Time to play “Where Are They Now?” It’s a simple game where you call out the name of someone who was in the headlines for his Warholian 15 minutes, then vanished again. Anyone can play, and it’s proven safer than ‘Knockout.’
With the reader’s indulgence, Staff will go first. The name is Crystal Mangum. Mangum is notable enough to have a Wikipedia entry, a feat that not many people can claim. Here is it what it says:
Crystal Gail Mangum (born July 18, 1978) is an African-American woman who is best known for making false allegations of rape against white lacrosse players in the racially charged Duke lacrosse case.
And here is what it doesn’t say:
The faculty of Duke University made an absolute spectacle of the case and fools of themselves. A group of 88 of them (Group of 88 is another Wikipedia entry) decided that the four frat members charged did not deserve the presumption of innocence and signed a statement of condemnation that ran as a full-age ad in the Duke Chronicle, a campus newspaper.
On April 5, 2006, Duke lacrosse coach Mike Pressler was forced to resign under threat by athletics director Joe Alleva. Duke President Richard Brodhead canceled the remainder of the 2006 lacrosse season. Despite both measures, mobs of protesters, mostly from Durham’s heavily black population, held vigil outside the frat house banging pots and pans loudly throughout the night. Threats of gang violence were leveled against Duke students as a whole.
The lives of four falsely accused young men were irreparably damaged. They filed a class lawsuit against the city of Durham, arguing that their civil rights had been violated. The city agreed to a settlement that included a payout of $30 million over five years and the passage of new criminal justice reform laws. Non-accused lacrosse players and their families filed lawsuits as well.
Now that we’ve cleared all that up, back to the game and the question, “Where is Crystal Mangum now?”
The short answer, according to the Charlotte Observer is in jail and on her way to federal prison to serve out a sentence of new fewer than 14 years and two months and no more than 18 years. She is headed to the slammer after being guilty of second-degree murder Friday for stabbing and killing her boyfriend, Reginald Daye.
Just imagine how simpler the lives of the Duke faculty, the four wrongly accused lacrosse team members, the team’s coach, and the entire city of Durham would be if Mangum had exercised her murderous attack eight years earlier.
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