Saturday, March 17, 2007

Nifong's Flailing Response

Overshadowed by yesterday’s performance of “The Uncooperative Miss M”—in which the same accuser who had no problem hurling charges to a newspaper reporter shielded by the veil of anonymity now is, apparently, refusing to deal with prosecutors who might ask her hard questions—Mike Nifong’s attorneys filed a new brief yesterday urging the dismissal of some of the ethics charges against him. If this is the best case his attorneys can offer, the D.A.’s chances of keeping his license would seem very slim.

When last heard from, attorneys for the disgraced D.A. challenged the bar’s ethics complaint by alleging:

  • While Nifong did make all but one of the comments attributed to him by the Bar, these comments didn’t violate the ethics rule against heightening “public condemnation of the accused” –either because the 46 white lacrosse players identified as suspects by his own office, the DPD, and even Durham CrimeStoppers weren’t really suspects; or because the police fed him inaccurate information; or because he was entitled to offer assertions about their guilt to counter unspecified defense misstatements of fact;
  • A district attorney isn’t compelled to turn over a “complete report,” at any stage of the process, and can instead produce a report listing only those tests results favorable to the state; and if the defense can’t understand the underlying data the state unwillingly provides, that’s too bad.
  • Nifong has no memory of the April 10 meeting between himself, Meehan, Gottlieb, and Himan, even though that meeting was referenced by: police notes; Meehan’s December 15 testimony; Nifong’s own January 16 letter to the Bar; and Nifong’s own comments at the June 22 hearing.
  • Despite the bar’s requirement that he function as a “minister of justice,” Nifong failed to examine all of the evidence presented by Meehan, and was instead searching only for evidence that could convict a Duke lacrosse player.

Nifong’s new response consists of four sections, and could serve as an example of how lawyers attempt to handle a case where the facts aren’t on their side.

1.) Nifong’s actions didn’t violate the Brady rule.

The longest section of the response—more than four pages—explains why Nifong’s actions didn’t violate the U.S. Constitution, and specifically the Supreme Court’s Brady decision, which requires prosecutors to hand over all potentially exculpatory evidence.

While an intriguing theoretical argument, the tactical wisdom of this approach seems hard to determine: in a 291-paragraph ethics complaint, the Bar mentioned the Brady issue in a grand total of two paragraphs, in which the alleged Brady violation was listed as merely one among many Nifong ethics violations. So, even if the argument presented by Nifong’s attorneys were correct, it would do virtually nothing to weaken the Bar’s case.

2.) Nifong’s actions didn’t violate the Open Discovery statute, because the defense received the relevant information before a trial occurred; and, in any case, Nifong turned over everything he had.

Nifong first floated this line of argument in his December 28 letter to the Bar. In yesterday’s filing, his attorneys reasoned,

In short, the allegations contained in the Amended Complaint reveal that after receiving an initial report from Dr. Meehan [on May 12], Nifong provided that report to the Duke defendants, and after receiving the underlying data from Dr. Meehan, Nifong provided that data to them as well [on October 27, one week later than the court had told him to do so].

Nifong’s lawyers neglected to mention one aspect of the story: that Nifong met with Meehan (at the now-forgotten April 10 meeting and, by his own acknowledgment) twice thereafter; and that, according to Meehan’s own testimony, Nifong and Meehan entered into an agreement to produce a report that intentionally withheld exculpatory evidence.

The Nifong line of argument therefore appears to be: prosecutors should conspire to produce one-sided expert reports, promptly turn these incomplete reports over to the defense, and hope that the defendants agree to a plea bargain. If the defendants insist on a trial, then and only then should the prosecutor turn over the whole report.

This—it’s worth remembering—is the prosecutor whose conduct has been championed by the state NAACP.

3.) Neither Nifong nor any other law enforcement official was required to produce notes of their discussions with Dr. Meehan; therefore, their failure to do so wasn’t an ethics violation.

Nifong’s attorneys concede that North Carolina law requires prosecutors to turn over all “statements” to the defense. But, harking back to Bill Clinton’s defense—“It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is”—they posit that Nifong should be exonerated of the charge because the statute “failed to specifically define what the term ‘statement’ encompassed.”

This reasoning would effectively gut the Open Discovery law, since prosecutors could simply withhold statements at will by claiming that they weren’t really “statements.”

Perhaps recognizing that the Bar is unlikely to endorse this claim, the Nifong lawyers offer a second argument: Nifong’s discussions with Meehan were attorney “work product,” and therefore not discoverable. This line of defense likewise stands little chance of success: if allowed, it would suggest that prosecutors could routinely enter into agreements with expert witnesses to withhold exculpatory evidence, but then refuse to report the results of such discussions on the grounds that creating the conspiracy was part of the normal job of a prosecutor.

4.) Nifong didn’t violate the North Carolina law requiring that the subjects of a Non-Testimonial order be supplied with a copy of reports of the test results from the NTO because . . . well, because Nifong says so.

In contrast to the four-plus pages the Nifong response devotes to the Brady question, the response addresses this issue—where, it would seem, the Bar has Nifong dead to rights—in two cursory paragraphs.

Nifong again invokes the Clintonian defense: “The statute does not set out any specific format in which the ‘report’ must be; only that the information must be provided to the subject.”

A reader e-mailed me yesterday to report that in this week’s online column, NCSpin.com reports that the word around Raleigh is that Nifong is “sweating bullets regarding the NC Bar charges and is trying to negotiate a settlement.” After reading his attorneys’ filing, I can understand why Nifong is so nervous.

Hat tip: K.W.

88 comments:

Anonymous said...

All utopians, socialists, and other folks whose worldview rests strongly on the idea that man is essentially good need to study Nifong.

Anonymous said...

Even if accepted in totality, this defense at most covers omission of exculpatory evidence.

It seems to me that arranging to have a report analyzing available evidence doctored so that it reaches a misleading and false conclusion is clearly an act of commission and an indefensible one at that.


Given the nature of the alleged crime, this is the same thing as having a ballistics expert look at wounds in a dead body in the hope of finding bullets, in order to try to match one or more of a number of guns. Of course, this would be done in order to identify the murderer(s), by association with the gun(s).

When the bullets don't match any of the guns that are being checked, the expert is told to prepare a report that leaves out the existence of the bullets that were found. Where this analogy breaks down is that there is no dead body here, because there was no crime. However, this is essentially what Nofing is trying to argue.

Look at where this leads. Nofing is trying to do the legal equivalent of constructing a mathematical proof that one equals zero. The thing is, this "proof" is going to be peer reviewed. I hope the Bar panel finds this as insulting as I would if someone tried to pull something like this on me, in my field.

Anonymous said...

JLS says...,

Yep as I said on the other thread after reading the brief, it was basically the I did not violate thie law long enough to make this an ethics violations defense.

re: Anon 12:36 Now that is a funny comment about the need to study Nifong. We economists model people as self-interested. Myopic self-interest explains Nifong pretty well in this case and Mangum too for that matter.

Anonymous said...

I'm no expert in NC ethics rules and bar procedure, but from my understanding, overly lawyerly and technical defenses just don't get the job done. He's a prosecutor, for God's sake, he's just not supposed to do this.

The elephant in the room is that each and every person who will hear his case knows full well that the Duke 3 are not only innocent, but that no crime was committed. Plus, let's not forget a few other things--the bullying of the cabbie and the foisting of that BS statement changing the time line.

Cedarford said...

The way I see it, the Bar might wish to consider ANOTHER separate charge.

In addition to his own defamory remarks, Prosecutor Nifong appears to have ordered others like Corporal Addison and Kammie Michaels to engage in an organized media campaign he led to gain public certainty a crime, a horrific one, was a certainty - and that a pool of 46 accused were either guilty of the horrific crime, or criminally guilty of covering it up.

In doing so once he had been placed in charge of City personnel, Prosecutor Nifong used official police communications channels of Durham and the communications channel and name of a NC-registered non-profit(Crimestoppers) Corporal Addison liaised with to further the Prosecutor's agenda and deprive defendents of due process and the presumption of innocence.

Bar investigation of this charge would be based on statements of denial by Major Lee Russ of the DPD Chief's office that the City or DPD directed Addison at this time in the Lacrosse matter, and Crimestoppers Board member's early indication they too were not part of the media campaign that featured Addison and Nifong as the communications contact points.

It would be a serious additional charge, probably unecessary and would be piling on Nifong - might even delay matters....
But it would be important to either acquit the Corporal or hold him accountable for his own words and activities.
And it would be important to investigate if NIfong organized a conspiracy to deprive the accused of due process rights in a matter outside the DNA.

This charge would be based on

Anonymous said...

Also, include the forged e-mail with the cabbie coercion and the frame-up line-up. Someone clearly talked Kim Roberts into changing her story early on and there were those dropped charges. It goes on and on and on; there is a very long list...

I know someone pointed out that police are allowed to lie in certain circumstances, but if the lying e-mail was not a violation of procedure, something is very wrong. Sending inflamatory e-mail from someone else's account, forging their identity and implying certainty of guilt, certainly increases condemnation of the accused, reduces the chances of a fair trial, etc.

If this e-mail was presented to the Grand Jury, it was a clear case of fabrication of evidence. It seems only reasonable to suppose any such e-mail sent through the University system would come to the attention of the Administation, one way or another. This does not qualify as lying to suspects, not even close.

There is no way to defend this. Tailgaiting a student into a dorm with no warrant and no invitation also seems very suspect to me.

scott said...

OK, Nifong, you want to negotiate a settlement, here's the deal:

1. You surrender your law license permanently and agree that you will never be allowed to reapply for a new license;
2. You enter a medium security prison for a term of 10 years with no time off for good behavior and you will serve the full 10 in solitary confinement;
3. Upon completion of sentence you will be on probation for another 10 years during which time you will volunteer (i.e., without compensation) for 40 hours a week for 50 weeks a year at a rape crisis center. This will lead you to the opportunity to experience first hand the trauma of real rape victims rather than the lies of a person (CGM) who is trying to game the system;
4. Anyone who wants to engage you in civil litigation at any time during the full statute of limitations period as a result of your malfeasance in the Hoax is free to do so.

If you don't like that deal, here's the alternative:

1. You are tried on your actions as DA in the Nifong Scandal case by Joan Foster of the LieStoppers website and 11 of her closest friends. If found guilty, you spend the rest of your life in an 8' X 10' jail space with a cellmate named "Buck". This will lead you to the opportunity to experience first hand the trauma of a real rape victim rather than a person (YOU in both cases) who is trying to game the system.

What'll it be, Nifong?

Deklan Singh said...

Nifong's "I turned over all that I had" defense cannot stand in any civilized country.

Imagine if prosecutors were allowed to reach such agreements not only with independent DNA labs, but also with police investigators? Are you kidding me? A legal system where police, labs, etc. could withhold whatever the DA didn't want the defense to know? Eye-witness testimony, prefiltered by police? Fingerprints at the scene of a murder withheld unless they matched whoever the DA had decided to persec...I mean "prosecute"? This is a joke, RIGHT?

For one thing, such a system would make all episodes of Law and Order REALLY BORING.

Anonymous said...

Time to put Nifong behind bars. His co-conspirators in the DPD and Meehan can also go in. They ought to have at least enough for a bridge foursome.

In the interim, the gang of 88, Brodhead, and the city of Durham can get ready to shell out some MAJOR DOLLARS in civil and punitive damages.....

Anonymous said...

JLS says....,

As far as I remember, the statement below from the fox.com article on the Pressler and Yaeger book has not been commented on much here:

Article on Pressler's book

Yaeger also said that there could be some information coming from the special prosecutors now investigating the case "very soon." That information "would be really wonderful news for all the people involved," he said, adding, however, that "regardless, there are some very shattered lives in this case."

I added the bold. This sounds to me like Yaeger has heard something about what the prosecutors are saying and the defendants should expect good news soon. How do others read this?

Stanley Feldman said...

One reason for his spirited defense is to make disbarment look like serious punishment, which it is in most cases. Nifong’s thinking is that this (N.C. Bar punishment) will make it less likely for an indictment to be sought.

The bar charges, serious in themselves, pale in comparison to the criminal charges (conspiracy, obstruction of justice and misconduct in office) that should be brought against Nifong and others.

Anonymous said...

scott said...
"3. Upon completion of sentence you will be on probation for another 10 years during which time you will volunteer (i.e., without compensation) for 40 hours a week for 50 weeks a year at a rape crisis center."

Seems to me, it would be fitting for the jerk to become volunteer janitor and groundskeeper at Duke. Imagine how humiliated he would be!

Anonymous said...

Several months ago on this forum I stated that the accuser would NEVER testify and that the case would never go to trial because she had everything to lose and nothing to gain. She can back out this way and blame it on others, including the bloggers. The reason the dismissal is taking so long I think is because the government wants to try to wrap it all up in one blow by getting the defense to agree not to sue for false arrest.

Anonymous said...

While he indicates he turned over the bulk of the info eventually, where is the mention that he fought against doing so. It seems to me DA actions, even when overruled, are fair game for criticism.

And if he could have planted evidence, he would have. The pure banality of evil. He should shoot himself - that is the decent thing to do.

Anonymous said...

Criminal (and administrative) lawyer's tactics can be boiled down to:

If the facts are against you, argue the law. If the law is against you, argue the facts.

If both are against you, bullshit 'em (with the most plausible BS you can come up with).

I think Nifong's lawyers had to go with Choice No. 3.

Anonymous said...

1:01 AM

What about really small values of one - do they not approach zero? If not, should Nifong kiss his asymptote goodbye?

Deklan - boring Law and Order episodes? That's redundant. They are all tedious liberal drivel.

Fred Thompson for President! No, I mean buy the insurance that the DA hawks...

But back to the case at hand - the Nifster may walk. He may be disbarred but it will be interesting to see how the democrat power structure finesses the rest of the issues - his pension, protecting him from lawsuits, barring any further legal sanctions based on his "cooperation". Remember, Cooper is running for governor, and cannot upset the local democrat base. Mercifully, they have a short collective memory.

Does anyone think we are within a month or two of this abomination being resolved? Ok, at least the initial case? Then we can stay tuned for the civil cases. Crystal in rehab! Nifong in rehab! Chalmers in his new job! Cash at the all you can eat ribs joint! OJ looking for the real rapists!

madder than a hornet said...

wonder how fong and cy are paying this attorney? I get a nice smile thinking of a $50,000 bill arriving. Watch for bathrobe trips to the mailbox on Fox News.
Wonder also if Victoria can drum up a fundraiser?

Anonymous said...

Hornet - I seem to remember that the Fongster was asking the state to pay for his defense. Don't remember what happened, but given that one hand washes the other, my assumption is that the state will in fact cover at least this part of his legal costs.

The rest - well, his wife can carry the load - she is privileged, the community will help, there will be bake sales, he probably still has some campaign funds to dump into his defense - and as long as he has a bathrobe, he will be welcome on the streets of Durham.

Anonymous said...

"The reason the dismissal is taking so long I think is because the government wants to try to wrap it all up in one blow by getting the defense to agree not to sue for false arrest."
***
If the SP's have reached the conclusion that the remaining charges against the LAX defendants are without merit and should be dismissed, they have an ethical and legal obligation to do just that -- drop the charges. They cannot use the threat of continuing with the remaining charges as a means of extorting an agreement from the LAX defendants not to file a civil suit for malicious prosecution -- not unless the SP's themselves want to be defendants in a Bar complaint and a criminal action!

Anonymous said...

To use more than 4 pages of his response to explain why he didn't commit a Brady violation when the committee mentioned Brady in only two paragraphs indicates this response is as much about the criminal case as it is about Nifong's bar card.

I assert this response had to be "proof-read" by someone outside of of Nifong's defense team.

Anonymous said...

Is there a chance Precious will be charged with filing a false police report--anything?

This woman is less than scum

Anonymous said...

I can't fault Nifong's lawyers for the "defenses" they've been asserting on his behalf. Remember, Bar rules require lawyers to be "zealous advocates" for their clients. These lawyers are doing the best they can with the little they have to work with. Yes, their arguments are lame, but they still have to make them.

Anonymous said...

Nifong should be charged with crimes against humanity, castrated, and hanged.

God

Anonymous said...

Based on the content and the sig, I can only assume that someone from the 88 has just chimed in.

Nice lynching blast. No return to the 7th century with the rest of your torturous brethren.

Anonymous said...

Tarred and feathered.

Anonymous said...

Cooper is not running for governor; he is seeking re-election as AG.

bill anderson said...

Nifong is the gift that keeps on taking. The man has become a freak show and his "defense" is something that belongs on Comedy Central.

One wishes that Johnny Carson were still alive to parody this guy on the Tonight Show. Maybe at his hearing, we need some people to yell things like "Dead man walking," and "You'll get yours, rapist of the law!"

Remember the swaggering, cocky guy at the hearings last spring and last September. Remember when he treated the attorneys as stupid dogs and made comments about how great a prosecutor he is? Gee, I don't see that cockiness now. All we see is a guy seeking self-pity and trying to lie his butt out of this.

Sorry, Mikey. It might have worked for Bill Clinton, but he is Bill Clinton, and you are not.

Anonymous said...

When you say,Nifong is asking the state to pay for his defense, you really mean he's asking the tax paying people of North carolina.

Anonymous said...

Roy Cooper may or may not run for governor - he was, for a time - following the Easley path from AG to governor - plenty of free "public service" announcements on local television, getting his face on the air related to high profile cases and so on. He may have changed his mind, or perhaps, someone in the democrat party has changed his mind for him. It remains to be seen.

The Wikipedia entry does not even show him among the potential candidates at this time, but hey, it's early yet, yes?

Gary Packwood said...

Succisa Virescit

Re: 8:58 AM and 2:38 AM

Does anyone think we are within a month or two of this abomination being resolved? Ok, at least the initial case?

Yaeger also said that there could be some information coming from the special prosecutors now investigating the case "very soon." That information "would be really wonderful news for all the people involved," he said, adding, however, that "regardless, there are some very shattered lives in this case."
How do others read this?

--

I suspect that the FBI is suggesting a strategy that allows for the resolution of this case to be delayed until the students are no longer on campus. Perhaps Precious needs a month or so at the Betty Ford clinic or someplace similar.

Public support for anything Duke is seen as very real but ....fragile to say the least.

The tuition at Duke is more than the average annual wage for most Americans; there is no evidence that anyone at Duke cared enough to tell young guys that entertainment involving exotic dancer is a really bad idea; amazingly, the Mom's walk last month resulted in Shooters and not Duke providing bus transportation; the president, looking for a red carpet moment, holds a press conference to cancel the Lacrosse season; the Duke endowment provides on-going funding for the Pit Bulls that bite the owner; the president has a tendency to say such things as ...you invite me out to be a Pollyanna...which cause most Americans to say HUH?... and finally, while waiting for the jail/no jail decision ...young men and their families are expected to listen to the ...are we really an IVY ...debate.

Hopefully, the FBI is helping Duke understand that a campus group or two needs to hold 'Come to Jesus' meetings for the income freshman class each year...and the Office of Student Affairs should not be that group... since they don't much care for young white males in the first place.

When the Duke 'employees' provide some evidence that they have a basic understanding that the Duke undergraduate program is all about the kids and not faculty and staff...then this mess will spiral down and out of the public view.

Until that time...the authorities are going to assume that Duke will explode again...and public tax monies will need to be allocated to investigate bad behavior at a university that pays no property tax and no taxes at all on the annual income from their substantial endowment.

Succisa Virescit

Anonymous said...

I love the term "exotic dancers" to describe the two strippers. It's so completely inappropriate. There was nothing exotic about either one of them, and they apparently couldn't dance either, judging by the photographs of them falling all over each other. The LAXers would have been better off if they'd just picked up a couple of local gals working a street corner. Probably would have done a more professional job, for a lot less money.

Anonymous said...

11:25

The two girls are prostitutes - make no mistake about it. One does not find the DNA of 5 separate males in and one one's body without the reception thereof being a part of one's job.

Anonymous said...

I don't believe there has been any serious evidence presented that Ms. Roberts is, in fact, a prostitute.

Anonymous said...

Some arguments for Nifong:

His inflammatory comments didn’t heighten public condemnation because the players identified as suspects weren’t really suspects

Well, okay, give you this one, Nifong. Since you knew very well they weren't guilty, they weren't suspects; they were pawns.

A DA can limit a report to those test results favorable to the state; if the defense doesn't spot the underlying data, too bad so sad.

Give you that one, too, Nifong. A report lists the high points; results favoring the defense are hardly high points.

Nifong does not recall the April 10 meeting.

Being dragged before the bar is like experiencing a psychic car wreck. Many victims of things like summons before the bar forget stuff and change their stories. This actually means they're more innocent.

bill anderson said...

I don't believe there has been any serious evidence presented that Ms. Roberts is, in fact, a prostitute.

Mar 17, 2007 11:39:00 AM


Whoops! I got it firsthand from someone in Durham that he recently was approached by Kim at about 3 in the morning after he was leaving a bar. I doubt she was asking for the time. This was an out-and-out proposition -- for money, of course.

So, yes, dear Kim, like dear Crystal, is a prostitute. This "exotic dancer" nonsense is language out of Orwell.

Anonymous said...

to: 3:54

janitor/grounds keeper would be good, but assignment exclusively to cleaning the lacrosse team's locker rooms and fields would be better, and required to wear a lacrosse jersey with the number 0 on one side and "Hooligan" on the other. Or maybe just make him work naked.

Drew from Diego said...

KC,

Awesome post today as always. Would one of your readers please break down for me where Duke University has the greatest exposure for losing a civil suit. What was the conduct? Was it simply the Group of 88 actions and Professor Kim Curtis or are there many other things?

Thanks in advance.

Anonymous said...

This thing is going to be resolved in the May court hearing - which is in a few weeks. Whats to say about the Fong. He still amazes me with his "arrogance." Even when he was flying high, it was WHAT? Who says stuff like this " I would not want to try a case against me either." Legas types - why bother with the penny ante stuff????

Anonymous said...

From State v. Elliott:

[8] Defendant contends the trial court erred in denying defendant's motion to strike the testimony of Michelle McGarrah after defendant discovered McGarrah was unable to make an in- court identification of defendant and McGarrah had notified the State she was unable to do so.
....

During the argument surrounding the motion to dismiss, the trial court asked the State: “Is there some reason why you didn't ask [McGarrah] if she saw the person in the courtroom - if she ever saw the person in the courtroom get in the truck or get out of the truck?” The prosecutor replied: “Yes, Your Honor. I spoke with Ms. McGarrah very briefly before she was put on the stand and she advised me that she would not be able to make that in-court identification.” Defendant then moved to strike McGarrah's testimony because, in violation of Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963), the State failed to disclose to defendant that McGarrah could not make an in-court identification of defendant.

(Witness then admittted in front of the jury that she could not ID the Defendant, and the jury acquitted the Defendant of the charges that the witness had testified about)

Because defendant was able to utilize the information during trial to his advantage, and because it is clear from the jury's verdicts defendant was not adversely affected by the initial nondisclosure, we find no Brady violation. While it certainly would have been better practice for the State to disclose this information as soon as the information became known to it, we cannot say this belated disclosure amounts to reversible error. See generally, State v. Smith, 359 N.C. at 227, 607 S.E.2d at 627 (encouraging “North Carolina prosecutors to heed the paramount responsibilities which accompany their authority”) (Brady, J., concurring). Accordingly, we overrule defendant's assignments of error.


A couple of comments:

1. The prosecutor in Elliott did not find out about the witness' inability to ID the defendant until after the trial started.

2. Even though the Court said the State's nondisclosure did not amount to a Brady violation, the Court in fact criticised the Prosecutor for not disclosing the information earlier.

3. There is no indication that the Court ever asked the prosecutor prior to trial or prior to the State's putting on the wistness whether the State was aware of any exculpatory evidence that it had not yet turned over. Presumably, if the the Prosecutor had been asked that question prior to putting on the witness, and the prosecutor had said he had no more exculpatory evidence to turn over, then the Court may have said more than the prosecutor had simply not followed the "better practice."

NC Lawyer

Nifong's hat trick said...

"...a district attorney isn’t compelled to turn over a “complete report,” at any stage of the process, and can instead produce a report listing only those tests results favorable to the state;..."

A district attorney IS compelled though, to review the FACTS & EVIDENCE of a case and decide whether or not to proceed with prosecution. This would include reviewing the fact that DNA from 5-7 other men were found inside the accuser. A district attorney is also compelled to dismiss charges of sexual assault when the victim states that one of the accused didn't touch her.(Seligman). But above all else, shouldn't a district attorney be compelled not to frame innocent people?

gak said...

KC

In your last paragraph, you reported on a rumor about Nifong trying to cut a deal. Either LS or TJN reported a rumor also that says that Nifong is trying to negotiate one that he will keep his licence and pension. This latest could be interperted as giving them what they want in return. just a thought

Anonymous said...

JLS says....

re: Nifong's Hat Trick

But above all else, shouldn't a district attorney be compelled not to frame innocent people?

This is what I find somewhat amusing about Nifong's hyper-technical defenses. Ultimately the NC Bar is going to come down on Nifong like a ton of bricks because he he brought so much disrepute down on the NC criminal justice system.

As for a Nifong plea bargain, I have suggested Nifong might agree to:

1. Give up his law license permanently.

2. Resign as Durham County DA.

In return for:

3. Keeping his pension.

4. NC agreeing not to prosecute him.

5. No hearing or finding of guilt on Nifong's part. [Nifong does not want a transcript that can be used against him in civil actions.]

Both sides would benefit as is needed in such an agreement. In fact other than Nifong's stupidity and stubornness, I am not sure what is stopping this deal from being made? Maybe Mr Greedhead is holding out for a few more months of pension time at the higher DA's salary?

That would leave any prosecution of Nifong up the Feds. And of course Nifong could still be sued by anyone he harmed.

Anonymous said...

JLS says....,

re: gak

If Nifong keeps his license and pension, what would he be giving up? A plea deal as I just said only makes sense if both sides make concessions.

I can not believe the Bar would allow him to keep his license, especially after the criticism for the slap on the wrist for the Gell prosecutors. If they are offerring to let him keep his pension, Nifong is getting a pretty big concession.

Anonymous said...

We have law in order to have peace. The whole bunch of ignorant intellectuals in this case are beyond the pale. It is amazing how intolerant and ignorant they are. They, all of them from the University president of Duke down to the ground, are frauds. What a farce this whole thing is and has been from the very beginning. Do any of these people have any shame? I am just sick of what they have done to my ideas of being a man, of being just, of being a professional person. Humbug! What tripe!

Anonymous said...

I can't imagine the NC Bar agreeing to any deal that allows Nifong to keep his law license. That would surely create a public backlash against the Bar, one that could have serious repurcussions in terms of the Bar's ability to discipline its members in the future. I have no doubt Nifong wants to keep both his license and his pension intact, but I don't see what bargaining leverage he has here. The case against him is solid, and fairly easily proven.

Anonymous said...

"Or maybe just make him work naked." 1:01

The idea is to punish Nifong, not the rest of us. :)

SAVANT

Anonymous said...

Carolyn asks:

Bill - thank you so much for being honest about Kim's prostitution!

Though Durham is censoring Nifong for his legal corruption, I am certain the real reason for their anger is because he inadvertently exposed theirs - i.e., prostitution. Because Nifong used a prostitute to frame the lacrosse team, I am certain one of the main reasons the City refused to expose him was because it would have risked exposing the weapon he used - prostitution. From the bars, clubs, dealers, pimps, taxi drivers, motels, cops, investigators, judges, etc. - a huge portion of Durham has got to be making money off the sex industry. Indeed, I am certain even more money is made shaking down customers who use this business. (How else to explain why Crystal wasn't even jailed for stealing a john's car after he wouldn't pay her?) What happened to Crystal's luckless cab driver has to explain why Nifong did not even think twice about using one of the dirtiest (and most unstable) prostitutes to frame three innocent lacrosse players.

Except - stealing the freedom of Seligmann, Evans and Finnerty was not the same as stealing the cab of a Durham driver. The city of Durham must be cursing the day Nifong was ever dumb enough to make that mistake.

Anonymous said...

2:37

Backlash against the bar? That reminds me of the old line about 99% of the lawyers giving the rest of them a bad name. We will think less of lawyers than we do of politicians? Or prostitutes? Interesting admixture of professions colliding in this case...

Anonymous said...

Durham is indeed a city that runs on corruption, drugs, prostitution and crooked politicians.

This case is a great example of the ol' boy network - only in this case it is all democrats and a mostly black police force and black politicians that make up that network. Throw in some judges, an overweaning DA, and a gang of loud mouthed Marxists and there you go.

Stand back - it's showtime!

Gary Packwood said...

Anonymous said...
Anonymous said 11:33...

The two girls are prostitutes - make no mistake about it. One does not find the DNA of 5 separate males in and one one's body without the reception thereof being a part of one's job.

Not necessarily.

One exception to your comment would be if the DNA was given to her to plant on herself prior to her 'rape' and her trip to the hospital.

In that case, she would want to make damn sure she went to the party where the guys around you corresponded to the DNA.

Like always, the devil is in the details.

Anonymous said...

Someone's tinfoil needs adjustment.

Anonymous said...

11:39AM "I don't believe there has been any serious evidence presented that Ms. Roberts is, in fact, a prostitute."

I agree... I always thought escorts were for middle class men to have a companion for a social event.

You know, so seating balances out at the dinner table.

Anonymous said...

I am angy at Nifong for many reasons but i think the thing that hurts me most is that he has forced me to realize that I am capable of hate. Damn you nifong. Damn you.

-QuadDog

Anonymous said...

My son,

Prostitution is a noble profession.

A lying whore is a horse of a different color.

God

Anonymous said...

KC,
Over at LS someone asked me if I had talked to "Bar Buddy" about a deal. I did weeks ago, and he said the chances of that were:

ZERO!

This is not about Brady, this is about lying to a Judge. Nifungu failed to mention his statement to the Judge that he had turned over everything to the defense.
In fact, the defense file YET another motion less than a month ago demanding DNA samples STILL not turned over to them.

I think the FBI is telling the NC AG not a damn thing. They don't work for free and they don't "give advice". Having said that, I think Cooper is smart enough to dismiss this after graduation, May 13th.

Kemp

Anonymous said...

JLS says...


re: Bill Anderson and Carolyn I thought that Robert [aka Pittman] was living in CA at the time of the 60 minutes interview. I think she was smart enough look at the situation of the cabbie, her probation status and know she did not want to live anywhere where Nifong has authority. I really do not think she is a prostitute or at least not a street prostitute like Mangum.

re: anon 2:37 The academics you are talking about in this case believe that the US is a corrupt society. They believe we need to overthrow the established order in the US. Thus to the extent this case undermines society they are happy. They are not interested in the US Bill of Rights, they are interested in over throwing the US constitution.

re: anon 2:37 and 2:50 2:37 is correct, the Bar took heat after the Gell slaps on the wrist and may fear legislative action if they do not come down hard on Nifong.

re: Kemp Thanks for clearing that up. I agree it is unlikely the FBI is saying anything to anyone about this. Their job is investigate not advise NC how to clean up its house.

Anonymous said...

Why are so many of you focused on Nifong alone? Nifong isn't the problem; he's just one symptom.

Nifong was just following orders when he tried to frame the white players -- and remember, he didn't care WHICH white players; his "can't miss" lineup included ALL of them.

Nifong is like a underworld hit man who is fulfilling a murder-contract. Going after him alone is like prosecuting the hitman while letting the Mafia chieftans run free.

In fact, as we have seen, the people at Duke who "put out the contract" on the white lacrosse players are not even afraid of any real justice coming their way. They have been put on committees and elected to faculty offices that can only be compared with putting Mafia-bosses in charge of anti-crime commissions.

Face it, people, Nifong is going to be sacrificed by the people who gave him his marching orders. And why should they care? Mafia business will go on like before, not impeded one iota by this scandal.

jim2 said...

4:14

Sounds like another tinfoil hat adjustment called for.

Anonymous said...

jimr,

did you have a point or just an ad hom?

Georgia Girl said...

When used appropriately, a polygraph examination is a highly accurate technique, and the best method available for determining truth or deception. Of course, all parties must agree to have the results used in a trial.

Did the "accuser" take one? What about Kim Roberts? And why is Roberts relunctant to talk to the "new" prosecutors?

Anonymous said...

Roberts claims that the reports about her refusing to talk to the SP's are incorrect.

There is no indication that Mangum has ever been requested to take a polygraph. If she is currently being represented by an attorney, you can be sure that she will not take one, because no competent attorney would allow it (because it's obvious to everyone, except Nifong and perhaps Cooper, that she's lying, and has been lying all along).

Anonymous said...

This "case" isn't over until there have been at least a few more photo-ops. Maybe Cooper can run around in a deerstalker, peering through a magnifying glass. He's gotta be filmed listening real hard to the viewpoint of several blacks, too. Sleeves rolled up in a coffee-shop would be good. Also, one of him sternly, but somehow compassionately, regarding Nifong.

Looking for the wrap-up? Wait for the photo-ops.

Oh, and IMO, CGM isn't going to face any harsh penalties -- probably not any penalties at all. NC dems are not suicidal.

Anonymous said...

OK,,,this is really silly...but doesn't the very name "Nifong" kind of bring negative impressions (if that is the right word)?...I do not know why...something about that name...the first time I heard it...I had a negative reaction...though in retrospect, it's fitting...

PS...By the way Professor, if you do write a book, I hope (and believe) you will make well-deserved millions. I think that had it not been for you, these poor three would already have been sentenced for 20 years...great job!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Members of a certain party that have failed in their lives' work tend to become "authorities" for the media. I expect that if Nifong is disbarred, we will hear from him as an "experienced" commentator on judicial issues...mark my words!

jamil hussein said...

I'm waiting for Paul Krugman's column (and his/NYT version of the truth) on New York al-Times. In Paul Krugman's BDS version, Nifong is a hero in this right wing conspiracy.

Anyway, if Gang88 is somehow evicted from Duke (not going to happen but let's imagine it for a while) they should be able to settle easily at SFSU:

http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/issuesideas/story.html?id=cb35bf58-197b-40f2-9531-6f0dc7248235
You can criticize Hezbollah even in Saudi Arabia. You can attack Hamas even in Kuwait. But don't think of doing either at San Francisco State University (SFSU).

On Oct. 17, 2006, the tiny beleaguered local band of College Republicans organized an anti-terrorism rally. The students had made paper copies of Hamas and Hezbollah flags. At the rally, they trampled the flags underfoot.


I think we really need Horowitz's academic freedom initiative.

Cedarford said...

Anonymous 4:14PM -

The whole case, as you argue, in not "All About Nifong".

However, this thread is - as it discusses Nifongs response to the Bar.

Bar proceedings are one aspect of a far-ranging case. Other aspects certainly are brough up at other times, and almost everyone agrees that the culpability for some actions rests outside what Niforng did, or what he ordered others to do.

And besides criminal culpability, civil liability - you have some people that may escape - absolutely legitimately - both those Exposures to the legal system, but face culpability for moral, leadership, and professional failures.
High on THAT list would be the Group of 88.

Anonymous said...

I used to work with that same last name. Bet he is not liking this case even little bit. And no, he is not related to the Fong-man.

gak said...

I'm trying to understand something here. All this started because our Precious was trying to avoid time in detox. Lets assume 2 things here and could somebody in the know tell me where the accused stand.

1 nifong is handled by the bar.
2 Precious is not charged with filing a false report

Can any or all of the accused force any sort of charges on her for that? Also, I read in only one spot that detox in NC is 3 days, is that true?

Anonymous said...

I think Nifong do this all by his own bad self - withe the help of three judges.

Anonymous said...

Gak - no harm no foul, right?

Civil court is the only recourse if the state does not act. Good luck getting any money from Crystal Mangum.

It has been discussed here whether or not Nifong can be sued, time will tell what the answer to that question is.

A good lawyer would go after parties who were not shielded in their official capacity and who also have deep pockets. There might be some money to be made from some of the clowns, er, players.

But in the end, if charges are dropped, Ms. Mangum walks, and Nifong gets nothing more than a slap on the wrist then it's all as if it never happened, right? Other than 3 young men having their lives damaged.

Anonymous said...

JLS says...,

re: georgia girl And why is Roberts relunctant to talk to the "new" prosecutors?

Consider Roberts [aka Pittman's] point of view:

1. She is on probation for stealing money from an employer.

2. Roberts knows now that Mangum accused her at various times of stealing her money, raping, kidnapping and sexual offense against her and abetting in kidnapping her, raping her and sexual offene against her.

4. She saw what happened to the cabby who did not support the the view point of the state of NC in this case.

So given this set of facts, if you were Roberts [aka Pittman] would you just want to waltz in and talk to prosecutors who you don't know what they are going to do? This is true whether or not Roberts stole Mangum's money that night or not.

Certainly we know in racial terms that the SPs won't want to drop charges on the white lacrosse players and charge a black stripper, but what if there is a bank deposit that night that is hard for Roberts to explain? And since Roberts was probably not paying a lot of taxes on her earnings in those days, she probably has further reasons not to want to go openning up her life to prosecutors.

Georgia Girl said...

Go read Michael Gaynor's column. It coincides with all of KC's blogs.

Anonymous said...

JLS says...

gak it does not matter if Mangum is charged are not. The crime she committed, making a false allegation, is pretty trivial and would not cost her much in the way of a penalty.

This is why the 3 defendants and their families have gone on a full court press on this case. They do not want just to be found not guilty or have the charges dropped, but want these defendants exonerated in the eyes of the public.

They have largely succeeded but you can never succeed with 100% of the public. But they have done about as well as one could do. Some of the public due to racial solidarity and others in the public due to a PC desire to be sympathetic to victims will never look at the facts in this case.

Georgia Girl said...

Since I'm am not affiliated with Group88, nor do I jump on KC's or anybody's elses band wagon who opposes Group88, is it okay to say that I do not like black culture, and I do NOT feel that I owe anyone an apology for my views? And I do NOT feel guilty that I am WHITE~!

Am I going to get into trouble by not being politically correct?

I mean WHY should I be forced to LIKE black culture. Why would ANY Duke alumus tolerate the now "required courses" that are now imposed upon students.

Let me remind you, also, that it was your "parents and grandparents" who tolerated liberalism way back in the 60's.

Anonymous said...

Ga. girl - you might want to think about titrating your meds - what the hell does that comment have to do with Mr. Nifong's legal wranglings? Are you sure you aren't part of the gang of 88?

Georgia Girl said...

anon, I am so damn tired of your cowardly insults and innuendos. You've been badgering me for weeks and weeks under an anonymous handle.

Anonymous said...

Assuming I am the same anonymous, and assuming that what you say is true, that you have been here for weeks and weeks, and further, that you are tired of it, then why do you come here and wander off topic?

And by calling yourself Georgia Girl you are being brave? Get a grip. These are comments on a good blog. Perspective is a trait you might consider working on.

And just for the record, there is more than one "anonymous" calling you out for your comments. Deal with it.

Georgia Girl said...

Anon, I call myself "Georgia Girl" because that's the only handle I have.

Now, go back and READ: I am NOT tired of "it".... I am tired of your insults, okay?

But that aside, why are you angry at me? It seems that no matter what I say, you enjoy badgering me.

What exactly did I say this evening to incite such hatred on your part?

Do you want to email me (out from under your rock) to let me know what's bothering you?

Anonymous said...

KC - the blog is getting in trouble again with these folk writing back and forth to each other. Its like the TL board. GG was all over a Chronicle board with the same stuff last month -"tattle tale me" Please,help with moderator or where is Polanski when we need him/her?

Georgia Girl said...

Anon, first of all, you need to answer my questions (earlier post)... why the hatred? why not email me?

SHOW me where I was "all over the Chronicle board" last month. Tell me what "TL" means? and who is Polanski?

You have NO idea how your posts defeat the purpose of KC's blogs. I am NOT an 88-er. At the same time, however, I certainly do not want to be identified with anything you endorse.

It seems you haven't the guts to face me?

My views are never going to reflect your opinions 100%. Please give me the respect I deserve ... the respect anyone deserves. Thank you.

Gary Packwood said...

Anonymous 4:14

Well 4:14 they are making fun of us and even suggesting that the FBI has no involvement with this case.

Suppose the FBI knows anything about the hundreds of people who have called the Medicaid Fraud Line about Precious and her visit to the Duke University Hospital as a Medicaid patient and her...undeclared income and all those federal grants at Duke Hospital that support the rape diagnostic section and ... the offer of the CrimeStopper person to help her with her Medicaid and welfare application?

Suppose any member of the G88 is a nurse at Duke?

But of course, all these attorneys know best.

We shall see.

Georgia Girl said...

Well, depending on KC's topic tomorow, I've love to take ya'll back into the mid 1940's where a perfect world of mild mannered negros toiled the land in south Georgia. It's a historical account of pre-teen plantation workers going about their daily business of picking sugar cane in the fields. They boarded their horse & buggies up near the main barn, which took them down to the sugar cane fields, where they worked all day long. There's no moral to this story. It's just a period in time you might enjoy knowing about.

And how these little negro boys had to cater to two of us little white girls during all these little horse & buggy trips to and from the barn.

When the story's over and done, you'll see how far the pendulum has swung. How totally different their situation is totay.

Anonymous said...

Poor Josh Perlin does not belong on this list. He is a knat. Ruth Sheehan (Is she related to the one in Texas) should be right up there with the top two. Her piece is absolutly "sickening" and no apology accepted. On top of all else, she is a terrible writer.

hman said...

Georgia Girl
You wanna know why we don't like you? It is because of the way you fix your hair these days and the way that you cry at stupid chick-movies.
What? Did you just say that that is insane because this is nothing but an internet conversation using nothing but pure, silent written words on a black and white screen??? Well, if you did, keep that thought.
Because only a very confused person gets upset when one written word insults another written word.
Ideas, guilt/innocence, flesh and blood sufferring - those are the right things to take personally, imho.

Gary Packwood said...

Georgia Girl said... 1:16:00 AM

The 1940's you say.

Well, in the 1940's people had a place in their homes for a 'sick room' where members of the family spent day after day trying to recover from diseases we have forgotten about; hospitals were places where you were sent to die; the smoke was so thick in Cleveland and Pittsburgh that the city 'fathers' actually created Fresh Air Camps and ...people did not worry much about retirement planning because that they did live that long.

If you want to go back to the Good Ole Days, be my guest but I'll skip what you have to say.

Anonymous said...

KC 1:16 is disgusting and racist. Worse than body parts and fluids.

Anonymous said...

Georgia KKKgirl,

Oh yeah, I forgot you and email. Prudent, based on your recent posts, I think.

You are all over the map with your accusations - and guess what, as I wrote earlier, you are getting your anonymous blasts from more than one person.

Good luck living in the 21st century - times have changed, your side lost the war, and guess what, I for one, am glad.

Seriously, you might want to see about getting your meds adjusted. This is not meant in a hurtful way.

Anonymous said...

I am as Northern as Yankee doodle Dandy, but know and love a lot of Southerners. The people with, class, breeding and education do not write or talk like 1:16. My sister in law was fourteen in Birmington during the bus strike. She has amazing stories she tells. None of them hateful or racist.