Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Charlotte Observer: Recuse

The Charlotte Observer leads with a blistering editorial calling on Mike Nifong to get off the case. With the D.A. accused by the state bar of "dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation," how could it be otherwise? As the Observer notes,
The high-profile case has been dogged by missteps. The accuser has altered her story several times. A police lineup was rigged when only team players' pictures were shown. One of the defendants appears to have an ironclad alibi. A DNA lab executive testified recently that he and Mr. Nifong had agreed for months not to release information that DNA found on the accuser and her underwear had come from other men, not the defendants. Two weeks ago Mr. Nifong dropped rape charges because the accuser was uncertain about some details. The defendants still face sexual offense and kidnap charges.

Like the N&O, the Washington Post, and virtually every other newspaper in the country, the Observer undestands, as Nifong does not, that he "has a duty not only to prosecute crimes but also to get at the truth and to inform his constituents about the state of criminal justice there. That includes the responsibility to speak honestly but carefully about heinous offenses that are especially troubling to the community."

Based on his decision to have a secret swearing-in this morning, it seems unlikely that Nifong will do the right thing. Perhaps it's time for a federal inquiry to help him make the decision?


Anonymous said...

Time is on our side. Within 60 days this is all going to be over, except for Nifungu's trial. Ha Ha!

Anonymous said...

If there were other swearings-in why was Nifong allowed to ban the press.

Surely the other officials would want the public to be present.

Anonymous said...

For those who want the "process to work": here is what happens when an openly unlawful process proceds through "trial". Does anyone think that this is the way it should work, that because dishonest prosecutors bring charges, we should wait, let people be convicted, go to to appeal, and let the governer pardon the victims of the scam? It makes no sense. Oh, and by the way, people of all races were outraged as to these actions. So, Nifung must go.

Texas Governor issues pardons for Tulia defendants; dirty cop indicted.
8/23/03, Los Angeles Times

35 Pardoned in Texas Drug Case
Final chapter closes on a misguided 1999 sweep. The informant whose word led to lengthy sentences for many is charged with perjury.
By Scott Gold, Times Staff Writer

HOUSTON - Marking the end of a criminal case that devastated a North Texas town, Gov. Rick Perry on Friday pardoned 35 people ensnared in a 1999 drug sweep, months after a state judge determined that the charges were founded on little more than innuendo.

The 35 residents of Tulia, Texas, almost all of them African American, were among 46 people who were arrested during the predawn raid, by far the biggest ever seen in the town of 5,000.

The charges, which brought many defendants lengthy prison sentences, were based on the allegations of a single informant, a man once celebrated in Tulia and given a Texas Lawman of the Year award. The informant, who worked alone and had virtually no evidence beyond his word - such as audiotapes of his supposed drug buys - has since been charged with perjury.

Most of the accused were released on bail in June after a state district judge determined that the informant, Tom Coleman, was "simply not a credible witness" and had withheld evidence. The judge also asked the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals to overturn the convictions; the appeals court has not yet weighed the case.

Prosecutors, who could not be reached Friday evening, have said they have no plans to file new charges against the defendants.

For the rest of this article, please go to The Los Angeles Times website.

7/24/03 Court reverses conviction of Tulia drug-sting victim
By GREG CUNNINGHAM, Amarillo Globe News

Nearly four years to the day after 46 people were arrested in the controversial 1999 Tulia drug sting, an Amarillo appeals court reversed the convictions of one of the defendants, a move that apparently will result in the first exoneration of a person convicted in the sting.

The 7th Court of Appeals, in an unpublished decision handed down Monday, reversed eight narcotics convictions against William Cash Love, who was handed sentences totaling 341 years by a Swisher County jury. The decision remanded Love's cases to district court for new trials

4/1/03 Judge recommends overturning Tulia cases
AUSTIN, TX -- Texas prosecutors on April 1, 2003 agreed to throw out the convictions of 38 people, nearly all of them black, who faced drug charges based on the uncorroborated testimony of a white former undercover police officer. The 1999 arrests stemmed from the work of a single undercover agent whom other law-enforcement officials said had faced theft charges and used a racial epithet. Defense attorneys claimed the prosecutions were racially motivated. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals had ordered a hearing to review evidence against four of the defendants. The star witness during the hearing, which began last month and is scheduled to resume today, was undercover agent Thomas Coleman. Retired state district Judge Ron Chapman of Dallas recommended the appeals court grant new trials to everyone convicted as a result of the busts. For more information, do a search at www.amarillonet.com, website of the Amarillo Globe-News

Anonymous said...

from a non-lawyer: This case has taken such odd twists and turns. If Nifong sits on his hands and does nothing until February 5, any chance the presiding judge or any other authority will remove him from the case????

Anonymous said...

Looks like there is no mention of 'the event' in the H-S online edition.

I guess it did not happen or is not newsworthy.

Anonymous said...

One or another of the judges who have sat on this case could have disqualified Nifong from prosecuting it anytime in the past 7 months, since the defendants made a motion to do so last Spring. Now, however, I can't help thinking that Nifong's recusal would merely prolong a false prosecution that should otherwise be over by early Feb. If Nifong is recused a new prosecutor will have to appointed, which may take some time, and that person will have to undertake the fair and impartial evaluation of the case file that Nifong never did. That will also take time. So the bottom line result of belatedly doing what should have happened months ago will be prolongation of the case.

Anonymous said...

The longer the State of North Carolina delays the inevitable, the worse it looks for the state. It amazes me at how the people in the justice apparatus in North Carolina have this in-your-face attitude that says "we are a law unto ourselves."

Anonymous said...

The next logical step in the PRD will be secret trials.

Anonymous said...

This case has opened my eyes to so many things such as the corruption in North Carolina, the bias of the media, and the politics of the judicial system. Why can't Nifong just "do the right thing" and admit he was wrong? I just hope this is a wake-up call to corrupt and evil prosecutors. Most Americans want justice and I hope that the DOJ will clean up the whole town of Durham. I think there's more that they're hiding.

Anonymous said...

It was nice of Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson to going along with the bar the press secert swearing in.

He must be a good ole boy.

Anonymous said...

This case has opened my eyes to so many things such as the corruption in North Carolina, the bias of the media, and the politics of the judicial system. Why can't Nifong just "do the right thing" and admit he was wrong? I just hope this is a wake-up call to corrupt and evil prosecutors. Most Americans want justice and I hope that the DOJ will clean up the whole town of Durham. I think there's more that they're hiding.

Anonymous said...

Barring the press and public to the swaering in of a pu.blic offical. Nifong needs a PR agent. All this does it makes people say there's something going on here!

Chicago said...

Here is a quote from Nifong this morning on WRAL:

"I don't feel I'm part of the problem. I feel that I have assisted in revealing the problem," he said. "Durham has some healing to do, and I need to be part of that healing process."

Either he is a damn fool or a socio-path. HE CREATED THIS MESS AND EVERY TIME THE FLAME DIED HE THREW GASOLINE ON IT. Where the hell does he find the nerve to tell a lie like that?

Anonymous said...

I'm betting Feb 1, or Feb 2, Nifong recuse himself. He gets a month delay in the case plus the time for whoever gets the case to review it. I don't think Nifong will be on the case Feb 5.

The judge (with the political coverage of the editorials, the Meehan DNA, the Bar charges, and the NC DAs open letter) will
remove Nifong on Feb 5 if not sooner. There is a motion to the court on removing Nifong. Nifong knows this.

Nifong will delay, delay. He has nothing, but each delay just further proves that the Feds need to step in.

I can not believe that Durham, or NC wants the Feds involved. Once they begin investigating, they will most likely find other possible crimes and used that as leverage against the priciples in this case.

Nifong (and his DPD buddies) weren't created overnight, he may have bent the law before and thought he could do it again. The feds have the resources to search through Durhams sewers.

Anonymous said...

Per a News 14 Carolina blurb:

"The whole point of this was this was not a media event," Nifong said. "This was an event that was required of us so we could get back to work and do our jobs. The message we tried to send was this: This is 2007. We're here to do our jobs. We're not here to basically help you guys sell newspapers or press coverage."

Ooooh, the man sounds mighty bitter toward the press. Why would that be?

11:45am Anon suggested that Nifong needs a press agent. Naaaahhhh, that wouldn't help at all. I'll paraphrase my favorite 'lightbulb' joke to demonstrate:

Q - How many press agents would it take to help an embattled DA?

A - Only one, but the embattled DA has to want to change!

Anonymous said...

The longer this case goes on the more unbelievable I find it that the governor is not demanding Nifong step down.

The damage being done to Durham and the entire state of North Carolina is going to take years to recover from. The state of North Carolina in recent years has seen a huge influx of migration from the Northeastern states. I wonder if this might have any affect on migration patterns. Whatever it is it certainly won't be positive. An utter disgrace. What's scary is that I have a feeling most state officials in other states would act no better.

Anonymous said...

nifong's latest comment!


Anonymous said...

Still not a peep out of the NY Times editorial page. I guess their waiting for the movie to come out before they demand Nifong's recusal.

Anonymous said...

The H-S is still unaware he was sworn in, however we do know that there are numerous fender benders in the PRD.

Anonymous said...

"If we get to the point where it appears that my presence in an investigation or anything like that is a hindrance, then we can deal with that at that time," Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong said,



Anonymous said...


Straight from AP.

Anonymous said...

The laughable notion that Precious is a victim of Nifong is more evidence that the hard left has lost its way in this case.

Nifong remains an idiot worthy of well-deserved scorn, but the lying accuser needs to be the principal focus of what went wrong in this case. Help me out here folks: Remove the D.A. and replace him with someone new; guess what? As long as you still having a lying accuser, you still have a case, albeit weak. No other D.A. would drop the case with a black woman who says she was kidnapped and sexually assaulted by three rich, white guys in Durham County. We can all choose to join her in lying and pretend otherwise, or we can be mature and face facts. S-H-E and only SHE is the reason the case is still around. If you remove Nifong and replace him with someone new, as long as she sticks by her story, this case continues. You don't have to like Nifong to recognize this obvious fact. You only have to recognize that she has temporarily shattered the lives of 46 atheletes, permanently ruined the lives of three of lacrosse players and their coach, tarnished Dook's and Durham's reputation and clearly set actual rape victim's back 25 years. Nifong opportunistically aided and abetted that once he should have figured out they didn't do it, but again, make no mistake about who is ultimately at fault here.

Anonymous said...

12:50--you are wrong

Not one da in a thousand would have first stoked the fires of rage and then when the dna tests came back negative, continued.

Keep in mind, the absence of DNA is dispositive, there can be no explanation for its absence once we know that older DNA is present, the very DNA that Nifong supressed.

Anonymous said...

1:00 pm

Nifong did not just continue, he hid DNA evidence and entered into a conspiracy with Meehan and 2 DPD detectives.

Anonymous said...

Nifong is nothing but a bully - an evil one, at that. Bullies put on a "tough-man" show but when cornered, they become meek and fearful.

It's interesting to see how his attitude has changed. No longer is Nifong strutting to the courthouse and grinning at the press. Don't think for a minute that his swearing-in ceremony wouldn't have been a huge public event, were it not for his present predicament.

Nifong is backed into a corner and he knows it. That's why his windows are covered and he is sneaking around. He cannot face reality, just as he cannot face the public.

Unknown said...

As unreliable as the accuser's family has been regarding this case (her pregnancy, for example), I have to wonder if their claim that the accuser has asked Nifong twice to drop the case has some kernel of truth to it. Imagine if there's evidence out there that the accuser wanted to drop the case back in March or April and Nifong said no and pressed on while threatening her with charges for filing a false report...perhaps the kind that could actually send her to prison given her past brushes with the law. Lawyers in the room, can he get in trouble for twisting her arm into pressing on?

Anonymous said...

JLS says...

The Durham paper apparently had a heads up and knew that the swearing would not be open to the public. That would explain them sending no one and using AP copy for something in their own town.

I am expecting more shoes to fall this week. Making the bar charges public and making the DAs letter public smack of an effort to get this mess over now, before Finnerty and Seligmann miss another term further increasing their damage claims against Durham. [Evans damage claims too but since he is a grad his damages don't have discrete dates like missing a term at Duke or another lacrosse season.] I don't know what could happen and of course Nifong would not want to drop the charges the day he is sworn, but 10 January is the key date as that is the day classes begin at Duke. If the charges are not dropped by 10 Jan, then Finnerty and Seligmann lose another term and another season.

Anonymous said...

james- Crystal had easy way out of the case if she so desired. A simple telephone call to any local media outlet, except for Cash, she could have told her story. She desires still to participate in the Hoax.

Anonymous said...

I once thought that Nifong was simply an incompetent buffoon. Then I changed my opinion as more sinister behavior on his part was exposed. Now, with his latest public statement about not being "part of the problem", I think there is only one valid conclusion - he's just plain crazy. Maybe that will be his defense with the state bar....

Anonymous said...

>5 hours later, still no word on the H-S site about the swearing in ceremony this am. However, they do have an article titled "Dancer closes out celebratory African tribute"

I thought even the H-S had started calling her a 'stripper'. ;>)

Anonymous said...

Nifongs comments from this morning.
ABC11 news Raleigh.



Anonymous said...

The accuser should have her own lawyer at this point.

But Nifong in his role as administrator of "justice" could just remind the accuser that she swore out a complaint, and gave testimony to a grand jury.

He would remind her that lying are serious charges. She could go to jail. And then say did you lie? Are you changing you story? Do tou understand the penalities?

Anonymous said...


Has the H-S even posted AP copy? I haven't seen that yet.

Anonymous said...

How sneaky, hypocritical of the State of NC and Nifong to swear in to public office in private. The state has knowingly sworn in a criminal into the most powerful public office. Disgraceful. He now has the courts lying for him about why the ceremony was private. Get the FEDS in here now. Corruption overwhelms Durham.

Anonymous said...

JLS says...

re 12:50 Without Nifong there likely would not have been a complaint taken to the DA. The DPD while treating Mangum's complaint seriously, did not seem to believe it. Pittman [aka Roberts] called it a crock. The police did not move to call the house a crime scene right away. They investigated and appear to have suggested to Duke that this would all go away.

Thus I think the PDP would have investigated and not gone forward. But as we know Nifong hijacked the investigation. So I think few other DA would have hijacked the investigation and thus few other DA in the country would have filed these charges.

Unknown said...

My point was that if Nifong has gone so far as to bully fellow attorneys, police officers, etc, perhaps he is not above using not-so-veiled threats to keep the accuser from backing down publically.

Of course this is all speculation but for all we know, she may have asked Nifong to stop pursuing this farce months ago. And according to her (not very reliable, I admit) family, she has. I'm not excusing her filing a false claim by any means, but just imagine if the smoking gun in this case is a tape of the accuser asking Nifong to drop it and he tells her that he could but then he would have to go after her. Really, since this is Nifong, I wouldn't be surprised...

Anonymous said...

Geez, I finally saw it, thx to the post @ 12:43.

No wonder I didn't see it - they hid it under State & not Durham...

Anonymous said...

1:17 THe HDS posted the Nifong AP story under state news.

Anonymous said...

1:11pm from what I have come to learn about Nifong he is the kind of person that likes to call other peopes bluffs.

But this time he is dealing with the best defense attorny's in the stae of NC.

The pissing contest has began and judge Smith seems like he is not taking any thing from Nifong.

Nifong seems, unable to get anything past him. I hope I'm right about judge Smith that would make him one of the few honest judges in N.C.

The longer this case plays out the larger the lawsuit awards are going to be. For Collin, David and Reade.

I agree with what some of you have said that if Collin and Reade were to return to Duke their lives could still be in great danger.

The group of 88 and the other studnets that don't like the Lax team for what every reason. Are still going to be there.

Anonymous said...


You are correct. Well said

Anonymous said...

bill anderson said...
The longer the State of North Carolina delays the inevitable, the worse it looks for the state. It amazes me at how the people in the justice apparatus in North Carolina have this in-your-face attitude that says "we are a law unto ourselves."
Dear Bill; we had a governor once upon a time for a short while . I do declare if my memory serves me well, it was just after the Civil War!!!!!!!!!!!!


Anonymous said...

To the 1:07, the answer to your question is yes. If the woman indicated a desire to back out of the case and Nifong used threats or intimidation to prevent her from doing so, he would have committed several ethics violations that could lead to sanctions or disbarment. Of course, since Nifong is already facing sanctions and/or disbarment for his other ethical and legal violations in this case, it probably would not have bothered Nifong much. I don't presume to know if Nifong has actually done what we're speculating about, but I admit I do find it curious that one of the things Nifong has admitted talking to Crystal about is her children, and when she could see them. It makes me wonder if Nifong was exercising some type of control over Crystal's children, and perhaps using them as a way of manipulating her.

Anonymous said...

If Precious is truly a victim of the DA, why doesent she retain her own lawyer and call a press conference saying she has not wanted to proceed for some time.

I think those advising her are NAACP idiots that make her think the case still can be won if they get it to trial with a black jury. They dont care about justice or the accused being innocent, they care about their own and want to do what they can to push their agenda of being victims at the hands of the white man.

If there was any real black leadership, they would try to meet with the victim and tell her to drop the charges if she wasnt sure. As long as she isnt willing to do that, there is no way any DA will drop the charges from a black victim against a bunch of white college kids. I could only imagine the lawsuits against the city of Durham if he did that.

Nifong, as poorly as he acted, was not going to get in any trouble until he collaborated to withhold exculaptory evidence. That is his doom. This initial bar complaint is a bunch of nonsense that just makes it seem like the State Bar is not incompetant when we all know it is.

Anonymous said...

For those of you who somehow imagine that the Nifong/FA Hoax can go no further, you need to sober up. There are plenty of examples (more than 1/1000) where justice has gone inconceivably awry. For Example:

Prosecutorial Abuse: The Wenatchee Witch Hunt Unravels Further
By Paul Craig Roberts

In 1995 I wrote the first of my 28 columns about the Wenatchee, Washington, child sex abuse witch hunt. Before national attention brought a halt to the worst witch hunt in U.S. history, 43 adults were falsely arrested on 29,726 fabricated charges of child sex abuse involving 60 children.

Parents, Sunday school teachers and a local pastor were indicted and many were convicted of raping their own children and the children of other members of a sex-ring. Innocent people were railroaded into prison, and their children were sold into foster care.

The witch hunt, which devastated so many lives at taxpayers’ expense, was launched in 1994 when a Child Protective Services supervisor told the local Wenatchee office to find some cases to justify its budget.

A stench of evil hung about these cases. Not a scrap of physical evidence of sex abuse was ever presented, an extraordinary fact considering that the children, some mere infants, had allegedly suffered an average of 495 rapes. One woman was charged with 3,200 counts of child sex abuse, which I wrote at the time gave “nymphomania a new definition.”

The cases were trumped up by Child Protective Services officials with an eye on their budget and jobs and by a police detective, Bob Perez, with the complicity of local prosecutors, judges, and political and media establishments. My early columns were greeted with derision by the local radio station, KPQ, and newspaper, the Wenatchee World.

The few witnesses in the cases, a single mother and two young girls, later recanted in sworn court documents and before TV audiences. The young girls described how they were threatened and beaten, with one apparently suffering a broken arm, by Perez, who used acts of violence to coerce false accusations.

One young woman described how she was kidnapped by Perez and locked up in a psychiatric facility, where a “recovered memory” therapist gave her mind-altering drugs in an attempt to get her to make false accusations against her parents. The state ACLU later verified her account.

In January 1997, single parent Michelle Kimble gave sworn court testimony that Child Protective Services officials Kate Carrow and Tim Abbey and detective Perez coerced her on Dec. 17, 1996, into making false charges against Pastor Roby Roberson, who had spoken out against the witch hunt. Shortly thereafter she repeated on NBC-TV that she was intimidated into making false allegations by fear of being criminally charged herself and having her son seized by Child Protective Services. CPS caseworker Paul Glassen told how he was forced to flee to Canada with his family when he was put on Perez’s arrest list for refusing to go along with the false accusations.

Despite these extraordinary revelations, Wenatchee stood behind the false convictions.

Tom Grant, a local KREM 2 News TV reporter in Spokane repeatedly exposed the frame-ups. Finally, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer assigned two investigative reporters to the story. In 1998 its series, “the Power to Harm,” documented the extraordinary violations of law, procedures, civil rights and basic humanity by public officials.

Spurred by the revelations of lawlessness in the system of criminal justice, the University of Washington Law School formed the Innocence Project Northwest, which has succeeded in obtaining the release of every adult victim of the false prosecutions. But spiteful public officials still refuse to give the parents back their children.

None of the public officials who broke the law, tampered with witnesses and fabricated evidence in order to convict the innocent have been indicted. However, civil cases have found the city of Wenatchee and Douglas County negligent in the child sex abuse cases, and multi-million dollar judgments have been awarded. The state Department of Social and Health Services and Chelan County have settled other civil cases with large awards.

Last week Spokane County Superior Court Judge Michael Donohue reinstated Pastor Roberson’s civil lawsuit against Wenatchee. Judge Donohue ruled that Wenatchee’s defense lawyers had withheld documents and “blindsided and misled the plaintiffs” and the court itself. Robert Van Siclen, the attorney who successfully defended Pastor Roberson from false child sex abuse charges, said: “These are smoking gun documents.”

The Wenatchee witch hunt gained its opportunity from a liberal mantra that 3 out of 4 children are subjected to sex abuse by a parent, close relative or child care provider. This mantra spawned federal legislation, Child Protective Services (an unaccountable agency with broad powers), an industry of child advocates and therapists with financial incentives to find sex abuse in Johnny’s football bruises, and special prosecutorial units that need cases.

These mechanisms for the miscarriage of justice are in place in every city and town in the U.S.

As early as October 3, 1995, Washington Governor Mike Lowry requested U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno to send a U.S. Attorney to investigate the Wenatchee child abuse prosecutions. Miss Reno, whose own claim to fame resided in false child sex abuse prosecutions (now all overturned) and who was kept on a short leash by Hillary “it takes a village” Clinton, steadfastly refused Gov. Lowry’s requests.

Liberals do not doubt that public officials can be trusted with power, but liberals know that parents cannot be trusted with children.

This misplaced confidence is responsible for the miscarriage of justice in Wenatchee.

Will your community be next?

Paul Craig Roberts is the author with Lawrence M. Stratton of The Tyranny of Good Intentions : How Prosecutors and Bureaucrats Are Trampling the Constitution in the Name of Justice. Click here for Peter Brimelow’s Forbes Magazine interview with Roberts about the recent epidemic of prosecutorial misconduct.


Anonymous said...

The latest post, and my post above regarding the Tulia arrests, put the lie to the idea that one should just let the system work and let the "truth" come out. We can have an able debate over the percentage of corrupt and abusive law enforcement officials, is it very high or relatively low, and reasonable people could disagree. However, it is most certainly not zero and not every prosecution with witnesses deserves or should go to trial. Trial is not a tv series, where somebody magically reveals whodunit at the end of the show. Trial is the culmination of a process that is subject to constitutional restrictions and controls, restrictinos and controls that are present for good reason. If the id process is tainted, you don't get to move on and try again. Public scrutiny is part of the process envisioned by the constitution and open law breaking should be exposed and criticized.

Anonymous said...

Bill Gates and Warren Buffett should spend some of their fortunes to fight against prosecutorial and governmental abuse.

Anonymous said...

False allegations, corruption and public misconduct is rampant and many an innocent life is being ruined. Are you next? Here is how to protect yourself.

1. Never be alone without a tape or some type of recording device.
2. Remember your picture phone is your friend.
3. Take notes, keep evidence and make a copy to put in safe keeping away from your house. Trust me they will break in and steal your evidence once you have the goods on them.
4. Find a loyal, trusting confidant to watch your back.
5. Remember one out of four people you come in contact with has some type of mental defect or personality disorder and believed they are perfectly justified in their witch hunt.
6. Run, don't walk, away from any profession or moonlighting task that has to do with children.
7. Read the Administrative Code, because you are guilty and must prove yourself innocent.
8. Be sure you don't talk to the person(s) making the false allegations or they will charge you with witness tampering.
9. The person making the false allegation is hardly ever charge with filing a false report and they know this fact on the front end.
10. You must face the fact that your life is ruined, no one cares and no one will help or give a hoot.
11. Reverse racism is alive and well and being preached from the pulpits. So let them stand with the Lord and you get as far away from them as possible.

I am not paranoid; I have been there and followed the above advice as posted on the Internet from parents in NY, which saved me. However, the evil displayed by the people around me at the time still haunts me and I am still unemployed. No one cared I was innocent.