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Thursday, August 10th 2006

Nifong's Case Still Weak

The Durham district attorney doesn’t have much of a case against three Duke lacrosse players. This according to The News & Observer’s review of the evidence he’s been required by law to release so far to the defense. This should come as no surprise to anyone keeping up with this.

In examining the files Nifong has produced in the case, The News & Observer found that the accuser gave at least five different versions of the alleged assault to different police and medical interviewers and made shaky identifications of suspects. To get warrants, police made statements that weren’t supported by information in their files.

Indeed this post is mostly just a review as no new proceedings or findings have come up since the third lacrosse player was charged.

Still, as a summary for my new home…

There is an alibi witness for two of the accused, a time stamped ATM reciept for one of the accused putting him away from the scene during the time frame, the changing story and bizzare behavior of the victim, the doubts of her fellow dancer who initially called the victim’s claims false, the history of the accuser (she’s made rape allegations previously and dropped them), a failure of the victim to identify all three attackers on the first try, and no DNA or really any physical evidence tying the three players to the crime.

Mr. Nifong has the victim’s word (although he’ll have to get passed a sketchy past), the aplorable behavior of a lacrosse players in an email where he talked about violence against strippers (although he isn’t one of the players accused…so it is hard to imagine what this has to do with the case), and the physical trauma consistent with rape found on the victim at the hospital.

It isn’t invoking a lot of confidence in the community, as several people have and are stepping up to challenge Mr. Nifong in the general election. He won the Democratic primary handily and he should caarry the office in November, but the opposition to this case is certainly rising in Durham.