Thursday, October 19, 2006

Random Hoax Notes


Variety is reporting that 17.26 million viewers watched the exposure of Nifong’s Hoax.
“And on Sunday, an NFL overrun led into the highest-rated "60 Minutes" since January (4.5/12 in 18-49, 17.26m) as the newsmag devoted extensive time to the Duke lacrosse team rape case.”
Candy Clark
The Chronicle features Nifong administrative assistant, Candy Clark, defending the boss’s failure to view exculpatory evidence offered by the defendants attorney’s as simply standard practice for the Durham District Attorney’s office.
"In the course of a case, the assistant district attorney and district attorney just don't talk to defendants. They just don't." Clark said. "Not in this case, not in any case."
Amazingly, it would appear from Ms. Clark’s statement that the 1,108 (out of 2,549) felony cases dismissed by the Durham County Superior Court last year were disposed off without the DA or an ADA talking to the defendants. We haven’t quite yet figured out how the nearly 1,400 plea agreements were managed over the same time period either. It would seem that an office policy of ignoring defendants and their attorney’s eager to present evidence would lead to a systematic violation of the prosecutors’ ethical responsibility to
"not intentionally avoid pursuit of evidence merely because he or she believes it will damage the prosecutor's case or aid the accused."
While exculpatory evidence appears to be ignored as the rule in the Durham County DA's office, at least we can be assured that campaign-saving accuser’s receive special attention.
“She [Ms. Clark] added that she spoke to the alleged victim late last week and usually contacts her once or twice a week.” Law Experts Weigh In [The Chronicle]

It appears that this personal attention is new policy to the District Attorney’s office under the reign of Nifong. When working under former District Attorney Jim Hardin, Ms. Clark described the procedure for, and frequency of, contact with complainants quite differently.
“His [DA Hardin] administrative assistant, Candy Clark, said the names of victims in all felony cases are entered into court computers. Then, victims of Class A through E felonies -- or their relatives -- are notified by an automated phone system about trial dates and other important court proceedings, Clark said…Clark said the automated notification system begins calling victims or their families at 6 a.m. each day and keeps dialing until a person, rather than an answering machine, picks up on the other end…12 assistant district attorneys in Durham now have "victim-witness legal coordinators" who are responsible for letting victims or their families know about bond hearings and other significant proceedings…In addition, victims also can check up on things themselves…The Durham district attorney's office sends a letter to crime victims in all felony cases after the suspects are indicted, Clark said. Among other things, the letters explain how the victims can get in touch with the assistant prosecutors handling their cases.”
Rick Halperin 2/21/2004

It is unclear whether the accuser remains "too traumatized" to speak on these weekly phone calls from the District Attorney’s office, which at a rate of one or two per week would total anywhere from 30 to 60 calls.
Super Sleuths

The super sleuths at Talk Left have deduced that defendant Seligman must be suspect Adam. Through a combination of creative TIVO-ing and piecing together the accuser’s police statements from April 4 and April 6, they have also revealed that the accuser, in her written statement to police gives four names for her three attackers:

"The boys hit and kicked me. Matt grabbed me and looked and me and said sweetheart you can‘t leave. He grabbed the back of my neck and said I‘m going to kill you (BLANK) (BLANK) if you don‘t shut up. They started kicking me in my behind and my back. Matt hit me in the face while Dan and Brett kicked me."
"I heard Nikki on the other side of the door, and when Adam opened the door she rushed in and helped Adam to get me dressed. They dragged me out to the car because my legs couldn't move. Nikki said, "What happened girl, did they hurt you," I said yes, and she said that she would get help for me."
"She wanted to take me to Raleigh and drop me off. But I told [name redacted] to take me home. She said that she would call the police. She took me to the Kroger on Hillsborough Rd. to call the police. She tried to get me out of the car before the police arrived, but I was afraid to get out. When the police came, she pulled me back into the car, and the police took me to the hospital from Kroger parking lot."
"7:27 p.m.: I want to add that Adam ejaculated in my mouth and I spit it out onto the floor, part of it fell onto the floor after he pulled his [redacted]" Talk Left
Shop at Fong's

In a letter published by the Herald Sun, Nifong supporter, Annette Montgomery, urges voters to ignore Mr. Nifong’s misconduct in this one case and instead to look to his office’s case disposal rate as an indication of his worthiness to retain his office.
"I've learned that, for the purposes of public trust and confidence in the system, the state of North Carolina has measurement tools for effectiveness. For our 14th Judicial District, under Nifong's leadership, cases for all courts have improved to 90-100 percent disposition rate.”
Conveniently, Ms. Montgomery fails to note that nearly half of the felony cases, and over half of the rape cases, disposed of in District 14 were dismissed. NC Courts [Page 49]
Bizarrely, Ms. Montgomery attempts to make a case for Mr. Nifong by pointing to his ratings in the Martindale-Hubbell legal directory.
Nifong himself has a "very high to preeminent" peer rating with regard to his legal ability and ethical standards given by the prestigious Martindale-Hubbell legal directory.
Martingdale self describes it’s legal directory as:
"Martindale-Hubbell Rating guides buyers of legal services and those referring business in making faster, smarter decisions. "
While we are uncertain of what type of legal service one would buy from the Durham District Attorney’s office, it is good to know that you’ll get your money’s worth when shopping there.
It should be noted that Martingdale-Hubbell strictly prohibits the use of its ratings in political advertisements and letters to the Editor.

Non-permitted uses

Use or mention of the Martindale-Hubbell Ratings is not allowed in:
Yellow Page advertisements
Newspaper advertisements
Outdoor advertisements (billboards, buses, benches, etc.)

Political pieces or advertisements/campaign promotions
Radio and television commercials

"Letters to the Editor" or similar articles or opinion pieces that are public commentary or reflect the personal opinions of the rated attorney or firm” Martingdale Ratings Guidlines


Anonymous said...

Is that the President of Duke or Pontius Pilate?

Anonymous said...

RE: 10:44 AM. Please disregard the previous post. I met it for the article entitled "Highly Inappropriate Behavior".