Friday, December 15, 2006

Comfortable Liar

March 23, 2006:

"The DNA evidence requested will immediately rule out any innocent persons, and show conclusive evidence as to who the suspect(s) are in the alleged violent attack upon this victim."

("Attachment For Application For Nontestimonial Identification Order," affiants David Saacks, Esq., Assistant District Attorney, and Investigator Benjamin Himan.)

April 7th:

DNASI completed testing DNA extractions from Mangum's panties' stains, and rectal and vaginal swabs. Negative for the presence of DNA from any lacrosse player.

April 10th:

Nifong, Gottlieb and Himan, drive to DNASI and discuss testing with Meehan. Leaving that meeting, then, they had to know of the negative results of testing completed on the 7th.

April 11th:

MIKE NIFONG, DURHAM, NC, D.A.:

A lot has been said in the press, particularly by some attorneys yesterday, about this case should go away. I hope that you will understand by the fact that I am here this morning that my presence here means this case is not going away.

MIKE NIFONG, DURHAM, NC, D.A.:

Duke University Hospital is the best trauma center in the area. This nurse was specially trained in sexual assault and I would just point out that my conviction that a sexual assault actually took place is based on the examination that was done at Duke Hospital.

MIKE NIFONG, DURHAM, NC, D.A.:

It's important to remember that there are 46 members of the Duke University lacrosse team who were asked to submit to giving samples for DNA testing and only three of those people are alleged to have been involved in the assault so until we identify all three of those people that means that some of these young men are going to be walking around under a cloud where innocent people are being thought that perhaps they are guilty just because of their association.

MIKE NIFONG, DURHAM, NC, D.A.:

She was grabbed from behind so that in essence somebody had an arm around her like this which she then had to struggle with in order to be able to breathe and it was in the course of that struggle that the fingernails, the artificial fingernails broke off. Now, as you can see from my arm, if I were wearing a shirt, a long sleeve shirt or a jacket of some sort, even if there were enough force used to press down to break my skin through the clothing there might not be anyway that anything from my arm could get on to those fingernails. So, again, whether or not there would be any evidence would depend on exactly the situation. Were the fingernails actually in contact with the skin or were they in contact with clothing?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:

Within the last couple of years, a white female was assaulted allegedly by a black male, a black student at Duke was going to his work study job, the police grabbed him, put him in jail, and later said oops, sorry, mistaken identity, but you met the profile. Those lacrosse players met the profile, why weren‘t they arrested? Now, what is the differences? Is it the billion-dollar a year operating budget of Duke which can buy anything and everyone?

MIKE NIFONG, DURHAM, NC, D.A.:

You are asking me why in a city where a black man was wrongly arrested because he was mistaken for somebody who might have committed a crime why haven't we arrested a whole bunch of white men knowing that only three of them could have committed the crime and the fingers are pointed at 46. My answer to you, sir, my answer to you is, sir, I don't want to arrest the wrong person in any case. I only want to arrest the right person and I want to convict the right person and I don't want anybody who did not commit a crime to be arrested or put on trial. That's my answer, sir.

April 11th:

Nifong meets with Mangum for, he says, the only time. But they didn't discuss two rounds of negative DNA testing. In fact, he says, they didn't discuss the case at all, what with Mangum still being so traumatized, and all.

April 13th:

DNASI completed testing DNA extractions of Mangum's rape kit pubic hair comb. Negative for the presence of DNA from any lacrosse player.

April 13th:

Kirk Osborn attempts to meet with Nifong to proffer factual proof that his client, Reade Seligmann, could not possibly have participated in the crimes alleged. Nifong tersely rebukes Osborn, by proxy:

"I’ve known the guy for 25 years," Mr. Osborn said in mid-April. "I went over and thought surely he’d listen to me on it. And he sent some messenger out and said, 'I saw you on the TV saying your client was absolutely innocent, so what do we have to talk about?' He wouldn’t even see me himself."

April 17th:

Seligmann and Finnerty are indicted. Nifong elected not to arrest the suspects identified by Mangum at the rigged April 4th photo lineup. Had he done so, the defendants would have been entitled to a probable cause hearing, to be conducted within fifteen business days of their arraignments, or first appearances, before the bench. At such a hearing, the defendants would have had the opportunity to examine the state's "evidence," cross-examine its witnesses, and present exculpatory evidence. Nifong wasn't interested in such petty matters. The Democratic primary was little more than two weeks away. A probable cause hearing scheduled following arrests made on any day after the 4th would have, in all likelihood, been conducted after the primary. Nifong could not have that, inasmuch as his slim hopes of defeating Freda Black rested exclusively within his ability to charge three white Duke lacrosse players with the heinous crimes alleged before the primary, so as to satiate the bloodlust of a majority of Durham's black voters. Thus, despite Mangum having "identified" four extremely dangerous, sexually depraved thugs on April 4th, Nifong let them walk the proverbial streets of Durham for two more weeks before presenting charges against them to a grand jury.

April 20 or 21:

Nifong, Gottlieb and Himan, drive to DNASI and discuss testing with Meehan. Leaving that meeting, then, they had to know of the negative results of testing completed on the 13th.

May 12th: Meehan submits DNASI's "final report" to Nifong. It is woefully deficient, as set forth within counsels' December 13th motion.

May 15th: David Evans is indicted.

May 18th:

MIKE NIFONG, DURHAM, NC, D.A.:

The state is not aware of any additional material or information which may be exculpatory in nature with respect to the defendant [Seligmann].

December 15th:

Mr. Cooney: Did Nifong and his investigators know the results of all the DNA tests?

The Witness: I believe so.

Mr. Cooney: Did they know the test results excluded Reade Seligmann?

The Witness: I believe so.

Mr. Cooney: Was the failure to report these results the intentional decision of you and the district attorney?

The Witness: Yes.

***

Meehan's testimony differed from a statement Nifong made at the beginning of today's hearing.

MIKE NIFONG, DURHAM, NC, D.A.:

The first I had heard of this particular situation was when I was served with this particular motion on Wednesday.

And we were trying to, just as Dr. Meehan said, trying to avoid dragging any names through the mud but at the same time his report made it clear that all the information was available if they wanted it and they have every word of it.

***

District Attorney Mike Nifong told a judge during today's Duke lacrosse case hearing that he was unaware of DNA that did not match the accused lacrosse players until this week, when defense lawyers included the information in a motion.

The head of a private lab that did the testing said he had discussed testing results with Nifong at several meetings.

Brian Meehan, head of DNA Security, the private lab that did the testing, said the evidence of other DNA was not included in the final report given to Nifong and defense lawyers because of privacy concerns and because he was not asked to provide that.

"Mr. Nifong specifically wanted us to say if the reference specimens matched any of the evidence. That's what we gave him."


***

KC:

Meehan, Nifong and Exculpatory

DSI

The Perry Mason Moment

More Meehan

More From Meehan

Meehan: DSI Doesn't Follow Its Own Procedures

***

Now, I'm not a Wizard or anything, but, when Meehan testified today that he and Nifong conspired agreed not to include, in the original "Final" Report provided to defense counsel, documentation of the presence of the DNA of multiple males, none of which was a lacrosse player, so as to, um, "protect the privacy of lacrosse players who weren't implicated in the case," why didn't OZ begin to inquire from the bench, perhaps like this:

Q: Excuse me, Mr. Cooney, if I might. Let me understand this, Dr. Meehan, you wanted to "protect the privacy of lacrosse players who weren't implicated in the case," is that what you just said?
A: Yes, Your Honor.
Q: Is that what you meant to say, sir?
A: Yes, sir.
Q: Now, you and Mr. Nifong discussed the test results on several occasions, correct?
A: Correct.
Q: And the first round of testing at your facility was concluded on April 7th, correct?
A: Correct.
Q: And that testing fully ruled out both the accuser's boyfriend and any lacrosse player as contributors of DNA in the vaginal cavity, rectal cavity, or upon the panties of the accuser, correct?
A: Correct.
Q: That same first round of testing at your facility was positive for the presence of the DNA multiple male donors in the accuser's vaginal cavity, anal cavity and upon her panties, correct?
A: Correct.
Q: By the way, did you know that the accuser had previously given a statement wherein she indicated that she had last had consensual sexual intercourse a week before the date on which the rape kit specimens were collected?
A: No, I didn't know that, Sir.
Q: It's true, she did. But I digress. Where was I? Oh, yeah, Mr. Nifong met with you personally at your facility with Investigators Gottlieb and Himan on April 10th, correct?
A: Correct.
Q: By the way, in addition to the meeting in your offices on the 10th, you also spoke to Mr. Nifong numerous times by telephone, correct?
A: Correct.
Q: And discussed the testing results, correct?
A: Correct.
Q: In fact, the testing results was the subject matter of all of your conversations with Mr. Nifong, correct?
A: What do you mean?
Q: Well, Mr. Nifong had retained your firm to perform forensic DNA tests, correct?
A: Correct.
Q: You wouldn't be talking to him then, for example, about the last night's Little League scores, right?
A: Right.
Q: Now, you discussed the April 7th test results with Mr. Nifong at that meeting on the 10th, correct?
A: Correct.
Q: And you told him that testing was negative for lacrosse player DNA, correct?
A: Yes.
Q: You also told him that there was, however, the presence of DNA left by multiple other males in the accuser's vagina, rectum and on her panties, correct?
A: Correct.
Q: So, sir, would you please tell me what you meant when you said your agreement with Mr. Nifong not to include the positive results was to "protect the privacy of lacrosse players who weren't implicated in the case?"
A: What do you mean?
Q: I mean, sir, that none of the lacrosse players were implicated in the case by any tests performed at your facility, correct?
A: Their DNA was not present, correct.
Q: So, in fact, sir, there were no players whose privacy needed protecting, at least as concerns the results of testing at your facility, correct?
A: Correct.
Q: Because not one lacrosse player's DNA was found, correct?
A: Correct.
Q: But Mr. Nifong had particular instructions for you regarding what he wanted your final reports to reflect, correct?
A: Correct.
Q: I believe you've told us that he only wanted your report to indicate if there were any MATCHES between DNA material retrieved from the rape kit specimens and the samples provided by the players and certain other individuals, correct?
A: Correct.
Q: And you knew, when Mr. Nifong made the request, that what he was requesting was in contravention of the very reporting protocols of your own facility, correct?
A: Correct.
Q: But you did it anyway, correct?
A: Correct.
Q: Because you really wanted to be involved in this case, correct?
A: Correct. The customer's always right, right?
Q: Now your facility concluded testing upon the pubic hair comb that was made part of the accuser's rape it on April 13th, correct?
A: Correct.
Q: And you spoke to Mr. Nifong about those test results, as well, correct?
A: Correct.
Q: Which, incidentally, were likewise 100% negative for the presence of DNA contributed by any lacrosse player, correct?
A: Correct.
Q: And you conveyed these results to Mr. Nifong by telephone shortly after they were concluded, correct?
A: Correct.
Q: Same day?
A: Maybe. We don't keep any logs of telephone calls.
Q: Well, you told him the results before you met with him in your office again on the 20th, correct?
A: I don't remember, sir.
Q: Certainly you conveyed the results of the testing concluded on April 13th when you met with him personally on the 20th, right?
A: Right.
Q: There were no lacrosse players whose privacy needed protection from the results of that latter round of testing, either, right, because that testing did not, itself, implicate any lacrosse player, correct?
A: Huh?
Q: There having been no lacrosse player DNA found, no lacrosse player's privacy interest needed to be protected, wouldn't you agree?
A: Yes, sir.
Q: Madame Clerk, on what days did Mr. Nifong present Mssrs. Seligmann, Finnerty and Evans to the Grand Jury for indictment, again? I see.

Bailiff, kindly place Mr. Nifong in handcuffs and escort him from the courtroom. Case dismissed.

::..Gavel..::

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

North Carolina “justice” makes a mockery of the Constitution’s Full Faith and Credit clause. That little Freislers such as Nifong are permitted to hold that state’s legal system in the palms of their hands places it in such disrepute that none of its decisions may be properly relied upon. It is time, I believe, for a stern rebuke from the rest of the country where the civilized rule of law yet prevails.

Let the states initiate their response by preventing this vile creature, Nifong, from being able to set foot outside North Carolina without facing arrest and prosecution. Let the states then deny extraditions to North Carolina. Then let them refuse to honor decisions of NC courts -- their decisions are worthless, after all. The NC legal system is in need of complete and immediate reform. The good citizens of the rest of the USA can compel this course if, acting in concert, they make it impossible for North Carolinians to live among us otherwise

-- SteveDinMD

5:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why wasn't Nifong called as a witness?

8:12 AM  
Anonymous wts said...

Hi Mike, we could add the timeline of when Mike actually got and read the report from Duke Hospital - wasn't it after the statement he made as above?

10:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Judge Smith seems to have continued the grand tradition NC judges have of impersonating potted plants. Assuming he was awake and all.

5:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That "cross" is fabulous. Why does Oz allow this go on and on and on?

12:26 PM  

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