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Friday, March 2, 2007

Duke/Nifong Hoax: Day #318

Updated - today's items:





NC Govenor Michael Easley interviewed by Charlie RoseNews & Observer:
In TV interview, Easley again criticizes Nifong — Gov. Mike Easley talked politics this week with PBS talk show host Charlie Rose, a North Carolina native. Easley, a former prosecutor, was asked about one of North Carolina's most talked about prosecutors over the past year - Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong. In January, Easley told a New York University crowd that picking Nifong to be Durham's district attorney was the worst appointment of his career.

On The Charlie Rose Show that aired Wednesday, Feb. 28, he elaborated on that appointment. . .
CHARLIE ROSE: Speaking of legal issues, the lacrosse team. Some of the players who were first accused of rape, and there was a prosecutor over there, Nifong I think his name was.

MICHAEL EASLEY: That's right.

CHARLIE ROSE: He was appointed by you?

MICHAEL EASLEY: He was appointed acting DA by me. The district attorney, a very good district attorney, I appointed judge, and I wanted someone who wasn't going to run, that was a long-term prosecutor, just to hold the office together until somebody was elected. And our staff interviewed him. He said he wasn't going to run, and we didn't think he would. And then he got out and started running.

There's a totally different standard you set for somebody who is going to be the elected district attorney and get into politics, and then there's somebody who you want just to run the office. Because when you get out there and start making political comments, it requires a whole lot of different talent, a whole lot of different skills that obviously he didn't have. And he would not have been appointed had we known he was going to run.

CHARLIE ROSE: He handed over the prosecution to someone else. And the rape charges have been ...

MICHAEL EASLEY: They're under investigation.

CHARLIE ROSE: Under investigation.

MICHAEL EASLEY: Right now. What�s happened is the prosecution team at the attorney general's office who I know is very, very competent. They're looking at it, giving a whole fresh look, and they'll make a determination. And if it is a good case, they'll try it; if it is not, they'll dismiss it and be done with it. But I can tell you, the crowd that has it now is going to do the right thing. . .

CHARLIE ROSE: Fair to say you would not have appointed him if you had it to do over?

MICHAEL EASLEY: That's correct. I would voluntarily not appoint him, just as he voluntarily turned the case over to the attorney general. . .
reference:
Google Video: Interview video, NC Governor Michael Easley & Charlie Rose

comment: The rape charges were dropped last year, but Gov. Easley and Mr. Rose must have missed the massive media coverage.

discussion:
LieStoppers forum: Easley criticizes Nifong again, Charlie Rose 2/28
KC Johnson: Easley Rips into Nifong
TalkLeft: Easley criticizes Nifong again


Jason Trumpbour, spokesperson, Friends of Duke University:
Comments on Mike Nifong's Response to the NC State Bar — In case you missed it, Mike Nifong named me specifically as his chief tormenter and provided the URL for our site in a letter he sent to the State Bar. Click here for the Response letter. It is on the last page in the third paragraph. . .

First, this is not my site. I am one of six people who run FODU and my colleagues have contributed as much or more to our efforts as I have. Indeed, site really belongs to all of the many people who participate in our activities by writing letters, getting the word out and posting ideas on the discussion board. Second, I am truly flattered and surprised that Nifong singled us out as his principle critics, even ahead of the efforts of KC Johnson, LieStoppers and Ethical Durham. I have to say that I think LieStoppers was the first to post step by step instructions on how to file a grievance with the State Bar and we merely linked to them. It is truly rewarding, however, to know I, personally, am inside Nifong’s head. . .
related:
WRAL:
Nifong: Grassroots Groups Trying to Run Him out of Office [+ video] — Nifong continues in the letter: "If this seems like paranoid delusion to you, perhaps you should check out Web sites... such as (Friends of Duke University)." But the founding member of the group, University of Maryland law professor and Duke graduate Jason Trumpbour, offers no apologies.

"I think Mike Nifong has to realize he is the author of his own misfortune," Trumpbour said.

"Given his conduct, he doesn't deserve to be in office," he added. "I got involved in this case, because early on, it became clear to me that these defendants were not getting a fair trial." . . .



Nifong & Investigator Benjamin Himan at June hearingAnne Blythe, News & Observer:
Nifong has no recall of session — He, officers differ on meeting at lab - Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong and the lead investigators in the Duke lacrosse case have different recollections of the first time they huddled at the Burlington laboratory that provided DNA testing for the prosecution.

Durham police Sgt. Mark Gottlieb and Investigator Benjamin Himan each listed in their case notes that they were at DNA Security on April 10, a week before any indictments in the case. And Himan noted that Nifong was present at the meeting with Brian Meehan, head of the private lab.

But in a letter to the N.C. State Bar released this week, Nifong said he could not recall the event, although he acknowledged that a meeting occurred. . .

The timeline of Nifong's first meeting with Meehan could help clarify when the prosecutor first learned of the existence of DNA evidence from men not on the Duke lacrosse team. Charges were filed against Finnerty and Seligmann on April 17.

In a Dec. 28 letter to the bar, Nifong said his first meeting with Meehan was April 21, four days after the first indictments. It was then, Nifong said, that he learned of the presence of DNA on the accuser's clothing and body from men other than the tested lacrosse players and the accuser's boyfriend. But in the Jan. 16 letter to the bar, Nifong wrote about a May 12 meeting in which Meehan provided a report to the prosecution.

"He also discussed with us the results of the tests he had performed since our April 10, 2006, meeting," Nifong said. . .

related:
LieStoppers blog: Nifong Admits and Denies April 10 Meeting in Letter to the State Bar
KC Johnson: The Mysterious April 10 Non-Meeting
Duke Basketball Report: A Closer Look At Nifong's Response

discussion:
LieStoppers forum: April 10
LieStoppers forum: Nifong has no recall of 4/10/06 meeting, but admits to "our meeting" 4/10/06
FreeRepublic: Nifong has no recall of session
TalkLeft: Nifong Has No Recall of April 10, 2006 Session


Herald-Sun:
N.C State Bar also faces scrutiny — Facing charges of prosecutorial misconduct in the Duke lacrosse case, Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong issued his defense on Thursday. In more than 50 pages of lawyerly jargon, Nifong said, basically, "If I did anything wrong, it was unintentional." . . .

Some say the N.C. State Bar, which will weigh the charges against Nifong, is still smarting from bad publicity it received in two recent cases of prosecutorial misconduct. . .
-- Alan Gell spent nine years behind bars, half on death row. . .

-- After spending 7 1/2 years on death row for the murder of a store owner in Marshville, Jonathan Hoffman won a new trial in 2004. . .
In both cases, prosecutorial misconduct robbed defendants of years of their lives. For their misdeed the prosecutors were punished by taps on the wrist -- or nothing at all. Nifong certainly made mistakes, as he concedes, but no one has been wrongly convicted, and no trial has been held.

As the charges against Nifong are weighed by the N.C. State Bar, that organization's own track record for meting out justice will also be under close scrutiny.
comment: A no harm, no foul opinion from the Nifong Herald-Sun Organ? Prosecution/Nifong shills - they backed Nifong for a trial, but are they now implying that, since there was no trial and "no one has been wrongly convicted," Nifong should be let off easy? William L. Anderson sent a letter condemning the H-S.


William L. Anderson - teaches economics at Frostburg State UniversityWilliam L. Anderson, LewRockwell.com:
Michael B. Nifong and the Sociopathic State — Nifong has managed to make himself front-and-center once again, this time by his answers to the more than 100 charges that the bar filed against him. If one might think (or even hope) that the man would be contrite when faced with massive evidence of misconduct and outright lying, then that person would be greatly disappointed. However, as F. Scott Fitzgerald once wrote, "Character is fate," and that statement seems to have been written to apply to Nifong. . .

That a fundamentally dishonest person like Michael B. Nifong can use the "justice" system to financially bleed other people is an outrage. Yet, as anyone who has dealt with sociopaths knows, sociopaths are incapable of shame and incapable of understanding why anyone could be outraged by their behavior.

Likewise, we hear judges, prosecutors, and those in "law enforcement" express anger that anyone ever could question the ethics, morality, and, yes, patriotism of those who hold legal authority over us. Thus, the State of North Carolina continues to hold three innocent young men in legal limbo, and people there who are in authority are shocked, SHOCKED that anyone would complain or see anything wrong in what the state has done.

To paraphrase Leon Trotsky, "Nifong is the state; the state is Nifong." Indeed, until (or if) the North Carolina authorities drop these charges and go after the real criminals in this case – Nifong, the Durham police, and others who pushed the charges – then the only proper thing for them to do is to hang pictures of Nifong on their office walls, since on this day, he is the very face of the "justice system" of The State of North Carolina.

KC Johnson:
Brodhead Conversation — With a new bowtie, I attended the latest of “A Duke Conversation” events, which last night was held in New York. The event consists of introductory remarks by President Brodhead, an address by one Duke professor, a “conversation” between Brodhead and two Duke students, and a few questions from the audience. . .

If—understandably—the University had to act upon “radically imperfect information,” why did Brodhead decline at least two offers from defense sources to give the University access to the entire discovery file? This decision remains one of the real mysteries, to me, of the case: it’s hard to fathom an argument why the University would not have wanted to obtain as much information as possible, if only to better inform its decisionmaking process.
comment: A surprising relevation by Prof. Johnson. It makes Brodhead's behaviour look even more reprehensible.

discussion:
LieStoppers forum: Duke NYC meeting


John in Carolina:
For The N&O: Player cooperation questions — I just sent the following email to Raleigh News & Observer executive editor for news Melanie Sill.

Dear Melanie: In your March 25 story headlined, "Dancer gives details of ordeal" . . . Nowhere in your story do you report the extensive cooperation the players had been providing police since police first contacted them on March 16. . . the N&O made no mention that Duke had said the previous day that the players were cooperating. . .

Why did The N&O decide to say nothing at all about the extensive cooperation the players were providing and instead promulgate the “wall of solidarity” falsehood? . . .
comment: Is the News & Observer being silent on all matters related to their distorted and libelous March and early April 2006 coverage of the hoax under the advice of legal counsel? Are they afraid of being sued?

LieStoppers:
Did you read about Charlie Parker
A young chap of 35?
Alleged he beat a woman of 51 ...
Till she was half alive. . .

So why did Durham give the Dukies
A more serious type of charge?
Oh yes, of course, Mr, Parker
Made no "white cotton shirt" remark!


Chris Quirk, guest column, Duke Chronicle:
The LAX equilibrium — As their rhetoric becomes more evasive, it is clear that those who endorsed the "Moving Forward" piece (Feb. 23) are reluctant to move beyond their stance with sincere reflection. Some of them had self-appointed, leading roles in the unfolding plot last spring-it's a perilous road from that to then telling the narrative with any semblance of detachment, much less framing it without bias. . .

Those professors to which this applies, if you cut your losses and step away from the lacrosse-as-a-premise position, then people will become more receptive to the issues for which you stand. If you maintain that the incident wasn't the impetus or premise, then you should stop mentioning it within the context of cultural development or any initiative.

Sadly, the most current engagements from both sides have been antagonistic, if only passively at times. Based on their credentials and inclusion in a top-notch institution, our professors ought to be held to a very high standard-a hybrid expectations and admiration. As such, I am disappointed to see these men and women-who have shown their brilliance to so many of us in the classroom-go to such great lengths to isolate themselves, offering this patchwork recontextualization. For some, you are not in the position to teach which lessons are learned from this scenario because of, what you would have to admit, was a reckless self-injection. .
discussion:
KC Johnson: Quirk on the Group of 88


Michael Gaynor:
The amazing defense of the reprehensible and indefensible Nifong — Although Mr. Nifong claimed to be well-intentioned, the scope of his admissions is enormous. . .

The final section of Mr. Nifong�s pleading is captained "Misrepresentation and False Statements to State Bar's Grievance Committee" (in bold, but not underscored). NOT "Alleged Misrepresentation and False Statements to State Bar�s Grievance Committee." Appropriate, if inadvertent.

It appears that Mr. Nifong still is on course to be disbarred. �Nothing in his pleading suggests a lesser sanction would be appropriate.



CSTV.com:
No. 6 Terps Host No. 2 Duke In Maryland's Historic 900th Men's Lacrosse Game — The sixth-ranked Maryland men's lacrosse team plays host to second-ranked Duke in the ACC-opener for both teams. The Terps and the Blue Devils are slated for a 7:30 p.m. (Friday) face-off at Chevy Chase Bank Field at Byrd Stadium.
  • Adding even more significance to this game is that it will be Maryland's 900th men's lacrosse game. The Terps hold a 675-220-4 (.753) record all-time.

  • The game will be broadcast live locally on WMAR Channel 2 in Baltimore. ESPNU will broadcast the game nationally on tape-delay at 10 a.m. Saturday morning. Handling the play-by-play will be Scott Garceau, while four-time All-American Quint Kessenich will provide the analysis.
discussion:
LieStoppers forum: Duke v. Maryland Men's Lacrosse

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