Monday, May 12, 2008

Is that you, Ex-prosecutor?

Folks, back when Mike Nifong was winning elections and Duke’s president Richard H. Brodhead was telling the late Ed Bradley on 60 Minutes that he had no way of knowing because “the facts kept changing,” the Ex-prosecutor would comment at JinC on a variety of investigative and legal matters.

Now just because someone self-IDs as “Ex-prosecutor” doesn’t mean the person is one.

But over many months and in every comment of the Ex-prosecutor’s I read, it turned out Ex-p was “ahead of the curve” and had things right.

You couldn’t read but a few of Ex-p’s comment before you knew Ex-p was very, very informed about investigative and judicial matters.

The “voice of experience” came through.

So did a deep concern for justice and a willingness to take time to inform others less expert, but manifesting in their comments a similar concern.

Today someone self-IDing as Ex-p commented on this post thread.

I hope it’s the same Ex-p.

If it is, the message to Ex-p is: “Please stick around.”

I’ve got some posts backed up, but in a few days I’ll start posting on matters relating to the suits.

It would be great to have the Ex-p I used to read commenting again.


bill anderson said...

"The facts kept changing." Right. The only "changing" facts were those that Brodhead and Steel ordered to be changed: those "facts" of the first night when the police knew immediately that Crystal's charges were not credible.

We have to face the hard truth that for the first time in our history, a university administration decided to participate in an out-and-out frame of innocent students for a "crime" that never was committed. The administration did this in order to promote the PC agenda for Duke University.

The proof to me is that the most virulent of the lacrosse critics all have been honored manyfold by the Duke administration, from students to faculty. That tells me that the administration is continuing to give those kids the middle finger.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Bill A. I would like to hope that this is in fact the first time a university admin participated in such a frameup but I quite frankly suspect it has happened many times before. I am pleased that this time they are having trouble getting away with it.

Ex-prosecutor said...

Although it has been some months since I have sent comments to this blog or that of Professor Johnson, I check both daily. As I recall, my last comments were about my experiences with both Williams and Connolly, the firm representing two of the indicted players and Barry Sheck, representing the third. Fortunately, I was not in an adversarial situation with either but more that of a resting oar, watching them do the work.

My expectation is that the depositions taken in this case will be brutal for the defendants. Typically, lawyers in a deposition want both to completely exhaust the memories of witnesses, so they cannot weasel at trial, and see how the witnesses react to very aggressive questioning.

Also, at a deposition, deponents can be excoriated without fear of alienating a jury because of the harsh treatment.

So, what's coming up that I'd love to watch are the depositions, for I doubt that the defendants, especially those who are academics, have faced before treatment such as they will experience during their depositions.

I do not practice law in North Carolina, but expect that there, as in other jurisdictions, the depositions will not be filed with the court clerk, and thus available to the public, unless the intent is to use them at trial or if they attached to a motion, such as to compel the deponent to answer questions. Those living in Durham and following this trial may wish to check periodically the records at the federal clerk's office to see what's been filed. Those can tell a lot.

Archer05 said...

Off Topic:
Here’s a scary thought to start your day.
Jimmy Carter’s Second Term Amrican Spectator, by Jeffrey Lord

“Senator Barack Obama, the presumptive nominee of the Democrats, has in essence just defeated the heiress of the Clinton era by campaigning as the heir-apparent of the Carter era.”

Ex-prosecutor said...

To respond to your question, I should have added that I was a federal and state prosecutor for about 12 years and in private practice since then. My civil rights litigation experience has been primarily in prison litigation, representing both plaintiffs and defendants.

Initially, when each day would bring news of another misdeed by Mr. Nifong, I could not believe that any prosecutor could behave as he was. While I've seen prosecutors take risky actions such as suppressing exculpatory evidence, hiding witnesses or tangible evidence relevant to the case, I've never before seen a prosecutor so utterly contaminate his case by violating a defendant's rights from A to Z.

While it is not at all uncommon for prosecutors to get away with as much as they can, most will, at the least, try to avoid causing errors which will result in a reversal of a conviction.

Here, if there are any of the defendants' rights that were not violated, I can't imagine what they could be. While Mr. Nifong may have seen the trial as a home game because it was before a pro-prosecution judge, there is no way in the world any resulting convictions would have survived an appeal.

When going against defendants with skilled and aggressive lawyers, as represented the defendants in the criminal cases, all prosecutors that I've ever known will be extra-cautions, knowing that the defense lawyers will try to magnify the smallest misstep into a big one and take out after the prosecutor, if justified.

Thus, I just cannot understand how Mr. Nifong could be so utterly oblivious to the easily anticipated consequences of his actions.

Anonymous said...


"the depositions taken in this case will be brutal for the defendants"

There are certain defendents who richly deserve the treatment they are about to receive.

I especially look forward to the deposition of Sgt David Addison who's actions relative to the "wanted posters' were contemptible.


Anonymous said...

Welcome back EX! As John has said, your comments are thoughtful, insightful and informative. I hope you continue to comment here.