Friday, October 20, 2006

Herald Sun Readers Take on Ashley, Nifong

A brief review of the Letters to the Editor appearing today on the Herald Sun website reveals an overwhelming anti-Nifong sentiment among local and on-line readers. Eight letters, mainly from local residents, harshly criticize both DA Mike Nifong and Obfuscator-in-Chief, Bob Ashley.

Robert Jacobs of Glendale, Arizona writes:
“Don’t Get Nifonged…A new word is about to become part of our lexicon and will be appearing in every dictionary in the world. "Nifonged" -- A euphemism for inept and corrupt prosecutors. My client was Nifonged the other day in court. I hope I don't get a Nifong prosecutor. Every prosecutor in the country should be ashamed and embarrassed by the actions of this prosecutor. He is a disgrace to the court and the legal profession. He should be disbarred and sent to prison. Nifong's actions have made every prosecutor in America suspect of having an agenda that has nothing to do with the truth. It's time for the legal profession to speak up and demand honesty and integrity in the Durham prosecutor's office.”
Mike Lanier of Durham adds:
“...This whole situation is sad. We've got a DA who is still clinging on to this disaster, only for, once again, the black vote. And a tarnished university, hurt families, and ruined reputations…what is surprising is the fact that the DA has managed to still keep a few supporters. Shame.”
Chris Kennedy, senior associate athletics director at Duke Univesity, also of Durham says:
“Paper backs injustice…I can't say that I was surprised by the editorial in the Oct. 17 Herald-Sun describing the "60 Minutes" coverage of the Duke lacrosse case as "slanted" in favor of the indicted students. After all, The Herald-Sun has consistently, uncritically, and blindly supported District Attorney Mike Nifong's mishandling of this case. If there was a perceptible slant in the broadcast, it was toward truth and based on a reading of the entire case file. It is unfortunate that The Herald-Sun has chosen to promote injustice rather than to fight it.”
Bill Brill of Durham suggests:

"You insist we haven't heard any "compelling" evidence of their innocence. Unless I've missed something, there is positively no evidence offered of their guilt. Frankly, The Herald-Sun would be better served to have written an editorial lambasting the police in general and Sgt. Mark Gottlieb in particular for cuffing students and taking them to jail for what are at most misdemeanors. This case is full of more holes than Swiss cheese, including the obvious, that the photo lineup was ill-conceived and illegal by somebody who clearly (to me) desperately seeks a conviction.”
James Richards of Durham puts in his two cents:
“Regarding the case against the Duke lacrosse team, it is becoming more apparent that there is no case. The following should occur in this order: All charges dropped against the three men; DA Mike Nifong removed from office and charged with misconduct; Duke University president fired with no severance; accuser charged with filing a false police report; and the three men should file civil charges against the accuser and the university. Harsh, yes, but this will forever follow these men. Duke University and the city of Durham need to make things right.”
Dayna Howell of King, North Carolina states:
“I just read a letter in the Oct. 15 newspaper written by L.R. "Lee" Castle, a defense attorney. He wrote in support of Mike Nifong. I am not an attorney, in fact, I am a retired grandmother. But being a defense attorney, Castle must not have had all the facts, or he chose to overlook facts. "60 Minutes" reported on the Duke rape case, and they investigated before reporting. "60 Minutes" reported, and I have heard this on the news, that Nifong had a lineup for the victim to point out the accused. But every person in the lineup was on the Duke lacrosse team. There was no way he could get negative results. And Castle, a defense attorney, thinks this is the way to have a lineup? Something stinks!”
E. Hart King of Durham tramples on Nifong:
“Nifong tramples ethics…Mike Nifong has trampled on judicial ethics and violated his oath of office. He has required the police to use a fraudulent identification process to find someone -- anyone -- to gain an indictment. He has slandered a great university and destroyed the reputations of 46 of its students. He has crucified three innocent young men and their families for political gain. And your paper has ignored all of this. And how terribly sad that the university faculty, who should be teaching how to search for truth, have instead jumped to conclusions without benefit of knowledge and are unwilling to alter their views. Every citizen of this city could (on Nifong's whim) be treated the same way and with as little justification. If you don't want the next doorbell to ring for you, please vote him out of office come November.”
Professor James Coleman concludes the Ashley/Nifong slam fest:
“Your editorial about the recent "60 Minutes" report mischaracterizes both what the district attorney's role has been in the Duke lacrosse rape case and why some of us have criticized him. Like much of the media hype that has surrounded the case, your editorial turns the case into an ugly caricature by suggesting that the decision to prosecute the Duke students was made by a valiant prosecutor on a white horse who is defending a helpless black woman who "ranks near the bottom of society." That is what the prosecutor also suggested when he told a largely African-American audience that he personally would protect "this black girl" from the hooligans at Duke. I find that characterization of the case offensive and patronizing. Why do you say the accuser is "near the bottom of society?" She is an apparently talented student and mother who dances to support herself and her child. She is a woman, not a "black girl." Trying to make this case about race and class has done a great disservice to Durham. From the start, it should have been handled as just an alleged rape that had to be investigated and prosecuted if the evidence warranted it. As someone who has criticized Nifong's handling of the case, I have not called for him to dismiss it; rather, I have suggested only that a special prosecutor be appointed who can make the kind of disinterested decisions about the case that Nifong has shown himself incapable of making. If the case goes to trial, it should be based on the strength of the evidence against the defendants, rather than as a convenient way to shift responsibility for ending what now appears to be a highly questionable prosecution to a judge or jury."

Submit Your Letter to the Obfuscator Here


Anonymous said...

WOW. Ashley got his empty head handed to him. I was on a board once that wanted to effect a change in local government. A professional lobbyist told us that a personal letter was the most effective tool available to us. The consultant shows a tape of a congressman on the House floor holding up a handful of maybe 60 letters from his district as proof of the strong sentiments about a bill.
The letters in the HS resulted from individuals taking time from personal activities to express their opinions. They represent a lot of people who do not take that action. I think Nifong is in trouble on election day.
Write today!

SouthernGirl2 said...

Listen up

Mike Nifong is certainly not in trouble as you proclaim. This November 7th, the voters will elect him as their DA and rightly so. He has 27 + years experience and the people support him. If you're counting on him to lose the election...then you are in for a rude awaking. The voters know who they want and will prove it to you. There is nothing more powerful than casting your ballot.

Anonymous said...

Yep, Injustice58....the letters from the local voters sure do seem to indicate that the voters know who they want or don't want...