Friday, June 15, 2007

Nifong Trial, Day Three

Highlights from Day Three of the Nifong ethics trial:

1.) Brad Bannon provided all the evidence of guilt needed.

Bannon’s testimony provided an overpowering litany of Nifong’s ethical failures. Over and over and over again, Bannon highlighted opportunities in which an ethically sound prosecutor could have brought the case to a close.

The Bar needs nothing beyond the evidence provided by Bannon to strip Nifong of his license.

Bannon also managed to use wit to call out many of the villains of the case: Linwood Wilson (not law enforcement, “but he has a badge”); Nancy Grace (“Who cares what Nancy Grace says?”); and Duff Wilson (who has continued his slanted coverage even into these proceedings.

2.) Bannon was the real DNA expert.

In two minutes, Bannon did a better and clearer job of explaining DNA than did Dr. Brian Meehan.

3.) Marsha Goodenow was a devastating witness.

Charlotte ADA Marsha Goodenow pulverized Nifong with her testimony.

It was “highly unlikely,” she noted, for North Carolina prosecutors to file rape charges in cases where the only evidence was the contradictory stories of an accuser.

Fair prosecutors want the defense to turn over exculpatory evidence, and even shady ones want such evidence, if only to know what the defense has.

Prosecutors have no problem with interviewing the alleged victim of a crime. The lineup pursued by Mike Nifong violated normal procedures. It’s always improper for a prosecutor to express personal opinions on guilt either before or after indictments. It is not proper to turn over selective evidence for an NTO report. Exculpatory evidence must be turned over immediately upon receipt. She had never seen a case where evidence that was “so clearly exculpatory” was not turned over.

Over and over again, Goodenow challenged Nifong’s performance. Even Duff Wilson had to portray her as damaging Nifong's case.

4.) Some aspects of Nifong’s misconduct were almost inexplicable.

State Bar Grievance Committee chairman Jim Fox pointed out transparent misstatements of facts in Mike Nifong’s Dec. 28 letter responding to the Bar.

a.) Nifong didn’t mention a March 30 oral briefing from the state lab on DNA.

b.) Nifong falsely asserted that he hadn’t met or spoken with Dr. Meehan before the Seligmann/Finnerty indictments.

How, exactly, could Nifong ever think he could get away with such obvious failures to report truthfully?

5.) Forecasting tomorrow.

Reade Seligmann is the Bar’s last witness. To the extent a Nifong defense has emerged, it involves the following principles:

a.) SANE Nurse Tara Levicy said there was a rape, so it was acceptable for Nifong to publicly say a rape occurred.

b.) The police believed a rape occurred, so it was acceptable for Nifong to publicly say a rape occurred.

c.) Meehan’s report was an “interim report,” even if no one identified it as such as the time.

d.) Meehan’s report mentioned “non-probative” items, which everyone should have known meant multiple, unidentified male DNA, even if no one interpreted it that way at the time and Nifong has never used this excuse before.

e.) A trial date hadn’t been set, so Nifong could do what he wanted regarding turning over evidence.

f.) The state law requirement that all subjects of a non-testimonial order immediately receive the results did not—for reasons that remain unspecified—apply to Nifong.

None of these arguments strike me as winning ones. But they do raise the possibility than in addition to seeing Mike Nifong, the defense might call Tara Levicy to the stand.


Anonymous said...

Incredible day of testimony. The BAR's witnesses were all very good except for Meehan, who can't seem to say what he wants to say. If I hear one more time that Nifong never asked him to not report evidence, I'll scream. I hope everyone gets just how duplicitous Nifong was:
He asked for only limited information on what he called a report for a proceeding.
He then claimed to the defense and court that the report was final.
He led stupid Mr. Meehan to believe that he would be requesting a full report at a later date.

Question for Meehan:
When you learned that Evans had been indicted based on the DNA results you provided to Nifong, what did you think?

More appropriate question for Meehan:
Do you know how to think?

Bannon sure knows how to think. Brilliant and gutsy and funny. Nifong makes a big deal out of the fact that he provided Meehan on 12/15 hearing. Surprising the defense with his appearance did not permit them to have a DNA expert available to question him. With Bannon, they didn't need an "expert."

Questions for KC
- What do they mean by Phase 1? What is Phase 2?

- Is Nifong really turning as red as he appears to on TV. He looks like a big tomato head.

Anonymous said...

If he believed there was a rape, and if he found DNA from 5+ men on her, and he knew that the DNA wasn't from the lacrosse players, wouldn't a rational person suspect that the rapist(s) were the people who had contributed the DNA, and pursued them?

Yes, this is a rhetorical point, but it goes to the heart of the matter- an investigator must try to figure out what happened. Nifong had already decided to prosecute, whatever had happened. Despicable.

Anonymous said...

Levicy, Gotelib and Nifong to testify for Defense? All are carrying large amounts of baggage that should make for an interesting cross. Levicy is wide open for making comments that are not documented and inexperience. Gotelib has his straight from memory notes six months after the fact. Nifong is a sociopath and a narcissist.

Seligman will put a human face as victim of Nifong’s madness. I would not even touch him on cross if I were the defense.

Personally I think if Nifong pleaded insanity I would be inclined to give it to him. Who in their right mind would try to pull as much stuff as he did and honestly think they could get away with it?

bill anderson said...


Usually when someone is at fourth-and-three quarters of the field, one punts. Instead, Nifong continues to charge forward like he always has.

No doubt, he thinks he is being courageous. The rest of us think he is stupid and and arrogant.

And, by all means, call Tara Levicy to the stand and watch what is left of her career be torn to bits. That would be worth the price of admission.

Anonymous said...

State Bar Grievance Committee chairman Jim Fox pointed out transparent misstatements of facts in Mike Nifong’s Dec. 28 letter responding to the Bar.

Actully, that's what will do Nifong in, more than his other faults. The Bar can't possibly allow members to lie to them and escape discipline.


Anonymous said...

Anything not documented by Levicy is hearsay information from Nifong. I am anxious for her to testify and get the word from her own mouth. remembering Nifong quoted the report three days before it was printed and a week before it was picked. Asking an RN their opinion is the same as "asking the lawnmover repair man to evaluate a space station" TL. He had the DNA results by April 10th and still indicted. i hope Nifong gives some idea why he did this and maybe it was just stupidity and malice.
Notice the Duffer did not mention , his dressing down in his latest article.

Anonymous said...

I see Reade Seligman is going to be the last witness called for the Bar tomorrow. I don't really want to give Nifong and his defense team any advice but I would just let him testify and not cross examine him at all.

Not only is it the right thing to do, but savaging Reade won't do Nifong any good.

Also Freedman and Witt run the risk of getting embarrassed by a man who has been through hell for over a year. It wouldn't surprise me one bit if Reade has gone over bit of evidence in this case or as we know every bit of non-evidence in this case. He seems like a very smart kid and probably knows this case inside out.

Anonymous said...

Duff Wilson also passes for a real reporter with his last piece. Had he been writing like this all along, he wouldn't have been called out in court for the buffoon he is.

Anonymous said...

Insanity would seem to be grounds for revoking a law license, would it not? The State of NC hiring an insane DA would not be much of a mitigating factor in a civil suit either.

Insanity might work for a criminal trial of Nofing -- here's hoping we get to see that!

Anonymous said...

JLS says...,

I guess the prosecution had Himan say he agrees with what the AG said and that it is clear Mangum was lying because Nifong is in fact going to use as part of his defense that Levicy, Wilson and Gottlieb believed and still believe Mangum was raped at the lacrosse team party.

As I said on the other thread, I would rather Seligmann not testify until stage II if at all. These sleazebags may to try to smear him one last time.

Anonymous said...

From a non-lawyer to 12:20am

re: phase 1 versus phase 2

You may think of this like a criminal trial ... in the first phase, the process is attempting to assess the guilt or innocence of the defendants on the charged offenses.

Assuming that the disciplinary tribunal finds Nifong guilty in phase 1, we will proceed to phase 2, in which they will determine what is an appropriate punishment for his offenses.

In the case of this type of tribunal, I don't know the details of the process that the bar disciplinary triumverate will use in this phase. Perhaps some of our resident attorneys (particularly those who practice in North Carolina) can provide guidance for us as to the process.

It would be nice to know what type of information would be presented in phase 2 (arguments about precedence and analogous cases and their punishments, victim impact statements, etc) and also what basis is used in making a final punishment decision. I assume that the equivalent of "closing argument" for both sides will be a part of it, but ...

Note that I say "assuming" that Nifong is found guilty of the offenses in phase 1. I am still trying to grant him something that (in my opinion) he failed to do with the defendants in this case ... grant them the presumption of innocence.


Anonymous said...

any chance criminal charges will be brought against Pudgy Eichmann?

JWM said...


You did a terrific job summarizing today's testimony.

I agree with others: Seligmann will be a powerful witness.

It's great psychology closing with him: You've heard the crimes; now here's one of the victims.

In his Dec. 28 letter Nifong did something else that's inexplicable: he said to the Bar he heard "on the street" they were looking for someone to make an example of for their past sins.

That's not the way to win friends.

John in Carolina

Anonymous said...

I have no doubt that he will call Levicy to bolster his claim that is was reasonable to assume a rape occured and that condoms could of been used. He doesn't care if the prosecution tears her up, he will claim that he was listning to what he reasonabily believed was an "expert".

twaddlefree said...

KC said:

None of these arguments strike me as winning ones. But they do raise the possibility than in addition to seeing Mike Nifong, the defense might call Tara Levicy to the stand.

They will also open up Nifong to unrelenting, blistering cross if the bar attorneys can possibly muster some gumption and trigger-fast analysis that converts to pointed questions (minus the "umms" and "uhhhs") that will expose his corruption once and for all. If only the bar could borrow Bannon for this moment!

Bella said...

i was so hoping they would get to reade today...i have a graduation ceremony tomorrow!! i'm really, REALLY hoping his testimony pops up on a website somewhere.

today was even better than i'd hoped for. bannon was fantastic and goodenow was a very pleasant surprise. my favorite part was counting the number of objections that were overruled...pure entertainment.

is there a list of defense witnesses? i've heard rumors but no haven't seen a definitive list.

Anonymous said...

On cross, Freedman should start by asking Reade if he (being under 21 years of age) was drinking on March 13/14. If Freedman has any sense of courtroom drama, he will stop right there if Reade answers in the affirmative. If Freedman continues, there will be NOTHING for him to ask because anything else Reade might say will illuminate the fact that he was railroaded. Reade should answer every question that is hostile with the preamble of "in light of the fact that the highest legal authority in this state has declared me INNOCENT....."

I hate to give advice to the other side, but the other side is so ridiculous that it seems like there is very little harm in throwing my opinion out there.

I hope that if Freedman calls Levicy to the stand, the State Bar lawyers are prepared to get her on record in great (and sometimes tedious) detail because she will be a prime candidate for civil action from the parents.

DAMN's last stand at this point is to blame Gottleib and Levicy. It is interesting to see that G. and L. are prime witnesses for the "defense." DAMN might be setting them up...they'll give weak testimony for DAMN, but then they'll get torn apart by the State so that he looks better.

KC, you have made a HUGE impact in turning this ugly situation around into an uplifting lesson in the power of truth, diligence and intelligence to carry the day. Let's hope truth prevails...

Deklan Singh said...

Well, there seems to be two poetic, though technically horrible questions to end this whole ordeal. So, I'll just ask them. Do state correctional facilities in NC typically have inmate sports leagues of sufficient size to support a lacrosse team? Do you think that Nifong will start off with a claim of 3, 5 or 20 lacrosse players?

Deklan Singh said...

Basically this is just another opportunity to highlight the sad wasteland of humanity that is Durham, NC. Where else could you find state prosecutors bend "scientists" to their will. Where else could a view such as the one expressed by Chan Hall be expressed without large scall outrage and disgust? Where else could Victoria Peterson roam free amongst the greater population?

Durham is a shameful, festering hellhole of exceptional ignorance.

Anonymous said...

The last thing I heard on courtv today was how Nifong told his campaign manager that this case was worth million in campaign contributions. I hope that makes it into this hearing.

Anonymous said...

The Manly/Levicy exam exonerated the team and defendents. The rest is noise machine.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Johnson: There's been at least two comments to the effect of "How could Nifong have done____? Didn't he know he'd get caught?" Speculating, I say, he did these stupid things (e.g. lying to the bar association in writing) because he's done these things before and always got away with it. The North Carolina Legislature needs to investigate this office and see what other stunts Iron Mike has pulled. They could also investigate all the other lawyers in the office, asking the obvious question, "You saw Iron Mike on TV, spraying gasoline on those three young men's chances for a fair trial. What the hell did you do, besides sit on your rump, and keep quiet and hope that someone else would do something right for a change?"

This leads to another point: what are Iron Mike's chances of being tossed in the klink? Disbarment without jail time is mostly meaningless. It only affects those with a conscience, who are the least likely to do something that would get them disbarred. John Mitchell of Watergate fame, was disbarred. He was also stripped clean by his criminal trial, emerging broke. He died a millionaire. How did he do it? He went to work for a large financial firm after he got out, using the same brain that had taken him to the top of Wall Street in the pre-Nixon days.

That's what will happen with Iron Mike. To be sure, he is not in the Mitchell class for brains. But he doesn't need Mitchell class money either. Working in a District Attorney's office hasn't paid him well, hence the obsession with a pension. So losing his law license won't hurt him that much. He won't write a book---the civil suits will strip him of book profits. No, he will get a job at no real financial loss when this is done---unless this business of "disbarring" is thrown overboard and real action is taken: "behind barring."

What firm would take him? I nominate the NAACP, which would have Iron Mike travel the country bawling that justice is a travesty, rigged by Whitey to railroad all the brethren to the jug, look what happened to me when I tried to save a sister... There's millions of suckers who would eat it up and pay big dough to listen. You doubt this? Read the gang at DailyKos sometime.

Sincerely yours,
Gregory Koster

gs said...

I can not believe that Nifong has his son at the hearing, learning what a creep his dad is first hand.

Anonymous said...

His son is there??! That man is sick.

Anonymous said...

Nifong at hearing...

His wife, teenage son, brother and sister sat behind him

Anonymous said...

A little off topic but wonder what the Duke faculty and administration thinks of all this. Are they at all ashamed of their rush to judgment or are they claiming this travesty exonerates them from responsibility.

While not knowing all the details, the followers of this blog knew the whole thing was a farce pretty early on. It should have been equally obvious to the Duke faculty but unfortunately, the faculty in the social sciences and the humanities are more a cult than a professoriate.

Business as usual at Duke. No apologies, no acknowledgements, no attempt to make things right for the lax players. The gang of 88 still runs the show.

Anonymous said...

Durham is a shameful, festering hellhole of exceptional ignorance.

If so, there is complicity to share.

I'm a northerner who lived in Durham for 4 1/2 years, back in the early 90s. There once was a thriving, responsible black middle class in that city which provided civic and moral leadership.

That black middle class was deliberately shredded by a variety of actions taken by white politicians and businessmen. The senior, white, male executives I knew (born and raised in North Carolina and respected highly there) agreed that had been done and agreed it had been a very bad thing.

This isn't the place to list out all the actions taken, but suffice it to say that by the late 80s that middle class was gone and the descent was already in place.

If you want to make large statements of responsibility aimed at whole populations, be careful: what exists in Durham today can very easily and publicly be laid at the feet of others.

gs said...

I'm glad Nifong did not resign. The hearing is priceless, and the publicity of it furthers spreads the word on how these guys were unjustly attacked in the media.

Anonymous said...

"If he believed there was a rape, and if he found DNA from 5+ men on her, and he knew that the DNA wasn't from the lacrosse players, wouldn't a rational person suspect that the rapist(s) were the people who had contributed the DNA, and pursued them?"

It's pretty obvious, that by not pursuing the DNA evidence, Nifong didn't believe there was a rape.

No justice, no peace said...

"How, exactly, could Nifong ever think he could get away with such obvious failures to report truthfully?"

He's a useful idiot. This is not about the truth to them; the Gang of 88 (Duke University Professors), Brodhead (Duke University President), pot bangers, the abettors (Duke University Board of Trustees), etc.

"Theory taught that the left, when exercising power, would behave justly and respect truth. Experience showed him (George Orwell) that the left was capable of a degree of injustice and cruelty of a kind hitherto almost unknown, rivaled only by the monstrous crimes of the German Nazis, and that it would eagerly suppress truth in the cause of the higher truth it upheld." - Intellectuals, Paul Johnson

Johnson is speaking about Orwell’s formative years – the Spanish Civil War – where Orwell saw many of his friends tortured, imprisoned, and murdered by Stalin’s death squads. He was shocked to see that none of the liberal publishing houses would publish his work and instead, printed lies from those that were not even in Spain at the time.

For $60,000 per year you can send you kid to Duke, or many other places, and have the fraudulent, leftist pap, jammed down your child’s throat. Hopefully they are a sharp as Orwell and reject the nonsense.

Anonymous said...

After the testimonty given the past three days, I can't imagine that the panel would allow Nifong to keep his license to practice law. What message would that send to prosecutors, other than it's open season on the innocent, and what behavior would that be condoning?

I am reminded of the movie Trading Places, which ironically featured the fictional "Duke Brothers". The ruination that was intended for the falsely indicted has boomeranged back on soon-to-be-former DA Mike Nifong.

Anonymous said...

"the Gang of 88 (Duke University Professors), Brodhead (Duke University President)"

i.e., the Group of 89. Brodhead's actions give him full membership.

gs said...

What evidence did Nifong have in January?

His witness had changed her story again, and the DNA evidence showing either she lied or he had the wrong people.

Why did he not drop all the charges?

Hope he's arrogant enough to get on the stand.

scott said...

Since the Duffer read the entire 1,800 page file prior to writing his August hit-piece against the LAX 3, I wonder if he can specify on which pages of Meehan's report Brad Bannon found the references to "non-probative" DNA that broke the case wide open.

Come on, Duffer, take a stab at it. Well, since we know you didn't read the file, how about we simply make it a True-False Test and let you guess at it.


The exculpatory DNA results were found in the first half of the file.

You have a 50% chance of being right, which is 50% more than you've been on this case up until now.

mac said...

Nifey's last stand WOULD have been
that the DNA evidence was left
so...inexplicable and
incomprehensible, that no one
- (lest of all a non-scientist) -
could understand it. Two things
broke that scheme to pieces:

a) Brad Bannon did his homework,
and DID decipher it, way-back-when.

b) Himan stated that they ALL
understood the ramifications of
the report, in his quote of Nifey.

They were counting on the DNA being
too confusing, and then would rely
on personal narratives.

For those people who keep suggesting
that Nurse Tara was a hero
in this because she collected
the rape kit properly, and the
evidence she collected exonerates
the boys?
Last I heard, she was not a DNA
expert, and she was not being
questioned by Nifey et al on
that: she met with them 7 times
for some other reasons.

When she gets on the stand, we may
find out more about her role in
the prosecution: it was more
than collecting evidence, for

miramar said...

From what I was able to see from tuning in to Court TV periodically throughout the day, Thursday was by far the worst part of the hearing for Nifong so far. Bannon and Goodenow provided devastating testimony.

All I can say is that I am glad Mike loves to be on TV and get free publicity since he is going to get a lot of it today. Perhaps he can do his self-chokehold again to explain how he commited career suicide.

Anonymous said...

I think that when this is all said and done, that Nifong will try and use this to further himself. The potbangers, or as I call them the whackjobs, will not believe the truth. The whackjobs will believe that Nifong got railroaded in all this, the 3 duke players got away with it.

As for the esteemed gang of 88, the chancelor, and trustees... Maybe it is time to clean out the lot of them. Too bad that Duke is a private school, otherwise the legislature could remove these idiots from a state school if enough pressure was brought to bare.

Duke could atleast give all the players the "A's" they deserve from the personal agenda's of Gang of 88.

What do I know, I'm just a lowly citizen of NC


Anonymous said...

Nifong just completely disregarded any evidence that didn't support his view so the DNA of anyone else wasn't relevant. And he'd already rationalized how he was going to explain any lack of DNA by a second lab.

As a Duke alum and parent of teen-aged boys, I am definitely waiting for some admission by Brodhead and the Trustees that they handled this badly. I'm not expecting it, but I'm no longer hoping my kids (and I have 4) will go to Duke, either. Regardless of the Gang of 88, most Duke alums are fairly successful, intelligent and conservative (especially as they age) and I think there will be a huge, long-term backlash from them over this matter.

That said, if I ever need an attorney in NC, Bannon's at the top of my list!

And lastly--Magnum needs to be prosecuted, if only to get her locked up and keep her from being a danger to others. And possibly to get some help. But if she is so completely whacked out that no one who's seen her medical file "wants to go there," then why was she so believable to all these cops, medical personnel, and Nifong?

gak said...

I spoke with a lawyer last night who tells me that lying to the State Bar Grievance Committee will get your ticket pulled. Now I want to see just how much of an example they make of him.

gak said...

Just a thought, but this trial is the best vindication for the 3 then even the AG could provide

Anonymous said...

I thought all Nurse Tara said was that the victim's state was "consistent with rape." Was she simply saying yes to Nifong's question, or were those her actual words? Did Nurse Tara say more than that?

Nurse Tara should have said that there was evidence of sexual activity but that she was not qualified to draw a conclusion.

I don't know anything about Nurse Tara's role in this, so at this point I'm sympathetic to the oopinion that she was used. After all, she couldn't have said that there was no evidence of rape at all.

If I'm being too charitable, please fill me in on Nurse Tara's background in all this.

Anonymous said...

7:39 am post, in addition to Mangum's mental health issues, there was a reference by Bannon to some criminal charge in the past involving sexual assault against one of her children. Why are these children still in her custody? It was during this part of Bannon's testimony that the criminal Nifong chuckled. Put his a-- is jail!

phillip said...

Broadhead by most accounts was an exceptional scholar and teacher, even if only at my own postmodern mess of an alma mater, Yale. But his talents matter not because he is undeniably a COWARD. The Gang of 88 has as obvious excuse--they are for the most part endowed with mediocre abilities and poorly educated. Broadhead has no such excuse. He is an intelligent collaborator in an evil enterprise.

Anonymous said...

"How, exactly, could Nifong ever think he could get away with such obvious failures to report truthfully?"

Probably because he'd done the same type of thing -- and gotten away with it -- many times before. Only difference this time was that there were too many people watching him, and he got caught.

Anonymous said...

Never mind my 7:59; I just saw the summary and followed the links to Nurse Tara's role in all this.

Yes, I was being too charitable.

Anonymous said...

I'm curious,

Does anyone know if Nifong, Wilson or Gottlieb or anyone ever asked Crystan Mangum about who the 10 donors found in her panties and her body were? Did she ever give an explanation for all this male DNA?

I'm wondering if Nifong NEVER did ask her if she 'forgot' some sexual encounters becuase he knew she would tell him she was working as a prostitute and he didn't want that in the case file or anyone's notes becuase it would be discoverable.

No one ever raised the defense that 'a lot of consensual sex' doesn't mean she wasn't raped that one would have expected, so I question whether anyone except may be the AG ever asked her about it?

I also find the treatment of this woman SO different from the girl in the Kobe case, here we have a woman who her own colleagues at the strip club have said was a HOOKER, with 10 men's DNA found on her and it never was a headline,where in the Kobe case, the girl had sex with 1 guy and 1 set of other dNA was found on her panties and she had her photo on the cover of every tabloid in the country and there were headlines every day about 'sex with 3 men in 3 days' which was never proven.

The difference: Kobe's alleged victim was white and so fair game.

No one, not even Neff ever did any investigation of Mangum until after the AG took over the case. There was never one story anywhere that interviewed her strip club co workers or talked or tried to talk to the escort club, no FOIA's of Durham's records to see if she was ever picked up for prostitution. Everyone maintained a decorus silence about this woman's dark history.