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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Nifong Hoax Hearing — Day 3 — June 14, 2007

Updated — today's items:

Brad BannonAaron Beard, AP/CBS News:
Lawyer Testifies Against Duke Prosecutor -- Defense Attorney Tells Of Struggle To Get DNA Evidence From District Attorney Mike Nifong -- Lawyers for three Duke lacrosse players once accused of raping a stripper repeatedly asked District Attorney Mike Nifong to turn over the full results of DNA testing, a lawyer testified Thursday during Nifong's ethics trial.

Brad Bannon, who represented former student Dave Evans, also recounted the offers he and other defense attorneys made to meet with Nifong before he sought indictments against their clients. Nifong refused, he said...

discussion:
LS forum: Brad Bannon alludes to criminal conspiracy
FreeRepublic: Lawyer Testifies Against Duke Prosecutor
-------
KC Johnson:
Professor Bannon's Visual Aid [See Comments] --
DNA findings--all of unidentified males on the rape kitlast part of the graphic says:
Conservative estimates based on comparison of the markers show that DNA Securities discovered at least two unidentified males' DNA in Crystal Mangum's pubic region, at least two unidentified males' DNA in her rectum; at least four to five unidentified males' DNA on her panties, and at least one identified male's DNA in her vagina. The statistical likelihood is that, when the other 11 electropherograms from the rape kit extractions are analyzed, there will be even more exculpatory DNA revealed.
-------
--------
Benjamin Niolet and Sarah Ovaska, News & Observer:
Lacrosse lawyers 'bewildered' by DNA report [+ audio clips] -- Lawyer Bradley Bannon, who is not a DNA expert, found previously undisclosed test results that showed DNA from unknown men had been recovered from Crystal Gail Mangum's body and underwear. Mangum, an exotic dancer, had accused the players of raping her at a team party...

"You have to understand we had been in court all summer and fall being told that there wasn't anything that was found," Bannon testified. "We were all bewildered that it hadn't been provided to us before." . . .
------
News & Observer:
Photo Gallery: June 14, 2007: Day 3 in the State Bar proceeding
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WRAL [video]: N.Y Professor’s Blog Highlights Duke Lacrosse Case

Prof. KC Johnson blogging from <span class=--------
John Stevenson & William F. West, Herald-Sun:
Defense lawyers say they pushed state to investigate -- Lawyers for the accused Duke lacrosse players implored state special prosecutors to conduct a complete and full investigation of the case after Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong relinquished control over what, eventually, turned out to be false rape and kidnapping charges, a defense lawyer testified today.

"We said, 'Look, the harm done to these young men by the state of North Carolina can only begin to be undone by the state of North Carolina. We will see these young men are innocent. Please announce that to the world,' " Brad Bannon said of the request he and other defense attorneys made of Attorney General Roy Cooper. It was not clear whether that request was oral or in writing, and when it occurred. . .

Seligmann's mother broke down in tears in the courtroom during Bannon's testimony. Outside the courtroom, Kevin Finnerty, father of Collin Finnerty, said it was difficult to relive the nightmare events of the past year while listening in court to the rehashing of the case.

"It was a very malicious prosecution -- that's obvious," he said.

"It was premeditated. It was contrived. It was corrupt. It was unethical. It was malicious. And it was directed at three innocent boys," he said.

Durham resident Victoria Peterson, who was banned from the proceedings Tuesday after she was accused of confronting and physically contacting Mary Ellen Finnerty, said Thursday that the accusations were untrue and the action against her violated her civil rights. She filed a complaint with the State Bar Thursday. She said she was never given a reason by Bar officials for why she was being denied further access to the trial.

But James Cooney, Seligmann's attorney, believes the ban was appropriate.

"It was a very threatening conversation. It was intimidating," Cooney said. "Mrs. Finnerty was in tears when it was over and Ms. Peterson just hasn't shown that she can conduct herself the way civilized people conduct themselves,"

He said Seligmann is holding up well thus far into the trial.

"He's nervous. But he's doing a lot better than I would at 21," he said. . .
discussion:
LS forum: Victoria Peterson signing somethign in court?, Did I hear this right today?
--------
Philip Wood letter (LieStoppers co-founder), Herald-Sun:
Addison letter continues to mislead community --
The extreme hypocrisy offered by Durham Police Department Cpl. David Addison in his June 10 letter does a terrible disservice to the organizations he represents. Addison, who serves as liaison to CrimeStoppers, president of the Triangle Chapter of the Police Benevolent Association and as occasional spokesperson for the Durham Police Department, decries "slander and vicious attacks" from city leaders, yet it was his own slander and vicious attacks that contributed to the hoax that city leaders now investigate.

As spokesperson for the DPD, Addison falsely informed the community: "You are looking at one victim brutally raped," and "police approached the lacrosse team with the five-page search warrant on March 16, but that all of the members refused to cooperate with the investigation," and that there was "really, really strong physical evidence" of the crime that we all know now never occurred.

As spokesperson for CrimeStoppers, Addison misled the media and the community with a statement that read in part: "The victim was sodomized, raped, assaulted and robbed. This horrific crime sent shock waves throughout our community."

Addison attempts to dissuade inspection of his own actions, and those of a few other officers who have also sullied the department. The community would be better served by his cooperating with the investigation.

Rather than denouncing the effort to restore the integrity and public confidence he helped destroy, Addison should consider being the first to break the real "wall of silence" behind the hoax.

related:
David Addison (DPD Spokesperson/hoax enabler) letter, News & Observer:
Stoic Durham Police
-------
Forum discussions of hearing:
LS: Day of Reckoning Part III, Let's get ready to rumble!!!
LS: Nancy Grace on Court TV, ohmygod she is switching sides

TalkLeft: Nifong Ethics Hearing: Part Three
------
Jon HamJon Ham, JohnLock.org/Right Angles blog:
Blogging hearing proceedings --

They’re through for the day [5:34 pm] -- Prosecution tells Williamson they have only one more witness. Brocker says maybe half hour or 45 minutes. Defendant’s case should be able to finish tomorrow, says Dudley Witt.

They are now in recess. They’ll resume tomorrow at 9 a.m.

James R. Fox on the stand [4:46 pm] -- An attorney who is the State Bar’s grievance committee chairman. He’s a member of the State Bar Council. Explains substance of the grievance, mainly saying outrageous stuff before trial, as documented during the testimony of Marsha Goodenow.

Grayson Kelly on the stand [4:38 pm] -- Chief Deputy Attorney General for North Carolina. Discussing Attorney General’s role in the case, which they got handed to them on Jan. 13, 2007.

Jean asks him to turn to the summary of conclusions by the AG’s office on the lacrosse case. What were the findings?

Kelly: No credible evidence to support the charge. No physical evidence, no DNA or other evidence corroborating the accuser’s story, evidence that accused couldn’t have done it, and on and on. AG then announced they were innocent and charges dismissed in April.

Cross of Goodenow [4:13 pm]
Goodenow continues [3:47 pm]
DNA discovery issue [3:30 pm]

Goodenow on pretrial publicity [3:15 pm] -- Jean: Is it appropriate practice for a prosecutor to express a personal opinion on whether a crime has been committed?

Goodenow: No, not privately or public. They should never express a personal opinion about a crime. The danger is that it would affect the potential jury pool.

This testimony is really bringing home for laymen how grossly out of line Nifong was during this entire affair...

Goodenow discusses Nifong’s actions [3:02 pm]
Marsha Goodenow on the stand [2:56 pm]

Duff Wilson of NY Times and protecting clients
[2:47 pm] -- Bannon says Duff Wilson told them he was getting ready to run a story that, because of their discovery efforts, they knew was not true. This happened all the time with the media. “it was our duty to make sure it was reported accurately, to make sure the truth was reported.”

Wilson’s article was going to be about bruises on Mangum’s face but Bannon had photos showing no bruises. Knowing that, he said, “I’m going to send them the photographs.”

Williamson: Did the defense consult with a public relations firm? Bannon: No. We don’t listen to PR people to tell us what to do...

Who really cares about Nancy Grace? [2:45 pm] -- He mentions all the publicity and mentions Nancy Grace, and adds: “Who really cares about Nancy Grace?” That brings a lot of laughter...

They’re back [2:32 pm] -- Williamson focuses on paragraph putting Nifong on notice that his comments give the defense license to respond in kind. Bannon says rules of conduct allow defense to respond when a case is taken to the public. “It was the collected wisdom…that we were ethically not just allowed but required to respond.” ...

Judge Smith agrees to transcript examinaton [2:21 pm]
The Dec. 15 hearing again [2:10 pm]

Nifong at the Sept. 22 hearing [2:04 pm] -- Witt: At Sept. 22 hearing Judge Smith ordered underlying data to be provided to defense, correct? Bannon: Yes ...

Proceedings resume [1:52 pm]
Now taking their lunch break [12:45 pm]

More on the DNA’s importance [12:33 pm] -- He’s now talking about “the Louvre of DNA” that Mangum turned out to be (though he didn’t use those words). At least four undentified males who were not lacrosse players were found in the panty samples, he said, and two in the oral swabs...

This case became what it became… [12:27 pm]
The motion against Nifong [12:18 pm]
Seligmann listening intently to hearing [12:15 pm]
Effect of dropping of rape charges [12:13 pm]
Evans charges of rape dropped [12:03 pm]
Nifong questions Meehan on Dec. 15 [11:59 am]
Questioning of Meehan on Dec. 15 [11:39 am]

Compelling evidence of innocence [11:29 am] -- Kingsbury got in touch with another DNA expert, this one in California, and she also confirmed that the 40-page memo was correct in its findings.

He said this was “the most compelling evidence of innocence” we had seen in this case and “we were all bewildered” that it hadn’t been provided before...

Bannon buries himself in the data [11:21 am] -- Over the next couple of months it was Bannon’s job to “look at and analyze and sort of spearhead whatever it was we were going to do with the DNA evidence.” ...

Said he reached a conclusion as to what the material showed. First thing he noticed was the pubic combing contained male DNA that did not match any of the players. He found that one night around 6 p.m. He told Joe Cheshire who said “we need to make sure that’s right.” He called Jim Cooney and said he’d found “foreign DNA that hasn’t been reported to us.” This was after all summer and fall being told that there was nothing that hadn’t been reported to us. He called Kingsbury who also said they need to check it with a DNA expert.

Over the next few days he found “another, and then another, and then another.” A Dec. 8 meeting was set up with Hal Dedman, a DNA expert, and provided him with a 40-page memo Bannon had written on the findings. Dedman told them they were right, that this was new DNA that had not been reported.

They then drafted a motion to compel additional information from Nifong.

Nifong hangs up on Bannon [11:11 am] -- Nifong then brought up a letter Bannon and Joe Cheshire sent and Nifong to “extremely upset about that letter” and wanting to know “why we were always accusing him of withholding information.”

“His volume kept going up and up and up and he wouldn’t let me respond and then he hung up on me,” said Bannon...

Back from the break [10:50 am] -- The prosecution is continuing to discuss Nifong’s court actions in a September 2006 hearing regarding the DNA discovery...

Nifong trial in morning break [10:33 am]
Will miss the early going [8:29 am]
---------
KC Johnson:
Live blogging from hearing --
Jim Fox Testimony [5:12 pm] -- Fox is chair of the Bar's grievance committee.

He just has reviewed Mike Nifong's Dec. 28 letter responding to the Bar. It contained multiple untrue statements...

Grayson Kelly Testimony [4:42 pm]

Marsha Goodenow Testimony [3:11 pm] -- The testimony of Mecklenberg Co. ADA Marsha Goodenow is occurring.

An experienced prosecutor, she is leveling blow after blow against Mike Nifong...
comment: Watched some of the Goodenow testimony on Court-TV. It is very compelling to see a fellow prosecutor condemn virtually everything Nifong did in the perpetration of this frame. For a moment it looked like Nancy "Dis" Grace was going to break down in tears as she discussed Nifong. She said it felt like she "had been kicked in the pants," by Nifong's misconduct.
Bannon on Duff Wilson [2:55] -- It's also my understanding that although Wilson claimed for his story to have reviewed the entire discovery file, he asked defense attorneys--after the story went to print--for a full copy of the discovery file, ostensibly for the purpose of "re-reviewing" it.

Bannon Cross-Examination [1:54 pm] -- The basic Witt argument:

1.) Nifong didn't have a court order before Sept. to turn over the underlying DNA data.
2.) Nifong didn't object on Sept. 22 to the defense request for the data.

We've heard this from Nifong before--the Bar already rejected this basic argument.

Witt ends without even touching Bannon...

Bannon on Linwood Wilson [12:15 pm]

More Bannon Testimony [10:15] -- Finnerty lawyer Doug Kingsbery quote from 9-22 hearing: "There may be additional male DNA" that couldn't be matched. The defense wants this information. Wants to make sure that the state understands this issue.

In response to Kingsbery request, Nifong says nothing about additional male DNA.
...
Q: What's the significance of these [DNA] findings?
A: DNA test results that don't match the person who has been charged are generally exculpatory--this is the whole purpose of a rape kit.

Number of specific reasons why it was important in this specific case.

  1. Called into question veracity of Mangum's statements about not having sexual contact for a week before the alleged assault.
  2. Showed evidence of sexual activity other than with her boyfriend and with lacrosse players--got to the heart of Mangum's credibility.
  3. Gave the lie to Nifong's "absence of evidence" argument. In fact, they found everything--just didn't match any of the lacrosse players.
  4. Provided more than sufficient explanation for swelling of the vaginal area.
Not so much how was it exculpatory--question was how it wasn't exculpatory.
--------
Jeff Taylor, Reason.com:
Nifong Nifonged -- Will one bad man take the fall? -- Displacing Nifong's lament, reportedly uttered when confronted with the accuser's conflicting stories of the supposed attack, is the reaction from Durham police Investigator Ben Himan. When told that the prosecution would forge ahead regardless, Himan testified he asked other investigators, "With What?"

Himan's question points unerringly to the fact that much more went wrong with the criminal justice system in Durham besides Mike Nifong. The scandal now broadens to the Durham Police Department, which at some level, knew that Nifong had no case.

Perversely, Nifong is counting on the perception that the police department gave him bad info and otherwise did a shoddy investigative job to help persuade the State Bar to go easy on him. But the state's legal community and especially prosecutors want to keep matters focused squarely on Nifong as an individual aberration, rather than an indicator of a broader problem with prosecutorial power...
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David Graham & Nate Freeman, Duke Chronicle:
Nifong was aware of problems in case, Himan tells State Bar -- Prosecutors also asked Himan about initial investigations. He said players had been cooperative with DPD-contradicting public statements Nifong made in March 2006. . .
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Rob Copeland, Duke Chronicle:
Despite melodrama, Yaeger hits on ‘Truth’ [book review] -- From the moment television crews arrived on campus last spring, it was inevitable that books would be written about the lacrosse rape scandal.

Here's the surprise: This one's worth picking up.

Don Yaeger's "It's Not About the Truth: The Untold Story of the Duke Lacrosse Case and the Lives It Shattered" (Simon & Schuster, $25) treats the whole episode as a story, and the result is a book as readable as any novel.

The problem, of course, is that it's not fiction. These events really did happen. In spite of the inclusion of a "cast of characters" at the end of the book, all of the slick writing only serves to distract from the explosiveness of the facts.

The over-the-top writing style is both the book's greatest strength and biggest flaw. His storytelling ability and near-biographical accounts of the case's celebrities draw readers in, but they also cheapen the overall message. . .
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Chelsea Allison, Duke Chronicle:
Lawyer’s perspective lacks analysis, polish [book review] -- Though Nader Baydoun, Trinity '71, said the theme of rushing to conviction in the Duke lacrosse case was central to the title selection for his book, "A Rush to Injustice," (Thomas Nelson, Inc., $25.95) the most glaring priority seems to have been a rush to publication.

Billed as an attempt to give "a behind-the-scenes account of the Duke lacrosse rape case… and [shed] light on the real victims in a case that gripped the nation," the book suffers from an inconsistent style and a cursory edit. . .
------
Shreya Raox, Duke Chronicle:
Pressler, Duke reached settlement -- Terms of agreement not made clear -- More than one year after his forced resignation, former men's lacrosse head coach Mike Pressler has reached a financial settlement with the university he once called home.

The terms of the agreement were finalized in mid-March, said John Burness, senior vice president for public affairs and government relations, but no information regarding the amount settled for was released...
------
Editorial, Duke Chronicle:
At Duke, things aren’t so blue after all -- It seems altogether fitting that admissions numbers for the Class of 2011 have come out at a time when Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong's handling of the lacrosse case is again making headlines.

After all, the incoming group of freshmen was the first to fill out applications after the lacrosse scandal broke. These stats are, in short, the ones everyone's been waiting for.

And they weren't too shabby after all. Although the statistics were not as jaw-dropping as Duke News may make them out to be, the numbers do indicate that the "Duke lacrosse scandal" did not deter prospective students from applying and probably hasn't struck as big a blow to the University as some had anticipated...
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WRAL:
Accused Lacrosse Players May Testify Today -- Mike Nifong's State Bar trial heads into its third day and two of the accused lacrosse players may testify as early as today...

Seligmann and Finnerty are in Raleigh Thursday. It is not yet known if Evans is in town. Seligmann and Evans are expected to testify in the trial. Finnerty is expected to be in court, but not take the stand.

On Wednesday, the trial centered on DNA testimony. Dr. Brian Meehan, director of DNA Security Inc., said Nifong asked the private laboratory to test DNA in the investigation. However, Meehan said Nifong never asked for the final report of the work...
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Anne Blythe, Benjamin Niolet & Sarah Ovaska, News & Observer:
Panel presses DNA expert -- A disciplinary body looks at Mike Nifong's actions on DNA findings in the lacrosse case -- The head of the private lab that did DNA testing for Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong testified Wednesday that if he had been a juror hearing the Duke lacrosse case, he would have wanted to know more about test results that were withheld from the defense.

Brian Meehan, head of DNA Security in Burlington, got prickly when Lane Williamson, chairman of the Disciplinary Hearing Commission panel deciding Nifong's fate, suggested that he put himself in the role of a juror.

Meehan protested that the request was unfair. "I know I have to answer the question, but so ... I don't feel that I should be trying these children, these kids or these young men."

But Williamson pressed on with questions that pushed to the heart of the N.C. State Bar's most serious accusation against Nifong -- that the prosecutor knowingly withheld evidence favorable to the three Duke lacrosse players accused of sexual assault and then lied about it to judges and other court officials....
related:
LieStoppers: Judge Probative [cartoon]
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NY Post headline, 6-14-07: DA SAT ON FACTSLeonard Greene, NY Post:
DA 'SAT ON' DUKE FACTS -- The lead investigator in the flawed rape case against three Duke lacrosse players said yesterday the top prosecutor knew about the accuser's history of mental illness - but didn't tell the grand jury...

Under questioning by Nifong's attorney, Dudley Witt, Himan said Nifong's approach was all or nothing.

"[Nifong] said, 'If you believe her in one part of the story, you have to believe her on the other part of the story,' " Himan said yesterday. " 'You can't pick and choose.' "

A day earlier, Himan recalled how flimsy the case was.
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Christian Red, NY Daily News:
Ex-Duke coach keeps score on DA -- Fifteen months to the day after a Duke University men's lacrosse party featuring two black strippers sparked a year-long national saga of rape and sexual assault accusations, three player indictments and a "rogue" district attorney's at-all-costs push to incarcerate the young men, Mike Pressler watched his New York hotel TV yesterday as the surreal events unfolded on the screen.

"There's our boy," said Pressler, the former Blue Devils' lacrosse coach, as new details emerged from the ethics trial of Durham DA Mike Nifong...

"Fifteen months seems like 15 years," said Pressler. "Somebody asked me, 'Is it over?' It's over when Nifong faces Judgment Day. Judgment Day began (Tuesday). I can speak honestly - for the indicted boys and their families, for all the players, disbarment is not enough. What (Nifong) did, this premeditated decision to frame those three guys, railroad them, is flat-out criminal." ...
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Ann Givens, Newsday:
DNA expert says he omitted evidence in Duke case -- DNA specialist Brian Meehan said he did not include that evidence in a report that he gave to Nifong for use at a hearing in the case, even though they had discussed the evidence and it might have helped exonerate the defendants.

"It was a poor judgment on my part," said Meehan. "But there was no specific reason or agenda."

The fact that Meehan clearly took responsibility for omitting information from his report and repeatedly said Nifong did not direct him to do it was a small victory for Nifong, who could be seen smiling and chuckling at several moments during his testimony...
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Duff Wilson, NY Times:
Lab Chief Explains DNA Report in Duke Case -- The prosecutor in the Duke lacrosse case had nothing to do with a laboratory’s decision to not say in a report that tests had found DNA from at least four unknown men on the body and underwear of a stripper who accused the students of gang rape, the lab director said Wednesday...

Joseph Cheshire, a lawyer for one of the three ex-players who have been declared innocent, said Mr. Meehan lacked credibility and was trying to save his reputation.

“There would never have been a ‘final’ report,” Mr. Cheshire said. “That’s the whole problem here. They together conspired to withhold exculpatory evidence from the people who were charged.”
discussion:
KC Johnson: Compare & Contrast
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KC Johnson:
Nifong Trial, Day II -- The highlights from Day Two of the Nifong ethics trial.

1.) Himan Holds Up
. . . 2.) Nifong’s SOS

Witt left so much of Himan’s testimony unchallenged because he was busy implementing the apparent Nifong approach—the “Slime & Obfuscate Strategy,” or SOS. . .

3.) The Unpredictable Dr. M

In his previous court appearance—December 15—Dr. Meehan showed himself to be a highly . . . erratic . . . witness. But he outdid himself yesterday. . .

Lane Williamson4.) Lane Williamson continues to impress ... The DHC chair asks incisive questions that cut to the heart of the matter, quickly...

5.) Bannon on tap . . . The “DNA Breaker” began his testimony yesterday afternoon, and is first up this morning, at 9am.
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LieStoppers:
A Tale of Two DNA Experts -- The essence of Dr. Meehan's testimony was, “I didn’t do anything wrong and you can’t prove I did.” Meehan admitted that while DNA from several unidentified men recovered from Crystal Mangum's panties and nether regions was disclosed to District Attorney Mike Nifong repeatedly, he neglected to include those findings in the report apparently used to secure the indictment of David Evans and later provided to each of the Hoax defendants as if it was a full and complete final report. When asked why he didn’t include it in his report, Meehan flippantly responded to the effect that he would have been more than happy to include it in his final report if Nifong ever asked for it. While Dr. Meehan did offer the condemning suggestion that for most investigators, unlike Nifong and his DPD lackeys, these findings would have been important, the beleaguered witness appeared, at times, to be performing “The Sidestep” as he danced around accepting responsibility for his role in the framing of innocent men...

SBI Agent Jennifer Leyn followed Dr. Meehan to the stand. In stark contrast to Dr. Meehan's evasive nervousness and petulant demeanor, Agent Leyn displayed a professional attitude while answering all questions directly...
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Editorial Board, Daily Tar Heel:
Triangle needs true justice -- Punishment for Nifong essential to State Bar integrity -- As much as it pains us to say this, there is something on which we agree with those devilish quasi-persons down the road - that Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong butchered his handling of the Duke lacrosse case last spring.

Nifong goes before the N.C. State Bar, the agency that licenses and disciplines lawyers, this week for a disciplinary hearing on a number of ethics violations including misleading the public, making inflammatory statements out of court and withholding evidence. There is little doubt that Nifong was able to skew public opinion based on his handling of the case. But based on its history of oversight in misconduct cases, the State Bar might not agree with us.

The State Bar has disbarred about 170 lawyers since 1996. That number is misleading, however, because never - not even for a single day - has an N.C. prosecutor lost the capacity to practice law due to such prosecutorial misconduct.

With the whole state - indeed, likely the whole country, after the case was blown so out of proportion - watching, the State Bar should use this chance both to right its own ship by disbarring a dishonest lawyer and to give Nifong the punishment he deserves...
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David Addison (DPD Spokesperson/hoax enabler) letter, News & Observer:
Stoic Durham Police --
The Durham Police Dpartment has been subjected to yet another round of criticism from the City of Durham leaders. This is like the first round of a fight with Mike Tyson. The decision has already been made.

We continue to stand in silence because our teaching shows us that retaliation does not profit anyone. As we stand bloodied from the slander and vicious attacks, we are just blocking punches. The air of voice is beaten out and the eyes of clarity have been closed. The only things we have left are the legs that are supported by over 500 sworn officers and nearly 200 civilians. We are still able to think, but even the referee penalizes us for blows we have not thrown. How much more can we take? A lot.

However, we cannot and will not subscribe to the philosophy of abuse or continue to be victimized as everyone else becomes popular. It is amazing -- or is it just an election year?

David Addison
President, Triangle Chapter, Police Benevolence Association
---------
William Doherty (Westmont, N.J.) letter, Herald-Sun:
Blue wall of silence -- "Wall of Silence." Isn't that what Cpl. David Addison said about the Duke lacrosse team, even though he was wrong? I am writing because as a retired member of the New Jersey state Police Benevolent Association, I still receive their newspaper in the mail. Addison is a disgrace to any police department. He continues to stand in silence, otherwise his department's crimes will be exposed. This is truly "the blue wall of silence."

He and his department make all of us who have served or are serving look like a bunch of liars and hoax artists. I was a PBA member for 25 years and we never stood behind police corruption. Only in Durham can this happen. We would not stand behind police officers who tried to railroad three innocent Duke students.
--------
Sarah Ovaska, News & Observer:
Lacrosse case frenzy moderates -- The requests to attend from media came from bloggers, cameramen and reporters from Court TV, National Public Radio and the "Today" show.

Another rapt follower of the case is Jackie Brown, Nifong's former campaign manager who turned against him. Attending the hearing was so important that she booked a hotel room in Raleigh for the week rather than make the drive from Durham. She was concerned that she'd have to wait hours in line each day to secure one of the passes being handed out to the public (there are fewer than 20).

"We had no idea," she said.

On Tuesday, she showed up at 4:30 a.m. The street was empty, as was the rest of downtown Raleigh. She came back the next hour and stood in line, the first one there. On Wednesday, she came at 7 a.m. and got in easily.
comment: Court-TV reported that Jackie Brown was attending the hearing in order to obtain "closure" in her relationship with Mike Nifong.
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LieStoppers:
It's Not About the Truth [book review] -- For the layman who may have taken a passing interest in the Duke Hoax, this book is a treasure trove of information, clearly documented and easy to follow from beginning to end. It concisely describes the egregious actions of D.A. Mike Nifong, most notably his outrageous media tactics. The uninitiated reader will enjoy learning the backdrop of this compelling story that unfolded in Durham that Spring.

For the "Blog Hooligan" or "Duke Hoaxphile," the book provides a quick compendium of previously availble information that most who've followed the case know by heart. But it also is replete with unique insights and explosive facts not previously revealed, making it a very worthwhile read for even the most discerning "Blog Hooligan."

Where It's Not About The Truth succeeds wonderfully is in truly portraying the real tragedy of this cruel Hoax - the destruction it wrought on these young men, their families, and the family of Coach Mike Pressler in particular...
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