Updated — today's items:
News & Observer:
Easley taps Hardin as Durham DA -- Gov. Mike Easley said he wants former Durham District Attorney Jim Hardin to run the office in the wake of the disbarment of Mike Nifong.
"People have a lot of confidence in him," Easley said in an interview Wednesday. "He can go back and restore integrity and make sure no one leaves the office that's good."
Hardin could not immediately be reached for comment.
In April 2005, Easley appointed Hardin, fresh from a big victory in his murder case against novelist Michael Peterson, to be a special Superior Court judge. Easley picked Nifong to take Hardin's place, a decision the governor has said he regrets.
A spokesman for Easley said Hardin is expected to serve as district attorney for two months...
KC Johnson: Easley: Hardin as Interim DA -- In a highly unusual move (but then again, what about this case is not unusual?), Governor Easley has asked former DA and current judge Jim Hardin to serve as interim DA for Durham County...
LS forum: Jim Hardin, Easley taps Hardin as Durham DA
LS blog: Flashback: Greatest Hits of Jim Hardin, Vol. I -- Woody Vann has said that he has gotten special access and that Hardin has thrown out speeding tickets for lawyers as a professional courtesy..
Hardin and Nifong -- Judge Jim Hardin passes DA badge to his protégé, Mike Nifong, while Judges Orlando Hudson and Ronald Stephens applaud. (right)
Easley Names Hardin to Replace Nifong
Nifong may leave office immediately -- As the governor searches for a new district attorney for Durham County, talks are under way to have Mike Nifong leave the office right away...
Hudson appointed a special prosecutor to move ahead with a previously filed petition to remove Nifong from office. That prosecutor, Raleigh lawyer Robert Zaytoun, is in talks with Nifong.
Press Release: JONES CONTINUES FIGHT TO PROTECT AMERICAN CITIZENS FROM PROSECUTORIAL MISCONDUCT -- Washington, D.C. – In a letter today to U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, Third District Representative Walter B. Jones (R-NC) renewed his request for an investigation of former Durham County, North Carolina District Attorney Mike Nifong's prosecution of three Duke University student athletes falsely accused of an alleged sexual attack on a woman at a March 2006 party in Durham.
“In light of the North Carolina State Bar’s ruling last week that Mr. Nifong will be disbarred for committing numerous acts of misconduct, it is clear Mr. Nifong’s conduct constituted an illegal abuse of authority and cries out for federal oversight,” Congressman Jones wrote.
“As you stated in your January 11, 2007 letter to me, the Department of Justice ‘is responsible for investigating and prosecuting criminal conduct,’ including ‘willful misconduct by local and federal law enforcement officers,’” Jones wrote. “I believe that the findings of the North Carolina State Bar confirm that there is probable cause to investigate the willful misconduct of Mr. Nifong, namely, his actions to deprive the accused Duke students of their right to due process as guaranteed to them by the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution.” ...
KC Johnson: Jones Renews Call for Federal Inquiry
NIFONG'S ENABLERS -- Mike Nifong is all but gone - resigned as Durham County district attorney and disbarred by the North Carolina Bar Association for his attempt to railroad three innocent Duke lacrosse players on rape charges.
Like the Durham City Council, whose members charged that the Duke lacrosse team "has been a ticking time bomb that has not been dismantled." Or the area residents who picketed with "wanted" posters of all 46 team members and signs that read, "Don't be a fan of rapists."
And what's to be done about the most outrageous perpetrators of all?
Namely Duke's Gang of 88 - the faculty members (more than 10 percent of the entire staff) who signed a contemptible public statement that not only assumed the players' guilt but hailed the "collective noise" that led Nifong to file his dubious legal charges?
"What Does a Social Disaster Sound Like?" asked their manifesto, citing the purported attack as proof of the "racism, sexism, sexual violence and homophobia" on Duke's campus.
Even after the charges had been proven false, many of the signers remained unapologetic - insisting "the legal process will not resolve" the continuing problem of all those "isms" on campus.
Or the university's president, Richard Brodhead - who not only refused to stand by his own students, but canceled the lacrosse season, suspended the accused players and pressured the team's coach (a 16-year veteran) to resign?
Meanwhile, the rest of the Duke faculty - save for 17 courageous members of the economics department, who publicly disavowed the Gang of 88 - remained silent, afraid to speak out...
The End in Nifong [also titled Duke & Marmaduke]-- There is nothing so dangerous as a Southern liberal hoping to be invited to a Graydon Carter party.
As is now well-known, Durham prosecutor Mike Nifong falsely accused three white Duke lacrosse players of gang-raping a stripper, even as evidence piled up proving it never happened. In the weeks after an unstable stripper — or, since this is not a Hollywood movie, "a stripper" — accused the players of rape, Nifong stated on national TV: "I am convinced that there was a rape." He called the players "hooligans," contemptuously sneering that their "daddies could buy them expensive lawyers."
Envy is an emotion well-known for producing model behavior.
Revealing his own motives, Nifong said defense attorneys for the non-indicted players "were almost disappointed that their clients didn't get indicted so they could be a part of this spectacle here in Durham." Hello, Vanity Fair? Did you see where I talked about their "daddies"?
The Arianna Huffington of the legal profession might still have made his star turn at a Vanity Fair party, but for the fortuity of the defense lawyers...
Second-rate liberals who went to mediocre schools and married mediocre women are burning with jealousy from their nondescript, mediocre jobs. So they use their government jobs to attack their betters and sneer about the players' "daddies." ...
FreeRepublic: Duke & Marmaduke
FreeRepublic: The End is Nifong
Duke deal shields faculty -- Duke University's settlement with exonerated lacrosse players gives legal protection to faculty members, some of whom have been under siege for speaking out in the wake of the gang-rape allegations.
KC Johnson: McClain: Group of 88 Defiant, Despite Settlement
FreeRepublic: Duke deal shields faculty
LS forum: Settlement with Lax players, only 3 settled ? what about others? -- Mike: I have been in touch with several parents of the "other 43." They have not settled yet, but are having discussions among themselves --and some with Duke-- about "next steps." It's not over by a long shot.
Duke case: Open letter to unindicted players -- Short version: SUE DUKE!
John in Carolina:
The N&O’s “Duke deal” story -- reporting you’d expect in a strongly pro Group of 88 story...
The Dark Cloud behind the Silver Lining -- This deal still neglects the nefarious deeds performed by “The Group of 88.” Their “listening statement” pinned guilt on the lacrosse players before the first argument was ever uttered in court. It was as classical a statement of PC prejudice as American Academia will ever put out. The impact of this statement impelled Duke University President Dr. Brodhead to immediately cover his posterior...
Brendan Nyhan: Why did Duke settle with lacrosse players?
Dr. Melissa Clouthier:
Nifong Still Acting Like A Man With Nothing To Lose -- I'm not sure how to feel about Duke University settling with the three victims. Truthfully, I wanted blood, (I wanted to know how much each and every member of the Duke 88 would pay) instead, the university leadership decided to cover the potential liability of all the nefarious actions by the Duke 88. I just wonder how alumni feel about their money being used to cover the liability of ignorant, racist, sexist professors. If ever an institution seemed ripe for a house-cleaning, it is Duke. Doesn't look like that will happen. And those professors are oh, so uncharacteristically quiet. At least there's that...
Editor: Feng Tao/xinhuanet.com/ChinaView.cn:
Duke enters financial deal with falsely accused students -- The Duke University also has been criticized by the lacrosse coach as its dean of students told the 46 lacrosse team members to go to a police station to have their pictures taken and to provide DNA samples without first advising them to talk to their parents and lawyers...
comment: The Duke/Nifong scandal is yet another human rights violation the Chinese can point to...
LieStoppers blog: Sit Down With Dick
Doug Marlette, ComicsPage.com:
I will never join a lynch mob again...
88 Reasons to despise Duke more -- They are the leftists, feminists and fascists — professors all — who signed an ad in the student newspaper in April 2006 that condemned the culture of racism and sexism on the campus.
They also bemoaned "what happened to this young woman" in the politically motivated lacrosse case. They have been conspicuously silent since the facts started to overtake the fabrications of sleazebag district attorney Mike Nifong. Nifong has been disbarred now, and the university has reached an undisclosed financial settlement with the three former lacrosse players wrongly accused of raping a stripper.
But the Nifong 88 apparently remain convinced of their righteousness, of their higher truth, although they are as prejudiced as racists and sexists. They just have different targets.
The Nifong 88 have not tried to make amends with the three ex-players and their families.
Their thought process has been shown to be egregious. Yet they cling to their upside-down ideology, which goes something like this: Even if these three players are innocent, you certainly know that wealthy white men and their sons have been perpetrating all kinds of horrors against black strippers since the dawn of time.
That is their higher truth. Their ideology transcends the facts of any particular incident. Theirs is a greater good. Throw the suckers in prison, innocent or not, because someone must pay for the inequities of life, the injustices of the past.
Duke likes to think it is an elite university. And the school rankings that come out each fall inevitably rank Duke as one of the nation's top universities. But the rankings are not steeped in hard science. They are a little of this and that, and it is hard to imagine the ideology of a faculty not being considered by those of similar political bent doing the rankings.
Here is the fundamental problem with the rankings: At Duke, you have 88 nut jobs, a number of them in the history department, looking to influence the still-developing minds of the young.
How does one compute the Nifong 88 into the rankings? ...
FreeRepublic: 88 reasons to despise Duke more
A tragedy in black & white -- Three lacrosse players at Duke University had to go through hell because of ambitious D.A. Mike Nifong, who finally has been disbarred in North Carolina -- We Americans should feel comforted that Nifong at last has been stopped by our justice system.
FreeRepublic: A tragedy in black and white
Duke settlement spurs vitriol on Net -- Duke University's settlement with the exonerated lacrosse players and their families closes a prickly chapter for faculty who have spent the past year under siege from vituperative bloggers...
LS forum: Duke settlement spurs vitriol on Net, Group of 88 is super po'd at bloggers
Nifong: Politics and the Press -- brutal Doug Brocker cross-examination
When Suspects Aren't Suspects
The Great Dissembler -- Nifong's "I-didn't-read-the-report" defense.
Nifong Defends the "Old-Fashioned Way"
The Origin of Hooligans
Nifong's "Law Enforcement Purpose"
Racial Role Reversal -- What the Scottsboro Boys and the Duke lacrosse players have in common. -- Imagine this: In a Southern town, a woman accuses several men of rape. Despite the woman's limited credibility and ever-shifting story, the community and its legal establishment immediately decide the men are guilty. Their protestations of innocence are dismissed out of hand, exculpatory evidence is ignored.
The Duke rape case, right? No, the Scottsboro case that began in 1931, in the darkest days of the Jim Crow South.
The two cases offer a remarkable insight into how very, very far this country has come in race relations, and alas, in some ways how little. For race is central to why both cases became notorious. In Scottsboro, Ala., of course, the accusers were white and the accused was black. In Durham, N.C., it was the other way around....
Duke University has just settled with the three students it treated so shamefully for an undisclosed, but given the university's legal exposure, undoubtedly substantial sum. Meanwhile, the 88 members of the faculty have yet to apologize for a rush to judgment that was racist at its heart.
The country has come a long, long way in regard to race relations since 1931. But we have not yet reached the promised land where race is irrelevant. Far too many people are still being judged according to the color of their skin, not the content of their character, let alone the evidence...
William L. Anderson, LewRockwell.com:
Durham and Scottsboro (Dec. 14, 2006) -- the ominous parallels.
With Nifong Gone, Duke Rape Case Might Live On -- Nifong hid evidence that showed four men, none of them Duke lacrosse players, had left their DNA in or on the accuser. He lied about it to the court time and again.
Dr. Boyce Watkin, BlackAthlete.net:
Nifong Trial Lets The 'Dukes Of Hazzard' Off The Hook -- OK, Mike Nifong committed misconduct. I'll go ahead and say that right now. I recall watching the start of the Duke rape trial last year, as District Attorney Nifong appeared to be as cocky as Star Jones fresh out of liposuction...
I believe something happened in that house. The contentiousness was evident from the witnesses who saw the men yelling the n-word at the women as they were leaving the party. The men were rowdy and drunk, and even they may not remember what they did that night. Let's be clear about another fact: Being found not guilty is quite different from being found innocent.
I do not believe these guys were innocent...
Is it my right to believe that something happened that night, in spite of their acquittal? Yes, it is. That is exactly what America has done to O.J. Simpson. The Duke Boys are not innocent victims...
LS forum: The Slime Keeps Oozing, A Syracuse Professor Ignores Evidence
Lives Shattered: When the Truth No Longer Matters -- The madness that is over-taking this world never fails to amaze me! I continue to wonder just how all this is possible. When did we stop being, as a whole, compassionate people with the ability to comprehend and reason? When did that all happen? Is there a cure for the insanity that is devouring us?
Mike Nifong, the district attorney from North Carolina, got caught withholding evidence that PROVED the accused were innocent of the charges against them and caught lying to the court. That is spelled, P-R-O-V-E-D and C-A-U-G-H-T! Yet, there are those who are still talking as though the three Duke lacrosse team members (accused of rape) are guilty and that their money simply bought them out of it. Excuse me?!?!?
What part of the facts are these people having difficulty comprehending?
What part of reality is zooming over their heads somewhere beyond their grasp? ..
Jonathan Zimmerman (NYU history prof.), Philadelphia-Inquirer/Philly.com:
Duke lacrosse players not exactly role models -- Though falsely accused, many behaved badly. -- About 30 years ago, I heard a statement in a musty college lecture hall that has stayed with me: "The most important thing you'll learn from history is that victims are not always angels." ...
That's because the Duke lacrosse players were exhibiting the very worst of aspects of American male conduct: crude, sexist, violent, and - in at least one instance - racist. As we now know, they didn't attack the dancer who accused them. But their words and deeds help fuel a culture where attacks of this sort are routine, expected and acceptable...
Let's be clear: None of the Duke lacrosse players deserved to have their names and reputations dragged through the mud by a zealous, deceitful prosecutor. But they should be ashamed, anyway. And so should the rest of us, for teaching them all the wrong lessons about the right way to behave.
Sticking up for the poor rich -- Race was one of the aggravating factors that fueled the rush to judgment against three former players in the Duke lacrosse case, but it wasn't the only one. For many, the accusatory finger was pointed at Dave Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann because they were perceived as rich, while their accuser, Crystal Gail Mangum, was portrayed as a woman who resorted to stripping because she was poor.
More Nifong letters --
...I was appalled to hear after Mike Nifong stepped down that he had chosen to stay in office till July 13. Can you believe the audacity of this guy? ...
Please, let’s find a way to keep him from benefiting financially from book and movie deals. That would be a total disgrace.
Thomas F. Crudele
Cary------...The great Duke University should apologize for not standing up for the students and the team.
The Rev. Al Sharpton should apologize for calling attention to the racial aspects of the case. The Rev. Jesse Jackson should apologize for the same reason...
Dublin------... Nifong has been made to pay for his part in this sad affair. I believe it is now Brodhead’s turn. He deserves it.
Atlanta------So when will the media turn their attention to Gov. Mike Easley for appointing this doofus to the district attorney’s post in Durham in the first place? ...
Raleigh------All of this mess could have been avoided for them [lax players] and everybody else had they stopped to make good decisions and understood the consequences of their actions.
Baltimore, Md.-------...it’s about time the faculty and students of Duke University, who tried and convicted these young men without a shred of evidence, offer their apologies to the entire lacrosse team...
Waynesville-------Stripping Mike Nifong of his law licenses was a fundamental step, but the jump to judgment by the Duke president and 88 faculty members from Duke University displayed a very sophomoric display of poor judgment.
Public apologies — as a minimum — should be provided by each of these culprits...
Nifong's Legacy, Feminism's Shame -- From the beginning, when an African-American stripper -- alternately known as a ``working mother and college student'' -- claimed that three lacrosse players had raped her, few questioned whether she might be lying or that the men might be telling the truth. A spirit of retributive justice prevailed while feminist law professor Wendy Murphy summarized the zeitgeist on CNN's ``The Situation'': "I never, ever met a false rape claim, by the way. My own statistics speak to the truth.''
Really. Even after it became clear that there were problems with the case -- no DNA match, no witnesses, logistical impossibilities, a ``victim'' who couldn't get her story straight and contrary evidence impugning her claims -- rape victim advocates continued their defense.
Prosecutor in Duke Case Is Suspended -- Beth Brewer, a Durham resident who led a campaign opposing Mr. Nifong in the 2006 election and who had filed a petition for removal with Judge Hudson, said she was “flabbergasted” and “appalled” that Mr. Nifong had showed up for work Monday and tried to delay his departure.
Nifong’s fiasco -- As long as we view each other as groups, we will be manipulated by scoundrels. -- Most of us would like to think America is on the path to being a colorblind society in which race does not matter. Mike Nifong, the disgraced and disbarred former Durham County, N.C., prosecutor, has served at least one valuable public service by showing us just how far we have to go on that journey...
It’s no secret that harmony will come only when we learn to view each other as individuals, each with our own potentials and weaknesses. It is also no secret that we are a long way from reaching that harmony. The slower we go, the more scoundrels such as Nifong will prey on us.
Video: O'Reilly on Nifong's Insincere Apology -- YouTube video [1:10]
Video: Times Change -- YouTube by DukeEGR93 [2:16]
Nifong suspension was the right call -- Mike Nifong's sad tumble from grace continued Tuesday when Durham County's top judge suspended the disbarred prosecutor for conduct that has brought "disrepute" to the district attorney's office. The suspension order, which was hand-delivered to Nifong's northwestern Durham home by Sheriff Worth Hill, came one day after Nifong announced he would try to hang on until July 13.
That date didn't sit too well with a lot of local politicians who hoped Nifong's disbarment would put the whole sorry episode in Durham's rearview mirror. For them, Superior Court Judge Orlando F. Hudson's order derailing Nifong's plans to linger on the job was weclome.
There are few people at this point who want to see Nifong stay on the job for any amount of time. What is there to gain by having him continue to serve as the county's chief prosecutor? It's dumbfounding why he would even consider such a move.
The truth is that any case with which Nifong would have been associated during those last few weeks would have been awash in the foul odor of the Duke lacrosse scandal. Fair or not, there are a lot of people who think at this point that Nifong is incapable of fairly prosecuting a criminal case. So we think that it is best for Nifong to move on and allow Durham to do the same...
On the Bookshelf, II -- Two books on the case have now been officially released. It’s Not About the Truth, co-authored by Don Yaeger and former coach Mike Pressler, offers a behind-the-scenes look...
A Rush to Injustice, co-authored by Nader Baydoun and R. Stephanie Good, provides a personal memoir of a how a Duke graduate came to view with distaste the actions of his university...
today’s post examines some of the revelations regarding Duke...
Where's the justice? -- Disbarment doesn't restore reputations of the accused -- And North Carolina prosecutors have too much power. They can set the dates of trials. They can in effect shop for judges. They even can avoid preliminary hearings to determine whether there is enough evidence to proceed with charges, by going directly to a grand jury to bring charges.
U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Gerald Bard Tjoflat, a Duke Law School graduate, recently explained how N.C. prosecutors' control of trial dates also means judges are not assigned to cases, but to courtrooms on specific dates. Thus no judge was in control when Mr. Nifong was busy tainting the jury pool and prejudicing the case against the players. Prosecutors, Judge Tjoflat said in a recent speech, "don't do what he did unless they are absolutely confident that the court will give them free rein." That must change.
Fortunately, the defendants' families were wealthy enough to hire the best lawyers. Those lawyers discovered Mr. Nifong had not turned over evidence clearing the players. The State Bar saw this pending miscarriage of justice and filed ethics charges against Mr. Nifong, in effect moving him out of the case and allowing the attorney general to take over.
In this case, the system did not work. It failed the players, the state of North Carolina and the public interest in truth and justice. Legislators must learn from this situation and rein in the power of a prosecutor to run roughshod over justice...
Michael Nifong: A Freakish Anomaly or Commonplace? -- The unsettling episode of Michael Nifong and the Duke lacrosse players appears to be winding down. Duke University announced that it struck a confidential settlement with the three players falsely accused of rape. And this morning a judge said he would suspend District Attorney Mike Nifong after learning that the prosecutor was disbarred for his handling of the case intended to stay in office for another month.
On Slate, David Feige, a former public defender in the Bronx, laments how rare it is to see a prosecutor facing public censure or disbarment. Alas, writes Feige, “the Duke fiasco will make little difference in how criminal law is practiced in courthouses around the country. Regardless of Nifong’s sanction, the drama leaves prosecutorial misconduct commonplace, unseen, uncorrected, and unpunished.”...
Crank Shot -- [see comments] -- Is there a law, whether a misdeamenor or felony about false report or something? How much of the taxpayers money was thrown away for this crap? Those who came crying about the case, Sharpton and the rest of the whiners, should fit the bill for the taxpayers money. I would sue everyone that came to slander me about the rape case. Hope they get paid!
Tears Of A Clown -- Justice: Mike Nifong weeps at the consequences of persecuting three college kids for a crime they did not commit...
With tears in his eyes, Durham County District Attorney Nifong on Friday announced he was resigning, saying the "community has suffered enough," three members in particular...
Ahmed Yousef, New York Times:
A Blog For All, Israel Matzav, CNN, Wizbang, FP Passport and Michael P.F. van der Galiën
Little Green Footballs:New York Times Shills for Hamas (Again) — Hamas terrorist or op-ed contributor to the New York Times? — Ahmed Yousef is both! — The newspaper that never seems to hit bottom shills for a murderous, genocidal terrorist group with fresh blood on its hands: What Hamas Wants. . . Here’s New York Times op-ed contributor Ahmed Yousef in an appearance on Hizballah’s Al-Manar TV, explaining to the audience that Israel was behind the 9/11 attacks—just like the US was behind Pearl Harbor.
discussion:Jules Crittenden, Pajamas Media: CHEERING THE TERRORISTS ON — As the fighting in Gaza reached …
Good Lt, The Jawa Report: NYT Doing PR for HamasDiscussion:Blake Hounshell / FP Passport: Hamas takes over op-ed pages of major U.S. newspapersMvdg / Michael P.F. van der Galiën: Hamas Times — Ahmed Yousef wrote an op-ed for the New York Times …