Friday, July 20, 2007

Whichard Committee Opens

Mayor Bell opens the committee inquiry--publicly thanks the committee members.

"You have the full support of the Durham City Council as you carry out your duties." The committee is charged with investigating the "conduct" of the DPD and of Mike Nifong.

The purpose is to ascertain the "truth" and to assist the department in avoiding similar problems in the future. If DPD performed correctly, then the Council wants to know that, too.

Chairman Whichard: purpose is to ascertain the "truth" about whether "unconstitutional or otherwise improper procedures" were followed. "The goal is a properly functioning justice system." Importance of producing reliable results and constitutional procedures, with goal of bringing "clarity" and "closure."

Wants people to know that policemen take risks--part of their jobs. "Deeply grateful" to what police do. But must also be mindful that "we have a Constitution. We have statutes." These impose "some restrictions" on enforcing the law. "It is essential to an orderly and just society that the public have confidence" in law enforcement.


Michael said...

I assume that they will investigate Linwood Wilson
too. He is definitely guilty of misconduct in terms of
initimidating witnesses to change their statements.
I would highly recommend that people go to Liestoppers
and read Himan's notes over the last few months of
the case. Remember that videotape that he said he
could show the manager at Ms Mangum's strip joint
to show that she was not "working" the night showcased
on 60 minutes? If you read Himan's notes, you'll see
that these two strange guys rom the strip joint ,
going only by some strange nicknames, came
to the DA's office with some video and only wanted
to meet with Linwood. Himan noted that these
two guys acted nervous and that the video was
obviously doctored. I'll bet Linwood was working
out a deal with these guys to produce the video
-tape that he said he could produce. He is the slimiest
slimeball and needs to be charged with criminal misconduct.

Gottlieb needs to go down. Is there any possibility
of offering Himan some kind of immunity for
testimony against both Linwood and Gottlieb?
Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

Okay, there's a question I've been wondering since reading about the circumstances that led to the release of the McFadyen e-mail.

If a police representative applies pressure to a witness to give testimony that the police representative believes to be the truth -- is that suborning perjury if the testimony that the police are trying to evoke turns out not to be the truth?

It seems logical to me that you would have to prove that the police knew that the testimony they were trying to get was false. Otherwise, the police could never apply any sort of pressure in interrogation; by asking for any account of events other than the one the suspect is currently giving (no matter how clearly bogus that account) the police are risking the accusation that they are trying to avoid the "truth". As I said, this seems logical to me, but so often the law has, ah, hidden logics...

Anonymous said...

Kudos to Mayor Bell for the Whichard committee.

The purpose is to ascertain the "truth" and to assist the department in avoiding similar problems in the future. If DPD performed correctly, then the Council wants to know that, too.

Am I missing something or did the AG not make fairly clear the problems with the case? Yes he called Nifong a "rogue prosecutor" but he also acknowledged that there were serious and egregious problems in the DPD.

Is the charge of this committee to tone down the findings and hopefully not make Durham look like one big funny farm? Are they trying to find just one investigation that only determines DPD and DDA office to be mentally challenged rather than utterly incompetent and blatantly criminal in their behavior?

Does the committee have a really big broom (pun intended) that they are prepared to sweep all the dirt under the rug?

Who will begin the criminal investigation where people will not have the option of cooperating? It's a shame that DPD won't cooperate the way the residents of 610 did.

Truth--is it also a victim of this situation?


Anonymous said...

I think you are right that it isn't suborning perjury if the police are pressuring a witness to say what they believe is the truth (or, put another way, if the police believe that what the witness is saying to them already is not the truth). And of course, in this case, the police didn't actually suborn perjury in any case, because the pressure didn't work.

If the police really did still believe there had been a rape, then their pressuring of Ryan McFadyen, while unsavory, was probably within the bounds of legitimate police practice. If they didn't, it was obviously unethical, and their release of the e-mail was both unethical and tremendously socially destructive.

Gary said...

"Wants people to know that policemen take risks--part of their jobs"
We'll only know policemen take risk when they railroad someone IF they end up at legal risk here. So far, there doesn't seem to be much risk.