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July 26, 2007

The Apology That Wasn’t (OT)

Filed under: Bill Bickel, courtrooms, crime, Crimeweek, Duke University, headlines, media, Mike Nifong — Cidu Bill @ 7:03 pm
  • You will read headlines today claiming that former Durham (North Carolina) District Attorney Mike Nifong issued a statement in which he admitted that the Duke lacrosse players were innocent, and that he apologized to them. His statement actually did neither. (article)


  1. His refusal to flat-out apologize might not just be ego. He’s probably worried that an explicit apology, or an admission that the entire process was a mistake, could be used against him in future civil or criminal cases.

    Comment by Autumn Harvest — July 27, 2007 @ 1:44 am

  2. You’re overstating when you say he didn’t apologize to them. You may have issues with what he says he’s apologizing for, but this seems pretty clear:
    “I sincerely apologize to Mr. Seligmann, Mr. Finnerty, Mr. Evans and to their families.”

    Comment by Morris Keesan — July 27, 2007 @ 9:43 am

  3. Morris, he apologized for specific, unspecified mistakes, and ONLY for those specific, unspecified mistakes (which presumably included things like withholding evidence). At no point did he offer a blanket apology and at no point did he say he believed they were innocent (only that there was no credible evidence against them).

    This is not a stupid man, and he said exactly what he meant to say.

    Comment by Cidu Bill — July 27, 2007 @ 10:39 am

  4. Public apologies never seem to be apologies. The classic line is “I apologize if (I offended anyone, I hurt someone, etc.). That’s not apologizing.

    Comment by Krusher — July 27, 2007 @ 5:53 pm

  5. The variation on that, Krusher, is “I take full responsibility.” Interestingly enough, “taking full responsibility” rarely seems to entail accepting any consequences (the most recent high-profile case being Attorney General Rodriguez taking full responsibility for the improper firing of some federal judges, and then allowing a subordinate to lose HIS job over it)

    Comment by Cidu Bill — July 27, 2007 @ 6:07 pm

  6. What a weaselly statement–he even tries to imply that the students were exonerated based on evidence he didn’t have. Public “apologies” for wrongdoing typically refer to wrongful acts as “mistakes” or “poor judgment.”

    Comment by Hunt — July 30, 2007 @ 11:56 am

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