Two additional items worth noting from the recent civil suit filings.
First, the changing views of disgraced ex-DA Mike Nifong on the merits of the case that cost him his career:
April 12, 2007:
To the extent that I made judgments that ultimately proved to be incorrect, I apologize to the three students that were wrongly accused. I also understand that whenever someone has been wrongly accused, the harm caused by the accusations might not be immediately undone merely by dismissing them. It is my sincere desire that the actions of Attorney General Cooper [which, it’s worth remembering, included a public declaration of actual innocence] will serve to remedy any remaining injury that has resulted from these cases.
June 15, 2007:
I think something happened in that bathroom, but it was not a sexual assault. It could have been a non-sexual assault or intimidation. Something happened to make everybody leave that scene very quickly.
July 26, 2007:
I have read the report released by the attorney general, including his recitation of evidence that I did not have, obtained from his own investigation. I agree with the attorney general’s statement that there is no credible evidence that Mr. Seligmann, Mr. Finnerty and Mr. Evans committed any of the crimes for which they were indicted or any other crimes during the party that occurred on March 13 and 14 of 2006 at 610 N. Buchanan Blvd.
Mr. Seligmann, Mr. Finnerty and Mr. Evans were entitled to the presumption of innocence when they were under indictment. Surely, they are entitled to more than that now as they go forward with the rest of their lives. And that is what the attorney general tried to give them in his declaration that they are innocent.
June 29, 2009 (with footnote text inserted):
It is alleged that Nifong and others, aware of occurrences they may or may not have been aware of, willfully ignored and/or were deliberately indifferent to this evidence demonstrating Plaintiffs’ innocence [Does it?] in their rush to charge the three innocent [Were they?] Duke lacrosse players.
These are the words of a person who would not know the truth if it hit him in the face.
The civil suit filings also contained some . . . innovative . . . arguments, such as Brian Meehan’s insinuation that there’s no evidence he knew what occurred at a meeting that he chaired to present DNA evidence that he himself had analyzed.
But Meehan’s line of argument almost looks elegant compared to what he could be termed the “stupidity defense” offered in the brief defending the actions of Sgt. Mark Gottlieb.
Attorney Reginald Gillespie apparently guessed that the “ignore-the-record defense” wouldn't work. (He had made the preposterous assertion that “given the secret nature of grand jury proceedings, Plaintiffs could not know what was said during those proceedings, [emphasis added] so they cannot make specific factual allegations about Gottlieb’s and Himan’s testimony at all,” even though Gottlieb—under oath in a deposition to the State Bar—went on record that he falsely told the grand jury that Crystal Mangum's stories were consistent from the time she met with former SANE nurse-in-training Tara Levicy.)
And so Gillespie offered an even stranger claim in his brief. No evidence exists, reasoned he, “that either of the City investigators [Gottlieb or Ben Himan] knew anything at all about DNA testing, let alone the customs and industry standards regarding the proper reporting format of such results.”
Gottlieb, of course, spent almost two decades in law enforcement. And yet, his attorney almost proudly proclaims, there’s no reason to believe he “knew anything at all about DNA testing.”
So, the Durham argument now appears to be that the average viewer of CSI was more familiar with a key investigative technique than a recently promoted officer who had served more than a decade on the DPD.
In June, the blog used the CCI’s own archives to present a three-part narrative of the initiative dominated by the Group of 88 and its allies. The series also brought to light some of the contemporaneous extremist voices; and featured two posts that contained documents from the archive itself.
The other major development in the case were the defendants’ filings regarding Iqbal’s relevance to the lacrosse case, profiled in posts analyzing the filings in the case of the unindicted players and that of the falsely accused players.
And I summarized Selena Roberts’ national mendacity tour here.
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