Saturday, May 17, 2014

Nifong Ironies in Settlement

Two Nifong-related ironies in the civil suit settlement:

First, the H-S reports the following: Seligmann attorney Richard Emery “said the former prosecutor had agreed to make a $1,000 contribution to the Innocence Inquiry Commission and reaffirm 'his statement of [the players] innocence.'”

If so, of course, Nifong has repudiated the Cohan “something happened” thesis, and has effectively repudiated much of what he told Cohan for the book. If the settlement is as reported, will Cohan now issue a retraction?

Second: the N&O obtained a statement from the head of the state Innocence Inquiry Commission, Kendra Montgomery-Blinn, who commented,“It was an honor and a surprise to be chosen to receive this grant . . . We will put the money in a special fund, and it will be used for the investigation of innocence claims. We are pleased that the important work of the Innocence Inquiry Commission was recognized in this way.”

Does her acceptance of the donation mean that Montgomery-Blinn has now accepted that the case was one of actual innocence, in which the prosecutor violated ethical norms? The former Durham ADA (and member of the politically correct People's Alliance) once believed differently: in one of the most jaw-dropping moments of the Nifong ethics hearing, Montgomery-Blinn testified in defense of Nifong, on both substantive and character grounds. As Joe Cheshire noted at the time, “It is very troubling for anyone’s faith in the innocence commission when its director testified for a man who tried to put demonstrably innocent people in prison. It’s going to take a lot of work to give anyone any comfort that she can properly screen claims of innocence.”

For a taste of the Innocence Inquiry Commission head defending the actions of the state's highest profile rogue prosecutor, see below:

Hopefully Montgomery-Blinn now has a more fair-minded view of the dangers of prosecutors abusing their power for personal gain.


Jim In San Diego said...


What a prescient, fitting name for a blog about the Rape Hoax.

Its author must have channeled Nostradamus.

Jim Peterson

Anonymous said...

re: "...will Cohan now issue a retraction?"

Picture Hell. Picture a snowball. Now merge the two. I rest my case.

Anonymous said...

Nothing surprises me. Dr. Joseph Mengele received great reviews from neighbors and "colleagues" (too dignified a word, I know)while he was on the run in South America, post-war, by people who were informed about his activity at Auschwitz. The best I can say about such people is they tend towards loyalty ("I will always have your back") but are unreliable reporters ("l'll agree you are as you want to be seen, as I know you...and will not alter my opinion whatsoever when faced with new facts. I am a loyal friend. Relationships matter more than the truth.")Such people are kindred spirits with folks who similarly do not have a particularly affinity for the truth.

Chris Halkides said...

The NC Innocence Inquiry Commission was the first of its kind (2002), and it was instrumental in securing freedom for Gregory Taylor. I am pleased about the grant, but I had no idea that Ms. Montgomery-Blinn defended Mr. Nifong. Let us hope that this was an anomalous event.

Anonymous said...

I have never forgotten Peter Neufeld giving a quote to the New York Times early in the case. It gave Nifong a not insignificant boost.

Trial Junkie

Chris Halkides said...

Trial Junkie,

After having corresponded with Peter Neufeld recently, I would say that his remarks were taken significantly out of context. It comes with the territory.

Anonymous said...

"After having corresponded with Peter Neufeld recently, I would say that his remarks were taken significantly out of context. It comes with the territory."

Well, he had a chance to set the record straight; but instead, he repeated his remarks twice more.

(April 11, original NYT comment;
April 23--almost two weeks later--he repeats those comments to the Washington Post; May 15, he repeats them to ABC news.)

It seems to me rather more like the acknowledged expert on DNA significance was out to insure that nobody concluded that the DNA test results cleared the lax players.

If he wanted to alter that impression, he has never done so publicly; and he had, again, ample chance to do so at the time (and even, if he believed the results DID clear the players, to have stressed that publicly).

Anonymous said...

If Peter Neufeld (and Barry Sheck) had spoken out publicly against what Nifong was doing after the DNA results proved negative, it could have made a big difference.

Trial Junkie