Friday, March 28, 2014

Coman to Neff: Nifong Characterizations "Figments of His Imagination"

Joe Neff has a breaking piece in the N&O disproving one of the many questionable assertions in the forthcoming book by author William D. Cohan. (I'm reviewing the book for Commentary, and will also comment here after the book is published.)

Neff observes that “most of the new content in the book comes from Cohan’s interviews with Nifong . . . Cohan allows the former prosecutor’s assertions to go unchallenged.” Neff's article illustrates the dangers of an author relying on the uncorrobated musings of a convicted liar.

According to Neff, Nifong told Cohan that “I have to believe, based on my knowledge of Jim Coman and Mary Winstead, that they were every bit as sandbagged by [AG Roy Cooper declaring the players innocent] as I was.” Author Cohan, for reasons that remain unclear, elected to publish without attempting to contact either Coman or Winstead for comment. I should note that it appears that many key players on the legal side of the case were similarly never contacted, for reasons that remain unclear.

It turns out--unsurprisingly--that Nifong's . . . recollection . . . was flawed. Jim Coman told Neff, “These characterizations are figments of his imagination.” After reviewing all of the evidence (it's not clear, by contrast, how much evidence author Cohan ever saw), Coman concluded the obvious: “[Crystal Mangum] lied, she made up a story, and damn it, we’ve got to do the right and ethical thing” by issuing an innocence declaration.

[Update, for those interested: it might be worth reviewing the AG's report.]

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Twenty years ago, a NPR Saturday morning talk show host interviewed a noted mathematician. After a little discussion, they opened the phones to callers. One caller, with great eagerness, began to describe his fascination with how various fractions came closer and closer to pi. He hypothesized that with a little more effort, someone would stumble across just the right fraction. At that point, the mathematician patiently explained to the caller that pi has been proven to be irrational, and therefore, by definition could not be expressed as a ratio of whole numbers. The caller thought about the explanation for a minute, and replied, "Well, I guess that makes me a crackpot." The mathematician responded by pointing out that he was not a crackpot for thinking that pi might someday be expressed as a ratio of whole numbers, because he was not aware that pi was proven to be irrational. He went on to say, a crackpot is one who continues to argue when confronted with proof. William D. Cohan falls into the latter category. -sdsgo

Anonymous said...

Is Cohan a Communist?

Chris Halkides said...

“Something did happen in that bathroom.” I have also heard this from seemingly intelligent and presumably ethical people. In this instance, the absence of DNA evidence is more telling than it is in other instances, as William Anderson pointed out a long time ago. People who say that something happened should be asked what did happen and how it explains all of the evidence, including the lack of evidence.

RighteousThug said...

Chris: "People who say that something happened should be asked what did happen"

'Whatever they did was bad enough'

Anonymous said...

Apparently AG Cooper is duke challenged. His concern for three duke sports players accussed of rape appears greater than his concern for all citizens of NC who have been forced to rely on the questionable autopsy reports of a Medical Examiner proven to provide flawed results that do not and cannot support unbiased legal judgements. 400 plus autopsy reports later, and another nonduke case was required to finally gain the reluctant attention needed by the system AG Cooper is responsible for to halt the potentially flawed autopsy reports by investigating and firing the Medical Examiner in question, even though another duke involved case was being complained about to him at the same time about the same Medical Examiner and to date is still ignored by AG Cooper because it involves the duke players victim of question who is made to sit in jail awaiting his action while the many autopsy reports generated during the extended time of non AG attention to the known complaints are now questionable as well.

There is definetely a cause for concern to question AG Cooper's findings as it relates to anything involving duke politics and his election objectives since his other concerns for NC citizens is shown in comparison to take a back seat to those duke oriented political concerns.

Anonymous said...

to 3:29

Except that Duke wanted the three to be tried, and even convicted, in order to prove to Durham that Duke had not used its clout to influence the outcome. Bob Steel even said this would be "best for Duke".

IOW, in this one instance, if Cooper had done what Duke wanted (or felt that its PR image needed), he would have gone forward with some sort of charges; not issued a declaration of innocence.

That declaration only made the Duke Admin. look incompetent, malicious, or both, for the way it tried to wash its hands of its students.

Anonymous said...

The declaration also made AG Cooper look incompetent and malicious so who's to say he wasn't doing what duke wanted after all?

cspschofield said...

"Is Cohan a Communist?"

Sell, we have before us strong evidence that he is a nitwit. Not all nitwits are Communists. Nor are all Communists, nitwits (many are scoundrels). That said, the two often coincide….

jweaks said...

Nifong must be hitting the bong. Dude is definitely smoking something. Then again, it's understandable because this is the very same bias and inability to see reality that got him trouble to begin with.

Anonymous said...

Here's a question that may or may not pose a legal issue, yet certainly highlights Duke in all these cases: Mr. Seigleman sued Duke for the charade of the lacrosse case; is now studying to become a lawyer because of his experience with the legal issues at Duke and in the Duke / Durham judicial system; and then earns recognition for his work in collaboration with the Duke Innocence Project (?) to 'fix' the Duke / Durham judicial system that is already corrupted, led, directed, and populated by Duke and those with conflicts of interest to Duke while specifically targeting the DA's of the lacrosse case to achieve projected innocence by discrediting them and placing a more Duke agreeable DA in their place - does this pose a legal issue or simply an example of why notable success to 'fix' the system was not achieved by them?

Scot Foley said...

This to me is a truly bizarre development, even by the standards of this case. William D. Cohan is a serious and deservedly respected writer. I've read two of his books and were impressed by both of them.

When I learned that he had written a book on the case, I immediately pre-ordered it. But now I don't know whether to cancel the order or not. I'm still curious to read Cohan's account but it's incomprehensible to me how such an intelligent man could seemingly be taken in by, of all people, Nifong and then jumped on the absurd "something happened" bandwagon. And it's even more disappointing to hear that he's done so without having interviewed many of the key figures in the case, particularly Coman and Winstead, and that his book appears, sight unseen granted, to be in some ways a mouthpiece for Nifong.

As for the disgraced, disbarred former DA, it's amusing to hear him call out the lawyer who put an end to this travesty of justice by saying, "Roy Cooper would've lied if he thought it would help him." Not only do statements like these continue to put the lie to Nifong's "apologies" but they also show that his capacity for self-delusion is as powerful as ever.

Anonymous said...

Nifong was willing to put three innocent men on trial for rape "if he thought it would help him."

Anonymous said...

The "three innocent men", their school Duke, the justice system politcally controlled and manipulated by their school Duke including national politics and the percent of those who many claim actually own the USA - not 'for the people by the people' any more folks is what people are led to believe and coerced into thinking by the media and politics led and directed in great degree by their school Duke were supportive and willing to suffer the mental, psychological, emotional, social, judicial system, and even life and death of EVERYONE in USA for what? Their party?

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous at 9:46 PM: would you please rewrite your comment in English.

Anonymous said...

It seems DA NIFONG is attempting another futile effort at personal posterior camouflage.