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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Nifong/Mangum Hoax — June 27, 2007

Updated — today's items:

Removal Hearing Set for Nifong, But Will He Show? -- A hearing to remove former Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong from office is scheduled for Thursday, but the disbarred prosecutor might not show.

"Mr. Nifong's wife informed one of my officers earlier in the day that Mike had taken his guitar and left, and she didn't have any idea when he'd return," Capt. Bill Wrenn with the Durham County Sheriff's Office said.

Deputies tried to serve a notice for the hearing, in response to a civil complaint, on Monday but had to leave it at his door.

Neighbors told WRAL they have not seen Nifong, nor has the special prosecutor preparing for Thursday's hearing.

"I have not spoken with him," Robert Zaytoun said. "I would have liked to have spoken with him, but I haven't yet." ...

Tamara Gibbs, ABC11-TV/WTVD:
Nifong's Removal Hearing Thursday -- By this time tomorrow - Mike Nifong could be permanently removed from office. A citizen complaint against the disbarred DA will play out in court Thursday morning.

Even though Nifong is suspended with pay, court officials say they have to remove him "by the book."

Whether he'll be in court to defend himself is still a bit of a mystery. That's because Nifong doesn't have to attend tomorrow's hearing. Sources tell Eyewitness News it's unlikely he'll be there...

LieStoppers blog: ... Will He Show?
LS forum: Took his guitar and left?
LS forum: Nifong's Removal Hearing Thursday, Will he be there?
FreeRepublic: Removal Hearing Set for Nifong, But Will He Show?
Jon Ham, Right Angles: The Nifong Blues
Album - 'Thinkin' About You by Trisha YearwoodSAD COUNTRY SONG
On a Bus to St. Cloud by Trisha Yearwood.

On a bus to St. Cloud, Minnesota
I thought I saw you there
With the snow falling down around you
Like a silent prayer
And once on a street in New York City
With the jazz and the sin in the air
And once on a cold L. A. freeway
Going nowhere
And it's strange, but it's true
I was sure it was you
Just a face in the crowd
On a bus to St. Cloud

In a church in downtown New Orleans
I got down on my knees and prayed
And I wept in the arms of Jesus
For the choice you made
We were just gettin' to the good part
Just gettin' past the mystery
Oh, and it's just like you, it's just like you
To disagree
And it's strange but it's true
You just slipped out of view
Like a face in the crowd
On a bus to St. Cloud.

And you chase me like a shadow
And you haunt me like a ghost
And I hate you some, and I love you some
But I miss you most...
Anne Blythe, News & Observer:
Nifong's lawyer: Prosecutors, defense must communicate -- David Freedman, the Winston-Salem lawyer who represented Mike Nifong before the N.C. State Bar, told a roomful of colleagues today that a key lesson from the Duke lacrosse case is the importance of communication between prosecutors and defense lawyers.

Freedman was part of a panel pulled together to discuss “Prosecutorial Misconduct in the Light of the Duke Lacrosse Case,” a program sponsored by the N.C. Institute for Constitutional Law at the McKimmon Center at N.C. State University.

In the lacrosse case, defense lawyers complained that Nifong refused to meet with them to discuss alibi evidence.

Had those discussions occurred, legal experts have said, the case might not have proceeded and Nifong’s career might not have come to a crashing halt as it did last week...
packed house at Prosecutorial Misconduct forumKeneth Moton, News 14:
Forum discusses Nifong's conduct -- Wake County District Attorney Colon Willoughby says in light of the Duke lacrosse case, he feels district attorneys across the country have learned quite a bit.

“I think prosecutors are getting lots of scrutiny and I think it's important and I think it's good that our criminal justice system get closely scrutinized,” said Willoughby...

KC Johnson: Freedman: Communication Matters
Ed Koch (former mayor of NY City), NYPress.com:
Justice Prevails In North Carolina -- The 88 Duke professors who signed a statement during the earlier proceedings condemning the lacrosse team students without allowing the students the opportunity to present their case should admit error and apologize to the students. Their statement said, “This is a social disaster. No one is really talking about how to keep the young woman herself central to this conversation. Regardless of the results of the police investigation, what is apparent everyday now is the anger and fear of many students who know themselves to be objects of racism and sexism.”

Every law school in the nation should show the disciplinary hearings to teach how prosecutorial injustice can destroy lives and how lawyers devoted to pursuing justice can perform near miracles, if given the resources to fight for their clients.
Chris Freind, The Conservative Voice:
Jail Nifong - And Fire Duke's President
-- Another chapter has closed in the Duke lacrosse debacle, but several more need to be written in order for true justice to be served. The nefarious district attorney, Michael Nifong, was just disbarred for "intentional prosecutorial misconduct" and apparently will not appeal the decision...

So much for truth, justice and the American way, Mike.

I'm betting the reason Nifong won't appeal is because he's trying to "make nice" so that he stays out of jail.

Does anyone else see the irony? A man who willfully tried to put innocent citizens behind bars solely to advance his own political career is now soiling his trousers over the prospect of picking up the soap in the slammer. The difference? He's actually guilty.

The other coward in this case that has skated free of criticism for far too long is Duke University President Richard Brodhead. My true thoughts of this sycophant would be unprintable, so I'll try to be professional...

His actions and words in essence vilified the accused, making them pariahs on and off campus...

He is a huge coward who ignores the rule of law when it makes his job challenging or makes for a situation where his precious university is scrutinized...
Christopher Hill & William WebsterTomPaine.com
(Christopher Hill & William Webster work on the ACLU’s Capital Punishment Project)
D.A.s Running Wild -- There’s a childhood saying that “cheaters never win.” And while prosecutors who break the rules may not always see victory, they rarely lose everything. Unlike Duke Lacrosse prosecutor Mike Nifong, they usually do not lose their livelihood, professional standing or reputation. The defendants at their mercy, on the other hand, could end up paying the highest price—their lives—and sometimes do...

These situations are not, unfortunately, aberrations. Similar situations occur more often than they should, and not only in North Carolina. The withholding of evidence has sentenced people to death in Texas, Louisiana, Idaho and elsewhere. Not only have countless innocent citizens been charged and convicted of crimes, but some, like Carlos De Luna, were even executed as a result of prosecutorial misconduct...
Holly Hill Hospital: Depression...Anxiety...Stress...Bipolar Disorder...Alcohol Abuse and DependencyKC Johnson:
Assorted Deposition Items -- The Nifong deposition also made public for what I believe is the first time the Raleigh mental hospital that treated Crystal Mangum in 2005. Nifong stated that Mangum spent time in Holly Hill Hospital ...
(MN) Star-Tribune:
Letter of the day: Jones should do research before writing --
In his rush to ridicule "conservative cheerleaders" and criticize "rich white kids," Syl Jones failed to thoroughly research the Duke lacrosse hoax before writing his June 24 commentary.

Jones portrayed the falsely accused as unremorseful over having attended the party. However, as early as March 28, 2006, the players made a statement expressing their "sincere regret over the lapse in judgment in having the party on March 13 which has caused so much anguish for the Duke community and shame to our families and ourselves." Additionally, the players have repeatedly spoken out about what they've learned throughout the past year and how they hope this case will highlight problems within the criminal justice system.

I am also troubled by Jones' statement that "something did happen" at the party. Instead of hiding behind ambiguous statements, Jones should have explicitly stated what he believed the players were guilty of and provided evidence for his claim. It is this ambiguity that has allowed those who wish to blindly vilify the players to make insinuations without having to provide any evidence.

The Duke lacrosse case has shown how out of control a false accusation can become. While I doubt that any Duke lacrosse player will ever again hire a dancer or host a raucous party at which underage drinking is present, writers like Jones seem all too willing to ignore the lessons of the past year, and instead continue to make baseless accusations and presumptions about the lacrosse players.


KC Johnson: Responding to Syl Jones (and Nifong)
Michael Gaynor, RenewAmerica.us:
Duke case: Racial discrimination at Duke -- "Duke's actions were purposeful and harmful, and in some cases unlawful and even evil. Simply because the lacrosse players were strong enough to withstand Duke's heinous actions should not free Duke from blame and punishment."

So wrote a parent of an unindicted member of the 2005-2006 Duke University Men's Lacrosse Team...
Michael Gaynor, WebCommentary.com:
Duke Case: Sue, Say NO to Confidential Settlement -- Hoping that people like Mr. Brodhead and the 88ers will just step back, ask themselves how Duke's faculty and administration got so far off the track, recognize their responsibility and repent is unrealistic. To believe it, one would have to be as gullible as Mr. Brodhead and the 88ers. --

The "fiasco" was a horror for the members of the 2005-2006 Duke University Men's Lacrosse Team and their families, so there is a tendency to think whatever they decide to do and not to do is fine.

If they were the only victims and the circumstances that led to their suffering had been remedied, NOT indulging that tendency would be hard to fathom...
John Stevenson, Herald-Sun:
Wilson says he doubted accuser -- Investigator Linwood Wilson warned former District Attorney Mike Nifong a year ago that the accuser in the Duke lacrosse sex-offense case should be given a lie-detector test, but Nifong refused, according to a sworn deposition given by Wilson last month.

In his deposition for the N.C. State Bar, Wilson quoted Nifong as saying, "I don't polygraph victims, especially sexual assault victims ... and make those victims think that I don't trust them or believe them."

But as it turned out, the state Attorney General's Office said in April the lacrosse accuser was so inconsistent and contradictory that she could not be believed...

The Herald-Sun obtained a copy of Wilson's deposition Tuesday from interim District Attorney Jim Hardin Jr., who last week received a gubernatorial appointment to temporarily replace the resigning and soon-to-be-disbarred Nifong...

Speaking through his lawyer on Tuesday, Wilson said he approached Nifong immediately after the Dec. 21 interview and warned him, "You need to get rid of this piece of crap [the lacrosse case] as fast as you can. She [the accuser] has told me an unbelievable story. She is not credible. She is volunteering for a polygraph, and we need to do it."

Battaglia related Wilson saying, "Mr. Nifong just listened, but I could tell he wasn't happy with what I was saying. I wasn't sure if he was mad at me for telling him what I thought, or if he was made at her [the accuser]."

However, lacrosse defense lawyers -- as well as the State Bar -- have questioned whether Wilson's interview with the woman was doctored in a last-ditch attempt to hold the lacrosse case together.

For example, the dancer had previously indicated she didn't know her alleged assailants by their real names.

But when Wilson interviewed her, she identified one of the men as David Evans -- the actual name of one of the then-indicted suspects.

"And the reason I remember that is because she had pretty much told [me] that she didn't know these people by their names and now all of a sudden she's telling me that this guy is Dave Evans and it was Dave Evans," Wilson said in his deposition.

"Did you ask Ms. Mangum how she knew that that was Dave Evans?" State Bar prosecutor Katherine Jean queried.

Wilson: "I did, and she said she recognized him."

Jean: "Did she say from where she recognized him?"

Wilson: "I didn't go there...." ...

In his May deposition, Wilson summarized his December interview with the lacrosse accuser this way: "I knew from talking to her that I was hearing stuff I had never heard before or read before. ... I was questioning whether or not she was telling me what really happened that night or if she was trying to fill in the blanks."
LieStoppers forum: Linwood Bailed! -- man the Lifeboats every man for himself...

KC Johnson: Linwood Bails on Nifong -- Wilson's claim to have been troubled by the Dec. 21 interview emerges at a convenient time for the former investigator. The alternative interpretation of events would suggest that the interview itself was a poorly structured frame executed by Wilson and Nifong--an interpretation, of course, that could expose Wilson to possible criminal charges down the road. Either way, however, Wilson's change of heart is more bad news for Nifong's hopes of avoiding a criminal inquiry into his own behavior.

Jon Ham: Nifong should have listened to Linwood
TalkLeft: Wilson to Nifong - You need to get rid of this piece of crap...
Forum topic(s) of note:
LieStoppers forum:
Who got to Crystal?
-- Crystal claims $2000.00 was stolen from her - she also claimed Kim participated in the sexual assault and stole her money.

Someone cleaned her story up and made it so it was Made for Durham. I think she had help with that. I think someone said the $2000.00 was problematic - and Kim couldn't be accused...

Mar 14th incident reportMar 14th incident report - part 2

Nifong & Mangum in OzLieStoppers forum:
Where is Mikey Nifong? -- This is NOT confirmed. One local media person told me it is believed he's receiving Medical Treatment...

Issues the Nifong's considered:

1. Insurance. He is still covered. Today.

2. The 13th may have some effect on pension or benefits Maybe.

3. Hudson will delay the hearing. There no choice. Even if Nifong goes, or a lawyer goes for him, he can get a delay to get well enough to prepare and defend himself.

Or, maybe he is just sick, with no strategy....
John Stevenson, Herald-Sun:
Judge blasts fired investigator -- A day after Linwood Wilson was fired as an investigator for the District Attorney's Office, Durham's top judge blasted him Tuesday for allegedly threatening a witness and violating the constitutional rights of someone in a case that had nothing to do with the now-dismissed Duke lacrosse sex-offense incident.

Superior Court Orlando F. Hudson wrote that shooting charges against Breon Beatty must be dropped because Wilson, along with Chief Assistant District Attorney David Saacks, unconstitutionally pressured another man to testify against Beatty.

Hudson had issued an oral ruling to that effect last month, but his written order on Tuesday -- using even stronger language -- made the earlier mandate official.

Wilson also had an investigative role in the Duke lacrosse case, which included similar allegations of witness intimidation by authorities. Wilson denied those allegations at the time.

The lacrosse case was squelched in April by the state Attorney General's Office, which declared three suspects innocent and said they had been unfairly accused.

And on Monday, Wilson was fired by interim District Attorney District Attorney Jim Hardin Jr., who gave no reason for the dismissal.

Saacks said Tuesday he would appeal Judge Hudson's ruling in the Beatty case...
Letters to Herald-Sun:
Beyond lacrosse case, questions still remain

After months of reading about the evil 88 Duke professors who rebuked the entire judicial process by declaring the lacrosse players guilty, I finally sat down and read the ad that has been the subject of so much controversy.

Since, I've grown increasingly disturbed by numerous "Letters to the Editor" such as Thomas E. Hoppin's "Brodhead must go" and Bob Singer's "Where's the apology?" These authors slam the professors as "elitists" who "forgot the most basic of our rights," leaving me to wonder whether they (and people like them) have actually even read the advertisement.

I encourage everyone who hasn't read the ad to do so, as well as the subsequent letter many of the same professors put out in response to the widespread misinterpretation of their message. http://listening.nfshost.com/listening.htm (the ad) concerneddukefaculty.org (subsequent letter).

The advertisement is mainly a collection of quotes from Duke students voicing their opinions/fears about the racial and sexual atmosphere in Duke and in Durham. Those that see the ad as a proclamation of guilt are making their own inferences and are quite troublingly missing the point.

These are issues that the Durham/Duke community faces, and need to be addressed, whether there is or is not a Duke lacrosse case.

Baltimore, Md.
Step toward maturity

There are two things Tim Gabriel makes clear in his letter of June 22. The first is that, as a culture, we seem to have become unmoored from an ethical or moral lens on reality. The second is that we have lost our ability to hold seemingly opposing truths in tension with one another.

Gabriel makes the point that privilege is based on merit. I would suggest that merit indicates more than the accumulation of money or the achievement of a high GPA coupled with athletic achievement. Assigning merit should also indicate a person of integrity who makes ethical choices in life.

While 20 year old "boys" may indeed be inclined to "party" and enjoy strippers, this "reality" doesn't make underage drinking or the objectification of women right.

This brings me to my second point. It is true that these young men should not have been falsely accused. It is true that neither they nor their families deserved to suffer the emotional and financial trauma of the past year. It is true that charges were brought against them for suspect reasons and there was a rush to judgement.

It is also true that these young men put themselves in a position to be accused. That they did not deserve the events of the past year does not mean they shouldn't be asked to take responsibility for their actions. Not asking them to take this step toward maturity does them and our society a disservice.

John in Carolina:
Walter Abbott, Citizen Journalist --
It is my contention that the Raleigh News and Observer is as culpable as Mike Nifong in precipitating this tragedy.

The 3/25/06 article by Khanna and Blythe provided the spark. It gave Nifong political cover, incited the potbangers, stampeded Brodhead and Steele, and signaled the TV networks to send in the satellite trucks.

The fuel of the accusations was there as was the oxygen of racial tension. You all struck the match.

In 1898, William Randolph Hearst, one of the most famous yellow journalists of all, precipitated the Spanish American War in a fashion similar to this case. Frederick Remington, the famous artist, telegraphed Hearst to tell him all was quiet in Cuba and "There will be no war."

Hearst responded "Please remain. You furnish the pictures and I'll furnish the war."

I suppose congratulations are in order, Melanie. You've made the big time.

Walter Abbott
Ruston, LA
comment: Walter Abbott goes by the name of "abb" on the LieStoppers forum:

LS forum: Walter Abbott, Citizen Journalist, Absolutely shameless self-promotion
John in Carolina:
To Prof. Haagen re: Seligmann threats -- Why has there been no faculty statement that intimidation and threats of violence against Reade Seligmann or any other peaceful citizen are anathema in both university contexts and in society at large?

I don’t believe the intimidation and threats Seligmann, his parents and Kirk Osborn were subjected to last May 18 by two small groups of hate-filled people disgraced either Duke or Durham. But the wall of silence the University and the City have collectively thrown up since May 18 certainly has.

That wall of silence needs to fall.

I’m told that as Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Sciences you are the proper administrator to place the matter of a faculty response to the events of May 18 before the A&S faculty for consideration of a request to the Academic Council.
Excerpts From Mike Nifong's State Bar Deposition, Part 5: What Do Campaign Finance Laws and The Revised Rules of Professional Conduct Have in Common? -- DIRECT EXAMINATION BY MR. BROCKER:
Doug Brocker: You made a couple of personal loans to your campaign during the primary; is that correct?

Mike Nifong: I made a personal loan in the amount of $5,000 to my campaign. I understand that my wife may have also made a loan to my campaign, but I don't know the specifics of that. . .

Brocker: Do you see there that this is a repayment, which appears to be dated 6/30/06? And the repayment amount there is $20,357.03?

Nifong: Yes, sir, I see that.

Brocker: Were you aware of that?

Nifong: No, sir, I was not.

Editorial, Daily News Record/RocktownWeekly (VA):
Duke Justice? -- In the classic western "The Ox-Bow Incident," townspeople lynch three innocent men. Henry Fonda and a few friends try to stop the hanging but fail because they’re outnumbered. Meanwhile the sheriff has arrested the real killers and, when he learns of the lynching, angrily declares those guilty will face justice.

The mob returns to town in a somber mood. The leader kills himself. One gets the feeling that, in the upcoming trials, those guilty individuals still have enough human dignity and honor so that they will acknowledge their guilt and throw themselves on the mercy of the court.

Which brings us to 88 members of the Duke faculty.

When three Lacrosse players were accused of rape, the lynch mob atmosphere on the university was as filled with bloodlust as the fictional lynch mob. There were a few, lone voices on campus that took on the Henry Fonda role of reason and justice, but they were drowned out. The behavior of Duke President Richard Brodhead was also craven...

When they [Gang of 88] got into trouble, they ran like scared rabbits into the arms of the sexist, racist establishment seeking protection.

By comparison, the lynch mob in "The Ox-Bow Incident" looks honorable.
KC Johnson:
Nifong Deposition, Part II -- The deposition showed a prosecutor who readily admitted that he didn’t read reports, unapologetically stated that his quest was for evidence that would harm the lacrosse players, and never really asked whether a crime occurred in the first place.

The deposition also suggested that Nifong had developed a good working relationship with Tara Levicy—who joined Mark Gottlieb as the only other person (including, remarkably, his wife, Cy Gurney and the now-departed Linwood Wilson) to which the DA consistently referred by a first-name basis...

When Brocker asked about the January interview between Linwood Wilson and Levicy—in which Levicy radically changed her story, in ways convenient to the prosecution’s case—Nifong’s memory suddenly grew hazy. He said that he couldn’t “specifically recall the circumstances under which that came about”—indeed, he couldn’t even “recall” asking Wilson to chat with Levicy.

It was just a coincidence, apparently, that “Tara” was willing to help him out one last time.
John Stevenson, Herald-Sun:
Double DA pay not seen lasting long -- Taxpayers are temporarily paying six-figure salaries for two Durham district attorneys, but the anomalous and unprecedented situation probably won't last long, the state Administrative Office of the Courts said Tuesday.

The two are Jim Hardin Jr., who was sworn in last week as interim district attorney with an annual salary of $115,289, and Mike Nifong, who is soon to be disbarred for mishandling the now-dismissed Duke lacrosse sex offense case.

AOC spokesman Dick Ellis said Nifong continues to draw an annual income of $111,646, even though he was suspended from office last week and has submitted his resignation, effective July 13.

Nifong's suspension, ordered by Superior Court Judge Orlando F. Hudson, was with pay.

Hardin was Durham's chief prosecutor for a decade until he assumed a Superior Court judgeship in 2005. Last week, he received a gubernatorial appointment as interim district attorney until a permanent replacement for Nifong is found.

But Ellis predicted Tuesday that Nifong won't be on the payroll long.

The reason: Hudson has scheduled a removal hearing Thursday that could result in the former district attorney's permanent ouster -- with no pay...
Michelle Laws, Guest columnist, Herald-Sun:
Let's strive for justice for all -- The fallout from the infamous Duke lacrosse case has far reaching ramifications that extend beyond the harm caused to the obvious victims, including the accuser and the accused -- Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty and David Evans -- and former Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong. Duke President Richard Brodhead's statement that: "Mr. Nifong brought great harm to these Duke students and their families, to the Durham community and to Duke University and all who care about it" reeks of hypocrisy, cowardice and arrogance. Mike Nifong was not the only blood-thirsty hound on the prowl seeking to find a trail of evidence to support the accuser's allegations...

I will surmise that possibly Nifong was willing to set an uncommon and unpopular precedent by accepting at face-value a black woman's claim of being victimized by a group of white males from the privileged class. Maybe Nifong was familiar with the historical narratives of women in general and black women in particular who were raped or victimized by males, God forbid elite white males, only to face the additional injury of public disdain and shame, character assassination and the discrediting of their stories....

The fact of the matter is that America's shameful history reveals the unspoken truths of a period in time when white men raped black women without facing social sanction or legal penalties. This reality attests to a time when legal codes, especially in the South, specified a mandatory death sentence for the rape of a white woman by a black man, a limited sentence, if any, for the rape of a white woman by a white male or the rape of a black woman by a black male, and virtually no mandatory sentence for a white male raping a black woman. While such laws have been abolished de jure, the social arrangements and ideologies that allowed them to exist in the first place remain embedded within the legal system.

Equally provocative is the way in which the lacrosse case elucidated the surreptitious intersection of race and class within the judicial and criminal justice system. In courtrooms, jails and prisons throughout the U.S., as in other social institutions e.g. education, economic, evidence of race and class bias is deeply ingrained within the system and appears as the normal way the system works. This "normalization" of race and class bias makes the claims of race and class discrimination much harder to detect and prove. However the effects of race and class bias are much harder to overlook. Consider these findings from the North Carolina Sentencing and Policy Advisory Commission . . .
William L. Anderson, LewRockwell.com:
Nifonged in Narragansett: The Madness Continues -- The infamous Duke Non-Rape, Non-Kidnapping, and Non-Sexual Assault Case is in our rearview mirror, but the spirit of the rogue prosecutor Michael B. Nifong lives on. Rhode Island’s attorney general now apparently is attempting to channel Nifongism and take it to places that even Nifong himself could not have imagined.

The following news story definitely describes one of the more outrageous prosecutions we might have seen yet, and compared to the Duke case, it makes Crystal Gail Mangum’s statements look true by comparison:
Man charged 32 years after alleged rape
Saturday, June 23, 2007
By Edward Fitzpatrick
Journal Staff Writer

A 48-year-old Narragansett man has been charged with raping someone 32 years ago when both he and the alleged victim were 16 years old, the attorney general’s office said this week.

Harold Allen, of 30 Riverview Rd., was indicted last month on a charge of first-degree sexual assault, and he pleaded not guilty, court records show. Allen is accused of raping the girl in North Kingstown between April 1 and Oct. 31, 1975, the records show...

Bryan Strickland, Herald-Sun:
Coach K: Why all the hate for Duke? -- Krzyzewski believes that it’s become socially acceptable for media to openly express dislike for his Blue Devils, but he’s no longer willing to accept it.

“It’s socially acceptable? I don’t know — maybe I’m not going to be as social then anymore,” Krzyzewski said. “It’s like, ‘Why did you say you hate Duke? Is that the only thing you hate?

FreeRepublic: Coach K: Why all the hate for Duke?