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Thursday, December 28, 2006

Duke Hoax: Day #254

Updated - today's items (prior to State Bar Complaint news):

Tom Delay - mugshotTom Delay (former congressman), TomDelay.com:
Durham Bull — The legal burlesque underway in North Carolina has to stop before there’s an even more sordid end to this grotesque display of prosecutorial misconduct. The ‘rape’ case lodged against three Duke Lacrosse players turns more fetid each day. The latest apparent malfeasance on the part of the District Attorney stems from his alleged withholding of exculpatory evidence that would have earlier (and more quickly) exonerated the young men of rape charges, which have now been dropped...For any one touched by the criminal justice system, the Duke case is a reminder of how our civil liberties can be abused by a prosecutor with something in mind other than the administration of justice...

Now, reputations are tarnished. Lives ruined. Fortunes lost, and all without even the barest shreds of evidence that would tilt the scales of justices toward guilt for the accused...

A look across the country over time reveals a disturbing pattern of behavior on the part of DA’s that smacks of the same abuse of power that should worry every citizen who expects justice to be blind and impartial. In Durham, North Carolina the blind-folded Lady Justice will look more like a one-eyed Cyclops until the prosecutors are called to account before the bar.

Editorial, The Decatur Daily (Alabama):
Prosecutor needs to re-evaluate Duke case — "If she says, yes, it's them, or one or two of them, I have an obligation to put that to a jury." So said Durham, N.C., District Attorney Mike Nifong, explaining his decision to go forward with the prosecution of a trio of Duke University lacrosse players, and revealing nothing but prosecutorial cobwebs under the national spotlight...It is time Mr. Nifong re-evaluated his case. His misguided effort to perform in the spotlight is backfiring, and none of those involved will benefit from his performance.

Editorial, StarNewsOnline/WilmingtonStar.com (SE North Carolina):
Disgraceful Nifong should depart — Mike Nifong has demonstrated that he is not ethically or professionally fit to prosecute a littering case, much less the sexual assault case involving three Duke lacrosse players. We know the players are guilty of hiring two strippers for a party. Whether they are guilty of anything worse is something we may never know....

Hiding behind paper hung over the windows of his office, Nifong issues written statements and refuses to talk with North Carolina reporters. Yet Thursday he gave a three-hour interview to The New York Times.

Nifong doesn’t owe an explanation to the readers of a national newspaper. He owes an explanation to the people who elected him. He owes it to the people of this state. But he owes them more: his resignation.

comment: Mike Nifong was born and grew up in Wilmington, North Carolina. The Wilmington Star now demands his resignation.

related: FreeRepublic — Disgraceful Nifong should depart

KC Johnson: Wilmington Star Demands Resignation — The Wilmington Star has become the first North Carolina newspaper to demand Mike Nifong’s resignation as district attorney...
Editiorial, The Sun News/myrtlebeachonline.com (S. Carolina):
Justice Thwarted? — What was Duke case prosecutor thinking?...This extremely high-profile case has seen many miscues, including differing accounts by the supposed victim. The defendants have maintained their innocence. Federal and N.C. authorities are probing Nifong's handling of the case. At best, there is reason for skepticism about justice being well-served.

Greta Van Susteren, Fox News:
Pressure Mounts on Mike Nifong — partial transcript from "On the Record," December 27, 2006...Congressman Walter Jones joins us by phone...
LieStoppers forum: IMO, Greta believes the Woman was Raped, Review the tape...
LieStoppers forum: Greta is stuck on Stupid, 12/27
Michael Gaynor:
Evans, Finnerty, and Seligmann are Wendy Murphy's victims too — In the name of balance, USA Today (which apparently learns faster than Ms. Murphy) published as an Opposing View to its editorial an article by Ms. Murphy...Ms. Murphy fancies herself a victims' rights advocate, but in the Duke case [Evans, Finnerty, and Seligmann] are the victims and Ms. Murphy, a victimizer.

Busy Bodies —You just can't please adolescent sons or some addled Hoaxers either. From Melanie Sill to Herald Sun letter writers, the understandable concern of the national audience as they watch a malicious prosecution conducted unchecked before their eyes is meeting scorn and derision. This Lacrosse Hoax is none of our business. Get a Life. This is just, well, in the words of their now notorious D.A. Nifong . . . a "Durham problem that demands a Durham solution." Here are a few of my personal favorites offered by a few Durham natives and potential jurors. . .found, where else, than on the opinion pages of the "Nifong Herald Sun."...

Friends of Duke Univ./Letters to Herald-Sun:
Charles W. Nash: Nifong must be ousted — Not only has Nifong used the office of district attorney for political gain, but ruined the lives of three innocent people. Do the right thing, Durham, get this guy out of office before more bad things happen. You could be next!

Uldrick Edwards: Here come lawsuits — I think District Attorney Mike Nifong is unaware of how stupid he is making Durham and the entire South look. He should drop the obvious trumped-up case, sit down, shut up and pray he keeps his job...

Ricardo Castells: Editorial was frayed — Your recent editorial on the Duke lacrosse case comically concluded with the comment that the accuser's "credibility is rapidly fraying." The truth of the matter is that her credibility has been completely frayed for months, and so has your newspaper's for serving as Nifong's de facto cheerleaders. You should be ashamed of yourselves.
Poll: Should Prosecution Continue? — Do you think prosecutors should continue to pursue kidnapping and sexual assault charges against three Duke University lacrosse players now that they have decided to dismiss the rape charges?..83% No (4000+ votes)

John in Carolina:
Swearing DA Nifong — According to Nifong’s office, the swearing in is scheduled for Jan. 2 at 8 A.M. in Courtroom #1 on the fifth floor of the Durham County Courthouse...
John Stevenson, Herald-Sun: Top stories of 2006 - No. 4: District attorney race hotly contested —The year 2006 brought a Durham district attorney election like no other, sparked by allegations that three Duke lacrosse players raped an exotic dancer at an off-campus team party in March. Fans of ballot-box drama got more than they bargained for. The process dragged on through two voting cycles rather than just one. In May came a Democratic primary, in which chief prosecutor Mike Nifong faced challenges from lawyers Freda Black and Keith Bishop...
KC Johnson:
Mike Nifong, on the Rape Evidence — four statements [about alleged victim being raped] all occurred before the accuser gave her oficial statement to police, on April 6, so Nifong could not have been referring to that statement when he made the above four remarks.

KC Johnson, InsideHigherEd.com:
The Academy and the Duke Case — The response to what could now be termed the “non-rape” case will not go down among the academy’s finest moments. Three issues seem to me particularly noteworthy....1. Concerns about McCarthyite behavior tend to depend on who is targeted....2. In the contemporary academy, some students are more equal than others....3. Groupthink has its effects...

KC Johnson:
A Switch in Times? — The Times published three articles on Mike Nifong’s latest manipulation of evidence—dropping the rape charge, changing his theory of the crime, maintaining the other charges. The first of the three listed “Duff Wilson and David Barstow” as authors. The other two flipped the names, with Barstow designated lead reporter. The difference in quality as a result of the shift was notable...
Wilson, Barstow; NY Times (12/22): Rape Charges Dropped in Duke Case
Barstow, Wilson; NY Times (12/23): Charges of Rape Against 3 at Duke Are Dropped
Barstow, Wilson; NY Times (12/24): DNA Witness Jolted Dynamic of Duke Case
Mike McCusker, Crystal Mess (12/24): Duff Benched, Times On Offense
KC Johnson: December 15 Hearing Transcript — TalkLeft: "A long read but quite interesting. Contains Meehan's testimony, motion for paternity testing, discovery issues, pretrial motions, court calendar, etc."

Mark Coultan, The Sidney Morning Herald (Australia):
DNA conflict may spell end to US rape case — THREE lacrosse players accused of raping a stripper may be closer to being exonerated, but the District Attorney appears to be headed for more trouble....Defence lawyers want him to drop all the charges, accusing him of altering his case as new material emerges. He has also been accused of prosecuting the case to gain political support in the black community. He was facing a contested Democratic primary election when he laid the charges and was re-elected last month...

Mike Nifong Is Profile in Cowardice For 2006
related: LieStoppers forum — Nifong Wins Cowardice Award
Forum topics of note:
LieStoppers: Attempt to fake DNA evidence?, a missing fingernail?

FreeRepubic: Duke "rape" case Radio Spot Script for 12/29 — This story calls into question the integrity of our judicial system.

FreeRepublic: Duke Alumni Speak Out
Duke Chronicle forum: Fire President Brodhead, to the duke president, 88 losers
Updated - Yesterday (12/27):

Tom Knott, The Washington Times:
D.A.'s political agenda prolongs Duke rape case — The travesty of the Duke University lacrosse case is descending to absurd depths, mostly because North Carolina's Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong is up to his neck in muck and has no choice but to cling to the varied recollections of the accuser without the benefit of DNA evidence. Actually, there was DNA evidence, but none linking the three players to the woman. The three -- Reade Seligmann of Essex Fells, N.J., Collin Finnerty of Garden City, N.Y., and David Evans of Bethesda -- seemingly became ensnarled in the case because of an egotistical district attorney with a political agenda. This was the story with long legs last spring. It so fit the liberal sensibilities of the old media: a black accuser and three white defendants of wealth and privilege. Perhaps it fit the D.A.'sthinking as well, and it undoubtedly played to his professional advantage....

David R. UsherDavid R. Usher, IntellectualConservative.com:
The Hazards of Duke: Proof of Endemic Legal Corruption — In early April, I was the first analyst to call the Duke case a fraud... The real issue in this case has yet to be discussed. Corruption within the legal system is endemic. The Duke case is merely a peek inside Dunderbeck’s Machine. There have been 17 complaints filed with the North Carolina Bar about Nifong in this case. Despite a wide body of public evidence indicating a history of possible ethical lapses by Mr. Nifong, the North Carolina Bar Association has done nothing to intervene in the complaints filed with the Bar...Certainly, if any case would ever evoke prompt disciplinary action, the Duke Lacrosse case is the Gold Standard...

KC Johnson:
Durham "Justice" — Two small, but revealing, anecdotes from this morning's N&O...
NewsObserver.com: Free on bond, man could face habitual felon count — A man charged with killing two people last year and described by an assistant district attorney as one of the most dangerous people in Durham is free on bail after being arrested again Thursday...

NewsObserver.com: Man is charged with rape, incest — A 48-year-old Durham man was arrested and charged Tuesday with a number of sex crimes against his stepdaughter over a two-year period, according to warrants. The suspect's identity is being withheld to protect the identity of the victim...
Harvey Johnson Letter, News & Observer:
Where's justice? — If this is what the public gets from its District Attorney's Office when the nation is watching and the defendants have the financial resources for the best legal counsel, then we should pause and think what this civic lesson is teaching us. What then do we get for justice when the media are not watching and the defendants have few if any resources to assist them in a trial?

Gayle Miller blog:
What is Mike Nifong Smoking? — Greta Van Susteren had an in-depth look at this case on her program over the weekend and has been following the botched investigation and insane indictments closely. I think that Jeannine Piro said it best when she opined that Nifong is either incompetent or “something more sinister”...

Duke Basketball Report:
Latest Lax News — When we talked about the lacrosse case the other day, we mentioned corruption in Durham in general. We'd forgotten a couple of recent things: a fire in a city landfill which hadn't had a state license in over two years and issues in the solid waste department lead the list. And also, as we linked the other day, positive tests for lead in houses were not reported. In this case, a child actually suffers from lead poisoning. The problems in the justice system are part of a bigger picture, both in Durham and the state: Mike Nifong is not the only prosecutor to be caught abusing the system.

Joe McDade, The TexasYank blog:
The latest on Duke — Mike Nifong has been dishonest, crooked and, at times, just plain weird.

LieStoppers (humor): New Video - Peculiar One

Al SharptonGuest Editorial by Al Sharpton, TheNoseOnYourFace.com, 12/26 (satire):
Al Sharpton: Mike Nifong Is A Rookie Race-Baiter — When The Nose On Your Face asked for my thoughts on the Duke rape case, I hesitated. First, they already have Ike Turner as a guest columnist, and I don't want to mess with Mr. Turner. I've seen what that crazy black man can do when he thinks a brother is movin' in on his space, be it a b-tch or a guest column...Mr. Nifong simply committed every single mistake a rookie race-baiter can make....Mr. Nifong has set-back race-baiting at least a decade...

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