Friday, September 07, 2007

Say it ain't So!

This story hit me like pee in the old cornflakes. The Duke Lacrosse story almost has a kinda sorta happy ending. Nifong is disbarred, doing time (ok, one day a la Paris and Nicole) and the players pretty much did get their reputations back. They are widely seen as innocent victims; heroes of a cautionary tale of political correctness and jumping to conclusions.

But then they go and spoil it all by saying something stupid like "I want 30 million" (my apologies to C. Carson Parks, please don't sue me).

Yes after settling Nifong's hash, our heroes turn to slightly deeper pockets, the City of Durham, demanding the creation of an ombudsman's office (sounds good), other "reforms", (ok) oh yeah and $10 million each (DOH!). If they don't get it directly, they are going to sue for it.

Maybe the city can bring back Iron Mike and prosecute the boys for extortion!

9 comments:

Joe T. said...

Without any apologies from a city that gladly would have seen them behind bars even after knowing they were innocent (hey, they elected Nifong), a monetary hit is all that's left. It's still a cautionary tale: To other cities, don't behave like Durham..

Anonymous said...

I agree with the above comment. The STATE has to pay for what they did to the reputation of innocent citizens and a University that has done nothing but good for the CITY. I'm actually upset that they didn't ask for more.

Libertarians like myself hate out of control organs of the STATE, and Mike Nifong and city officials that enabled this nonsense are posterchildren.

Angus said...

Thanks for the comments. I appreciate your views. I would like to point out though that THE STATE wouldn't be paying the 30 million, it would be the people who live in Durham, most of which had nothing to do with the case and most of which are quite a bit poorer than the three players.

The Durham police acted horribly and firings/disciplinary actions are probably well warranted, and necessary.

I just think the players lose the high ground totally with a money grab.

John Thacker said...

I would like to point out though that THE STATE wouldn't be paying the 30 million, it would be the people who live in Durham, most of which had nothing to do with the case and most of which are quite a bit poorer than the three players.

Actually, most of which re-elected Nifong in the middle of the trial, so that does have something to do with it.

Also, I believe that $5 million of it would come out of Durham's liability policy with The Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania. Although the insurance company has threatened to not pay if the city continues to employ the panel probing the case.

Reputations restored or not, it still has cost them quite a bit. Perhaps not $30 million, but a lot.

Anonymous said...

If the STATE (in this case the local governmnet) was interested in protecting its citizens from the costs of a 30million dollar settlement, then it should look into the corruption in its own police department. If Gottlieb and other thugs had already been reprimanded/fired/thrown in jail, it would be more difficult to make the case for 30 million dollars.

Face it, Mr. Libertarian, this is something the local government has brought on itself.

lrbinfrisco said...

Duke police lied in court documents, lied to a grand jury, falsified evidence, engaged in witness tampering, pursued a case with zero evidence before NiFong every heard of the case, made knowingly false and malcious public statements, ignored public death threats to the players, and many more violations of civil rights. The citizens of Durham elected the bozos who run their city government and hire and fire who runs the PD, and the good citizens have yet to stage any significant protests over their illegal actions. $30 million is too cheap IMO for these apathetic morons.

Anonymous said...

Don't you think this (the suit) makes sense in dynamic terms, i.e. in terms of setting up the right incentives?

With this precedent, do you think local officials (from the Mayor to the Police Chief) will be as non-chalant as they were with a prosecutor that was clearly out of control?

Do you think the many who remained silent throughout this ordeal would now behave differently?

Lastly, will the people of Durham keep electing the inept officials they have been electing for so long?

Maybe this is all for the good.

Anonymous said...

"Thanks for the comments. I appreciate your views. I would like to point out though that THE STATE wouldn't be paying the 30 million, it would be the people who live in Durham, most of which had nothing to do with the case and most of which are quite a bit poorer than the three players."

This just isn't true. In ordinary circumstances, I'd be tempted to agree with you. However, NIFONG WAS REELECTED in the middle of the case: after most of his most egregious violations (after calling the players hooligans, hiding exculpatory evidence, etc)...In other words, the majority of the people chose to reelect Nifong, knowing about his unjust actions.

Angus said...

I don't think a majority of the people of Durham voted to re-elect Nifong, but I guess that is hiding behind semantics. As I said before, the Durham Police acted reprehensibly and disciplinary actions are warranted. Government officials up and down the line should be punished. But awarding a taxpayer funded judgment doesn't strike me as the best way to implement reforms. I guess if the players were giving the $$ to a charity after paying legal bills or setting up a foundation for defendant's rights, I'd have no complaints. Its just the money grab aspect that had me shaking my head. Thanks for all the comments and for reading KPC. I am clearly outvoted on this issue.