"I don’t feel I’m part of the problem. I feel that I have assisted in revealing the problem." - Mike NifongUpdated - today's items:
Jon Ham, Right Angles blog:
Nifong has private ceremony, no media allowed — Durham DA Mike Nifong was indeed sworn in this morning at 8 a.m. in the Durham Judicial Building. The only problem is the building does not open to the public until 8:30 a.m. Consequently, a gaggle of upset media types were stuck outside until the ceremony was over. At 8:03 a.m. there was a bit of excitement when a deputy opened one of the doors and said, “Come on in, cameras in hand.” But he was shouted down by two other deputies who yelled, "Don’t let them in."
At about 8:10 a.m. Sheriff Worth Hill made an appearance on the other side of the glass doors and mouthed the words, “It’s over.” Then, at 8:25 a.m., the media was let in...
Jon Ham (2nd report) — Nifong: I need to be part of the healing process - (with video)
Ben Niolet, News & Observer: Nifong swearing-in becomes private — The swearing-in ceremony for embattled Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong apparently took place inside the Durham County Courthouse this morning while the press and other observers stood outside on the courthouse steps...
WRAL: Nifong Defiant After Taking Oath for New Term — Nifong insisted he didn't make the call to keep out the media or the public from the ceremony, but said he scheduled it for 8 a.m. so his staff could go straight to work afterward without dealing with the media...Nifong: "I don’t feel I’m part of the problem. I feel that I have assisted in revealing the problem."News 14 Carolina/AP: Nifong sworn in for another term — Nifong: "Durham has some healing to do. I intend to be part of that healing process. And I need to have something to do with how we move forward in light of the events ... that happened over the course of the last year."
ABC 11 TV/WTVD: Durham DA Takes Oath — video interview of Nifong
LieStoppers blog: Coronation of Petty Tyrant Prosecutor Today — In a private ceremony attended by his wife, his son and some members of his staff, District Attorney Mike Nifong was sworn in by Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson this morning...
Delusional — Perhaps today’s embarrassing performance at the Durham County Courthouse will finally prompt Governor Mike Easley to issue a statement demanding the return of law to
Mike Nifong, "Public" Servant — Only in Durham is the swearing-in of a public official not open to the public...
John in Carolina: Nifong’s appropriateness — Don’t believe his denials. He, like us, knows “the noose is tightening.”
Nifong hides, dissembles
Mike McCusker(humor): Exclusive Photo of Nifong at Swear In Ceremony
LieStoppers forum — *Poultry* - The Big Man Hides, Shame
FreeRepublic — Nifong swearing-in becomes private
TalkLeft — Nifong Cowers Behind Locked Courthouse Doors
Jon Ham - Nifong secures his place — Urban dictionary of slang... "Nifonged"
La Shawn Barber:
Selective Outrage Over Black Crime Victims — Why did certain blacks in Durham, North Carolina, rally around a black stripper claiming to have been gang raped by three white men but virtually ignore the more destructive trend of black-on-black crime in their midst?...
I understand the all-too-human tendency to point fingers, but important to the development of good character is a willingness to face hard truths. Black crime rates are out of control, and it’s not white peoples’ faults. Criminality and incarceration (however brief) is a defining characteristic of black subculture. The least of our concerns are drunk white men at house parties or perceived “racist” police shootings. If white cops want to kill black men and white boys want to rape black women, they’ll need to kill and violate a hell of a lot of them to catch up to black-on-black crime stats...
KC Johnson:News & Observer:
Nifong and the Black Community — Since March, Durham has witnessed a pattern of civil rights violations—but by Nifong, of the three players that he targeted. And these violations have occurred with the silence—or worse—of most prominent members in the community that claims a sincere attachment to civil rights for all.
Nifong to take oath as Durham DA — Embattled prosecutor Mike Nifong is set to be sworn in as Durham's district attorney this morning...
related:Editiorial, Charlotte Observer:
Letter by Daniel Berenson to N&O - Nifong's Mess — In view of the N.C. State Bar's accusations against Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong (news story, Dec. 29), several questions come to mind ...
Letter by Charles T. Trent to N&O - A menace to justice - Mike Nifong has succumbed to the awesome power bestowed upon him as district attorney and is driven to convict rather than to find justice. His egocentric approach to the "Duke rape case" should earn him tar and feathers and a ride out of town on a slick pole...
Comment: The N&O needs to be careful about the letters they publish. Duke Professor Robyn Wiegman banned the use of the phrase "tarred and feathered."
DA Should Step Aside — Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong should bow out of the prosecution of three Duke University lacrosse players. A N.C. State Bar complaint charging him with multiple instances of misconduct creates conflicts of interests that might affect how he handles the case. He should withdraw and let another prosecutor take over....
he mishandled this case from the start. He now has a compelling potential conflict between his duty to pursue the case fairly and his interest in defending himself against charges of professional misconduct. He should remove himself from this case. If he won't do so voluntarily, a judge should do it for him. A disinterested prosecutor should be named to examine the evidence and decide how, or whether, this case should go forward.
related: KC Johnson - Charlotte Observer: Recuse — Based on his decision to have a secret swearing-in this morning, it seems unlikely that Nifong will do the right thing. Perhaps it's time for a federal inquiry to help him make the decision?Editorial, Rocky Mountain News:
North Carolina's out-of-control DA — North Carolina officials might not be able to correct all the injustices perpetrated by Durham District Attorney Michael Nifong. But at least they can make this rogue prosecutor pay for his abuse of the law....All charges should be dropped. Let the students go free. Meantime, the only person who deserves to face justice here is Nifong, who so eagerly abused his office to further his career.
Jonna Spilbor, Findlaw.com:
To Prosecute, or To Be Prosecuted? Why, In Light Of Formal State Bar Charges, District Attorney Mike Nifong Should Be Ordered Off The Duke Rape Case — It was a week of back-to-back bombshells in the Duke Lacrosse rape scandal...To say that this level of public outcry against an elected law enforcement official is unusual, is the understatement of the year. While the public may have voted this man into office, and even re-elected him in the midst of this debacle, the public, laudably, is now doing its best to finally vote him off this case.
In this column, I will discuss why, in light of the formal ethics charges now pending against him, Nifong suffers from far too great a conflict of interest for him to possibly continue in his role as prosecutor in the case. If he does not soon either dismiss the charges outright, or hand over the prosecutorial reins to someone else, a judge should step in and take this case away from him...
Ashley Cannon, Please Speak Up — Ms. Cannon, instead of a Happy New Year, I wish you an earnest examination of conscience and pray that you do what is right...did you tell your colleague and friend A.D.A. Phyliis Trachese that Mr. Nifong told you to lie?
LieStoppers forum — The Ashley Cannon Sideshow
Mike McCusker, Crystal Mess — Where's Your Mallet Mikey?
Invitations To Nifong's Swearing In — To Gov. Mike Easley: Sorry you can’t attend I was so looking forward to that picture of us smiling together! Your protege, Mike ...
Shadee Malaklou, Duke Chronicle:
Official, but not over — It's official. Even Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong has succumbed to the reality that many Duke students knew all along. The members of the men's lacrosse team did not rape a Durham stripper March 13. Sadly, this means very little for the rest of Duke. Although the rape charges are off the table, the lacrosse scandal is far from over, and it's partially our fault. In the dwindling throes of what has become the biggest sex scandal at a major university, as Duke students we still feel indebted to-connected to-these "big men on campus." But the lacrosse players, despite the fact that they wear the Duke name on their chests at games, feel no connection or responsibility to Duke University...
related:Items from over the weekend:
Duke Basketball Report: McCarthyism Revisited
KC Johnson: More Malaklou
LieStoppers - Like Teacher, Like Student: Duke Student. Shadee Malaklou Offers Her View.
Susan Estrich, Fox News:
Duke Prosecutor's Fourth Victim — There are four victims of District Attorney Mike Nifong’s twisted tactics in the Duke Lacrosse case. The first three, of course, are the young men who never would have been charged with anything had Nifong adhered to the standard practices in his own office. With luck, they will ultimately be exonerated, and be able to move on with their lives, albeit after having endured a chapter in hell.
The fourth victim is unlikely to be so lucky; she will not be exonerated at trial, and she will not be able to move on with her life. She will be destroyed by this case, and while she is partly to blame for that herself, the other part of the blame rests squarely on Mike Nifong’s shoulders.
The woman is a liar. That is the English translation of the latest round of maneuvers, in which the prosecution dismissed the rape charges because the woman could no longer say, as she once did, that she had intercourse with three men at the party. In other words, she lied when she said she did...
related:Jon Ham, CarolinaJournal.com:
Kathleen Eckelt RN, FNE; Forensics Talk — Duke Prosecutor's Fourth Victim
KC Johnson — Estrich Pulls No Punches
LieStoppers forum — Duke Prosecutor's Fourth Victim, Susan Estrich
Bad Journalism and Forgiveness (1/1) — As I've written before, Ruth Sheehan, the gender columnist for The News & Observer, was one of the worst offenders in the bad-journalism sweepstakes that occurred last March when news of the Duke lacrosse rape allegations became public. Her "We know you know" (I cringe as I write the words) column was possibly the lowest journalistic point in this whole affair, as it bought hook, line and sinker the improbable story line that Durham DA Mike Nifong and the exotic dancer/student/mother/saint accuser peddled.
As the realization that the original story was bunk began to dawn on Sheehan and the editors at The N&O they began backing off and trying to recast themselves as defenders of due process, the Constitution and the American Way. I say bunk. They were only trying to save themselves embarrassment. Some bloggers, notably KC Johnson of Durham In Wonderland and the LieStoppers blog, have excused The N&O. A notable exception is columnist William L. Anderson. He didn't buy the Sheehan turnaround in August,...
Like Anderson, I can't, and won't, forgive Sheehan, The N&O or The Herald-Sun for their pandering to political correctness, just as I can't forgive the newspapers that went with the flow early in the civil rights movement while a few brave ones took the dangerous and unpopular course of defending civil rights. They may have come around later, but the stink of journalistic cowardice will always be with them...
Jon Ham, Right Angles blog: Something Odd about Ashley (1/1) — Herald-Sun editor Bob Ashley has come in for his share of well-deserved criticism for running the paper as if the sun rose in the crevice of Mike Nifong’s behind. But something he wrote in his latest column convinces me the man is just plain odd...
Opinion - Ruth Sheehan, News & Observer:
It's time to drop charges (1/1) — Every time I think the Duke lacrosse case cannot get any more excruciating to watch -- it does. There was a moment of hope right before Christmas, when we got word that Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong was dropping charges. Finally! I thought. Nifong has come to his senses and is putting us all out of our misery -- from the three men charged in the alleged sexual assault of a dancer at their stripper party to the alleged victim herself. But as it turned out, Nifong dropped only one of the charges in the case -- rape -- leaving the sexual assault and kidnapping charges to stand. These are charges, like rape, that could put the men behind bars for life. Nifong's explanation for dropping the rape charge only added to the excruciation factor: The accuser said she now cannot remember whether a penis was involved in the alleged attack. I cringe just typing the words...What kind of dimwitted fools does Nifong believe us, and the potential jurors, to be?
related:Thomas Sowell, National Review:
LieStoppers - Ruth Agonistes, Ruth speaks, Mon., Jan 1, 2007
Ruth Sheehan, News & Observer - Ruth's blog:
Nifong wins award (1/1)- Late last week, I received a note from the head of a group that calls itself the Chappaquiddick Society, which nominates people for annual "First in Cowardice" awards. Guess who won this year?
[Comment: Ruth, was it the News & Observer - First in Cowardice?]
Nifong’s Deliverance — In the wake of recent bombshell revelations in the Duke University "rape" case, even some of District Attorney Michael Nifong's supporters have started backing away from him...District Attorney Nifong's actions are perfectly consistent and logical from start to finish, once you see that this case is about Nifong's own career....It was not a question of winning the case. It was a question of winning the election. As for the case, that was not scheduled to come to trial until a year later...
Thomas Sowell, RealClearPolitics.com: The Real Issue at Duke: Part II — Just as this case was the salvation of [Nifong's] career, by enabling him to win the black vote with inflammatory charges against white students accused of raping a black woman, so this case could mark the end of his career, in view of charges of his own misconduct that could lead to disbarment or even to criminal prosecution for obstruction of justice. Nifong is riding a tiger and he can't just get off...
Our gullible vulnerability to such manipulation is the larger tragedy in this sordid and painful episode. District Attorney Nifong was neither the first nor the last demagogue to take advantage of that gullibility.
Editorial, The Times-Reporter (Ohio):
A botched case — The Duke University sexual assault case, which has dominated national headlines for months, seems to have been mishandled right from the start...we think it would be in the best interest of everyone involved in the case if Nifong would recuse himself and another prosecutor was named in his place.
Nifong Sworn In This Week — Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong is scheduled to be sworn in Monday after winning November's election...Nifong says he will drop the case if the accuser can not identify the players during the hearing in February...Nifong's ethics trial will be scheduled in couple of months.
Pressure Builds on Nifong as Full DA Term Begins — ...In recent years, the State Bar itself has been criticized for handing out what many equate to slaps on the wrists for prosecutorial misconduct. Because of that, some believe the group could use Nifong as an example and disbar him. They question if Nifong will still be DA when his four-year term is up. Joyner said he doesn't see it that way.
"The State Bar is not the place you make an example of someone. The State Bar is there to protect the public and protect the profession and the protect the professionals within the bar," he said, adding that he would be surprised if the group moves for disbarment.
Joyner said he doesn't see the lacrosse case as one that will ultimately define Nifong's career. [comment: Just like Watergate did not define Richard Nixon]
KC Johnson — WRAL: Carrying Nifong's Water — A peculiarly imbalanced story on Mike Nifong's impending swearing-in recently appeared on the WRAL website.
In an Out for Hoaxland 2007 (humor) — Out: No wrong answer lineups, In: Potential prosecutor lock-ups ... Out: Minister of Justice with an enemies list, In: Minister of Injustice on everyone's enemy list ...
William L. Anderson:
What the Duke Non-Rape (and Non-Kidnapping/Sexual Assault) Case Taught Me in 2006 (1/1) — Michael Nifong, while using the hoax as a tool to win an election for district attorney of Durham County, ultimately represents the State of North Carolina. When he files an indictment, when he goes before a grand jury, when he appears in a courtroom, he represents the State. Furthermore, there literally is no mechanism that the State of North Carolina throws down to derail his efforts, unless a judge stands in the way.
So far, we have seen two judges give Nifong carte blanche, and a third, Judge W. Osmond Smith III, has not done anything yet to end this fraud. Now, I believe that Smith will do that in the future, should Nifong refuse to drop all charges, but for now Smith still is permitting the official version of the story from the State of North Carolina to prevail...
Stephen Richards letter to Herald-Sun/FODU:
Duke lacked courage — This great university, its students, faculty, alumni, the Durham community and the great state of North Carolina need better leadership at Duke.
Baker: In His Own Words — The Vanderbilt Register is the “paper of record for
LieStoppers forum: Prof. Baker's Revolting email, to an unindicted player's parent - LIES! You are just a provacateur on a happy New Years Eve trying to get credit for a scummy bunch of white males!
New Years' Roundup — Michael Skube, Nifong, Gottlieb, Marc Coultan (Australian journalist), William Chafe, columnist Tom Henderson, Tom Knott, Mike Celizic, Lara Setrakian, etc...
Opinion - William H. Chafe (Gang of 88 member), Washington Post:
Hope For New Orleans
Opinion - Mike Celizic, MSNBC:
Shame on prosecutor in Duke case - Case disintegrates for Nifong, who still clings on charges against players
Opinion - Michael Skube (Pulitzer Prize winner/Elon Univ. in NC), LA Times:
Duke's recovery from a rush to judgment (12/31) — NINE MONTHS later, the vigilante posters have come down, the candlelight vigils have gone dark and little has been heard from the New Black Panther Party or the Rev. Jesse Jackson. Even among the aspiring activists who banged pots and pans last spring in solidarity with the alleged victim, there is the disquieting sense that maybe she wasn't one after all — that this time the story might not be reducible to the all-purpose epistemology of race, gender and class...
Few of the candle holders or pot bangers of last spring are taking phone calls. Jennifer Minnelli, who attended a candlelight vigil in March and lambasted the lacrosse team for a "wall of silence," said last week, "I have no comment. Good luck with your research," and hung up. The husband of a woman who organized the candlelight vigil in March said last week, "Your chances of getting a comment from her or from anyone in this house are exactly zero."...
Duke would like to be known as, well, rather like Princeton. A premier school that happens to have a lacrosse team, among others, and one that has learned not to go off the deep end with its politics.
Editiorial Wilmington Journal/BlackPressUSA.com
OUR VOICE, ''HOW MONEY TRUMPS JUSTICE'' — If you are a Duke Three supporter, be forewarned, your blood is about to boil. By now the world knows about Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong’s decision to drop the rape charges against the three indicted players in the Duke lacrosse alleged sexual assault and kidnapping case. With a complete absence of DNA evidence needed to prove the elements required for first-degree forcible rape, along with the reported uncertainty of the Black female accuser, scuttling the charges just made sense, say many legal experts.
But the question on everyone’s mind is, “Why did the embattled DA drop just the rape charges, when he had the golden opportunity to rid himself of the whole deal – first-degree sexual offense and kidnapping charges – each carrying 12 – 25 years in prison for any of the three if convicted?
Indeed, if D.A. Nifong has no evidence, and no case, beyond the testimony of the alleged victim, then why put everyone through all the grief? We can’t answer those questions, except to say that he must really believe something happened to her, and thinks he can prove it.
But this much we do know – this case needs to go the distance, no matter how that’s defined by the court system in Durham...
Comment: The Wilmington Journal never uses the names of the three innocent men, Reade Seligmann, David Evans, and Collin Finnerty. They are cowards and could never look these men in the eye. They want an injustice to continue because the criminal justice system has been unfair to blacks in the past. Three white men from the North should not be allowed to fight for their civil rights, because the Wilmingon Journal and the Black community have a local monopoly on injustice. Martin Luther King, Jr. is rolling over in his grave.
Alan Dershowitz on Lacrosse Case, Friends of Duke Univ.:
Alan Dershowitz on Lacrosse Case (12/31) — I believe in the assumption of innocence before trial. I believe in the right of every defendant to a fair and impartial trial. I believe in the duty of every prosecutor to seek justice, and not merely victory in the courtroom.
I believe these principles have been violated in the actions of Durham District Attorney Michael Nifong. Elected prosecutors must be held accountable for their misconduct and the prosecutor in the Duke case appears to have withheld exculpatory evidence, failed to interview the complaining witness in a timely fashion and refused to consider obvious evidence of innocence. His entire course of conduct in this case should be scrupulously investigated.
Alan Dershowitz, Dec. 31, 2006.
The Wendy Murphy File (12/31) — Murphy’s bizarre claims to USA Today prompted me to perform a Lexis/Nexis search of her myriad case-related appearances. The results were deeply disturbing. In addition to the outrageous quotes highlighted above, on at least 18 occasions over the past nine months, Murphy has made demonstrably untrue statements. She also has engaged in a pattern of wholly unfounded speculation and has routinely denigrated due process. [one of Prof. Johnson's most commented on articles, Ms. Murphy angers many]
related:Letters to Herald Sun/FODU (12/31):
John in Carolina: Contacting Wendy Murphy
Where's the Durham outcry on lacrosse case? by Barbara G. CollieNews & Observer:
Nifong turns to Times by Peter Bove
Resign and apologize by Mike Laneer
The year in review - Lacrosse, Black court cases cast spell (12/31)
Clarice Feldman, AmericanThinker.com: Another first for Nifong (12/30)
related: FreeRepublic.com - Another first for NifongEditorial - Washington Post:
Prosecutorial Indiscretion (12/30)- It's past time to drop all charges in the Duke lacrosse case. "THE PROSECUTOR has more control over life, liberty and reputation than any other person in America. His discretion is tremendous. He can have citizens investigated, and, if he is that kind of person, he can have this done to the tune of public statements and veiled or unveiled intimations."
Robert H. Jackson, then the U.S. attorney general, spoke those words to a group of federal prosecutors in 1940....It's been clear for months that Mr. Nifong's case -- to the extent he has a case -- is riddled with flaws that raise serious questions about his motives and ethics.
related:Forum topics of note:
KC Johnson (12/30) - Washington Post: Drop the Charges
LieStoppers: Report: Seligmann and Finnerty will return to Duke
TalkLeft: Report: Seligmann and Finnerty will return to Duke
Is Megyn Kendall DRUNK? - 9 months Later - and with all that we know, and we have talking heads STILL getting on TV and asking what else can he have. He must have something! This is like Fantasy reporting.
FreeRepublic: Is the Duke DA Guilty As Charged?
FreeRepublic: The Duke case is a DEMOCRAT scandal
TalkLeft: The players lack of cooperation — The false issue of "non-cooperation" is necessary for Nifong enablers to continue to spout so that they can believe that somehow this false prosecution is the players' own fault...
TalkLeft: 12/29/06 Cash Michaels Article — Comment: Sideshow Bob a.k.a. Cash "in the bag" Michaels and TalkLeft members engaged in a lively and long discussion regarding Mr. Michaels' biased reporting, his race-baiting, and habitual sloppy journalism. The discussion moved on to a critique of the very inaccurate and biased NAACP website reporting about the hoax.
related:La Shawn Barber:
comment — The alleged "civil rights" organization and "watchdog" of liberties, the NAACP reports about the Devine Ms. M and those criminal, tort committing, psycho Duke lacrosse players —
Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II President of the North Carolina Conference, NAACP: Duke Lacrosse Update: Crimes and Torts committed by Duke Lacrosse Team Players on 3/13 and 3/14 as Reported in the press, mainly from the Three Players’ Defense Attorneys. —
Ms. M. was taken into the bathroom and raped anally, vaginally and orally, and the three men used racial and sexual slurs during the assault. The serial killer in American Psycho followed a similar pattern with his female victims....
#65 The cousin of Ms. M has reported that Duke supporters have approached her with an offer of $2 million if she will retract her testimony. Other people who have access to Ms. M also have reported being approached with offers of huge sums of money if the case will go away. Sam Hall, the communications director for the Duke Alumni Affairs, checked with other officials to see whether Duke Alums had bade such an offer. Mr. Hall told the press that "We have no information about that. I think there's been a rumor of it since the beginning, but I've never heard it discussed."....
#72 Mr. Nifong made comments about possible accessory charges, since it is hard to believe that a gang rape in the bathroom could occur without other party-goers knowing something about it. He gave several interviews about the case the first few weeks, when it created a media firestorm. He once estimated he gave "50 to 70" interviews during that period, and the defense lawyers have used that figure repeatedly. He has since apologized for giving so many interviews to the media, which would camp outside his office everyday until he stopped granting any interviews.
#73 Since about two weeks before his successful primary election, maintained a professional quiet with the press...related:
Michael Gaynor: NAACP, apologize!
LieStoppers forum: NC NAACP Duke Lacrosse case Theory
Duke Rape Case: Haunt Me In My Dreams... (12/29) — For Mike Nifong, Durham County district attorney, his words are coming back to haunt him in real life. His colleagues at the NC State Bar have filed ethics complaints against him, based on statements he made about the “rape” case generally and accused players specifically...
Hugh Hewitt, TownHall.com:
Who Is Michael Nifong? (12/29) — I have said little on air and written less here about Michael Nifong. I have hesitated to take up the subject because it is difficult for me to conceive of anyone willing to embark on such a course as Nifong has chosen. The dangers posed by a corrupt prosecutor are profound, and not just to his immediate victims, in this case, the undergraduates who he has allowed to be smeared and dragged through this disfiguring process. "Egregious prosecutorial misconduct" is how my friend Scott Johnson of Powerline has termed it, but it has now gone far beyond that...
FOX News’ Megyn Kendall Plays Psychic Psychoanalyst In Duke Rape Case (12/29) — Nifong may deserve all the outrage coming his way. But is it the place of a legal reporter to offer an assessment of the state of mind of a man she has not interviewed? Only on FOX News. [Not exactly, Wendy Murphy is on MSNBC]