Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Bazelon Targets Nifong

Legal affairs correspondent Emily Bazelon of Slate has just penned a superbly argued column on the lacrosse case and the issue of prosecutorial discretion. Under the subhead of “Just when you thought DA Mike Nifong couldn’t make a worse mess of the Duke rape case,” Bazelon focuses on Nifong’s assertion to the New York Times, “If she says, yes, it’s them, or one or two of them, I have an obligation to put that to a jury.” In other words, Bazelon correctly notes, “the district attorney is claiming that as long as she continues to accuse any of the Duke guys, he must press charges against them. That’s so basic a misunderstanding of his own job that it raises questions about whether he is even qualified to hold it.” (For those who have followed this case closely, no question any longer exists on that point.)

Bazelon then explains the concept of prosecutorial discretion—an approach that Mike Nifong has had no trouble utilizing in rape cases involving black or Hispanic defendants. Bazelon notes that a system lacking prosecutorial discretion would become overwhelmed: “Courts don’t have the resources to sort through every allegation. And they shouldn’t have to, given the damage criminal charges can inflict to the accused’s reputation, even if they fall apart at trial or earlier.”

Bazelon recommends taking the general need for prosecutors not to press forward with cases where they have shaky or non-existent evidence, “and raise it to the nth power in the Duke case,” given the mounds of exculpatory evidence that exists. Moreover, she argues, the “woman’s new story too conveniently explains away the lack of DNA evidence—if there was no rape, then that’s why none of the men’s cells can be found in the rape kit.”

The stubbornness that Nifong has exhibited in this case, concludes Bazelon, “is just as misguided, in its own away, as that of the prosecutor who refuses to investigate a rape charge because he can’t take a woman’s accusations seriously.”

50 comments:

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
bill anderson said...

Well, whoever wrote it definitely understands the role that a prosecutor is SUPPOSED to play. Nifong right now is trying to justify his commission of a crime. Criminals lie.

WJD said...

Maybe she could go down to Durham, NC and give Nifong some lessons. Good idea, but I think it is too late for the Fong. Maybe she could get the governor of NC to appoint her the nest district attorney, when Nifong gets disbarred.

Anonymous said...

Bazelon nails it. Nifong is Exhibit A for the truth of the saying, "Better to keep quiet and have people think you a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt."

Nifong, of course, probably thinks himself a good deal more talented than he really is, but maybe, just maybe, there is an inkling of the maelstrom that awaits him. Can you imagine the 'Fong answering questions at a deposition about the gap between that jaw-dropping statement and the Code of Professional Conduct?

This is wildly off-post, but what the hell. I think people may think of Precious and Nifong as on the same team. Nothing could be further from the truth. Precious probably doesn't give a rat's behind about whether Nifong's career is over. She will toss him over the side without hesitation. Precious seems like the kind of person who looks out for Precious. Nifong's probably pretty low on her priority list.

Nifong's missteps are legion, so it's hard to keep track of them all, but let's not forget that the other dancer has labeled Precious' allegations as "a crock". That didn't dissuade Nifong.

Anonymous said...

Jumped over here for a while as I'm checking KC's place after a holiday respite from the computer.

I left a comment on "Christmas Roundup" for the poster who asked about publisher Orage Quarles. He's a great guy.

Oh, well.....guess I'll have to go back and finish reading all that I have missed here for the last few days.

Bye!

Debrah

Anonymous said...

What really scares me is that Nifong through his long years in the NC justice system felt he didn't have to play by any rules.
I shudder to think of what happened to numerous other innocent defendants, who didn't have the resources to fight back.
The fact that Nifong was able to get so far with an obvious hoax, shows there's something rotten in NC.

Cedarford said...

1. People who continue to think this all begins and ends with their favorite demon, Nifong, miss that a mess like this could not happen without other major breakdowns.

2. 17 complaints have been filed on the DA with the North Carolina Bar since last April. None have been acted on. Why should they act on Nifong when they refused to discipline fellow Club members who did worse?

3. One defense attorney confirmed in an interview that defense lawyers have contacted the Justice Department and requested an investigation of a broad pattern of misconduct, deprivation of civil liberties by various entities that has been uncorrected by the State of North Carolina.

*******************
On Bazelon's Salon article, of course she is right. The DA, a middling man of middling abilities, jumped in with more brainless talk that is digging himself an even deeper hole.

Any real lawyer in the country has already cringed at this guy and just cringed some more when he spouted nonsense like he now believes any accuser deserves only a jury to decide on the merits of such accusations. And how he has an obligation to arrest and run any person accused of anything through a limited resource court system and destroy their lives and reputations regardless of evidence.

Lawyers specifically in N Carolina are cringing on being lumped in as backwoods rubes and professionals that tolerate misconduct and sweep it under the rug.

Any cop is cringing on what Himan and Gottlieb did as Nifong's henchmen..and wondering if the stupidity of those two will lead to Feds coming through Durham PD for other "Good Ol' Boy" network fiascos.

Well meaning, ethical blacks and liberals are cringing at a black community abetted by liberal activists once again looking like clueless idiots.

Anonymous said...

I think 6:57 has it right. This maybe business as usual in Durham. Sad but true.

theman said...

Who is this bimbo, she should discuss her dribble with Georgia, before she puts them in print. How would you like to have a crime perpertratored against you and the DA say he won't do anything. What a joke.

theman said...

Georgia thik that white people dont need no lawyerfs because they rape alla blcak women

ec said...

theman,

Your act, while funny initially, is getting tiresome. Please try to add to the wealth of comments here instead of diverting our collective attention from them.

Victim in Massachusetts said...

Cedarford there are now more than 17 complaints on Nifong. The reason I know this is becasue after the newobserver reported the 17 I filed one and got a reply that said they were looking into the matter. If they think I believe that then I have a bridge for them. I received my letter on 12/15.

KC just saw your interview with ABC nice job.

HMan said...

Nifong gives the impression that his extreme misconduct, lack of evidence, and the thorough unreliability of the accuser do not add up, in his mind, to a dis-incentive to take this to a jury in Durham. He still seems to want to do that, despite being caught cheating on the evidence just a few days ago.
That is depressing to think about.

Victim in Massachusetts said...

Everyone please watch FoxNews tonight Stephen LsRoque is going to ask Nifong to drop the remaining charges and to step down as DA.

Now any case Nifong puts his hands on will be looked at with the same level of suspect as this case has. 10P.m. tonight.

RattlerGator said...

You're on a roll, cedarford.

The uneasy feeling among many white Democrats that they have to pander to the black community, and the parallel feeling in the black community not only that the Democrats are "our" team but are representative of the good white folks and Republicans representative of the bad white folks -- all such false preconceptions contributed to this outrageous nonsense.

Add in a UNC grad in the Governor's house and a UNC grad politicking for the D.A.'s job in Durham, then getting it and determining that he REALLY wanted to keep it, well . . . this is further fuel added to an already bizarre situation.

However, had this been an incident at UNC involving their lacrosse team with the exact same facts and racial components -- I honestly don't believe this would ever have been allowed to get this far. Especially given these flimsy, convoluted statements from the alleged victim.

This is such a sad failure of our adversarial criminal justice system. No human system can be perfect but this is really disappointing.

father of an alum said...

KC Johnson needs to be on the faculty or part of the administration of Duke University.

Anonymous said...

The Evil Man hater Wendy Murphy in full flow on O'reilly...muddying the waters again.

Good God has this woman sold her soul to the devil?

Still wants the boys heads on plate??????

Anonymous said...

Wendy is totally blinded. She afraid, rightly, that rape victims rights have been sent back 20yrs by Nifong actions.

Victim in Massachusetts said...

8:12 you are correct the true rape victims are the real losers here, and Collin, David and Reade got sucked into the games of Crystal and Nifong, and for that they (Nifong and Crystal) should be made to pay.

bill anderson said...

Talk to the noted criminal defense lawyer Harvey Silverglate, who is a true advocate of civil right. He is not exactly a fan of Ms. Murphy.

She played a role in the false accusation of child molestation in the Fells Acre case in Massachusetts. Murphy believes that no woman

1. Ever makes a false accusation of rape;
2. Ever misidentifies a rape suspect.

And she believes that ALL accusations of child molestation ALWAYS are true. I am not making this up, nor am I exaggerating. Do a Google search of this person, and you will find a truly, truly evil person.

When people like her have power, you can understand why people are railroaded in criminal trials. She is purely Benthamite in her legal views and has no time whatsoever for things like "innocence" and "innocent until proven guilty." If she had her way, criminal trials at best would be show trials and nothing else.

WJD said...

Good God, I can't believe that Wendy Murphy went off again tonight. She is a disgrace to the legal profession. Not only does she hate men, she hate women and herself. What a disgrace.

Anonymous said...

I just dont understand the Murphy's of the world. They know they are lying because they won't discuss the DNA. We know that DNA was transferred if the allegation is true because the false accuser says so (ejaculation and attack) and we know that sampling was completed soon after and that super sensitive testing was done by two labs.

so, since DNA was transferred according the account ( or accounts) and it was not found the account must be wrong unless you can advance a plausible account as to why the DNA is missing.

So, since Wendy must know that much, her failure to say anything on the topic ( such as citing an expert that says the dna evaporated, or the sampling was bad, or that magical pixies got rid of it) is knowing and conscious. I mean, the DNA isn't some sideshow because, if the victim is believed, it is an inherent aspect of the alleged crime. (The same is true of the absence of injuries)


Put differently, the victim's statements are one in the same of saying that DNA was transferred. it wasn't found. Unless you can offer an explanation, she is lying lying lying. If youtry to argue your way around it because you are traffic court prosecutor afraid to get a job or a sick publicity seeking media hound, you are knowingly injuring people to benefit yourself.

sometimes, it seems like too much to bear, but then I remember I haven't been charged and my burden is basically non-existent.

AAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

streeeetwise

Cedarford said...

I don't understand why Fox pays that evil bitch Murphy or why with her legal views she has a teching job at University of New England.

I had fun writing O'Reilly saying that I cancelled my Amazon book order of his stuff and wouldn't buy another as long as he continued to give Wendy Murphy a paid platform on his show.

Or, not to just bash Fox and it's scraping the bottom - why CNN keeps the similarly evil bitch Nancy Grace on the payroll and wastes what little remains of their damaged credibility defending her?? Grace has a notorious past as an unethical prosecutor, a host with blood on her hands, and a person caught lying about her past to win sympathy.

It's one thing to have a "controversial" person who helps ratings. But this is a big country, there are articulate feminists who can state their case without shovelfuls of groundless, smarmy hatred dumped on viewers. Why stick with filth like Murphy, Grace, and Allred??

Anonymous said...

Murphy is lying--she has never offered any type of basis for the "missing" DNA. There is a just a compulsive need to offer a counterpoint and the list of people willing to do so is limited.

bill anderson said...

You get a sense of what Murphy is like. She KNOWS the DNA went bad. Why? Because it did not produce the results she wanted.

Keep in mind that Wendy Murphy is the face of the next generation of American law. Ultimately the crap that comes out of New England infects the rest of this country. The law schools of that region are extremely leftwing, and welcome the kind of leftist nonsense that Murphy gives.

People falsely think of leftists as being champions of civil rights and civil liberties. Granted, some lefists are that way, but most only support civil liberties as a tactict to enable them to grab power. Once they have power, then liberties are gone.

Anonymous said...

Clearly, Wendy Murphy is promoting herself. I saw her on fox where she has proposed "witnesses and photos" of the alleged rape. Discovery does not mean much to her. Fox News - please get rid of her on your programs.

Anonymous said...

Good Post and RIGHT ON BILL ,.Thank you.

The left has this secret agenda to "Rule the Vorld"!

We will all suffer and be subject to Murphite clones....!

bill anderson said...

Oh, please. Are you telling me that the Gang of 88 at Duke is dedicated to "civil liberties"?

By the way, Wendy Murphy is unequivocally declaring that Reade Seligmann raped (or forced oral sex) Crystal. Here is a link on Reade's defense:

http://forums.talkleft.com/index.
php/topic,311.0.html

Keep in mind that if Murphy were to see this, she STILL would insist that the charges were true. Murphy is a well-respected teacher at an established law school. Oh, by the way, that law school is very left wing, and Murphy is training future lawyers and prosecutors to act like Nifong.

So, no, I take back nothing about the way that leftists approach civil liberties. I am 53 years old, and have lived through Che, Mao, Castro, Pol Pot, and Kim Il Jong. These people all at one time were darlings of the academic left, and the total number of people that they murdered runs to nearly 100 million.

And there is not a dime's worth of difference between these people and Wendy Murphy, except that Murphy is restrained by current law.

Anonymous said...

Any one know if Grupenfurer Murphy married ....to a man?????

Anonymous said...

I dont see why it is so hard for someone to ask Murphy that if the defendants left DNA, what happened to it, and not just recite the bogus claim that most cases dont have DNA.

Anonymous said...

When do any of you learned people think we will see some action from ?

* DOJ/USAG

* NC Bar

* Easely

* Roy Cooper

* Captain Kirk

Anonymous said...

Talk of a broomstick penetrating Crystal is beyond stupid. Any hard object such as a broom handle stuck in any of her orifices would have resulted in massive injury and massive bleeding. She would have been in surgery for hours and rehabed for weeks. This is not guess work - look and feel a broom handle.

bill anderson said...

The last post is correct. Using a broomstick would have caused terrible injuries, and the medical exam easily would have picked them up.

Furthermore, Nifong knows it, but continues to press this case because it is an abusive thing to do. Too bad his cheerleaders are down to Nancy, Wendy, and Georgia.

Anonymous said...

I bet Nifong is forced to appear before the Bar before Feb and the process to disbar him begins. He rufuse to tell the NY Times if the Bar contacted him. He did say the DOJ didn't. Wht not answer the Bar question?

Anonymous said...

A bar investigation started after the Oct Bar meeting, the Bar attorneys will report to the disciplinary committee on Jan 16th, Nifong will be formally charged with misconduct and will have 20 days to reply. His life is going straight to hell, and he is a dead man walking. DOJ will not act until this spring certainly before June. Indictment for numerous civil rights violations and conspiracy charges. it is really going to get ugly for poor ole Mikey. He going to wish he was still doing traffic tkts instead of working in the prison library.

Anonymous said...

Just minutes ago, Ted Williams, on Greta Van Susteren's show, loudly argued, whether or not Nifong drops the charges, that the case should go forward to trial. This man's foolishness continues to amaze.

Joe T. said...

I don't dislike Ted Williams, but in this case what he seems to not be taking into account is the seeming babarity (too strong a word?) of Durham County, NC. Chan Hall, of NCCU said he wanted the Duke players prosecuted whether it happened or not, as justice for things that have happened in the past. After that, he was elected class president. Is it wrong to fear that much of Durham County wants not only a prosecution, but a conviction, no matter what? That's why so many of us in the civilized U.S. fear a trial. If we could move the trial to Tokyo, where they understand science and DNA, we'd relax. But NOT in Durham County.

Anonymous said...

He's just there to keep it PC.

"Empty vessels make the most noise", Ted is a perfect example

I think he is afraid of being called an Uncle Tom by his AA mates

Anonymous said...

Crystal.....photo!!!!!!

http://crystalmess.blogspot.com/2006/12/its-time-crystal.html

Victim in Massachusetts said...

Don't look at that photo you will have nightmares.

KC I saw your interview on ABC, I thought it was rather good.

But one thing please get rid of the bow tie. I hope Nifong and Crystal get everything they have coming to them.

They both have make a mockery of the legal system for all females to come forward.

Anonymous said...

To get a sense of the injury caused by the deception, take a look at this post on a web page, remember, i am just quoting

"Duke Lacrosse Punks
Well, these three elitist New Yorkers are free from that pesky rape charge. Phew, what relief! Of course, it did seem from early on that the accuser was not on the up and up, this combined with the political aspirations of the lead prosecutor fueled this legal charade. In the end the needless blemishes on our prep-school trained model citizens.....

All of it lies. She, he and they. Liars en masse.

That aside, let's get back to our Martha's Vineyard-vacation-taking-blue-blooded future investment bankers and real estate attorneys.

While it was clear that rape was always questionable in this case, these three, and their likeness, are the types of young men that will grow into real life Patrick Batemans. These three will be able to buy themselves out of trouble, yet will cause endless trouble. Their lives are an endless string of frat parties, circle jerks and group sponsored misogynist ritual (country clubs, alumni events and strippers..always more strippers).

With any luck their well healed liberalism (they are democrats, it lessens the burden of their obscene wealth and filthy behavior) will vault them rapidly up the political and corporate ladders of the major cities in the northeast. Nepotism at play, nothing else. We can expect great things from these talentless creeps, such as; being VPs at Goldman Sachs with $50 Million salaries, real estate attorneys whose specialty is clearning slums in Brooklyn to make room for hip condos for their friends and colleagues.

Don't be fooled. These fuckers in their LL Bean stylings and Saabs are vicious, lecherous and as detrimental to society as they come. We've not heard the last of these lacrosse stick wielding northestern cock suckers. Dimes to dollars one, if not more, of these guys will grace a police blotter before long.

Remember these names: Dave Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann.....We'll hear them again."


this is somebody who has formed an opinion of the three innocent students that is so filled with hatred as to predict that they will be arrested again--based solely and completely on false information.

Anonymous said...

Do you think Wendy Murphy posted it?

Such hatred and we wonder why our country is in a mess !

Anonymous said...

In case "theman" wants to know, the "bimbo" Emily Bazelon is a graduate of Yale Law School as well as a highly respected journalist on legal matters.

Anonymous said...

Bazelon's piece was terrific. Mr. Nifong's statements continue to stun--wouldn't you think we'd get used to them? Of course, Durham voters really should be agitating and collecting signatures for the DA's impeachment...if they had any energy and enough composure left after the election and the hair raising criminal twists and ethical turns Mr. Nifong favors.
Durham and North Carolina cannot afford the pariah status the city AND state will assume if Mr. Nifong's conduct goes unadressed. The judge cannot tolerate the blow to his authority and the integrity of the legal process for which he is the guardian presented by Mr. Nifong's deceitful responses in the courtroom for the past several months.
Bill or KC, do you have any books to suggest on the subject of how so many brilliant academic minds could embrace so thoroughly the teaching of the Marxes, Stalins, Maos, Ches of the world, especially now after decades of data available from their failed systems?
One last thing for tonight...this blog surely has taught us that we can find intellectual giants with great souls at a wide range of academic institutions and fools abound even in the most elite of academic settings. Comments about the relative prestige of various institutions have very little relevance to the arguments. The arguments and reasoning stand or fall on their own merit.

Observer

Anonymous said...

My comment about academic credentials was not addressed to 11:16 but to the folks who seemed so worked up about these matters over the last several days.

Ob

Anonymous said...

Please ignore theman. I hear he has a new job.

He is a garden gnome who stands by large ponds with his fishing pole in his hand!!

He is some sick muppet!

bill anderson said...

K.C., I love VIM (a truly great gal), but I also am a bow tie wearer and you MUST keep it. It is so bad that I have forgotten how to tie a necktie.

As for Observer's question, I would recommend Paul Hollander's book, Political Pilgrims. It is a classic. Unfortunately, I left mine in the Atlanta airport four years ago.

K.C. did a great job on GMA putting the facts together quickly and explaining why this Nifongista nonsense "it makes the case stronger" really is a stupid argument.

(We are supposed to believe her as she picks out the players, but then not believe her testimony. Great Line, and so true.)

And pay no attention to that little troll, theman, or whatever he/she/it might be.

huesofblue said...

The post quoted by 11:03 just makes me mad. LAX case aside, it blows me away that people actually confuse the OC and Ally McBeal with the real world of finace and law.

While I don't know much about the fantasy world in which this clown apparently lives, I do know what life is really like at an i-bank or large corporate law firm. You work 12 to 14 hours a day and at least two weekends a month (if I steal two hours of sleep tonight on the floor of my office, I'll count myself lucky). You never see you friends and family during the week and on the rare occasions when you do you're an exhausted shell of a person.

Banks love atheletes because finance is competative. Only a tiny handful of people (maybe 1 in 20) ever make partner - most leave or are forced out. To even have a shot at the brass ring, you need to be willing to sacrifice everything in your life to the firm. To actually reach that ring is even harder. The idea that kids regularly waltz in out college, kick back and collect fat pay checks while partying all the time isn't reality. Unless you have the sort of family contacts that generate millions of dollars in revenue, Nepotism just won't get you that far.

Anonymous said...

that post was dead on. Those names will be heard again because the individuals involved are being supported in their misbehavior and always prevented from suffering the consequences of their misbehavior. Does the fact that Colin was convicted of attacking a man and calling him a faggot BEFORE this case even happened not ring a bell with you people? Dave Evans had a case too but these boys cases were deferred; name me how many young black men have simple assault cases and alcohol charges dropped or deferred. I can tell you not many. The fact that one of the Lax team was arrested for DUI within weeks of the scandal says it all; they are habitual misbehaviors and are entitled and always wait for their parents money to get them out of situations.

It is ironic the post mentioned Patrick Bateman. Bateman is the main character of American psycho and they obviously all like that movie /book very much which is why the email was alluding to it; Bateman is probably seen as a role model to the Lax boys: he is rich, priviledged, from the Northeast and is a Wall street type and he kills women like hookers and strippers AND GETS AWAT SCOTT FREE. I am sure that is their favorite book. The only problem is that sometimes when you deal in filth that it sticks to you and that is what happened this time. They had a drunked debauch, mistreated some black strippers and now their reputations have taken a hit but parents' money and white racism saves the day and they, too are going to get away scott free. Just like in Amercian Psycho.

Anonymous said...

To 3:25,
You presume to know an awful lot about the LAX team in general and the defendants in particular...even that their "favorite book" is American Psycho (required reading in a Duke class--so perhaps you should take it up with the prof). I find it difficult to believe that you "know" these players any better than I do, which is not at all. What you think you "know" is simple prejudice, and it is the poison,along with Mr. Nifong's political needs, driving this entire case. The "cases" you refer to have been resolved and involve a lot less than you imply. Although I am certain blacks have suffered under the authority of an unfair prosecutor, it is impossible to think of a modern case that exceeds or even comes close to this one for violating civil rights and procedures. As you have heard repeatedly, but obviously do not accept, there is simply NO evidence these defendants committed any crime against this accuser. For reasons that have been cited exhaustively, the accuser is NOT a credible person.

I had to learn the lesson of letting the facts present themselves to me in this case rather than assuming I "knew" anything. May I recommend this approach to you, too.

Observer