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A.G.'s Lax Report Released

On Friday, the Attorney General's office released the official report about the Duke lacrosse case which detailed the many problems with the case. Among them:

  • They felt the accuser, Crystal Gail Mangum, changed her story so often that it was as if she was improvising;
  • Her testimony would have been contradicted by evidence from numerous other sources;
  • She contradicted herself in a number of ways;
  • There was no supporting witness or evidence;
  • The lineup was invalid;
  • Seligmann's and Finnerty's alibis held up;
  • Mangum's arrest record and he psychiatric history would have made a conviction very difficult.
  • She showed up to an interview with the special prosecutors pretty obviously impaired and admitted that she had taken Ambien, methadone, Paxil and amitriptyline. These are four very potent drugs. Ambien is primarily a sleeping pill, although it has become a recreational drug for many. Methadone is a synthetic opium. It has two primary uses: to help end addictions to other drugs and as an analgesic. Paxil is an antidepressant which is useful for anxiety disorders and is being investigated as a medication for bipolar disorder. Amitriptyline is another antidepressant and it typically is prescribed for depression.

The mystery here is, as it has been: why did Mike Nifong do this? Was it just for a pension?

Given the magnitude of the crime committed here - and in our opinion, even if Nifong is never charged, using an unstable woman to frame three innocent men is at least a moral crime - one has to wonder about his other cases. Which seems more likely to you - that he would start cheating on a high-profile case like this? Or that this is part of a pattern? We have no idea, but it's a disturbing yet important question to ask.

What takes our breath away is the arrogance of it, the idea that the D.A. could just so blatantly spin a case out of nothing.

In fact, given the magnitude of what has transpired, we'd really urge attorneys, or law students, or journalists (which rules out just about anyone from the Herald-Sun) to pore over the records of the office for the last decade or so to see if anyone else was hung out to dry. Our hunch is that what happened in the lacrosse case didn't happen in a vacuum.