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Saturday, June 23, 2007

Nifong/Mangum Hoax — June 23, 2007

Updated — today's items:

Deposition of Mark D. Gottlieb, April 19, 2007SMOKING GUN
LieStoppers blog:
Deposition of Mark D. Gottlieb - Part 1

LieStoppers forum:
Gottlieb Deposition 204 pages HERE IT IS, PDF FILE -- JSwift: He claims to have picked up the SANE report on March 21 from Levicy and to have delivered it to Himan. As a result, if this claim is correct, the DPD had the report prior to the application for the NTO on March 23. If so, Himan's claim in the affidavit that the medical records supported the accusation was known to be false and arguably constitues perjury.

Gottlieb explains his failure to take contemporaneous notes by explaining that this was Himan's investigation and that he assisted as Himan's supervisor.

Gottlieb seems to be ready to throw Himan under the bus. Himan must be pleased that he and Gottlieb are sharing the same PBA attorney....

Upload2.net: [delay] Nifong - deposition Mark Gottlieb
Editorial, News & Observer:
A steadying hand -- Durham's new interim district attorney, appointed by Governor Easley, should help restore public confidence in the office -- Jim Hardin gained the most visibility as Durham's district attorney when he successfully prosecuted novelist Mike Peterson in 2003 in the murder of his wife, Kathleen. But even before then, Hardin was known as a fairly cool customer in the way he ran the D.A.'s office. Certainly his return for a two-month stint in that position offers a measure of hope for order to be restored. Governor Easley appointed Hardin on Wednesday.

Hardin sounded the right notes at a news conference the day after his temporary selection to replace Mike Nifong. Among those notes was his vow for "transparency," meaning that the office will be committed to publicly explaining its decisions. Hardin acknowledged that goes against the instincts of most folks in law enforcement. That type of openness, he said, "is typically something we're not comfortable with, but I believe we have to be as transparent as we can."

And Hardin will have a free hand to make personnel changes he deems necessary. He clearly understands just how much damage has been done in the wake of the Duke lacrosse case fiasco. Indeed, it roiled hard feelings on the part of many in the community, and Hardin vows to restore credibility and integrity to the office. He returns with a good bit of support in Durham, which ought to help...
Editorial, Herald-Sun:
Hardin a great choice -- Those who long for the day Durham can move beyond the lacrosse case should be pleased with Gov. Mike Easley's selection of Jim Hardin to serve as temporary district attorney...


N&O, Herald-Sun Applaud Hardin Appointment -- The Triangle's two daily newspapers, The News & Observer and The Herald-Sun, have published editorials today applauding the appointment of former Durham County District Attorney Jim Hardin to replace deposed Minister of Injustice Mike Nifong, his handpicked successor...

For the duration of the Hoax, the editorial boards of both newspapers offered repeated affirmations of the thoroughly exposed Minister of Injustice. With that in mind, it is difficult to place much confidence in their endorsements of Hardin.

Today's editorials alternately ignore or gloss over the fact that it was Jim Hardin's recommendation of Mr. Nifong that directed Governor Easley to his "worst ever" appointment...
Jim Hardin press conference, June 21, 2006Aaron Beard, AP/ABC News:
Nifong's Past Casework Could Get a 2nd Look in Wake of Duke Case -- The official assessment of Mike Nifong's handling of the Duke lacrosse case - "intentional prosecutorial misconduct" - clearly could not have been more harsh.

What's not yet clear: Will Nifong's misdeeds in his last case as a prosecutor give defense attorneys an easy path to overturn his nearly three decades of work in the Durham County district attorney's office?

"I don't think the fact that he was shown to be so unethical in the Duke lacrosse case will mean that other cases he's prosecuted will automatically be reversed or appealed," said Steve Cron, a defense lawyer from Santa Monica, California, who has practiced for 33 years.

"But his behavior in this case was so outrageous and so beyond what's required of an ethical prosecutor that everyone's going to start going back and looking." ...
Nifong's Old Cases Questioned -- Disciplinary Hearing Commission Chair F. Lane Williamson indicated that he believed the misconduct of the defrocked attorney was an "aberration." Williamson's remarks painted the picture of Mr. Nifong as an honest prosecutor led astray by political ambition. For many observers, Williamson's characterization has been difficult to accept. Given the extreme and persistent misconduct that led to Nifong's disbarment, it is not surprising that pundits are now calling for investigations into the humiliated ex-prosecutor's old cases...

Although new again DA Hardin has attempted to portray the Nifong/Mangum Hoax as "ancient history," it would appear that his efforts to ignore the recently exposed, and admitted, egregious misconduct of his handpicked successor will fail as the Nifong Effect promises to continue to impact his office for the foreseeable future.
Benjamin Niolet, News & Observer:
Nifong leaves a case in limbo -- Four men were murdered at a townhouse in '05; the Durham DA was to lead the trial. Now it's on hold -- Suspended District Attorney Mike Nifong was the lead prosecutor on two cases.

One was the sexual assault case against three innocent Duke University lacrosse players that captured the attention of the national media and led to Nifong's public implosion.

His downfall will affect the other case that was on Nifong's roster: the execution-style shootings of four young men in a south Durham townhouse.

Nifong announced an indictment in the 2005 slayings about a month before he was elected last November to a four-year term. Now that he is awaiting disbarment, someone else will have to take up the complex and high-profile case. Jim Hardin, picked by Gov. Mike Easley to run the office for about two months, said in a news conference this week that he does not yet know who will do that.

"As part of my responsibilities -- for the cases that need my attention, they will get my attention," Hardin said.

The fact that someone other than Nifong will prosecute Rodrick Vernard Duncan came as welcome news to Lennis Harris Sr., whose son Lennis Jr. was one of the four men killed.

"There's a relief," Harris said. "That was one of the big issues for the family members because we didn't want this to be about [Nifong]. He had his own problems to deal with and we were afraid that if he did take on this case, that the focus would be on him and what went on with the Duke case. So that was a big concern." ...
Gary North, LewRockwell.com:
What I Learned From Duke University -- I used to live in Durham. I used to visit Duke’s magnificent open-stacks libraries on a regular basis. I learned a lot in those libraries. But I learned a lot more from Duke over the last month.

In 1942, America’s most distinguished academic economist, Joseph Schumpeter, offered a theory. He argued that America’s business elite had lost its will to resist the socialists. The key to this surrender was higher education. The anti-business socialists had been hired by America’s elite universities, he said, yet the business elite continued to send their children to these universities.

In 2007, Duke University seemed to confirm half of Schumpeter’s thesis, in full public view. But which half? This half: his thesis regarding the surrender of America’s elite. But he was dead wrong about the triumph of socialism. The socialists did not survive the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. They went down on the Good Ship Marx.


The lesson: keep your children away from these high-IQ tenured nihilists. If the elite want to play moral Russian roulette with their children’s lives by sending them to elite universities, let them. If your elite-uncertified child cannot get tenure after graduation, shed no tears. Job security tends to corrupt, and tenure corrupts absolutely – maybe not an individual, but the market-insulated institution that provides it.
Dennis Draughon, EditorialCartoonists.com:
Nifong's Rest Home --
By Doug Giles, TownHall.com:
Help! I’m Being Nifonged! -- If I were Mike Nifong’s son or daughter, I’d change my last name PDQ. Why? Well, principally because that name has now formally become a pejorative in the American argot for anyone who will gleefully roast the innocent for their pipe dream of power.

Y’know, it’s just a matter of time before FOX has a new reality show championing the cause of folks who’ve been trampled by such soulless narcissists. The show could be called, “Help! I’m being Nifonged!” ...

Then you’ve got the shriveled testicle Board of (mis)Trustees and the admin cats at Duke who, cowed by what people might think of them, decided to serve these boys to the lions—facts be damned...
Editorial, PalmBeachPost.com:
Judicial emergency brake -- Now that the renegade prosecutor in the Duke University lacrosse case has been disbarred, Floridians might wonder whether a similar case could happen here. It couldn't...

In Florida, the 20 state attorneys work for the governor, and he can intervene. Admittedly, that power also can be problematic. In 2002, his reelection year, Jeb Bush removed the Miami-Dade County state attorney, a Democrat, from an investigation. Katherine Fernandez-Rundle was checking fraud allegations against a group seeking a referendum to overturn a gay rights ordinance. His move came one day before the group faced a contempt hearing.

But given the example of the Duke case, Florida is better off having someone who can slow down a runaway case before it derails, smashing all the lives in its path...
KC Johnson:
Still Foolish
-- In his closing remarks at the Nifong ethics hearing, Lane Williamson noted, “Those who made a rush to judgment based upon an unquestioning faith in what a prosecutor had told them were made to look foolish and many still do look foolish...

for instance, Syracuse assistant professor Boyce Watkins...

Or take the case of Washington Post sportswriter Mike Wise...

other examples of this “facts-be-damned” mentality. Yesterday, the pro-Mangum blog abyss2hope [Marcella Chester] published a piece peculiarly arguing “alleged victims who lose public support and are labeled as an unreliable witness routinely face cruel and unusual punishment...

Or take N&O columnist Barry Saunders, who not once but twice approvingly published Nifong’s courtroom claim that “something happened.” ...
Anne Blythe & Joe Neff, News & Observer:
Contempt accusations loom -- Mike Nifong, whose law career came to a crashing halt this week, could soon be summoned back to the courthouse he was ousted from to answer contempt accusations.

Lawyers for the three exonerated Duke lacrosse players asked Judge W. Osmond Smith III on Friday to find the former district attorney in criminal contempt of court for withholding crucial DNA evidence from their clients and lying about it to the court over a seven-month period.

"Mr. Nifong knowingly played a game of hide and seek and seek and seek and seek with the Defendants and the Court," the motion said.

Smith, who was appointed in August to oversee the lacrosse case, was on his way back from a judges conference in Asheville on Friday and could not be reached for comment. It was unclear how Smith is likely to proceed. He could call a hearing in which Nifong could defend himself.

If found in contempt, Nifong could face a possible fine as well as a jail sentence of up to 30 days...
Brianne Dopart, Herald-Sun:
Motion may lead to jail for Nifong -- Attorneys for three former Duke lacrosse players asked a judge Friday to hold former Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong in criminal contempt for withholding DNA evidence favorable to their clients.

The 42-page motion, filed shortly after noon, listed 136 reasons Nifong should be held in contempt. If that happens, the disgraced former prosecutor -- who was suspended with pay and stripped of his office keys and court ID card earlier this week -- could land in jail.

According to the motion, Nifong "personally engaged in a pattern of official prosecutorial misconduct, which violated at least a dozen laws, rules and court orders designed to protect due process and the pursuit of truth," the attorneys wrote in their request.

"His misconduct, the motion continued, "is so extensive -- and occurred across so much time and on so many different fields of legal and ethical obligation -- that the sheer scope of it shocks the conscience and defies any notion of accident or negligence...
More Nifong bar video highlights:
KC Johnson: The Wacky World of Dr. Meehan [1:10]
KC Johnson: Nifong as "Unique Person" [2:34]
Two Thumbs Up
HeadLine Saturday - Mike Nifong and the State Bar [video, 23:37] -- Among the guests: Joe Neff, Jim Coleman, Joe Kennedy, and Melanie Sill
KC Johnson: WRAL Headline Saturday -- It's worth watching.

LS forum: Hey, guys, interesting discussion on WRAL, "Headline Saturday" -- I'm shocked, SHOCKED. She [Melanie Sill] still is trying to figure out how her little story crumbled so badly. Thank goodness for Joe Neff, or the N&O would have made the Hurled-Scum look responsible by comparison...
Letters to Herald-Sun:
Nifong got his wish

It has been reported that Mike Nifong boasted that he wouldn't allow Durham to become known for a bunch of lacrosse players from Duke raping a black girl. Well, Durham sure won't be known for that. Thanks to Nifong, Durham will be known as the home of a venal, unethical former prosecutor.

Durham is also now known to have an abundance of people who are easily duped and who quickly and reliably respond at any pretext to support the self-promoting purveyors of divisive race politics.

R.S. Selvidge
Los Angeles
Duke owes answers

We need a truth and reconciliation commission in Durham. How many more lives will be destroyed to proclaim that the three Duke lacrosse players who engaged in bad behavior are pure as the driven snow? Will Police Chief Steve Chalmers be declared guilty of crimes against the Duke boys for allowing Nifong to pursue the case?

When Duke President Richard Brodhead spoke at an NAACP dinner in November, he asked us to do for the Duke boys what hasn't been done for African-Americans who are dealing with the criminal justice system. How many slaps in the face do we need to stand up and demand truth and justice?

The Duke boys received an undisclosed settlement, adding to their riches. The Durham community got nothing from Duke for all the years of bad behavior associated with the houses for athletes. Duke owes the Durham community full disclosure of the settlement with the "Duke 3." Duke needs to declare an end to the reign of a privileged few damaging community relationships.

The whole world is watching. What will Durham leaders and the good people of Durham do to heal the open wounds? Will we dare to be powerful and act on our vision of justice? Time will tell.
Theresa El-Amin
Missing accountability

By now everyone in the country has realized the magnitude of the atrocities that have been committed against three members of the men's lacrosse team at Duke and that there are individuals in addition to Mike Nifong who are responsible for those atrocities. Most everyone, including the Durham mayor and members of the City Council, has recognized that reports by City Manager Patrick Baker and the Police Department are empty and transparent.

In his letter of June 10, Cpl. David Addison references standing in silence because "retaliation does not profit anyone." There are many experienced, professional, and skilled officers in the Durham Police Department who had no involvement in this case and have stood in silence throughout the investigation. But have they done so because it was the proper response or because they were ordered to remain silent?

One also has to question Addison's meaning when he used the word "retaliation." Accountability is one of the core values of a responsible government and Police Department. Citizens are due that accountability and should demand it. So far, the few members of the Durham Police Department involved in this tragedy, and Baker, have not been held accountable.

The Durham Mayor and City Council have acknowledged that there are still unanswered questions as to how this tragedy occurred and what involvement Durham city employees had, and they rightfully have initiated an additional inquiry to resolve these questions.

Dennis Lane
The writer is a retired Raleigh Police Department major who worked on the Duke lacrosse case for defense attorney Wade Smith, who represented Collin Finnerty.
Nifong is insincere

Finally, the truth is coming out. According to all I have been reading about Mike Nifong in recent days, he knew exactly what he was doing. He really thought the people of Durham were stupid enough to fall for his lies. He lied about the Duke lacrosse rape case and there is no getting around that.

Nifong lied to win votes and to make a name for himself. I hope he is learning a valuable lesson from this. I really don't know how Nifong could live with himself knowing he was ruining the lives of three young men, only so he could benefit from it. The only other punishment Nifong could receive now would to be sued by these three young men for the damage he has done in their lives and their families' lives. They certainly have a strong case. One does not have to be a lawyer to know that.

As for his apologies, I don't believe one word he says. As for the tears he has shed during his testimony, just chalk it up to being a good actor. Sorry, I don't believe Nifong. He has done a lot of damage to those young men and Durham. I was born and raised in Durham, so I know a lot about Durham.

It is a shame that Durham will be always be remembered as the town where Mike Nifong told his lies and ruined lives in order to advance himself.

Cindy Wrenn
Yorktown, Va.
Brodhead must go

Now that the State Bar Association has taken the only proper action possible against Mike Nifong, who will step up and exact similar justice from Duke University, especially President Richard Brodhead and the faculty group that forgot the most basic of our rights, the one about being presumed innocent until proven guilty? The self-righteous students who railed against their brothers when they should have been rallying to their support also should be held accountable.

Brodhead said in a recent statement that "The actions Duke took caused consternation to many in the university family, which I profoundly regret" and added, "As Duke University's president, I resolve to do my part to repair the harm unleashed by Mr. Nifong's actions and to move forward from this painful episode."

Read that statement carefully. Basically what it says is that the problem was not Duke's or its president's or its faculty's or its students; Duke's problem was Nifong. Give me a break. How much longer do we have to wait for the Board of Trustees to take the only responsible action available to them: fire the president, apologize to the three innocent students he and they railroaded, and put in place an iron-clad process that will do what should always be done without question -- protect the rights of their students, first, foremost and always.

Thomas E. Hoppin
Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Where's the apology?

Thank you for putting Mike Nifong's apologies on the front page and above the fold. I've been gone for a couple of weeks and probably missed the apology or apologies by the 88 elitists who disguise themselves as educators.

Please print or reprint the Duke professor's apology or apologies to the young men and to the university.

Bob Singer
Chapel Hill
Reyn Bowman's "Bull City Mutterings" blog, TheDurhamNews.com:
Net Crashers -- regarding the recent unpleasantness -- Our office received an email this week from an individual in Arizona who ... chastised Durham for not "rising up in arms" about Mike Nifong. ...

It was far too easy to point out in response that in 2004 when a prosecutor in the Tucson/Pima County jurisdiction was disbarred for soliciting false testimony in a capital murder case that the headlines in Arizona hardly called for people to "rise up in arms" nor did the nation blame the entire state of Arizona. People do love to be self-righteous but who lets a little hypocrisy get in the way when you can pile on?

Contrary to the writer's opinion, this isn't as easy as assigning evil to one person and sainthood to others. It is sad, and Durham is deeply saddened that people make false accusations, that attorneys spar to the point of pushing each other to forget why they are there, that activists too quick to move to outrage can forget to wait for the facts, and that some of the news media was all too willing to fuel hyperbole instead of letting the justice system work. ...

But fortunately, our world has an increasingly short attention span. Once the piling on, finger pointing, and blame game are exhausted, people will move on. ...
Matt Dees, Meiling Arounnarath, & Samiha Khanna, News & Observer:
Weighty issues in Durham -- TOO LATE: Durham City Council member Thomas Stith had been lobbying for it for weeks, but Bull City leaders missed their chance to call for former District Attorney Mike Nifong to leave office.

Stith's requests for a resolution demanding Nifong's ouster had fallen on deaf ears as council members said they would await the outcome of the N.C. State Bar ethics hearings. By Monday night's council meeting, Nifong had been disbarred, case closed.

But Stith and council member Eugene Brown were appalled that Nifong had announced earlier that day he planned to stay on until next month. "He has disgraced our community, and he has shamed his legal profession," Brown said.

He said he would join Stith in calling for a council resolution. But by the time the rest of the agenda was wrapped up, council members had learned that Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson would suspend Nifong the next day...
John in Carolina:
Grandparent speaks up for DPD -- from a member of the Duke lacrosse family whose grandson was a member of the 2006 team. I think it's remarkeable letter. I'll be interested to read what you think.
To the editor:

Durham Police Corporal David Addison’s outrageous accusation that Durham city leaders are making slanderous and vicious attacks on the Durham Police Department is nothing more than Addison’s attempt to hide behind DPD so people won’t question what he did last spring...
Bari Weiss, Wall Street Journal/OpinionJournal.com:
Looking for a Few Good Men -- Can big sisters persuade them to become big brothers? -- They've tried everything: celebrity ad campaigns, recruiting at Yankees games, even busing kids to Goldman Sachs. But the people who run Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York still have 200 boys on their waiting list for mentors...
Where Are The Big Brothers? -- The [WSJ] article sets out a number of possible reasons men don’t volunteer at BB-BS in greater numbers – but the fact that the rate at BB-BS is less than the overall average for volunteer-based organizations moves me to throw out an undiscussed possibility: men are afraid of having their lives destroyed by a false accusation, and fear the BB-BS will protect itself by throwing its resources behind the accuser...

Jon Ham, Right Angles:
More Duke case fallout -- Men aren’t volunteering as Big Brothers anymore. Nor are they choosing to be school teachers. Why? They fear false child abuse charges, the kind that have ruined the lives of many male teachers in the past few years...
Mike Nifong/Patrick FitzgeraldFIRE IN THE HOLE
comment: More heated discussion about Dorothy Rabinowitz's article. Was special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald in Nifong mode? Or is Scooter just a common criminal?

Dorothy Rabinowitz, Wall St. Journal/Opinion Journal:
A Tale of Two Prosecutors — Mike Nifong is punished, but Patrick Fitzgerald isn't. — This week the Duke-Nifong drama oozed to its finale, with a payout to the victims, a confidentiality agreement, the usual salutes to the healing process, and plans on the part of the principals to begin putting the case behind them.
Peter Lattman / Law Blog
A Tale of Two Prosecutors — Patrick Fitzgerald’s prosecutorial zeal and moral certitude are in no small way reminiscent of Michael Nifong’s, writes WSJ editorial board member Dorothy Rabinowitz, who in 2001 won a Pulitzer for commentary on prosecutorial abuse. On Duke: “It was in its searing way an educational event, not just about prosecutorial ambition ...

Michael Gaynor considers Scooter a scapegoat:
Scapegoating Scooter Libby succeeding
Scooter Libby: scapegoat
Jeralyn Merrill at TalkLeft, who also covered the Libby trial, said:
I do believe Libby participated in a scheme to out Valerie Plame Wilson. But, I'd rather see that case get argued in the civil courts and the Wilsons recover money from Cheney, Libby and anyone else responsible. I see no need for a pound of flesh.

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