Saturday, December 30, 2006

Washington Post: Drop the Charges

There aren’t many divisive issues on which the Washington Post and Washington Times fully agree. But in a stunning editorial in today’s paper, the Post demands that Nifong drop all charges and accuses him of prosecutorial misconduct.

The editorial, thoughtfully, plays off a quote from former Attorney General and Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson:

The prosecutor has more control over life, liberty and reputation than any other person in America. His discretion is tremendous. He can have citizens investigated, and, if he is that kind of person, he can have this done to the tune of public statements and veiled or unveiled intimations.

These words, the editors realize, “ring disturbingly true today” about Nifong’s conduct. “It’s been clear for months that Mr. Nifong’s case—to the extent he has a case—is riddled with flaws that raise serious questions about his motives and ethics.” (It would have been nice to have heard from the Post on this score before the election.) As have many editorial boards, the Post seizes upon the investigation’s most serious procedural violation—the “shockingly shoddy,” no-wrong-choices lineup. And the editors make clear they don’t buy Nifong’s excuse that his refusal to turn over the exculpatory DNA evidence was an innocent oversight.

More broadly, the Post correctly observes that Nifong “badly misconceives his job as a prosecutor, which is not simply to robotically prosecute claims or seek a conviction at all costs but to make an independent analysis of whether justice would be served by continuing with the case.”

With the voices of the Capitol’s left and right speaking as one, AG Gonzales has more than enough political cover to launch a federal investigation into Nifong’s misconduct.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

I predict it won't be long for Mr. Nifong. He will, himself, seize upon something that allows him to disqualify himself and play 'pass the trash' to a new prosecutor. The prosecutor will take one look and see that there is no case, and drop it like the proverbial hot rock.

After that Nifong will demagogue that whoever he gave the case to should have prosecuted it more effectively.

And unless the local NAACP actually wises up to the damage that their own members might sustain if prosecutorial abuse like what has happened in this case became the norm, and turn on Nifong....well, just expect all the locals to rally around the man, maybe even re-elect him again.

When will the Left learn that playing identity politics is every bit as reprehensible as wearing sheets and burning crosses....

Anonymous said...

Not too shabby for the Post to come around. Even though they publish John Feinstein, Duke '77, they're very much a pro-Terp paper.

bill anderson said...

This is important, because the Post was one of the last holdouts on the story. I would not be surprised to see the NY Times follow suit.

Don't think that the politicians in North Carolina are going to stand by their man. Nifong is a pariah, a stinkbomb, and a real liability to the Democratic Party of that state.

If Nifong were a mafiosi, a hit squad would have been dispatched by now. My guess is that you will see the political equivalent being launched soon. The Bar Association of the state already has spoken, and will speak much more loudly in the future.

The man has brought this on himself. He was the one who made the case what it is, the man who could not see himself on television enough, the man who could not pass up an interview.

One cannot fathom the wreckage this man has spawned. And the process is not even over yet. Unlike George Bailey, Nifong really is going to be wishing that he never had been born.

Anonymous said...

JLS says...

I personally suspect the ego side of Nifong will win out over the stuborn side and he will find an excuse this week to drop the charges. If he allows himself to be forced off or removed from the case, he is no longer in charge. His ego will not allow that. He will want to pretend he is in charge and he has dropped the case.

Anonymous said...

With the final sign of an upcoming asteroid strike being when the Baltimore Sun, a snivelling ultra-liberal excuse for a news organization, follows suit. Kudos to the Post for doing the rights thing here.

-Esquire-
-Maryland-

Anonymous said...

The Washington Post editorial page is compensating for the shoddy news stories and columns published by the news operation. It's certainly welcome.

Anonymous said...

Those who are frustrated in Maryland by the ultra-leftist Baltimore Sun should contact the parent company executives in Chicago. The Sun is owned by the Tribune Company. Don't know the name of the CEO.

Cedarford said...

At WP, even their in-house legal analyst & uber-liberal Andrew Cohen has thrown in the towel. For months he was a Nifong tool saying "only a jury can evaluate the evidence".
Now he's saying the accuser has a shredded credibity and signs point to misconduct.

Attaboy, Andrew, you legal genius, you!

Anonymous said...

It just keeps geting better.

A regular Hit Parade!

Anonymous said...

The NC Bar ethics complaint, the NC Conference of District Attorneys letter, and these editorials have all come out at the exact same time as Brodhead's statement demanding that Nifong be removed from the case. However, while the people posting comments on this website are lavishing praise on the state bar, the conference of district attorneys and the newspapers for attacking Nifong, they condemn Brodhead with too little too late. What gives?

gs said...

I hpe he drops the charges.

But if I was Nifong and knew I railroaded innocent people, I would drag my feet. I could eevenn make it look good.

1 - I am review the latest developments ( jan 3)

2 - Am recuse myself Feb 2

The next hearing in Feb 5, he delayed justice 2 months.

GS said...

2 months, because Whoever takes over will need at least a month to review & investigate, much more than Nifong has done in 9 MONTHS.

Richard said...

This is important, because the Post was one of the last holdouts on the story. I would not be surprised to see the NY Times follow suit.

The NY Times admit that they made a mistake? Bill you are such a dreamer! Actually, the NY Times did not make a mistake. They deliberately, with malice aforethought, supported Nifong because his accusations agreed with their Leftist race and gender politics. It would require an epiphany of epic proportions for the NY Times to now admit that they were wrong.

Anonymous said...

For the boys, I am glad that the MSM has finally come to its senses, but I fear that there is something more sinister at play.

The MSM has now realized what Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton knew from the start. The Post, LA times et al realize that this is the wrong case to attach the multicultural agenda to. Simply because it is demonstrably false.

Their mission now is to limit their damages. They'll throw Nifong under the bus and talk about prosecutorial misconduct and how he manipulated the evidence to obtain indictments and move this prosecution as far as he did.

The conversation that the MSM want to avoid is the one about the climate and atmosphere both in the academy and in the nation at large that allowed these boys to be offered up immediately to appease the gods of the politically correct. The left will try to villify Nifong and make him the main offender, but they will not discuss the gang of 88, broadhead's weakness, the long line of women's rights advocates and people for "social justice" who condemned these boys for being white males.

I can't help but to pick up on Wendy Murphy's comment about Hitler. We seem to like to make comparisons to Hitler when we find someone we don't like. But we must remember that Hitler did not act alone. He acted with the aid and assistance of the Nazi party, and his acts were condoned by a broad segment of the German society whether they acted on Hitler's agenda or sat by and allowed it to continue.

So, I can agree with the gang of 88's suggestion that this case stands for something much more than just the acts that happened, or as we we know now did not happen, that night. It stands for a culture that has become all too comfortable with villifying white males for that reason alone.

Nifong is by far not the only criminal here and all white people would be wise to recognize it.

WINDBAG

Anonymous said...

2:51
Brodhead is not an uninterested party. he owes his students some loyalty. the State Bar and the Newspapers around the country do not owe the boys anything.
Brodhead, supposedly, is part of the Duke family, none of the others are.

If your dad said he wasn't sure you raped those girls and you'd better move out of the house, how would you feel. Would the term betrayed come to mind? Brodhead is a PC Weeny and must go.
Kemp

Anonymous said...

9:15 AM

The NY Times does admit making mistakes sometimes. In 1969 they published such an admission regarding some of their statements about Robert Goddard in 1920. :-)

TombZ said...

The NY Times has yet to disvow Walter Duranty's Pulitzer prize winning reporting on Stalin during the '30s.

If you want to see the NY Times offer an apology or correct the record on the Duke hoax, you'll have a very long wait.

HMan said...

To 10:55
I cannot prove it, but I believe that Brodead et al took an approach to this that was designed to appease the mobs at Durham and the PC crowd at Duke without ever expecting to see these kids having to face a trial. In other words, I think Brodhead very early on came to the same concept of this case as did Nifong - the players are innocent but that does not mean I cannot use this to enhance my standing with the community. The difference was that Brodhead expected the innocent kids to merely get roughed up and then released. Since they were not HIS KIDS, in any sense at all, he was not disturbed by the morality of this happening. Nifong, however, was the real thing; a truly reptilian creature from the lower depths who was fully capable of ruining 3 young lives just to keep his pension and because, let us face it, he enjoys the suffering of others.
Brodhead is thus a lot like Neville Chamberlain when he was trying to work out a partnership of sorts with the 3rd Reich. They both refused to look at the plain signs of extreme evil in the character of the thugs to which they had joined their reputations.
People who excel at not notice-ing things they do not want to know about can do a lot of harm when thy are the ones driving the bus.

Anonymous said...

To 10:55 AM:

I find that a very weak response. The fact is that there were a lot of people watching this case very closely, including the NC Bar Association, the NC Conference of District Attorneys, and many newspapers around the country, and very few of them started attacking Nifong any earlier than Brodhead. This suggests that they all had pretty much the same take on the case, namely, that the DA was entitled to some deference and that they should wait to see how the case unfolded, but when the story came out about Nifong and the DNA lab concealing the exculpatory evidence, that was like the last straw which caused Broadhead and all these other organizations to go public with their criticism. The Department of Justice still has not spoken out on the case even though they were undoubtedly well aware of it long before receiving the letter from Congressman Jones.

Dave said...

The Wash Post edit page sometimes takes positions at odds with the liberal narrative in the news pages, unlike the NY Times which never deviates.

But the readers of both the Post and the Times have yet to learn about the statement of the Conference of District Attorneys on Friday.

As they wrap up the year by looking back, none of the columnists in either paper have anything to say about the case. They certainly had a lot to say during the spring.

Anonymous said...

If Dave is right that Post readers haven't seen the conference action, it's because the news operation is under the control of ultra-leftists. The editorial page is more closely watched by Donald Graham, the CEO. Write Graham when you see ridiculous bias or incompetence in the news pages. But be certain that the conference of attorneys report hasn't been published before you criticize.

Guaunyu said...

Dave and Anonymous 6:25:

The Washington Post article below (basically the same article with two different web postings) was published yesterday and mentions the NCDA statement, albeit very briefly.

WaPo 1

WaPo 2

NY Times does not seem to have an article mentioning it. Which would basically support my long held pro-Washington Post and anti-NY Times biases. I know many here aren't WaPo fans, but I've loved the Post since I was an undergrad at G'town.

Anonymous said...

The Post is much more reliable and honest than The Times. Nevertheless, The Post published some awful columns and "news" stories on the Nifong frame case and deserves criticism of that.

momofbuddy said...

Brodhead simply jumped on the bandwagon, a little late, but he jumped. If those players were innocent until proven guilty as our legal system is "supposed" to work, then they'd still be in school at Duke until they had been proven guilty at trial.
Mike Nifong is a narcissist who will bleed this for all the attention he can get and then either drop the charges or pass it on to one of his ADAs. It began with politics. He got what he wanted - re-elected. Now the brainless dog chews on the same bone even though all the meat is gone. You'd have to look far and wide in NC to find supporters for Nifong at this point. Happy New Year!

Dave said...

guaunyu,

Thanks for the link to the Washington Post. I believe they put the AP story on the website but the story never actually made it into their print edition.

dave

momofbuddy said...

January 3, 2007 - Duke University has offered to reinstate Colin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann as students in good standing for the spring semester. News just came through today. I am sure they will mull it over before they go back, but at least it's a step toward vindication for these three young men.