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Head of DNA lab says he and Nifong agreed not to report results (Duke LAX)

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FormerDem06 Donating Member (308 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 03:00 PM
Original message
Head of DNA lab says he and Nifong agreed not to report results (Duke LAX)
http://www.newsobserver.com/1185/story/521773.html


snip
===================================================
The head of a private DNA laboratory said under oath today that he and District Attorney Mike Nifong agreed not to report DNA results favorable to Duke lacrosse players charged with rape.
===================================================


snip
===================================================
Meehan struggled to say why he didnt include the favorable evidence in a report dated May 12, almost a month after Seligmann and Finnerty had been indicted. He cited concerns about the privacy of the lacrosse players, his discussions at several meetings with Nifong, and the fact that he didnt know whose DNA it was.

Under questioning by Jim Cooney, a defense attorney for Seligmann, Meehan admitted that his report violated his laboratorys standards by not reporting results of all tests.

===================================================
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geek tragedy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 03:05 PM
Response to Original message
1. Nifong should be sued and/or prosecuted for
violating the civil rights of those students. And he should be permanently disbarred.
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Solo_in_MD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 03:08 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. The lab will not fare to well either
But in the end Nifong should hang (figuratively)
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Buzz Clik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 03:08 PM
Response to Original message
3. Nifong was deep in his election...
... and the Durham community hates the Duke students.

By screwing over the students, Nifong is a local hero. He really doesn't give a shit if he wins or loses the case. He got re-elected, now he'll let the courts sort it out while he obfuscates and drags his feet.
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Kagemusha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 03:11 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Until his ass gets fried over this, that is.
Edited on Fri Dec-15-06 03:14 PM by Kagemusha
It may or may not matter to the voters but it sure as hell will matter to the presiding judge.

Edit: I wish I knew the details of what legal jeopardy Nifong has placed himself in but, at the very least, he has completely compromised the case and it will soon be dismissed with prejudice - even if (and I doubt, but even if) the defendants are guilty as hell.
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geek tragedy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 03:20 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Here's the DOJ's page for criminals like Mr. Nifong:
http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/crim/overview.htm

"OFFICIAL MISCONDUCT (18 U.S.C. 241, 18 U.S.C. 242) -- Intentional acts by law enforcement officials who misuse their positions to unlawfully deprive individuals of constitutional rights, such as the right to be free from unwarranted assaults, illegal arrests and searches, and theft of property."

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Kagemusha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 04:51 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. Thank you greatly!
I knew it would be conspiracy of some sort but not specifics until you pointed them out here.

Nifong conspiring with the lab head exposes them both to Conspiracy Against Rights. Ten years in Club Fed maximum for that unless someone say, dies over it, in which case it gets much worse. I don't think malicious, false arrest counts as "kidnapping" unfortunately. Still, it is not exactly small potatoes...
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jazzjunkysue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 12:01 AM
Response to Reply #4
25. There never was a case. Just alot of finger pointing. n/t.
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 05:31 PM
Response to Reply #3
10. Hogwash. If Nifong really engaged in misconduct, Durham won't forgive him.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 08:10 PM
Response to Reply #10
17. "If" he engaged in misconduct? Withholding exculpatory evidence is
clear misconduct.

It seems you are a lot more willing to give him the benefit of the doubt than those three students who are facing 25 year sentences.

http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/asection/la-na...

"In the latest setback to the prosecution in the Duke University lacrosse rape case, the director of a private lab hired by the district attorney testified Friday that he withheld exculpatory DNA evidence after conferring with prosecutors.

Under questioning from defense lawyers, the lab director confirmed that DNA samples taken from the body and clothing of a stripper who accused three lacrosse players of rape did not match any of the defendants. The tests found DNA from several unknown males, Brian Meehan testified, but none matched DNA taken from 43 other lacrosse team members.

SNIP

Meehan testified that he and Nifong had decided to withhold certain results of the DNA tests in order to protect the privacy of the Duke lacrosse players who had submitted samples. Asked by a defense attorney how lab results clearing all 46 players would violate their privacy, Meehan fumbled for an answer as Nifong sat with his head lowered, staring at documents.

"It was just simple me trying to do the right thing and say: 'Let's not put that information out there in the public,' " he said. He admitted that he had violated his own lab's protocols, which require that results of all tests be reported in court cases.

Meehan added that he withheld some results in his final report in May "so as not to drag anyone else through the mud."


-- I wonder who else's name he didn't want dragged through the mud? Nifong's, perhaps? For indicting the students AFTER he knew that these results excluded the students with what the lab director said was 100% certainty?
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Igel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 03:20 PM
Response to Original message
6. They have a very strange view of privacy, don't they?
Essentially, they're implying they didn't want to drag the Duke students' names through the mud by saying they hadn't raped the woman (if her statements that they didn't use condoms during vaginal sex is taken to be accurate).

Gee. I know I'd really be pissed if evidence clearing me of rape came to light. :think:

Protecting the privacy of the students. Right.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 08:11 PM
Response to Reply #6
18. They sure do.
By the way, one of the things that was tested for was any evidence of condom use -- and they found none.
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marshall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-19-06 08:27 AM
Response to Reply #6
48. I think they were protecting the "privacy" of unknown men
The DNA on her panties and the anal swabs produced results from five unknown men--none of them any of the lacrosse players nor the man identified as the accuser's boyfriend. If I understand Nifong's argument correctly he was protecting the privacy of these five unidentified men by not dragging their names into the public--never mind that if a rape did occur it could be one or more of those men who did it.
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robcon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 05:02 PM
Response to Original message
8. This is not the only violation for Nifong.
When he ran a lineup of suspects, he directed ONLY Duke lacrosse players were to be in the lineup for the accuser - a clear violation of the NC criminal procedure which says that only one suspect per viewing, and unrelated people must be in the lineup with the suspect.
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geek tragedy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 05:04 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Yes, but this crosses the line from getting evidence
tossed out to getting the DA tossed in. Tossed in jail, that is.
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robcon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 08:25 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. I don't think he can get tossed in jail
He can be censured/removed (and, of course, it's likely the case will be dismissed before trial) because of his misbehavior.
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greccogirl Donating Member (566 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 10:22 AM
Response to Original message
12. What a surprise. This guy deserves jail.
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robcon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 10:25 AM
Response to Reply #12
13. Was it intentional?
With all his misbehavior - pretrial publicity, withholding DNA results from the defense, violating the code of conduct on the Photo ID's - does anyone think Nifong is intentionally undermining his case?
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geek tragedy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 03:59 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. He never had a case. This is a malicious prosecution
that is the prosecutorial version of a lynching. If these kids had been poor, they'd be going to prison.
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greccogirl Donating Member (566 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 07:34 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. I think he got what he wanted - re-elected, and now he's
possibly looking for an easy out. He shouldn't be allowed to get away with it.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 08:13 PM
Response to Reply #13
19. The lab director has indicated that he was directed by Nifong
not to report that the results specifically excluded all 46 players. So by his testimony, Nifong's misconduct was intentional.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 01:03 AM
Response to Reply #12
27. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 08:01 PM
Response to Original message
16. No DNA evidence, no witnesses, no other corroborating evidence
Edited on Sat Dec-16-06 08:03 PM by IndianaGreen
and the lab scientist that Nifong hired said that some of his own DNA got on the now infamous artificial nail that was found inside a wastebasket in the bathroom of the house where the alleged rape was supposed to have taken place.

G****'s own family complained yesterday that they had not seen or spoken to their daughter in months, that Nifong had her under wraps and that no one could see her.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 08:17 PM
Response to Reply #16
20. AND
remember when they were reporting, months ago, that one of the players was a possible partial match?

But this lab director says his tests proved with ALL of the 46 players were excluded with 100% certainty as matches. And that he was directed by Nifong to leave that out of his reports.
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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 08:56 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. This is a clear case of prosecutorial misconduct
and that's without even delving into the merits of the case.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 09:06 PM
Response to Reply #21
22. For more on that, you might be interested in this:
www.durhamwonderland.blogspot.com

"Perhaps the quality of the defense bar in Burlington, North Carolina, is unusually low. It appeared yesterday as if DNA Security head Brian Meehan had never before faced a challenging cross-examination: over a 90-minute period, he withered under questioning from Brad Bannon and Jim Cooney.

Mike Nifong gambled and lost: confronting a defense motion strongly suggesting that DNA Security, for a reason or reasons unknown, had withheld obviously exculpatory evidence, he decided to produce, without notice, Meehan for cross-examination. The advantage: he might catch the defense unprepared for questioning. The disadvantage: he obviously didnt have time to prep Meehan.

To the extent that he displayed any strategy at all, Meehans goal seemed to be to stall as much as possible, looking expectantly at Nifong (who was seen to be frequently yawning by those with a head-on view of him) after each question. Unfortunately, the judge, Osmond Smith, didnt shut down the questioning, and Meehan was eventually forced to concede the obvious. So an appearance that should have lasted 10 minutes stretched into nearly two hours.

The most charitable interpretation of Meehan would see him as remarkably nave, a scientist who didnt realize that those doing work for law enforcement have to follow standard procedures, rather than making up their own rules. Those less inclined toward the charity of the season might suggest that Meehan willfully joined in a conspiracy with Mike Nifong to withhold exculpatory evidence, because he wanted business for his lab."

SNIP
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oneinok Donating Member (120 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 10:03 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. there should be more protests
When this story broke 9 months ago the libers went wild protesting at Duke. Only a few of us here at DU defended the Duke Players. There should be marches by the same people expressing regret for their actions.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 11:54 PM
Response to Reply #23
24. I wonder if any of them learned a lesson
about the importance of all of us believing "innocent until proven guilty." It was certainly discouraging to see so many DU'ers ready to swallow anything the prosecutor served up.
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jazzjunkysue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 12:09 AM
Response to Reply #24
26. When it broke, I was a rare dissenter, and got my head ripped off in here.
I could smell a rat from the beginning, but many people on here went berserk because I didn't come to the woman's defense.

They were condemning the kids, and need to remember in the future, that common sense needs to prevail, and nothing that woman said or did made any sense at all.

The boys were wrong to hire a stripper, but she was the fool who went in there unguarded with a house full of drunken college kids. She was supposed to be a "professional" and sober.

Right. Do something that stupid, and don't be surprised that your case won't hold up in court.

If they did assault her, there's no recourse for her now, especially with how many times her story changed.

And, the real question is, does she still go door to door and take her clothes off?
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 01:02 PM
Response to Reply #26
28. My first reaction
was to believe the prosecutor, at least that a rape had occurred -- by somebody. Then my mom asked me what I thought, so I actually started to READ about the case, and not just see bits of Nifong's statements on TV. And the more I read, the more horrifying the situation became. If ever a case shouldn't have gotten to the indictment stage, it was this one.

I'm not surprised that a drunk woman on felony probation, in a moment of weakness, thought it might be a good idea to claim rape. But it is scary to see how much power to ruin lives has been concentrated in the hands of this prosecutor. And that so many otherwise thoughtful people are still buying the idea that "where there's smoke, there must be fire."
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oneinok Donating Member (120 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 02:45 PM
Response to Reply #28
29. What no naysayers?
Come on people. Who here has the guts to admit they were wrong about the Duke players?

Time to expand the meaning of chickenhawk.
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superconnected Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 08:29 PM
Response to Reply #29
31. still too early too tell, and they still stink too bad
I still wouldn't grab on to either side and defend it yet. You however apparently don't need the solid facts but the tabloid spins as they come. I still see too many twists and turns with this.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 08:39 PM
Response to Reply #31
33. You don't have to rely on anyone's spin.
You can find primary documents -- police reports, witness reports, etc. -- online. And anyone who has really read those will see that this case has enough reasonable doubt to drive a 747 through.

Give me ONE SOLID PIECE OF EVIDENCE against the defendants, other than the accuser's claim -- which was contradicted by the other dancer.

And which of the accuser's claims do you believe? Were there really only 3 attackers? Or five? Or twenty? And which of her descriptions of attackers matched any of the defendants?
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 08:47 PM
Response to Reply #33
37. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 11:09 PM
Response to Reply #37
38. I haven't touched a tabloid.
You can find original documents at the local newspaper and television sites. You're making blanket generalities without any basis for backing them up. That isn't critical thinking, it's just lazy thinking.
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jazzjunkysue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-18-06 12:48 PM
Response to Reply #28
39. Exactly. Innocent until proven guilty really failed, here.
The teammembers should not have hired a stripper, but, they don't deserve to have their futures ruined because of it. I wonder if the college has taken any steps to curtail this kind of questionable behavior, or required some kind of oversight at these off-campus residences.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-18-06 02:17 PM
Response to Reply #39
40. Who knows? It may be legal to hire strippers.
Since everyone was over 18.

I'm sure the college doesn't want to exercise oversight off-campus -- they have enough problems on-campus!
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jazzjunkysue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-18-06 03:06 PM
Response to Reply #40
41. It's also legal to lick a frozen pipe, skateboard down a cliff, eat glass,
an any number of really, really stupid things. But if colleges don't keep track of these houses, they're going to find their good name trashed in sleaze scandals.

Duke sends my senior daughter admission brochures all the time. I can't throw them out fast enough. I got another one, today. Just the logo makes me jump.

This stuff may be legal, but it's really bad for business.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-18-06 06:59 PM
Response to Reply #41
42. I'm really more concerned about the drinking
that's practically everywhere. Unless I sent my kids to BYU or Oral Roberts . . . . (Hah!)

But I'm with you about Duke. It was among the schools my oldest considered, but there's no way I'd send any of my kids there now.
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torrentprime Donating Member (212 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-18-06 07:53 PM
Response to Reply #41
43. So...
You're turning down the college why exactly? Because it's not illegal for consenting adults to hire an adult entertainer? How many schools or counties or cities do you think outlaw this? And are you differentiating between "legal" and "personally morally acceptable"? So what if it's legal to hire a stripper--in a FREE COUNTRY, shouldn't it be? Let's take a page from the pro-choice handbook: Opposed to abortion? Don't have one! Opposed to stripping? Don't hire one.
And if you decide your daughter shouldn't attend Duke, doesn't that mean you're helping to accomplish what Nifong was obviously trying to do--hurt Duke to his own benefit? The school and its players were VICTIMS here, not the bad guys. Why blackball the school?
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-18-06 10:03 PM
Response to Reply #43
44. I don't think Nifong was trying to hurt Duke to his own benefit.
Edited on Mon Dec-18-06 10:06 PM by pnwmom
He wanted to help himself and he didn't care who he hurt in the process.

The reason I wouldn't pay for a student of mine to go to Duke is NOT because of anything I've heard about the students there. I don't think they're any better or worse than college students most places.

But I'm disgusted with the faculty and the Administration for hanging Evans, Seligmann, and Finnerty out to dry. If I were an alum, I'd be pressuring them strongly to support them -- if they ever wanted another donation from me.

As a parent, I would expect my student's college to AT LEAST voice strong support for the idea of "innocent until proven guilty" -- rather than immediately jump on the "guilty of something" bandwagon, as so many Duke faculty did.
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torrentprime Donating Member (212 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-19-06 01:07 AM
Response to Reply #44
45. OH WOW
Then I completely apologize, because I agree 100%.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-19-06 01:54 AM
Response to Reply #45
46. Thanks for giving me the chance
to explain.

:hi:
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atomicdawg38 Donating Member (80 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-19-06 02:09 AM
Response to Reply #44
47. IMHO
Especially Seligmann.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-19-06 09:22 AM
Response to Reply #47
49. Welcome to DU, atomicdawg 38!
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MGKrebs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 07:37 PM
Response to Reply #24
30. That's an ironic statement.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 08:41 PM
Response to Reply #30
34. How so?
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superconnected Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 08:34 PM
Response to Original message
32. interesting
from the article:

"In a response to reports that the accuser in the Duke lacrosse case gave birth recently, UNC Health care issued a statement at about 1:30 p.m. saying that the woman is at UNC Hospitals for care related to her pregnancy but has not given birth."

And how many here jumped on this. Wonder if anyone else here besides me is going to figure out you can't trust either side or the media on this one.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 08:43 PM
Response to Reply #32
35. So you think you can trust the prosecutor?
This seems like a minor error, compared to the major misconduct on the part of Nifong. Who cares whether she's due now or in February? No one on either side ever claimed this pregnancy had anything to do with the "rape."
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superconnected Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 08:46 PM
Response to Reply #35
36. Did I say I thought I could?
No I didn't. Your faulty logic is all over this.
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