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Steve Gilliard, 1964-2007

It is with tremendous sadness that we must convey the news that Steve Gilliard, editor and publisher of The News Blog, passed away June 2, 2007. He was 42.

To those who have come to trust The News Blog and its insightful, brash and unapologetic editorial tone, we have Steve to thank from the bottom of our hearts. Steve helped lead many discussions that mattered to all of us, and he tackled subjects and interest categories where others feared to tread.

Please keep Steve's friends and family in your thoughts and prayers.

Steve meant so much to us.

We will miss him terribly.

photo by lindsay beyerstein


Seitan Worshipper: "Charges Dropped in Duke Case"

Off the hook and essentially exonerated

Thanks to Seitan Worshipper for recommending this story from Yahoo

Prosecutors drop charges in Duke case

RALEIGH, N.C. - North Carolina's top prosecutor dropped all charges
Wednesday against the three former Duke lacrosse players accused of
sexually assaulting a stripper at a party, saying the athletes were
innocent victims of a "tragic rush to accuse" by an overreaching
district attorney.

"There were many points in the case where caution would have served
justice better than bravado," North Carolina Attorney General Roy
Cooper said in a damning assessment of Durham County District Mike
Nifong's handling of the sensational, racially charged case. "In the
rush to condemn, a community and a state lost the ability to see

Cooper, who took over the case in January after Nifong was charged
with ethics violations that could get him disbarred, said his own
investigation "led us to the conclusion that no attack occurred."

"I think a lot of people owe a lot of apologies to a lot of people,"
Cooper said in a news conference held before dozens of reporters in
the press room at the arena where Raleigh's NHL team plays.


The Duke case was troubled almost from the start. DNA failed to
connect any of the athletes to the 28-year-old stripper. One of the
athletes claimed to have ATM receipts and time-stamped photos that
provided an alibi. It was also learned that the stripper had leveled
similar gang-rape allegations a decade ago, and no charges resulted.

The case came down to her word against the athletes, and her story
kept changing. In December, Nifong dropped the rape charges after the
woman said she was no longer certain she was penetrated.

Nifong came under furious criticism from the community, the
university and other members of the bar for pressing ahead with a
case that they said seemed pitifully weak.

The district attorney withdrew from the case in January after the
North Carolina bar charged him with making misleading and
inflammatory comments to the media about the athletes under
suspicion. It later added more serious charges of withholding
evidence from defense attorneys and lying to the court.

- posted by Seitan Worshipper

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