Thursday, August 31, 2006

Whither Nifong's Assets?

I'll say it: Nifong cannot win the November election. His time as Durham County D.A. is all but done. Shortly after the May 2 Democratic primary, Nifong said, "I expect if this issue had never come up we would have ended up with the same outcome." That's a crock. I expect that if this issue had never come up, Nifong would have been trounced by Freda Black, whose pre-April name recognition far exceeded Nifong's. In 2003, she was busy, on national television, convicting local author, Michael Peterson, of murdering his socialite wife, while Nifong was pleading out traffic infractions. Nifong fired Black the day after Governor Easley appointed him to the top spot in the D.A.'s office. Early spring polls showed Nifong running considerably behind Black and, as of the day before the election, one poll still showed him trailing her by a percentage point, two points shy of the 40% necessary to carry the primary. The same poll, however, demonstrated Nifong's then-prevailing favor with the African American voter. Nifong, of course, won the May 2 primary by a mere 833 votes. Black voters, however, then preferred Nifong 2-to-1 over Black.

It's not May anymore.

On May 2, many in the local Black community were influenced by, among others, the early writings of Cash Michaels, the sickening, pre-evidence guilty verdict of the News and Observer, the lapdog timidity of Herald Sun editor Bob I-think-that-the-25-year- veteran-must-have-some-evidence-or-he-would-have-dropped- the-case-long-ago Ashley, and the recklessly dangerous lunatic rants of journalistic criminals like Wendy Murphy, Nancy Grace and Goergia Goslee. Looking back, it is understandable that many Black primary voters took comfort in the white D.A. who had vowed that he was "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"; who had been so visibly and vocally behind their Dear Sister.

In the months since, despite his protestations to the contrary, Cash has done a 180, and more Blacks are critically assessing the hard evidence. They are more likely to now be aware of the early doubts of respected local attorney "Butch" Williams and straight-shooter nonpareil, La Shawn Barber, who "just knew it" was a hoax from the get-go. They have, by now, likely read of Duke law professor, James Coleman's, call for a special prosecutor because, "I don't think [Nifong's] showing detached judgment. I personally have no confidence in him....Either he knew what the facts were and misstated them, or he was making them up. Whether he acted knowing they were false, or if he was reckless, it doesn't matter in the long run. This is the kind of stuff that causes the public to lose confidence in the justice system." By now, many local Blacks feel, as did Jason Whitlock on May 4th, "that Martin Luther King Jr. and many, many others of all races did not die so that the poor, black and oppressed could surrender the moral high ground and attempt to inflict injustice on the privileged." They have seen a racist white Durham cop insulated from criminal charges for his role in the assault of a black cook because of his then-perceived importance to Nifong's Folly. They have realized the greatest fear of Malik Zulu Shabazz, all the way back on May 1: They've been used.

Moreover, as pointed out by KC Johnson on May 19th, "According to the latest voter registration figures, Durham County has 27,070 registered Republicans, 24,566 of whom are white. The county has 86,621 registered Democrats, 46,586 of whom are black. So the demographic bloc supportive of Nifong's behavior formed a majority of the Democratic electorate, while those most likely to be alienated by his tactics couldn't vote in the primary. As the director of the Durham County Board of Elections noted the day after the primary, "We had a lot of irate, irate Republicans who couldn't vote for district attorney."

Professor Johnson continued, making the following salient observation: "One other most unusual demographic item in the Durham County electorate probably helped Nifong. Rape is a crime. But, as feminist theorists have contended and most defense lawyers understand, it's also a crime that men and women interpret somewhat differently. In normal circumstances, the fact that, in the abstract, women are more likely than men to sympathize with the accuser in a rape case is of no political consequence. But Durham County isn't normal in this regard. Stunningly (to me, anyway), the county has 79,546 female voters, as opposed to 60,087 males. (That's a female-to-male ratio of roughly 4:3.) As a local race, this contest had no exit polls, and perhaps the final vote contained no gender distinction. But it's doubtful that this gender breakdown hurt Nifong." It is even more doubtful that women voting in the general election will forgive Nifong. Vocal feminist and victim's rights advocate Susan Estrich has abandoned him. Even Estrich has come to understand that Nifong's perpetuation of the hoax for personal political gain has set back the just cause of advancing real rape victim's rights immeasurably.

It's over.

Unfortunately, the North Carolina State Bar, which ranks last in the nation when it comes disciplining its unethical brethren, does not have the inclination or mechanistic speed to disbar Nifong before November. Repeated calls for the federal government to step into the cesspool that is Durham have fallen upon deaf ears. Which means, despite 60 Minutes' coming bunker buster, Nifong is going to lose his job the good, old-fashioned way. He's going to be thrown out by a citizenry demanding Anyone But Him.

We know from his own publicity machine that Nifong is but a circumstances-elevated ham-and-egger, the civil-servant equivalent of the eke-it-out ambulance chaser. Unable to find a job in the private sector upon law school graduation, he took on as an unpaid volunteer for the Durham D.A.'s office before being offered a full-time position six months later. That was in April, 1979. "He has been there ever since." "Acquaintances say that Nifong never coveted the top job; he wasn’t political, and lacked the appetite and the instinct for public campaigning. Because of his long service, he earned around a hundred thousand dollars a year, nearly as much as some of the district attorneys he worked for."

After he is cast out, Nifong will be de facto unemployable in the thinly-sliced legal specialty that has defined his adulthood. He's a disgrace, a proven liar, the antithesis of a minister of justice. DAs throughout the state and nation will refuse to have Nifong darken their doors. Easley, eyeing a U.S. Senate seat, is not, people, going to re-appoint his greatest political embarassment. In the words of Tommy Chong, "That's just fuckin' stupid, man." After nearly thirty years honing his craft, Nifong will be left without a place to practice it. This will be the first post-loss reality to come to home to roost. Bar discipline, disbarment proceedings, federal indictment and civil trials (x3) will only follow, later.

The foregoing crystalizes the need for Nifong to be replaced by a special prosecutor immediately. Obviously, Nifong has a humongous conflict of interest. It is in his selfish interest to continue to posture this case as one carried forward by him reasonably, in good faith, evidence be damned. Else, he's being trained by Napolean Dynamite on how to properly wear the cardboard sailor's hat and always ask if they'd like fries with that.

This brings me to one further observation and, finally, the question posed by the title of this entry. Several questions, actually:

It is my understanding that Nifong, like all North Carolina public service employees, is, in the first instance, entitled to retirement pension benefits. (Geographically removed as I am from Durham, and with few nuggets yielded from various search engines, I have been unable to flesh out particulars regarding the formal name of what I presume is a collective bargaining agreement, the administrator of the fund, or the contractually mandated payment scheme. I urge others "close to the action" -- Joe? John? Liestoppers? -- to take up the scent and sniff this out.)

* After nearly three decades of dutiful foot soldiery, what shall be the total vested value of Nifong's state employee's pension at the time of his detachment from service?

* Shall he still be entitled to it if disbarred?

* Shall he still be entitled to it if criminally convicted of federal crimes?

* Shall he still be entitled to it after the County pays Reade, Collin and Dave so many millions of dollars in satisfaction of judgments owing due to Nifong's malicious, reckless and intentional acts? While the County will be obligated to pay judgments or settlements occasioned due to the culpable acts of its employee, it may be entitled to indemnification back from Nifong, personally, for monetary damages arising from any of his acts adjudged to have been undertaken intentionally.

* Are any such pension benefits even subject to attachment, i.e., assets exposed to satisfy personal judgment obligations?

*If not, has Nifong undertaken to accelerate or transfer regular salary or other compensation pro-actively into a non-reachable pension with the intent of insulating same from the reach of the civil trial victors?

The object, of course, is to bankrupt Nifong personally.

I suspect that Enquiring Cornacchias would like to know.

This ain't no party.
This ain't no disco.
This ain't no foolin' around!

This ain't no Ashley
Or 'Ol' Grey Lady'
It's so much worse on the blogs!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

"Persecution," by Stephen Miller

How do you know she's a witch?

Yesterday's edition of the Duke student newspaper, The Chronicle, included a wonderful article by senior, Stephen Miller. It is a must read.

Below is my open letter in response to Mr. Miller and the Duke student body:

Dear Stephen:

My name is Mike McCusker. I live in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, where I coach youth lacrosse. I'm an attorney, licensed to practice in New York and Connecticut. My wife is a Dukie. I have commented extensively upon The Hoax at my blog, "Crystal Mess," and elsewhere in the 'sphere. I do not know Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty or Dave Evans, and I do not receive any remuneration or other tangible incentive in consideration of my thoughts.

I'd been following the case, since it had exploded into the public consciousness two months earlier, with but the detached interest of one who loves the game, loves his wife, respects the rule of law, and maintains an occupationally healthy dose of skepticism for all things prosecutorial. Enough had been disclosed by then, of course, from police files, hospital records, witness statements, publicly filed court documents and the D.A.'s own discovery materials, to...know.

I was moved, however, to do something more, anything I might, to help spur justice for the wrongfully accused, on coincidentally sidling up to two men having a sidelines conversation at our town league-sponsored youth lax tournament on May 20th. At first, I was interested only in finding out the score of the ongoing game, the winner of which would play my team in the next round. As I stood there, I could not help but pick up on the agonized tone of one of the gentlemen standing next to me. Understand, I hadn't yet discerned the subject matter of their chat; I merely felt the sudden unease of being an intruder, the unwitting eavesdropper to another dad's angst. I was starting to walk away when I heard "...and I had to stand there with my SON, and walk past that angry mob shouting, "Rapist!" "Dead man walking!" "You'll get yours, Rapist!"

I don't know why I did it, but I stopped, stone still, really LOOKED at the man for the first time, and asked, "Excuse me, but what is your name?" He looked back at me with the focused peer of a night sentry seeking to ascertain friend or foe, met my eyes with confident self-assurance, extended his hand and said firmly, "My name is Phil Seligmann. Nice to meet you. What is your name?" The other man shortly bade goodbye and we chatted, then, Phil and me, for quite a while. As the game in front of us ended and I had to marshal up my fourth grade troops for their contest, he extended his hand again. We shook, each pulling the other into the warm hug of mutual fatherly understanding. I asked him to convey to Reade that there are millions of people across the country, like me, all of whom who can see, hear, read, and...know. His eyes misted just a bit as he embraced me more firmly and whispered in my ear, "Thank you. THANK you! You have no idea how much that means to me and my family." I've never spoken to Phil Seligmann again. This is the first time that I have publicly conveyed the story of our meeting, and I fully expect that, if he sees this, he will appreciate my reason for doing so now.

Much more is now known about the insidious, cancerous malignancy that eats away the good soul of Durham than had seen the light of public scrutiny when Duke students cleaned out their rooms and dispersed for points far removed last spring. The mind-numbing depth of judicial, prosecutorial, police and media corruption shall not, and is not, going unnoticed any longer.

Even as I write this, a man named Moezeldin Elmostafa is likely sitting at a defendant's table in a Durham courtroom. His crime? Mike Nifong would tell you it was "aiding and abetting" the petty theft of $250 worth of purses from a local department store in 2003 by driving the cab in which the actual thief made her way from the scene. His real crime, of course, was having had the moral fortitude to shun the comfort of anonymity and silence, and speak up as a alibi witness for Reade Seligmann. For those who may not know, Elmostafa drove the cab in which Reade made his way to be photographed at a bank ATM at the very time the troubled, false accuser claims she was being sexually defiled in the tiny bathroom at 610 North Buchanan. With upwards of 60,000 outstanding arrest warrants to be served in your city, two investigators knee-deep in the "Mess" were dispatched to find the "Criminal Cabbie," and instructed to let Nifong know when the arrest had been effectuated. Things that make ya go "Hmmmmmmmmm." And this is but one example.

Read all that you can about "2d dancer" Kim Roberts' favorable bail treatment, signed off personally by Nifong. Read all that you can about Sergeant Gottlieb's immaculate dis-association from the Blinko's racial assault case, despite the accuser stating, unequivocally, that the wrong men have been identified, and that the instigator was a bald white male perfectly fitting Gottlieb's description. As a matter of fact, just read ALL that you can beneath a "Sergeant Mark Gottlieb" Google search. Read all that you can about the case from the Durham Herald Sun. Keep a sharp eye out for the fiction of Editor-in-Chief Bob "I-never-met-a-butt-named-Mike-Nifong-I-wouldn't-kiss" Ashley. Compare his sycophantic "coverage" with that of Joe Neff of the N&O. Read all that you can about "Justices" Stephens' and Titus' despicable perpetuation of the fraud by playing hot potato with young men's lives in deference to their buddy Nifong's hollow protestations of the need for more time to conclude discovery. Read all that you can about Titus' refusal to rule on long-standing defense applications because he hadn't, um, gotten around to reading the motion papers. Imagine Arthur, King of the Britons: "Run Away!"

As spring has turned to a summer now barreling quickly towards fall, I find it hard to envision the type of Duke student you hypothesize, who "insists the lacrosse players are a bunch of racist criminals and that the players are guilty no matter what the evidence says." Whatever their political persuasions or incoming biases, a Duke student surely can see, hear, read, think analytically, separate spit from Shinola, and...know. I suspect that any individual possessed of the degree of ignorance you posit is ignorant for lack of knowledge only. I can assure you that I know more about the intricacies of this matter than a sizable percentage of the incoming student body. Am I smarter than they are? Certainly not. I went to Notre Dame. But I have read, voraciously, everything that I might access, from whatever source.

For me, now, interest primarily attends the complete exposure and toppling of a too-long-comfy jerkwater Star Chamber. It's no longer only about Reade, Collin and Dave. Their coming exoneration will, of course, be but the catalyst, the tipping point of the vacuum that suctions out the tumors. It's really about the ability of an American citizenry to have faith in its judicial system, the rule of law, and those we entrust to safeguard the due process rights of all.

So, read, Dukies.

Read every single word penned by renowned historian and professor, Robert KC Johnson, here: Durham-in-Wonderland.

Read every article at The Johnsville News, particularly the painstakingly fleshed out "timeline" and all links to which you are referred.

Read the wonderful blog of Durhamite John in Carolina to appreciate his unwavering battle for fair, truly informative, coverage from the the local and national media.

Read LieStoppers daily, for its phenomenally well-researched regular updates and wry commentary.

Read La Shawn Barber for her unashamed analysis of the hoax from the perspective of an African American Christian Conservative.

Read Cash Michaels for his late-arriving, but spot-on, perspective as an advocate for the Triangle African American community.

Read me, if you'd like, for politically incorrect satire and analysis that will, hopefully, make you laugh for want of screaming in outrage.

There are other fine blogs covering this travesty and links to all are regularly found cited within the works of those I've highlighted. Read, read, read. For Reade. And Collin. And Dave.

Get involved. Bang pots. Exhort your president to grow a set and use the persuasive powers of, both, his command of language and his position, to demand full disclosure and full justice for his in loco parentis charges, now.

Above all, register to vote. I believe that, after 60 Minutes gets through with Nifong and the rest of the Hitler Youth in less than a month, the November election will be of no moment. For the moment, however, those interested in justice and municipal scum cleansing cannot rest on any assumptions, as newly-appointed Justice Smith's decision to bar the televising of open court proceedings (while Titus' unconstitutional "gag order" yet stands) makes clear.

Be vigilant. Be seen. Be vocal. Be registered. Because they need you.


Michael F. McCusker

Friday, August 25, 2006


The tease was tantalizing. For hours last evening, I fought the siren call of my pillow to intermittently check the home page of the Drudge Report, in the hope that, finally, hard news would replace the siren call of "Further details emerge on rape accusations against members of Duke lacrosse ... Developing" emblazoning its header. And then, there it was! Link to a hot, steaming pile of dreck for which, according to its byline, one Duff Wilson claims primary responsibility.


While the headline of this disgraceful piece of "investigative journalism" proclaims that Files From Duke Rape Case Give Details but No Answers, Duff exhausts the equivalent of seventeen pages excreted from my desk top printer fashioning an answer to, indeed, a justifcation of, D.A. Michael B. Nifong's election to proceed with what "[d]efense lawyers...Duke alumni and a group of bloggers" would color the "flimsiest" of rape allegations.

Incredibly, however, Duff props up his transparently desired conclusion -- "that while there are big weaknesses in Mr. Nifong’s case, there is also a body of evidence to support his decision to take the matter to a jury" -- with slipshod allusion to what he deems "[c]rucial to that portrait of the case": "Sergeant Gottlieb’s 33 pages of typed notes and 3 pages of handwritten notes."

Worse, instead of doing what an investigative reporter, I thought, was supposed to do when presented with highly suspect material passed off as fact (read: "Sergeant Gottlieb’s 33 pages of typed notes and 3 pages of handwritten notes") -- ask tough questions of the generator of the source material, seek alternative sources of information when stonewalled by the generator or judicial tyranny, dig relentlessly to unearth honest answers to important questions swirling about the the veracity, reliablity and trustworthiness of the suspect material -- Duff blindly accepts Gottlieb's fiction as the linchpin upon which to hang the most despicable example, to date, of the mainstream media's obstruction of justice for the three young men maliciously accused of the most heinous of crimes: racially-motivated gang rape.

While "Justice" Titus' unconstitutional gag order might be offered by Duff to rationalize his having avoided direct contact with Gottlieb, it certainly did not preclude his ability to consider the type of questioning Gottlieb will, no doubt, be subject to on cross-examination at any trial of this matter before deciding to assert Gottlieb's creations as "evidence stronger than that highlighted by the defense."


Questions like these:

Q: You've been a member of the Durham Police Department for [nearly] twenty years, correct?
Q: Before being offered, and accepting, that job, you were required to attend police academy instruction and training, correct?
Q: In fact, you had to be certified as having successfully completed such training before starting your employment with the DPD, right?
Q: In other words, you could not be hired as a Durham police officer until having passed that professional course of training, correct?
Q: That professional training included instruction in the appropriate and acceptable ways of interviewing witnesses, no?
Q: And, "witnesses" includes crime victims, suspects, and third parties with information relevant to assist in your investigation of a crime, doesn't it?
Q: And you passed that training, of course, didn't you?
Q: You were also trained in the manner in which to make and keep notes of witness interviews, correct?
Q: Passed that training, too, right?
Q: And that training instructed that you, whenever possible, make your notes contemporaneously, that is, at the same time as, your conversations with witnesses, isn't that so?
Q: In fact, writing down witness statements at the very time the statements are made is the favored practice, is it not?
Q: An officer who writes a witness statement into his notes at the time the statement is being made is an officer using good and accepted practice, isn't that true?
Q: Well, an officer writing his notes of a statement at the time the statement is made is not doing anything wrong, is he?
Q: He's not going to be reprimanded for that, is he?
Q: Because, if you're writing down a witness statement at the time the statement is made, you are following the favored practice taught to you all the way back in the police academy, correct?
Q: I'm sure you strive, every day, to perform your job according to the proper procedures you were taught all the way back in the police academy, don't you?
Q: Because you want to do things right, right?
Q: Because you're a good officer?
Q: Your training also taught you that you should take great care to write down witness statements in your notes as accurately and completely as possible, correct?
Q: You've been trained to record the witness' statements in writing as the witness is speaking, correct?
Q And to ask the witness to repeat or clarify a particular statement that you want to memorialize perfectly in your notes, right?
Q: You were trained, in fact, to use quotation marks to connote written notes that record exactly what a witness said, were you not?
Q: And that is your own custom and practice, isn't it?
Q: So, if a witness interview note written by you includes matter framed by quotation marks, you are indicating by the quotation marks that that is exactly what the witness said, fair?
Q: If it's in quotation marks, it's not your own summary or impression of what was said, it is what was said, right?
Q: Verbatim?
Q: And it is, of course, your custom and practice to include in your interview notes any and all information that you deem relevant, or important, to on-going investigation, isn't it?
Q: I mean, you'd never not write down information given by a witness that you felt was important to solving the crime, right?
Q: So, you always do write down any and all important information told to you by the witness you're interviewing, correct?
Q: What do I mean? I mean, information that you, in the course of your investigation, and in consideration of your training and experience, feel is important to the case?
Q: You don't "leave out" any important stuff then, agreed?
Q: That's very important to the conduct of a thorough criminal investigation, isn't it?
Q: It's very important to justice-minded criminal investigation, isn't it?
Q: What do I mean? I mean that you know, from your training and experience, that your notes of witness interviews are often used by the District Attorney's office in the prosecution of defendants charged with the crimes you've investigated, isn't that so?
Q: You know, from your training and experience, that you might expect to be called as a witness at a criminal trial to read your investigative notes to a jury, correct?
Q: In fact, you've testified to juries in open court "X" times, haven't you?
Q: And you know, from your training and experience, that your notes of witness interviews are often introduced in open court as evidence in criminal trials, correct?
Q: You know, from your training and experience, that trials of crimes charged often occur long after, sometimes years after, the alleged crime and your investigation of it, don't you?
Q: And, knowing that, you always make sure that your contemporaneous notes of witness interviews are as full and complete and accurate as possible, correct?
Q: To help refresh your own recollection when you are called upon to testify about events long past, correct?
Q: Because your own memory of, say, investigating a purse theft would be sharper and more accurate at the time you spoke to witnesses shortly after the theft occurred than it would be, say, three years after its occurrence, fair?
Q: And you'd agree with me, wouldn't you, that the purpose of a criminal trial is not exclusively to secure a conviction against an accused?
Q: You'd agree with me, wouldn't you, that the dual purpose of a criminal trial is to see that, both, the guilty are convicted and that the not guilty are set free?
Q: In other words, to insure that justice is served?
Q: Which is, in large part, why it is your own custom and practice to make your notes of witness interviews at the time of the interview, or as quickly as is reasonably possible for you to do so, correct?
Q: So that the jury will have a record of witnesses recollections of a particular event at a time shortly after the event occurred, correct?
Q: Because, in your experience, the recollections of witnesses tend to change over time, do they not?
Q: In fact, it has been your experience that witnesses memories of particular events fade with time, hasn't it?
Q: Yes or no: Do you mean by that answer that, in your experience, some witnesses' memories have actually improved over time? Um-hum.

[Seek court permission to have Gottlieb's original 3 pieces of near-illegible scrawl marked for identification]

Q: Now, your job also requires you to make and keep comprehensive reports of all information developed during the course of investigation, does it not?
Q: A typical such report, as opposed to witness interview notes alone, would include all relevant information you have developed pertaining to a particular investigation, fair?
Q: The report might be added to from time to time as an on-going investigation proceeds, correct?
Q: It might also include investigative information developed by other officers working on the case, correct?
Q: It would include information, for example, about the scene of the crime? Personal observations upon canvassing an area? Complaining witness or witnesses? Injuries? Personal property damage? Evidence secured from the scene? Eyewitnesses? Descriptions of suspects? Contact information -- addresses, phone numbers, and the like? Witness interviews? Fair? Anything else?
Q: Good and accepted practice is to type information already secured onto the report as soon as is reasonably possible, correct?
Q: What do I mean? I mean, if you're sitting around the station, having already secured the name and address of a suspect, and fellow officers are out in the field trying to secure the identity of a second suspect, it would be good and accepted practice for you to type the name of the suspect you've already identified onto the report, wouldn't it?
Q: There's nothing in Departmental Regulations or police academy training instructing that you should not enter the information you already possess, is there?
Q: There's nothing in Departmental Regulations or police academy training instructing that you should wait for fellow officers to complete every phase of on-going investigation before you type information you already possess onto the report, is there?
Q: In fact, the favored practice is to type information onto those reports as soon as possible after the information is received, isn't it?
Q: Even if further investigation is on-going, right?
Q: Because if information already received is recorded in a timely manner, there is virtually no possiblity that the information will be accidentally misplaced or lost, right?
Q: Most of this is pretty much just common sense, isn't it, Sergeant?
Q: And it happens, on occasion, that you interview a witness with another officer, doesn't it?
Q: And the other officer contemporaneously makes written notes of the witness' statements, as well, correct?
Q: Because, like you, he or she has attended and passed police academy training, correct?
Q: Because, like you, that other officer has learned the DPD's accepted, proper procedures, correct?
Q: Because, like you, he strives every day to do his job correctly?
Q: Because, like you, he strives every day to follow proper and favored procedure, correct?
Q: Because he's a good officer, right?
Q: In fact, all officers conducting investigations for the Durham Police Department report to you, don't they?
Q: Because, since February, 2006, you have been the Department's Supervisor of Investigations, correct?
Q: In fact, it is your responsibility, in that role, to insure that all officers follow good and accepted practice and procedure in the conduct of their investigative and reporting duties, correct?
Q: If an officer was unacceptably late in filing reports of information developed during the investigative course, it would be your job to talk to that officer, correct?
Q: It would be your job to order that officer to timely file his report, correct?
Q: It would be your job to monitor his conduct thereafter, and see that your order has been carried out, correct?
Q: It would be your job to impose reprimand or punishment, possibly including termination, if the officer continued to disregard your order and proper Departmental practice, correct?
Q: But you haven't had to reprimand or punish officers under you for untimely report filing since you became Investigations Supervisor, have you?
Q: Because the Durham Police Department only employs good, competent officers, doesn't it?
Q: Okay. Now, on those occasions when you and another officer interview a witness together, you compare your own notes with those of your brother officer soon after the interview, don't you?
Q: And you expect, even before comparing your notes with those of your brother officer, that his and yours will memorialize similar, if not exact, information, correct?
Q: Now, as concerns particular information contained in the department's comprehensive report, the particular officer who developed that information is typically the officer who types it onto the body of the document, correct?
Q: There is space provided on the formal report for the investigating officer to type in statements secured during witness interviews, correct?
Q: The information typed in that space on the formal report would include all of the important information included in your original notes of the witness interview, correct?
Q: And since you always include any and all important information stated by a witness in your hand-written notes, you simply have to type onto the formal report the entirety of what you've previously written down when interviewing the witness, correct?
Q: And, in the event that a witness was interviewed by you and another officer, that officer's hand-written notes would also be transferred to the formal, typed report, correct?
Q: But there shouldn't be any significant or important difference between his report entry and yours, should there?
Q: Because you interviewed the witness together, right?
Q: Heard the same statements at the same time, right?
Q: And, following good and accepted police procedure, you both took notes contemporaneously, that is, at the same time the statement was being uttered, correct?
[Insert 633 additional questions, here.]
Q: Now, there are Departmental regulations, are there not, setting forth the time by which information previously collected is to be typed onto the formal report, correct?
Q: Well, have you, in your lengthy career, developed a custom and practice that you strive to follow regarding the time between your conduct of an interview and when you type your notes of that interview into the formal report?
Q: Okay. Is it fair to state that the formal, typed report is to be filled in within a reasonable time following the collection of the information that is to be memorialized upon the body of the report?
Q: What constitutes a reasonable time?
Q: Well, I understand that circumstances of a particular investigation, or of an officer's personal life, might vary the definition of "reasonable time" a bit from case to case but, certainly, you'd agree with me that the passage of four months between investigation undertaken and typing the investigative results into a formal report is unreasonable, wouldn't you?
[Insert 897 additional questions, here]
Q: It would be particularly unreasonable when counsel representing an individual or individuals indicted for the crime under investigation have demanded your report for months and months, wouldn't it?

[Seek court permission to have four-months-delinquent, neatly-typed, single-spaced, thirty-three page Gottlieb "Report" marked for identification]


I have here merely given an example of "softening the beach" -- the process by which cross-examination seeks to buttonhole a witness into affirmatively acknowledging the propriety of occupational training procedures, the authority of professional standards, and, being a competent professional in the field, after all, his own customary adherence to the same. While some of the example questions would prompt sustainable objections (and more would surely be asked to complete the foundation), all of the information sought is, ultimately, coming before the jury. I might have to re-phrase a few questions as to their form, but I'm getting what I want out of his mouth before he leaves the box.

I'll leave it to retained counsel to construct the "other shoe drop" -- the real fun job of turning a preening peacock into a self-imploding globule of goo simply by wondering aloud, about 4,326 times, if he might tell the jury why his notes diverge irreconcilably from those of Detective Himan, considering their joint interviews of the false accuser, and why his actions in this case diverge so glaringly from that which he has admitted to be his own usual, customary, and peer-sanctioned practice.

The point, however, is well-made. Duff had the opportunity to write an eminently fair expose that might have had the effect of accelerating justice already too-long delayed for the Duke Three. He chose not to write the piece that might have appropriately been headlined Chief Investigator's Long-delayed Files Give No Help To Prosecutor. He chose, instead, to use Gottlieb's toilet paper for muslin, to dim the vision of a largely uninformed public, to re-boil simmering tempers in the black community, to create the impression that defense attorneys have been selectively dropping "pieces of evidence" like bread crumbs for Hansel and Gretel to follow to the witch's cauldron and, inexcusably, to claim a prosecution case "stronger" "in several important areas," when nothing could be farther from the truth.

*Mangum's alleged "pain" in the butt, according to Gottlieb's alleged, subjective, observations of her on March 16th, is said, by him, to have been apparent because "[h]er facial expressions conveyed her pain as she ambulated." She sat so neither hip touched the sofa. "Anytime her bottom touched the sofa cushion while repositioning during our interview, she groaned and had a facial expression consistent with pain." This, coupled with Gottlieb saying that Nurse Levicy responded, "Yes," to his having allegedly asked her "if the exam was consistent with blunt force trauma," is all Duff needed to place the specter of anal assault roundly back on the front burner. First, Levicy didn't make a "much stronger statement a week later." She didn't suddenly say, "The patient's vaginal and anal injuries were directly caused by blunt force trauma." She allegedly told Gottleib, in response to his leading question, that Mangum's condition would be "consistent with" blunt trauma. Jakki's face is "consistent with" blunt trauma, too. Slicko Gootlieb, though, extrapolates: "I asked her if the blunt force trauma was consistent with the sexual assault that was alleged by the victim. She [Levicy] stated the trauma was consistent with the victim's allegation." Apologies in advance for the immediately following "Lewis Black Moment," but:


This is not evidence of anything other than a not - too - smart cop engaged in revisionist history. It certainly is not evidence of Mangum having been anally raped. It certainly is not evidence of Levicy having concluded that "blunt force trauma" caused Mangum's injuries, such as they were. Himan was at Mangum's house with Gottlieb on the 16th. What do his notes say in this regard? Correct. A female officer, it now appears, was also present. She grabbed a camera, allegedly took some pictures and, Gottlieb writes, confirmed that Mangum "had the onset of new bruises present."

What does the female officer's report say about bruises? Correct.

*Duff cruises over the enormous, unconstitutional irregularities of the photographic identification "process" with troubling, cavalier ease:


"The accounts of this accuser’s first description of the suspects, however, are ambiguous: the two investigators who interviewed her at home recorded the conversation differently.

In Officer Himan’s handwritten notes, the woman described all three as chubby or heavy. Adam: "white male, short, red cheeks fluffy hair chubby face, brn." Matt: "Heavy set short haircut 260-270." Bret: "Chubby." The descriptions in Sergeant Gottlieb’s notes are more detailed and correspond more closely to the men later arrested: Collin Finnerty, 20, a slender 6-foot-3 and 175 pounds with light hair; Mr. Evans, 23, 5-foot-10, 190 pounds and with dark hair; and Mr. Seligmann, 20, who is 6-foot-1 and 215 pounds with dark hair.

Sergeant Gottlieb wrote: "She described the three men as 1) W/M, young, blonde hair, baby faced, tall and lean, 2) W/M, medium height (5’8"+ with Himan’s build), dark hair medium build, and had red (rose colored) cheeks, and the third suspect as being a W/M, 6+ feet, large build with dark hair..."

...Later on March 16, investigators began the process that has become one of the mostly hotly disputed elements of the Duke case — the identification of individual suspects. The woman was shown lacrosse team photographs of four possible suspects — the players whose names were Adam, Matt or Brett — and of 20 other team members. (Mr. Seligmann was among those pictured; Mr. Finnerty and Mr. Evans were not.) She identified four people she thought were at the party, including Mr. Seligmann, but none as her attackers.

"This is harder than I thought," she said, according to Officer Michele Soucie’s notes.

Even so, investigators decided that the results of that first interview were sufficient to establish probable cause of rape. Later that day, the police served a search warrant on the North Buchanan house...

...Five days later, the police gave the woman another opportunity to identify her attackers. Officer Himan wrote that, under questioning, "She was unable to remember anything further about the suspects.” She was shown 12 more photographs, including Mr. Evans’s, his lawyer said. She identified none. Another investigator, Richard D. Clayton, wrote, "She again stated the photos looked the same."

The third and final photo identification session occurred on April 4. Mr. Nifong suggested to the investigators that they show the woman pictures of all 46 white lacrosse players — taken 12 days before — and ask if she remembered seeing each one at the party and if so, what he had been doing. About 30 players had been at the party.

Sergeant Gottlieb showed the woman each picture for a minute. The full transcript shows some precise recollections, three weeks after a relatively brief encounter with a large group of white strangers.

The third man pictured "was sitting on couch in front of TV," the woman said. The fourth "looked like Bret but I’m not sure." The fifth "looks like one of the guys who assaulted me." How sure was she? Sergeant Gottlieb asked. "He looks just like him without the mustache," the woman said. Ninety percent sure.

This was Mr. Evans. His lawyers and family say he has never had a mustache.

The sixth picture she did not recognize. The seventh "looks like one of the guys who assaulted me." Asked how sure she was, the woman said 100 percent and described what he had done. This was Mr. Seligmann.

Another student was standing outside talking, the woman told the police. Two others were drinking in the bedroom. Another wore khaki shorts. She said the person in one picture was the one who had given her the $400; this was proved accurate. Another was sitting in the kitchen, another outside, talking; one was sitting in the front row during the dance; another sitting on the couch watching TV; another made the broomstick comment; two of them she remembered yelling excitedly during the dance; and another, she said, was the third man who had assaulted her.

The transcript says "the victim’s eyes were pooling with tears. She was 100 percent sure. This was Mr. Finnerty."


None of this bothered Duff. Several questions spring immediately to my mind, as one would have hoped would have sprung to his:

1) On what date were Gottlieb's notes of Mangum's alleged descriptions of the physical characteristics of her assailants actually generated? Duff implies that Gottlieb and Himan recorded wholly irreconcilable notes when they "interviewed her at her home." We know when Himan made his notes. He was nice enough to date them. When did Gottlieb write his? Or is Duff referring to Gottlieb's 33 pages of typed "notes?" When were those created?

2) IF Gottlieb's descriptions were written, or typed, before the first photo array, why on earth would Collin Finnerty's picture not be included amongst those Mangum was asked to then view? Why on earth would his picture not be included in the second array five days later?

3) Based on Himan's notes of Mangum's descriptions of her assailants, how is it possible that Gottlieb heard her describe a "W/M, young, blonde hair, baby faced, tall and lean?"

4) When was Gottlieb first made aware of Finnerty's troubles in Washington, D.C.? By whom? When, in relation to his coming to such knowledge, did he generate his suspiciously spot-on "description" of a "W/M, young, blonde hair, baby faced, tall and lean?"

5) When Mangum's eyes were, allegedly, "pooling with tears" as she pointed the fickle finger of identification at Collin Finnerty's photograph on April 4th, was it because she was suddenly remembering horrors he had inflicted upon her? Or because she was consumed by guilt on "fingering" an innocent man upon the coercion of Nifong and DPD?

*Duff would have a non-vigilant world believe that all this to-do about Mangum's conflicting accounts, and countings, of the "assault" and the number of men, and women, involved in its perpetration are but mere "misunderstandings"; that, in fact, "except in some initial contacts with the police, she gave a consistent account during that night and since then of how many men raped her."

While continuing this thought, Duff reports that "[t]he account of being raped by five men comes from the notes of Gwendolyn Sutton, a Durham police officer who talked with the woman upon her arrival at the hospital. Officer Sutton’s report says the woman told her she had been dancing with three other women, "Nikki, Angel and Tammy." Nikki was Ms. Roberts’s stage name, but there may have been a misunderstanding about the role of the two other women: Tammy was a dispatcher at Angel’s Escorts."

Um, OK, but isn't there a glaring non-sequitur in there somewhere? Ooooh, I thought, I'm going to be taught how the "5 rapists" account is, really, just a "misunderstanding." Instead, I read, again, about Mangum's stultifying assertions of having danced at the party with two women other than Kim Roberts. Well, at least they concluded the paragraph with, "[t]he reference to five rapists has not been explained."

Net-net bottom line: Gottlieb, and his "notes," do nothing to further any argument favoring the continuance of this sham for another day. He was clearly but a shill, a patsy, for the corrupt and panicking district attorney. Gottlieb, and his "notes," would be put through the shredder at any trial of this action. But there isn't going to be a trial.

Gottlieb's "notes" fail to give Nifong "evidence" of injuries "consistent with" the sort of violent gang rape he'd spun out before a ravenous media. Gottlieb's "notes" fail to give Nifong "evidence" of any individual having had adequate time, space and opportunity to commit the atrocious acts alleged. Gottlieb's "notes" fail to give Nifong plausible deniability of having had no credible identfication proof whatsoever upon which to indict when he settled on sending Seligmann, Finnerty and Evans before the grand jury. Gottlieb's "notes" fail, really, to give Nifong an iota of "evidence" that the events charged might have happened.

Despite the incorrect, contrary conclusion spun by Duff, nothing "exposed" by him in this puff piece may be said to remotely approach "evidence of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt." Since nothing that had been publicly disclosed earlier had done so, either, but had, in fact, pointed mightily to a malicious travesty of justice being perpetrated by Durham's "minister of justice," I have faith in, and fully expect, Hon. W. Osmond Smith III to dismiss the charges against the Duke Three on or shortly after 22 September. No secret video tape. No self-incriminating statements. No "roll-over" teammates. No doctored defense photos.

Upon further review, we should thank Duff for this fine piece of investigative reporting. It proves that Nifong has nothing. Nothing, of course, but many more sleepless nights, the ruination of his career, the possible loss of his professional license, and multi-millions of dollars in judgments to be entered against him notwithstanding his ability, or not, to pay.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

LieStoppers Ratchets Up "Disbar Nifong"

I was pleased to swing by LieStoppers the other day and see their new sidebar heading entitled "Legal Ethics - Research and Analysis," under which are twenty-eight invaluable links. The second through twenty-eighth of the itemized materials include, inter alia, scholarly treatises, legal memoranda, Law Review articles, regulatory language and interpretation, procedural outlines, controlling case law, professional standards, and peer-generated and -reviewed guidelines, all of which illuminate the bright line distinction between ethical prosecutorial conduct and being Nifonged.

On August 9th, Raliegh News & Observer reporter, Joe Neff, answered some readers' questions about the Duke Ra Durham Corruption Scandal (hereafter, DCS), including this exchange, with Michelle Miller, of nearby Cary:

Q: Can (District Attorney Mike) Nifong be removed from the case?

A:District attorneys are independent officials whose jobs are created by the N.C. Constitution. District attorneys report to the voters of their district - in this case, Mike Nifong's boss is the citizenry of Durham County. He does not report to the governor or the state attorney general. A judge can order a district attorney off a case if there is an actual conflict of interest. This is a very high standard. For example, prosecutors will recuse themselves if a staff member had represented a defendant in private practice, or if a prosecutor had business dealings with the defendant.

While Mr. Neff has proven himself the only N&O scribe to have weighed-in on the DCS with any, well, weight, his answer to Ms. Miller is incomplete and, thus, unintentionally misleading. Forget, for a moment, that Nifong was never elected by the citizenry of Durham County but, rather, appointed to the position by the governor to whom he "does not report."

Mr. Neff's response is deficient not for what it says, which is correct, but for what it doesn't say. It fails to raise a basic condition-precedent to the need for removal of an unfit attorney by way of public vote.

The State Bar of North Carolina is established under N.C. General Statutes, Article 4, Section 84-1. It is governed by a fifty-five member Council vested with the authority to regulate the professional conduct of, and disbar, licensed lawyers.

In order to practice law legally in North Carolina, Nifong must, of course, be an attorney duly admitted and licensed to do so by the North Carolina State Bar. As the Bar giveth, so, too, may the Bar taketh away. Like any other licensed North Carolina attorney, Nifong is subject to the disciplinary authority of the Council, through its Disciplinary Hearing Commission.

Pursuant to N.C.G.S. Article 4, Section 84-28 (b), "The following acts or omissions by a member of the North Carolina State Bar...individually or in concert with any other person or persons, shall constitute misconduct and shall be grounds for discipline whether the act or omission occurred in the course of an attorney‑client relationship or otherwise:

(1) Conviction of, or a tender and acceptance of a plea of guilty or no contest to, a criminal offense showing professional unfitness;

(2) The violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct adopted and promulgated by the Council in effect at the time of the act;

(3) Knowing misrepresentation of any facts or circumstances surrounding any complaint, allegation or charge of misconduct
*; failure to answer any formal inquiry or complaint issued by or in the name of the North Carolina State Bar in any disciplinary matter; or contempt of the Council or any committee of the North Carolina State Bar."

Section 84-28(c) itemizes the degrees of discipline to which the unfit attorney may be subject:

"(c) Misconduct by any attorney shall be grounds for:

(1) Disbarment;

(2) Suspension for a period up to but not exceeding five years, any portion of which may be stayed upon reasonable conditions to which the offending attorney consents;

(3) Censure – A censure is a written form of discipline more serious than a reprimand issued in cases in which an attorney has violated one or more provisions of the Rules of Professional Conduct and has caused significant harm or potential significant harm to a client, the administration of justice, the profession or members of the public*, but the protection of the public does not require suspension of the attorney's license;

(4) Reprimand – A reprimand is a written form of discipline more serious than an admonition issued in cases in which an attorney has violated one or more provisions of the Rules of Professional Conduct, but the protection of the public does not require a censure. A reprimand is generally reserved for cases in which the attorney's conduct has caused harm or potential harm to a client, the administration of justice, the profession, or members of the public; or

(5) Admonition – An admonition is a written form of discipline imposed in cases in which an attorney has committed a minor violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct."

In my view, despite the universally acknowledged egregiousness of Nifong's unethical conduct in this matter, he will not be disbarred unless it be proven that, in blind pursuit of elected office, he criminally coerced, directed, controlled or solicited the generation of the Himan's perjurious probable cause Affidavits of March 23d (in support of the Identification Order that compelled 46 lacrosse team members to submit to DNA testing) or March 27th (in support of an Order seeking the dorm room search warrant), or the renegade photo line-ups. Considering the North Carolina Bar's abysmal record on meting out attorney discipline, perhaps censure or reprimand is the best one might hope for in this nationally sensational case.

Regardless of the action, if any, ultimately taken by the Bar against Nifong, personally, however, N.C.G.S Section 84-28(f) provides that:

"(f) Upon application by the North Carolina State Bar, misconduct by an attorney admitted to practice in this State may be restrained or enjoined where the necessity for prompt action exists regardless of whether a disciplinary proceeding in the matter of the conduct is pending.* The application shall be filed in the Superior Court of Wake County and shall be governed by the procedure set forth in G.S. 1A‑1, Rule 65."

Which is why it is of paramount urgency that every duly licensed North Carolina attorney who cares about the due process protections of the Constitution, the sanctity of the rule of law, and elevating the reputation of the State Bar to something loftier than just another good ol' boy network, immediately fill and submit a copy of the N.C. State Bar Grievance Complaint Form found as the first link to LieStoppers "Legal Ethics - Research and Analysis" sidebar.

*Emphasis mine.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Welcome to...The Twilight Zone.

Imagine, if you will...

August 18, 2006
By Ruth Sheehan

DURHAM - The Durham District Attorney's Office has dropped charges against three Duke University lacrosse players accused of raping an exotic dancer hired to perform at a team party on March 13, 2006. Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty and David Evans were indicted on felony charges of forcible rape, sexual assault and kidnapping. The charges were rooted in unscrupulous political zeal, criminal police department creation and mischaracterization of evidence, grossly reckless and malicious media lynching, race-baiting, pot banging, and the numerous sworn and unsworn statements of Crystal Gail Mangum, a mentally unbalanced prostitute and habitual liar in the Bunny Hole since January, that zero, two, three, five, or upwards of twenty men, with the assistance of another woman, orally, vaginally and anally raped her for more than thirty minutes in a telephone booth-sized bathroom, causing about $20,000,000.00 in damages.

Three days after Mangum filed a tear-filled interview with the News and Observer, the stripper was placed on "administrative leave" in a new city.

Court records show Mangum has made similar rape complaints about at least three other people with whom she has had dealings over the years.

Durham County District Attorney, Mike Nifong, said he dismissed the criminal cases against Seligmann, Finnerty and Evans because "due to inconsistencies in the complainant's statements, eyewitness statements, medical records, two rounds of DNA testing, the lack of relevant or incriminating evidence from other potential witnesses or sources, exculpatory evidence of the sexually ravenous activities of the accuser in the days immediately prior to the alleged rapes, the only semen recovered from inside the accuser having been determined to have come from another man, incontrovertible alibi evidence in favor of at least two of the accused, the absence of any inculpatory forensic evidence, as well as the likely pendency of other civil and private proceedings, prosecution is not warranted."

Mangum still has the option of filing a civil complaint against Duke University, claiming she was discriminated against because of her mammalian protuberances. Mangum is from Hunger.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Full Gaynor

Simply outstanding.

Exoneration For The Duke Three Is Coming

Tawana Brawley II

...Dr. Anderson did not mince words: "We labor under the delusion that men like Michael Nifong are decent and honorable, and that the elected officials and judges in North Carolina who are overseeing this whole fiasco are honorable people who want to do what is right. They are not. They are nothing more than political animals that will do what is necessary to be elected and hold office, and have no interest whatsoever in what is right or wrong."

Interestingly, Dr. Anderson primarily attributed the epiphanies of New York's Attorney General and Governor during the Tawana Brawley scandal to "political reality" — " Robert Abrams and Mario Cuomo did not come to the realization that Brawley and her supporters were lying because they were honorable men; they came to that conclusion because it was forced upon them by political reality, and because those who were accused were part of the state legal apparatus" and contended "that if those two men currently were attorney general and governor of North Carolina instead of having held those positions in New York, they also would be pandering to Nifong and Sharpton."

That may well be true, but it two other white liberal Democrats — Governor Michael Easley (who appointed Michael B. Nifong as Durham County, North Carolina District Attorney) and Attorney General Roy Cooper — who are responsible for overseeing what Mr. Nifong has been doing, and they have been derelict in their duty to see that Mr. Nifong serves as a minister of justice instead of abuses his power as a prosecutor/persecutor.

Perhaps most significantly, Dr. Anderson looked beyond the "system" to provide "justice" to the Duke Three being scapegoated by Mr. Nifong with the aid or acquiescence of his allies: "If the legal nightmare for Seligmann, Finnerty, and Evans really does end, it will not be because 'the system works.' It will be because bloggers, attorneys and a few heroic journalists made sure that the 'legal' system did not work. We can only hope that Tawana Brawley II ends as did Tawana Brawley I: that despite the best efforts of the lying state 'justice' apparatus, the truth was exposed anyway."

Some of us (including Dr. Anderson) have done more than hope. We have tried to expose the truth...

...The scandal is not that Duke lacrosse players gang-raped. They didn't. The scandal is that Mr. Nifong abused his prosecutorial power for personal political purposes and has yet to be called to account for it.

But August has been hot for Mr. Nifong and he will fall in the Fall, first in the courtroom of public opinion and then in the election in which he is the Democratic candidate in a Democrat bastion, there is no Republican candidate and the Democrat who got on the ballot via the petition route (Lewis Cheek) has announced he will neither campaign nor serve if elected. Fittingly, in the soap opera that is the Duke case, this ABN (Anybody But Nifong) candidate will win.

What the defense needs is not a DNA expert to challenge the test results (they were favorable to the defendants), but a lawyer familiar with government corruption.

As it turns out, they have one!

From Friends of Duke University website:

"At 5:41 PM, July 06, 2006, Anonymous said... One of Finnerty attorney's, Michael Cornacchia, is a specialist in government corruption, he was the chief investigative counsel under Paul Volcker for the investigation of the UN Oil-for Food Scandal and a former US Eastern asst District Prosecutor."

Unfortunately, the so-called Volcker commission flinched, people eager to get to the bottom of things resigned in protest and Mr. Cornacchia chose to stay instead of go.

From the Independent Inquiry Committee into the United Nations Oil-for-Food Programme Statement to the Press of June 15, 2004:

"Prior to his appointment, Michael Cornacchia served as Senior Litigation Counsel for the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York as well as a deputy chief in its Criminal Division. While in these positions Mr. Cornacchia directed major investigations into corporate and securities fraud, and public corruption."

Like the United Nations, the Durham County District Attorney's smells like a cesspool of corruption.

The Duke Three should show that they have been victims of prosecutorial abuse, not just show reasonable doubt as to whether they committed the heinous crimes of which they are charged.

As Shakespeare wrote in Measure to Measure, Act III, Scene 1, Line 214: "Virtue is bold, and goodness never fearful."

What the defense needs is boldness and strength, not meekness or weakness, The kind of boldness showed by Kirk Osborn, Reade Seligmann's attorney, in moving to remove Mr. Nifong from the case for good cause: "District Attorney Mike Nifong neglected his duties as a prosecutor to seek the truth and a fair prosecution. He created an actual conflict between his professional duty to search for the truth and his personal, vested interest in getting elected in the following ways: (1) he ignored the actual facts of the case which demonstrate the Defendant [Reade] could not have committed this crime; (2) he made a series of statement to the national media designed to bolster his election chances while prejudicing the case against the Defendant; (3) he improperly injected himself into the photographic lineup proceedings, causing the Durham Police Department to violate its own policies in an effort to provide himself a source of information from which to indict some, indeed any Duke Lacrosse players; and (4) he denied the Defendant a probable cause hearing where the Defendant's actual innocence could have been shown and the gross deficiencies of the prosecution's evidence would have been exposed."

Yes, judges have put aside the motion, but they soon will regret it. If the motion is not granted soon, the media may make very good use of it at a propitious moment, to the consternation of the Durham County judiciary as well as Mr. Nifong and his political supporters. Exposing Mr. Nifong and exonerating the Duke Three would be a great public service and great television.