Thursday, March 08, 2007

Nifong's Continued Evasions

Liestoppers just posted a copy of Mike Nifong’s January 16 response to the Bar, the D.A.’s last, desperate attempt to avoid the Bar’s amended and expanded January 25 complaint. While not as delusional as his December 28 letter (the document that concluded by attacking Jason Trumpbour and Friends of Duke University), Nifong’s January 16 missive continued his pattern of evasive responses, non-denial denials, and peculiar conceptions of his duties as district attorney.

By the time he wrote this document (which, oddly, appeared on the official stationery of his office, a violation of professional norms), Nifong had hired counsel and had recused himself from the lacrosse case. He also had offered no fewer than six separate excuses—ranging from a stated concern with the privacy of players he had labeled “hooligans” to the demands of running for office while also serving as district attorney—for his failure to turn over the DNA evidence.

The highlights of the January 16 document:

1.) A “summary” report need not contain all test results; and, indeed, can be confined to those results that the prosecution desires to report.

Nifong asserted that the Meehan report “was a summary report, which I would define as a report that states what tests were performed and either lists all positive results (i.e., those in which something is revealed) or states that there are no positive results.”

Alarmingly, the district attorney states that this type of report has “always” been the type that he has requested “in my 28+ years as a prosecutor,” that Meehan’s was “the type of report with which I have always dealt in cases involving forensic testing.” This admission begs the question of whether Nifong has engaged in games of hide-the-evidence previously.

2.) No law enforcement official from Durham took any notes at any point during any meeting with Meehan.

In an astonishing claim, Nifong asserts that he, Sgt. Mark Gottlieb, and Inv. Ben Himan drove to Meehan’s Burlington lab on at least two occasions, sat across the table from the lab director for over an hour in total, and that none of them ever wrote anything down about what they discussed with Meehan. Why, then, did the three of them even bother to make the trip—or is Nifong contending that all three have photographic memories, and would be able to recall the key details of the conversations months later, when the trial began?

This, it seems, is the Durham Police Department’s response to North Carolina’s Open Discovery statute: since all notes now must be turned over to the defense, just don’t take any notes.

3.) Nifong used the January 16 letter to offer what was then his seventh excuse for withholding the DNA evidence.

Nifong admits that he knew of the presence of DNA traces from multiple males. But, he told the Bar, “the specific fact that the May 12 report from DNA Securities did not contain any information about the presence of partial DNA profiles who were not members of the Duke lacrosse team (which would not be a negative result), however, failed to register with me at all at the time I received the report.”

In other words, it seems the district attorney believes that state law requires disclosure of “positive” and “negative” test results, but not of test results that the D.A. and private lab directors decide between themselves are neither “positive” not “negative.” Nothing in the relevant statutes, however, seems to justify that interpretation.

A side comment: perhaps Meehan’s failure to file a complete report would have “registered” with Nifong had he or a police officer taken notes at their meetings with Meehan, so he could have compared what Meehan told them with the document that Meehan submitted on May 12.

4.) Nifong has conceded another ethics violation.

Rule 3.8, comment 1, affirms that “a prosecutor has the responsibility of a minister of justice and not simply that of an advocate; the prosecutor’s duty is to seek justice, not merely to convict.”

Yet in his January 16 letter, Nifong states that at one meeting with Meehan, he was functioning solely as an advocate, seeking not justice but evidence to convict. He states that his purpose at the April 21 meeting—which he asserts, contrary to the recollections of all other participants, was the first time he met Meehan—was to determine whether Meehan’s test results would help him establish “conclusive identification of the third assailant.”

Evidence that exonerated the two people he already had indicted, Reade Seligmann and Collin Finnerty, appeared not to interest him. Evidence that cast doubt on the accuser’s myriad tales as a whole appeared not to interest him. His explanation for this peculiar approach?

“I knew that testing had not yet been completed on other evidence items . . . I also knew that all test results, and the underlying data from those tests, would be provided to anyone who was indicted as a defendant in this case upon request.”

This passage previewed paragraph 212 of Nifong’s official response to the Bar’s complaint, which conceded that his interest was solely in evidence that related to his theory of the crime.

5.) If true, Nifong’s explanation for the April 10 non-meeting suggests an improper conception of his duties.

Given that Meehan, Himan, and Gottlieb all contend that Nifong was present at a meeting of which he has no recollection (again, this is why people take notes), it seems very likely that the D.A.’s sudden memory loss will not carry the day.

But let’s take Nifong at his word, with his new claim that he did not meet with Meehan until April 21, or four days after he obtained indictments against Seligmann and Finnerty. He had taken the unusual approach of seeking additional tests from a private lab after the state lab didn’t return the results that he wanted. He claims that he was interested in receiving from Meehan “evidence that either directly implicated or specifically exonerated anyone.” Assuming that he first encountered Meehan on April 21, Nifong had no way of knowing, in advance, what Meehan’s test results would reveal. For all he knew, Meehan’s test results could show DNA matches between items in the accuser’s rape kit and three lacrosse players other than the ones he had indicted.

Given that fact, what legitimate law enforcement purpose did he have in seeking to obtain indictments before (as he now claims) meeting with Meehan to review the results of Meehan’s tests? Nifong obviously had a political motive for acting as he did: he needed to obtain indictments before the primary.

It’s little wonder after receiving this document that the Bar proceeded with such a powerful amended complaint.


Michael said...

Liestoppers has Nifong talking about the April 10 meeting in the June 22 court hearing and they have transcript fragments of what Nifong said. It would go well with this thread.

Hey said...

So exactly how many times is Nifong guilty of perjury and obstruction of justice?

This isn't a he-said, she-said, buit rather a case of an infinite number of mutually inconsistent legal filings. That's usually a felony for every mis-statement, and so DAMN is facing how many centuries in jail, based on 5 years per count?

Anonymous said...

Nifong is still a free man and three lacrosse players remain charged with crimes they didn't commit. Why won't Cooper and Coman end this travesty now? What is Governor Easley, who originally appointed Nifong, doing to end this absurd case against the players? The feds should step in immediately; the civil rights violations alone would warrant federal intervention.

Anonymous said...

JLS says...,

Is Nifong going to claim that someone early on in the case mistakenly said there was a meeting at DNA-SI and that he and others repeated this date until the bar complaints force him to check to see when he went? Has Nifong destroyed evidence that he had such an appointment?

Could such a fundamental mistake been made? What does this imply about other police work in Durham on this case and every other case, if investigators screw up when important meetings were held?

Deklan Singh said...

So, can just anyone go and visit any prisoner being held in any federal or state prison? I just thought I'd ask. Might be nice to fill an afternoon, rolling down to the pokey to pay Mikie a visit in the near future. One can always hope.

Anonymous said...

The last piece of this is what is so damning. He indicted these guys with bogus lineups, with incomplete DNA evidence and without reviewing alibi evidence. This just won't fly.

I totally agree also with the complaints that the NC AG's office has had enough time to look at this case. It's painfully obvious to anyone taking an unbiased look at this case that no sexual assault happened that night, and it's even more obvious that there is no evidence from which a reasonably jury could find that a sexual assault happened beyond reasonable doubt. Thus, at some point, which I think is either rapidly approaching or already here, the AG's office has to dismiss the case.

As for the bar authorities, they are going to have a field day if this ever gets to hearing--query: can Nifong plea bargain with the bar authorities. Nifong has spun so many lies, even a bright guy couldn't keep track of them. How can he not dissemble under questioning.

You have to think that Nifong is praying that the hearing scheduled for May never ever happens, as he will be called to the stand to explain the line-up. Can you imagine the DA pleading the Fifth?

Plus, if I were the judge, I'd be royally ticked that I have to be the one to toss the case. Nifong created the mess, and now this judge has to deal with the political ramifications.

Nifong must have a lot of faith in his lawyer. What an ass.

luke said...

What is going on here?

In his Jan. 16, 2007 letter, Nifong summarizes his first argument as follows: “In other words, my failure to provide the data underlying the test results initially was based on the fact that the defendants had not yet asked for it. Once they did so, in their August 31 motion, it became my responsibility to secure it for them, and I then took the steps necessary to fulfill that responsibility and reported those steps to the Court on September 22.” In reaching this conclusion, Nifong states that under State v. Cunningham, the State didn’t have to turn over underlying data unless the Defendants ask for it. He then states that Defendants asked for this data in their August 31 motion to compel discovery, which was not heard until September 22, 2006. Following the issuance of a court order, he then produced the data on October 27, 2006.

BUT, that’s not how it works. The requirement to turn over data occurs once the request is made, not when a court order is secured. So under this logic, the data should have been turned over on August 31, 2006.

BUT THERE’S MORE. This argument strategically avoids the APRIL 21, 2006 Request For or Alternative Motion For Discovery filed by Kirk Osborn where he demands:

6. “An opportunity to inspect and copy or photography results or reports of physical or mental examinations, measurements or experiments made in connection with the case, or copies thereof, within the possession, custody, or control of the State, the existence of which is known or by the exercise of due diligence may become know to the District Attorney, as provided for by N.C. Gen. State 15A-903(a), including but not limited to DNA analysis, fingerprints, handwriting, ballistics, chemical or other scientific or medical tests or analyses; this requested information includes any and all testing procedures and all underlying data related to the above-described evidence; State v. Cunningham 108 N.C. App. 185, 423 S.E.2d 802 (1992); State v. Canaday, 355 N.C. 242, 559 S.E.2d 762 (2002)”

16b. “Any evidence or information which would tend to indicate in any way that someone other than the Defendant committed the crimes charged…”

This was served on Nifong on April 19, 2006. This was a State v. Cunningham demand – the very same case that Nifong cited in his letter. So, why isn’t the April 19, 2006 demand mentioned, referenced, discussed, rationalized, explained away, etc…

Anonymous said...

Carolyn says:

Excuse me, but doesn't Nifong call himself a liar in his own letter?

First Nifong says he was not at the April 10 meeting with Gottlieb, Himan and Meehan - "I have no recollection of that meeting" - but Nifong then says that at a meeting in May which he attended with Gottlieb, Himan and Meehan, that Meehan "discussed with US the results of the tests he had performed since OUR April 10, 2006, meeting". (Emphasis added.)

So he was not at the April 10 meeting? He was at the April 10 meeting? Which one is it?

Anonymous said...

Cash Michaels, flagrantly anti-player from the beginning, has now written a column that could almost be described as a total capitulation to the other side.

Since he's been so pro-prosecution, it's probably safe to assume that he's got some reliable sources in the offices of both Coman and Nifong. Therefore it's interesting to note that he opens his latest column by stating, "To even the casual observer, it seems a sure bet that the remaining charges in the Duke lacrosse alleged sexual assault and kidnapping case will be dropped, as one source says, “any day now.”"

Any day now -- any day. Let's go folks. End this travesty and get these innocent kids out from behind the eight ball. This has gone on long enough.


Bakerman said...

Lest we believe Nifong is the exception among prosecutors;

As noted several days ago, the Innocence Project (.org) has exonerated 195 men convicted of capital crimes (rape, murder) - many rescued from death row.

Today the exonerations went up; 196.

These are very serious numbers, reflecting a pattern rather than exceptions - which will now require certain accommodations, particularly in North Carolina.

This brings to the concept of the state "serving" the "greater good" - in this case, the NC Bar making a deal with Nifong so he won't spill -their- guts; get out of jail free.

This scenario does not bode well for the accused, not that the false charges will stand, but that they'll be dismissed under a calculated cloud of suspicion (i.e., guilt) - under the DA doctrine of, "Well, 'something' happened."

Anonymous said...

In his letter January 16, Nifong states that "My focus for this meeting was whether there was evidence that either directly implicated or specifically exonerated anyone"
Given that in the next sentence he considers the presence of male DNA not matching any of the accused players as "non-probative", one wonders what in his mind would have been the type of exculpatory evidence he claims he was also looking for.
This makes quite clear that he was only looking for incriminating evidence.

Anonymous said...

Can somebody explain what Nifong's lawyers are doing? It's hard to believe they are incompetent so the apparent explanation must be that they can't control Nifong. If that's the case, aren't the lawyers risking their own reputations by having their names attached to this comedy of errors defense? Am I just naive? Vince

Anonymous said...

Good point, Luke. But I guess Nifong's position is basically indefensible.

Anonymous said...

Clearly the notes of these meetings have been willfully desroyed. Who doubts that Nifong would have planted physical DNA evidence if he could have.

Anonymous said...

"Nifong is still a free man and three lacrosse players remain charged with crimes they didn't commit. Why won't Cooper and Coman end this travesty now?"

I would imagine there are political machinations going on, in an effort to keep the NAACP happy.
Also the SP is probably trying to figure out a way to prevent the Duke 3 from suing Durham for millions.

bill anderson said...

It seems that Nifong views evidence as a "heads I win, tails you lose" proposition. If evidence does not point toward guilt, then it is ignored, so things like DNA matter only if they help to convict people.

This guy truly is dangerous. He has no regard for the law whatsoever, and he is dishonest to the core.

K.C. is doing a great service in taking this jibberish from Nifong and making it plain what he is saying. My guess is that this will be most helpful when the NC Bar decides his fate.

Anonymous said...

I believe that the State is going to press something to trial on this. It would be in the States interest to try something, anything just to show Mike had a case, so when the Bar lets him walk, everything can be hidden behind prosecutorial immunity (sp?)


Anonymous said...

About the failure of Nifong and police to take notes at meetings, the discovery law requires the authorities to report (memorialize)on the substance of all meetings, not just turn over whatever notes they took. They don't get a pass from the discovery law by not taking notes.

Anonymous said...

The evidence increases that Nifong has incompetent counsel. Perhaps they were hired affirmatively (i.e. for political reasons not because of their legal acumen). Zimbabwe comes to Durham.

Anonymous said...

Would someone with experience in these matters please speculate on the process by which justice is served on DAMN.

Will justice come through the NC State Bar investigation? Will it come through the AG special prosecutor investigation (one can only hope that the delay in dropping charges against the wrongly indicted men is to allow more time to collect information against DAMN and his coconspirators)? Or will civil litigation be required?

There clearly had to have been a conspiracy among DAMN and other members of the Durham PD (and possibly also members of the Durham city government) to allow this attempted railroading of innocent men to take place. How will this conspiracy be cracked wide open?

John Kaiser said...

Am I the only one who thinks this kind of revelation means someone should be going through his old case files and seeing what he did when he prosecuted poor black kids?

Gary Packwood said...

So Mike said ...“I knew that testing had not yet been completed on other evidence items."

What were those other evidence items?

And...why is he so confident early on in the case that he had the goods on the guys?

What was the 'evidentiary slam dunk' supposed to look like?

Anonymous said...

How stupid does Nifong think the members of the Bar are, or the general public? Does he really think people do not see beyond his lies and distortions. Unbelievable. How many times does he get to lie and perjure himself before the feds step in?

Anonymous said...

Next thing we will be hearing how Nifong claims he was abducted by aliens and they stole all of his memeory and made him do all those illegal, corrupt things. Nothing surprises me at this point. What does suprise me is how the Federal Government has not stepped in to stop this farce.

jim2 said...

The 1:13 post raised some interesting questions I'd like to ask.

If this does go to trial, with Nifong's early involvement but being no longer the prosecutor of the LAX case, I would expect the defense lawyers to get multiple opportunities at him on the witness stand in front of the judge, media, and public under oath.

Think about that!

Anonymous said...

I hope after the charges are dropped, you will keep us up to date on the lawsuits that follow. I hope there are many.
I wonder if CGM will get arrested, if not, there should be an outcry !!


Anonymous said...

John Kaiser said: "Am I the only one who thinks this kind of revelation means someone should be going through his old case files and seeing what he did when he prosecuted poor black kids?"

It is sad that the NAACP and some of the Group of 88 have misdirected their anger. I'm not aware of anyone from these two groups expressing concern about the criminal justice system in this case or considering the possiblility that the behavior exhibited in this prosecution may not be an anomaly in Durham or North Carolina.

Anonymous said...

Vince at 6:22:

IMO Nifong and his lawyers are hoping that by making so many arguments and explanations and alternative arguments (which are allowed in legal pleadings), that they hope the eyes of the DHC members will glaze over and they will say to the Bar's lawyers and Nifong's lawyers, "This is just too complicated -- Why don't you guys go out in the hallway and work something out."

Anonymous said...

If Scooter Libby got convicted of mistatements about a non-crime and Nifong has made THIS MANY mutually inconsistent statements, many of them either in the courtroom, or in documents sent to the court,....Nifong ought to be in jail today.....

Anonymous said...

It is sad that the NAACP and some of the Group of 88 have misdirected their anger.

Surely you jest.

These people weren't angry about this case until they found out the crime didn't occur. They loved this case, when they thought they could advance their own agendas with it. The gang of 88 no more cared about one black stripper than Pol Pot cared about the hundreds of thousands that died in the killing fields.

The NAACP, like Jesse Jackson, got great publicity and another opportunity to flog liberal guilt and extort more money from corporations for their own benefit.

Then the stupid stripper had to go ruin it all by not being raped....

Anonymous said...

The irony boggles the mind. If it becomes clear that Nifong indeed violated discovery as a matter of policy in his office, will the NAACP demand the reopening of cases of blacks who may have been victims of procedural railroading?

Or will the administration of the NAACP sacrifice their supposed constituency on the altar of expediency to protect their perceived good reputation, rather than admit that they have been backing a rogue DA?

Given the record of the NAACP in recent years regarding education and black-on-black crime, I suspect the latter.

Anonymous said...

I'll second the motion that KC needs to keep up this blog through the civil lawsuits. That's where things will get even more interesting and messy. To be sure, helping prompt a quick and clean closure to the criminal travesty is paramount. But I'm sure numerous stories will persist through the civil lawsuits, especially those involving Duke University, Broadhead, and some of the Potbangers.

Victim in Massachusetts said...

Don't count on the Innocence Project getting invooved in this case even if the boys get convicted.

I received a letter from the IP and they aren't interested in justice of the three young men being framed.

Even thou one of there own IP lawyers went out and started talking about some parts of the case, and now they don't want the chance to fix the damage they have created.

KC if you would like a copy of the e-mail I received please let me know.

Anonymous said...

There is a similarity in How DA Nifong offers his defense to the Bar, and how the investigators in his office conduct their "investigations".

throw something out there, when contrary evidence surfaces, respond with What I meant to say wass... What Crystal Gayle meant to say was...

Were i a responsible member of the courts, I believe I would Get the accuser on the stand as a defendant in a perjury trial and see how things after her testimony. Not exactly a credible witness,...but hey comments like "Well Mr himan told me to say this, i didnt want to..." Would make a great read.

bill anderson said...

Nifong is playing an interesting game with DNA evidence. The use of DNA can establish whether or not person "A" had sexual contact (or some kind of contact) with person "B". However, the absence of DNA does not in and of itself exonerate anyone, and all of us understand that.

However, if Nifong was going to use Crystal's story for the basis of the rape, then he would have to be saying the following:

1. Crystal was telling the absolute truth when she ID'd her alleged assailants;
2. Crystal's description of the alleged attack could not have been true because the kind of attack she described would definitely have left DNA evidence.

Thus, if Nifong were to say that point (2) was incorrect, then he would not be able to say surely that point (1) was correct. For if she was extremely wrong in her description of the attack -- and the DNA tests would indicate -- then how could anyone be sure of her truthfulness of (1)?

Nifong is not so stupid as to be fooled by that. He knows that these are false charges, and the SP knows it as well. That is why I continue to beat the drum; we are dealing with cockroaches, and if one stops shining the light for even a second, they are trying to steal something.

Anonymous said...

Anderson, you are so correct. Nifong is a dim bulb, but he ain't stupid enough to believe this woman. He jumped on a tiger and couldn't figure out how to get off.

The problem, of course, is that at some point, the question is going to be asked "Did you always believe this woman?" And the lie will be transparent with follow-up. And keep in mind, he did offer the changed time-line to the court . . . . . that's a big big boo-boo. Prosecutors don't get to uncritically pass nonsense like that along. Moreover, he will have to answer questions as to why he didn't run down the alibi.

Pass the popcorn. Nifong is going to find himself being questioned, and I guarantee you that his arrogance and smugness ain't gonna win him any friends.

Anonymous said...

Is there anybody in the know who will speculate on when the charges might be dropped. At 7:42 this morning I posted here that I believe NC will press something so that the state can hide behind prosecutorial immunity. I still think that will happen. I am curious as to why the lawsuits have not started to show yet. I sincerely believe that all the good done here at the blogs is going to go unrewarded. I can truly see DAMN getting a judge's position somewhere. The folks at the Innocence Project don't seem to want to get involved as was posted here. I really do see an Alice in Wonderland ending to this where the guilty are free and the innocent accused are in jail.


Anonymous said...

What strikes me as so totally absurd is the idea that none of them took notes during such an important meeting. My spouse is in federal law enforcement. She never goes to a meeting alone and someone always memorializes the meeting, first by hand then in a document that both people at the meeting sign off on. Usually only one person takes notes so the other person can focus on the discussion. Never, never, never would she meet with somebody and not take notes.

Anonymous said...

Mar 8, 2007 1:10:00 PM said...

...My spouse is in federal law enforcement. She never goes to a meeting alone and someone always memorializes the meeting...

Sir, do you really believe there were no notes taken?

Anonymous said...

If this case DOES go to trial, one might be sure that the Defense would call Nifong to the stand. Since he took part in the investigation, and was no longer the DA, the judge would have to allow it.

Once the defense lawyers get this arrogant self-centered liar on the witness stand, what few shredded tatters of respect still exist for the justice system in North Carolina will be completely destroyed.

No, I can't see that happening. The lawyers in North Carolina can't AFFORD to let that happen.

The only value Nifong has to the criminal justice system right now is as a scapegoat. By hammerining him, and hammering him harshly, they might deflect a little of the blog attention from the Gell case and others. This is their chance to convince the world that they've learned the error of their ways.

Nifong will be sacrificed at the altar of public opinion in the hope that once he's gone it can all go back to business as usual.....

Gary Packwood said...

I am not going to be the least bit surprised if Crystal, now known as La Petite Fleur, and her father are in the final stages of renovating their new club - Pole Dancing and More ...on one of the Islands of ...Aloha.

Anonymous said...

This is so dumb. Yall are obsessed. What will you move onto when this is all over (I mean after whatever civil suits -- if any -- and any prosecutions -- if any)?

Your bosses pay you good money to post here and read KC's posts all day! You'll be out of work!

Ex-prosecutor said...

I do not think that the NC Attorney General's office will press on with this case unless they believe they have sufficient proof to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendants committed a crime. It would be a huge embarrassment to announce, with great publicity, that the case was good enough to be tried and, then, go down in flames, as would happen.

The die is cast as to whether Mr. Nifong stepped out of his role as a prosecutor and led the investigation, thus losing his immunity. A judgment against him would clean him out, but the question is who would be liable for the overage. While misdeeds of police officers can result in liability for the department for which they work, I do not believe that a judgment against Mr. Nifong could be collected against the Durham PD. In my state, it would be against the state, since a district attorney is looked upon as a state official.

However, my state, like most I believe, has a limitation upon its liability. The effect of this is that, regardless of how big the judgment, the plaintiff can collect only up to the allowed amount. NC may well have such a law. However, the Durham PD and city of Durham should not, so a judgment could be collected from them, assuming that the civil jury would find against Gottlieb, etc., as well as Nifong.

Thinking about the civil suits, what is interesting to me is what entities will have to provide a defense. Usually, a city and its police department will be defended by a city attorney or private counsel hired for the job. Here, there would be several Durham police officers sued, as well as the department. Since its financial interest would be to disclaim that the police supervisors were aware of what the lower ranking officers were doing (thus avoiding liability), the defendants would have antagonistic defenses. The result of this would be that at least several defense lawyers would have to be involved. The cost of defending the civil claims would be huge, and it would be hard to settle the cases because the Duke defendants have such huge lawyer fees.

What I think militates against the criminal cases ever going to trial is that, I presume, the two lawyers from the AG's office are the ones who will be the prosecutors, if there is a trial. The only way I'd want to try this one would be if I could wear a bag over my head, so nobody would know who I was. No rational prosecutor would try this incredible mess.

Anonymous said...

To 1:34:00 PM

You say if this goes to trial that the judge would have to allow calling DAMN as a witness. I don't mean to sound argumentative, but the judge may see his role differently. Is there a law or guideline that this is based on. Seeking enlightenment


ME said...

KC’s fifth point in his column shows with absolute clarity why it is preposterous for Nifong to now claim that he does not recall the Apr 10 meeting with Meehan (and by implication that Nifong came to know about the lack of lacrosse player DNA on Apr 21). It is preposterous because Nifong would not have indicted Seligmann and Finnerty if there was the slightest chance that DNA gathered from the complainant would implicate lacrosse team members other than those indicted.

Further, Nifong would have known, without any doubt, that it was absolutely critical to obtain indictments prior to the primary from the tone and tenor of the public commentary at this forum (view the video in the right hand column):

Nifong’s Greatest Performance

Another.anon said...

IIRC, Nifong is saying that he has *no recollection* of the meeting, which he can parse into meaning 'yes, it took place, but I don't recall any details'.

Similar to 'I have no *recollection* of finishing the bottle of bourbon, but I know it happened'.

Cedarford said...

My guess is that Nifong's strategy is to tell so many lies and misrepresentations that it introduces reasonable doubt in the Bar on which "Minister of Justice" story is the most disbarrable for, so they won't be able to decide.

Such a genius!
Another matter the Bar hasn't gotten in complaint is the possible role of nifongery in the Corporal David Addison wanted posters.

Addison, of course, presumed guilt in a radical departure from any Crimestopper poster he and Kimmie Michaels produced over the last 5 years. And against all legal protocol in Crimestopper's national practices.

Addison has "grown dark" since June, refusing to comment to anyone. The town and DPD contend it is in Crimestoppers balliwick, not theirs, but efforts by JohninCarolina and others to get Crimestopper Board to comment have been rebuffed.

However, it is worth noting that on March 24th, DA Nifong "took command" of all DPD officers involved in the case and on March 28th, Addison cranked out:

The Duke Lacrosse Team was hosting a party at the residence. The victim was sodomized, raped, assaulted and robbed. This horrific crime sent shock waves throughout our community.

When Addison drafted it, he was doing so with 5 years of experience in the legal protocals for not prejudging a crime or guilt in a case lacking overwhelming evidence when making public announcements. He also knew that DPD internally, had substantial doubts that a rape had happened.

So was it him, or Nifong, that ordered the libelous poster jeopardizing legal due process to be created.

On April 10th, all Addison's notices were changed on orders of police brass when they realized the DNA results from the State Lab came back negative, despite Nifong's March 24th -APR 3rd assertions that he had no doubt the DNA would nail the "guilty parties".

If it was Nifong, now in charge, that ordered Addison's subversion of due process, it is almost as bad as the DNA concealment he IS charged with.

Another side matter that could bring major liability for the Poster and the ensuing Vigilante poster right to Duke's doorstep is the two officials at Duke early involved in the case were "Dean Sue" Wasiolek, Dean of Students and Police Major Bob Dean. Both were Crimestoppers Board members, Dean chairing the organization

As JohninC said: During that time no member of Duke University’s “leadership team,” including a single one of its trustees, its President, Richard H. Brodhead, or any senior Arts & Sciences faculty member questioned the truthfulness or appropriateness of the CS “Wanted” poster, even as it inflamed unstable individuals and hate groups targeting the players.

"Dean Sue" who is also a lawyer who definitely would have known the posters were outside all Crimestopper guidance, libelous, legally destructive to due process....And, instead of having Duke or Crimestoppers inform Addison to immediately retract his poster - "Dean Sue" instead spent the next two weeks pillorying the Lacrosse players and telling them to avoid legal counsel or contacting their parents.

The Dean of Students and the rest of Duke Admin, including Head of Duke Police and Crimestoppers high muckety-muck Major Bob Dean were also exceptionally incurious on who on Duke Campus created the "Vigilante Poster", who was involved in distributing it all over campus, and how it ended up in the hands of N&O for city-wide libeling.

I guess it is true about "Dean Sue". She became so infected by political correctness that she has come to see herself as the Dean of Some Students, and the Righteous Prosecutor of others.

Disclaimer - I do not know if Major Bob Dean chaired Crimestoppers from March 15th-April 15th, nor if "Dean Sue" was on the Board in that time interval. Both list their involvement in Crimestoppers in their profiles...

Anonymous said...

My spouse has been in law enforecement for 3 decades and has worked one several well known national cases. I specifically asked him last night about the note taking.In a cse of the this magnitude, one of the law enforcers would be assigned to either tape or record the meeting. Nothing would be by sheer memory.

Bakerman said...

Re: Victim in Massachusetts said: "Don't count on the Innocence Project getting invooved in this case even if the boys get convicted. I received a letter from the IP and they aren't interested..."

Kindly explain.

Generally, the Innocence Project does not come in before the fact, so it's hard to tell what you want or expect before a trial has even occurred.

In addition, the Innocence Project has limited resources and therefore must allocate their time and efforts accordingly.

Meanwhile, you're implying their 196 exonerations are something of a sham - without offering a single proof to support the accusation.

If you have something more, please post it.

Anonymous said...

Maybe I'm naive but I THOUGHT American justice was the business of every citizen! That is why Americans have always made it a point to fight injustice in whatever State of the Union in which it was found.

Anonymous said...

Re: It is sad that the NAACP and some of the Group of 88 have misdirected their anger.

I think the historical aims of the NAACP are much broader than police and prosecutorial misconduct against AAs. The organization also has fought against discrimination and violence towards AAs by regular whites. It would be nice if the NAACP would see it "our way" -- that exposing Nifong's misconduct in this case might translate into reducing misconduct by other prosecutors against AAs in other cases. But, the NAACP has a member of their community who claims she was assaulted by three white guys, and I doubt if they are going to say or do anything (such as admitting that Nifong screwed up) that might jeopardize her case as long as she continues to claim she was assaulted.

Shatia said...

Mr.Nifong is an honorable man and a good husband and family man. Just because he supports the black community in Durham, does not make him a criminal. Everyone here seems to think that if you support the black community in Durham you are a criminal. He is just trying to do his job, has anyone here never made a mistake. I would guess not. So you want to condemn this man, have him lose his job, then go to jail. What purpose does that serve? He is just a public servant trying to retire and get a pension.

Anonymous said...

KC The SBI lab informed Nifong the end of March that there were no DNA matches to the team. He had this information before the indictments, yet went ahead anyway.

Anonymous said...

1:10 Can your wife help with getting Doj and or the FBI involved with this tragedy????

Anonymous said...

We have all become so focused on Mike Nifong that I think we have lost sight of the big picture. We need to face the fact that our criminal justice system is broken. Not just North Carolina's, but the federal and state systems in our entire country.

If you have any doubt, read the 10 part piece "Win at All Cost" on the Pittsburg Post Gazette at

Every time we pick up a newpaper we find another example. The two border patrol agents who were just incarcerated were convicted on the testimony of a drug runner who ran more loads of Marijuana while waiting to testify. Evidently the additional acts of smuggling were known to the federal prosecutor but kept from the defense. Sound familiar?

I believe that one of the primary underlying causes of corruption of our criminal justice system is the application of the fourth amemdment, i.e. the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. The judicial remedy for an illegal search is the suppression of any seized evidence.

If one thinks about it, the fourth amendment as it is applied does not protect innocent citizens. It only protects the guilty. More importantly, police are forced to lie to get inculpatory evidence into court. DAs are forced to suborn perjury. Judges are forced to look the other way.

Here is an example. Suppose a police officers stops a driver with a broken tail light. He looks in the car and sees burlap bags, the shape of which indicates square objects inside which the office assumes to be bricks of marijuana. He cuffs the driver and sure enough finds marijuana in the bags.

At the fourth amendment exclusionary hearing, the defense argues that the presence of burlaps bags does not constitute probable cause for a search.

Consequently, the officer testifies that he looked in the car and saw marijuana protruding from the bags. He invokes the plain sight rule.

The DA has seen this enough times to know that the officer is probably lying. He may even coach the officer to lie. The judge has also been around long enough to know the game. Thus, we have corruption at three levels of the system.

On the other hand, suppose the officer searches the bags and finds alfafa pressed into blocks for horse feed. The driver is released immediately, but has no recourse against the state for the illegal search. Only the guilty are protected.

Thus, as the fourth amendment is applied under our system of justice, it corrupts our police and prosecutors and judges. In addition, it provides no protection to the innocent. Often, if the police are honest, the guilty person go free.

Once a police officer has committed perjury, it is only a small step to manufacturing evidence or rigging a line up. Once a DA has suborned perjury, the same is true.

Mike in Nevada

Victim in Massachusetts said...

If the Cooper and Coman push charges than Coman will have a problem and a large one at that.

Coman might have to talk to the NC State Bar.

And that is all I will say about that for now.

Anonymous said...

A bit off topic: Ann Coulter had suggested NC Senator John Edwards is gay. This is part of his response.

"I believe it is our moral responsibility to speak out against that kind of bigotry and prejudice every time we encounter it."

I wonder how he would feel if he was called a rapist, hooligan and have signs held up to castrate him. Senator Edwards will sell his soul to the devil to pander to the black vote. He will not stand up for justice in his own state. Does anyone think he will have any back bone, charachter and integrity as a president. He whines if he is called gay yet where has he been the past year while encountering the racism and prejudice and exhibited by his own state. Apparently the Constitution of the USA means nothing to this man unless it involves himself personally and his feelings get hurt. What a phoney.

Anonymous said...

To 1:27: The paper shredders were working full time in the DPD and DA's office. Don't forget the police went into a lacrosse players dorm room and sent an email to other players trying to use scare tactics. Remember the DPD earsed the recordings of the officer who came upon Crystal at Krogers after they were ordered to preserve all notes, tapes, recordings. There were notes..... they were destroyed. Why do you think Nifong was in his office with the shades drawn. The FEDs are way to late. They should have been in there months ago cleaning out the DA's office and the DPD office. Attorney General Gonzales is such a disappointment.

Anonymous said...

Check out Christina Asquith's March 8 article, "Duke's Devil of a Mess" in "Diverse: Issues in Higher Education."

or Google "Duke Lacrosse"

Jim said...

I wonder if Nifong ever offered CGM immunity for her testimony.

I don't know how she could possibly fail to incriminate herself in open court. For ex: the DNA swabs, showing the presence of semen in her rectum, would be legal land mines.

North Carolina's sodomy laws are still on the books. And since she never charged the as-yet-unknown "donors" with sexual offense, she'd have a time explaining how it got there without setting herself up.

Nifong's office might have had to prosecute their own star witness.

Anonymous said...

I was an auxiliary police officer for several years, and I can confirm what 1:10 p.m. says - we receive formal training in note-taking, and we take careful and detailed notes of everything. Otherwise, we may not be able to remember things at a trial one or two years later.

Anonymous said...

Shatia - well done. You are a genius. Perhaps you should be in charge of law enforcement in Durham, maybe even all of NC. You are clearly a deep thinker and very well versed in the intricacies of the law. Now scurry back to NCCU and help your fellow students murder each other and deposit their DNA in the rectums of each other. By the way - did you know that half of the HIV cases in NC are in black people? Ten percent of the population? Twenty percent? In any case - thanks for carrying that viral load and keeping the rest of us from having to do that heavy lifting. You are as intelligent are you are hygenic.

ME said...

Re the "me" post at 2:51 pm:

The Nifong's Greatest Performance link is:

Victim in Massachusetts said...

Bakerman 4:43p.m. One of the lawyers for the IP went and shot off his mouth about one of the indicted lacrosse players and that really made the lawyer that defends that person really pissed off.

The IP was started after the OJ case was finished. Most of the cases they take are of black men, very few are white or spanish.

The families of these three could have made a donation to the IP for there help.

One of the things they state on there site is "they want to stop injustice before it happens."

Well I guess three young men being FRAMED, and one of there own has had negitive things to say about them leaves me now to beleave that they have nothing but the same agenda as the NAACP, NBPP and all of the dirty people in Durham.

Gary Packwood said...

Frat Party - NOT Lax Party

I tend to discount much of what Mr. Nifong has done with respect to missing reports and meetings alone with his memory problems.

My view is that Mr. Nifong was told by his employees to be prepared to accept the perfect case that would propel his career forward all the way to a judgeship down the pike.

One case that would be always be thought of as a strategic nuclear explosion that moved the feminist moment forward along with the AAA Black movement while insuring that DA's across the nation had a new MODEL to use in their bid to be re-elected or elected.

Nifong was told to be prepared to take control of a case involving felonies at a Duke University white fraternity party where Duke alums will be present. Several white students and several white alums...probably alums who are officers of the court (Duke Law School Graduates).

All Nifong needed to do was wait for the party to materialize and then act...quickly when he got the call.

What we are reading about today is Mike Nifong spending week after week in denial ...while asking ...Where's The Beef?

The party was supposed to be a frat party somewhere and a party where alums would be present.

So much talk about FRAT houses swirls around this case. Even the Director of the Duke Women's Center told SI that fraternities were much more of a problem for Duke ...than sports teams.

Some group has been telling those young women at Duke about bad frat houses with bad white guys. Dave Evans in a frat house? Hardly! The younger students at Duke along with Nifong have no idea what a FRAT house looks like.

The picture below is newer version of a frat house. This is what a frat house would look like at Duke if Duke had frat houses. It meets fire regulations.

Indiana University - Kappa Sigma

Nifong thought he was going to get a string of award winning striped bass yet he got a string of ...sun fish.

Somewhere in Durham around the time of the LAX party was a bachelor party for a about to be married graduating senior who was also a member of a Duke fraternity and alums were invited to attend the party. They dodged a very large bullet.

We just need to flush out who told Nifong's people to be ready for an errant FRAT party.

That is my take on this case so far...and of course, I realize that I could be wrong but this just makes much more systemic sense to me.

Anonymous said...

I have only one question - have any of you actually seen an NCSBI lab report? I'm actually an NC prosecutor, and while this case has made my job that much harder, the fact remains that almost of none of the posts i've read have a clue of how NC Criminal Procedure works. And the State Bar can't send anyone to jail. Repremand (privately and publicly), suspend (with or without a stay of suspension), or disbar. And who do you think is going to charge Nifong? It hasn't happened yet. Read the NCGS 15A-900, and following and maybe you'll all have a better idea of what Nifong did and did not do.

PS: Innocence Project - of 196 "acquitals," FOUR are from NC according to their own website. That's 2%, and 196 is out of 36 states. Prosecutors are not horrible people out to get a conviction. And those same cases had a jury of your peers in many of them.

Anonymous said...

Shatia: If it was three black boys being charged with crimes that never happened, I think we'd hear you and the other black residents of Durham screaming for the blood of the DA. Frankly, I'm pretty sick of hearing you puppies whining.

Anonymous said...

Making mistakes at work is no crime, yes, we all do it. However, lying to judges and State Bars, purposefully railroading 3 inncoent people to potential prison for most of their lives, and obstructing justice are criminal acts, and cannot be tolerated. Imagine if your son or daughter were treated as these young men have been.
One other word, again making mistakes is no crime, not correcting them or admitting you were wrong should be !!

Anonymous said...

Mike Nifong quotes that "In my opinion, politics rarely, if ever, produces heroes.”

He didn't know how right he was !!!

bill anderson said...

Mar 8, 2007 7:17:00 PM

I agree wholeheartedly. Look, if these people were willing to try to frame innocent people, they also are going to be willing to destroy evidence of their own criminality. What a bunch of crooks!

Anonymous said...

This is so dumb. Yall are obsessed. What will you move onto when this is all over (I mean after whatever civil suits -- if any -- and any prosecutions -- if any)?

Maybe we can move onto the next injustice and expose it. Again saving innocent people from corrupt government officials.

Cedarford said...

Shatia, everything you wrote was ill-thought out and misinformed, IMO, but you were civil and did nothing to deserve the disgusting racist post of Mar 8, 2007 8:13:00 PM from "Anonymous".

But let "Anonymous" be a reminder there are BOTH black and white racists that have sowed their poisons in this case.

KC, hope that while you were moderating comments, that one somehow slipped by you...

Gary Packwood said...

Thank You Mr. Prosecutor

I found NCGS 15A-900 and I shall go read now.


jamil hussein, AP said...

Anybody knows the status of the marxist Gang88 professor who is accused of grade retaliation?

I haven't heard anything from Brodhead so apparently he fully supports this kind of behaviour at Duke. Racism and marxism is the future, at least at Duke.

One would have assumed that at least something along the lines of "we will investigate this..severe actions will follow, if found true".

Instead, absolutely silence and no doubt denial from Duke leadership will follow in court.

Bakerman said...

Re: Victim in Massachusetts said to Bakerman 4:43p.m.; "One of the lawyers for the IP went and shot off his mouth about one of the indicted lacrosse players and that really made the lawyer that defends that person really pissed off."

Which IP lawyer said what?

Re: "The IP was started after the OJ case was finished [1995]."

The Innocence Project was founded in 1992.

Re: "Most of the cases they take are of black men, very few are white or spanish."

Black men are over represented in the system and under represented by effective council.

Re; "The families of these three could have made a donation to the IP for there help."

The families had the ability to mount an effective defense without IP's help. It's hard to imagine what the Innocence Project could have done that the family's attorneys haven't already done.

To put it another way, had the accused been black, poor, and convicted, the Innocence Project would now have a case.

Re: "One of the things they state on there site is 'they want to stop injustice before it happens.'"

Doesn't everyone? Still, everyone is limited in what they can do.

Re: "Well I guess three young men being FRAMED, and one of there own has had negitive things to say about them..."

Please elaborate. I find it difficult to believe that a representative of the Innocence Project would, in their official capacity, make prejudicial statements in this or any other pending case.

Anonymous said...

"Somewhere in Durham around the time
of the LAX party was a bachelor party..."

Start with the 15 party houses sold to Duke on March 1st ? ? ?

Anonymous said...

NC Prosecutor:

The folks who comment on these blogs are obviously very interested in the criminal justice system and its procedures. Instead of insulting them by telling them that they don't have a clue how the system works, why don't you go out on a limb and explain your understanding, rather than smugly telling them to go read NCGS 15A-90, et seq.?

It is arrogance like yours that has gotten Nifong in trouble. If the whole system gets turned upside down (as it definitely should) so that you and your colleagues actually have to start considering that you might be called to task for professional misconduct, you will have to look no further than your own attitude to know why.

North Carolina Lawyer

Anonymous said...

8:38 I must be very slow this morning. Not sure what you are writing. Please explain. We did not get Nifong in trouble. He did it by himself with a few enablers. He thought he could shotgun his way to a conviction of innocents. Without this blog and others, he would have done it. Is this the norm for NC justice? I certainly did not know how the system worked in North Carolina, I thought in American justice, it was innocent until proven guilty.

Anonymous said...

Barry Scheck has not made a comment about the case. I am very disappointed in him and the IP. He,like the NAACP and ACLU have demonstrated they are only interested in minorities. Lest we forget, Barrry was an attorney for OJ and testified in his behalf. I believed that IP would be there for all of us. I have cut off donations and support to all three. Peter Neufeld made a statement " Lack of DNA does not show lack of attendence." He did not elaborate at the time nor has ot since, that this is true unless you are tested before showers, washing and the like. Crystal was tested within hours.