Tuesday, February 27, 2007

New DNA’s not laxers'. Now what?

ABC’s Eyewitness 11 News is reporting:

Defense attorneys for Collin Finnerty, Reade Seligmann and David Evans filed the 39-page motion at the Durham Courthouse Tuesday morning.

In it defense attorneys for the three former Duke Lacrosse players say the prosecution is still holding out on potentially-explosive DNA evidence.

The DNA was taken in a rape kit the morning after the now-infamous lacrosse party on March 13, 2006 where the accuser says she was gang raped.

This new filing says they've not been given all the DNA evidence that excludes their clients but includes more unrelated male DNA. […]
KC Johnson at Durham-in-Wonderland has more:
[…] Defense attorneys have continued to scrutinize Dr. Brian Meehan’s data, however, and today’s motion reveals that they have uncovered even more DNA—from additional unidentified males—that Meehan’s amended report failed to include. According to the motion,

DNA Security discovered the DNA of at least two males in the accuser’s rectum that did not match the Defendants, their lacrosse teammates, or anyone else who provided a reference DNA sample.

Mike Nifong obtained the indictments of three people on a charge of rape, in which the accuser’s then-present version (her April 6 statement) claimed that the crime had included anal rape.

Even if North Carolina did not possess an Open Discovery law (which required turning over of all material to the defense), and even if North Carolina law did not require turning over of all test results obtained from a non-testimonial order to the defense, how would it not be exculpatory to have “discovered the DNA of at least two males in the accuser’s rectum that did not match the Defendants, their lacrosse teammates, or anyone else who provided a reference DNA sample”?

After all, this is the same Mike Nifong who in a 2000 case dismissed an indictment on rape because “results of DNA testing exclude the defendant as the perpetrator of this crime.”

Today’s defense motion also provides a statistical summary of the Meehan test results:
A collective review of all materials provided to the Defendants and information obtained by the Defendants about [Meehan's] DNA Security’s work shows that at least 12 of the 22 rape kit DNA extractions—in other words, over half of them—contained male DNA that did not match the Defendants. [emphasis in original]
How is it possible that this case is still ongoing, and that a criminal investigation of Nifong has not been opened in its stead?
Good question, KC.

It led me to leave the following comment at DiW:
Dear KC,

Great post!

You ask: "How is it possible that this case is still ongoing, and that a criminal investigation of Nifong has not been opened in its stead?"

Please take a crack at answering that question.

Is Nifong's office responsible for "investigating" the man his staff just spent a week "honoring?"

Is the latest DNA evidence supposed to be turned over to Gottlieb and Hyman for their DPD investigation?

Do the NC state attorney general appointed special prosecutors have any duty here to investigate?

Is this evidence that should be called to the Feds attention? Does it make it more likely they'll finally come in?

John in Carolina
Three quick comments:

One: Why are investigators and other authorities not showing any interest in finding out whose DNA Crystal Mangum was loaded with on March 13/14?

Two: More cover-up by Dr. Meehan tells us again what's been known to us for months: We're dealing in the Hoax with a whole series of many conspiracies.

Three: I think if the Feds come in and put the pressure on Meehan, he'll reveal quite a bit and his testimony will likely send Nifong to prison.

13 comments:

wayne fontes said...

Meehan already admitted that he with held evidence. Why wouldn't he submitt a complete report? I don't see how the number of unidentified men makes any difference to Mehan.

Anonymous said...

Wayne Fontes says "Meehan already admitted that he with held evidence. Why wouldn't he submitt a complete report? I don't see how the number of unidentified men makes any difference to Mehan."

One possibility that comes to my mind is that the two additional samples are contamination by someone from the lab. It is already known that Meehan is unethical, but he wants to protect his lab from the additional embarrasing disclosure that his lab does very shoddy work. This is pure speculation on my part, but it may answer the question why the number of unidentified men makes a difference to Mehan.

JWM said...

Dear Wayne Fontes,

Do you think Meehan has told us everything he knows?

Are you sure Meehan doesn't know who some of the currently Anon DNA folks are?

One other thing: When you go to produce an honest report it can be hard to avoid mistakes.

When you're producing a dishonest report, it's often much harder to avoid mistakes.

Anon @ 2:44,

Yes, what you say is possible.

So are other alternatives. Often people who know the names of a prostitutes "clients" are, for various reasons, very reluctant to name the clients.

We can't rule that out here, can we?

Thank you both for commenting.

John

Ex-prosecutor said...

As for why law enforcement authorities have not tried to identify the donors of the DNA found on and in the complainant, the problem they would face is that to do so they either would have to run the samples through a DNA database (which I assume NC has), consisting usually of those convicted of any, or of certain specified felonies. That's easy to do, as it would be to run it through the much larger FBI database.

If, however, some, or all of the DNA from the complainant still is not identified through law enforcement databases, the police would have to identify specific individuals suspected of having some sort of contact with the complainant, and, then obtain DNA samples from those individuals. In most places, a search warrant is required to compel the giving of a DNA sample, although, I believe that some jurisdictions require only a court order which, in turn, would requiring some showing by the state as to why the person would be required to give a DNA sample.

In a normal case, the complainant would identify the persons with whom she had recent sexual contact, search warrants would be obtained (assuming the sampling would not be voluntary) and the comparisons then could be made.

In this case, however, given the complainant's means of earning money, as well as the near-sainted image originally projected of her, she may not voluntarily name the donors, if she even knows. Certainly, none of them will come forward and identify and themselves.

The apparent failure of law enforcement to identify the DNA donors perfectly illustrates what has baffled me about this case from the beginning. Mr. Nifong sought only the opportunity to strut and make sound bites, ignoring the fact that he
had scheduled his own subsequent courtroom massacre. At trial, the cooked lineup and the presence of DNA from unidentified multiple males would result in the an embarrassment of Biblical proportions. Criminal defense lawyers dream about getting a case like this.

As for prosecutorial misconduct, this case occupies a universe unto itself. In all other cases of which I am aware, the prosecutor committed unlawful acts of a particular type, such as blistering defendants prior to the trial, to prejudice potential jurors, or hide evidence which was exculpatory or even proof of actual innocence. However, Mr. Nifong's misconduct goes from A to Z, some of which nobody else ever even thought of, as far as I know.

These facts present virtually every unethical deed that a prosecutor can commit. My prediction is that, in the future, someone who wants to know about prosecutorial misconduct can search utilizing but a single word: "Nifong."

Anonymous said...

But why wouldn't the investigators in this case, AT MINUMUM, run the unidentified DNA through the NC and FBI DNA data banks??

Is it because most of the unidentified samples are not complete DNA profiles??

Anonymous said...

I'd be much more likely to assume that the DNA is in the database.

Or that she would name the unidentified donors.

Hmmm, wonder if there was a reason Precious was treated with kid gloves by the police and prosecutors office?

I'm not saying anything or drawing any conclusion, but someone might go hmmmmmm

-AC

kbp said...

Thanks John!

Can the YSTR testing done on samples with multiple donors narrow it down to a match with a specific donor from the FBI data?

or would it only be good to exclude a profile, since it is comprised of multiple donors?


Does anyone know if NC has a conspiracy to obstruct justice law Mikey could face?

Thanks all for any response.

Anonymous said...

OMG - if this does not turn men away from cheap prostitues - nothing will. That why we have the Chicken Ranch in Nevada. Ugh-dirty.

Anonymous said...

To 7:36-
I have thought the same thing for a long time. Besides the DPD, waht about the ADA who went ot HS with Crystal?
I also read on one of the blogs that Nifong "owed" the Mangum family a "favor".
Any respectable PD would not handle the case in this manner. This is beyond a Mickey Mouse outfit!

AMac said...

It seems that the "obtain DNA from suspects named by CGM to test for matches" could have even more problems than those listed by ex-prosecutor (although IANAL).

A warrant or court order would be needed to compel each sample. But on what basis? That the suspect might be one of the March 13th gang-rapists? (That's the only rape that CGM had alleged, to my knowledge.) That would mean:

-- CGM's multiple IDs with the DPD were even more fake than we know them to be;

-- After months of not-interviews and then a few brief off-the-cuff interviews with CGM, Law Enforcement suddenly discovers previously-unsuspected rape suspects; and

-- All the lacrosse players' statements already make them witnesses for the new defendants. In addition to accomplices...

A completely preposterous set of circumstances. The prosecutors can't touch this one; it's radioactive.

Anonymous said...

heh. wanna bet that some of the DNA is Nifong's? It would go a long way to explaining his behavior, and why he stayed on the case after the election.

Anonymous said...

At the rate things are going, soon we're going to find that it's more difficult to find a male in Durham who didn't leave a wad in her somewhere...

Conservblack said...

I just wrote a letter that needs to be sent to our trifling DA