Duke Rape Case: Bizzaro World Law Professor
Wendy Murphy a law professor and former sex crimes prosecutor comes up with one of the lamest defenses for Mike Nifong. First up she postulates some damning evidence…or in more simple terms she makes up stuff,
Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong may have eyewitness statements from the defendants’ friends and photos of the incident. If so, Nifong should be rewarded for respecting the defendants’ rights by not leaking the type of evidence that could help him personally respond to criticism.
Got that, he might have pictures…or he might not. Wendy Murphy, on the issues of pictures, is as clueless as the rest of us, but she doesn’t let that stop her.
The Wilmington Journal reported last June that a cousin of the alleged victim said she’d rejected offers of $2 million from Duke alumni to back out of the case.
Does this necessarily imply guilt of the defendants? No. Does it imply that Duke alumni are becoming more and more embarassed by the universities refusal to defend its students as more and more evidence keeps surfacing indicating the whole case is a complete farce? Yes.
The photo lineup was not unfair. Not all party attendees were players, and many players were not at the party. Thus, it is false to say there were “no wrong answers” the accuser could give in making identifications.
Uhhhmmm, actually from what I read all the team members, save the single black team member, were ordered to give DNA samples. This indicates the DA doesn’t really know who was and was not at the party. If this is true, then there really is “no wrong” answer and whoever was going to be picked was going to be charged irrespective of other evidence. And considering that Seligmann has video evidence placing him miles from the crime scene at the time the crime was supposedly being committed further supports this. Further, according to K. C. Johnson, Durham seems to be one of the few exceptions in doing photo line ups. Most, if not all–save for Druham, adhere to the following procedures,
- Line-ups shall consist of one known suspect and seven filler photos/images.
- If there are multiple suspects in a case, a different line-up shall be created for each suspect. Filler photos/images can not be used in more than one line-up.
- Filler photos/images are selected based upon shared characteristics with the suspect photo . . .
Right here we see that Nifong didn’t follow any of the above. There was only one line up, no fillers that we know of, and the shared characteristics rule was also violated. Also, when it comes to presenting the photo line up the procedure is to use a double-blind procdure. That is the person doing the line up doesn’t know who the suspects are. And according to the transcripts she claims one of men who assaulted her had a mustache, there is no evidence suggesting that any of the suspects had a mustache at the time of the assualt.
Nifong is criticized for not speaking to the victim about the case, but his reliance on responsible others is proper. It protects him from being removed from the case as a “witness.” Many law enforcement, forensic and legal professionals support the prosecution and have not backed off despite the hype.
Obviously Ms. Murphy lives under a rock or something becasue Nifong was talking about the case as a campaign issue. At one point he claims to have done 50 interviews on the case.
When one of the defense lawyers said that Nifong gave 50 to 70 interviews about the case, Nifong said he wanted to set the record straight. He checked his schedule and it showed that he actually gave more like 15 to 20 interviews. He said he had many conversations with reporters, some just to say that he would not comment on the case.
But the number 50 came from Nifong himself.
In a March 31 interview with a News & Observer reporter, Nifong was asked “How many interviews do you think you’ve given?”
“In excess of 50,” Nifong said.
That is until things like the lack of DNA evidence, the video of Seligmann, etc. started to make this case look more like a complete sham being used for political reasons than for justice. Then Nifong suddenly gives no more interviews. Apparently Ms. Murphy is not familiar with this site.
Everyone learned last spring that DNA in the rape kit did not match that of the defendants. Information “held back” involved other men’s DNA. This constitutionally protected private information should never be disclosed unless a judge deems it relevant. The defense argued that the evidence provides an alternative explanation for the victim’s vaginal injuries, and the judge agreed.
Oh this is just crazy. That evidence should have been given to the defense, there is just no question about it. The fact that the DNA from multiple strangers was found on the supposed victim indeed provides and much more believable explanation for what happened.
Days later, the prosecutor withdrew the “rape” charge, which under North Carolina law consists only of penile-vaginal penetration. Other penetration crimes are covered by the remaining equally serious “sexual offense” indictment. This may have been a brilliant move, because with no rape charge, the victim’s sexual past is irrelevant – and the cause of justice is spared a salacious and distracting sideshow.
And yet the main reason we are told that the rape charges were dropped is because the defendant can’t say for certain if she was penetrated. But this is all in the cause of justice. My gut feeling is that Ms. Murphy is pushing an agenda and she doesn’t really care about the cause of justice. This op-ed by Ms. Murphy is simply offensive.