Saturday, June 16, 2007

Freedman Closing

David Freedman: this case was still in the discovery phase--they were just arrested, never had to spend a day in jail.

Nifong had to have known that Meehan information would eventually come out; therefore, it's not reasonable to assume that he would have withheld it.

"Information is open for the world to see" (non-exculpatory DNA)

Everything in Meehan report was his idea, language was his idea. "Meehan was all over the board" at the 12-15 hearing.

Freedman is much more effective than Witt, although DHC chairman Williamson seems unpersuaded.

Wm'son: "You are a skilled defense lawyer, but are talking about people other than your client."

Wm'son: Dr. Meehan's testimony won't be persuasive in deciding this case.

Wm'son: Can derive intent from circumstantial evidence, and there's lots of circumstantial evidence in this case.

Wm'son: Not doing it just for an election--had already staked himself out so far with all his public statements. Nifong "way out there" by May 12--would have looked "foolish" if he did not go forward.

Freedman: Nifong knew that the DNA evidence eventually would come out; why would he choose to hide it?

DHC often sees behavior by attorneys that isn't rational: DHC doesn't need to have "rational" behavior for Nifong's behavior.

Wm'son: turning over 1844 pages and then turning over Dr. Meehan--"Mr. Obfuscation"--onto the stand is doing something. Essentially all he could have done to ensure that the info didn't come out.

Nifong not saying there are no violations; but would not be reasonable to assume that he didn't do it purposefully. And Nifong won't be in a position to do these things again, anyway, because he's no longer a prosecutor.

Wm'son: Nifong admitted that despite having been alerted to the Rules of Professional Conduct by Cheshire letter, he never took into account the RPC in how he prosecuted the case. Lawyers have to know what's in these rules.

"In order to act ethically, you have to be thinking about what the ethical issues are. And if your thinking doesn't include an ethical component," then how can consider him appropriate to practice law? A devastating question by Wm'son.

Wm'son: Nifong has admitted that he made a decision to stop speaking out was not for ethical reasons.

118 comments:

laxhooligan88 said...

The argument about no wrongful conviction yet...is like arguing that "My client wasn't arrested ten years after murdering somebody and hiding the evidence....he was caught at the scene with the smoking gun, so he should get a lighter sentence."

WHAT A PILE!!!

Anonymous said...

I know he is talking, but all i hear is blah blah blah blah.

Anonymous said...

Freedman arguing that its OK to give 1800 pages of because it was a great defense team and it should be deemed full discovery. This is a clear losing argument.

Anonymous said...

Freedman's comment on Reade's reaction to being arrested was underhanded and contemptible.

By the same token, Nifong should have been a man about taking responsible and resigned without emotion as well.

What a jerk!!!

Anonymous said...

I would have started with Mr. Freeman
he is handling himself much better than Mr. Witt

Anonymous said...

He himself said, "I couldn't have found it."

Smooth, counselor. :)

Anonymous said...

Now trashing Meehan. Desperate times require desperate measures!

Anonymous said...

" 'Nonprobative' doesn't sound like a scientific term; it sounds like a legal term."

I would like to be at a dinner party with Williamson.

Anonymous said...

Non-probative - what does that mean? Ask Crustal...

Anonymous said...

Not convicted?
Freedman should try to live for a year thinking he might end up in prison for 30 years for something he did not do.

Anonymous said...

Time to throw meehan under the bus.
meehan deserves it.

Anonymous said...

Williamson needs to remind this lawyer that merely putting some info int he report does not mean the report (and discovery) was complete.

laxhooligan88 said...

Freedman's comment on Reade was incredibly disingenuous or speaks to a man who has been incredibly cold and non-introspective through out a long and supposedly distinguished career.

Anonymous said...

Here's the Blame Meehan defense again. Yawn.

Anonymous said...

Wm'son isn't having the Blame Meehan (TM) defense.

laxhooligan88 said...

This guy's not helping things...what happened to the brilliant lawyers who decided not to cross Reade? Apparently they've been infected with the Nifong Arrogance Virus.

Anonymous said...

Freedman is shifting back and forth on his feet- looks very nervous.

Anonymous said...

At least Freeman speaks well.

laxhooligan88 said...
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Anonymous said...

So cowardly! Totally trying to blame it all on Meehan! He lead my client astray, Your Honor!

Anonymous said...

Wait a minute. I'm an English teacher. I understand what "nonprobative" means just from the etymology of the root and prefix.

Anonymous said...

If you don't have the Meehan defense, you have to use the Chewbacca defense.

laxhooligan88 said...

Now he's asking the panel questions???

THAT IS INCREDIBLY DANGEROUS!!!

Anonymous said...

hey nifong, how does it feel to be called an bumbling, incompetent, dihonest fool all day by your own lawyers.
And someone "appointed" this piece of crap to his position.

Anonymous said...

myopic!

Anonymous said...

myopic!

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Back to the "They're out to get me" defense...

Anonymous said...

"Always hate to ask the 'why' question b/c you don't know what answer you'll get". So don't ask it, then! Rule #1 of lawyers: never ask a question to which you do not know the answer!

laxhooligan88 said...

he's, in essence, accusing the panel of being capable of being biased against Nifong...YIKES!!!

Anonymous said...

"Nothing but stellar"?

Oh please.

Anonymous said...

Wm'son opens the door to the woodshed...

Anonymous said...

wow! Nifong is blinking like crazy!

laxhooligan88 said...

OMG!!!

Is Mikey actually weeping at the table?

I swear that is what I just saw!!!

Anonymous said...

lower the volume on Freedman... he is a very tall mime.... like you'd see on any street corner....now he is doing the invisible box on the high seas...

Anonymous said...

Awww so the Lacross Three only got treated as pariahs, had their reputations sullied in the national media, had professors openly trashing them ... including some grade discrimination, had their coach unjustly fired, their families had to pay huge costs in legal expenses and emotional distress and their sport's season was canceled ...

but hey ... no harm no foul! Somehow I'd say that will be several million dollars worth of harm once the civil jury gets ahold of it and harm that no innocent persons shouls ever have to endure!

Anonymous said...

He sweating, and he should be.

Anonymous said...

but hey ... no harm no foul! Somehow I'd say that will be several million dollars worth of harm once the civil jury gets ahold of it and harm that no innocent persons shouls ever have to endure!

We can hope.

Anonymous said...

re: laxhooligan88

So many strange things snowballed into this, not the least of which at ALL were Nifong's self-admittedly egregious mistakes.

Sitting DA (Hardin) appointed judge. Then instead of appointing someone who wanted to be the head DA, Governor Easley appointed someone 3 years from retirement into a 1 year elected position. Wonder how many incoming elected DA's keep the previous DA on staff Freda Black, an obvious candidate for the elected DA position, and Nifong were bitter enemies, and Black left/was removed from the office. Black is an obvious candidate for DA (and intentions to fire Nifong; Nifong claims he would have resigned were she elected). The case begins with a complaining witness, corroborated by the SANE nurse.

Then the bogus police lineup; Nifong's media skullf*ckery; local groups militarise (with the help of Jesse, Al, etc.); wanted posters go up; the national media frenzy begins -- ratings are incredible. The best defense attorneys in the state are hired by the defendants and Cheshire's prowess is immediately obvious.

The outsourcing practices for DNA evidence lead to the first case for Nifong where DNA is not analyzed by the SBI, rather a private firm with different standards, by an analyst who had never prepared reports for criminal trials.

You can't make this stuff up.

Anonymous said...

W'm'son has the big picture and he's pissed that Nifong won't cop.

laxhooligan88 said...

KC...have you exerted Vulcan Mind Meld control over Williamson. Sounds like he could be writing your blog for you.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

WOW made mention of Iraq!

Anonymous said...

"He's going to risk a whole career"

Apparently that's just what he did. Risked it, and lost.

Anonymous said...


Wm'son: Can derive intent from circumstantial evidence, and there's lots of circumstantial evidence in this case.


This is the key - there isn't much direct evidence of intentional bad behavior by Nifong, but there is a great deal of circumstantial evidence of it - is the circumstantial evidence sufficiently strong and probative for the Bar panel to be comfortable inferring intention beyond a reasonable doubt.

This could go either way.

Anonymous said...

Oh, forgot that the police failed to get a toxicology report on the complaining witness; the violently racist day-after e-mails that circulated amongst the lacrosse players; the abandoned house that the police returned to later that night; the fingernail DNA; the towel DNA; the grand jury indictment (Nifong, by law, did not address the grand jury); etc.

samt2 said...

Look into his mind?
nobody can see into such a small place.

Anonymous said...

I think W'm'son already has inferred intent and is giving Freedman a shot at changing his mind. It doesn't seem to be working.

Anonymous said...

Wm'son has already decided. Nothing being said is going to change his opinion that Nifong did this to help his chances of being elected.

Anonymous said...

Says that Nifong knew that the defense team would bring in DNA experts to analyze the data! Incredible! Williamson isn't buying it!

gs said...

What if a defendant was to plea bargain? No one would ever know?

laxhooligan88 said...
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Anonymous said...

Me thinks the defense is po'd..awww.... lost cause... but he is still trying to praise nifgongshow, when he should just beg for leniency...

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Oh, yes, and I -still- forgot the reaction by Duke's administration -- expel the players, suspend the lacrosse season, get the coach to "resign"... unbelievable.

Anonymous said...

"What if a defendant was to plea bargain? No one would ever know?"

HUGE point. There is STILL no way to address the potential innocence of a defendant who has plead guilty, unless you can prove coersion. Even the new Innocence Inquiry Commission has not been granted power to investigate plea bargains -- if that Pandora's box is opened, the prison doors will have to open up big-time...

Anonymous said...

Oh, yes, and I -still- forgot the reaction by Duke's administration -- expel the players, suspend the lacrosse season, get the coach to "resign"... unbelievable.

But without the outrageous actions by Nifong, none of it matters because none of it happens.

Anonymous said...

Weak Weak Weak!

Anonymous said...

"but there is a great deal of circumstantial evidence of it - is the circumstantial evidence sufficiently strong and probative for the Bar panel to be comfortable inferring intention beyond a reasonable doubt.

This could go either way."

If you are in doubt, likely the Bar will go easier instead of tough on Nifong.

Anonymous said...

"But without the outrageous actions by Nifong, none of it matters because none of it happens."

The "next time we should rip the nigger bitch's skin off" e-mail that was LOLed at across the LX team had nothing to do with it, eh? Or the history of underage drinking violations by the team?

Anonymous said...

Next stop, federal court....

Let's get beyond this Bar hearing charade:

A federal judge in Alabama issued an order requesting that the Justice Department prosecute Richard Scruggs, the high-profile trial lawyer, for criminal contempt.

In a harshly worded ruling, U.S. District Court Judge William Acker recommended that the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama prosecute Mr. Scruggs and his law firm, Scruggs Law Firm, P.A. The court said Mr. Scruggs violated a court order about the handling of documents in a case relating to Hurricane Katrina insurance claims.

In his ruling Friday, the judge said Mr. Scruggs shared the State Farm documents with Mr. Hood in violation of the court's order. "Scruggs is an experienced attorney and an officer of the court," wrote the judge. "His brazen disregard of the court's preliminary injunction is precisely the type of conduct that criminal contempt sanctions were designed to address."

In other words a federal judge has said ignoring a court order is grounds for criminal sanction. Let the games begin.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes people do things for which there is no rational explanation! hahahaha!

Anonymous said...

Plea bargain was what he was going for, so that DNA would most likely never surface. Want to hear W'son
say it!

laxhooligan88 said...

"WHY WOULD HE DO SOMETHING SO STUPID?"

That is a question that non-criminals ask all the time about criminals...and the answer we come up with repeatedly is, THEY ARE EVIL!!!

Anonymous said...

Didn't Nifong run against Monks and the other lawyer who said he would step down if elected so the Governor could appoint a replacement.

Anonymous said...

The "next time we should rip the nigger bitch's skin off" e-mail that was LOLed at across the LX team had nothing to do with it, eh? Or the history of underage drinking violations by the team?

Obviously a Nifong supporter here.

Anonymous said...

"In other words a federal judge has said ignoring a court order is grounds for criminal sanction. Let the games begin."

1. The laws of Alabama and the laws of North Carolina may differ.

2. What court orders did Nifong ignore? He is alleged (he admits to at LEAST egregious negligence) to have ignored a statute of discovery, -not- a direct court order.

laxhooligan88 said...

OMG...he's throwing Fong under the bus by pointing out the "he thought he wouldn't get caught" defense.

what a maroon!!!

Anonymous said...

Freedmen now saying that Nifong is not guilty because he is Nifong.

Nifong would not do something wrong.

Thus Nifong is not guilty of doing anything wrong.

Tom E.

This is just weird

Anonymous said...

He's arguing that this shouldn't matter because the 3 lax players had really good lawyers? Unbelievable!

This is blame-the-lax-players again!

Anonymous said...

Yes, Monks and Cheek were Nifong's opponents in general election. In the primary Nifong had Freda Black as an opponent, and another person.

Anonymous said...

It's "moron" you moron.

Anonymous said...

Let the games begin...

The court order was to turn over all DNA evidence.

Anonymous said...

"no cover-up, therefore no crime" LOL

Anonymous said...

"No attempt at all to cover what he had done..."

Of course not, because Nifong is too stupid to realize the meat grinder he just walked into!

laxhooligan88 said...

Freedman is continuing to insult, and in my opinion inflame, the panel. He's not helping things.

Anonymous said...

Where are you guys watching and/or listening to this? TV or radio? What channel?

Anonymous said...

WRAL.com

Anonymous said...

Why couldn't someone in the court correct Whittless about Nifong running unopposed.

Anonymous said...

Shouldn't W'son point out that LAX wouldn't NEED expensive brilliant TEAMS of lawyers if Nifong had been ethical in the first place??????

Michael said...

wral.com

Anonymous said...

Freedman's attempt to parse words and recharacterize grossly negligent, willful misconduct as little more than poor choices and sloppy protocols has failed. Prior to the closing arguments I believed Nifong would be censured/lose his license for 3 years. I now believe he will be disbarred. Pray none of us retain counsel who owns his own shovel with which to dig our own grave.

Dave

Anonymous said...

WRAL has it streaming on their site.

laxhooligan88 said...

It's "moron" you moron.


was an obscure reference to Bugs Bunny cartoons...he often used the language I did...BITE ME

Anonymous said...

He intentionally said "maroon" it's a Free Republic joke.

Anonymous said...

ok, this is getting old now...

Anonymous said...

The system pushes plea bargains. Charge someone with so many charges that if they are facing 30 years, an innocent person may take a one year plea bargain to risk the big sentence, especially if they are poor and cant afford anyone but a public defender or court appointed lawyer with too many cases.

Nifong and any DA live by this. I used to do criminal defense work and clients I felt were innocent would take a plea because they just werent willing to risk the stupidity of a jury and then a Judge giving the max sentence because hes pissed off that you wasted the courts time with a trial.

this is why Nifong will be disbarred.

Anonymous said...

Where are you guys watching and/or listening to this? TV or radio? What channel?

http://www.wral.com

Outstanding video feed.

laxhooligan88 said...

Freedman is now resorting to hat in hand begging and pleading.

Anonymous said...

I thought "maroon" was a Bugs Bunny joke? I know it was picked up by Free Republic and others, but originally, I think Bugs says it about Yosemite Sam (though that's off the top of my head and could easily be wrong).

Dianna

Anonymous said...

I thought "maroon" was a Bugs Bunny joke?

Bugs Bunny from 45-50 years ago.

Anonymous said...

Dianna, Bugs says it about all his adversaries, including Daffy Duck. I love it!

Anonymous said...

You are correct- it was a Bugs Bunny joke. The "hugh" and "series" terms are just from FR, IIRC.

laxhooligan88 said...

Tks Dianna for being a connosieur (?sp) of fine cartoons like myself.

Anonymous said...

What's sad is that almost no changes to the plea bargain system are likely, despite the coersive nature of it and the incredible ease with which it is abused, because the expense of doing it right is not palatable to the american people.

Anonymous said...

laxhooligan88,

You're more than welcome. I'm saving my pennies to buy the whole WB Bugs and Roadrunner library.

Dianna

plc said...

Freedman argument draws more and more towards : "Nifong is not guilty because he is stupid".

I am a afraid this is going to end up like : Nifong is both guilty and stupid.

Anonymous said...

what does Phase 2 consist of? Im tired of listening to this bs

Anonymous said...

"A decision not based on ethical concerns"

LOVE IT!

Anonymous said...

Here's the statement from Duke regarding Nifong's resignation...

http://www.dukenews.duke.edu/2007/06/nifong_statement.html

laxhooligan88 said...

"A number of people have made early statements they later regret..."

Like, "Sure, Mike, I'll represent you before the Bar!"

LMAO

Anonymous said...

He stopped. He made a decision to stop not based on ethical concerns but b/c it wasn't working. That is his testimony...

laxhooligan88 said...

Dianna,

I'll bring the popcorn!!!

Anonymous said...

Just checked KC's bolded paragraph - does it look to anyone else like Williamson is signalling that Nifong should definitely be disbarred?

Dianna

Anonymous said...

http://www.dukenews.duke.edu/2007/06/nifong_statement.html

Well, imagine that: Brodhead really is looking out for the students and justice after all.

Anonymous said...

Heaven knows Freeman tried.

Anonymous said...

Freedman's line of argument raises tough questions for the bar in the precedent they set on this case. The wealth of the athletes / access to good counsel may skate Nifong through this in penalty phase but it is toxic for the legal system if the Bar assents to it.
So, it's OK to intentionally hide evidence because of the wealth of the defendants? Where is the line on wealth? is the prosecutor's unlimited access to public funds a source of wealth and institutional power itself?
And OK to hide evidence if you believe defendant has high quality counsel? who decides on defendant's quality of counsel? does a talented public defender alter the duty of the prosecutor? does the duty of the prosecutor - of the state -change based on the wealth and quality of counsel of the defendant?
Toxic. This case will have many sequelae we don't even know yet.
Toxic.

Anonymous said...

At last! He's done!!

Anonymous said...

laxhooligan88,

Lots of butter!

Heck, even though it's only 9:30 out here, I'm tempted to toss a bag in the microwave.

Anonymous said...

New thread.

laxhooligan88 said...

Almost lunchtime in TX...Popcorn with a side of Fried DA sounds good!!!

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

LaxHooligan--Where are you in TX? I'm in Clear Lake.

Old Duke Alum '74

laxhooligan88 said...

Dallas area

Southwestern Univ '88

Anonymous said...

Rats. I guess I have to actually work on the lawn until 2:00.

Michael said...

(sorry, I am a little late, reading this
just now):

Williamson made a really great point:
Nifong claimed that he stopped making
the statements (hooligans and so forth)
because they weren't effective in making
witnesses come forth
THAT implies that he did not stop
making them because of ethical
considerations (RPC) that he was
explicitly alerted to -- GREAT POINT!

This implies a blatant disregard for the RPC
and thus aggravated misconduct.

Williamson also pointed out that Nifong
did not obtain
the indictments just to win the election
-- Nifong's early statements had put him so
far out there, he would have looked foolish
if he had not been able to obtain indictments.

Cedarford said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Bottom line: Nifong's too freakin' stupid to hold a law license? That should be the finding after what Nifong's two attornies argued.