Sunday, September 24, 2006

Where's the Fong Fluffer?

News & Observer:
.

COMING SUNDAY September 24, 2006 Who is Mike Nifong?
We take a deeper look at what drives the man who is driving the Duke lacrosse case.
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Melanie Sill talks to her Editors...John Drescher, Dan Barker, Steve Riley, and Linda Williams
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John, Steve, Linda, Dan,
We need to make another plan.
We discussed a piece to run
On Nifong and the stuff he's done.
We hoped to fluff him up a bit;
His rep's been taking quite a hit.
But the more we delve... the ice is thin
He just might drag us down with him.
.
Steve, Dan, Linda, John,
Now he's pulled another con.
The Hoax is now reduced by Half
And if not enough to make us laugh,
The 50 interverews he gave
Shrank to 15, Oh! saints be praised!
I'm afraid that he's beyond redemption
To heck with him and his election!
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Dan, John, Steve and Linda,
Did you ever stop to wonder
What that crazy Ashley's doing?
Can't he see the crisis brewing?
Well, he can sink the Herald Sun
Carrying Nifong's water like he's done.
No, we'll approach with trepidation
Any mark on OUR papers reputation...
.
So, Linda, John, Dan, and Steve,
Here's what Miss Melanie now believes:
We'll blow off the Nifong sonata
He's everyody's "persona non grata."
We'll see how 60 Minutes views him,
Whether they skewer or excuse him...
Then we'll know what we should "feel"
Folks, till then, our lips are sealed!
Joan Foster

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have come to believe that many, many people would benefit from a brief history lesson, especially since the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case began almost to the day on the 75th anniversary of another important criminal case, perhaps the most significant in all of American jurisprudence with respect to civil rights and the rights of the accused. I’m referring to the ‘Scottsboro Boys’ Rape Case in Alabama, which began on 25 March 1931. The parallels between the Duke and Scottsboro cases are striking almost to the point of exactness, yet the lessons of so many years ago have seemingly been forgotten — that is, if they had ever been learned at all.

ORIGINS

SCOTTSBORO, 1931: The case begins in an ugly, racially charged brawl on a freight train between a large number of black youths and a smaller number of white men. The white men lost, and were tossed from the train.

DURHAM, 2006: Following a house party, the case begins in an ugly, racially charged argument over money in a residential neighborhood between a large number of white youths and two black women hired to perform as strippers at the party. The black women lost the argument and left the property.

INTERVENTION

SCOTTSBORO, 1931: In the aftermath of the brawl, a dragnet at the local railroad yard results in the detention of a number of people, including many of the black youths from the brawl and two lower class white women.

DURHAM, 2006: In the aftermath of the argument, police take into custody one lower class black woman. She, along with a second lower class black woman, had been among the principals in the earlier argument.

ACCUSATION

SCOTTSBORO, 1931: Facing possible charges, one of the white women claims she had been gang raped by 12 negro youths, some of the youths who had participated in the earlier brawl.

DURHAM, 2006: Facing possible charges, the black woman taken into custody claims she had been gang raped by 3 white youths, some of the youths who had attended the party.

CORROBORATION

SCOTTSBORO, 1931: The other white woman changes her initial story. She eventually claims that both she and the original accuser were gang raped.

DURHAM, 2006: The other black woman changes her initial story. She eventually claims that she believes that the accuser was gang raped.

EXAMINATION

SCOTTSBORO, 1931: The two white accusers were examined by a doctor, who declared that both women exhibited genital symptoms “consistent” with forcible rape.

DURHAM, 2006: The black accuser was examined by medical personnel. Law enforcement officials afterwards declare that the examination revealed that the woman exhibited genital symptoms consistent with forcible rape.

IDENTIFICATION

SCOTTSBORO, 1931: The two white accusers were allowed to “identify” their attackers exclusively from among the black youths apprehended at the railroad yard.

DURHAM, 2006: The black accuser was allowed to “identify” her attackers exclusively from among photographs of white youths who had attended the party.

ALIBIS

SCOTTSBORO, 1931: One of the accused youths was charged despite having provably been elsewhere on the train at the time of the alleged rape.

DURHAM, 2006: One of the accused youths was charged despite having been provably elsewhere at the time of the alleged rape.

FORENSICS

SCOTTSBORO, 1931: The accused were charged despite the finding that semen taken from the two accusers was found to be non-motile. This would be consistent with a finding that the semen was deposited long before the alleged rape supposedly occurred. Also, charges were brought despite the fact that the accusers were found to lack evidence of non-genital injuries consistent with their allegations. NO physical evidence therefore existed to substantiate any allegation of rape.

DURHAM, 2006: The accused were charged despite the finding that possible semen and other samples taken from the accuser yielded DNA that differed from that of the accused and from everyone else thought to have possibly attended the party. Also, charges were brought despite the fact that photographic evidence from the night in question demonstrates that various bruises and non-genital injuries sustained by the accuser were evident BEFORE the alleged rape occurred. NO physical evidence therefore existed to substantiate any allegation of rape.

PREJUDICE

SCOTTSBORO, 1931: The case was prosecuted in a community where whites held all political power, and where blacks were deeply resented. The prevailing attitude is best summed up in the trial judge’s instruction to the jury: He told jury members they should very strongly presume that "NO white woman would voluntarily consent to sexual relations with a negro."

DURHAM, 2006: The case is being prosecuted in a community where blacks hold the balance of political power, and where whites, especially well-to-do whites, are deeply resented. The prevailing attitude is best summed up in an opinion widely echoed by various observers: It has been opined that since the accused (or their friends) had allegedly asked specifically for BLACK strippers to attend their party, the clear presumption should be that the accused acted with premeditation in planning an eventual rape.

AMBITION

SCOTTSBORO, 1931: The case was prosecuted by a politically ambitious District Attorney who shamelessly played to racial prejudices prevalent in his community.

DURHAM, 2006: The case is being prosecuted by a politically ambitious District Attorney who shamelessly plays to racial and social prejudices prevalent in his community.

ABANDONMENT

SCOTTSBORO, 1931: The NAACP, the supposed premier advocacy group for the black community in the U.S., initially declined to grant legal or financial assistance to the accused, or to lobby on their behalf, or on behalf of fair trial procedures in their case. The organization feared a possible public relations backlash in the event the accused were convicted or proven guilty of the crime.

DURHAM, 2006: Both Duke University, where the accused attended school, and the mainstream media were apparently quick to accept the accuser’s story, and to vilify the accused. For its part, the University precipitously fired the lacrosse coach, cancelled the entire season, suspended a number of white team members from school, and took other prejudicial actions injurious to the accused and their team mates. The American Civil Liberties Union, the supposed premier civil rights advocacy group in the U.S., has so far remained silent on the case.

CREDIBILITY

SCOTTSBORO, 1931: The two accusers were eventually found to be common prostitutes and women of generally low morals.

DURHAM, 2006: Both the accuser and the other woman, by virtue of their employment as personal "escorts," would appear to be common prostitutes, and are women of generally low morals, having each been convicted of serious crimes. Moreover, the accuser had made an apparently false accusation of gang rape against THREE males 10 years earlier.

CONCLUSION

The Scottsboro defendants were all quickly convicted and sentenced to death. This happened more than once, in fact, since their convictions were three times overturned on appeal by the U.S. Supreme Court. Though none was ever executed, the last defendant wasn’t released from prison until 1950. The case was recognized as a watershed event even at the time, so I’m positively amazed that it has been forgotten in our OWN time, when we so casually pride ourselves on how far we’ve come as a society in upholding justice, civil rights, and the rule of law. The last of the Scottsboro defendants, Clarence Norris, died in 1989 at age 76.

The Scottsboro Case wasn’t a cause celebre because the defendants were such fine, upstanding citizens — they were far from it. It was a cause celebre because judicial practices as applied in their case were patently UNFAIR, and offered them no legitimate opportunity for a legal defense. This is exactly what we see today in the Duke Rape Case. In fact, the cases so closely, so exactly touch upon the same issues that anyone who can appreciate the injustice of the one, MUST acknowledge the injustice of the other. If the Scottsboro Case was a travesty of justice, then the Duke case is a travesty of justice. I’ll go further: If the Duke case embodies a legitimate application of due process, then the Scottsboro Case did equally so, the defendants were justly convicted, and by right should have been put to death. Now I ask, who DARES to argue this last point? Any prosecutor who is unaware of Scottsboro or who cannot see the parallels to the current day, does not deserve to try a case anywhere in the United States of America.

-- SteveDinMD

ME said...

LieStoppers,

Another hearing passes and that can only mean one thing...yes, it's certainly time to update the Durham Minister of Justice rapidly expanding list of lies, falsehoods, double-speak and treachery. Accordingly, I submit the following for addition to the "Compendium of Dirty Deeds." The following would best be placed between the currently existing #14 and the currently existing "Footnote."

Thank you.

ME


15) In a report, Sgt. Mark Gottlieb indicated that at 2:00pm on Apr 11, “the victim and District Attorney Nifong met one another and discussed the case.” Further, Gottlieb indicated that both he and Lt. Mike Ripberger were present for all of that discussion.

Gottlieb's report essentially claims that Nifong lied to the Court during court hearings on Jun 22 and again on Sep 22 when Nifong asserted that the Apr 11 meeting with the complainant had nothing to do with this case and that they did not discuss the facts of the case during the meeting.


16) In a most sophisticated analysis of the events related to the McFadyen email, KC Johnson reveals the nefarious nature of interim DA Nifongs dealing with that email:

The Durham Police Department claimed they received McFadyen email from a “confidential source.” This explanation is most likely a ruse as the DPD obtained the three lacrosse team captains’ computers and their email passwords from a search warrant executed on the captains’ house. It is difficult to believe that DPD would not have obtained the McFadyen email from the seized computers and email account access.

If the DPD obtained the McFadyen email from the seized computers and email account access, the DPD lied about the source of the email in their affidavit requesting a search warrant for McFadyen’s dorm room with the apparent purpose of leaving unchallenged false media portrayals of a 'wall of silence' by the players.

The apparent final photo ID lineup was held on Apr 4. McFadyen was not picked by the complainant as any one of the four alleged rapists. Nifong knew this on Apr 5.

On Apr 5, interim DA Nifong released the now infamous McFadyen email. That email inflamed passions to levels not seen earlier in the case; it resulted in the dismissal of Lacrosse coach Pressler; and it resulted in the cancellation of the remainder of the Duke Lacrosse season.

Why would Nifong release the email when he knew: McFadyen was not an alleged rapist; release of the email would inflame public sentiment; and (as it has been rumored) subsequent emails follow up McFadyen’s email with the next lines from American Psycho?

As we become increasingly aware of the tactics employed by Nifong, the reasons for release of the email would seem to be:

• To inflame public sentiment against the Duke Lacrosse team.

• To further the erroneous perception of a Lacrosse team 'wall of silence.'

• To deflect public criticism away from Nifong that would be forthcoming due to “negative” DNA test results (Nifong would have known by Apr 5 that the DNA were negative).

The end result as KC Johnson so succinctly says: “If, as has been widely rumored, subsequent e-mails from players quoted other lines from American Psycho, Nifong’s method of revealing the e-mail–shorn of all context, offered alone as if reflective of a murder scheme–represented nothing short of an attempt to deceive the public.”


17) Interim DA Nifong made the following false proclamation during the primary season, at the NCCU forum, with regard to the complainant’s allegations of rape: “Anytime you have a victim who can identify her assailant, then what you have is a case that must go to the jury…”

The truth, as revealed by LieStoppers, is that interim DA Mike Nifong dismissed “without leave” 13 out of 25 rape and first-degree sex offenses cases brought to the DA’s office between Jul 2005 and Jun 2006. This 52% dismissal rate occurred during the first year of “leadership” the Durham DA’s office experienced under interim DA Nifong.


18) The complainant first made an allegation of rape while being admitted to Durham Access Center. Interim DA Nifong told Judge Stephens and defense attorneys at a Jun 22 discovery hearing that no reports of the complainant’s encounter were made at the Durham Access Center and that an admissions log was all that existed.

Subsequent to the Jun hearing, defense attorney Kirk Osborn learned that Gerri L. Wilkes, an employee of Durham Access Center, observed the complainant on Mar 14 and kept notes of her observations. Ms. Wilkes indicated that she intended to turn over her notes to Nifong.


19) Victoria Peterson, at the Apr 11 NCCU forum, made this statement to interim DA Nifong: “This young lady [the complainant] has identified the three men who have raped her.”

Nifong’s immediate response was: “Victoria, I will tell you right now that your information is incorrect.”

The truth: The complainant had, in fact, on Apr 4 (one week prior to the Apr 11 NCCU forum), identified three men she claimed had attacked her. These three men were later charged with rape. The three men identified in the Apr 4 photo line-up were: David Evans (Image 5), Reade Seligmann (Image 7), and Collin Finnerty (Image 40). (It is important to note that the complainant also identified a fourth assailant in the Apr 4 photo line-up. She identified the person depicted in Image 4 as “Bret”…“One of the guys that assaulted me.” The person depicted in Image 4 has not been arrested for assault or rape.)

As revealed by a brilliant LieStoppers analysis, Nifong’s treacherous and direct lie to Peterson at the NCCU forum was crucial to his prosecution of the case and to his bid for election to the Office of District Attorney. Had he truthfully disclosed that the complainant had identified rapists, the Black community in Durham would have demanded an immediate arrest of the identified persons. This was clear from the tenor of Peterson’s comments (and many other earlier comments at the forum). If Nifong had immediately arrested the lacrosse players, their attorneys would have demanded probable cause hearings. At a probable cause hearing the manifold case weakness would have been revealed and exculpatory evidence would have been presented to a judge. Nifong knew his case could not withstand the evidence that would have been presented to a judge at probable cause hearings.

By lying about the identification of the lacrosse players, Nifong was able to delay the arrests. By delaying immediate arrest he was able to instead obtain grand jury indictments. Once the lacrosse players were indicted by a grand jury, probable cause hearings were then precluded by law. Nifong’s treachery enabled the timing of the grand jury indictments and the arrests to occur before the May District Attorney primary election and in such a way as to preclude probable cause hearings.


20) Interim District Attorney Nifong said on Mar 28: “I am convinced that there was a rape, yes, sir. The circumstances of the case are not suggestive of the alternate explanation that has been suggested by some of the members of the situation.” [The alternate explanation offered by all members of the Duke Lacrosse team was that not only was there no sexual assault, but that there was no sexually activity of any type.]

“Circumstances of the case” that were suggestive of the “alternate explanation” on Mar 28 include:
(i) Three lacrosse team captains (including David Evans who would later be indicted) voluntarily provided: DNA samples, written statements, passwords to their email accounts, the names of the people at the party, and hours of interviews with DPD personnel. Further, the three captains volunteered to take polygraph exams and assisted in the gathering of evidence in their house. The three captains provided all of the foregoing without benefit of legal council.

(ii) In the days following Mar 13, the complainant gave many divergent and different accounts of an attack (or that there was no attack) including:
• The complainant was sexually assaulted by five men.
• The complainant was sexually assaulted by three men.
• The complainant was sexually assaulted by two men.
• The complainant was groped but was not forced to have sex.
• There were three strippers that performed at the stripper party. (She apparently later settled on her and Roberts/Pittman as the only two strippers at the stripper party.)
• Roberts/Pittman assisted in the sexual assault.
• Roberts/Pittman wanted to have sex with the lacrosse players and tried to talk the complainant into having sex with the lacrosse players.
• Roberts/Pittman urged the complainant to have sex with Roberts/Pittman and “Brett.”
• Three guys grabbed Roberts/Pittman and Brett, Adam and Matt grabbed the complainant. And then "they separated us at the master bedroom door while we tried to hold on to each other."
• In one version the complainant said the men kicked her in the buttocks and back, hit her in the face, choked her and screamed racial obscenities at her. In another version she said she was knocked to the floor multiple times and hit her head on the sink during one of these episodes. In other versions she specifically denied being hit.
• In one version the complainant said he consumed one drink of alcohol and was taking Flexeril the night of the stripper party. In another version she wrote that she had two 22-ounce Icehouse beers before arriving at the stripper party. In another version she stated she was drunk and had a lot of alcohol that night.
• In one version the complainant said two of the men ejaculated. Apparently the complainant never said any of the men ejaculated in any of the other versions.
• The complainant said that after she was sexually assaulted, Roberts/Pittman rushed into the bathroom and helped Adam get the complainant dressed.

(iii) On Mar 20 Kim Roberts/Pittman said that the complainant’s claims of assault and sexual assault were a “crock” and that Roberts/Pittman was with the complainant the whole time until they left except for a period of less than five minutes when the complainant would not leave.

(iv) Although Seligmann’s picture was included in the Mar 16 photo ID lineup, the complainant did not identify Seligman or any other assailant on Mar 16.

Although Evans’ picture was included in the Mar 21 photo ID lineup, the complainant did not identify Evans or any other assailant on Mar 21.

(v) The complainant had sexually related encounters (most likely sexual intercourse) at various motels with at least three clients or strangers in the 72 hours prior to the stripper party. [The DPD and Interim DA Nifong would have known of the complainant’s sexual activities if they had bothered to interview Jarriel Johnson prior to Interim DA Nifong’s Mar 28 proclamation of guilt.]

(vi) The complainant had sex with her boyfriend Matt Murchison and reportedly had sex with her drivers Jarriel Johnson and Brian Taylor in the days immediately preceding the stripper party. [The DPD and Interim DA Nifong would have known of the complainant’s sexual activities if they had bothered to interview these three men prior to Interim DA Nifong’s Mar 28 proclamation of guilt.]

(vii) DNA testing failed to connect any members of the Duke Lacrosse team to the alleged sexual assault. [Interim DA Nifong would have been aware of this “alternate explanation” had he waited for the results of the DNA tests before making his Mar 28 proclamation of guilt.]


21) Interim DA Nifong made the following statement regarding a phone survey commissioned by defense attorneys to determine the extent and nature of jury pool prejudice: Nifong said the survey was "prima facie evidence of an attempt to influence jurors." Nifong called the survey a "thinly disguised" attempt to influence jurors.

Here is what Nifong did not tell the multitude of print and TV reporters:
• Defense attorneys told Nifong and the Court on Aug 25 of their intent to perform such a survey.
• Nifong did not object to the survey on Aug 25.
• It is common practice for defense attorneys to conduct surveys of this type.
• The North Carolina Supreme Court has previously approved defense counsel conducting surveys for such purposes.
• There is almost no chance that a potential juror in this case would have been contacted by the surveyor as analyzed here:
As LieStoppers reported, 300 persons were surveyed and there are approximately 250,000 residents in Durham County. The surveyors would have only surveyed persons aged 18 or older: 189,000 residents. Therefore, statistically, the chance of any one potential jury member being surveyed would be .00159. Further, the chance that the jury (12 jurors and 2 alternates) would contain a surveyed person would be .0222 (.00159 * 14). Said another way, there is a 98% probability that the entire jury (14 potential jurors taken as whole) would not have been contacted by the surveyor. There is a 2% probability that the entire jury (14 potential jurors taken as a whole) would have been contacted by the surveyor.

Any objective reasoned review of Nifong’s behavior with regard to this matter would result in the same conclusion drawn by Joe Cheshire, lawyer representing defendant Evans, who accused Nifong of using the court document Nifong filed about the survey to influence the jury pool. “That motion [Nifong’s motion] has gotten in every newspaper in this state, on every TV channel,” Cheshire said. “Who is trying to use this survey to influence the jurors? We did not.”


22) During a Sep 22 court hearing, Interim DA Nifong said he gave only 15-20 media interviews regarding the Duke Lacrosse case.

Nifong earlier told the News & Observer he had given "in excess of 50" interviews, consuming 40 hours of time.


23) Interim DA Nifong made statements during a Sep 22 court hearing regarding “objects” being used: He said in court that the complainant said someone assaulted her rectum with either objects or body parts.

SANE nurse Levicy reported that the complainant (during the SANE exam) said no fingers or foreign objects were used during the sexual assault.


24) During a Sep 22 court hearing, Interim DA Nifong said the whole incident [the alleged sexual assault] probably happened in a five to ten minute time period.

In Probable Cause Affidavits to obtain search warrants and a nontestimonial identification order, DPD personnel swore to the Court in Mar that the complainant alleged she was sexually assaulted for an approximate thirty minute time period.

Anonymous said...

Thank you SteveDinMD! Thank you, thank you. How terribly tragic and frightening

ME said...

LieStoppers,

In item numbered 21) in the list above, the last sentence of the second paragraph contains a misstatement of fact.

The misstatement is: There is a 2% probability that the entire jury (14 potential jurors taken as a whole) would have been contacted by the surveyor.

A correct statement would be: There is a 2% probability that the entire jury (14 potential jurors taken as a whole) would contain a single member that would have been contacted by the surveyor.

Should you choose to add my 10 additional Minister of Justice falsehoods, please make the above correction. Thank you.

ME

Tony Soprano said...

The Article that wasn't!

What happened at the N&O? One has to wonder if the feathers were flying over at the N&O offices. They promote and tout the article in print and on the radio - and it's nowhere to be found!

What happened here? Was a child of one of the N&O's editors, mistakenly pulled over in Durham and given the cook treatment?

Did literary wizard, Sgt Baldo, miss his deadline - as he's known to do?

Did the N&O get a tip that another media outlet discovered Nifong's enemies list - and the N&O thought better of sanctioning his Sainthood?

Did they call Nifong's wife for comment - and she said, WHAT SURVEY?

Did the N&O decide to investigate information provided by the defense that would invalidate much of their article?

Did one of their Left-Looney Editors that likes to manipulate headlines so much - threaten to quit if the one paragraph not complimentary of Nifong wasn't removed and author fired from the staff?

Did the N&O add Nifong to the staff - to write articles on the trial - similar to a diary (of a Madman), and thought a glowing article a conflict of interest at this point?

Did anyone expect the unvarnished truth from the N&O anyway? Were any revelations in this article or was it a campaign event that proffered his undying devotion to children, charities, Mom, and apple pie?

Sure, there's a campaign underfoot to change Nifong's image; To present his misdeeds as byproducts of his great devotion and commitment to victims and the downtrodden. But, WHO would believe that at this juncture?
Only the people that send large sums of money to TV preachers that own personal Jets and possess more hair than God intended. You can believe TV wrasslin' is real, and still see through Nifong's costume.

In TV wrasslin' - it's apparent who the bad guy is!

----
Another Gem from Joan and LieStoppers!

Thank you!

Tony

Anonymous said...

word is the article was pulled to be rewritten to be more favorable after nifong won in court friday! no amount of stupid poetry is changing the fact that nifong won by not having to produce the bill of particulars and he also had 600 more pages of discovery to give the defense and his motion about the survey made the defense look bad to the public. i was at the courthouse and saw it with my own eyes. the defense looked tired and upset for some reason, especially cheshire. nifong looked confident and upbeat. he is not afraid. the defense is afraid.

Anonymous said...

Perceptions.... not shared by others at the hearing. Nifong lost on many counts -- failed to prove that a survey of 300 citizens tainted a potential jury pool of 250K. Stated that his calendar had only 15 interviews when he's previously on record (his interview w/ local newspaper) has haven given 50 interviews taking 40 hours of his time. Ordered to complete discovery... tossing out yet another 'version' of this fake rape -- speculating that it may have only taken 5 minutes (10 on the outside) while all previous statements and probable cause statements contradict. The fact that he has to speculate about this case should tell us all something - he doesn't have facts to support the case therefore, he HAS to speculate.

Were you in the front row? The view from there was very different.

Anonymous said...

I imagine the view is always very different when not clouded by hatred or at least that is what the Word is.