Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Underlying Issues

In an interview with the Associated Press yesterday, interim District Attorney Mike Nifong, makes the stunning admission that he feels he has a responsibility to prosecute the Hoax, not, apparently, because doing so is his legal obligation, but rather because he seems to feel it is his societal obligation because of the “underlying divisions” revealed by the Hoax.
"I think that I have a responsibility to prosecute this case. I think that really nothing about my view of the case and my view of how the case ultimately needs to be handled has been affected by any of the things that have occurred. You can make the case go away pretty easily. Anybody could. The next D.A., or me if I were so inclined. You can do it with the stroke of a pen. But that does nothing to address the underlying divisions that have been revealed. My personal feeling is the first step to addressing those divisions is addressing this case.” Herald Sun
DA Nifong, despite the mandate of his office which requires him to pursue justice, has deemed his responsibility instead to be addressing the underlying divisions that have been revealed by the hoax. Apparently, with the hoax laid bare, Mr. Nifong has decided to spin his motives in pursuing the prosecution from an outspoken belief that an assault has occurred to a mission to address the community division revealed by the Hoax. Echoing the sentiments of the potbangers who attached their agendas to the Hoax, Mr. Nifong reveals his own. Admitting that, with “a stroke of a pen” he could end the nightmare being experienced by the innocent Duke Three and their families, if he were “so inclined,” Mr. Nifong declares his “responsibility to prosecute” this hoax is the “first step in addressing these issues.”

On the eve of the election, Mr. Nifong attempts to paint himself as a champion of the community willing to abdicate the constitutional responsibilities of his office to “refrain from prosecuting a charge that the prosecutor knows is not supported by probable cause.” Rather than "the responsibility of a minister of justice,” Mr. Nifong pretends to have the responsibility of addressing underlying divisions. Rather than “a duty is to seek justice, not merely to convict” that “carries with it specific obligations to see that the defendant is accorded procedural justice and that guilt is decided upon the basis of sufficient evidence,” Mr. Nifong feigns that his responsibility is that of social healer.

If DA Nifong’s words are to be believed, he clearly misunderstands what his responsibilities within the criminal justice system are. If his words are sincere, he clearly has put three young men in jeopardy of decades in jail while soiling their good names, damaging their lives and causing their families to endure outrageous expense, not in the interests of criminal justice but rather in the interests of serving his own personal agenda of addressing “underlying issues.” In doing so, he has made these three young men pedestals upon which to step while giving himself the opportunity to paint himself as a man seeking to “address underlying issues.”

As misguided, unjust, and unjustified as this abuse of office would appear to be, it is difficult to imagine the Mr. Nifong truly feels his responsibility as a District Attorney is to “address underlying issues” at the expense of three innocent men. It appears far more likely that reading through his message results in finding yet another indication that Mr. Nifong’s intention is to continue to advantage himself of this opportunity, not in the interests of the “balance of Durham,” but rather for the balance of the election campaign.

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

Perhaps Nifong could better serve his community as a social worker than as a D.A. Since he fails to understand the role of a D.A., and indicts before he investigates, perhaps he's campaigning for the wrong job.

Anonymous said...

I bet Bumpkinland Durham County will reelect Nifong to say to the rest of the country, "We don't have to listen to evidence. We do what we WANT here. So there!" I wouldn't even DRIVE through Durham County after this. Duke should be moved up north and Bumpkinland segregated from the rest of the U.S.

kbp said...

"You can do it with the stroke of a pen."

Sorta rubs a little salt in the wounds of the defendant's families.

I bet he snickered when he said that.

Anonymous said...

I live in AZ and recently started reading KC Johnson's blog (and Liestoppers') after reading of the blogs' role leading the exposure of this unbelievable hoax, hoax within a hoax..

I am astonished at the breadth and magnitude of this debacle. The apparent breakdown of the judicial system (where is the AG? or oversight of some kind?), the lack of integrity evidenced by key members of an institution as esteemed as Duke, and those in Durham who would sacrifice due process for these students (and their own) in favor of a political trial.

I am saddened beyond belief by this incredible travesty.

Let's hope the three young men recoup their lives, and the the political, civil, and academic leaders pay the price in the end..

Anonymous said...

the stroke of the pen statement was indeed meant for the defense and the lax players and families. nifong is gloating in a way but he is justified after all the hell he is going thru. he is getting death threats and has security at the courthouse. that statement was nifong's way of saying that he has the power to dismiss it but he wont because he believes in his case and that he is still going forward despite all the defense/lax family media/pr efforts to destroy him and the av. he is letting them know that despite all the kc johnsons, gaynors, 60 minutes, dan abrams, susan filan, greta,the liestoppers, the talk left,friends of duke, etc that he is still here and if he wins the election that he will still proceed to nail them and their criminal offspring to the wall and to try to bring the guilty to justice. he is letting them know he is not afraid of them and all their money and power. once he is elected, it will be in his hands entirely until it gets to court and the judge can decide to dismiss it. however, here in nc, usually the prosecution puts its case on and then and only then can it be dismissed by the judge. that means if he goes to trial, that the lax families and players are in for an ordeal and a potentially embarassing exposure before the world before the judge may chose to end it. word is,though, that the local people do not want a dismissal like that as they are afraid of a riot if it does not make it to a complete trial but that is why the defense picked a judge not always in durham so he can dismiss without worrying about re-election in durham.

Anonymous said...

In other words, the previous commentor is saying that no matter how much the truth is portrayed, a lie is preferable because he likes the outcome. The "criminal offspring" comment is truly offensive, as well as this idea that the accused players MUST be guilty because they are white.

I grew up in the South and had to listen to this rhetoric from whites. Now I see that the rhetoric has not disappeared.

You may choose to believe a lie or to propagate a lie, but even though you can insist that a lie is the truth, it still is what it is: a lie. If that is how you wish to live your life, then so be it. If you wish for a prosecutor in your county to be a man who promotes a lie, so be it, because you will have to live with the results.

William L. Anderson

Anonymous said...

If Nifong actually said these words, that in essence it matters not weither a crime occurred, all that matters are the "divisions" the case has exposed - then I beleive that the NC bar has no choice but to step in NOW

Anonymous said...

I say let them riot...

Anonymous said...

I think this dilussional bastard Nifong sees himself as a great Civil Rights figure or something. And after seeing some of the comments here and over at DinW, looks like some of the dim witted citizens of Durham do as well !

Anonymous said...

Why would Nifong say "it can go away with the stroke of a pen" unless in fact, he realizes it should go away. I can't imagine a prosecutor making such a statement unless he knows there is no basis for going forward (other than his own personal gain).

He further makes a case for the boys innocence when he states he is staying the course primarly to 'fix' racial divisions in Durham. HEY--what about the evidence?? If you read between the lines, never does he attribute any evidence or the boys' guilt as a reason for coninuing to try this case. Apparently, evidence is not an issue in this case--only the fight for racial justice, which apparently is worth sacrificing the lives of three young men on the part of Nifong to the AG to the Governor.

Anonymous said...

1:38 No thanks. We don't want Nifong sent up north. We have enough of our own problems already.

Anonymous said...

By taking on the the role of "racial justice fighter" in this so-called prosecution, when it all blows up in his face, Nifong can stand between Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson to claim his righteous efforts were really designed to end racial divisions in Durham...to which Al and Jesse can loudly proclaim the total innocence of this brave freedom fighter, in any charges of prosecutorial misconduct.

Anonymous said...

The elephant in the room, in this case, has always been racism. AA's have endured racism for generations, and continue to do so. However, in the 60's and 70's, the civil rights movement, under the leadership of ML King, caused whites of conscience to be appropriately shamed by their "inner racist" and began to cause them to have a change of heart. Subsequently, many, if not most whites are attempting to raise their children without the shackles of racism which were a part of their own upbringing. However, the AA community, whether through righteous anger, continued racism, or the convenience of having the excuse and culture of victimization, has not dealt with their own internal racism, nor are there many prospects for their being shamed into doing so, since it is rare that they gain the upper hand in this country where they can be the targets of passive resistance/civil disobedience. In addition, both their AA leaders and unscrupulous political hacks like Nifong find racism an easy tool to wield when needing a knee jerk response out of the AA community. The anger I've seen in pro-AV postings hasn't been so much against the three indicted players as against whitey in general. I doubt that most AA's could even name the 3 players. Until the AA community confronts the issue of their own bigotry, things in Durham, and the rest of the country, will be unchanged.

gc said...

Nifong just keeps putting his foot is his mouth and the judges, Justice Department, North Carolina officials look the other way. It's disgusting. Where is the ethics panel of the NC Bar Association?

You are correct a prosecutor is supposed to be a 'Minister of Justice'. At least that's how I was raised along with the police officer is supposed to be your friend. That's why for the first 2 weeks or so I too believed a crime had been committed. I was suckered into it because the DA said it happened and I believed him.

Instead of being a 'Minister of Justice', Nifong is a:

Misrepresenter of Justice
Mockerer of Justice
Perverter of Justice

You decide which one is it or perhaps all 3?

sceptical said...

Nifong's latest comments are another indication of why the defense team should request a change of venue. Any trial should be about the specific charges against the 3 defendants, not about Durham and its divisions and problems.

Anonymous said...

They absolutely should ask for a change in venue. Doesn't mean they will get it, as the judge has to grant it, and of course we all know how everything goes in Durham.

Anonymous said...

How can a judge ignore these prejudicial remarks by Nifong if cited by the defense in a request for change of venue. Duke University has no idea the damage that is being done to their future enrollment as a result of this outrageous case. In time, they will wish they had shown some leadership and courage, but only after some pain will this dawn on Duke.

Anonymous said...

People who send their kids to Duke should stop and think. For 45,000$ a year, if any local makes the most outrageous accusation, your kid could be facing 30 years in a lovely Durham prison. Hardly seem worth it to me.

justice58 said...

ANONYMOUS 10:08am

quote:I doubt that most AA's could even name the 3 players.

You're lying: Collin Finnerty, Reade Seligmann, Dave Evans.

Do you want any more names of the lacrosse players??

Stop spreading lies about what you think AA's don't know. It just shows your ignorance.

Just maybe, if you didn't have such a stupid attitude, then you might learn something about African Americans.

Anonymous said...

Brodhead incorectly believes that the rape accusation was the primary threat to Duke's esteemed reputation and the high number of acceptances was evidence of how well the adminitration managed this incident. He does not seem to realize that he has failed miserably and should at least audit a lecture on Crisis Management at the business school.

Anonymous said...

Nifong is a racist and a manipulator of African-Americans and liberal Whites. Disgustingly, he can now, with no apparent shame or fear of reprisal, spew his race-hatred "code words" to a nationwide audience via the Associated Press in order to secure AA votes and keep his pension and 29k campaign loan. Mr. Nifong, sir, you are a worm.

Anonymous said...

I would personally LOVE to see a trial, as long as it was held anywhere else but Durham (I don't trust that town). Or fly in a scientific-minded Japanese jury from Tokyo. Then I'd relax.

Anonymous said...

Watching Precious on the stand being interogated by the defense attorneys will be the best ever. Unfortunately, the lives of three innocent men are at stake.

Gary said...

I’ve come to the realization that some people will never change their originally formed opinions regarding this case. Like justice58, they choose to ignore the facts contradicting their preconceived opinions only to hold on to the glimmer of hope that a crime actually did occur. For WHAT? I would go so far to say that even if the AV came out and admitted that see made the whole story up in her angered state that night only to avoid being put into rehab. They would only then believe that she “caved under the pressure” of the media and skeptics. They would be right there to console her and pay for her tuition, well, when she’s released from prison. I bet you would not see a single Herald-Sun column apologizing to the Durham citizens for being so one-sided in their reporting and ignoring the obvious truth. The believers run the same old ground in their arguments that “we haven’t seen all the facts.” And I’m sure that they temporally black-out when they read the words that have been posted countless times “Open Discovery Law.” What facts does the world not know? That Mike Nifong’s shoelaces are tied together and he’s going to fall flat on his face? Really, come on?

Anonymous said...

Truthfully, I used to want a trial just so they could clear their names. Now I just want the case dismissed. The normal people know they are innocent. I have so little faith in the justice system in NC that I don't want them to take that risk.

Anonymous said...

how the hell are you going to ask for a change of venue because of excess publicity when the defense has been leaking the most to the media, putting people on 60 minutes and having press conferences? They have contributed to the excess publicity, especially most recently after the indictments when nifong went silent for the most part. they will not get a change in venue. if one is granted, there will be a riot. no. the judge is not a regular durham judge so he can dismiss without repercussions.

Anonymous said...

justice58

So the fact that you can use the internet to find the names of the 3 defendants means I'm a liar? Because you disagree with me you resort to disparaging remarks and name calling? Why don't you try to convince me why many in Durham's AA community think Nifong is handling this correctly, since you seem willing to speak for them. Or, is just talking smack your thing?

justice58 said...

11:56 am

I'm not name calling. Just calling you on that lie that you stated.

Listen: (Just) about everyone knows the name of the defendants because their name and picture has been on (just) every cable news station, and every major newspsper. And may I add the internet.

Blue Devil Knight said...

So, not knowing their names would make me ignorant about everything, nullify my opinion about lots of facts:
1) The "lineup" consisted only of Duke lacrosse players.
2) She has a history of unsubstantiated rape allegations.
3) The other dancer contradicts her story.
4) The other dancer said the accuser her to bruise her.
5) One of the defendents was in a taxi at the time of the alleged crime.
6) The DNA didn't match.

But I don't know their freaking NAMES. Wow, that takes the cake.

Unfortunately, Nifong will probably win because Cheek and Monk are going to split the vote. This sucks.