Shortly after the party, the prosecution ordered 46 of the 47 team members to provide DNA samples (the only black member of the team was exempt since Mangum had stated that her attackers were white), though some members had been absent from the party. The players gave cheek swabs and statements to the police the day after the party. They also offered to take polygraph tests, but the police turned them down. On Monday, April 10, 2006, it was revealed that DNA testing had failed to connect any of the 46 tested members of the Duke University men's lacrosse team. After the initial rounds of testing done by the state crime lab were completed, the district attorney sought the services of a private laboratory (DNA Security of Burlington) to conduct additional tests. DNA from multiple males was found inside Mangum and upon the rape kit items that had been tested, but none matched any of the lacrosse players. Mike Nifong falsely represented to the public and to the court that DNA had only been found from a single male source, her boyfriend.
On December 15, 2006, defense attorneys argued in a motion that the DNA report given to Nifong's office (and thus what the defense attorneys received) was incomplete, omitting information that showed DNA samples from several men on the woman and her underwear, but that none of the genetic material matched any of the players. The director of the DNA lab, Brian Meehan, who wrote the misleading report, acknowledged that the decision violated the lab's policies, but stated that his lab did not try to withhold information. Rather, Meehan claimed, he decided to withhold the exculpatory DNA evidence after discussing it with Nifong in an attempt to not drag anyone else through the mud. Meehan was fired by the new owner of DNA Security in October 2007.
DNA taken from all surfaces of three false fingernails belonging to Mangum which were retrieved from the trash in the bathroom (widely but falsely reported as DNA taken from the underside only of a single fingernail) showed some characteristics similar to David Evans' DNA, according to the private laboratory, but the match was not conclusive. Defense attorneys have suggested that any DNA present may have come from the tissue paper, cotton swabs, or other hygiene-related trash that had been in the garbage can along with the fingernail, since David Evans lived in the house. This was confirmed later by Attorney General Cooper's investigation: "... to the extent that Evans's DNA could not be excluded, the SBI experts confirmed that the DNA could easily have been transferred to the fingernails from other materials in the trash can".
Nifong claimed that the lack of DNA is not unusual and that 75–80% of all sexual assault cases lack DNA evidence. Rape victims often delay reporting by days or weeks, inadvertently destroying DNA evidence. In this case, Mangum had a rape-kit exam administered only hours after the end of the party, and the absence of DNA is considered unlikely by many legal experts.
During Nifong's ethics trial on June 14, 2007, the complete DNA findings were revealed during Brad Bannon's testimony. It revealed, according to conservative estimates, that the lab had discovered at least two unidentified males' DNA in Mangum's pubic region; at least two unidentified males' DNA in her rectum; at least four to five unidentified males' DNA on her underpants; and at least one identified male's DNA in her vagina.
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Famous quotes containing the words tests and/or dna:
“One of the tests of the civilization of people is the treatment of its criminals.”
—Rutherford Birchard Hayes (18221893)
“Here [in London, history] ... seemed the very fabric of things, as if the city were a single growth of stone and brick, uncounted strata of message and meaning, age upon age, generated over the centuries to the dictates of some now all-but-unreadable DNA of commerce and empire.”
—William Gibson (b. 1948)