the majority of them voted against Nifong. That many citizens of Durham still supported Nifong is foremost the product of Nifong’s demagoguery. Let us not forget who our true enemy is here. Secondarily, it is the product of the failure of most of Durham’s civic leaders to speak out against Nifong’s misconduct. Worse, the Herald-Sun actively condoned that misconduct and ran interference for Nifong. It has always been gratifying to me is that a number of our supporters are Durham residents who have no direct affiliation with Duke, but who recognize corruption and injustice when they see it and want better for their community. Many of these same people also worked to defeat Nifong during the election.

    Much good has definitely come out of the efforts of those who worked on the campaign. They have focused attention on the issues and they left Nifong in a weaker position than he otherwise would have been had his election been a mere formality. Now the burden shifts back to people such as us. FODU remains committed to seeking justice for the accused and encouraging the University to speak out. We can approach those tasks knowing that groups such as Recall Nifong-Vote Cheek and DSED have left us a more substantial base to build upon at Duke, in Durham and in the rest of the country. Thanks!

    Posted on November 9, 2006
    It is with sadness that we report the death of CBS journalist Ed Bradley today of leukemia. We want to express our condolences to his family and friends along with our deepest respect and gratitude for an impressive body of work he produced during his lifetime. One of the most recent projects Mr. Bradley worked on was the Duke lacrosse case. His expose was widely praised as an excellent piece of journalism that informed millions of viewers about the facts of the lacrosse case. Here is more on Ed Bradley's death. 60 Minutes' Ed Bradley Dead At 65.

    Posted on November 6, 2006
    Duke Chronicle and Duke Basketball Report both endorse Lewis Cheek for district attorney and urge Durham residents including registered Duke students to vote in tomorrow's elections. Here are the links:

    1. If You Live In Durham, Please Vote
    2. Cheek for district attorney

    Posted on November 2, 2006
    Jason Trumpbour responds to an earlier Duke Chronicle article which urged Duke students not to vote on November 7. Jason Trumpbour's advise: Vote!

    Posted on October 30, 2006
    Yesterday, Herald Sun featured two articles written by two Duke professors. The first of the articles was penned by literature associate professor Grant Farred. Professor Farred appears not to be well informed on the facts of the Duke lacrosse case, and accuses the entire lacrosse team with racism without presenting any evidence to support his argument. We added his article to our Responses to media section and ask that you write to Mr. Farred telling him what your thoughts are on his article.

    The second article is by law professor Robinson O. Everett. In his latest comments on the case, Professor Everett repeats his earlier suggestion to DA Mike Nifong to administer a lie detector test to the accuser and if she fails, or refuses to take such a test, to dismiss the case. At the end of his article, Professor Everett indicates he will be surprised if all or any of the accused is convicted at the end of a trial. Below are the links for both articles.

    1. Secret racism underlying lacrosse case by Grant Farred
    2. What happens next in the lacrosse case? by Robinson O. Everett

    Posted on October 24, 2006
    You may recall that some Duke alumni recently expressed dissatisfaction with the way Duke administration has been handling the lacrosse case. Several letters and commentary were written on that topic. Now, for the first time, a Duke arts and sciences faculty also joins in and criticizes the administration's handling of the lacrosse affair. Could this be an indication that the chorus is growing? Here is the link for Duke Professor Steven Baldwin's article in today's Chronicle: The administration’s mismanagement of lacrosse.

    Posted on October 23, 2006
    Today, our friend Joan Collins added a new profile in the Letters from Friends section of our website. This time Joan is profiling a remarkable Durhamite; an exemplary woman full of courage and initiative! A woman who is hard at work, against all odds, to make Durham a better place. The name of this woman is Beth Brewer, the organizer and spokesperson for RN-VC. Beth represents the best of Durham. Here is more about Beth Brewer.

    Posted on October 20, 2006
    KC Johnson published an interesting commentary this afternoon on his "Durham in Wonderland" blog in response to an article in today's Duke Chronicle: Horrifying.

    Posted on October 19, 2006
    LieStoppers published a very good article today reflecting the feelings and reactions of a Duke alumnus to the way Duke University handled the lacrosse case. Additionally, the article includes a more detailed account of the recent difficulties encountered by a Duke student group (DSED) in registering students, on campus, to vote in the upcoming November elections. The title of the article is: “Highly Unacceptable Behavior.”

    Posted on October 18, 2006
    Today, I want to highlight two commentaries on Duke Law Professor James Coleman. First is a tribute to him. Our friend Joan Collins continues with her "Profiles in Courage" series and this time her hero is none other than the professor. In addition, John in Carolina has some interesting analysis on a recent N&O article relating to Professor Coleman. Here are the links:

    1. Profile in Courage - Professor James Coleman
    2. The N&O's false report on Coleman
    3. On Coleman: Chronicle 2 - N&O

    Posted on October 16, 2006


    We welcome those of you who followed the link on the CBS News site to our own. We are very happy that a news program of the stature of 60 Minutes chose to look at the Duke lacrosse case and bring the facts of the case to a wider audience that may not have heard much about the case since it first broke. 60 Minutes also gave us some interesting insights as well.

    A little about us: The Friends of Duke University is a group of alumni and parents who are concerned about the welfare of the three falsely accused Duke students. Our original purpose was to encourage the administration of Duke University to speak out against the highly irregular and corrupted legal process to which these three young men have been subject. Because the University has so far declined to do so, this task has fallen to us along with several other groups. We are obviously not an official organ of Duke University.

    If you want to know more about the case, we have provided a list of nine articles in our “Defense Fund” section that should bring you up to date and give you a feel for the situation.

    If you want to know everything there is to know about the case, we have an extensive collection of links to leading articles on the case in our “Links to Media” section. Also, in that section under “Blogs and Discussion Groups,” are several blogs and bulletin boards on the lacrosse case. KC Johnson’s Durham in Wonderland blog and Liestoppers, in particular, provide excellent analysis and commentary. Blogger John in Carolina does as well and has mainly done a great job of critiquing the local press and demonstrating how hoaxes like this one get started.

    Today, Durham in Wonderland, Liestoppers and the Johnsville News all have significant articles providing an overview of the case.

    Case Notes, Durham in Wonderland
    Occam’s Razor II, LieStoppers
    Duke Hoax FAQ – Part I, The Johnsville News

    Jason Trumpbour
    Spokesperson, Friends of Duke University

    Posted on October 13, 2006
    The Duke Chronicle published a letter today, written by a Duke alumnus, on the issue of Duke administrators' interference with efforts to register Duke students to vote. Allegedly, the DSED team members were prevented by Duke officials and Duke police from registering students during the homecoming football game. These allegations, if proven true, are extremely serious. Here is the link to the Chronicle letter: Administrators should not discourage protest.

    Posted on October 12, 2006
    Tomorrow is the last day of registration in Durham for voting in the November elections. If you have not already done so, please register to vote! There is still one whole day; do not let this opportunity pass by. This is the last call: PLEASE REGISTER TO VOTE.

    More on DAA Lacrosse Responses
    (by Jason Trumpbour, FODU spokesperson)

    Today our friend John in Carolina has posted another important article on the questions and answers that were recently posted on the Duke Alumni Association website. What happened at Duke's Alumni site? . He asks the President of the DAA about the provenance of these questions and answers.

    In my last update, I noted how these questions seemed to be designed more to defend the administration’s actions than to answer any actual questions alumni or others might have. KC Johnson was the first to call attention to them and there are links to two of his articles there.

    It is good to see that an alumnus has his own questions. Let us hope he gets some answers.

    It is, perhaps, not a coincidence that this material turns up at roughly the same time as another even more disturbing incident. Before the homecoming football game, members of DSED were physically prevented by security guards from registering voters in the parking lots around the stadium. We will have more to say on this within the next few days.

    For now, let us note that it is bad enough that the administration will do nothing to challenge Nifong’s misconduct. Now, by hook or by crook, the administration is actively trying to make students and alumni complicit in its silence.

    Posted on October 8, 2006

    We’ll ask the questions around here!
    (by Jason Trumpbour, FODU spokesperson)
    October 8, 2006

    The Duke Alumni Association website recently posted “answers to frequently asked questions about the lacrosse incident.”

    Preliminarily, the page lists a “few key points.” Among them are the following:

  • The issues raised by the lacrosse event are not unique to Duke. They are societal and widespread on college campuses, and Duke is addressing them honestly.
  • Duke is a diverse institution. More than a third of current undergraduates, and over 40 percent of this year’s entering class, are students of color. . . . About 40 percent receive need-based financial aid, with their average annual grant exceeding $24,000.
  • Duke students and faculty, and Duke as an institution, are engaged in countless positive ways with the Durham community. Negative media portrayals of Duke-Durham relations are untrue.

  • Sound familiar? They should because these are some of the points we asked President Brodhead to stand up and make in response to the unfair and sensationalist characterizations made by the press about Duke at the beginning of the lacrosse case. I am glad that Duke considers them key points. However, to date, I have not seen the Duke administration make any of these points itself. As an alumnus, my first question would have to be, “Why is Duke afraid to speak for itself?” The administration seems to prefer to have alumni start a whispering campaign instead.

    The actual questions and answers that follow are something else entirely. Rather than answering actual questions that alumni might have, the questions and answers seem designed to defend the administration’s response to the crisis. Consider this gem:

      Why hasn't the university -- the president and others -- spoken out against the district attorney and demanded that the charges be dropped when it is so clear the players are innocent?

      Even though recent media accounts call into question many aspects of the case against the three players, neither the news media nor Duke has access to all the facts that may emerge in a trial. Within our democratic system, it is the role of the legal system - not of universities or others - to determine when it is appropriate to charge people and have trials. The district attorney and others with responsibility for this process have an obligation to act fairly and responsibly in pursuing the truth. If the planned trial does proceed, everyone will have an opportunity to finally see all of the evidence and assess whether it was appropriate for the district attorney to pursue the charges.
    Sound familiar? Yes, this is essentially the same response FODU received from President Brodhead in response to our open letter. Of course neither we nor anyone else has called upon President Brodhead to declare the accused students innocent. Instead, we have been asking him to speak out against the numerous procedural irregularities and pervasive unethical conduct by the district attorney. In any event, President Brodhead had no hesitation about asking for the charges to be dropped in the case of another Duke student maliciously prosecuted, Yektan Turkyilmaz.

    There are others in this vein. However, my favorite is the last set:

      How can Duke supporters respond most effectively to inaccuracies involving the lacrosse incident?

      President Brodhead provided the best response when he offered the following advice to alumni at the 2006 reunion: "Nothing has pained me more about this episode than the notion that people don't want to say where they went to college, because that name is now a source of embarrassment. If you are ever in a situation where you find yourself in that light, you've just got to turn that around. You've got to walk up and say some true thing about this place that is a source of pride and, Lord knows, there are many. And you know what? At the end of the day, this place will be known as it is. It will be known for what it is. And I hope this will be a better place after this episode. But it won't be an altogether different place. It will be known for the excellence that characterizes us now. And that's all of our work, to bring that day about."
    One would think that the most effective way to respond to inaccuracies involving the lacrosse incident would be to directly confront them and correct them. However, that is not President Brodhead’s way. No you should turn around and say “something true . . . that is a source of pride.” After all we do not want to offend anyone by contradicting him or her. I guess you get bonus points if your answer involves a quote from Shakespeare. I like this particular question and answer because it neatly encapsulates the timidity and circumlocutiousness of Duke’s response.

    KC Johnson has the full details in two articles here:
    Justify or Retract
    In Denial

    In his most recent article KC goes even further and shows how these questions and answers are part of a larger effort by Duke to rewrite history: Laughter and Forgetting in Durham

    John in Carolina is incredulous. He seems to think that hackers broke into the Duke Alumni Association website and posted these questions as a sick joke: Duke Alumni Site Hacked?

    The work of hacks or hackers? You decide!

    Posted on October 7, 2006
    Below is a letter from a group named Concerned Mothers for Duke Students. We share the concerns of this group and we fully support their recommendations.

      We are a group of Duke mothers concerned deeply over reports of unjust treatment of Duke students by the Durham Police Department. The Durham PD has disclosed a policy of selectively targeting Duke students as a group for arrest with hand-cuffs and trips to jail over minor violations. This prejudicial and unconstitutional targeting of Duke students must stop.

      In addition, we remain outraged that the current Durham District Attorney, Mike Nifong, has been allowed to engage in acts of apparent prosecutorial misconduct without any intervention by the Governor or Attorney General of the State of North Carolina.

      We URGE you, your family and friends to become involved in protecting the rights of Duke students with the following actions:

      1. Support the legal defense fund for the falsely accused Duke lacrosse players:

      Association for Truth and Fairness
      Attn: Private Banking
      United Bank
      1667 K Street, NW
      Washington, DC 20006-1605

      2. Contribute to and support the campaign to “Recall Nifong – Vote Cheek”:

      3. Ensure that your Duke student is registered and votes in the upcoming election for Durham District Attorney (voter registration ends October 13th, 2006):

      4. Contact President Richard H. Brodhead of Duke University to demand the fair treatment in Durham of all Duke students including the falsely accused Duke lacrosse players:

      We thank the volunteer organization, Friends of Duke University, for the tremendous information resource provided since the inception of the Duke lacrosse incident. It is comforting to know that others recognize the injustice brought to bear on three innocent young men, their families, their coach and team.

      Concerned Mothers for Duke Students
    Posted on October 4, 2006
    Today, we hear from two Duke lacrosse parents and two Duke alumni in their respective letters to the Duke Magazine.

    1. Views from Lacrosse Parents 1 - by Sally Johnson Fogarty
    2. Views from Lacrosse Parents 2 - by George K. Jennison
    3. Lacrosse Lessons 1 - by S. Boyd Eaton
    4. Lacrosse Lessons 2 - by Alan D. Davies M.D.

    Posted on October 2, 2006
    Our friend Joan Collins continues with her Profile in Courage series. Today, she writes about a very deserving individual: Profile in Courage - Moezeldin Elmostafa.

    Posted on October 1, 2006
    A recent Duke graduate, Caitlin Donnelly, was seriously hurt Friday night in a hit-an-run accident in front of the Belmont Apartments in Durham. Caitlin was in Durham for the Duke Homecoming weekend. Our prayers are with Caitlin her family and friends. We wish her a speed recovery. Recent Duke grad hurt in hit-and-run.

    Posted on September 30, 2006
    It was only a few days ago when a Duke alumnus eloquently responded to Duke professor Karla Holloway in a letter. Today, we have the privilege to hear the voice of a Duke junior athlete, Rachel Shack, in her letter to the Chronicle. This is a "must read" letter. After reading it you will agree that Rachel Shack deserves our collective applauds for speaking up, and she deserves our utmost respect and admiration for her message. Athletes Integral Part of University Life.

    Posted on September 29, 2006
    Today we welcome Duke Chronicle readers who may have seen our letter to the trustees, published in today’s issue, and decided to visit for more information on the Duke lacrosse case. For those who have not seen our letter to the trustees, it reproduces a recent article written by Professor KC Johnson: Where Are the Trustees?

    Below are links to two new follow-up pieces on the same theme.
    1. Weighing the Scales by KC Johnson
    2. Is this year's Chronicle serious? by John in Carolina

    Revised on September 26, 2006
    1. LieStoppers published an excellent response letter to Duke Professor Karla Holloway's recent essay "Coda: Bodies of Evidence". This letter is beautifully written by a Duke alumnus: Our Collective Voice - Letter to Holloway.

    2. Here are links to three sites with very good coverage on last Friday's Duke Lacrosse hearings:

  • Duke Hoax Hearing, LieStoppers
  • The D.A.'s Tough Day, KC Johnson
  • Nifonging the Standards of Justice, Part II, William L. Anderson

  • Posted on September 22, 2006
    Our friend Joan Collins contributed another wonderful letter today. You will want to check it out: The Winslow Boy / The Duke Boys.

    Revised on September 18, 2006
    1. On September 7, the ESPN Magazine published a very good article on the Duke lacrosse case primarily focusing on the human side of the story. If you missed it back then, the article is now availabe on this site and well worth reading: Months later, unanswered questions haunt Duke .

    2. The controversial Orin Starn letter which was published in Herald Sun yesterday but subsequently removed from the publication is now available online: A grand show of arrogance by Duke athletics .

    Posted on September 14, 2006
    Jason Trumpbour comments on DPD’s treatment of Duke students.

    Posted on September 13, 2006
    Jason Trumpbour comments on the Yektan Turyilmaz case and President Brodhead's handling of that case. Click here to read those comments.

    Revised on September 11, 2006
    Reactions to a September 9 article in News and Observer, Detective got tough with Duke students, continue. Today, Duke Chronicle provides more details: Students Criticize Lax Cop’s Behavior. Below are some reactions.

    1. Gottlieb the Duke Hunter September 9, LieStoppers
    2. War Against Duke September 9, The Johnsville News
    3. The N&O finally tells about Gottlieb. So why now? September 10, John in Carolina
    4. Sunday News, and Information Request September 10, Robert KC Johnson
    5. More Gottlieb info; Brodhead still silent; and the “94% question.” September 11, John in Carolina

    Posted on September 9, 2006
    We published a second letter today from Joan Collins on her favorite theme: Profile in Courage. Her new letter is about Duke Women Lacrosse Coach Kerstin Kimel.

    Posted on September 5, 2006
    Jason Trumpbour comments on Patsy McDonald’s letter.

    Posted on August 30, 2006
    Jason Trumpbour comments on the recent Stuart Taylor article: Click here.

    Revised on August 29, 2006
    1. John in Carolina posted a very informative piece yesterday: A Nifong campaign disaster. We encourage everyone to read it.

    2. Today, John in Carolina published a follow-up on the same topic: When Nifong's campaign head revealed her core.

    Posted on August 26, 2006
    We added a new article to our "Responses to media" page (item 21):

    Files From Duke Rape Case Give Details but No Answers August 25, New York Times by Duff Wilson

    In his latest post, Times and the Blogs, Robert KC Johnson provides a comprehensive list of the commentaries written in response to the above Times article. Our readers will probably find Johnson's list quite useful. Do not forget to add to the list Johnson’s own commentaries on the subject:

    The Times Drops the Ball
    More Bad Times

    Updated on August 23, 2006
    1. Here is a letter from a friend worth reading: Profile in Courage. John in Carolina comments on the same topic: At Friends of Duke University .

    2. On August 5, the Raleigh News and Observer published an article by John Schwade: By staying on the sidelines, Cheek shows no bravado. To see our spokesperson Jason Trumpbour's response to this article click here .

    Posted on August 21, 2006
    John in Carolina is reporting today the latest on two blogs: Liestoppers and Durham in Wonderland. Here is the link: Two blogs reporting news today.

    Posted on August 20, 2006
    Yesterday, Robert KC Johnson published another great article. This time, he presents to us a wonderful essay written by a Duke Lacrosse parent. Here is the link: A Tale of Two Men.

    On the same topic, also see the latest from John in Carolina: A Duke lax father speaks out.

    Updated on August 19, 2006
    Here are three good responses to Newsobserver's Dennis Rogers article Lacrosse is just not my game:

    1. First, a letter written to the editor of Newsobserver:

    To the Editor:

    Dennis Rogers, in his recent column, certainly disavows any aspiration to become the next Emile Zola in connection with the Duke lacrosse case. “I don't have a clue, much less a theory,” he states. As a professional journalist, one might think that Rogers would have an interest, if not have a duty, to learn the facts of any public controversy. However, despite the fact that a corrupt district attorney has tried to game the system at every turn, Roger’s strategy is to let a jury sort everything out and tell him what to think. That’s the spirit!

    He will, therefore, no doubt, be surprised to learn that his statement, “The lacrosse players say, nope, they don’t remember a thing,” is wrong as is his assertion that they have been equivocal in their statements.

    Rogers expresses disdain for blogs. However, almost all of the information contained in the News & Observer’s recent article about Mike Nifong’s misconduct has been known to readers of the blogs for months. Meanwhile, all Rogers can offer is, “Duh, I dunno.” Perhaps that is why newspaper readership is plummeting while increasing numbers of people turn to blogs for news. Maybe ignorance is not bliss after all.

    Jason Trumpbour
    Parkton, Maryland

    2. N&O columnist makes false statement, slimes players John in Carolina

    3. The N&O's Rogers: "I'm Not Smart Enough" Robert KC Johnson

    Turning to a different subject, here is the link to a press release issued by the Committe to Recall Nifong- Vote Cheek: Recall Nifong - Vote Cheek

    Updated on August 13, 2006
    Today, two interesting articles were added to our "Links to media" page:

    1. Raleigh N&O’s public editor’s double copout by John in Carolina
    2. Quid Pro Quo? by Robert KC Johnson

    In addition, we added a new article (see item 19) in our Responses to media page.

    Posted on August 9, 2006
    You will not want to miss this latest article from Robert KC Johnson: What . . ., and when . . . ?

    Posted on August 8, 2006
    Raleigh News & Observer reporter Joe Neff's widely praised August 6 story, Lacrosse files show gaps in DA's case, exposed actions by DA Mike Nifong and certain Durham police investigators that violated proper investigative procedures and very possibly the N. C. law, although Neff does not say that.

    Neff's 3,700 word story contains one small error regarding the date of a memorandum. The N&O today issued a correction. Friends of Duke University supports newspapers when they correct errors; and a correction of the dating error was called for. However, the N&O went beyond that and included in it’s correction an erroneous statement indicating the error undercuts the major thrust of Neff's story.

    In a brilliant piece of blog reporting, KC Johnson refutes the N&O’s statement and goes on to demonstrate that with the memorandum’s date now corrected, Nifong’s actions actually look worse than before.

    The Soucie Memo by Robert KC Johnson

    John in Carolina endorses what KC reports. He says the N&O needs to immediately correct the error it made today. Friends of Duke University agrees. John in Carolina’s post has contact email and blog links to the N&O’s executive news editor and its public editor.

    Neff’s story looks even stronger now by John in Carolina

    We hope you read KC’s and John in Carolina’s posts; and then decide: "The N&O is going to hear from me."

    Something else: The N&O has given a lot of page space to members of Duke faculty’s Group of 88. John in Carolina thinks N&O readers deserve to hear more of ‘the other side.’ He suggests a major N&O interview story with KC Johnson as a start. We’re for that. We hope you mention it in your emails and blog comments.

    Friends, let’s be heard at the N&O.

    Posted on August 6, 2006
    Today a “must read” article was published in Raleigh News & Observer by staff writer Joseph Neff: Lacrosse files show gaps in DA's case. This article brings to light the substantial gaps and inconsistencies that exist in Durham District Attorney’s case against the three indicted Duke Lacrosse players. We welcome Mr. Neff’s analysis and the information he provides in his article.

    John in Carolina posted an initial reaction to the Joseph Neff story: A "first take" on Joe Neff 's N&O story . We highly recommend this post to our readers.

    Updated on August 4, 2006
    1. A very informative article was published today by Robert KC Johnson: Scapegoating. The article focuses on the impact of the Duke Lacrosse scandal on Mike Pressler, the former Duke Men's Lacrosse head coach. In our opinion, this article is important enough to justify recreation, in full, on our website. Click here to see the article on our website.

    2. Today, Herald Sun published a letter written by FODU spokesperson Jason Trumpbour: Nifong Courageous?.

    John in Carolina has further thoughts on the same Herald Sun letter (see link here):

    Posted on August 2, 2006
    Yesterday, the Durham Herald-Sun published about “previously undisclosed” dna matches in the lacrosse case: Lawyers Haggle over dna Matches. The article is disturbing on many levels. First, the dna matches were disclosed to the media months ago by defense counsel. Second, the article quotes an expert who stated that this evidence was helpful to the prosecution. However, the article failed to mention that this expert has an obvious source of bias. He has been retained by the NAACP to “monitor” the case for them.

    Blogger John in Carolina, who has been incisively critiquing the media coverage of the case, has a new article up that gives the full story: Duke Lacrosse: A fake Herald Sun story? I encourage all of you to read it.

    An obvious question this article raises is, if this “previously undisclosed” information is just now being disclosed, who is disclosing it? Given the use to which this information has been applied by the Herald-Sun reporter, it is unlikely that it came from a defense source. It is more likely that it came from Nifong and that the story was a plant. If so, Nifong has violated the recently imposed gag order that, among other things, prohibits counsel in the case from distributing information about the case to the media, either directly or through agents.

    Jason Trumpbour

    Posted on July 31, 2006
    Four interesting articles were added to our "Links to media" page:

    Maybe Sherman would have run Charlotte Observer
    Charlotte Observer says "a special prosecutor" John in Carolina
    Durham DA: Shoulda Kept My Mouth Shut La Shawn Barber's Corner
    How dare Judge Titus try to silence the Duke men's lacrosse team! Michael Gaynor

    Posted on July 26, 2006
    We are pleased to announce that we received a response to an Open Letter we had sent last week to President Brodhead and the Board of Trustees of Duke University. We want to take this opportunity to thank President Brodhead for his response. You will find President Brodhead’s response along with a press release from us in the Press releases section of this site. We look forward to your comments and opinions on both the open letter and the response to it.

    Posted on July 24, 2006
    Dear Friends, today we turn this corner over to a special guest: John in Carolina.

    Duke lacrosse: A support and tribute post

    Posted on July 19, 2006
    Today, we are pleased to announce the publication of an open letter to the President and Board of Trustees of the Duke the University. The letter is published in the University’s newspaper, The Chronicle (July 19 "sent home" issue). You will find the full text of our open letter along with an accompanying press release in the Press releases section of our site. Please post your comments on the open letter under the same section. We look forward to your feedback on the contents of the letter.

    Recently, we made three additions to our site. First, you may have noticed that a new link was added under the Must Visit section: Defense fund . This link provides information for contributing to the Duke Lacrosse Defense Fund. It is no longer necessary to contact us to obtain that information. We hope this new procedure will be more efficient than the old one. Second, we added a “Lacrosse Case Timeline” in our “Links to media” page (see first item in section c). One of our friends recommended from among various timelines that are available on the internet The Johnsville News timeline. So, we are linking to that timeline. Big thanks to our contributing friend! Lastly, we added a new “Site rules” section (see under Must Read). This section documents the rules of our site. We especially urge our new readers to look through those rules. If you have other suggestions, for improving the contents of our site, please let us know. We will gladly consider your suggestions.

    Posted on July 16, 2006
    If you are going to read only one article today on the Duke lacrosse case, please let it be this one:

    As Accusation at Duke Festers, Disbelief Gnaws at Suspect’s Supporters July 16, 2006 New York Times (New York Region Only)

    Posted on July 13, 2006
    We added four new articles in our Responses to media page (see items 14 - 17). Please write responses to these articles and share them with us.

    Revised on July 9, 2006
    Three interesting and related opinions were published in the Herald Sun recently as follows.

    Let's have a prompt lacrosse trial June 25, 2006
    Put lacrosse case on a faster track July 2, 2006
    If Nifong had evidence, we would know by now July 8, 2006

    Posted on July 3, 2006
    Congratulations to Lewis Cheek for collecting close to 10,000 signatures on his petition. We truly hope that Mr. Cheek will decide to run for the DA position. Looking ahead, in the November elections, Duke students will be able to vote. The voter registration form can be downloaded from the link below and must be:

    * Postmarked at least 25 days before the election - November 7,or
    * Delivered to the local board of elections by 5:00pm on the 25th day before the election.

    Download Voter Registration Form
    Duke students voting info

    Demographics of Durham County voters:
    According to the latest voter registration figures, Durham County has 27,070 registered Republicans, 24,566 of whom are white. The county has 86,621 registered Democrats, 46,586 of whom are black. So the demographic bloc supportive of Nifong's behavior formed a majority of the Democratic electorate, while those most likely to be alienated by his tactics couldn't vote in the primary. As the director of the Durham County Board of Elections noted the day after the primary, "We had a lot of irate Republicans who couldn't vote for district attorney." See related article Nifong and the Black Vote .

    Posted on July 2, 2006
    Please write responses to Duke University Professor Orin Starn's Newsobserver letter entitled Let's talk sports .

    To contact Orin Starn, write to:
    Website: Webpage
    To contact Newsobserver: Send us a letter

    Posted on June 30, 2006
    Today, we are urging our readers, once again, to write to Attorney General Roy Cooper. This time, we ask that you provide a link to AG Cooper for an article, entitled Roy Cooper's Silence . This article explains, in exact terms, what discretions a North Carolina AG has with respect to removing a District Attorney from a case.

    Even if you did not write to AG Cooper before, urging him to remove DA Mike Nifong from the Duke Lacrosse case, you may consider writing to him now. The documentation provided in this article makes a compelling case for it. We hope our friends will take this opportunity and voice their opinions on this matter. Remember, we need a lot of letters to be sent to AG Cooper, a few will not do. Please take the time and send your letter. Be sure to include the link to the article mentioned above.

    To contact AG Cooper:
    Email to NC Attorney General, Roy Cooper

    or, send your signed letters to the following address:
    Office of Attorney General Roy Cooper
    9001 Mail Service Center
    Raleigh, NC 27699-9001

    Updated on June 29, 2006
    We added three new articles in our Responses to media page (items 10, 11, and 12), as follows:

    Sympathy for the Devils? Indy Independent Weekly by Hal Crowther
    The Media Rush to Duke's Defense Washington Post by Andrew Cohen
    Despite K's comment, race relations need work Herald Sun by Duke Professor Karla FC Holloway

    We invite our readers to respond to these articles. Sample response letters are included in the comments section of the same page.

    Posted on June 27, 2006
    Latest update on the Lewis Cheek petition: All registered Durham voters are eligible to sign the petition. If you are planning to mail your petition to the Board of Elections, today is your deadline. Your form must be mailed by the end of the day. Another option you have is to deliver the form in person to the Board of Elections. The deadline for personal delivery is Friday, 30 June 10:00 a.m. Here is the address.

    Board of Elections
    706 W Corporation St,
    Durham, 27701
    Tel: (919) 560-0700

    The following letter was published in Herald Sun today. We think there are a lot of Durham residents who share the opinions expressed in this letter. If you have not already done so, please sign the petition for Lewis Cheek and make your opinions count. There is little time left and your signatures are needed for a very worthy cause.

    Please forgive me for voting for Mike Nifong

    In May I cast my vote for Mike Nifong to provide some continuity at a critical time for the district attorney's office. May God and my fellow citizens of Durham County forgive me for this mistake. We are now faced with repeated evidence that Nifong has pressed forward with the Duke lacrosse case in a manner that suggests he has little regard for proper procedure and his duty to responsibly communicate with the defense teams. He attempted to try the case in the media, probably to assure votes in the primary race. He has placed inexcusable shadings on some public comments. These actions are beyond the pale for an officer of the court. Given the lack of another confirmed candidate for district attorney, it seems that Nifong would be our only choice in November. However, if citizens sign petitions to have a qualified individual added to the November ballot as a write-in candidate, then that name will be present as an alternative in November. Durham County desperately needs another choice for this position.

    Please understand I am no fan of the obnoxious minority group of Duke University students. I feel there was a miscarriage of justice when there was not a successful prosecution for underage drinking in 2005. The reported behavior of some students has been without excuse. However, such is inconsequential in comparison to the apparent conduct of our district attorney. Will someone in Durham please step forward? Our county needs you as never before.


    Posted on June 26, 2006
    The petition form for Lewis Cheek who is hoping to challenge DA Nifong in the November elections is now available on the Duke Basketball Report (DBR) site. If you are eligible to sign the petition, we urge you to do so. This may be the best way to express your disapproval of DA Nifong. To obtain more instructions on this topic, click here .

    Posted on June 19, 2006
    1. On June 17th, the Herald Sun published an opinion written by a Duke associate professor, Joseph Dibona, entitled Brodhead can't handle it . The opinion is a criticism of President Brodhead for reinstating the Duke Lacrosse team. Furhermore, Mr. Dibona seems to suggest that the entire Lacrosse team should stand trial not just the three who were indicted. We urge our readers to write to associate professor Dibona and express their reactions. Please send us copies of your responses so that we may share them with our readers. To contact Joseph Dibona, use the following email address.

    Biograph: Joseph Dibona, Duke Associate Professor

    2. Congratulations for Ruth Sheehan for finally seeing the truth and expressing her views candidly in her latest article DA ought to hand off case in today's Newsobserver.

    Please write to Ms. Sheehan to express your thanks and to encourage her to continue reporting on this case. Her email address is:

    Posted on June 15, 2006
    Do not miss Randall Drain's (a former Duke Lacrosse player and a Robertson scholar) article in the Duke Chronicle today. Here is the link to the article:

    Apologies Necessary, June 15, 2006 by Randall Drain

    Posted on June 14, 2006
    Today, we are publishing another letter to be sent to the North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper. This letter is in the same vein as the one we published on June 12th. We urge you to read and compare both letters and send the one you more closely associate with. Feel free to make changes and personalize either of the letters. As stated before, the volume of letters received by the NC Attorney General will be a key factor in the effectiveness of this campaign. If enough letters are not sent, their impact will be minimal. This is why we need every one of you to contribute to this effort.

    Dear Mr. Cooper,

    I am concerned about the administration of justice in Durham County.

    District Attorney Michael Nifong has made major mistakes and miscalculations in prosecuting the so-called Duke Lacrosse incident (North Carolina v. Finnerty & Seligmann, and v. Evans). He is no longer impartial and has become an advocate for the accuser.

    I respectfully urge you to appoint a special prosecutor to review these cases and remove Mr. Nifong from the situation. As Attorney General you have oversight over local district attorneys, and what is happening in Durham is improper and a disgrace to the administration of justice in the great state of North Carolina.

    Specifically, Mr. Nifong improperly:

    1) Gave multiple news interviews stating that a rape had occurred, that lacrosse players were the perpetrators, and that the players were “hooligans.” These statements were made before the investigation was completed and before DNA results were back. These comments were prejudicial and unethical.
    2) Conveyed misleading information by implying that condoms were used, that the accuser had been given a date rape drug, and that she had been strangled all of which he should have known were untrue based on reports he had available.
    3) Failed to include exculpatory evidence he already had in his possession in his requests for photo-identification.
    4) Refused to examine other exculpatory evidence offered by defense attorneys or to discuss this information with them before the indictments.
    5) Directed a flawed photo line-up with the accuser by not including fillers and by holding multiple photo identification sessions when the accuser had trouble making identification.
    6) Went ahead with indictments based only on the identification of the non-credible accuser and an inconclusive DNA result.
    7) Continued to press ahead with this case even though there is no chance any jury would find the defendants guilty beyond a reasonable doubt due to faulty identification procedure, alibi evidence, other eyewitness testimony, the lack of credibility of the accuser, the lack of conclusive DNA evidence, and the lack of other forensic evidence that would be expected with a gang rape.

    These are but a few of the reasons that Mr. Nifong should be recused and a special prosecutor appointed.

    I hope you will consider what is in the best interest of justice in Durham County.

    Thank you for reviewing this matter.

    Send your signed letters to the following address:
    Office of Attorney General Roy Cooper
    9001 Mail Service Center
    Raleigh, NC 27699-9001

    Posted on June 12, 2006
    Dear friends, we urge all of you to follow the instructions provided below and send at least two letters to the North Carolina officials, as soon as possible. Include one specific letter (for one of three indicted players) and a general one on Nifong, as described below. Note that these letters may be the most worthwhile letters you will send to an official and that the lives of three innocent young men hang in the balance. Please, take the time and do it. If you have difficulty copying and pasting, send us an email and we will send you MS Word versions of the sample letters. Here are the instructions:

    Friends and family of Reade, Collin and Dave are starting a letter-writing campaign to garner support for the accused and draw the attention of North Carolina's Attorney General, Roy Cooper, to the case. Please take a moment to print and sign one of the following form letters, or feel free to draft one of your own. We are hoping that a very large volume of letters is submitted, so please forward the message on to friends and family.

    All letters should have the following address:
    Office of Attorney General Roy Cooper
    9001 Mail Service Center
    Raleigh, NC 27699-9001

    Example Letters:


    Dear Mr. Cooper:
    I am writing to add my voice to what I hope are ultimately hundreds of voices speaking on behalf of the Duke Lacrosse Team and specifically on behalf of one of the three young men who have been formally ‘and not only unjustly but very likely illegally’ accused. There is no shortage of information in the lay press attesting to the dubious nature of the victim’s claims and the questionable character of those who have come forward to fan the flames for her. But I am writing to attest to the impeccable character of one of the young men? Reade Seligman. I find it simply incomprehensible that he might ever even be considered capable of committing the type of crime with which he has been charged. He is a soft-spoken, intelligent young man who is a faithful friend and committed, monogamous boyfriend who would never harm anyone verbally, much less physically. I beg you to investigate Mr. Nifong’s motives, methods, and actions and to involve yourself ‘with the intent of righting’ what has become, literally, a travesty of justice in Durham.

    Sincerely [your name]


    Dear Mr. Cooper,

    I am writing today on behalf of the Duke University students who have been unjustly and unethically charged with sexual assault. While it is certainly necessary to thoroughly investigate any such serious accusations of rape and to take action when action is warranted, Mr. Nifong has grossly abused his authority and indicted three young men without proper evidence or credible testimony. It appears that no action was warranted, yet Mr. Nifong has continued relentlessly and ignorantly in his prosecution of these three men.

    In the months that have passed since the supposed assault took place, Mr. Nifong's case has unraveled completely. Reliable and air-tight alibis have been presented, the accuser's own credibility has been called into question, and the only third-party witness initially told police the charges were a "crock." Thus I find it inconceivable that Mr. Nifong not only continues to pursue this case, but does so with unbridled authority. He is making a mockery out of the justice system in Durham, and he is ruining the lives of three young men, their families, and their friends.

    It is the duty of the American Justice System to seek the truth, not to cover it up in order to fulfill political and personal goals. I have faith that you embrace this duty, and will do everything in your power to right this wrong.


    On a different note, today we published three letters in a new section titled Letters from Friends. All three letters are quite compelling. We look forward to hearing from many more friends and adding to this collection of letters.

    Posted on June 11, 2006
    We added three more articles in our Links to media page. Two of these articles represent a significant "change in position": the Newsweek and the New York Times articles. We congratulate these publications for the welcome change in their positions and, as the facts of this matter continue to unfold, we patiently await to see similar changes in other publications.

    Jocks and Prejudice June 11, 2006 NY Times, Nicholas D. Kristof
    Wow June 11, 2006 Robert KC Johnson
    The Duke Accuser—New Credibility Questions June 11, 2006 Newsweek

    Posted on June 10, 2006
    1. Do not miss today's Washington Post article (also published on the MSNBC website) on the Duke Lacrosse case: Lacrosse Players' Case a Trial for Parents . As stated in the article, the legal costs of the team members, indicted or not indicted alike, are mounting. It is not too late, and we encourage all our readers, to contribute to the defense fund to support these families.

    2. Today, a group of concerned North Carolina citizens started an email drive. The name of this drive is Save Durham - Indict Nifong. We urge all of our readers to participate in this drive. To participate, you need to copy and paste the message below and send it as an email or fax to the officials listed below. It will be a great help, if you could forward your email to all your friends and urge them to do the same. This drive can only make a difference if the numbers are substantial. Therefore, we need to make the numbers substantial by spreading the word as widely as possible.

    Message to be sent:
    Subject: Save Durham - Indict Nifong

    Dear Sir/Madam:

    As tax paying citizens of North Carolina we are asking that Mike Nifong and his office be put under investigation.
    1. Nifong is guilty of bringing incomplete evidence to the grand jury.

    2. Dismissing bail for witness for her parole violations.

    3. Police investigating the Duke University lacrosse team on rape allegations "omitted" notes from a second dancer at the party, who told authorities the alleged victim had been drinking, was acting "crazy" and that her colleague's accusation was a "crock," . Police "intentionally, deliberately and/or recklessly omitted" information from a probable cause affidavit -- information Osborn says would have persuaded the judge not to file felony charges against three of the players.

      The 2nd dancer said in a handwritten note dated March 22 that the accuser, to whom Pittman refers as "Precious," wanted to stay at the party and earn more money, even after one of the players made a verbal threat.

    4. There were major discrepancies in the reports of the doctors and nurses who examined the accuser at Duke Medical Center.

      Prosecutors and police have said that the accuser was hit, kicked and strangled while she was sexually assaulted anally, vaginally and orally. The accuser told the nurse "that she was not choked; that no condoms, fingers or foreign objects were used during the sexual assault," the lawyers wrote in a sworn statement. The nurse noted that the accuser's arms, legs, head, neck, nose, throat, mouth, chest, breasts and abdomen were all normal, the court filing said. The lawyers filed the accuser's medical records under seal with the court.
    These are crimes and there is no denying the fact that he used his position as D.A. to strong arm the evidence he wanted. Not only are these frightening acts, they are illegal. Nifong could get away with this behavior in Baghdad, but Durham?

    Where to send the message:

    Governor Michael F. Easley
    Office of the Governor
    20301 Mail Service Center
    Raleigh, NC 27699-0301
    Fax: (919)715-3175 or (919)733-2120

    Copies to:
    NC Representative:
    NC Senator:
    Speaker of the house:
    NC Bar executive:

    Posted on June 8, 2006
    Yesterday, an interesting editorial was published in the Duke Basketball Report (DBR)on the Duke Lacrosse case. Feel free to disseminate this article to your friends as well. Here is the link: When the Law is an Ass June 7, 2006

    We added two new articles to our Responses to media page. Please write responses to these articles. A sample response is posted for each article under the comments section of the same page. Emails of the authors are included in the Responses to media page.

    1. What Does it Take to Get an Athletic Program Shut Down by Tom Powers - Pioneer Press
    2. Needed: Special Prosecutor for the Duke Case by Susan Estrich

    Posted on June 6, 2006
    In response to several inquiries we received over the last few days, we want to clarify a possible misunderstanding regarding the recent change in our web address. Our new address does not imply any change in our convictions or goals, far from it. Our convictions and goals remain the same. We urge our readers to continue to stand together on this cause; there is much work to be done. We do not want to lose any support over the address change. If you have concerns or questions, please contact us via email. We will be happy to communicate with you further.

    Posted on June 5, 2006
    Today, the Duke Lacrosse team was reinstated by the Duke University administration. We congratulate the Duke University for taking this decision. It is certainly a step in the right direction.

    Posted on May 28, 2006
    Please read the following article written in The Philadelphia Inquirer on May 27th by Stephen Smith. Duke free-falling from grace

    We urge you to write to the paper's editor and the author and express your opinions.

    Similarly, read the following article: The Duke Case’s Cruel Truth May 24, 2006 Washington Post, Lynee Duke

    To respond to this article, write to:
    Author: Lynee Duke

    To share your responses with us, post them as a comment under our Responses to media page. Be sure to identify, on the top, which article you are responding.

    Posted on May 27, 2006
    1. Last night, the Duke Women's Lacrosse team lost the semi-final game in the NCAA championship to Northwestern 10-11. However, the coaches and the players of the Duke team earned a spot in our hearts. In our eyes, they are true winners! We extend our congratulations to coach Kimel and her team for another exemplary season.

    2. Please write to North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper and express your opinions on the Duke Lacrosse case. In particular, from your point of view, list all the things that have gone wrong and urge him to take corrective actions. Our emails may not make much of a difference. But, at least, we will go on the record. Use the link below to contact the Attorney General.
    Email to NC Attorney General, Roy Cooper

    Posted on May 24, 2006
    We are pleased to launch a “Defense Fund” whose goal is to help with the legal expenses of the falsely accused Lacrosse players. Thank you for all those who already contacted us and asked to be included in our “contributors list”. If you have not already done so, please consider contributing to the defense fund . Sadly, it will take a great deal of resources to get justice in this case, if at all, and the families involved can use our financial support. Talk to your friends as well and make them aware of the defense fund.

    Posted on May 7, 2006
    1. Right now, the most important thing we can do is to reach out to other like-minded people and let them know the existence of this site. We need to reach out to as many friends as possible. There is strength in numbers.

    2. Read the posts under Recommendations for action section. If you have any suggestions or additions, post them. We will continuously review those recommendations and act on them when appropriate.

    3. If you are a Durham resident, we urge you to write letters to your governor, mayor, and other local officials and express your opinions on this case. You must point out to those officials that “facts” and not “racial prejudices” should determine the outcome of the investigation. Your input and support are crucial. Please take action, if for nothing else, for the sake of your own town and community.

    Posted on May 5, 2006
    I have been following the so-called "Duke Lacrosse Rape Case" closely for about two weeks and I am horrified by the total lack of support shown for the Duke lacrosse players. I am reading with great dismay too many negative comments about these Duke students. They are being portrayed as public enemy number one without any justifiable reason. Today, I read some really ugly and surely unfounded allegations about the lacrosse players. I was quite distressed and decided something has to be done about this huge injustice. Someone has to show some support to these kids who, I think, are innocent of the charges they are accused of.

    I am setting up this website in the hope that other people who feel the same way about the lacrosse case may contact me and together we may be able to provide some support to these students and their families who must be going through an extraordinarily difficult time. If you believe in this cause, please send me an email at the following address: