[Update, 5.46pm: Joe Neff and Anne Blythe have an article on the ruling in the N&O.
Will the Durham Police Department now re-examine all cases in which rogue prosecutor Mike Nifong was involved?]
[Update, 9.34am, Wed.: As of this time, there is no mention on the Herald-Sun
website of the Hudson ruling. And, of course, Nifong apologist William D. Cohan has made no comment or tweet regarding the further disgrace of his book's central hero.]
[Update, 7.08pm, Wed.: More than 24 hours later, word of the ruling finally appears
in the Herald-Sun,
though with an emphasis on the DA's decision (for reasons not explained) to appeal. Still no mention of his protagonist’s further disgrace from author William Cohan, whose twitter feed
instead has focused on such pressing topics as a picture of tulips and a complaint about the cover of the New York Post
Radley Balko reports that Durham judge Orlando Hudson has
overturned the conviction of Darryl Howard, citing police and prosecutorial
misconduct. (The prosecutor in the case was then-ADA Mike Nifong.) Howard will
now receive a new trial. Given the paucity of actual evidence against Howard, hopefully the state will drop the case.
Balko covers the ruling in greater detail
; and I’ve
previously written about the case
also. The thrust: much like the lacrosse
case, Nifong reacted to a negative DNA test result not by wondering whether he
was trying the wrong party, but instead by suggesting that the DNA evidence was
irrelevant to the case. In the lacrosse case, Nifong behaved unethically by
withholding exculpatory test results from the defense and lying about them to a
judge. In the Howard case, he behaved unethically by misleading the court about
the state’s original theory of the crime once that theory became inconsistent
with DNA test results showing that the DNA of two unidentified men--but not
Howard--was found in the two murder victims.
In his ruling, Hudson
is unsparing in his criticism of Nifong
. In comments about Nifong, the
judge began by taking notice of the fact that more than a decade after the Howard
case, Nifong would be disbarred and held in criminal contempt for “suppressing
exculpatory evidence and willfully making false statements” to Judge Smith in the
In the Howard case, Hudson quoted from Nifong’s closing
argument to the jury: “This case was never investigated as a sexual assault and
it was never suspected to be a sexual assault.” For good measure, Nifong
explained away the presence of DNA in the case by baselessly suggesting that a
13-year-old murder victim had been sexually active with her boyfriend.
Hudson found that Nifong’s assertion was simply not true. He
noted that a Durham Police Department document--included in the DA’s
files--suggested that the DPD had received a tip that the case was a sexual assault/murder, a tip that was consistent with the presence of DNA in both of the victims. No
evidence exists that prosecutor Nifong turned over this document, despite its
highly exculpatory nature, to the defense. The existence of this memo, Hudson
found, was “directly contrary” to Nifong’s statements to the jury.
Hudson concluded that Nifong had failed to turn over the DPD
memo to the defense, and therefore had committed a Brady
But Hudson then went further, and held that Nifong violated a 1959 case called Napue
, in which the Supreme Court ruled that “a State may not
knowingly use false evidence, including false testimony, to obtain a
conviction.” The false testimony in the case was given by the lead detective,
but Hudson noted that Nifong was responsible for the testimony, since he had
access to the DPD memo showing that what Dowdy told the jury wasn’t true.
Indeed, Hudson described Nifong’s statements to the jury as “false and
As a result of this conduct, Hudson concluded that Nifong
violated Howard’s rights under the 4th, 5th, 6th,
8th, and 14th amendments.
In reading about Nifong's shameful and illegal behavior, one wishes that the authorities would bring back the punishment in which the offender would be placed in stocks in a public place and held to ridicule.
It definitely would be morally satisfying to see Nifong bound in public and having some projectiles like rotten veggies thrown his way. This is a man who is a psychopath, and perhaps we should not be surprised that a psychopath was elected as a prosecutor in Durham County. Doesn't say much for Duke or Durham, but it does tell us that the voters there are drawn to the worst among us.
Oh no! This cannot be true. William Cohan would never lead us astray as to the upright character of Michael Nifong.
Makes me wonder how many other Nifong-like DAs (or other powerful people) are out there.
It really does.
The "stocks" that are these posts on DIW will have to suffice. The ridicule toward Cohan and Nifong and all the other miscreants is delightful to read. Only their willing comrades fail to see the truth.
I just finished re-reading "Until Proven Innocent." The final sentence:
"And, with some exceptions among the journalists, almost all of them seem poised to join the next politically correct rush to judgement none the wiser."
While I accept the $20M was the total settlement among all three lacrosse players is there any documentation.? Cohen claims he was told by reliable insiders that it was $20m each, and I was hoping there was direct evidence to refute his claim.
@5/28/14, 2:21 PM
>While I accept the $20M was the total settlement among all three lacrosse players is there any documentation.? Cohen claims he was told by reliable insiders that it was $20m each, and I was hoping there was direct evidence to refute his claim.
Only thing I've seen so far:
"Cohen claims he was told by reliable insiders that it was $20m each"
AFAIK, the only source for that claim was a fraudulent IRS claim; which was proven fraudulent by bloggers within hours of the story appearing.
Then again, Cohan appears to think that Mangum and Nifong are reliable sources, so...
Durham's paper finally posted an article on Howard, with a title they prefer
Article in the Indy about a student expulsion after a "he said/she said" case. Some possible concerns about Duke's internal process for dealing with students (witnesses, etc.), including this back and forth between the male student's lawyer and Dean Sue:
Rachel B. Hitch, a Raleigh attorney representing McLeod, asked Wasiolek what would happen if two students got drunk to the point of incapacity, and then had sex.
"They have raped each other and are subject to explusion?" Hitch asked.
"Assuming it is a male and female, it is the responsibility in the case of the male to gain consent before proceeding with sex," said Wasiolek.
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