Friday, June 22, 2007

Hardin's Choices

This morning, Jim Hardin begins his first full day in his return stint as Durham district attorney. WRAL reported that Nifong’s wife, Cy Gurney, was spotted yesterday cleaning out the desk of the ex-DA.

Wake County District Attorney Colon Willoughby told the N&O that “Jim has the unique background and talent to get this office back on the right course.” Gov. Mike Easley added that he wanted Hardin to “take stock of the office, the personnel and its practices.” While Hardin—imitating President Brodhead—announced that “we’re going to move forward,” implementing the goals outlined by Willoughby and Easley would require him to take a hard look at the two members of the office, other than Nifong, who played a role in the lacrosse case.

The first such figure, of course, is Linwood Wilson. Hardin has stated that he will make no personnel changes during his interim tenure, but the idea that the person who executed the December 21 frame could still be collecting a public salary is highly troubling. (Liestoppers has added a counter to its blog so readers can determine, down to the second, how long Wilson has remained employed under the Hardin regime.)

But the Nifong ethics hearing also revealed that one other person in his office played a much larger role than previously known: Assistant District Attorney Tracey Cline.

For many months, rumors had existed that Cline had pushed Nifong to champion the case—partly from an extreme “victims’ rights” viewpoint, partly for political reasons. But Cline had been able to assume a position of plausible deniability. That stance is no longer sustainable.

1.) The NTO

One of the most dramatic moments of the Nifong ethics hearing came when Doug Brocker, co-counsel for the State Bar, and the disgraced DA discussed the March 23, 2006 non-testimonial order. Under repeated questioning from Brocker, even Nifong implied that the order was excessively broad, admitting that he had never seen such an order in his entire career.

The NTO was signed by Durham assistant district attorney David Saacks. But testimony of Detective Ben Himan established that: (1) the legal advice for the order came not from Saacks but from Cline; (2) Saacks signed the order as a courtesy to Cline, who was out of the office on March 23, the day the order was filed.

Nothing has come to light in the last 15 months to challenge the prophetic analysis of Durham attorney Alex Charns from March 24, 2006: “I can’t imagine a scenario where this would be reasonable to do this so early in the investigation. It seems unusual, it seems over-broad, and it seems frightening that they’re invading the privacy of so many people.”

Take the most blatant example of abuse from the NTO, involving Brad Ross:

  • At the end of their voluntary statements given to police, each of the captains provided a lengthy list of people they remembered seeing at the party. None listed Ross.
  • Ross, who has blond hair and weighs 190 pounds, didn’t even remotely resemble any of the three “attackers” described by Crystal Mangum on March 16, 2006.
  • And, it turns out, during the entire time that the party occurred, Ross was in Raleigh, with his girlfriend.

On what legal basis, then, did Cline believe that Brad Ross could be considered a suspect in the case? Is this the kind of legal reasoning that she employs in all her cases? If not, why did she depart from her normal practice in this case?

2.) The “No-Drop” Policy

During her testimony, North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission executive director Kendra Montgomery-Blinn rationalized Nifong’s decision to drop the rape charges but keep those relating to sexual assault. Nifong, she suggested, was merely implementing the office’s “no-drop” policy, in which prosecutors take all sexual assault cases to trial—even if they know they have no chance of winning—provided the prosecutor believes the defendant is guilty. In a case such as the lacrosse one, with the prosecutor operating under what Lane Williamson correctly termed “self-deception arising out of self-interest,” the “no-drop” policy is disastrous.

There might be many societal reasons why victims of sexual assault do not report the crime. But surely it cannot be contended that once they do so, the law is stacked against them. In North Carolina, as in most states, a jury can convict based solely on the word of the accuser and her identification—meaning that a judge can’t dismiss on grounds of insufficient evidence, even in a case (like this one) where the defendant can prove he was someplace else at the time of the alleged crime.

So if there is any “crime” in which we need prosecutors to exercise their required discretion, it’s sexual assault. Yet the Durham DA’s office—in which Cline serves as the lead sexual assault case prosecutor—has adopted a policy of effectively abandoning even the fiction of prosecutorial discretion.

3.) Cline as Co-Counsel

During the hearing, as Nifong attempted variations on the “novice” defense, he was asked a perfectly logical question: how could someone who claimed to know so little about sexual assault cases prosecute such a high-profile rape case? Well, responded Nifong, he wasn’t handling the case alone: Tracey Cline was going to try the case with him.

That admission raises a host of questions that Hardin should compel Cline to address:

  • Did she approve of the procedures used in the April 4 lineup?
  • Did she approve of the decision to seek an indictment against Reade Seligmann even though police didn’t even know if Seligmann attended the party?
  • Did she approve of sending Linwood Wilson to interview Crystal Mangum on December 21?
  • Did she approve of Nifong’s decision to treat Mangum’s December 21 story—which included a wholly new timeline and description of the “attack”—as reliable?

If the answer to any or all of the above questions is “yes,” why should Cline remain in the employ of the Durham DA’s office?


bill anderson said...


I remember hearing last year that Cline was going to play a large role in trying this case. Here is the point I think that needs to be made: This case was a frame, and if she was preparing for trial -- and the trial was to be a frame -- then Cline has broken the law.

If Nifong needs to be disbarred, so should Cline and maybe a few others in that office. These people are criminals, pure and simple. That they have a badge just makes them more evil, and tells us everything we need to know about "justice" in North Carolina.

How much did Cline know about withholding DNA? What else did she know, and when did she know it?

Anonymous said...

Can any of the knowledgeable D-i-W readers tell us more about Tracey Cline? Who is she and what is her background? And has anyone come up with a list of who voted for what on the grievance committee of the bar association? It was a one-vote margin, according to reports.

Anonymous said...

Reading the latest stuff on LieStoppers and Tjoflat's comments, it appears Hardin is part of the network that produced Nifong, and its more likely back to business-as-usual.

Michael said...

Thanks for bringing up Cline and NoDrop. Her name did pop up here and there and it would be good to know more about her.

As far as societal reasons for NoDrop goes, the studies that I've read indicate that it may not really help real victims and it can actually hurt them.

And, of course, it is disasterous in a hoax.

becket03 said...

My expectations for Hardin are very low. He's not a fresh face bringing fresh eyes to the Durham DA's office. He's a former longtime DA in that same office. He recommended Nifong for the job. My instincts tell me he's there to keep the lid on, not to blow the place up.

Tracey Cline, and possibly even Linwood Wilson, should be safe with him running the show.

I hope he surprises me.


Anonymous said...

I think the team giving their DNA without argument was the best thing to do. For thinking folk, the negative DNA results helped turn the tide of public opinion. Not the media dopes or Nifong - Fighting that would have really been bad PR. Those kids knew what they were doing,

Anonymous said...

JLS says....,

1. I agree with anon 12:14. Hardin has barely been out of the DA's position for two years and was out of it for less than one year when this hoax began. If there ar any structural or instititional problems in the DAs office that led to this hoax, Hardin is responsible for them. He is a terrible choice to have in this position now and this along with Judge Hudson appointing a special prosecutor to "investigate" Nifong smack of a coverup. Either it will all be dumped on Nifong or even Nifong will get a pass with the hope that the state and the Feds will view one investigation as enough.

2. Speaking of institutional problems left over from the Hardin era, the "no drop" policy is one. It also appears to me to be a violation of the NC Bar Cannons of Ethics:

Rule 3.8 Special Responsibilities of a Prosecutor

The prosecutor in a criminal case shall:

(a) refrain from prosecuting a charge that the prosecutor knows is not supported by probable cause;

Rule 3.8 Special Responsibilities of a Prosecutor

If you do not have a witness to testify say in a spousal assault case, then I would say you do not have probable cause. In this case, the witness had no credibility and thus Nifong did not have probable cause here. And of course if the "no drop" policy is left over from Hardin's tenure, he is not a very satisfactory person to come in and evaluate it to me. "No drop" policies are really prosecutors deciding someone is guilty and punishing them with the expense and emotional costs of a trial even though they do not think they have a legitimate chance to win.

Anonymous said...

Wow JLS, no Shemale Coulter references?

Maybe y'all should call for Abu Gonzalez to start an investigation. He could authorize you to torture anyone involved, claim that President pretzel-choker allowed it, and then argue that it's all in the Constitution. Whaddaya say?

Anonymous said...

Reply to 1:12 question: "Whaddaya say?"

I say you sound like one of the "88" feckless imbeciles, violating the protected period of the settlement..

Return to you meds, your roach or your therapist -- but don't attempt to be cute with such an ugly perspective on life...

fmfnavydoc said...

I don't know about having Hardin back in as DA...just doesn't seem right to have someone who was in there not too long ago back in to "clean it up". I still believe that an outsider needs to be appointed and do what needs to be done to clean up the office - even if it means dismissing ADA's that stepped over the line on the LAX case or any other cases during the 'Fongs rein of terror.

Any word from the state AG or the Feds on looking into civil rights violations or investigating other cases that they handled during Mikey's time? I'm thinking that this may be the tip of the iceberg that sunk the SS Fong...

Anonymous said...

Wow! Really, I'm "feckless?" Ohhh man, that feels good. Are you still going to call in Abu to torture me? Pleeeeaasssee .... do it, do it now.

As for the 88, well let's just say you're stuck with 'em, and there is no University in the land more deserving of those idiots than Duke.

Next time you want to bitch, ask old Broadhead what he's going to do to protect his students. Next time you want to bitch, call on Coulter, or Hannity, or Rush-I-am-a-phallic-sucking-drug addict.

I'm sure they'll come running to your defense. After all, if you're not with us, you're against us, right?

AMac said...

The Duke Lacrosse Rape Frame generates a lot of emotion, and rightly so. At D-i-W, trolls often try and move the discussion away from the subject of the post, to something they find more comforting.

It wouldn't be surprising if some of these anonymous comment-hooligans had undertaken less childish roles when the Hoax was in full bloom.

However, such comments have their value. They take their place alongside the slimy, illogical, and counterfactual "something happened" screeds that continue to be cranked out by frustrated extremists.

They remind us that some people are unable to apply common sense and logic to this subject. Or worse, they have rejected liberal values such as respect for Due Process, in favor of racialism and bare-knuckled power politics.

Perhaps this will change with the passage of time. Probably not anytime soon, though.

Anonymous said...


Perhps the purpose of your life is to serve as a warning to others.

TaterCon said...

Interesting, KC. I had wondered why we hadn't heard anything of note about the role of any of Nifong's assistant DA's in this whole fiasco. No one in the mainstream press has zeroed in on any of them -- your post here is the first I've seen that scrutinizes the work of any by name.

What continues to amaze me is that Nifong didn't try the "Not me -- it was her!" as defense version # 14. Throwing a subordinate under the bus wouldn't have worked, as he was ultimately in charge. But still and all, he's proven his proclivity to accuse in order to achieve gain -- and at the very least, accusing a subordinate may have achieved a reduced level in the findings that he "knowingly" did one or more of the items on the laundry list of grievances against him.


Chris Ford said...

TaterCon -

Nifong couldn't throw Tracey Cline under the bus because she is a strong black woman. He did that, he would have been toast in Durham Democratic/NAACP circles, and still have been toast when the Bar came in.

Revelations of her role at the Bar hearings though, and Nifong's admission he wasn't reading motions or testimony seem to indicate Tracey Cline, the regular "sex crimes prosecutor" that directed DA staff on other sex cases was working this one behind the scenes. She was the first person at the DA office that Gottlieb stated had worked out a deal with senior brass that cops would report right to Cline. Nifong only took over that deal, it seems.
And Gottlieb and Himan said it was Cline behind the sweeping NTO Stevens rubberstamped despite no court in NC ever having something so broad that didn't weed out clearly innocent from a class of suspects. (Search warrants and DNA sample orders applied to Lacrosse players clearly not at the Party, excluded non-players known to be at the Party)
Interestingly, she was considered for DA by Easley and passed on based on Hardin saying Nifong wasn't that hot, should only be a 1-year caretaker -- but Cline was a worse fit, and Freda Black had "issues".

So far she has escaped the heat, as have whatever approving senior authorities at DPD gave her command of cops.

I would be interested if there is personal or professional linkage between her and Addison and Kammie Michaels and their defamatory media campaign, her NAACP status, relations with judges and politicians pulling the strings..

Anonymous said...

Let's see if I get this right. A woman can merely point a finger at someone and accused them of rape. A district attorney can bring such an acuusation to trial. Hearing such an accusation, the jury can convict someone regardless of the evidence. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Anonymous said...

The plot thickens yet again. So, ADA Cline had the train on the tracks and DA Nifong showed up just in time to be the chief engineer. And Judge Hardin, who trained these people presumably and instituted the "no-drop" policy in a highly peculiar form that essentially breaches an ethical cannon ON ITS FACE, has returned to the yards to straighten out the twisted rails. Had Mr. Nifong not been such a publicity hound and Mr. Bannon such a powerhouse of energy and diligence, this case easily could have moved forward to a very ugly outcome. Do I believe the Durham judges might have allowed the ID on the flawed lineup? Oh, yes. Do I believe a jury could have believed Ms. Mangum on the stand without any corroborating evidence? Oh, yes. I am sure it has happened before. Durham might as well be in China where the justice system exists primarily to support the social and political ends of the government. A meticulous examination of this stinking cesspool is completely necessary.


Anonymous said...

More than self-delusion and self-interest were at work in this case. A politically correct atmosphere existed in the district attorney's office, in Durham, and at Duke University in the way people were "trained" to think. In other words, they were already pre-disposed to behave in ways that members of that community did behave. It didn't matter what the "facts" were. They were going to create their own understanding of these so-called "facts". Some of the Duke community still believe in the "facts" they created for themselves and attempted to put in place of any real facts of the case. Yes, it was a frame, but I believe it is more complicated than that in terms of a sick social pathology that exists among many of what passes for an educated elite in this country. By the way, once it was determined that Ross was in Raliegh why was he bothered by these so-called "fact" finders? The "fact" finders were not going to allow the facts to get in the way of their world view or their "facts." That world view would not allow it. Their "facts" were to be tried the old fashioned way like a Salem witch trial. Duke University and these educated elites are better than that. You think? Read 5:59 AM again.

Kilgore said...

Great posts 6:21, observer and Amac. All pointing to what KC has been hammering at for months: ideology has trumped evidence. The drinking water at our universities and our legal system has been poisoned with gender feminist thinking. The lax case was short term when compared to our coming struggle to take the PC out of the water supply.

Boys and the Boy Crisis

Anonymous said...

What I often notice on this site is the name calling. One is a troll only if a poster disagrees with comments. If the poster agrees, then it is fine to go way off topic.

The level of civility on this site is also very low. I don't know if the majority of the posters are male, but the language is often on par with what I'd expect from a high school locker room. Too often this low level of discourse gets in the way of good posts.

I have a suggestion: if some of you could put away your conservative, bitter baggage and let a variety of opinions be expressed, the conversation might be improved. Case in point: guess what, there is a problem with Alberto Gonzales. Like Nifong, he wants to railroad people. Just in the Gonzales cases, you think it's a good idea.

Anonymous said...

Dear Boy and the Boy Crisis, ie, gender masculinist--

Yeppers, blame it on the women! And pretty soon they'll be able to reproduce w/o ya'll and you'll go the way of the Cromagnon man. If you're that evolved.

Anonymous said...

Where would the Duke 3 be without the technology employed in the last 35 years? There would have been no DNA testing to clear them, or ATM machines with security cameras that timestamped transactions. There would have been no timestamped credit card transactions or cell phone records. A lack of modern forensic evidence combined with a no-drop policy that only requires the DA to be a jury of one in going forward with charges would surely have doomed 3 innocent young men, and perhaps more. If the "old way", as Nifong put it, was capable of framing 3, then why not charge many more as accessories?

Anonymous said...

Morning Kilgore,

Should the fluride also be taken out of the water supply?!!! What names do you want to call people that "PC" prevents? What frightens you so much?

Anonymous said...

After all is said and done, let's hope Hardin does the right thing and makes Cline his first "Patsy"


Ray Larson said...

I have been following the Lacrosse Case closely, as have many other prosecutors across America, thanks to you. My question is whatever happened to Freda Black? Those of us who pay attention to criminal justice are aware of her and her talent as a prosecutor. I hope she is still in the picture in Durham for the D.A.'s position now that Nifong is in the rearview mirror.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, Tony Soprano has a thread at LS indicating that Judge Hardin, in addition to of course claiming high ethical standards and transparency for the Durham DA's office in the future, considers the Duke case "ancient history" and posits that it is time to "move on." This is not really the language of a reformer.


scott said...

The problem I have with the Hardin appointment is that he was the DA for 11 years before being appointed as a judge and turning over the DA job to Nifong in 2005.
If Hardin didn't turn over a well-tun DAs office in 2005, why was he appointed to become a judge and why is he reassuming the interim role of DA in Durham? Maybe he has pictures of Easley doing something naughty.

Are we to conclude that in less than one year Nifong wrecked what had previously been a well-run DA office under the leadership of Hardin? Could Nifong have possibly precipitated that much damage in such a short time? Under such a scenario, why, surely, if such a crack team of ADAs that Hardin had assembled had noticed their well-functioning office going down the tubes, they would have sent up some kind of signal that Nifong was a disaster.

That never happened, so the only logical conclusion is that Mr. Hardin didn't run a clean ship either. I'm not comparing him to Nifong, but if he's the best that NC can do (and I live here, although far enough away from Durham that I've never been there and never will), that is pathetic. But we already knew that about Durham. Will NC be able to improve once Easley is no longer governor?

Ralph Phelan said...


I continue to be astounded by your abiliity to give everyone you encounter the benefit of the doubt. I suppose it's necessary for the effectiveness of your overall project, but us cynical bystanders don't have to go along with it.

Is there really any question in anyone's mind that Hardin was brought in to limit the damage to the system of corruption everyone in this tale is a part of, and get back to business as usual as quickly as possible?

Anonymous said...

If she did these things, why should Ms. Cline not be disciplined by the Bar?

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that Hardin is a good choice, it's an interim choice, he knows the players and steady what must be a shaky office right now. As the Bar has shown, there are decent lawyers in NC. Durham knows the whole world is still watching, I believe much good will come of this sorry story in the end.
I also believe the Mr. Nifong set the tone and pace of everything that happened. Everyone else just did his dirty work.
It would be nice though for those of you who find the extreme right bloggers too offensive> to hear some support from people like Freda Black and other Important African Americans in the area on the decisions made. To aknowlege the injustice that was had here, and show signs of fairness in the future.
Alot of people could help when African Americans get wrongly abused of their rights under constitution as well as these rich white boys that are still referred to in much of the Black coverage of this case. There is an opportunity to tone down both extreme positions and get consensus with the fair people in the middle, black and white/ rep and dem to go back to basic support of the rights we all share under the constitution.
There's alot to learn here. Nifong and Gonzalez are in the same boat as far as I am concerned. Both should be replaced.

TaterCon said...

to 7:42 -- a formal (i.e. written)complaint must be submitted to the State Bar to initiate the process. Bar folks don't initiate the process from news stories or editorials.

Perhaps her subordinate role, and the fact she's been under the radar, has kept a complaint from being filed against Ms. Cline that would start the inquiry. Of course, she wasn't out front with the inflamatory comments, as was Nifong; she wasn't making up bogus stories in open court, as was Nifong; and, apparently Nifong's position with control over the discovery response process could insulate her, as well.

Anonymous said...

dont go too far...

the no drop policy doesnt mean judges cant thow out cases without any corroboration..even before trial

and it certinly doesnt mean they cant throw out cases..either during trial after the prosecution rests (a motion for a finding of not guilty when no prima facie case has been made)

and it also doesnt mean a judge cant set aside the guilty verdict.

here..there was the "lineup" which supposedly c her fingering of the plaintiffs...if that had been invalidated (and it was about to be at a hearing)...the case would have been dismissed by a judge....
the AG dropped it before that happened though

Anonymous said...

2:07 should hereafter be known as Feckless

three vowels off of plumb

Anonymous said...

8:15 -- She is not the one charges with "fingering the plaintiffs"!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for pointing at the no-drop policies and the other systemic problems evident here KC.

There is far more here than Nifong. I hope you'll explore this thoroughly, especially in your book. Others have beaten you to the publusher but I think you are in a unique position to tell the more complete story.

Something stinks to high heaven in this system. Nifong is gone but the smell is still there. I don't think bringing in Hardin - who is already proclaiming how great everything is in the DA's office - to sit in the chair for a few months is going to help the smell one iota.

Ralph Phelan said...

"the no drop policy doesnt mean judges cant thow out cases without any corroboration..even before trial"

How can apotted plant throw out a case?

8:15 said...

ralph phelan:
How can apotted plant throw out a case?

say what?

Anonymous said...

8:15 -- She is not the one charges with "fingering the plaintiffs"!

say what?

Anonymous said...

FWIW: In around 2002, Cline and Hardin prosecuted a rape case. A white suspect whose DNA was found in the victim, and who was initially id'd by the victim, cooperated with Cline et al in exchange for a prison time break and testified against a black suspect whose DNA was NOT found in the victim. After a year awaiting trial, the black suspect was found not guilty by a jury. The foreman wondered to the press why the jury's time was wasted by the DAs over such a worthless case. Hmm.
Also FWIW, ADA Miranda-Watkins approvingly told friends about half a year ago that Nifong had broken up the "good old boy network" at the DA's office by hiring black staff. Evidently not true if Cline was hired under Hardin. I'm fascinated by how misinformation and persuasion are wielded within corrupt organizations.

jamil hussein said...

No-drop policy is clearly unconstitutional, violating the civil rights of the accused. There must be federal investigation. Since illegals were not involved, Gonzales is not going to get involved but perhaps congressional hearings can be held. After all, we have now the "most ethical congress in history".

Criminal charges should include conspiracy and RICO.

Mafia was to large extent defeated using RICO, maybe the Durham democratic party elite - especially DA and DPD - can be defeated with the same tool.

Ralph Phelan said...

"It seems to me that Hardin is a good choice"

"A lot of people could help when African Americans get wrongly abused "

Among them Leroy Lyons and the guy who accused of rape and had a jury come back saying "We don't know why they even botherd prosecuting this case." Both of them had Hardin among their abusers.

Ralph Phelan said...

"ADA Miranda-Watkins approvingly told friends about half a year ago that Nifong had broken up the "good old boy network" at the DA's office by hiring black staff. "

What she really means is that women and blacks are now allowed to participate in the corruption and injustice as full and equal members.

And that makes everything OK.

gwallan said...

Anonymous @5:44:00 AM said...
Let's see if I get this right. A woman can merely point a finger at someone and accused them of rape. A district attorney can bring such an acuusation to trial. Hearing such an accusation, the jury can convict someone regardless of the evidence. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

This is correct. Why do you think Nifong wanted to "try this the old fashioned way"? Why do you think the Innocence Project is exonerating so many "convicted" rapists?

While everybody has got their race knickers totally knotted I still maintain that this is fundamentally about feminist inspired sexism(black men are more likely victims of this type of fraud). That western judicial systems have for so long given greater credence to a woman's word than a mans demonstrates a fundamental bigotry that exists through our entire culture. Not the mysoginy claimed by feminism but rather the exact opposite. Orwell would be having apoplexy.

Anonymous 6:48:00 AM said...
Dear Boy and the Boy Crisis, ie, gender masculinist--

Yeppers, blame it on the women! And pretty soon they'll be able to reproduce w/o ya'll and you'll go the way of the Cromagnon man. If you're that evolved.

Ah yes, speaking of trolls.

Good luck to "the women". I'd give them about two months till the sewers block, the petrol runs out, the electricity stops working. Building courses required for all the girls - assuming anybody can be found to teach them. Note to self - start buying stocks among producers of grass hut materials.

Anonymous said...


Which of the 88 are you? If not one of them, could you be Tracey C-lyin'?

Hardin is a good choice? Yep and the fox was the perfect guard for the hen house.

The Bar needs to take a serious look at the Durham DA's office. Prosecutorial misconduct seems to be the mantra borne by those employed there. Every time Mikey opens his mouth, it becomes more and more obvious that he was set up by someone in the office. Oh, he was not without blame. He was power mad and allowed his strings to be pulled frequently. He complicated his own life by not surrendering before his ship was below Davey Jones locker. Who fed him the garbage he so profusely professed? Why was he so blindly loyal to that bad info? Power surge is the only apparent cause of his demise.

Can't convict the 88 of malice and poor judgment. If Duke continues to employ the vile group, their stock will only continue to fall in the market of universitydom. They need a house cleaning too. But the BoT is too agenda driven like the DA's office. Unfortunately, it seems to be the same agenda.

I used to consider the legal system to be honorable. Boy was I mistaken. And ole Honest Easley make the appointment to keep the system in tact. There were options to truly provide some confidence in that system but Nooooooooooooooo, he just couldn't bring himself to go there. Hardin recommended Mikey to him and he bit--hook, line, and sinker. Well, the Durham DA's office took the hook, their reputation is on the line, and Easley appointed the one who could surely sink the reputation. Politics as usual.

Alas, Durham remains in Wonderland!

Anonymous said...

OK investigators:
Compare the roster of Assistant DAs under Hardin to Assistant DAs under Nifong. Are they similar? Also: did Hardin ever have a no drop policy for rapes? I don't know, but I doubt it.

Anonymous said...

Reading this discussion is mind boggling. Some of the contributors make really good observations and interesting comments. Other bloggers use this to make racist, sexist, and really STUUUUUUUUUUUUUPID comments. They give new meaning to poor white trash.

AMac said...

Anon 9:12am wrote:

"Other bloggers use this to make racist, sexist, and really STUUUUUUUUUUUUUPID comments. They give new meaning to poor white trash."

Yes, irony is most poignant when it is delivered unknowingly. Or in a completely deadpan manner. Either way.

Anonymous said...


Can irony be delivered unknowingly? It wouldn't be ironic, would it?

mac said...

Remember KC's post about the
DPD that involved the staff at the
DPD who were falsely accused of
running a prostitution ring?
And that Durham paid damages? -

Who was prosecuting?
Hardin? Cline? Other?

Anonymous said...

Thank you for returning to the question of the propriety of the conduct of others in Nifong's office. I have posted here and on Prof. Johnson's site once or twice in the last few months asking what is wrong with the attorneys working with Nifong. An ethical attorney cannot assist another attorney (even a D.A.) in an unethical practice. The Bar focus has been on Nifong (albeit reluctantly); now they need to investigate the conduct of the lawyers who helped him. Time to clean the stables completely.

mac said...

The pile's been so deep,
and there are so few pitchforks!

It'll take a LOOONNGGG time for
KC/Heracles to clean out these Augean stables,
more than a day's labor.

Guess DIW makes for a good river
analogy, eh?

Gary Packwood said...

Anonymous 7:42 said...
...If she did these things, why should Ms. Cline not be disciplined by the Bar?
Due Process I guess.

Has anyone asked the Bar to looking into her actions?

Anonymous said...

The Durham DA's Office has a long and very sorry history of corruption and incompetence.

Check out the front page on liestoppers -- they have many newspaper clips documenting severe problems under Hardin.

This is a full-fledged cover-up. I've said it before: Nofing took one for the team at the Bar hearing -- he could have fingered many others but did not do so as part of an off-the-record arrangement.

Ralph Phelan said...

"...If she did these things, why should Ms. Cline not be disciplined by the Bar?"

Because what she did wasn't quite egregious to risk Federal intervention. That's the NC bar's new standard of conduct, and while it's appallingly low, it is a step up from the previous standard of "anything goes."

Anonymous said...

If the problems in the Durham DAs office are part of an on-going and long-term practice, does this talk about a corruption that is perhaps pan-political, ie, everyone who gets in there does it? How long has it been going on & where are the attorneys involved in it, ie, only w/in Durham or also w/out?

Gary said...

Let's see if I get this right. A woman can merely point a finger at someone and accused them of rape. A district attorney can bring such an acuusation to trial. Hearing such an accusation, the jury can convict someone regardless of the evidence. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Jun 22, 2007 5:44:00 AM

Yeah, but then 5-10 years later the innocence project will free them and everyone can pat themselves on the back!

A "no drop" policy or any other similar weired a-priori rules should disqualify a candidate from getting a DA position.

Anonymous said...

"provided the prosecutor believes the defendant is guilty"

Most prosecutors don’t form an opinion as to actual guilt or innocence instead they form an opinion as to the quality of evidence taken in total. If the evidence is not sufficient then no charge is made. Nifong kept stating that as long as CGM wanted to press charges he had to go along that just doesn’t make sense.

Anonymous said...

DA's and tenured professors, like all other public servants on a "no one can fire me" track, are practically accountable to no one.

A system supposed to protect them from improper influence also insulates them from reasonable accountability.

Layers of deadwood amidst the remainder of the hacks feeding at public troughs won't bestir themselves to do a thing (e.g., the first 2 judges).

Someday a public servant will do the public a favor nationwide: propose a system where public servants are rewarded or penalized.

The current one is so laden with appeals, inability to fire anyone, secrecy and "discretion," along with immunity even for egregious acts, that it encourages bad acts.

DA's, professors, judges...they all know they are basically accountable to no one. Ask any lawyer that appears before a lazy, indifferent judge with staff to match: a student that finds himself/herself in a calss taught by a indifferent prof that shows up only when the TA is sick.

It takes a case like this--like this!--for action to be taken.

The civil service and tenure system has to be overhauled and soon. The idea that only "professionals" can have a say is crazy.

Juries of the unwashed judge complex business cases all the time. Why are rgular joes excluded from decisions about the employees they pay?

This case is bigger than Nifong: it shows the ened for more public input and review not less; the error of near unlimited prosecutorial "discretion" untrammeleled by any effective and timely review. And the need for a limit" to tenure--maybe it ought to be in ten year blocks only.

Thanks for letting me rant.

Anonymous said...

Please read my 1:22 post on recent Eviscerated thread.


Chris Ford said...

The "no drop policy" coupled with Nifong's wierd insistance that if any accuser still "believes" he is obligated to take it to trial, ignore exculpatory evidence, and give the "accusing victim" her right to a Jury is the mindset that sent him on the road to perdition.

The State Bar, and the American Bar Association still appear to have considerable cleanup and reform to do based on the Lacrosse case.

Is the "no drop policy" tenable? Is it in keeping with legal ethics to "punish" people with ensnarement in the legal system and horrendous costs if prosecution knows they lack evidence to convict but still want to make certain defendents "pay" in other ways?

Is the Nifong mentality of "always believe the rape accuser" and honor her "right" to go to trial in any way in keeping with American Jurisprudence?

Can the State and national Bar even learn from and teach off what the Bar Chairman Williamson called "a complete fiasco" without a full understanding of the dynamics and other parties role besides Nifong? An understanding that can only be gained with a full, independent investigation?

American politicians and media love to simplify failure of complex processes involving numerous individuals down to a single "evildoer" who alone is to blame.

Thus we have Osama as the stand-in for a malignant system of radical Islam that has been growing for 60 years in it's latest incarnation and spanning 70 countries and involves millions. The illusion the politicians and media wish people to believe is that "if only" the single evildoer is captured and "given the crown jewel of America, fair trial in our courts" - then all of radical Islam collapses once they see how great our lawyers and judges are.

The illusion the same people wish to project in the Lacrosse case is pretending it all emenated from Nifong and now that Nifong is gone the whole false rape accusation problem nationwide is fixed, pathologies in Durham, Duke Admin & critical studies are fixed, the AA community's dysfunction is fixed, culpable DPD and ADAs were "repaired" by Nifongs takedown ---And now, it is "time to move on, let everyone heal, and achieve CLOSURE, sweet CLOSURE."

Like with Binnie, a simplistic pile of shit.

Lots of Binnies, lots of Gottliebs, Wahneemas, Crusty Crystals, Nifongs, and Judge Stevens out there...

Anonymous said...

Mr. Hardin was once a duke student. He was also an athlete. He is highly regarded by people who have known him over the years as a person who is smart, ethical and also realistic.

It is unrealistic to suppose he is going to greatly change the DA's office or its staff over a few weeks as an interim appointment. His charge is rather to hold it together, keeping in mind that there are cases involving serious crimes that are underway. But in this interim, I think the office will perform in a fully ethical manner, insofar as Hardin has anything to do with it.

Anonymous said...

This information about Ms Cline may explain why Nifong used the 1st person plural in his March 27 lamet .

bravefacari said...

Some good posts here today. Have grave concerns as well about stopping with Nifong, and Hardin doing much of anything with the periphery involved. But as I was reading, every time "due process" came up, I was thinking perhaps we should start calling it "Duke Process". :)

Anonymous said...

I have a more personal thing against Tracey Cline. She is corrupt and should NEVER NEVER NEVER be made DA of Durham County. In one trial, she tried, she allowed the "victim" to change her story several times, the last time on the DAY OF THE TRIAL. She also interrogated a witness for the defense about the WITNESS, for TWO WHOLE DAYS. Mind you the witness was not on trial and in no way should have been tried. Please, don't vote for this corrupt woman. She has no place in our justice system!