Friday, August 29, 2008

Non-exculpatory DNA evidence in the Duke LAX case

Blogger "Jarm" blogged the following: "First, you state with absolute certainty that justice in North Carolina is race-based, but have difficulty understanding why the DNA evidence in the LAX case was probative of anything."

Yes, I believe that justice in North Carolina is not only race-based, but class-based, as well. The phrase I prefer to use is that "North Carolina practices selective justice based on Class and Color." This is evidenced by the fact that Mike Nifong was selectively singled out by the attorney general and the NC State Bar for the harshest disciplinary action possible, disbarment. No other prosecutor has been disbarred by the NC State Bar since its inception. Mr. Nifong's LAX defendants were selectively proclaimed "innocent" by Attorney General Cooper (he has never done this for other defendants). Furthermore, Mr. Nifong was selectively prosecuted by the state, including being sentenced to serve time in jail (no other prosecutor was sentenced to jail for "prosecutorial misconduct" or any other offense). Attorney General Roy Cooper was selective in asking the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate a prosecutor for depriving defendants of their civil rights (he never asked the federal justice department to investigate any other prosecutor).

I believe in DNA evidence, as it has cleared many innocent defendants (the majority of which are disenfranchised, poor, and of color) from crimes for which they were wrongly convicted (many instances due to the prosecutor withholding exculpatory evidence). In the Duke Lacrosse Case, the DNA, again, had exculpatory value for the three defendants forensically. This exculpatory evidence was shared with the defense attorneys in a timely manner by Mr. Nifong's team.

However, the fact that unidentified DNA from other male sources was found in the rape kit exam of the accuser/victim has no benefit or value to the defense in clearing their clients. It is totally extraneous and irrelavent information with no probative value. The foundation for the case for disbarring Mr. Nifong is based on the accusation that he withheld this trivial bit of information. On the other hand, prosecutors who withheld exculpatory evidence from the defense in order to win a conviction (such as what occurred in the Alan Gell and Charles Munsey cases, to name but two), received no significant disciplinary action. Why the disparity by the State Bar and the Attorney General? Plain and simply because the three defendants in the Duke Lacrosse case came from families of wealth, status, and privilege, whereas defendants such as Mr. Gell are from disenfranchised families, and Mr. Munsey was an African American, and poor, also.

I would be willing to hear from Blogger Jarm, or anyone else, about why there is any value of the extraneous DNA findings for the defense.


Justice4Jack said...

IMO, I believe the 3 men have the right to have the correct identity of the DNA from the prostitute's underwear. Wanted posters of them and their teammates were strewn about town, while the city KNEW there was no DNA from the defendants, and again, if not for the bank video, do not believe Mr. Cooper, or the State Bar had any other choice!

I do NOT give them credit for doing their jobs for one lone case! Countless cases have fallen to the wayside, while so much money and energy is being spent on setting this case straight. What about the unsolved murders and escalating drugs and organized crime?

What happened to the devil worshipping, sex kidnapping
local democrat chairperson accomplice Joy Johnson, and her husband Joseph Craig?

Durham has it's share of infidels, and this site itself is a mockery to us as citizens, to be brainwashed into feeling pity for their guilt?

Remember the first 3 words of the Constitution this Labor Day, "We The People!?

Then remember the significance of the holiday, and where our nation would be if not for "We" and not because of anything from "Them."

Rhonda Fleming
Cleveland, Ohio

unbekannte said...

As I recall, Crystal's claim is that none of her three attackers used condoms, that all three ejaculated on her. When the DNA testing showed no DNA from any member of the Lacrosse team, that should have meant no member of the Lacrosse team had assaulted her and the case should have ended there. Instead, Nifong pressed forward, claiming that nothing had been left, that the perpetrators were familiar with CSI and had probably removed evidence of the assault.

Then more sophisticated testing turns up DNA from multiple other males but none from any Lacrosse player. That creates a problem for Nifong. If the perpetrators did wipe down Ms. Mangum, how did they remove their own DNA but fail to remove the DNA from all the other men. It totally ruins the credibility of Nifong's hypothesis that the perpetrators had cleaned up after themselves. Nifong is totally unable to support that hypothesis.

So the presence of DNA on Ms. Mangum does have probative value for the defense. I say again, it is evidence that no attempt was made to remove forensic evidence of the alleged rape from Ms. Mangum's person.

Nifong was breaking the full disclosure law in not turning over the evidence to the defense. His motive, I would speculate, was that he did not want the defense to have this powerful exculpatory evidence which would undermine his case.

Whatever his motive, it was established in open court that the defense was entitled to this evidence, and that Nifong and Brian Meehan conspired to keep the evidence from them