Friday, July 11, 2014

Howard Update

Anne Blythe reports in the N&O that Judge Hudson has said he wants to grant bail to Darryl Howard, whose prosecution, writes Blythe, the judge described “as one of the most 'horrendous' prosecutions he had seen in his 34 years on the bench.” The prosecutor in the case was, of course, disgraced ex-DA Mike Nifong.

As he has deemed Nifong as honorable and quite credible, author William D. Cohan has yet to comment once on the Howard case.


Anonymous said...

Was Officer Gottlieb involved in this case?

Jim In San Diego said...

Durham DA's office has just filed an appeal of Judge Orlando Hudson's exoneration of Howard. Judge Hudson has called the prosecution of Howard the worst prosecution he has seen in 34 years.

Result: Howard's release has been stayed by the appeals court, pending Durham's appeal.

Judge Howard questioned the Durham Assistant DA in court as to why the Durham DA's office was appealing.

No response by the Durham DA's office to inquiries by reporters.

In the meantime, the Innocence Project has asked for an audit of ALL of Nifong's convictions over the years.

Should be material here to ask Mr. Cohan some interesting questions at his book hawking event.

My oh my.

Jim Peterson

Jim In San Diego said...

I foresee it will turn out to be surprisingly difficult to ask penetrating questions at the Morristown book festival.

The promoters, who probably have not read "Price" either, are all gaga over a name headliner. The festival committee has thus met their criteria for "success".

Wet blankets are not invited and will not be appreciated.

We thus will see another cultural event where the incentives are all wrong. Sort of like the financial bubble and meltdown a few years ago.

Probably another book title in here somewhere - "The Morristown Book Festival: The Price of Mindless Pandering, the Gullibility of the Elite and the Corruption of Our [Formerly Great] Institutions".

Jim Peterson

Jim In San Diego said...

If I lived within a days drive of Morristown, New Jersey, I would be there. (I live in San Diego).

I have a dream:

In this dream, I am standing outside the Morristown book fair with a sandwich board.

The front of the board says, "Dishonest Rewrite of the Duke Lacrosse Case", with perhaps a photo of Nifong.

The back of the sandwich board says, "Freed after 19 years in prison", with a photo of Bobby Howard.

In my left hand, a pile of copies of Dorothy Rabinowitz' Wall Street Journal book review. [Not the best review, but who will read Mark Wylie's 5000 word evisceration?]

In my right hand a copy of Judge Hudson Howard's order exonerating Howard and blaming Nifong's misconduct for imprisoning an innocent man.

A sobering thought - I would be far more likely to be arrested as a nuisance than anything else.

The irony of this happening at a "book fair" would be lost on everyone.

Jim Peterson

Anonymous said...

Almost total agreement with all 3 Jim/San Diego posts:

However, I believe the Morristown Book promoters may well have read "The Price of Silence". The problem is they almost surely have NOT read Johnson's/Taylor's "Until Proven Innocent". Furthermore, they probably wouldn't know the Durham-in-Wonderland blog if you hit them upside the head with it. I could go on.

I love the dream sequence in the last post. I would say "go all in" and hand out copies of the marvelous Wylie review, but it may cost a bit much for making copies. But, hey, it's a dream, make it a good one.

No insult intended toward Ms. Rabinowitz. I wish there were more like her.

Anonymous said...

Here's a link to Mark Wylie's review at Amazon: "Overlong, Unreliable--Neither Definitive nor Magisterial"

Anonymous said...

Does everyone forget the Tim Malloy case, which involved "erased" tapes--and with which Nifong was also involved?

Ginny said...

The N&O's headline this morning (7/12/14) was:
'Judge calls Nifong's conduct "horrendous"'
The sub head was "Group Urges Audit Of Former Durham DA'S Cases" The group is the Innocence Project plus Darryl Howard, a man who was convicted and has spent 19 years in jail for a rape and two murders for which there was no physical evidence of his guilt and for which Nifong again hid exculpatory evidence. Nifong's friends in the DA's office have appealed to the NC Court of Appeals,which sadly has granted a stay.
There seems to be no way to prosecute rogue prosecutors.

Anonymous said...

To Jim In San Diego,

This is a bit off topic, but the subject of Peter Neufeld's statement supporting Nifong has come up several times. Jeffrey Toobin addressed his and Barry Scheck's role in O.J. Simpson's trial in Chapter 18 of his book "The Run Of His Life."

"There was a conflict in Scheck and Neufeld's two approaches to DNA; They trashed it when it implicated their clients and embraced it when it excluded them. The pair dealt with this state of affairs by resolutely refusing to acknowledge it, asserting instead that DNA 'matches' were simply less reliable than exclusions. But even Scheck's and Neufeld's admirers in the scientific community-and their were many of them-found this position difficult to swallow."

Neufeld was willing to see a totally innocent Reade Seligmann sent to prison for decades after doing everything he could to free a dead-bang guilty of a brutal double murder O.J. Simpson.

My own feeling is Scheck and Neufeld hoped to make it harder to obtain convictions from DNA in future trials, not just Simpson.

Trial Junkie

William L. Anderson said...

I'd be curious to know if Neufeld stuck by his statement to the NY Times or if he ever apologized to Reade Seligmann or any of the others for giving the NYT license to participate in a frameup.

Technically, Neufeld's comments were correct -- absence of DNA evidence in and of itself is not proof of innocence -- but absence of DNA evidence where there obviously WOULD be something IS evidence of innocence. That is where Reade and the others fit in, and Neufeld should have realized it as such.

So, does anyone know if Neufeld has tried to clarify or rectify his statement? At the time, it did horrendous damage to the falsely accused because it trashed the alibis of the three.

Anonymous said...

"At the time, it did horrendous damage to the falsely accused because it trashed the alibis of the three."

At the time, it saved Nifong's bacon, because he had bet the farm on DNA results coming back positive.

When he did a 180, and said DNA results were meaningless, the media should have pressed him hard.

Instead, Neufeld's "definitive" statement, as "THE" expert, got him off the hook.

I don't think the Times seriously wanted an opinion; I think they sought and got the opinion they wanted.

And I'd like to know more about that process.

(All MOO, of course; and for discussion purposes only)

Anonymous said...

Neufeld and Scheck have always taken the position that if there is no DNA evidence against their client, he is automatically "exonarated."

Evans, Finnerty, and Seligmann weren't Neufeld's clients, but it would have been nice if he had looked at the case as if they were.

If Neufeld and Barry Scheck had spoken out forcefully after the DNA came back without a match, it might have ended months sooner.

Where were these two "champions of the wrongly accused" during the most publicized example of a rogue prosecutor attempting to railroad innocent men in recent years?

They were quick to join O.J. Simpson's defense team, weren't they?

Trial Junkie

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 1:31 pm----Would the truth make any difference to some of those reviewers? If the truth mattered they would have altered their reviews as the facts were set forth in the negative reviews and comments posted to Amazon.

Many of those positive reviewers want the lacrosse players in the soup with the perpetrators. Then the actions of the Group of 88 professors and Duke administrators would not seem as bad as they really were/are. Some of us continue to fight this revisionism with the facts. Others still want 'dark side' ways to win, irrespective of the facts. They just don't want it to be THEIR reputations that are harmed.

Thanks for the link though! I'm thankful Good (truth and justice) seems to be winning at this point.


Anonymous said...

Mssrs. Neufield and Scheck behaved atrociously vis a vis the Duke LAX case in providing Mr. Nifong political and professional cover. Mr. Cohan behaved atrociously vis a vis the Duke LAX case in providing Mr. Brodhead, Duke, the Gang of 88, Mr. Nifong and his numerous assistants political and professional cover. And another OJ Simpson defender, Mr. Dershowitz, behaved atrociously vis a vis the Amanda Knox/ Raffaele Sollecito case by providing their prosecutor, Mr. Mignini, political and professional cover.

How can prosecutions that should outrage the dullest defense attorney elicit only public support from these supposed public intellectuals/superstars?