Friday, October 27, 2006

Nifong's Creative Ethics

Perhaps the single most bizarre item from today’s court hearing came when Nifong attempted to rationalize his refusal to consider exculpatory evidence from the defense, despite the requirement under Rule 3.8, comment 2, of the bar’s ethics code. He complained that his refusal had been “widely” (and, apparently, erroneously) reported.

The justification for his actions, claimed he: the offers formed part of a defense plot to force his removal from the case by making him a witness. For this reason, “any prosecutor with any sense" wouldn’t talk to suspects and take statements from them.

Joe Cheshire got up to correct the record. He reported that he had asked Nifong to meet with Dave Evans’ lawyers—not to interview or take a statement from Evans—so that the attorneys could, as they were entitled to do under 3.8, comment 2, to get exculpatory evidence. “Other than a very rude response,” Cheshire noted, Nifong never responded to his offer.

In one of the hearing’s better lines, Kirk Osborn termed it “rather stunning” to have Nifong “piously” stand up and defend his refusal to meet when Osborn offered to present him exculpatory evidence. As he noted, Nifong’s assertions in court today meant that the DA, who doubled as the case's lead investigator, had refused to talk to the accuser about the case or the accused’s lawyers about evidence that would prove their innocence. That’s quite a record for Durham County’s “minister of justice.”


Anonymous said...

Sounds as if Cheshire and Osburn presented some excellent points today. Wish I could have been there to see that Nifong attempting to justify his reasons for not meeting with the attorneys. How did the judge respond to this? Can he order Nifong to now consider the alibis or can the judge review them himself?

Anonymous said...

Stunning - the Da doesn't/hasn't spoken with the accuser or the accused about this case. This leads me to two qestions:

1)What the hell does this guy do all day?


2) How much weaker would the case be if the DA hadn't announced at the NCCU forum that he was handling the case personally?


Anonymous said...

My question is this: Why do judges permit prosecutors to speak obvious untruths in their courtrooms? Liefong has contradicted himself so often that even a partisan can see that he is not telling the truth.

Guess the judges in North Carolina see themselves as being in the employ of prosecutors, or they just do not care.

William L. Anderson

Anonymous said...

Looks to me like Nifong is just posturing for the inevitable malicious prosecution claim and disciplinary proceeding.

He knows that he's in deep trouble. Everyone is just waiting for the denouemont.



Anonymous said...

Hello Folks,

I just went to the re-elect Nifong website ( and made a contribution to his campaign using the PayPal link.

Now before you get angry with me, I want you to know I sent him $0.01 (one cent). Since Nifong never listens to anyones, not the accuser, not the accused, not the judge or defense, 2 cents seemed a waste.

Yes, using paypal you too can send Nifong a penny. Oh, I almost forgot to mention, PayPal charges the campaign for processing each transaction.

Seller Information: Citizens for D.A. Mike Nifong

This Payment will appear on your credit card statement as "CITIZENSFOR"

Transaction ID: 74E96128LP943XXX Placed on Oct. 27, 2006
Payment For Quantity Price
Citizens for D.A. Mike Nifong 1 $0.01 USD
Subtotal: $0.01 USD
Shipping & Handling: $0.00 USD
Sales Tax: $0.00 USD
Total Amount: $0.01 USD

Anonymous said...

OK...what am I missing?: The only so-called evidence I am aware of is the accuser's statement...and now we learn that it is a sencond or third hand statement? Who was the statement actually made to--a nurse? Was this nurse also trained a police investigator?

So these three boys are getting fried because of a second/third hand satement...made to a nurse?
Somebody set me straight!

Anonymous said...

The trasaction cost for PayPal campaign contributions is:
1.9% + $0.30.

Wow, 100,000 $0.01 contributions to Nifong's campaign would net a negative $29,190.

Anonymous said...

For those of you that have missed it, “John In Carolina” has an attractive review of KC Johnson’s début at Duke:

Mr. Map

Anonymous said...

Now that he has admitted in court that he made himself the lead investigator in the case, he is no longer protected from lawsuits. The pressure sould be put on the Federal Department of Justice and the FBI to put a stop to Nifing's corruption, lies and double talk. This one mans ego has hurt so many people. And lets not forget Crystal's role in this.

Anonymous said...

Three innocent young men are twisting in the wind and the DA/Lead Investigator has not talked to the accuser or looked at evidence presented by the defense in 7 months. All of this presented in court in front of a judge who has accepted full responsibility for this case and Nifong does not even get a slap on the wrist - only in Durham folks!

Anonymous said...

Send Nifong's campaign a penny -- it will cost him about $0.30 ($0.2919 actually).

Use the paypal link on

Anonymous said...

Hmm...I like the idea of Nifong losing money via paypal.

Mass mailer to Duke students/alumni perhaps so he has to take his contribution link down...

Anonymous said...

How could Nifong have demonstrated the infamous choke hold on national TV if he has never spoken with Crystal.

Anonymous said...

"How could Nifong have demonstrated the infamous choke hold on national TV if he has never spoken with Crystal."

Make it up or have someone else tell you she told him/her it happened:)

Anonymous said...

The question isn't what does Nifong do all day. It is what does judge Smith do all day. This case was designated as a special case and he was put on it. So far he has been just as bad as Stevens and Titius in letting Nifong drag this thing out.

Anonymous said...

Are the judges liable in civil suits for their actions and inactions? How can the judges be held accountable?

Anonymous said...

Asked one of the defense attys after the hearing if he was still happy w/ Judge Smith and the response was a quick and unequivocal yes.

kcjohnson9 said...

To the 3.42: This is a good point. It's hard to overstate just how difficult a position Judge Smith is in with this case, since he's dealing with a prosecutor who is intent on abusing the system, but who knows the system well enough to couch his abuse in seemingly acceptable terms.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for interesting article.