Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Nifong Deposition, Part I

The Mike Nifong deposition is now available, through Liestoppers. It makes for a fascinating read. Part One of the deposition in today's post; Part Two will form tomorrow's post.

In some ways, the deposition previewed his ethics trial testimony—especially in his consistent claims that he read virtually no documents related to a case that he had claimed was as important as any Durham had ever faced.

In some ways, it did not, as Nifong was far less willing to concede errors, even in his preprimary public statements.

And, in a fitting testimony to the ex-DA’s character, Nifong also used the deposition to try to settle scores with people he has grown to strongly dislike—such as Jackie Brown, Bob Ekstrand, Sgt. Shelton, and Susannah Meadows.

Involvement

According to Nifong, he became involved initially because he expected the media to ask him about the case. He also implied that he was unaware that Tracey Cline (the ADA who specializes in rape cases) had handled the formation of the non-testimonial order, and that David Saacks’ inexperience in rape cases was one reason he took the case over. Yet it seems inconceivable that Saacks, in his initial conversation with Nifong (on March 23), would not have told the DA of Cline’s involvement. As he did at his ethics hearing, Nifong also criticized the NTO’s language about DNA evidence exonerating the innocent (even though, of course, in the Leroy Samuels case, Nifong himself had used identical language).

Nifong claimed that as of March 27, the only things he knew about the case were what the non-testimonial order contained—a scarcely credible claim, given the media attention the allegations received on March 25 and March 26 and his own stated assertion that anticipated media interest formed a primary reason in his decision to take the case in the first place.

Contradicting the assertions of both Officer Ben Himan and Sgt. Mark Gottlieb, Nifong claimed that he was not given the captains’ statements in their March 27 meeting—although he was aware of them from the two officers’ comments. The meeting, he asserted, focused primarily on the McFadyen e-mail—contradicting the recollections of both Himan and Gottlieb. And again contradicting the two officers’ depositions and Himan’s testimony, Nifong denied that the March 27 meeting included any discussions of Crystal Mangum’s inconsistencies. He recalled asking no substantive questions about the case, nor making any comments about the weaknesses in the evidence, nor commenting, “You know, we’re fucked.”

“It was my impression,” Nifong recalled, “that the officers did not believe [the captains] had been totally truthful in their responses.” Why? Because no one was at the house when officers responded to the first 911 call. Nifong said he became certain a rape occurred because neither Himan nor Gottlieb expressed skepticism at that initial meeting, and because Tara Levicy said there was a rape. The captains, he conceded, were “outwardly cooperative” with police.

Nifong asserted that his initial desire to get up to speed on the case was not related to any eventual prosecution but “because anything in Durham that involves a Duke team and criminal charges is going to get a lot of attention.”

In any case, according to Nifong, “I wasn’t really involved in reviewing written documents” during his preprimary publicity barrage.

Interviews

Nifong retreated to his later estimate that he only gave around 20 interviews in the preprimary publicity barrage. Using the deposition to settle scores, he said he did give a few interviews to people who dropped by without interviews—such as Newsweek’s Susannah Morrison [sic].

Why did Nifong give the interviews? His rationale changed during the course of the deposition.

1.) During the ethics hearing, Nifong asserted that he gave interviews in the hopes that his doing so would encourage witnesses to come forward. Yet in his deposition, he initially didn’t offer that reason at all—he just said that he wished to accommodate press interest, but eventually became overwhelmed by the requests.

2.) Then, after the lunch break (when, of course, he could have conferred with his attorneys), Nifong suddenly started mentioning the law enforcement purpose for the statement. Doug Brocker, in response, noted that “none of the statements were actually requesting that the players come forward and talk with you.”

True, said, Nifong, but he blamed the media for not reporting his comments accurately.

Brocker: “Describing what had happened to date as a stonewall of silence, how would that have helped people come forward?” Why, Brocker wondered, not just request they come forward?

Nifong: His denunciatory approach would put “pressure” on the players “by their parents and by their colleagues and people like that”—in effect, attempting to undermine their right to silence.

3.) Then Nifong turned to the nature of Durham: “We had allegations of an assault having been made by privileged members of one race against an unprivileged member of another race.” He feared there might be “unrest,” and his public statements could ensure the community the matter was being taken “very seriously.”

He was not engaged in race-baiting, claimed Nifong, but was merely seeking “to assure the members of the community that this case that had this particularly potential unrest-causing aspect” would be prosecuted fairly and “this was not something we were going to sweep under the rug.”

In response to a question from Brocker, Nifong denied that his statements inflamed racial tensions—because, he noted, no racial violence occurred.

The Nature of “Suspects”

As he did in the ethics trial, Nifong denied that all 46 white players were “suspects,” even though the NTO of March 23 listed them as such. He only confined his public remarks to the team, he suggested, because the captains, in their statements, said the only people who attended were team members.

But this claim, of course, was not true—as came out at the trial, when Brocker pointed out that Dave Evans’ statement explicitly said that non-lacrosse players were at the party. And how does a claim that he initially relied on the captains’ statements explain Nifong’s decision to include in the NTO someone like Brad Ross, who wasn’t even in Durham that night? Nifong never said.

At one point, Brocker very cleverly tripped up Nifong on his own words, by pointing out that even though Reade Seligmann and Collin Finnerty had been picked out by Mangum on April 4, Nifong made race-baiting comments at an April 12 campaign forum:

Brocker: Would you agree then that once a suspect has been identified or somebody has been accused, that it would violate Rule 3.6 to make a statement similar to the ones you’ve made here?

Nifong: I am not really—I’m certainly not an expert in that, but I would—I would certainly—obviously things change under Rule 3.6 as you get further along. These—I believe these—I would justify these under Rule 3. —a part of 3.6. I—I cannot justify any such statements as being appropriate after indictments had been returned or something like that, if that’s what you’re asking. And I did not make any such statements, to my knowledge, after that person was accused.

Because I clearly think that when a person is accused, that does change some of thesome of the Rules or the impact of some of the Rules because some of them specifically refer to an accused. I think 3.8 refers to an accused. And I don’t think that you have an accused until such point as that process has been returned. So there’s a different—there’s a different set of rules that applies up to that. Yes, sir.

Brocker: But I thought you had said in response to a previous question that you believe that once the victim had identified a particular person that you believe they were accused?

Nifong: I said at that point—at that point, I’m getting—I’m getting uncomfortable with the question. [emphasis added]

Discrepancies

Nifong claimed that he learned of discrepancies in Mangum’s story and between Kim Roberts’ version and Mangum’s version[s] only “within the first two or three weeks that I had the case”—an extraordinary assertion, given that he had been on national TV multiple times by that point. The testimony of both Himan and Gottlieb held otherwise. He said that he “couldn’t recall” if he even looked at Roberts’ March 22, 2006 statement—which contradicted Mangum’s version of events in virtually every respect—before seeking the first two indictments.

If a trial had occurred, Nifong asserted, he would not have called Roberts as a witness.

In general, he said, he learned about the discrepancies in Mangum’s stories only shortly before indictments, and only from discussions with Himan and Gottlieb.

As to the case-related documents? Again, Nifong asserted that he saw them only within “two or three” weeks of taking the case. The ex-DA conceded that he had seen the Levicy report in the first week, but (preposterously) suggested that he might have only seen part of it, and not the parts that indicated Mangum said no condoms were used.

Anyhow, mused Nifong, he could not say that any point before hr recused himself in January 2007 that he had “carefully read every word” in the report. Moreover (continuing his excuses for his condom speculation), he took Mangum’s assertions that no condoms were used to really mean that she just hadn’t seen any of her attackers put on condoms.

Contrary to the sergeant’s low-keying his involvement in the case, Nifong asserted that in these early weeks, Gottlieb almost always initiated conversations with him, not Himan.

Written Reports

Nifong asserted that he received the Shelton and Sutton reports from the DPD only after obtaining indictments—again, an extraordinary assertion, suggesting that he had no problem going ahead with indictments on wildly incomplete evidence. As to the reference in the Sutton notes that Mangum had claimed five people raped her, Nifong stated that he first learned of this on June 22, when Joe Cheshire highlighted the point in a courthouse press conference.

Amazingly, Nifong asserted that as of the date of the deposition—May 17, 2007—he had not read Sgt. Shelton’s report. Indeed, stated Nifong, he never spoke to Shelton about the case, even though Shelton was the first police officer to see Mangum after the party.

The UNC Hospital report, in which Mangum said that she was “drunk and felt no pain,” which hinted at her psychological problems, and in which she told a different version of events (that she was hit in the face and banged her head on the sink)? Nifong said he didn’t become aware of this report until December 2006—even though it was handed over in the first stage of discovery, on May 18.

Contradicting the assertions of SBI agent Jennifer Leyn—that Nifong was on the phone with her or people from her office several times, and was eager about the DNA results—Nifong suggested that he had only one conversation with the SBI lab, on a date that (of course) he couldn’t remember.

So: forced to choose between conceding he lied to the public or portraying himself as almost unbelievably lazy, Nifong chose the latter.

The April 4 Lineup

Nifong conceded that he knew of the two previous lineups (March 16 and March 21), but denied their usefulness, since the photos were taken from the Duke website.

He had told the police that he wanted to be consulted before the photos from the non-testimonial order were used.

Nifong denied that the April 4 lineup violated Durham procedures: “we didn’t even have a suspect, so I didn’t see any way that we could do a lineup in the usual sense.” (The fact that his office had publicly identified all 46 white lacrosse players as suspects—and that he had done so repeatedly in his preprimary publicity barrage—apparently didn’t count.) He also denied instructing Gottlieb to tell Mangum that the lineup would contain only people the police believed were at the party.

Then, in the next paragraph, Nifong conceded that he knew there would be a “motion to suppress” this lineup—which was the reason he ordered it videotaped—suggesting that Nifong knew exactly what he was doing in structuring a “no-wrong-answers” lineup.

Even though there was never any mention before December that Mangum’s identification of Dave Evans as having a mustache actually referred to Evans having 5:00 shadow, Nifong claimed that he had a chat with Gottlieb almost immediately after the lineup in which Gottlieb suggested just that. No record of this conversation, of course, survives.

Nifong asserted that he “discounted” the March 16/March 21 photo arrays. Why? Because of Michele Soucie’s report that Mangum had said, “This is harder than I thought it would be.” In other words: he didn’t get the result he wanted, so he decided to ignore it.

Why, Brocker wondered, did Nifong not ensure that another lineup was done, one that conformed to Durham Police procedures? He didn’t know, Nifong said—that was the police officers’ job, not his.

The Mangum File

To gauge Nifong’s interest in ferreting out the truth, Brocker asked the ex-DA about his meetings with Crystal Mangum, the sole witness in a one-witness case.

Brocker: Did you have -- in your Interrogatory Answers, you identified a number of meetings that you had with Ms. Mangum -- meetings that you had with Ms. Mangum?

Nifong: I believe four.

Brocker: The first one being on April 11th?

Nifong: Yes, sir.

Brocker: 2006. And the last one being on either January 11th or January 12th, 2007?

Nifong: Sometime in January, 2007. Yes, sir.

Brocker: Did you ever talk to her about, during any of those meetings, about the facts of the case or the allegations that she was making?

Nifong: Not specifically, no, sir.

Brocker: Did you ever ask her about any of the inconsistencies that had come to light in her statements about what had happened?

Nifong: No, sir.

Brocker: And did you ever discuss with her any of the evidence that had come to light which arguably was contrary to the allegations she was making?

Nifong: No, sir.

Brocker: Did you discuss with her the lack of DNA that was found from the lacrosse players on any of the rape kit items or on her clothing?

Nifong: No, sir.

Brocker: Did you discuss with her the other DNA that was found by DNA Security on her either on the rape kit or on the clothing that did not match the lacrosse players?

Nifong: No, sir. I didn’t discuss any of these things with her.

Personal

Nifong claimed that Jim Hardin told him that he would not get to be appointed a judge unless Nifong agreed to become the DA. Nifong asserted that he never sought the position, because he liked trying cases. He added that the two main contenders for the post were Tracey Cline and Marvin Waters, but that Easley worried about the political fallout of having to choose between the two, and saw Nifong as an acceptable compromise choice.

Nifong denied that he had ever agreed that he would not stand for election before accepting the point—although, of course, Easley has declared otherwise.

Nifong asserted that he ran in part to block Freda Black from the position, but also because he had a “vision” for the office (which he doesn’t define in the deposition). He fired Black, he said, because of a perception that she was overpaid vis-à-vis the amount of work that she did; because some people had left the DA’s office rather then deal with her; and because key figures in the Police Department disliked Black.

Nifong claimed that he wanted to run a positive campaign, “despite the urgings of Jackie Brown”—a sign of just how angry the ex-DA was at Brown’s later decision to help his opponents. He complained that Brown had too many conflicts with his wife, Cy Gurney, and said that he took her on only because she would help appeal to lower-educated voters.

Nifong repeatedly blamed Bob Ekstrand for not ensuring that his clients “cooperated” with police.

As he did in the hearing itself, Nifong used his deposition to blast the one member of the DPD who got the story right from the start—Sgt. Shelton, who clucked Nifong, “did not seem to appreciate that this was a very serious situation.”

In general, Nifong complained, the DPD was slow to get him reports—especially Shelton.

Much like Gottlieb, Nifong admitted that he, too, looked at blogs, and specifically referred to an early timeline post (probably the one on Johnsville News) that proved prescient in the end.

57 comments:

Gary Packwood said...

Nifong said...

...“We had allegations of an assault having been made by privileged members of one race against an unprivileged member of another race.”
::
Mr. Nifong bought into the Anger Studies training and is moving along on their highway as if he were experiencing an altered state of consciousness via hypnosis.

I have read that 'privileged' statement so many times ...even back months ago when we determined the information about the Zip Codes of the player's parents.
::
GP

Anonymous said...

JLS says...,

1. This is a good opportunity to stress something that the main stream media is out to lunch on for example the WRAL round table. Mike Nifong was disbarred because he tried to railroad three innocent kids. The formal charges were that he made unethical statements and hid evidence. But he defended himself against the unmade charge that Mangum was never credible and was disbarred because Mangum was never credible and that again shows up in his deposition.

2. I hate to defend Nifong at all, but I was surprised in reading the Gottlieb deposition how much Gottlieb asserted the meeting on 27 March was about the McFadden e-mail.

3. I know there are difference but all the hang Levicy crowd should recognize how much damage McFadden did with his childish e-mail. Now I know McFadden probably feels very guilty about what he did and maybe Levicy does not feel bad about her role but we don't know. Still my point here is that McFadden seems to have been key to the early part of this mess.

4. Now is Nifong or Gottlieb lying about who was initiated communications about the case? I guess we will never know since neither is a trustworthy witness and both are making statement in their own interest.

becket03 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
becket03 said...

The more he talks his slippery, evasive talk, the more loathesome he becomes. He's an extraordinary villain.

I'm grateful to Lane Williamson for astutely airing a term that frequently describes Nifong's technique in testimony -- feigned ignorance.

beckett

Anonymous said...

KC -

Excellent piece, as usual. One possible correction:

<< Contradicting the assertions of SBI agent Jennifer Leyn—that Nifong was on the phone with her or people from her office several times, and was eager about the DNA results—Nifong suggested that he had only one conversation with the SBI lab, on a date that (of course) he couldn’t remember.

So: forced to choose between conceding he lied to the public or portraying himself as almost unbelievably lazy, Nifong chose the former. >>

Nifong chose the latter, no?

KC Johnson said...

Right--thanks for the catch.

Anonymous said...

The more that comes out, the worse things look.

I was absolutely stunned to read the statistics on rape prosecutions in Durham in the last few years (also recently on liestoppers). Durham has high crime and few prosecutions. The DA's Office and the DPD were/are clearly full of corruption and seemed to focus more on shaking down people for money than on actually prosecuting criminals. No wonder they turned to shaking down people for votes and acted like bullies secure in the knowledge that they were above the law. No wonder no one from the inside ever did anything to stop all of this.

To hear of a "no drop" policy and of all the people who earned their livelihoods dealing with rape and similar crimes and then to see the stats deeply disgusts.

On Willsin, he can count on being sued. I look forward to seeing these cretins try to pin the blame on each other and destroy each other's credibility in court.


The big question now is cover up or recognition that this has gone beyond the point where this can happen...


Goatleeb's deposition isn't going to get him off. I think the strategy now is to keep up the pressure and see what comes out, drip by drip, over time. Wonder what he thinks of Willsin's career prospects at this point?


Another question is if/when people in Durham are going to realize that this hurts then in so many ways -- higher crime, higher taxes, driving away businesses and potential taxpayers, destroying the image of Durham as part of the Research Triangle, etc.


Finally, I just read in the Baydoun book that the initial attorneys who were representing the boys developed a timeline with the evidence to back it up very early on, including alibis for several of the players. In addition to offering this to the DA, it was offered to Duke -- and rejected, before any indictments came down. Duke could have known for certain that this was a fabrication, before they engaged in their rush to appease. They were cautioned not to pile on to the players because it was going to come out that they were innocent, yet they did so anyway.

Anonymous said...

Good grief! This deposition is outrageous. I truly believe that I, a mom with NO legal background, know a great deal more about the facts of this case than Nifong. How on earth could he proceed with perhaps the most public case in Durham's history and not study every single detail? The fact that he went on national television spouting his garbage without even bothering to read the reports is unthinkable.
Why on earth was he so hung up on the fact that the house was empty when the police arrived? If he had bother to ask, he would have discovered Kim told the players she was calling the cops. Of course, they fled the house. Only an idiot would have stuck around to deal with Durham's finest. Nifong indicted the young men based on the "fleeing the house crime", a "partial" reading of the SANE report, Ryan McFayden's e-mail, and Himan and Gottlieb "believing" CGM. On top of that, they didn't even know if Reade attended the party at the time he was indicted.
How scary is that? These lazy, incompetent, lying people possess the power to place citizens beyond bars - including my own child at Duke.
The DA's office and the DPD are in desperate need of a clean sweep. "Outsiders" need to be appointed to the DA and police chief positions. Once appointed, these two individuals will face tremendous challenges if any real changes are to take place in Durham.

Anonymous said...

Nofing was lying -- he read the reports but is now trying to construct a scenario where he was not guilty of offense. He chose to testify that he was lazy, rather than admit that he knowingly pursued charges he knew to be frabricated.

Anonymous said...

Himan didn't believe. Ninfong is only making this claim to cover his but. Nifong didn't beleive either (remember the "We're F-bombed" comment?).

The empty house claim is being asserted because there is nothing else. These people have had months to think about what they were going to say and this is the best they came up with.

Think the "accidentally" erased dispatch tapes weren't destroyed on someone's orders? Imagine how much has been done to try to cover the plainly visible tracks of a criminal conspiracy...

Anonymous said...

Nifong is now a convicted liar and is not to be taken at his word.

rrhamilton said...

Nifong was a victim.

He was a kidnap-victim of the metanarrative that the majority of the Democratic primary voters believe and that even those who know better cannot dispute for fear for their reputations. Nifong wanted to win the Democratic Party primary and to do so he had to act like he believed (maybe he really did) the metanarrative. Eventually the "Stockholm Syndrome" took over and he was a zombie for the metanarrative even at the cost of his own professional life.

Sad.

Anonymous said...

I liked the "less-educated" comment he used to refer to the voters he was pandering to. This is the worst sort of racism -- low expectations and exploitation.

James said...

Two points about the case and people continuing to wallow in their foolishness:

1. In the deposition Brocker asks Nifong if he and Mangum discussed various topics in their meetings. Nifong says they didn't discuss "the facts of the case or the allegations that she was making." They didn't discuss "any of the inconsistencies that had come to light in her statements." They didn't discuss "any of the evidence that had come to light which arguably was contrary to the allegations she was making." They didn't discuss "the lack of DNA that was found from the lacrosse players on any of the rape kit items or on her clothing." They didn't discuss "the other DNA that was found .... that did not match the lacrosse players."

Then what the hell DID they discuss??? Whether she wanted cream and sugar in her coffee? The weather? The whole case was unraveling, mostly because of those issues, and Nifong "didn’t discuss any of these things with her." Amazing. The guy says this stuff with a straight face and thinks anybody will believe him? Still, there are willful idiots who do believe him.

2. It's universally admitted that the McFadyen email was drawn from the book and movie American Psycho. It has been asserted and not contradicted that the book and/or movie has been assigned by Duke professors and discussed in Duke classes. There is even a mention on Duke's website that a Duke studen did an internship with the company that produced the film -- see http://www.duke.edu/web/film/dula/internships/Internship_annotated.pdf (page 11 under Muse Productions)

If the scenarios of this work are so "vile" and "disgusting," why is it studied in Duke courses? Is it indicative of a corrupt mind when McFadyen parodies it in an email, but instructive when a professor uses it for a serious discussion of what American culture is like in a course? McFadyen didn't take the book/movie seriously. Members of the Duke faculty do. The latter scares me more than the former. I wonder if it's assigned by any of the Gang of 88 (I tried to track this down but couldn't).

James C., PhD '85

Gary said...

The old joke comes true with Nifong; "the purpose of some people's lives is to serve as an [negative] example to others".

Anonymous said...

Thank God that the State Bar DHC saw through Nifong's lying testimony.

It is absolutely disgusting that the media, including most particularly, the local Herald-Sun, appeared incompetent at detecting that Nifong was an astonishingly bad liar.

Ralph Phelan said...

'Nifong used his deposition to blast the one member of the DPD who got the story right from the start—Sgt. Shelton, who clucked Nifong, “did not seem to appreciate that this was a very serious situation.”'

"He didn't seem to care at all whether I won my election!"
It's nice to know that the DPD employs at least one honest and competent officer. Maybe they should make *him* the new chief.

Jacqueline said...

"In general, Nifong complained, the DPD was slow to get him reports—especially Shelton."

Reports he claimed he didn't read!

Anonymous said...

Nifong is not lazy or stupid. He gambled with the lives of three innocent young men and lost. Like the Duke88, he is a fraud. The tattered patriarchy, such as it is, was represented by the father who, rightly angry in his testimony, gave every indication, at least to me, that he would invade hell to save his son. He would have done it for his daughter. It is what being a father used to be all about. That these young men found the means to fight these evil doers is a gift to all of us. Now, it remains to be seen if Duke has the courage to clean up its act or the Durham Police Department can clean up their own act. Maybe we will read a better report of their doings.

bill anderson said...

I know there are difference but all the hang Levicy crowd should recognize how much damage McFadden did with his childish e-mail. Now I know McFadden probably feels very guilty about what he did and maybe Levicy does not feel bad about her role but we don't know. Still my point here is that McFadden seems to have been key to the early part of this mess.

I think we have to remember that this was a PRIVATE email sent right after the party. Yes, it caused much damage because it was illegally collected and released.

Also, remember that he wrote the email long before anyone knew that Crystal was making accusations of rape, so one cannot be saying he tried to inflame the situation. From what I understand, he was in a bedroom playing video games while Crystal and Kim were grossing out the team.

As has been pointed out before, the email was a parody from a book that is required reading in some classes at Duke. It was not a threat or anything else. It was a sophomore making a sophomoric email.

Now, had he written this AFTER knowing that Crystal was making rape charges, that would have been quite another thing. But as for the case itself, the email was irrelevant, except that Nifong used it to further stir up the hornets' nest.

As for inflammatory emails, what about Burness' fifth-hand claim that a player was taking at the party about killing black strippers? What Burness and Holloway did was much more irresponsible -- and supposedly they are adults, although I cannot tell that from their actions.

Anonymous said...

James C., Good point! No college, much less Duke, should assign any books that have "vile" or "disgusting" passages. We have to protect our impressionable youth or they may have to think for themselves!

And what does the the so-called Group of 88 have anything to do with this? I enjoy reading this blog but, for goodness' sake, some of the posts remind me of Johnny One-Note -- all of society's and academia's purported ills are laid at the feet of a conspiratorial group of professors who signed an ad in a student newspaper.

Get some perspective...

Michael said...

re: 2:37

The Duke Administration cleared McFadyen and readmitted him after an investigation.

If they didn't have a problem with his email, I don't see why others should as well. Just more smoke and mirrors.

Anonymous said...

Everything old is new again

Old Hardin is back as the new DA and will clean up the office
Before long Old Willsin will be the new chief of the DPD
Old Nifong will be the lead investigator
Old Goatlead will be the DPD officer in charge of lineups
Old Tracey C-lying will be a SANE nurse (sane for the first time in quite a while)
the Old Black Panther Party will come back and instruct the new Black Panther Party in causes to take up
Old Broadbutemptyhead will be the new Duke Director of Environmental Services (he recognizes good garbage on his staff)
Old Wittless will be selected as the chief legal counsel for the DPD and DA's office
Old CGM will be the new rape specialist in the DA's office and will serve as entertainment chair for the office Christmas parties

Oh well, I'm tired of old things for now

Anonymous said...

Further evidence of the blatant lies and misconduct on the part of Nifong and Gottlieb is their admissions to reading the blogs.

Nifong for instance says he didn't know many of the facts of the case because he didn't read any of the reports. But if he read the blogs, particularly some of the time lines then he must have known about the discrepancies between Kim and Crystal's stories, he must have known the McFadyen's email was a spoof, he must have known the tightness of Reades' alibi, he would have seen most of the pictures and seen detailed discussions of them etc... etc..

Any claims DPD and Nifong made with respect to not knowing the facts and their admissions to reading the blog, just doesn't jibe..

DM....

Anonymous said...

When he said " I have read nothing to change my opinion of the case". he was not lying. We did not realize that this was a liiteral statement - he read nothing. Gotts a massive brain f^^^.

scott said...

"He recalled asking no substantive questions about the case, nor making any comments about the weaknesses in the evidence, nor commenting, “You know, we’re fucked.”"

Nifong is a lying POS. There is no way that Himan would make a statement that Nifong said that if he didn't. I have 0% trust in Nifong's recollection about anything.

Oh, and wherever it concerns Nifong, it's not an either / or. He's guilty of lying AND being lazy.

Anonymous said...

Agreed, Nifong is lying big time and building his future insanity defense on all the obfuscation and memory loss being documented through these open meetings. I hope a person can be insane and still libel> Durham should pay for Mr. Nifongs malpractice while their chief legal representative.
Linwood Wilson should pay as well and Gotlieb.Anyone who can rebutt him and tell the truth that he did know, was complicit and in charge should be willing to try and not allow insanity as a defense.
Then they should go visit the Duke University Hospital and charge Ms.Levicy and her boss with malpractice.
The media will never change or be charged.
I'm impressed that the defense attorneys for the guys have not stopped yet, I thought they would.

Anonymous said...

Forgot the g88> waiting for a misstep, it's just a matter of time.
Others can pursue them if they want, but since some of them have to be intelligent they will probably be careful about what they accuse people of in the future.
If I was taking their class,(apparently mandatory to graudate) I would bring a recorder, so I could remember what was being said in class.
There are ways to unnerve for the purpose of being fair to all students on campus.

mac said...

Nifong was complaining that Shelton
and the DPD were slow in getting him
reports? He's one to complain
about being slow, waiting for so
long to interview Miss Samples?

Did Nifong ever interview Miss Samples' enabler,
the Samples-Sampler, Miss Tara?
Wondering if Miss Tara still believes that
Samples was raped?

christoph said...

Congratulations Jackie on getting slammed by Nifong! "Too negative a campaign"...says NIFONG, the prince of positive campaigning! "Too many conflicts" ...with Cy! "Only useful for reaching the lower-educated voters"...says the philosopher-king who courts literate, informed citizenship!
Someone said that it's sweet revenge to be underestimated.

Anonymous said...

KC, another sentence you might want to fix:

As he did in the hearing itself, Nifong used his deposition to blast the one member of the DPD who got the story right from the start—Sgt. Shelton, who clucked Nifong, “did not seem to appreciate that this was a very serious situation.”


Did Shelton really cluck Nifong?

Jeremy said...

I wrote a comment to Claire Potter, which was deleted within an hour of it being posted to her blog comment on anonymity. I said nothing more "hateful" in it than that she did not properly research the facts of the case before she wrote her opinions on it. Guess that is too hateful.

Anyway, since she killed my post, I will send it in here. The thrust of my post was that bloggers suffer from a fallacy that their opinions, especially the controversial/libelous/slanderous kind, should have no effect on the subjects of their writing. Anonymity only adds to the likelihood of a blogger/poster writing questionable material of this sort, and then resorting to the "why do you care what I say" defense.

If it's so unimportant what people unconnected and with no standing in the life of the subject say about said subject, then why does Claire have such a problem with KC's response to her, or the "hateful" emails she received, or my posting questioning her defense of her factually incorrect assertions about the lacrosse players? None of us have any standing or connection in regards to her and her life, after all.

Viewing this Nifong deposition only highlights this blogger (and opinion column) problem. Many facts controverting the opinions expressed were available at the time of publication. Many more have become apparent, such as the details in this deposition, since publication of articles by the likes of Wendy Murphy, Claire Potter, Duff Wilson, Amanda Marcotte, etc. Yet rather than consider the evidence available and the details being presented by numerous readers and researchers, these opinion writers and bloggers refuse to reconsider their position and instead fall back on "why do you care so much what my opinion is?"

Why do you bother to express an opinion at all, if you don't want anyone to care? Is it solely an ego building exercise, where you only want to hear from those who agree with you so you can feel intelligent? You only want to reconfirm your preconceived notions regardless of the factual support for those notions?

Who is being disingenuous in this situation? Who lacks care and compassion, trading other people's reputation for your own gain? Please, try reading things like this deposition. Look at the video clips of the DHC hearing. Reconsider outrageous comments such as Potter's "criminal thugs" defamation. Or else you are truly guilty of advancing your own causes and purposes at the expense of (INNOCENT) others.

Not that Potter would bother reading anything on this site to see this argument - just hate-filled bile being spewed here, after all.

Hman said...

To Anonymous 1:14
Some time ago I made the guess that Duke Adminstrations stance on this, from very early on, was to accept the fact of the innocence of the Lax guys and therefore assume that they would eventally be exonerated. In their twisted mind, this meant that they could publically act as if the kids were guilty (ie, believe the woman of color) and when the truth came out they would have ingratiated themselves with key Durham constituencies along with the kids going free. If three of their students had to go thru hell in the process, what is that to them?

Anonymous said...

Agree with Bill at 7:58. McFayden is a teenager, for heaven's sake! Others - especially Nurse Levicy, are supposedly responsible adults and should have a clear understanding of the impact of what they are saying. My impression of Ms. Levicy is that she had a chance to bask in her 15 minutes of fame - until she had to testify at the recent hearings.

Ralph Phelan said...

Jeremy asked:

"Why do you bother to express an opinion at all, if you don't want anyone to care? Is it solely an ego building exercise, where you only want to hear from those who agree with you so you can feel intelligent? You only want to reconfirm your preconceived notions regardless of the factual support for those notions?"

Why do you think she went into academia?

Gary Packwood said...

Hman 10:30 said...

...Some time ago I made the guess that Duke Administrations stance on this, from very early on, was to accept the fact of the innocence of the Lax guys and therefore assume that they would eventually be exonerated. In their twisted mind, this meant that they could publicly act as if the kids were guilty (ie, believe the woman of color) and when the truth came out they would have ingratiated themselves with key Durham constituencies along with the kids going free. If three of their students had to go thru hell in the process, what is that to them?
::
Yes. I agree.

The 'managers' at Duke felt that they were important players in a political 'wonderland' where they did not need to concern themselves with telling the truth.

The political yield that would result from sacrificing three students was worth the effort.

Duke would emerge as the premier institution of higher education serving people of color and women
::
GP

Ralph Phelan said...

"The 'managers' at Duke felt that they were important players in a political 'wonderland' where they did not need to concern themselves with telling the truth.

The political yield that would result from sacrificing three students was worth the effort.

Duke would emerge as the premier institution of higher education serving people of color and women"

So far, it seems that they were right. Look at the pattern of who has been successful getting promoted not only at Duke, but within the world of academia as a whole.

Ralph Phelan said...

"Nifong is a lying POS. There is no way that Himan would make a statement that Nifong said that if he didn't. I have 0% trust in Nifong's recollection about anything."

Distrust of Nifong is no reason to start trusting Himan.

Himan is, if not "a lying POS," at the very least willing to keep his mouth shut as he watches a blatant frame job go down. So I don't exactly have 100% trust in what he says, either.

Right now everyone involved in the frame-up is trying to pin the blame on everyone else, and all statements should be assumed to be self-serving.

This situation calls for radical skepticism. If we have conflicting testimony about an event from two or more people who are all known to be dishonest, what can we conclude about what actually happened? Nothing at all.

Anonymous said...

McFayden's email was PRIVATE, sent to people he knew personally.

If it was sent from a Duke account, and if it's part of Duke's usage agreement that they can monitor emails sent on its system, I can excuse their reading it at all but not publicizing it.

Here's a lesson: NEVER write anything you'd be embarrassed to read on the front page of a newspaper (or a blog!).

gotc

Anonymous said...

"Good grief! This deposition is outrageous. I truly believe that I, a mom with NO legal background, know a great deal more about the facts of this case than Nifong."

Nifong is lying about his ignorance of the case. It is absolutely absurd to believe that in the biggest case of his career with national media attention he did not take the time to read the most basic reports relevant to the case. Anyone who took a few minutes a day to read Durham in Wonderland would know more about the case than Nifong claims he did.
Nifong would rather be viewed as a lazy, incompetant lawyer than as a rogue prosecutor who for his own political gain indicted young men who he knew were innocent. For what is worth, this is probably not an either/or choice.

scott said...

ralph phelan 11:08 AM

I never said I trusted Himan. While I don't think he is inherently evil like Nifong or Gottlieb, he did "go along to get along" and he needs to be punished too. Nifong, however, is a pathological liar.

My point about the "We're fucked" statement is that Himan would never have made up a story that Nifong said those exact words if he didn't. Had Himan stated that Nifong made a comment during that meeting that was something like "based on what you've told me, we have some problems here", then it would be Himan's word against Nifong's. But using "fucked". No way Himan made that up. Nifong (who has a reputation for using profanity) said it. You can bet the ranch on it.

mac said...

11:15
It is entirely possible that Nifey
is suffering from Creutzfeldt/Jakob Variant - (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy,)
or some other brain-wasting disease, (the physical symptoms not appearing yet.)

Hence Mikey's willingness to start a stampede.

Moooooooooo!!!!!

Anonymous said...

scott, I agree. In addition, IIRC, Nifong never contradicted that assertion during his hearing.

I must admit I was a bit amused at how Himan seemed embarrassed to repeat that sentence. I don't blame him; I would have been mortified.

gotc

Hman said...

A corollary to my theory about the stance of the well-informed highers-ups in Duke Administration accepting from an early date the actual innocence of the players is that if it had been otherwise, ie, there was reason to think the case had substance and would go to trial I bet those same peope would have been far more circumspect - because then there would be no question but that their comments would be scrutinized and possibly be important in venue considerations.
I do not say this to lessen their gult in this matter. They acted with breath-taking cynicism, imho. But I do think they believed the chance of an actual trial (and subsequent prolonged media scutiny) was quite low and so what they said about the case would not have a very broad or very serious an impact. IOWs the whole thing would soon blow-over as just another tempest in their little Academic/Durham teapot.
The steady, relentless, probing attention paid to this affair was a nasty surprise to Brodhead et al and it caught them on the wrong foot.
Of course, if they had kept their meta-narratives grounded in actual truth (as opposed to the Larger Truth) they would not be regarded with contempt by so many 0of the best educated people in this country.

Anonymous said...

A lazy liar . Nifong has opted to be lazy for the reason that his exposure for being a liar is significantly greater than his exposure for being lazy . A liar is intentional while laziness is negligence .
It is absurd for Nifong to expect the world to believe that he gave press interviews where it is implied that he is knowledgeable w/out reading anything about the case . What was his other case load during the relevant time period ? How did he expect to serve justice for the people by his Sergeant Schultz- Hogan's Heroes -I know nothing - approach ? In any event , this will not be the only Nifong deposition . There will be at least 1 more and the person asking the questions will have depo number one in hand .

mac said...

Nifey didn't opt for the Adam/Eve
defense (much to my surprise.)
He did mention Levicy, Wilson etc.
but instead, he...

Lied
Lied about lying
Lied about knowing he lied
Lied about knowing he knew

"Lied" seems to be the operative
word.

You might also notice that he always
says that "it may have been a mistake,"
"may have" been this or
that. He "may have?"

He's our new Miss May!

Ralph Phelan said...

scott-

"My point about the "We're fucked" statement is that Himan would never have made up a story that Nifong said those exact words if he didn't. "

Why not? He knew of Nifong's foul mouth, that makes it a credible lie. And being an accomplished liar seems to be a highly valued skill at the DPD.

Nifong not denying it is evidence it really happened - the two untrustworthy people agreeing is worth a little bit, Nifong making an "admission against interest" is worth a lot.

"No way Himan made that up.... You can bet the ranch on it."

Why? What reason do you have for believing that? I'm really curious - what am I missing here?

Anonymous said...

I have been reading this site since last June when I stumbled on it... (I have two sisters who attended Duke and one still lives in the area.) This is my first comment.

My heartfelt thanks to KC and others - the best attys in the world still need help, and during the long dark hours of the case (from inception to Feb 2007) it will have provided a refuge for those who could only hear/read/see the condemnation from the MSM and academia along with resounding silence from Duke.

KC, battered but still upright from his tenure battle, had known that loneliness and despair. Perhaps that is what gave him the courage to forge ahead with the blog and be willing to take the garbage/hate/attacks which he KNEW would follow (as well as the path to justice which he could only HOPE would follow).

Some of the comments make me wince as they seem nasty and bitter and sometimes juvenile but I also know that it comes from the months of frustration at seeing injustice unfold in front of you and wanting to scream, "Can't you see?" My desire for people to exercise restraint is balanced by recognising that in a long hard slog quite a few of the more restrained are the ones who give up first.

The fact that so many continue to write lies about the 3 players must be very demoralizing for them and their families. Many (including me) assumed that would end with the AG's report, and then with the ethics hearing. In Feburary and then again in May I thought that perhaps we were just preaching to the choir and patting ourselves on the back.

Defending truth every day in little and big ways exacts a great personal cost. That there are those who are willing to pay the price gives one hope for the future - for our families and schools and nation.

There will never be a time when justice will be perfect. The muscles formed by sticking to one's guns during the Lacrosse hoax case will be of service in the long haul.

Sorry for the length of this comment. Just wanted to leave you with Rudyard Kipling's IF which I have thought of many times during the case.


If

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on";

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!

Many thanks to all.
CLD

Anonymous said...

Mac, you are so invigorating!

scott said...

ralph @ 12:30 --

Against my better judgment I'll try to explain myself ... again.

First a comment on your statement about accomplished lying at the DPD:

I don't believe the DPD are "accomplished" liars. Liars? Absolutely. Accomplished? Hardly. Their lies are so transparent they could be used as window glass. The hoax was able to work for as long as it did because 1) the general population starts out believing that DAs and police are truthful, so it takes awhile for lies from these people to be recognized as lies (only time will tell if that trust factor is still in place after this fiasco) and 2) there were so many other people and groups aiding and abetting the hoax. Nifong alone could never have kept it going on his own. This would have been over long before it was had the DPD been doing any real police work. But at the end, part of the reason the hoax finally crumbled is the poor job of lying that was done by all of the hoaxers -- Mangum, Nifong, Wilson, Gottlieb, Himan, Addison, et. al.

Here's more detail as to why I believe Nifong made the statement:

1. Who has lied more throughout the entire fiasco -- Nifong or Himan? Yeah, Himan lied along the way, but I belive his major sin was going along with the hoax without blowing the whistle. Nifong, however, has lied continuously from day one. So if I have to choose between Himan and Nifong as to who is lying on a particular point that I don't know conclusively, I'm going to choose Nifong every time.

2. For anyone to believe that Himan made up that statement and put it in Nifong's mouth after seeing the discomfort he displayed while saying it during his testimony at the DHC hearing means you believe his acting ability is on par with Olivier. I don't believe Himan is a prude, but he had to be asked to speak up because he was mumbling. You believe that was all an act? I don't.

3. I believe in the concept of Occam's Razor -- the simplest answer is likely to be the correct one. Not automatically is the correct, but likely. In this case, Nifong heard information in his meeting with Gottlieb and Himan that told him the case was weak. Nifong uses profanity liberally in public. Nifong is on record as smirking and making unprofessional comments in court, the earmarks of a wise-ass punk. The "we're fucked" comment fits him perfectly.

4) In today's post by KC, Nifong is not specifically denying that he said it. He says he doesn't remember saying it. He's leaving himself an out just in case someone else can offer proof. Then he can say "we'll I guess I said it. I just didn't remember." Which would be another lie, because who except someone in the final stages of Alzheimer's Disease couldn't remember saying something like that?

If you don't buy any of the above, then I guess we'll have to agree to disagree, and that's OK. For the life of me, though, I am puzzled as to why you think it is more plausible (or even equally plausible) that Himan made up something like this than that a low-life like Nifong acted in character.

Ralph Phelan said...

"So if I have to choose between Himan and Nifong as to who is lying on a particular point that I don't know conclusively, I'm going to choose Nifong every time."

So would I, but I feel no need to so choose. I can defer choice, and I can choose to believe neither.

My provisional estimate is:

(1) 80% chance Himan is telling the truth,

(2) 10% chance Himan's a very good actor who made up a plausible lie against Nifong to reduce his own exposure

(3) 10% chance they're *both* lying and the substance of the conversation was something else entirely (campaign strategy, office gossip, obtaining puppies for Nancy Grace ...)

My reactions to your points:

1 - don't choose until you have to, or mentally note that the choice is less than certain.

2 - You're much more convinced by a good witness stand performance than I am. I've been exposed to both pathalogical liars and plain old dishonest people, and the good ones can appear very honest. Acting talent is not all that rare.

3 - I agree that "Nifong really said it" is the most likely option, but that's quite a bit short of "take it to the bank."

4 - Nifong's lack of denial is by far the strongest reason to believe he really said it. But just for completeness sake, I'm still keeping open the possibility that he may have been so gobsmacked by having someone lie about him the way he lies about others that he had no idea how to respond.

Ralph Phelan said...

Further reflection

2 - Re: Himan's embarassed reaction to having to say the "f-word". I don't believe for a minute it was sincere. The guy's a beat cop! He likely hears far harsher language on a daily basis from some of his "customers."

Bella said...

GAH! This is just lies layered upon more lies, all of which were covering other lies. This is INFURIATING!! There is no justice if this man does not spend some time behind bars.

Jeff said...

@ Ralph Phelan

I agree. The probabilities greatly favor Himan having told the truth about Nifong saying that "we are fucked," but it is no certainty.

However, I disagree with the weight that you give to how Himan testified due to being a "beat cop." Have you ever listened to how cops usually testify? They use words like "ambulate" instead of "walk" and "subject" instead of "accused" or "suspect." They frequently want to appear as erudite and verbal and dignified as lawyers and judges. I put a fair amount of weight on how tongue-tied Himan was in repeating the phrase.

Anonymous said...

But if the dark aspect is not the whole truth, this is not a moment to take comfort or mount defenses. To get the good of the current situation, we all need to face up to the profoundly serious issues that recent events have brought to light and address them in a positive, substantive, and ongoing way.

Okay Broad-head, time to face up to the issues and APOLOGIZE to Reade, Collin, and Dave, the rest of the LAX team, and to Mike Presslar. Then bring the gang 88, put them on their knees, and have them apologize to each and every one of the MEN that they so callously and maliciously maligned.
If they, as you, are unwilling to beg forgiveness, then let's put up Castrate signs with their pictures on them and post them around campus and on the Dookie website.

Anonymous said...

"The university is guided by the principles of openness, inclusiveness, mutual toleration, and mutual respect. Everything that furthers these causes advances our ability to work together toward the truth no individual or group can reach alone. Everything that hinders these causes retards the search for wisdom and knowledge. The university is also founded on the principle that we have an obligation to seek the truth, and that truth is established through evidence and disciplined inquiry. Reaching certainty without evidence or process is a double wrong in a university because it opens the door to injustice and violates our commitment to the truth."

From the mouth of the President himself, the Gang of 88 are officially recognized as retards. How apropos!
AF

Anonymous said...

I've been rereading some of the memorialized statements of Duke's administration, in light of the failure of the Gang of 88 to atone for their misplaced, ill-considered and poorly executed diversity agenda.

In his April 6, 2006 letter to the Duke community, Richard Broadhead stated: "If the allegations are verified, what happened would be a deep violation of fundamental ethical principles and among the most serious crimes known to the legal system. Such conduct is completely unacceptable both within the university and in our society at large. If the truth of the allegations is upheld, it will call for severe punishment from the courts and from Duke's disciplinary system."

A reasonable person can and should agree with this statement and its underlying truth.

BUT ... and

again (with emphasis on these phrases): "If the allegations are verified,..."

and "If the truth of the allegations is upheld, ..."

What is left UNSAID often speaks volumes!! Nowhere could I find a statement such as:

"If the allegations are false, ..."

or "If the truth of the allegations are not upheld,..."

It seems that addressing the consequences of innocence was neither important to Broadhead nor in his lexicon. Otherwise, he surely would have considered publicly (and at that same time)the consequences of that innocence, just as he publicly discussed the consequences of guilt.

One can view this as fanning the flames of public opinion -- with an all too willing Gang of 88 pouring gasoline on the fire.

I also find it noteworthy that the Gang of 88's ad appeared in the same issue of the Duke Chronicle as Broadhead's letter.

Coincidence???

Thomas Inman
Trinity '74