January 13, 2007

“He feels very disappointed that he can’t go on for her."

A quote from the lawyer representing Michael B. Nifong, the prosecutor in the Duke rape case, who is now asking to withdraw from the case in light of the ethics charges against him. I'm reading this in the NYT, which is covering Nifong's problems quite a bit more sympathetically than what I've read elsewhere:
Mr. Nifong’s friends told him he had two choices: dismiss the case or ask the attorney general to take it over. It was a bitter decision, friends said. His reputation hung in the balance. Mr. Nifong decided he had to do something he had left to his investigators over the 10 months since the alleged assault: talk about it directly with the woman he called “my victim.”

In a two-hour meeting at his office on Thursday, Mr. Nifong and an aide talked about the choices, an official involved in the case said. He told the accuser that a trial would be brutal, but that he had already talked with the attorney general’s special prosecutions unit and trusted that office to give the case a fair review. He asked what she wanted to do.

She was concerned about the effect of the case on Mr. Nifong’s career, the official recalled. She wanted to sleep on the decision. She continued to insist she had been sexually assaulted.

On Friday, she and Mr. Nifong spoke by telephone. She again said she wanted to go forward. Although she was not happy about Mr. Nifong’s giving up of the case, the official said, she said she understood his reasoning and pledged to cooperate with any new team.


I'm Full of Soup said...


You enjoy semantics. When did the victim become a "stripper"? They used to refer to her as an exotic dancer.

SGT Ted said...

Yeesh. Someone take away Nifongs crackpipe.

dick said...

She was concerned about the affect of the case on Nifong's career? She makes what appear to be totally unfounded and protean charges against young college students who are then attacked by some of their own professors and have feminist and racial protestors, including Jesse and Al, and she is concerned about the career of a prosecutor who has tried to get a DNA lab to hide evidence, who has totally trashed the rules of photo lineup and who has used this case and this woman to get re-elected? What gets me is why the NYT would be so nice to Nifong. I thought they supported the law and were supposed to be unbiased in their support of the truth and justice. Guess not!

Joe said...

Nifong is a disgrace to prosecutors and lawyers everywhere. The MSM is whitewashing what he has done because of the racial makeup of the characters in this case.

tjl said...

"He told the accuser that a trial would be brutal."

That's quite an understatement. Cross-examining this complainant would be any lawyer's dream. Where to begin, with such an abundance of material to work with? The multiple versions of her story; the varying timelines; her confusion about describing the alleged assailants (Nifong had to help her out by showing her a photospread composed solely of lacrosse players); and of course the DNA evidence showing recent contact with 5 different men, none of whom were on the team. By the end of the cross-examination, "liar" would be the least offensive word to describe her.

But of course the case will never go to trial. The suggestive photospread and Nifong's deliberate withholding of the DNA evidence are sufficient in themselves to get the case dismissed at the pretrial motion hearing.

While the NYT is just about the last media source to be treating Nifong with any sympathy, their reporting at this point still represents a 180-degree shift from their original take on the case. The NYT's early coverage was, predictably, a ritual display of race-class-gender dogma.

The Exalted said...

nifong should serve the time he sought for the falsely accused. what a pathetic, bad man.

The Drill SGT said...

Duff Wilson and the NYT's have been pimping for Nifong from the beginning. In return he always has time for a 2-3 hour interview with Duff. Even this piece, that attempts to reposition the paper WRT the case is a puff piece for poor overmatched, honorable anti-war Democrat Nifong.

beyond the points TJL made, I'd like to add a couple more.

1. Even though the Police knew some LAX players had not been at the party and that there had been other (by name) non-players there, the line-up only had players.

2. Nifong went and got a court order from the judge to get player DNA samples with a claim that "DNA testing will prove who did the crime and clear the innocent", yet both the state lab and the private lab found no player DNA matches BEFORE Nifong went on to indict the 3 players.

3. Back in April, Nifong knew that the accuser, claimed to have had sex with one person the week prior, and claimed that rapists ejaculated in all of her orifices, yet when the DNA tests came back with no player matches and 5 unknown male DNA matches, he didn't question the accuser, or free the players or put out a bulletin looking for the 5 real rapists. Cognitive issues there.

4. The latest version cooked up by the police and the accuser adds in a magic towel, that was used to wipe the accuser off and took all the player DNA off her, left the 5 mystery DNA samples on, and having been found in a players bed room, contains his semen and 1 set of other DNA (my guess a females, but what do I know). How you can wipe the genitals of a rape victim down removing male DNA and leave no accuser DNA on the towel, defies my limited understanding of both DNA and clean-up after intercourse :)

BTW: The Duke Administration and Faculty involvement in this debacle ought to have it's own set of posts.

The Drill SGT said...

For Nifong, the legal bills have just started. Could not happen to a nicer guy.

1. State Bar association inquiry
2. State DA association inquiry
3. calls for DoJ Inquiry
4. now state AG steps in
5. a civil suit is coming from the 45 players and their families. To think that the charges can be dropped and the families of the 3 charged players will go quietly into the night belies this piece of 60 Minutes article:

Nifong took six months to tell the players' defense attorneys about the other DNA, as required by law — and during that time, Nifong filed a court motion that stated he was not aware of any potentially exculpatory evidence.

The fact that Nifong withheld the information and knew it before he indicted their sons has outraged the parents of the accused. "You felt like someone hit you with a baseball bat. … It was almost too much to bear, as we sat there," says Kathy Seligmann, whose son, Reade, is among the three indicted players. "And [Nifong is] sitting 10 feet away from us."

It enraged Mary Ellen Finnerty, mother of Collin Finnerty, another indicted player. "I think [I felt] one of the strongest feelings of rage that I've had … I literally had to turn to my husband, because I was shaking from my head to my toe, and say, 'Hold me down,'" recalls Finnerty. Adds Seligmann, "And we had to hold on to each other because when you sit there and put two and two together and realize that it was calculated … set up to make these boys appear to be guilty of something they didn't do."

When asked what they would say to Nifong if he were in the room, Rae Evans, the mother of indicted player David Evans, says, "I would say with a smile on my face, 'Mr. Nifong, you've picked on the wrong families … and you will pay every day for the rest of your life.'"

Nifong seems to have acted outside the scope of his employment and in roles that lacked absolute immunity. I don't know the law, but it seems to me that if he committed felonies in the cover up and conspiracy to cover-up evidence, that should also put him in personal financial jeopardy

dklittl said...


This case has garnered 10x times the pub as the NY case where a bachelor party was shot by undercover police. And in the case, someone's life IS actually permanently ruined.

This reverse racism argument is the most BS talking point that I've heard yet. You couldn't name another prosecutorial misconduct case with as much attention. This case is completely overexposed and the reason is that white men like yourself have finally discovered that there are some corrupt DA's with exorbitant power who can make someone's life a living hell with a little bit of evidence. Unfortunately, its something that minorities have been saying for years but of course I'm sure you just figured that they were guilty as charged.

Truly said...

What a complete, utter creep. I read a quote online saying something to the effect that a prosecutor's job isn't to get a conviction, it's to make sure that justice is done. I hope he's disbarred and the players' families take him to the cleaners.

Revenant said...

Something I've been wondering about is when the students are going to file lawsuits against the stripper. I'm pretty sure destroying a person's reputation by falsely crying "rape!" is actionable, especially given that she's since recanted her earlier testimony.

Revenant said...

This case is completely overexposed and the reason is that white men like yourself have finally discovered that there are some corrupt DA's with exorbitant power who can make someone's life a living hell with a little bit of evidence.

Oh, please. This case would have gotten tossed out on day one if it wasn't for ignorant Durham blacks and their lust to lynch a whitey. In the absence of black-on-white racism this case would never have existed. Nifong needed the Dumb Black Vote to win reelection.

Let's remember that this case first achieved national exposure because the Durham black community, DA, and Duke academics rushed to pre-convict the students in the media. It was *months* before the national media noticed that the accusations were obviously phony. Meanwhile, black men rape white Duke women year after year and the media doesn't give a rat's ass, because highlighting *that* just wouldn't fit their playbook, now would it.

tjl said...

"When did the victim become a "stripper"? They used to refer to her as an exotic dancer."

Her actual profession, as confirmed by the DNA results, has another name.

Jennifer said...

I'm confused by his "explanation". He's saying that his reputation is more important than justice...? That's what is supposed to show us what a good guy he really is? This guy is so sleazy he can't even portray ethical with the help of a second lawyer.

Anonymous said...

"When did she become a stripper?"

Well, I have a friend who is a female national television reporter. When she was sent there she was told that the "exotic dancer" was, in fact, locally known (believed?)to be a prostitute. As a result most of the national media has seemed to move away from "dancer" to "stripper".

Thats what I was told at least.

Take it for what its worth.