Duke Rape Case: Not So Fast There Mr. Johnson

K.C. Johnson is quite optimistic that with Nifong off the case that the Special Prosecutions Division of the State’s Attorney General’s office will be a good thing.

By contrast, a special prosecutor will undertake a full review of the case—conducting, as Coleman noted, the “kind of thorough investigation Nifong should have done to determine whether there is any basis to go forward.”

I’m not so sure. This article in the WaPo doesn’t exactly fill me with confidence that the charges will be dismissed.

RALEIGH, N.C., Jan. 13 — North Carolina’s attorney general on Saturday promised a “careful and deliberate review” of the sexual abuse case against three Duke lacrosse players but noted that “anything can happen,” even new charges, as his office reviews the evidence.

New charges?!?! Seriously? Against Nifong or the accuser?

Also we have this from Lie Stoppers,

Longtime prosecutor Jim Coman, who is the head of the NC Attorney General’s Special Prosecution Unit, as well as the former head of the SBI lab, and Mary Winstead will be the primary attorneys assigned to the case, according to Cooper. Promising to seek truth and justice while respecting all those involved, Cooper stated that the special prosecutors would approach the case with eyes wide open on evidence and closed to everything else.

If the hoax proceeds to trial, it will not be Coman’s first attempt at placing innocent men behind bars. In 2003, despite the revelation that prosecutors David Hoke and Debra Graves withheld evidence that exonerated Alan Gell of murder charges that had sent him to death row, Coman decided to put Mr. Gell on trial for a second time. Later Coman would testify at the State Bar trial of Hoke and Graves to the effect that withholding evidence was standard policy in the Attorney General’s office.

Overall, this suggests to me that the State’s AG and his appointees might not see dismissal as the most prudent route.

FILED UNDER: Blogosphere, Gender Issues, Law and the Courts, US Politics, , , ,
Steve Verdon
About Steve Verdon
Steve has a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles and attended graduate school at The George Washington University, leaving school shortly before staring work on his dissertation when his first child was born. He works in the energy industry and prior to that worked at the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the Division of Price Index and Number Research. He joined the staff at OTB in November 2004.


  1. Concerned father says:

    It would be interesting to see if the new prosecutor would have the courage to charge Crystal Gail Mangum with making a false accusation. Then, it would be interesting if Ms. Mangum implicates Mike Nifong as the instigator.

  2. Gollum says:

    FWIW, Roy Cooper, the North Carolina attorney general, is nearing the end of his second term as AG and will be gearing up for his re-election campaign in 2008.

  3. Lana Hover says:

    I agree. There could be a culture in Durham that supports Nifong-type activity and arrogance. I fear the Duke 3 are even more at risk now than when they were in the hands of Nifong and the obviously unreliable accuser. The new prosecutors may go after the 3 to forestall some of the inevitable litigation that will surely follow. (The Duke 3 and their families will have to sue to recover partial costs; this is probably costing the families hundreds of thousands of dollars each—-and most of it is being spent in North Carolina! I fear the prosecutors will box the boys in.

    What a fiasco!

  4. just me says:

    Those articles make me think there is going to be some CYA at work to cover Nifong, not much seeking of justice.

    In the end the charges may be dropped, but I suspect they are looking to protect Nifong and Durham from potential lawsuit.