legalacidity's musings


Duke Lacrosse DNA Comes Back Negative

Well well well. It turns out that the much-awaited DNA tests in the Duke Lacrosse "scandal" didn't come back the way that most of, well, everyone thought that they would: WRAL is reporting that the DNA tests came back negative on all 46 players that were tested. They apparently didn't find DNA evidence anywhere on or in the alleged victim nor on her belongings. Does that mean that nothing criminal happened that night? Certainly not. But, it does deal a big blow to the credibility of the story of the alleged victim. Another huge outcome of this is that it seriously damages the case against the players while also painting of Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong into a pretty small corner. A couple of weeks ago he called for the DNA tests to help prove who was innocent; now, it appears, all of his suspects may very well be innocent. Yet, he plans to move forward in the case and file charges.

Some of you may say that this course of action must mean that he has plenty of other evidence with which to charge three (and only three) of the 46 white Duke lacrosse players. However, I don't believe this to be the case. Nifong was almost certainly hoping for one or two hits on the DNA so that he could definitively have a solid suspect that he could lean on to hopefully get that person to implicate anyone else who was involved. However, his plan seems to have backfired, because instead of giving himself the proverbial smoking gun, he has given the defense attorneys in the case a howitzer with which to slowly destroy every aspect of the prosecution's case.

Also surfacing in the past day or so was a claim by one of the defense attorneys for the players that he was in possession of several time-stamped photographs that he said would show that the alleged victim was already in rough physical shape when she first showed up to the party.


You mean that the alleged victim may have been lying about the whole thing? No way! Really? You think that maybe she made the whole thing up because someone she knows raped her before the party? Maybe? Is it plausible now?

That's why you don't ever jump to conclusions.

10:27 p.m. - 2006-04-10

Talk Back: so far, 1 people have taken the plunge


Sendek's OUT; The Public Trial of Duke Lacrosse Players

Well, it finally happened: Herb Sendek's leaving N.C. State. He'll be switching coasts to coach at Arizona State, whose athletic director was committed to finding someone who was familiar with the "west coast." I guess she missed on that one. At any rate, my N.C. State buddy (he of the WVU-hating), can finally rest easy and dream, at least for a few nights, of Rod--ER--Rick Barnes.

I've been following with detached curiousity the story surrounding the Duke lacrosse team. As a Duke fan, the whole thing has bothered me (for obvious reasons), and not just because it involves Duke athletics: if the girl got raped, she deserves justice, and those that did it should pay for their crime. But, we don't know for sure whether or not the allegations are true. Some of the sites out there today are "reporting" on this story with the kind of joy that I imagine hungry sharks feel when they sense blood in the water. Just because it is Duke, the legions of Duke-haters are falling all over themselves to crucify a group of guys who, admittedly, aren't saints. But, little or no attention is being paid to the fact that the 911 calls surrounding the alleged rape are conflicting and confusing and actually seem to cast doubt on the story as a whole. But, no one is really seizing on this because most everyone who is following this case has already made up their mind regarding the guilt of the players.

But is this fair? Is it ever fair? Essentially, because these guys were college-guy-hell-raising-athletes, they simply must've raped that girl. No other way to see it, right? Wrong. Everyone (at least the way they teach us here in this ole' law school) is presumed innocent until proven guilty. Unfortunately, with the sickening display of grandstanding by District Attorney Mike Nifong, it is likely impossible that any of the players, should they be charged, get a fair trial. Nifong has said that he believes that a crime has occurred (even though the investigation is far from complete) and that they have plenty of evidence other than DNA with which to charge. Either Nifong has access to unbelievably rock-solid evidence and is inexplicably waiting for the DNA results to have the most rock-solid case in history or he is simply beginning his reelection campaign a little earlier than normal.

3:36 p.m. - 2006-04-03

Talk Back: so far, 2 people have taken the plunge


Odds & Ends: Sampson to Indiana, NCSU Recruit in Trouble, Hottie Needing Votes

Well, it looks like Kelvin Sampson has been hired by Indiana to replace Mike Davis. This means that Indiana has declined to follow the lead of the University of Alabama's football program and get to someone outside of "the family" within five or six years instead of twenty. Good for them. Of course, Sampson may be running from possible NCAA violations that may have occurred while he was at Oklahoma. We'll have to wait and see on that one.

Looks like more possible trouble for Herb Sendek at N.C. State: one of their prize recruits for next year, Larry Davis, was suspended recently for berating an official after fouling out of a basketball game. His uncle then punched the ref out, something I'm sure we all have wanted to do from time to time.

Also...if you've got some downtime at work, or school, or are at home counting rocks in your rock garden, click here and vote for Jen Graham in Maxim's Hometown Hottie contest. She's a law student here at Alabama and she was ballsy enough to send out a school-wide email looking for votes, so I'd figure my meager traffic could help her out. She pointed out in her email that people could vote as many times as they wanted, so keep that in mind.

3:49 p.m. - 2006-03-28

Talk Back: so far, 1 people have taken the plunge


Thoughts From the Atlanta Regional: WVU Fans are Idiots

Well, it certainly was a bad week to be a #1 seed! I couldn't believe that George Mason pulled off the upset on UConn and made the Final Four. A great run for a true cinderella--that's what makes this tournament so great.

Some of my observations from Atlanta, where I watched the Sweet Sixteen & Elite Eight games over the weekend:

---The West Virginia fans who sat around us on Thursday night cheered harder for LSU than they did for their own team. They also enjoyed heckling J.J. Redick to a level comparable to what we see from, say, the commentators on Deadspin. Kinda sucks that Texas hit that three at the buzzer, eh? Eh? I'm sorry...I'm still giggling uncontrollably from the thought of the entire WVU section completely deflating as Paulino's shot went in. Heh.

---Danny Ainge was in attendance for Thursday night's games. By himself. Sitting six rows in front of us. Not on the center court aisle, like we were, but on the other end of our section. In the West Virginia section. Ainge also had one of those uber-cell phone earpieces in his ear, but it wasn't the wireless Bluetooth kind, it was wired to his phone. Now, this is just my opinion, but shouldn't the GM of the Boston Celtics (a) be able to get better seats to this type of game and (b) afford a wireless cell phone headset? It got kind of funny before the Duke/LSU game started when random WVU fans kept walking up and interrupting his peanut-eating to just talk to him. Based on what I could see, no one asked for an autograph. Also, he left once Glen Davis of LSU picked up his second foul in the first half (and ended up sitting out until the second half). (One person we talked to said that Ainge sat in the WVU section during the LSU/Duke game because he knew that they wouldn't be jumping up and down and then moved for the second set of games. I prefer to think that he ran out of peanuts and just left.)

---West Virginia fans, besides from really wanting LSU to win, also like to fight amongst themselves. Two rows ahead of us, a fight broke out between WVU fan #1 (who looked like he could be in the West Virginia mafia) and WVU fan #2 (who looked like a science teacher). Mafia Fan had Science Fan by the collar of his shirt and was yelling incoherently at him. Once they were separated, Mafia Fan yelled "There are three minutes left in this final!!!!!" Science Fan just looked at him. Science Fan's wife got up to go get security, but Science Fan pulled rank and told her to sit down. Order was restored. We think that old man Science Fan was yelling at Mafia Fan to sit down, but we can't be sure. You never know with those Mountaineers.

---It was proven once again that no matter where you go, you will find an N.C. State fan who will stop your buddy (who is a State fan who happened to be wearing a State hat) to talk about why State won't fire Sendek and hire someone "worth a damn." The level of bonding that is available over this common hatred of Herb Sendek is amazing to me.

---And finally, it was fully proven that WVU fans are the worst fans on the face of the planet (at least in my experiences). Bar none. A lot of the WVU fans we encountered were idiots. I'm not saying that they were all idiots; rather, a large minority of them that we encountered exhibited actions of buffoonery that more than made up for the normalcy of the fan base as a whole. For example, see the note above about the two WVU fans fighting themselves during the WVU/Texas game. But, that was merely humorous; the story I'm about to tell sealed the deal on the utter stupidity of WVU fans.

My buddy and I decided to take in the Friday night games at the hotel's sports bar. We arrived WAY early and got the best table in the place, right in front of the big screen TV, maybe 15 or 20 feet away. It was great. As it got later, the place began to fill up more, and at one point, an older fifty-ish man came in the place, talking loudly and calling everyone "boss" or "chief" or "big man." You know the type--pompous and cocky as hell. He went to the bar to get a drink and ended up standing directly in our way, blocking our view of the television. After trying to get his attention (whistling, etc.), I just yelled out "HEY!" This had the effect of causing half the bar to snap their heads around and look at me, so it was quite effective. Pompous McFanerson looked over as well and I motioned for him to move over, out of our way. I even said please. He did so, albeit begrudingly.

Even though the place was crowded, we could hear him complaining about the bar running out of Bud Light and how he was not happy about it. He settled on Coronas for him and his buddy and he went behind our table, out of our view. Unbeknownst to him, my buddy could hear everything he was saying to his buddy; the most important thing he said was in reference to me, that I "yelled" at him and that if I wasn't careful, he would "slug" me. Who the hell says "slug" in this day and age? My buddy informs me of what he heard, but I let it go, because the last thing I want to do is get into a barfight during my last year of law school and get bounced out of school.

A few minutes later, Pompous McFanerson and his buddy come over and deliberately stand right in front of us. I get up and ask his friend to move, and he complains that he "has nowhere to stand" and that people kept asking him to move. I, being gracious, invite him to sit with us as we had two extra chairs. Pompous walks off, but his friend sits down with us.

Me: "So, where you guys from?"
Pompous Friend: "West Virginia."

No wonder.

Me: "So, your friend wants to slug me?"
PF: "Well, he's got kind of a big mouth..."
Me: "You're damn right he does."
PF: "Well...ah...uh...he's over there. I guess you can talk to him about it."

At this point, once again, I decided to let it go. No point in ruining a good night, right?

Pompous ends up sitting with us, and all is well for a while. It becomes even more apparent that Pompous is a blowhard who lives in the past. How'd they get tickets? Oh, they're "good friends" with one of the WVU player's family. Pompous was also "all state" in high school. You get the idea. Then, Pompous went and almost ruined the night for my friend and me. He called over a hotel worker, and after a bit of small talk, this is what happened:

Pompous McFanerson: "So, you got a girlfriend, boss?"
Worker: "Yes sir."
PM: "Well, you know I got your girl on speed dial."
W: "Ok."
PM: "And us guys (white people) are better than you (black people) because we like to lick the ***hole. You know what I mean? See that girl over there? I'd lick it up, chief."
W: "Uh, sure. You're the man."

The worker then walked off. Pompous said other things as well, basically insinuating that he was screwing the worker's girlfriend. Terrible stuff to say to anyone, much less a hotel worker who is less than half your age and can't get mad at you because the crappy hotel job is all he's got. I thought that my buddy's head was going to explode. He went and found the worker and apologized to him, telling him that we didn't know those guys and that he was sorry and that the worker handled it well. My buddy, then came back to the table and after a few minutes leaned over to me and said that he couldn't hold his tongue any longer. I told him to do what he had to do.

My buddy tapped Pompous on the shoulder and basically told him that what he told the worker was wrong, that he was out of line, and that he couldn't treat people that way.

Pompous: "Hey, I'm a jokester. I can take a joke too. I was just joking."
My Buddy: "No you weren't. That was over the line."
P: "Well, he didn't take it that way."
MB: "If someone said that about your wife, wouldn't it make you mad?"
P: "No."
Me: "Bullshit! You're a liar! There's no man on the face of this planet who wouldn't get pissed off about that."
P: "..."

We went back and forth with Pompous for a while, and the entire time, his friend just sat there and acted like he wished he was in Siberia. He didn't say one word while we were dressing down his friend. At one point, the conversation went like this:

Pompous: "Well, I didn't wake up this morning trying to please you two."
My Buddy: "Well, I didn't wake up this morning thinking about making you eat through a straw for the rest of your life, but by God, it's about to happen."
P: "..."

Needless to say, Pompous backed down and agreed to apologize to the worker. He got dressed down in front of an entire bar full of people and backed down, as most bullies do.

And, it just goes to show you, every time you go to the NCAA tournament, you'll have stories to tell.

9:29 a.m. - 2006-03-27

Talk Back: so far, 0 people have taken the plunge


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Here from a Google search? Check out my archives.

New Site - 2008-05-24

Kyle Busch is Garbage - 2008-05-03

On Bissinger and Leitch - 2008-04-30

Chad Johnson is a Doofus - 2008-04-03

Thoughts on the NCAA Tournament in Birmingham - 2008-03-25

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