Saturday, December 30, 2006

The Last 200 Hours

The last 200 hours have witnessed a tumultuous turn of events in the case.

(1) In a move that seemed a desperate response to the Meehan DNA revelations, Mike Nifong dropped rape charges and provided a theory of the crime that contradicted all previous accounts of the accuser.

(2) Apparently deciding that enough was enough, the state bar publicly filed an ethics complaint, asserting that “Nifong engaged in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation . . .”

(3) In the second half of a devastating one-two punch, the North Carolina Conference of District Attorneys, Nifong’s peers, announced that “it is in the interest of justice and the effective administration of criminal justice that Mr. Nifong immediately withdraw and recuse himself from the prosecution of these cases and request the cases be assigned to another prosecutorial authority.”

(4) The defense filed a motion to summon Brian Meehan as its own witness, blocking Nifong’s effort to pursue the case the “good old-fashioned way” by pretending as if DNA evidence didn’t exist.

A few items of note:

The State Bar’s complaint. Bar procedures require a trial to occur between 90 and 150 days of filing the complaint (i.e., anytime between March 28 and May 27). Disciplinary trials normally are open, with cameras allowed in the courtroom.

The timing of the complaint raises another interesting question: What did Nifong reveal to his political allies before Election Day? The district attorney obviously knew that he was under investigation well before November 7. When he appeared before the Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People to solicit its support, did he inform the city’s African-American leadership that the Bar likely would bring charges against him? If not, does the Committee now feel deceived by Nifong?

What of the People’s Alliance, Durham’s self-styled good-government organization? The so-called pro-gay rights group enthusiastically backed the candidacy of a DA who welcomed an outspoken homophobe into his inner circle. Will the P.A. now abandon its good government credentials as well, or will it demand Nifong’s resignation?

And will the Group of 88’s professorial wall of silence crumble? Will even one of these professors, who so gleefully rushed to judgment last spring, now retract their signatures from the document?

The District Attorneys’ Conference. Even more than the publication of the State Bar’s complaint, this action is unprecedented.

Intriguingly, the Conference didn’t demand that Nifong recuse himself from the case solely because of the ethics complaint—the letter deemed Nifong’s recusal necessary “in light of all the developments of the Duke Lacrosse case, including the filing on December 28, 2006.” [emphases added]

Conference president Garry Frank described the document as “the unanimous statement of the officers of the Conference of District Attorneys,” and confirmed that the executive board reviewed Nifong's handling of the entire case.

The defense motion. Continuing his sycophantic attitude toward Mike Nifong’s misconduct, NCCU law professor Irving Joyner (the NAACP’s “case monitor”) proclaimed that the dismissal of the rape charges could enhance Nifong’s case. Said Joyner:

Now, they don’t have to establish that there was penetration committed against the accuser . . . In addition to that, now they don’t have to deal with the DNA or the lack of DNA evidence. And with the rape shield statute, it’s unlikely that information will even come before the jury to consider.

Some might wonder how inventing a wholly new story nine months after the fact could strengthen Nifong’s case. Anyhow, the defense motion gives the lie to Joyner’s assertion that Nifong’s manipulation will allow DNA to vanish from consideration.

Mike Nifong, of course, wasn’t always so dismissive about the importance of DNA evidence. After all, this is the same man who stated:

· March 23 motion: “The DNA evidence requested will immediately rule out any innocent persons, and show conclusive evidence as to who the suspect(s) are in the alleged violent attack upon this victim.”

· March 28: “There won’t be any arrests before next week. I have decided not to make arrests until DNA evidence is back.”

· March 29: “We are awaiting DNA results from tests that have been done so far. We expect those next week, and depending on the results of that, it may be necessary to extend the scope of the search, but we at least have an idea of the direction which that would go.”

Nor was Nifong always so dismissive of the significance of Dr. Meehan’s findings. On May 3, for instance, he commented to WRAL, “My guess is that there are many questions that many people are asking that they would not be asking if they saw the [DNA] results. They’re not things that the defense releases unless they unquestionably support their positions.”

And think back to John Stevenson’s front-page, August 1 opus in the Herald-Sun—which obviously came from leaks from Nifong’s office. The article breathlessly discussed “previously undisclosed [sic] matches” of DNA, while obtaining quotes from two figures eager to spin matters in a pro-Nifong direction—Joyner and lawyer John Fitzpatrick, a Nifong campaign contributor. Fitzpatrick asserted that DNA evidence would give “more credence to the prosecution’s theory that something happened. It is a potential link to a crime. It is a big thing.” To Joyner, DNA results “would tend to support the prosecution’s case.”

Neither Joyner nor Fitzpatrick, of course, any longer celebrate the importance of DNA to the case.

The defense motion offers a sense of why Nifong, too, no longer wants to talk about DNA. The motion opens with a devastating summary of Meehan’s equally devastating December 15 testimony. It notes that, according to Meehan, “the best way to approach forensic DNA analysis of evidentiary items is first to determine who can be excluded as a source.” In this case, the three players targeted by Nifong, along with all other members of the 2006 Duke lacrosse team, would comprise the excluded group.

The motion then walks the reader through the specifics of Dr. Meehan’s testimony, with six items of the rape kit showing evidence of the DNA from anywhere between one and four unidentified males. One of those males, ironically, appears to have been Meehan himself, showing how easily transference of DNA can occur—in a lab with many protections, or in a bathroom trashcan with none.

The motion concludes that Dr. Meehan’s testimony would impeach the myriad, mutually contradictory, versions of events presented by the accuser (most or all of which appear to have claimed no sexual contact for a week prior to the party). Moreover, the defense motion states Meehan would be expected to discuss the rationale behind the decision he entered to with Nifong (a/k/a the “client”) to intentionally not report the exculpatory DNA evidence.

No doubt Professor Joyner will soon explain why all of this information is irrelevant to Nifong’s case—along with how the joint censure from the Bar and the DA’s Conference is routine business. But few others seem willing any longer to adopt that view.

87 comments:

GPrestonian said...

My how things have turned around since Dec 13 (the day before the defense filed their DNA motion, I believe).

Then the Dec 15 hearing, and Meehan's stunning revelations.

Then, the miraculous 200 hours you describe, KC.

There's light at the end of the tunnel for Colin, Reade, and David!

bill anderson said...

Joyner is a disgrace, an absolute disgrace. I wish that the Bar could go after him, but I figure that having Nifong's head on a pole would be good enough for the time being.

GPrestonian said...

KC:

A typo?:

"...did he inform the city’s African-American leadership that the Bar likely would bring charges against them?"

Surely you meant 'him', meaning Nifong? Or is the DCABP at risk here?

"Moreover, the defense motion states Meehan would be expected to discuss the rationale behind the decision he entered to with Nifong (a/k/a the “client”) to intentionally not report the exculpatory DNA evidence."

I think this motion will be mooted with the dismissal of the charges, but I too thought that this would be a very interesting dialog in court.

Trouble is, Meehan would most certainly plead the 5th on this line of questioning, unless the defense could convince the Judge to offer transactional immunity (another hammer that DA's in general have in their arsenal).

Anonymous said...

KC, the PA has never been thought of in Durham as a "good government" organization. It is a far-left, power-seeking group of middle-aged ex-radicals who are taking it out on Durham because they weren't popular in high school. Its leaders, among them former city council members Frank Hyman and Larisa Seibel, have been working for 25 years to realize their collectivist vision of what Durham should be. Good government they are not.

GPrestonian said...

12:12 Bill Anderson:

Truly proof of that old adage 'Better to keep silent and be thought a fool...", eh? Joyner has repeated removed all doubt.

I'm guessing he's not a criminal attorney? Neither am I (maritime & admiralty law), but my BS detector pegged when I started reading Joyner's and others' assertions that the dropping of the rape charge would moot the DNA.

The defense notice re: Meehan is a real shot across the bow for Meehan & Nifong.

I'm going to write the N&O now and plead with them to post the court docs faster. Gotta love WRAL for getting them up so quickly, but geez, what's up with the Flash!?!?

Anonymous said...

"When he appeared before the Durham Committee
on the Affairs of Black People to solicit its support,
did he inform the city’s African-American leadership
that the Bar likely would bring charges against them [him] sic?
If not, does the Committee now feel deceived by Nifong?"

Someone should ask the Committee about all this.
We never hear a peep out of them. Lavonia runs it.

bill anderson said...

Joyner's statements to Sports Illustrated, as well as his insistence that the trial be held in Durham so that blacks likely to convict would be on it are prejudicial, to say the least. When the NAACP tries to say that it is an honest broker, all one has to do is to look at what Joyner says, and realize that he is the point man for the NAACP in this case. That says it all.

Still, even I figured that Nifong's move did not moot the DNA, especially since he is trying to say that Reade Seligmann forced oral sex on Crystal. From her description, there would HAVE to be DNA evidence.

Joyner and Wendy Murphy are of the same ilk. They are ignorant, and they also are outspoken in their ignorance, a bad combination.

Anonymous said...

Chicago writes:

KC, Bill or anyone else, correct me if I am wrong, but it sure seems to me that, while unethical, Meehan's lab does pretty good work when it comes to uncovering and recognizing DNA. I mean, they did identify the 5 and rule out the lax players. However, they lost there credibility by not keeping good records and by not reporting the facts honestly. It does seem they in fact did do what Nifong hoped they would do, and that is dive deeper into the DNA that the State lab could not. Obviously the unethical Nifong did not get the results he anticipated from them. Please do not take my comment the wrong way. I am simply stating they had a chance to come out way ahead in this by keeping good notes and exposing the FULL truth of their findings.

KC Johnson said...

Sorry about the typo--yes, should be "him," not "them." Fixed.

Kemper said...

KC,
I think you are getting the timing wrong, from what I understand the Bar receives a grievance, that is not actionable until the Bar investigates the grievance. They have the 120 days etc to investigate the grievance. Think about this March, grievance made, 3 months get you to June, probably past the quarterly meeting of the Bar, next meeting OCT, then Bar agrees to the grievance and assignees attorneys to investigate, they do and they file report, the only new thing here is that to the Bar a grievance is not a formal complaint, until the bar attorneys report in, then it is public and they announce the complaint
Remember a complaint is like an indictment and must be answered within 20 days, a grievance is not actionable until the bar makes it a complaint,

Got Jail? Mikey!

Anonymous said...

Chicago writes:

Speaking of the NAACP, I have just recently started following their comments. Is it safe to say that Barber has NOT rushed to judgment unlike so many other members of that group? I could be wrong but the one interview on WRAL I saw with him had him stating that nothing should be stated until the entire case has run through the legal system (doesn't mean a trial per se, just the full investigation has played out). Am I wrong? Did I miss something? Obviously Joyner and many other members of the NC NAACP are enablers.

Anonymous said...

Among all the other backwards things in NC, the bar appears to have never heard about a conference call or a special meeting.
Bill A ..I hope you are writing that book.

GPrestonian said...

12:52am KC:

No problem about the typo. Who was it I saw & posted about re: bloggers don't care about the facts and don't have editors!? All of us commenters are invested in the quality of your work here, KC. I just don't want errata like that creeping into my autographed copy of the book! ;>)

Did you see that comment re: the book on abyss2hope (I think - it's the one that's shut down now) back in Sept-Oct? Spoke highly of you & D-I-W, but ended with 'hey, you do realize that all of you are helping KC write a book, right?"

Steve White said...

KC, first and foremost, your blog has been superb, and I thank you for the effort.

Concerning the Meehan laboratory: it strikes me that 1) the several, substantial errors made in documentation 2) the collusion with the DA and 3) the overall sloppiness of handling this case would make Dr. Meehan's company one that no DA or defense attorney would trust in the future.

Any confirmatory news on that? Any news that his company is being investigated concerning other cases, or that his company is being excluded as a contractor by other DAs?

Dr. Meehan willingly engaged in collusion and has violated some rather basic tenets of running a forensics laboratory, from what you've written. It sure does seem to me that he has to pay a price for this.

Joe T. said...

As a gay male, I'm ashamed of the Peoples' Alliance. Like a lot of activist buffoons, they were reactionary in taking the side of "fellow minorities", and yes...conveniently ignoring the homophobia of Victoria Petersen and the new Black panthers. When gay rights activists learn to not be so reactionary, more people will take them seriously. As far as I'm concerned, any homosexual should be unwaveringly on the side of the accused. How could any gay male not see the danger of a lynch mob coming after him just because the population doesn't like his "type".

GPrestonian said...

re: my 1:18am post:

No, it's not abyss2hope, but get a load of this latest post there:

Where Are The Ethics Complaints Against Lawyers Who Attack Alleged Rape Victims

Interesting question that I really haven't seen much posted about - have the defense lawyers 'attacked' the AV/FA? Have they violated NC's rape shield law?

I'm not suggesting they have, but the only 'discussion' I've noticed is on boards whose leanings dictate that the answer to the question is 'yes, of course'.

Can anyone point me to some reasoned discussion about this?

GPrestonian said...

From the H-S Dec 30, 2006 : 12:01 am ET :

Also Friday, a group of Durham citizens reportedly filed a civil rights complaint with the U.S. Justice Department asking for an investigation of the lacrosse case.

The complaint contends the alleged victim had her civil rights violated by lacrosse players' use of racial epithets and alleges that Duke has failed to respond properly to half a dozen campus rapes "over the past several years."

It also calls for hate crime charges to be lodged against Finnerty for his recent conviction in Washington, D.C., on charges stemming from a confrontation with a gay man.

Activist Victoria Peterson issued a press release announcing the complaint and said she faxed and mailed copies to the Justice Department on Friday.

No one at the Justice Department's press office or civil rights office was available Friday to confirm that the complaint had been filed. Peterson would not disclose the other members of the group.

Anonymous said...

Victoria Peterson! Most likely the accuser's handler. She should be worried, somebody passed the word along from Nifong to the accuser they needed her to pick someone!

She sure seems the best candidate!

Anonymous said...

"[The North Carolina District Attorney's] Conference president Garry Frank described the document as 'the unanimous statement of the officers of the Conference of District Attorneys,' and confirmed that the executive board reviewed Nifong's handling of the entire case."

My, my. Will John Bourlon be the next one to fall prey to the bar for ethics violations?

Only a week ago, he interviewed with Martha MacCallum on Fox News when the dropped rape charge was the hot topic. Along with insisting that the Accuser had not forgotten anything and that Nifong only stated that he just couldn't prove the rape (and he was soundly remonstrated on that point by Joe Tacopina), he was asked about Nifong's failure to speak to the AV and said:

"...we just concluded the North Carolina Association of District Attorney conference. Not one single elected district attorney in the 100 counties of North Carolina, that I’m aware of, has come forward and said this prosecution has handled this matter totally different than I would handle it. Not one. In my 27 years of experience, this is how every rape case proceeds."

Wondor if Bourlon will have any clients left in 2007? And, since he is speaking for all the elected attorneys in NC, I think he just painted all of them with a Nifongian brush...oops.

Twaddlefree

Anonymous said...

I would suspect much of what we hear now coming from Joyner and Peterson is the beginning of formulating their Answers to the civil actions that they will receive. Nifong and his ADAs are the only ones with immunity (qualified or otherwise).

I met Peterson sitting on a stool outside 610 giving tours of the criminal site to anyone driving by. Talk about libel and slander risk - I even had to take a picture as it looked so weird seeing a someone sitting on a stool on the curb! But then you get use to weird when you have lived in Durham for any time.

WB

Earl Hofert said...

Abyss2hope is a flat-earther. A sobering reminder to us impartial, dispassionate folks, who are led by the facts, and not vice versa. These people are out there, they exist, and they are not all necessarily sifting through dumpsters. (Some even have their own TV shows.)

james conrad said...

kc, what you need now is a publisher. as nifongs goose seems pretty much cooked, this opens the way for other avenues of inquiry.....duke professors, local govt, press, etc.

Anonymous said...

Quoting your penultimate paragraph,

"The motion concludes that Dr. Meehan’s testimony would impeach the myriad, mutually contradictory, versions of events presented by the accuser (most or all of which appear to have claimed no sexual contact for a week prior to the party).",

the accuser is either very, very sexually active, or she never bathes.

Anonymous said...

A recent post said that an escort service was like prostitution. Is prostitution illegal in North Carolina? Would not the discovery of the DNA from about five men in the accusers panties (none from Duke players) be prima facie evidence of prostitution that Nifong should have investigated? Bob

gs said...

Nifong knew about the DNA. Three possible outcomes:

1 - They (DNA depositors) were the ones who raped her, find them.

2 - She lied about the sexual activity in the week before the rape and the rape itself, interview her.

3 - ignore everything and torture 3 innocent people and their families with false charges.

bill anderson said...

Again, John Stevenson does not seem to know anything about the case of which he purports to be an expert. And it is interesting that the homophone Victoria Peterson is demanding "hate crime" charges against Collin Finnerty for his alleged assault against a "gay man."

The "gay man" phrase came from Stevenson, but we all know that the man in the DC bar was NOT gay, nor does he claim to be. But we now can see Nifong's strategy: Lie, lie, and lie. And get Victoria to lie for him as well.

I realize that Nifong would claim that he and Peterson have no contact, but somehow I doubt that is true.

Is it possible to have some potbangers attending his swearing-in ceremony on Tuesday?

As for the issus of Meehan and the DNA, it would be ironic if Nifong were to claim in court that Meehan did such a sloppy job that his lab results were not valid. Of course, if he did that, then his supposed "home run" DNA match to David Evans would have to be discounted, and from what I could tell, that was pretty much the hook on which he hung the Evans indictment.

You might remember that Mikey leaked information to ABC News saying there was a DNA "match," and Nancy Grace picked that up on her show and ran with it.

Irony of ironies!

Anonymous said...

Here is a draft statement the Govenor and Attorney General should make: " The law of North Carolina does not allow the Govenor nor Attorney Genaral to disclipine a local District Attorney. Now however, since the State Bar and the District Attorneys Association have taken action we would hope that this stain on the judical system of the great State of North Carolina will be quickly removed.

Anonymous said...

One thing I find particularly upsetting is that, had they anticipated this turn of events, Nifong and Meehan could have contaminated the samples so that there would have been a match.

I really believe that Nifong would have done this without giving a damn about the LAX boys.

I am concerned that future framers will make sure the DNA matches by intentional contamination - easy to do.

Anonymous said...

Bill at 8:37 AM:

The newsday article stated that
Bloxsum isn't gay. It appears that
Bloxsum initiated the physical contact by pushing one of Finnerty's
group to get away.

Anonymous said...

Thanks KC for all you do. Your site is my first stop each day (and last as well) in looking for information.

One thing the hoax is doing is identifying so-called attorneys that I don't want anywhere near me if I ever have to go to court. Irving Joyner, Al McSurley (sp), Wendy Murphy all come to mind.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the deliberate contaminaton
of DNA evidence: anyone caught doing
this would be absolutely crucified as
it would bring into doubt all of
those convicted with DNA evidence by
the particular lab and put a big
question mark on the justice system.

And your fellow professionals wouldn't look too kindly on it.

Anonymous said...

I'm fairly convinced the "legal system" is going to resolve the lax charges and Nifong's misconduct. With all the cover the implosion of the lax hoax has provided him you would think this Tuesday Brodhead would invite Collin and Reade to enroll for the second semester. But then again the Duke Administration's lack of fortitude has been appalling.

Anonymous said...

8:56
I am sure it has been done from time to time. Easy to do.

Anonymous said...

8:56
Further to your point - since the lab in this case colluded with the DA to withhold evidence it seems likely that labs might also engage in contamination with the DA in cases where the "know" they are doing the right thing.

Gull said...

I don't "do" legal speak. I only speak from experience. Several years ago, I was the scapegoat for an unethical purge by a bastion of educational malfeasance -- knowingly defended by the state, their lawyers and local authorities.

I won my case -- though at great cost -- with lesser parties(not the lead culprits) being incarcerated in subsequent litigation.

Nifong's behavior rekindles the image of the good ole' boy legal-political network that was too prevalent in NC. While it worked well in the past, maybe this time, Nifong and the system he epitomizes will get what THEY deserve.

Godspeed to the defendants.

Anonymous said...

"the accuser is either very, very sexually active, or she never bathes."

To 7:36: as you know, the above two are not mutually exclusive. Talk about an appetite reducer...

Anonymous said...

9:04

I don't doubt that this does happen.
But the lab boys and the police and
prosecutor has to know if that they
get caught, then it's curtains.

My guess: the chances of getting caught goes up with the resources of
the defense.

In this particular case, there was no
paper or evidence trail on the conspiracy - it was a verbal agreement. Nifong's problem is that Meehan basically revealed it in court.

Anonymous said...

9:16
Nifong appears to be a sociopath. There are no limits to what such a person will do. Certainly from where he sits now he wishes that he had faked the DNA like he faked everything else.

Hopefully the boys and their parents will realize how "lucky" they were that Nifong did not forsee how this would unfold and take preemptive action.

The sad thing is that there will be a next time for someone else and they will be cooked.

Also I do think it does call into question the use of DNA results in other cases - at least from the lab involved.

bill anderson said...

I think that sociopath is a very good way to describe Nifong. Certainly, he has been extremely dishonest, yet trying to put on a front of honesty.

Remember Bob Harris' confrontation with Mikey on November 7? Mikey was dishonest, condescending, and obviously trying to put something over on people. Harris, to his credit, saw right through it.

I had a teammate at Tennessee who was a sociopath, and watching Nifong in the Harris confrontation reminds me of that old teammate, including the mannerisms, the tone of voice, and the attempt to stage something that was false. So, whoever made that post, I would agree wholeheartedly.

But from what I can tell, Durham is a city that is full of sociopaths, so I guess Mikey fits right in. Crystal clearly is a sociopath, and then we have Victoria, Gottlieb, Chalmers, Niman, Wilson, Bell, the Gang of 88, etc., etc....

Anonymous said...

B.A.
I am pleased that you agree. I know that you are an expert on this case whereas I only became aware of this blog a few weeks ago.

As a result I do not even know who Bob Harris is so I cannot relate to your recent post - but I am sure it is, as they say, spot on.

Anonymous said...

At this point, either Joyner is a liar or just flat out stupid. The concealed DNA results are absolutey exculpatory. Given that the fa version of events is that massive amounts of DNA were transferred (the alleged crime could not have ocurred without transfer) the only way that testing could not find the DNA is if it was washed away or sampling error. Of course, neither of those scenarios ocurred, but they remained as something Nifung could say at trial. However, if you find older DNA from multiple people you can't even provide those far-fetched scenarios because only Albus Dumbldore could go through the myriad cells and wash away or fail to sample the ones from the three falsey accussed.

and the rape shield laws have nothing to do with the DNA testing. If the fa described a scenario that transferred DNA, and the defendants dna is absent, the tests come in. If he knew anyting about the law (and apparently he does not) even if the rape shield law did prohibit the tests results from coming in (and they don't) the defendants would have a constitutional right to present the evidence.

Anonymous said...

Wilmington Journal still in denial:


OUR VOICE, ''HOW MONEY TRUMPS JUSTICE'', WEEK OF DECEMBER 28, 2006-JANUARY 3, 2007

bill anderson said...

Bob Harris is the announcer for Duke University sports teams (mainly men's basketball and football). He is a fixture in Durham and well-respected.

Generally, people in Harris' position do not speak out on other issues, as they have to appeal to diverse groups of people. Thus, his confrontation with Nifong was extraordinary. Furthermore, it was Nifong (knowing the cameras were on him) who went up to Harris, not the other way around.

Harris was going to the poll to vote and was not seeking any publicity; Nifong tried to manipulate the situation. It really was a smarmy thing that he did, and his "Bob, it's not about Duuuuke" stuff was nonsense.

Anonymous said...

The last 200 Hours

I doubt it will last 200 more (just over 8 days).

Nifong will recuse himself next week or invite more attacks on him.

He should have recuse himself friday and gotten the news all over with. Now he's in the news for doing it or not doing it. What a moran.

Anonymous said...

Re My 9:16 post

Just so there can be no confusion as to where I am coming from it is more than likely that future victims of Nifongians are likely to be minorities.

While many minorities fail to realize it, this battle is very much in their interest.

bill anderson said...

I love the logic of that Wilmington Journal editorial (most likely written by Cash): the three are indicted and Nifong is pushing forward with the charges. Therefore, they must be guilty of "something."

By the way, I believe it was Irving Joyner who told Sports Illustrated that a guilty verdict was possible as long as the trial could be held in Durham. He then told someone else it was because there would be more blacks on the jury, and they would be likely to vote guilty.

Thus, their own words condemn them. This has been pushed from the start as what I would call an "entitlement guilty verdict." This is nothing but the politics of entitlement at work.

Anonymous said...

I guess Joyner got started before the UNCF because "a mind is a terrible thing to waste" and obviously he has wasted his.
He should be the poster boy showing the real result of affirmative action.

Anonymous said...

The Wilmington Journal article is racist. They are simply wrong on critical points. First, sixty minutes has done exposes on wrongful convictions on minorities. Second, Joe Cheshire, among others, has donated his tiem to clear minority defendants (as have I by the way). Third, not every case should go to trial. Here in Chicago recently a black teenager in a band uniform was arrested in connection with a shooting soley because some other kids in a similar uniform committed the crime and he was in the vicinity. A Chicago Tribune columnist wrote about it, both black and white people vouched for the kids character, and he was let go. It would have been absurd to say, let it go to trial and ruin his life.

Also, with regard to the minority teenagers serving huge jail sentences for consensual teenage sex, both black and white people have advocated for their release.


The article itself is proof of bias. If it is true that the defendants' constitutional rights have been violated, then the case should be dismissed under North Carolina law. The article won't say that, however. Instead, it says, in no uncertain terms, time for whites to get a taste of injustice. Well, that is proof enough that venue change is appropriate.

Victim in Massachusetts said...

KC, in within the bar complaint I believe it did state that Nifong over stepped the bounds in the early days, before Collin and Reade were indicted?

If I read it correctly that makes him a fair target of a lawsuit, he isn't protected. Am I wrong on this?

The MinuteMan said...

TIME magazine has joined in:

Now that the North Carolina State Bar has filed a 17-page, 41-count ethics complaint against District Attorney Michael Nifong's handling of the Duke rape case, there's a different kind of New Year's countdown taking place in Durham: when and under what circumstances will Nifong leave office.

The Dec. 28 ethics charges are expected to be expanded when the state bar's grievance committee meets again Jan. 18. Like a grand jury, the committee meets periodically; the current ethics charges stem from its most recent meeting in October and cover public statements Nifong made about the case last March and April. At its next meeting, the committee will deal with revelations from a Dec. 15 court hearing in which the state's DNA expert admitted he and Nifong agreed to keep secret from the defense early DNA results showing no Duke lacrosse player could be implicated in an attack upon one of two exotic dancers hired for the March 14 house party.

"That was a shocker. That was huge," says one defense attorney. So much of a shocker, in fact, that on Friday, defense lawyers filed a motion asking that the state's DNA expert be granted the status of a defense witness if a trial occurs.


Tom Maguire

Anonymous said...

Some lawyers have written that Nifong none DA duties are not covered by immunity, such as news confrences and lead investigator.

Anonymous said...

The Wilmington Journal after knowing that the DA was caught hiding DNA evidence still thinks the DA is interested in justice? The DA should be allowed to continue? How can that be understood outside of a racist agenda?

bill anderson said...

The Wilmington Journal, as well as the various black organizations in Durham, have a tremendous amount of political capital, not to mention credibility, invested in this case. They were the ones that have demanded trials and guilty verdicts, have pushed rumors as facts, and generally have been the enabling engines behind Nifong's actions.

Thus, they are not going to go quietly. Because of the absolute discrediting of the evidence, and because of Nifong's crimes in pursuing the case, they now will change their tune to "White boys have been able to buy justice." A lot of people will buy into this one, believe me, since it strikes a chord of resentment.

Therefore, look for these organizations to say something like this: We will never know if the players were guilty because they were able to use their race, wealth, and connections to short-circuit the process and avoid a trial.

It will be a lie, of course, but since these groups bought into the lie at the beginning, they will try to keep the lie going. And, sadly, a lot of people will agree with them.

Anonymous said...

They could say the white man (Nifong) lied to them as well as everyone else. But either way they look like fools.

But hey, they will get mentions in books, articles and movies on the Duke case.

Anonymous said...

Yes Bill,

It is hugely disappointing that the NAACP and the various black organizations refuse to recognize injustice. I certainly understand their anger that the Duke players get more sympathy then an anonymous black defendant, but that should lead to an emphasis on uniform fairness, not uniform unfairness. This latest article is upsetting. Why assume that Nifong is being fair and has something. As I have posted elsewhere, if Nifong wanted convictions and had evidence, he would take himself out of the mix and have another prosecutor take over.

Anonymous said...

to 10:38---The DA enjoys wide immunity for anything that might occur during a trial, and the one major exception, I believe, has to do with extrajudicial comments that are false and/or serve to inflame the community--the very subject of the bar's ethics charge agaisnt Nifong. But Nifong's actions as the lead investigator are not subject to the same level of immunity as his actions as DA. So when he became the lead investigator and then violated line-up procedures and refused to consider exculpatory information, he may have opened himself up to further charges. I am not a lawyer, though.....

GPrestonian said...

10:48 Bill Anderson:

Good points, Bill The Journal has to toe, or more properly, create, the paty line.

"Therefore, look for these organizations to say something like this: We will never know if the players were guilty because they were able to use their race, wealth, and connections to short-circuit the process and avoid a trial."

I agree, and the editorial does mention the defendants' $$$ several times, but there are a lot of weasel-words in it too:

– this case needs to go the distance, no matter how that’s defined by the court system in Durham.

let the criminal justice system run its course (as long as the defendants have proper legal representation).

- nor should any of that derail a trial if one is in the cards.

- Justice, in the Duke case, will be determined by a fair judge, and/or a properly constituted jury in Durham County.


They're certainly opening the door for a dismissal. But then they play up the 'lies & distortions' of the defence, without supplying even 1 example.

Oh, and there's this - KC & Bill - how does it feel to be 'pompous bloggers who have built bogus “reputations”'?? ;>) Looks like you're 'fact challenged', too, though again, no support is proferred.

Happy Kwanzaaa, too. That's all you need to know about their intellectual and emotional underpinnings. lol

bill anderson said...

The problem for Nifong is that once he actually presents his evidence in court, it will be obvious that he did not have anything at all. Zip. Nada.

Thus, if the NAACP and the other black organizations wished to keep the "white boys bought justice" theme, they would hope that the case did not make it to court. The "evidence" would be so bad as to border on fraud, and I don't think that even the NAACP could spin a "guilty" verdict out of it.

The current set of circumstances actually WORKS to the ADVANTAGE of the NAACP. It is just that these groups so invested themselves in a guilty verdict that they are hoping against hope that a Durham jury will deliver.

Anonymous said...

from a non-lawyer: Assuming Nifong has the common sense to hire legal counsel to defend him in the recently disclosed state bar "alleged" infractions, what kind of legal bill is he facing? What is the normal hourly rate? Will someone step forward and do the work pro bono? Will his legal team want their money upfront? What is the estimate of the total cost of just defending the pending charges?
I also wonder did he consult an attorney back in the fall when he probably knew the charges were forthcoming?

bill anderson said...

By the way, we also have the nation's oldest civil rights organization basically on the record as saying the standard for guilt should be nothing less than the "proof" of "innocence beyond any doubt."

That is not a "civil rights" standard. That is a standard for tyranny.

bill anderson said...

If Nifong is going according to his own standards, then his hiring of an attorney proves his guilt.

It would be interesting to see how Nifong defends himself -- or more specifically, Nifong's ATTORNEY defends Nifong -- against the charge of saying that innocent people don't need to hire lawyers. Irony of ironies!

Anonymous said...

The Wilimington Journal also is distorting the following way: everything from the defense is in a signed properly supported motion. the support is there for all to see. Nifong can't be bothered to file a written response. If the distortions were so clear, they could have been exposed in writing.

Anonymous said...

So let me take the liberty to rephrase Professor Joyner. If the DNA incriminates, it is admissible. If the DNA is exculpatory, it is not relevant and is inadmissible. Huh!

Anonymous said...

Nifong probably should not bother hiring an attorney. The results will likely be the same with or without one.

After all what can an attorney do for him.

GPrestonian said...

10:18am Victim in Massachusetts:

If I'm not mistaken, Nifong has taken the position several months ago (in an apprarent effort to build his own defense) that his comments before a suspect was identified, or indictments are obtained, don't fall under the rules he's charged with.

KC and others have pointed out that the law makes no such distinction.

GPrestonian said...

10:18am Victim in Massachusetts:

I meant to add - both the defence Motion for Change of Venue, and the NC State Bar complaint, delineate statements both before & after any magical date that Nifong claims.

Anonymous said...

I believe there is leak at DOJ and one or more persons are looking to cut a deal.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 11:40 AM said...

Nifong probably should not bother hiring an attorney. The results will likely be the same with or without one.

After all what can an attorney do for him.

11:40 AM

This could be the classic case of having a fool for an attorney which ever way he goes.

Anonymous said...

12:06
Yes
Skilling paid $25 million and got about 25 years. Not sure a lawyer is always worth it.

GPrestonian said...

Whoa! The News & Observer finally jumps on the Wilmington Sun bus, becoming only the 2nd(??) NC paper to say:

Removal time:
Given serious N.C. State Bar accusations against Durham's D.A., he should remove himself from the Duke lacrosse case

Anonymous said...

"james conrad said...
kc, what you need now is a publisher. ....."
6:42 AM

I agree KC, you do need a publisher, may I suggest you contact the Duke University Press. It appears from their information cut and pasted below that they would be willing to take a chance with a non-traditional cultural publication. Afterall, I know of 88+ professors at Duke that believe this case needs to be tried in a cultural context.

"The Press publishes primarily in the humanities and social sciences and issues a few publications for primarily professional audiences (e.g., in law or medicine). It is best known for its publications in the broad and interdisciplinary area of theory and history of cultural production, and it is known in general as a publisher willing to take chances with nontraditional and interdisciplinary publications, both books and journals."

Orange Lazarus

Anonymous said...

Nifong's attorney fees will exceed the $30K loan to his campaign - funds he recouped by reviving his campaign on the 'backs' of the 3 players, Duke Lacrosse, and any trust in the US System of Justice.

-Hey Mike, wouldn't you like a 2nd shot at that 'fateful' decision - what a putz.

Anonymous said...

"Putz" is the by far the nicest description of Nifong I've heard in the past 200 hours.

Anonymous said...

Nifong should thank the Iraqis for executing Saddam today. The coverage of that news item will keep Nifong from being a front and central national story, which on a slow news day it might have been...

Now there's irony - a guy guilty beyond a shadow of doubt of numerous megacrimes against humanity is given due process (of his country's variety) and a two year court process before verdict and sentencing is carried out. And that properly applied process ends right in time to help cover Nifong's perversion of our supposedly superior American system of due process.

Further irony: in twenty years, KC's book will be a gold standard for all due process and civil rights college and law school courses, and all civil rights groups will look at this case as an important lesson in the damage of prosecutorial misconduct.

Anonymous said...

Liefong should hire Joyner as his lawyer. Then they would both get what they deserve.

Locomotive Breath said...

"I realize that Nifong would claim that he and Peterson have no contact, but somehow I doubt that is true."

Are you kidding? They were canoodling in open court before the Dec 15 hearing.

Anonymous said...

KC,

erratum, 5th from bottom graph: "Neither Joyner nor...celebrateS"

re KC's publisher--as far as i know, kc will be coauthoring a book on the case with stuart taylor--i believe their publisher is st martin's press (not sure that's a good choice, boys; that house is not known for its cojones)

7:52: as far as i know, ms mangum's status as an honor student/prostitute is irrelevant, which it should be--the important thing is that she lied about having sex, which will only further impeach her credibility

Nifongissimus a sociopath?--nah, don't think he has a history of antisocial behavior--he's what i call a convenient sleazeball/doofus (personally, i'd rather b the former)

i urge posters who like to use the words "emphases" and "penultimate" to cease and desist as they cause me to get inconvenient erections--lol

jc

dl said...

Reading that Wilmington Journal article is like peering into an alternate universe. You would think that a publication like that one or an organization like the NAACP could view this case as an opportunity to highlight to white America how easy it is to railroad defendants who don't have the financial resources that the Duke kids do.

Unfortunately, there seems to be so much unadulterated hatred towards whites for past injustices that these organizations are incapable of acting in the interests of those they claim to represent. It's a sad commentary on the state of black America that obviously and transparently false allegations can garner support as long as those being accused are the "right" kind of perpetrators.

Cedarford said...

KC - The timing of the complaint raises another interesting question: What did Nifong reveal to his political allies before Election Day? The district attorney obviously knew that he was under investigation well before November 7. When he appeared before the Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People to solicit its support, did he inform the city’s African-American leadership that the Bar likely would bring charges against him? If not, does the Committee now feel deceived by Nifong?

Which brings up the corollary question. If the Bar was concerned enough that it opened a File on March 30th in response to compliants, why did it, as it appears on the surface then stand by silently and let Nifong compound his personal damage and damage to the accused person's reputation with more imprudent, unethical remarks all through the rest of the spring until he finally got past his Primary and shut up.

Where is that Bar version of the consigliere or dreaded "Boss's man" that shows up and informs you it would be best to knock it off??

Or perhaps Mike Nifong WAS warned by various state lawyers and officials he SHOULD have listened to about his public pronouncements. And blew them off.

I also understand the need not to "meddle" elections, but why too did not the Bar report earlier that Nifong was being investigated with a report coming out in late December or so - so voters could be casting an informed vote?? Like back in June, July or August so it would not be seen as an October surprise?
******************************''

If someone could point me to a bio or give me a quick status on Victoria Peterson, I'd appreciate it. Basically, who is she? Does she work for Niphong or is simply a community activist "Friend of Niphong"? Whe is she linked to? What is her history before the Duke Rape? What were her actions after the accusation was made?

That little vignette of her sitting on a stool in the street and offering "crime scene tours and opinion" about 610 Buchanan was bizarre and fascinating.

Anonymous said...

dl,

i'm in total agreement with u: the real story this travesty zeroes in on is that most blacks--from underclass to upper-middle class-- harbor a pathological, deep-seated resentment toward whites--and to a certain extent, Asians--the idea that the duke fiasco is sui generis to durham is patently false--it's not durham in wonderland, but america in wonderland, durhamis but a microcosm

how far apart r the 2 cultures? in today's NY Times, a black sociology professor at Harvard, Orlando Patterson, opined that "A black woman, Oprah Winfrey, is perhaps the nation's most powerful cultural force"--say what? i'm sure the NY Times sulzbergers got a good chukle over that statement

i'm not positive about this, but i'm pretty sure KC has a book contract about duke, which is wonderful--he truly deserves all the success he can garner from his 1st-rate coverage, but i'm gonna make a prediction: if he wants to tell the unabridged story he's gonna run into de facto censorship

Duke's, and the nation's, #1 taboo subject matter:

blacks' inability to compete in so-called elite institutions: the AAAS mess is ground zero for this--Wahneema Lubiano, et al might as well b existing in a separate universe: they r not elite scholars, and deserve nothing from places like Duke--but they r here--why? because feckless administrators/scholars like richard brodhead r afraid of telling the truth, which is that in an increasingly global world, black identity politics has as much cachet as the clap--like welfare, the salaries these unneeded people "extract" from institutions like duke r nothing less than transfer payments--reparations--whatever

and they'd love to send your son to prison for 20 years--as payback!

gotta stop financing these bums

that's Square One

jc

dl said...

JC

Another thing that strikes me is how little race relations have improved in this country over the past 25 or so years. For the most part differences are papered over until something exposes them. You can see almost identical reactions along race lines in both the Tawana Brawley and OJ cases.

White America has done a great disservice to the black community by trying to right past wrongs through programs like affirmative action. Instead encouraging black kids to think they can compete on merit, we tell them that it is only possible through help from the benevolent white government. This further fosters resentment, especially when it puts kids into universities that they have no business attending.

Further exacerbating this problem is the total inability to discuss race honestly in this country. I would never make comments such as this in any kind of mixed race forum where I could be identified, because the response would be to simply label me a racist. The black community has become so unable to examine it's own problems without looking at them through the prism of race that is utterly incapable of addressing many of the issues plaguing it that have nothing to do with racial oppression.

I think this problem will only get worse as Hispanics make up a larger and larger proportion of this country and politicians have a greater incentive to cater to Hispanic needs at the expense of black ones. You are already seeing some of this play out in the Southwestern states.

This whole episode has been utterly disheartening on a number of fronts, but the sad state of race relations in this country is certainly one of the most depressing.

Anonymous said...

dl,

i can't add anything to what u wrote--but here's the thing:

these 88 cockroaches r funded by whites, so whites have to share the responsibility for the 88's actions: we're financing our own destruction--isn't that sppeciallll?

and brodhead wants more low IQs for AAAS--lovely

gotta dipose of this bum, and get a leader who has the courage to evaluate the noncontributions of AAAS

despicable!

jc

Donna said...

After reading the complaint filed by the Bar against Nifong I did not see the charge pertaining to (the conspiracy to hide) the potentially exonerating evidence. Did I miss it?

Anonymous said...

no, the bar is only addressing the extrajudicial comments nifong made to the media

the more damaging allegations will come

he's going to prison--no plea deals for mikey

jc

Wondering-in-Durham said...

Now that this ISN'T a rape case, does the accuser ("Precious") still merit anonymity based on kidnapping and sexual assault charges?

Many thanks for your diligent reporting, and apologies if this is a multiply redundant query.

Anonymous said...

she's not anonymous--case won't ever go to trial, so rape shield laws won't apply

if u can find her hideout, suggest u shoot it and release it to the media

more important question is whether precious will be investigated for perjury and filing a false police report

jc

Anonymous said...

Bill A - I have been on vacation and just read your latest article. Great reading as usual. I hope you are writing your own book. I have really learned what great non ficton writing is about on these blogs. The newspapers must employ some of the worst. I adore Alan D. but he is very late weighing in on this case. Do you know what is happening to the Burlington lab?