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Duke lacrosse accuser won't face arson retrial


DURHAM, NC (AP) -- North Carolina prosecutors say they won't try a second time to bring a felony arson charge against the woman who prosecutors said falsely accused three Duke University lacrosse players of rape.

Durham Assistant District Attorney Mark McCullough said Friday his office will not retry Crystal Mangum.

A Durham County jury last month deadlocked on the first-degree arson charge that could have led to Mangum being sentenced to prison for more than seven years.

Mangum was convicted of contributing to child abuse. Police said Mangum piled her boyfriend's clothes into a bathtub during an argument and lit them on fire while her three children and two police officers were in her home.

The state attorney general's office concluded there was no credible evidence Mangum was attacked at a 2006 Duke lacrosse team party.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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Duke lacrosse accuser won't face arson retrial

  • The state attorney general's office concluded there was no credible evidence Mangum was attacked at a 2006 Duke lacrosse team party.
  • There's also no credible evidence that the NC legislature has done anything to forestall a repeat of North Carolina's own legal disgrace. There is still no Speedy Trial law; no requirement for grand juries to keep transcripts; no right to a probable cause hearing for those indicted by a grand jury; no absolute right to a bill of particulars; and no effective punishment for making false rape accusations.

    A repeat Nifong is just around the corner.

    Perhaps nobody wants to tackle those reforms because the usual activists are the same ones who were so wrought up in the emotional satisfaction of pillorying three out-of-state innocent students.

    The NAACP for one couldn't even gather the courage to defend a falsely-accused Sudanese immigrant cabbie when Nifong trumped up charges against him; or a Durham police officer who tried to say that Mangum was lying from the very start--he ended up being the only Durham officer disciplined for actions during the lacrosse case (for trying to insist on the truth). The civil rights activists were content to see every legal protection swept aside (including the clear need for a change of venue) in order to obtain false convictions against some unpopular defendants.

    And now they won't speak up for reforms; which means that all future
    NC defendants will also have to suffer. But perhaps that is an easier road
    for them than to admit their own follies.