Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Cliff's Notes of Nifong Response

The full Nifong response is posted at the N&O.

The basics:

(1) Dr. Meehan, Sgt. Gottlieb, Inv. Himan, and Inv. Soucie are to blame for either providing him with inaccurate information, or for inaccurately memorializing conversations with him. All statements that he made were accurate representations of the information he had received. Despite the statements in Gottlieb’s notes and the insinuations in Soucie’s, he never directed the police investigation.

(2) In the American justice system, the state is not compelled to turn over reports of tests that it conducts. It simply has to turn over the underlying data. If defendants can afford top-rate attorneys to interpret the data, that’s fine. If they can’t, they’re out of luck. This, it’s worth reiterating, is the man the state NAACP has propped up for 10 months.

(3) Nifong has no memory of the April 10 meeting between himself, Meehan, Gottlieb, and Himan—referenced in the police notes and by Meehan in his December 15 testimony. Therefore, according top his best recollection, he sought indictments against Reade Seligmann and Collin Finnerty without knowing the results of any of Meehan’s tests.

(4) None of his public statements violated the bar’s ethics codes because either (a) he had not sought indictments, though his office had publicly identified 46 suspects, the same 46 suspects he was talking about in his public statements; (b) he was entitled to speak out under comment (7) of Rule 3.6, which states, “Finally, extrajudicial statements that might otherwise raise a question under this Rule may be permissible when they are made in response to statements made publicly by another party, another party's lawyer, or third persons, where a reasonable lawyer would believe a public response is required in order to avoid prejudice to the lawyer’s client.” Nifong’s response did not mention the identity of his “client.”

(5) Though the March 23 non-testimonial order said that DNA would exonerate the innocent, he is not bound by that order, since someone else from his office wrote it.

(6) Nifong has now provided the fourth different explanation of why he did not turn over the exculpatory DNA material to the defense. First, he stated in court that he had not heard of the issue until Dec. 13, when the defense filed a motion on the question. Second, he stated in a press conference on Dec. 15 that he had not turned the information over for privacy reasons. Third, he stated in a NYT article that he had not turned the information over because of his excessive workload. Now, he says he didn't turn the information over because he didn't have to.

(7) Despite claims by several defense attorneys, Nifong denies ever having refused to meet with defense attorneys to consider exculpatory evidence.

(8) Since a trial date had not yet been set, Nifong was under no obligation to turn over exculpatory evidence.

(9) In an example of unmitigated gall, Nifong demands that the state bar* pay his legal bills.

(10) Nifong offers a novel explanation as to why he didn't have to turn over notes of his conversations with Meehan: the defense asked for these notes, but Judges Stephens and Smith denied the requests. Left unmentioned by Nifong: Stephens and Smith denied the requests because Nifong misled them in court. This is the perfect defense: attorneys can lie to judges to get favorable rulings, and then cite those favorable rulings as justification for their misconduct.

(11) An excellent point, from a commenter at 4.40pm: "
To add one more point, Nifong's 'corroboration' argument reveals a profound misunderstanding of his role in the case: as a prosecutor, he wasn't supposed to be looking for evidence of guilt and turning a blind eye to evidence of innocence; to the contrary, he was always supposed to be looking at all of the evidence. In other words, he's literally pleading one ethical failure (failing to examine all of the evidence) as a defense to an allegation that he's unethical. It's amazing that his attorneys forgot his ethical duty was to search for justice, not just evidence of guilt."

(12) This response substantially increases the likelihood of disbarment. The Bar's job is to protect the public. Nifong's response effectively says he would behave the exact same way in the future. The Bar cannot allow a rogue DA to remain in office.

*--correction

80 comments:

Soobs said...

Just reading the second paragraph, I'm lost. In their motion to dismiss, The defendant alleges (he) "did in fact provide the "Duke Lacrosse Defendants", through discovery, a report of the results of ALL TESTS AND EXAMINATIONS performed by DSI as of October 27, 2006"

What?

Anonymous said...

Nifong, upon hearing Meehan's oral report of exculpatory "other DNA" findings, conspires with Meehan (no matter how Freedman prefers to word it) to make sure that such exculpatory evidence is excluded from the written report;

then he argues that Meehan's oral reports are not discoverable (or at least, that they are exempt from mandatory disclosure).

If the law does not deem this a rank violation of NC open discovery statutes, then the law is a bigger arse than Nifong.

The biggest laugh is Nifong's claim that, gee, it never occurred to him how the presence of this DNA goulash in the accuser's crotch, none if it from the people he's prosecuting, might be deemed "material". And this guy has been a prosecutor for HOW long?

Again Nifong is brazenly insulting the intelligence of the Bar -- not a smart move.

PubliusCorneliusScipio (Africanus) said...

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
"A lot of people have been rushing to judgment on both the underlying case and this case," said Dudley Witt, one of Nifong's attorneys. "And after you allow someone to have a full hearing, I think you will find that he didn't do anything wrong."

HAHAHAHAHAAHAHA
Given that his client was one of those "rushing to judgment on both the underlying case," perhaps Mr. Witt could have phrased his comment differently, so as to be less unintentionally humorous.

Also, if one amits to violating the law or a code of conduct, doesn't intent merely apply to the level of misconduct? After all, had Nifong unintentionally killed someone, he could be charged with manslaughter as opposed to murder. He would still be guilty of (since he appears to be admitting to unintentionally witholding the DNA evidence) depriving someone of life. Methinks he will lose and that this motion is more PR than legally helpful to his case. Nifong seems to be better at practicing PR than law; perhaps a career change is in the offing.

Michael said...

You could spend weeks going through this thing. Just one funny thing is 123: Defendant admits that the initial medical report indicates that the victim advised that a condom had not been used. However, based upon defendant's experience, he has learned that a complaining witness rarely ever knows whether a condom was used in a sexual assault and as such, he denies any allegations contained in paragraph 123 that his comments.....

I think that he knew enough about CGM to make an exception in her case. It pretty sure that she's had enough experience to know the difference between with and without.

------------

BTW, seeing defendant on Nifong is nice. He's also admitting to quite a bit here.

John Kaiser said...

I love this part of the article

"Nifong told WRAL on Feb. 9 that he looks forward to defending himself against the charges, which could lead to his disbarment. He added that there is more to the Duke lacrosse case than what the media has reported.

"I wish everyone would withhold judgment until they hear the evidence, as well as my response," he said."

HAHAHA. Withhold judgment, you've got to be kidding. Is he trying to be ironic?

Anonymous said...

I'm an attorney & I used to serve on my local Bar's ethics advisory committee, which helps lawyers with ethical questions. I just finished the Answer. I think the first defense is dubious at best because it basically implies that a lawyer can withhold evidence right up until the moment of trial w/o committing an ethical violation. I don't think the Bar will buy that one. I think the third defense is the real defense; they know he's going down, so they're looking for an easy punishment. The second defense is absurd - I wasn't thinking about guilt or innocence, only corroboration? Wouldn't the existence of other people's sperm tend to rebut the accuser's identification & thus, be directly relevant to the corroboration issue? Who could have been examining the evidence so narrowly that all they were looking for was "corroboration" & thus, be unable to recognize exculpatory evidence? It's as if you said you didn't appreciate the significance of the 10 eyewitnesses who said an Asian female dwarf committed the crime because you were too busy looking for corroboration of the victim's claim that a 7 foot tall male Hispanic did it. Folks, nobody - not even Nifong - is dumb enough to have failed to realize the importance of that evidence. At best, that evidence proves she id'd the wrong guys; at worst, it proves she lied - either way, any sentient being would have recognized its importance. So I think we can say Nifong's second defense is just another false statement to the tribunal.

Michael said...

Regarding all of the "no specific recollection" responses: I suspect that he could have found them at DIW or LS.

bill anderson said...

For a while, I have been saying that Michael B. Nifong is a criminal. Let me add sociopathic liar to the list. This guy really is a piece of work, and he needs to spend the rest of his life in prison.

GS said...

Read to the whole thing.
He is claiming he does not remember any statements that were not recorded.

He is claiming no one was named as a suspect.

He is claiming he was trying to get people to come forward with infomation.

275, 276.
Nifong is claiming on the DNA that he provided all the underlining data, and he does not have to state what all the results show.

Interesting try. I doubt it will fly. In the bar hearing, the spirt of the law and not just the letter apply. It's is called an ethics hearing.

Anonymous said...

Nifong has just sealed his own fate. Nothing angers the State Bar as being thought of as fools.

Anonymous said...

"I didn't do it, nobody saw me do it, you can't prove anything!"


-Bart Simpson

Michael said...

Nifong has no problem letting all of the Lacrosse players sweat legal bills but in the first affirmative defense he prays:

4. That the costs of the action be taxed against the plaintiff;

5. For such other and further relief as the Court may deem just and proper.

This guy has some nerve! I guess we'll have to wait for Kemp's next round of drinks. Maybe next week?

Anonymous said...

To add one more point, Nifong's "corroboration" argument reveals a profound misunderstanding of his role in the case: as a prosecutor, he wasn't supposed to be looking for evidence of guilt & turning a blind eye to evidence of innocence; to the contrary, he was always supposed to be looking at all of the evidence. In other words, he's literally pleading one ethical failure (failing to examine all of the evidence) as a defense to an allegation that he's unethical. It's amazing that his attorneys forgot his ethical duty was to search for justice, not just evidence of guilt.

Anonymous said...

So, if I know I said something, but can't remember to whom I actually said it to, I deny allegations that I said it. Is there such thing as a partial denial that he could have used instead?

Anonymous said...

If he went to jail...would he be amongst a population of inmates he had put away?

Soobs said...

Unbelievable. He admits to making all those statements, however because he can't remember to WHOM he made them, he denies the allegations.

Paragraphs 212-215 - Nifong was only interested in corroborating the accuser's "photographic identification." What if she was wrong (we know she was, but for the sake of argument)...shouldn't those test results have been used to see who MIGHT have raped her instead? Which is a ridiculous question, now knowing that she "doesn't remember if a penis was used" to penetrate her (regardless of the "DNA goulash" - hehehe - that was indeed FOUND in an about her person.)

And he wasn't required to turn over the results...YET. Because the trial date hadn't been set (again, regardless of the fact that the STATE requested a delay, not the defendants.) Isn't discovery ongoing? Surely the state cannot wait until 3 days before trial, to turn over evidence?

He denies knowing the full extent of the "national media" interest - regardless of his interview with cable news, and the NY Times.

He keeps digging himself deeper and deeper. Is he stupid? Or arrogant?

Anonymous said...

I believe that Nifong sees himself as just another pea in the same pod. To what extent similar, but less blatant behavior from other judcial officers occurs, we may never know. But I'm betting that Nifong does know and this gives him gall.

GS said...

Comparing the bar complaint to Nifong's response.

Complaint:

40 Why would they need a lawyer if they were innocent?

73 Choke hold on TV

111 Newsweek "Date Rape Drug"

His response (10)
No did not intend to harm the legal process (LOL).

Remember Cheshire sent Nifong a letter warning him that he was going to far.

Nifong response is a joke. I know it's an ethics bar hearing, but could his lawyers let him give testimony knowing he will lie?

Blog Hooligan said...

(9) In an example of unmitigated gall, Nifong demands that the state pay his legal bills.

ROFL

X-D

I'm crying.

Anonymous said...

"One thing that hurts him is that he's being portrayed as not being fair," Nifong's friend Bob Nauseef told ABC News.

If he is so devistated, why on EARTH would he have gone after these guys without KNOWING for SURE they were guilty?
His actions paint the picture of an absolute idiot. I am sorry for his family, but MORE sorry for the people he wrongly accused. Nifong is an ass and was NOT our for justice, but to hang these guys come hell or high water.
GOOD grief! Finding DNA from half a dozen people -- none the defendants you are going after -- should tell you SOMETHING!

GS said...

Correction

The plantiff in the "NC State Bar" not the state (see page 1)

He wants the state bar ro pay for his legal bills. Good luck.

I bet his lawyers hope they do, I doubt Mike has much money.

duke09parent said...

Paragraph 213:

Defendant admits that he knew Meehan's report would not include the underlying documents because Defendant knew he would be required to produce this documentation through the discovery process.

That's a tall one. Didn't he say after May 12 (Meehan's report) that the defense had everything, but then the next discovery dump of October 27 included this stuff, resulting in the December hearing?

duke09parent said...

Don't take too much from denials in a pleading like this. One has to admit or deny or say why he can't admit or deny. The admissions and explanations are the significant parts. The denials just mean the bar has to prove the denied allegation.

Ex-prosecutor said...

The response is preposterous and laughable.It might fly before a jury, but, in my opinion, it's like waving red flag before the bar committee. I agree with the comment of Anonymous 4:25 that he's probably trying to hold down the period of suspension, but another way, and more effective in my judgment, is to admit at least some wrong-doing.

Over the years, I've spoken at a number of ethics for prosecutors seminars and and know that the common topics, following trial techniques, are pre-trial publicity, dealing with exculpatory evidence and avoiding civil liability. If I were the prosecutor at the bar hearing, I'd find out what ethics lectures Mr. Nifong has attended during his career, and get copies of the handouts. I'll bet the positions in his answer will be contrary to what the lectures taught.

Nothing dooms a defense more than when the defendants begin pointing fingers at each other. It will be interesting to see if Gottlieb, Himan, Soucie and Meehan will testify at the hearing. Mr. Nifong's claims in the bar proceeding preview his defense in any subsequent civil or criminal proceedings against him. The response leaves them high and dry, now and later. They have no choice but to return fire, since Mr. Nifong is setting them up for civil liability and it is apparent there will not be a unified defense in the civil matter.

Will the bar proceeding be on Court TV? I'd like to watch.

Anonymous said...

Since there will be no response from Bar until June, how will this impact SP actions?

ed said...

Hmmmm.

(5) Though the March 23 non-testimonial order said that DNA would exonerate the innocent, he is not bound by that order, since someone else from his office wrote it.

I hope the people at the State Bar Assoc. have plenty of water and paper bags on hand.

After reading that I nearly passed out from laughing too hard.

Anonymous said...

The one aspect of the response that I find interesting is his assertion that he complied with the discovery obligations because all of the underlying test data were turned over. Does anyone know if that was the case (i.e. is that how the defence knew what to ask for)?

Anonymous said...

Nifong has likely poisoned relations with the DPD. Would you trust his office?

Anonymous said...

Truly excellent post KC. You broke Nifong's defense to the bar down very nicely.

Anonymous said...

What a weasel!!! Is anyone surprised, he took this route? Not bound by his DNA request? Can this possibly be true? Wish he had given an explanation for his smirking, laughing, smide remarks and sighs.

Anonymous said...

His comments about Smith might get the potted plant upset. Not me - it was Oz.

Anonymous said...

# 5 is hysterical. As George in Seinfeld said "its not a lie if I believe it."

Anonymous said...

from a non-lawyer / retired professor: Reading bullet 10 in KC's narrative, I wonder if Nifong's defense might prompt Judges Stephens and Smith to take action against Nifong (in the form of sanctions).

Anonymous said...

Is Nifong not required to sign this document, or an attached Certification as to the truth of its assertions of fact? If so, no such signature page is part of the WRAL download.

If not, this was reason enough for Nifong to hire a lawyer -- as a way to lie to the tribunal yet again, through a third party.

This document attributes some real whoppers to Nifong, as to what he knew, what he did, and what he supposedly thought. I'm surprised if the Bar doesn't have a procedure to hold the defendant-attorney (Nifong) personally accountable for the contents.

Anonymous said...

GAME ON !!

DPD, folks in the DA's office, and who knows else - are going to "their corners"

Nifong just "set the Durham House of Justice on fire" !!

WOW - this will be something to watch.

bill anderson said...

K.C.,

I just send an article to Lew Rockwell and I quoted you at length, and put in links to your site. My point is that Nifong is a lying sociopath, and we have to drive a stake into the guy's heart -- and drive a stake into this case as well.

This case never should have gone on this long.

Anonymous said...

When do Himan and Gottlieb turn on Nifong?

Anonymous said...

One of the most amazing things in this (to me) is that he actually denies his refusals to meet with the defense attorneys!!!! I'm sure they documented their attempts--that is just a blatant lie!

Bill Anderson is right to say that he is just an outright criminal--in so many respects!

duke2009mom

Anonymous said...

I'm waiting for Joyner and Michaels to declare Nifong has a strong case.

Anonymous said...

Forgive me, but what is this nonsense. Is this "the dog ate my homework" defense?


*shakes my head

Anonymous said...

Nifong's affirmative defense: if I violated any ethics rules, it wasn't intentional. If I did it, it was because I'm a moron who just can't comprehend what it is that the rules prohibit.

A defense like that might work if Nifong could demonstrate that he had sustained some type of serious head injury during the relevant period. However, since there's no evidence of that, I wonder why his attorneys bothered to include such a lame defense. Nifong has nearly three decades of experience as a lawyer; his web site boasted of his strong ethics -- yet now he wants the Bar to believe that he's either never read the ethics rules, or that he read them but was somehow unable to comprehend them. Ain't gonna fly.

Anonymous said...

"One thing that hurts him is that he's being portrayed as not being fair," Nifong's friend Bob Nauseef told ABC News.

Yet his excuse for not turning over the DNA evidence is that he was not looking for potentially exculpable evidence. Does this sound like a 'fair' evaluation of the evidence? I think NOT! Just another example of his circle talk.

Anonymous said...

"Does anyone know if that was the case (i.e. is that how the defence knew what to ask for)?"

They had DNA experts look at the data and told the Defense team what was missing.

Anonymous said...

Lots of use of the words intent, conscious, knowing, and the like.

Does any of this actually help him, even presuming it is believed? Is there any requirement to prove intent or is this some sort of strategy to mitigate the severity of sanctions?

I liked the "waving the red flag" analogy, it evokes the hope of this leading to some degree of justice. It is really sad that there is apparently no reason to consider a strategy of waving a white flag. I really hope this leads to harsher condemnation and punishment.

Anonymous said...

I'm looking for more, but for now.

Defense motions can trip you up.

Yesterday's motion by the defense team is a claim of missing underlying data, electropherograms, run by DSI and not turned over to the defense. Nifong’s motion claims that ALL the underlying data was turned over with the reports even if the underlying data were not described in the reports of the tests (see last paragraph page 2). In as much as it is evident that electropherograms were run on every sample by DSI and 11 were not provided to the defense as Nifong claims, Nifong has again lied to the Bar.

GS said...

Nifong is trying to get the NC Bar to pay for his lawyers, wait for him to request it from the state.

He will claim that it is because of his DA duties that he is defending himself, and the state should pay reasonable legal fees for a job related function.

Lawyers look for deep pockets, the Bar and the state of NC.

Someone needs to pay Mikey's legal bills.

Anonymous said...

How can it be possible for him to have the Watergate defense down so well and expect anyone to buy it. The "I have no recollection" is beyond amazing. This man can gave this many interviews and has sudden onset amnesia about doing this and then expects anyone to believe it? There is literally line after line of this type of denial in this response.

The one that really made me grit my teeth was his blaming the SANE nurse. As I have said in the past, if she indeed made a comment like this which at this point is highly unlikely, she should be fired and have to answer to the State Board of Nursing. The facts are different from his recollection, this supposed statement was said to Gottlieb NOT Nifong. How can he claim that she said it to him now? It is part of the court record that it was said to Gottleib and in fact Nifong denied in court ever speaking to the nurse personally.

This answer basically goes like this; I don't remember, Someone else did it, someone else made me do it, someone else wrote/said/did it.

I can only hope the State Bar takes this type of answer with the same level of humor the State Board of Nursing would.. with none.

Kethra
Liestoppers blog Hooligan

The Drill SGT said...

The biggest laugh is Nifong's claim that, gee, it never occurred to him how the presence of this DNA goulash in the accuser's crotch, none if it from the people he's prosecuting, might be deemed "material".

I don't think that is called for. It is offensive to a lot og Hungarians and some good Goulash Suppe.

I think you should use a generic term like DNA soup. ;)

Anonymous said...

Between this and the CCI's published remarks, I am stunned at the calculated refutation of basic reality. This is like amateur night at Kafka's comedy club. Hosted by Joseph Heller.

Tall T

Anonymous said...

Nifong's arguments before the bar is breaking a cardinal rule of life. . . "don't try and bullshit professional bullshiters."

Happy said...

There must be something in the water in Durham. Nifong and the Group of 88 seem to have traded reality for expediency.

Anonymous said...

KC,
I talked with the infamous "Bar Buddy" tonight about Mikey's defense. He was in a hurry, but I gave him the quick low down on Mikey's defense. He had a great line. "so it's OK to lie before the trial, but not after it?"
I asked him if this reply would make any difference. Nope, Mikey is going to get disbarred, period.

As Lewis Carol said, "first the verdict, then the trial"

Put a fork in Mikey, he's done.

We can have fun for the next few months guessing how soon the Fed's will indict him, or if the NC Appeal's court will force Orlando to hear Beth's petition, but debating whether Mikey is ever going to practice law again will be wasting our time.

"you're going to regret this for the rest of your life" Rae Evans rules!

Kemp

Anonymous said...

Clearly using the Ike Turner defense...

"...yes Bryant (Gumbel), while it is true I have used cocaine, I never did have no problem with cocaine."

Anonymous said...

As someone who has spent years with and around lawyers, and a couple of days testifyin', the "I don't remember" counts as a "Yep, you got me on that one". The Bar has heard it all and seen it all, and they have Nifong pegged as a liar. Spend enough time in court and you will see that good judges and lawyers are excellent truth detectors.

My favorite defense is the old "I didn't do it and I promise I'll never do it again". If we are lucky, Nifey won't get the chance to do it again.

As for his wealth, he has plenty - his wife supports him in a regal style. And they say crime doesn't pay. HA!

Soup, goulash, gumbo, primal ooze, it's all unfortunate. Crystal is one sad sociopath. NCCU must be proud of their most famous student.

Anonymous said...

Nifong's defense is going to be ripped to shreds in the blogosphere.

What a maroon.

Anonymous said...

Why do attorney general Cooper and Coman continue this travesty? Enough is enough. C'mon, Mr. Gonzales. Send the feds in.

Chicago said...

7:49-

There is lead in the water in Durham, no joke.

Anonymous said...

If (1) three rich white guys sexually abused (but did not technically "rape)a black prostitute who had a very low IQ and a severe mental illness, (2)the white guys hired very good lawyers who were much more competent than the local DA, and (3) the DA sincerely believed a sexual assault occurred and to get a conviction he had to offset what he knew would be a massive publicity campaign launched by the defense lawyers, isn't it very possible that that the matter would end up just about where this matter is today?

Anonymous said...

Nifong's response repeatedly uses phrase "the terms of which speak for itself." Huh?

Jamil Hussein said...

Out-of-control prosecutors who lie, mislead and intimidate innocents, are a real problem in this country. Something needs to be done (new DOJ division?)

Hall of Fame:

1. Mike Nifong

2. Johnny Sutton (prosecuted two border agents, lied and mislead, withheld evidence, collaborated with drug dealers who continued to smuggle drungs into the country under the deal with Sutton. Local DHS agents - just like Durham PD - worked secretly with the drug dealer and DHS officials lied to congress)

3. Patrick Fitzgerald (knew from day 1 there was no crime to investigate, knew from day 1 who the leaker was yet jailed reporters and harassed people for over a year


These scumbags deserve 100 year in jail. Prosecutors and judges should be objective and honest, not political activists.

Maybe something good comes out of this mess.

Bakerman said...

Re: "The Bar cannot allow a rogue DA to remain in office."

I don't believe Nifong qualifies as a "rogue" in that he operated openly within an extra-legal system for years absent serious scrutiny or objection. This suggests that Nifong was a typical DA, equally willing to lie, cheat, and frame, thus down-holding the ethically empty standards of the NC Bar.

Anonymous said...

Scanning the response, I think Nifong basically states that he did almost everything he is accused of, but it doesn't matter because the Duke defendents weren't hurt. He's the real victim. The defense got the DNA before trial. What's the problem? Sure he was in over his head with the media. But, that was before anyone was charged so it wasn't personal. He didn't really lie to the judge because he really didn't think of all that "other" DNA as exculpatory. So, why shouldn't the BAR pay for his legal fees?
If the BAR buys this crock, they're fools.

Anonymous said...

8:48 PM

Even "very good lawyers" and "PR campaigns" wouldn't have been able to deny a DNA record if a physical sexual assault had actually occured... so no... we would not have been here regardless.

Anonymous said...

Looks like Nifong has decided to go "The Big Lie" route. He's hoping that by denying everything in a such big way and with a straight face, then maybe people will beleive him. (a la, "SURELY, the Fuhrer wouldn't lie to us about how the Allies are almost beat!")

locomotive Breath said...

http://www.newsobserver.com/1185/story/531580.html

Critics, such as Duke law professor James Coleman, said the new document was a blatant attempt to fix a flawed case and called for a criminal investigation of Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong and his staff.

"Who would believe that a witness, nine months later, suddenly recalls facts that coincidentally negate evidence produced by the defense?" said Coleman, who led a Duke committee that investigated the lacrosse team's culture and has criticized Nifong's handling of the case for months.

"These people are almost criminal. It's making a mockery of the system. It's like Nifong is mooning the system. It's contemptuous."


That was Jan 12 but it's still true. "Mooning the system" is, for me, the quote of the hoax.

don t. said...

Ya know, this is North Carolina and he may just get away with it. I cannot tell you how much the State of Louisiana appreciates this case.

Trinity60

Anonymous said...

Having seen the NC justice system first hand, I fear this will be little more then a slap on the wrist. I suspect that the bar is going to find a way to minimize his wrongdoing to leave a smaller alley for the families to try to recoup their losses through. If the bar can only find minor things, then he gets off with a reprimand or suspension and the families cannot sue for misconduct. I truly pray that all of you predicting the worst will be correct, but I'm not going to celebrate till I hear official word that he is toast.

Anonymous said...

9:29:00 PM,

Surely you are not seriously saying that DNA is always left behind (no pun intended) when a sexual assault occurs. If assailants use a device or possibly even an assailant's body part, it is not unreasonable to think that DNA might not be left behind.

A very aggressive DA who was just trying to serve his community and compensate for being outclassed by high-priced, excellent defense counsel so that he could get a conviction of alleged assailants who he believed to be guilty could get himself into lots of trouble (and still not get a conviction of the guilty parties).

Jim said...

In paragraph after paragraph, Nifong denies making particularly inflammatory statements to the media, simply because he can't "recall" them or doesn't know which particular member of the media he made an admitted comment to.

Unless The New York Times, WRAL, Channel 11, et al. are all using Linwood Wilson's tape recorder, those Reagan-esque excuses (from a man as yet undiagnosed with dementia) will wither as his recorded activity is regurgitated by the Bar.

Is he stalling?

Facing the Bar must be like your team lining up with the other guys on a kick return. You can run backwards, but you're not going to go too far forward.

Gary Packwood said...

Chicago 7:49 said...

There is lead in the water in Durham, no joke.

Lead in drinking water is an extremely serious public health problem.

I thought that problem was long gone in this country.

Is Nifong investigating that problem?

How did you get lead in drinking water? Who was asleep at the regulatory switch?

People loose their job very quickly over elevated lead levels in the drinking water.

Hey said...

Everybody, Amanda Marcotte is posting here as Anon. 8:48. Sorry bout that campaign gig babe, maybe stalking the Duke boys will work out for you. Got any hot, white, sticky spirit recently?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 10:16:00PM

"Surely you are not seriously saying that DNA is always left behind (no pun intended) when a sexual assault occurs. If assailants use a device or possibly even an assailant's body part, it is not unreasonable to think that DNA might not be left behind."

Actually Anon, everybody with a brain IS in fact saying that in the event of a 30 minute rape perpetrated by three individuals and which also includes anal and oral penetration, yes, DNA is always left behind. Always. A rape the way Crystal described it? Always. So the fact that there is no DNA? Means there was no rape and she is liar. Period. End of story. If you don't understand that, you are a moron who probably can't walk and chew gum at the same time.

Steve White said...

As noted above, I can't imagine that Dr. Meehan, Sgt. Gottlieb, Inv. Himan, and Inv. Soucie are going to be happy about being made the fall guys for Mr. Nifong.

Dr. Meehan has his own troubles, and I don't think the 60 Minutes interview helped him. Does anyone know how his company is doing these days? Wonder how much new business he can bring him having admitted to suppressing evidence.

The police officers in this case need to be disciplined as well, but I suspect the Blue Code will protect them. Heaven help Mr. Nifong, however, as he's just agreed to rat them out to save himself -- no Durham cop will cooperate with him on anything, any more.

Anonymous said...

For the non-lawyers present, can someone explain the law? What is the DA in North Carolina required to disclose? Either Nifong is MAD (possible), or he has a case (if only a weak one) on the question of disclosure. Can someone who knows explain the law?

Vivien Thomas said...

KC...is there any chance that the bar hearing could lead to criminal charges or imprisonment? There isn't, is there?

If Nifong were proved to by lying to the bar about any of the key elements? Anything?

The idea of this guy spending 3-5 in prison just warms my heart.

MTU'76 said...

To Gary Packwood

Durham officials are denying there was a cover up about the lead in drinking water. (65 time the legal limit in some places) That in itself can mean only one thing.

http://rdu.news14.com/content/top_stories/default.asp?ArID=99280

http://www.dukenews.duke.edu/2007/02/lead.html

http://www.ci.durham.nc.us/news/NewsDisplay.cfm?vNewsID=1120

Anonymous said...


If (1) three rich white guys sexually abused (but did not technically "rape)a black prostitute who had a very low IQ and a severe mental illness, (2)the white guys hired very good lawyers who were much more competent than the local DA, and (3) the DA sincerely believed a sexual assault occurred and to get a conviction he had to offset what he knew would be a massive publicity campaign launched by the defense lawyers, isn't it very possible that that the matter would end up just about where this matter is today?


If a drug and alcohol abusing prostitute who had failed to deliver one hour of dancing because she was off her face and was faced with 72 hours of lockup falsely accused her white Duke-attending customers of violently raping and sodomizing her, wouldn't the matter end up just about where it is today?

If a DA who was desperate to get elected so he could maximize his pension jumped on a clearly false allegation of a violent gang rape and sodomization and then hid exculpatory evidence, wouldn't the matter end up just about where it is today?

Anonymous said...

Well maybe Nifong's attorneys should be disbarred for putting forward such a specious defense.

Perhaps his attorneys are the product of affirmative action or was Nifong smart enough to avoid that when it came to his hiney?

Anonymous said...

"I Plead The FiF!"


Quote from Oliver North, Mark Furhman, and Dave Chapelle!

Anonymous said...

There are many facts of Law Enforcement corruption, and not just recent, but ongoing.....Nifong is only the tip of the iceberg to sink Durham! The need for the people to take a stand is commendable, United We Stand, and DIVIDED we fall! What better way to divide the community than to use racism?!

My own brother was murdered in Durham almost 2 years ago, so I know first hand just how devious and corrupt the entire system has been, and still is! My brother is not the only unsolved murder, and yet no media attention or blogs exist to draw attention to the TRUTH, to make the public aware of the true deceptions, and crimes against humanity, committed by the very people sworn to serve and protect?!

The skeletons in Durham's closet are not only many, but broad! There is most definitely a need for widespread accountability, and I only wished the kidnapping, murderous drug running sheriff's deputies received as much attention!!!