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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Nifong/Mangum Hoax — June 19, 2007

Updated — today's items:

Sheriff Hill goes to Nifong's home to confiscate his keys and access card to the courthouse.AP/ABC11/WTVD:
Judge Removes Nifong [+video] -- The sheriff immediately stripped Nifong of his badge and the keys to his office.

"There is probable cause to believe that the district attorney has engaged in willful misconduct in office and conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice, which brings the office into disrepute," wrote Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson in his order.

Later Tuesday, state lawmakers were scheduled to take up -- and expected to pass -- a bill that would allow Gov. Mike Easley to immediately remove Nifong from office. The bill, on the calendar for the House's afternoon session, must also be passed by the Senate....
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Nifong booted from officeWRAL:
Nifong Served With Suspension Order -- One day after he announced he would resign next month, Mike Nifong was served at his home Tuesday morning with a judge's order that suspends him from carrying out any duties of the district attorney.

Acting on a civil complaint filed earlier this year, Durham Resident Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson signed the order, which removes the embattled prosecutor from office until his resignation becomes effective July 13.

Hudson initially agreed to allow Nifong to work until then, but made the decision Monday evening, concerned that criminal defendants and defense lawyers might challenge the district attorney's authority and therefore, creating potential problems...
discussion:
LS forum: Nifong Served With Suspension Order at Home

Jon Ham, Right Angles:
Dénouement -- Sheriff Worth Hill takes Nifong's badge and office keys...
Orlando Hudson’s extra-judicial comments -- Hudson’s extra-judicial comments were as egregious as Nifong’s.
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Nifong leaving bar hearing, day 1Joe Neff & Anne Blythe, News & Observer:
Judge to suspend dallying Nifong today -- Judge to suspend dallying Nifong today -- The county's top judge plans to suspend Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong today after learning that the prosecutor, soon to be stripped of his law license, intended to hang around until July 13.

Judge Orlando Hudson said Monday night that he will appoint a private lawyer to push ahead with a removal petition claiming Nifong brings disrepute to his office...

Hudson, by suspending Nifong with pay, will take a first step in a process that allows Superior Court judges to oust district attorneys, elected officers of the court.

Beth Brewer, a Durham resident, petitioned Hudson in February for such an ouster, saying Nifong's misconduct in the Duke lacrosse case stymied justice. "That man should not spend one more minute in office," Brewer said Monday...

Staying on an extra month does little for Nifong's state pension. If he resigned Monday, Nifong would collect a monthly pension of $5,365.20 , according to the State Treasurer's Office. Staying in office for four more weeks would add $27.90 to his monthly pension. ...
related:
LieStoppers blog: Judge Hudson's Order -- ... THE COURT CONCLUDES ...

THEREFORE it is herewith ordered, adjudged, and decreed:

That Michael B. Nifong is suspended from performing the duties of District Attorney for the Fourteenth (14th) Prosecutorial District; and that the Sheriff of Durham County take all measures to secure from Mr. Nifong all indicia of office pertaining to access thereto.

This the 19th day of June 2007.

Aaron Beard, AP/ABC News:
Judge to Suspend Disbarred Duke Prosecutor -- Judge to Suspend Disbarred Duke Prosecutor and Proceed With Request to Remove Him From Office -- A judge said he would suspend District Attorney Mike Nifong on Tuesday after learning that the prosecutor disbarred for his handling of the Duke lacrosse rape case intended to stay in office for another month.

Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson also said Monday night he would proceed with a pending request to remove Nifong from office...

"I have thought about the situation, and this is the way I wish to proceed," said Hudson, who initially agreed to allow Nifong to work until next month.

As part of the suspension, Hudson said he would order the sheriff on Tuesday to prevent Nifong from carrying out any duties of the district attorney...

discussion:
LS forum: Hudson to Suspend Nifong...
TalkLeft: Hudson to Suspend Nifong, Retain Special Prosecutor to Charge Him!
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LieStoppers blog: ABC News: Humiliation Continues -- [cartoon]

LieStoppers blog:
Audio: Nifong Fallout -- Chapel Hill Law Professor Joe Kennedy and WUNC Capitol Reporter Laura Leslie discuss Nifong...

LieStoppers blog:
Hudson Does The Right Thing, Finally -- After reconsidering the implications of allowing disgraced Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong to delay his long overdue resignation until next month, Durham County Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson has decided to suspend Mr. Nifong immediately pending a hearing on Durham resident Beth Brewer’s 7A-66 petition to remove the rogue prosecutor from office...

Finally, Judge Hudson wisely decided to comply with State law and issued an order to suspend the DA effective today, asked Durham County Sheriff Worth Hill to ensure that Nifong comply with his order, and appointed a special prosecutor to present the case for removal of Mr. Nifong from office at a hearing which must take place within ten to thirty days.

Hudson’s amended decision followed widespread uproar from elected officials and the public in response to Mr. Nifong’s decision to delay his promised resignation....

While Judge Hudson deserves due credit for finally acting on the filed by Beth Brewer in February, it must be noted that, were it not for the foresight, courage, and tenacity of Ms. Brewer, Hudson would not have the power to suspend the disgraced Minister of Injustice without having a 7A-66 petition before him...
discussion:
KC Johnson: Praising Beth Brewer
LS forum: Time for another cheer for Beth Brewer
FODU: Nifong Suspended -- Thank you Beth Brewer, for being a good citizen!
John in Carolina: Thanks again, Beth Brewer
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David Feige, Slate.com:
One-Off Offing -- Why you won't see a disbarment like Mike Nifong's again. -- Now that justice has prevailed in the Duke rape case, with the nice innocent boys exonerated and the prosecutor who hounded them disbarred, it is tempting to chalk the whole incident up to an unusual and terrible mistake—a zany allegation taken too seriously by a run-amok prosecutor...

Nifong is a scapegoat. Despite their terrifying power to ruin lives, prosecutors are afforded almost unparalleled discretion to do their jobs and extraordinary deference from the courts. As a result, serious sanctions for prosecutorial misdeeds are virtually unheard of. This makes it highly unlikely that Nifong's comeuppance will deter aggressive prosecutors. Instead, his punishment will be seen for what it is: a freakish anomaly.
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David Limbaugh (brother of Rush Limbaugh), TownHall.com:
Let's Not Minimize Nifong's Culpability -- I believe the culpability of "rogue" prosecutor and bully-extraordinaire Mike Nifong in the Duke LaCross "fiasco" has been grossly understated. His premeditated actions and apparently unrepentant heart merit a special ranking on the outrage meter and it should be a very long time before we apply to this case the adage that time heals all wounds...
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Kathleen Eckelt RN, FNE; Forensic Talk:
Judge to Suspend Rogue Durham DA Mike Nifong Tuesday -- the most sickening thing for me was Nifong, after being asked if he still believed a sexual assault occurred, stated that, yes, he believed "something happened" that night. After all this time, all the NON-evidence, all the pain and anguish he knows he caused, he still has the gall to smear those boys one more time in public. That kind of arrogance and malevolence is reprehensible and unforgivable. I really feel for his son though. That he was forced to sit and watch such a display in front of the whole world saddens me. He should not have to pay for what his father did. He had no role in this fiasco. He is but another of Nifong's victims, in my opinion.

Dr. Meehan: I thought his testimony was pretty pathetic myself, and his actions throughout this whole mess indefensible.

Brent Turvey, a forensic expert and author of several forensic books, has this to say when I asked him what his feelings were. With permission, I've copied the remarks below in their entirety: "For a crime lab of any kind to make an examination of evidence for which there is no report detailing items examined, tests performed, and results achieved is unacceptable and unethical...

Bob Parsons, a forensic chemist from Indian River, Fl., responded with the following...
------
YouTube:
Nifong Bar Hearing Videos [excellent collection of 115 videos]
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Benjamin Niolet and Joseph Neff, News & Observer:
Other reputations rose and fell, too --The five-day State Bar proceeding that led to Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong's disbarment affected some reputations beyond that of the prosecutor.LANE WILLIAMSON: The Charlotte lawyer won high praise from all sides for how he ran the proceeding...

BRAD BANNON . . . BRIAN MEEHAN . . . KENDRA MONTGOMERY-BLINN . . .
discussion:
KC Johnson: Montgomery-Blinn and NC "Innocence"
KC Johnson: Lane Williamson
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NIFONG ENABLER/SLIME MONGER - Barry Saunders, News & Observer:
'Sorry' is only the start -- Just by dint of being me, I've had to issue hundreds of apologies and have received a few...

I don't know about you, but when I heard him say, "I think something happened in that bathroom," I cringed and went, "Naw, homes. Don't say that -- even if you believe it."

Had the commission been inclined to show mercy before, it certainly wasn't after that display of intractability.

For the record, Nifong isn't the only one who thinks that something happened, but he was the only one fighting for his professional life when he said it...
discussion:
LS forum: Barry Saunders STILL Slimes the Defendants, The bifurcated N&O

ABC11-TV/WTVD: People are still saying they think something happened in the house...
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Thomas Sowell, RealClearPolitics.com:
The Duke Case's Unfinished Business -- Nor were the 88 Duke faculty members who promoted a lynch mob atmosphere naive. Most were from departments promoting the "race, class, and gender" vision of victimhood.

This case served their purposes. That trumped any question about whether the charges were true or not.

Don't expect any of these people to recant or apologize. But be aware of how wide and how deep the moral dry rot goes.

That such people are teaching students at an elite university is a chilling thought. That they promote a campus atmosphere where political correctness trumps the search for truth is painful.

That such attitudes and such atmospheres are not peculiar to Duke University, but are common on elite college campuses from coast to coast is a time bomb with the potential to destroy individuals and ultimately undermine the whole society.

discussion:
FreeRepublic: Sowell... Unfinished Business
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Ray Gronberg, Herald-Sun:
Bar hearing solidifies push for city probe -- A detective's testimony in the hearing that produced District Attorney Mike Nifong's disbarment has City Council members saying they're even more convinced an investigation of the Durham Police Department is necessary.

The detective, Ben Himan, told an N.C. State Bar disciplinary committee that investigators and Nifong knew two weeks into the Duke lacrosse case that the accuser had given police contradictory accounts about what had transpired.

The discrepancies were so serious that Nifong responded to his initial briefing by detectives with the words, "You know we're f-----," said Himan, who also testified that he'd later voiced skepticism about the case when told Nifong would seek indictments.

Himan's testimony undercut comments Police Chief Steve Chalmers made to The Herald-Sun last month after the City Council ordered an inquiry into the department's handling of the case. Chalmers claimed the accuser's story had been consistent before Nifong sought grand-jury indictments of since-exonerated players David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann.

The obvious contradiction didn't escape council members. "The questions that came out of Investigator Himan's testimony last week reinforced the necessity for having a third-party investigation," Councilman Mike Woodard said...
discussion:
LS forum: Detectives Testimony has council concerned
TalkLeft: The DPD Investigation
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KC Johnson:
Wild Day -- Paul Haagen, outgoing chair of the Academic Council, e-mailed other Council members to explain the [Duke and 3 family] settlement. The critical sentence: “As a result of the settlement, all faculty have been released from any claims of liability related to the lacrosse matter up through the date of the settlement (June 18, 2007).” While the Duke administration has been unwilling to hold a segment of its faculty to minimal standards of the profession, it seems that it was willing to use University funds to protect those same faculty members from legal action. From a tactical standpoint, the decision was a wise one by the Brodhead/Steel team—any lawsuit by the three families would have been a public relations nightmare for Duke...
discussion:
LS forum: Paul Haagen, Duke faculty outrage
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Christian News/wdcmedia.com:
The Nifong Case And Restoration Of The Law -- Justice in the United States court system has been awry for a long time...

The Nifong case was just a tiny example of how justice in the current court system is masked for personal or political gain. Jesus said in Matthew 24:12, “And because lawlessness shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” God’s law is broken in the hearts of men. It is only through those hearts that the law will be restored.

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