Friday, December 15, 2006

Eventful Week

An eventful week in the Hoax blog-o-sphere concludes today with Hoax hearing number seven. The week began under a dark cloud of rumors initiated by local activist and media personality, Cash Michael’s ominous, “The Earth Will Shake” taunt. The unfounded rumors were quickly put to rest as the week offered hit after hit to the Hoax.

First, Congressman Walter Jones requested a federal investigation of District Attorney Mike Nifong in a letter and phone call to US Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez. Then the defense dropped two earth shaking bombshells in the form of two monster motions that make very clear the depths of deception that have fueled the Hoax. Finally, the Theater of the Absurd offered the news that the accuser has given birth to a child, apparently conceived some time shortly after the initiation of the hoax. About the only thing missing from this bizarre week is a change of venue motion to really propel the Fonglets into a further frenzy.

After setting the Hoax blog-o-sphere afire with his exercise in irresponsibility seen below, Mr. Michaels was soon sheepishly retreating from his predictions of doom for the supporters of Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty and Dave Evans.

"My official and only response. not only to the above, but any and all subsequent and future comments regarding the case is:

"In a few says, the Earth will shake..."

Better hold on to something!

Merry Christmas."

C

While Mr. Michaels’ false prophesy offered a brief flicker of delusional hope for Hoax supporters and enablers alike, the earth soon began to tremble in quite the opposite direction. On Tuesday, Rep. Walter Jones of Durham’s Third Congressional District issued the following press release:

JONES REQUESTS FEDERAL PROBE INTO PROSECUTION OF DUKE ATHLETES

Washington, D.C. – In a letter to U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, Third District Representative Walter B. Jones (R-NC) requested an inquiry into Durham County, North Carolina District Attorney Mike Nifong’s prosecution of three Duke University student athletes accused of an alleged sexual attack on a woman at a party earlier this year. Specifically, Rep. Jones asked the Attorney General to review Mr. Nifong’s conduct to determine if it constitutes prosecutorial misconduct and has denied the students their civil rights as U.S. citizens under federal law.

“Over the past several months, many of my constituents and a growing number of mainstream media outlets have raised serious questions about the accuser’s allegations and Mr. Nifong’s prosecution,” Jones wrote.

Jones highlighted two particular issues which have been brought to his attention:

“First, Mr. Nifong directed the Durham Police Department to knowingly violate suspect identification procedures for police personnel in North Carolina,” Jones continued. “These procedures require that during any suspect identification process, a suspect’s photo must be shown with those of non-suspects. Mr. Nifong not only directed that this not be done, he also directed the police to tell the accuser that she would only view photos of Duke lacrosse athletes who were at the party. By doing so, Mr. Nifong ensured that the accuser could not make a mistake no matter who she identified because she would inevitably identify Duke athletes.”

“Second, throughout the investigation Mr. Nifong repeatedly made prejudicial statements to the media. His statements clearly violate the North Carolina Rules of Professional Conduct which prohibit a prosecutor in a criminal case from making extrajudicial statements that ‘heighten public condemnation of the accused’ or, if disseminated via public communication, have the ‘substantial likelihood’ of prejudicing the proceeding,” Jones wrote. “Mr. Nifong’s statements ranged from labeling the Duke players “hooligans” to falsely stating that they refused to cooperate with his investigation. Mr. Nifong also continually proclaimed his personal opinion that a sexual attack had occurred and that he believed the accuser. Furthermore, what is perhaps most concerning is Mr. Nifong’s public admission and representation in court that he’s never had the accuser tell him what she alleges occurred that night; Mr. Nifong has stated it was unnecessary to hear her version.”

“Mr. Attorney General, many of my constituents have expressed concern to me that the facts outlined in this letter are indicative of prosecutorial misconduct. I urge you to look into these matters to ensure that Mr. Nifong’s actions have not illegally denied the accused of their civil rights as American citizens,” Jones concluded. “After all, if the American people cannot trust those who they’ve empowered to pursue justice fairly, then hope for this democracy is lost.”

While there has been some skepticism regarding Rep. Jones’ motives for injecting himself into the Hoax (speculation that he has designs on statewide office, possibly as a Republican candidate for Governor) and a certain degree of doubt expressed as to the effectiveness of his request, Rep. Jones' demand for an investigation marks the first instance of a public official standing up to the petty tyrant prosecutor whose Hoax transgressions have gone unchecked. For the duration of the Hoax, Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong has approached the media, the community, the defendants' attorneys, and the court with an air of arrogance that reveals a man who feels himself above the law. Unencumbered by conscience, humility, or higher authority, the Hijacker of the Hoax has been allowed to persist with his hoax on the mere force of his own insistence. Despite the blatant transparency of the false accusations, the Hoax has endured, relatively unimpeded, while enabled by the silent cowardice of community leaders, the distortions of the Herald Sun (and others in the mainstream media), and the support of multiple, agenda-driven factions. Rep. Jones' willingness to publicly stand in opposition clearly indicates that Nifong’s reign of wanton disregard may soon be formally investigated.

Rep. Jones' request for an investigation was followed by the first of two motions filed by the defense this week. The first motion seeks additional discovery of DNA testing results and the opportunity to question Dr. Brian Meehan under oath. Included within the motion were several revelations that speak both to the ever thinning transparency of the Hoax and the disturbing implication that efforts were made to disguise the totality of the DNA testing results.

While it had previously been reported that there was no DNA match to any of the indicted players, the extent of the testing and the timing of the reports of that testing to District Attorney Nifong and DPD investigators was revealed clearly for the first time. Incredibly, Dr. Meehan’s DNA Security lab failed to produce for the defense, until his efforts to continue to not disclose them were rebuffed by Judge Smith, the complete results of his testing.

According to the defense motion, this testing revealed the presence of nine separate semen fragments found on swabs and scrapings taken from the accuser’s cheek, mouth, vagina, rectum and panties. In addition to the nine separate semen fragments, Dr. Meehan’s lab also identified nine separate epithelial fragments from those same locations. A brief review of the attachments to the motion appears to indicate that these eighteen fragments tested have at least five separate male sources, none of whom are members of the 2006 lacrosse team. Additionally significant is the fact that identification or isolation of “fragments” appears to give the indication that the items tested were relatively "fresh." Absent extreme denial or ulterior motive, the DNA evidence collected from the accused completely discredits the validity of DA Nifong’s Hoax.

Adding additional concern is the suggestion that these results were relayed personally by Dr. Meehan to DA Nifong the day before the District Attorney met with the accuser and shortly before he pursued the initial indictments. It stretches the bounds of credulity to imagine that, armed with the knowledge that the accuser had recent sexual contact with several men yet none with any lacrosse team member, an immediate meeting with the accuser would not entail confrontation on these discrepancies. Unless of course, the scientific exoneration of the entire lacrosse team was merely an uncomfortable inconvenience. The greatest indication of possible criminal conduct, however, is the exclusion of these finding from the initial reports given to the defense and the prolonged and vehement resistance by both Meehan and Nifong to eventually turn the results over to the defendants.

The second motion filed by the defense aims to suppress the identification of the falsely accused young men. This meticulously crafted filing offers an outline of the accuser’s several versions of the Hoax, the extreme efforts by the District Attorney and the police to enable the false identifications, and the clear implication that not only have the three defendants been misidentified but also that the Hoax is even more glaringly transparent than had been imagined.

Despite these massive hits to the Hoax, we fully expect another measure of arrogance without substance from DA Nifong in court today. Buoyed by nothing more than the knowledge that his insistence has taken him this far, the delusion that his lawerly skills are superior to mere mortals, and the expectation that a jury in denial of truth or with ulterior motives might offer the possibility of a false conviction, DA Nifong is certain to persist with the Hoax. In a recent interview with the Associated Press, Professor Stan Goldman echoes the expectations of NCCU’s Professor Irving Joyner by noting that despite the overwhelming number of problems with Nifong’s Hoax, the possibility of jury nullification exists as Nifong’s only hope to fulfill his evil designs.

Stan Goldman, a criminal law expert at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, said the defense can use what DNA Security found to argue that if their clients did in fact rape the accuser, the extensive testing should have uncovered their DNA.

But he downplayed suggestions that the report could be the key to winning the case. "There seems to be so many problems with this case, it's hard to say one more will be fatal," Goldman said. "If the jury was going to believe the case before this, it strikes me this is not going to be fatal."

With this very real threat looming, we can only hope that a motion for change of venue is soon to follow.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

"With this very real threat looming, we can only hope that a motion for change of venue is soon to follow."

To be sure, the defense attorneys will seek a change of venue if there is to be a trial.

But, by a dismissal, a change of venue motion can be mooted. (Smile)

Michael J. Gaynor

Anonymous said...

What time is the hearing today?

Victim in Massachusetts said...

The Hearing is at 9:30a.m.

Anonymous said...

The birth of the accuser's third out of wedlock child is probably the earth shaking news Michaels was referring to. One could correctly assume that Michaels thought this expedient birth would connect the three accused or establish paternity. Enter the flawed DNA testing and tampered results and poor Michaels has gone back into his cave.

Gprestonian said...

Well said, LS!

"The greatest indication of possible criminal conduct, however, is the exclusion of these finding[s] from the initial reports given to the defense and the prolonged and vehement resistance by both Meehan and Nifong to eventually turn the results over to the defendants."

Anonymous said...

Cash Michael's "the earth will shake" taunt was swallowed hook, line, and sinker by the media, especially Greta on Fox News and by many bloggers. The baby of CGM, reported birth 12/14/06 - 9 months after the March lacrosse party & alleged rape - is not due until Feb 2007. The prosecution has built their case on lies, and the earth will continue to shake with those lies until the end. Liestoppers, thank you for your work to expose the many liars in this mockery of justice.