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Saturday, September 8, 2007

Duke Case — Nifong Released From Jail

Today's items — updated:

Nifong departs jailWRAL:
Nifong Released From Jail -- Former Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong was released from the Durham County Jail Saturday after serving his one-day jail sentence for criminal contempt.

When Nifong got out of jail at around 9 a.m., he was greeted by a crowd of nearly two dozen supporters and his parents. Before driving away from the detention center, Nifong thanked his jailers for their professionalism.

"I want to express my sincere appreciation to Maj. (Natalie) Holiday, to all of the staff at the detention center, for the professionalism with which I was treated and the respect which I was shown. Other than that, I just want to go home and spend some time with my family," he said.

Nifong also thanked the supporters who went with him to the jail Friday and were on hand Saturday for his release.

Sources told WRAL Nifong was in isolation, away from the general jail population, while he served his 24-hour sentence, for safety reasons. [...]

LieStoppers forum:
WRAL video: Nifong out of jail

Nifong released from jail [+video] -- The crowd waiting for Nifong was smaller that Friday, when he reported to start his sentence. The only heckles came from those passing by, one of whom shouted, "They're hiring at McDonald's, Mike. Get you a job. Thanks for costing us millions of dollars."

But Nifong also received calls of encouragement from those who watched his release. "They had no business locking that man up," yelled Gloria Parker, a resident of Durham for 10 years, as Nifong and his retune left the jail.

"I know what he did. He did what he thought was right, and I support him 100 percent and I don't care in Durham who knows," Parker said. "I respect him to the fullest."
Nifong supporters escort him from jailNifong suppporters escort him from jail
John Stevenson / Herald-Sun:
Nifong spends night in jail -- Surrounded by a phalanx of supporters, former District Attorney Mike Nifong walked haltingly and silently into history Friday when he entered the county jail to serve a one-day sentence for lying about evidence in the now-ended Duke lacrosse case.

He reportedly is the only chief prosecutor ever locked up for job-related misconduct in North Carolina.

Superior Court Judge Osmond Smith last week found him in contempt and ordered that he be jailed 24 hours for claiming he didn't have DNA evidence favorable to three lacrosse defendants when he did.

The former district attorney is scheduled to be released at 9 a.m. today.

Nifong was flanked Friday by an estimated 20 supporters as he walked down South Mangum Street from Pettigrew Street to the main jail entrance.

His wife, Cy Gurney, held his hand as she marched at his left side.

Others in the support group included community activist Victoria Peterson, lawyer Jane Campbell and Nifong's son.

"I'm here to stand by a friend in the low times just like the high times," Campbell said.

A few of the supporters carried red and white signs proclaiming, "We believe in your integrity and goodness."

"The signs say it all," Peterson told reporters. [...]
NY Post: Blue Devil Gets 24 Hours in HellTodd Venezia / NY Post:
Blue Devil Gets 24 Hrs. In Hell -- With the sound of jeers ringing in his ears, disgraced Duke lacrosse prosecutor Mike Nifong was locked in jail yesterday on contempt-of-court charges for botching the case - as three players he falsely accused of rape announced they are seeking $30 million from the city of Durham, N.C.

The fallen lawman has been sentenced to serve 24 hours in a Durham jail after a judge determined he lied to the court about evidence that eventually proved the three Blue Devil players were not guilty of rape.

Looking haggard in a white polo shirt, the once-talkative Nifong refused to say a word as he headed off to the clink yesterday.

A small group of hecklers greeted the legal liar. One woman shouted "justice works!" while a man screamed, "I hope your family gets what you gave those families, you scumbag!" [...]
The NY Times doesn't want to touch this story so they use the AP

AP / NY Times:
Ex - Duke Lacrosse Prosecutor Leaves Jail -- Former Durham County prosecutor Mike Nifong walked out of jail Saturday morning after completing a 24-hour contempt sentence imposed by a judge for lying to the court about critical DNA evidence in the Duke lacrosse rape case.

Nifong left the county jail shortly after 9 a.m., where he was greeted with cheers and applause by a crowd of about 20 supporters waiting for him in the lobby. As they did Friday when Nifong reported to jail, they surrounded the disgraced and disbarred prosecutor as he moved through a crowd of reporters to a waiting car.

''Other than that, I just want to go home and spend some time with my family,'' he said, refusing to speak with reporters who peppered him with questions. [...]
Nifong leaves jailNews & Observer:
Nifong a free man again -- Once Nifong exited the jail, there was more of the slight pushing and shoving between the media and supporters who surrounded him. Reporters kept asking questions and Nifong-supporter Victoria Peterson kept answering them with no comment.

"We love you here in Durham," Peterson said to Nifong. "The people love you. We support you, and we still support you, and we feel that you are innocent."

But Nifong had more to say. He was thankful of the supporters who surrounded him during the past two days."

It means a whole lot to me, it really does," he said.

As to the few people who heckled Nifong as he walked to an awaiting tan Volvo:"I don't have anything else to say," he said.
Rob Waters / The Durham News:
Suit will only hurt citizens -- To David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann, the Duke Lacrosse Three, some advice.

Some high-end lawyers came to town this week claiming to be acting in your interest. Be skeptical.

They want to help you sue the City of Durham and/or its police department for their sins in the lacrosse case.

But look, guys, Duke University has already reached a settlement with each of you. We don't know how much money is involved, but we're pretty sure it more than covers your considerable expenses of the last year and a half.

So you don't really need the cash. What, then, would be the point of a suit? Revenge? Against whom? [...]

You're smart and well-educated, and you each have your whole adult lives ahead of you.

Consider tuning out the lawyers and turning the page. Let it go.
Bill Anderson /LieStoppers forum:
Email to Mr. Waters -- I think that the citizens of Durham should have taken into consideration that the charges were false before they voted Nifong into office. In fact, had Nifong NOT pursued the charges, it almost is certain he would have lost the election. Moreover, there was massive police misconduct on behalf of the Durham police and civilian officials that can be regarded as criminal.

Yet, instead of people stepping up and admitting the absolute wrongness of what happened last year, we have journalists accusing the players of being greedy. [...]

By the way, if the defendants had been black and poor, would you be admonishing them not to sue Durham? It seems to me that we need "liberty and justice FOR ALL," not just some. Thus, if Durham does not want to be sued, then perhaps people like you could urge its officials to obey the law, not to lie, and not to try to frame innocent people and have them sent to prison. It sure could save your city a lot of money in the future.
BlueNC blog:
Will We Ever Be Free of Nifong Stories -- What has bothered me most about the Nifong case is how quickly the defense lawyers brought all of the power of the national media to bear on the case so that it never got sorted out by twelve folks from Durham. Now it is the vindictiveness of the civil case and its derailing of an investigation that is striking me.

There is something more than Nifong's action rotten with this case. And that is the determination of the parents not to have the merits of the case, whatever few there might have been, brought out either in a trial or in an investigation of the actions of the Durham Police.

Could it be that the point is not to get justice but to ensure that rich white jocks at prestigious colleges get legal immunity? Class has its privileges [...]
Editorial / The News Journal (Del.):
News media didn't learn anything from previous runaway coverage gaffes -- In a few hours, Mike Nifong will be out of jail. Twenty-four hours is all he had to serve for his willful and disgraceful false prosecution of members of the Duke University lacrosse team.

Former District Attorney Nifong at least has lost his law license for his abhorrent abuse of power. But what about the university officials who abandoned their own students without a shred of evidence? Or, worse, what about the news media who convicted the players in headlines and on talk shows.

Perhaps one can blame the administration's and faculty's cowardly behavior on some sort perverted political correctness. But what about the reporters, editors and commentators who should have known better? [...]
James Taranto / Wall Street Journal Editorial Page blog:
Maybe She Just Has a Complex [scroll down] -- Kathy Rudy, who studies women at Duke University, is turning out to provide a rich vein of material. Our item yesterday brought lots of interesting comments from readers. One called our attention to the Dec. 15, 2000, issue of Duke's Faculty Forum newsletter, in which Rudy, who had just received the university's $5,000 Alumni Teaching Award, describes the undergraduate class that "was most formative in my academic training." It turns out to be one in which her teacher went AWOL [...]

Lots of readers, meanwhile, laughed at Rudy's statement that "complexifying this equation to include race meant identifying ourselves as white oppressors." [...]

If someone knows this little about language, we must wonder what else she knows little about. [...]

Christopher Scalia quips that " 'Complexifying' is the new 'strategery,' " and Gregory Taggert asks, "Complexifying? Is that the feminist version of complicating?"

Of course not. Everyone knows that the actual word is "complexificationalizing."
News and Observer frontpage Sept. 8, 2006News & Observer front page - Sept. 8, 2007 - Nifong going to jail
Letter to Herald-Sun:
One day not enough

Knock, knock, knock! Is anybody home? First let me say that this is not in defense of Mike Vick. I think what he did was absolutely reprehensible and wrong. If he needed to fight dogs (and with his money) he should have taken every weekend, or whatever, and gone to Mexico where that act is not a federal offense. Vick pleaded guilty in a court of law and now must pay the price.

Fast forward to Durham. All former prosecutor Mike Nifong gets is one day in jail? Get real, folks. There was some "home cooking" here. Yeah, yeah, I know Nifong lost his job and law license -- sounds like Bill Clinton -- but he can, and probably will reapply for it in the future.

I think the sentence the judge, and I use that term loosely, gave to Nifong was a slap in the face of the three young men who were up against going to jail for the rest of their lives. The sentence given Nifong was unjust and weak. He could have been given the maximum sentence, whatever that could have been, and that still would not have been enough.

I just hope and pray that if I do something that requires a judge to pass judgment on me, that I get Nifong's judge. Then maybe I could get back to my daily life after only serving one day in jail.

Jack Lamb
John in Carolina:
KC Johnson: