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Duke Update

The story gets curiouser and curiouser. See my column today on how the case seems to be in the process of unraveling. Then go read John in Carolina who tries to sort out whether DA Mike Nifong did in fact say the alleged victim has ID'd one of the players.

Also, a reader emailed earlier today to say that Durham City councilman Eugene Brown just stated on the Mike Gallagher radio show that he had information from local FBI sources that not every member of the lacrosse team had been tested for DNA. Assuming he's not referring to the one black player on the team (who wasn't tested) this would be a bit of a revelation, given that news reports affirmed that all 46 players had been tested and no match was found. However, in a story from the Raleigh News & Observer this morning Nifong himself states that all 46 players had been tested:

"There are 46 members of that lacrosse team in Duke who gave DNA samples and there weren't 46 of them who did this crime," Nifong said.

Nifong did say the other day that more tests were "pending," though a spokesperson from the N.C. Department of Justice wasn't aware of any new tests, saying that, "all the results we had were delivered" to Nifong's office.

Now go back and read Nifong's quote again carefully to see why people are critical of his handling of the case: "there weren't 46 of them who did this crime." [emphasis added] No charges have been filed. What we have, at the moment, is an allegation of a crime, and Nifong should be smart enough to characterize it as such, even if he is sitting on some silver bullet piece of evidence, which seems unlikely. By making such public comments, Nifong continues to up his personal investment in prosecuting the case - which is never a good thing for a justice system that relies on dispassion and even-handedness.

Nifong may end up being right about a crime being committed, we'll have to wait and see what happens. Defense lawyers are convinced he will take the case to a grand jury on Monday, and we all know the saying about being able to indict a ham sandwich. This case, with all of its mysterious twists and turns, is far from over.