That claim, of course, was demonstrably untrue: he received a notice of alibi defense, coupled with a description of the exculpatory evidence, from Reade Seligmann's attorneys almost immediately after he obtained an indictment against Seligmann. After being reminded of this fact in court today, Nifong admitted that he had, in fact, received this information. To my knowledge, he still hasn't amended his previous statement that he has never read the motion containing this evidence.
Quite beyond this point, Nifong's interpretation of North Carolina's reciprocal discovery statute is--to put it mildly--creative. Under Open Discovery, the DA must turn over to the defense all evidence in the state's file as the state obtains that information. The criminal procedure statute, on the other hand, makes clear that the defense has no such obligation. According to §15A‑905, defense must [all emphasis added]:
In short, Nifong's comments this morning suggest that he is unaware of the differences between Open Discovery and defense reciprocal discovery under the criminal procedure statute. Or--more likely--he deliberately misrepresented the distinction in the hopes of scoring points with the press and distracting attention from his delays in turning over evidence as he is legally required.
(1) Give notice to the State of the intent to offer at trial a defense of alibi . . . Notice of defense must be given within 20 working days after the date the case is set for trial pursuant to G.S. 7A‑49.4, or such other later time as set by the court.
a. As to the defense of alibi, the court may order, upon motion by the State, the disclosure of the identity of alibi witnesses no later than two weeks before trial ...
(2) Give notice to the State of any expert witnesses that the defendant reasonably expects to call as a witness at trial . . . The defendant shall give the notice and furnish the materials required by this subdivision within a reasonable time prior to trial, as specified by the court.
(3) Give the State, at the beginning of jury selection, a written list of the names of all other witnesses whom the defendant reasonably expects to call during the trial.
*--The original post inaccurately stated that Nifong had filed a request for this information. The dangers of blogging on the fly . . .