Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Bar v. Harr: Round two

 Click the LINK below to access the flog –

LINK: http://www.justice4nifong.com/direc/flog/flog24/flog24rid.html


Click the LINK below to access the accompanying Directory of Documents
LINK: http://www.justice4nifong.com/legal/cgm/direc/direc02.htm

Note: The Directory of Documents can be accessed following the flog and the flog can be accessed from the Directory.

Narrative of the flog follows below:
Word count: 1, 673

In the wee hours of Sunday, April 3, 2011, Crystal Mangum, the Duke Lacrosse victim/accuser, stabbed Reginald Daye in the left side with a steak knife. She claims, and evidence supports, that she did so in self-defense in fear for her life.

Emergency surgery on Mr. Daye at Duke University Hospital hours later revealed injury to the colon and a minor lesion to the spleen… both of which were repaired. The operation was deemed to be successful with a postoperative prognosis for a full recovery.

On his third post-op day, Wednesday, April 6, 2011, effects of severe alcoholic withdrawal, or delirium tremens, set in and resulted Mr. Daye’s transfer to the Surgical Intensive Care Unit… he was a heavy alcoholic.

A medical mishap, the accidental intubation of the esophagus instead of the trachea, resulted in deprivation of vital oxygen flow to the lungs… which prevented oxygen from reaching the blood stream, the red blood cells, and other cells of the body.

The heart, starved of oxygen, lapsed into cardiac arrest which resulted in cardiopulmonary resuscitation during which time the mis-positioned endotracheal tube was removed and replaced with one correctly situated in the trachea.

With reestablishment of oxygenated blood flow to the cells of the body, the heart was resuscitated with spontaneous restoration of circulation. However, the brain cells had been without oxygen for too long and died leaving Daye brain dead and in a coma.

Daye remained comatose for a week during a self-imposed media blackout on his condition, after which Duke medical staff electively removed him from life support and he died shortly thereafter on Wednesday, April 13, 2011.

Duke hospital records, such as Daye’s discharge summary elected to omit crucial bits of information in order to obscure the hospital’s role in his demise… specifically that it was the initial intubation into the esophagus that began the cascade of events that ended with Daye being brain dead.

On the following day, April 14, 2011, North Carolina Deputy Chief Medical Examiner Clay Nichols, in his autopsy examination report on Reginald Daye, contained findings of injuries not indicated and/or contradicted in other medical records. For example the Nichols autopsy report observed stab wound inflicted perforations to the left lung, diaphragm, fundus of the stomach, and left kidney in addition to those injuries mentioned in other medical records to the colon and spleen.

Also, for the first and only time Dr. Nichols discloses that there were multiple scabbed over lacerations to the left upper extremity suggestive of “defensive injuries.” These alleged lesions to the left upper extremity are neither mentioned in any other medical record nor documented photographically.

Fact is that EMS assessed Daye’s left upper extremity at the scene and found it to be normal, whereas the orthopedic surgery consult preoperatively examined Daye’s extremities and found no lacerations or breaks in the skin.

In addition to the findings in the Nichols autopsy report being suspect, its conclusion that Daye’s death was due to “complications of a stab wound to the left chest” is also without merit as no nexus between the stabbing and Daye’s brain death or actual death is demonstrated.

What is even more revealing is the fact that Dr. Nichols does not mention in his report about Daye’s descent into the bowels of delirium tremens, which necessitated his move to the SICU… he does not mention that Daye’s initial intubation was esophageal… he does not mention that as a result of the improperly placed endotracheal tube Daye went into cardiac arrest… he does not mention that as a subsequence of extended oxygen deprivation Daye was left in an irreversible comatose state… he does not mention that Daye, while sustained on life support, remained in a coma for a week without sign of recovery… and he does not mention that shortly after his elective removal from life support that Reginald Daye expired.

These important facts are purposely excluded by the medical examiner from the autopsy report on Daye in order to better transfer responsibility for his death from the Duke University Hospital staff to Crystal Mangum.

In other words, Dr. Nichols’ report was fashioned specifically to implicate Ms. Mangum as being solely responsible for Daye’s death.

The mainstream media made extreme efforts to omit reporting the true factors contributing to Daye’s death… ignoring them just like the autopsy report of Dr. Nichols.

Dr. Christena L. Roberts, a forensic pathologist from Black Mountain, North Carolina, likewise does not want to put in writing the true nature of what happened during Daye’s hospitalization at Duke University Hospital… and she does not want there to be a written record by her that debunks the autopsy report of the State’s Deputy Chief Medical Examiner.

Dr. Roberts has made conflicting and contradictory verbalizations to Crystal Mangum and one of her defense attorneys, Woody Vann, about Reginald Daye’s in-house course and his autopsy report.

Mr. Vann told Ms. Mangum that Dr. Roberts related to him that the endotracheal tube was mis-positioned and that it resulted in him being deprived of oxygen, and that she could give no explanation for findings by Dr. Nichols that were contrary to other medical records. Then later, during a meeting between the three, Dr. Roberts told Mangum that the findings in the Nichols autopsy report were accurate.

When Mangum asked why the autopsy report stated that there was a lesion to the left lung, whereas no such lesion was mentioned in the other medical records, Dr. Roberts responded that the Duke University Hospital emergency room staff, radiologists, and trauma surgeons missed the laceration to the left lung which was discovered at autopsy.

None of the communications of Dr. Roberts concerning Daye were recorded and none are in writing… ergo, nothing she may have said or didn’t say about anything related to Daye and his death and autopsy is verifiable.

Despite repeated pleas for a written report by Mangum, who faces life in prison on a murder charge, and despite a court order by Honorable Judge Robert Hobgood to directly deliver a written report to Ms. Mangum, Dr. Roberts has steadfastly refused to provide her with this exculpatory evidence.

E-mail records reveal that the day following Reginald Daye’s death, Woody Vann, the court-appointed defense attorney for Mangum, was made aware of problems with a “tube” insertion by Duke hospital staff that was responsible for Daye’s untimely demise and that Duke University was heavily engaged in covering it up in order to appear that his death was the direct result of a stab wound.

Sidney B. Harr, Lay Advocate for the Committee on Justice for Mike Nifong, and a retired physician, was immediately aware in mid-August 2011 when Daye’s autopsy report was first made available to the public that its findings and conclusion were bogus.

First, he considered it to be anatomically impossible for a single stab wound from a steak knife to cause injury to the left lung, the diaphragm, the left kidney, the spleen, the fundus of the stomach, and the colon.

Secondly, the autopsy report was the first mention of multiple “defensive injuries” to the left upper extremity… it never being previously reported in the media.

Finally, the autopsy report provided no cause of death, and its conclusion failed to provide any support to bolster Dr. Nichols’ claim that complications secondary to the stab wound lead to Daye’s death.

Harr publicly expressed, through his blog site and available media outlets, his concerns about the veracity of the autopsy report… in particular his opinion piece titled “Autopsy report doesn’t add up” that appeared in a January 2012 edition of The Durham News, a bi-weekly supplemental community news insert in the Durham edition of The News & Observer.

In March 2012, after nearly a year of incarceration without substantive action on behalf of her legal counsel, Mangum reached out to Harr seeking his help in filing motions.

Harr drafted three motions, which were signed by Mangum, and he then filed them with the Durham County Clerk of Court’s office. These documents and filings provided the grist for the North Carolina State Bar’s first encounter with Harr.

In July 2012, the Authorized Practices Committee of the State Bar issued Harr a Letter of Caution, telling him to cease and desist from drafting motions for others and from conducting other lawyerly activities… to which Harr consented.

By August 2012, with Mangum not receiving a written report from Dr. Roberts and her attorney withholding other prosecution discovery and evidence from her, Harr filed, as a third party, two Pro Se petitions in Mangum’s criminal case.

This, along with a letter Harr wrote to a Superior Court criminal judge, resulted in the State Bar’s second encounter with the determined justice advocate… and at its quarterly meeting in October 2012, the Authorized Practices Committee decided to take civil action against Harr, seeking a permanent injunction to prevent him from filing documents in Mangum’s case.

With the Durham prosecutors, medical examiner, Mangum’s defense attorneys, the mainstream media, Mangum’s defense expert witness, and certain judges attacking Mangum, Harr was the only one staunchly defending her.

Because of Harr’s medical background and the prominence that the autopsy and hospitalization play in this case, he is an extremely valuable advocate for Mangum to have in her corner.

In trying to affect the outcome of the criminal charges against Mangum towards her detriment, the State Bar is trying to remove her most valuable asset and ally… Harr.

This is the same strategy that worked so successful in the Duke Lacrosse case when the State Bar instituted its own complaint against the Durham D.A. Mike Nifong during its early pretrial phase in order to force his removal as prosecutors of the three Duke Lacrosse defendants.

On Tuesday, December 4, 2012, the State Bar filed with the Wake County civil court a Petition for Permanent Injunction against Harr.

On Monday, December 17, 2012, Harr filed with the court his response, thereby setting the stage for a courtroom showdown.


A scheduled date for the hearing – Bar v. Harr – is now pending. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Plea deals should be for the guilty

Work is continuing on the flog... The reason the flog was initially damaged was due to my haste in finishing it.  As a result of cutting a few corners I managed to damage the document.  So I will cautiously proceed to complete it as soon as possible.  I am hoping to have it posted no later than next Sunday, January 13th.

Word count:  1,824

 There’s an exclusive front page news article in the December 27, 2012 issue of The Carolinian titled “Pardon sought for Johnson.”  In it, editor Cash Michaels begins with this paragraph:  “An ‘appropriate pardon’ is being sought for James A. Johnson, a young Wilson County African American man who, in 2004, told police about the kidnapping, rape, and murder of a 16 year-old girl by a friend of his, but was then arrested, charged and jailed over three years for the crime.”

According to the newspaper, NCCU law professor Irving Joyner presented the petition seeking an “appropriate pardon” before outgoing Governor Bev Perdue on December 14, 2012 – with less than a month left in office and with her simultaneously considering a pardon of innocence for the Wilmington Ten.

To recap the Johnson tragedy:  In 2004, 16 year-old Wilson County African American Kenneth Meeks kidnapped Caucasian 17 year-old Brittany Willis from a shopping mall, took her to an isolated spot where he raped her, and then shot her to death.  Meeks then confided what he had done with James Arthur Johnson, an 18 year-old African American who he had met only months earlier.  Johnson was a good student who shared the love of soccer with Brittany Willis, and had even received a soccer scholarship offer to attend college.  Johnson accompanied Meeks in the victim’s stolen vehicle to the killing field where he witnessed firsthand Meeks’ gruesome handiwork. 

During the next couple of days Johnson silently complied with the “no-snitch” laws of the street about the tragedy which by this time had grown to a major statewide news story.  The family and friends of Brittany Willis even offered a $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator.  Johnson then informed his father about his encounter with Meeks days earlier, at which time he was escorted be him to the police station sans attorney for the purpose of assisting with the criminal investigation.  Johnson named Meeks as the culprit at which time Wilson police knew the identity of their man.  Meeks was arrested and brought in for questioning.  Justifiable anger over the senseless murder of a young Wilson teen by the African American resulted in a transference of that anger towards African Americans in general… and the appetite by police to incarcerate as many black men as possible.  Somewhere during the interview with investigators Johnson admitted that he had wiped his fingerprints off the victim’s car… and the police knew they could charge him at least with “accessory after the fact.”  But they wanted more, so the interrogators went to Meeks and told him, “Your friend snitched on you.”  This evoked the anticipated response from the young Meeks, who feeling angered by betrayal, implicated Johnson as an active participant in the crime.  Police, without forensic evidence and relying on the words of Meeks alone, arrested Johnson and charged him with murder.  The official police story was that both Johnson and Meeks committed the crimes against Willis, and then Johnson turned over to police his partner in crime in order to collect the $20,000 reward. 

More than a year later, Meeks recanted… after which time prosecutors came up with two eyewitnesses (both with connections to the Wilson Police Department – one being a retired police officer).  These eyewitnesses were quickly jettisoned once the NAACP and Rev. Dr. William Barber, with the accompanying media scrutiny, became involved.  Trial was delayed for more than two years, and as it approached, the prosecutor Bill Wolfe began offering plea deals.  Johnson called Wolfe’s bluff, which led to the Wilson prosecutor backing down and referring the case to a special prosecutor.  Forsythe County assistant D.A. Belinda Foster was forced by District Attorney Tom Keith to take the assignment as special prosecutor, and she relented only on the condition that she not be forced to prosecute.  In a preordained charade, Foster dismissed the murder, rape, kidnapping, and armed robbery charges against Johnson and then charged him with “accessory after the fact”… this despite the fact that it was Johnson who was responsible for the case being solved.

Johnson instead of being heralded as a hero for solving the crimes against Brittany and being embraced by the Willis family, was vilified in the mainstream media and the State which led to a racial divide in the Wilson County.  After a lengthy search, a special prosecutor (W. David McFadyen) was found who was willing to waste taxpayer dollars in pursuing the baseless accessory charge against Johnson.  Professor Joyner was one of the attorneys representing Johnson against the special prosecutor’s rinky-dink charge. Although Johnson had been free on bond for several months to await trial, he was once again inundated by prosecutors to accept a plea deal.  This time, possibly on advice from his counsel, Johnson accepted the plea deal which resulted in his pleading guilty to misprision of felony in exchange for time served.  (Misprision of felony is a rarely used charge for someone who has knowledge of a crime and withholds it from authorities.  However, the crime for which Johnson pled guilty was exactly what he did not do, as he did go to authorities with his knowledge of the crimes by Meeks.)

An appropriate pardon?  According to Joyner, Johnson’s unjust 39 month stint in jail for solving the Willis murder has dogged him like a shadow on cloudless autumn afternoon.  He has been unable to obtain or hold down a job once his past comes to light before his employers.  Even though Johnson has left the state in hopes of leaving behind his personal nightmare, it follows him… and it continues to destroy his life.  It appears that Professor Joyner’s answer to the injustice against Johnson rested with some sort of pardon from Governor Bev Perdue.  Because of his plea deal, a pardon of innocence seems to be off the table… and Joyner never fully described what an “appropriate pardon” would be.

In my opinion, Johnson would not be in his current predicament and would not be requiring a pardon if he would have stood trial for the trumped up accessory charge.  My feeling is that Johnson was advised by his legal counsel to give serious consideration to the plea offer.  The special prosecutor was desperate to obtain a plea deal as he did not want to prosecute the frivolous case against Johnson despite having the backing of a supportive media.  Had I been an advisor in Johnson’s circle, I definitely would have advised against accepting any plea deal… I would have recommended that he accept nothing less than complete exoneration with dismissal of all charges related to that horrific incident.

The plea deal might be a good deal for the guilty, but it should not be a consideration for the innocent.  All too often in the state of North Carolina, prosecutors charge and arrest innocent individuals (usually disenfranchised, indigent, and people of color), and after they serve a significant time of incarceration, hold out a plea deal as the only realistic means of gaining their freedom.  Once an innocent person accepts a plea deal, then they automatically release the State from civil liability for malicious prosecution, and they give up any rights they may have for compensation and other forms of restorative justice.

Plea deal for Mangum?  Durham prosecutor Charlene Coggins-Franks, aware that the grand conspiracy against Crystal Mangum has been exposed, is now desperately desirous of a plea deal with Mangum in order to extricate itself from the position in which it now finds itself.  Despite the mainstream media’s cooperation in keeping the fraudulence of Medical Examiner Clay Nichols’ autopsy report quiet, concealing the esophageal intubation of Daye as being the direct cause of his brain death, and hiding the malevolent and malicious vendetta prosecution by the State, the Durham District Attorney’s Office and its staff know that they are not going to be able to carry out their initial goal of convicting Mangum with a life sentence.  The Durham D.A. team could not even convict Mangum of arson when she was represented with a featherweight defense in the 2010 trumped up case… so it knows that it stands no chance to prevail now that the extent of their conspiracy has been exposed.  Even with the defense expert witness refusing to put a report in writing, the defense attorneys withholding exculpatory evidence from her, and Mangum representing herself, prosecutors have come to the realization that they cannot prevail at trial, and that their only hope is to strike a plea deal with Mangum… and then leave it up to the media to spin the story to Mangum’s detriment (something with which it is very experienced).

If a plea deal is offered to Mangum, I would advise her not to accept it, because like James Arthur Johnson, the ill-effects will follow her for the rest of her life… only with a tenfold greater intensity.  It will be something, as in Johnson’s case, that no pardon could possibly remedy. 

Fact is that Crystal Mangum was a domestic violence victim of an intoxicated Reginald Daye (who had physically beaten her approximately one week prior to the self-defense stabbing).  On that fateful April 2011 morning, Daye repeatedly punched her in the face and head, pulled out her hair, spit on her, and broke down the door when she sought refuge from him there.  Then, after bringing in steak knives from the kitchen he proceeded to throw them at her, and in his final action against her, Daye placed his hands on her throat and began strangling her.  It was at this point that Mangum grabbed a knife within reach and stabbed Daye once… causing him to relent in his attack and allow her to make an escape.

I submit that after undergoing such a terrorizing ordeal Crystal Mangum should not have been charged and arrested for acting in self-defense and that she should not have to accept a plea deal in order to be released from an incarceration with no foreseeable end.  As of the date of this blog posting, Ms. Mangum has served 646 days in jail, and a court date has yet to be assigned.  Part of this lengthy incarceration is to force her to accept a plea deal and that is why her case has moved through the courts at a glacial pace… with inactivity on the prosecution and defense side.  Even Mangum’s attempts to file motions in representing herself have been delayed without cause.

Bottom line is that Crystal Mangum will prevail, as long as she stays strong and doesn’t give in to the slick deals by the prosecution.  I am sure that if James Arthur Johnson had it to do over again, he would not have accepted a plea deal and would have fought for his innocence.  A plea deal might be a good thing for the guilty, but it is a raw deal for the innocent.          nn

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Ten is not enough


Work on the Super-Flog is moving along nicely, but because it is such a huge project, its completion is taking longer than anticipated.  The latest ETP [Estimated Time of Posting] is Saturday, January 5, 2013.  It will contain information about the State Bar's action against me, as well as important never-before-seen prosecution discovery that will blow your socks off. 

Please be patient as the Super-Flog will be well worth the wait.

On the last day of 2012, Monday, December 31st, North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue issued pardons of innocence for the group of defendants known as the “Wilmington 10.” For the past seven months she had been under increased pressure to pardon them, as new evidence was unearthed that cast further doubts on the fairness of the criminal trial held forty years ago.

The trial and subsequent convictions of the nine African American men and Caucasian woman stemmed from civil unrest in Wilmington in the early 1970’s over school integration. The ten were charged and convicted of firebombing a white owned grocery store in a black neighborhood and then firing weapons at emergency responders. Amnesty International and journalists questioned their arrest and the fairness of their trials, and in 1978 Governor Jim Hunt commuted their sentences… but he withheld a pardon pending an appeal by prosecutors. Two years later, in 1980, the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the convictions citing prosecutorial misconduct.

The Wilmington Ten injustice is one that should not have taken forty years to rectify… during which time four of the ten have died, and all have had trouble recovering from the injustice and stigma of being a convicted felon.

I applaud Governor Perdue for pardoning the Wilmington Ten, however, unlike others I do not feel her actions were courageous or heroic. With the mounting evidence turned up by author Tim Tyson which highlighted the many misdeeds and malfeasances of the prosecutor Jay Stroud during the trial, she really had no alternative but to grant a pardon of innocence. Instead of waiting seven months after the petition for clemency was filed before making a decision, Governor Perdue should have acted immediately in granting the full pardon.

The governor was slow to issue a pardon of innocence in the Gregory F. Taylor case too… the only other instance where she granted a pardon during her four year tenure as the state’s chief executive. I wrote her three letters during the months following Taylor’s exoneration by the three judge innocence panel pleading for her to grant a pardon of innocence so that he could pursue compensation for his seven years of wrongful incarceration.

I am in disagreement with all the plaudits heaped upon her by Benjamin Chavis (one of the Wilmington Ten), U.S. Representative David Price, and NAACP State president Dr. Rev. William Barber, II, the editorial board of The News & Observer, and others because Governor Perdue fell woefully short by failing to issue pardons of innocence to Erick Daniels, Shawn Massey, and Glen Chapman… three exonerated black defendants, the first two being denied pardons by the Governor’s Clemency Board, and the latter who was wrongly convicted and put on death row. The innocence of these three men is undeniable, with no forensic evidence connecting them to the crimes for which they were charged, and witness descriptions in the first two incidents being at odds with the defendants. Erick Daniels was fourteen at the time of his arrest on an armed robbery charge in which he was identified by the shape of his eyebrows in a middle school yearbook. He served seven years of a ten to fourteen year sentence before his conviction was tossed during a hearing for a new trial. Shawn Massey, like Daniels, differed dramatically in hair style described by witness to the robbery for which he was convicted. He served twelve years behind bars before an innocence project at Duke University Law School took up his case and successfully affected his exoneration.

Glen Chapman, who has had his petition for a pardon of innocence filed with the Governor’s Clemency Panel for more than a year, has not been issued a ruling.

These three men have had the best years of their lives wrongfully taken from them by a selective justice system that is based on Class and Color. Freedom, is without doubt the most valuable possession a man or woman can possess, and to have it wrenched away without probable cause or credible evidence is devastating. In addition, the wrongful conviction for a felony results in a stigma which has an adverse bearing on the innocent defendant’s life forever.

Erick Daniels, Shawn Massey, and Glen Chapman are all deserving of a pardon of innocence so that they can pursue compensation to which they are entitled by laws enacted by the North Carolina General Assembly. They deserve to be pardoned now… not in another forty years or so. Governor Perdue has had the opportunity to clean up the criminal injustice slate involving the three, but it looks as though she will let it pass. I am not surprised as she as proven to me that she lacks the Nifongian courage to do the right thing. The governor can make all the flowery and political correct speeches she wants to about past and present racial injustices, however, when it comes down to it, it’s nothing more than meaningless talk… as racial injustice continues to run rampant and she, with the opportunity to do something about it, has taken no action. The least she could have done is deliver pardons of innocence for Daniels, Massey, and Chapman.

As far as I am concerned, the governor’s failure to grant pardons of innocence to all thirteen mentioned above represents a disappointing end to a disappointing four year gubernatorial tenure… and leaves her with a disappointing legacy.