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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Nifong/Mangum Hoax — June 26, 2007

Updated — today's items:

Nifong gets some staticAP/(Greensboro, NC) News-Record:
Nifong disbarment rare move -- The decision to strip Mike Nifong of his law license for his handling of the Duke lacrosse rape case marked a rare punishment from the disciplinary committee charged with punishing lawyers in North Carolina.

The North Carolina State Bar received 18,277 complaints between 1996 and 2006, but only 208 lawyers had their law licenses suspended and 164 were disbarred, according to bar data. Last year alone, 1,398 grievances were filed but only 35 cases went before the independent disciplinary panel empowered to disbar attorneys.

Sanctions against prosecutors are particularly rare: Nifong, who has been suspended as Durham County District Attorney, was the first prosecutor to be disbarred since 1996. About three quarters of disbarments over the past decade came from financial misdeeds, such as taking money from a client or law firm...

---------
AP/ABC News:
Nifong Removal Hearing Set -- A judge has scheduled a hearing Thursday to consider removing disgraced Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong from office before he can resign.

Nifong was suspended with pay from his elected post last week and forced to turn over the keys to his office for his handling of the Duke lacrosse rape case. He was also disbarred.

Nifong said he would resign July 13, but that wasn't soon enough for Durham Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson, who will consider a petition to remove Nifong that was filed by a Durham resident earlier this year....
----------
Thomas Sowell article to be reprinted in Duke ChronicleFreeRepublic:
Duke Is Not Off the Hook Part II -- Freepers placing Thomas Sowell Ad in Duke paper --

Hello all. Being in the publishing business I jumped in to assist John with booking and designing the ad. It's a reprint of Dr. Sowell's outstanding column calling-out the nefarious parties in the Duke "rape" travesty.

Here is the ad (PDF)

The plan is for this to appear in the "Send Home" edition of the Duke Chronicle and the deadline is upon us. It's their largest circulation issue of the year - mailed to the homes of all students which means parents footing the tuition bill will have a chance to read this.

Please read John's original thread explaining this project in more detail with info about how to get involved...
related:
Thomas Sowell, TownHall.com:Unfinished Business

dicussion:
LS forum: FreeRepublic Takes a Hand in the Duke Case
----------
Other forum topic(s) of note:
TalkLeft: Nifong ponders in deposition: why would Crystal persist?

LS forum: Nifong "interview" with Tara, word for word notes
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John in Carolina:
INNOCENT: Nifong’s “f” & Sgt. Shelton -- Nifong says of Shelton: “So he thought he was dealing with someone [Crystal Magnum] who was impaired and uncooperative, and that that was all he was dealing with.”

Yes, that’s just what Shelton thought; and he was right...
related:
TJN: Statement of Sgt. John C. Shelton
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KC Johnson: Nifong Rationalizes His Statements [video, 3:57]
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LOOKING FOR NIFONG:
Superior Court Judge Orlando F. Hudson said a deputy sheriff attempted to serve the hearing notice at Nifong's November Drive home Monday evening, but Nifong's wife -- Cy Gurney -- would not accept it.

The deputy then posted the notice on Nifong's door, according to Hudson.

"That's proper service as far as I'm concerned," the judge added...
Looking for Mike Nifong
LieStoppers fourm: I FOUND NIFONG
LieStoppers blog: Hiding the Nifong
KC Johnson: More from Wonderland
---------
Joseph J. Honick, HuntingtonNews.net:
COMMENTARY: It Ain’t Over Until Jesse Jackson Says So -- What follows might sound like a play to some white supremacists, but don't for one second believe it is or that I would bow to such nastiness. The problem, or at least one of them, is that, if one comes down on Rev. Jesse Jackson for inexcusable public commentary and actions, there is a presumption of racism.

Too bad, because Jackson, in the now-cleared Duke University lacrosse team story, was the protagonist of the problem and may have done damage to efforts to curb it. Those who deal in how public opinion is formed need to pay attention.

Although it would seem the alleged scandal involving some partying Duke University lacrosse team players has now passed into memory, with the prosecuting attorney, Mike Nifong, disbarred and disgraced, and the university settling claims by the players in some quiet financial manner, there are others who need to ask for some forgiveness and pay for their sins.

Not the least of those who figured all the charges had to be true before anything was even moved into a courtroom was the Rev. Jesse Jackson who journalistically and quite publicly played judge, jury and executioner of the reputations of the accused players.

In a syndicated column of the Tribune Media Services headlined HORROR AND TRUTH, Jackson attacked the means by which media reported an alleged rape of two dancers at a team party and specified who was to have done the terrible deeds...
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Dennis Prager, TownHall.com:
(conservative syndicated radio talk show host)
The Rape of a Name Is Also Rape -- The rape of a name can be as vicious a crime and as destructive an act as the rape of a body. Sometimes the rape of a body is worse, sometimes the rape of a name is worse. But they are both rapes. And morally likening the two is in no way meant to lessen the horror of rape; it is meant only to heighten awareness of the horror of intentionally destroying the name of an innocent person.

These words are written in the aftermath of the destruction of three young men's names by a lying woman whose name is still hidden by The New York Times and other major newspapers whose commitment to truth is not as strong as their commitment to political correctness.

Upon first hearing a comparison of name-rape to body-rape, most people are likely to recoil. But upon reflection, it becomes clear that the two are morally comparable. In fact, I have had women listeners to my radio show call and e-mail me to say that they have been raped -- one woman had been gang raped -- and felt they were better able to go on with their lives than men they loved who had been falsely accused of rape or molestation...
discussion:
FreeRepublic: The Name Of A Rape Is Also Rape (Dennis Prager On Safeguarding Personal Reputation Alert)
--------
Carey Roberts, OpinionEditorials.com:
The Disgrace of the Duke 88 -- Three weeks after Crystal Gail Mangum made her false allegations of rape, 88 Duke professors ran an advertisement in the student newspaper asking, What Does a Social Disaster Sound Like?

The rambling April 6, 2006 statement lamented, " no one is really talking about how to keep the young woman herself central to this conversation, how to keep her humanity before us.' But no mention was made about the humanity of three male students falsely accused of rape.

Worse, the professors� manifesto used the logic of the lynch mob, fostering the notion that since a Black woman claimed to be a victim of rape, everyone at Duke was now tinged with racism: "We go to class with racist classmates, we go to gym with people who are racists - It's part of the experience."

Exactly who are the members of the Duke 88 and what is their agenda?

The most vitriolic member of the bunch was professor Houston Baker, who repeatedly indulged in racist and sexist claims. In his letter to Duke provost Peter Lange, Baker charged, "Young, white, violent, drunken men among us - implicitly boasted by our athletic directors and administrators - have injured lives."

Young, violent, drunken men among us - Dr. Baker, that's the language of the KKK, not of a university teacher.

Karla Holloway, chair of the university's Race Subcommittee, justified her membership in the Duke 88 because she desired to express her support for "all" students at Duke. When asked whether her support for all students included the beleaguered lacrosse players, she refused to answer...
--------
Letters to Herald-Sun:
Teach students a lesson

In America, we used to teach that actions had consequences. It seems like Mike Nifong may learn this lesson, but there are many others that should also learn a lesson. There are volumes of news clips of Duke University students demanding to throw the accusers out of school based on the accusation alone. Now that the truth is out, the videotapes should be reviewed and all students shown, should be called into Cameron Indoor Stadium with their parents. This meeting should be to used to inform them that since they have not learned how the American judicial system works, it will require another semester of schooling to learn the system and pass a test before graduating.

Actions have consequences and another $20,000 in tuition costs ought to suffice. Hopefully, as these future leaders step into the real world, they will be able to tell others the lessons they learned and share that lesson with their children or others they influence. If no lessons are learned, history will repeat itself the next time a controversial issue occurs. I believe it is the only way to stop the cycle of ignorance.

GREG BUTTON
Burlington
----------
Any lessons learned?

When the charges, both informal and formal, began to fly, I sat back and read and listened to statement after statement from Duke University professors and activists who openly derided the lacrosse players. I found the situation particularly interesting because I am an attorney and understand the process, and because typically, it is our professors and others in a similar situation who often rush, or at least walk, to the aid of criminal defendants.

They profess to champion their rights. Yet, there was something different about this case. The professors, and others, jerked their knees and skirted the process entirely. It couldn't have been because of race, could it? Now that we know the facts, the silence from the Ivory Tower is deafening. Any lessons learned on campus this week?Ogden, Utah

STEPHEN NOEL
Ogden, Utah
---------
'Just following orders' is no excuse for police

Your June 20 editorial [City in crosshairs..."] said, "It would have taken great courage for a rank-and-file officer or investigator to stand up and oppose the sitting DA." That thinking is reminiscent of the Nuremberg defense used by Hitler's followers after WWII. It didn't work then and it won't now. Sworn law officers don't have to "just follow orders" when it involves breaking the law. If they can't figure it out, they've no business with a badge and gun.

The Herald-Sun has a poor record concerning this case -- it was one of Mike Nifong's biggest boosters. It remains to be seen if The Herald-Sun can partially redeem itself by insisting that Durham's leaders get to the bottom of what happened with the police department no matter where it leads.

Mike Nifong didn't frame those three young men by himself. He had help and the public needs to know who it was and why it was done.

WALTER ABBOTT
Ruston, La.
--------
Insults and insinuations

To show the blood thirst and wild hysteria surrounding the Duke lacrosse case, newspapers and media everywhere are filled with diatribes against the accuser. Horrible insults and insinuations are used, and with all this makes me wonder where are all the lawyers out there to stop it?

The lacrosse defense got their wish, there was no trial and the charges were dismissed. The N.C. Attorney General and others can call these charged players innocent -- in a legal sense -- because that was their constitutional presumption from the first day.

But dropping charges and declaring that there was no evidence -- does this mean that everyone now can call the accuser a false accuser? No, not right either. Probable cause was found by a local grand jury familiar with knowing the histories of wild, off-campus Duke University parties.

No trial, no further prosecution is a double-edged sword. The players remain legally innocent, but also the accuser's allegations continue not disproved.

D.J. REGISTER
Durham
---------
KC Johnson:
Nifong Deposition, Part I -- The Mike Nifong deposition is now available, through Liestoppers. It makes for a fascinating read. Part One of the deposition in today's post; Part Two will form tomorrow's post.

In some ways, the deposition previewed his ethics trial testimony—especially in his consistent claims that he read virtually no documents related to a case that he had claimed was as important as any Durham had ever faced.

In some ways, it did not, as Nifong was far less willing to concede errors, even in his preprimary public statements.

And, in a fitting testimony to the ex-DA’s character, Nifong also used the deposition to try to settle scores with people he has grown to strongly dislike—such as Jackie Brown, Bob Ekstrand, Sgt. Shelton, and Susannah Meadows ...

Much like Gottlieb, Nifong admitted that he, too, looked at blogs, and specifically referred to an early timeline post (probably the one on Johnsville News) that proved prescient in the end.
comment: Regarding KC Johnson's last point about Nifong looking at blogs. Nifong first mentioned "the blogs" in his email rant to Susannah Meadows of Newsweek, dated June 13th:
Now, to get specific, what are you accusing me of saying in public "when the facts were known to be different?" None of the "facts" I know at this time, indeed none of the evidence I have seen from any source, has changed the opinion that I expressed initially. I have seen quite a bit of media speculation (and it is even worse on the blogs) that either starts from a faulty premise or builds to a demonstrably false conclusion. That is not my fault (although some of your colleagues have acted as if it were). The only people I have to persuade will be twelve sitting on the jury, and if you want to know how I am going to do that, you need to attend the trial. If, in the meantime, you and other "journalists" want to continue your speculations in the competition to come up with the most sellable story - and that seems to be everyone's bottom line - then please spare me the recriminations when you get things wrong, as you inevitably will...
related: TJN: Duke Lacrosse Rape Timeline
---------
Ray Gronberg, Herald-Sun
Nifong says DA job came with no strings attached -- Just before his N.C. State Bar disciplinary hearing, now-suspended District Attorney Mike Nifong disputed Gov. Mike Easley's claim that he had promised the governor he wouldn't run in the 2006 election.

Though Easley wanted someone he could appoint to replace then-District Attorney Jim Hardin without giving potential candidates for the job a political head start, Nifong told lawyers from the State Bar that he'd signaled the governor he wouldn't accept a conditional appointment.

Nifong also said that soon after the appointment, Police Chief Steve Chalmers and the boss of the Durham Police Department's patrol units, Maj. Beverly Council, told him the department thought former Assistant District Attorney Freda Black was "difficult to impossible" to work with. . .

In his deposition, Nifong said Hardin -- who was leaving for a judgeship and has now returned for two months as acting DA -- asked him to become a compromise candidate because Easley didn't want to "disadvantage himself" among supporters of two other supposed candidates for the job, Tracey Cline and Marvin Waters.

Cline, who is black, is a Durham assistant district attorney. Waters, who is white, was once an assistant district attorney in Durham and is now the N.C. Department of Crime Control and Public Safety's general counsel.

Nifong said he told Hardin he "would not be interested in accepting any position if there were strings attached."

He also said he told Reuben Young, the governor's chief legal counsel and the man who screened potential appointees, that "if he wanted a commitment prior to my going into the office that I either would or would not seek that office, that I was not his man."

When apprised Monday of Nifong's claims, Easley spokeswoman Sondra Artis said the governor "has already responded publicly to this matter" and stands by his story...
--------
John Stevenson, Herald Sun:
Nifong removal hearing set Thursday -- In further fallout from the Duke lacrosse sex-offense case, former District Attorney Mike Nifong will undergo a civil removal hearing on Thursday unless he accelerates his projected resignation date of July 13, Durham's top judge said Monday.

Superior Court Judge Orlando F. Hudson said a deputy sheriff attempted to serve the hearing notice at Nifong's November Drive home Monday evening, but Nifong's wife -- Cy Gurney -- would not accept it.

The deputy then posted the notice on Nifong's door, according to Hudson.

"That's proper service as far as I'm concerned," the judge added.

Attempts to reach Raleigh lawyer Robert Zaytoun, appointed by Hudson as a special prosecutor for the removal hearing, were unsuccessful Monday...
discussion:
LS forum: CY would Not accept summons to appear, in Court!
----------
John Stevenson, Herald-Sun:
Wilson out of a job as DA's investigator -- Investigator Linwood Wilson of the District Attorney's Office is out of a job six months after he interviewed the accuser in the Duke lacrosse sex-offense case, a scandal-soaked affair that brought Durham an unprecedented blast of adverse national publicity and put the lives of three young defendants in legal limbo for a year.

It could not be determined whether Wilson lost his position as a direct result of alleged irregularities in his December interview with the lacrosse accuser, an exotic dancer who falsely claimed she was sexually attacked by three players during an off-campus party in March 2006.

Candy Clark, administrative assistant to interim District Attorney Jim Hardin Jr., said only that Wilson would not be employed after Monday. She said personnel privacy considerations prevented her from disclosing the reason.

Attempts to reach Hardin, who was appointed to his interim post by Gov. Mike Easley last week and sworn in Thursday, were unsuccessful.

Wilson would not comment. His lawyer, Fred Battaglia, said Monday he didn't have enough information to discuss the situation.

Wilson's departure comes less than two weeks after the former district attorney who hired him, Mike Nifong, was ordered stripped of his law license by an N.C. State Bar panel on June 16.

Wilson, a former police officer and private investigator, was hired by Nifong in December 2005 to administer a worthless check program. Four months later, he became the first genuine investigator in the District Attorney's Office since the mid-1980s.

"The guy's amazing," Nifong said in an interview at the time.
--------
Anne Blythe, News & Observer:
Durham DA's investigator jobless -- Linwood Wilson, who figured in the Duke lacrosse case, no longer works for the office -- As chief investigator for the District Attorney's Office since December 2005, Wilson has been criticized by defense lawyers in the Duke lacrosse case and other Durham criminal cases for intimidating witnesses.

It was his interview in late December with Crystal Gail Mangum, the accuser in the lacrosse case, that led to the dismissal of rape charges against the three former Duke lacrosse players.

In that interview, according to Wilson's notes, Mangum changed her account of what happened to a version that seemed to address holes in the case brought to light by defense lawyers.

In departures from recommended police practice, Wilson interviewed Mangum without a law enforcement officer present, showed her photographs of the accused players and failed to record the one-on-one interview.

Questions about the interview arose during the N.C. State Bar procedures against Nifong this month that led to an order that Nifong be disbarred.

Lane Williamson, chairman of the disciplinary panel that punished Nifong, asked what kind of directions Wilson was given.

Nifong did not directly reply to some of Williamson's questions. But when asked why the interview had not been recorded, Nifong responded that Wilson would not be performing such tasks any more...
---------
LieStoppers blog:
Excerpts From Mike Nifong's State Bar Deposition, Part 4: Jackie Lopez, Officer of the Court - Reading the SANE Report, or not - Condoms -- [transcript, direct examination by Mr. Brocker]
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Barry "Corporal Punishment" Saunders, News & Observer:
Hodge sits atop this list -- There are two likely responses upon hearing that one of the dudes being considered for the top cop job in Durham was accused of hitting his son with a billy club 10 years ago.

The first -- "Oh, how horrible. How could he?" -- is usually said by someone who has never raised a teenager and who thinks they're all like Theo Huxtable.

The other is, "Say, homes. Where can I get me one of those clubs?"

If they're anything like me, most Durham residents couldn't care less who replaces Steve Chalmers as chief, as long as the winner locks up the bad guys and makes the streets safer.

One of the three candidates, Ron Hodge, is probably a long shot for two reasons. He is the No. 2 man in a department beset by image problems tied to, among other things, the Duke lacrosse case. And 10 years ago, he was accused of hitting his son with his department-issue billy club after the kid messed up.

Hodge almost lost his job because of this alleged club-on parenting incident and a federal law prohibiting people convicted of domestic abuse from having gun permits.

Instead of lessening his chances of leading the department, the fact that he disciplined his son -- even in a manner unprescribed by the "time out" crowd -- catapults him to the top of my list...
comment: Barry should move to Singapore. They have caning there.
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Michael Gaynor, RenewAmerica.com:
Duke case: What makes Nifong different -- When I wrote "Duke case involved societal prosecutorial abuse" last week for posting on June 25, 2007, I did not expect The New York Times' Adam Liptak's "Prosecutor Becomes Prosecuted" in The Times' June 24, 2007 Week in Review section. But The Times is doggedly disgraceful. Mr. Liptak's article is mind-boggling. The Times is still spinning furiously. Pity suspended Durham County, North Carolina District Attorney Michael B. Nifong as a victim of disporoportionate punishment or selective prosecution? ...
--------
Joan Foster, LieStoppers:
He's Still in the Fire
--

But the Fong's in the fire, and he's pulled me in the flame.
No one can help us, we deserve the shame and blame.
Civil suits are comin', Miz Rae said we'd have regrets
Fong's in the fire, and they ain't finished with us yet!
...

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