Sunday, December 31, 2006
Some of our favorite Nifongisms from the Year of the Hoax:
"If this is all a hoax that was ... designed to get the lacrosse team ... what other major lacrosse program is behind that hoax? The presumed motivation would be to end the season of the Duke lacrosse team, and that's obviously been accomplished. Seriously, when you think about it, who would be motivated to do a hoax like that? What possible reason would somebody have to do that?"
"It's always been important for me that the district attorney's office in Durham represent the absolute peak of ability and integrity, and that's been my goal, to keep the office that way."
"I don't really intend to make any extra-judicial statements about the case."
"Having said something other than 'no comment' in the first place, it's kind of like going into Iraq. It's not a question of if you're right to go in there. It's a question of is it right to leave things a mess at this point in time?"
"The information that I have does lead me to conclude that a rape did occur. I'm making a statement to the Durham community and, as a citizen of Durham, I am making a statement for the Durham community. This is not the kind of activity we condone, and it must be dealt with quickly and harshly."
"We're talking about a situation where had somebody spoken up and said, 'Wait a minute, we can't do this,' this incident might not have taken place."
“I am convinced that there was a rape, yes, sir.”
"The circumstances of the rape indicated a deep racial motivation for some of the things that were done. It makes a crime that is by its nature one of the most offensive and invasive even more so."
"I've had conversations with (the accuser) about how she's doing. I've had conversations with (the accuser) about her seeing her kids. I haven't talked with her about the facts of that night. ... We're not at that stage yet."
"Well, I haven't been in the courtroom in the last year because I haven't had a case that was assigned to me. Obviously, there is now a case that the national media has shown real interest in, that I have said is going to be my case, and I will be trying that one in the courtroom."
"Well, I think that for some of the same reasons that the lacrosse case has captured the national media attention, it's captured the attention of the people in Durham in a way that it just seems to me that the issues that are touched on by this case are ones that the voters of Durham have a legitimate expectation that the elected district attorney will try that case for them. And I think that assigning it to somebody else would be to neglect those duties."
"The reason that I took this case is because this case says something about Durham that I’m not going to let be said. I'm not going to allow Durham's view in the minds of the world to be a bunch of lacrosse players at Duke raping a black girl from Durham."
"I think that I have a responsibility to prosecute this case. I think that really nothing about my view of the case and my view of how the case ultimately needs to be handled has been affected by any of the things that have occurred. You can make the case go away pretty easily. Anybody could. The next D.A., or me if I were so inclined. You can do it with the stroke of a pen. But that does nothing to address the underlying divisions that have been revealed. My personal feeling is the first step to addressing those divisions is addressing this case.”
"If a case is of such significance that people in the community are divided or up in arms over the existence of that case, then that in and of itself is an indication that a case needs to be tried."
"Their way of trying a case in the media is not to call press conferences, but to simply file motions and court papers that contain outrageous or false statements and assume that people will report them as if they were facts."
“On the other hand, [the accuser’s] ability to recall in great detail the events both prior to and during her assault suggested that, if any drug was administered to her, it was not one of those drugs commonly referred to as “date rape drugs.”
"I would not be surprised if condoms were used. Probably an exotic dancer would not be your first choice for unprotected sex."
"How does DNA exonerate you? It's either a match or there's not a match. If the only thing that we ever have in this case is DNA, then we wouldn't have a case."
"My guess is that there are many questions that many people are asking that they would not be asking if they saw the results [of the DNA testing] They're not things that the defense releases unless they unquestionably support their positions. So, the fact that they're making statements about what the reports are saying, and not actually showing the reports, should in and of itself raise some red flags."
"The state is not aware of any additional material or information which may be exculpatory in nature with respect to the defendant [Seligmann]."
"I have to note the irony...It's interesting now that they are trying to get information that would help dispute those tests."
"I've turned over everything I have."
"His report encompasses ever -- because we didn't -- they apparently think that everybody I speak to about, I talk about the facts of the case. And that's just, that would be counterproductive. It did not happen here."
"No other statements. No other statements made to me."
"We were trying to, just as Dr. Meehan said, trying to avoid dragging any names through the mud."
"I would like to think that somebody [not involved in the attack] has the human decency to call up and say, 'What am I doing covering up for a bunch of hooligans?' "
"Publicity, like anything else, is a two-edged sword. It can help in certain respects, and it can hurt in certain respects. Personally, I could live without it."
"By leaking things out like this, they can keep the case in the headlines -- see all these trucks that are still around here waiting for something to happen -- and kind of frame the case their own way. And say things like, 'according to my timeline' -- which of course, they don't know what my timeline is."
"If I had to speculate, I'd say this whole event took five minutes, maybe 10 minutes at the outside. I would ask the court to take judicial notice that when something happens to you that is really awful, it seems to take longer than it actually takes."
"I would wonder what, what evidence he thinks that he’s entitled would be on that telephone."
"And, I know that it looks sometimes over the course of the last few months that some of these attorneys were almost disappointed that their clients didn’t get indicted so they could be part of this spectacle here in Durham. And that’s the situation, we only indict based on our evidence we can’t indict everybody but we are entitled to present a case to the citizens of Durham whereby they can determine what occurred in this case."
"Have I personally identified...Do I know if the...to my knowledge that—I do not...To my knowledge, no one has done that yet."
"And one would wonder why one needs an attorney if one was not charged and had not done anything wrong."
"No attorney should have any objection whatsoever to complying with the bar rules."