Tuesday, March 13, 2007

A Tangled Web

Few offenses are more serious among lawyers than lying to the Bar. Accordingly, the Bar’s accusing Mike Nifong of this offense (in his assertion that privacy concerns motivated his entering into an agreement with Dr. Brian Meehan to intentionally withhold exculpatory DNA evidence) was noteworthy.

It would seem almost certain that Nifong’s response to the Bar’s amended complaint continued his pattern of making false and misleading claims to the organization. The issue, in this case, is the April 10 meeting between Meehan and Nifong.

It’s easy to see why Nifong would like to pretend this meeting never occurred: given Meehan’s revelations that he told the D.A. of multiple, unidentified males on the accuser’s rape kit, the meeting’s existence strongly suggests malicious prosecution—that Nifong went to the grand jury fully aware that the two people he wanted to indict had to be innocent. This was, after all, the same man who had exonerated a rape suspect in 2000, when the DNA showed presence of only one other man.

It is unclear whether, if at all, Nifong attorneys David Freedman and Dudley Witt fact-checked the D.A.’s January 16 letter to the Bar in which he first claimed that he did not attend this April 10 meeting. In the January 16 letter, after all, Nifong appeared to admit that the meeting occurred.

It seems perfectly clear, however, that neither Freedman nor Witt reviewed the transcripts of each of the case’s six hearings. After all, as a recent Liestoppers post observed, in the second hearing of the case, which occurred on June 22, Nifong publicly commented upon

a report of the meeting on April 10, 2006, among you, referring to me, Investigator Himan, Sergeant Gottlieb, and Brian Meehan of DNA Security, Inc. At this particular meeting, Your Honor [Ron Stephens], we were given copies of the DNA Security report, which has previously been furnished to the defense team, and we discussed how we would be using those items and that report and that investigation at trial. Those items are not discoverable, no report has been generated. The report itself they have. The discussions are not available.

Then, in responding to a question from Joe Cheshire, Nifong affirmed again what he, Gottlieb, and Himan did at the meeting: “We received the reports, which [Cheshire] has received, and we talked about how we would likely use that, and that's what we did.”

Cheshire asked Nifong’s former boss, Judge Stephens, to require Nifong to memorialize the conversation and turn over the document to the defense. Stephens denied the motion. The defense attorney then asked Stephens to compel a Nifong memo that would be held in camera, pending a possible appeal. Stephens again said no.

There are, in short, only two ways to interpret the June 22 transcript:

  • Nifong lied to the bar in his January 16 letter.
  • Nifong lied to Stephens by offering a detailed description of a meeting that, in fact, never took place.

Given the significance of the April 10 meeting, how could Nifong have been caught flat-footed by Cheshire’s discussion of it? The context of the hearing explains why. In June, the key issue was not when Nifong met with Meehan, but whether the court would force the district attorney to memorialize two conversations—his April 10 meeting with Meehan, and his April 11 meeting with the accuser—and turn over additional items from what appeared to be an incomplete rape kit.

At the time, the rape kit issue was far more controversial, and the April 11 conversation with the accuser loomed as by far the more significant of the two debated meetings. On the rape-kit question (the defense had asked why several sections on the rape kit form had not been supplied), the district attorney decided to provide a lecture, suggesting that the request “represents a lack of understanding on the part of the defense team about exactly how sexual assault reports are made . . . The only things that become the basis of the written report are the ones that have been furnished. And people who don’t do a lot of rape cases probably don’t know that.” (Cheshire tartly replied, “Amazingly enough, I have tried a few rape cases in my 33 years.”) Stephens accepted Nifong’s word that no more information existed.

Meanwhile, on the conversations, Nifong focused most of his effort on explaining why the reliably pro-prosecution Stephens should not require Sgt. Gottlieb, Inv. Himan, Lt. Ripberger, or him to memorialize what the accuser did or did not say in their April 11 meeting. “It was not a meeting,” Nifong declared, “to discuss the specifics of the evidence in this case. Other matters were discussed, which, again, are not matters that are subject to discovery.”

But the D.A. could not appear wholly uncooperative—hence his decision to provide some details on the meeting he considered less important, the discussion with Meehan, and why the items discussed in that meeting likewise didn’t have to be turned over to the defense.

At the time, Nifong probably celebrated his strategy as clever: he received fairly good press, especially from the New York Times and Herald-Sun, from the June hearing, and Stephens made sure he didn’t have to disclose anything.

The problem, however, with constructing a case upon a tissue of procedural violations is that decisions taken at earlier stages can have haunting effects later on. So, it appears, was Nifong’s decision to share with the world the details of an April 10 meeting that he has now denied to the Bar ever took place.


Soobs said...

It is amzing to me,that with the seriousness of the charges against Nifong, he and his attorny would NOT recheck every word he uttered. The sloppiness of his defense is unimaginable.

Anonymous said...

What a smug jerk. How in the world did he think, he could keep this going? I think it all hinged on the judges cooperation. Delusional, but for a long time no one showed any thought to reining him in. Even if appealed, the guys might have spent time in jail. Certainly they could have been injured, maimed or killed. Anazing, how he has gone from Crown Prince to piarrhea in three months. The judge also put the bail at 400,000 thousand.

Ryan said...

So, if Nifong lies to the judge in the hearings related to the Lacrosse case is that considered perjury?

Seems to me that someone should be announcing a perjury investigation based on Nifong's current word that the April 10th meeting he described in court didn't actually exist.

Anonymous said...

One of the things that Nifong did that was inexcusable was the bullying of the cab driver. That was just awful--vindictive and nasty. The Bar definitely needs to look into that one.

The hatred for this guy that the parents of these players must have is beyond description.

Anonymous said...

On June 22 Nifong was twirling the plate that had the April 10 meeting with the accuser. The plate about the hidden DNA evidence wasn't in the air yet, so he didn't give it a thought. I can't imagine lying so easily. It really makes me think that he has skirted the truth in court before. I am waiting for other cases he tried to be reviewed and additional problems revealed. This can't possibly be the first time he just said what was needed in the moment.

becket03 said...

Monday has now come and gone without an announcement from the State AGs that the remaining charges have been dropped. Readers will recall that one of the posters here at DIW with "inside" sources wrote that Monday would be a good day to expect activity in the case. And Cash Michaels recently cited a source who said the charges would be dropped "any day now."

Today, March 13 2007, marks the anniversary date of the hoax. One solid year has passed.

No one with an interest in the case should miss the passionate post of Joan Foster of Liestoppers, March 14 Mainfesto. Foster has moxy and courage and literary talent to spare, and I think those of us interested in seeing justice for the players should take up her challenge to drastically ratchet up the pressure on Cooper if this travesty drags on beyond the Ides of March. It becomes Cooper's and Nifong's hoax then, not merely Nifong's alone.


Anonymous said...

Why hasn't attorney general Cooper dismissed the remaining charges in this frame-up of the lacrosse players? North Carolina will pay a much higher price for dragging out this legal travesty.

Anonymous said...

Looks like Nifong's defense lawyers are a lot less diligent and thorough than the LAXers' defense lawyers. Poor Nifong; he can't seem to get anything right.

Nifong's hat trick said...

The truth of the matter is Nifong probably doesn't care about any of the complaints against him. The punishment for not disclosing exculpatory evidence is minimal. The Center for Public Integrity lists a similar offense by a prosecutor in Oregon, he got; public reprimand and a $500 fine. Another similar case wasn't even looked at by the disciplinary board and yet another case which ended in public reprimand and a $750 fine.
Nifong abused the powers of his office to ruin the lives of these 3 boys but will he ever see punishment?

Anonymous said...

As a non-lawyer, I am rather puzzled why there has been so little comment (here and elsewhere) about the role of the judges in this case. How is it that they allowed matters to get so out of hand? Granted, they were deceived by the prosecution. But is it normal for judges to let a case like this proceed for so long before intervening? Why did the judge not call a stop to it earlier? What is normal under such circumstances and why have the judges avoided all reproach in this mess?

Anonymous said...

JLS says:

Prof. Johnson: You are so right to stress the apparent importance of how things seemed at the time. This is very hard for many of us to remember when such things seem so important now.

soobs: Nifong is not at risk for anything other than his law license in the Bar Hearing. His attorneys may feel that is already gone and that it is in his best future financial interest to not admit the 10 April 2006 meeting ever took place.

12:25 Well the question this raises to me is why Nifong ever went for a special judge?

becket03: I said today was drop the charges day. I have no inside information and have never claimed any. Sadly the state of NC wants to be a party to this. I will say if not this week, when?

Anonymous said...

JLS says....,

anon 1:37:Though the judges in this case have been awful, there is not that much a judge could have done in this case.

1. Nifong has an indictment. There is not really an opportunity for the judge to dismiss the charges, yet.

2. Nifong sets the calendar and until the most recent judge was picked as a special judge for this case each judge only had it for a sort while and knew they would pass it along to someone else. [Great system in NC isn't it?]

3. These judges have been criticized here and elsewhere when they have earned criticism. Stephens for his ineptness/corruption and inability to control his courtroom. The second one for his gag order attempting to stop the 60 Minutes segment. And Smith for failing to order a bill of particulars.

hman said...

Re: M. Nifongs punishment.
As this rotten story continues to un-fold, it becomes ever more clear that Nifong schemed to end the lives (there is no other honest way to say it) of three young men in order to enhance the final few years of his mediocre career as a 2nd rate civil servant.
But he was never smart. That should be very clear, by now. So the three young men he sets out to sacrifice are not un-connected to serious power centers; and then there is the glory of the internet. Which has allowed a much bigger, also very angry audience to become aware of the NEED FOR JUSTICE in this case.
The single best modern cultural giude to the final phase of this saga is the movie "Sin City".
In other words, he has done things that have compelled a lot of serious people with long memories to have drawn the sword and to have thrown away the scabbart.

Anonymous said...

It is most unlikely that Nifong will suffer much formal punishment. A wrap on the knuckles, most probably. I am deeply sceptical that any real sense of justice can be expected there. But he faces a long and costly travail in the civil courts. Also, I wonder if anyone will now go back and look at other cases he has tried down the years. If he is found to have lied or misled the court, then the state should be required to investigate these other cases. Needless to say, public officials there will be desperate that this NOT happen. They just want all this to fade away, along with Nifong. Most likely, it will.

Anonymous said...

I think it is likely that, absent judgs that sided with him and accepted his lies, Nifong never would have been effective. Now that the heat of public opinion is on, forcing him to actually defend himself, he's just incapable of practicing law effectively.

The man is digging his own professional grave.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for those excellent replies to my query about the judges. American justice is quite something to behold!

Anonymous said...

Although the coincidence of Nifong's election and the "made-in-heaven" allegations (rich, white men allegedly raping a poor black woman) must have brought out the worst in him, it is not credible to believe that he just woke up one morning and decided to become a rogue prosecutor. It is much more likely that he had long engaged in sharp practices (to put it politely). His attitude and behaviour over the last year support this view. It is chilling to consider just how many innocent people might now be sitting in jail cells after crossing his path. Will anyone investigate that?

Anonymous said...

1:57 0 Probably not in Durham. Stay out of North Carolina unless you are a connected white person or Durham black. You can visit Cash in Cary with a police escort. Where is olde Cash? Jones is trying to steal his thunder.

hman said...

To 1:57
We are way past any doubt that the career of M. Nifong has been anything but a churning nighmare of ruthless lying, pointless tortures, and cruel betrayals of closest associates..
Which answers the question, "Why does he do such evils thing?""
Because-- that is his nature. He is being true his inner self when he sits alone in front of an internet screen, wearing a diaper, surfing under-aged porn, and occasionally grinning at the semi-thought of how much smarter he is than his intended victims who often seem weirdly silent after the local whore/judge give their restraining orders commanding silence. To it remains the duty of the still un-indicted and the still free to chant with righteous 1st amendent confidence....
"Kill him Marve. Kill him Good!"

"Kill him for me Marve. Kill him good!!!"
"God want let you down Goldy"

hman said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bakerman said...

It's obvious that Nifong, based on the unwritten principle of reciprocal law, fully expected all the significant rulings to come down in his favor. He's not arrogant, he's confident in the well established extra-judicial system of law.

Thus, everything is playing out as expected, the deals, the lack of federal interest, the judge(s), Duke, the so-called crime-"stoppers" - every man, woman, and child who ever took a dime of state money - with the possible exception of Durham's public librarian.

All that's left now is picking the members of the coming off-off Broadway show, and the method of payment. Of course, Nifong is the designated star, the draw, but the supporting cast is still auditioning.

And when the curtain closes, they'll all be left standing to the standard, high-sounding ovation.

Cedarford said...

The Bar doesn't really need to agonize over the transcripts. They have subpoena powers to query all of the people at Meehan's place, Meehan, Gottlieb, Himan...DA's secretary and appointment calender, find out if the "lads" stopped for lunch, whose credit card was used, how many lunches were paid for.

They can also ask Himan and Gottlieb about any discussions they had about Grand Jury testimony - and once they get past the 5ths uttered, offer young Himan a leniency deal with SP's consent to come clean on if a conspiracy was entered on the way home to suborn Grand Jury testimony.

The SP's of course, are there to minimize damage to the State, but they have their own ethical obligations and as much as Easley&Co want it, too many people are watching now to deal with it in the back room, sweep it under the rug.

What was said in June adds to it because he was lying to the court if he wasn't there, lying to the Bar if he was. Either choice, he's screwed.

Cedarford said...

Just as interesting as to what Meehan and the 3 said at the meeting was what they said amongst themselves on that long trip back to Durham. No DNA. No interviews with the whore that were believable.
Grand Jury in days...

What to do? What to do? Whatever did the Boss and the two flunkies Mayor Bell&Co gave him perhaps discuss & decide on on the return leg of their "excellent" road trip?

Anonymous said...

When looked at candidly, Nifong's crime of railroading is close as we can get to attempted murder in the first degree.

Anonymous said...

to 12:33

You can only imagine. I do not think any of us even knew these feelings inside of us existed until Liefong started messing with our boys...


Anonymous said...

The word on the street is that the SPs are continuing to collect information with additional interviews with persons associated with the case.

And that is the reason that the remaining charges have not been dropped.

Could someone explain the significance of the dropping of charges against the lax players to the SPs ability to continue an investigation of Nifong & Co.

We can only hope that the AG's office will determine to do the right thing, and use this additional time to build a criminal case against Nifong and all those participating in his conspiracy.

John Kaiser said...

It is amazing to watch this guy paint himself into a corner. Lies, obfuscations, and deceit coming from the man who (incorrectly) accused the Duke LAX team of stonewalling an investigation is now doing some stonewalling of his own.

Anonymous said...

I hope you all are seeing more to this internet thing then I am. I went on record here at the blogs saying I thought Nifong would get a slap on the wrist and a judges position somewhere. I still feel that way. The way the justice system has worked in NC, There is nobody on the side of the defense. I suspect what is taking so long is that the special prosecutors are trying to orchestrate a quiet disappearance to this case that will cause no stir among anybody. One news article has already quoted at least 1 african american as saying "we all know they're going to get off". I have already started my letter writing campaign with the NAACP and Mr. Joyners actions. My next letter is to go to the NC tourism board. Others will go to the AG and the Gov. I'll do my part but I see it as a spit in the ocean.


Anonymous said...

to anon@7:43
I suspect that the SP's are looking at what if anything they can charge the boys with just to make the case look less tarnished. I don't think they are looking at charging Nifong, they are looking at putting a valid case before the court so that the state and the Gov look ok when he runs for re-election. This is party damage control, not the noble persuit of justice


bill anderson said...

In reading K.C.'s post today, I am struck by the absolute arrogance that Nifong demonstrates in the courtroom. Here was a guy sitting on evidence that showed the people he was accusing were innocent, but he is smug, cocky -- and now we know, dishonest. And he was smug and cocky in his dishonesty, a very bad combination.

Cato used to end his speeches with: "Carthage must be destroyed." Perhaps we should end all of our posts with "Nifong must be disbarred." (Actually, I want Nifong in the crowbar motel, but at least disbarment is a beginning.)

Anonymous said...

I get disgusted all over again reading KC's account of Nifong's remarks to Judge Stephens last spring -- typical smug little lecture about how much more expert he was than his opponents about trying rape cases. At the same time he was double-talking so fast about both the incomplete rape kit evidence and the resistance to providing a transcript of the conversations from April 10 that I expected to see him levitate from the whirlwind he was creating. It was clear to me that day watching Stephens and Nifong in action that justice in Durham is a relative term.

The thought that comes to mind is obstruction of justice, pure and simple. Right now, Nifong's got statements on record in one venue that the April 10 meeting not only took place but that he attended it and simply refuses to provide written details of the conversations that clearly also took place that day regarding the case and the lack of DNA evidence; at the same time, he's now got statements on record in a parallel investigation in which he claims that he never attended that same meeting.

We all know that Mike has delusions of grandeur about his legal acumen -- let's see him tap-dance his way out of this outright admission of duplicity. All the self-impressed grand-standing and braggadocio in the world can't save him on this one.

Anonymous said...

Tonight at 10PM Bob Costas will be conducting an interview with Coach K on HBO....for those who are able to watch.

I saw this advertised yesterday, and this morning I see that Anne Blythe of the N&O has done a report of this upcoming interview.

From her article, I am a little disappointed with Coach K. He says that Brodhead did not ask him to comment on the case and did not "bring him in". This is the reason he gives for not being more vocal. I have difficulty totally believing this in light of the power Coach K has at Duke.

On one hand, I can buy it; however, on the other, I feel that the coach did what everyone else at Duke did--engage in a CYA meltdown so that what might happen down the road would not rub off on them.

I could be wrong, but who believes for a nanosecond that Brodhead would not have yielded to Coach K if he had been forceful enough in his defense of Reade, Collin, and Dave?

In any case, I will watch the interview out of curosity.


Anonymous said...

From the article...

"Given the significance of the April 10 meeting, how could Nifong have been caught flat-footed by Cheshire’s discussion of it?"

At the end of the day, he's rather inept and not a very good lawyer.

he's been in traffic court for too long. Welcome to the NFL.

Anonymous said...

KC's spot on post still has me wondering about the approach of Nifong's counsel before the Bar committee. First, the typical approach in these matters is to respond with a complete and sincere tone of mea culpa. Once a lawyer is even before a Bar disciplinary proceeding, he is in a very precarious position and a contrite tone is a must. Yet the Fong's lawyers responded with a combative tone. What did the Fong's lawyers think this would do for their client? Second, given Nifong's numerous errors and misdeeds, and the sheer volume of them cited by the Bar, any point by point response was bound to cause him to make further admissions against interest (which KC and others have amply demonstrated he in fact did) and expose him further to charges of perjury and obstruction of justice? Let's see, lie about the occurence of an April 10 meeting the subject of which it appears was to conspire conceal evidence from the defendants? And lie about it in a response to a Bar disciplinary committee, over and over again? How much worse can it get? Makes it easy to show the requisite mens rea for obstruction, for perjury, for malicious prosecution, and for a conspiracy charge to violate the rights of the accused. And one could on and on. I am astounded that his counsel just didn't prevail upon Nifong to resign. Yes, I have heard the various siren calls on this board as to how cavalier the State of North Carolina can be when it comes to making public officials accountable, and I think those statements are by and large correct. But Nifong is literally spitting in the face of the criminal justice system and the Bar's self governance system. He is truly digging himself deeper and deeper in a hole, even in the State of North Carolina. And this hole is in fact the ditch of criminal prosecution. His brethren in the Durham police department must be incredibly anxious as well (unless they are simply so dim witted they do not realize the trouble they are in - a distinct possibility) because the deeper the hole Nifong digs the more likely they will be in that hole with him with no way out. In any event, Nifong's counsel either made a strategic error of significant import, or Nifong is an incredibly difficult blockheaded client- or maybe both.

Anonymous said...

Mar 13, 2007 12:39:00 AM wrote

"I can't imagine lying so easily. It really makes me think that he has skirted the truth in court before. I am waiting for other cases he tried to be reviewed and additional problems revealed. "

I was thinking the exact same thing. Based on my years on this earth, and I am not a lawyer, but I believe that the LAX scandal is merely the tip of the iceberg.

I believe the Duke 3 will honorated of the crimes they are accused of. In fact I also believe they will be wealthy men in the civil suits to follow.

Who is the champion for the poor Nifong "Nifonged"? Perhaps one of Nifong's beefs with the parents of the LAX players is that they actually retain cousel effective enough to pull his proverbial punk card and give him a noogie with it.

I know that some members of the NC Bar read these pages.

Gentlemen, you have some serious business as advocates for your fellow Americans ahead of you.

Anonymous said...

As a lawyer, I can tell you that the absolute worst kind of client to have is . . . another lawyer. They are difficult to control, routinely ignore even the best advice, and almost always think they are smarter and more capable than the lawyer(s) they hired to represent them. Therefore, I would be very hesitant to criticize Nifong's lawyers in this case for anything that has been done in Nifong's defense thus far, since it is likely that Nifong himself has been responsible for much, if not all, of it.

Anonymous said...

The NC State Bar's reputation (an oxymoron when used in connection with lawyers, I know)is at stake here. With the amount of publicity given the case, eyes beyong The Old North State are watching; if Nifong succeeds in flaunting the bar's inquiry, what little respect I have for lawyers will disappear. I can only hope they are giving him the proverbial rope with which to fashion his own noose. Nifong must be disbarred!

Anonymous said...

Why is there not a Bar complaint against Judge Stephens? It seems that he violated open discovery laws by denying the defense full reports of the April 10 and 11 meeting. Stephens appears to be part of the conspiracy with Nifong. Cheshire & Co. must love watching Nifong twist in the wind after his courtroom put downs.

Elliott said...

re: 12:21

I think that it would have been very difficult for two lawyers and Nifong to cover the amount of material in this case as the blogs did in the relatively short amount of time that they had to provide a response.

I don't think that Nifong has the financial resources that the Duke LAX players have in attorneys and in bloggers trying to help the LAX players. If you asked me what I was doing 9 months ago, I couldn't tell you unless it was on my electronic calendar and even then, I wouldn't be able to provide details.

Having hundreds of people on LS or this and other blog sites looking at data and sifting through everything with electronic and manual search skills is a tremendous resource on such a complicated case.

Anonymous said...

I wish Coach K would have been more vocal as well but in no way do I blame him for not becoming involved. He is an EMPLOYEE of the University that has continued to empower the Group of 88. The University could not support Coach K AND the Group of 88.

bill anderson said...

In contrast to Coach K's silence last spring, Kirsten Kimel and the Duke women's lacrosse team took a forceful and very public stand. Remember the absolute hatred that was spewed at them?

Yet, these women stood up for what was right, and that is something the families of the accused, as well as the rest of us, will not forget. Kirsten had to pay the price of being publicly vilified in the New York Times, Atlanta Constitution, and other newspapers, yet she says she would do it again. Now, THAT is courage, and I wish that Mike K. had been able to show the same.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if some of us aren’t going overboard in wondering what other damage Nifong did as a prosecutor before he got to the LAX case? I’m as upset as anyone about the LAX case and what it says about justice in the Old North State. And I think it might be worth looking at a few other cases while Nifong was DA in Durham. I don’t take miscarriages of justice lightly.

But let’s remember that Nifong worked traffic cases for what was it, some 20 odd years before he became DA. How much damage could he have done?

I believe this is a good example of the Peter Principle. By virtue of time passing, Nifong simply rose to his level of incompetence.


Anonymous said...

The sympathetic judges are former Durham DAs who had worked with Nofing for years. They also have to face the electorate. And all indications are that the Durham courthouse is not the place one would expect to find upstanding, top-notch lawyers. They knew what was going on and were at least complicit in it. There is no defense for their actions.

My guess is the SPs drop charges at the May hearing, after going through enough in court to make it clear to everyone that this is the right thing to do. If they have any decency at all (not to mention the sense to take an opportunity to at least mitigate in some small way exposure to damages by the state), they will engage in some self-serving political theater while making it clear that nothing happened, rather than the all too familiar "Something Happened".

They will then announce that they are not going to do anything on the Nofing side of things while there are still pending proceedings at the Bar. This allows time to gauge reactions.

At this point, the focus is on Nofing and even he has to realize he had better start looking for a deal. His Bar card is worthless anyway, and anything he makes is going to be lost in the civil suits, so he really needs to be thinking about avoiding jail, not about his license. Somewhere along the line, this has to sink in! Everyone will be looking to resolve things out of the spotlight and so we can expect to see some sort of announcement that things are being settled, or a scripted session where things are formally settled.

Anonymous said...

To 9:34AM---

I agree. But this shows that even Coach K was intimidated by the obnoxious slander and libel from the Gang of 88.

Yes, he is a subordinate of Brodhead, technically; however, how forceful was he in trying to ameliorate what was taking place on campus at the time? I couldn't have lived with myself if I were in his place and did and said so very little.

All of this is simply too much for me to believe. There was such glaring evidence that these lacrosse players were being railroaded. How on earth could Coach K just sit back?

He did make a few benign comments about some at Duke who criticized athletics as being "narrow-minded".


That took courage. NOT.

In essence, everyone.....and I mean almost everyone.....took a back seat to the black racists among us. Watching what they did without the least bit of remorse is why so many people have now become angry.

Few have wanted to name it. Instead, giving most of the blame to Nifong. IMO, the black racists whose "interests" have been shoved down the throats of decent people who merely were asking for due process, are right up there with Mike Nifong when the blame is doled out.

I have submitted a little column to the N&O lambasting Brodhead, the Gang of 88, and all the victims' groups who helped damage Reade, Collin, and Dave.

I didn't mention the Nifong idiot one time. Belaboring the obvious would have been a waste of space. Not enough attention and ridicule has been printed for public consumption on the other players in this hoax.

Whether the N&O will print such a pointed column is something I am waiting with bated breath to find out.


scott said...

As other commenters have pointed out, I'm starting to believe that the goal of the SPs is to create a situation that leaves the system intact and the people involved in the parade of illegal activity / poor judgment we have witnessed for a year in the best possible light. Unfortunately, I'm not talking about the LAX 3 here.

They are going to try to provide cover for the State of NC, Easley, Cooper (who wants to be the next governor), the judges, the County and City of Durham and its DA office and police department, Durham CrimeStoppers, the NAACP, Duke administrators, the G88 and the person who started it all simply to avoid incarceration for being intoxicated on March 14, 2006 -- Precious.

Nifong might have screwed up so badly that he could suffer some punishment, but it won't be commensurate with the illegal activity he has perpetrated.

No one responsible for correcting this pattern of outrageous behavior is willing to do it. There's enough smoke and mirrors (aka plausible deniability) so that an "all skate" can be declared.

Under such a scenario, even if the charges against the LAX 3 are dismissed, the bad guys win. They will have learned not that their behavior does not pay, but that they simply need to engage that behavior against less well-armed (lawyer-wise) opponents in the future.

I hope against hope I am wrong and that this mess explodes in the faces of everyone involved in the hoax. But I've resigned myself not to be disappointed when it doesn't. Just chalk it up to 21st century American "justice" where anything can be rationalized.

Anonymous said...

I am relatively certain he won't be disbarred or charged with any crimes, which is a travesty. There is something inherently corrupt about the South that seems to be unique to it. Provided you say "sir" or "Ma'am" to someone as you casually f*ck them over, it is deemed civilized in the South. When I flew jets for the USAF at bases in the South it was always apparent how gentrified they wished to make you believe they were but how utterly corrupt most of those in power truly were. Nifong is no different.

Anonymous said...

Debra-please, I do believe there are racists among the faculty at Duke but the black professors are no more to blame than the multitudes of white professors who helped enable Mike Nifong and his "case". Your anger at "black racists", while there are many, makes me squirm because of my belief that white racists still exist in great numbers as well.

Bill-I know Kerstin Kimel very well and I, too, am proud of her AND her team for how they handled themselves last year and now. Like it or not, the target of the CCI and the faculty jerks at Duke is not the typical women's lax player, however. Coach K and what he brings to Duke in the form of publicity and praise is. I, for a fact, know that Coach has done much behind the scenes and has been more effective in that manner, supporting ALL Duke student-athletes, than he would have been speaking, out on a limb, by himself.

Anonymous said...

I will not be satisfied and will consider this injustice unpunished if Mike Nifong is not disbarred and if Richard Brodhead isn't forced out of Duke.

Anything less is not satisfactory.

And I sure hope that Rae Evans meant what she said.....that for the rest of his life, Nifong will pay.

There are many others who also should pay for the rest of their lives.


Anonymous said...

To 10:20AM---

Go eff yourself.

You still don't see that milquetoast urchins like you are the cause for the outrageous and incessant excuses made for people who have no other role in life but using irrational hatred for "past grievances" to damage perfectly nice people of goodwill.

Over and over again.

I have only to recall how poor Jimmy the Greek was vilified for pure nonsensical reasons. He said nothing wrong. It was just the truth. Even the black football players who loved him stood up for him.....yet the black "activists" had to have their pound of flesh. Just as has happened to the lacrosse players.

One could see Jimmy's life wither away as a result of being accused of something he never even thought about doing or feeling.

Many times I would see him at the University Club buying bottles and bottles of Dom Perignon in a very conspicuous way and picking up tabs in an effort to say to everyone: "I'm still here. I'm still ok. I still have dignity."

He died very soon after.

It was heart-wrenching and this kind of thing happens all the time. Just so a few black racists can get their rocks off for a few moments.

You really trust people like this? Their antics are worse than what you read about the KKK.

You have no idea how this attitude of yours enables this kind of multi-generational dependence and yes, the ability to railroad innocent people with phony cries of "racism".

Sorry to tell you that even the hapless Liberals seem to be changing strategies on this one.

The only way for black America to get beyond their supposed woes is for them to take responsibility for themselves.

Even a child begins to learn this at his / her Mama's knee.


Gary Packwood said...

hman 3:04, I have no idea what killing has to do with this board and ...bill anderson 9:45, I most certainly do not remember Kirsten Kimel and her team members spewing absolute hatred at anyone.

I don't even ...want to imagine where these statements might show up someday in print.

hman 3:04..said...
"Kill him for me Marve. Kill him good!!!"
"God want let you down Goldy"

bill anderson 9:45 ...said...
In contrast to Coach K's silence last spring, Kirsten Kimel and the Duke women's lacrosse team took a forceful and very public stand. Remember the absolute hatred that was spewed at them?

Anonymous said...

Go eff myself? Only when I have to...
My point is that white people have facilitated this at least as much as black people have. And the other point...there are many white racists in our midst as well. Neither of these points were made to strip the black racists of blame in this sham. Personally, I think Neal and McClain and others are jokes...sad, scary ones at that...but they were empowered, given a voice and supported by silence and "concern" over their safety, by white people. At least as scary and at least as sad. No more to blame and no less. And, for your information, I am probably as conservative a Republican as you will find on this blog...outside of you I'd admit.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:20

Coach K would not have been out on a limb all by himself, but on the other hand, he earns more than any other Duke employee, and mustn't endanger his precious legacy or pension. Actually, I would have expected more from a West Point grad, and Bobby Knight protege, but you get what you get.

Debrah, don't let the liberal bed wetters get to you - they will never grow a spine, and will always be standing by, wringing their hands, hating themselves, and will never contribute anything of value to society.

You, on the other hand, have a clear set of values and you act upon them. Remain steadfast.

It is difficult to predict the future, and perhaps there are enough Republicans on the State Bar to actually stand up to Nifong and his brand of evil, time will tell.

As for Brodhead - he will serve until he no longer wants to - from what I hear many of his cohorts at Duke are pleased with his behavior and want him to stay. The outrage seen in comments here is not shared by people at Duke.

Will the remaining charges be dropped? We can only hope so. This travesty has gone on too long. I hope that the civil suits can then begin to shred Nifong's estate and render him into a bum walking the streets wearing a bathrobe. Oh, that's right, he already does that...

Anonymous said...

9:01 - I am the 8:26 poster agree with you about having lawyers as clients. It may be that Nifong's lawyers had little choice but to slug out, claim by claim, and line by line, their responses to the Bar complaint. And to some considerable extent they just had to explain to Nifong the risks in doing so. So it may be that they had a difficult client. But what a strategy frought with risk, and what, for a few months more of pension accrual? Doesn't make sense.

Anonymous said...

To 10:20AM---

And as a postscript.....What you fail to comprehend is that the white professors, who 99.9% of the time are Leftists, responded the way they did.....and enabled Nifong as well.....only as a result of the "issues" brought to the table by black activists on campus.

So, if the phoniness and the never-ending extortion by black racists were not a feature, then the white Leftist professors would have no dog in the fight. No "cause".

The very existence of affirmative action hires on elite campuses, regardless of their almost total lack of scholarship, creates a situation of "white guilt" and "black extortion".

It's a perpetual synergy which is a hoax in and of itself.

I've already been "mugged" by all the phony "metaphors". As a result, I don't buy into this silliness any longer.

And I certainly do not give it legitimacy.


Anonymous said...

TO 10:57AM--

Well, at least you don't respond in emotional, hyperbolic syllables. That much can be said for you.

And further, I am not a Republican.

I am a refugee from the Democratic Party. Familiarity breeds contempt.

However, I didn't leave them. They left me. You see, since I was a small child, all this "kumbaya" stuff was a part of my life. I actually believed that they were the "good people". Ha!

But when you are not an obfuscator by birth or profession and you witness the unadulterated bovine excrement that make up most Liberal Democrats--black or white--I could no longer be a partt of such a joke.

I haven't voted for a Democrat since Dukakis. And we all know what a pos he turned out to be.



Anonymous said...

TO 10:59AM---




Anonymous said...

I "comprehend" this fact...no black person made any white person do anything. In fact, nobody made Duke hire Mark Anthony Neal. They chose to. But agendas don't begin and end with black people. Kim Curtis would have been banging pots on her own.
Ahh, affirmative action. Even if this ridiculous concept can be blamed for some of the hires made at Duke...should it be? There are responsible, accomplished candidates of all races. Duke simply chose not to look for them.

bill anderson said...

bill anderson 9:45, I most certainly do not remember Kirsten Kimel and her team members spewing absolute hatred at anyone.

Read what I said. Nowhere in my post did I say that Kimel spewed hatred at others. It was spewed at the women's lacrosse team by the NY Times, and other newspapers across the country. I cannot understand how in the world you misconstrued my remarks, as they are obvious.

Anonymous said...

I doubt Brodhead asked James Coleman or the women's lacrosse coach to "comment on the case "either". In the interest of fairness and injustice, they brought themslves in. Ccoach K could have done more, but chosr not to - that is his right.

Anonymous said...

Bottom line...there are a lot of evil people involved in this situation. White or black, chicken or egg...they are all chicken shit in my opinion.
11:28--Jim Coleman WAS brought into the situation as the chair of the lacrosse review committee. Kimel shared an office building, a field and a sport with Mike Pressler (who has a book coming out in June, btw). Jump on Coach K all you want but he has done more good in this situation than you will ever know because he did it in a NON-self serving manner.

Anonymous said...

TO 11:22AM---

Let me break it down for you.

The reason that white Liberals become so giddy at the possibility of being associated with blacks is that most of them have no real or personal experience with black culture.

Most are nerdy, out-of-shape couch potatoes who have no rhythm and are awkward when in the midst of black music and culture. Being "in" with a "thug intellectual" on campus makes them believe they are somehow hip. At least they know that they can "hang" with a few brothas and sistas.

It's like"WOW!", they can have a Mandingo experience while drawing a cushy salary, and all at the same time, assume the perch of the noble and all-knowing "savior".

Fighting for "justice" in a harsh "racist" world.

I would bet the bank that Richard Brodhead never had close friends growing up who were black. He was too busy sitting in his room with that pointy little head and that milky, pasty skin writing poetry.

He was recently called a "bashful poet" by one of his little apologists, you know.

All of these do-gooders like to do good if someone else is paying for it. University professors live very well doing almost nothing.

Of course, there are some who are worth their weight in gold, but like doctors and lawyers, you have to go through a thousand to find those few.

These white professors at Duke are like middle-aged women---even the males---who live a very insular life.

Anyone questioning them will be met with shock and ad hominem and condescension.

They only know their small world of "theory".

If any of them had to make a living in the real world, they wouldn't be able to scratch their own posteriors with a map and a handful of fish hooks.


MTU'76 said...

Debrah, please go to your room until you can be nice to "middle-aged women" or at least until you see the error of lumping us with "these white professors." I know dear, you'll grow out of it.
"These white professors at Duke are like middle-aged women---even the males---who live a very insular life."

Anonymous said...

"The reason that white Liberals become so giddy at the possibility of being associated with blacks is that most of them have no real or personal experience with black culture." Debrah 11:45

I would agree. In my experience, I have seen a very pernicious consequence of this lack of exposure to black folks.

That consequence is that white liberals tend to gravitate toward blacks who tend to be walking stereotypes: 1) the rock bottom loser; 2) the flamboyant minister (Sharpton); and 3) thugs or those who at least adopt a thug/gangsta persona. Over the past few decades, Far Left whites seem to have really gone for this third group (Black Panthers, Mumia, or whoever is the cause celebre of the month). I suppose the thrill of being hip to the cutting edge of violence allows them to overlook the fact that these people are mostly psychopathic losers and certainly not typical black Americans.

Oddly, I have seen cases (right here in the Triangle) where white Leftists have viciously attacked sane, well-educated, highly articulate blacks as being "inauthentic" and "acting white" as if black people cannot possibly be competent, educated, articulate professionals. And then, these same whites think all other whites are racists!!!

Personally, I think the white Leftists get some vicarious thrill from watching angry gangsta types cause trouble. At the same time, being ivory tower weenies, they don't have to dirty their hands and can enjoy an upper middle class lifestyle with a good prospect of dying of old age. The "gangsta thug" is their proxy (or perhaps a mascot).

The sad truth is that white Leftists help perpetuate stereotypes of black Americans by enabling some of the worst (and most atypical) elements of black America. Additionally, they keep blacks down with phony promises of revolution, reparations, and a redemptive "progressive" future.

Another sad truth is that the "thug gansta" is, on some level, a modern day Stepin' Fetchit -- a walking stereotype that amuses whites and builds their self esteem at the expense of the image of black America. Some day, American academia and Hollywood will be repulsed and ashamed of their support for a self-defeating subculture of black America just as we now cringe over Aunt Jemima, Stepin Fetchit, and lawn jockeys.

Anonymous said...

Nifong probably celebrated his strategy as clever: he received fairly good press, especially from the New York Times and Herald-Sun

Seriously, is anybody surprised? New York al-Times is the worst propaganda mouthpiece in this country.

Anonymous said...

Re Diesel's comment at 9:52 a.m. that "let’s remember that Nifong worked traffic cases for what was it, some 20 odd years before he became DA. How much damage could he have done?"

Nifong did not work traffic court for twenty-some years before he became D.A. He only did that a few years before he was appointed D.A. -- Jim Hardin, his then-boss, placed him in charge of traffic court following a scandal involving the irregular handling of a DWI.

Prior to that, Nifong prosecuted serious felonies, including rapes, and first-degree murders, for many years.

Anonymous said...

Sorry "MTU".

I should have been clearer. I meant middle-aged women who live insular lives.

ONLY the ones who live insular lives.



Anonymous said...

TO 12:59PM--

Very good post.

You are right about both white and black Liberals trying to discredit the well-educated and successful black professional.

Can anyone imagine some freak like Karla Holloway or fatso Wahneema Lubiano debating Condoleeza Rice. LOL!!!

Rice would level these semi-educated drones.

One has only to view the very pathetic, senile, and under-educated Harry Belafonte and the horrific things he says about the brilliant Condoleeza Rice to feel sorry for such freeloading has-beens.

Poor old Harry needs to find a new gig before he bites the dust. That banana boat song needs an update.



Anonymous said...

The very existence of affirmative action

Let's stop this orwellian doublespeak. "AA" is a racist policy and clearly unconstitutional.

It is a race privilege (a real one, unlike so called white privilege we hear so much).

Anonymous said...


1:02PM must be Cy.

How's trix, dear nutty Cynthia?

(Love the trés chic nick.)


Anonymous said...


1:02PM must be Cy.

How's trix, dear nutty Cynthia?

(Love the trés chic nick.)


MTU'76 said...

Thank you Debrah.
Dear, are you drinking again? If so I'd like to clink my glass of rye whiskey to you. Smooth! And I hardly even notice the fish hook anymore, do you?

Anonymous said...


As a Duke alum I believe you are doing a great service to my alma mater and to the criminal justice system by bringing to light the abuses of Nifong and the Group of 88.

Nevertheless, I wonder if in your zeal to uncover every last detail concerning Nifong's atrocious behavior, you are missing the broader context of nationwide prosecutorial misconduct in which his actions take place.

It's easy to demonize Nifong as a vicious, opportunistic rogue prosecutor. It would be much harder (but much more useful) to investigate how unusual Nifong is.

Frankly, I don't think Nifong would have committed these offenses if he didn't think he could get away with it. And he wouldn't have thought he could get away with it unless prosecutors get away with this kind of thing all the time.

Nifong got really far, despite constant media attention, and best efforts of the lacrosse players' able and expensive attorneys. Therefore I am absolutely horrified to consider what might be going on in the larger criminal justice system, where most defendants are represented by overworked public defendants and the media pay little to no attention.

Anonymous said...

Nifong has so many plates twirling in the air now that he can't possibly keep them all going. Some have crashed already but it's only a matter of time before they're all in a million pieces, along with his career. He is now the poster boy for corrupt prosecutors who try to railroad innocent people for their own gain.

I think Nifong should wind up doing jail time for this but I'm not holding my breath. I agree with the other commenters that we shouldn't underestimate the role of the judges in this hoax. Stephens and Titus were there to assist Nifong at every turn - particularly Stephens. They summarily dismissed all the concerns of the defense lawyers and it was like pulling teeth for the defense to get anything out of them. With Nifong as DA and Stephens and Titus on the bench I feel like I'd rather go on trial in Iran or North Korea than Durham. I think they'd give me a fairer shake.

Anonymous said...

Nifong has dug himself even deeper -- go to LieStoppers and check out the latest.....

He claims not to have known about the case until 3/23/2006, even though the Bar thinks the NTO was on 3/22/2006. However, Mikey signed a subpoena for the medical documents from Duke on 3/20/2006. Darn that paper trail!!!!

Anonymous said...

Carolyn says:

I was totally unnerved by what KC wrote about Judge Stephens.

"Cheshire asked Nifong’s former boss, Judge Stephens, to require Nifong to memorialize the conversation and turn over the document to the defense. Stephens denied the motion. The defense attorney then asked Stephens to compel a Nifong memo that would be held in camera, pending a possible appeal. Stephens again said no."

For those of you outside the law who don't understand the magnitude of the legal request to 'memorialize', it means putting down on a piece of paper the writer's beliefs and understanding. By so doing, the person writing the memo cuts off any escape from those beliefs and understanding, eliminates any way of saying he never had them in the first place, or didn't understand them, etc.

In simple language, it's proof you lied your ass off.

Once you have memorialized something, all the handwaving, all the tears, all the pictures of your starving wife and kids or the fact you helped a little old lady across the street when you were 12 will not erase those written words. A memorialization is proof you lied.

Therefore, when a defense attorney rises to his feet in a court of law and requests such a thing from the judge, the attorney knows the reason why, the DA knows the reason why and the judge HAS to know that the only reason for this request is to furnish proof of a lie.

Therefore, when Judge Stephens denied that proof of lying (not once, but twice), he literally suborned perjury.

How low can it get?

Anonymous said...


You wrote:

Nifong got really far, despite constant media attention, and best efforts of the lacrosse players' able and expensive attorneys.

I would argue he got that far because of media attention. The media is not interested in justice or honesty, rather they focus on sensationalism and man-bites-dog stories.

Otherwise, you are right - he is just a symptom of a justice system that is out of control. Which only increases the irony that he is so widely supported by the community least able to defend itself against such abuses. So it goes...

Anonymous said...

12:59 What a good point - I never thought of the thug/gangsa as a "Stephin Fetchit". Recently, we had the NBA All Star here in Vegas. People who laughing their heads off at them. Those. of course who saw them on TV and not in person. I was raised with Black, Irish, Italian and Poles in those good old ethnic communities and none of them are a mystery to me. Have some real black friends for years At my fifth reunion, a black guy who I was best friends with all though school,naturally gravited to each other for the evening. Why - because we still share the same humor and interests. I live in Vegas and he lives in Atlantic City.
Poor Harry - is their no family to protect him from himself?
Actually those " middle age" are approaching old. Hopefully, will be out of teaching school soon.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to Anonymous of 1.02 pm for correcting me on Nifong's prosecutorial career before he became DA. The fact that he did more serious things than traffic court before he became DA certainly does suggest to me that a close look be taken at his whole body of work as a prosecutor.

One of the things that has most impressed me about this case is Prof Coleman's observation that if he could perpetrate these outrages on people with family means, imagine what he could do to those without means to challenge his iniquities.

There, but for the grace of God, go you and I.


Anonymous said...

I agree with 2:04 p.m. that prosecutorial misconduct is a national, and not just a Nifong, problem. And, the overall erosion of respect for due process is a big part of that problem. In the past few years, people have railed against "country club" prisons and judges who let criminals off on "technicalities," (never mind that those technicalties often are the due process rights contained in the Bill of rights). As a result, it has become difficult for judges to enforce the constitution, and make prosecutors toe the line.

This is anecdotal, but I have heard that, across the country in California, if a judge rules that a search was unconstitutional she might as well plan for retirement, because at the next election there will be plenty of candidates (often prosecutors) gunning for her seat, complaining that the judge is soft on crime.

becket03 said...

Coach K worrying about his pension? That's got to be one of the funniest items ever posted on this board.

Anonymous said...

11:22 "...There are responsible, accomplished candidates of all races. Duke simply chose not to look for them..."

Accomplished to teach what? This pap? At $46,000 per year? You cannot be serious...

WomenST163S Interpreting Bodies
"How the body has come to define the human in language, law, science, politics and economics. The body's relation to identity and subjectivity. The representation of the body in particular cultural discourses and the social history and dynamic in which that representation has taken place."

or pap like this?

WomenST109S Study of Sexualities
"Topics include homosexuality and theory, history, law, religion, education, the arts and literature, the military, and the health sciences."

This is crap regardless of who teaches it. To put it forth as serious scholarly work is nonsense. Why don't they post their own work? Why can't one judge their work, the publications, the peer reviews? Because it's all fraudulent.

Anonymous said...

The endless stream of blunders on the part of Mike Nifong is endlessly fascinating.

The best course he could have taken here was to throw himself on the mercy of bar counsel with the excuse that he got caught up in the moment. Now, he merely digs his own grave deeper.

The excuse of "I was not present" is laughable, as KC correctly points out, BTW. When everyone is lieing, except you, about a meeting between individuals, you have serious problems.


Anonymous said...

From 3:30PM - Sorry fifith reunion not fifth.