Skip to comments.In new book, former Durham DA Mike Nifong speaks about Duke lacrosse case
Posted on 03/29/2014 3:10:03 AM PDT by abb
Former Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong has held his tongue since his career imploded in the Duke lacrosse case. But his thoughts are about to land in bookstores, at length and virtually unchallenged.
The Price of Silence: The Duke Lacrosse Scandal, The Power of the Elite, and the Corruption of Our Great Universities is scheduled for publication April 8.
The book $35 in hardback, 650 pages long bills itself as the definitive, magisterial account of a case that generated tens of thousands of news stories, countless blog posts, seemingly endless cable gabfests and a handful of books.
Three Duke lacrosse players were charged with raping and sexually assaulting an escort service dancer, Crystal Gail Mangum, at a team party in March 2006. The players are white and wealthy, Mangum poor and black, and the case blew up into national outrage against the players until the facts emerged: There was no rape, Mangum had made up the story, the players were declared innocent and Nifong was stripped of his law license.
The case made international headlines and generated a new slang verb: to Nifong is To use the law to destroy innocent people, according to the website Urban Dictionary.
The author, William Cohan, is a Duke graduate and former investment banker who has written several well-received books about Wall Street.
Most of the new content in the book comes from Cohans interviews with Nifong. In the book, Nifong speaks at length about critical junctures in the case. Cohan allows the former prosecutors assertions to go unchallenged.
Nifong said he still believes that Mangum was attacked in the bathroom, as does Cohan.
I am convinced, frankly, that this woman suffered a trauma that night, Cohan said in an interview Friday. Something did happen in that bathroom.
Cohan is sympathetic to Nifong throughout the book. For example, Cohan writes that the charge that Nifong withheld evidence favorable to the defense was a red herring. This runs counter to findings from the N.C. State Bar and a Superior Court judge, who ruled that Nifong lied to the court and withheld evidence that helped prove the players innocence.
Nifong could not be reached for comment.
Sandbagged by Cooper?
One of the key moments in the case was April 11, 2007, when Attorney General Roy Cooper dropped charges and ended the case in a news conference televised live nationally.
Cohan wrote that Cooper dropped a bombshell at the press conference by declaring the three players innocent.
In the book, Nifong contends that Cooper declared the players innocent because of pressure from defense lawyers.
Roy Cooper had some real doubt about what the defense board wanted him to do that is to declare the boys to be actually innocent which, of course, is something thats well beyond the purview of the criminal justice system, Nifong says in the book. Roy Cooper wouldve lied if he thought it would help him.
Nifong said that Coopers lead investigators, longtime prosecutors Jim Coman and Mary Winstead, were just as shocked as Nifong by the announcement.
I have to believe, based on my knowledge of Jim Coman and Mary Winstead, that they were every bit as sandbagged by what happened as I was, Nifong said.
Coman, who recently retired after 40 years in law enforcement, was the head of the Attorney Generals criminal division, former director of the State Bureau of Investigation, and one of the states most respected prosecutors.
Nifong is wrong, Coman said. These characterizations are figments of his imagination, he said.
Coman said he and Winstead insisted that Cooper declare the players innocent, and Cooper agreed.
Roy was absolutely appalled at Nifongs conduct, which gave the North Carolina justice system a black eye, Coman said.
Evidence of innocence
Coman said all the physical evidence pointed to innocence DNA tests; cellphone records of the players and Mangum; photographs and videos; and receipts from a gas station, restaurants and debit cards. One player, whom Coman dubbed Ansel Adams, photographed and videoed much of the evening.
I was just adamant, Coman said. She lied, she made up a story, and damn it, weve got to do the right and ethical thing.
Coman and Winstead said they were not contacted for the book. Cohan wrote that he tried to interview Cooper, who declined to speak with him.
In 2007, Cooper released a 21-page report explaining the evidence of the players innocence; Coman and Winstead wrote the report.
Cohan has filed a lawsuit trying to obtain the underlying documents for the report from Coopers office. Under North Carolina state law, criminal investigative records are not public.
Cooper declined to discuss the book with The News & Observer.
i hope the publisher loses millions.
According to our research, author William Cohan was a heretofore reputable writer. By hanging his hat on an interview with the Fong, he’s destroyed himself.
I can’t make sense out of this article
who is the book’s author, Nifong or Cohen
in the same sentence it says Nifong did and didn’t withhold evidence
if I have to read it more than a couple times to understand it, it is bull
Friday, March 28, 2014
Coman to Neff: Nifong Characterizations “Figments of His Imagination”
Joe Neff has a breaking piece in the N&O disproving one of the many questionable assertions in the forthcoming book by author William D. Cohan. (I’m reviewing the book for Commentary, and will also comment here after the book is published.)
Neff observes that most of the new content in the book comes from Cohans interviews with Nifong . . . Cohan allows the former prosecutors assertions to go unchallenged. Neff’s article illustrates the dangers of an author relying on the uncorrobated musings of a convicted liar.
According to Neff, Nifong told Cohan that I have to believe, based on my knowledge of Jim Coman and Mary Winstead, that they were every bit as sandbagged by [AG Roy Cooper declaring the players innocent] as I was. Author Cohan, for reasons that remain unclear, elected to publish without attempting to contact either Coman or Winstead for comment. I should note that it appears that many key players on the legal side of the case were similarly never contacted, for reasons that remain unclear.
It turns out—unsurprisingly—that Nifong’s . . . recollection . . . was flawed. Jim Coman told Neff, These characterizations are figments of his imagination. After reviewing all of the evidence (it’s not clear, by contrast, how much evidence author Cohan ever saw), Coman concluded the obvious: [Crystal Mangum] lied, she made up a story, and damn it, weve got to do the right and ethical thing by issuing an innocence declaration.
[Update, for those interested: it might be worth reviewing the AG’s report.]
Posted by KC Johnson at 6:06 PM
Hard-copy, within North Carolina...I’d expect about 1,500 copies to sell. Across the nation, around 3,000 libraries will buy a copy, and maybe another 500 copies get bought by people with an interest in the case.
E-book copies (at $3.99 maybe), there might be another 2,000 copies sold.
Nifong might clear $10,000 by the end of the first year of sales. Nifong is in denial over his involvement, and this is the only way to get his message across and regain some standing in the community. Zero chance of him getting ever involved in politics...so he’s aiming at some foundation picking him up and helping him. On the measurement of a man’s character....this guy lacks common sense to a great degree.
The Fong is mentally unbalanced.
Nifong is part of the 99% of lawyers who give the other 1% a bad name.
Words fail me.
I hope the book sells less than 10 copies!
It’s a mixed bag, really. One the one hand, no one wants this scumbag liar to make a buck. On the other, when he filed for bankruptcy in 2008 he listed his assets (<$300K) and liabilities as greater than $180 million. The $180 million was for six $30 million damage claims by the Duke lacrosse players.
Based on his acknowledgement of the liabilities, I’d say the players could mount a supplementary claim and take everything he makes from the book.
Just my non-lawyer opinion.
Oh, it will sell well the the “They were guilty” circle.
They’ll say “See, they were guilty. It’s in the book.”
This remains for me the quintessential example of progressives’ opportunistic political correctness. The statements by Cooper’s lead investigator totally destroys the author’s thesis. What led the author to a denial of the obvious? Since this was never likely to be a money-making book, what led the publisher to support it?
I hope somebody digs into this cesspit a little more.
Doesn’t the Son of Sam law prevent this kind of thing? I hope the Lacrosse guys sue Nifong for every single penny in his wretched existence. I want to see him begging for food.
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Found this in a comment about the aforementioned Joe Neff article ... seems to be spot on:
Twenty years ago, an NPR Saturday morning talk show host interviewed a noted mathematician. After a little discussion, they opened the phones to callers. One caller, with great eagerness, began to describe his fascination with how various fractions came closer and closer to pi. He hypothesized that with a little more effort, someone would stumble across just the right fraction. At that point, the mathematician patiently explained to the caller that pi has been proven to be irrational, and therefore, by definition could not be expressed as a ratio of whole numbers. The caller thought about the explanation for a minute, and replied, “Well, I guess that makes me a crackpot.” The mathematician responded by pointing out that he was not a crackpot for thinking that pi might someday be expressed as a ratio of whole numbers, because he was not aware that pi was proven to be irrational. He went on to say, a crackpot is one who continues to argue when confronted with proof. William D. Cohan falls into the latter category
Global warming scientists withhold exculpatory evidence all the time. There should be a significant penalty for that. They should be permanently banned from scientific work. They really belong in the arts of deception such as law and leftist politics.
He’s a Democrat, so it’s no surprise. It’s what they do. Another example of one who would have trouble crossing the street without getting hit.
“””Oh, it will sell well the the They were guilty circle.
Theyll say See, they were guilty. Its in the book.”””
OJ also wrote a book proclaiming his innocence. Both people that bought the book agreed with him.
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