Saturday, November 04, 2006

Today's N&O

As an update to the “best of case” post below, two bombshell revelations in today’s N&O.

The first is an obvious bombshell: Joseph Neff’s latest. Providing more on the motivations of the accuser for moving forward with the case, the article reveals that the accuser boasted to colleagues at the strip club where she danced that she planned on using the charges for money. On March 18, four days after the alleged attack, she told the secutiry manager at the strip club where she danced, “I’m going to get paid by the white boys.” According to the Neff article, the manager responded, “‘Whatever,’ because no one takes her seriously.”

During the accuser’s dances (when, it’s worth remembering, the “straight-from-memory” Gottlieb report claimed that the accuser was in such pain it was difficult for her to “ambulate” or even sit down), the security manager said “she was as regular as pie. She didn’t do anything different.” he continued: “The other girls would have known if something had happened. If another dancer had been beat up or raped by a bunch of white boys, there would have been a ruckus.”

In addition to the Neff story, Duke Basketball Report speculated—plausibly, in my opinion—that the accuser’s actions in the days following the party, and in particular her repeated claims to UNC hospital that she was in terrible pain at the same time she was dancing in a most “limber” fashion, “could easily describe the behavior of an addict.”

The N&O’s other bombshell is one that relates to procedure, not the facts of the case. Reporter Benjamin Niolet reveals that an October luncheon, Mike Nifong justified his decision to press forward: “If a case is of such significance that people in the community are divided or up in arms over the existence of that case, then that in and of itself is an indication that a case needs to be tried.” [emphasis added]

Rule 3.8(a) of the North Carolina Bar’s Rules of Professional Conduct states that a prosecutor must “refrain from prosecuting a charge that the prosecutor knows is not supported by probable cause.”

Nifong’s statement is irreconcilable with Rule 3.8(a). The district attorney has now publicly maintained that a divided community—an electorate that is “up in arms”—justifies “in and of itself” his decision to press forward. According to Nifong’s new formulation of a prosecutor’s role,the evidence (such as, say, the accuser dancing in a “limber” fashion and boasting “I’m going to get paid by the white boys” at a time she was, apparently, making false claims of injury to doctors) is no longer relevant: community attitudes can justify a prosecution.

This claim is an astonishing abdication of Nifong’s duties.


Anonymous said...

I am astonished with the pace of the bombshell revelations. They seem to occur on a daily basis now. Nifong seems to have abdicated his unususal role as chief investigator (as well as procecutor) to the media and blogs.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I agree. The latest comment from Nifong should be enough for the NC Bar to pull his license.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Nigong will waive his right to legal representation if he has any potential civil or criminal liabilty. Why will he need a lawyer if he didn't do anything wrong?

Anonymous said...


In ordinary circumstances, this case would have been thrown out long ago. However, the black community in Durham has demanded this nonsense, and now refuses to hear anything that might contradict what they wish to be true -- but know is a lie.

It will be interesting to see how the community "leaders," Liefong, and Bob Ashley and his "snooze room" crew at the Herald Sun deal with this latest revelation. No doubt, they will try to discredit everyone, but we see once again that one can put a suit and tie and new shoes on a lie, but in the end, what comes through is the lie.

William L. Anderson

Anonymous said...

The North Carolina attorney general and Gov. Easley need to act now. When do they become co-conspirators by failing to act?

Anonymous said...

Hey, this isn't fair to Nifong. He can keep up with only one bombshell a day.

Anonymous said...

According to the article, the accuser stated that she was going to be paid by the Duke students who didn't pay her. (See first paragraph of article.) Could she be referring to the $400 for the dance? If so, she may not have been trying to extort additional money. I wonder who has her $400?
Also, Nifong's statement that community interest drives a judiciary action is unbelievable. Are we sure he wnet to law school?

Anonymous said...

She did get paid 400$. During the line up she pointed at someone and claimed that man gave her 400$ for the dance.

kcjohnson9 said...

It's my understanding that the context of the conversation didn't suggest in any way a charitable interpretation of the accuser's motives.

Did Nifong go to law school? Good question--we know after finishing law school, he couldn't get a job, and had to work as a volunteer ADA in the Durham DA's office. That alone should give a sense of how weak his academic credentials were.

Anonymous said...

KC, I commend you for the great work you have done in this blog. Nevertheless, I feel that your 11:34 comment regarding Nifong's legal credentials is a cheap shot. If I wrote approximately 1,000 words a day as a sideline as you do, I no doubt would be putting my foot in my mouth a dozen times a day. The facts you present to us speak for themselves and are a sufficient indictment of Nifong's actions. In any case, keep up the good work.

kcjohnson9 said...

Disagree with the cheap shot comment--it seems to me quite relevant.

Nifong, obviously, is a deeply unethical man. But I've also been impressed, throughout this case, with his intellectual mediocrity.

This is a man who, upon graduating law school, couldn't get a paying job as a lawyer. Anywhere. So he had to volunteer as an ass't district attorney in Durham (which eventually, of course, decided to put him on payroll). For someone who, after graduating from a law school as good as UNC's, had a best offer as a volunteer ADA, it's hard to imagine his academic credentials were anything but weak.

Anonymous said...

To KC, from 1147

I see your viewpoint, but I just have to respectfully disagree. But once again, keep up the good work. If there ever is the equivalent of the Pulitzer prize for bloggers, you deserve it. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

The hooker's story followed a natural evolution. Her first drunken and stoned accusations appear to have been nothing more than an attempt to avoid jail again. Her subsequent elaboration appears to be a response to the interest of 'law' enforcement in Durham. A hammer was coming down and she probably thought, correctly,that she could not safely back out of her story. Later came the realization that she might profit from 'the white boys' by continuing her allegations. She does not seem smart enough or sober enough to have come up with that one on her own. I wonder if Jesse Jackson helped with that idea? He is basically a shakedown expert. Anyone could reasonably have supposed the evolution of events. However, her actual admission that she intended to use a criminal prosecution for personal profit graduates her behavior from the merely frightened and crazy to the truly criminal. She is very far out on a weak and trembling limb. If she faces prosecution, whose lives will she trade for a plea bargain?

I have been wondering about some of the members of the the police department. Arguably, a few of their acts go beyond relatively innocent stupidity. Have they thought what might happen to their careers and pensions, and maybe their freedom, if someday the feds (or a new prosecutor) get the hooker to talk? Both the city and county are at risk of losing a lot of money in this. Maybe grabbing a few cops' pensions will help with the coming arrears.

There have to be a some honest and ethical prosecutors and policemen in these departments. Why aren't they distancing themselves from this impending train wreck before it is too late?

Anonymous said...

How can DA admit he is prosecuting men because of issues, and because some in the community want these men prosecuted, and get away with it? Is there anything in our laws that suggests evidence does not matter, but wishes of the community do?
I think not.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Nifong will try to argue that there is a "divided community" exception to the tort of malicious prosecution.

By the way, I agree that Nifong isn't very bright. However, the fact that he couldn't find a job doesn't necessarily mean anything.

A lot depends on market conditions. Just look at your friend MC. An extremely intelligent woman, but she couldn't find a job. (I realize that law school is different from grad school, but the point is that market conditions matter a lot.)


Anonymous said...

And I also agree that Nifong's statement is astonishing.

If a prosecutor lacks probable cause or is not satisfied that the defendant committed the crime charged, then he must drop the charges immediately. He may not permit a trial to go forward.

So Nifong is dead wrong, as far as I can tell.

What's astonishing is that he's stupid enough to make such a statement publicly. If and when he is prosecuted; sued; or brought up on disciplinary charges, you can bet that these sorts of statements will be used against him.

Just my humble opinion.


Anonymous said...

This is a case for the history books and the law books. Nifong is no longer the main story. Now, it's the failure of the North Carolina governor, the North Carolina attorney general, the bar association, the Durham city officials, the corrupt police officers who protect Nifong, the defamation by McClatchy's March and April N&O, the 88 Duke professors, the weak Duke president, Paxton Media's Durham newspaper, et al.

Anonymous said...

If you want to read something that will make you vomit, then go to Mike Nifong's website He describes himself as a man of utmost integrity and a prosecuter who would never bully defendants or mistreat them. Can You believe it? All I can say is its a "crock"!!!!

Anonymous said...

I agree with KC's estimate of Nifong's mental abilities. There is ample reason to believe he is not getting full wattage to his bulb.

I have wondered as well about his pattern of behavior. Some lawyers have said that in traffic court Nifong would arrive one day with smiles and a sunny disposition and the next day be spitting obscenities.
There is a diagnosis that fits that type of behavior, but only his psychiatrist knows for sure.

What is probable is that he does the same thing with his staff. It could be that an assistant is patted on the back, given a bright, toothy smile and praise on one day only to be humiliated in front of the staff on the next day.

How loyal can these people be? Is Nifong truly stupid enough to think they will be on his side when the troubles come?

I suspect that at least some of them will follow the hooker and trade their story for an exit so that the icon of injustice can be crucified.

And I wouldn't be surprised to hear that some of Nifong's staff are already talking to other agencies. Time for the laggards, the bums, and the rats to jump the train; there's a wreck coming.

Does Nifong wonder about hidden thoughts, and secret talks, when he looks into the bland, masking faces of his staff?

Anonymous said...

An article in The Charlotte Observer today features a story of Gov. Easley's visit to the campus of Notre Dame where UNC will play football today for the first time in their history. In as talk before a group of 70 people, Easley claims that his Catholic faith has formed much of his political thought and mission as a public servant, i.e., issues relating to wages, education, poverty, etc. Unfortunately, he failed to mention that his faith seemed to have been absent when confronted with corruption and the lives of three innocent young men hanging in the balance. He failed to mention that he has remained silent to the thousands of letters he has received requesting intervention.

Anonymous said...

KC, make no apologies regarding assessment of Nifong. Law firms recruit top students at all law schools, UNC is no different. Nifong learned just enough law to be dangerous.

Anonymous said...

Comments on previous posts:

The reason "bombshell" revelations appear daily is because of the election and the local media, at least, seems to realize that they have been made fools of by Nifong and his supporters. Appears that there are alternating "leaks" from the defense, then Nifong, then the defence....

Unfortunately, Accuser's comment about money from the white boys could be interpreted as the pay-off attempt Cousin Jakki and Cash Michaels alleged. We have yet to hear all from the bouncer, but I suspect the overall picture he and the other dancers give certainly refute the idea that Accuser was offered 'millions.' She obviously would have taken the money. Nevertheless, the comment, per se, can be seen as her speaking of a bribe.

KC says that Nifong couldn't get a job "anywhere." I have no info about where he applied, but it would be very revealing if he had applied all over the country and was still unable to get any kind of job. I suspect, however, that due to his parents' affiliation with Duke and his inability to get into Duke, that he carried a stigma that prevented him from getting a job locally and that he wanted to remain local. (Lof of other obvious implications involved in the Duke history, here, as well.)

It reality, it doesn't matter what Nifong's job hunt reveals. His own actions and words document best the limitations of his inductive and deductive abilities. Some might say he is criminally and politically brilliant in his use of this case to achieve agenda goals for himself and the social justice crowd. If he never uttered a word, that might have been believable. He only hurts himself everytime he speaks. This is one reason why Cheek let Durham down by not actively campaigning and forcing Nifong into positions where he had to defend his actions and those of his office. He would have talked himself out of votes everytime he spoke.

Regarding the DA's office, I wonder if the other employees realize that they will be unable to find work anywhere if they do not speak out? They are labeled for many years to come. Who would hire anyone from a Durham judiciary or police department? Their futures likely rest on speaking out NOW. Better to lose their jobs honorably if Nifong is re-elected than to lose them later when he is disbarred and sued, carrying around the stigma of remaining silent in an utterly corrupt environment. Says something about their own integrity and intelligence.

50,000 prosecutions a year? Appears to me that Durham is a major crime center. All the more reason to take a close look at exactly what kinds of arrests are being made. Duke students seem to be a priority. I wonder if drug cartels are seen as slightly more vital to the well-being of a community?


Anonymous said...

K.C. I agree with your assessment of Nifong's credentials. I dated and married someone who was at the bottom of his law school class in 1971 and even he could get a paying job- with the GC's office of a federal agency. He's an elected judge now.

Anonymous said...

Once again Johnson distorts what others say. Here is the relevant quote from the article:

Four days after she said she was raped, the accuser in the Duke lacrosse case told co-workers at a Hillsborough strip club that she was going to get money from some boys at a Duke party who hadn't paid her, the club's former security manager said.
She basically said, 'I'm going to get paid by the white boys,'" H.P. Thomas, the former security manager at the Platinum Club, said in an interview Friday. "I said, 'Whatever,' because no one takes her seriously."

Johnson claims "It's my understanding that the context of the conversation didn't suggest in any way a charitable interpretation of the accuser's motives." However, if we look at the actual quote in the paper, it explicitly says the accuser discusses getting money form the players in the context of not having been paid the night of the alleged incident. We know for a fact that she left her money in the bathroom (probably because she was completely stoned). There is no reason from the report to assume she was referring to a law suit or blackmail.
Why can't Johnson just stick to the facts instead of making ridiculously biased interpretations. The players are innocent. Just let the facts speak for themselves. Quite putting your subjective and unfair spin on things. It makes you and your followers look like irrational fanatics. That does not help the players one bit.

Anonymous said...

To 2:25- are you kidding? who do you think is buying your bull? face up, she is a low class shakedown hood rat.

Anonymous said...

It's doesn't make much sense that the AV would brag about getting a lousty $400 from the "white boys".
It's not exactly a huge score, and she probably made that in a day or two doing her private shows and dancing.

Anonymous said...

If Precious really thought that the "white boys" had not paid her, then why did she accuse Kim of stealing her money? And if she believed Kim stole her money, then why was she suggesting that the "white boys" were going to pay her . . . again? That doesn't seem to make much sense, especially when you consider that she and Kim danced for a total of 4 minutes, yet the "white boys" paid them, in advance and in full, for a 2 hour performance.

kcjohnson9 said...

To the 2.25:

I was not interpreting the comment in the article. My interpretation was based on other, background, conversations I have had.

Anyone, of course, is free to interpret the threat in the article as they desire.

Anonymous said...

just curious Mr. anon 2:25 how you think she was going to collect that $400 that you postulate she was talking about. Because she had already claimed that she was raped at that point, and the "investigation" was underway.

So, it's hard to imagine what sort of pay she could be talking about except for the money she was going to get from a civil suit. Unless you are suggesting that she was just going to head back over to the house, have a nice chat with the boys, ask them for her money, and then tell them sorry about the rape charge and all... just wanted my $400, and I'll just call off Mr. Nifong now. Somehow doesn't seem very likely.

There's really no other money or scenario she could have been talking about except the one she thought up in her head. Charge rape, hope for either a big payoff (I agree that Jakki's false story about the 2 million was trying to prompt someone to make a real offer.. and I think cousin Jakki is in on the whole hoax as well... she probably has been told she'll get a share for helping out)to take back the story, or hire a lawyer (as her father did, another possible hoax participant and shareholder)and hope for a big civil settlement from the "white boys" and Duke.

And she picked three of the wealthiest boys on the team. There are a number of middle class lacrosse players on scholarship. She picked none of them. I don't think it's by chance.

So you can think of all the twisted scenarios of what she might have meant by that comment, but any person with common sense knows what she was talking about. Getting money from the white boys was not about getting back a few hundred dollars. She figured out this might be her opportunity to be set up for life, and I bet there were some behind the scene players here telling her to "go for it".

Anonymous said...

It's too bad the reporter in that story didn't follow up on the bouncer's remark that nobody takes Precious seriously. I'd be very interested to know why no one who knows Precious takes her seriously. Could it be because she's a known liar? A known crazy? Just what exactly is the reputation of this woman upon whom Nifong is resting his entire case?

Anonymous said...

I got to agree. She was already paid by the boys and she claimed Kim robbed her in one of her many stories. If she was going to get paid by the white boys it was by shaking them down. I still want to know why the cops never pursued the claim that Kim took the money. I got a feeling before this thing is all over the taxpayers of Durham are going to wish they did.

Anonymous said...

Nifong's case has flatlined again. Usually the Herald-Sun can be counted on to rush in with a defibrillator but I hope that doesn't happen this time.

Nifong's comment that the case has to go to trial because of it's importance to the community seems to be an attempt for him to spin this into "Well, I just had the best interests of the community at heart."

I hope Nifong's career flatlines on Tuesday.

Anonymous said...

I think the reason DPD never pursued her claim Kim took her money is because it would have ruined Nifong's story. I think Nifong was trying to master as much condemnation for the boys as possible. Kim's allegedly stealing Precious's money would not fit into that neat story Nifong was coming up with.

Kevin said...

It's so clear that the accuser is lying, for reasons of greed, revenge and/or addiction. I wish that her identity wasn't being protected. She doesn't deserve it. I do know her name, but out of respect for the conventions of this site won't reveal it. I just wish that those conventions, and in the mainstream media also, would change.

Anonymous said...

Keep in mind that her co-workers and the bouncer state that they did NOT KNOW the AV was the AV. Her name was withheld from all media. Even her father stated that he was hearing all about the case and didn't know it was his daughter.

The fellow dancers and the bouncer have no reason to cover-up for the AV. They saw her actual as she always acted. She was in there dancing and hustling as she always danced and hustled.

It must be presumed that the defense hit the streets from the moment they were hired. They had statements from them all and likely have kept up with the AV's every movement. The AV was moving in her normal circles with anonymity as the "alleged victim." And, she was impeaching herself and Nifong every step of the way.

We have not seen or heard it all, yet.


Anonymous said...

I believe the AV initially claimed she was raped and robbed. I know she has at times claimed Kim robbed her, but I also believe she has claimed that the boys,after paying her, robbed her. The early search warrants served on the lacrosse players included money among the items they were looking for. So, when I read the N&O article today, I thought she could have been referring to the $400 when she said she was going to get the money the boys owed her. Either way (whether it was extortion or reclaiming money that was taken from her) it still casts more doubt on her on the DA's case.

As to Nifong's intelligence, my sense is he is not very smart. But, having said that, his working for free after law school is not necessarily evidence of poor performance in law school--he has said he wanted to work for the DA, and they didn't have any openings.

Also, he claims he was accepted at Duke, and offered Duke's most prestigious scholarship, not that he was rejected. I don't believe it, but that's his claim.

Anonymous said...

30 days I've posted this before, the NC Bar will act within 30 days.

I know nothing, he's toast.

Anonymous said...

Even if the bar "acts" in 30 days, Nifong won't be "toast" that soon. There are procedures that, presumably, some people and organizations follow.

The bread must be bought, the oven heated, and the gradual warming allowed to occur before there is "toast."

I perceive that Nifong has become the target of the outrage in this case to such an extent that we may be forgetting that his ouster by voters or "toasting" by the bar is NOT the ultimate end of this case. These boys' lives are still on the line and there is no guarantee that this case will not be pursued after Nifong is gone or censured by the bar. Nifong also has two months to do damage even if he is not elected.

I look for the best means to completely exonerate these boys from GUILT. There are ways to end this case that will NOT do that.

Much time still to go, unfortunately.


Anonymous said...

“If a case is of such significance that people in the community are divided or up in arms over the existence of that case, then that in and of itself is an indication that a case needs to be tried.”

I can't believe what I'm reading. Let a case be tried because a mob wants it--and then probably also insist that it needs a "Durham solution"? A jury made up from the lynch mob?

Yes, they are innocent, but they need to be tried to satsify the mob?

Does everybody in Durham subscribe to the Pontius Pilate school of justice??

Anonymous said...

so let's just consider the reverse of the statement you made 5:32--so a case should *not* be tried because the other half believe they will be found not guilty?
remember folks. fact finders you are not. that's what a jury does. but of course, that is what panics you the most.

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:39 - you just don't get it, so not worthy of the time thinking people would need to explain the obvious in more simple terms.

Look up the words 'hyperbole' and 'sarcasm' if you're interested in presenting a logical argument.

Anonymous said...

Since when did juries become "factfinders?" I believe that is Nifong's job.

A jury decides on the basis of the facts.

Nifong hasn't found any. Not to charge. Not to indict. Not to convict.

Gregory said...

To anonymous @ 2:25:

I have read, heard about, or been personally involved in tens of thousands of lawsuits. I have yet to hear of the $400.00 small claims lawsuit brought by a stripper for breach of oral contract. Perhaps Wapner would have jurisdiction for this legal matter? As other commentators have said, the accuser felt that Kim stole her money. This isn't calculus, just 1 + 1 = 2.

To: anonymous @ 11:47:

Good grades in law school equals good paying position out of law school. The students who earn "A's" get big civil firm jobs, the students who get "B's" go on to be judges, the students who get "C's" become millionaires, and the students who get "D's" have to volunteer at the DA's office. Even the bottom 20% of law school graduates get "paying" jobs out of law school. It is the bottom 5% that sometimes have problems....

To K.C.:

You are, indeed, the man! Keep shining the light of truth, as it is beginning to spotlight the corruption that is Nifong and Durham. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

This is 11:29
Thanks everyone for clarifying the $$ and for info. on jobs out of law school.
As I follow this case, I am constantly surprised at how really stupid some of these people are.
Nifungus claiming that anything but the law governs judicial actions is so stupid. Even if he believes this, it's stupid to say it. For the accuser to go right back to "work" and then tell people about getting money from the Duke boys is really stupid. Some of the MSM trying to defend this case are really stupid. The Duke admin. and 88 jumping to conclusions are not only stupid, they lack any moral compass. My old man used to tell me that there are a lot of stupid people in the world and you can't change a stupid mind.

Anonymous said...

I am amazed that the N&0 buried Neff's story inside the local section. Who made that decision?

Anonymous said...

Answer: the same editors who made the decision to smear the lacrosse players in late March and refer to the accuser as the "victim."

ed said...


@ KC Johnson

Frankly this case makes me reconsider my previous beliefs when it came to prosecutors. Previously I was willing to put doubts about criminal cases on the side of the prosecution. My thinking was that prosecutors wouldn't, couldn't, bring charges without significant proof and they wouldn't violate the most elementary of ethics in abusing their public powers.

But this has really opened my eyes.

Perhaps you've been thinking of what to blog about in the future? After this case has been resolved?

I think what's needed is a blog or series of interconnected blogs that discuss and cover prosecutions in this country. Particularly wrongful or problematic prosecutions that wouldn't otherwise get the airtime they deserve.

It's something to consider.

Anonymous said...

My grandfather had a say, "you never know how long a snake is until he's dead and you stretch him out". Tuesday, we stretch him out.

Anonymous said...

I have read this board and some of the others with a fair amount of surprise at the astonishment many of the posters express about Nifong wanting to try this case because of a divided community.

What do all of you think is the ultimate result is of all of the diversity re-education we have all been receiving over the past 15 to 20 years? Blacks are victims and whites are they perpetrators. Its time for role reversal, and blacks will use the legal system to carry it out. People like Nifong are merely using this tribalism to maintain their pettycrat positions. Consider them Vichy.

I love the whites like Nifong and the gaggle of 88 who think they couldn't be the targets of some "social justice" that is being carried out here. No, the tables can and will be turned on these people too once the power sharing is equal. Remember, the crime is being white. Those who are members of the gaggle of 88 are just as guilty of being white and benefitting from all of the subtle advantages that whites enjoy that the lax players are.

They'll be next. For anyone who's interested, you should have a look at what happened the the South Africans who advocated for the end of aparthied with the blacks. They thought they would be safe since they had done the just thing. Hmmm, think again.

Anonymous said...

I think most here realize why Nifong is doing what he is doing. The astonishment comes from him flat out admitting it to the public, and getting away with it.

kcjohnson9 said...

I agree with the 11.27. Nifong's admission gives a sense of just how above the law he considers himself.

Anonymous said...

What I mean is I expected Nifong to at least pretend he has some evidence to take this case to trial, but it appears he stopped pretending that, and flat out admitted he thinks it should be tried because of controversy in the community, and issues.

Anonymous said...

Is there any consequence for the attorney general of North Carolina for failing to exercise his duties in this case?

kcjohnson9 said...

Unfortunately, no.

Anonymous said...

Is the attorney general subject to impeachment proceedings? Such an effort might his get his attention.

Anonymous said...

To anonymous at 6:00 pm:
Just to clarify, juries are indeed "factfinders"--that is their role in the legal system. The prosecution presents evidence, the defense presents evidence, and the jury decides guilt or innocence based on what they determine, from the evidence they have heard and their judgments of witness credibility, to be the facts.
However, in a well-run and fair system, the police and prosecutors would take responsibility for developing the facts and evidence as completely as possible before indicting and trying suspects. A prosecutor who hasn't found enough credible evidence to support a jury verdict would exercise his/her discretion not to pursue the case (or to drop it once brought). If such a case gets to court, a judge may still take the case out of the jury's hands by ruling that there is insufficient evidence to support a guilty verdict even if all of the prosecution's evidence is accepted as true (though many judges don't like to do this, as it leaves them vulnerable to reversal, while a jury acquittal would dispose of the case permanently). So the issue is not that juries aren't appropriately fact finders, but whether there is enough of a case to go to a jury at all; if there's not, it is a dodge and miscarriage of justice to claim the case needs to go to a jury.