Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Nifong, Unfiltered

Mike Nifong’s August 7 letter surrendering his law license combined the pettiness, arrogance, and self-pity that characterized his performance throughout the lacrosse case. The ex-DA considers himself the victim of “fundamental unfairness” in the disciplinary process. He charged DHC chairman Lane Williamson—the beacon of integrity in this affair—with conduct that was “preposterous beyond belief,” for the grievous offense of correcting a clerical error. (The written order disbarring Nifong had unintentionally neglected to contain one of the eleven counts on which the DHC found the ex-DA guilty.)

As Joe Neff pointed out, Nifong’s response contradicted the statement of his former attorney, David Freedman, who told the disciplinary panel, “I’ve talked with Mr. Nifong. He has told me that he believes this has been a fair and full hearing of the facts, that he believes disbarment is the appropriate punishment in this case.”

Nifong’s petulant letter reinforced a pattern of “two Nifongs” in dealing with the DHC. The first Nifong appeared in responses or statements made or vetted by his attorneys, which were generally unpersuasive but at least were professional. The second—and unfiltered—Nifong emerged when the ex-DA communicated with the Bar before clearing his work with counsel.

Besides his recent letter, two other documents fell into this category. The first was Nifong’s little-noticed reply to the Grievance Committee’s notice informing him that the Bar was considering filing ethics charges over his improper public statements. Nifong didn’t hire a lawyer until early January: this reply, dated August 29, 2006, was his work and his work alone.

By the time the June 2007 ethics hearing came around, even Nifong’s attorneys—Freedman and Dudley Witt—admitted that the ex-DA had violated the provisions of Rules 3.6 and 3.8 (which relate to improper public statements, the latter rule applying to the prosecutor alone). Their basic defense: Nifong was a political naïf, overwhelmed by the media, and he regretted what he had done.

In his August 29 response, however, the unfiltered Nifong assumed a far different position. On no fewer than 26 occasions, Nifong asserted, “None of the statements contained in this allegation are impermissible under the RPC [Rules of Professional Conduct].”

Some of the ex-DA’s specific claims were—to borrow a phrase—“preposterous beyond belief.”

For instance, in his August 29 reply, Nifong tried to explain away his repeated comments to CBS, CNN, and MSNBC expressing certainty that a sexual assault had occurred.

“The statement that ‘a rape did occur,’” Nifong informed the grievance committee, “is no different in substance than a statement that a victim whose body has been found with a bullet wound to the back of his head was the victim of a homicide.” Well, of course, when there’s a murder, no one can possibly say that no crime occurred. That, obviously, wasn’t the case in this matter. Nifong was unconcerned. As he demonstrated the chokehold on national TV, the unfiltered Nifong told the Bar that he was only attempting “to reassure the citizens of Durham that they had no reason for concern.”

Nifong also creatively reinterpreted his appearance at the April 11 forum. While on the NCCU campus, the ex-DA asserted that he would try the case “the old-fashioned way”—without DNA—and falsely implied that there was no DNA “left behind” on Crystal Mangum.

Nifong claimed that he only appeared “at the request of NCCU Chancellor James Ammons, and in the face of rising racial tension following the defense press conference on April 10,” in which the defense attorneys stated (truthfully) that the DNA tests from the SBI had revealed no matches to any lacrosse player. Why, according to Nifong, did he address the forum? “To correct any misunderstanding that might have been engendered in the community by the prejudicially false or misleading statements made by the defense attorneys(!), thereby defusing any potential for community unrest that might have resulted from those statements.” What were those “prejudicially false or misleading statements” by defense attorneys? Why could he not have accomplished this goal through the police issuing a statement rather than through him appearing at a televised forum three weeks before the primary? Nifong never said.

The next day, Nifong made one of his most inflammatory remarks, stating, “I’m not going to let Durham’s view in the minds of the world to be a bunch of lacrosse players from Duke raping a black girl in Durham.”

His rationalization on why this comment didn’t “heighten public condemnation of the accused”? “The quoted comments,” wrote the ex-DA, “were made in the context of a public (and nationally televised) forum in which all three candidates for the Democratic Party nomination for Durham District Attorney participated. The specific question that elicited this response asked for comment on allegations that I had taken the case in question for political gain—in essence, an accusation that I had acted unethically. I believe that my response was specifically allowed under Rule 3.6 (e),” which waives the prohibition against improper pre-trial publicity so an attorney can reply “to charges of misconduct publicly made against the lawyer.” (Note that the rule doesn’t waive the prohibition when he thinks that “in essence” someone might have accused him of misconduct.) Nifong never said, in any case, why it was necessary to make a racially inflammatory statement—at a campaign event, no less, that was “nationally televised”—to defend his professional integrity.

On other occasions in his August 29 reply, Nifong blamed the media for failing to provide sufficient “context” when using his quotes. (If this sounds familiar, it’s also the Group of 88’s latest line of defense.) Or, he said, he could issue inflammatory remarks to counter “the substantial undue prejudicial effect of recent publicity not initiated by the lawyer or the lawyer’s client”—even though this provision of the code was supposed to apply to defense attorneys, not prosecutors. And, finally, Nifong suggested that he could say whatever he wanted until he obtained indictments.

Nifong’s lawyers abandoned all of these intellectually dubious arguments by the time of the DHC hearing.

The ex-DA concluded his August 29 missive by wallowing in self-pity. “It was,” he wrote, “a moment of great anguish for me to receive notice on August 22 that grievances had been filed against me for the first time in my career.” If he was in trouble, it was only because he “spent too much time trying to treat the various media organizations fairly.”

Nifong was similarly unfiltered in his December 28, 2006 response to the notice of possible ethics violations regarding the DNA evidence.

The letter conveniently forgot his April 10, 2006 meeting with Dr. Brian Meehan—a meeting he had, in court, previously acknowledged attending. Meehan’s findings of multiple unidentified male DNA, he suggested, didn’t have to be turned over anyway, since they were “non-inculpatory.” Or he might have forgotten to turn over the test results, because he “was facing an unusually contentious challenge from an unprecedented number of challengers [two!].” Or his staff, which was not “familiar enough with the facts of the case to have known whether anything was missing,” might have accidentally neglected to include the results.

As in his most recent missive to the Bar, Nifong played the self-pity card, in one of his strangest assertions of the entire case:

A well-connected and well-financed (but not, I would suggest, well-intentioned) group of individuals—most of whom are neither in nor from North Carolina—have taken it upon themselves to ensure that this case never reaches trial. (And if this seems like paranoid delusion to you, perhaps you should check out websites such as former Duke Law School graduate and current Maryland attorney Jason Trumpbour’s www.friendsofdukeuniversity.blogspot.com/, which has not only called for me to be investigated, removed from this case, and disbarred, but has also provided instructions on how to request such actions and to whom those requests should be sent.)

The most consistent element of the unfiltered Nifong, however, is a tendency to lash out at the Bar. In his December missive, he charged that he was being held to an unfair standard: “For some time now, the ‘word on the street’ in prosecutorial circles has been that the North Carolina State Bar, stung by the criticism resulting from past decisions involving former prosecutors with names like Hoke and Graves and Honeycutt and Brewer, is looking for a prosecutor of which to make an example.”

Nifong’s most recent petulant response only confirms the DHC’s wisdom in taking his law license. This is a man who, in his unfiltered form, still appears to believe that he handled the lacrosse case in a procedurally proper manner.

116 comments:

Anonymous said...

Everyone check tomorrow's N&O editorial page to see if they comment on Nifong's latest behavior.

I doubt they will, but they certainly should highlight his 180-turn in temperament since the disbarment hearings.

This is not a backpage story. This man is a mental case who was allowed to become a DA in North Carolina.

One Spook said...

If anyone wishes to see how the Cover for KC's book will appear, I have shown it here:

"Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case"

One Spook

Anonymous said...

JLS says...,

I must say it is not surprising that Nifong has reverted to self pity. He was barely able to pretend differently at his bar hearing. That was bound to be a temporary attempt to gain sympathy once he knew he was going be disbarred.

Anonymous said...

The cover looks great. Glad that someone finally got three good photos of the guys. The news shows always flashed the most unflattering ones.

It's a mystery that some here make a big deal about KC's name being second. This is so ridiculous. It's just a way to nitpick to have something to say.

Stuart Taylor has been at this sort of thing for years and it was his project before KC joined on. Should Stuart have insisted that KC's name be first because "J" comes before "T"?

This is the kind of dialogue coming from a few strange commenters of late. This kind of trivia makes me ill.

Anonymous said...

12:12 AM

Nifong's behavior is truly tragic for all concerned. Certainly, it is tragic for Mr. Nifong. The Duke88 faculty and administration are not far behind. None of these people seem to be centered in a way that would calm the community. It is hard for these people to stand up to the metanarratives that have been put forward to pummel others. If the facts don't match the narrative, they are unconcerned. They merely produce another narrative. Are these people unaware of the way in which their words and actions are recorded and preserved? They positively make George Bush's bloopers eloquent.

Anonymous said...

12:12 AM

Please, would you try to keep the president out of the Duke/Durham fiasco?

Are we going to start blaming him for Nifong now, too?

I can name you many people whom you no doubt respect who are very bad speakers. Let's talk about their "bloopers" as well. K?

gracie said...

This just illustrates why I was not terribly sympathetic after his total disgrace at the bar hearing. Nifong has no shame, no conscience and he deserves every form of punishment that can legally be brought to bear.

rrhamilton said...


KC said,

“The statement that ‘a rape did occur,’” Nifong informed the grievance committee, “is no different in substance than a statement a victim whose body has been found with a bullet wound to the back of his head was the victim of a homicide.” Well, of course, when there’s a murder, no one can possibly say that no crime occurred. That, obviously, wasn’t the case in this matter.
(emphasis added)

I am afraid I'm going to sound like a smarty-pants lawyer, but here goes:

Sometimes KC, I wish you would have your writings vetted by an attorney -- just the legal-type writings. The reason that Nifong's analogy was inapposite was not the one you gave. By leaping from Nifong's "homicide" to your "murder", you flummoxed the critique.

First, you have to understand that "homicide" is not a crime. "Homicide" is just a killing. There are lawful homicides (i.e., self-defense), and unlawful homicides (i.e. murder, manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide). Unlike homicide, rape is always a crime. So there was the first problem with Nifong's analogy -- he was comparing a crime (rape) with something that may or may not be a crime (homicide).

The second problem with his analogy: We will assume for the sake of argument that, yes, a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the back of the head is so difficult and unlikely that it would be reasonable to refer to such a victim as a "homicide victim" (that is to say, he's not a "suicide victim"). However, there is another element of a rape case that is never present in a homicide case: consent. A person can never give a legally-valid consent to be killed (ask Dr. Kevorkian). On the other hand, rape is but an ordinary sexual interaction between people that becomes a criminal act only because the element of "consent" is missing (leaving aside statutory rape).

Thus, "rape" is so far from "homicide" that Nifong's comparison is absurd. His better analogy would've been ... say, theft. But how would it sound if he said, “The statement that ‘a rape did occur’ is no different in substance than a statement that a victim whose wallet is missing is the victim of theft." Yes, he would've sounded silly, as all of us can imagine reasons a person's wallet could be missing that do not include theft.

Sorry, if I'm being harsh on you, bro, but from time to time during the eight months I've been reading here, I wish you'd let Stuart "vet" some of the legal-type material.

R.R. Hamilton

Anonymous said...

Without question, Nifong is an ***hole -- but that's the least of my reasons to despise him.

AF said...

12:12
Insanity begets insanity. Mangum and Nifong deserve each other, don't they?

Is it just me or does anyone else see some resemblance to Slick Willie. The more I see of him, the more I see that "I did not have sexual relations with that woman" attitude and expression.

Ole Mikey "acted" remorseful at the Bar Hearing only to garner some sympathy and hopefully not lose his law license. I think he already knew he would be removed from the DA's office but was hoping to keep the ability to "practice" law. Let's just hope that practice, in this case, does not try to repeat itself as perfect. There is always hope that unscrupulous DAs, judges, and defense attorneys will get the message and do the right thing because it is the right thing (or at least because the consequences will be punitive enough).

This scenario reminds me of the child caught with his hand in the cookie jar who apologizes to his mother while his other hand is in the cookie jar.

Adapt Mikey. Accept the consequences of your actions. Your mouth overloaded your backside and you now must pay the price.

Topher said...

That picture was him demonstrating the chokehold? I thought that was him scratching his back in a particular un-tactful moment during a TV interview!

Anonymous said...

What is the mystery? bloggers ask and answer questions and discuss issues - that what they do. KC is the arbitrator of posts.

Joe T. said...

I wonder if anyone else has seen the photos of that mannequin head on the porch of the Buchanan St. house, on Flickr.com. Very strange. Some Durham psychopath still mad about the case? (While on Flickr type in "Duke" "lacrosse" to Search to find other photos, some from April '06).

Anonymous said...

It has been too long since my last Nifong "fix." His most recent moronic and venal "goober" more than suffices. It also reminds us anew about what this guy actually looks (and sounds) like "without makeup." Obviously, this idiot has been unhinged for decades--it just took a little "shinning the spotlight" for him to march himself over the edge. I hope and trust that everyone in Durham who actualy voted for this clown reflects on their abuse of the "Franchise." Finally, even now it still just literally amazes me that Brodhead would have bet his (and Duke's) legacy on someone like the Fong. I can't figure out who is stupider--Nifong or Brodhead.

bill anderson said...

Nifong's latest outburst comes just in time as he prepares for the August 30 hearing. No doubt, Judge Smith is going to have a bit less sympathy for the guy now that he has gone to showing us the Real Mike Nifong again.

It is too bad that Nifong is not going to have to pay a higher price. For that matter, it seems that the Durham police have gotten away with criminal misconduct as well.

Thank you, K.C., for not letting these people off the hook.

haskell said...

anonymous 12:40

"Are these people unaware of the way in which their words and actions are recorded and preserved?"

Most excellent point. This is the true revolution. Previously, the information available to us was filtered through a prism, for example that of the NYT. No one had access to reality. Now we do. The rules of the game have changed, the current generation of "leaders" is caught and, although they try to fall back on an old position of abetted authority, it just won't work when confronted with their own words. Papers like the NYT and the H-S are shown to be failing in moral responsibility to their readership.

I for one, have not voted in general elections. It made me sick to read, for example, in the New Yorker magazine, in the days following a presidential election, how the winning candidate manipulated the public, how statements were spun, and how speeches were tailored to special interest groups. No more.

Anonymous said...

Nothing that Nifong says or does surprises me anymore. The real questions is how did a man with so many character flaws rise in power to become the DA?

Anonymous said...

7.40 asks: "The real questions (sic) is how did a man with so many character flaws rise in power to become the DA?"

I guess you're forgetting that we're talking about Durham, NC, and Duke Univ. They (but not the LAX 3) *deserve* someone like the Fong.

no justice, no peace said...

KC what, if anything, was edited out?

Given the vast amount of material, the never ending numbers of unremorsfal participants, and publishing constraints, I would guess you all had a monumental task working with the publisher toward the final work.

no justice, no peace said...

One wonders how many of the Klan of 88 defaulted on their student loans?

miramar said...

It is not too surprising that Nifong would state that the bar hearing was fundamentally unfair, since he still seems to believe that the lacrosse case was fundamentally fair. Professor Coleman has noted in the past that Nifong is mooning the system, and this is just one more example.

Even when Nifong admitted that the three players were innocent in the recent perjury trial, he noted that this was based on "new" evidence contained in the state DA's report. There was no admission that he and the DPD rushed to judgment and didn't bother to do the basic investigative work that Cooper's people did. Unavoidable conclusion: Nifong did the best he could with the information available to him, so the whole thing was an unintentional error rather than a deliberate abuse of power.

Finally, I would like to commend the dog that tried to chew up Nifong's law license. That is one smart puppy.

Anonymous said...

7:40 -
Read earlier post about similarities between Nifong and Bill Clinton, vis a vis their sociopathic ability to lie and disassociate themselves from their own evil. That is how one can rise to power.

Anonymous said...

I would sincerely hope this latest middle finger from Nifong is what the families need to trigger the civil suits. Enough is enough. How much more do these people need to take from this psychopath?

Anonymous said...

As someone who had to interact with Mikey in a professional capacity on a regular basis for some time, I've been telling people for years, long before the LAX case, (since 2003 to be exact, when he attempted to "Nifong" me personally) that Mikey was nuts, as in mentally unbalanced, crazy.

My non-lawyer friends all thought I was the crazy one for being so adamant about it, especially when he was made DA. My prediction at that time, made to all who would listen, was that Mikey's pathological narcissism/borderline personality issues would result in a very short, but memorable, stint as the DA.

So it's with great relish and delight, but also with a sense of the inevitability of it all, that I've watched Mikey get his come-uppance.

Couldnt happen to a nicer guy. Really.

Anonymous said...

Schmuck.

scott said...

9:03's comments support the contention that Nifong was born, and will die, a turd in the punchbowl of life.

Anonymous said...

someone should be checking Mikey's mail before he puts the postage stamps on the envelope. did he think that this letter was gonna endear him to Judge Smith?

Anonymous said...

It's just the self-described "Chief Asshole of the Durham D.A.'s office" acting true to form.

The man really does need to be in a mental health facility.

Anonymous said...

Nifong's comparison of his "I believe a rape did occur" statement to identifying a victim found with a gunshot to the back of the head as a homicide is faulty for another reason: the gunshot might have been the result of an accident. So if a prosecutor runs out in front of the cameras and says, without knowing any other facts but the position of the bullet hole in the skull, that the shooting was a homicide, that prosecutor would indeed be violating the ethics rules -- just as Nifong did when he claimed with certainty that there had been a rape (despite having no credible facts to back up that claim).

jamil hussein said...

Now we know why New York Times don't do any fact-checking. The NYT fact-checking editors are busy falsifying wikipedia entries.
NYT doctoring wikipedia

For Condi Rice's "concert pianist", New York Times decided to edit it to "concert penis". Isn't that cute?
I'm sure New York Slimes Public Editor defends the paper of record.

GPrestonian said...

'The dog ate my license'. WTF was that about?

Carolyn said...

The guy's nuts!

inman said...

Thank Mr. Abrams.

Exhibit 1 in the criminal prosecution of Nifong: "NIFONG: Well, you have to understand how DNA is used. Obviously the first step that is involved in DNA testing is determining whether or not there is any DNA evidence that is left with the victim that does not belong to her, and so the initial tests are to determine whether or not DNA foreign to the victim can be detected on the samples that are taken from her body.
...

Under any circumstances, the first step is to determine whether or not there is DNA that can be identified, foreign to the victim, and then once we get past that stage, we could then compare any DNA that was found. Now obviously if there is a DNA match, then that's very strong evidence, but the absence of DNA doesn't necessarily mean anything other than no DNA was left behind." (emphasis added)

Nifong clearly understood what the DNA results showing male DNA meant at the time he received the results.

________________________________

Now motive:

ABRAMS: The point is, again, I'm not saying that this is a legitimate or a defensible position, but it sounds like what they're saying is maybe she did it as a setup for money.

FILAN: Well, is she going after anybody with a particularly deep pocket? If it's a setup for money...

FILAN: ... who there has money? I mean these kids...

ABRAMS: All these Duke lacrosse players.

FILAN: Well no, they're off their parents' homeowners' insurance policy. They're college students. I mean what—if you're going to set somebody up for money, go for a CEO of a corporation, go for a deep pocket, and I mean, usually, if there's a money setup, somebody knows somebody, and what I understand here is these women did not know these people beforehand ..."

BUT what if someone at the escort service knew only the category of who was going to be at that party ... 'Duke students' ... even if that was the limit of knowledge, it would represent a target rich environment for a hustler. Following this line, whoever was handling the marionette's strings was probably coaxing vagueness in identification until such time that the "deep pockets" were singled out to be picked.

One could develop a very interesting conspiracy theory involving hush money payed by a pimp to police over a long period of time allowing for prositution in Durham, a policeman with a singular vengence against Duke, a DA who decides its time to cash in all the chips,...

hmmmm.....

Gary Packwood said...

rrhamilton 1:33 said...

...I am afraid I'm going to sound like a smarty-pants lawyer, but here goes:
...Sometimes KC, I wish you would have your writings vetted by an attorney -- just the legal-type writings. The reason that Nifong's analogy was inapposite was not the one you gave. By leaping from Nifong's "homicide" to your "murder", you flummoxed the critique.
...First, you have to understand that "homicide" is not a crime.
...Sorry, if I'm being harsh on you, bro, but from time to time during the eight months I've been reading here, I wish you'd let Stuart "vet" some of the legal-type material.
::
I appreciate the opportunity to make a careful and critical examination ('vet') of the material that I read, thank you very much.

Over the years the 'professionals' within the criminal justice system have almost convinced Americans that most of us are so damn stupid that we can't understand what the anointed ones are saying.

Even the SANE Nurses have suggested that our brains needs a SANE vetting before we can think!

The next logical step will be a discussion about which sub-speciality is qualified to 'vet' what comes before our eyes. A discussion of the urinary marking characteristics of jungle animals...as it were.

I do know how to use the Define: ***** function of Google and the .onelook.com dictionary and ... my common sense told me that Dave, Collin and Reade did not and would not be 'fooling around' with Precious, bless her heart.

Stuart is a great person and should I need his help ...I'll ask.
::
GP

Anonymous said...

Miramar: That was funny about the puppy! That young dog had a well-developed code of ethics and, probably, a teething problem.

I wanted to dust off my favorite Nifong parody for this occasion. This was written back on November 16, 2006 and has NOT been updated. Here goes:

Butt Light presents -

REAL MEN OF GENIUS

"Reeeel men of geeeeeniuuus!"

TODAY WE SALUTE YOU, MR. CORRUPTLY EVIL PROSECUTOR GUY.

"Mr. corruptly evil prosecutor guuuuy!"

ONLY YOU CAN TAKE THE SKANKIEST STRIPPER OUTSIDE OF JUAREZ AND MAKE HER A POT-BANGER MADONNA.

"Can you say Immaculate Sper-ma-to-zo-a!!"

WHILE OTHER DA'S PROSECUTE GUILTY PEOPLE, YOU PREOCCUPY YOURSELF WITH BLOGGERS, LYING TO THE MEDIA AND HEALING A "DIVIDED COMMUNITY."

"The narcissist even likes the word 'Ni-fong-eeeeeed!'"

AND IF SILLY FACTS OR WITNESS STATEMENTS GET IN YOUR WAY, DON'T LET THAT STOP YOU FROM DESCRIBING YOUR FANTASY RAPE TO THE NATIONAL MEDIA.

"Would yooou do her without a condom, broooo?"

WHEN OTHER, SANE PROSECUTORS WOULD DROP A CASE, YOU DOGGEDLY PURSUE IT AS IF IT WAS A $1 BILL AND YOU WERE A DRUGGED-UP LAP DANCER.

"Insanity makes me strongeeeer!"

SO CRACK OPEN A BOTTLE OF BUTT LIGHT AND KEEP CHUGGING AWAY, OH CONDUCTOR OF THE LEGAL TRAINWRECK, BECAUSE THE LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL IS ANOTHER, MUCH BIGGER, TRAIN.
___________

PARODY WARNING: This is fiction. It is not intended to satirize any living human being. Do not read parody. Even authorized readers are not authorized. This means you!
____________

With the benefit of hidnsight, there were a bunch of bigger trains coming out of that tunnel, including, just so far, the State Bar and Judge Smith.
____________

"K.C. Johnson doesn't sleep; he eats injustice and defecates harmony." MARVEL COMICS (#3, 1941). MOO! Gregory

hman said...

One of the reasons that this case captivated my interest so long ago is that I have been curious, for quite a while now, about the inner workings of the typical narcicistic/sociopathic personality.
About a year ago I made the point that it is way too easy for the average person to under-estimate the vastness of the gulf that exists between the mental lives of someone with even a vestigial conscience and that of a M. Nifong-level sociopath. Indeed, this is often the reason the bad guys win, at least for a while; healthy people simply do not go out of their way to torture others and are ambushed in a way to encounter it in others.
Consider this as a boiled-down explanation: Lots of people are willing to harm others to get or retain power. How many people struggle to get power for the primary goal of harming others?
There is no point in dialogue with such abominations. Just do what has to be done to render them harmless and go on with life.

Anonymous said...

There you have it. Nifong is not all bad! At least he is a dog lover. And he had the compassion not to blame Cy for the chewing/mutilation.

Anonymous said...

Gotta love Nifong's letter. Seems like we can now add to his long list of excuses "The dog ate my law license" ;-)

Anonymous said...

Tarred and disbarred.

From "Tar Heel" to "tarred heel".

What a dramatic and damaging fall.

Mike Lee said...

Well as stupid as Nifong is I must admit he has balls. Asking for sympathy and claiming he was treated unfairly at this point is a bit much.

I guess he has forgotten all about how "difficult a road it has been for him and his family and the Seligman, Finnerty, and Evans families over the past 16 months."

He should know all about unfair treatment....after all he lied and cheated his way to 3 false indictments and tried to put 3 innocent guys in jail for 30 years.

Going back and reading Nifong's letter to the bar dated 12/28/06 makes me want to vomit and reminds me why this man belongs behind bars. Nifong is a pathological liar.

Anyone feeling the slightest bit of sympathy for him should remember the outright lies he has told. I really hope he is sent to jail for the crimes he committed.

Anonymous said...

This sad, pathetic letter only further confirms "what the whole world now knows to be the case"- that Nifong is a deeply flawed man who had no business holding a law license, let alone being the chief law-enforcement officer in Durham.

The audacity of this "man". It is my hope that this letter be used against him at his Contempt hearing at the end of the month, that he be found guilty and imprisoned. That would be the ultimate indignity for this arrogant idiot.

This letter also puts the lie to Nifong's apology to Dave, Reade and Collin from a few weeks ago. He was insincere at his Bar hearing in June, obviously, and he was probably insincere in what almost looked like his first moment of class as a public figure.

"We all need to heal". Yeah, right. Get a brain and a spine first, you liar. I bet you STILL think that "something happened in that house", don't you?

Wonderful blog, KC. And I'm very much looking forward to the book. My pre-order's been in for some time now.

Anonymous said...

1:00 AM

Your understanding of the posting is only partly correct. That was the point of the message. These Group88 people are homogeneous to the point of group think, and they think like that. I basically agree with you and that was the point. I too have made mistakes like that in quick reading. Perhaps it was a little late at night or very early depending . . . right?

Anonymous said...

Nifong is more seriously deranged than anyone thought. Read his dripping disdain for his "law license" in his letter to the Bar. It means nothing to him;
the dog chewed it up; I never framed it; I never had a Bar card; I didn't even notice my name was spelled incorrectly all these years. Silly piece of paper is all you guys want. Never meant anything to me. Yawn. You can't hurt me.
This reminds me of when my brother was very little and my Mom would punish him by taking away a favorite toy or something. He would stick out his lip and say such things as Mikey just did.
"You can't hurt me. I didn't like that plane anyway. I hate that plane. I don't care. I'll play with my train. I wasn't even thinking about that stupid plane."
I think he needs professional help ---(like a 300 lb girlfiend named JoeBob.) And I don't think this will sit well with his contempt hearing on the 30th. A little humility would have gone a long way. Thank God he showed his true self again.

Anonymous said...

KC:

It appears that our Mr. Nifong has not been playing with a full deck.

The obvious question is how long before he turns on his enablers?

Ken
Dallas

Anonymous said...

9:05

Nifong's comparison of his "I believe a rape did occur" statement, to identifying a victim found with a gunshot to the back of the head as a homicide is faulty for another reason: the gunshot might have been the result of an accident. So if a prosecutor runs out in front of the cameras and says, without knowing any other facts but the position of the bullet hole in the skull, that the shooting was a homicide, that prosecutor would indeed be violating the ethics rules -- just as Nifong did when he claimed with certainty that there had been a rape (despite having no credible facts to back up that claim).

===========

Sorry, you are a bit mistaken in your argument (but not in your conclusion).

Homicide is the killing of a human being -- whether by accident, or with some degree of intent. When a body is found with a bullet in it, that's indeed a "homicide", and it would be ethical enough to say so -- what's unknown, from the gunshot alone, is whether it is a "murder" or something else.

To correct Nifong's lame and utterly fraudulent analogy, it would have been accurate enough for him to claim that "sexual intercourse" occurred (or, even more accurately before the follow-up DNA results revealed a festering sperm goulash, just that some kind of stimulus had been applied to the vaginal area, enough to produce "diffuse swelling").

To say that a "rape" occurred, is in this analogy, the equivalent of saying that "murder" (rather than homicide) occurred -- Nifong did not know that, and had no evidence to support such a statement. So he was bullshitting then, and he is bullshitting now, and his whole self is in fact nothing but total, unrepentant and unremitting bullshit.

Anonymous said...

This guy does NOT think he did anything wrong. He never WILL think he did anything wrong. He thinks that everything he does is right and he is smarter than everyone else. When things don't go his way he plays the victim -- and he actually believes it. I agree with the poster who said Nifong has Narcissistic Personality Disorder. There is no cure. WOOF
cmf

Anonymous said...

He's even getting slammed by The Smoking Gun!

http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/years/2007/0815071puppy1.html

Steven Horwitz said...

Inman and others,

If you're still interested in my thoughts on the Baker article here, I've posted some thoughts here.

Anonymous said...

A scary thought is that the 'fundamental unfairness' Nifong complains of is that the NC bar has never complained when he has ignored ethics rules and manipulated the system before. He was justifiably relying on the bar's prior acquiescence.

-RD

Stephen said...

Obviously, the "apologies" uttered by Mikey were crafted and scripted by his attorneys and rehearsed over morning coffee. I am certain his resignation speech was as well. Nothing AT ALL legitimate about this guy. How pathetic.

Stephen said...

Gregory: You always make me think and always make me smile, if not laugh out loud. Thanks! By the way, is part 3 coming or did I miss it?

Anonymous said...

The N&O had the article by Joe Neff about Nifong on the front page; The POS H-S had a tiny article on page C6 in the food section. I cancelled my subscription to the H-S well over a year ago, but like a dog turd - it keeps appearing in my driveway.

Anonymous said...

The Smoking Gun has picked up on this: Nifong: The Dog Ate My Law License

mb said...

rrh @1:33am said: "Thus, "rape" is so far from "homicide" that Nifong's comparison is absurd. His better analogy would've been ... say, theft. But how would it sound if he said, “The statement that ‘a rape did occur’ is no different in substance than a statement that a victim whose wallet is missing is the victim of theft." Yes, he would've sounded silly, as all of us can imagine reasons a person's wallet could be missing that do not include theft."

I know this is OT but I think it's at least slightly relevant. rrh, I think you've hit on something: In cases of so-called 'date rape,' where no assault actually occurred and it boils down to a case of "he said/she said" vis-a-vis consent, I think that rape is little more than theft: The man took what the woman had control over (i.e., sex) without paying her the price she wanted for it, whether the currency is money, attention, favors, etc. Obviously in the case rape at gunpoint, when there is battery and other physical assault involved, this analogy rapidly breaks down. But as I said, in the cases of so-called 'date rape' I definitely see it mostly as theft.

Anonymous said...

The Dog Ate My Law License

By Mike "Non-Lawyer" Nifong

Anonymous said...

Nifong is a real shit, but I sort of know what he's talking about.

I am a member in good standing of the NC Bar, and I have never received any document identified as my "license", nor do I have a "membership card" from the NC Bar itself (although I do have membership cards for several, voluntary organizations of lawyers).

I've never understood exactly what was meant by this "license" document.

Presumably, my name is on an official roll of licensed attorneys maintained by the Bar (and would be removed from that list, with no surrender of any document on my part, if I ever disgraced myself as Nifong has done).

I do have a large, decorative parchment (yeah, I framed it, for preservation, although it's still in my closet at home), which states that I was admitted as an attorney to the NC State Bar, and when. But I don't know that it's a "license," in the sense that I have a Drivers License in my wallet to show police, to prove that I'm legally allowed to drive.

The dirty secret here is, anybody in a blue suit (or, in North Carolina, a seersucker suit) can walk into Court and act as a lawyer -- not that I recommend this, since it's very illegal unless you're admitted to the bar. But, I have practiced law for more than 20 years without ever having to produce a "license".

So, this surrender of a "license," whatever that's supposed to mean, is just a symbolic exercise in humiliation -- deserved, in Nifong's case. Nifong is, as always, saying "fuck you" to everyone, when he describes the license as meaningless dog-food.

I would rather that, when Nifong was ordered disbarred at the disciplinary hearing, somebody had ceremonially sliced off his necktie, snapped his wire-rimmed eyeglasses in half, and ripped up the Courthouse ID that was draped around his neck. Then, literally kicked his ass the hell out of the Court, and spat on him.

One Spook said...

Steven Horwitz @ 12:10 writes:

If you're still interested in my thoughts on the Baker article here, I've posted some thoughts here.

Excellent job, Steven! I thought your comments in the third paragraph of item 1. and your final paragraph in the piece were particularly insightful and strong.

Compared to some of the writing from this Group that KC has shown us, this piece was indeed "clear writing" and even resembled the same English language most of us studied.

Thank you.

One Spook

KC Johnson said...

Indeed. I'm going to be linking to it, with a comment, in the Friday roundup.

Anonymous said...

12:22 - That's funny! They can't even GIVE it away!

no justice, no peace said...

Inre: law license

Wouldn't there be a requirement to have the license prominently posted in one's primary place of business? Isn't the license provided to protect the public, instead of a statement of accomplishment, like a diploma?

I would be surprised otherwise. Futher I would not be so surprised if he had just admitted another violation by NOT having it displayed.

Any NC attorneys or otherwise wish to clarify? Thanks in advance.

Anonymous said...

If he's this annoying about returning his license, what's he going to say when they want the check to cover the hearing expenses?

Oh, sorry, the pup ate the check too!???

no justice, no peace said...

Well done Steven Horwitz, thanks for taking time to read and comment. I recall that in prior posting that defenders and maybe even members of the Klan of 88 called me lazy for not attempting to find their work. Of course my response was they were lazy and probably embarassed to post their work. Baker's article was one of the very few I could readily find. Hat's off to him for tossing out a small bone.

They publish little, in publications of questionable repute, about subjects that do little to raise the human condition. There is no transparency and it appears Duke condones and/or hides their work as they too must know it would be bad for business.

The larger problem is what is not seen. More specifically who is not heard from. The Klan of 88 are taking other's spots.

It is similar to saying those that survived Pickett's charge were the smartest soldiers in the Civil War. In fact, they were the luckiest and there may have been many, many brighter men killed that day.

What is missing is the brighter people who DO raise the human condistion.

inman said...

Steven,

Thanks for a thoughtful and well-written analysis. When I read the article, I too thought it was well written and, like you, I thought it was missing an ending or a punch line.

Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

11:48: There are five possible causes of death that may be listed on a death certificate: (1) homicide; (2) suicide; (3) accident; (4) natural causes; and (5) unknown. The five categories are mutually exclusive, meaning that a gunshot wound to the head cannot be classified as both an accident and a homicide.

inman said...

Maybe the Gang of '88 will be beneficiaries of the latest Don Imus law suit. In discussing this suit, news reports stated:

"Don Imus referred to my client as an unchaste woman. That was and is a lie."

I am very curious how one can prove that assertion?

"Violations of civil rights were cited in the suit as well."

Quoting a popular GEICO caveman: "What?"

ABC reports the use of "slanderous terms was intentional and motivated by greed and financial gain...

So is the lawsuit. But to mitigate the PR aspects, Vaughn's lawyer decided that AAAS and Women's Studies could help out:

According to ABC, Vaughn's lawyer said that some of the money from any damages awarded in the lawsuit "would be used to create a scholarship program to study the effects of bigoted and misogynistic speech on society."

Maybe some of the '88 would like to live in northern New Jersey....

ME said...

To Anon at 10:31 am,

Nifong’s puppy accidently chewed his law license. How silly.

More likely, after the first day of the Bar Disciplinary Hearing, Cy gave the law license to Tillie so Tillie could “play with it.” Cy’s no dummy. After that first day she new exactly how much value the law license retained.

Steven Horwitz said...

NJNP writes:

They publish little, in publications of questionable repute, about subjects that do little to raise the human condition. There is no transparency and it appears Duke condones and/or hides their work as they too must know it would be bad for business.

Who is "they?" Baker and Holloway (for example) have published a fair amount.

Are they in publications of questionable repute? Some maybe. I wouldn't say the Baker article I reviewed was. That journal has a very reputable editorial board, but its mission is not the same as, say, the American Political Science Review or something.

Baker's article is very relevant to the human condition. Understanding why governments use racial categories the way they do seems an utterly reasonable and important question to explore. You might not like his answer but the subject seems fine.

And no transparency? Both Baker and Holloway have lists of their publications, with Baker having links to many, if not all. That's quite transparent. There are often copyright reasons why folks don't offer links. In any case, those two can hardly be accused of "covering up" their work.

My point is just that there's a tendency around here to treat the G88 as a homogeneous entity. Someone in a recent comment thread said that explicitly. In any case, it's just not true. Some of them are guilty of all the "charges" above. Others just some. Others not many, if any. Treating them as an undifferentiated group, all guilty of all the sins of some, is eerily similar to the way they treated the LAX players: guilty by membership in a group.

Anonymous said...

1:16
LMAO --- "Branded!" Cut off his epaulets too!

Anonymous said...

3:16

First, I think you're responding in the wrong thread -- there was no 11:48 post here.

Anyway, thanks for your enlightening comments. But, Nifong is not the Medical Examiner, and he never completed a death certificate -- he is a lawyer.

And, lawyers know that the legal definition of homicide is (with some regional variations) the death of a human being, caused by another.

Which legally does include accidents (and variants like manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide), although of course not natural causes or suicide (either of which is pretty well ruled out by the suggested scenario of a bullet in the back of the head).

Hope this helps.

KC Johnson said...

A follow-up echoing Steve's point on Baker.

Of the Group, he was the only member to put at least some of his course syllabi on-line. And he is, to my knowledge, the only member of the Group to publicly concede that the case was a miscarriage of justice.

(Two other Group members have done so privately, in writing.)

Anonymous said...

I read Baker's article, and before I read the Professor's response, I wanted to type up my thoughts.

1. Professor Baker has mixed apples with oranges to reach a common conclusion about apples and oranges. If the common conclusion is that they are both fruit, then it may be valid. But, Baker reached no such conclusion. He went too far.

It would be as if you followed three murder trials involving alleged Black defendants in three different jurisdictions and reached a conclusion about how the justice system treats African-Americans based on that review. Important distinctions between the murder (or homocide, I don't care) trials must be analyzed. One distinction might be the facts of each case. Another distinction might be the procedures followed in each different jurisdiction.

Baker does try to show how his examples are similar, but he doesn't try hard enough to show how they are different. Before you mix the apples with the oranges, you have to have a solid grasp of the differences between the two.

2. I had finished page 6 of the 7-page pdf document, and I thought, "There is no way Baker can reach a conclusion with this data set." Then, I scrolled down to page 7, and to my horror, it was less than 1/2 page in length.

Apparently, Baker comes from the Kurt Vonnegut school of scholarly research and writing, as his conclusion was not much better than a Vonnegut-like chapter-ending sentence, such as "and so it goes."

3. The length of the piece tells me something. He is attempting to describe and then dissect three very different and very difficult to understand legal or legislative circumstances. This calls for a LOT of thought and you must "show your work." Neither was present.

Then, I reached the conclusion, which utilizes Baker's "three P's" which, if I remember correctly, are power, privilege and profit. Now, I understand the brevity of the article. It was not intended to inform; rather, it was intended to stir up trouble. I liken it to a post on a messageboard.

(I know there are potential irony and hypocrisy charges relating to my post, but I'm not writing in the Duke Press, and it only took me a couple of minutes).

4. I have problems with Baker's working premise, which seems to be that everything relates back to an historic white man's privilege. First, there was no historic white man's privilege in Hawaii. There has only been an historic native-born privilege. Second, I would defy Baker to find any United States Supreme Court case or intricate legislative bill that did NOT deal with somebody's power, privilege or profit. My response to his conclusion that these circumstances involved power, privilege and profit is: Well, duh.

5. Finally, I would note that the article seemed to be well-written in terms of grammar and spelling. I ain't no English teacher, though.

_____________

Solve for "X":

K.C. - X = 0

X = wisdom, patience, ability or Japan

Mathematics Quarterly (June 2007). MOO! Gregory

Anonymous said...

3:16,

My apologies, now I do see the post at 11:48.

But, I stand by the fact that "homicide", as defined by lawyers, can include death of a human caused by the unintentional conduct of another, i.e. accidents.

The point, of course, was just that Nifong was lying and misleading -- as usual.

inman said...

KC...

As a follow on to your comment, when Steven (or does he prefer 'Steve'?) suggested that he was interested in doing a review, I started searching the various faculty web sites and only a few were as transparent as Baker's. I (as a layman) appreciated that openness. It also appeared to me that he was reasonably confident in his work product. So I went down the list and happened upon the article that Steve reviewed and read it.

I chose that particular article because it was of a length that even I could wade through, just in case the english language ended up being tortured. I was surprised that I could understand what was being said.

I am glad to hear that Baker has atoned, at least to some extent, through his public concession.

Alex Rosenberg also has numerous works-in-progress linked at his web site, but he seems to put copyright restrictions on everything (no quoting, etc.). I'm not sure I understand why.

inman said...

Gregory,

I answered the extra credit questions. Did I get them right?

One Spook said...

Steven Horwitz writes @ 3:37:

"Are they in publications of questionable repute? Some maybe. I wouldn't say the Baker article I reviewed was. That journal has a very reputable editorial board, but its mission is not the same as, say, the American Political Science Review or something."

Good point, and it's interesting that you observed this about "Souls," the publication in which Baker's article appears:(in fact, the submissions guidelines for 'Souls' says that they will reject papers that are overly jargony).

If other journals have this same guideline, then perhaps it is no wonder that most of the Group of 88 have few works published.

"Jargony" is the mantra of most of the 88's "writing" that we've seen. Baker's piece that you examined is a refreshing exception in that regard.

One Spook

Anonymous said...

inre "historic [sic] white man's privilege"

Isn't it true that upper-middle-class blacks score lower on the SAT than lower-class whites and Asians? And isn't it also true that it's upper-middle-class blacks that are the principal beneficiaries of preferential treatment?

Can someone explain to me who has the "privilege"?

Trinity '76

Anonymous said...

To Inman: I just finished reading your answers, and they scored "0" in correctness, but "100" in funniness.
___________

To Stephen @ 12:17 - Thank you. Part 3 is neither funny, nor serious, enough yet.
___________

To Professor Horwitz & One Spook: Looks like we had a few of the same criticisms. I have never graded papers, but what grade would you give Baker's (and at what level, i.e. undergrad, post-grad, teaching professor level).
___________

"When K.C. Johnson invented biscuits, and the word 'biscuit' to describe them, he took special glee in knowing that the English would enjoy a good chuckle when asking Americans if they wanted a biscuit with their tea, and that the Americans would have the last laugh when they asked Englishmen if they wanted chicken gravy on their biscuits." CHURCHILL AND HIS BISCUITS, Doris Kearns Goodwin (2000). MOO! Gregory

Anonymous said...

Nifong, Unhinged

possible title for a chapter? oh yea, already published. bummer

KC Johnson said...

One of the chapters is entitled "Defendant Nifong."

One Spook said...

Gregory @ 5:13 writes:

" ... what grade would you give Baker's (and at what level, i.e. undergrad, post-grad, teaching professor level)."

My undegrad poli-sci professors were mean bastards and WW II vets. I would have gotten a "C" on that piece, together with the comment, "I wasn't sure where you were headed with this, Spook, and then you gave a paltry conclusion."

No one in grad school got a "C" so it would have been a B- together with the comment, "You do not understand Justice Kennedy's opinion, and you used too few sources."

Teaching professors do not get grades, per se, so I think Baker's piece, having been submitted to a good publisher, would have merited a "rewrite" memo asking for more sources and a better developed conclusion.

Then again, today's editors might just invoke the "trump card rule" and reason, "Goodness, this is the first piece I've received from a Black Professor this year that is actually written in some reasonable semblance of the King's English," and then reply, "Thank you, look for your submission to appear in our third quarter edition."

One Spook

Anonymous said...

Good of Horwitz to take the challenge and offer some clear writing.

Good of KC to think about including it in the Friday roundup. (Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.)

However, this is no way measures up to the work KC has done on this blog....every day......sometimes two or three times a day.

Sorry, I give it a C+.....try harder next time and I'll give you extra credit!

Cyn Wolour said...

A well-connected and well-financed (but not, I would suggest, well-intentioned) group of individuals—most of whom are neither in nor from Darfur—have taken it upon themselves to ensure that the actions in our country come to the attention of the world. (And if this seems like paranoid delusion to you, perhaps you should check out websites such as Amnesty International, which has not only called for the killings to stop but for it be investigated, stopped, and prevented from every happening again, but has also provided instructions on how to enact such actions and to whom those requests should be sent.)

This guy's got to be joking.

inman said...

7:34

Sorry. I didn't see the original post. Can you provide a reference?

Anonymous said...

Fundamentally unfair-

lying to a judge
lying to opposing counsel
lying to the media
lying to the public
concealing evidence
indicting innocent men
withholding evidence
lying about withholding evidence

Yeah I'd say that's fundamentally unfair. It's fundamentally unfair that this scum bag is walking around a free man right now. I'd say the time is right for Nifong to be jailed and sued penniless.

Fundamentally unfair.....Gimme a damn break.

Steven Horwitz said...

Anon at 717 writes:

Good of Horwitz to take the challenge and offer some clear writing.

Good of KC to think about including it in the Friday roundup. (Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.)


If the argument is that I am KC's enemy, you are deeply mistaken and I think KC would agree.

It IS possible to disagree with someone over some things but think the work they've done overall is nothing short of exceptional.

KC Johnson said...

Indeed.

I might very well have some enemies, but Steve certainly isn't among them . . .

inman said...

Steven & KC...

What is the view in the academy about 'mature' senior individuals pursuing a second career in the academy? Pursuing a doctoral degree, with research a secondary interest, but with mentoring of young minds a true passion?

I'm curious.

Anonymous said...

"Mr. Nifong, you say something happened, what was that something?"

"Sir, that something, I cannot describe exactly what that something is, was in its perfection perfectly floating and hard. Beyond that I was unable to get a perfectly perfect description as it spat on my face. It was, the perfect offender, in its perfection"

no justice, no peace said...

Steven H. inre; Klan of 88...

The Klan of 88 is no more or less of a homogeneous entity than the KKK. Both are racist.

The fact that they have largely stuck together and added to their ranks suggests they are very much an homogeneous entity. One that prefers to be defined as such.

They are not transparent with what they publish.

They are largely unpublished.

The publications are not noteworthy.

They are not tranparent with their required reading lists.

Duke does not disclose what students and parents are getting themselves into. That is fraudulent, or at least, immoral.

My larger point is that their are much better alternatives available that could be teaching much better material. It is really that simple.

They have had ample time to apologize and separate from what they collectively are known for and have chosen not to do so.

Defending the indefensible at any level is well, indefensible.

We can do better, much better and should demand as much.

I really have enjoyed reading your point of view, but really do not understand efforts to defend these frauds. They tarnish all of the academy.

Jimmy said...

There was an paragraph on the WRAL website wherein the current DA, Jim Hardin stated that the main obstacle faced by the DA's office is an "image" problem. Yeah, that and the problems left behind by the previous DA. I almost added some adjectives, but shall refrain at this time. What Nifong is is obvious to all who have followed this case.

Oh yeah, the most vocal supporter of Nifong at the Durham Farmers Market seems to have folded up her "Reelect Nifong" banner. Nothin' like backin' a lame horse, eh? I was told she is a personal friend of Nifey's, but truly, she should chose her friends more wisely.

Steven Horwitz said...

In short NJNP:

1. They are not all alike, as I have tried to show with actual evidence.

2. YOU and others have defined them as a group. "G88" is not their own chosen name but one imposed upon them. I doubt they see themselves as a "group" in the way that you do. The Klan, of course, took that name themselves and explicitly claimed group status. The G88 does not.

3. I work in academia. I know a lot folks who share some or many or all of the intellectual perspectives held by members of the G88. I also know that a good number of those people I know (on my campus for example) are serious scholars who are genuinely interested in educating their students and who care deeply about them as human beings. The efforts to use the worst of the G88 to broadbrush all academics who hold substantive political/intellectual views similar to theirs are, in my mind, extraordinarily simple-minded, unfair, and dishonest.

Just as I have spoken out about the abhorrent behavior of many of the G88 that was equally unfair and dishonest, so will I call it when I see it by the G88's critics.

Anonymous said...

8:15pm-

Since no one else is going to answer you, I will.

Why not go back to study something you truly enjoy?

If state senator and Carrboro resident and church-going friend of N&O's Ted Vaden--Ellie Kinnard--can go to law school in old age (even if it was NCCU) and become a lawyer, Al McSurely-style, you can do anything you want!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
inre "historic [sic] white man's privilege"

Isn't it true that upper-middle-class blacks score lower on the SAT than lower-class whites and Asians? And isn't it also true that it's upper-middle-class blacks that are the principal beneficiaries of preferential treatment?

Can someone explain to me who has the "privilege"?

Trinity '76

8/15/07 5:10 PM


Correct. http://www.lagriffedulion.f2s.com/testing.htm. See also, http://powerandcontrol.blogspot.com/2007/02/inequality.html

Anonymous said...

Is this type of rhetoric really surprising? The last thing an ex-lawyer would do is leave any kind of paper trail that even hints at being a confession. There is no way Nifong would ever paint himself as anything other than lily white innocent. Its simple self-interest, not personality disorder.

AMac said...

Off topic:

Prof. Johnson, your posts on the Duke faculty's responses to the Lacrosse Rape Hoax/Frame have been extrardinarily enlightening. Clearly, they have also been very contentious--but academics are used to the hurdy-gurdy of contesting interpretations. Giving full reign to the battle of ideas is, after all, the point of academic freedom, and of the instutution of tenure.

Thus, given your controversial and insightful analyses, one might expect that you would be in high demand as an invited speaker to many campuses--probably mostly by Government, Education, History, and Poly Sci departments; also by Philosophy, Economics, English, and AAS depts., and by business schools and faculty senates.

In addition to your subjects being interesting on their own merits, I could envision a rather urgent topic at many Tier I research schools: "What went wrong at Duke, and how can we ensure that a similar injustice doesn't take place here?"

Have you been presented with many requests to travel to other campuses and give seminars on topics covered at D-i-W?

no justice, no peace said...

Steve, the "...extraordinarily...unfair..." comment made me chuckle. I'm certain it was not by design, but the irony was not lost on me to see such language on the same day we read of Nifong accusing the bar of being "fundamentally unfair".

Other than KC and a few others like Bill Anderson, there has been scant little evidence of any in academia being fair to the young men, or having much concern about the process. You of course have done so, but you too defend those that should be defending themselves. Where are they?

inman said...

Steven @ 9:40

Thank you for you appeal to fair play. Although I find the "Listening Statement" abhorrent (or at least most injudicious), I trust that the motivations underlying its signing varied and in many cases were sincere. I still wish that all would tender an apology, but I recognize that there are numerous reasons that may prevent a public acknowledgement of bad judgment, not the least of which may be the university's global settlement ... which indemnified the professors and the "88.

With that said, it would be well received if the professoriate tendered -- not an apology -- but a statement of intent -- a statement that proclaimed a universal intent to protect all those things that we hold dear,...our allegience to the fundamentals of our constitution our freedoms and our process of law...

...in such a statement, the '88 can surely craft words that capture their most cherished goals -- racial equality, non-violence, kindness to all mankind -- while at the same time, acknowledging the cherished judicial and cultural traditions of this country.

Surely their are many among the '88 who truly wish to make good of what has been a truly bad experience. I want to believe that these are, for the most part, very good and well intentioned people. I am not qualified to judge their scholarship. I am hopeful that others who care can replace my thoughts in that regard.

I have bashed the '88 in my comments as others have, but I have tried to think about these people and what they want to represent. I cannot imagine and am hopeful that they would not have chosen to teach if they did not want to see a young mind grow.

So...I ask of the co-signers of the two prior statements...can you craft a statement grounded in positive intent, that proclaims the many positive aspects of the youth of this nation, and the youth of Duke University and the potential for all to know each other better? And the potential for all to honor and repect his fellow man?

Surely within the '88 and others, there is remarkable skill at forming such statements.

Duke University is a remarkable institution. I want to believe that it will always be so.

I make this plea for the benefit of the soon to be entering freshman, the fragile and impressionable youth to whom one day we will trust our nation's future.

Anonymous said...

Please people!

Go down to your nearest computer store and ask someone there to teach you how to link. It's the least they can do for your purchase.

The Apple Store even has classes for a hundred bucks a year.

If you go away with nothing else here, other than the wonderful outcome of this case, learn how to link!

It's very easy.

Anonymous said...

I think anyone who can spell "writ of certiorari" should be able to be a lawyer. Btw, I don't know about "law license". Maybe it's a Texas thing, but I'm used to being "admitted to practice" at a particular court or class of courts. For instance, a member of the Texas Bar (mandatory membership) is admitted to practice in all state courts, but if you want to practice in federal courts, you must petition each individual federal court where you want to practice and ask for admittance to the bar of that court.

RRH

Anonymous said...

The Duke Group88 most certainly acted as a group . . . an ignorant one at that. They must have had a centered experience somewhere in their schooling or upbringing that would have allowed them to hold the middle ground in all of this. They did not. These people atempted to put forward a metanarrative that reflected their own ideology as the reality of a case they knew nothing about. They were essentially bigoted all-knowing participants in a mob that wanted revenge for whatever reason but revenge . . . a revenge of encouraged pot-banger death threats, castration threats and whatever else was needed to carry forward their threatening metanarrative. Don't be so naive about this. There was a meaness about this group that was acting as a group. These were serious scholars who knew nothing of discretion or holding the center or having common sense . . . in South Carolina, a sheriff in Union County, a lone law enforcement officer of uncommon common sense held his community together in the Susan Smith situation if you can remember. Don't think for a minute that only one group of people can riot . . . Greensboro, North Carolina many years ago. This Group acted without consderation for anyone but themselves. The whole crowd of them possessed and ignorance impossible to measure. Lets quit making excuses or kidding ourselves about this. The case was never going backwards. It went forward toward the truth. Thank God.

Anonymous said...

This is comical. Look at the short, but sweet, coverage of the same subject matter in the H-S today. The N&O had a lengthy article.


Nifong gives up law license as ordered

The Herald-Sun
Aug 14, 2007 : 10:50 pm ET

DURHAM -- Former Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong is now a former lawyer, too.

Nifong mailed his law license to the N.C. State Bar last week, complying with an order issued July 10 by Lane Williamson, who chaired the Bar panel that disbarred Nifong in June for his handling of the Duke lacrosse case.

The panel accused Nifong of nearly two dozen violations of ethics rules and found him guilty on 11 counts.

In an Aug. 7 letter accompanying his law license, Nifong has sharp words for Williamson's decision to amend the original order to include an omitted count a Duke law professor noticed.

The change, he says, "is further evidence of the fundamental unfairness with which this entire procedure has been conducted."

Near the end of his Bar hearing in June, Nifong said he had been treated fairly.

Anonymous said...

Nifong...LOL...I love this guy...he just doesn't stop. It's so pathological, it is amazing. Has anyone suggested he seek psych counseling? Or a career in comedy? What an a-hole.

Anonymous said...

Thanks KC for continuing to shine the light. Mr.Nifong desreves whatever punishment he gets, the families should beware, he may come after them next!. I agree they should sue him just in case he is crazy enough to write a book. He would do it all over again if given the chance. He has learned nothing and thinks he did nothing wrong.
30 years seems about fair.I hope Judge Smith puts him in jail even if it is only for a month.

Anonymous said...

Don't know what they're doing at the News & Observer these days, but lately my morning paper smells like a kind of perfume.

Do the presses now put fragrance into the print news? I'm not talking about advertisements. The entire paper--all sections--had fragrance.

If I didn't know better, I'd think someone is woooowing me.

(Not a bad thought, since I just broke up with my latest flame.)

One Spook said...

Steven Horwitz @ 9:40 writes:

The efforts to use the worst of the G88 to broadbrush all academics who hold substantive political/intellectual views similar to theirs are, in my mind, extraordinarily simple-minded, unfair, and dishonest.

Just as I have spoken out about the abhorrent behavior of many of the G88 that was equally unfair and dishonest, so will I call it when I see it by the G88's critics.


OK ... fair enough Steven:

Clearly some folks here have overreacted to what the G88 did. However, this G88 was not a group of sophmoric individuals trying to lobby for a longer lunch hour. They are professionals, and to what much is given, much is expected. Similarly, an attorney like Nifong is held to a higher standard than others. The status and expectations of conduct of such professionals is not based upon their having taken out large student loans.

The main reason that KC was inspired to begin his inquiry was because he was apalled at what seemed to be action that was an anathema to the best traditions of the academy.

You seem like an intelligent and thoughful person, Steve. I do not think you would sign such a "listening statement" ever, particularly in the haste that the leaders of this group demanded, even if you " ... know a lot folks who share some or many or all of the intellectual perspectives held by members of the G88."

This was a group of professors who fell in behind agenda-driven leaders, and if there are among them those who regret their actions, they should have corrected the record long before now.

While I can relate to your feelings, I cannot forgive any reasonable member of the G88 who has not taken action to mitigate this wrong.

One Spook

Ralph Phelan said...

"Nifong, Unhinged

possible title for a chapter? oh yea, already published. bummer "

KC, got enough material for a sequel yet?

Ralph Phelan said...

"Is this type of rhetoric really surprising? The last thing an ex-lawyer would do is leave any kind of paper trail that even hints at being a confession. There is no way Nifong would ever paint himself as anything other than lily white innocent. Its simple self-interest, not personality disorder. "

Self interest would recommend a letter saying "Encolsed find my license. I apologize for its poor condition. I can't return the card as I never received one, and never needed to ask for a replacement. Yours, Nifong." One thing lawyers know is when not to say more than the bare minimum required by law. Also, it would not be funny enough to get posted on "The Smoking Gun."

Criticizing and disrespecting the Bar is stupid and self-destructive. Nifong has only one move - "bully" - and when he hits a situation where it doesn't work he's helpless.

Ralph Phelan said...

Steve Horwitz said:

"3. I work in academia. I know a lot folks who share some or many or all of the intellectual perspectives held by members of the G88. I also know that a good number of those people I know (on my campus for example) are serious scholars who are genuinely interested in educating their students and who care deeply about them as human beings. The efforts to use the worst of the G88 to broadbrush all academics who hold substantive political/intellectual views similar to theirs are, in my mind, extraordinarily simple-minded, unfair, and dishonest."

Ideas have consequences. If colleagues of yours share these views, can you be sure they wouldn't have acted the same if they'd been at Duke?



Even if these people are nice to you in the faculty lounge, their beliefs incorrect and their application results in human misery every time. Their ideas are so at odds with the lessons of recent history and with the results of any academic field not corrupted by politically predetermined conclusions that the only way to continue holding them is massive denial. See KC's next post. Here we have a tenured professor ignoring the facts (that the press made the accuser look better than she really was and the accused look worse than they really were) in order to push a predetermined political agenda.

Please give us your view on the intellectual quality of these views and, whether the large concentration of these otherwise rare views in the academy is a good thing.

Police and lawyers aren't the only ones who protect their "own" even when they don't deserve it.

ITFTM said...

I appreciate Steven Horwitz's effort to make sure we all retain a view of the Group of 88 as individuals and not a homogenous mass. It is always a temptation to mentally reduce a group of "enemies" to faceless clones who all act from identical motives, but this is neither an accurate nor a helpful generalization. If nothing else, we should realize that reducing the three individual players to faceless ciphers who could then be treated as representative of the abstraction of "spoiled white male athletes", without reference to individual qualities or actions, is exactly what the sensible protested during the case. (And continue to do so, really, when ignorant buffoons say things that suggest a young man who was falsely accused of rape deserves no sympathy because he attended a party for fifteen minutes, and some of his teammates, who attended the same party, behaved vulgarly.)

With that in mind, however, let's take a look at the Group of 88. Can they all be held equally responsible for the contents of the ad? I don't think so. To the best of my knowledge, only one person (Lubiano) composed the ad, and those who agreed to sign it did so before the ad was composed, having (necessarily) only a rough idea of what the final ad would say. I would be surprised if there were not a number of Group of 88 members who, when they read the ad their names were signed to, winced a bit and said to themselves "I wish I'd had a chance to question that part before this went to print." No, the members of the Group of 88 are not equally responsible for the content of the ad.

But there is a decision that each Group of 88 member did make individually, and that is the decision whether or not to apologize for the effect of the ad. I think that every single member of the 88 must know by now that the effect of the ad was to stir up prejudices against falsely accused people on the basis of their class, sex, and skin color. (Imagine if it had been black male Duke students that were accused of a violent crime and some hypothetical group of professors had determined that this made it the most opportune time to take out a full-page ad expressing concern about the statistically high rate of violent crimes committed by black males and specifically mentioning the violent crime allegedly committed by these black male students; would anyone fail to recognize the impropriety of that action? Would anyone still be trying to actually defend it, even after the students' exoneration?) The number of professors who have found the intellectual and moral courage to admit that the ad did more harm than good, and to apologize, fits comfortably in the fingers of one hand. Yes, the Group of 88 should be treated as individuals, but for many of them that won't automatically make such a large difference.

inman said...

itftm @ 5:23

I'm intrigued with your theory that only Lubiano penned the ad and that the other signatories signed on without knowing what the ad said, other than in very general terms. One could view that as the "...sign a blank check..." theory. I'd find it stunning if some of the 88 (such as Chafe, who after all has a relatively good reputation as a scholar) agreed to have their name signed and forever attached to something that they had not reviewed. And if there are indeed those that signed without review, surely there was some coercion involved. If someone who could affect one's future asked for support on a pet project, it'd take fairly large Kahunas to say "no".

Now, I'd also put forth the notion that coercion is also a factor in the failure of many of the '88 to apologize. Could someone (or perhaps more than one) still be pulling some strings, with the puppets in effect being forced to dance?

Maybe.

Anonymous said...

To Steven Horowitz. Why do you defend any of these 88 people. They are all grown up and knew what they were signing and what it meant. Except for a few, none have appologized for what they have done. To want to believe in something that results in 3 innocent people going to jail says volumes about the group. These are not biased people they are past bias and have entered sickness. These are truly defective people.

ITFTM said...

Inman --

I freely admit that I could be completely wrong about Lubiano having constructed the ad by herself, and signatories giving their support to the ad based on a description of "this is what the ad will say" rather than an actual draft. However, this scenario is based on information that I believe is in the public record, that Lubiano was telling everyone she was trying to get the ad in the paper quickly (KC has referenced the possibility that she was trying to get it in specifically before the DNA results came back and potentially contradicted the "narrative".) In my experience, people are often led to do things that are "stunning" -- to use your well-chosen adjective -- when they're presented with a difficult choice and not enough time to fully evaluate the choice. Faced with the choice of letting down a colleague or possibly placing too much trust in that colleague, I suspect many professionals would rather err on the side of preserving collegiality.

Ralph Phelan said...

8/17/07 1:35 AM -
See the last line of 8/16/07 10:46 AM.

ITFTM said...

Ralph @ 10:29 AM --

Which is why, even if the scenario of the ad going in the Chronicle is exactly as I have described it, I do not give a pass to the G88ers who could have spoken up afterwards and said "Wait, I never agreed to sign an ad that talks about 'what happened to this young woman' as if we had knowledge of what that was. You might have thought you had my agreement to that but you didn't."

Ralph Phelan said...

Yeah - even without leaving the PC fold, they could have crafted an ad that specifically stated "Regardless of the outcome of this case, our attention has been drawn to chronic sexist and racist behaviors [insert list of non LAX examples] that need to be addressed. The last ad was badly worded, this is what we really meant."

That nobody did makes me think what we have here isn't just a group of independent individuals who happen to share a lot of (odd) political views - it's something much more like a cult.

Anonymous said...

ok 5 years old. this guy needs to give it up and move on.