Nifong's January 16th Letter to State Bar [see comments]—
3. I met with Dr. Meehan at DNA Securities, Inc. in Burlington, NC on two occasions that I recall. On each of those occassions, I was accompanied by Investigator Ben Himan and Sergeant Mark Gottlieb of the Durham Police Department, who transported me to Burlington by automobile.[I am aware that Inv. Himan has written in his report that I was also present at a meeting at DNA Securities on April 10, 2006. I can only report that I have no recollection of that meeting and that I have no documentation or other evidence that I ever attended such a meeting...]other source:
I did not take any notes during the course of either of these meetings, nor, to the best of my recollection, did anyone else present. I also did not subsequently record any recollections of either meeting.The narrative report of Inv. Sgt. Gottlieb, furnished to the defendants in discovery, does not contain any details of the April 21 meeting other than the fact the it occurred (his narrative indicates, however, that it occurred on April 20; see Attachment A2); this narrative also fails to mention the May 12 meeting at all (see Attachment A3). The typewritten notes and narrative report of Inv. Himan, furnished to the defendants in discovery, each contain a single sentence of details of the April 21 meeting (see Attachments B2, C2); his notes and narrative contain no details of the May 12 meeting other than that he attended it (see Attachments B3, C3). Dr. Meehan testified on December 22 that his file contained no notes regarding these meetings. . .
Cover letter [.pdf, 1 page]
Response to Questions Posed in January 5 letter [.pdf, 4 pages]
Nifong's Continued Evasions — No law enforcement official from Durham took any notes at any point during any meeting with Meehan.
In an astonishing claim, Nifong asserts that he, Sgt. Mark Gottlieb, and Inv. Ben Himan drove to Meehan’s Burlington lab on at least two occasions, sat across the table from the lab director for over an hour in total, and that none of them ever wrote anything down about what they discussed with Meehan. Why, then, did the three of them even bother to make the trip . . .
Nifong used the January 16 letter to offer what was then his seventh excuse for withholding the DNA evidence. . .
Nifong Admitted to April 10 Meeting at June Hearing — Flashback to June 22, 2006 . . .
Mr. Nifong: no Reade Seligmann, maybe nuts — Mr. Nifong's responses reveal that he wanted inculpatory evidence, but not exculpatory evidence, proof that he was not fit to serve as a fair and impartial minister of justice. . .
TalkLeft: Nifong Has No Recall of April 10, 2006 Session
I.M.A.L.I.A.R. — In consideration of Defendant Nifong’s failing memory, we have designed a mnemonic device to help him recall his April 10, 2006, meeting with Dr. Brian Meehan, Investigator Benjamin Himan, and Sergeant Mark Gottlieb . . .
comment: It must be "Standard Operating Procedure" for Nifong and company to not take any notes. KC Johnson reported this behaviour in his eyewitness account of the December 15th court hearing:The prosecution table, on the other hand, looked like amateur hour. Nifong sat stonefaced through most of the hearing, occasionally yawning, rubbing his temples, or shuffling a few documents in front of him. He took few, if any, notes, and rarely objected to Bannon’s questioning. Next to him, Inv. B.W. Himan appeared not to move for nearly two hours. Remarkably, the case’s new “lead investigator” took no notes during Meehan’s testimony, and didn’t appear to consult once with Nifong.
To Himan’s left was Nifong’s chief investigator, Linwood Wilson, who arrived late to the hearing. A rotund man, Wilson spent the hearing with his chair pushed back from the table, his legs spread out on the side. Like Himan, he took no notes. . .
More Evidence of the Wall of Silence Hoax —
"Officers let us into 2C Edens and we went to speak to Michael Young. I knocked and we were invited in. Inv. Himan spoke to the subject in his room. He was polite and answered Inv. Himans [sic] questions." - Sergeant Mark Gottlieb (Case Supplemental Report, Page 32)
Durham black conservative Christian, The Dark Truth blog:
Dear Mr Nifong — An open letter to our current, bumbling DA in Durham —
Dear Mr Nifong,
I am writing you on the behalf of a new organization, Concerned Black Citizens Of Durham, about your performance as District Attorney for our fair-weathered city of Durham. Ok, I am the only member of this organization, but has that stopped anyone before?! Anyway, I am requesting on the behalf of my organization and other citizens of Durham that you immediately tender your resignation. . .
Now you are under investigation from the state Board for ethics violations. You were forced to give the case to a special prosecutor. Our group feels that we cannot trust you anymore. We fear the outcome of any case in which a citizen prosecuted by you who does not have the resources to fight you like the lacrosse players. The latest Duke rape case is a good example. Is the accused in this case treated like the lacrosse players? Is this a make-up case to get back in good graces with the Duke community? Will the victim be treated better or worse than the lacrosse accuser? All of these questions should not arise in any future criminal case involving Duke students. The only way to ensure this is for you to tender your resignation. Do not continue to drag the city in this quagmire just for your own ego. Our own governor even wants you out. You won your little election, just step down now! The city will be able to go on. The justice system in Durham would operate without this lingering cloud of suspicion. Do the right thing for yourself and Durham, resign effective today!
Concerned Black Citizens
Greg Collins, editorial/opinion, Daily Collegian (U. Mass.):
Racial politics 101 — Appealing to people's emotions on race seems to be one of the most effective political ploys public figures use to advance their own careers. No more was this truth evident than in the recent Duke lacrosse scandal. This past December, North Carolina Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong dropped rape charges against three white Duke lacrosse players who were accused of sexually assaulting a black stripper at a team-hosted party one year ago. . .
For instance, following the accusations, 88 Duke professors from the Trinity College of Arts and Sciences took out a full-page ad in the student newspaper supporting the stripper and publicizing what they perceived as a racist and sexist environment in the Duke community.
It provided further proof that many people continue to focus on race in determining the guilt or innocence of parties involved in an ongoing investigation. Even more so, the knee-jerk reactions from the New York Times, the NAACP, and Duke professors automatically assuming the players' guilt is an indication that too many people in the United States are tricked by public figures who use race as a wedge issue to further their own careers or pass policies which reflect discriminatory attitudes towards people of different races. . .
Ryan McCartney, Editor, Duke Chronicle:
From the editor's desk — Sticks and stones aside, words can carry a punch-a fact that has been made particularly clear since the lacrosse case first broke.
Through it all, this paper has done its best to cover what has been a very complex issue by striving for balanced coverage on its pages and creating several features for readers on its website.
The Chronicle Online's message boards and story comments sections have been a popular outlet for such discussion, but some have expressed discontent with the at-times extreme views expressed in the Chronicle's online forums. Here, I would like to take a few words to address, at least in part, issues surrounding some of the concerns raised.
First and foremost, we hope The Chronicle Online's forums can continue to be a valuable way for members of the larger Duke community to offer and engage a range of perspectives on important campus topics. It's also quite clear, however, that free speech can get a bit dirty at times. Herein lies the rub. . .
Barry Jacobs, IndyWeek.com
Ironies and echoes — Front pages touted the release of a report by Duke University's Campus Culture Initiative steering committee, more fallout from the lacrosse fiasco of last year. Among 28 recommendations from a group of faculty, students and administrators were five on athletics, including a plea to "ensure full participation of student-athletes in campus academic and social life by decreasing practice and travel time demands on student-athletes." The same day, a piece in The News & Observer sports section reported Duke men's basketball team going in the opposite direction, staying in hotel rooms off campus prior to some home games, emulating the excessive isolation and ridiculously wasteful spending of football programs seeking to reduce distractions.
The juxtaposition was especially ironic in its echo of a 1969 Duke faculty report on athletics that recommended, among other things, terminating "the current custom of coaches closely supervising the activities and lives of student-athletes." The idea, quaint as it may sound, was that excessive control "may well impede the normal progress of student athletes to maturation."
Dan Richards, (Dunn, NC) Daily Record:
Lacrosse Team 'Sticks' To Its Game — Coach Darrin Guay plans to take his Triton High lacrosse team to see a Duke home match this spring. "We want to show our support for the Duke team, now that it is back playing, and stand up for the sport," Guay said. . .
Chris Tobin, who is helping coach the Hawks this year, wore a Duke T-shirt during the opening match with Southeast Raleigh. "Our sport suffered a bit from all that publicity, but it's in good shape now," he said. "More people will be interested because of the ink. Too bad it had to happen that way."
Twin brothers Timothy and Thomas Bass agreed that there is more attention focused on lacrosse now. "It means that all of us who play the game need to work hard on being role models," Thomas Bass said. "I love the game and I hope more people will come out and enjoy it." . . .
comment: now this is the type of engineering and hard science that Duke needs to be focusing on, not that 'Gang of 88' crap.
Estes Thompson, AP/Wilmington Star-News:
Duke Grad Builds Beer Tossing Fridges —
It took the 22-year-old Cornwell about 150 hours and $400 in parts to modify a mini-fridge common to many college dorm rooms into the beer-tossing contraption, which can launch 10 cans of beer from its magazine before needing a reload.
With a click of the remote, fashioned from a car’s keyless entry device, a small elevator inside the refrigerator lifts a beer can through a hole and loads it into the fridge’s catapult arm. A second click fires the device, tossing the beer up to 20 feet - “far enough to get to the couch,” he said. . .