Monday, February 27, 2012

Judge Marcia Morey, Roving Character Witness for Wayward Prosecutors

The Cline hearing has come to a conclusion for the day (see below: final argument will occur Wednesday), but the most striking aspect of the day came in the appearance of Durham Chief District Court Judge Marcia Morey as a pro-Cline witness. As the N&O reported, Morey "testified Monday that administration of justice has not been disrupted since suspended District Attorney Tracey Cline began launching attacks on the chief superior court judge in November." She added that "this may be a distraction to the administration of justice, but it has by no means slowed it down or derailed it."

Morey's record as an evaluator of DA's, however, is a bit on the shaky side. This is the same Judge Morey who appeared as a character witness on behalf of Mike Nifong during his ethics proceedings. At the time--and after months of reports showing that Nifong had issued at best misleading statements and at worst outright lies about the lacrosse case, including to Judge Smith--Judge Morey testified, "I have never doubted his truthfulness."

And then, to close her cross-examination in the ethics hearing, the judge gave this extraordinary response:
Q: Is it your testimony that Mike Nifong currently [as of June 2007] enjoys a reputation for truthfulness?
Morey: I think he does.

Courtesy of WRAL, here's a video of Judge Morey at Nifong's 2007 criminal contempt trial, at which she advanced the extraordinary argument that in evaluating the candor of a prosecutor, it "makes a difference" whether a case is at the trial stage or in pre-trial motions.

Given her own willingness to stand up on behalf of not one but two ethically challenged chief prosecutors, it's a wonder that Judge Morey considers herself qualified to opine about the "administration of justice," at least as the term is commonly understood.


skwilli said...

It's almost as bad as all the talking heads on cable news shows using a certain "expert" on women's issues every time one is needed. Just saw her again last weekend telling women how they should feel, despite their protestations otherwise. Her wrongheadedness about the Duke Lacrosse case should disqualify her forever from any expert opinion on anything.

Anonymous said...

Is Morey a Communist?

Can she be suspended?

Anonymous said...

Is Morey a Communist?

Anonymous said...

I was at the hearing when Judge Moery testified on Nifong's behalf. Surreal. Judge Morey actually testified that lying to the court was okay if it were in pre-trial stage and had no problem with what Nifong did. Judge Morey's view is that it is not a lie if you pretend it is true. George Costanza justice! In the end of course Morey's testimony did not amount to a hill of beans. Nifong was still held in contempt. One can reasonably expect the same here.

Why MOrey is still on the bench after that revolting display remains one of the many, many enduring mysteries of the Duke-Nifong hoax.

-- Haunches

Anonymous said...

To not see what is right in front of your face is a way of life and no struggle at all for some folks. "Close enough for government work" has the corollary " Can't see it from my house" for slipshod work for the willfully blind. This Judge chooses the Sargent Schultz response for her testimony. "I see nothing, nothing."

Anonymous said...

I say again, it is disgustingly remarkable the extent to which certain intellectual snobs will go to avoid admitting error.

Anonymous said...

To be fair...Morey didn't volunteer to testify on Cline's behalf. She made it clear that the only reason she was there was because she received a subpoena requiring her to be there.

It was a clever smoke and mirror move by Cline's attorney. Morey is the Chief District Court Judge. District Court is where only misdemeanor and traffic offenses are heard. Cline and her cohorts haven't stepped foot in District Court in years.

Morey could only testify as to what was happening in District Court...not Superior Court, where all felonies are tried, and where Orlando Hudson presides.

Sutton and her attorney missed the opportunity on cross to ask Morey if she had any opinion regarding Superior Court. Her answer would have not been helpful to Cline.

William L. Anderson said...

Has anyone noticed that she LOOKS like Nifong?

It is unbelievable that a judge -- A JUDGE -- would say it is perfectly fine for a DA to lie in court. Why has she not been removed from office?

kcjohnson9 said...

To the 11.33:

Actually, Morey made clear she was NOT in attendance for the Cline hearing under subpoena. That gave her the excuse to cite judicial ethics to avoid answering some of the questions offered by the anti-Cline attorneys.

Anonymous said...

Amazing how far a liar will go to cover up another liar. There is no distinction under the rules -- a lie to the tribunal is a lie.

QA said...

“Q: Is it your testimony that Mike Nifong currently [as of June 2007] enjoys a reputation for truthfulness?

Morey: I think he does.”

This question is an all-too-common-example of inept witness-examination; it shouldn’t even pass muster from 1st year Law students.

Who wouldn’t enjoy a reputation for truthfulness?

Morey’s response is almost appropriate; it might have been better to respond:
“I think he should.”