Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Vick Case

Today is Michael Vick’s first court appearance following his indictment on federal charges relating to dog fighting. In the nation’s sports columns, a conventional wisdom has emerged on how to interpret the allegations. The storyline: the lacrosse case is a cautionary tale regarding the need for due process and the dangers of rushing to judgment.

Take a look:

Mark Bradley, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: “Facing a deluge of publicity and an ongoing investigation, a prestigious university shuttered an entire program and fired the coach. Today, Duke’s mishandling of its lacrosse team stands as an object lesson—how not to respond.”

Bob Smizik, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: “People who already have [Vick] guilty should remember the Duke lacrosse players. Three members of the Duke team were tried and convicted of rape by no less than the upper administration of that university, to say nothing of much of the public, long before the case went to trial. Turns out, there never was a trial. Charges were dropped, but the lives of the players were greatly disrupted and almost ruined by the same rush to judgment that prevails with Vick.”

David Steele, Baltimore Sun: “Neither the NFL nor the Atlanta Falcons should kick out Michael Vick just because of an indictment, and just because he ‘sounds’ guilty. It didn’t happen with Kobe Bryant or Ray Lewis, and as we know now, it shouldn't have happened to the Duke lacrosse players . . . Let’s not forget the key phrase from the breakdown of the Duke case, ‘rush to judgment,’ and hope that there’s no federal prosecutor channeling Michael B. Nifong.”

Adam Schefter, nfl.com: “The league is determined to exercise patience, something Duke did not do when three of its players were indicted and the school cancelled its lacrosse season.”

Dr. Z, Sports Illustrated: “The Duke lacrosse case should have given us a valuable lesson. Don’t be first in line at the necktie party. Don’t assign guilt until it’s proven.”

Kyle Tucker, The Virginian-Pilot: “With the rape case involving falsely accused Duke lacrosse players still fresh, some Vick supporters remind others not to jump to conclusions.”

Peter King, Sports Illustrated: “Rookie commissioner Roger Goodell sent a strong message: This is not going to be the Duke lacrosse case. The NFL is not going to preemptively strike against a player with a relatively clean slate, as Vick has.”

Mike Vacarro, New York Post: “The Duke lacrosse case should have scared us all straight by now, of course. If one good thing emerged from that awfulness in Durham the past year and a half, it should’ve been this: No matter how disgusting the crime, no matter how distasteful the situation, everyone is entitled to their day in court first before anyone prepares a gallows. It’s what our legal system is founded on, a reminder that will serve as Mike Nifong’s lasting parting gift to us.”

The first four items are particularly noteworthy, in that they suggest that Duke’s mishandling of affairs is now widely acknowledged, even by those who didn’t follow the case closely. And, indeed, if ten years from now the lacrosse case is remembered as the best example of why due process matters, this outcome would be appropriate.

---------

Due process means more than a presumption of innocence: the principle also requires prosecutors and police to abide by their own procedures and uphold the Constitution. Perhaps the greatest failure in most early coverage of the lacrosse case (excepting the N&O and the Chronicle) came in the failure to give Nifong’s procedural improprieties appropriate emphasis, and to recognize that due process is impossible when a prosecutor and police routinely break the rules.

To my knowledge, no one—excepting (of all people) Emmitt Smith—has accused Chuck Rosenberg, U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia, of inappropriate conduct in the Vick case.

It also would be unfortunate if the media adopted the Herald-Sun’s definition of “due process”—to wit, due process means that all must avoid any comment on criminal justice matters until a jury reaches a verdict, especially in cases where the politically correct course is to avoid comment. This version of “due process,” of course, led the Herald-Sun to castigate those who pointed out that Reade Seligmann—on videotape someplace else at the time of the “crime”—was demonstrably innocent.

There are obvious differences between the Vick and Duke cases. In the Vick case, no one is denying that a crime occurred (authorities uncovered the dead dogs, after all); the government has multiple witnesses (of uncertain credibility); and Vick is a salaried employee of the Falcons. In the lacrosse case, the defense vigorously (and accurately) denied that a crime occurred; the government had one witness (of dubious credibility); and the affected parties were college students paying to attend Duke.

A few sportswriters—ironically, those who wrote or spoke on the lacrosse case as it was occurring—have stressed the differences between the two cases. Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times argued that Roger Goodell shouldn’t be “worried about acting like one of those vigilantes who rushed to judgment in the Duke lacrosse rape case . . . A federal indictment is not a small-town rape charge. Vick is being chased by the federal government, not some backwater district attorney. Vick’s alleged crimes were confirmed by four witnesses, not one questionable victim.” MSNBC’s Mike Celizic added, “This isn’t the Duke lacrosse team, so don’t talk about a rush to judgment. With Duke, we were talking about college students who were forced out of school, an entire team that whose season was canceled, more than 20 young men who were smeared by association by a rogue city prosecutor running for reelection.”

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Then there are those who seemed to learn nothing from the Duke case. Channeling Allan Gurganus is his contempt for due process, Bob Ryan of the Boston Globe opened a recent Vick column with the following lines: “Yes, yes, I know. An indictment is not a conviction. We need to observe due process. I know that, too. However . . .”

Ryan then went on to note, “Lester Munson of ESPN.com is probably the foremost American sports investigative journalist, and he paints a pretty grim picture for Ookie and friends. ‘Vick is in real trouble,’ Munson says, and he goes on from there.”

That would be the same Lester Munson who:

  • suggested that Reade Seligmann’s publicizing his alibi would expose him to an obstruction of justice charge;
  • claimed that “the whole idea that DNA evidence was somehow conclusive was the invention of the defense lawyers,” despite the motion from Nifong’s office that DNA would exonerate the innocent;
  • predicted that, after Nifong dropped the rape charges, people should look for “the accused players to attempt to settle everything with a guilty plea on lesser charges.”

Munson might be many things, but the foremost American sports investigative journalist is not among them.
Hat tips: M.R., D.W.

130 comments:

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

Frankly, I think tha American public is all too interested in the peccadillos of public figures. What we are seeing is the moral equivalent of voyeurism. Our justice system assumes innocence until guilt is proven. Why then, does the public rush to the trough of innuendo and accusation?

Lack of intellect and a failed system?

Or do we all need to be reminded that a presumption of innocence is our insurance against tyranny.

Anonymous said...

Blah, blah, blah, blah...

Anonymous said...

JLS says....,

1. Professor Johnson in your link Emmitt Smith did not accuse the prosecutor of inappropriate behavior but rather going after the weak link in a wider crime. That is not surprising and probably true. Vick has more to lose than most of the others involved.

2. Smith is also right in that it seems pretty unusual for a federal prosecutor to go after dog fighting even if it crossed state lines. There are state laws to take care of this and the federal prosecutor jumped in and quickly indicted for some reason?????

3. I am glad to see you can come up with a few sports reporters who seemingly learned from the Duke lacrosse cases, but I can tell you the majority I have seen have not learned a thing.

wayne fontes said...

PETA will take up the slack. This represents one of the few chances they have to get the American public firmly behind them. People love their dogs. This Patriots fan illustrates my point.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad that such animal torture and abuse is being made public nationally, but trying to compare it in any way to the Duke case is ridiculous, imo.
The brutality in Virginia by Vick and friends is a fact. There are untold numbers of dead dogs as proof of these unspeakable crimes.

Tatoni Matrueuesa said...

The condemnation has not been nearly as loud or as certain regarding Vick as it was for the no-angels. I really hope that none of the allegations against Vick ever happened.

If one wanted to engage in supposition, it might seem that a Federal Prosecutor might have his sh%t more together than some backwater DA from a 12th rate Law School. If you were wondering, there are 13 rates of law schools. Regent University is the sole occupant of the 13th rate class.

Insufficiently Sensitive said...

Which illustrious names made the honor roll? They are:

the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,
the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
the Baltimore Sun,
nfl.com,
Sports Illustrated,
The Virginian-Pilot,
Sports Illustrated, again,
the New York Post.

All these journals have demonstrated some comprehension of due process when 'sports figures' are accused of a crime.

Who's missing?

the Boston Globe
the New York Times.

Some folks never learn.

Anonymous said...

12:39--
Who went to Regent University?

kbp said...

I can think of quite a bit to tell most of those reporting on that topic, but I'd waste days doing it.

Meanwhile, I hope your not a big PETA fan there Wayne! ;)

Anonymous said...

KC-I would have left my comment on the Still Channeling Selena post but the comments were disabled. Perhaps I am the only one who sees the coincidence but my son who is a jr at Duke has a very close friend who plays LAX at Williams.
It reminds me of the time you were in Durham and got into a cab only to discover that Elmostafa was the driver.

Anonymous said...

This is a quote from an article in the Washington Post on July 19 (I've lost the exact reference):

"The NFL Players Association issued a written statement that said: 'It's unfortunate that Michael Vick is in this position, as these allegations are extremely disturbing and offensive. This case is now in the hands of the judicial system and we have to allow the legal process to run its course. However, we recognize Michael still has the right to prove his innocence. Hopefully, these allegations are untrue and Michael will be able to continue his NFL career.'"

If these charges prove to be true, I'm with most everyone else in hoping he gets the maximum penalty.

wayne fontes said...

To Kpb:

I think you can make an educated guess what my views on PETA are.

Anonymous said...

Carolyn says:

Yes, one IS innocent until proven guilty. But in the case of Vick, I think he proved his guilt 5 years ago when he and his friends proudly wore "Bad Newz Kennels" shirts and headbands advertising the dog fighting business which Vick owned and which operated on Vick's property. I think Vick's guilt was even more proven in April of this year when he helped execute 8 dogs who no longer could fight by "hanging, drowning, and slamming at least one dog's body to the ground."

I can't speak for the rest of you but in my opinion, that definitely qualifies as worse than underage drinking and hiring an ugly stripper.

Ralph Phelan said...

"There are obvious differences between the Vick and Duke cases."

You failed to mention the most obvious one, the real reason Vick gets the benefit of innocent until roven guilty.

He's black.

Anonymous said...

Vick has been long rumoured to be a big player in the Dog Fighting world. It will only get worse for him and better for lots of dogs.

Anonymous said...

I see a HUGE difference between a man being paid to represent a business and students paying for an education. To me, Vick has a responsibility to his employer while Duke has a reponsibility to its students. Because crimes were commited on property Vick owned (I think that's a fact) and he has not acknowledged responsibility, he has failed in his responsibilities just as Duke failed in theirs.

Ralph Phelan said...

1:44

"Innocent until proven guilty" is for in the courtroom. Outside the courtroom we usually apply common sense and/or preponderance of evidence.

In this case you've got physical evidence and a guy with a history of thuggish behavior. "Vick is probably guilty" is a reasonable belief.

In the Duke Lacrosse Burning you had lack of physical evidence, alibis, a history of average college student behavior and obvious prosecutorial misconduct. After Nifong said innocent people don't need lawyers, the DNA evidence came back empty, and the cops picked up Elmostafa, "this is a frame" was a reasonable belief. "Something happened" was a politically driven choice.

Anonymous said...

Ralph Phelan is 100% right. That said, HSUS and PETA are engaging in disgusting tactics; tactics identical to those of the Duke group of 88 and friends. One of them even had a press release that failed to use the modifier "allegedly" when discussing the crimes of which Vick is accused. That is disgusting, no matter what one thinks of Michael Vick. I have no problem with the Falcons or the league taking action against him, as he is an employee and almost any employ accused of a Federal crime would (at least) be suspended.
The race issue does apply here because a large number of black individuals refuse to believe that any black person has ever committed at crime, and that white people are out to get them. Therefore, they will accuse the government of racism any time a famous black person is accused of a crime (see Simpson, Orrenthal James) no matter how strong the evidence against said individual may be. This attitude is the result of decades of leftist indoctrination and leftist promises of restitution for all perceived sins of white people and it will not go away...ever.

Cedarford said...

In this case you have some explosive cultural collisions - due process vs. a pit full of dead dogs and video of Michael Vick executing losing dogs with a handgun.

You have maybe 10 million rabid sports fans who could care less if Michael Vick raped nuns as long as he wins, vs. about 80 milllion pet lovers ready and willing to wreck the NFL by boycotting games and any sponsors that support the NFL if the dog torturer plays again.

You have legal fans who say the only penalty Vick deserves is the one meted out by courts and he should have a full, lucrative career worth hundreds of millions besides his little court penalties. And you have animal-loving people that understand the greatest punishment they can do is make the NFL understand their athletically gifted "human NFL highlight film" might have distributors refusing to stock Budweiser or 1/3rd of the American population refuse to be caught dead in a Ford - if Vick is allowed to play again.

And those that cite the Duke case as reason that people might be innocently accused not only have to disregard the dog death pits on Vick's property, videos and eyewitnesses to his killing and torturing dogs - but the fact that "due process in a court of law and an almost infallible jury - the crown jewel of American culture and superiority over other nations" was exactly what Nifong was counting on. He was pretty likely to prevail if he got a friendly judge and got the 3 accused in front of a black Durham/white activist run Jury.

I will say I got 3 emails last weekend listing NFL sponsors and urging me to write that serious discussions are underway that either the NFL cleans up not just Vick but the whole Thug Culture it accepts as part of the game and fan allure - or nationwide boycotts may have to happen against any NFL advertiser - not just "I refuse to watch Vick's team" threats...2 of the 3 emails were from nationwide pet lovers associations well to the center of PETA.
A sense by people that America has had enough with the depravity the big bucks people owning pro sports and media shove at us..or tolerate in their employees.

One Spook said...

Whoooa folks ... let's not dip our collective torches in oil and bang pots just yet.

Ralph Phelan at 1:50 writes:
"There are obvious differences between the Vick and Duke cases."

You failed to mention the most obvious one, the real reason Vick gets the benefit of innocent until roven
[sic] guilty.

He's black."


That statement is both racist AND wrong, Ralph. Give us a break!

Then Ralph comes back at 1:59 and writes:

"Innocent until proven guilty" is for in the courtroom. Outside the courtroom we usually apply common sense and/or preponderance of evidence."

Oh really? And "outside the courtroom," the Klan of 88 lit their torches, banged their pots, and applied their own "common sense and/or preponderance of evidence" too. Have some of you forgotten that?

A criminal trial requires guilt to be proved beyond a reasonable doubt, Ralph, not on "a preponderance of evidence."

Don't get me wrong here, I'm not planning to start a Blog asserting that Vick is being railroaded, but the fact remains and is indisputable that he is innocent until proven guilty.

Even the NFL Players Association statement, "This case is now in the hands of the judicial system and we have to allow the legal process to run its course. However, we recognize Michael still has the right to prove his innocence." smacks of Brodhead's ignorance of the law --having said that a trial of the three Duke students would present an opportunity “for our students to be proved innocent.”

Like Brodhead's ignorant statement, the Players Association statement again advances the notion that Vick has to "prove his innocence" ... he does not; the government has to prove Vick's guilt.

If no one has learned anything in the course of this Duke lacrosse fiasco, you should know that Vick is innocent until proven guilty and that the government must prove his guilt.

Come on people!

As KC has mentioned, the main difference in this case is that the government does have wittnesses and physical evidence. Clearly, Vick is in a heap of trouble, but he IS innocent until proven guilty.

No matter how disgusting the crime is, or what race the accused is or what priviliged athlete status he enjoys, Vick remains innocent until proven guilty.

Let's not forget that.

One Spook

miramar said...

So The LA Times has called Nifong "some backwater district attorney." Ouch!

No justice, no peace said...

Future Duke Department Head

I wonder if Duke will forgive him for smoking (at the end)...

mac said...

Let's ask Wahneema what she thinks
about the dogfighting, about Vick.
Bet she'd give him a rousing rah-rah.

I agree with Senator Byrd of West Virginia on the topic
of dogfighting, even though I disagree
with him on most other things.

When Vick entered the NFL,
he should have been forced to watch "Trading Places,"
with Eddie Murphy - at least the part
where Murphy invited his friends
to a party. The way it looks,
Vick never learned that lesson.

If you hang out with buttholes,
you start to smell like 'em.

As to his guilt?
Who knows?
Maybe Vick gave his dogs herpes,
for all we know.
Time will tell.

Anonymous said...

KC,

I respectfully request that you begin limiting the space given to future bloggers on DIW. I scroll through the really long, boring ones but lately my finger is getting overworked. Still enjoy your online work greatly! Can't wait to receive my pre-ordered book!

Anonymous said...

Has Mark Neal Ph.D., the "thuganiggaintellectual" chimed in on this?

Anonymous said...

Speaking of thugs, Michael Vick was always a gamble.

He was the "coach killer" now he's the "owner killer" too (plus dog killer).

Ralph Phelan said...

"That statement is both racist AND wrong, Ralph."

I make no comment about the innate qualities of black vs. white, or the average behavior of black vs. white. I merely note that in contemporary american culture it's safe to criticize white people without cause, but an ciriticism however well deserved against someone black you'll be called a racist.

Thanks for playing the race card yet again, and doing your small bit towards wearing it out.

I won't believe the sports media has really learned anything until they apply this newfound understanding to someone white.

Anonymous said...

KC>thanks for the overview of sports writing on the subject of Vick. For me, as a mom of a lax player it is significant that at least some in different parts of the country have started to articulate one of the main points you made early on: Duke University had a big role in the despicable manner in which these 3 young men were treated from the beginning. There is a huge difference between a famous, grown man and his company/ professional sports team and a school and kids on a sports team. But, I'm glad to get themessage out in any way that what happened in Durham, never should have. I'm waiting for your book, I hope you get on Oprah and tell the story. She is always interested in race issues and I think she does a good job of showing different perspectives. This blog has been very instructive.

Anonymous said...

[i]"The brutality in Virginia by Vick and friends is a fact."[/i]

Have we learned nothing from the lacrosse hoax. In the beginning stages of the lacrosse hoax, the brutality was taken as a "fact". When, it was anything but.

[i]"In this case you've got physical evidence and a guy with a history of thuggish behavior. "Vick is probably guilty" is a reasonable belief."[/i]

In the hoax there was said to be physical evidence at the beginning. There was said to be DNA and of course a medical exam. None of that turned out to be.

[i]"You have legal fans who say the only penalty Vick deserves is the one meted out by courts and he should have a full, lucrative career worth hundreds of millions besides his little court penalties...."[/i]

A full career? Not if convicted. If he is convicted, he should start serving his sentence immediately, not unlike any other convict. But, should he forfeit his career on the basis of a charge, as yet untested in court? The answer is a resounding NO. He, like everyone else is entitled to make a liviing. The criminal punishment is substantial. Should Mr. Vick be punished differently because he makes a lot of money? I say no.

Walt in Durham

Ralph Phelan said...

"Oh really? And "outside the courtroom," the Klan of 88 lit their torches, banged their pots, and applied their own "common sense and/or preponderance of evidence" too. Have some of you forgotten that?"

Outside the courtoom people frequently make decisions about who they wish to hire, who they wish to date, etc. based on less than proof beyond reasonable doubt.

People don't usually bang pots outside other people's windows. An action that extreme requires extraordinary certainty that one is right. But at the time there wasn't even preponderance of evidence. Things were already smelling fishy to anyone without an agenda.

One of the lessons to learned from the Duke Lacrosse Burning is that PC doesn't just destroy the legal presumption of innocence. It also destroys any ability to perform practical mundane common sense reasoning.

The Klan of 88's own "common sense and/or preponderance of evidence" was consistently wrong. Let's remember that, and point it out whenever they ask us to believe anything else they say again.

chris said...

The parallel between Duke Lax and Vick is not obvious. Both featured local prosecutors up for reelection, whose decision to prosecute followed the electorates' whim rather than a search for justice.

In Vick, it was only after the local prosecutor's (Poindexter) statements that cast doubt on his willingness to prosecute, and his sitting on a search warrant that effectively squashed it, did the Feds move in.

bill anderson said...

K.C.,

I am glad you mentioned Bob Ryan and Lester Munson, for both of them are bad guys. Munson has proven beyond a doubt that not only is he incompetent when it comes to viewing evidence, but also is dishonest.

(I find it MOST interesting that a lawyer who was disciplined by the bar for breaching ethics rules suddenly becomes the "foremost investigative sports journalist" in the country." Are the standards in journalism THAT low? Well, look at Cable TV. Nancy Grace, Wendy Murphy, and Georgia Goslee prove that one can have a TV career even if one is either unethical or plain incompetent in the legal field.)

Your point about due process is important. The government began to undermine due process during the Progressive Era, and that erosion accelerated during the New Deal. So-called progressives and leftists hate due process because it prevents them from being able to impose their will on innocent people.

Conservatives also do not like due process because in their minds it is just a tool used by lawyers to keep guilty people out of prison. Now, there are progressives and conservatives who appreciate and support due process of law, but those numbers are dwindling.

Look at the present presidential campaign. How many people, other than Ron Paul and sometimes Mike Gravel, are standing up and demanding due process? Certainly Hillary, Obama, and Edwards are not doing so, and Rudy Giuliani's record as a U.S. attorney in New York demonstrates beyond a doubt that he committed felonies that matched Nifong's predations.

The Duke case, in my opinion, truly exposed the rot that is law and "elite" higher education in this country. I am glad for people like you who have a sense of right and wrong and fairness, and are not afraid to speak out.

Anonymous said...

still at least some of the main stream press are beginning to recognize the duke case has a hoax.

Ralph Phelan said...

Yes, it's possible that there's really nothing here, and the Feds are making it all up out of nothing the way Nifong did. Reasons to believe that that's less likely in this case.

(1) It's the Feds, not some Southern small-town DA. I think the level of professionalism is higher. I'm not saying professionalism necessarily equals honesty, but at the very least they're going to be smart enough to only use fabricated eveidnce to strengthen an already existing case, not as the entirity of a case.

(2) The Feds haven't had a recent string of false conviction scandals like NC.

(3) The Feds don't live in a system where judges work for the prosecution, who can therefore get away with anything.

(4) Nobody on the prosecution team is in the middle of an election campaign. Nobody on the prosecution team is making prima-facie outrageous statements such as that innocent people don't need lawyers, that they can't let their part of the country be known for letting this crime happen, that the accused are "hooligans."

(5) When the Feds do make unfounded accusations (Richard Jewell, Wen Ho Lee) it's usually the FBI, not the DOJ.

(6) I've seen newspaper articles detailing how Vick's employer regularly helps him out of scrapes with the law. This isn't rumor, innuendo or undisclosed sources. This is interviews with named individuals. It's still been filtered through the MSM, but they don't usually tell direct about what a given individual said, they manipulate by what they don't tell you. It's hard to imagine a context where the Falcons publicly admitting to having hired someone to follow Vick around and tell him stuff like "yes, you really do need to show up for this court date" doesn't tell us something about Vick.

Anyone who can't see the difference in plausibility between the charges against Vick and the charges against the LAXers is refusing to apply common sense and "discrimination" in its original sense - the ability to tell the difference between things.



Someone up above referenced video of Vick executing a dog with a handgun. So far as I know that's still only hearsay. But if it shows up on Youtube are you still going to wait for a court ruling before you believe he's guilty?

Anonymous said...

WOW!!!! all that free advertisement for Duke and the fairness the administration and some of the faculty showed the lacrosse players and coach.

Anonymous said...

Big difference between a federal indictment and a local ass-clown trying to race-bait his way to an election and a pension.

That, and the mountain of evidence against the thug. I guess 120 million dollars was not enough to get the ghetto out of the boy. Er man. Wouldn't want to appear to be a racist.

Anonymous said...

Back to the main subject, the Mike the Nife hearing will be on tv this morning.

It can be seen on the site NBC17.com at 9:30 a.m.

Ralph Phelan said...

"I guess 120 million dollars was not enough to get the ghetto out of the boy. Er man. "

It really didn't help that the Falcons supplied him with a full-time professional enabler (look for the name "Billy Johnson").

Anonymous said...

That the news media offers the Duke lacrosse case as an example of inaccurate pre-judgement is encouraging and shows at least a level of public perception so that the analogy will be understood . Public recognition that the Duke lacrosse case involved no crime and a corrupt group of public officials attempting to frame 3 innocent boys is far from widespread . It seem to me that many still believe " something happened ", that there was some racial animus , and that well paid lawyers exploited some anomaly in the DNA evidence .
The Duke lacrosse case is probably far from being concluded concluded . A federal civil rights tort case against DPD, Nifong and others is almost inevitible. Contempt charges against Nifong are just now being addressed . This entire matter presents a good opportunity to show what can happen when public officials become corrupt and how easy it seems to be for malingnancy to occur .

Anonymous said...

Reads as though some of the MSM finally "get it". Has anyone checked Wiki or the urban dictionary for new screwjob verbs such as; "Broadhead-ed", "Wasiolek-ed", "Monetta-ed", "Burness-ed" or "Alleva-ed"?

Anonymous said...

The guy who got released because of DNA evidence, after 10 years of being in jail for a crime he did not commit said:

"I was nifoged"

Anonymous said...

So far the coverage is far from compelling. No perp walks, no shackles, just a babbling crowd.

Anonymous said...

Anticipating the Vick metanarrative:

sure, dogfighting has become a big problem in places like Chicago, where it is definitely associated with gangs, drugs, poverty, hypermasculinity, etc. However, since these brutalizing phenomena are all white America's fault, even if Vick is found guilty, he really isn't.

Anonymous said...

WRAL live Nifong now

Anonymous said...

Nifong growing a goatee and mustache.

hmmmm...

Anonymous said...

This proceeding is not for entertainment purposes. Maybe not for you, judge, but some of us are vastly entertained.

Anonymous said...

Nifong incognito - getting in touch with his hippy roots. Unemployed dude look. He needs a sign that reads "Will prosecute innocents for food".

Gary Packwood said...

Cedarford 2:40 said...

You have maybe 10 million rabid sports fans...
::
And those 10 Million now know about the Duke case.

This would be a good time for KC's publisher to promote his book to those fans.
::
GP

Anonymous said...

"We need to heal" Or did he say "heel". We might never know.

Whoa - he is backing off his "something happened narrative". The perp has seen the light? The 15 watt bare bulb on a wire in a cell?

Anonymous said...

Oh sob. Nifong throwing himself on the mercy. I apologized to those boys, let's move on now.

inman said...

...what evidence did the attorney general have that he did not have?

gs said...

The AG actual ask the FA some questions. LOL

Anonymous said...

Boy weasled out. Bummer. No hard time for Mikey. More's the pity...

Anonymous said...

No! the goatee and mustache is not his inner-hippie....he's trying to "be" Joe Cheshire!!!!!

inman said...

10:08

The allegation of criminal contempt is still to be heard by the court.

Anonymous said...

who is this dude talking?

Anonymous said...

Whining is more like it - I don't have a staff. Dude, that is so non-manly to admit!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, he's a wienie. Is he on OUR side???

rrhamilton said...

These moral cowards of the press still will not admit the racial issue: the lacrosse players were white while Vick and other examples given are black. That, and ONLY that, is the reason for the disparate treatment.

David Steele, Baltimore Sun: “Neither the NFL nor the Atlanta Falcons should kick out Michael Vick just because of an indictment, and just because he ‘sounds’ guilty. It didn’t happen with Kobe Bryant or Ray Lewis [because they were black], and as we know now, it shouldn't have happened to the Duke lacrosse players [but it did, because they were white] . . . Let’s not forget the key phrase from the breakdown of the Duke case, ‘rush to judgment,’ and hope that there’s no federal prosecutor channeling Michael B. Nifong.”

Unlike the lacrosse case -- which within weeks had no evidence besides crazed claims of one individual -- there is massive evidence of Vick's guilt. There is no valid comparison between these two cases, and the reporters are just using the lacrosse case to cover their cowardly asses when it comes to the almost certain guilt of a black.

R.R. Hamilton

Anonymous said...

Well said, R.R.

Anonymous said...

The defense doesn't want Cooney on the case, because he knows too much. The defense wants every opportunity to use obfuscation, a tactic Cooney would not allow.

Anonymous said...

I cannot believe how much more superior ALL of the defense counsel are compared to the judges and Nifongs attorneys....it almost isn't fair. They are articulate, brilliant, organized, coherent. It continues to be nuclear wepaons against unarmed peasants....

Ralph Phelan said...

"Yeah, he's a wienie. Is he on OUR side??? "

No. He works for the State of North Carolina.

Anonymous said...

A prosecutor has the duty to pursue what the court calls justice. Right, and had the defendent done that, he wouldn't be on that side of the aisle now.

inman said...

From Martindale Hubbel:

James P. Cooney III
Member
Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice
One Wachovia Center, Suite 3500, 301 South College Street
Charlotte, North Carolina 28202-6025
(Mecklenburg Co.)

Practice Groups: Appellate , Healthcare Litigation, Litigation

Practice Areas: Medical Malpractice Defense; Criminal Defense; Commercial Litigation; Appellate Practice; Business Litigation; Catastrophic Torts

Admitted: 1984, North Carolina

Law School: University of Virginia, J.D., 1982

College: Duke University, A.B., summa cum laude, 1979

Member: Mecklenburg County (Chair, Civil Section, 1993-1998) and North Carolina (Chair, AIDS Task Force) Bar Associations; North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys (Board of Directors, 1992-1998; President, 1996-1997); American College of Trial Lawyers.

Biography: Phi Beta Kappa; Phi Eta Sigma; Order of the Coif. Listed in North Carolina Super Lawyers, 2006. Research and Projects Editor, Virginia Law Review, 1981-1982. Law Clerk to Hon. John D. Butzner, Jr., U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit, 1982-1983. Member, General Assembly Task Force on the Rules of Civil Procedure, 1997-1998. Permanent Member, Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference. Chair, Mecklenburg County Civil Courts Committee, 1993-1998. NC Super Lawyers Top 100 North Carolina Lawyers, 2006.

Reported Cases: Davis v. Burlington Indus., 966 F.2d 890 (4th Cir. 1992) (ERISA suit; opinion upheld summary judgment finding ERISA violation).

Born: San Francisco, California, October 26, 1957

Martindale-Hubbel Peer Review Rating: AV

Anonymous said...

I caught that!!! Ha!!! "Pursue what the court calls justice.."
See, I said these were unarmed peasants.

Anonymous said...

The peasants had it coming.

Anonymous said...

Can the judge follow any of this? He seems like a moron.

Anonymous said...

What a baffoon....

"...co-counsel under the notion that he is an assistant."

He just called Davis a liar.

Anonymous said...

Cool...Seligmann has other attorney's...can't wait for the next steps.

Anonymous said...

Judging by the comments here, it doesn't like people have learned much from the Duke case.

There is "massive evidence"? Have you personally seen any of it? All I've seen are second hand reports in an indictment, which appear to rely heavily on the testamony of people who are deeply involved in dogfighting themselves. Maybe later we will see compelling evidence, but we have not yet.

A more important fact is that there seems to be very little understanding of what "due process" is in the country. Which is unfortunate, because it means the NFL commissioner has to come on my TV every night and try to explain something that should have been taught in high school.

The NFL is in no way bound by the criminal system's due process. It is not the job of the NFL to determine criminal libabilty, nor does is the NFL in anyway bound by what the courts determine.

The NFL is bound by its OWN due process. The NFL (nor any other employer) is not free to fire or discipline people arbitarily or capriciously. They can not just say "We heard a bunch of wild rumors on ESPN, so you're gone." If they did they could be sued for violating the contract.

The NFL must and is conduct its own investigation into the matter and then make its own determination based on difference criteria than "beyond a reasonable doubt."

Anonymous said...

Oh boy, Mikie's got the blinks again!

Anonymous said...

Can anyone take a picture of Nifong and computer enhance it to show him in an orange jump suit? I'm curious how he'll look.

Anonymous said...

Just to be an instigator--

What happened to the dogs that were confiscated from the compound?

A. The state killed them.

So Vick is being charged for killing dogs before the state had a chance too?

Kind of silly that the two biggest group of dog murderers the world has ever seen (the Humane Society and the ASPCA) are threatening boycotts because Vick allegedly killed a dog.

But I know it's "different" when they do it.

Anonymous said...

The judge has now denied Davis twice the ability to engage assistance in prosecuting Nifong on criminal contempt. What does this mean?

gs said...

The dogs were tortured to death.
not the same.

Anonymous said...

Dog fighting is illegal. That means it is against the law. Also, gambling on dog fighting is illegal. See above.

inman said...

If I heard correctly, the judge specifically allowed Davis to retain experts, including Cooney, to help prepare the prosecution.

He said, however, that these experts or attorneys could not be "attorneys of record."

Sounds to me like form over substance. Unless it affects the ability of the prosecutor to adequately address the issues relating to contempt in court. The judge may have noted, in effect, that Nifong and his counsel are seriously outmatched and, to level the playing field and assure due process, he doesn't was the "strategic air command" flying its planes overhead.

______________

Did I just hear that there will be a jury trial? In Durham? Yeah...right...

Justice.

Anonymous said...

So it's racist to acknowledge that Vick's race affects how he is treated by the media?

What about Crystal? Why do you think she's not being prosecuted?

Anonymous said...

What is being said at the hearing?

rrhamilton said...

anonymous at 10:40 said

Judging by the comments here, it doesn't like people have learned much from the Duke case.

There is "massive evidence"? Have you personally seen any of it? All I've seen are second hand reports in an indictment, which appear to rely heavily on the testamony of people who are deeply involved in dogfighting themselves. Maybe later we will see compelling evidence, but we have not yet.


That's like saying "All I've seen are second hand reports from lacrosse players who were at the party saying a rape occurred."

In your first paragraph, you seem to be speaking for yourself.

10:40, translated: "Well, yes, he had 66 fighting dogs at his house and dogfights occurred there, but other than the claims of people involved in dogfighting, we have no real reason to believe that he was ever involved!"

If Vick were white, he'd already be suspended and in hiding out in "rehab".

R.R. Hamilton

Anonymous said...

Nifong wants a jury trial? Davis is arguing constitutionally he's not entitled to it...

Anonymous said...

Mikie isn't wearing an orange jumpsuit -- yet. But he does have a "new look". He seems to have ditched the glasses, and he is growing a moustache and Joe Cheshire-style chin-whiskers. It works for Cheshire, but the beard just makes Nifong look even sleazier if such a thing is possible.

Anonymous said...

11:17 see 10:09

Anonymous said...

Nifong looks thinner in the face and neck.

Anonymous said...

Nifong looks thinner in the face and neck.

Anonymous said...

Yes, but is he a communis... ah, never mind, I don't have the heart for it...

Anonymous said...

I think the whiskers are an attempt to butch it up for his time in the hole.

Anonymous said...

Any organization rushing to judgement, without giving a prosecutor his/her day in court to prove guilt, should be boycotted.

Doesn't matter if Vick is found guilty or not, "innocent until proven guilty" is core principle of American justice. Rushing to judgement and violating this fragile, yet powerful, principle at any time prior to a conviction by a jury is un-American.

Goodbye Duke.

Goodbye NYT.

Goodbye NPR.

Goodbye Nike.

Support America. Support her core values.

Anonymous said...

Nifong once said he would not want to go into court against him either.

He should represent himself.

That way he could have a fool as a client.

LarryD said...

Vicks is potentially in trouble with two authorities. The Feds are one, the other is the NFL.

Because gambling can undermine the fans confidence in the game, and so alienate them, players have a contractual obligation to avoid even associating with gamblers. So if the NFL commissioner is convinced that Vicks has violated his contract by associating with gamblers, Vicks will be out of a job, regardless of how the legal case goes.

If the criminal case goes to trial, and the trial doesn't establish any violations of his contract, then he could be convicted and still have a career.

Anonymous said...

Nifong: Offers Apology, Says No 'Credible Evidence' of Crime in Lacrosse Case

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,290904,00.html


Wow! I guess this is a case of falling on your sword rather than getting you head handed to you on a platter (maybe that'll happen too).

Anonymous said...

Vick, not Vicks. No cold medicine is on trial.

Anonymous said...

Sweetmick says Nifong just apologized; said he believes what Cooper stated regarding no credible evidence regarding the crimes that he charged Reade, Collin and Dave with. Nifong also just said he believes no crime of any sort happened that night against Mangum. There goes the "something happened" claim.

Anonymous said...

Vick - aka Ron Mexico - alledgedly infected a woman with herpes. He was caught with a water bottle that had a secret compartment in it when trying to board and airplane. Now he is associated with dog fighting and the bad things associated with it, and with gambling. His is a misspent life, when his actions are compared to his resources and opportunities. He is being handled with kid gloves because of the double standard applied to AA cases in this country. I think he should be treated just as the Duke LAX players were treated - to do anything less is race based discrimination.

Anonymous said...

Many years ago Bob Cousey lost his job as coach of the Celtics because he was seen once having dinner with a minor figure who was thought to be associated with the mob. Times change.

Anonymous said...

Nifong just apologized to the three Duke lacrosse players and their families in court as he faces criminal contempt charges. Kind of like, aw shucks, well, guess mistakes were made and hope we all learn from this. I found it sickening still. No apology given to Mr. Pressler by Nifong, so have to believe Nifong still does not get it.

Anonymous said...

Good grief, there NO similarity to the Vick case and the Duke case.

They dug up 17 dead dogs on the property, they have four cooperating witnesses that gave $$, dates, locations, names of dogs and details on how and when various dogs were fought and killed. Vick is guilty. In fact, it looks like everyone in the NFL knows he's guilty and that is why several NFL former and current players have come forward to let us know that dog fighting is not that bad. I count Clinton Portis, Emmit Smith, Deon Sanders, Chris Sammuels and Joe Horn for starters.

I also very much agree that any time a black person is accused of a crime, race is made an issue.

Just look at the NYTimes story about 4 black males accused of raping a 12 year old girl. The males are black the girl is white and so there are 'questions of justice' according to the NYTimes. And in that case DNA matched all four men, so there is no doubt they had sex with a 12 year old girl.

Anonymous said...

11:30 wrote:
Any organization rushing to judgement, without giving a prosecutor his/her day in court to prove guilt, should be boycotted.

Doesn't matter if Vick is found guilty or not, "innocent until proven guilty" is core principle of American justice. Rushing to judgement and violating this fragile, yet powerful, principle at any time prior to a conviction by a jury is un-American.


THis is true for the legal system and for the manner in which a story should be reported by the media. That said, do you believe that OJ Simpson is not guilty? He is legally guilty of no crime (relating to the murders he committted), yet only the mentally defective truly believe in his innocence. Vick is entitled to the presumption of innocence during his trial and the media should not attack him the way they attacked the Duke LAX players, but...but, individuals can and will and should be allowed to judge the evidence that is made public (by both sides) as well as the public remarks of the prosecution and the defense. In the Vick case, the merits certainly seem to lie squarely with the government. That could change, and he could be acquitted, but individuals judging information is not a crime.
The NFL is the governing body of private organizations. If your boss found out that you were indicted in federal court, how long would you last on the job? You would almost certainly be suspended before your case went to trial. How can an employer justify allowing someone accused of a federal crime to remain in the workplace? It is asking for future lawsuits from colleagues.

Anonymous said...

If anyone ever doubted why Nifong was so confident of his frame, just look at the fact this HIS lawyers today asked the judge in his criminal contempt hearing FOR AN INDICTMENT AND JURY TRIAL!!! Forget that it is frivolous and unconstitutional and the judge denied the request----NIFONG wanted a Durham jury, not a judge, to hear the case against HIM! Case closed.

Ralph Phelan said...

"He is being handled with kid gloves because of the double standard applied to AA cases in this country."

Well, there's also the profit motive. If Duke made as much money off lacrosse as they do off basketball they wouldn't have caved quite so fast.

Anonymous said...

My Dalmatian and Dachshund are rabid over the Vick charges. They are howling the he should get a fair trial and then be hanged. They are both strong supporters of PETA.

I remind them of the Duke case, but alas, the boys do not understand the complexities of due process. They both only completed Kindergarten through the 9th grade, i.e. K-9.

Mike in Nevada

Anonymous said...

Oh, my!

Mikey is really getting into his Bohemian Mikey schtick.

Facial hair and that retro gleam in his eyes say that Mikey has become avant garde....kinder and gentler Mikey.

So many Mikey versions for one Diva to view today!

Debrah

Anonymous said...

Some of the comments reflect some higher standard to indict at the Federal level. That is just plain B.S.

A grand jury at any level is fed witnesses selected by whom? That's right the prosecutor chooses who to send into the grand jury room!! As any first year law student knows, you do NOT ask a question that you do not know the answer to! Therefore, in trying to make the case for an indictment, the prosecutor only sends in the witness that supports their position (to proceed to trial).

It is this selective witness process that allows the proverbial Ham Sandwich to be indicted.

If the grand jury is well into a six-month (or longer) session, they form a favorable attachment to the prosecutor and the staff.

I know of one Federal grand juror that said they were happy to bring in an indictment for this nice young Asst. U.S. Atty. Why? Because, when he was told that she did not drink coffee, he made sure that they always had the kind of tea she liked available. No kidding!

Innocent until proven guilty means at the end of the entire process, and NOT the grand jury process, NOT the arrest and NOT the pre-trail posturing (from both sides).

We should eliminate the grand jury process or make the prosecutors LIABLE for their actions during the entire process. If you sue me in civil litigation, guess what happens when you lose - YOU PAY! If there was something smelly (legal term)then you are in for BIG trouble and damages. Today, the grand jury in effect "whitewashes" the liability that should enure to the prosecutor that manipulates the system to get an indictment without showing the grand jurors the other evidence that does not make his case! FULL EMPLOYMENT FOR LAWYERS!!!!!

Anonymous said...

The point of the grand jury or the probable cause hearing before a judge is to PROTECT THE DEFENDANT and ensure there is a base line amount of evidence that supports an indictment to prevent the prosecution from indicting anyone they want to with no evidence at all.

The prosecutor already has absolute immunity, so the grand jury doesn't whitewash anything.

The alternative is to go straight to trial, thereby giving the prosecutor MORE power than he already has because there is not even a single procedural baracde between him and an indictment.

The Feds have a 95% conviction rate, that alone speaks to either a higher standard of proof or professionalism.

One Spook said...

Mike in Nevada @ 12:44 wrote ...

My Dalmatian and Dachshund are rabid over the Vick charges. They are howling the he should get a fair trial and then be hanged. They are both strong supporters of PETA.

I remind them of the Duke case, but alas, the boys do not understand the complexities of due process. They both only completed Kindergarten through the 9th grade, i.e. K-9.


Now THAT is a brilliant post!

Ralph ... you, RR, and a few other "Anons" read that post several times. Take time to understand the words and look up the hard ones. I know it's subtle, but maybe you boys can get it.

Mike ... that was far better than any reply I could make ... thank you.

One Spook

rrhamilton said...


One Spook said...
Mike in Nevada @ 12:44 wrote ...

"My Dalmatian and Dachshund are rabid over the Vick charges. They are howling the he should get a fair trial and then be hanged. They are both strong supporters of PETA.

"I remind them of the Duke case, but alas, the boys do not understand the complexities of due process. They both only completed Kindergarten through the 9th grade, i.e. K-9."

Now THAT is a brilliant post!

Ralph ... you, RR, and a few other "Anons" read that post several times. Take time to understand the words and look up the hard ones. I know it's subtle, but maybe you boys can get it.

Mike ... that was far better than any reply I could make ... thank you.

One Spook

Jul 26, 2007 1:53:00 PM

I agree that Mike's posting was very funny and apropos, even though I had to look up six of the hard words. One Spook, what was your point?

Anonymous said...

I just read the post and have not read the over 100 blogs, so this may have been said already.

The big difference between Vick and the Duke case:
The Duke players gave a press conference and stated passionately that they were innocent. As a matter of fact so did Kobe.
Vick has never done that. He has sometimes said no comment or just avoided the press. He has never pressed us to believe he is innocent.

Of course we have to be cautious about claim of innocense. Remember Bill and his shaking finger.

Ralph Phelan said...

One Spook - I understand what you're saying, I just disagree.

It's common in life that being arrested or indicted will cost you even if you're never convicted. That's because in this world people have to make time-constrained decisions on what they know is incomplete information all the time. That's just life. (The teenager you had engaged as a babysitter for tonight just got arrested on drug charges, the trial is in three months - do you use her anyway?)

You have to make decisions on evidence you know is tentative and incomplete, because deciding not to act is still a choice. So you have to make a reasonable judgement about the quality of your information, the cost of making a type I error, and the cost of making a type II error.

In the case of what the NFL should do about Vick: The cost of not suspending him if he's guilty is medium high. The cost of suspending him rather than firing him if he's guilty is low. The cost of firing him if he's innocent is high. The cost of suspending him with pay if he's innocent is medium-low. Looks like you should suspend, but you need a probabilty estimate to be sure. Based on the number of times the Falcons have already intervened to get him out of trouble, and the number of known criminals among his friends, the risk that he's guilty looks pretty high. The prosecutors aren't just claiming to have evidence, they're showing it to the press (pictures of dogs being exhumed, witness statements.) Risk now looks very high. Suspend with pay is the action that gives the best overall expectation value.

In the case of banging pots outside accused rapists' windows: If they're innocent, the cost of doing it is very high. If they're guilty, the cost of not doing it is pretty low - they're still going to go to jail, which is far more effective punishment. Don't do it. So you shouldn't even ever get to the evaluating probabilites step. But if you do... They don't fit the usual profile for gang rapists (among other things, their criminal records are really pretty clean compared to most first-time-convicted rapists). The accused were eager to give DNA samples, not consistent with the way guilty defendants usually behave. The prosecutor is engaging in obvious & outrageous demagoguery (any lawyer who says "innocent people don't need lawyers" is either a liar or incompetent) and so any default assumption that government officials are professionals who mostly tell the truth does not apply to him. Anybody with unbiased common sense would conclude that there is s strong possibility the defendants are innocent.

PC steamrollered the concept of "innocent until proven guilty" in the contexts where that concept is should be used. PC steamrollered common sense in places where common sense rather than "innocent until proven guilty" is appropriate. The problem in the second case is not that people weren't applying "innocent until proven guilty," it's that they weren't even applying common sense.

Legal Eagle said...

Generally, the Feds don't go after an individual until they have the goods (evidence) - unlike over-reaching political prosecutors, i.e. Nifong.

Accusations of torture-killing are especially troublesome, and my bet is the Feds have the evidence implicating Vick.

For his sake, I hope he majored in something other than football.

One Spook said...

ralph phelan at 4:05 writes:

One Spook - I understand what you're saying, I just disagree.

We probably agree more than disagree. I was just concerned that a lot of the posts I was reading here were redolent of the rush to judgment by the Klan of 88.

While there are major differences in most all aspects of the Vick and LAX cases, I'm still for reserving public judgment and maintaining a presumption of innocence until all the facts are known.

If we were having a beer privately and you asked me, "What do you think, Spook, is Vick guilty?" I'd answer, "Yes."

If you then asked whether I thought he was receiving preferrential treatment because he is a well known celebrity-athlete, I'd also answer "Yes."

Canadian law provides that some pre-trial publicity is illegal. While that might seen harsh by our standards, it probably isn't all bad either.

One Spook

haskell said...

ralph phelan 4:05

"Anybody with unbiased common sense would conclude that there is s strong possibility the defendants are innocent.

PC steamrollered the concept of "innocent until proven guilty" in the contexts where that concept is should be used. PC steamrollered common sense in places where common sense rather than "innocent until proven guilty" is appropriate. The problem in the second case is not that people weren't applying "innocent until proven guilty," it's that they weren't even applying common sense."

Ralph, I sgree but am afraid that these folks have a different "common sense". What is common sense? Where does it come from? I don't know, probably has to do with experience in interacting with the environment. If a group is raised in an environment where learning and experience do not deal with issues like true fairness, justice, and truth, then the common sense of that group will be at odds with that of other groups. As some of Michael Vick's NFL peers and colleagues have stated, "What is the big deal, they were only dogs."

Anonymous said...

This is one of the few times I disagree with KJ. There is no comparison between the 2 cases.

1. There are dead dogs everywhere (no rape occurred in the Duke case)
2. Vick owns the land
3, dog fights actually occurred.
4. Nobody is suspending the Falcons season.
5. the FEDS actually have evidence!!!!
5. Etc

Heres a test: what if this were say Christian Laetttner, Bobb Hurley, or a similar Duke grad? No way most of these writers would be so understanding. Finally, unless these writers said similar things about the Duke 3's innocence I cannot take them seriously.

ZEKE

Anonymous said...

First of all, it was the Irish and other honkies that introduced dog fighting into the US.

Why are you racists picking on an exceptional black athlete?

Are you jealous of his wealth? Or is it his exquisite dong that the white bitched love to suck?

Hang it up, crackers. The black man will soon be taking over this country.

Losers--pathetic losers. I have to laugh every time I see a fat honkie trying to hit up a sister.

Peter Noel
Journalist

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Speaking of thugs, Michael Vick was always a gamble.

He was the "coach killer" now he's the "owner killer" too (plus dog killer).

Jul 26, 2007 6:03:00 AM
----------------------------------------------------------------------

GREAT POST, MAN!!!

ZEKE

Anonymous said...

8:18 AM Said:

"In Vick, it was only after the local prosecutor's (Poindexter) statements that cast doubt on his willingness to prosecute, and his sitting on a search warrant that effectively squashed it, did the Feds move in."

If Wikipedia is correctly quoting the local DA, Poindexter, then 8:18 AM is spot on.

From Wikipedia:

Poindexter said he was "absolutely floored" that federal officials got involved, and that he believes he and Sheriff Brown handled the investigation properly.[44] "What is foreign to me is the federal government getting into a dogfighting case," Poindexter said. "I know it's been done, but what's driving this? Is it this boy's celebrity? Would they have done this if it wasn't Michael Vick?" He went on to say "There's a larger thing here, and it has nothing to do with any breach of protocol." "There's something awful going on here. I don't know if it's racial. I don't know what it is."

As far as I am concerned, Poindexter comes across with a few shades of Nifong. His motivation is initially obvious - the Feds got first blood and in doing so lessened the DA's glory. But Poindexter goes further than he should by speculating the Feds motivation as being possibily racially motivated. That goes too far and only poisons a jury pool.

So if 8:18 AM is correct that Poindexter was sitting on a warrant and failed to act then the DA has only himself to blame.

It also should be noted that the issue did become federal when the Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act was passed in May of this year and signed by the President on May 3. Thus Poindexter shouldn't have been surprised of the swiftness of action by Feds after they had become empowered.

Anonymous said...

HOW is broadrot still the president of DUKE...how are the slimeball Group of 88 still at DUKE...duke is now the best example of MISMANGEMENT and the laughing stock of college administration

how long will STEELBAG,and the board tolerate they are looked at like dummier than dumb..

inman said...

9:28

This post cannot be real. Please tell me that this is not real.

If real, this is a seriously twisted racist mind, a mind that needs help.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Inman,

Peter Noel is a well-known racist/journalist. He had been an investigative reporter for the Village Voice for years. He cohosts a radio show in New York that always blames whites for all black problems.

Noel is considered mainstream by many liberals.

Unbelievable. So yes, Noel is on the level. He's always talking about Duke case on radio.

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised more comments haven't been made about the gambling aspects. The ones that have been made are good. The issue for the NFL is how to protect their product (game) without negating Vick's right to the presumption of innocence. The only way I can see this happening is for the NFL to take action upon Vick's association with gambling. League rules regarding gambling are more stringent than the law. The NFL will make it clear that they are acting on violations of league rules and not any legal standard.

Ed Driscoll on captainsquartersblog made these points on Wednesday:

[NFL commissioner] Goodell met with Vick in April on the allegations of dogfighting and gambling, the latter of which really will concern the NFL. Vick apparently insisted that he had no idea what had happened on the property, but the indictments allege that Vick had been an active participant in staging the fights, killing the dogs, and gambling on the events. If Goodell determines that Vick lied in their initial meeting, that may be enough for Goodell [to keep Vick out this season].

...the real problem stems from the illegal gambling. The nexus of gamblers and athletes results in questions that shake the integrity of the games they play.

The NFL has a deep interest in keeping the game clean and eliminating these kinds of questions, and Goodell will probably act long before Vick tries to defend himself in court.

Anonymous said...

The fact that more money is illegally bet on football in this country is not lost on the NFL. Stop kidding yourself. Who actually believes that the NFL really cares about illegal gambling? It's a product to protect, nothing more or less. If the NFL thought that they could increase their value with dog fights at halftime, they would be hiring Mike Vick tomorrow as a consultant.

Just a few thoughts from a life long resident of the Old Dominion. 1st-Mike Vick is/was a superhero to lots of folks here, many AA, but many non AA. 2nd-Seems like half the population here attended 13th grade over in Blacksburg and are rabid fans of anything VT.
The feds must have mounds of evidence to even consider charging Mike here.

Anonymous said...

I did a little more research and this Poindexter guy clearly has sat on the ball. He obviously was comfortable in claiming a racial motivation because he is indeed a man of color. He's also surrounded by stellar staff such as this gentleman:

"There is a tendency, probably in the white community more than the other, to criticize Gerald," said Frank V. Emmerson, clerk of the Surry Circuit Court for 35 years and now retired.

This guy sat on the ball bigtime, contradicting his position that he had no evidence to execute a issued warrant for search or seizure because he "...didn't like the wording of the warrant."

This is a link to a June 2 article. Note the heat he is taking at the time and how it is stated that after six weeks, he felt he was only half-way finished (June 2) and yet refused any assistance from any other law enforcement. And he wonders why the feds took over.

Anonymous said...

Not to keep harping on this Poindexter guy but in addition to not explaining how the legal issued warrant was not correctly worded to his satisfaction, the day before the Feds executed their search warrant, Poindexter had allowed HIS Surry County warrant to expire.

His statements that there were probably crimes committed on the property but that he wanted to go slowly because he had a previous drug/dogfighting case thrown out because he and his crew had performed illegal searches proves that the Feds did exactly what Poindexter refused to ask for: get outside assistance because the case was big and complicated not to mention that he admits to screwing up before.

davod said...

Maybe there is a local connection to the dog fighting and that is why the local prosecution is going slow.

davod said...

The judge let Vick go with no bail.

Ralph Phelan said...

"Canadian law provides that some pre-trial publicity is illegal. While that might seen harsh by our standards, it probably isn't all bad either."

I have a real problem with restricting freedom of the press. On the other hand I'd like to see rules prohibiting prosecutors from saying anything about an ongoing case beyond the barest facts of who's been charged with what and when the next hearing is.

More importantly, I'd like to see them enforced. Not that actually enforcing rules against prosecutors is anything we're likely to see soon. Nifong has shown us just how bad a prosecutor has to be to lose his job. There's still plenty of room for mischief without getting anywhere close to that level.

Ralph Phelan said...

" Who actually believes that the NFL really cares about illegal gambling?"

Illegal gambling by the fans is fine with them - it gets more eyeballs pointed at their advertisers. Illegal gambling by the players introduces the possibility of games being thrown, thus discouraging the fans from gambling, thus reducing eyeballs aimed at advertisers.

Non-NFL personnel gambling illegally is good for the brand. NFL personnel gambling illegally is bad for the brand.

Would you go to a casino that let the dealers place personal side bets?

Anonymous said...

ralph, can you point to any other activity that is regularly wagered on that would be easier to fix than football? Remember, football is rarely bet straight up, usually on a points spread or props.

"NFL personnel gambling illegally is bad for the brand" ? perhaps you meant to say that NFL personnel caught fixing football games is bad for the brand, cause there is no shortage of said personnel illegally wagering on sports and even football. I'm not talking about the office pool either.

Anonymous said...

Time for an update here K.C.