Friday, August 31, 2007

Hearing Highlights

Nifong attorney Jim Glover had no discernible defense strategy, instead changing arguments on the fly and without warning, often in ways that contradicted his previous remarks.

During the day, Glover pursued at least seven separate approaches to the Nifong defense:

1) The Irrelevancy Argument: Nifong didn’t lie to the court on September 22 because the unidentified male DNA was of little consequence, given that Nifong already had turned over test results showing no DNA matches to the lacrosse players.

2) The “Something Happened” Argument: A reverse of (1), Nifong was actually doing the defense a favor by not reporting the items, since, Glover darkly hinted, how could the defense have been sure they weren’t matches to the lacrosse players? (Actually, because Meehan had said so, but why let the facts get in the way?)

3) The “Revise History” Argument: The sole purpose of involving Dr. Meehan in this case, suggested Glover, was to test the DNA mixture on Crystal Mangum’s false fingernails. Glover also made a bizarre objection to Brad Bannon reading from the Dec. 15 transcript, as if he could deny Meehan and Nifong said what they did on that occasion.

4) The “Something Happened, II” Argument: Glover consistently referred to Crystal Mangum as the “alleged victim.” Alleged by whom, actually? Meanwhile, he went out of his way to mention Dave Evans’ name as a “match” to the false fingernails.

5) The “Bore-the-Court” Argument: Under this approach, Glover asked wild, unconnected questions, speaking in a low monotone, apparently with the purpose of putting everyone to sleep. Perhaps, he reasoned, the judge would want to stop the torture and dismiss the case.

6) The “Mr. Obfuscation” Argument: Ask Dr. Meehan technical questions, generate incomprehensible answers, and imply to the court that Nifong couldn’t have been expected to understand Meehan when the lab director said he had found matches to four males’ DNA.

7) The “Ignorance-is-bliss” Argument: Nifong never reads reports, or any documents related to his cases. Therefore, he couldn’t have lied to the court about the contents of documents, since he didn’t know what these documents contained.

None of these arguments were persuasive. Also, the one thing from which Glover fervently stayed away: what Nifong said on Sept. 22, when he stated that he had no conversations with Dr. Meehan other than the matches profiled in the May 12 report.


The highlight of the day—as in the Bar proceedings—came from Brad Bannon. Bannon eviscerated Glover’s claim that the multiple male DNA found by Meehan was “not significantly exculpatory.” Bannon responded, “That’s absolutely false.” He then paused before adding, “And you know it.”

Other emotional events: Kathryn Jean reading Nifong’s letter responding to the Bar grievance, in which Nifong effectively taunted Judge Smith for not sanctioning him on Dec. 15; and Ben Himan noting that (even while he didn’t understand DNA evidence that Meehan presented), he firmly understood Meehan telling Nifong and him that the tests revealed four unidentified males’ DNA.


Two of Mike Nifong’s most prominent enablers absented themselves from yesterday’s hearing. First, former Nifong citizens’ committee co-chair Victoria Peterson was nowhere to be found. Second, the person who identified Peterson only as a “black activist from Durham”—Duff Wilson of the New York Times—also didn’t put in an appearance. Perhaps Wilson was still trying to track down the facts for his August 25, 2006 article. Or perhaps he was afraid that he might again get called out from the witness stand by Brad Bannon.


Today: Mike Nifong takes the stand.


Anonymous said...

KC that was a great Post!

Debrah said...

Just have to revisit part of an exchange from the Chafe thread as an intro to the last day of August and these hearings:


But again, this blog is not about the Duke case: it's a recruiting medium for the right's culture wars and a publicity organ for Johnson's book.

8/29/07 9:03 AM

Anonymous said...
KC Johnson is to academia as Bjorn Lomborg is to environmentalism and global warming. Both are courageous, intellectually honest, with the soundest morals and the courage to follow the facts toward the Truth.
You can choose, with defensive cowardice, to stay where you are, in the gloom. Most of us on this blog have welcomed and prized its illumination, however.

8/29/07 12:27 PM



Debrah said...

Honor him

Anonymous said...

You have my sincerest sympathies for having had to sit through Glover's disjointed questioning of Brian "Dr. Obsfucation" Meehan. Neither the lawyers for the state nor for Nifong did a good job in simply listing the facts:

1) Meehan's report did not contain the information about the DNA from mutliple other males;
2) Meehan and Nifong discussed just listing the positive matches in the report;
3) Nifong lied to the court stating that all the information was in fact in the report and that he had no other discussions with Meehan.

It is telling that Nifong's attorney implies that it is OK to lie to a judge as long as it is not intentional or willful--a strange legal doctrine.


Anonymous said...

What's wrong with using a blog to promote your book?

After all, we are not Communists--except . . . well we all know who the Commies are.

Faster, Commie, kill, kill.

mac said...


"Kathryn Jean, reading Nifong's letter..."

Sounds like a pick-me-up moment for Judge Smith; if he was asleep before that, he wouldn't have been after that statement.

Nifong's defense - as I read it - is a "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil" defense. That's an interesting tactic for a prosecutor.

Nifong probably chose Glover because Glover could channel Mikey the way a medium might channel Howdy Doody.

psych said...

There is nothing wrong of using your blog to promote your book. I have never felt that I was reading an advertisement however. I am waiting with baited breath for Amazon to send it in the mail. Keep up the good work.

Also there never would have been a blog let alone a book if not for Chafe and the group of 88.

Anonymous said...

K.C., a BIG thank you from me too for sitting through Glover's examination of witnesses. It was like a day of reading through Waheema's prose! I'm going to miss Nifong testifying today, so I can't wait to read your blog when I arrive in NYC. Many, many thanks.

Anonymous said...


More than hear no evil, etc, I think it's the Sgt. Schultz attitude
I know nothing, I see nothing, I hear nothing.

Sounds to me like yesterday was one presentation of a bipolar team. Glover and Mikey are doing a pretty good job of a Laurel and Hardy defense. Durm's version of Dumb and Dumber.

Anonymous said...

Nifong is proving to be more arrogant than I thought. Rather than just pleading guilty (max 30 days, $500) after apologizing to the players he is risking all.

If, when he gets on the stand, he will be asked "When you heard about the other unidentified DNA:

Why did you not have the FA re-interviewed?

Why did you not search for the IDs of the 4 unidentified males, who could have been rapists if you believed the FA?

Why did no one (Nifong and the 2 DPD) not take notes at the Meehan meetings after driving several hours to attend them?

Nifong runs the risk of proving he was trying to frame 3 people for a crime that he knows did not happen.
He could provide evidence of committing a State & Federal crime.
Even run the risk of be caught committing perjury on the stand.

Nifong suffers from the belief that he is the smartest person in the room syndrome. He could succeed in talking his way into even more serious crimes.

Jungle Jim said...

I don't understand why you guys are so down on Knife-Honk. I mean... all he did was to completely destroy all confidence in the criminal justice system.

You would think the guy had shown up to court wearing a New York Yankees ballcap or something....

Anonymous said...

Himan acknowledges that Meehan told them about the 4 unidentified male's DNA. He acknowledges that in the three meetings with Meehan, Meehan would review items covered in the previous meeting and cover the results of the most recent testing.

Unsurprisingly, he doesn't admit that he was told about the DNA from 4 unknown male's on April 11th -- which would have been the meeting immediately following the testing by Meehan's lab. This would, of course, be acknowledging he had this information when he testified to the Grand Jury on April 17th securing indictments against 2 of the 3 falsely accused.

One can only hope that these truths are 'discovered' during the upcoming civil trials

Anonymous said...

Couldn't all 7 strategies be summed up by calling it the Bore-Dumb defense?

Anonymous said...

As I was following the hearing, I kept wondering if Glover really was serious, or if I simply was imagining this ridiculous defense. Yet, after reading K.C.'s post, I am left to conclude that Nifong's defense is as ridiculous as the original rape charges.

Since the defense has resurrected the "something happened" line -- and a month after Nifong admitted in court that nothing happened -- and since the defense is now saying that "maybe it was Lacrosse DNA all over Crystal after all," is Nifong simply giving Judge Smith himself the middle finger?

Since Meehan was testifying under oath last December, and now he is telling a totally different story -- under oath, again -- than what he told eight months ago, are we not dealing with perjury? Just some questions.

Anonymous said...

ANON 6:44 AM

Himen ("indict with what") still has the problem of testifying in the grand jury when the third player was indicted.

Anonymous said...

Nifong is just wasting money fighting this charge.

Hopefully the judge will forward the hearing records to the state police to investigate for other possible crimes.

Anonymous said...

The Times finally realized that having Duff Wilson cover this story was not a good idea. Maybe the Times will find him something where the facts are not that important.

Anonymous said...

Defenses 6 & 7 have some precedent in pop culture.

Kryten is acting as Rimmer's defence attorney, and the judge is a

Kryten: The "Mind Probe" was created to detect guilt. Yet, in the case of
Arnold "Judas" Rimmer, the guilt it detected attaches to no crime.
He held a position of little or no importance on Red Dwarf, he was a
lowly grease monkey, a zero, a nothing. A piece of sputum floating
in the toilet bowl of life. Yet he could never come to terms with a
lifetime of underachievement. His absurdly inflated ego would never
permit it. He's like the security guard at the front gate who
considers himself head of the corporation. So, when the crew were
wiped out by a nuclear accident, Arnold Rimmer accepted the blame.
It was his ship, ergo, his fault. I ask the court, look at this man.
This man who sat and failed his astro-navigation exam on no less than
THIRTEEN occasions. This sad man, this pathetic man, this JOKE of a
man, this...

Rimmer: Kryten, you're going over the top, the court will never buy it.

Kryten: Sir, trust me. My whole case hinges on proving you're a DORK!

Rimmer: Understood.

Kryten: I call my first witness!

Kryten: Name?

Lister: Dave Lister.

Kryten: Occupation?

Lister: Er, bum.

Kryten: Would you describe the accused as a friend?

Cat: Take the fifth!

Kryten: Now please answer the question and remember you are under polygraphic
surveillance. Would you describe the accused as a friend?

Lister: Nah, I'd describe the accused as a git.

Kryten: Who would you say then is the person who thinks of him most fondly?

Lister: I do.

Kryten: And are there no others who've shared moments of intimacy with him?

Lister: Only one, but she's got a puncture.

Rimmer: Objection!

Computer Judge: Overruled!

Kryten: You wouldn't describe him as a man with a good social life?

Lister: No. He partied less than Rudolph Hess. He was totally dedicated to
his career. He was in charge of Zed shift, y'see, and it occupied
'is every wakin' moment.

Kryten: And what was Zed shift's most important duty?

Lister: Well they 'ave a lot of important duties on the ship, but I guess our
most vital responsibility was makin' sure the vending machines didn't
run out of fun-sized crunchie bars.

Kryten: Can you ever envisage a situation where the lack of honeycomb centred
chocolate bars might be the direct cause of a lethal radiation leak?

Lister: Not off the top o' my head, no.

Kryten: You may sit down.

Kryten: I ask the court one key question. Would the space corps ever have
allowed this man to be in a position of authority where he might
endanger the entire crew? A man so petty and smallminded he would
while away his evenings sewing name labels onto his ship-issue
condoms? A man of such awesome stupidity...

Rimmer: Objection!

Computer Judge: Objection overruled!

Kryten: A man of such awesome stupidity, he even objects to his own defence
counsel. An overzealous, trumped up little squirt...

Rimmer: Objection!

Computer Judge: Overruled!

Kryten: An incompetent vending-machine repairman with a Napoleon complex, who
commanded as much respect and affection from his fellow crewmembers
as Long John Silver's parrot.

Rimmer: Objection!!!

Computer Judge: If you object to your own counsel once more, Mr. Rimmer,
you'll be in contempt.

Kryten: Who would permit this man, this joke of a man, this man who
could not outwit a used tea bag, to be in a position where he might
endanger the entire crew? Who? Only a YOGURT. This man is not
guilty of manslaughter, he is only guilty of being Arnold J. Rimmer.
That is his crime, it is also his punishment. The defence rests.

Computer Judge: The verdict on the defendant will now be passed. In
view of your counsel's eloquent defence, together with the reams of
material evidence he submitted on computer card, this court accepts
that in your case, the mind probe is not an adequate method of
ascertaining guilt. It is not possible for you to have committed the
crimes for which you blame yourself, and you may therefore go free.

Rimmer: Objection.

Kryten: Sir, what are you objecting to now??

Rimmer: I want an apology.

Gary Packwood said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dave said...

Duff Wilson is part of a joint byline in today's Times on the Larry Craig story.