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Phi Beta Cons

The Right take on higher education.

At Least One Non-“Enabler” at Duke



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 As widely reported, the North Carolina bar filed ethics charges this week against Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong, the prosecutor in the Duke lacrosse sexual assault case, accusing him of making no less that 49 misleading and inflammatory public statements about the athletes under suspicion.

Commenting on this in The Wall Street Journal, KC Johnson and Stuart Taylor, Jr., condemned “the powerful, identity-politics-obsessed hard left of Duke’s own Faculty” and Duke President Richard Brodhead as “enablers of abusive, dishonest law enforcement tactics” (“A Dirty Game,” 12/17).  (Johnson and Taylor neglected to name Duke’s trustees as enablers – which I hasten to do forthwith. Their silence throughout this affair has been disgraceful and cowardly.)

Yet one member of the Duke faculty, law professor James Coleman, did speak out against Nifong and deserves to be commended. Before the ethics charges were filed, he stated: 

I don’t see how any member of the public can have confidence in this case. I think it’s making a mockery of our criminal justice system to permit this guy to keep fumbling along. It’s either total incompetence or it’s misconduct on a scale that is extraordinary. 



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