Sunday, May 20, 2007

Just Say "NO" to Nifonging

On Tuesday, the Civil Judiciary Committee (Judiciary I) of the North Carolina Senate will meet to consider three Bills that are relevant to the protection of all citizens from the injustice perpetrated in the Durham Hoax. We strongly oppose one of the proposed laws, an effort to undo the State's open discovery law; fully support the second, an effort to broaden the same discovery statute; and, with one reservation, support the third, an effort to provide recording and transcription of Grand Jury proceedings that includes a procedure for the reporting of prosecutorial misconduct to federal law enforcement officials. Like minded and equally concerned citizens are encouraged to contact the members of the Judiciary I Committee prior to Tuesday's meeting.

The bills to be addressed on Tuesday are:
  1. Senate Bill 1009 - Discovery/DA Work Product - Sponsored by Sen. Tony Rand
  2. Senate Bill 1130 - Broaden Open Discovery - Sponsored by Sen. Daniel Clodfelter
  3. Senate Bill 1131 - Grand Jury Reform/Prosecutorial Misconduct - Sponsored by Sen. Daniel Clodfelter
We strongly oppose Senate Bill 1009 as an attempt to rollback the open discovery laws that allowed for the exposure of the Durham Hoax. Discussions of the Legalize Nifonging Bill and the deceptive arguments employed by the State’s elected District Attorneys to promote it can be found here: NC DA's Push For Legalized Nifonging and Two More NC Newspapers Join Call to Prevent Legalized Nifonging.

Senate Bill 1130 offers one modification to the open discovery statute. The bill proposes to add the following statement to the statute:
The term "prosecutorial agency" includes any public or private entity that obtains information on behalf of a law enforcement agency or prosecutor in connection with the prosecution of the defendant.
The clarification would include labs such as Dr. Brian Meehan’s DNA Security, Inc. as a "prosecutorial agency" subject to open discovery. As such, the proposal broadens the open discovery law. We welcome Bill as an effort to broaden the State's progressive open discovery law.

Senate Bill 1131 proposes to have all Grand Jury proceedings recorded and transcribed while also allowing Grand Jurors to report prosecutorial misconduct to federal law enforcement authorities after consulting with and gaining the permission of the presiding judge.
All proceedings of the grand jury shall be recorded and transcribed. Records and transcriptions of grand jury proceedings are not public records under Chapter 132 of the General Statutes.

[Grand Jurors] May confer with, and report to, the presiding or convening judge concerning possible prosecutorial misconduct or any other matter that could adversely affect the independence, fairness, and impartiality of the grand jury.

Notwithstanding G.S. 15A‑623 or any other provision of law, the grand jury may, after consultation with the presiding or convening judge and only with that judge's permission, report to federal law enforcement authorities on prosecutorial misconduct and any other matter that could adversely affect the independence, fairness, and impartiality of the grand jury.
While we strongly support the proposals to record Grand Jury proceedings – had this been the case for the Durham Hoax, there would be a record of the misrepresentations presented by DPD officers Himan and Gottlieb on behalf of Defendant Nifong – and to allow the Grand Jury to report prosecutorial misconduct to federal authorities, we are reluctant to endorse the requirement that permission from a local judge be granted first. Given Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson’s defiance of State Law on behalf of District Attorney Nifong in the matter of the petition to remove him for office, it is difficult to trust that other Judges would not follow Hudson’s lead and favor a familiar ally above the law and over the lawful request of concerned citizens. Even if the bill were modified to require the presiding Judge to act on the request for permission to report prosecutorial misconduct, Hudson’s refusal to follow the statute requiring him to act on the 7A-66 petition offers no assurance that a resident Judge would act against a favored prosecutor.

Contact information for the nineteen members of the Senate Judiciary I Committee follows below. Please take a few moments to express your opinions on these Bills directly to the committee members by clicking the email links provided.

North Carolina Senate Judiciary I Committee Members:

ChairmanSen. Martin L. Nesbitt, Jr.
Vice ChairmanSen. Philip E. Berger
Vice ChairmanSen. Daniel G. Clodfelter
Vice ChairmanSen. R. C. Soles, Jr.
MembersSen. Charles W. Albertson, Sen. Julia Boseman, Sen. Andrew C. Brock, Sen. Harry Brown, Sen. Peter Samuel (Pete) Brunstetter, Sen. Janet Cowell, Sen. Malcolm Graham, Sen. David W. Hoyle, Sen. Clark Jenkins, Sen. Eleanor Kinnaird, Sen. Vernon Malone, Sen. Floyd B. McKissick, Jr., Sen. Tony Rand, Sen. Richard Stevens, Sen. Jerry W. Tillman

Click here to copy one email to all 19 committee members.


Anonymous said...

Great cartoon - gotta be John Bolden

Anonymous said...

The Power Of Blogging! Durham Is YOUR town too!
I ask you all to also request an Investigation into the DPD, and Sheriff's Department, and why nothing is being done about the unsolved murders?! Not only my brother but also a recent triple homicide, Janet Araboa, Michelle Young, and who knows how many others!

Our cases have been kicked to the curb, and 2 years have come and gone without not even being important, but disgustingly neglected! Nifong is hard from being the sole villain, his league is quite enormous and encompasses many others in positions of authority who have also abused their offices!

There needs to be INVESTIGATIONS, and REFORM! Anything less will accomplish nothing! Nifong is by far the first politician to succumb to abject corruption! Every day is another story of another crooked members of government caught in everything from murder to fraud in office!
The entire scope of the matter is that Durham has become like Carson City in the "Old West!" Lawlessness is the rule rather than the exception!

The Governor needs to be told that "WE" as in "THE PEOPLE" DEMAND accountability, and "WE" will expect NOTHING less than a thorough review by FEDERAL INVESTIGATORS!

Set a PRESIDENT! Durham is not just in North Carolina, but is in each of our United States! Let "OUR" government KNOW that "WE" will not continue to condone anarchy within our own homeland, brought upon us by "ROGUE" officials!
The very word ROGUE does not begin to even touch the surface of what really lies beneath! ROGUE is a compliment compared to what they really are! And that is depraved individuals who care only for their own gain and agendas, are veritably let go with a slap to the hand, and defile the oaths they swore upon to uphold!
All they have UPHELD is their own self interest and those of their cronies, meanwhile OUR rights are abused, neglected, disrespected, ignored, and denied!"

"WE" the people have been vehemently denied our voices and rights to be heard! NO family should be forced into bankruptcy in order for us to have "RIGHTS" to be heard to the courts! This nation was NOT made so that legal affairs would be forever drug on by lawyers in it for their own gain! I am disgusted our country has become so defiled!
MANY of our loved ones have, and are serving in the military so that "WE" may have our freedom and our rights!

"WE" must STAND TOGETHER, massively call, and bother to send by certified mail thousands of letters telling them we will accept NOTHING less! "THEY" work for us! A third of our wages goes into the support of our country! "WE" elect these people! To look the other way is not just giving in, it is cowardice, IMO.

What more fitting detriment to our millions of war dead to know that the flag they bled, and died for is nothing more than a piece of cloth woven in a communist country by enslaved women and children, only because we care about the cheapest cost regardless of it's price, and leave out "One Nation, (UNDER GOD)?!?!

I am sure they are shaking their heads and saying, THESE are OUR descendants?! Just remember our "ROOTS AND OUR RIGHTS" and there is very much power within UNITY!
Rhonda Fleming
Cleveland Ohio