Thursday, July 26, 2007

Nifong's Apology: Some Thoughts (Post 1)

At a court hearing today to rule on procedural motions concerning criminal contempt charges he lied to the court, Mike Nifong said he wanted to "sincerely apologize to Mr. Seligmann, Mr. Finnerty, Mr. Evans and to their families."

His apology included this:

I have read the report released by the attorney general, including his recitation of evidence that I did not have, obtained from his own investigation. I agree with the attorney general’s statement that there is no credible evidence that Mr. Seligmann, Mr. Finnerty and Mr. Evans committed any of the crimes for which they were indicted or any other crimes during the party that occurred on March 13 and 14 of 2006 at 610 N. Buchanan Blvd.

Mr. Seligmann, Mr. Finnerty and Mr. Evans were entitled to the presumption of innocence when they were under indictment. Surely, they are entitled to more than that now as they go forward with the rest of their lives. And that is what the attorney general tried to give them in his declaration that they are innocent.
I'm sure Nifong's statement lessened somewhat the awful burdens he placed on David Evans, Collin Finnerty, Reade Seligmann and their families.

For that, I'm glad.

But I'm cautious, too.

Is Nifong's apology today his first step in a process in which he'll promptly and fully disclose what he did to wrongly indict the three young men?

Is he ready to tell us how he subsequently worked for more than a year with certain Durham police officers and their supervisors to cover up their attempted frame-up?

Is Nifong ready to tell us not only what he did but who helped him and what they did?

If his apology is meant to be a first step in a full disclosure process, then Nifong has my admiration for stepping forward and at last starting to be honest with his victims - the three indicted players and their families most of all, the other players and their families who were trashed and endangered, the Durham community and the NC justice system.

On the other hand, what Nifong did today may be part of a calculated "time to move on, forget and forgive" strategy.

If that's the case, while I feel his acknowledgment of the players' innocence has value, we still must deal with a man who's working to deceive us in order to avoid both fully admitting what he did and the just consequences of his actions.

And let no one minimize the seriousness of Nifong's actions.

He used police officers, police investigative powers, the resources of the state and his own prosecutorial powers to indict, arrest and attempt to put in jail people who'd committed no crimes.

That's exactly how a police state works, except in police states no one dares to step forward as happened in the Hoax case, when decent people challenged Nifong, the police and their enablers in the media and at Duke University.

I'll post more on this tonight or tomorrow.

A thank you to KC Johnson for posting Nifong's apology in full.

8 comments:

Stephen said...

Nifong always has a motive for everything he says and does and that motive is self interest. This "apology" is no different.

Anonymous said...

John:

Good questions.

Let's see if the rats start deserting the ship.

Maybe, just maybe, someone's about to get a little "squeeze".

Ken
Dallas

larry said...

I agree. Nifong should come forward with the evidence of abuse and implicate the DPD and Duke in the abuse.

Hopefully, this is only the start of the apologies that should be coming. It will remain some sad days at Duke, in Durham and across the state of NC if additional apoligies are not expressed.

Michael said...

I am 100% sure this so-called apology
is part of a calculated
forgive, forget, and move forward
strategy. It's so obvious.

Also, parts of the "apology" get me mad.
He said the students were "entitled to
the presumption
of innocence under indictment."
He should have said that they should
NOT have even been indicted.
If he had done any kind of responsible investigation whatsoever,
and had told the truth to the Grand
Jury, the indictments would never have
been handed down.

By making the statement that he did, he
justifies that indictments were handed down.
He should have admitted that they should
have never been indicted. AND the
presumption of innocence
starts way before indictments -- in fact,
it was the statements he made prior to
the indictments where guilt was assumed --
this was what he was
found guilty of in his bar trial:
heightening public condemnation of the accused.

This is no apology whatsoever.

Anonymous said...

Nifong said the past 16 months were "difficult and painful for him and his family". When you are of average IQ and you're trying to frame 3 innocent people, and you've got to get accomplices in the DPD , the media and academia, well it really would be a "difficult" task. Nifong saying it was "painful" refers to his realization that his frame-up had failed. That really hurt him. This dog has no redeeming social value.

Sweetmick

Anonymous said...

Nifong has had chance after chance after chance to admit what the world knows....nothing happened. Only when faced with imprisonment did he finally utter the words.

To me it is very self-serving and as has been the case throughout this ordeal....Mike Nifong is thinking only of himself.

He may actually be contrite at this point, but after all of his lies we cannot be sure. Regardless, he deserves jail time for his offenses.

Ralph Phelan said...

"Nifong has had chance after chance after chance to admit what the world knows....nothing happened. Only when faced with imprisonment did he finally utter the words."

NO HE DIDN'T

"I agree with the attorney general’s statement that there is no credible evidence that Mr. Seligmann, Mr. Finnerty and Mr. Evans committed any of the crimes for which they were indicted or any other crimes during the party that occurred on March 13 and 14 of 2006 at 610 N. Buchanan Blvd."

Parse it carefully - he's retaining the right to claim that "Something happened, I just got the wrong three guys." and "Those three know something and they're not talking." He can make a good living peddling that line on Wendy Murphy's road show.

AMac said...

A genuine apology consists of acknolwedgement of wrongdoing. Mr. Nifong did that. And an expression of remorse: he did that too.

And it shows willingness to make amends, to the extent possible.

I agree with J-in-C's point: this sould entail Mr. Nifong explaining not only his part in the Hoax/Frame consipiracy, but the roles of others. While Mr. Nifong was the lead bad actor, he was far from the only one. No others have been called to account for their misdeeds.

Of course, unlike the lacrosse players, their families, and the Presslers, I was not injured by Mr. Nifong. But I wonder what the aggrieved parties would think.