Sunday, June 14, 2009

Background Re: Nifong Knew Before Mar. 24 Post

(First posted 6/10/09)


If you’ve read Why Nifong Knew About The Case Before Mar. 24 and Nifong & Circumstantial Evidence & "He Knew. No Question" and both post’s threads (the threads are very worthwhile reads), you know I’ve promised a post explaining why I’m certain Mike Nifong learned about Crystal Mangum’s false charges the same day she made them: Mar. 14, 2006 and not on Mar. 24 as the Raeligh N&O reported and as Nifong subsequently testified at the State Bar trial which resulted in his disbarment.

I still plan to do that post but there’s been some very perceptive and probing commentary made on the threads I just mentioned.

I want to respond to to some of that commentary here on the main page tonight in two posts.

As a result, I’m delaying the post I promised.

The delay may be “all to the good” because I think the two posts I’m working on for tonight will be useful background for the post explaining why I’m certain Nifong knew on Mar. 14 of what became the Duke lacrosse case.

There are three other posts that will be useful to read as we consider a number of important questions surrounding the NTO directing 46 white Duke lacrosse players to provide DNA evidence and submit to police photographing of them.

I’ve pasted one of those three - - Durham ADA Changes NTO Story, published Feb. 2, 2008 - - here in this post. It links at its end to the two other posts.

I hope you’re back tonight.



The Durham Herald Sun reports today Freda Black's announcement she'll be a candidate for DA in this year’s primary scheduled for May 6. Black was the disgraced Mike Nifong’s major opponent in the 2006 Democratic DA primary race.

A former Durham ADA, Black was dismissed by Nifong when he was appointed DA by the governor to fill the unexpired term of his predecessor who’d been made a judge. Black is now in private practice.

The H-S story also mentions current Durham ADA Tracey Cline who has told friends and supporters she’ll be a candidate in the May primary.

The story includes this:
Cline defended her role in getting a court order for DNA evidence from 46 lacrosse players "as a regular routine that any assistant district attorney or district attorney would give police advice to do everyday."
What the H-S reports today Cline is now saying represents a major change from what on Jan. 9 the H-S reported Cline said:
From the Jan. 9 Durham H-S - - -

[…] At the heart of the matter is material taken from the notes of lacrosse case lead detective Ben Himan, and notes and a deposition from Durham police Sgt. Mark Gottlieb.

They referred to Cline's role in the creation of a non-testimonial order, or NTO, that allowed police to take photographs of and collect DNA evidence from 46 of the 47 members of the Duke lacrosse team.

Cline denied that she had any role in writing the order.

"The record will indicate that David Saacks did it," she said. Saacks is the interim district attorney but was an assistant DA at that time. "I didn't prepare any paperwork on that case. Nothing at all. I've never even seen or laid hands on a non-testimonial order."

She said, "I remember Gottlieb asked me about a non-testimonial order, and I told him I was not available."

But when asked by The Herald-Sun whether she'd asked police to draft the non-testimonial order, Cline responded, "I don't recall."

Himan's notes and Gottlieb's deposition indicate that police consulted Cline on March 22, 2006, after they learned players, on the advice of attorneys, wouldn't show up that day for a scheduled meeting with investigators.
How about that?

In less than a month Cline has gone from saying she was unable to “recall” whether she’d directed police to prepare the NTO to defending her role in getting the NTO as just “a regular routine that any assistant district attorney or district attorney would give police advice to do everyday."

Quite a change, isn’t it?

Did Cline have “a recovered memory” experience all by herself. Or did someone(s) remind her that she did have a role in securing the NTO?

If someone(s) did, who was that someone(s)? What was said to Cline that improved her memory?

Now that her memory’s improved, does Cline agree with what Gottlieb and Himan have been saying: that she directed them to prepare the NTO?

That question needs to be answered. We shouldn’t have to wait for discovery to get Cline’s answer. She should give it now.

Cline should also tell us on what basis she at least supported and perhaps ordered the preparation of an NTO request which was anything but routine. In fact, it’s been called "mammothly unconstitutional" and a "dragnet fishing expedition."

Readers following the case, especially those with questions concerning the who, why, when and how of the securing of the NTO, may be interested to read:

Who “Owns” that “Toxic” NTO? (1/13/08)

NTO Battle – Durham DA v. Police (1/17/08)

Today's entire H-S story is


sceptical said...

The key question with all of this debate is: Who started the frame-up and when?

As we both know, the date of Nifong's first involvement is an important demarcation in the lacrosse case.

If Nifong was not involved until March 24, then the lies in the NTIO application of March 22 are clearly from the Durham PD, especially Mark Gottlieb. It was release of this NTIO order, along with the N&O story, which really ignited the fire.

If Nifong was involved from March 14, then he can be connected to the events such as the NTIO which happened earlier.

You are absolutely correct to focus on the NTIO and who "owned" it.