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Saturday, July 14, 2007

Nifong/Mangum Hoax — July 14, 2007

Updated — today's items:

Mike Nifong salutes the North Carolina Disciplinary Hearing CommissionLieStoppers:
"The Wisdom of Mike" Series --

The Wisdom of Mike, Vol X -- “One of the benefits of my long tenure in this office is that I am known and respected by the key figures in both the other components of the judicial system--law enforcement officers, attorneys and judges--and the community at large--people such as business and civic leaders and elected officials...

For my entire career, I have been known to be a person of the utmost integrity, and I pledge to you that I will continue to live up to that reputation...

I have earned the reputation among my colleagues in the court system as a prosecutor of the highest level of professional skill...

Under my leadership, the District Attorney’s office is an institution of unquestioned integrity...

I must win on November 7” - Michael B. Nifong, former Durham County District Attorney

The Wisdom of Mike, Vol IX -- “Justice, which should be the ultimate goal of every decision made by the District Attorney, is exclusively the product of doing what is morally right, and neither political expediency nor tactical advantage must ever be a factor in that calculation.” - Michael B. Nifong, former Durham County District Attorney...

The Wisdom of Mike, Vol VIII -- “Most of the recent cases involving prosecutorial misconduct resulted from the failure of prosecutors to give defendants evidence to which they were entitled by statute or judicial decision, usually because they were seeking tactical advantage at trial.” - Michael B. Nifong, former Durham County District Attorney...

The Wisdom of Mike, Vol VII
-- “Just as important as recognizing what is the right thing to do is having the moral fortitude to actually do it, even when it would be easier to do the opposite, or to do nothing at all.” - Michael B. Nifong, former Durham County District Attorney...

The Wisdom of Mike, Vol VI -- “In my opinion, politics rarely, if ever, produces heroes.” - Michael B. Nifong, former Durham County District Attorney...

The Wisdom of Mike, Vol V
-- “I have never understood why any prosecutor would try to gain an advantage at trial by concealing evidence from the defendant. After all, if the information in question is damaging to the State's case, then the defendant is clearly entitled to have it; if it is not damaging to the State's case, why should it matter if he gets it?” - Michael B. Nifong, former Durham County District Attorney...

The Wisdom of Mike, Vol IV -- “It is the prosecutor who actually bears the ultimate responsibility for seeing that the defendant has a fair trial.” - Michael B. Nifong, former Durham County District Attorney...

The Wisdom of Mike, Vol III -- “The shortsighted prosecutor concerns himself only with victory in the courtroom and is willing to take whatever advantage he can, no matter the consequence.” - Michael B. Nifong, former Durham County District Attorney...

The Wisdom of Mike, Vol II -- A prosecutor should never be a bully, never take unfair advantage of his authority, never demean a person based on his situation. To deny dignity is to deny justice.” - Michael B. Nifong, former Durham County District Attorney...

The Wisdom of Mike, Vol I -- “Doing the right thing is not only the best practice in principle, but it is usually also the most economical process in the long run.” - Michael B. Nifong, former Durham County District Attorney ...
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Next King of Wonderland?

Matt Dees / News & Observer:
Bell, Stith poised to battle -- Mayor's race seems likely to spice campaign; Catotti, Brown to seek 2nd term
 Thomas Stith is out to unseat three-term mayor Bill Bell.

The three-term City Council member said Bell has allowed crime to flourish and hasn't cracked down enough on staff members who have committed serious errors.

Stith, 43, promised to clean up the streets and City Hall in a speech Tuesday where he set the stage for what could be a rough-and-tumble campaign.

He said he considered stepping away from public life for a while until the weekend of March 23, when two teenagers were shot, one fatally.

The one who survived was the young man standing to Stith's left during his speech. Stith did not name the boy to protect his privacy...
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Matt Dees, Jesse James DeConto & Emily Matchar / News & Observer:
Time is right for council hopeful --
David Harris has risen through the grass-roots ranks in Durham. Now, he thinks it's time to take it up a notch with a run for the City Council.

Harris is president of the influential Inter Neighborhood Council, a broad coalition of community activists, and captain of the Citizens Observer Patrol in Police District 2.

"My tour of duty with both of those is coming to an end," Harris said Friday.

So the timing was right for his first bid for office, he said. He is one of six candidates seeking three at-large council seats.

Harris, 58, wants residents to take more ownership of community problems, particularly crime. He said his volunteer experience has shown him that small changes in people's habits, such as not leaving valuables in cars, can have a big impact on crime reduction...
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KC Johnson:
One in 1636 -- 
The Duke website states that 1636 undergraduate degrees were awarded for the class of 2007. Of those 1,636 students, only one...

student [Chauncey Nartey] to receive all three honors after sending a harassming e-mail and seeing his frat suspended?

What does that say about what the administration thought of the other 1635 students who graduated in 2007?
--------
KC Johnson:
Nifong & Grace -- Months ago, Saturday Night Live noticed that Mike Nifong and Nancy Grace appeared to have a special affinity for one another. A friend passed along these excerpts from Georgia Supreme Court opinions; the prosecutor being referenced is Ms. Grace. Given her own record of dubious prosecutorial conduct, perhaps it’s unsurprising she found Nifong’s behavior so appealing.

Georgia Supreme Court, Carr v. State of Georgia, 267 Ga. 701 (1997) ...

Grace is expecting twins, and therefore will need a maternity leave; the recently disbarred Nifong is looking for gainful employment. Perhaps the ex-DA can substitute for Grace: at the least, he could ensure that the program continued to be hosted by a figure who disregards legal ethics.
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John Burness, Duke’s senior vice president for public affairs and government relationsJohn in Carolina:
INNOCENT: Duke’s Burness Made Me Smile -- I was reading Don Yaeger with Mike Pressler’s It’s Not About The Truth. When I got to page 107 I read:
”He [Brodhead] may be the smartest person I’ve ever met,” said John Burness, Duke’s senior vice president for public affairs and government relations. “He is a really deep thinker and it’s fascinating to watch how he thinks and how he talks because he starts with the big picture and he works his way down to the points. He is so fast with his wit you just do a double-take sometimes.”
My wife asked why I was smiling.

“Here, read this,” I said.

She did and smiled.

How about you?

And would you support changing Burness’ title to: senior vice president in charge of promoting the interests of President Brodhead and those controlling the board of trustees?
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Letters to Herald-Sun:
Printing lacrosse letter was poor judgment

I believe your paper's decision to publish letters like those of Carrie Smith [Letters, July 5] demonstrates less of a goal to offer interesting and informed opinions and more of a desire to promote further controversy regarding the Duke lacrosse case.

Smith compares Nifong's trial and subsequent resignation to that of the crucifixion of Christ, and threatens that "[T]he divine master will not let you get away with your unforgiving hearts." Unfortunately, after reading the letter I must admit that I was not as much frightened by the idea of divine punishment as I was amazed at the lack of discretion involved in what you deem worthy of your editorial section.

Smith is one of many whom, in the wake of this incredibly sad incident, have sent in angry tirades that poke and prod at the still-healing wounds that we have been left with. Because it is Smith's opinion, her letter is not "wrong" -- though certainly, many people would disagree with her claims.

What is wrong concerns judgment from a journalism standpoint. If you want a sensational reputation, you are earning it. If you want to promote an enlightened, substantial and progressive scope on these events, then these types of comments don't fit.

We've already seen plenty with the lacrosse case itself. I hope that in the future, your paper will consider letters that endorse healing and tolerance, instead of those that put the words "crucify him, crucify him" in our mouths.

SARAH FRUSH
Bahama
-------
Jail for Nifong?

I read with interest Durham resident Stephanie Kelly's July 7 letter about Mike Nifong getting too much media coverage. She hopes the coverage ends and says Nifong has had enough and should get a break. Perhaps Kelly forgot about Nifong's love affair with the media. When he was campaigning. Nifong jumped in front of every camera he could and granted upwards of 70 media interviews on local and national shows.

After his appearance before the State Bar, it has now become clear that Nifong was at the very least misleading (and more likely outright lying to) the public. As a Durham resident, I am sure Kelly would like the media coverage to die down. Unfortunately, Nifong made his bed and now he must lie in it. Personally I hope he gets a lot more press, after all that's what he wanted in the first place.

Maybe Nifong can even have the privilege of being caught on video in handcuffs and having his mug shot on the cover of Newsweek like Reade Seligman and Collin Finnerty. The difference, of course, would be that he is guilty and deserving of such treatment, unlike the men he persecuted.

Hopefully very soon Mike Nifong will be in jail for a long time and the coverage can all come to an end. At least until he comes up for parole.

MIKE LAUSTEN
Ashburn, Va.

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