Monday, June 18, 2007

Nifong and Williamson

There was no match intellectually between Lane Williamson and Mike Nifong. This clip shows Williamson shredding a variety of Nifong excuses for not turning over the exculpatory DNA material--as Nifong moved first from a claim that he didn't have to turn over the material because of guidance from the AG to then suggesting that the test results were somehow protected by work product to concluding that he assumed the test results would be contained in the Meehan report.

38 comments:

scott said...

Nifong here sounds nothing like the stellar attorney and worthy opponent to defense attorneys everywhere he thought himself to be in 2006.

Anonymous said...

KC, what a guy!

Here I am on vacation in a hotel, and don't want to go to dinner so I can catch up will all the blogger responses that have been sent today.

You have such a great way of simulating others to speak to each other. Most have been pretty good at not attacking each other even when they don't agree. What a wonderful study in the American viewpoint on this matter.

Thanks.

I hope you plan on going on a book tour when your book finally comes out. Please make it to California. Pardon the informal language, but I feel like I know you, Professor Johnson.

Anonymous said...

It's obvious why Williamson was L. Rev. and Nifong wasn't in the North Carolina class of 78.

Anonymous said...

Er, what does "L. Rev" mean?


gotc

Anonymous said...

Sorry if this has already been pointed out, but if you look Nifong up in Martindale-Hubbell (www.martindale.com), you will see that he has received the peer review rating of "AV" - "A" for "very high to preeminent" legal ability, "V" for "very high" general ethical standards.

Hey, I'm *not* making this up!

Anonymous said...

That would be Law Review, which is made up of the top law students in each graduating class.

Anonymous said...

7:24
It means "Law Review" or one of those exception law students chosen to write for the Law Review, a publication of the school.

Jungle Jim said...

What in the world does Knife-Honk mean by "work product" as an excuse for not turning over the DNA evidence?

Anonymous said...

Thanks, 7:27!

What I really admired about Williamson is how FAIR he was. He really wanted the whole truth out there.

I also think that before he ran for office, Nifong was probably an ok guy. Many are wondering how many other cases of dishonesty there are, but it's possible that he just gave in to his thirst for ambition.

Macbeth, anyone? (yes, I know, I stop soon, but the parallels are extraordinary. I wonder who the three witches were?)

gotc

Anonymous said...

L. Rev = Law Review.

Law Schools have legal journals that they publish. The best students are selected to edit journal entries. This is an advanced skill since law journal articles require full research and discussion sometimes breaking new ground on issues. We are talking quality work such as the desertation KC made for his PHD. NOTE: Years ago there was an episode of the Paper Chase which ilustrated that despite the kind efforts of one of the students on Law Review, one of the top notch teaching professors did not have the acumen to submit a suitable article for law review.

Anonymous said...

Based on my limited anectdotal experience, The Martindale ethics ratings are flawed.

Anonymous said...

JLS says....,

re: Jungle Jim

From what I understand as a non attorney, "work product" means the discusing trial strategy or how you plan to use information in court. That is not discoverable. Actual evidence is always discoverable.

Jungle Jim said...

JLS:

Thanks. How in the world could Knife-Honk think that anyone would fall for that excuse?

Anonymous said...

For a discussion on ethics

The A, B, Cs of legal ethics

Anonymous said...

The three witches, eh? I think we all have ideas, but to write them would lead to a deleted comment. Oh, witches with a "w". My bad!

Anonymous said...

JLS says....,

re: Jungle Jim

The judges in this case all bought it. The only way to find out that it was a lie was to bring in Meehan and the police officers at these meetings and ask them. I doubt the officers gave up Nifong without serious pressure. If Nifong had survived the bar hearing, Himan's career would have been over.

miramar said...

These declarations are striking because Nifong admits that he should have turned over the exculpatory DNA evidence, but then at the end he indicates that the reason that he didn't take notes of the meetings was that he expected all the information to be in the report of the expert witness.

Yet if I recall Meehan's December 15 testimony correctly, he stated that Nifong specifically requested that he exclude the exculpatory DNA evidence.

Moreover, Nifong is claiming that since he didn't bother to write down the DNA results, then he didn't have anything to consult and turn over to the attorneys. So he wants us to believe that even though an expert told him several times that there was unkown DNA all over Mangum, he simply forgot about it because he hadn't jotted down this apparently insignificant information.

Damn, Mike you're not even smart enough to be a convincing liar.

Anonymous said...

From Howard Kurtz, Wash Post media reporter (better late than never?)

New Haven, Conn.: This may not be your wheelhouse, but I would be curious to learn what you think about the media coverage of the Duke lacrosse case. Obviously the media loves public pronouncements and cases that neatly summarize larger issues of wealth and priviledge, but what role do they play in fanning imprudent -- and ultimately unethical -- behavior? Other than Nifong, who needs to apologize here?

Howard Kurtz: That's right in my wheelhouse. Nifong's resignation and disbarment is a case of poetic justice for a prosecutor who ruined three people's lives, and sparked a media maelstrom, on the basis of flimsy allegations from an unstable woman. Here's part of what I wrote in April:

What about the living hell visited on three young men from the Duke lacrosse team? In all the coverage of the sexual assault charges that were finally dropped last week, very few have talked about how the media slimed them.

That miscarriage of justice was aided, abetted and amplified by media that unfairly turned the men into a national symbol of pampered, out-of-control student-athletes. Prosecutor Mike Nifong might lose his law license over the botched case, but the media never get disbarred.

Imus repeatedly apologized for calling the Rutgers women "nappy-headed hos," and a national uproar prompted CBS Radio and NBC News to pull the plug on his program. But where is the apology to David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann from news organizations that launched a classic feeding frenzy based on one woman's shaky allegations? Even Nifong has said he is sorry.

The combination of race, crime, sports and a blue-chip university proved irresistible for a business that thrives on creating national soap operas. Did the indictments, as the team's lacrosse season was canceled, have to be covered? Of course. But media outlets framed the story as one of privilege vs. poverty, black vs. white, athletes above the law -- if, of course, it happened.

Television showed the homes of the players' parents. Newsweek put two of the defendants' mug shots on the cover. Sometimes the word "alleged" was dropped in the process. "I'm so glad they didn't miss a lacrosse game over a little thing like gang rape," Headline News host Nancy Grace said.

Once discrepancies surfaced in the accuser's account, some local and national outlets did a good job of bird-dogging the case. But by then the presumption of innocence had virtually vanished.

Anonymous said...

I wish Williamson had been as active in his questioning of character witness ex-Durham County Judge Anthony Brannon who implied that Durham County DAs have been hiding evidence for years!

That's just scarey that he admitted it. Judge Hudson refusing to stop Mikey. It sounds as if the State Judicial Commission needs to look into the Durham County judges - now.

Jungle Jim said...

JLS:

Thanks. This is what I think has been part of the trouble with this case all along. Where have the judges been? Isn't it their job to keep the attorneys (both prosecution and defense) in line?

Anonymous said...

the best law students arent always the best lawyers. Williamson does not have to be that smart to say thimgs that make nifong look bad.


The only lawyer who was exceptional in this case was Bannon. The rest just benefitted from good facts from which to argue.

You people are a bunch of ass kissers

Anonymous said...

My my, what a tangled web we weave.

Anonymous said...

8:01 - Mikey, commenting in your now free time I see.

Blogg-Monkey said...

It's good that Nifong has been exposed for what he is, a cad, at best, but with his disbarment, I believe we need to move on.

Read more on my BLOG: http://bloggmonkey.blogspot.com/2007/06/lighten-up-monkeys-duke-lacrosse.html

Anonymous said...

7:31 & Macbeth: Indeed! And was Cy Lady Macbeth?

For the last six months, I've been talking about this case with my theater-critic husband, and I think I have him convinced that he should write a piece on drama in the news that is sometimes far superior to what one may see on stage.

Around every turn was a chance for Nifong to redeem himself, but he just kept going down the path of utter destruction.

Anonymous said...

The Weaver of Shame

Call out the Weaver of big lies,
That really white one, and whip his ass
On TV in front of everybody.
Let the news whores go on whoring,
Like they know to do so well, and let their pimps
suck up to Jesse and Shabaz whoever,
Let be the finale of lame
The only weaver is the Weaver of Shame.

Take from the Dock no deal,
Nothing lacking in Lane's clear eyes,
Nothing like a trial of facts to scream
And wake the sleeping from their careless dream,
If Fong's tongue is split it flicks to show,
To show how cold he is, and dumb,
Let the torch shine on the maimed;
The only weaver is the Weaver of Shame.

Francisco said...

I almost hesitate to ask, but does Wendy Murphy have anything to say for herself now?

Mike said...

blogg-monkey
I just read the start of your questionable blogg. Before you start telling people to lighten up, get your facts straight. There was no racial insult from any of the three nor from all of the attendees save one.
Also, it wasn't your life that was turned into a living hell. If it had been, maybe you wouldn't be so quick on the draw with "lighten up".
Somehow the word pathetic doesn't seem to do you justice.
Trolls invade this blog from time to time. Does your first name start with a "W" and does your last name start with an "L"?
Also, your blogg is anonymous. Why?
Mike Rayfield
Spring, TX

Anonymous said...

At 8:42 the N & O put on its website that tomorrow Judge Hudson will suspend Nifong and appoint a special prosecutor to pursue charges against Nifong.

gs said...

What Hudson cutting Nifong loose from the ole boys network.

Nifong is such a loser. He still thinks he can play games. He learned nothing. We have learned about his complete lack of character.

gs said...

By not resigning promptly, Nifong has forced Judge Hudson, with a little push from the Governor, to suspend him. But the real damage to Mikey is that he manage to get a SP appointed to investigate him who nows what will be discovered.

Good work Mikey. You are your own worst enemy.

jamil hussein said...

seriously, what Nifong is going to do if he somehow avoids jail?

It seems he still has strong support from "certain segment of Durham community" so I fail to see any other avenue than politics. Maybe city council, then congress. I don't think he is going to show up for work at 7eleven.

Anonymous said...

Wmson: Were you specifically aware of the statute that required you to take such notes?

Nifong: Yes, sir. ... That's where my understanding ... was that the prosecutor did not have the responsibility to take those notes. I understand that that is now the minority opinion of the court of appeals...

W: Well, the minority opinion of the court of appeals is not the law.

N: No, sir. As a matter of fact, it's not the law, but ...

----

Nifong went on to claim that he rarely took notes and only did so when he needed to remember something, yet his testimony is filled with incidents he cannot remember or did not remember correctly.

Anonymous said...

Who will suspend Judge Hudson?

Anonymous said...

JLS says....,

re: Jungle Jim

Well I have many criticisms for the judges in this case, BUT there are limits to what they can do. Judges are not some kind of gate keeper triers of fact. As long as there was probable cause, ie Mangum's testimony, there was not much the judges could do.

But the Judges in many ways made themselves look stupid and corrupt in this case:

1. Judge Stevens had the look of someone whose agent told them to get on a plane and go to New England, take the limo waiting for you, dress out and head to the mound expecting to go play for the Providence AAA team when in fact when he came out of that tunnel he was in Fenway Park and in the show. What an idiot not to know what his courtroom was going to be that day for the Seligmann first setting. How corrupt he made himself look by showing so much interest in that phone of Mangum's, failing to admonish the smirking Nifong and having to be dragged into recording all the court events in this case. He also is the judge who sat by after Nifong's office lied in the motion of the NTO and seemed not the least offended.

2. Then we get Judge Titus who thinks he can deprive the defendants of the right to defend themselves of these charges in public by issuing a clearly unconstitutional gag order including them.

3.Then we get Judge Smith who did some good things but has failed so far to sanction Nifong for lying to him and who failed to grant the motion for the bill of particulars allowing Nifong the opportunity to send Wilson back to Mangum after the December hearing to get yet another story to fit the evidence as it was unfolding.

4. And on the edge of this case we have Judge Hudson failing to remove Nifong even after he was disbarred.

A pretty sorry lot in my opinion but in their defense they are human beings and for all but Smith the Durham case management system gives judges a huge incentive to defer to DAs or see themselves get stuck with nothing but boring misdemeanor cases. Until that is reformed I see little hope for fair trials in Durham.

Anonymous said...

Hudson will suspend Nifong and appoint a special prosecutor to pursue charges against Nifong.

Is this effectively an invitation to the attorney general's office to investigate the DA's office and DPD?

Anonymous said...

I can see two avenues for prosecuting Mike Nifong's conduct. The first, is under in North Carolina's Obstruction of Justice Statute. The statute is not clearly intended to cover Nifong's conduct, but his refusal to produce exculpatory evidence may fall under the prohibition against concealing evidence, or interfering with a witness. The second avenue may be under Section 14-230's willful failure to discharge the duties of office. Specifically, by omitting the exculpatory evidence when he knew about it and when it was required to be turned over Nifong was failing to carry out an official duty of the office of District Attorney. There has been testimony that the DA's duty is immediate under NC law. This is dramatically at contrast with federal law which puts no specific time limit on when exculpatory evidence has to be turned over.

Walt in Durham

Anonymous said...

Oh for God's sake. You practically need an interpreter to understand Nifong's answers. He crams so many negatives into each reply that it's unfathomable. And the vague answers are just plain embarrassing--I love how he can't be bothered to read reports or documents.This clown needs to go. Williamson deserves an award for not bursting out laughing during this cross!

BobC