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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Duke Hoax: Day #246

Michael Nifong, the prosecutor handling the Duke lacrosse rape case, may single-handedly cause a reconsideration of ‘absolute prosecutorial immunity,’ the legal doctrine by which certain acts of a prosecuting attorney are literally immune from lawsuits or criminal charges. - Wendy McElroy
Updated - today's items:

Editorial, News & Observer:
Shaky caseQuestions about evidence and the investigation's handling lead to doubts about rape charges against former Duke lacrosse players.

There's no question that members of last year's Duke University lacrosse team showed poor judgment in staging a rowdy spring break party that featured two dancers hired from escort services. But serious doubts continue to grow about the case that Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong has brought against three of the players who are accused of raping and assaulting one of the dancers...

Nifong has enjoyed the benefit of the doubt from many members of the public over this case. But the more information that comes to light, the more questionable his conduct and judgment appear.

KC Johnson: Closing In - see comments
Mike Nifong - So what are the implications for North Carolina Democrats?George Pence, NC Blue:
Nifong and The Next Election — Could this be the face that will haunt North Carolina Democrats? In light of recent developments, Michael Nifong may be guilty of egregious prosecutorial misconduct in the Duke rape investigation. Already it appears that professionally Nifong is toast, and there is speculation that his malfeasance may not be covered by prosecutorial immunity. In what may be the ultimate irony in this Gothic drama, Nifong himself could wind up being the only "player" who faces a judge and jury. So what are the implications for North Carolina Democrats?

Gordon Runte letter to Herald-Sun The Organ:
Questionable leadership during Duke LAX mess — as an alumnus of Duke University, I was shocked that President Brodhead failed to capitalize on the rare opportunity provided him by "60 Minutes"...Brodhead has consistently abdicated his core responsibilities as a university president -- most notably abandoning students in his charge to the hate-spewing mobs teeming with PC-crazed members of his own faculty. A tendered resignation -- or official and public apologies to those you abandoned out of callous political calculations -- are the only actions that could begin to redress the damage you have done.

Pat O'Rourke letter to Herald-Sun The Organ:
Where is the outrage? — Shortly after the rape allegations against the Duke lacrosse players there were marches in the street, all claiming injustice. As it seems to be turning out the injustice has been against the lacrosse players and particularly the three men charged with the rape. The prosecutor, Mike Nifong, has violated their civil rights and slandered their names to the world. Where will justice come from for these men? Why are the citizens of Durham not marching now to protect the civil rights of these men?

Michael Munger, Libertarian Party, Munger 4 NC Govenor:
Lacrosse.... — these young men are not charged with rape in SPITE of their race and class. They are being charged precisely BECAUSE of it. The whole point, for Nifong and for some (I don't know how many) of his supporters is that this is a chance to get back at the elite. Nifong's side appears to want to argue this way: If these particular white boys didn't commit the rape, well they have done other bad things we don't know about. And the very fact of their wealth and privilege is an outrage, and someone needs to be held accountable...

Times-News, Burlington, NC:
Poll — Should the US Attorney General get involved with the Duke Lacrosse trial? — 54.9% Yes, 45.1% No

Gayle Miller blog:
It's Past Time This Farce Came To An End! — I mailed this letter today, December 20, 2006. THE NORTH CAROLINA STATE BAR....
Dear Commissioners:

I have watched with mounting horror as rogue prosecutor, Mike Nifong, has trampled the civil rights of three male college students in his relentless drive for political gain.

He is prosecuting three young men for a rape which probably didn’t even occur. But then how would Prosecutor Nifong know? He has NEVER interviewed the indicted lacrosse players OR the accuser. He has ignored DNA evidence, the supposed victim’s multiple versions of events and even conspired with the testing laboratory to withhold exculpatory evidence from the defense...
Anne Blythe, News & Observer:
Criticism directed at Nifong and Duke — After the most recent hearing on the Duke University lacrosse rape case, critics have ratcheted up the heat on District Attorney Mike Nifong. Some fiery comments have been targeted at Duke University, too. This week, U.S. Rep. Walter Jones, a Republican from Farmville, renewed his request for the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate Nifong's handling of the rape case against three former Duke lacrosse players...

LieStoppers (humor):
Resisttheurge.com — LieStoppers & Friends Videos
Intercepted Holiday Greeting #4
Intercepted Holiday Greeting #3

While Criticism of Nifong Grows, Ashley Stands By His Man — UNC Law Professor Joe Kennedy; Garry Frank, president of the North Carolina Conference of District Attorneys; USC Law Professor Susan Estrich; North Carolina native Dr. Thomas Sowell; Duke Law Professor James Coleman; US Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez; Rep. Walter B. Jones; NC Sate Representative Stephen LaRoque; University of Maryland Law School professor Jason Trumpbour, all have issues with Nifong's prosecutorial misconduct.

Whether out of deep denial, profound arrogance, intentional complicity, or a sense of self preservation, [Bob] Ashley remains determined to continue spinning for Nifong...As unconscionable as the Herald Sun’s trivialization of Nifong’s misdeeds is, the rationalization is not at all surprising. After all, this is the same newspaper that championed the District Attorney’s office’s dismissal of drug related first-degree murder charges a month ago.

WRAL (12/18):
DA's Handling of Duke Rape Case Attracts More Criticism - A University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill law professor said Monday he also believes there should be an investigation of Mike Nifong's management of the Duke lacrosse rape investigation.

"I think the best course of action, at this moment, is for Mike Nifong to remove himself from this case or for him to be removed," said University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill law professor Joe Kennedy
"Profile in Cowardice Award" 2006 — Mike Nifong nominated

Our Collective Voice - Praise for Propaganda Bob — I have to say that all this criticism of the Herald-Sun as a talentless hack newspaper is unfair. The writers of this editorial demonstrate a deft mastery of the art of persuasive writing. Unfortunately they also demonstrate unequivocally both skilled cunning and bad faith on the part of the H-S. Anyone familiar with the case knows the authors 1) were equally well informed of the facts of the case and 2) are dissimulating as furiously and intentionally as they can....

KC Johnson:
Meagerly Articulated Agendas — The recent defense motion (pages 16-18) details the actions of the Duke faculty members whose irresponsible conduct has shamed the profession: Houston Baker, William Chafe, Wahneema Lubiano, Grant Farred, Peter Wood, Joseph DiBona, Karla Holloway, others in the Group of 88....

The change-of-venue motion’s faculty section, unsurprisingly, revolves around the Group of 88’s statement. Several weeks ago, Holloway complained that the Group’s critics had “displaced the actual content of the ad for the fiction of their own meagerly articulated agendas.” In fact, most critics have focused on the “actual content” of the ad, which several weeks ago vanished from the Duke website....

The Johnsville News: The 'listening' statement
LieStoppers Forum: Listening Statement
Duke Chronicle: Message Board
William L. Anderson:
Durham, Duke, and Dishonor — The news from the Durham County courthouse Friday was riveting, even if one is not a junkie of the Duke lacrosse non-rape case....One hopes that Judge W. Osmond Smith III, who now is hearing this case, and who has witnessed Nifong lying to him directly in a court of law, will have the honor and integrity to do what is right. So far, literally no one in North Carolina with authority has done even one thing to slow down the Nifong machine.

LieStoppers forum: Durham, Duke, and Dishonor

Michael Gaynor:
Duke Case: Political Scandal and Opportunity — As with other political scandals, it is best that members of the scoundrel's political party come forward to expose the scandal and set things as right as they can be set as soon as possible.

In Durham (indeed, in North Carolina), the powers that be have not taken the opportunity. Mr. Nifong is a Democrat in a heavily Democrat county in a state in which Democrats (like Governor Michael Easley and Attorney General Roy Cooper) need a black block vote to win. With the North Carolina NAACP having treated a bogus gang rape claim as bona fide (the accuser being black and the accused being white), the way North Carolina Democrats in significant positions of power who call the black block vote an important part of their political base have behaved is another scandal.

Forum Topics of Note:
LieStoppers: Statement from DNASI — DNASI is in CYA mode pretending that they did not fight to not reveal testing results that they admit are beneficial to the defendants. They appear to be trying to deflect responsibility, right or wrong, back to Nifong and LE.

related: DNA Security, Inc. Statement re: the Duke Lacrosse Case Tests

LieStoppers: State Bar Action
FreeRepublic: Why Do We Reelect These People?
TalkLeft: Susan Estrich - Duke Justice Demands Nifong's Removal
Yesterday (12/19):

Wendy McElroyWendy McElroy, Fox News:
Immunity May Not Protect Duke Prosecutor — Michael Nifong, the prosecutor handling the Duke lacrosse rape case, may single-handedly cause a reconsideration of ‘absolute prosecutorial immunity,’ the legal doctrine by which certain acts of a prosecuting attorney are literally immune from lawsuits or criminal charges. The doctrine is intended to protect prosecutors from frivolous and retaliatory actions. District Attorney Nifong’s crusade to convict three white Duke students of raping a black woman (race is a key factor in the case) has been so outrageous, however, that it reveals how the immunity invites and rewards abuse.

Is Nifong absolutely immune for his bad acts, even intentional ones?

Mike McCusker, Crystal Mess (humor):
Nifong v.08
Nifong To Be Disbarred?
Ho. Ho. Ho.
Samuel Sewall, The Junto:
Hiring and the Academy: A Response to "Durham in Wonderland" — there are actually a good number of mechanisms in place at Duke and across academia that forestall just the type of hiring “horrors” that Prof. Johnson here bemoans...
related: KC Johnson - Creating Wahneema's World
Samuel Sewall, The Junto:
Initial Thoughts on Matters at Hand — As Duke Lacrosse case has unfolded over the past few months, one of the issues raised is whether and to what extent Duke professors and administrators should involve themselves in an ongoing criminal investigation. Blogs such as KC Johnson’s “Durham in Wonderland” and Bill Anderson’s posts on LewRockwell.com have raised outraged and angry voices criticizing Duke’s faculty and administrators for their intervention – or lack thereof – in the ongoing case...

What I hope to do with my posts on the Duke Lacrosse controversy is to investigate how these events reflect upon the role of the public intellectual in the United States.
related: Alan Lightman, mit.edu: The Role of the Public Intellectual - Over the years, my wife and children have grown accustomed to seeing me drift off into the world of my own thoughts...
Comment: Sam you're going to have do some work, we're already drifting off...

DawgBytes Blog:
The Strange Case of Durham DA Mike Nifong — It is high time that the governor of North Carolina order the North Carolina Attorney General to select an unbiased special prosecutor to look into the manner in which Nifong has handled the Lacrosse rape case. This would be the appropriate avenue to take in order to see if there may be grounds for removing Nifong from office. This would also keep the Feds out of it since it is a matter for the state and does not belong in a federal court. A state appointed prosecutor would also have the freedom of discovery to see if Nifong has intentionally violated the civil rights of the three Lacrosse players. Then the state of North Carolina could determine if there is enough evidence to press criminal charges against Mr. Nifong...

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