Skip to comments.Police destroyed evidence in Duke Lacrosse case
Posted on 09/23/2006 8:32:32 AM PDT by CondorFlight
UNREPORTED by any of the major media, but--
Apparently police have already destroyed evidence in the Duke lacrosse case :
"...the "highlight" of the Duke Hoax hearing came with the announcement by the prosecution that the recordings of all Durham Police Department radio calls for March 13th and 14th had been destroyed.
"It seems Durham Police Department tape use policy calls for tapes to be reused after 60 days. So, even though tapes were requested in April 28th motion by the defense, and ordered by Judge Stephens on May18th,
"the prosecution now maintains that the tapes were destroyed on or after May 13th, just five days or less before Judge Stephens order. Yep, we believe that! The defense indicated that they could call all the officers to testify as to their recollection of those radio calls.
"This was met with the assertion that the police could not be expected to recall their radio communication with accuracy at such a late date. LieStoppers can only wish that all police officers had the same amazing memory and recall powers as Sergeant Gottlieb does!"
An earlier rape case prosecuted by Nifong--
(reposted from another poster)
"The "alleged" victim made two calls the night of the incident to a friend and the messages left had "accidentally" been voiced over briefly by a female ADA and a DPD detective.
The prosecution initially tried to argue that they could be trusted to vouch for whose voice was on the tape but the judge agreed with the defense that an expert needed to be called in. The expert verified that the voice of the ADA was on the tape.
Needless to say the suspect, a former correctional officer was acquited. BTW, the alleged victim did happen to work at a naked bar and Duke Hospital found no injuries consistent with rape, no signs of anal penetration as was alleged nor any physical signs of a beating. (Anything sound familiar?)"
A Durham case from 2002 (when Hardin--now a judge--was DA; he was a mentor to Nifong):
"9.20.02 - Ok, you tell me if this doesn't sound weird: There's a trial going on right now in Durham, according to the Herald-Sun, in which DNA samples taken from a man accused of rape don't match DNA samples taken from inside the victim. . .
(Simons) told jurors that Brown voluntarily gave DNA samples that did not match samples from the victim. Nor did pubic hairs surrendered by Brown match...In addition, the victim initially told authorities that she thought her white cousin (not Brown, who is AA) was the intruder...
When the cousin was arrested, duct tape and other incriminating items were found in his car and on his property...(but) District Attorney Jim Hardin Jr. gave the cousin "complete immunity" to testify against Brown, Simons told jurors. . .
"... The white cousin who was initially fingered by the rape victim strikes a deal for immunity with the D.A. in order to testify against a black guy whose DNA doesn't match the DNA found inside the victim? ... It's difficult to understand why the guy being charged with rape is apparently not the one whose semen was found inside the victim."
"10.2.02 - Update on that Durham rape trial... the suspect, who'd spent a full year in jail awaiting trial, was completely acquitted of all charges. . . The jury foreman, Howard Williams, Jr., had extremely harsh words for the prosecution, describing the trial as "a waste of time":
"We all wondered what we were doing there," he said of himself and fellow jurors. "The evidence was nonexistent. ... I can't understand why that man spent a year in jail when there was no evidence whatsoever against him. It made no sense to us. Where's the justice?"
" Given the strange deal-making in the case... is it fair to wonder - without engaging in moronic cop-bashing - how often this kind of thing happens in Durham, or in other Triangle jurisdictions? I think it is."
is really biased against Nifong, but an interesting/fun read anyway. I'll enjoy reading it, so thanks.
Nixon should have tried that...
re: Durham Police Department tape use policy calls for tapes to be reused after 60 days
If this is indeed the policy, it is ridiculous to begin with! The concept of a "speedy trial" is an ideal that rarely occurs. I imagine that the percentage of trials taking place within the window of 60 days is quite small. Meanwhile, if the Durham Police Department routinely reuses these tapes after only 60 days, it seems to me that they are routinely complicit in destroying important evidence. If the Durham Police Department is so impoverished that they can't afford a supply of tapes then, just maybe they should do something to raise money for them. Heck! They could hold a bake sale once a year!
"Heck! They could hold a bake sale once a year!"
They do hold regular police auctions. But almost all of the money raised goes into the hands of a few select individuals (one gets about 50% of the money).
When a reporter tried to talk with this individual about another case, and left two phone messages for him, he was jailed and charged with "harrassment".
Durham operates more like a banana republic than any other place in the USA. . .
Biased - can you show one instance where Liestopper has not been correct when they called Nifong on something? Biased means at a minimum that they are distorting objective facts. I have seen none. Nifong continues to be a terrible advertisment and embarrassment for LE and the Durham Community.
Perhaps I shouldn't have used "biased" to describe this site...I'll keep reading there, to refine my adjectives.
The only certain thing to come out of this fiasco, is that my kids will not be going to school in NC.
Obviously it makes sense to reuse tapes after a reasonable amount of time has passed, EXCEPT when a case goes to trial.
Then the S.O.P. should surely be to preserve those tapes until it is certain they will no longer be needed. They are EVIDENCE, and it is KNOWN that they are evidence.
What does a tape cost, a couple of bucks? I think the department budget could afford it.
Unbelievable! Was this deliberate? The police dept had to know these tapes were important. Why were they not pulled out of the loop?
Perhaps this is Nifong's way of getting out of this whole fiasco. Get the police to destroy the evidence, there is no case. He doesn't have to appear like the FOOL he is in this, the players are let off.
Nifong needs to be prosecuted, under "Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law."
I'd like to see Nifong prosecuted, too. I think the guys have a great case.
"Liberty and Justice for all."
What a joke.
Why are they using tape at all? It should be fairly easy to come up with a system that records everything digitally, and then compresses the recording to some relatively low bitrate MP3 file once a call is over. You might be able to store many man-days worth of calls on a single DVD disc. (BTW, I used to use a lot of open-reel tape, and still have many open-reel recordings, but I haven't recorded anything to tape in four years or more.)
They have a great case, they just have no standing. You can't sue a DA for malfeasence, that I know of.
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